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PSYCH 20N: How Beliefs Create Reality

This seminar will take an interdisciplinary approach to exploring how subjective aspects of the mind (e.g., thoughts, beliefs, and expectations) can fundamentally change objective reality. Over the course of the semester, students will be challenged to think critically about research from psychology, sociology, and medicine, which suggests that what we think, believe and expect plays a significant role in determining our physical health, performance and well-being. Students will explore research on how mindsets about nutrition, exercise, and stress can alter the body¿s response to those phenomena. Students will also uncover how social interactions with friends, family, colleagues and the media influence the perceived quality and impact of cultural products such as art, music, and fashion. And students will learn about the neurological and physiological underpinnings of the placebo effect, a powerful demonstration of expectation that produces real, healing changes in the body. Finally, students will have the opportunity to consider real world applications in disciplines including policy, business, medicine, academics, athletics and public health and consider the ethical implications of those applications. Throughout the class active participation and an open mind will be critical to success. The final weeks of class will be dedicated to student designed studies or interventions aimed to further explore the power of self-fulfilling prophecies, placebo effects, and the social-psychological creation of reality.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3
Instructors: Crum, A. (PI)

RELIGST 11N: The Meaning of Life: Philosophical, Aesthetic, and Religious Perspectives

Raise ultimate questions about life. Yes, the unexamined life is not worth living, but also the unlived life is not worth examining. Students and professor examine their own lives in the light of questions that the readings and lectures bring up: 1. The big picture: Is there such a thing as "the" meaning of life? 2. What is entailed in making personal-existential sense of one's own life? 3. What constitutes the good life, lived in society? 4. How can a university education bear upon the search for a meaningful life? 5. What "methods" for or approches to life can one learn from studies in the humanities? After introductory lectures, the seminar studies a series of artworks, poems, diverse texts, and a film, all of which bear on the questions mentioned above -- works such: 1. Plato's Allegory of the Cave, from "The Republic" 2. Manet's "A bar at the Folies Bergere" 3. A comparison/contrast of Monet's early (1862) "Still Life" and van Gogh's late (1889) "Irises" 4. Lyric poetry T.S. Eliot: "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," "The Waste Land," and "East Coker"; Edwin Muir: "The Heart Could Never Speak"; Philip Larkin: "Days" 5. Martin Heidegger's "What Is Metaphysics?" 6. Jean-Paul Sartre's novel "Nausea" 7. Marx's Paris Manuscripts of 1844 8. Bergman's "The Seventh Seal"
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum
Instructors: Sheehan, T. (PI)

RELIGST 12N: Perspectives on the Good Life

The question is how to approach and evaluate different perspectives on the good life, especially when those perspectives are beautifully, and elusively, presented to us as texts. We will consider both classic and modern writers, from the West and from China; some are explicitly religious, some explicitly secular; some literary, some philosophical. Most of the class will revolve around our talk with each other, interpreting and questioning relatively short texts. The works we will read - by Dante, Dickenson, Zhuangzi, Shklar, and others - are not intended to be representative of traditions, of eras, or of disciplines. They do, however, present a range of viewpoint and of style that will help frame and re-frame our views on the good life. They will illustrate and question the role that great texts can play in a modern 'art of living.' Perhaps most important, they will develop and reward the skills of careful reading, attentive listening, and thoughtful discussion. (Note: preparation and participation in discussion are the primary course requirement. Enrollment at 3 units requires a short final paper; a more substantial paper is required for the 4-unit option.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum
Instructors: Yearley, L. (PI)

RELIGST 117X: Losing My Religion: Secularism and Spirituality in American Lives (AMSTUD 117N, EDUC 117N)

In this seminar you will explore theory and practice, sociological data, spiritual writing, and case studies in an effort to gain a more nuanced understanding about how religion, spirituality, and secularism attempt to make legible the constellation of concerns, commitments, and behaviors that bridge the moral and the personal, the communal and the national, the sacred, the profane, and the rational. Together we will cultivate critical perspectives on practices and politics, beliefs and belonging that we typically take for granted.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI
Instructors: Kelman, A. (PI)

SLAVIC 88N: UKRAINE AT A CROSSROADS

Literally meaning ¿borderland,¿ Ukraine has embodied in-betweeness in all possible ways. In the course, we will consider the historical permeability of its territorial, linguistic, and ethnic borders as an opportunity to explore the multiple dimensions of Ukraine¿s relations its neighbors. The reading materials for the course include the earliest records of Herodotus about the prehistoric Ukrainian civilizations, the cultural legacy of Kyivan Rus¿ and baroque, as well as artistic works created during romanticism, realism, modernism, and postmodernism. In addition to learning how to interpret literary texts, we will examine the works of visual and performative arts which shape modern Ukraine and create several cartographic projects with the use of GIS tools. All required texts are in English. No knowledge of Ukrainian is required.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-4
Instructors: Ilchuk, Y. (PI)

SOC 14N: Inequality in American Society

An overview of the major forms of inequality in American society, their causes and consequences. Special attention will devoted to to public policy associated with inequality.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4
Instructors: Snipp, C. (PI)

STATS 48N: Riding the Data Wave

Imagine collecting a bit of your saliva and sending it in to one of the personalized genomics company: for very little money you will get back information about hundreds of thousands of variable sites in your genome. Records of exposure to a variety of chemicals in the areas you have lived are only a few clicks away on the web; as are thousands of studies and informal reports on the effects of different diets, to which you can compare your own. What does this all mean for you? Never before in history humans have recorded so much information about themselves and the world that surrounds them. Nor has this data been so readily available to the lay person. Expression as "data deluge'' are used to describe such wealth as well as the loss of proper bearings that it often generates. How to summarize all this information in a useful way? How to boil down millions of numbers to just a meaningful few? How to convey the gist of the story in a picture without misleading oversimplifications? To answer these questions we need to consider the use of the data, appreciate the diversity that they represent, and understand how people instinctively interpret numbers and pictures. During each week, we will consider a different data set to be summarized with a different goal. We will review analysis of similar problems carried out in the past and explore if and how the same tools can be useful today. We will pay attention to contemporary media (newspapers, blogs, etc.) to identify settings similar to the ones we are examining and critique the displays and summaries there documented. Taking an experimental approach, we will evaluate the effectiveness of different data summaries in conveying the desired information by testing them on subsets of the enrolled students.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-AQR, WAY-FR
Instructors: Sabatti, C. (PI)

TAPS 11N: Dramatic Tensions: Theater and the Marketplace

Preference to freshmen. The current state of the American theater and its artists. Conventional wisdom says that theater is a dying art, and a lost cause, especially in an age of multi-media entertainment. But there are more young playwrights, actors, and directors entering the field today than at any other time in American history. Focus is on the work of today's theater artists, with an emphasis on an emerging generation of playwrights. Students read a cross-section of plays from writers currently working in the US and UK, covering a spectrum of subjects and styles from serious to comic, from the musical to the straight play. Hits and misses from recent seasons of the New York and London stages and some of the differences of artistic taste across the Atlantic. Hands-on exploration of the arts and skills necessary to make a play succeed. Students develop their own areas of interest, in guided projects in design, direction or performance. Conversations with playwrights, designers ,and directors. Labs and master classes to solve problems posed in areas of creative production. Class meets literary managers and producers who are on the frontlines of underwriting new talent. Class trips include two plays at major Bay Area Stages.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Freed, A. (PI)

TAPS 13N: Law and Drama

Preference to Freshmen.Beyond the obvious traits that make a good (court room) drama, theater and jurisprudence have much more in common. Just as drama is engaged not only in entertainment but also in examination of social conventions and mechanisms, so law is not only concerned with dispensing justice but with shaping and maintaining a viable human community. In this class we will read and discuss a series of plays in which court proceedings are at the center of dramatic action and concluding with an investigation of the new genre of documentary drama.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

TAPS 14N: Imagining India: Art, Culture, Politics in Modern India (COMPLIT 14N, CSRE 15N, FEMGEN 14N)

This course explores history via cultural responses in modern India. We will examine a range of fiction, film and drama to consider the ways in which India emerges through its cultural productions. The course will consider key historical events such as the partition of the subcontinent, independence from British rule, Green Revolution, Emergency, liberalization of the Indian economy, among others. We will reflect on epochal historical moments by means of artisticnresponses to these events. For example, Ritwik Ghatak's experimental cinema intervenes into debates around the Bengal partition; Rohinton Mistry's novel, A Fine Balance grapples with the suspension of civil liberties during the emergency between 1975-77; Rahul Varma's play Bhopal reflects on the Bhopal gas tragedy, considered the world's worst industrial disaster. Students willnread, view and reflect on the aesthetic and historical texts through their thoughtful engagement in class discussions and written e ssays. They will also have opportunities to imaginatively respond to these texts via short creative projects, which could range from poems, monologues, solo pieces, web installations, etc. Readings will also include Mahashweta Devi, Amitav Ghosh, Girish Karnad, Jhumpa Lahiri, Manjula Padmanabhan, Salman Rushdie, Aparna Sen, among others.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: Menon, J. (PI)
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