HUM4607: Trauma, Culture, Transformation

4 Advanced Liberal Arts credits

What is trauma and how does it impact individuals and societies? The word comes to us from the Greek "wound," and so it has come to mean a lasting injury made by a violent or startling event that penetrates a person's psychic boundary system. The difference between a wound and a traumatic wound is that the latter does not heal; rather, it results in post-traumatic stress, which in turn creates cycles of repetition of uncannily similar events until the event has been "worked through." While the term is largely attributed to Sigmund Freud's 19th and early 20th century work, in fact many of his sources came from classical Greek texts, meaning the concept and experience of trauma have been around for centuries.

In the past, knowledge about trauma came predominantly from psychoanalysis; to a lesser extent, literary theory has explored how cultural texts reflect phenomena related to trauma such as repetition, disruptions of time and temporality, and fragmented points of view. Post-Traumatic Stress was a chronic, cyclical dis-ease with devastating consequences. In the past decade, however, neuroscientists have exponentially advanced our understanding of trauma and its relation to our bodies, not just our minds, and theorists have shown how trauma is also a cultural phenomenon, transmitted from one generation to the next. Most importantly, this new research also shows proven pathways to transformation and healing-pathways that also correspond to collective movements for healing our world.

Starting with Freud's foundational work and the classical texts that inspired him, we will study how cultural texts have represented both traumatic stress and methods for its healing. From there, we move quickly to study new developments in the understanding of trauma and post-traumatic stress, including methods of healing and transcending traumatic repetition that have gained traction in broader change-making contexts. We will conclude our study by exploring the concept of Transformational Literacy operating at the MIT Presencing Institute, and how the notion of collective trauma invites collective healing responses as together we bring "the emergent future" into being.

Prerequisites: Any Combination of 2 Intermediate liberal arts (HSS, LTA, CSP)

  • Program: Undergraduate
  • Division: Arts and Humanities
  • Level: Advanced Liberal Arts 4600 Requirement (UGrad),Advanced Elective (UGrad),Advanced Liberal Arts (UGrad)
  • Course Number: HUM4607
  • Number of Credits: 4

SCN3601: Triumphs and Trials of the Pharmaceutical Industry

4 advanced liberal arts credits

In 2022, the US pharmaceutical market was valued at over $1.2 trillion, forecasted to reach more than $2 trillion dollars by the year 2025. Bringing a new drug or therapeutic agent to the market is a complex process that can take upwards of a decade with a hefty price tag upwards of $2 billion dollars. The United States pharma industry spends about $60 billion yearly on drug research and development, generating approximately half of the $1.2 trillion market. As a result of this significant investment, the pharma industry has made great strides in the treatment of many diseases and developed therapies that have changed the world, including the development of antibiotics to treat infection and drugs like insulin, which have saved hundreds of thousands of lives Research, technological advances and development have led to new and innovative approaches to treat cancer, has reduced HIV infection from a 100% mortality rate to a chronic illness in the US and led to the development of a vaccine against COVID19 in record time. Despite making many significant scientific strides, public opinion of the industry is lower than ever before. It has been plagued with controversy after controversy about questionable practices including intellectual property arguments, skyrocketing costs, exorbitant executive payouts and inequitable vaccine access across the world. Additionally, a seemingly arbitrary drug pricing system and the indisputable role the pharma industry played in the opioid crisis, have fed into the significant public relations problem the industry currently faces. This course will focus on real world considerations that drive both the good and the bad of the pharmaceutical industry. We will discuss the triumphs and challenges that occur in bringing a drug from bench to bedside, and explore some of the questionable practices that have been connected to the industry. We will discuss the process and impacts of new drug development, translational medicine, and drug pricing models, investigating the ethics of balancing patient access, scientific innovation and the sustainability of a complex and often inefficient system. By the end of this course, students will appreciate the complexity of drug development system and understand the critical scientific and ethical challenges the pharmaceutical industry faces in bringing a drug to market.

Prerequisites: Any NST1XXX course

  • Program: Undergraduate
  • Division: Mathematics Analytics Science and Technology
  • Level: Advanced Elective (UGrad),Advanced Liberal Arts (UGrad)
  • Course Number: SCN3601
  • Number of Credits: 4

LTA2015 Truthful Fictions: Biographical Novel, Memoir & Biopic
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits

What do works as disparate as Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton, Spike Lee's Black KkKlansman, Maggie O'Farrell's Hamnet, Craig Gillespie's I, Tonya, and Tara Westover's memoir Educated have in common? The past two decades have produced a remarkable surge in biographical fictions (what Alain Buisine coined "biofictions" in 1991). Similarly, as three-time memoirist Mary Karr argues, memoir is in its heyday, with a massive increase in readership in the past twenty years or so. And the popularity of biopics, defined by George Custen as films "minimally composed" of a life or "portion of a life" of a real person have become a tidal wave that threatens to spill over into tsunami. What explains why "true life" stories have become the go-to dinner for fiction writers? In this course, we will explore how memory and forgetting, experience and perception, fact and invention, public and private history, personal relationships, social and political forces intersect in these popular literary and cinematic forms. We will examine the myriad ways authors and directors construct an auto/biographical self, how these may differ from the selves of lived experience, and what these forms suggests about how we navigate a world in which truth is often questioned (or even under siege) and fiction may achieve an honesty that more purportedly "truthful" narratives fail to convey.

Prerequisites: (FCI1000 or AHS1000) and (WRT1001or RHT1000)

  • Program: Undergraduate
  • Division: Arts and Humanities
  • Level: Intermediate Liberal Arts (UGrad)
  • Course Number: LTA2015
  • Number of Credits: 4

OIM3650 UI/UX Design for Web and App Development
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits

Are you an aspiring designer? Are you interested in more coding and development skills? Do you want to know how to make better decisions with your website, mobile apps, and more? OIM3650 takes a deep dive into user interface design for web-based projects, apps and sites. In this hands-on 14 week course, students will learn the key aspects of what makes a solid and usable interface on a desktop, tablet, and mobile device. Over the course of the semester, students will create a web-based or mobile project and continually iterate the design and interface based on feedback from fellow classmates, the professor, and self-feedback utilizing leading-edge user experience techniques and tools. This course will explore advanced techniques in cascading style sheets (CSS), as well as leverage JavaScript frameworks and libraries such as Bootstrap. As part of the course, students will learn about the principles of design, how these principles relate to solid interface design, the importance of the UI as it relates to generating and maintaining your business, and key differences between User Interface Design and User Experience (UX). The course will also introduce the concepts and tools used to make working prototypes and wireframes, including the Adobe Creative Suite, in particular Photoshop and Adobe XD. This course will underscore the importance of UI for all types of web-based projects, looking at theory as well as taking a hands-on approach. It is designed for those who are interested in how the choices you make as a designer can impact your business as well as those who are interested in taking web-based projects to the next level.

For more information about this course, please review this video: https://babson.instructuremedia.com/embed/b8eebad7-34b3-40fb-8968-435917022326

Prerequisite: OIM3690 or experience in HTML and CSS

  • Program: Undergraduate
  • Division: Operations and Information Management
  • Level: Advanced Elective (UGrad),Advanced Liberal Arts (UGrad)
  • Course Number: OIM3650
  • Number of Credits: 4

OIM3635 UI/UX Design for Web and App Development
(Formerly MIS3635 User Interface Design)
2 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits

**Student who took this as MIS3635 cannot register for this course**

OIM3635 takes a deep dive into user interface design for web-based projects, apps and sites. Students will learn the key aspects of what makes a solid and usable interface on the desktop, a tablet and a mobile device. This course will explore advanced techniques in cascading style sheets (CSS), as well as leverage JavaScript libraries such as jQuery. As part of the course, students will learn about the principles of design, how they relate to solid interface design, and the importance of the UI as it relates to generating and maintaining your business. The course will also introduce the concepts and tools to make working prototypes and wireframes using tools like Balsamiq and Lucidchart. This course will underscore the importance of UI for all types of web-based projects, looking at theory as well as taking a hands-on approach. It is designed for those that are interested in taking web-based projects to the next level as well as those that are interested in how the choices you make as a designer can affect your business.

Prerequisites: MIS3690 or MIS3640

  • Program: Undergraduate
  • Division: Operations and Information Management
  • Level: Advanced Elective (UGrad),Advanced Liberal Arts (UGrad)
  • Course Number: OIM3635
  • Number of Credits: 2

LIT 4673: Unruly Ghosts: Modern Irish Literature & Culture

4 advanced liberal arts credits

Ireland is haunted by its history as a colony and by the traumatic experiences of famine, emigration, and language loss. Yet at her 1990 inauguration President Mary Robinson spoke not of postcolonial ghosts but of "a new Ireland, open, tolerant, inclusive [....] a new pluralist Ireland…," reflective of optimistic post-independence conditions. The mid-1990s to the late 2000s were a period of rapid economic growth-the 'Celtic Tiger,' the 'Boom,' the 'Economic Miracle'-transforming Ireland into one of the wealthiest countries in Europe and spurring seismic social and cultural change. That accelerated, unchecked economic growth has now expressed itself in early 21st century discontents and reckonings. In cultural specters, so to speak. The critical questions raised by Irish Studies are not confined to Irishness and Irish identity; they are ethical, global questions. Our class will study how modern Irish fiction, drama, and film tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time. Our topics will include late capitalist volatility; economic precarity; institutional abuses; immigration, displacement and belonging; language dispossession; and climate crisis.

Prerequisites: Any combination of 2 ILA (HSS, LTA, CSP, LVA, CVA)

  • Program: Undergraduate
  • Division: Arts and Humanities
  • Level: Advanced Liberal Arts 4600 Requirement (UGrad),Advanced Elective (UGrad),Advanced Liberal Arts (UGrad)
  • Course Number: LIT4673
  • Number of Credits: 4

ECN3600: Urban and Land Use Economics

4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits

Cities are great places where populations gather, interact, and create new ideas. At the same time, cities represent problems such as traffic, crime, and economic inequality. Why do cities exist in the first place? Why are buildings in the city center taller and more expensive? How do we explain land use patterns and housing prices? Does building infrastructure relieve congestion or create pollution? Does gentrification help revitalize inner cities? This course offers a rigorous survey of urban and spatial economics, building upon previous knowledge in introductory economics courses. Core theories in urban economics will be introduced, as well as ideas in economic geography, spatial econometrics, and sustainable development. Further skills in data analysis and visualization especially through GIS will be developed.

Prerequisites: ECN 2002

  • Program: Undergraduate
  • Division: Economics
  • Level: Advanced Elective (UGrad),Advanced Liberal Arts (UGrad)
  • Course Number: ECN3600
  • Number of Credits: 4

HSS2030 US Politics
(Formerly American Politics)
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits
The course begins with a focus on significant ideas, major political and economic institutions, and key social conflicts and events that have shaped the character of American politics. We will position American politics in its historical context, recognizing and contending with the legacies of enslavement, white supremacy, and imperial violence in its development. As such, the fundamental role of race, colonialism, gender, sexuality, and class will be addressed throughout so that we can understand key and persistent features of American politics. The latter half of the course will examine contemporary ideologies, struggles over civil liberties and rights, the forces generating economic inequality, and the origins of mass incarceration and systemic racism. We will also spend the beginning of classes discussing the news, so the class will be flexible enough to respond to and address political events as they occur. The course will involve a combination of lecturing, discussion, and small-group activities, so class participation is important.

Prerequisites: (FCI1000 or AHS1000) and (WRT1001or RHT1000)

  • Program: Undergraduate
  • Division: History and Society
  • Level: Intermediate Liberal Arts (UGrad)
  • Course Number: HSS2030
  • Number of Credits: 4

ECN3606 Uses and Abuses of Financial Derivatives: An Economist's View

4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits

The significant use of derivative instruments began in the 1970s and, since then, has grown at a thunderous rate. Derivatives are used by individuals, businesses, financial institutions, central banks, and governments throughout the world. This course explains financial derivatives from microeconomic and macroeconomic perspectives.


Microeconomic Perspective
The wise use of derivative instruments requires the identification, measurement, evaluation, management, and monitoring of major risks. Some risks are willingly held, but many of are not, and derivative instruments provides a way to transfer these risks to others. Uses and Abuses of Financial Derivatives: An Economist's View explains how companies have used derivative contracts to mitigate risks. It also describes how these instruments can be used for speculative, often destructive, purposes, which have little or nothing to do with a well-conceived strategy. In some cases, actions that were intended to hedge positions ended up being speculative, due (usually) to unpriced risks and a lack of understanding.

In the spirit of "Never waste a good crisis," this course explains the steps and missteps of companies connected to some of the most spectacular derivative disasters, such as Amaranth Advisors LLC, American International Group (AIG), JPMorgan Chase ("London Whale"), Metallgesellschaft AG, Orange County, and Proctor & Gamble Inc. In doing so, the course addresses important questions, such as: What risks did these companies fail to identify or incorrectly price? Could these losses have been prevented?

The chances are high that students in this class will be offered employee stock options sometime in their professional careers, so this course explains how to put stock option offers into the broader perspective of different forms of compensation and their risks. We will find that employers (especially those in start-up companies) often look at ESOs quite differently from employees.

Macroeconomic Perspective
Derivative products have been used by central banks to influence exchange rates and by governments to hedge international borrowing and lending costs. This course explains how central banks hedge themselves and the positive and negative impacts these transactions can have on international capital flows, domestic credit markets, and foreign exchange markets.

Uses and Abuses of Financial Derivatives: An Economist's View also connects you to an ongoing debate about whether financial derivatives can have significant negative effects on national and world economies. On one side are those who believe derivatives are zero-sum games, with the losses of some offset by the gains of others. On the other side are those who believe that derivative instruments can negatively influence nations' monetary and fiscal policies and expectations, thereby precipitating national and international economic and financial crises. This course discusses both sides of this debate, with particular focus the currency crises of Mexico (1994), Thailand (1997 - 1998), Russia (1998), and Argentina (2001).

Engaging in a forward contract means agreeing to pay or receive payment in the future at a price agreed upon today, but how can one know if a forward price is "fair." To address this question, we discuss four "parity conditions," which are at the heart of many macroeconomic discussions - particularly those dealing with derivatives.

Prerequisites: ECN2000 or ECN2002

  • Program: Undergraduate
  • Division: Economics
  • Level: Advanced Elective (UGrad),Advanced Liberal Arts (UGrad)
  • Course Number: ECN3606
  • Number of Credits: 4

LTA2069 Utopia and Dystopia: Literary and Cultural Expressions
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits
This course will examine the difference between ideas of absolute societal perfection and absolute societal imperfection as expressed in literary and cultural texts. Topics of study through such texts will include the ways we govern, the ways we create order, the ways we progress, and the ways we treat others. Over the course of the semester, students will be confronted with a number of questions. What are the elements of a utopia or dystopia? If one is complete perfection and the other complete imperfection - both by definition unattainable - then why are the concepts even worth talking about, and why have they persisted throughout history and across cultures? And maybe most interestingly, is there much of a real difference between the two? We will read works by Jose Saramago, Cormac McCarthy, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ursula LeGuin, and Margaret Atwood.


Prerequisites: (FCI1000 or AHS1000) and (WRT1001or RHT1000)

  • Program: Undergraduate
  • Division: Arts and Humanities
  • Level: Intermediate Liberal Arts (UGrad)
  • Course Number: LTA2069
  • Number of Credits: 4