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SLE 92: Structured Liberal Education

Focusing on great works of philosophy, religion, literature, painting, and film drawn largely from the Western tradition, the SLE curriculum places particular emphasis on artists and intellectuals who brought new ways of thinking and new ways of creating into the world, often overthrowing prior traditions in the process. These are the works that redefined beauty, challenged the authority of conventional wisdom, raised questions of continuing importance to us today, and¿for good or ill¿created the world we still live in. Texts may include: Augustine, the Qur'an, Dante, Rumi, Machiavelli, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Las Casas, Descartes, Locke, Mill, Schleiermacher, and Flaubert.
Terms: Win | Units: 8 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:IHUM-2, THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER, Writing SLE

SOC 8: Sport, Competition, and Society

This course uses the tools of social science to help understand debates and puzzles from contemporary sports, and in doing so shows how sports and other contests provide many telling examples of enduring social dynamics and larger social trends. We also consider how sport serves as the entry point for many larger debates about the morality and ethics raised by ongoing social change.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER, WAY-SI

SOC 18N: Ethics, Morality, and Markets

Markets are inescapably entangled with questions of right and wrong. What counts as a fair price or a fair wage? Should people be able to sell their organs? Do companies have a responsibility to make sure algorithmic decisions don't perpetuate racism and misogyny? Even when market exchange seems coldly rational, it still embodies normative ideas about the right ways to value objects and people and to determine who gets what. In this seminar, we will study markets as social institutions permeated with moral meaning. We will explore how powerful actors work to institutionalize certain understandings of good and bad; unpack how particular moral visions materially benefit some groups of people more so than others; examine the ways people draw on notions of fairness to justify and contest the market's distribution of resources and opportunities; and consider who has agency to build markets according to different normative ideals. Most course readings are empirical research, so we will also critically discuss how social scientists use data and methods to build evidence about the way the world works.
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER, WAY-SI
Instructors: Kiviat, B. (PI)

SOC 122D: Free Speech and Inclusion on Campus (AMSTUD 122D)

How do we balance norms of inclusion and respect with norms of free speech? This seminar course utilizes readings from sociology, political science, and legal/ethical reasoning to elucidate the larger structures and ideals that are at stake in the debates over what kind of speech is tolerable, or more normatively speaking, desirable, at colleges and universities. The expected learning outcomes are: a greater understanding of the free speech's role in American society and democracy, how America's position on free speech compares to other countries, and how speech restriction and liberties can reveal larger patterns in social structure and agency. Finally, key skills students will develop are learning how to identify common ethical frameworks that academic and popular authors use and how to analyze the origins of and changes in social institutions and social structures.
| UG Reqs: WAY-ER, WAY-SI

SPANLANG 108SL: Advanced Spanish Immersion:Migration, Asylum & Human Rights at the Border

Students develop advanced Spanish language proficiency through examination of issues surrounding current immigration and refugee crises. Discussion of Central American contexts, international treaties, human rights, and U.S. immigration law. Class will include expert commentary from legal and mental health professionals, human rights specialists, migrants, and refugees. Legal, medical, and psychological implications of migration. Taught entirely in Spanish. Cardinal Course (certified by Haas Center). Students may enroll in the companion elective HUMRTS 108 to volunteer for one week with the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project in Dilley, TX,working directly with Spanish-speaking asylum seekers. Prerequisite: completion of SPANLANG 13, 23B or equivalent. SPANLANG 108SL is a requirement for HUMRTS 108. This course requires an application process. Please email instructor for consent
Terms: Aut, Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER, WAY-SI
Instructors: Brates, V. (PI)

STS 123: Making of a Nuclear World: History, Politics, and Culture

Nuclear technology has shaped our world through its various applications (e.g., weapons, energy production, medicine) and accidents and disasters (e.g., Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima). This course will examine the development of nuclear technology and its consequences to politics and culture at the global, national, regional and local levels from interdisciplinary perspectives. Some of the key questions addressed are: How did different countries and communities experience and respond to the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? How did such experiences affect the later development of the technology in different national contexts? How have nuclear tests and disasters change the ways in which risks are understood and managed globally and locally? What kinds of political activism, international arrangements, and cultural tropes and imageries emerged in response to nuclear technology? We explore these questions through key works and recent studies in history, anthropology, sociology, and science and technology studies, as well as through films and literature.
Last offered: Summer 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER, WAY-SI

SYMSYS 122: Artificial Intelligence: Philosophy, Ethics, & Impact

Recent advances in computing may place us at the threshold of a unique turning point in human history. Soon we are likely to entrust management of our environment, economy, security, infrastructure, food production, healthcare, and to a large degree even our personal activities, to artificially intelligent computer systems. The prospect of "turning over the keys" to increasingly autonomous systems raises many complex and troubling questions. How will society respond as versatile robots and machine-learning systems displace an ever-expanding spectrum of blue- and white-collar workers? Will the benefits of this technological revolution be broadly distributed or accrue to a lucky few? How can we ensure that these systems respect our ethical principles when they make decisions at speeds and for rationales that exceed our ability to comprehend? What, if any, legal rights and responsibilities should we grant them? And should we regard them merely as sophisticated tools or as a newly emerging form of life? The goal of this course is to equip students with the intellectual tools, ethical foundation, and psychological framework to successfully navigate the coming age of intelligent machines.
Last offered: Autumn 2014 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER

TAPS 12N: To Die For: Antigone and Political Dissent (CLASSICS 17N)

(Formerly CLASSGEN 6N.) Preference to freshmen. Tensions inherent in the democracy of ancient Athens; how the character of Antigone emerges in later drama, film, and political thought as a figure of resistance against illegitimate authority; and her relevance to contemporary struggles for women's and workers' rights and national liberation. Readings and screenings include versions of Antigone by Sophocles, Anouilh, Brecht, Fugard/Kani/Ntshona, Paulin, Glowacki, Gurney, and von Trotta.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-Gender, WAY-ED, WAY-ER
Instructors: Rehm, R. (PI)

TAPS 163D: Shakespeare: The Ethical Challenge (ENGLISH 163D)

Was the eighteenth century right in proclaiming Shakespeare to be the greatest moral philosopher? What are the ethical challenges Shakespeare's major plays still pose for us? Can we divorce ethical decisions from the contingencies of experience? We will ask a series of normative ethical questions (to do with pleasure, power, old age, self-sacrifice, and truth telling) and attempt to answer them in relation to the dramatic situation of Shakespeare's characters on the one hand and our own cultural situation on the other. The ethical challenge of Shakespearean drama will be set against selected readings in ethical theory.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER
Instructors: Lupic, I. (PI)

TAPS 180Q: Noam Chomsky: The Drama of Resistance

Preference to sophomores. Chomsky's ideas and work which challenge the political and economic paradigms governing the U.S. Topics include his model for linguistics; cold war U.S. involvements in S.E. Asia, the Middle East, Central and S. America, the Caribbean, and Indonesia and E. Timor; the media, terrorism, ideology, and culture; student and popular movements; and the role of resistance.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-ER, WAY-SI
Instructors: Rehm, R. (PI)
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