Integrative Learning Courses
The Elusive Self: On Mind, Brain, and Consciousness.
No concept is more central to our lives than the notion of "I." We could not navigate the world if we lacked a fundamental sense of self-hood. Yet, for philosophers and psychologists alike, this commonplace idea has been the starting point for much speculation, research, and wonder. This course explores various dimensions of what we call the self from both psychological and philosophical perspectives. We begin with questions on the nature of consciousness, with special emphasis on the relationship between the mind and the brain. We then explore issues related to personal identity, self-awareness, and memory. We next consider the prospects for consciousness and self-hood in non-human animals and machines. Finally, we reckon with the self's ultimate limitation, death.
A Discerning Eye: Depression, Trauma and Madness in Literature.
How do we diagnose a mental illness? How are symptoms of mental illness portrayed in literature? Depression, Trauma and Madness will examine the ways in which psychology and literature both overlap and diverge on the subject of mental illness. The course will consist of a conversation between literary texts that portray mental illnesses and psychologists' current understanding of those illnesses. The course will focus on comparing and contrasting current diagnostics for many common psychological disorders and how certain disorders are reflected in the literature. The course will have distinct units with specific texts used to highlight important aspects of depression, trauma and madness.
The destruction of European Jewry is among the most heinous crimes of Nazi Germany. The Holocaust seems almost inconceivable; yet, close study shows it as a set of comprehensible human interactions. This course integrates psychological perspectives into the study of the historical event. Misconstrued psychological concepts (e.g., personality and racial differences) informed German policies under Hitler. Psychological scholars immigrated to the United States as the Nazi party gained power, and fields of psychological inquiry developed after World War II to better understand what had occurred (e.g., obedience to authority, racism). This ILC will explore the motivations and actions of those involved while familiarizing the students with the origins and operation of this genocide. Disciplines: History and Psychology. An Integrative Learning course where students receive CORE credit in two distributions. Distribution 1 Arts and Letters-History. Distribution 2 Social Science.