Pre-College Programs

Course Catalog Search Results (73)

Creative Disobedience: Spoken Protest as Public Art

From Henry David Thoreau to Alicia Garza, this course looks at public oratory practices and protest texts as art forms. Beginning in the antebellum period and moving to today, this course reviews essays, speeches, political plays, and spoken word pieces to learn more about politically significant literary and performative devices. Students will research these devices and...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

The Second Amendment: Histories and Futures

The course focuses on the historical trajectory of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in constitutional law, in response to firearm technology, and with respect to changing cultures of race, gender, property rights, and self-defense. Understanding the origins of American gun policy, and unpacking the history of elaborating and restricting Second Amendment rights,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Black Panthers, Brown Berets: Radical Social Movements of the Late-20th Century

This course examines the histories of radical social movement organizations and individuals from the Black, Latin@, Asian, and Native American communities. We will explore their greatest achievements along with their deepest pitfalls, and ponder the teachings these experiences can provide for us today. Students will heavily utilize primary sources--film, theater, paintings,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Performing Racial Stereotype

This class engages how writers and directors of color have included racial and/ or racist stereotypes in their texts in an effort to expose their absurdity, and by extension the absurdity of race in the United States. What are the origins of stereotypes? How have these pathologies come to circulate? And what does it mean for authors to include and reclaim them? We will look...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Discovering the Past: Introduction to Archaeology

Do you like solving ancient mysteries? Do you fantasize about traveling to exotic parts of the globe, visiting ancient monuments, examining ancient artifacts, and studying history up close? If so, then this course is for you! Discovering the Past will introduce you to the fascinating field of archaeology: what it is, how it’s done, how it can help us understand the...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Global Health: Inequality, Culture, and Human Well Being around the World

This course examines human health in a global perspective. Using ideas and methods from anthropology, students will explore how inequality and culture intersect to produce the world's predominant health problems. Further, students will look critically at efforts to address the global burden of disease, using multiple case studies to help them develop more politically...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Migration, Free and Forced

This course provides an introduction to anthropology and migration studies. We will ask: How are humans freed or forced to move from one place to another? How do these circumstances affect the power of governments and social groups?Whether between cities or continents, migration is a common feature of human life. Yet there are enormous differences in the ways that...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Introduction to Surveillance and Policing

This course offers an anthropological perspective on policing and surveillance, moving beyond the headlines to explore what these topics mean as part of the fabric of everyday life and how they relate to power, neoliberalism, and the state.Surveillance - whether through government monitoring of activists' social media accounts, public-private partnerships...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Daily Life in the Ancient World

The history of ancient civilizations is marked by the names of their great leaders. But what about the ordinary people, who made up the majority of these cultures? In this class we will explore what we actually know about the daily lives of these fascinating individuals by looking at texts and material culture of the ancient world, including Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Doctor as Advocate: The Human Rights-Based Approach to Health

Refugees from Syria. Torture in Guantanamo. "Black Lives Matter." Human Trafficking. Topics in "Human Rights" are all over the news. But what responsibility do doctors have to act? This course will explore the physician's role in protecting the "right to health." We'll tackle a number of issues to understand how individual and community...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

The Power of the Medical Gaze

In our society, physicians hold both a high level of status and a mandate to help anyone who is in need to the best of their ability. With this power and responsibility, the history of medicine has had moments of darkness where patients, often in disadvantaged and vulnerable circumstances were overlooked, or worse. With this course, I would like to use these examples to...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Ancient Greek Theater Production

What did the ancient Greeks do for entertainment? Today we have movies, concerts, YouTube, and countless other sources of amusement. For the ancient Greeks, theater was the main game in town. Every year, companies of citizen actors would produce original, large budget plays. The competition was fierce; the prizes: glory, gold, and undying fame.This is a performance-focused...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Introduction to Roman Art and Archaeology

How did the Roman Empire develop from a village of huts in central Italy to an international powerhouse that dominated the Mediterranean? What clues have been left behind for us to reconstruct the lives of the Roman people, from emperors to slaves, from gladiators to soldiers? This course addresses these big questions through the lens of art and archaeology. We begin with...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Introduction to Behavioral Finance

The main goal of the course is to provide students with a broad idea of the ways in which psychological biases and heuristics influence our financial decisions.The course will focus on the biases and heuristics that have been documented in the behavioral literature. Students will relate these biases to news and to contemporary economic events. Students will thus read...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt

Ever wanted to learn about Ancient Egypt? Want to know where the pharaohs were buried? Wonder what Egyptian temples were like? Come learn about the Valley of the Kings, the Great Pyramids, Imhotep, and other things often featured in mummy movies!

In this class, you’ll learn about the art and archaeology of ancient Egypt, including pyramids, mummies, and the Sphinx....

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

An Introduction to Egyptian Hieroglyphs

The language of the Ancient Egyptians has been a source of fascination for millennia, but how can an interested student begin to learn such an obscure subject? This course will provide an entry point to the rich field of Egyptology by looking at the Egyptian language as it is known to modern scholars. Through the use of carefully selected texts and activities designed to...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Intro to Language and Linguistics

Language, the foundation for virtually every human endeavor, remains in many ways as mysterious as our own muscles--the fact that we use them does not automatically grant us an understanding of how they work. Learning about language structure and language use gives us unexpected insights into our ability to communicate and the nature of our social interactions.This...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Literature, Culture, and American Identities

This course is designed to expose students to the diversity of contemporary American literature while developing interpretative skills for the close reading and written analysis of texts. By the end of this course, students will be familiar with major concepts in literary and cultural studies such as globalization, democracy, diaspora, genre, and representation. Through...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

To Understand the World: Mississippi Writers

"To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi."

Attributed to William Faulkner, this quotation will serve as the framework for an examination of 20th century Mississippi literature. This course will introduce students to major 20th century writers and will focus on how these writers engage issues of class, race, gender, language,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Party Girls: Feminist Fiction Up Till Dawn, 1815 - 2015

“This is the luxury of a large party, one can get near every body and say every thing.” This provocative line from Jane Austen’s Emma begs the question: why do we throw, attend, and obsess over parties? From strategizing invite lists to picking out the perfect dress, from rehearsing banal small talk to repeating scandalous gossip, from the nervousness...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Reading the Cosmopolitan: American Fiction and the City.

This course focuses on the significance of the cosmopolitan city to 20th and 21st century American literature and cinema. Through it, students will learn about the history and role of urban writing in the US, and how through this genre varied cultural experiences are presented and explored.Why do we come together, live together and stay together in urban settings,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Arctic Geopolitics: A multidisciplinary approach

Climate change dramatically affects the Arctic environment and raises new challenges whether physical, environmental, economic, social or political. This course aims at exploring these complex changes from a multidisciplinary perspective.In the context of climate change, the Arctic environment is facing significant changes. With the melting of the Arctic sea ice,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Ancient Art in the Flesh: Discovering ancient art at the RISD Museum

This course will introduce students to the art of Egypt, Greece, and Rome in the context of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum. Students will learn about ancient art, and how to apply this knowledge to museum collections; they will devise and present talks on ancient objects in the RISD galleries, and also have the opportunity to design their own exhibition.Students...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Art and Destruction

The history of art is often told as a story of the creation of paintings, sculptures, photographs, and buildings. But this history can also be told as a story of erasure and deletion. What is the role of destruction in the history of art?Over several weeks in 2001 the Taliban used repeated dynamite explosions to destroy the monumental Buddhas of Bamiyan, large scale...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Diplomacy

The art of negotiation has never been more important than it is today. From the classroom to the boardroom, inter-personal skills and a clear conception of the give-and-take of personalities and tactical planning are vital elements of success in today’s world. This course is designed to encourage students to think critically about the history of theories of diplomacy...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Lessons in Leadership: What History's Great Leaders Can Teach Us Today

What makes a great leader? What is your own leadership potential, and how can you increase it? Do you have a passion -- such as literacy, the environment, or equal rights -- and hope to make an impact one day?

Great leaders often possess several key leadership skills. Based on one of Brown University's most popular political science courses, this course offers students...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

A People's History of War: From Imperial Rome to Modern Afghanistan

“War is hell,” an old saying goes. Yet people have waged war on one another for all of human history, and communities around the globe continue to face the harsh realities of war every day. Rather than focusing on battles and military tactics, this course offers a deeper understanding of the human experience of warfare by studying people ranging from the common...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Evil: The History of an Idea

The daily news bombards us with stories about the evils that humans commit against one another--from acts of interpersonal violence such as rape and murder, to atrocities perpetrated on a massive scale, such as genocide and terrorism. Ideas about what it means to be evil, and what it means to be just and good, continue to shape the ways that we understand and react to these...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Ancient Warfare

This course will examine warfare in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome. Blood, battles, and brutality have romanticized these warrior rulers -- Ramesses the Great, Darius the Great, Alexander the Great, and Caesar -- and have kept their memory alive into the modern era. To understand their fame, this course will use a cross-cultural approach to the study of war...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Humanities Seminar: Disruptive Thinkers, Ideological Conflict, and Social Revolution

Experience what it’s like to participate in a Brown University seminar that will challenge your ideas and invigorate your thinking. In this course, you will engage with great thinkers in world history, explore great social movements of our time, and immerse yourself in key ideological controversies that underpin contemporary global society.
Revisit...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Alexander the Great: The Man and the Legend

Philosopher-king or narcissistic tyrant? Visionary strategist or ruthless opportunist? Alexander the Great stands tall in our imagination as a figure larger than life, and in fact, larger than legend. From Rome to Persia, and from Arabia to Armenia, stories and histories have been told and re-told about the (in)famous man. But where does fact end and fiction begin? Who is...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

The Holocaust: History and Memory

The Holocaust is the paradigmatic event of twentieth-century European history, continuing to shape the politics and culture of Europe today. This course provides an overview of the history of the Holocaust and its memory after 1945.The Holocaust is the paradigmatic event of twentieth-century European history, continuing to shape the politics and culture of Europe...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

History and Memory in America's Revolutions

The American Revolution is a creation story: we look to it to tell us who we are. But the American Revolution did not affect all Americans equally—it looked very different to a sailor than to a slave. What were Americans’ lived experiences during the late 18th century? What were the promises of the Revolution, and for whom were they realized? What lies...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Freedom Summer

This course examines the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project, one of the most powerful moments in civil rights history. We will utilize film, music, primary sources, interactive activities and secondary texts to bring this dramatic moment, widely known as “Freedom Summer,” to life.In 1964, civil rights organizations, citizens of Mississippi and student volunteers...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Technology and Power: A History of American Energy

Whether referencing jobs in coal country or foreign entanglements, prices at the pump or climate change, modern American political discourse has increasingly centered on how Americans produce and consume energy. How has increasing energy use transformed American social, political, and economic life? What are the conditions that cause one source of energy to become dominant...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Logic & Paradox

Logic is a system of rules upon which human reasoning is based. It is a tool that we deploy routinely in our everyday lives. It pervades every academic discipline, from mathematics to the sciences to the humanities. To philosophers, however, logic is a deep and complex subject of study in its own right. This course is devoted in part to exploring this system of rules, which...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Probability: Indispensable Tool, Philosophical Mystery

Suppose you roll two dice. Of course, you can’t say exactly what you will get. But there are some things you can say. You can say, for example, that it is less likely for the dice to land “snake eyes” (two ones) than to not land snake eyes. You can say that getting a sum of two is as likely as getting a sum of twelve. And you can say that...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

History of American Film

This course examines the history of American cinema from the silent era to the latest blockbusters, considering along the way important films from the golden age of Hollywood, the “new” American cinema of the 1970’s, the rise of independent film in the 1990’s, and contemporary digital movies. We will examine this history with an eye toward artistic,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

The Media and The Truth

We are going to focus on how the media covers three hot button issues. Our topics include the Donald Trump campaign and Presidency, the Black Lives Matter movement, and what happens when athletes speak up on topics outside the lines of sports. Together we will get closer to the media and determine whether there is a universal truth to reporting.Bandwidth has been...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Blues Music: A Metaphor for American Life

This course will focus on the historical, social, and political aspects of Blues music as it relates to the African-American experience in the United States. It will provide a study of "Blues' creators, their life experiences from the roots of this music in Africa to the present. The various periods include the slave era, emancipation after the Civil War,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Science, Perception and Reality

Modern science throws light on many of the perennial questions of philosophy, sometimes seeming to confirm or refute old answers and sometimes suggesting new ones. Are sensory qualities, such as colors, in external things or only in our minds? Is the world governed by deterministic laws, and if so, what room is there for freedom of the will? Could space have extra dimensions?...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Themes from Existentialism

By far the most popular philosophy course at Brown, this course on existentialist philosophy (taught by the current chair of the philosophy department) provides a unique introduction to philosophical thinking, by applying the methods of philosophical analysis and argumentation to questions and issues confronting all human beings: What is the meaning of a life with the distinctive...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

The Meaning of Life

There may be no single question more important than this: What is the meaning of life? It’s a question we all face, and finding an answer is urgent. Is there even such a thing? If so, is it something outside of us or something we have to give to ourselves? In trying to find answers, we will discuss issues ranging from purpose and fulfillment to happiness and death....

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

World Philosophy

What does Confucius have to say about what career to choose? What does Buddhist or Islamic philosophy say about how to live your life? Examining the ideas from other cultures can be overwhelming and confusing. This course provides a basic overview of the context and major ideas from cultures around the world.World Philosophy will give students a very broad overview...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Happiness: Philosophy and Psychology

The course introduces the study of happiness by considering classic and contemporary research from the two most relevant disciplines, philosophy and psychology. Besides exposing the students to a topic of immediate human interest, the course also exposes them to two distinct modes of inquiry about it, allowing them to compare and contrast them.The course explores...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Decision Theory: Where Math and Philosophy Meet

Suppose you are offered a game: you flip a fair coin. If the coin comes up heads, you win $5. If the coin comes up tails, you lose $1. Playing the game is free. Is it rational to play this game? To many, the obvious answer is “yes.” Though the chances of losing and winning are the same, you stand to win much more money than you stand to lose. Decision...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

The Philosophy of Love and Care

This course is an introduction to the philosophy of love and care. We will examine philosophical questions and puzzles about these psychological states: questions that might come up in the course of our lived experience, but that can’t be answered purely by empirical methods. Although our focus will be on critically examining theories that philosophers have given of...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

The U.S. In World Politics

Globalization is transforming the relationship between world events and U.S. politics. This course analyzes some of the main challenges, threats, and questions facing the United States in the first decades of the twenty-first century. In addition to introducing students to core theoretical perspectives, concepts, and debates in the study of International Relations and American...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Political Theory and the Law

How should we evaluate the laws that govern and bind society? This course will examine the moral and political value of American law through the lens of political theory. As such, students will be able to evaluate for themselves whether laws are legitimate.During the course, we will read contemporary and classic political theory in light of the history of American...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

The Power of Political Ideas

This course gives students a chance to undertake a fascinating and highly challenging process of political and intellectual exploration. In addition to well-established far right- and left-wing ideas, you will be exposed to and asked to evaluate such ideologies as Nihilism, Radical Feminism, Radical Environmentalism, and even Radical Islam.This will be an intense,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Global Justice: Health, Aid, and Human Rights

Do we have duties to help the poor in other countries? Is every human being owed a human right to health as a basic moral entitlement? This course introduces students to the most important ethical debates about global politics. The course strongly appeals to students who are interested in ethics, political philosophy, public policy, and international relations.This...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Debating Democracy: Reform and Revolution

Can social and political reform ensure that all are free to participate in a democratic society? Or is revolution sometimes needed? What is revolution, anyway? And what is reform? How has this distinction been developed in the history of democratic political thought, for example in relation to the distinction between representative and direct democracy? What is needed today?

We...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Ethics and International Affairs

This course examines the complex relationship between ethics and politics in international affairs. Starting with an overview of different perspectives on the role of ethics and morality in international relations, the course then explores the ethical dimensions of issues central to foreign policy and the study of world politics, including the use of force, human rights,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

The New World (Dis)Order: Terrorists, Insurgents, and Political Violence in the 21st Century

Warfare has changed dramatically over the past few decades. While our grandparents dealt with the challenges of inter-state conflicts, such as the Second World War, those coming of age today are confronted with a different kind of political violence, in the form of terrorist attacks in Paris, Istanbul, San Bernardino, and Orlando, and civil war, such as ISIS in Syria and...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Global Justice: The Ethics of Climate Change and War

Should the United Nations and World Bank be reformed? How should states cooperate to address global warming? This is the second part of a two-part course introducing students to the most important ethical debates about global politics. The course strongly appeals to students who are interested in ethics, political philosophy, public policy, and international relations. Students...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Introduction to International Law

We will explore international law and its political and economic issues, including war and conflict, human rights, trade and intellectual property, medicine and health, and the environment. We will inquire into how international law has influence without world government, conditions under which it is effective, and actors in its practice. Students will also become familiar...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Money v. People: Is Democracy Still a Factor in the Ways We Govern?

Does our vote matter or does our pocketbook? Big cities are going into bankruptcy, big businesses are buying elections, and entire countries are going into default. This class considers the impacts of public finance on democracy using political economy literature, current events, and a simulation we explore the implications of economics on democracy.In this course,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

How to End Wars and Craft Peace: Major Issues and Dilemmas in International Conflict Management

Violent political conflicts, such as the civil wars in Syria and Ukraine, cause enormous human suffering and undermine global security. What can the international community do to prevent and resolve such conflicts? This course surveys the major issues that policy-makers face in international conflict management: preventing escalation, mediating and enforcing peace agreements,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Brothers in Arms: War, States, and Human Rights

Wars have scarred our world. They shape and define the political units we live in, they affect our economic lives, from the content of our shopping cart to the price of gas, and they infiltrate into our very social networks, defining friends and foes. For some, wars claim even greater prices. For others, wars are not only beneficial, but crucial for survival. In this course...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Creating Change Through Public Policy

How do major, transformative changes in public policy take place? Why do some big public policy reforms succeed while others fail or languish for decades? Major public policy changes often begin in the orderly world of analysis - but end in the messy world of partisan politics. To succeed, a new initiative has to coincide with a political climate and a leadership capacity...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Introduction to U.S. Law and The Way Lawyers Think

The law touches nearly all aspects of our lives, and a certain amount of basic legal knowledge is necessary to identify important legal issues that arise in daily life and in various industries. The way that lawyers think and analyze serves as a valuable foundation for individuals in many fields. Learn at an introductory level, from an attorney, about: the legal system...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Are Corporations People? The History, Law, and Theory of Corporations and Personhood

Is Apple or Exxon-Mobile or Walmart a person? With recent Supreme Court cases like Citizens United v. FEC, citizens, policy-makers, and scholars have become increasingly concerned that corporations are considered people in the eyes of the law. Yet the notion of corporate forms enjoying the rights and privileges of human citizens is far from new. In this course, we will explore...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Foundations of International Relations: What Lies Ahead?

Why do we fight? How is peace built? Is democracy good? Is it possible everywhere? How shall we deal with global challenges like terrorism, nuclear weapons, climate change, and cybersecurity? The course will explore answers to some of these most pressing questions of our time.The course is a daily discussion seminar that examines many of the central concepts, theories,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Race and Public Policy

This is a seminar for students interested in how minority group identity influences political behavior. While this course could be taught through the black/white binary, we will explore minority group identity broadly, covering race, ethnicity, immigrant status, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.This seminar is meant to examine the history and contemporary...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Security, Conflict, Violence, and War

Why has violent conflict between groups been so common throughout human history? How have interstate and civil wars, terrorism, interethnic violence, and class conflict shaped the world in which we live? Over what issues will the wars of the 21st century be fought? These are some of the issues we will explore in this course.As the famous military theorist Carl von...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Global Public Policy

This course provides an overview of the politics of public policy from a global perspective. We begin by discussing models of policymaking and policy analysis. The second half of the course examines the role of political actors and applies the models from the beginning to specific policy areas.Policy is no longer confined to national or state borders. When a state,...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Freud: Psychoanalysis and its Legacies

What does it mean to know yourself? Why is love so painful? What is the source of man’s belief in God? How does history repeat itself? Why do our dreams haunt us? Is there a difference between men and women? What is an Oedipus complex, and do you have one? Sigmund Freud devoted his life to answering these questions.In this course, we will dive deep into the...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Psychology of Good and Evil

How do we define good and evil? Are people born that way? What about social, environmental, and cultural forces? What are your individual vulnerabilities and strengths? Let's find out in this course!

The media is filled everyday with stories of unimaginable harm and unselfish heroes. Have you ever wondered what makes people behave the way they do? What can research...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Moral Psychology

In everyday life, whether they may be trivial or significant, people often encounter situations that fall under the purview of morality. Sometimes people are tempted to commit a norm violation, such as telling a lie to obtain immediate rewards or avoid undesirable outcomes. Other times, people become a victim of or witness someone else's bad behaviors. Under such...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Terrorism: Understanding and Responding to a Global Threat

There is little question that terrorism presents a critical threat. In just the last twenty years it has caused a significant number deaths, resulted in major economic losses, influenced elections around the world, and even led nations to fail. As important, it has resulted in a political discourse characterized by fear-mongering and has threatened to undermine values central...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Gods and Mortals: Athens, Rome, Jerusalem

Ancient texts are filled with deities, humans, and everything in between. What makes a god a god, and what makes a human a human? Where do they come from? How should they act? How do we, as humans, become more like the gods? In this course, we will look at a variety of ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish texts to see how writers in the ancient world answered these questions....

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Unpacking Race in the U.S.: Theory, Concepts and Lived Experience

We often learn about race from "sound bites" in the media or experiences with family and friends which can be limited in scope. This course will provide an opportunity to thoughtfully analyze the social construction of race. We will take a historical look at how race is categorized and institutionalized in the U.S. and learn key concepts used to maintain racial...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.

Race, Gender, and Medicine: Considering the Ethical Dilemma of Involuntary Experimental Research on Society and the Individual

1. Provide students with the opportunity to develop their critical thinking and reasoning skills, as we consider the implications influencing certain racial and ethnic groups' historical mistrust of the medical field.

2. Promote a better understanding of alternative factors impacting race relations (medical science) and to facilitate a forum in which to discuss...

This course is not yet available for enrollment.