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HISTORY 27SC: American Road Trips

"Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road." --Jack Kerouac, On the Road, 1957. From Jack Kerouac's On the Road to Cheryl Strayed's Wild, this Sophomore College explores epic road trips of the twentieth century. Travel is a fundamental social and cultural practice through which Americans have constructed ideas about the self, society, the nation, the past, and the future. The open road, as it is often called, offered excitement, great adventure, and the space for family bonding and memory making. But the footloose and fancy-free nature of travel that the Beat Generation novelist Jack Kerouac waxed lyrical about in the 1957 classic On the Road were available to some travelers but not to others. Engaging historical and literary texts, as well as imaginative modes including film, autobiography, memoir, photography, and music, we will consider the ways that travel and road trips have been represented in American society. This course explores the following que more »
"Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road." --Jack Kerouac, On the Road, 1957. From Jack Kerouac's On the Road to Cheryl Strayed's Wild, this Sophomore College explores epic road trips of the twentieth century. Travel is a fundamental social and cultural practice through which Americans have constructed ideas about the self, society, the nation, the past, and the future. The open road, as it is often called, offered excitement, great adventure, and the space for family bonding and memory making. But the footloose and fancy-free nature of travel that the Beat Generation novelist Jack Kerouac waxed lyrical about in the 1957 classic On the Road were available to some travelers but not to others. Engaging historical and literary texts, as well as imaginative modes including film, autobiography, memoir, photography, and music, we will consider the ways that travel and road trips have been represented in American society. This course explores the following questions: How did men and women experience travel differently? How did the motivations for travel change over time? What role did race, ethnicity, class, relationships, and sexuality play in these trips? This Sophomore College examines how writers have explored the theme of travel, American writing, American history and culture, and American life. Students will work together to plan a road trip of their own which the class will take during the period of the Sophomore College.
Terms: Sum | Units: 2 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Hobbs, A. (PI)

POLISCI 22SC: The Face of Battle

Our understanding of warfare often derives from the lofty perspective of political leaders and generals: what were their objectives and what strategies were developed to meet them? This top-down perspective slights the experience of the actual combatants and non-combatants caught in the crossfire. This course focuses on the complexity of the process by which strategy is translated into tactical decisions by the officers and foot soldiers on the field of battle. We will review theories about civil-military relations and the nature of modern warfare and then visit Washington DC to discuss strategy and politics with current and former policy makers. We will also study two important battles in American history: Gettysburg (July 1863) and the Battle of Little Bighorn (June 1876). We will travel to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and the Little Bighorn battlefield in Montana. The course's battlefield tours are based on the "staff rides" developed by the Prussian Army in the mid-1800s and employed more »
Our understanding of warfare often derives from the lofty perspective of political leaders and generals: what were their objectives and what strategies were developed to meet them? This top-down perspective slights the experience of the actual combatants and non-combatants caught in the crossfire. This course focuses on the complexity of the process by which strategy is translated into tactical decisions by the officers and foot soldiers on the field of battle. We will review theories about civil-military relations and the nature of modern warfare and then visit Washington DC to discuss strategy and politics with current and former policy makers. We will also study two important battles in American history: Gettysburg (July 1863) and the Battle of Little Bighorn (June 1876). We will travel to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and the Little Bighorn battlefield in Montana. The course's battlefield tours are based on the "staff rides" developed by the Prussian Army in the mid-1800s and employed by the U.S. Army since the early 1900s. While at Stanford, students will conduct extensive research on individual participants at Gettysburg and Little Bighorn. Then, as we walk through the battlefield sites, students will brief the group on their subjects' experience of battle and on why they made the decisions they did during the conflict. Why did Lt. General Longstreet oppose the Confederate attack on the Union Army at Gettysburg? What was the experience of a military surgeon on a Civil War battlefield? Why did Custer divide his 7th Cavalry troops as they approached the Little Bighorn River? What was the role of Lakota Sioux women after a battle? Travel will be provided and paid by Sophomore College (except incidentals) and is made possible by the support of the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). The course is open to students from a range of disciplines; an interest in the topic is the only prerequisite.
Terms: Sum | Units: 2 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

SOC 11SC: Inequality and Poverty in the United States (CSRE 10SC)

Social inequality is a feature of all advanced industrial societies. However, some societies have more inequality than others, and some types of inequality are more prominent in some societies than in others. Inequality in the United States is greater than in many other industrialized nations and has increased dramatically in the past forty years. Economic inequality, for example, is greater today than any time since the 1920s. Growing public awareness of this inequality has sparked a vigorous debate among politicians and public protests in city streets; some that have turned violent. The Occupy Movement was driven largely by resentment against the growing concentration of economic privilege within a small segment of society. Inequality was a prominent theme in the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. Despite these debates and protests, there is no consensus about whether anything should be done to stem this trend. nThis class will focus on three domains of inequality in the United St more »
Social inequality is a feature of all advanced industrial societies. However, some societies have more inequality than others, and some types of inequality are more prominent in some societies than in others. Inequality in the United States is greater than in many other industrialized nations and has increased dramatically in the past forty years. Economic inequality, for example, is greater today than any time since the 1920s. Growing public awareness of this inequality has sparked a vigorous debate among politicians and public protests in city streets; some that have turned violent. The Occupy Movement was driven largely by resentment against the growing concentration of economic privilege within a small segment of society. Inequality was a prominent theme in the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. Despite these debates and protests, there is no consensus about whether anything should be done to stem this trend. nThis class will focus on three domains of inequality in the United States: social class, gender, and racial inequality. The assigned reading and discussions will examine theories and research about the origins of social inequality; how inequality and poverty is reproduced over time; the consequences of inequality and poverty; and what might be done to reduce inequality and poverty in American society. Students will be expected to help lead and participate in class discussions, and to complete a weekly assignment based on the readings. nnIn addition to the in-class instruction, students will have an opportunity to engage in public service activities directly related to poverty and inequality. Students will work with the Director of Community Engaged Learning (DCEL) from the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity who will assist with their participation in activities connected with social service agencies in the area, including agencies that deal with homelessness, food insecurity, and other needs.
Terms: Sum | Units: 2 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Snipp, C. (PI)

SPANLANG 10SC: Spanish Immersion: Language and Community

Wouldn't it be great if you could quickly increase your Spanish proficiency through an intensive immersion experience right here at Stanford? Wouldn't you love to gain the cultural and historical knowledge necessary to begin taking film, literature, and culture courses generally reserved for advanced students? This intensive Spanish immersion course is designed to help students who have completed a year of Spanish to move forward quickly toward greater linguistic and cultural competence. After a year of Spanish, students tend to be able to handle straightforward interactions related to basic needs and personal information, but they generally lack the ability to handle more abstract discussions or to combine short utterances into longer presentations of their ideas. Most students likewise have little knowledge of the rich and complex history that surrounds the Spanish language or the central role that Spanish has played in the cultural, artistic, and political life of California. In thi more »
Wouldn't it be great if you could quickly increase your Spanish proficiency through an intensive immersion experience right here at Stanford? Wouldn't you love to gain the cultural and historical knowledge necessary to begin taking film, literature, and culture courses generally reserved for advanced students? This intensive Spanish immersion course is designed to help students who have completed a year of Spanish to move forward quickly toward greater linguistic and cultural competence. After a year of Spanish, students tend to be able to handle straightforward interactions related to basic needs and personal information, but they generally lack the ability to handle more abstract discussions or to combine short utterances into longer presentations of their ideas. Most students likewise have little knowledge of the rich and complex history that surrounds the Spanish language or the central role that Spanish has played in the cultural, artistic, and political life of California. In this course, a team of experienced instructors will help students improve their Spanish through intensive lessons that incorporate film, literature, and social issues. Through a focused discussion of the themes of immigration and democracy in Spain, Latin America, and the United States, as well as excursions and guest lectures by Stanford faculty and community leaders, this course will immerse students in Spanish and help them to gain advanced proficiency much more quickly.
Terms: Sum | Units: 2 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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