Coming to Terms with Past Violence

Embedded in the fabric of every national narrative is the attempt to understand past violence. Words like reconciliation, reckoning, justice, impunity, accountability, and forgiveness all have distinct connotations depending on their specific national context and the actors who employ them. In this course, we analyze localized forms of interpreting violence through regional case studies from […]

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Are We All Zombies?

In an episode of The Walking Dead, a zombie has its brain scanned.  The scan reveals that the brain stem, an important, but primitive basis of consciousness, is very much alive.  In this view, zombies have consciousness, and thus consciousness cannot be used to distinguish zombies from humans.  Although human beings have higher cortical functions than zombies, like zombies, we have little awareness […]

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Rhetoric in History of U.S. Women’s Rights Advocacy

This inquiry-based seminar examines enduring questions of argumentation and rhetoric in the history of U.S. women’s rights advocacy, with particular attention to questions of race and class. Topics include separate spheres ideology, the early suffrage and abolitionist movements, women’s initial entry into higher education, protective labor legislation, abortion access, and regulation of sexual violence. The […]

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Plasticity: Shaping The Brain

The great discovery of neuroscience is that the brain is fundamentally characterized by “plasticity”—a radically open-ended potential for both creative and destructive difference. But now that plasticity has been discovered, why do we so often continue to ignore or diminish our fundamental capacity for radicle change and fail to embrace natural and cultural differences? And […]

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