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ENGLISH 80N: Modern "Meanings of Life": Aestheticism, Perfectionism, Ecstasy

This course asks about the "meaning of life" in our time, the 21st century, and over the past 200 years. It proposes that some classic reasons for living, and modes of giving value to life, ethics, religion, family are no longer particularly active; while new, poorly articulated and ill-acknowledged systems of life-evaluation rule our senses of meaning. In particular, the course will discover, try to systematize, and then test a few of these covert modern life philosophies: aestheticism; perfectionism; ecstasy. Representatives of more classic systems of meaning Christian experience, and Aristotelian ethics will offer comparative cases. Students will be challenged to articulate and evaluate their own reasons for living and anticipated meanings of life, and to become skillful interpreters of both art and ideas in texts, learning methods from literature, philosophy, and history. They should also develop richer and more precise understandings of those contested terms, modern and modernity. Readings may include Wordsworth, Thoreau, Flaubert, Aristotle, Thomas à Kempis, Theresa of Avila, Whitman, Dickinson, Sontag, plus contemporary sources.
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ENGLISH 82N: Thinking about Photographs

The course will begin with a short history of photography since the 19th century; followed by both a hands-on exploration of different types of photographs (possibly using the Cantor Collection) and then a more theoretical discussion of some of the acknowledged classics of photographic writing (Susan Sontag's On Photography, Roland Barthes' Camera lucida, Linfield's The Cruel Radiance.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ENGLISH 83N: City, Space, Literature

This course presents a literary tour of various cities as a way of thinking about space, representation, and the urban. Using literature and film, the course will explore these from a variety of perspectives. The focus will be thematic rather than chronological, but an attempt will also be made to trace the different ways in which cities have been represented from the late nineteenth century to recent times. Ideas of space, cosmopolitanism, and the urban will be explored through films such as The Bourne Identity and The Lunchbox, as well as in the writings of Arthur Conan Doyle, Walter Mosley, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Karen Tei Yamashita, and Mohsin Hamid, among others.
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

ENGLISH 84N: Just Feelings

Most of us read for the pure pleasure of it¿ just feelings. And yet, just as often, we believe that literature has a particular purpose: that it can affect justice, something we imagine it does through the production of certain pro-social emotions: just feelings. What role might feelings ¿ from anger, to empathy, to pleasure ¿ have in producing a better world, and how might literatre prompt us toward those feelings, that world? What dangers lurk in linking up literature, feelings and justice?
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

ENGLISH 87N: The Conscience

What kind of knowledge does con-science (lit., a ¿knowing-with¿) impart, and how does it make this knowledge manifest? Given its propensity to fire the imagination, can the conscience be considered a creative principle of fiction itself? In this course, we will consider texts long associated with crises of conscience (among others, selections from Genesis, Macbeth, Moll Flanders, Frankenstein, Hard Times), but will also reflect on a number of watershed events (the English Reformation, the Industrial Revolution) that reshaped notions of moral self-awareness and collective consciousness.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

ESS 38N: The Worst Journey in the World: The Science, Literature, and History of Polar Exploration (EARTHSYS 38N, GEOLSCI 38N)

This course examines the motivations and experiences of polar explorers under the harshest conditions on Earth, as well as the chronicles of their explorations and hardships, dating to the 1500s for the Arctic and the 1700s for the Antarctic. Materials include The Worst Journey in the World by Aspley Cherry-Garrard who in 1911 participated in a midwinter Antarctic sledging trip to recover emperor penguin eggs. Optional field trip into the high Sierra in March.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER: DB-NatSci | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Dunbar, R. (PI)

ESS 46N: Exploring the Critical Interface between the Land and Monterey Bay: Elkhorn Slough (EARTHSYS 46N)

Preference to freshmen. Field trips to sites in the Elkhorn Slough, a small agriculturally impacted estuary that opens into Monterey Bay, a model ecosystem for understanding the complexity of estuaries, and one of California's last remaining coastal wetlands. Readings include Jane Caffrey's Changes in a California Estuary: A Profile of Elkhorn Slough. Basics of biogeochemistry, microbiology, oceanography, ecology, pollution, and environmental management.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Francis, C. (PI)

ETHICSOC 21N: Ethics of Sports (PHIL 21N)

This seminar will be focused on the ethical challenges that are encountered in sport. We will focus on the moral and political issues that affect the world of sport and which athletes, coaches, sports commentators and fans are faced with. For instance, we will ask questions such as: what is a fair game (the ethics of effort, merit, success)? Is it ethical to train people to use violence (the ethics of martial arts)? Are divisions by gender categories justified and what should we think of gender testing? Is the use of animals in sport ever justified? Which forms of performance enhancements are acceptable in sport (the ethics of drug use and enhancements through technologies)? Should we ban sports that damage the players¿ health? Does society owe social support to people who hurt themselves while practicing extreme sports? nnThe class will be structured around small group discussions and exercises as well as brief lectures to introduce key moral and political concepts (such as fairness, equality, freedom, justice, exploitation, etc.). I will also bring guests speakers who are involved in a sport activity at Stanford or who have worked on sports as part of their academic careers. By the end of the seminar, students will have a good understanding of the various ethical challenges that surround the world of sport. They will be able to critically discuss sport activities, norms, modes of assessments and policies (on campus and beyond). They will also be prepared to apply the critical ethical thinking that they will have deployed onto other topics than sports. They will have been introduced to the normative approach to social issues, which consists in asking how things should be rather than describing how things are. They will be prepared to take more advanced classes in ethics, political theory, as well as moral and political philosophy.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

FEMGEN 13N: Women Making Music (MUSIC 14N)

Preference to freshmen. Women's musical activities across times and cultures; how ideas about gender influence the creation, performance, and perception of music.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-Gender, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Hadlock, H. (PI)

FEMGEN 24N: Sappho: Erotic Poetess of Lesbos (CLASSICS 16N)

Preference to freshmen. Sappho's surviving fragments in English; traditions referring to or fantasizing about her disputed life. How her poetry and legend inspired women authors and male poets such as Swinburne, Baudelaire, and Pound. Paintings inspired by Sappho in ancient and modern times, and composers who put her poetry to music.
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-Gender, WAY-CE, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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