Syllabi and Curricular Materials

grinnell:316
Andelson, Jonathan Gary, 1949- (author)
Decline and Renewal in the Heartland
The first year tutorial, taken in the fall semester, is Grinnell College's only general academic course requirement. The college intends the tutorial to assist students in further developing their critical thinking skills and in improving their written and oral communication skills. Each of the tutorials offered in a given fall semester is based around a particular subject matter, which provides the vehicle by which the above goals are accomplished. The arrival of European Americans in the Upper Midwest in the middle of the nineteenth century led to dramatic changes in the region's ecology. In what was perhaps the most rapid and extensive degradation of a natural ecosystem in human history, in the space of 50 years settlers plowed under millions of acres of the native tallgrass prairie and replaced it with a diversified agricultural ecosystem on what proved to be some of the best farmland in the world. As agriculture expanded, the prairie diminished.
grinnell:317
Decline and Renewal in the Heartland
The first year tutorial, taken in the fall semester, is Grinnell College's only general academic course requirement. The college intends the tutorial to assist students in further developing their critical thinking skills and in improving their written and oral communication skills. Each of the tutorials offered in a given fall semester is based around a particular subject matter, which provides the vehicle by which the above goals are accomplished. The arrival of European Americans in the Upper Midwest in the middle of the nineteenth century led to dramatic changes in the region's ecology. In what was perhaps the most rapid and extensive degradation of a natural ecosystem in human history, in the space of 50 years settlers plowed under millions of acres of the native tallgrass prairie and replaced it with a diversified agricultural ecosystem on what proved to be some of the best farmland in the world.
grinnell:3452
Aparicio, Yvette, 1972- (author)
Places I've Been: Outsiders, Exiles, Tourists
The first year tutorial, taken in the fall semester, is Grinnell College's only general academic course requirement. The college intends the tutorial to assist students in further developing their critical thinking skills and in improving their written and oral communication skills. Each of the tutorials offered in a given fall semester is based around a particular subject matter, which provides the vehicle by which the above goals are accomplished. Explores the role and significance of place in conceptualizations of self and others.
grinnell:3459
Armstrong, Todd Patrick. (author)
Russia in Revolution
The first year tutorial, taken in the fall semester, is Grinnell College's only general academic course requirement. The college intends the tutorial to assist students in further developing their critical thinking skills and in improving their written and oral communication skills. Each of the tutorials offered in a given fall semester is based around a particular subject matter, which provides the vehicle by which the above goals are accomplished. This tutorial focuses on the literature and art of the Russian Revolutionary period.
grinnell:3432
Azoulay, Katya Gibel. (author); Gibel Mevorach, Katya (author)
Color Culture and Class
Race thinking dominates ways in which people in the United States differentiate groups of people from each other. This tutorial focuses on associations between color and culture in order to examine how racial meanings are constructed and made comprehensible as well as how they are routed through representations of class. Using a combination of texts -- academic articles, films, newspapers and advertisements -- we will explore representations of
grinnell:3438
Borovsky, Brian P. (author)
Dis/Connected
It has been said that we live in a dog-eat-dog world. Some have likened human life to a continual struggle for the survival of the fittest individuals, mirroring certain evolutionary processes observed in non-human life. Still others cherish a view in which we are all brothers or sisters in one human family, a view that urges awareness of how human relationships bring inspiration and meaning to our lives. This tutorial will examine the ways in which we are isolated from each other and in which we are connected to each other as human beings.
grinnell:3439
Brown, Victoria (Victoria Bissell) (author)
Doing History: the Pullman Strike
The purpose of this tutorial is to sharpen your sense of the ways in which history is constructed, educate you about the standards governing that construction, and develop your own skills for engaging in such construction. We will use the story of the Pullman strike to develop reading, research, and writing strategies and to ponder the multiple choices every historian must make in writing a narrative that both recounts and analyzes a historical event. So this is a course in skill-building, story-telling, and scholarly ethics.
grinnell:3449
Burkle, Howard R. (author)
Living an authentic life
Socrates taught that the unexamined life is not worth living. This tutorial will put this bit of classical wisdom to the test. Focusing on Existentialist thinkers Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and Martin Buber, we shall seek to identify the qualities that make a human life authentic. Although these writers are alike in their Existentialist approaches, they differ widely in their ethical, metaphysical, and spiritual conclusions.
grinnell:3453
Chenette, Jonathan L. (author)
Musicians in Fiction
Students will read fiction about musicians and listen to the relevant musical works that are mentioned in the literature.
grinnell:3445
Cummins, W. Joseph. (author)
Humanities 101 : The Ancient World
The first year tutorial, taken in the fall semester, is Grinnell College's only general academic course requirement. The college intends the tutorial to assist students in further developing their critical thinking skills and in improving their written and oral communication skills. Each of the tutorials offered in a given fall semester is based around a particular subject matter, which provides the vehicle by which the above goals are accomplished. This tutorial uses classic texts as the structure.
grinnell:3461
Dobbs, Elizabeth A. (author)
Stories, Story-Tellers, and Audiences: Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Marguerite of Navarre's Heptameron
How is a story constructed? Using a model derived from linguistics and applied to narrative, we will explore both this question and the art of narrative. For most of the semester, we will be the audience of stories from Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Marguerite of Navarre's Heptameron, but, at the end of the semester, you will be a story-teller and a part of the audience for your fellow students' stories. This tutorial will especially develop your ability to take part in class discussions and to write arguments.
grinnell:3324
Elfenbein, Caleb (author); Conner, Mike (contributor); Conner, Mike (contributor); Conner, Mike (contributor); Conner, Mike (contributor)
Dynamic Map and Timeline: History of the Modern Middle East (1798-Present)
A poster explaining how the faculty member used a dynamic map and timeline to illustrate events. The map and timeline are tied together so that an entry on one appears on the other.
grinnell:3463
Feng, Jin, 1971- (author)
We Are What We Eat: Food, Culture, and Identity in Literature and Film
In this tutorial we will examine the cultural and political significance of food in literature and film. We will focus on the way national cultures and personal identities are described and defined through narratives of the preparation, consumption, and appreciation of food in twentieth-century Chinese and Chinese American literature and film. Additionally, the course will integrate samples from other cultures and periods as points of comparison. Extracurricular activities, such as a restaurant visit, will also be included to facilitate our understanding and analysis of the culture of food.
grinnell:11656
Ferguson, William D.
Curriculum for the Twenty-first Century: Recent Advances in Economic Theory and Undergraduate Economics
Undergraduate economics lags behind cutting-edge economic theory. The author briefly reviews six related advances that profoundly extend and deepen economic analysis: game-theoretic modeling, collective-action problems, information economics and contracting, social preference theory, conceptualizing rationality, and institutional theory. He offers suggestions for incorporating these into the undergraduate classes at various levels. He argues that game-theoretic representation of collective action problems offers a unifying framework, on par with supply and demand, for political economy. Blending in the other developments deepens our micro-level understanding of internal and external contract enforcement, with implications on nonclearing markets, power, and distribution. At the macro level, these concepts illuminate the role of institutions in economic development and long-term growth. Undergraduate curricula should incorporate these new approaches.
grinnell:3429
Americans in Paris: Through the Looking Glass
This semester we will journey to Paris through the eyes of Americans. From the founding fathers of the United States to the most recent winner of the Tour de France, from jazz musicians and painters to the most prominent writers of the century, Americans have influenced and been influenced by their encounters with Paris.
grinnell:3482
Henry, George T. (author)
Stephen R. Carl ’71 in Biology Lab
Stephen R. Carl ’71 working on a dissection in the biology lab.
grinnell:3444
Hughes, Dennis D., 1951- (author)
The Hero's Journey
This will be a course in comparative heroic poetry. Through exercises in writing, spoken presentation, and discussion we shall study and analyze various aspects of five epic poems, in particular the portrayals of the hero(in)es and conceptions of the heroic in four (very) different cultures. Among topics to be addressed are the narrative patterns of quest and journey (spatial and spiritual), the role of religion and the divine, the role of women, and the diverse cultural value systems reflected in the poems. Particular attention will be paid to the organization of papers and the effective expression of ideas in writing.
grinnell:3448
Jacobson, Kathryn M. (author)
Images of Africa
John Reader compiled a remarkable history of Africa in his book Africa: Biography of a Continent (1996). We will use this volume as a central reference for our consideration of the origins of various Anglo-American images of an incredibly diverse continent and its people. In addition, we will examine recent fictional and non-fictional texts and films to explore the effects of these images on current perceptions of African politics, culture and environment.
grinnell:10002
Research Methods for Empirical Computer Science
Course materials for Research methods for empirical computer science which is designed to teach basic methods for conducting a personal research program for graduate students.
grinnell:3431
Kaiser, Daniel H., 1945- (author)
Campus Culture Wars -- Then and Now
In recent years there has been much debate about what constitutes an appropriate undergraduate education. Discussions of multiculturalism, race and gender equality, political correctness, and much else have helped fuel sometimes stormy debates about what college students ought to learn and how. But these debates are not new, especially in American education. In this tutorial we shall examine both recent controversies and their predecessors in an effort to establish our own criteria for the proper definition of liberal education in late twentieth-century America. These discussions will conclude with each student creating his or her own four-year course of study, together with an essay justifying it on the principles of liberal education.

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