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Office: Sweet Hall, Second Floor
Mail Code: 94305-3068
Web Site: https://undergrad.stanford.edu/about/contact-us/vpue-program-offices/stanford-introductory-studies

Stanford Introductory Studies

Stanford Introductory Studies (SIS) is a unit in the office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education that manages required and elective academic programs for first- and second-year students:

  • Thinking Matters
  • Introductory Seminars
  • Education as Self-Fashioning (ESF)
  • Immersion in the Arts: Living in Culture (ITALIC)
  • Structured Liberal Education (SLE)
  • Sophomore College
  • Arts Intensive

More than 300 tenure-track faculty from all seven schools of the University teach in one or more of these SIS programs, sharing their enthusiasm for learning while encouraging students to discover their intellectual interests. SIS classes promote active learning in an inclusive and supportive classroom environment where individual students receive individual attention and support for their exploration of the full range of expansive and diverse academic opportunities offered at Stanford.  

SIS Programs

The Thinking Matters program oversees a curriculum of team-taught required courses and provides entering students with a gateway to liberal education and a guided transition to the intellectual life of the University.

The Introductory Seminars program connects frosh and sophomores with the research faculty of the University through more than 200 small, departmentally based classes drawn from the full range of scholarship and discovery at Stanford.

Education as Self-Fashioning classes focus on the meaning and purpose of a liberal education in seminars that integrate writing instruction with discussion.  

SLE and ITALIC offer a comprehensive approach to liberal education throughout the entire year, by integrating academic and residential experiences.

The Sophomore College and Arts Intensive programs immerse students in an academically focused, living/learning residential community during the month of September.  

Thinking Matters

Faculty Director: Dan Edelstein, French and (by courtesy) History

Deputy Faculty Director: Lisa Surwillo, Iberian and Latin American Cultures

Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Program Director, Stanford Introductory Studies: Parna Sengupta

Senior Associate Director: Dayo Mitchell

Affiliated Faculty: Lanier Anderson (Philosophy), Julie Baker (Genetics), Chris Bobonich (Philosophy), Emilee Chapman (Political Science), Cari Costanzo (Anthropology), Brian Coyne (Political Science), Adrian Daub (Comparative Literature and German Studies), Gordon Chang (History),  Gilbert Chu (Medicine), Larry Diamond (FSI and Hoover), Dan Edelstein (French and History), Paul Edwards (FSI), James Fishkin (Communications), Kathryn Gin Lum (Religion) Heather Hadlock (Music), Stephen Hinton (Music),  Adam Johnson (English), Pam Karlan (School of Law), Ari Kelman (School of Education), Joseph Lipsick (School of Medicine), S. Lochlann Jain (Anthropology), Stephen Luby (Medicine), David Magnus (School of Medicine), Ian Morris (Classics), Scott Sagan (Political Science), Gabriella Safran (Slavic), Wendy Salkin (Philosophy), Debra Satz (Philosophy), Lisa Surwillo (Iberian and Latin American Cultures), Blakey Vermeule (English), Ban Wang (East Asian Languages and Cultures), Ge Wang (Music and Computer Science), Allen Weiner (School of Law), Kritika Yegenashankaran (CTL and Philosophy).

Lecturers: Artemis Brod, Jonathan Chu, Collin Closek, Chloe Edmondson, Cynthia Flores, Jennifer Greenburg, Alison Laurence, Ameer Loggins, Nicole Martin, Sara Mrsny, Lexi Neame, Kirsten Paige, Adwait Parker, Emily Rials,  Evan Sandlin, Tim Sorg, Justin Tackett, Jonathan Tang, Racheli Wercberger, Shizuka Yamada.

Offices: Sweet Hall, Second Floor
Mail code: 94305-3068
Phone: (650) 723-0944
Email: thinkingmatters@stanford.edu
Web Site: https://undergrad.stanford.edu/programs/thinking-matters

Thinking Matters courses are listed under the subject code THINK on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

Thinking Matters offers courses that satisfy the one quarter first-year requirement. Taught by faculty from a wide range of disciplines and fields, the Thinking Matters (THINK) requirement helps students develop the ability to ask rigorous and genuine questions that can lead to scientific experimentation or literary interpretation or social policy analysis. Through the study of these questions and problems, students develop critical skills in interpretation, reasoning, and analysis as well as enhance capacities for writing and discussion.

Thinking Matters Courses Offered in 2020-21

Introductory Seminars

Faculty Director: Lisa Surwillo, Iberian and Latin American Cultures

Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Program Director, Stanford Introductory Studies: Parna Sengupta

Associate Director of Introductory Seminars and Faculty Development: Lauri Dietz

Faculty: More than 200 faculty from the Schools of Humanities & Sciences; Engineering; Law; Medicine; Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; and, the Graduate Schools of Business and Education

Offices: Sweet Hall, Second Floor
Mail Code: 94305-3068
Phone: (650) 724-2405
Email:
introsems@stanford.edu
Web Site: http://introsems.stanford.edu

The Introductory Seminars program offers more than 200 small classes for first- and second-year students taught by faculty from across the seven Schools of the University. Professors teach subjects drawn from their research and scholarship and engage students in deep investigation of important questions and issues. Seminars require little or no formal background, and welcome first-year students and sophomores to Stanford’s intellectual community. A complete listing of the IntroSems can be found at ExploreIntroSems.stanford.edu.

Many seminars satisfy the Ways Breadth Requirements, and several meet the second-level Writing and Rhetoric Requirement (Writing 2). There is no limit on the total number of seminars a student may take. Most seminars are filled through an online selection and pre-enrollment process. Seminars that have space available are open for self-enrollment in Axess, with preference to first- and second-year students. For information about online sign-up and enrollment, see ExploreIntroSems.stanford.edu.

Sign-up deadlines for each quarter are on Fridays by 8 a.m. (Pacific Time) on:

  • Autumn Quarter: August 28, 2020
  • Winter Quarter: November 13, 2020
  • Spring Quarter: February 12, 2021
  • Summer Quarter: May 7, 2021

Introductory Seminars Courses Offered in 2020-21

Structured Liberal Education

Director: Marisa Galvez, French and Comparative Literature

Associate Director: Jeremy Sabol

Lecturers: Mary Garcia, Nura Hossainzadeh, Miles Osgood, Greg Watkins

Offices: Sweet Hall, Second Floor, and Florence Moore Hall
Mail Code: 94305-8581
Phone: (650) 725-4790
Email: sle-program@stanford.edu
Web Site: http://sle.stanford.edu

The Program in Structured Liberal Education (SLE) is a year-long residence-based great works course that satisfies several requirements at once: Thinking Matters, Writing and Rhetoric (both PWR1 and PWR2), and four of the Ways requirements. The curriculum includes works of philosophy, literature, art, and music from the ancient world to the present. The program is interdisciplinary in approach; it emphasizes intellectual rigor and individualized contact between faculty and students.

SLE has two fundamental purposes: to develop a student's ability to ask effective questions of texts, teachers, the culture, and themselves; and to develop intellectual skills in critical reading, expository writing, logical reasoning, and group discussion. SLE encourages students to live a life of ideas in an atmosphere that stresses critical thinking and a tolerance for ambiguity. Neither the instructors nor the curriculum provides ready-made answers to the questions being dealt with; rather, SLE encourages a sense of intellectual challenge, student initiative, and originality.

The residence hall is the setting for lectures and small group discussions. SLE enhances the classroom experience with other educational activities, including a weekly film series, writing tutorials, occasional special events and field trips, and a student-produced play each quarter.

First-year students interested in enrolling in SLE should indicate this preference for their Thinking Matters assignment. SLE is designed as a three quarter sequence, and students are expected to make a commitment for the entire year (8 units each quarter).

SLE Courses Offered in 2020-21

Units
SLE 91Structured Liberal Education8
SLE 92Structured Liberal Education8
SLE 93Structured Liberal Education8
SLE 299Structured Liberal Education Capstone Seminar1
SLE 81Public Service Program1
SLE 99Directed Reading1
SLE 199Teaching SLE1

Immersion in the Arts: Living in Culture

Faculty Director: Karla Oeler, Art and Art History

Associate Director: Kim Beil

Faculty: Samer Al-Saber, Theater and Performance Studies

Program in Writing and Rhetoric Lecturer: Alexander Greenhough

Offices: Sweet Hall, Second Floor, and Stern Hall
Mail Code: 94305-7000
Phone: (650) 724-3163
Email: italic_ile@stanford.edu
Web Site: https://undergrad.stanford.edu/programs/residential-programs/italic/overview

ITALIC is an arts-minded, residence-based academic program for first-year students. Using art as the frame for discussing big ideas, frosh who participate in this yearlong academic program are part of a tight-knit community, living together, attending classes, and making art in Stern Hall’s Burbank House residence.

ITALIC is built around a series of big questions about the historical, critical, and practical purposes of art. The yearlong experience also fosters close exchanges between students and faculty, guest artists and scholars outside of class over meals, in hands-on arts-making workshops, and on excursions to arts events.

In ITALIC, students look closely at the integration of arts across the University and in the world outside, examining how art can illuminate or challenge existing categories of knowledge, including history, politics, and culture, particularly since the 19th century. Immersed in the arts, they analyze major works of the visual, performing, and filmic arts, sharpen perceptual skills, and tap into their own channels of creative expression. Turning an aesthetic lens on life’s ordinary and exceptional features, ITALIC asks: How do the arts provide new ways of thinking about our world and ourselves?

ITALIC Courses Offered in 2020-21

Units
ITALIC 91Immersion in the Arts: Living in Culture, Creating4
ITALIC 92Immersion in the Arts: Living in Culture, Art Worlds: Conversations between Artists and Scholars1-2
ITALIC 93Immersion in the Arts: Living in Culture, Challenging3
ITALIC 95WImmersion in the Arts: Living in Culture, Writing Section4
ITALIC 99Immersion in the Arts1

Education as Self-Fashioning

Director: Paula Findlen (History)

Faculty: Russell Berman (Comparative Literature), Margot Gerritsen (Energy Resources Engineering), Paula Findlen (History), Andrea Nightingale (Classics), Sarah Prodan (French and Italian), Rush Rehm (Classics), Kathryn Starkey (German Studies), J'Nese Williams (History).

Writing Instructor: Shay Brawn, Artemis Brod, Megan Formato, Shannon Hervey, Valerie Kinsey, Sangeeta Mediratta, Sarah Pittock, Rebecca Richardson, Ruth Starkman, Jennifer Stonaker. 

Offices: Sweet Hall, Second Floor
Mail Code: 94305-3068
Phone: (650) 723-0944
Email: thinkingmatters@stanford.edu
Web Site: https://undergrad.stanford.edu/programs/education-self-fashioning-esf

Education as Self-Fashioning (ESF) is a unique opportunity offered only in the autumn quarter, since its aim is to introduce entering students to a liberal education.  ESF courses provide you with an opportunity to work closely with a faculty member in a seminar-style setting while simultaneously completing your first-year writing requirement.  In ESF, we consider writings about education by intellectuals working in various fields, with the aim of articulating different ways that education can be used to structure one’s thinking, one’s self, and ultimately one’s life as a whole. You will grapple with this issue in dialogue with fellow students and faculty from across a wide range of disciplines — from the humanities and social sciences through the natural sciences and mathematics. 

ESF satisfies the Thinking Matters, the WR1 requirement, and one Way. ESF is a set of linked seminars related to the general theme expressed in the course title. The seminars, each with a different focus, meet separately as discussion classes led by the faculty; all ESF students also come together for a plenum session or large lecture each week.  Each seminar coordinates writing instruction with the course theme in specially designated writing sections.

The three components of ESF are described below. ESF counts as a 7-unit course.

  1. A seminar with a faculty member that meets once per week for at least 75 minutes.
  2. A section with a writing instructor that meets for sessions of 110 minutes twice per week.
  3. A lecture series that will meet once-a-week. These are required for students enrolled in ESF.

ESF Courses Offered in Autumn 2020-21

Sophomore College

Faculty Director: Dan Edelstein, French and (by courtesy) History

Deputy Faculty Director: Lisa Surwillo, Iberian and Latin American Cultures

Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Program Director, Stanford Introductory Studies: Parna Sengupta

Associate Director of Sophomore College: Dayo Mitchell

Offices: Sweet Hall, Second Floor
Mail code: 94305-3068
Phone: (650) 724-4667
Email: sophcollege@stanford.edu
Web Site: http://soco.stanford.edu

Sophomore College (SoCo) offers rising sophomores who share a passion for an area of study an opportunity to meet daily in seminar-size classes with Stanford faculty for lecture and discussion; students may also work in labs, participate in community-based learning, go on field trips, and engage in a range of other activities that facilitate in-depth mentoring relationships. Held before the start of students’ sophomore year, this residential program encourages academic and social connections and transforms classes into intellectual communities, helping participants establish rich relationships with peers and faculty that extend beyond graduation. Seminars are for 2 units; the Sophomore College all-inclusive program fee covers tuition, room, board, books, and class-required travel arranged by the program. Financial assistance is available.  The online catalog and additional information about SoCo is available at the Sophomore College web site. 

Arts Intensive

Faculty Director: Dan Edelstein, French and (by courtesy) History

Deputy Faculty Director: Lisa Surwillo, Iberian and Latin American Cultures

Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Program Director, Stanford Introductory Studies: Parna Sengupta

Director of the Arts in Undergraduate Education: Gina Hernandez-Clarke

Offices: Sweet Hall, Second Floor
Mail code: 94305-3068
Phone: (650) 724-4667
Email: artsintensive@stanford.edu
Web Site: http://artsintensive.stanford.edu

The Arts Intensive (AI) Program offers rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors the opportunity to study intensively with Stanford arts faculty and small groups of other Stanford students. The Arts Intensive program takes place over three weeks in September before the start of Autumn Quarter.

Arts Intensive courses engage students in the theory and practice of a particular artistic discipline. Courses often include field trips, workshops, film screenings, studio sessions, or other arts events in the afternoons, evenings, and on weekends. Courses are taught by Stanford arts faculty and often include contributions from professional visiting artists. Arts Intensive students live together in a Stanford residence during the program, making for a rich immersion into a creative community. This unique opportunity allows students to focus on their art practice without the constraints of other coursework. Enrollment is by application and takes place in Spring Quarter for the upcoming September program.  Each Arts Intensive course enrolls 10 to 20 students and offers 2 units of academic credit.  For more information or to apply, see the Arts Intensive web site.

COVID-19 Policies

On July 30, the Academic Senate adopted grading policies effective for all undergraduate and graduate programs, excepting the professional Graduate School of Business, School of Law, and the School of Medicine M.D. Program. For a complete list of those and other academic policies relating to the pandemic, see the "COVID-19 and Academic Continuity" section of this bulletin.

The Senate decided that all undergraduate and graduate courses offered for a letter grade must also offer students the option of taking the course for a “credit” or “no credit” grade and recommended that deans, departments, and programs consider adopting local policies to count courses taken for a “credit” or “satisfactory” grade toward the fulfillment of degree-program requirements and/or alter program requirements as appropriate.

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Grading

In addition to courses taken for a letter grade, ESF/ITALIC/SLE/THINK courses completed during academic year 2020-21 taken for CR/NC (CR grade) or S/NC (S grade) will satisfy the Thinking Matters requirement.

Faculty Director: Dan Edelstein, French and (by courtesy) History

Deputy Faculty Director: Lisa Surwillo, Iberian and Latin American Cultures

Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Program Director, Stanford Introductory Studies: Parna Sengupta

Education as Self-Fashioning Courses

ESF 1. Education as Self-Fashioning: The Active, Inquiring, Beautiful Life. 7 Units.

Moving through history from the Rome of the Emperor Hadrian, to the city-states of Renaissance Italy, to the 18th century republic of the United States, we will examine how self-made men fashioned themselves and their surroundings by educating themselves broadly. We will ask how a liberal education made their active careers richer and more transformational. We will also take up the great debate on whether a liberal education or vocational training is the surest path to advancement. We will engage this debate through the works of W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington but consider today's struggle over the same issues, a struggle that engrosses both highly industrialized and developing societies.

ESF 1A. Education as Self-Fashioning: The Active, Inquiring, Beautiful Life. 7 Units.

Moving through history from the Rome of the Emperor Hadrian, to the city-states of Renaissance Italy, to the 18th century republic of the United States, we will examine how self-made men fashioned themselves and their surroundings by educating themselves broadly.  We will ask how a liberal education made their active careers richer and more transformational. We will also take up the great debate on whether a liberal education or vocational training is the surest path to advancement.  We will engage this debate through the works of W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington but consider today's struggle over the same issues, a struggle that engrosses both highly industrialized and developing societies.

ESF 2. Education as Self-Fashioning: How to Become a Global Citizen?. 7 Units.

The concept of a liberal arts education was first developed in eighteenth-century Prussia by Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835) and soon adopted by other countries, including the United States. Humboldt considered a liberal arts education to be both a foundational and transformative process in the development of the self, and he was convinced that it was essential in creating moral and ethical citizens in an increasingly global world. From his point of view, the cultivation of oneself leads to the freedom of thought, freedom to act, freedom to assert oneself as an individual, freedom to access knowledge, and freedom to determine one¿s own role in society. In this course we will explore Humboldt¿s concept of education and examine the ways in which it is reflected and refracted in debates about university education still today. This course satisfies the Aesthetic and Interpretive Inquiry WAY (AII).

ESF 2A. Education as Self-Fashioning: How to Become a Global Citizen or the German Tradition of Bildung.. 7 Units.

This course considers education not as training in external knowledge or skills but as a lifelong process of development and growth in which an individual cultivates her or his spiritual, cultural and social sensibilities. This concept of education - education as a formative and transformative process in the development of the self - is called Bildung in German and has a long tradition reaching back to the Middle Ages. The term first appears in the writings of the mystic Meister Eckhart who defines it as self-composure which he regards as a crucial stage in our spiritual development. The concept of Bildung takes on a secular meaning in the Reformation, when Ulrich von Hutten first coined the phrase that has become Stanford's motto: "Die Luft der Freiheit weht". (The wind of freedom is blowing). What he meant is that the cultivation of oneself leads to the freedom of thought, freedom to act, freedom to assert oneself as an individual, freedom to access knowledge, and freedom to determine one's own role in society. This idea of education as an internal and transformative process is central to debates in the nineteenth century (both in Germany and the United States) in which self-reflection is seen as key to the cultivation of an individual's identity and to her or his role as a member of society. In this course we will read reflections on education as self-fashioning by some of the greatest German thinkers spanning from the Middle Ages to the present. We will also enjoy some contemporary parodies of such reflections. These readings and our discussions will help us to understand Stanford undergraduate education as a transformative process of self-realization in our global society.

ESF 3. Education as Self-Fashioning: How to be a Public Intellectual. 7 Units.

Can education impart more than bookish learning? This is the question that critics have posed since the European Renaissance. Through their reflections, these critics posited an alternative ideal of education that prepared the student for life outside the academy. Over the centuries, this ideal would evolve into what we would today call an ¿intellectual¿ ¿ but this modern concept only captures a part of what earlier writers thought learning could achieve. In this course, we will focus on how education can prepare students to engage in public debates and the role that the university can play in public learning.

ESF 3A. Education as Self-Fashioning: How to be a Public Intellectual. 7 Units.

Can education impart more than bookish learning? This is the question that critics have posed since the European Renaissance. Through their reflections, these critics posited an alternative ideal of education that prepared the student for life outside the academy. Over the centuries, this ideal would evolve into what we would today call an ¿intellectual¿ ¿ but this modern concept only captures a part of what earlier writers thought learning could achieve. In this course, we will focus on how education can prepare students to engage in public debates and the role that the university can play in public learning.

ESF 4. Education as Self-Fashioning: Learning to Change. 7 Units.

Does education entail changing the self? How much? Why should I change my life? How do I discover that I need to change? Who can rightly tell me how to change? What difference does it make? These and related questions have been around for a long time, yet that makes them no easier to answer today than 2500 years ago. In the 5th century BCE, Socrates found that his answers--based on his own will to change--proved troublesome, and ultimately fatal. His follower, the philosopher Plato, transformed the Socratic exploration into idiosyncratic utopian visions that sought to change the conditions of life--and so make Socrates' fate unrepeatable. Plato's own followers, from Aristotle onward, found new ways to explain, enact, or evade change. Not until the end of antiquity, however, do we find, in Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE), someone as explicitly and passionately committed to personal change as the early Greek thinker. Bookended by the major figures of the Athenian seeker and the North African, this course will lead students to analyze and compare their own tentative answers with the ideas on self-fashioning that can be found in a range of ancient texts. Students will demonstrate their grasp of the material through a variety of exercises, including a research paper, discourse analyses, and responses in persona.

ESF 4A. Education as Self-Fashioning: Learning to Change. 7 Units.

Does education entail changing the self? How much? Why should I change my life? How do I discover that I need to change? Who can rightly tell me how to change? What difference does it make? These and related questions have been around for a long time, yet that makes them no easier to answer today than 2500 years ago. In the 5th century BCE, Socrates found that his answers--based on his own will to change--proved troublesome, and ultimately fatal. His follower, the philosopher Plato, transformed the Socratic exploration into idiosyncratic utopian visions that sought to change the conditions of life--and so make Socrates' fate unrepeatable. Plato's own followers, from Aristotle onward, found new ways to explain, enact, or evade change. Not until the end of antiquity, however, do we find, in Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE), someone as explicitly and passionately committed to personal change as the early Greek thinker. Bookended by the major figures of the Athenian seeker and the North African, this course will lead students to analyze and compare their own tentative answers with the ideas on self-fashioning that can be found in a range of ancient texts. Students will demonstrate their grasp of the material through a variety of exercises, including a research paper, discourse analyses, and responses in persona.

ESF 5. Education as Self-Fashioning: Thinking Like a Philosopher. 7 Units.

The Ancient Greek aphorism ¿Know thyself¿ is a centerpiece of wisdom. But knowing one¿s own mind is not easy, in part because it is not a matter of simply looking inward to find one¿s proclivities and beliefs; it seems one must look outward to the issues and questions the world presents, and know what one thinks about them. Knowing oneself is in part a matter of knowing one¿s way around as a thinker, where that is a matter of knowing how to think about issues, when to trust one¿s judgment and when to withhold it. Fashioning or making oneself into a better (more acute, more sensitive, more judicious) reasoner is something philosophy as a discipline holds out as a promise. In this course, we will take up the first task of becoming better reasoners about a select handful of persistent problems; we will at the same time reflect on what it is that philosophical thinking is, and how it might shape us as thinkers.

ESF 5A. Education as Self-Fashioning: Thinking Like a Philosopher. 7 Units.

The Ancient Greek aphorism "Know thyself" is a centerpiece of wisdom. But knowing one's own mind is not easy, in part because it is not a matter of simply looking inward to find one's proclivities and beliefs; it seems one must look outward to the issues and questions the world presents, and know what one thinks about them. Knowing oneself is in part a matter of knowing one¿s way around as a thinker, where that is a matter of knowing how to think about issues, when to trust one's judgment and when to withhold it. Fashioning or making oneself into a better (more acute, more sensitive, more judicious) reasoner is something philosophy as a discipline holds out as a promise. In this course, we will take up the first task of becoming better reasoners about a select handful of persistent problems; we will at the same time reflect on what it is that philosophical thinking is, and how it might shape us as thinkers.

ESF 6. Education as Self-Fashioning: The Wind of Freedom. 7 Units.

Stanford's unofficial motto, "the wind of freedom blows," engraved in German on the university seal, invites us the ponder freedom in the context of education. What is the relation between freedom and the "liberal" arts? Does studying free your mind? Does free will even exist? If so, how does education help you develop its potential? This course will look at various authors -- from antiquity through the 20th century -- who have thought about the blessings, burdens, and obligations of human freedom. Beginning with Eve in the Garden of Eden, we will explore how exercising freedom in your personal choices and conduct not only determines your fate as an individual but carries with it a measure of responsibility for the world. We will place special emphasis on the implications of such responsibility in our own time.nFriday lectures will be held 9:30am-10:50am in Bishop Auditorium.

ESF 6A. Education as Self-Fashioning: The Wind of Freedom. 7 Units.

Stanford's unofficial motto, "the wind of freedom blows," engraved in German on the university seal, invites us the ponder freedom in the context of education. What is the relation between freedom and the "liberal" arts? Does studying free your mind? Does free will even exist? If so, how does education help you develop its potential? This course will look at various authors -- from antiquity through the 20th century -- who have thought about the blessings, burdens, and obligations of human freedom. Beginning with Eve in the Garden of Eden, we will explore how exercising freedom in your personal choices and conduct not only determines your fate as an individual but carries with it a measure of responsibility for the world. We will place special emphasis on the implications of such responsibility in our own time.

ESF 7. Education as Self-Fashioning: The Transformation of the Self. 7 Units.

Socrates famously claimed that the unexamined life is not worth living. Socrates and other ancient thinkers examined themselves and found that they did not match up to their own ideals. They thus set out to transform themselves to achieve a good and happy life. What is the good life? How do we change ourselves to live a good and happy life? How do literature and philosophy help us to understand ourselves and to achieve our social, ethical, and personal ideals? In this class, we examine Socrates and Augustine's lives and ideas. Each struggled to live a good and happy life. In each case, they urge us to transform ourselves into better human beings. The first half of the course focuses on the Athenian Socrates, who was put to death because he rejected traditional Greek ideals and and proclaimed a new kind of ethical goodness. The second half focuses on the North African Augustine, an unhappy soul who became a new man by converting to Christianity. These thinkers addressed questions and problems that we still confront today: What do we consider to be a happy life? Do we need to be good and ethical people to live happily? Is there one correct set of values? How do we accommodate other people's beliefs? Is it possible to experience a transformation of the self? How exactly do we change ourselves to achieve our higher ideals?nFriday lectures will be held 9:30am-10:50am in Bishop Auditorium.

ESF 7A. Education as Self-Fashioning: The Transformation of the Self. 7 Units.

Socrates famously claimed that the unexamined life is not worth living.  Socrates and other ancient thinkers examined themselves and found that they did not match up to their own ideals.  They thus set out to transform themselves to achieve a good and happy life.  What is the good life?  How do we change ourselves to live a good and happy life?  How do literature and philosophy help us to understand ourselves and to achieve our social, ethical, and personal ideals? In this class, we examine Socrates and Augustine's lives and ideas.  Each struggled to live a good and happy life.  In each case, they urge us to transform ourselves into better human beings.  The first half of the course focuses on the Athenian Socrates, who was put to death because he rejected traditional Greek ideals and and proclaimed a new kind of ethical goodness.  The second half focuses on the North African Augustine, an unhappy soul who became a new man by converting to Christianity.  These thinkers addressed questions and problems that we still confront today:  What do we consider to be a happy life?  Do we need to be good and ethical people to live happily?  Is there one correct set of values?  How do we accommodate other people's beliefs?  Is it possible to experience a transformation of the self?  How exactly do we change ourselves to achieve our higher ideals?.

ESF 8. Education as Self-Fashioning: Recognizing the Self and Its Possibilities. 7 Units.

Some philosophers have argued that we have privileged and direct access to our inner selves. If this were true, it would make self-knowledge perhaps the easiest sort of knowledge to obtain. But there are many considerations that mitigate against this view of self-knowledge. Consider, for example, the slave who is so oppressed that he fully accepts his slavery and cannot even imagine the possibility of freedom for himself. Such a slave fails to recognize his own capacity for freedom and autonomous self-governance. Though the slave is perhaps the extreme case, many people, it seems, fail to recognize the full range of possibilities open to them. In this course, we shall examine both some of the ways in which one¿s capacity for self-recognition may be distorted and undermined and the role of education in enabling a person to fully recognize the self and its possibilities. What constrains the range of possibilities we see as really open to us? Contrary to the Cartesian, we shall argue that full self-recognition is an often a hard-won achievement. And we shall ask how education might function to give us a less constricted and more liberating sense of the self and its possibilities. We will consider such questions through the lens of philosophy, literature and psychology.nFriday lectures will be held 9:30am-10:50am in Bishop Auditorium.

ESF 8A. Education as Self-Fashioning: Recognizing the Self and Its Possibilities. 7 Units.

Some philosophers have argued that we have privileged and direct access to our inner selves. If this were true, it would make self-knowledge perhaps the easiest sort of knowledge to obtain. But there are many considerations that mitigate against this view of self-knowledge. Consider, for example, the slave who is so oppressed that he fully accepts his slavery and cannot even imagine the possibility of freedom for himself. Such a slave fails to recognize his own capacity for freedom and autonomous self-governance. Though the slave is perhaps the extreme case, many people, it seems, fail to recognize the full range of possibilities open to them. In this course, we shall examine both some of the ways in which one¿s capacity for self-recognition may be distorted and undermined and the role of education in enabling a person to fully recognize the self and its possibilities. What constrains the range of possibilities we see as really open to us? Contrary to the Cartesian, we shall argue that full self-recognition is an often a hard-won achievement. And we shall ask how education might function to give us a less constricted and more liberating sense of the self and its possibilities. We will consider such questions through the lens of philosophy, literature and psychology.

ESF 9. Education as Self-Fashioning: Chinese Traditions of the Self. 7 Units.

In this class we explore thinking about the self and its cultivation that took root and flourished in China. Chinese civilization was centrally concerned with issues of the self, but it developed methods and ideals of cultivation that have no obvious parallel in the European tradition. We will be concerned primarily with two clusters of Chinese thought and expression. First, we will look at major philosophical traditions (Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism) to see how they structured thinking about education and self-cultivation. The three ¿schools¿ of thought staked out different ideals for the self that provided China with range and flexibility in concepts of personhood. Second, we will examine Chinese aesthetic traditions, especially those of qin music, calligraphy and painting, to understand how the arts were used as a platform for self-cultivation and to communicate the artist¿s essential nature to others. The course also gives attention to the gendering of concepts of the self and to the tradition of martial arts as self-discipline and self-strengthening. Students should emerge from the course with an understanding of how a major civilization located outside Western traditions developed its own answers to these questions of universal human concern.

ESF 9A. Education as Self-Fashioning: Chinese Traditions of the Self. 7 Units.

In this class we explore thinking about the self and its cultivation that took root and flourished in China. Chinese civilization was centrally concerned with issues of the self, but it developed methods and ideals of cultivation that have no obvious parallel in the European tradition. We will be concerned primarily with two clusters of Chinese thought and expression. First, we will look at major philosophical traditions (Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism) to see how they structured thinking about education and self-cultivation. The three ¿schools¿ of thought staked out different ideals for the self that provided China with range and flexibility in concepts of personhood. Second, we will examine Chinese aesthetic traditions, especially those of qin music, calligraphy and painting, to understand how the arts were used as a platform for self-cultivation and to communicate the artist¿s essential nature to others. The course also gives attention to the gendering of concepts of the self and to the tradition of martial arts as self-discipline and self-strengthening. Students should emerge from the course with an understanding of how a major civilization located outside Western traditions developed its own answers to these questions of universal human concern.

ESF 10. Education as Self-Fashioning: Unintended Consequences. 7 Units.

Unintended consequences are outcomes that are not the ones foreseen and/or intended by a new product, action or decision. Some unintended outcomes are very surprising, and would have been hard to predict. Others seem completely logical in hindsight and leaves people wondering why they were not anticipated. For instance, when the first biofuel mandates were imposed in the EU, little did policy makers realize it would lead to a strong rise in palm oil production, which in turn led to tropical deforestation, undoing any of the possible positive impacts of increased biofuels use. In hindsight it is easy to see this potential negative impact, yet at the time the decision was made the EU leadership was blind to it. Not all unintended consequences are negative. Aspirin, for example, was developed to relieve pain, but was found to also be an anticoagulant that can lower the risk of heart attacks. As another example, the setting up of large hunting reserves for nobility in the medieval period preserved green areas, which later could be converted to large parks.

ESF 10A. Education as Self-Fashioning: Unintended Consequences. 7 Units.

Unintended consequences are outcomes that are not the ones foreseen and/or intended by a new product, action or decision. Some unintended outcomes are very surprising, and would have been hard to predict. Others seem completely logical in hindsight and leaves people wondering why they were not anticipated. For instance, when the first biofuel mandates were imposed in the EU, little did policy makers realize it would lead to a strong rise in palm oil production, which in turn led to tropical deforestation, undoing any of the possible positive impacts of increased biofuels use. In hindsight it is easy to see this potential negative impact, yet at the time the decision was made the EU leadership was blind to it. Not all unintended consequences are negative. Aspirin, for example, was developed to relieve pain, but was found to also be an anticoagulant that can lower the risk of heart attacks. As another example, the setting up of large hunting reserves for nobility in the medieval period preserved green areas, which later could be converted to large parks.

ESF 11. Education as Self-Fashioning: The Democratic Citizen. 7 Units.

A democracy seeks to aggregate the diverse and conflicting views of individuals into collective policy. How does this work, in theory and in practice? How have individuals thought about this process and their own roles within it, and how has that reflection shaped their lives as democratic citizens? In this course, we will study the history of democracy and democratic thought, from Ancient Greece and Rome to the modern world. We will consider how thinkers ancient and modern sought to fashion themselves into democratic citizens, and we will compare these ideals to the realities of democratic government in practice. Through a variety of philosophical and empirical readings, we will explore the fundamental challenges of democracy and discuss how we see them playing out today.

ESF 11A. Education as Self-Fashioning: The Democratic Citizen. 7 Units.

A democracy seeks to aggregate the diverse and conflicting views of individuals into collective policy. How does this work, in theory and in practice? How have individuals thought about this process and their own roles within it, and how has that reflection shaped their lives as democratic citizens? In this course, we will study the history of democracy and democratic thought, from Ancient Greece and Rome to the modern world. We will consider how thinkers ancient and modern sought to fashion themselves into democratic citizens, and we will compare these ideals to the realities of democratic government in practice. Through a variety of philosophical and empirical readings, we will explore the fundamental challenges of democracy and discuss how we see them playing out today.

ESF 12. Education as Self-Fashioning: The Greeks on Suffering, Beauty, and Wisdom. 7 Units.

In Greek tragedies, a horrific catastrophe falls upon a person and brings on extreme suffering. For the Greeks, tragic plays offered the truth about life's calamities and horrors. The Greeks enjoyed these plays because the dramatic artistry made beauty out of horror and suffering. The Greeks did not believe that they controlled their fates. The Greeks had a "tragic wisdom" that enabled them to confront the hardships of life and the inevitability of death. This helped them to develop courage and resilience. Plato attacked this view and introduced a new kind of hero, the philosopher Socrates. As Plato claimed, we can control our fates by practicing philosophy: this enables us to become wise and ethically good. The philosopher strives for this goodness, which is beautiful in the highest possible way--it is our soul's true desire. Our inner goodness is under our control, so the good and wise person will stay happy even when calamities strike. Plato's optimistic philosophy flew in the face of Greek tragic wisdom. Plato offered a new way of living, one based on higher education, the development of knowledge, and the pursuit of true beauty and goodness. Do we believe that liberal education improves us ethically? Do we feel optimistic or pessimistic about life? To what extent can we control our lives and fates? How do tragic plays, movies, or TV shows represent the horrors that happen in the real world? Does the art that makes them beautiful and pleasurable help us to confront these horrors? Who are our heroes? What actions or qualities make them heroic? We read six tragedies by Sophocles and Euripides, and three Platonic dialogues (Apology, Symposium, Republic). We also read Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy, which sets forth the opposition between Greek "tragic wisdom" and Plato's "philosophic knowledge.".

ESF 12A. Education as Self-Fashioning: The Greeks on Suffering, Beauty, and Wisdom. 7 Units.

In Greek tragedies, a horrific catastrophe falls upon a person and brings on extreme suffering. For the Greeks, tragic plays offered the truth about life's calamities and horrors. The Greeks enjoyed these plays because the dramatic artistry made beauty out of horror and suffering. The Greeks did not believe that they controlled their fates. The Greeks had a "tragic wisdom" that enabled them to confront the hardships of life and the inevitability of death. This helped them to develop courage and resilience. Plato attacked this view and introduced a new kind of hero, the philosopher Socrates. As Plato claimed, we can control our fates by practicing philosophy: this enables us to become wise and ethically good. The philosopher strives for this goodness, which is beautiful in the highest possible way--it is our soul's true desire. Our inner goodness is under our control, so the good and wise person will stay happy even when calamities strike. Plato's optimistic philosophy flew in the face of Greek tragic wisdom. Plato offered a new way of living, one based on higher education, the development of knowledge, and the pursuit of true beauty and goodness. Do we believe that liberal education improves us ethically? Do we feel optimistic or pessimistic about life? To what extent can we control our lives and fates? How do tragic plays, movies, or TV shows represent the horrors that happen in the real world? Does the art that makes them beautiful and pleasurable help us to confront these horrors? Who are our heroes? What actions or qualities make them heroic? We read six tragedies by Sophocles and Euripides, and three Platonic dialogues (Apology, Symposium, Republic). We also read Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy, which sets forth the opposition between Greek "tragic wisdom" and Plato's "philosophic knowledge.".

ESF 13. Education as Self-Fashioning: Rebellious Minds. 7 Units.

The struggle to know began long before you entered the university. The university as an institution has its origins in the late Middle Ages; it has been reinvented repeatedly as our ideas about education have changed. People have been rebelling against how institutions define learning (and for whom) ever since. This course introduces you to some of the most thoughtful and interesting reflections on the nature and purpose of an education, on knowledge and ignorance, at the birth of the modern world. Understanding the quest to discover the mind and to embrace learning as a lifelong endeavor is a starting point to reflect on the goals of your own education, as an engaged intellectual citizen of the world.nFriday lectures will be held 9:30am-10:50am in Bishop Auditorium.

ESF 13A. Education as Self-Fashioning: Rebellious Minds. 7 Units.

The struggle to know began long before you entered the university. The university as an institution has its origins in the late Middle Ages; it has been reinvented repeatedly as our ideas about education have changed. People have been rebelling against how institutions define learning (and for whom) ever since. This course introduces you to some of the most thoughtful and interesting reflections on the nature and purpose of an education, on knowledge and ignorance, at the birth of the modern world. Understanding the quest to discover the mind and to embrace learning as a lifelong endeavor is a starting point to reflect on the goals of your own education, as an engaged intellectual citizen of the world.

ESF 14. Education as Self-Fashioning: The Challenge of Choice. 7 Units.

The Challenge of Choice addresses these questions by engaging key texts from the liberal arts tradition that explore decisions and their consequences, exposing the multi-faceted nature of choice. By representing characters with whom we sympathize, as well as those whose experience seems worlds away from our own, artists (novelists, playwrights, filmmakers) ask us to consider the web of circumstance that influences a character to choose one course over another. Distance from our own subjectivity the stories are not ours, but they could be allows these works to shed light on the dilemmas that face us as we go about `choosing the life we think we would like to live. Confronting these works, we find that the kinds of choices we make grow in depth, magnitude, and significance.nFriday lectures will be held 9:30am-10:50am in Bishop Auditorium.

ESF 14A. Education as Self-Fashioning: The Challenge of Choice. 7 Units.

The Challenge of Choice addresses these questions by engaging key texts from the liberal arts tradition that explore decisions and their consequences, exposing the multi-faceted nature of choice. By representing characters with whom we sympathize, as well as those whose experience seems worlds away from our own, artists (novelists, playwrights, filmmakers) ask us to consider the web of circumstance that influences a character to choose one course over another. Distance from our own subjectivity the stories are not ours, but they could be allows these works to shed light on the dilemmas that face us as we go about `choosing the life we think we would like to live. Confronting these works, we find that the kinds of choices we make grow in depth, magnitude, and significance.

ESF 15. Education as Self-Fashioning: College and the Good Life. 7 Units.

Academic study was once concerned with one overriding question: what is the best way to live our lives? What are the ultimate goals and values we should privilege over others? Today we often assume that value choices are personal. But many teachers in Antiquity (and beyond) thought that these choices needed to be debated, and that education demanded that we debate and think them through. In this class, we ask questions about the good life, but we also consider whether college is still designed to raise such questions. We will read thought-provoking, influential texts from Antiquity and modern times, by such writers as Plato, Marcus Aurelius, Montaigne, Voltaire, DuBois, and Martha Nussbaum.nFriday lectures will be held 9:30am-10:50am in Bishop Auditorium.

ESF 15A. Education as Self-Fashioning: College and The Good Life. 7 Units.

Academic study was once concerned with one overriding question: what is the best way to live our lives? What are the ultimate goals and values we should privilege over others? Today we often assume that value choices are personal. But many teachers in Antiquity (and beyond) thought that these choices needed to be debated, and that education demanded that we debate and think them through. In this class, we ask questions about the good life, but we also consider whether college is still designed to raise such questions. We will read thought-provoking, influential texts from Antiquity and modern times, by such writers as Plato, Marcus Aurelius, Montaigne, Voltaire, DuBois, and Martha Nussbaum.

ESF 16. Education as Self-Fashioning: Curiosity. 7 Units.

Curiosity is a personal interest about something that often has no specific application in the real world or is not part of an overarching goal. Curiosity is often dismissed as irrelevant, useless, and even unethical, but it is just as often touted as the foundation to an intellectually rich life. Albert Einstein once remarked, "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious," and he insisted that only curiosity makes life worth living. Thomas Fuller, by contrast, warned: "Curiosity is a kernel of the forbidden fruit, which still sticks in the throat of a natural man, sometimes to the danger of his choking." Is it possible to reconcile these opposing views on curiosity? What role does curiosity play in a liberal education? What is the role of curiosity in technology and "progress?" What is the relationship between curiosity and individualism? How does curiosity help us develop as critical thinkers? How does curiosity coexist with (or enable) intellectualism? In this course we¿ll examine cabinets of curiosities, and read a wide variety of texts spanning from Antiquity to today, including the legend of Faust, and texts by Goethe, Kafka, Hoffmann, Aristotle, Plato, and Augustine, that explore the nature of curiosity, its pitfalls and possibilities, as well as its importance for living a fulfilled and interesting life.

ESF 16A. Education as Self-Fashioning: Curiosity. 7 Units.

Curiosity is a personal interest about something that often has no specific application in the real world or is not part of an overarching goal. Curiosity is often dismissed as irrelevant, useless, and even unethical, but it is just as often touted as the foundation to an intellectually rich life. Albert Einstein once remarked, "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious," and he insisted that only curiosity makes life worth living. Thomas Fuller, by contrast, warned: "Curiosity is a kernel of the forbidden fruit, which still sticks in the throat of a natural man, sometimes to the danger of his choking." Is it possible to reconcile these opposing views on curiosity? What role does curiosity play in a liberal education? What is the role of curiosity in technology and "progress?" What is the relationship between curiosity and individualism? How does curiosity help us develop as critical thinkers? How does curiosity coexist with (or enable) intellectualism? In this course we¿ll examine cabinets of curiosities, and read a wide variety of texts spanning from Antiquity to today, including the legend of Faust, and texts by Goethe, Kafka, Hoffmann, Aristotle, Plato, and Augustine, that explore the nature of curiosity, its pitfalls and possibilities, as well as its importance for living a fulfilled and interesting life.

ESF 17. What Can You Do for Your Country?. 7 Units.

What does it mean to serve your country? All ethical systems train the individual to relinquish self-interest in favor of a larger communal good. When you applied to Stanford, you answered many application questions designed to elicit evidence of your ability to serve others, which is considered a sign of good character, leadership, and ability to thrive beyond the confines of your family and private world. Knowing you¿ve wrestled with this question at length, showing sacrifice, endurance, empathy, and understanding of higher goods, this course asks you to examine the nation¿s view. How can the nation present itself as worthy of your personal sacrifice? Do you need to believe in the greatness of your nation to serve? What kind of cause demands your devotion? Nations have differently articulated such a commitment. Some make modest demands and promise you your own sovereignty. Others request only that you dream of national greatness as your own and that you lend a hand. But all nations require at some point, everything from you. What and when are you prepared to give?nnThis course begins with the shortest and most powerful demand for the last full measure your devotion. President Abraham Lincoln¿s ¿Gettysburg Address,¿ which presents the ideals of the American nation as worthy of returning to war. Following this question of devotion to your nation, the course moves to President JF Kennedy¿s ¿What can you do for your nation¿ speech, and then to diverse periods and perspectives around the globe.

ESF 17A. What Can You Do for Your Country?. 7 Units.

What does it mean to serve your country? All ethical systems train the individual to relinquish self-interest in favor of a larger communal good. When you applied to Stanford, you answered many application questions designed to elicit evidence of your ability to serve others, which is considered a sign of good character, leadership, and ability to thrive beyond the confines of your family and private world. Knowing you¿ve wrestled with this question at length, showing sacrifice, endurance, empathy, and understanding of higher goods, this course asks you to examine the nation¿s view. How can the nation present itself as worthy of your personal sacrifice? Do you need to believe in the greatness of your nation to serve? What kind of cause demands your devotion? Nations have differently articulated such a commitment. Some make modest demands and promise you your own sovereignty. Others request only that you dream of national greatness as your own and that you lend a hand. But all nations require at some point, everything from you. What and when are you prepared to give?nnThis course begins with the shortest and most powerful demand for the last full measure your devotion. President Abraham Lincoln¿s ¿Gettysburg Address,¿ which presents the ideals of the American nation as worthy of returning to war. Following this question of devotion to your nation, the course moves to President JF Kennedy¿s ¿What can you do for your nation¿ speech, and then to diverse periods and perspectives around the globe.

ESF 18. Between Gods and Beasts: The Struggle for Humanity. 7 Units.

Centuries ago, Plotinus famously wrote that humanity was "poised midway between gods and beasts" (Enneads 3.2.8). Some individuals 'grow like to the divine", he asserted, and "others to the brute". Since antiquity, many different societies, east and west, have understood education as a fundamental factor in determining whether individuals became fully realized as human beings, or something less. Considered a civilizing force for individuals and societies, education aimed not only at the acquisition of knowledge and skills, but also at the cultivation of goodness, the attainment of wisdom, and the achievement of happiness. In short, the goal of learning was to live well. nnWhat does it mean to live well? How does one cultivate one's nature or become one's best possible self? What kind of personal and intellectual development does this presuppose? Are there limits to the human capacity for self-development and change? In this course we will ponder such questions as we reflect critically on human nature and on historical and contemporary ideas regarding education, self-development, and living well.

ESF 18A. Between Gods and Beasts: The Struggle for Humanity. 7 Units.

Centuries ago, Plotinus famously wrote that humanity was "poised midway between gods and beasts" (Enneads 3.2.8). Some individuals 'grow like to the divine", he asserted, and "others to the brute". Since antiquity, many different societies, east and west, have understood education as a fundamental factor in determining whether individuals became fully realized as human beings, or something less. Considered a civilizing force for individuals and societies, education aimed not only at the acquisition of knowledge and skills, but also at the cultivation of goodness, the attainment of wisdom, and the achievement of happiness. In short, the goal of learning was to live well. nnWhat does it mean to live well? How does one cultivate one's nature or become one's best possible self? What kind of personal and intellectual development does this presuppose? Are there limits to the human capacity for self-development and change? In this course we will ponder such questions as we reflect critically on human nature and on historical and contemporary ideas regarding education, self-development, and living well.

ESF 19. Education as Self-Fashioning: Memoirs from the Margins. 7 Units.

This course is an exploration of a genre of writing crafted by exceptional figures from marginalized communities in modern India to articulate their pain, protest, anger and analyses: the memoir or the autobiography. nInstead of reading conventional historical accounts, in this course we will chart an alternative narrative of modern India, one that emerges in the memoirs of those victimized by the oppressive structures of caste, capitalism and heteronormative patriarchy. We will read life-histories of Dalit women and men negotiating caste atrocities in India¿s cities and villages. We will read the very first autobiographical accounts of a domestic worker, a transgender woman, and a sex worker to emerge from India. And through these life stories, we will bring alive a distinct picture of modern India, one that will reveal the structure of its social contradictions, one that will document the struggles of the marginalized against the violence of both tradition and modernity.nMore broadly, this course aims at developing our sensitivity towards differences in life trajectories ¿ not only in another part of the world, but also in the lives that constitute our community at the university. It is, then, not only a critical exploration of the past, but also an invitation for a critical interrogation of our present.

ESF 19A. Education as Self-Fashioning: Memoirs from the Margins. 7 Units.

This course is an exploration of a genre of writing crafted by exceptional figures from marginalized communities in modern India to articulate their pain, protest, anger and analyses: the memoir or the autobiography. nInstead of reading conventional historical accounts, in this course we will chart an alternative narrative of modern India, one that emerges in the memoirs of those victimized by the oppressive structures of caste, capitalism and heteronormative patriarchy. We will read life-histories of Dalit women and men negotiating caste atrocities in India¿s cities and villages. We will read the very first autobiographical accounts of a domestic worker, a transgender woman, and a sex worker to emerge from India. And through these life stories, we will bring alive a distinct picture of modern India, one that will reveal the structure of its social contradictions, one that will document the struggles of the marginalized against the violence of both tradition and modernity.nMore broadly, this course aims at developing our sensitivity towards differences in life trajectories ¿ not only in another part of the world, but also in the lives that constitute our community at the university. It is, then, not only a critical exploration of the past, but also an invitation for a critical interrogation of our present.

ESF 50. Education as Self-Fashioning: Lecture Series. 1 Unit.

One-unit lecture series featuring prominent intellectuals lecturing on the nature and meaning of liberal education (associated with Education as Self-Fashioning.) NOTE: students enrolled in the 7-unit ESF course should NOT add this course to their study list; this 1-unit course is only for non-ESF students who wish to enroll in the lecture series only. Lectures will constitute an ongoing, campus-wide conversation about the aims of liberal education that extends the ''First Lecture'' featured in New Student Orientation.

Immersion in the Arts Courses

ITALIC 91. Immersion in the Arts: Living in Culture, Creating. 4 Units.

Creating is the first part of a year-long course that explores the ways people make and encounter a wide range of artworks, including examples from music and performance, the visual arts, literature, film and other media. In ITALIC 91 we ask: How do artists innovate? What roles can earlier artworks play in new creations? How do audiences create? How do medium and material shape the creation of an artwork? What are the aims of art? What does art aim to create in the world?.

ITALIC 92. Immersion in the Arts: Living in Culture, Art Worlds: Conversations between Artists and Scholars. 1-2 Unit.

ITALIC 92, Art Worlds: Conversations between Artists and Scholars. This course is built around a series of conversations between nine scholar/critic and artist pairs. We will be entering the conversation in media res, as it were, since all of these pairs have histories together; they've had studio visits, late-night phone calls, email and text conversations. Usually the scholar has written about the artist and maybe the artist has suggested reading and viewing lists to the scholar. They've helped each other feel seen, and often be seen in a more literal way.The conversations will concentrate on these questions: How do artists and scholars work across the divide between practice and theory? How should you build your art world and who will be in it? The pairs will discuss their respective practices (art-making, writing, researching, community-building) and engage in conversation about the artist's work. In advance of each conversation, students will read about something written by the scholar/critic about the artist. Each artist will also design a short art-making prompt for enrolled students to complete and share through the course website. Students will share their artworks weekly in small critique groups.

ITALIC 93. Immersion in the Arts: Living in Culture, Challenging. 3 Units.

ITALIC 93, Challenging. This quarter focuses on art that challenges audiences' expectations and values. We consider what is at stake in the encounter with difficult art. How does difficult art contest cultural, political, and social assumptions and values or challenge expectations about the form and content of art? How can art challenge existing power structures in society? How does art challenge its viewers, by troubling disciplinary boundaries or the rules of genre? What are the ethical responsibilities of artists? Over the course of the quarter, students will meet with a master artist 6 times during section, honing work in their chosen medium and developing a project that will be presented in an end-quarter exhibition and published in an online magazine.

ITALIC 95W. Immersion in the Arts: Living in Culture, Writing Section. 4 Units.

As a PWR 1 course, ITALIC's art-focused writing section develops your writing and research abilities by engaging with the theory and practice of rhetoric. The theme for ITALIC 91 was "creating," and in this writing course you'll be creating arguments through research, rhetoric, and writing. You can explore a topic of your choice for your research-based writing assignments, learning more about the critical, intellectual, and academic discourses around a specific artist, artwork, medium, genre, or art movement.

ITALIC 99. Immersion in the Arts. 1 Unit.

Student-led courses in the arts. Topics change quarterly. Open to ALL students but current ITALIC students and alumni will be given priority.

ITALIC 100. ITALIC Seminar: Notes to a Young Artist. 4 Units.

Working with the Haas Center, students in this seminar will create a mini-magazine/online course about art to share with students at a Bay Area high school. You will assemble a list of suggested readings and brief essays on key artistic texts and concepts, as well as images and links to the artistic examples you find most inspiring. You will create a variety of media about these ideas and artists, from illustrated slideshows to video essays or podcasts to short explanatory texts and longer personal essays. The guiding question of the course is: What does a young artist need to know?.

Structured Liberal Education Courses

SLE 60. Reading Aristotle's Ethics: Happiness and the Virtues of Character. 1 Unit.

How should I live? What should I do to live a happy life? And what does happiness have to do with ethics? What might the best human life look like? What kind of friendships contribute to happiness--and to justice? In the Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle offers us a vision of human flourishing that has nurtured thinkers, secular and religious, for thousands of years and continues to shape political and ethical thinking. In this study group we read and reflect upon the first few books of the Ethics, on happiness and the virtues of character, slowly and carefully. Each week you will be expected to read a short, but dense, section of the Ethics, and to share responsibility for asking questions.
Same as: CLASSICS 60

SLE 61. Reading Aristotle's Ethics, Part 2. 1 Unit.

In this course we continue our reading of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, moving from the individual moral virtues to his formative discussion of justice and equity. We then move on to Aristotle's development of the intellectual virtues and their relation to ethics. Much of our attention will be focused on friendship, without which, as Aristotle says, no one would wish to live, and which is central to virtue and happiness. At the same time we strive to develop our capacity for friendship in ourselves, using Aristotle's discussion to help us reflect on our own lives.
Same as: CLASSICS 61

SLE 81. Public Service Program. 1 Unit.

This one-unit course is for participation in quarter-long service programs set up by the SLE program and conducted in consultation with the Haas Public Service Center. Available programs will vary by quarter. May be repeat for credit.

SLE 91. Structured Liberal Education. 8 Units.

Focusing on great works of philosophy, religion, literature, painting, and film drawn largely from the Western tradition, the SLE curriculum places particular emphasis on artists and intellectuals who brought new ways of thinking and new ways of creating into the world, often overthrowing prior traditions in the process. These are the works that redefined beauty, challenged the authority of conventional wisdom, raised questions of continuing importance to us today, and¿for good or ill¿created the world we still live in. Texts may include: Homer, Sappho, Greek tragedy, Plato, Aristotle, Zhuangzi, Confucius, the Heart Sutra, Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and the Aeneid.

SLE 92. Structured Liberal Education. 8 Units.

Focusing on great works of philosophy, religion, literature, painting, and film drawn largely from the Western tradition, the SLE curriculum places particular emphasis on artists and intellectuals who brought new ways of thinking and new ways of creating into the world, often overthrowing prior traditions in the process. These are the works that redefined beauty, challenged the authority of conventional wisdom, raised questions of continuing importance to us today, and¿for good or ill¿created the world we still live in. Texts may include: Augustine, the Qur'an, Dante, Rumi, Machiavelli, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Las Casas, Descartes, Locke, Mill, Schleiermacher, and Flaubert.

SLE 93. Structured Liberal Education. 5-8 Units.

Focusing on great works of philosophy, religion, literature, painting, and film drawn largely from the Western tradition, the SLE curriculum places particular emphasis on artists and intellectuals who brought new ways of thinking and new ways of creating into the world, often overthrowing prior traditions in the process. These are the works that redefined beauty, challenged the authority of conventional wisdom, raised questions of continuing importance to us today, and¿for good or ill¿created the world we still live in. Texts may include: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Du Bois, Eliot, Woolf, Kafka, Brecht, Vertov, Beauvoir, Sartre, Fanon, Gandhi, and Morrison.

SLE 98. Directed Reading. 1 Unit.

Directed reading for undergraduate students. Consult faculty in area of interest for appropriate topics involving one of the research groups or other special projects. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

SLE 99. Directed Reading. 1 Unit.

Directed reading for undergraduate students. Consult faculty in area of interest for appropriate topics involving one of the research groups or other special projects. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.".

SLE 199. Teaching SLE. 1 Unit.

.

SLE 299. Structured Liberal Education Capstone Seminar. 1 Unit.

Senior capstone project for students who were enrolled in SLE their freshman year.

Thinking Matters Courses

THINK 11. Bioethical Challenges of New Technology. 4 Units.

How might we apply ideas from ethical theory to contemporary issues and debates in biotechnology? This course will provide critical encounters with some of the central topics in the field of bioethics, with an emphasis on new technologies. Controversies over genetic engineering, stem cell research, reproductive technologies, and genetic testing will provide an opportunity for you to critically assess arguments and evidence. We will begin with an overview of the field and the theoretical approaches to bioethics that have been derived from philosophy. You will then have the opportunity to engage in debate and learn how to identify underlying values and how to apply ideas from ethical theory to contemporary problems.

THINK 12. Century of Violence. 4 Units.

What is modern about modern mass violence? This course explores the evolution, varieties, and logic of mass violence from the early 20th century to the present day. You will engage with and analyze primary accounts of such violence by victims, observers, perpetrators, and courts. We will then consider the effectiveness of various efforts to confront genocides and crimes against humanity in international courts and institutions, past and present. We start with the emergence of genocide as a modern, international issue; proceed with colonial massacres in early 20th century Africa; move to the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire and WWI; Nazi and Nazi-inspired racial murder; communist-induced mass violence in the Soviet Union and Asia; ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia; and end with an examination of the recent genocides in Rwanda, Sudan, and the Middle East.

THINK 15. How Does Your Brain Work?. 4 Units.

How do the biology and chemistry of the brain create the mind that lets us talk, walk, laugh, love, learn, remember, and forget? What can neuroscience say about what makes us human? How can we ask questions about the brain that are observable, testable, and answerable? The human brain is the most complex organ we know. To understand the biology of brain function, this course will use highly interactive lectures and discussions to examine the validity of common beliefs about the brain, discuss how the brain and the nervous system are organized, how individual elements of the brain function, and how together these units produce action. The brain, like all other biological structures, has evolved over time in response to natural selection by adapting to diverse behavioral and environmental constraints. We use evolutionary comparisons to illuminate important questions about brain function, including what the origins and consequences of brain damage are, how and where drugs act, and how you collect, interpret, and understand information about the world. You will learn both how the science of the brain has emerged through understanding important experiments and observations and how you can formulate and test your own experimental questions about the brain.

THINK 19. Rules of War. 4 Units.

When, if ever, is war justified? How are ethical norms translated into rules that govern armed conflict? Are these rules still relevant in light of the changing nature of warfare? We will examine seminal readings on just war theory, investigate the legal rules that govern the resort to and conduct of war, and study whether these rules affect the conduct of states and individuals. We will examine alternative ethical frameworks, competing disciplinary approaches to war, and tensions between the outcomes suggested by ethical norms, on the one hand, and legal rules, on the other. Students will engage actively with these questions by participating in an interactive role-playing simulation, in which they will be assigned roles as government officials, advisors, or other actors. The class will confront various ethical, legal, and strategic problems as they make decisions about military intervention and policies regarding the threat and use of force in an international crisis.

THINK 23. The Cancer Problem: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention. 4 Units.

How has our approach to cancer been affected by clinical observations, scientific discoveries, social norms, politics, and economic interests? Approximately one in three Americans will develop invasive cancer during their lifetime; one in five Americans will die as a result of this disease. This course will expose you to multiple ways of approaching the cancer problem, including laboratory research, clinical trials, population studies, public health interventions, and health care economics. We will start with the 18th century discovery of the relationship between coal tar and cancer, and trace the role of scientific research in revealing the genetic basis of cancer. We will then discuss the development of new treatments for cancer as well as measures to screen for and prevent cancer, including the ongoing debate over tobacco control. Using cancer as a case study, you will learn important aspects of the scientific method including experimental design, data analysis, and the difference between correlation and causation. You will learn how science can be used and misused with regard to the public good. You will also learn about ways in which social, political, and economic forces shape our knowledge about and response to disease.

THINK 24. Evil. 4 Units.

What is evil? Are we naturally good or evil? How should we respond to evil? There are many books and courses that focus on the good life or the virtues. Yet despite their obvious apparent presence in our life and world, evil and the vices are rarely taken as explicit topics. We will read philosophical and literary texts that deal with the question of evil at a theoretical level, but will also focus on some practical implications of these issues. By exploring evil, we will confront larger questions about the nature of human beings, the appropriate aims of the good society, the function of punishment, and the place of morality in art.

THINK 31. Race in American Memory. 4 Units.

How have Americans remembered the Civil War - what it meant, what it accomplished, and what it failed to accomplish? How did Americans reimagine the United States as a nation after the war? Who belonged in the national community and who would be excluded? In 1865, the peace treaty was signed at Appomattox and the Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery, but the battle over memory and national identity had just begun. The questions that the Civil War addressed - and failed to address - continue to affect our lives today. We will focus on how Americans negotiated issues of cultural memory and national identity through a close analysis of historical texts, novels, poems, films, paintings, cartoons, photographs, and music. Our interpretations will foreground the particular themes of race and nationhood, freedom and citizenship, and changing notions of individual and collective identity. Our assumption in this course is that history is not available to us as a set of events - fixed, past, and unchanging. Rather, history is known through each generation's interpretations of those events, and these interpretations are shaped by each generation's lived experience. What stories get told? Whose stories? And in what ways? The stories we choose to tell about the past can shape not only our understanding of the present, but also the kind of future we imagine and strive to realize.

THINK 42. Thinking Through Africa: Perspectives on Health, Wealth, and Well-Being. 4 Units.

What is human well-being? How do we define it? How do we measure it? What do we mean when we talk about certain parts of the world as "developed" and others as "underdeveloped" or "developing"? How do improvements in human well-being come about? What happens when some people become much better off and others do not? In this course, we will use African experiences, past and present, to think critically and reflectively about concepts whose meaning we all too often take for granted: not only well-being and development, but also wealth and health, equality and inequality. Using the tools and techniques of four different disciplines -- history, anthropology, public health, and engineering -- we will tackle essential questions about the meaning of well-being and the indices by which we measure it, the role of politics in the development process, the importance of historical and cultural contexts, and the sometimes unanticipated challenges that individuals, institutions, and societies face when they seek to promote development and improve human well-being.

THINK 43. What is Love?. 4 Units.

Is love a spiritual or a bodily phenomenon? Is the concept of love timeless or ever changing? How does thinking about love lead us to ask other important philosophical and social questions? In this course we will examine the classical roots, medieval developments, and contemporary permutations of Western ideas of romantic love. With an eye to thinking about representations of love in our own culture, we consider some of the foundational love books of the Western tradition. From Plato's Symposium to Chester Brown's graphic novel Paying For It, we ask the fundamental question of whether and how we might distinguish between spiritual and physical desire. We consider how medieval and contemporary writers dealt with the relation of love to sex, power, money, marriage, and gender. We discuss these works of the past, for example the illicit love in the courtly romance Tristan, in tandem with representations of clandestine love from the present day, such as the portrayal of same-sex love in Brokeback Mountain.

THINK 44. Belief. 4 Units.

Why do people believe in God? What does it mean for people to experience the supernatural? How do we understand belief in God? How do people convey experiences that are by definition extra-ordinary to others? In this course we ask the big (and unanswerable) question why people believe in God. Some scholars argue that belief results from direct experience, such as visions or moments of transcendence, that testify to God's existence. Others suggest that belief in the supernatural is better explained by the way the human mind has evolved or people's experience of the social world. In this class, we will pair medieval literature on Christian mysticism and magic with readings from modern psychology and anthropology. We will look at the dominant answers provided by each discipline. For example, belief might result from our sensory experience of the world, or it might have developed as part of our cognitive apparatus in response to fear. Our aim is to show how different disciplines can work together to cast light on a basic question of human existence.

THINK 45. Thinking About the Universe: What do we know? How do we know it?. 4 Units.

What is the origin and ultimate fate of the universe? Can we know what came before the universe? Are there ultimate limits to human knowledge about the universe and are we reaching them? Cosmology (the study of the universe) raises profound questions about us, our place in the universe, and about the limits of our knowledge. It was only in the 20th century that cosmology developed from metaphysical and theological speculation to become an observational science and a recognized part of physics. In this course, students will explore questions about the Universe, its beginnings, its structure, its extent, its fate, from several perspectives - philosophical, experimental, and theoretical. We will discuss current research and the ongoing debates about the laws of nature on subatomic scales and the perplexing questions they raise regarding the universe and the limits of scientific inquiry.

THINK 46. Why So Few? Gender Diversity and Leadership. 4 Units.

Why there are so few women leaders and what is the cost to society for women's underrepresentation in positions of power? How can organizations and individuals increase women's leadership and be more inclusive of the diverse people that make up our society? Women make up half the population and have earned more than half of all the undergraduate degrees in the U.S. since the early 1980s; yet women comprise only 17% of US Congress, 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs, 16% of the board of directors of major corporations, 22% of tenured faculty at Stanford, and less than a fifth of law firm partners. For women of color, these numbers are considerably lower. Yet, research shows that gender diversity increases the creativity and innovation of groups. In this course, we will directly address the questions of why there are so few women leaders and what can be done, at an organizational and individual level, to increase their representation. Using the lens of sociology, we will think critically about leadership, influence, power, status, gender stereotypes, mentorship, and negotiation. Once we understand the mechanisms underpinning the lack of women leaders, we will discuss and critique potential interventions. A unique aspect of this course will be to apply some of the scholarly research on gender and leadership to our lives outside the classroom. We will be using modules based on those used in businesses schools and corporate executive training. Students will develop practical, real-world skills to increase their own leadership capacities by working on projects and taking part in interactive sessions on negotiation and team dynamics.

THINK 47. Inventing Government: Ancient and Modern. 4 Units.

How might the study of the successes and failures of democratic and republican government in ancient Greece and Rome help us to fix what is broken in our own political systems? Democracy and republic are ancient names for revolutionary approaches to government of, by, and for citizens. Today, almost every state proclaims itself to be a democracy, a republic -- or both. Democratic and republican revolutions transformed ancient Greece and Rome - and later transformed the modern world. We explore how political thinkers, from Machiavelli to Madison and Mill, used the lessons of ancient politics to design bold new systems of government. Ancient politics may still hold lessons for us. We analyze what is broken in modern government (corruption, polarization, gridlock), how it broke, and how the tool kit of ancient political history might help us to analyze and repair the damage.

THINK 48. Reading the Body: How Medicine and Culture Define the Self. 4 Units.

How have our perceptions of what is considered normal/abnormal; beautiful/ugly; infected/uninfected changed over time? How do these changing medical and cultural representations of the body reflect larger societal shifts? How does illness change our perceptions of our bodies and our identities? Viewed through the lens of medicine, the body is a text that offers clues to health and illness, yet clinical readings are never entirely objective. Culture informs and distorts how we discern, accept, reject, and analyze our bodies. Looking at literary, medical, ethical, and anthropological texts, we ask how representations of the body affects the way we experience illness, embody gender and racial identities, and understand our rights (or lack of rights) to control our own bodies. We will critically examine our perceptions about the body and debate some of the most complex and sensitive issues surrounding the body, from the ethics of medical research trials to end of life decisions.

THINK 49. Stories Everywhere. 4 Units.

Do we perceive the world through stories? Are we made of stories? Can we make sense of the world without narrative? The telling of stories is not just a form of entertainment but an essential human activity that moves and persuades us, compelling us to action and reflection. In this course, we will probe how moral, cognitive and historical forces give stories their power. You will be introduced to the basic theory and art of storytelling, enabling you to understand and master the fundamentals of narrative structure, plot, and character. This will allow you to practice producing your own stories through both interpretative and creative writing assignments. The class will also give students the chance to participate in various story-making activities and work with the Stanford Storytelling Project, San Francisco StoryCorps, School of the Arts and the Stanford Innocence Project to create assignments that would be useful to both private and nonprofit organizations.

THINK 50. Empathy. 4 Units.

This course will introduce freshmen to a range of ways of thinking about empathy. How do we know and understand the other? How does knowledge of another's experience and circumstances enable us to make moral decisions and take moral actions? It will take students on an intellectual investigation of the topic of empathy from the Buddhist emphasis on compassion in the fifth century BCE to Jesus' teaching of parables in the first century CE to Enlightenment philosophy to Silicon Valley¿s adoption of empathy in the twenty-first century. The main focus will be on the modern period (from the 18th to 20th century) and students will be asked to approach different genres of text through the lens of empathy. The course will culminate with a one-week creative workshop on the question of empathy.

THINK 51. The Spirit of Democracy. 4 Units.

This course provides an overview of the challenges and aspirations facing ideals of democracy. It deals both with competing visions of what democracy might be, and their actual realization not only in the US but around the world. It will begin with the debate over the American founding and move eventually to the "third wave" of democratization around the world in the late 20th century as well as its more recent retrenchment. The problems of democratic reform are continuing and recurrent around the world. Democratic institutions are subject to a living dialogue and we intend to engage the students in these debates, at the level of democratic theory and at the level of specific institutional designs.

THINK 53. Food Talks: The Language of Food. 4 Units.

In this course, we examine how the ways we talk about food offers us a window into history, psychology, culture and economics. We ask students to think critically about language and taste as well as explore the hidden meanings and influence of the language that surrounds us. Students will analyze the language of food through menus, recipes, Yelp reviews, TV food shows, as well as the history and etymology of food words. Some of our examples will be drawn from East Asian food and culture in addition to, and as a point of contrast with, foods and cultures that may be more familiar to students.

THINK 54. 100,000 Years of War. 4 Units.

If you had been born 10,000 years ago, the chance that someone would kill you was more than 1 in 10, but if you were born in the twentieth century AD it was more like 1 in 100, despite that century¿s world wars, genocides, and nuclear weapons. In the 2010s, it is just 1 in 150. This course tries to explain this astonishing shift away from violence. We will look at the history of war from the Stone Age to the robot age, including the conflicts of the 2010s; and we will draw on everything from anthropology and archaeology to biology and psychology, as we try to answer one of the biggest questions of all: will there ever be a world without war? Students learn how to approach a big, complex, and often very politicized question in an analytical manner.

THINK 55. Understanding China through Film. 4 Units.

How did China move from an imperial and colonized country to an independent modern nation? How did the Chinese people transform its tradition, create new ways of life and values, and move toward modernity? What can the films tell us about the most significant events in modern Chinese culture and history?nWe will learn about major social and cultural transformations in modern Chinese through film. We will analyze films as a window on the ongoing narrative of a people making history and responding to a changing circumstances of revolution, reform, political movements, and modernization. Students will study film images as an art that is intertwined with ordinary people, their lived experiences, cultural habit, moral values, and political consciousness. The course will highlight four major periods: the May Fourth New Culture (1919-1930), the socialist era, the Cultural Revolution, and the reform era of globalization since the 1980s. We will learn to be sensitive to film as a visual and dramatic medium that brings to life Chinese history and culture.

THINK 56. Health Care, Ethics, and Justice. 4 Units.

Is there a right to a basic level of health care? Are there limits to how much should be spent on health care? How should resources, like human organs, be allocated?nWhat obligations does the U.S. have regarding health care in resource-poor environments, such as underdeveloped nations?nWe live in a world of constrained resources. Nowhere are these constraints more controversial and significant than in health care where lives literally hang in the balance of the decisions we make. This course will provide students with the tools to address these questions through the theoretical framework of justice and ethics. We will address the question of allocation at the level of health policy and health economics before applying the concepts to the institutional and bedside level. Using real world examples, you will be asked to actively engage in debating controversial topics such as organ transplants and how to assign scarce ICU beds. Using both empirical data and the framework of ethics, you will be asked to consider how a health care committee, or a hospital, or an individual doctor might make decisions.

THINK 57. Progress: Pro and Contra. 4 Units.

Where and when did we start believing in human progress? Does progress imply that history has a particular direction or end-goal?nMuch of our everyday thinking about politics, society, and history depends on some implicit or explicit concept of progress. Have we reached a point where we need to replace the idea of progress with that of sustainability? These are some of the questions this course will raise as it looks at how ideas of progress inform western thinking about science, history, evolution, and politics. It will engage with thinkers who argued in favor of the idea of progress as well as thinkers who attacked its presumptions. Reading and critically evaluating philosophical, scientific, and literary texts, we will investigate the different consequences of our residual belief in progress, as well as the consequences of our possible abandonment of that belief.

THINK 59. Worlds of Sound: Learning to Listen. 4 Units.

We live in a world of sound. Even deafening silence has a profound sonic quality. In ways that we do not always recognize, our social practices lead us to understand certain sounds as desired signals and filter out others as unwanted noise. How are we hearing the world right now? How have the Coronavirus pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the other developments of 2020 changed the world of sound in which we live? How have they changed the ways we listen? This class challenges freshmen to become aware of their own listening practices and how those practices affect their perception of the world. We think about how our bodies, our technology, the state, and the market affect what and how we hear. We explore what makes us remember some sounds more than others. Students in this class will write about their own experiences of listening as they develop their own archive of the sounds of Fall 2020; they will produce autoethnographic writing that they can use later to remember this unique historical moment.

THINK 60. American Enemies. 4 Units.

It would seem that an enemy should be easy to identify, but this course proposes that this involves deliberation, choice, and an assessment of consequences. We will explore modern American experiences in defining enemies, here defined as mortal threats to the state and the national collective. We will focus on ideas, thinking and assumptions rather than historical chronology. Who are enemies? How are they defined and by whom? How are enemies characterized and perceived? The narrative content of the course would be a historical study of the American engagement with enemies from 1942 to 1990. We will begin with the war or terror, return to consider the experience of the Japanese enemy of World War II, and then come up through the years of the Cold War and beyond.

THINK 61. Living with Viruses. 4 Units.

By examining this interplay of viruses and culture, this course challenges students to think beyond conventional disciplinary distinctions through questions about the impact of biology on human behavior as well as the potential of humans to shape biology through genetic engineering. The specific goals of this course are to engage students to examine the microbial world and how they interact with it. We will examine three overreaching questions: How do viruses effect our lives? How have they shaped our culture? How will they shape our future? Topics covered will include the question of whether a virus is alive, the importance of immunity, and the role of viruses in not only human culture but what makes us distinctly human.

THINK 62. The Cause is Uncertain. 4 Units.

While virtually every death certificate lists a cause of death, what actually caused that death to occur is an unexpectedly more complex question. This course will focus specifically on causality claims about health and interrogate the methods used to support such claims. At the same time, by focusing on causality claims about health issues, from cholera to breast cancer and AIDS--the course asks how we might come to useful causal knowledge in the absence of being able to perform those manipulations that have been the hallmark of experimental science.

THINK 63. Justice and the University. 4 Units.

How do the fundamental purpose of the university, the pursuit of knowledge, and the pursuit of justice coincide? Or do they conflict and pull us in different directions? Our goal in this class will be to focus on the intersection of justice and knowledge by examining how issues of liberty, equality, and security arise on college campuses. University campuses have a long history as sites of activism across a wide variety of domains and this course will cover a number of them including trigger warnings and safe spaces; free speech; ethics in research; Dreamer Act and college access for undocumented persons. Our goal in this course is to get students to think critically about tradeoffs among society's most treasured goals. When these goals come into tension, how should decisions be made about which goal must give way? We aim to teach students how to identify and think about these conflicts and how to craft arguments, both written and oral, in support of their positions, using a variety of source materials.

THINK 64. Healing, Illness, Stories. 4 Units.

This course focuses on multiple genres of narratives about illness and recovery: memoirs, graphic novels, poetry, fiction, essay, and documentary film. It asks what the power, if any, of narrative is in healing. Drawing upon the fields of literature and the practice of medicine, students will begin to grapple with the power of stories in illuminating the experience of illness and disability and in offering the possibilities for (self) transformation.

THINK 65. Preventing Human Extinction. 4 Units.

Is human extinction inevitable? Is it necessarily bad for the planet? What might we do to avert human extinction? n99.9% of all species that have inhabited the planet are extinct, suggesting our extinction is also a distinct probability. Yet, the subject of human extinction is one that poses deeply disturbing implications for the thinkers themselves, namely us humans. This course will explore a series of plausible scenarios that could produce human extinction within the next 100 years and simultaneously consider the psychological, social, and epistemological barriers that keep us from seriously considering (and potentially averting) these risks. Students will . . .

THINK 66. Design that Understands Us. 4 Units.

We find ourselves in an age of rapidly evolving technology, where the world we inhabit, increasingly, is the world we make. At Stanford, you will find many courses that ask you to make things¿everything from algorithms, products, policies, to artworks. What is rarer is to be given the space to stop and really think about why¿for what and for whom¿we design these things, and whether we should continue to design in ways demanded by commercial and political actors. This critical thinking course examines the nature, purpose, and meaning of design in human life, and asks the fundamental questions of ¿what is design?¿, ¿why do we do it?¿, and ¿how do design, technology, and society shape one another?¿. We will explore design as a series of choices and the ways in which we make these choices. This course will consider different models of design in our world today: from need-based design (as we are often taught) to the fashioning of tools that help us flourish as human beings. You will learn about various aesthetic and ethical frameworks and a fundamental language of design, so that you can begin to critically analyze everyday examples of media, tools, toys, and games¿and apply such lenses to designing conscientiously. You will learn to think about the design of social networks, artificial intelligence, musical instruments, games, virtual reality, and other examples¿in terms of needs and values, ethics and aesthetics. In short, through this course, you will learn to more clearly and critically view our technology-drenched human world¿and to exercise your ethical and artful imagination to reimagine better worlds.

THINK 67. What Makes Music Classical?. 4 Units.

This course asks a question that can elicit a variety of responses. Classical music means different things to different people. For some it connotes Western art music of a particular historical era. According to this understanding, classical music follows baroque music and is superseded by romantic music; it develops a style, the classical style, as perfected by Haydn and Mozart. For others classical music has broader significance, referring to a cultural practice that predates the eighteenth century, going as far back as Gregorian chant and extending through the present. There are a variety of factors that define that practice, some more enduring than others: transmission through musical notation, theories of tonal systems, techniques of composition. Formal analysis, though often considered a sub-discipline of music theory and hence purely descriptive and objective, is hardly value free. Aesthetic interests and prejudices come into play, whether implicitly or explicitly.

THINK 68. Our Genome. 4 Units.

Genomes reveal a wealth of information with implications far beyond the linear sequence of the DNA. We will consider two questions related to the genome, coupled with examples from real-life consequences. Firstly, what does the genome say about our past: where we came from and how we might fit into the tapestry of the human race? We will look at examples from history and anonymized patients to highlight the consequences of these question for people. Next we will consider what the genome tells us about the future: how might it foretell our individual future and how might this be translated into patient treatment? We will examine the promises, pitfalls, and implications for the advances in medicine and healthcare promised by genomic research.

THINK 69. Emotion. 4 Units.

In this course, we address basic issues about emotions and their place in human life from the perspectives of philosophy and psychology. We ask four fundamental questions: What is emotion? What is the appropriate place for emotions in our lives? How should we manage our emotions? Do emotions threaten the integrity of the agent? For instance, in asking how we manage our emotions, students will consider the Stoic view that emotions must be extirpated alongside psychological perspectives on the theoretical and empirical frameworks on emotion regulation.

THINK 70. Why College? Your Education and the Good Life. 4 Units.

You're about to embark on an amazing journey: a college education. But what is the purpose of this journey? Why go to college? Some argue that the purpose of college is to train you for a career. Others claim that college is no longer necessary, that you can launch the next big startup and change the world without a degree. Peter Thiel offers students like you $100,000 to skip or stop out of college because knowledge that is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind. Why read Plato if you're a STEM major, after all? Why think about primate health if you're in the arts? In the face of such critiques, this class makes a case for an expansive education that trains your mind to engage with a variety of subjects and skills. The philosophy behind this model has traditionally been called liberal education (from the Latin word for freedom, libertas). Together we will explore the history, practice, and rationales for a liberal education by putting canonical texts in conversation with more recent works. We will consider the relevance of liberal education to all areas of study, from STEM to the arts, and its relations to future careers. And we will examine the central place that the idea of 'the good life' has historically enjoyed in theories of liberal education. You will be prompted to examine your own life, to question how and why you make decisions, and to argue for your views while respecting those of others. Maybe you will conclude that a liberal education is no longer relevant in the twenty-first century, but we hope that you will do so armed with a thorough understanding of what it has been and what it can be.nIn the end, college is less about what you will do in life, than about what kind of person you will be. So: what kind of person do you want to be? What kind of life will you live? Join us as we explore what others have said about these questions and prepare to answer them for yourself.

THINK 71. Citizenship in the 21st Century. 4 Units.

Citizenship is not just what passport you hold or where you were born. Citizenship also means equal membership in a self-governing political community. We will explore some of the many debates about this ideal: Who is (or ought to be) included in citizenship? Who gets to decide? What responsibilities come with citizenship? Is citizenship analogous to being a friend, a family member, a business partner? How have people excluded from citizenship fought for, and sometimes won, inclusion? These debates have a long history, featuring in some of the earliest recorded philosophy and literature but also animating current political debates in the United States and elsewhere.

THINK 72. Capitals. How Cities Shape Cultures, States, and People. 4 Units.

To what extent does the culture of a city define its citizens and their place in the world? By what process do some cities become capitals of various sorts at different historical moments? And how are they dependent upon those who they exclude? nnOur class will make a grand tour of Beijing, Florence, Madrid, Tenochtitlán/Mexico City, Paris, St Petersburg, Vienna, Berlin, Dakar, Buenos Aires, and Atlantis. While exploring these twelve cities in particular historical moments, we will also consider the relations between culture, power, and social life. How does the cultural life of a country intersect with the political activity of a capital? What is the tension between the local and the global? How do large cities shape our everyday experience, our aesthetic preferences, and our sense of history?nnAs we study specific cities as sites of culture, paying special attention to the literature, history, and arts, we will also investigate the many meanings of the word ¿capital.¿ Culture often functions as a type of capital that can be exchanged for economic capital or social capital, with capital cities as the site of this marketplace. Along the way, we'll ask you to reflect on your own location in the world and ultimately to consider how university study, including this course, garners social capital and when, where, and how you might transform it into another type of capital in the future.