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.