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Course Catalog

The Course Catalog includes course descriptions of all courses offered by the Undergraduate School at Babson College. For descriptions of the courses offered in the current or upcoming semesters, please see the Course Listing.

 Undergraduate Course Catalog

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Arts & Humanities


AHS1000 AHS Foundation - Justice and Inequality 4 credits The Arts and Humanities / History and Society Foundation (AHS) engages a combination of perspectives, including aesthetic, ethical, historical and societal, to explore a particular topic or theme. Exploring a topic such as nature, justice, or memory, for example, through a rich array of perspectives aims to develop the ability to see that all interpretations are impacted by the context, values, and attitudes of the interpreter—including, of course, our own. We use course materials from a range of media and genres to explore the topic and learn to use complexity and ambiguity to enrich and deepen our inquiry. This theme-based course aims to establish a foundation of skills that anticipate the more disciplinary and interdisciplinary analytical skills that are introduced at the Intermediate Level of the Liberal Arts Curriculum. Prerequisites: None


ARB2200 Introduction to Arabic 4 credits, General Credit An introduction to the essentials of standard Arabic, the language used in public communications throughout the Arab world. This course introduces students to Arabic sounds, how to read and write in the Arabic alphabet, and the basics of everyday conversation. Through the use of a variety of written, video, and audio materials, this course emphasizes authentic materials and stresses the active participation of students in the learning process. Students are also exposed to cultural topics, discussions, and co-curricular opportunities with the goal of exposure to the diverse cultural contexts in which the language is used. (4 credits) Students are strongly encouraged to consider taking Beyond Revolution: Radical Thought in the Middle East (LVA2476) as a complement to this course.


ARB4610 Elementary Arabic II: Language, Culture and Business 4 credit advanced liberal arts This course is a continuation of Introduction to Arabic 2000 It is intended for students who have successfully completed ARB2200 or its equivalent, or native or heritage speakers who can understand Arabic minimally and produce simple sentences. ARB 4610 is a further study of the Arabic language and Arabic-speaking cultures. It will continue to build Arabic vocabulary, grammar and general communicative competence. It will also stress training in reading and writing short essays, and in enhancing spoken skills necessary for a variety of daily activities. Students will explore the differences between standard Arabic and the dialects used in different regions of the Arab speaking world. As the course progresses, more emphasis will fall on teaching Arabic in business contexts in an interactive and communicative way. This last part of the course will focus on developing students’ abilities in using Arabic in business environments, including commercial, media and financial purposes. Prerequisite: ARB2200


ARB4640 Arab Cinema and Culture (formerly ARB4600) 4 credit advanced liberal arts This course is designed as an advanced-level conversation class, with a strong cultural component. It explores Arab cinema from the colonial period to the present, and provides an in-depth exploration of “cultural identity” and “politics” in the Arab World. Although Egypt is considered the biggest film producer in the Arab world, the course aspires to represent various cinemas across the region, from Morocco and Algeria to Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Palestine, introducing students to notable moments and phenomena in the history of these cinemas. The course will be taught in Arabic and all films will be in Arabic with English subtitle. In addition to film viewings, students will be required to read critical and theoretical articles that pertain to class discussion. These films and readings serve as the basis for debate, discussion and written analysis of issues relevant to the history, culture and politics of the Arab world and the Middle East. Films will be on reserve at Horn Library, and screenings will be scheduled. Prerequisites: Students need to be at least at a high intermediate level. This course is open to Advanced and heritage speakers of Arabic.


ART1172 Introduction to Sculpture (General Credit) This is an introductory level studio art course designed to engage you with basic sculptural concepts and processes through the creation of your own sculpture. Working with basic material such as plasticene, plaster, wood, and wire, we will learn carving, modeling, and other methods of construction as we explore assignments that parallel historical approaches and processes. As a means of developing a full range of approaches towards making sculpture, we will examine paleo-lithic sculpture; Egyptian, Greek, and Renaissance bas-relief sculpture; abstract, kinetic and minimal sculpture; and installation and conceptual art. Students will be asked to keep a sketchbook for the development and critique of visual ideas. Through visualization, drawing, design, construction, and critique of sculpture, students will expand their skills of observation, critical analysis, and creative problem solving. Prerequisite: NONE This course may be offered Spring semester.


ART1175 Beginning Painting Watercolor and Acrylic 4 credit (General Credit) This is an introductory level course designed to bring students through basic aspects of drawing in a wide range of media. No previous experience is required. Issues such as line, tone, mark making, gesture form, light sources, figure/ground relationships, and perspective to overall compositions will be addressed separately and in the many ways that they relate to one another in a drawing. Students will draw observationally from life and from their own drawings, learning how to use each of these concepts as tools in order to draw and see more analytically. We will work with a wide range of materials from basic graphite pencils and charcoal, to ink washes, conte crayon on gesso treated paper, silverpoint, collage, and printmaking. Slides of various artists' work will be discussed in relation to concepts and processes explored in class. Student work will be discussed in group critiques with full class participation. Students should be committed to expanding their skills and can expect project deadlines. There will be some expense for materials. Prerequisites: NONE This course may be offered Fall semester.


CHN2200 Chinese I (General Credit) An introduction to practical and functional knowledge of modern Mandarin Chinese. Emphasis on developing proficiency in fundamental language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing, using basic expressions and sentence patterns. Computer programs for pronunciation, listening comprehension, grammar and writing Chinese characters will be used extensively. Prerequisite: None This course is typically offered Fall semester.


CHN4610 Chinese II Advanced Liberal Arts A continuation of the fall semester, an introduction to practical and functional knowledge of modern Mandarin Chinese. Emphasis on developing proficiency in fundamental language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing, using basic expressions and sentence patterns. Computer programs for pronunciation, listening comprehension, grammar and writing Chinese characters will be used extensively. Prerequisite: CHN1210 This course is typically offered Spring semester


CVA2001 Introduction to Ethics (Intermediate Liberal Arts) Discussions relate morality to the life and circumstances of contemporary society by offering a solid grounding in the major concepts of ethical theory and in the basic skills for analyzing ethical issues and making sound moral judgments. Prerequisites: RHT and AHS This course may be offered Fall and Spring semesters.


CVA2003 From Babson to New Delhi: Environmental Justice in the 21st Century 4 credit intermediate liberal arts Offered to students in the BRIC Program.


CVA2407 Introduction to Philosophy (Intermediate Liberal Arts) Introduction to Philosophy treats the most basic and pervasive human questions: Does God exist? What is the nature of the self? What is the relationship between our mind and our body? Do human beings have an immortal soul? Do we have free will? What is the difference between a human being and a computer? How can value judgments be justified? What is the proper relationship between the individual and the community? What is the best kind of human life? Prerequisites: RHT and AHS This course may be offered Fall semester.


CVA2025 Introduction to LGBTQ Cultural Studies (Intermediate Liberal Arts) Cultural Studies borrows from history, political science, psychology, literature, sociology, anthropology, film studies, media studies, and other disciplines to dismantle and thereby understand the cultural forces and variables which work together to construct meaning. In this course, we will look specifically at how LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning) identities and meanings have been and continue to be constructed, primarily but not exclusively in U.S. culture. We will actively consider how we, as human beings and agents of construction ourselves, contribute to or resist cultural meanings of LGBTQ. In our course of study, we will read theory, study film and other visual media, and interrogate texts, such as television shows, from popular culture. Each student will have an opportunity to develop a short individual project tailored to his or her interests. Prerequisites: RHT and AHS This course may be offered Spring semester.


CVA2032 Appreciating Classical Music: The Art of Listening 4 credit intermediate liberal arts Classical music can seem daunting to inexperienced listeners. How do you make sense of instrumental music that has no lyrics to guide you? What instruments are you hearing? How do you make sense of an opera in a language you don’t understand? How can you tell the difference between one orchestra and another? Why are some works typically performed in a church, others in a theater, others in a concert hall, and still others in intimate spaces? Why do we still revere composers like J.S. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner? Why can’t most people name a female composer? This courses answers these questions, and more, through a thematic introduction to the classical music tradition of Western Europe and the United States. Foundation AHS and RHT


CVA2057 Imagining Sustainability: Nature, Humanity, Business and the End of Sorrow (Intermediate Liberal Arts) The primary focus of this course is on the exploration of the concept of sustainability as a juncture of economic, environmental and social concerns. With the rapid expansion of globalization, and the attenuating crises that accompany it, with regard to these concerns, future business and public policy leaders will need to be in the vanguard at determining how best to effect solutions. To that end, this course will examine a variety of sources in the consideration both of what allows for the implementation of sustainability and what prohibits it--from business case study to philosophical/economic analysis to literary memoir. Within this context, students will be invited to examine what we mean when we talk about "justice," "ethics," "profit," "growth," and "community." In sum, we will explore how concepts that contribute to our understanding of individual and communal responsibility might be revisited and redefined in the effort to create a world that offers sustainable economic opportunity for all, ensured within a vital commitment to environmental stewardship. Prerequisites: RHT and AHS This course may be offered Spring or a Summer semester.


ENG4602 Practicum in Peer Consulting and Writing (Advanced Liberal Arts) Students learn to act as peer consultants in writing and work on improving their own writing, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills. They accomplish these objectives by addressing their writing problems; writing extensively; developing criteria to evaluate the writings of others; studying various writing processes and theories of composition; examining pedagogical approaches to teaching writing; reading extensively about, and becoming acquainted with, the dynamics of peer tutoring; and working in the Writing Center as peer consultant trainees. Prerequisite: Instructor permission This course may be offered Spring semester


ENG4604 Writing Poetry (Advanced Liberal Arts) A poet is a maker, an architect of words, spaces, and ideas and seeks expression through the use of various poetic techniques. This course challenges students to make original poetry through the study of contemporary American poetry and poetics. In addition to exploring the creative process through the crafting of poems, students read the poetry and essays of a wide variety of modern poets, work collaboratively to respond to peers' poems, attend poetry readings, and pursue independent study in an area of their own choice. Prerequisites: 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts Courses (CVA, LVA, HSS) This course may be offered Spring or Fall semester.


ENG4605 Writing Fiction 4 credit (Advanced Liberal Arts) Flannery O'Connor said there is "a certain grain of stupidity that the writer of fiction can hardly do without, and this is the quality of having to stare, of not getting the point at once." This class (while not demanding that you cultivate stupidity!) develops and nurtures close attention to how short fiction is made. You will study the art and craft of making short stories. This course emphasizes reading, whereby we will study practitioners of the short story form in order to understand the elements of fiction: character, dialogue, place/setting, plot, and so on. In class, we will take stories apart to see just 'how they tick'. In addition, we will (as pleasure-seekers) look for enjoyment in what we read. By and large, this course runs on writing. You will write short stories of varying lengths, aiming for authority over language, characterization and plot, and authenticity. Your fiction will be closely analyzed by your peers and professor. So you must be a willing, open and active participant, prepared to discuss the work of others, and to reflect on responses to your own work. Prerequisites: 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts Courses (CVA, LVA, HSS) This course may be offered Fall or Spring semester.


ENG4620-01 Writing Creative Nonfiction: Toward a Richer Life 4.00 credits (Advanced Liberal Arts) Are there moments in your life, or passionate interests, you wish to explore in writing? In this class, you will "read like a writer" to learn the elements and forms of creative nonfiction, including memoir, contemplative, nature, and travel essays. We will read creative nonfiction by such writers as Virginia Woolf, Zadie Smith, and David Foster Wallace, and consider both what the writers say and how they say it. You will write your own personal essays, developing your facility with such elements as conflict, voice, and character development, and, by sharing your work with peers, you will gain a critical understanding of your own writing. You will find, like creative nonfiction writer Dinty Moore, that "the happy by-product" of exploring, expressing the previously unspoken, "is that one has a richer life." Prerequisites: 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts Courses (CVA, LVA, HSS) This course may be offered Spring or Fall semester.


ENV4610 Art and Ecology 4 credit advanced liberal arts This trans-disciplinary course is co-taught by an artist and an ecologist and will focus on integrating visual art practices and scientific methodologies as a means of observing, understanding, interpreting, and creatively responding to human driven disturbances and the restoration of nature. We will use art and science and the intersections between these disciplines to investigate the environment through: water, soils and clay, the movement of plants, and landscape ecology. Students will learn a range of contemporary artists whose work is dependent on and responsive to the natural environment. Students will also explore scientific processes for healthy ecological function and human-driven disturbance. Students will be challenged to visualize their scientific observations and creative responses through drawing, graphing, 2 D mixed media, mapping/modeling, and sculpture. It is understood that students will likely be entering the studio art practice at a beginning level, therefore prior art experience is not required. Pre-reqs: 2 intermediate liberal arts electives


FLM4605 CULTURE THROUGH FILM IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AMERICA 4 credit - advanced liberal arts This course will provide a broad introduction to the historical, literary, artistic, and popular cultures of the Middle East and North Africa. It will examine how film in this part of the world is used as a space through which filmmakers reflect on significant cultural, social, political issues and concerns. Students will learn about the different cinematic genres in the Middle East and North Africa and will explore how issues like poverty, independence, religion, political freedom, women’s rights are visually expressed. The course will offer a survey of films from the Middle East and North Africa. It seeks to represent various movies across the region, from Morocco and Algeria, to Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, with the aim to expose students to different cultures and introduce them to important moments and phenomena in the history of these countries. The course will be taught in English and all films will have English subtitles.
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