Acceso is a complete, interactive curriculum for intermediate-level learners of Spanish. The materials on the site are provided freely to the public and are intended as a replacement for commercial textbooks, which are generally ill-suited to the learning outcomes now considered crucial to successful language study. These materials are supplemented by an online workbook built on the MySpanishLab platform of Pearson Education, Inc., as well as detailed lesson plans, rubrics for the evaluation of student work, and reliable instruments for measuring student progress and learning outcomes.Winner of 2012 Computer Assisted Language Consortium (CALICO) Focus AwardReviewed in:CALICO Journal 29.2 (Jan 2012): 398-405.Hispania 95.2 (June 2012): 365-366
This interdisciplinary course surveys modern European culture to disclose the alignment of literature, opposition, and revolution. Reaching back to the foundational representations of anarchism in nineteenth-century Europe (Kleist, Conrad) the curriculum extends through the literary and media representations of militant organizations in the 1970s and 80s (Italy's Red Brigade, Germany's Red Army Faction, and the Real Irish Republican Army). In the middle of the term students will have the opportunity to hear a lecture by Margarethe von Trotta, one of the most important filmmakers who has worked on terrorism. The course concludes with a critical examination of the ways that certain segments of European popular media have returned to the "radical chic" that many perceive to have exhausted itself more than two decades ago.
This course explores the experiences and understandings of class among Americans positioned at different points along the U.S. social spectrum. It considers a variety of classic frameworks for analyzing social class and uses memoirs, novels, and ethnographies to gain a sense of how class is experienced in daily life and how it intersects with other forms of social difference such as race and gender.
ASL III is the third quarter of the first year study of American Sign Language (ASL) and the people who use it. ASL III will enhance the use of ASL grammar and consist of concentrated efforts to develop the studentęs expressive and receptive skills. The course will continue to provide insights into Deaf Cultural values, attitudes and the Deaf community. Now learning more abstract concepts of the language, ASL III students will be able to: narrate events that occurred in the past, ask for solutions to everyday problems, tell about life events, and describe objects. Students will also be able to: demonstrate intermediate finger spelling competency, generate complex ASL structures with intermediate vocabulary knowledge, execute a wide variety of grammatical principles, including classifiers and inflections, adapt to different sign language registers, dialects and accents, and create opportunities to interact with members of the Deaf community.
Seminar focuses on core issues and approaches in anthropological theory and method. Studies theoretical frameworks for the analysis and integration of material from other subjects in cultural anthropology. Subject provides instruction and practice in writing and revision whereby students produce one paper that is appropriate for publication or as a proposal for funding. This course introduces students to some of the major social theories and debates that inspire and inform anthropological analysis. Over the course of the semester, we will investigate a range of theoretical propositions concerning such topics as agency, structure, subjectivity, history, social change, power, culture, and the politics of representation. Ultimately, all theories can be read as statements about human beings and the worlds they create and inhabit. We will approach each theoretical perspective or proposition on three levels: (1) in terms of its analytical or explanatory power for understanding human behavior and the social world; (2) in the context of the social and historical circumstances in which they were produced; and (3) as contributions to ongoing dialogues and debate.
This class examines how anthropology and speculative fiction (SF) each explore ideas about culture and society, technology, morality, and life in "other" worlds. We investigate this convergence of interest through analysis of SF in print, film, and other media. Concepts include traditional and contemporary anthropological topics, including first contact; gift exchange; gender, marriage, and kinship; law, morality, and cultural relativism; religion; race and embodiment; politics, violence, and war; medicine, healing, and consciousness; technology and environment. Thematic questions addressed in the class include: what is an alien? What is "the human"? Could SF be possible without anthropology?
This class examines the ways humans experience the realm of sound and how perceptions and technologies of sound emerge from cultural, economic, and historical worlds. In addition to learning about how environmental, linguistic, and musical sounds are construed cross-culturally, students learn about the rise of telephony, architectural acoustics, and sound recording, as well as about the globalized travel of these technologies. Questions of ownership, property, authorship, and copyright in the age of digital file sharing are also addressed. A major concern will be with how the sound/noise boundary has been imagined, created, and modeled across diverse sociocultural and scientific contexts. Auditory examples--sound art, environmental recordings, music--will be provided and invited throughout the term.
This subject introduces skills needed to build within a landscape establishing continuities between the built and natural world. Students learn to build appropriately through analysis of landscape and climate for a chosen site, and to conceptualize design decisions through drawings and models.
This subject focuses on the objects, history, context, and critical discussion surrounding art since World War II. Because of the burgeoning increase in art production, the course is necessarily selective. We will trace major developments and movements in art up to the present, primarily from the US; but we will also be looking at art from Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as art "on the margins" -- art that has been overlooked by the mainstream critical press, but may have a broad cultural base in its own community. We will ask what function art serves in its various cultures of origin, and why art has been such a lightning rod for political issues around the world.
This course serves as an introduction to the pre-modern Islamic artistic traditions of the Mediterranean, Near East, and Central and South Asia. It surveys core Islamic beliefs, the basic characteristics of Islamic art and architecture, and art and architecture created under each dynasty and ruling party. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: identify the core beliefs of Islam, the major characteristics of Islamic art, and the major forms of Islamic architecture; identify major pre-modern Islamic works of art and monuments from the Middle East, Northern Africa, Spain, and South Asia; explain how the core beliefs of Islam contributed to the basic characteristics of Islamic art and architecture and the secular art works and architecture of the Islamic world; identify the succeeding dynasties that ruled the Islamic world; explain the important role that the patronage of art and architecture had played in definitions of kingship. (Art History 303)
A chronological and thematic survey of the major themes and developments in the history of Latin American art, covering the pre-Columbian period, European Conquest, and modern and contemporary art across the Americas.
This course will introduce the student to the international relations of the Asia-Pacific region. Globalization, economic ties, national security issues, and politico-military alliances with the U.S. make an understanding of this region important to any political science student or participant in American government. This course will examine the differences between Western political thought and the general philosophical outlooks of the Asian population, which have been molded by societal forces for thousands of years. It will also address politics in Asia by examining pre-colonial systems of government, Western imperialism, national liberation movements, and proxy wars fought by the Superpowers in the Cold War. This course is important because the Asia-Pacific has given rise to several of the U.S.'s major security concerns: financial support of the U.S. economy by China and Japan through the purchase of U.S. government debt securities, conflict with China over Taiwan, North Korea's nuclear weapons program, separatist movements in several of the smaller Pacific Rim nations, and the growth and support of transnational terrorism within the region. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: explain how religion and culture impact government and political systems in Eastern Asia; discuss philosophies of government in Eastern Asia from ancient times to the present; identify the ways in which Western imperialism has impacted Eastern Asia; demonstrate an understanding of systems of governance currently in existence in Eastern Asia; analyze contemporary political and security issues in Eastern Asia that may impact U.S. national interests; assess the relationship that exists between economic development, systems of governance, and political stability of a Third World nation. (Political Science 322)
Childhood is a source of fascination in most Western cultures. It is both a major inspiration for artistic creation and a political ideal, which aims at protecting future generations. Which role does it play in French society and in other francophone areas? Why is the French national anthem (La Marseillaise) addressed to its 'children'? This course will study the transformation of childhood since the 18th century and the development of sentimentality within the family. We will examine various representations of childhood in literature (e.g. Pagnol, Proust, Sarraute, Laye, Morgiĺvre), movies (e.g. Truffaut), and songs (e.g. Brel, Barbara). Course taught in French.
This course studies the transformation of childhood and youth since the 18th century in France, as well as the development of sentimentality within the family in a francophone context. Students will examine the personification of children, both as a source of inspiration for artistic creation and a political ideal aimed at protecting future generations, and consider various representations of childhood and youth in literature (e.g., Pagnol, Proust, Sarraute, Lave, Morgievre), movies (e.g., Truffaut), and songs (e.g., Brel, Barbara). This course is taught entirely in French.
City to City, as a class, will jump into the complexity of planning in New Orleans, a post-disaster city. City-to-City will ask how a post-disaster city grapple with its ideas of identity, what it is, who it represents, and how it projects its sense of self to residences, businesses, tourists, and to the outside world. In considering its people, how do city planners think about who lives where and why? At the same time, how can city planners celebrate a city's history and its culture and how can these elements be woven into reconstruction? Students will travel from Cambridge to New Orleans over Spring Break to meet and consult with their alumni clients, and continue to work on projects.
In an increasingly interconnected world, communicating across cultures is a crucial skill in the international networks of business, science, and technology. Subject examines a range of communication styles and techniques resulting from different cultural norms and traditions. It begins with a general theoretical framework and then moves into case studies. Topics include understanding the relationship between communication and culture, differences in verbal and non-verbal communication styles, barriers to intercultural communication, modes of specific cross-cultural communication activities (e.g. argumentation, negotiation, conflict resolution) and intercultural adjustment. Case studies explore specific ways of communicating in Asian and European cultures. Graduate students are expected to complete additional assignments. Taught in English.It has become commonplace knowledge that globalization is one of the major forces shaping our world. If we look at the spread of information, ideas, capital, media, cultural artifacts--or for that matter, people--we can see the boundaries and borders that have historically separated one country or one group from another are becoming more and more permeable. For proof of this close to home, you need only to look at the composition of the MIT student body: 8 percent of the undergraduates and 37 percent of the graduate students are from 109 different countries. "Communicating Across Cultures" is designed to help you meet the challenges of living in a world in which, increasingly, you will be asked to interact with people who may not be like you in fundamental ways. Its primary goals are to help you become more sensitive to intercultural communication differences, and to provide you with the knowledge and skills that will help you interact successfully with people from cultures other than your own. We hope the course will accomplish those goals by exposing you to some of the best writers and scholars on the subject of intercultural communication, and by giving you a variety of opportunities to practice intercultural communication yourself. As you read the syllabus for this course, we hope you get a sense of our commitment to making this course a rewarding experience for you.
Contemporary art denotes a specific period of art starting in the 1960s that is characterized by a break from the modernist artistic canon and a desire to move away from the dominant Western cultural model, looking for inspiration in everyday and popular culture. This course focuses on Western art and culture, yet also explores a selection of contemporary art around the globe. The student will examine a variety of specific aesthetic and social issues and look at the different strategies contemporary artists proposed and used in their work. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: identify significant works of contemporary art and visual culture; describe the difference between modernist and contemporary works of art; explain the geographical shift of artistic centers from Europe (Paris) to the United States (New York), and then in the 21st century to a global spreading (Asia and Africa); define and discuss the development of contemporary art as a series of different cultural, social, and political inquiries over the past 50 years; identify and discuss multiple and vital relationships between contemporary art and such broader social and cultural issues as ideology, gender, race, or ethnicity; describe and explain a relationship between different contemporary art strategies, such as performance or installation, and their immediate social and cultural context; discuss how important contemporary artworks relate to their social and historical contexts; define contemporary art as a continuing, international artistic project; identify and define the importance of contemporary art and contemporary visual culture in today's increasingly globalized world. (Art History 408)
Caribbean Creole languages result from language contact via colonization and the slave trade. In this course we explore the history of Creole languages from cognitive, historical and comparative perspectives. We evaluate popular theories about "Creole genesis" and the role of language acquisition. Then we explore the non-linguistic aspects of Creole formation, using sources from literature, religion and music. We also look into issues of Caribbean identities as we examine Creole speakers' and others' beliefs and attitudes toward their cultures. We also make comparisons with relevant aspects of African-American culture in the U.S
This course enhances cross-cultural understanding through the discussion of practical, ethical, and epistemological issues in conducting social science and applied research in foreign countries or unfamiliar communities. It includes a research practicum to help students develop interviewing, participant-observation, and other qualitative research skills, as well as critical discussion of case studies. The course is open to all interested students, but intended particularly for those planning to undertake exploratory research or applied work abroad. Students taking the graduate version complete additional assignments.
This course is an intermediate subject designed to help students gradually build an in-depth understanding of France. The course focuses on French attitudes and values regarding education, work, family and institutions, and deals with the differing notions that underlie interpersonal interactions and communication styles, such as politeness, friendship and formality. Using a Web comparative, cross-cultural approach, students explore a variety of French and American materials, then analyze and compare them using questionnaires, opinion polls, news reports (in different media), as well as a variety of historical, anthropological and literary texts. Throughout the course, attention is given to the development of relevant linguistics skills. This course is recommended for students planning to study and work in France and is taught in French.
The subject of this course is the historical process by which the meaning of "technology" has been constructed. Although the word itself is traceable to the ancient Greek root teckhne (meaning art), it did not enter the English language until the 17th century, and did not acquire its current meaning until after World War I. The aim of the course, then, is to explore various sectors of industrializing 19th and 20th century Western society and culture with a view to explaining and assessing the emergence of technology as a pivotal word (and concept) in contemporary (especially Anglo-American) thought and expression.
This course seeks to develop a nuanced understanding of the scope of cultural and literary expression in the late 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries. It attends to broad socio-historical happenings, from the birth of modernism in the late 19th century to the post-modern moment. In addition to literary modernism, the course will also take a brief look at the cultural production of modernism in art, music, architecture, cinema, philosophy, and drama. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: Define the terms modernism and modernity and explain the similarities and differences between these terms using specific works to illustrate comparison and contrast; List and explain the importance of a variety of social, cultural, and historical developments leading up to and occurring during the modern period; Cite and analyze the meaning of primary works of literature, poetry, art, music, architecture, cinema, philosophy and drama to illustrate the principle characteristics of modernism; Compare and contrast the literatures of both France and England from the start of the modern era (i.e., the turn of the twentieth century); Explain the impact of the Great War upon the development and expression of a variety of literary and artistic forms and especially on poetry in a number of genres; Describe the aftermath of World War I and its variety of effects upon literature and art and especially upon the poetry of T.S. Eliot and the novels of Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemingway; Define High Modernism and give examples of the tenets, ideals, and even the contradictions and self-contradictions of this movement in history and literature (and especially in both its Irish and British contexts); Define the terms postmodernism and deconstruction as well as the phrase Magical Realism and identify the most important characteristics of the movements, fields, theories, and texts associated with these terms; Explain the premises of postcolonial literature and literary theory and identify, describe, compare, and contrast postcolonial texts from range of national origins. (English Literature 204)
This course examines how medicine is practiced cross-culturally, with particular emphasis on Western biomedicine. Students analyze medical practice as a cultural system, focusing on the human, as opposed to the biological, side of things. Also considered is how people in different cultures think of disease, health, body, and mind.
Examines traditional forms of East Asian culture (including literature, art, performance, food, and religion) as well as contemporary forms of popular culture (film, pop music, karaoke, and manga). Covers China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, with an emphasis on China. Attention given to women's culture. The influence and presence of Asian cultural expressions in the US are also considered. Use made of resources in the Boston area, including the MFA, the Children's Museum, and the Sackler collection at Harvard. Taught in English.
This course covers the role of physics and physicists during the 20th century, focusing on Einstein, Oppenheimer, and Feynman. Beyond just covering the scientific developments, institutional, cultural, and political contexts will also be examined.
Survey of the social, cultural, and political development of western Europe between 500 and 1300. Topics include: the Germanic conquest of the ancient Mediterranean world; the Carolingian Renaissance; feudalism and the breakdown of political order; the crusades; the quality of religious life; the experience of women; and the emergence of a revitalized economy and culture in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
This course introduces the history of the Middle East and Southwest Asia from the pre-Islamic period to the end of World War I. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: discuss the history of East Asia from the pre-Islamic period through the beginning of the 20th century; analyze the interactions between ancient civilizations of the Middle East and Southwest Asia in the pre-Islamic period; identify the origins of Islam, and assess the political and cultural impact of the Muslim faith on the peoples of the Middle East and the Mediterranean Basin; identify the origins of the Umayyad and Abbasid Empires, and assess how these dynasties reshaped political and economic life throughout the Middle East and Southwest Asia; describe and assess the social and cultural impact of Islam on the peoples of the Middle East and the Mediterranean Basin; identify external threats to the Muslim world during the Middle Ages, and analyze how Muslim leaders responded to these threats; identify the origins of the Ottoman Empire, and assess how the Ottomans established political and economic control over the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East; analyze the political, economic, and military interactions between the Ottoman Empire and the nations of Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries; explain how European imperialism destabilized the Middle East and Southwest Asia in the 19th and early 20th centuries and allowed European nations to establish political control over many Middle Eastern nations; analyze the political impact of World War I on the peoples and nations of the Middle East; analyze and interpret primary source documents from the pre-Islamic period through the beginning of the 20th century using historical research methods. This free course may be completed online at any time. (History 231)
A brief history of conflicting ideas about mankind's relation to the natural environment as exemplified in works of poetry, fiction, and discursive argument from ancient times to the present. What is the overall character of the natural world? Is mankind's relation to it one of stewardship and care, or of hostility and exploitation? Readings include Aristotle, The Book of Genesis, Shakespeare, Descartes, Robinson Crusoe, Swift, Rousseau, Wordsworth, Darwin, Thoreau, Faulkner, and Lovelock's Gaia. This subject offers a broad survey of texts (both literary and philosophical) drawn from the Western tradition and selected to trace the growth of ideas about nature and the natural environment of mankind. The term nature in this context has to do with the varying ways in which the physical world has been conceived as the habitation of mankind, a source of imperatives for the collective organization and conduct of human life. In this sense, nature is less the object of complex scientific investigation than the object of individual experience and direct observation. Using the term "nature" in this sense, we can say that modern reference to "the environment" owes much to three ideas about the relation of mankind to nature. In the first of these, which harks back to ancient medical theories and notions about weather, geographical nature was seen as a neutral agency affecting or transforming agent of mankind's character and institutions. In the second, which derives from religious and classical sources in the Western tradition, the earth was designed as a fit environment for mankind or, at the least, as adequately suited for its abode, and civic or political life was taken to be consonant with the natural world. In the third, which also makes its appearance in the ancient world but becomes important only much later, nature and mankind are regarded as antagonists, and one must conquer the other or be subjugated by it.
A survey of how America has become the world's largest consumer of energy. Explores American history from the perspective of energy and its relationship to politics, diplomacy, the economy, science and technology, labor, culture, and the environment. Topics include muscle and water power in early America, coal and the Industrial Revolution, electrification, energy consumption in the home, oil and US foreign policy, automobiles and suburbanization, nuclear power, OPEC and the 70's energy crisis, global warming, and possible paths for the future.
This class explores the interrelationship between humans and natural environments. It does so by focusing on conflict over access to and use of the environment as well as ideas about "nature" in various parts of the world.
From pineapples grown in Hawai'i to English-speaking call centers outsourced to India, the legacy of the "Age of Imperialism" appears everywhere in our modern world. This class explores the history of European imperialism in its political, economic, and cultural dimensions from the 1840s through the 1960s.
" As we read broadly from throughout the vast chronological period that is "Homer to Dante," we will pepper our readings of individual ancient and medieval texts with broader questions like: what images, themes, and philosophical questions recur through the period; are there distinctly "classical" or "medieval" ways of depicting or addressing them; and what do terms like "Antiquity" or "the Middle Ages" even mean? (What are the Middle Ages in the "middle" of, for example?) Our texts will include adventure tales of travel and self-discovery (Homer's Odyssey and Dante's Inferno); courtroom dramas of vengeance and reconciliation (Aeschylus's Oresteia and the Icelandic NjĚÁls saga); short poems of love and transformation (Ovid's Metamorphoses and the Lais of Marie de France); and epics of war, nation-construction, and empire (Homer's Iliad, Virgil's Aeneid, and the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf)."
This subject offers a broad survey of texts (both literary and philosophical) drawn from the Western tradition and selected to trace the growth of ideas about the nature of mankind's ethical and political life in the West since the renaissance It will deal with the change in perspective imposed by scientific ideas, the general loss of a supernatural or religious perspective upon human events, and the effects for good or ill of the increasing authority of an intelligence uninformed by religion as a guide to life. The readings are roughly complementary to the readings in 21L001, and classroom discussion will stress appreciation and analysis of texts that came to represent the cultural heritage of the modern world.
This course comprises a broad survey of texts, literary and philosophical, which trace the development of the modern world from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century. Intrinsic to this development is the growth of individualism in a world no longer understood to be at the center of the universe. The texts chosen for study exemplify the emergence of a new humanism, at once troubled and dynamic in comparison to the old. The leading theme of this course is thus the question of the difference between the ancient and the modern world. Students who have taken Foundations of Western Culture I will obviously have an advantage in dealing with this question. Classroom discussion approaches this question mainly through consideration of action and characters, voice and form.
This class continues our study of the foundational texts of human culture, focusing on early modernity until the recent past. In many ways, this includes several questions such as: Why did these works achieve the fame and influence they achieved? How do they present what it means to be a human being? How do they describe the role of a member of a family, community, tradition, social class, gender? How do they distinguish between proper and improper behavior? How do they characterize the members of other groups? However, in several ways, these texts are also iconoclastic, breaking with centuries of established tradition to shed light on previously unexplored subjects, such as the status of women in society or the legacy of the colonial expansion of European countries. They also question well-established social beliefs like religion, monarchical rule and human nature in general.
This course aims to introduce students to the rich diversity of human culture from antiquity to the early 17th century. In this course, we will explore human culture in its myriad expressions, focusing on the study of literary, religious and philosophical texts as ways of narrating, symbolizing, and commenting on all aspects of human social and material life. We will work comparatively, reading texts from various cultures: Mesopotamian, Greek, Judeo-Christian, Chinese, Indian, and Muslim. Throughout the semester, we will be asking questions like: How have different cultures imagined themselves? What are the rules that they draw up for human behavior? How do they represent the role of the individual in society? How do they imagine 'universal' concepts like love, family, duty? How have their writers and artists dealt with encounters with other cultures and other civilizations?
This course covers French politics, culture, and society from Louis XIV to Napoleon Bonaparte. Attention is given to the growth of the central state, the beginnings of a modern consumer society, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, including its origins, and the rise and fall of Napoleon.
In this course, you will learn the basics of French, including reading, writing, listening, and speaking. At the end of the quarter you will know how to introduce yourself and volunteer basic information, and how to ask questions of others. You will also have some knowledge of French and Francophone cultures and protocols. This class is divided into four modules, which follow the chapters in the textbook. In each module you will be asked to read, write, speak, and listen in French. The class also includes a quarter-long cultural immersion project, in which you will be asked to conduct research on specific aspects of a non-European Francophone country and report your findings to the rest of the class.
As in French I, in this course, you will learn the basics of French, including reading, writing, listening, and speaking. At the end of the quarter you will know how to introduce yourself and volunteer basic information, and how to ask questions of others. You will also have some knowledge of French and Francophone cultures and protocols. This class is divided into four modules, which follow the chapters in the textbook. In each module you will be asked to read, write, speak, and listen in French. You will have daily homework assignments to complete. The class also includes a quarter-long cultural immersion project, in which you will be asked to conduct research on specific aspects of a non-European Francophone country and report your findings to the rest of the class.
As in French I and II, in this course, you will learn the basics of French, including reading, writing, listening, and speaking. At the end of the quarter you will know how to introduce yourself and volunteer basic information, and how to ask questions of others. You will also have some knowledge of French and Francophone cultures and protocols. This class is divided into four modules, which follow the chapters in the textbook. In each module you will be asked to read, write, speak, and listen in French. You will have daily homework assignments to complete. The class also includes a quarter-long cultural immersion project, in which you will be asked to conduct research on specific aspects of a non-European Francophone country and report your findings to the rest of the class.