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851 - 859 of 859 results for: all courses

THINK 43: What is love?

Is love a spiritual or a bodily phenomenon? Is the concept of love timeless or ever changing? How does thinking about love lead us to ask other important philosophical and social questions? In this course we will examine the classical roots, medieval developments, and contemporary permutations of Western ideas of romantic love. With an eye to thinking about representations of love in our own culture, we consider some of the foundational love books of the Western tradition. From Plato's Symposium to Chester Brown's graphic novel Paying For It, we ask the fundamental question of whether and how we might distinguish between spiritual and physical desire. We consider how medieval and contemporary writers dealt with the relation of love to sex, power, money, marriage, and gender. We discuss these works of the past, for example the illicit love in the courtly romance Tristan, in tandem with representations of clandestine love from the present day, such as the portrayal of same-sex love in Brokeback Mountain.
Terms: Aut, last offered Autumn 2016 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 44: Belief

Why do people believe in God? What does it mean for people to experience the supernatural? How do we understand belief in God? How do people convey experiences that are by definition extra-ordinary to others? In this course we ask the big (and unanswerable) question why people believe in God. Some scholars argue that belief results from direct experience, such as visions or moments of transcendence, that testify to God's existence. Others suggest that belief in the supernatural is better explained by the way the human mind has evolved or people's experience of the social world. In this class, we will pair medieval literature on Christian mysticism and magic with readings from modern psychology and anthropology. We will look at the dominant answers provided by each discipline. For example, belief might result from our sensory experience of the world, or it might have developed as part of our cognitive apparatus in response to fear. Our aim is to show how different disciplines can work together to cast light on a basic question of human existence.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 49: Stories Everywhere

Do we perceive the world through stories? Are we made of stories? Can we make sense of the world without narrative? The telling of stories is not just a form of entertainment but an essential human activity that moves and persuades us, compelling us to action and reflection. In this course, we will probe how moral, cognitive and historical forces give stories their power. You will be introduced to the basic theory and art of storytelling, enabling you to understand and master the fundamentals of narrative structure, plot, and character. This will allow you to practice producing your own stories through both interpretative and creative writing assignments. The class will also give students the chance to participate in various story-making activities and work with the Stanford Storytelling Project, San Francisco StoryCorps, School of the Arts and the Stanford Innocence Project to create assignments that would be useful to both private and nonprofit organizations.
Terms: Aut, last offered Autumn 2016 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-CE | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 53: Food Talks: The Language of Food

In this course, we examine how the ways we talk about food offers us a window into history, psychology, culture and economics. We ask students to think critically about language and taste as well as explore the hidden meanings and influence of the language that surrounds us. Students will analyze the language of food through menus, recipes, Yelp reviews, TV food shows, as well as the history and etymology of food words. Some of our examples will be drawn from East Asian food and culture in addition to, and as a point of contrast with, foods and cultures that may be more familiar to students.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 55: Understanding China through Film

How did China move from an imperial and colonized country to an independent modern nation? How did the Chinese people transform its tradition, create new ways of life and values, and move toward modernity? What can the films tell us about the most significant events in modern Chinese culture and history?nWe will learn about major social and cultural transformations in modern Chinese through film. We will analyze films as a window on the ongoing narrative of a people making history and responding to a changing circumstances of revolution, reform, political movements, and modernization. Students will study film images as an art that is intertwined with ordinary people, their lived experiences, cultural habit, moral values, and political consciousness. The course will highlight four major periods: the May Fourth New Culture (1919-1930), the socialist era, the Cultural Revolution, and the reform era of globalization since the 1980s. We will learn to be sensitive to film as a visual and dramatic medium that brings to life Chinese history and culture.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 57: Progress: Pro and Contra

Where and when did we start believing in human progress? Does progress imply that history has a particular direction or end-goal?nMuch of our everyday thinking about politics, society, and history depends on some implicit or explicit concept of progress. Have we reached a point where we need to replace the idea of progress with that of sustainability? These are some of the questions this course will raise as it looks at how ideas of progress inform western thinking about science, history, evolution, and politics. It will engage with thinkers who argued in favor of the idea of progress as well as thinkers who attacked its presumptions. Reading and critically evaluating philosophical, scientific, and literary texts, we will investigate the different consequences of our residual belief in progress, as well as the consequences of our possible abandonment of that belief.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

URBANST 153: CAPITALS: How Cities Shape Cultures, States, and People (COMPLIT 100, DLCL 100, FRENCH 175, GERMAN 175, HISTORY 206E, ILAC 175, ITALIAN 175)

This course takes students on a trip to eight capital cities, at different moments in time: Renaissance Florence, Golden Age Madrid, Colonial Mexico City, Enlightenment and Romantic Paris, Existential and Revolutionary St. Petersburg, Roaring Berlin, Modernist Vienna, and bustling Buenos Aires. While exploring each place in a particular historical moment, we will also consider the relations between culture, power, and social life. How does the cultural life of a country intersect with the political activity of a capital? How do large cities shape our everyday experience, our aesthetic preferences, , and our sense of history? Why do some cities become cultural capitals? Primary materials for this course will consist of literary, visual, sociological, and historical documents (in translation); authors we will read include Boccaccio, Lope de Vega, Sor Juana, Montesquieu, Baudelaire, Dostoyevsky, Irmgard Keun, Freud, and Borges.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

URBANST 180Q: How to be Governed Otherwise: Art, Activism, and the City (ARTSINST 180Q, CEE 131Q)

This course will introduce you to contemporary art¿s engagement with political activism. This introduction will focus on the city as, at once, a field and target of activism¿a field of public appearance, artistic intervention, and political action, as well as a target of claims to residence, livelihood, recognition, justice, and collectivity. We will pose activist politics, artistic intervention, and urban space as mutually imbricated, each shaping the possibilities, programs, and histories of the other¿a perspective that offers insights into the spatiality, materiality, and visuality of political identity, agency, and action. Over the quarter, we will study some of the many artistic interventions that are encompassed by urban activism, from informal and everyday practices to protest, resistance, and occupation. Comparative case studies will be drawn from a global context. You will investigate these case studies through both research on urban activism and activist practice; the seminar will therefore invite you to explore the militant possibilities of research, the research possibilities of activism, and the implications of each for the production of art.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Herscher, A. (PI)

URBANST 182: Activating Urban Spaces (ARTSINST 182, CEE 131F)

This course will look at how public urban spaces are structured with a particular eye to the involvement of art and artists, whether formally or informally, in shaping the built and social environment of the city. Throughout the course particular focus will consider the possibilities for engaging social justice outcomes through spatial intervention drawing on examples from around the world. Interventions in urban spaces enact local change by making art the language of civic engagement; in this way a mural or performance or reconceptualized public space can become a method to address issues of locally prioritized inequality. We will use Stanford University and the Bay Area as our local research sites, making trips into the field to analyze methods, approaches, and experiences of urban spaces in action as well as bringing experts who work in related fields into the classroom. Sites of study include parks, public art, and street festivals by looking at arts organizations, city projects, community groups, and individual artists. The class will operate as a hybrid seminar and collaborative studio workspace which supports students in using ethnographic, visual, mapping, historical, and participatory methods in developing projects that respond to a particular site of their choosing.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Taylor, J. (PI)
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