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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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History & Society

WRKNG IN AMER:LABOR IN THE US SINCE 1892

AMS 4672 Working in America: Labor in the US since 1892 (Advanced Lib Arts) How has blue, white, and pink collar work changed in the U.S. across the past century? This course focuses on the historical experiences of American workers, beginning with the Massachusetts mills of early industrialization and ending with the global corporations and big box chain stores of the contemporary U.S. We will study workers' unions, and also look at how workplaces have changed with the liberation movements of women, people of color, and gay and lesbian workers. We will use histories, autobiographies, films and paintings to look at the impact of industrialization and globalization, and we will conclude the semester with a unit on college students and their role in shaping the new economies of labor. Prerequisites: 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts Courses (CVA, LVA, HSS) This course is periodically offered in the Spring or Fall semesters.

HINDUISM AND BUDDHISM

ANT 3602 ~ Hinduism and Buddhism 2 credit advanced liberal arts Hinduism and Buddhism as living religious world views and ways of life are the focus of this 2 credit advanced liberal arts elective. Hinduism and Buddhism respectively are the world’s third and fourth largest religious traditions. Both of South Asian origin and sharing many historical roots, they grew in dramatically different directions. The course will introduce the origins and trajectories of these religious movements in historical context. We will also pursue an empathetic understanding of the key beliefs and practices of both traditions in their own terms, while understanding that each tradition has within it a multitude of variations. An important component of this course will be fieldtrips to local Hindu and Buddhist temples. Among the other resources we will use to explore religious expression within these traditions are sacred texts, artifacts, music, visual arts and architecture. Prerequisites: 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts (LVA, CVA, HSS)

RELIGIONS OF THE BOOK:JUDAISM,CRST,ISLAM

ANT3690 Religions of the Book: Judaism, Christianity and Islam 2 Credit Advanced Liberal Arts The focus of this advanced level anthropology course is the lived experience and worldviews of the triad traditions that are often referred to as the "Abrahamic faiths," as well as the "religions of the book." We will study the common roots of these religious traditions and contemporary understandings of these commonalities. The modern phenomenon generally categorized as "fundamentalism" in Judaism, Christianity and Islam will be another comparative topic. Equally important to the study of similarities and differences between these religion traditions will be a study of the vast diversity within each tradition. In addition to using guest speakers, sacred texts, artifacts, film, music, visual arts and architecture to explore contemporary religious expression, we will also do significant field research in Boston area synagogues, churches and mosques. Substantial class contact time with be scheduled on the three Sabbaths, Friday 1/7 (Islam,) Saturday 1/8 (Judaism,) and Sunday 1/9 (Christianity) to allow for group field research. Students taking this Wintersession 2011 course should plan accordingly. Prerequisites: 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts (LVA, CVA, HSS)

HINDUISM AND BUDDHISM

ANT4602 ~ Hinduism and Buddhism 2 credit advanced liberal arts Hinduism and Buddhism as living religious world views and ways of life are the focus of this 2 credit advanced liberal arts elective. Hinduism and Buddhism respectively are the world’s third and fourth largest religious traditions. Both of South Asian origin and sharing many historical roots, they grew in dramatically different directions. The course will introduce the origins and trajectories of these religious movements in historical context. We will also pursue an empathetic understanding of the key beliefs and practices of both traditions in their own terms, while understanding that each tradition has within it a multitude of variations. An important component of this course will be fieldtrips to local Hindu and Buddhist temples. Among the other resources we will use to explore religious expression within these traditions are sacred texts, artifacts, music, visual arts and architecture. Prerequisites: 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts (LVA, CVA, HSS)

AFR AMERICAN HISTORY AND FOODWAYS

CVA2404 African American History and Foodways (HIS) 4 credit intermediate liberal arts The course covers the major periods, movements, and events that have shaped African American history and foodways. These include: the African slave trade; antebellum period; the civil war and reconstruction; World War I and the great migration; Harlem Renaissance and Garveyism; Great Depression; Spanish Civil War and World War II; Civil Rights and Black Power movements; industrialization, the growth of the prison industrial complex, and the "war on drugs." The course will also include content on African American foodways from the African slave trade to the Black Power movement. Classes discuss the assigned reading with lively student participation. Out-of-class work includes readings, online exams, attending lectures, artistic presentations, and films, as well as independent research. Prerequisites, RHT & AHS

CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY (ANT)

CVA2008 Cultural Anthropology (Intermediate Liberal Arts) Introduction to Cultural Anthropology is a three-credit intermediate History and Society course. The central focus of this course is the phenomenon of culture, that remarkable accomplishment that makes humans unique among all other species. We will use the concept of culture to investigate the question of what it means to be human. A major area of focus will be upon the ways cultural meanings are generated, shared, symbolized, ritualized, contested and altered in the face of different types of challenges. We will also study the relationship of cultural meaning to different economic, kinship and political systems. Throughout the course, as we study a variety of unfamiliar societies, we will continually refer back to our own societies with the goal of looking at our own ways of doing things with a new frame of mind. This frame of mind, or anthropological perspective, searches for the internal logics and constellations of values and beliefs that underpin all societies and subcultures. Central to this course is a succession of small fieldwork projects. This course will particularly strengthen your multicultural and rhetorical competencies Prerequisites: RHT and Foundation H&S and A&H This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Fall

EAST ASIAN CULTURES (HIS)

CVA2009 East Asian Cultures (Intermediate Liberal Arts) Welcome to Cultures and Values 2009, an intermediate level Liberal Arts course which will introduce you to the cultures of East Asia. This course builds on the themes and techniques in the H&S and A&H Foundation courses to analyze our subject using the materials and methodology of history pursued in an interdisciplinary manner. We will focus on the cultures of East Asia, China, Japan, and Korea; with thematic examples from ancient, medieval and modern periods. East Asia is integrated due to location and the influence that China had on the cultures of Japan and Korea. We will begin our study with the major ways of thinking in ancient China-Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, with some consideration of Legalism, and Militarism. The ethical structures, ideas, concepts and vocabulary in part one will inform and be assumed in our study of Japan and Korea. We will next study the uses of Chinese Ethics in Japan and Korea, Shinto in Japan, and Shamanism in Korea. Although these three cultures have elements in common, Japan and Korea developed in unique ways and in no way should be seen as pale imitations of Chinese culture. We begin our study analyzing written (Chinese) classical texts, which became classics throughout East Asia. These are elite cultural documents, but we will also consider their impact on popular culture. The fourth section of the course will consider East Asia as a cultural unit. We will interrogate the cultural constructions of identity and meaning in these cultures and the political and social contexts in which these were found. We will consider the impact of modernization and globalization, and the change and continuity within East Asian cultures. Some attention will be given to the cultural impact from and on the West. We approach this course through readings in philosophy, religion, anthropology, art, literature, film, and music. Prerequisites: RHT and Foundation H&S and A&H This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring or Summer

GENDER STUDIES (GDR)

CVA2010 Gender Studies (Intermediate Liberal Arts) This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to gender studies. Designed as an intermediate course, Introduction to Gender Studies aims to identify and critically examine the interactive relationships among gender, cultural/social institutions, and individuals in contemporary American society. This implies two foci of attention. First, through readings and discussion, we will explore gender roles and resulting power inequities in contexts such as families, the music industry, conceptions of both race and sexuality, and novels. Equally important, we will analyze how the behaviors of individuals reflect, sustain and sometimes alter social conceptions of gender. In concert, these two emphases serve to underline the relationships among gender, culture, and individuals. Prerequisites: RHT and AHS This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring, Summer or Fall

INTRODUCTION TO WESTERN CULTURE(HIS)

CVA2011 Introduction to Western Culture (Intermediate Liberal Arts) This cultural history course explores rational and non-rational ways of knowing in the Western tradition. We look at literature and art to focus upon four moments in the history of the West where these antithetical tendencies are conspicuous: Ancient Greece; the High Middle Ages; Europe during the Reformation and the Scientific Revolution; and the Early 20th Century. We read Greek tragedies by Aeschylus and Euripides, medieval romances such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and contemporary plays about the lives of Galileo and Luther. Essays by Freud and Jung frame our discussions. Prerequisites: RHT and AHS This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring or Fall

POLITICAL THOUGHT (POL)

CVA2015 Political Thought (Intermediate Liberal Arts) This course addresses the meaning and practice of politics through close readings of a range of political theory approaches, such as anarchist political theory, classic liberalism, civic republicanism, Black Nationalism, queer theory, settler colonial/Indigenous studies, conservatism, and feminist theory. The course will pursue such topics as the politics of confrontation, transformation and change, the role and meaning of citizenship, political community, government, inequality, political resistance, violence, and any other pertinent issues we discern from the work assigned. This is a reading intensive course, and it will also explore political themes that can be drawn out of popular culture, such as films and television shows. Prerequisites: RHT and AHS This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring

IMMIGRANTS,RACE AND AMERICAN PROMISE

CVA2426 Immigrants, Race and the American Promise (Intermediate Liberal Arts) This intermediate course will consider the nature of American culture and identity through the experiences of the nation's immigrants and its ethnic citizens. What sacrifices have immigrants and ethnic Americans made in order to become members of the national community? How have they contributed to the development of modern America? How have they re-shaped the culture, politics, and economy of the U.S.? How have immigrants and citizens of color adapted the mythology of the American Dream to achieve success? What does the larger narrative of immigration, race, and ethnicity tell us about our nation's values and our own identity as citizens? Throughout the semester, students will use historical texts, novels, and selected works of film and music to consider these questions. Selected themes for the course include the "Melting Pot" and multiculturalism, race and ethnicity, anti-immigrant agitation and legislation, the nature of the American Dream, and the development of ethnic communities and businesses. The class will cover the time period from the late nineteenth century to the present. Prerequisites: RHT and AHS

RADICAL POLITICS TODAY

CVA2033 Radical Politics Today: Black Lives Matter, Indigenous Activism, and Anarchism in Thought, Action, and Culture This Intermediate Liberal Arts course examines the theory, actions, claims, and artistic and cultural representations of radical political movements in our time. Radical political movements seek major transformations in the way we live together. Radical movements tend to work outside and even at odds with the mainstream political process that involves political parties and elections. Radical politics pushes from below by taking to the streets to blockade and confront those it opposes and to compel the public to pay attention. This form of politics also sets out radical critiques and solutions, such as abolishing policing and incarceration, decolonizing and returning territory to Indigenous peoples, dismantling capitalism in favor of more equitable form of economic relations that will also help us deal with climate change. These movements inspire artists to represent and speak to these causes, such as with the music of Rage Against the Machine, Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé and a Tribe Called Red, the poetry of Leanne Simpson, and films such as Rhymes for Young Ghouls and Fruitvale Station. Through an interdisciplinary approach, this course will look at the modern history and contemporary forms of radical politics, in theory, in action, and in culture. For the Spring 2017, the three major radical political movements we will examine will be, i) Black Lives Matter, ii) Indigenous people’s decolonizing activism, such as the Standing Rock Sioux’s effort to block the Dakota Access Pipeline, and iii) contemporary anarchist politics. We will examine these movements on their own and with regard to how their concerns, critiques and efforts intersect, possibly conflict, and generally raise questions and possibilities about how to radically critique and act against white supremacy, settler colonialism, capitalism, and climate change. The class will read and listen to the voices of theorists and commentators analyzing and critiquing these movements, the people directly involved in the movements, and the work of artists inspired by or engaging with these movements. As we do so we will ask such questions as: What makes radical politics radical and what sort of actions does that require of those who are involved? Does radical politics ever succeed, or does it always either fail, get coopted, or lead to comprise and small steps? To what degree does art and culture contribute to, capitalize upon or get inspired by and represent the aims of these radical movements? While these three movements will be the focus of this course, students will be encouraged to work on projects that examine other radical movements in our time. The course will focus on the North American context, but student projects and our discussions do not need to be limited to that context. The materials for this class will include historical and political scholarly analyses, journalism, documentaries, film, literature, music, public commentary, and the narratives of activists themselves. Prerequsites: AH Foundation and RHT I & II

NATURE AND US CULTURAL VALUES

CVA2034 Nature and U.S. Cultural Values 4 credit (intermediate liberal arts) In this course students will explore human concepts of nature pertaining to culture and values from the latter third of the nineteenth century to the present. We will approach this subject matter through discussion, lecture, writing, and reading. As students studying concepts of nature, we will investigate the economic, social, intellectual, and cultural aspects within the evolving relationship between human beings and nature. The objective is to introduce students to the key themes, events, and personalities of this relatively new discipline. Prerequisites: AH Foundation and RHT I & II

CVA INTRM CREDIT

PEOPLES AND CULTURES OF THE AMERICAS (HI

CVA2055 Peoples and Cultures of the Americas (Intermediate Liberal Arts) This course examines U.S. relations with Latin America since U.S. Independence. We will investigate this broad issue from the parameters of diplomatic, political, and economic history, and we especially will focus on an array of accompanying cultural questions. Diplomatically, United States policy toward Latin America has gone through distinct phases, from neglect in some periods, to alliance and cooperation in others, to military conflict and intervention in still other eras. The Latin American response to the numerous U.S. activities in the region also has varied. Overt and covert political goals (often based on domestic developments), powerful economic agendas, and deeply rooted cultural perceptions and stereotypes, all have contributed significantly to intra-hemispheric policies and conduct. Scholars have posited various interpretations over the years, each emphasizing one set of motivations as being paramount. The role of the United States in Latin America has not always been clear nor is there unanimous agreement on its impact. Yet, there are a number of common themes that characterize the relationship between the "colossus to the north" and its neighbors to the south. This course seeks to identify these common themes and to provide a basis for understanding contemporary and future cultural, political, and economic relations in the Americas. Prerequisites: RHT and AHS

FOOD AND THE AFRICAN AMER CANON

CVA2090 Food and the African American Canon 4 credit intermediate liberal arts This 4 credit history and foodways course discusses food and space in restaurants, dining cars, street venders and wherever food is made and sold (by whom), and eaten (by whom) at the center. The course will include readings in James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of a Colored Man, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Zora Hurston's Their Eyes Where Watching God, John Washington's The Chaneysville Incident, Paule Marshall's classic essay From The Poets in the Kitchen, and Richard Wright's Man of All Work. Readings on segregated restaurants come from James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son, and in No Name in the Street. A chapter on Ntzoake Shange's novel, Sassafrass, Cypress, and Indigo and her novel Liliane. Prerequisites: RHT and AHF or AHS Foundation

CULTURE, SOCIETY & EPS IN DEVELOP ECN

CLIMATE CHANGE POLITICS AND POLICY

ENV4600 Climate Change Politics and Policies 4 credit Advanced Liberal Arts The objective of this intensive seminar is to understand, explore and critically analyze how climate changing activities are governed. The class sessions will consist of four main components: (1) General introduction (2) Climate politics and policy at the national and international levels, (3) Climate politics and policy at the sub-national level, (4) Where climate politics and policy meet the public. By way of four main themes addressed in the sessions over the semester, we will challenge our thinking about climate change as a problem, develop new frameworks for analyzing climate politics and policy, and discuss practical and conceptual alternatives for mitigation and adaptation actions in our individual and collective lives. Critical engagement in session lectures and discussions with these topics and themes will help us to distinguish patterns, appraise and assess values, and gain insights from a variety of perspectives and viewpoints concerning climate change politics and policy. Prerequisteds: 3 intermediate liberal arts (CVA, LVA, HSS)

WOMEN'S STUDIES

GDR3610 Topics in Women's Studies (Advanced Liberal Arts) This course provides a forum to examine and discuss contemporary women's and girls' roles and positions. The course will address the following topics: first and second waves of feminism, sexuality, psycho-social influences on gender construction, paid work and structures of inequality, women and social protest and family configurations. At the beginning of the course, we will read some historic documents as background to the women's movement in the United States. Although the main focus will be on women and girls in the United States, we will also discuss women's positions in other countries as well. Because femininity and images of women are balanced, and often countered, by masculinity and images of men, we will spend time discussing men in relation to women. Integral to this course is recognition of how race, class, ethnicity and sexuality converge to influence how women negotiate their political, social and cultural roles. Finally, we will attempt to become "enlightened witnesses" to the social construction of femininity and masculinity, and use our understanding to notice stereotypical portrayals as well as new, liberating images of women and men. Prerequisites: 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts Courses (CVA, LVA, HSS) This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring or Fall

GENDER AND REPRESENTATION

GDR4615 Gender and Representation 4 credit (advanced liberal arts) Many Americans believe that our society has come a long way toward achieving gender equality. In general, it seems that Western women enjoy freedoms and access to opportunities that misogynistic custom and social norms kept out of reach as recently as only three decades ago. Yet, ideas and definitions of femininity, masculinity, and sexuality - their conceptualization and representation -- remain conflicted. Are categories of gender determined biologically? Is gender affected by economics? Politics? Family? This seminar seeks a better understanding of how word, image, and form – literary and visual studies – and it contributes to our understanding of what gender means in the broader context of European and American culture. Proceeding from this core objective, this seminar will likewise hone the analytic and critical skills – reading, writing, and presentation abilities - necessary to approach the set of problems that thinking about gender, history, and culture present. Adopting a more or less chronological structure, each week we will meet to discuss in depth topics on gender and representation from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to the present day, with the second half of our course devoted to a survey of the feminist art and theory movements from the 1960s to the present day. Considering visual culture writ large, we will also discuss, as historians and cultural theorists, the social-media phenomenon, tech culture, and gaming, as they relate to the construction of gender. Assignments for this course are weekly response papers/presentations, and a longer research paper of 12-15 pages. Prerequisites: 3 intermediate liberal arts (LVA, CVA, HSS)
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