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PWR 194CW: Brave New Worlds: An Introduction to (De)colonial Rhetorics

Since the time of Columbus, colonial agendas and policies have engendered their own rhetorics of justification and explanation. After all, European modernism began with the encounter of the New World, and Europe¿s own identity was forged in the process of ¿Latinization¿ of the Western Hemisphere. In response, decoloniality arose as a rich intellectual critique in the late 1990s in South America and the Caribbean. Decolonial rhetorical traditions stand in a unique position vis-à-vis the development of modernity, colonialism, racialized identities, the crisis of European reason, and the dawn of globalization. In an era of Trumpism, in which European modernity once again justifies restricting the mobility and freedom of Latinx immigrants, among other ethnic groups, perhaps no other form of intellectual critique seems quite so urgent. This course introduces students to primary decolonial rhetorical texts and asks students to apply these insights to pressing contemporary challenges by practicing deep reading of primary and secondary texts, preparing group presentations, and exploring creative acts of composition with an eye toward imagining brave new worlds and the decolonial rhetorical practices valued therein.
Last offered: Winter 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

PWR 194KT: Topics in Writing & Rhetoric: The Last Hopi On Earth: The Rhetoric of Entertainment Inequity (CSRE 194KT)

While #OscarsSoWhite brought attention to the Academy's overwhelmingly White, male membership, the underbelly of the entertainment industry itself is rife with inequitable hiring of not only on-camera and on-stage performers but also directors, writers, and others behind the scenes. While there are several organizations from Racebending.com to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media that seek to usher in more equitable representation, push back against the Industry's disparate employment practices has been documented for more than fifty years with what many argue is not proportionally positive movement. White males still garner almost half of all theatrical and television roles and represent more than 80% of episodic directors while entertainment hubs Los Angeles and New York City are more than 50% people of color and female. What will it take to attain equity in the entertainment industry? Why does it matter? nnIn this course, students will examine rhetorical issues in promoting, more »
While #OscarsSoWhite brought attention to the Academy's overwhelmingly White, male membership, the underbelly of the entertainment industry itself is rife with inequitable hiring of not only on-camera and on-stage performers but also directors, writers, and others behind the scenes. While there are several organizations from Racebending.com to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media that seek to usher in more equitable representation, push back against the Industry's disparate employment practices has been documented for more than fifty years with what many argue is not proportionally positive movement. White males still garner almost half of all theatrical and television roles and represent more than 80% of episodic directors while entertainment hubs Los Angeles and New York City are more than 50% people of color and female. What will it take to attain equity in the entertainment industry? Why does it matter? nnIn this course, students will examine rhetorical issues in promoting, defending, and opposing entertainment industry practices - writing and speaking across genres in persuasive response - and ultimately develop a collaborative 5-year strategic plan to usher in equity.n nThis course is part of the PWR advanced elective track in Social and Racial Justice (SRJ). Prerequisite: first two levels of the writing requirement or equivalent transfer credit. For video course description, see https://undergrad.stanford.edu/programs/pwr/courses/advanced-courses/last-hopi-earth-rhetoric-entertainment-inequity.
Last offered: Winter 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

PWR 194SB: Topics in Writing and Rhetoric: Rhetoric of Science

Understanding rhetoric as readers and interpreters of texts and to develop skills as writers and speakers. Prerequisite: first two levels of the writing requirement or equivalent transfer credit. For topics, see https://undergrad.stanford.edu/programs/pwr/courses/advanced-pwr-courses.
Last offered: Autumn 2015 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

REES 145D: Jewish American Literature (AMSTUD 145D, ENGLISH 145D, JEWISHST 155D)

From its inception, Jewish-American literature has taken as its subject as well as its context the idea of Jewishness itself. Jewish culture is a diasporic one, and for this reason the concept of Jewishness differs from country to country and across time. What stays remarkably similar, though, is Jewish self-perception and relatedly Jewish literary style. This is as true for the first-generation immigrant writers like Isaac Bashevis Singer and Anzia Yezierska who came to the United States from abroad as it is for their second-generation children born in the United States, and the children of those children. In this course, we will consider the difficulties of displacement for the emigrant generation and their efforts to sustain their cultural integrity in the multicultural American environment. We'll also examine the often comic revolt of their American-born children and grandchildren against their (grand-)parents nostalgia and failure to assimilate. Only by considering these transnati more »
From its inception, Jewish-American literature has taken as its subject as well as its context the idea of Jewishness itself. Jewish culture is a diasporic one, and for this reason the concept of Jewishness differs from country to country and across time. What stays remarkably similar, though, is Jewish self-perception and relatedly Jewish literary style. This is as true for the first-generation immigrant writers like Isaac Bashevis Singer and Anzia Yezierska who came to the United States from abroad as it is for their second-generation children born in the United States, and the children of those children. In this course, we will consider the difficulties of displacement for the emigrant generation and their efforts to sustain their cultural integrity in the multicultural American environment. We'll also examine the often comic revolt of their American-born children and grandchildren against their (grand-)parents nostalgia and failure to assimilate. Only by considering these transnational roots can one understand the particularity of the Jewish-American novel in relation to mainstream and minority American literatures. In investigating the link between American Jewish writers and their literary progenitors, we will draw largely but not exclusively from Russia and the countries of Eastern Europe.
Last offered: Spring 2018 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

RELIGST 2: Is Stanford a Religion?

This course seeks to introduce students to the study of religion by posing a two-part question: What is a religion, and does Stanford qualify as one? Scientific, pragmatic, seemingly secular, Stanford may not seem at all similar to religions like Christianity, Judaism or Buddhism, but a deeper look reveals that it has many of the qualities of religion--origin stories, rituals and ceremonies, sacred spaces and times, visions of the future, even some spirits. By learning some of the theories and methods of the field of religious studies, students will gain a better understanding not just of Stanford culture but of what motivates people to be religious, the roles religion plays in people's lives, and the similarities and differences between religious and secular culture.
Last offered: Spring 2018 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

RELIGST 4: What Didn't Make It into the Bible (CLASSICS 9N, JEWISHST 4)

Over two billion people alive today consider the Bible to be sacred scripture. But how did the books that made it into the bible get there in the first place? Who decided what was to be part of the bible and what wasn't? How would history look differently if a given book didn't make the final cut and another one did? Hundreds of ancient Jewish and Christian texts are not included in the Bible. "What Didn't Make It in the Bible" focuses on these excluded writings. We will explore the Dead Sea Scrolls, Gnostic gospels, hear of a five-year-old Jesus throwing temper tantrums while killing (and later resurrecting) his classmates, peruse ancient romance novels, explore the adventures of fallen angels who sired giants (and taught humans about cosmetics), tour heaven and hell, encounter the garden of Eden story told from the perspective of the snake, and learn how the world will end. The course assumes no prior knowledge of Judaism, Christianity, the bible, or ancient history. It is designed f more »
Over two billion people alive today consider the Bible to be sacred scripture. But how did the books that made it into the bible get there in the first place? Who decided what was to be part of the bible and what wasn't? How would history look differently if a given book didn't make the final cut and another one did? Hundreds of ancient Jewish and Christian texts are not included in the Bible. "What Didn't Make It in the Bible" focuses on these excluded writings. We will explore the Dead Sea Scrolls, Gnostic gospels, hear of a five-year-old Jesus throwing temper tantrums while killing (and later resurrecting) his classmates, peruse ancient romance novels, explore the adventures of fallen angels who sired giants (and taught humans about cosmetics), tour heaven and hell, encounter the garden of Eden story told from the perspective of the snake, and learn how the world will end. The course assumes no prior knowledge of Judaism, Christianity, the bible, or ancient history. It is designed for students who are part of faith traditions that consider the bible to be sacred, as well as those who are not. The only prerequisite is an interest in exploring books, groups, and ideas that eventually lost the battles of history and to keep asking the question "why." In critically examining these ancient narratives and the communities that wrote them, you will investigate how religions canonize a scriptural tradition, better appreciate the diversity of early Judaism and Christianity, understand the historical context of these religions, and explore the politics behind what did and did not make it into the bible.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI

RELIGST 6N: Religion in Anime and Manga

Religious themes and topoi are ubiquitous in Japanese anime and manga. In this course, we will examine how religions are represented in these new media and study the role of religions in contemporary Japan. By doing this, students will also learn fundamental concepts of Buddhism and Shinto.
Last offered: Winter 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

RELIGST 8N: Gardens and Sacred Space in Japan

This seminar will explore gardens and sacred spaces in Japan. We will study the development of Japanese garden design from the earliest records to contemporary Japan. We will especially focus on the religious, aesthetic, and social dimensions of gardens and sacred spaces. This seminar features a field trip to a Japanese garden in the area, in order to study how Japanese garden design was adapted in North America.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI
Instructors: Mross, M. (PI)

RELIGST 17N: Love, Power, and Justice: Ethics in Christian Perspective

From its inception, the Christian faith has, like all religions, implied an ethos as well as a worldview, a morality and way of life as well as a system of beliefs, an ethics as well as a metaphysics. Throughout history, Christian thinkers have offered reasoned accounts of the moral values, principles, and virtues that ought to animate the adherents of what eventually became the world's largest religion. We will explore a variety of controversial issues, theological orientations, and types of ethical reasoning in the Christian tradition, treating the latter as one 'comprehensive doctrine' (John Rawls) among many; a normative framework (actually a variety of contested religious premises, moral teachings, and philosophical arguments) formally on par with the religious ethics of other major faiths as well as with the various secular moral theories typically discussed in the modern university. We will learn to interpret, reconstruct, criticize, and think intelligently about the coherence and persuasiveness of moral arguments offered by a diverse handful of this religious tradition's best thinkers and critics, past and present.
Last offered: Spring 2016 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

RELIGST 53: Exploring Jewish Spirituality (JEWISHST 53)

It was once accepted as fact that Judaism is, at its core, a rational religion devoid of any authentic mystical tradition. But the past century of scholarship has reversed this claim, demonstrating that the spiritual life has been integral to Judaism's vital heart since ancient times. This yearning for a direct immediate experience of God's Presence, a longing to grasp the mysteries of the human soul and know the inner dynamics of the Divine realm, has taken on many different forms across the centuries. nnThis course will introduce students to the major texts¿from theological treatises to poems and incantations¿and core ideas of Jewish mysticism and spirituality, tracking their development from the Hebrew Bible to the dawn of modernity. Close attention will be paid to the historical context of these sources, and we will also engage with broader methodological approaches¿from phenomenology to philology¿regarding the academic study of religion and the comparative consideration of mystici more »
It was once accepted as fact that Judaism is, at its core, a rational religion devoid of any authentic mystical tradition. But the past century of scholarship has reversed this claim, demonstrating that the spiritual life has been integral to Judaism's vital heart since ancient times. This yearning for a direct immediate experience of God's Presence, a longing to grasp the mysteries of the human soul and know the inner dynamics of the Divine realm, has taken on many different forms across the centuries. nnThis course will introduce students to the major texts¿from theological treatises to poems and incantations¿and core ideas of Jewish mysticism and spirituality, tracking their development from the Hebrew Bible to the dawn of modernity. Close attention will be paid to the historical context of these sources, and we will also engage with broader methodological approaches¿from phenomenology to philology¿regarding the academic study of religion and the comparative consideration of mysticism in particular.nnThis course assumes no prior background of Judaism or any other religious traditions. All readings will be made available in English. Students are, however, invited to challenge themselves with the ¿optional/advanced¿ readings of sources both primary and secondary. Pending interest, students with facility in the original languages (Hebrew or Aramaic) will be given the opportunity to do so.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Mayse, E. (PI)
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