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1 - 6 of 6 results for: THINK

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 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: College, THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-CE

THINK 51: The Spirit of Democracy

This course provides an overview of the challenges and aspirations facing ideals of democracy. It deals both with competing visions of what democracy might be, and their actual realization not only in the US but around the world. It will begin with the debate over the American founding and move eventually to the "third wave" of democratization around the world in the late 20th century as well as its more recent retrenchment. The problems of democratic reform are continuing and recurrent around the world. Democratic institutions are subject to a living dialogue and we intend to engage the students in these debates, at the level of democratic theory and at the level of specific institutional designs.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: College, THINK, WAY-SI

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: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: College, THINK, WAY-A-II

THINK 59: Worlds of Sound: Learning to Listen

We live in a world of sound. Even deafening silence has a profound sonic quality. In ways that we do not always recognize, our social practices lead us to understand certain sounds as desired signals and filter out others as unwanted noise. How are we hearing the world right now? How have the Coronavirus pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the other developments of 2020 changed the world of sound in which we live? How have they changed the ways we listen? This class challenges freshmen to become aware of their own listening practices and how those practices affect their perception of the world. We think about how our bodies, our technology, the state, and the market affect what and how we hear. We explore what makes us remember some sounds more than others. Students in this class will write about their own experiences of listening as they develop their own archive of the sounds of Fall 2020; they will produce autoethnographic writing that they can use later to remember this unique historical moment.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: College, THINK, WAY-A-II

THINK 68: Our Genome

Genomes reveal a wealth of information with implications far beyond the linear sequence of the DNA. We will consider two questions related to the genome, coupled with examples from real-life consequences. Firstly, what does the genome say about our past: where we came from and how we might fit into the tapestry of the human race? We will look at examples from history and anonymized patients to highlight the consequences of these question for people. Next we will consider what the genome tells us about the future: how might it foretell our individual future and how might this be translated into patient treatment? We will examine the promises, pitfalls, and implications for the advances in medicine and healthcare promised by genomic research.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: College, THINK, WAY-SMA

THINK 70: Why College? Your Education and the Good Life

You're about to embark on an amazing journey: a college education. But what is the purpose of this journey? Why go to college? Some argue that the purpose of college is to train you for a career. Others claim that college is no longer necessary, that you can launch the next big startup and change the world without a degree. Peter Thiel offers students like you $100,000 to skip or stop out of college because knowledge that is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind. Why read Plato if you're a STEM major, after all? Why think about primate health if you're in the arts? In the face of such critiques, this class makes a case for an expansive education that trains your mind to engage with a variety of subjects and skills. The philosophy behind this model has traditionally been called liberal education (from the Latin word for freedom, libertas). Together we will explore the history, practice, and rationales for a liberal education by putting canonical texts in conversation with more recent works. We will consider the relevance of liberal education to all areas of study, from STEM to the arts, and its relations to future careers. And we will examine the central place that the idea of 'the good life' has historically enjoyed in theories of liberal education. You will be prompted to examine your own life, to question how and why you make decisions, and to argue for your views while respecting those of others. Maybe you will conclude that a liberal education is no longer relevant in the twenty-first century, but we hope that you will do so armed with a thorough understanding of what it has been and what it can be.nIn the end, college is less about what you will do in life, than about what kind of person you will be. So: what kind of person do you want to be? What kind of life will you live? Join us as we explore what others have said about these questions and prepare to answer them for yourself.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: College, THINK, WAY-A-II
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