Experience what it’s like to participate in a Brown University seminar that will challenge your ideas and invigorate your thinking.
In this course, you will engage with great thinkers in world history, explore great social movements of our time, and immerse yourself in key ideological controversies that underpin contemporary global society.
• Revisit the twilight of medieval Europe as the great Protestant challenge to Catholicism ushers in a new modern and individual consciousness, unleashing unexpected anxieties that would later manifest in the witch-craze that swept Europe and America.
• Investigate some of the most lively debates in the history of science, including the firestorm unleashed by Darwin's revolution and the bitter controversy over who really discovered the calculus.
• Debate one of the most intractable problems of modern life: intellectual property. Is innovation stimulated or hindered by the laws that allow people to own their own inventions and creative labor? Examining one of the most high-profile cases in recent popular culture, we will ask how to distinguish between legitimate artistic influence and copyright infringement.
While exploring these topics with your peer colleagues through careful thought and polite debate, you will learn to read closely, write analytically, and gain the critical thinking skills necessary to thrive in a college-level liberal arts classroom.
• Practice and analyze the forms and methods of close reading and analytical writing.
• Grapple with complex ideas and differing points of view and learn to engage in scholarly debate with your peers with civility and passion.
• Produce three short (2-3 page) analytical response papers.
"I really enjoyed doing the readings, even though they were long. I loved annotating. Watching myself become more and more capable of comprehending such advanced texts as the course progressed was really exciting for me."
- Disruptive Thinkers, Ideological Conflict, and Social Revolution student, Summer 2015
Time commitment: Your course will open on a Monday, two days in advance of the Wednesday course start date to give you time to get to know Canvas (Brown's learning management system), review course expectations and strategies for your success, learn about your instructor, and help us to learn a bit about you. These introductory activities should take you just a few hours to complete.
Plan to spend approximately 10 hours per week on coursework. To be successful in this course, you must have reliable internet access, and will be expected to participate in the course multiple times each week.
Computer with reliable, high-speed internet connection | Note: Mobile devices (smart phones, tablets) are also supported, but may be less than optimal for some required assignments. We recommend using these as supplemental access points in addition to your computer. We also recommend downloading the Canvas Mobile App for iOS or Android devices for the best experience on mobile devices.
Up-to-date Internet browser supported by Canvas, Brown's learning management system
Headphones, earbuds or speakers
Webcam and microphone
Adobe Flash Player browser plugin (Course elements may require Flash and will not work on an iPad.)
Word Processing application to save and open Microsoft Office formats (.doc,.docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx)
Supplementary materials: none
Non-credit, seminar-style courses in the liberal arts and sciences, taught fully online to students worldwide. For students completing grades 9-12 by June 2020.Visit Program Page Information Sessions Learn How to Apply