Course offerings vary from semester to semester. Please consult the list below to determine which courses will be offered the current semester.
Cultures Over Time (CUOT)
dragons, giants, witches, demons, lepers, anthropophagi (a race of cannibals
with eyes in their chests)—the Middle Ages were awash in tales of the
monstrous. In this class, we will consider monsters and the monstrous
from the perspectives of history writing, travel accounts, folklore, drama, and
literary texts. Though sometimes dismissed as the imaginings of a more
credulous era, such material not only drew on classical authors but also
continued to have wide currency in early modern England, persisting through the
change in religious culture known as the Reformation. Indeed, as the word
“monster” (derived from the Latin verb
monstrare, or “to show”)
suggests, stories of the monstrous reveal much about the cultures in which they
circulated. Our readings will track medieval and early modern attitudes
toward religious identity, birth and reproductive practices, gender,
personhood, animality, and the supernatural. Throughout the term, we will make
sense of these topics by employing methods, questions, and theoretical
propositions from different academic disciplines, primarily English and
This course examines various ways of understanding the figure of the Roman emperor, by focusing on the first emperor Augustus. We will consider a range of textual and visual sources for the emperor, including poems, historical accounts, and coins, and place the emergence of the emperors within Rome’s political, religious and cultural traditions. Assessment will be by exams and a range of short papers. For syllabus see here.
Professor NochimsonThe culture that
produced the great literary works of ancient and classical Greece and the
culture that produced the great literary works of the European Renaissance have
been stimulating critical and literary responses for centuries. This course will examine those two cultures
through study of three representative authors from each, considering those
authors' works both as independent entities and in their cultural contexts, and
considering the works from the two cultures in relation to each other. It will aim to provide the student the
opportunity to think not only like a literary critic but also like a
psychologist, a philosopher, a cultural historian, a theologian, an
In studying these two
important pre-modern cultures, students will seek to gain an awareness of the
distinctiveness of the past in relation to the present and an understanding of
the values, traditions, and modes of thinking of ancient and classical Greece and
the European Renaissance.
will begin by tracing the rise of Christianity as embodied in the three
greatest Christian literary works—the New Testament, Augustine’s Confessions,
Dante’sCommedia. Then we observe the fragmentation of the Christian
vision during the Renaissance. A subsequent one-two punch dealt a lethal blow
to the hegemony of the faith, as first Martin Luther and then Galileo
dismantled the four basic values. The triumph of the latter pioneer caused all
intellectual disciplines to adopt the new procedures of modern science. The
results were secularism, meliorism, and individualism. This is the world which,
for better or worse, we inhabit, unless one is Amish or Charedi.
Coffee, the second most valuable commodity traded on world markets, is ubiquitous in contemporary American culture—so much so that it’s difficult to imagine that there was a time before coffee. But there was. Coffee wasn’t introduced into the Ottoman Empire until the end of the 15th century and into Europe until the 17th century. The world at the end of the 18th century looked very different than it had at the beginning of the 16th, and coffee had a lot to do with it.
We will examine the introduction and reception of coffee in the early-modern Ottoman world and subsequently in 17th– and 18th–century Europe. Using journalistic, literary and visual sources, we will explore how multiple societies responded to the introduction of coffee—a novel, foreign and exotic drink, as well as how the eventual European thirst for coffee impelled the development of a system of colonialism, or world trade. Drawing on approaches from disciplines including history, sociology and anthropology, we will trace how coffee, an everyday object, transformed cultures into which it was introduced. At the same time, we will consider how the act of drinking coffee took on divergent political and cultural symbolism in disparate contexts, including the Ottoman world, European nations and colonial societies.
The early modern world saw the birth of many aspects of culture and society that we consider “modern,” including “nightlife” in all its varieties, a bourgeois “middle class," “consumerism,” “public space” and “globalization.” Together we will analyze the central role coffee and coffeehouses played in their creation and in the creation of “modernity.”
For syllabus see here.
For many observers of European political history, the 19th century was one of unprecedented peace. Beginning with the fall of Napoleon in 1815, and lasting until the 1914 outbreak of the First World War, this era was punctuated with few international conflicts, while those that did occur were limited in scope. However, if we refocus our gaze to domestic affairs, we find that this period was actually more tumultuous than most others. The 19th century’s problem wasn’t war, but insurrection, as it unfolded in the wake of the American, French and Haitian revolutions. Moreover, the 19th spirit of revolt continued to animate the 20th century, as well as our own.
Turning first to the 19th century, and then to the 20th, we will explore this burgeoning culture of revolt, in a variety of its forms, so as to see how the spirit of revolution manifested itself in a myriad of ways—and how various forces attempted to respond. However, our concern will not only be to survey this vital and diverse culture, but to arrive at some specific insights into the nature of revolution. After all, in the glimpse it offers of dramatic political change, revolution distills many of the central concerns of political thinkers, insofar as we are motivated by the study of politics, and by their improvement. Into our study of the culture of revolt, we will therefore be tasked with understanding why some individuals risk life and limb to overthrow an old regime in the name of a new one.
Twentieth-century ethical theory was dominated by approaches concerned exclusively with duty or with utility. In recent years philosophers have evinced a renewed interest in virtue, i.e., character formation, the good life and the like. This entails greater attention to the concrete ways that ethical theory expresses the ideas and ideals of particular cultures. The cogency and relevance of philosophical argument is enhanced by attending carefully to implicit, unacknowledged presuppositions that require an understanding of social, psychological and religious practices and goals, not only as external influences, but as constituents of philosophical positions themselves.
We begin by examining three representative thinkers—Mill, Kant and Aristotle—with special attention to the place of character in their ethics and their cultural context. We then turn to other major thinkers, like Maimonides, Hume, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. The third part of the course introduces the late 20th-century debate and, time permitting, interdisciplinary themes relating to ethical emotions like honor, shame and guilt.
This course explores the Arch of Titus, one of the most significant Roman monuments to survive from antiquity, from the perspectives of Roman, Jewish and later Christian history and art. We will examine both the contexts for the construction of this monument and the continued reflection that it has evoked over the last almost 2000 years, and especially since it's menorah relief was chosen as a symbol for the State of Israel in 1949.
Contemporary World Cultures (COWC)
Professor StewartLiteratures of the 20th and 21st centuries
that share the legacy of massive historical dispersals of peoples, the
dissemination of many of their respective cultures, and their encounters with
other cultures. African, Asian, and Jewish diasporic literature, with an
emphasis on American “minor” literatures (Asian American, African American,
Jewish American) and Caribbean literature. Explorations of diasporic cultures’
survivals and transformations in hybrid forms resulting from the continued, and
continuously revised, interactions with other, especially “host,” cultures.
This course examines the power relationships surrounding discussions of culture by looking at the interactions of race, ethnicity and religion through an interdisciplinary framework. Though most of the material discusses American cultural groups, we will maintain a global perspective through investigation of immigrant groups and examples from abroad. Selected topics include Thai immigrant and white Theravada Buddhism in the United States; diasporic Jewish cultures; Christian attempts to develop multiethnic congregations; African-American Islam; Central American liberation theology; and the Black Church in the United States. For syllabus see here.
Professor KosakSocial movements and protest politics of the 1960s, such as civil
rights, women’s liberation, environmentalism, and the American Indian movement,
had a profound impact on American political landscape and American
history. These movements -- their
origins, forms of protest, and methods of mobilization, organizations, goals,
and cultures -- became subjects of inquiry for both historians and
sociologists. In this course, we will explore some of the theories of the two
disciplines, while examining a broad variety of movements (and some counter
movements) of the 19th and 20th century, as well as
exploring movements of our own time such as the movements that erupted in 2011
in Europe, in the US, and in the Middle East (including Israel).
This course traces the rise and spread of national movements in Europe and the Middle East from the French Revolution to the outbreak of World War II in 1939. Part I examines how contemporaries and subsequent scholars have understood the terms “nations” and “nationalism.” We then examine the emergence of liberal or civic nationalism in Western and Central Europe down to Italian and German unification in 1871. The transition from civic to ethnic nationalism in Eastern Europe and the Ottoman Empire is examined in the context of the gradual disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman empires in the period 1871–1914. It is in this context that we also analyze the various expressions of Jewish nationalism, both Zionist and non-Zionist forms, in a comparative context.
Part II of the course examines the victory of the principle of national self-determination in the first half of the 20th century. This idea culminated in the Treaty of Versailles and the emergence of new national states in Eastern Europe and the Middle East that resulted in both independent Arab states and European colonial rule. The new states of Eastern Europe and the Middle East both solved the national problem for those peoples who received statehood and simultaneously created new conflicts with regard to minorities within those new states. We shall differentiate types of minorities and examine minority policies in the new states and their international dimension. A survey of each new state will highlight the minority population and their unfulfilled national aspirations, often with their mother country across the border.
The interdisciplinary component will be satisfied by including artistic expressions of nationalism with a focus on music and painting. Furthermore, inclusion of theoretical texts in sociology (Max Weber) and history (Eric Hobsbawm and Benedict Anderson) will be presented and analyzed.
Traditional literature is also referred to as folklore. It encompasses the rituals, customs, superstitions and manners of a particular group that are passed orally or in writing from one generation to the next. We will discover the amazing diversity of what constitutes folklore and how it is defined. For now, recognize it is (1) the study of what the folk, not the elite, create and (2) the transmission—from generation to generation, from group to group, or from individual to . . .—of dance, costume, art, musical instruments, chants, proverbs, as well as a dizzying host of other creations. We will discuss how some believe contemporary or modern folklore is deemed folklore. For syllabus see here.
This course explores the emergence and incidence of genocide in the 20th and 21st centuries. Examined topics include the genocide of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire, atrocities of colonization, the Holocaust and more recent examples in Cambodia, Rwanda and Darfur. Discussion will include the following issues: What does “genocide” mean, and why is it a modern phenomenon? What are its root causes? What distinguishes it from ethnic cleansing and other crimes against humanity? Is this distinction a viable one? Can genocide be prosecuted or prevented? For syllabus see here.
How does our physical environment – our
geographical confines, shape the way in which we live in social units? This question sets our course for the
semester. We shall be focusing on the
social organization of space as
defined territorially (e.g., natural boundaries), culturally (e.g., private vs.
public space) and politically (e.g., open versus closed social space,
hierarchical versus egalitarian space). Modern technology has compressed time
and space, making the world “smaller” and more interactive. To speak about
Contemporary World Cultures, the theme of this part of the Core Curriculum at
Yeshiva College, one can no longer refer to national (political) cultures as
discrete units since all cultures exist within the crosscurrents of
globalization. This course, therefore, analyzes the linkage between space,
culture and political power in the modern technological age. We shall establish
the theoretical framework for analyzing space and then apply this framework to
specific social constructs with emphasis upon China and Japan.
This course examines how mechanized transport
revolutionized travel in the 19th and 20th centuries:
fostering imperialism, creating the modern “tourist” and transforming
perceptions of cultures encountered en route. From the fantasies of Jules Verne
to the modern seagoing behemoths of today, our understanding of the world has
been irrevocably shaped by the machines we employ to reach it
Interpreting the Creative (INTC)
What do literature and film tell us about
themselves and each other? How is reading a novel or short story
different from “reading” a film? What happens when a story passes from one
medium to another? By addressing these questions, this course will help student
to develop a deeper understanding of literature and film and the relationships
The course will begin by examining the key elements of literary and cinematic
story telling, and how these elements come together to produce the meaning of a
story. Then we will explore various approaches used in the analysis of
literature and film, including both theoretical texts and close readings of
particular works in both media, with the aim of enabling students to create
their own compelling interpretations of literature and film.
This course will focus on the recognition scene across a range of genres and periods, from literature and philosophy to contemporary visual media. We will begin the course with fiction by Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) and Mendele Moykher Sforim (1835–1917). We will read selections from Homer’s Odyssey and Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, excerpts from several parshiot and from Megillat Ester (graphic novel version), aggadot from the Bavli and a tale from 1001 Nights. We will take a tour of recognition scenes across the canon of Anglo-American literary fiction. We will read short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen Crane, Henry James and Borges again, and a selection from Marcel Proust, followed by specimens of lyric poetry, dramatic monologue and post-Holocaust verse. We will look at the historical case of Martin Guerre, as refracted by an episode from "The Simpsons." We will read examples from philosophy including selections from Aristotle, Descartes, Hegel and Wittgenstein. We’ll also look at Diego Velázquez’s famous painting from 1656, Las Meninas (reproduced on the coursepack cover) and listen to excerpts from an opera by Mozart.
Our exploration of primary texts will be supplemented by a set of analytical and critical sources, e.g., chapters from Recognitions: A Study in Poetics by the literary critic Terence Cave and Interdisciplinary Studies on Anagnorisis, edited by Philip F. Kennedy and Marilyn Lawrence; A Course in Recognition by the philosopher Paul Ricoeur; as well an episode from "The Twilight Zone" and/or a film by Alfred Hitchcock or Bryan Singer.
This course will consider the ways that 19th-century Paris inspired artistic creation through its cultivation of a variety of new ways of seeing, which led in turn to new forms of entertainment. The artistic products of this rich and imaginative time were in many ways responsible for contemporary mass culture and our lingering fascination with the real. To explore this history to our own cultural tastes, we will employ a host of colorful characters as tour guides: from Balzac’s young student, who abandons legal studies for a Parisian education of another sort; to Baudelaire’s flâneur, who invented a whole new way of wandering the city; to Zola’s naïve young woman cruising the newly invented department store.
But we will not limit ourselves to the strictly literary: in addition to reading novels and poetry, we will consider the overlapping ways through which painting, art criticism, photography, early cinema, architecture and various kinds of public exhibits addressed the feelings of excitement and anxiety around the new points of contact that the modern French city offered. Juxtaposing poems with paintings, novels with photographs, we will compare the different idioms through which these art forms attempted to respond to a shared set of questions. As we consider the panoply of new desires, seductions and fascinations for which Paris itself seemed wholly responsible, we will also not fail to notice the deep and lasting impact of those practices on our current modes of entertainment and pleasure, from cinema to celebrity culture to reality TV.
This course, designed for those who love intellectual rigor, is an intensive study of selected arguments, as great creative works of the human mind. The arguments to be examined and evaluated are very important and are selected from various fields (philosophy, axiomatic set theory and physics). What you need to know about philosophy, logic and probability, in order to understand the arguments, is explained in lecture. What you need to know about set theory, mathematics and physics is explained through a combination of lecture and the material in the texts I have ordered. No prior technical background is presupposed, beyond an elementary familiarity with algebra. For syllabus see here.
The primary focus of this course is to explore the fiction writer's creative process from different angles, including inspiration, conception, development, revision and adaptation to the screen. We will be exploring together questions such as the following: What happens during the creative process? What is the relationship between an author's life and the author's fictional works? Where does literary inspiration come from? What do creators of fiction think about as they work? How do short stories and novels get written, rewritten, reimagined? In adapting fictional works, how closely do later writers and filmmakers follow the original work? How do audiences react to changes from the original? Students will read three novels and a selection of short stories, as well as some background and critical materials. Also, they will see screen versions of the three novels. For syllabus see here.
The arrival of Columbus’ caravels to the Caribbean islands of Guanahaní, Haiti and Cuba in the fall of 1492 forever changed the course of world history. There could be no turning back for either the Europeans or the Americans. This course examines the nature of that encounter–beginning with Columbus and following it through the first 150 years of European exploration, conquest and colonization of the Americas. How did European travel writers make sense of the “New World”? How did they relate to the people that inhabited the “West Indies”? Where can we find the voices of the Native Americans? How did the encounter transform the Europeans and the Native Americans? What challenges do we as modern, Western readers face when we attempt to understand the Columbine encounter?
We will pay particular attention to the ways that the Americas and the Americans are imagined, at the same time we will investigate the self-fashioning of the “Imaginers”; how does writing about others impact the self-understanding and self-presentation of the writer/observer?
Our focus will be on several Spanish narratives of the discovery and conquest of the Americas. In addition, we will consider the deceptions, distortions and illuminations offered by film. Shakespeare’s The Tempest will serve as a dramatic epilogue.
For syllabus, see here.
Professor RynholdFriedrich Nietzsche
suffered with debilitating illness; he suffered a total mental breakdown; he did not suffer
from humility. Nietzsche was one of the most controversial yet compelling
thinkers of the modern age, but the above self-assessment was unfortunately
spot on. Nietzsche’s writings have been interpreted in multiple and at
times disturbing ways, most notably in their assimilation by the Nazi’s.
This course will explore the nature and limits of interpretation through
an examination of the philosophy and legacy of this strange yet compelling
thinker, by subjecting key works of his to both philosophical and literary
analysis, studying the nexus of philosophy and art in his work, and analyzing
the chains of transmission between his thought and the varied political
and cultural phenomena it inspired.
A close reading of selected works of Jonathan Edwards, RW Emerson and Walt Whitman to understand how the widely accepted notion of “American individualism” is in fact a cultural movement (embodied in the works of these authors) away from the authority and structure of collective life inherent in Church, State and Family toward a redefinition of individual agency and authority. These three “prophets” working in diverse literary or social forms—sermons, autobiographies, essays and poems—that actively undermine these institutions of communal activity and posit the “imperial self" as the sole source for human authority.
The culmination of this discussion will be the lifelong and organic work of Walt Whitman. Whitman produced multiple editions of his poems over his lifetime so we will be examining his development through the first edition of his poems in 1855, perhaps his finest edition in 1860 and the last edition published after his death in 1892. We will also be placing Whitman in the context of New York City and its growth as an imperial city by meeting on the Brooklyn Bridge (“Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”) and walking to various Whitman “shrines” in Brooklyn, NY. If we can agree, I would gladly meet at Whitman’s home in Camden, NJ, for a reading from his poems.
The didactic and moral content of English
literature often seems in conflict with modern notions of reading as a form of
entertainment or imaginative escape. What happens, for instance, if we
derive pleasure or enjoyment from a text meant instead to reform our behavior
or provide examples of how to act? And what does it mean if we discover
moral or ethical models in literature we expected only to be
entertaining? Does literature have ennobling effects, as defenders of the
humanities still sometimes argue today? Or does artifice inspire
immorality, distracting us from what truly matters? And what becomes of
the reader who resists or is already estranged, because of religious or cultural
identity, from a text’s prescriptive intent? We will approach these
questions from different cultural and aesthetic vantage points, all variously
concerned with how certain literary and artistic forms inscribe their audiences
in the stories they tell, scripting a specific moral response in the
process. Our investigation will ground itself in readings from classical
antiquity before considering the interrelation of artistic form and moral
meaning in specific contexts. We will track anxieties about the spiritual
consequences of imaginative diversion and departure; reconsider the
relationship between religious art and secular forms of entertainment, and the
utility of the sacred/secular distinction more generally; explore the different
ways in which visual, textual, and performative mediums exert a hold on our
minds (and bodies); and assess how these concerns are implicated in
contemporary debates about the problematics of reading and moral
exemplification. Many of our readings will be drawn from early English poetry, prose, and drama, though no previous exposure to
this period or its literature is assumed, and a wide range of critical and
theoretical texts will help students situate unfamiliar material, as will class
excursions to The Museum of Biblical Art, The Morgan Library, and at least one
art gallery or play. Requirements include regular
postings to an online discussion forum, ungraded response papers, collaborative
exercises and/or group presentations, two short critical papers, and a final
course covers the period of European history framed by Wagner's opera Tristan
und Isolde and Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring. An
era of significant revolutions in music, society, and the arts, it is one that
created modernism. By exploring this era's remarkable music, students will
develop active and critical listening skills, and begin perceiving the events
and internal relationships that govern this repertoire.
back in time, and finding one’s self at a place like Vienna’s Café Central or
Prague’s Café Slavia around the turn of the 20th century (the fin de
siècle), there was a good chance that one of the conversations casually
overheard as one enjoyed a cup of espresso or a Sachertorte would be
between one, two, or more of these remarkable people. These men and women, who
formed the intellectual, scientific, literary, artistic and musical vanguard of
the modern age, will be the center of our study as we explore the flourishing
of modern culture in central Europe between 1880 and 1914. We will approach our
subjects from a variety of perspectives, including as subjects of literary
interpretation, art and music history, and the history of ideas. In particular
we will explore concepts that played a central role in the creation of fin de
siècle culture, such as psychoanalysis, theories of degeneration and
renaissance, social and political conflict, and the creation of new languages
of artistic, musical and literary expression in historical context.
This core course will explore both Shakespeare’s ability to meld different genres and forms of art and later artists’ visions inspired by Shakespeare. Drawing on close reading, textual studies, genre studies, genre theory, media studies, film studies, art criticism, art history, literary studies, Shakespeare studies, influence studies, historical studies and cultural studies, we will focus on how each medium, each genre, each form of art and each artwork creates meanings; when we can assess an interpretation as partial, implausible or downright impossible; and how interpreters can arrive at probable or even compelling interpretations of individual creative works within the literary, visual and performing arts.
Human Behavior and Social Institutions (HBSI)
course focuses on “institutions “of justice and economic theory to examine the
complexity of “human behavior” in settling legal disputes in an “efficient”
way. Through research of data bases, and
practical case assignments, students will learn to understand the importance,
value, and limitations of different types of data and how to use each type of
data to develop hypotheses, describe and analyze findings,a nd arrive at
conclusions supported by empirical research on assessing economic damages for
Honors and non-Honors
This multidisciplinary seminar will provide an overview of social scientific research on the psychological and social processes that underlie political opinion. Students will learn about empirical research in psychology and political science dealing with the origins and consequences of mass political attitudes. Some of the major topics we will cover are psychological and survey research methodology, genetic and environmental influences on political attitudes, political thinking, public opinion and election polling, and aggregate political opinion. The course will focus heavily on empirical studies and their conclusions. It will also include a current events component in which students discuss articles and blog posts that analyze recent public opinion evidence. For syllabus see here.
The study of Public
Policy is the study of the design and implementation of government policy and
its subsequent effects. As such, it is one of the most comprehensive ways to
study social and political issues, because these policies have a profound effect
on our lives. After all, its concern is with what political figures actually
do, rather than what they say they do, and how this then shapes and reshapes
the world in which we live. Public policy therefore finds us looking beyond the
political rhetoric that often masks social and political issues, to the reality
that lies underneath.
Given the complexity
of the subject, our approach will be thematic. Increasingly, inequality is
recognized as the defining issue of late 20th and early 21st
century American (not to mention global) life, shaping both our society and our
politics. Yet, few understand what it actually means, or why it is important.
In this class, we will look at what inequality is, as it pertains to various
areas of public policy, such as social welfare, the workforce, and healthcare.
Following from this, we will then look at how public policy creates such
problems, just as we will explore how policy might help alleviate them. In this
way, we will gain a comprehensive understanding of the problems and
possibilities that lie within the field of public policy.
multidisciplinary course will overview social scientific research on public
opinion, focusing on its psychological and social underpinnings. The course will cover relevant theory,
methodology, and findings from psychology and political science, and will aim
to promote application of critical social scientific thinking to students’
understanding of political attitudes and behavior. The specific topics of the course include
background and empirical methods of the disciplines, personality and genetic
influences on political opinion, thought processes underlying political
opinion, aggregate political opinion, political socialization and political
learning, group membership and political opinion, the news media and political
opinion, and public opinion in campaigns and elections. Each course meeting will involve, in
approximately equal parts, both (a) lecture and (b) class activities and
discussion. Through the class
activities, students will apply information learned in the course in various
ways and will gather, discuss, and present publicly available data from public
opinion surveys. A current events
component of this course will involve reading and discussion of blog posts and articles that analyze contemporary
opinion polling. Thus a strong emphasis
will be placed on application of scholarly thinking to interpretation and
evaluation of contemporary topics in public opinion presented in the news
media. And in line with the
multidisciplinary nature of the course, we will focus on the distinctive goals
and theoretical frameworks that characterize political attitude research across
the disciplines of psychology and political science.
This course will explore social-scientific understandings of law. It
explores how social change affects law and legal institutions, how legal change
affects society, and the roles and institutions of the formal legal system in
the United States. This will not be a class in law or legal history, and it
will not teach you how to be a lawyer; it will focus on the social, political,
cultural, and historical contexts of law in practice rather than legal
doctrines, statutes, or decisions. We will address questions such as: What is
the purpose of law? What is the relationship between laws and norms? Why do
people obey the law, and why and how do we punish lawbreakers? Does the
practice of law undermine or reinforce social inequality? The goal will be to
understand the manner in which social scientists study law as an institution
and as a profession, as well as to explain some patterns and dynamics of law in
various social settings.
Education is probably the single most important generalized determinant
of life chances in the modern world, and is almost universally valued by
American citizens. The goal of this course is to investigate and critically
examine the role of education in our society. We will strive to understand
education as a formal organization, to investigate some of the effects of
education in later life, and in particular to examine the role education plays
in social stratification. Along the way, we will ask questions like: How are schools
as institutions organized, and why? What factors determine educational
opportunities and outcomes? Do schools reward the best students, and how do we
choose what's considered "best"? Do schools reproduce the class
order, or do they work towards equality? In these endeavors we will draw on
research from across the social sciences, including economic, political
science, anthropology, and (especially) sociology.
Experimental and Quantitative Methods (EXQM)
Please note that science students who take one or more years of college laboratory
science courses and one or more years of college level mathematics courses will
be exempted from the Experimental and Quantitative Methods core category.
The purpose of this
course is to introduce you to the nature of designing experiments to answer
specific questions and to measure specific properties. All experiments involve the collection of
data followed by an analysis of the experimental results. A number of common quantitative and graphical
methods are used in different experiments and by different scientists. This course will introduce you to some of the
quantitative tools to analyze and interpret your experimental results.
In the laboratory, you
will learn about the experimental methods used to analyze some of the toxins in
our environment. You will learn about
different experimental methods and choose the appropriate methods to
quantitatively measure the amount of analyte in various samples ranging from
grams to ppm.
The Natural World (NAWO)
Professors Barrios-Landeros, Cwilich and Feit
This course will convey to the students the relevance and impact of science in their everyday lives regardless of their background and career interest and to help them understand the process of scientific discovery, by discussing cutting-edge topics from different science fields during lecture and discuss related material during recitation. Students will learn how to critically read science articles from popular press and scientific journals. Rather than a basic science survey, this course will present topics focusing on the tools employed for
scientific discoveries and our underlying need that drives the exploration. We will address questions like: How do we decide which ideas are worth pursuing? How do we test those ideas? Why and how do scientists develop models in their efforts to study and predict natural phenomena? Why do we estimate outcomes and deal with uncertainty of the results? How is data gathered and analyzed?
Professors Barrios-Landeros, Peter, Steinhauer
progress is inextricably intertwined with our lives in the 21st
century. Human mortality is at an
all-time low, quality-of-life is at an all-time high, and the health care
industry dominates our economy. This interdisciplinary
course will focus on the complexity of the human
body and the importance of understanding its function for medicinal and
nutritional interventions. Students will learn to appreciate the components of
a living entity and the process by which basic scientific concepts are
discovered and translated into cutting edge technologies. Greater comprehension
of the research methods that lead to groundbreaking innovations will strengthen
critical thinking and enhance technological understanding to improve future
Writing Intensive (WI)
Each W Course Will Articulate
What Does Writing-Intensive Mean?
consultation with the Honors Director, faculty teaching Honors-designated WI
courses might wish to require more writing.
For more information or to propose a WI course, click here.
The Language Option
You can use up to three of our specially designed French and Spanish courses to satisfy Core requirements, starting with the second semester of Elementary. To gain the invaluable skill of proficiency in a foreign language, you need four semesters of college language study. So while the first semester of Elementary counts only as an elective, the payoff comes later: three requirements fulfilled, and the acquisition of a skill that will pay dividends throughout the rest of your life. And don’t forget, with their knowledge of Hebrew, YU students are in a privileged position to learn another language.
If you have any questions about the new YC Core curriculum, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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