January 29, 2003: Reading List Feature

Inside the course guide
A look at what some Princeton students will be reading (and watching) during the spring semester

Each semester, Princeton offers nearly a thousand courses for undergraduates, ranging across 67 disciplines, and each semester, delving into Princeton’s course guide is like diving into a delicious new bestseller: You can’t put it down. Each page enthralls, and each course calls out siren-like: Pick me. But, alas, only a select few can enroll, and those of us on the outside can be satisfied only by seeing some of what we’re missing. Here are excerpts:



The New Testament and Christian Origins
John G. Gager

This course will challenge your beliefs and assumptions about Christianity, no matter what they are. What is more, it will bring out beliefs and assumptions of which you were never even aware. Our goal will be to reconstruct a picture of the Jesus movement and of early Christianity from their beginnings using the scattered fragments of surviving data.

John Dominic Crossan, Jesus. A Revolutionary Biography

Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels

Bart Ehrman, The New Testament

The HarperCollins Study Bible



Creativity, Innovation, and Society
Steven J. Tepper

This course will explore the social context for innovation and creativity. Some of the questions that will be considered include: What explains creative breakthroughs in the arts, science, and the economy? What conditions – social, economic, cultural – foster an environment ripe for invention and experimentation? What is the relationship between new technologies and innovation? How does society recognize and reward its artists and innovators? What is the government’s role in supporting and regulating intellectual property and medical research?

John Ruskin, selection of critical writings about aesthetics

Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Painters, Sculptors and Architects

Howard Gardner, Creating Minds

David Lamb, Multiple Discovery: The Pattern of Scientific Progress

Scott Berg, Max Perkins: Editor of Genius

Evelyn Fox Keller, Feminism and Science

Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point

James Gleick, Chaos: Making a New Science

Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class

Sir Peter Geoffrey Hall, Cities in Civilization: Culture, Technology, and Urban Order

Brooke Hindle, Emulation and Invention

Clayton Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma

Ed Tenner, Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences

Shira White, New Ideas About New Ideas: Insights on Creativity from the World’s Leading Innovators



Civil Liberties
Robert P. George

This course inquires into the moral premises of controversial claims of civil rights and liberties. We shall consider real and hypothetical cases in which claims to rights and liberties come into conflict, or are alleged to come into conflict, with the rights and liberties of others, or with other important values. We shall consult philosophical writings as well as opinions of courts that have adjudicated disputed claims of civil rights and liberties as matters of constitutional and statutory law.

David O’Brien, Constitutional Law and Politics, Volume Two: Civil Rights and Liberties, and its supplement, Supreme Court Watch 2001

John Hart Ely, Democracy and Distrust

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

Robert P. George, Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality



Problems in American Social History: The 20th Century
Nell I. Painter

Whiteness studies, a new scholarly field, appeared in the 1990s. Building on insights from literature, history, art, and cultural and African-American studies, whiteness studies examines racial identity in people thought of as “white.” Although this seminar will concentrate on scholarly texts, it will spend some time with white nationalism and anti-racism, two activist dimensions of white identity.

Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

Matthew Frye Jacobson, Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race

Karen Brodkin, How Jews Became White Folks & What That Says About Race

Langston Hughes, The Ways of White Folks

John Howard Griffin, Black Like Me

Richard Delgado and Jean Stefanic, Critical White Studies: Looking Behind the Mirror



Evolution of Jazz Styles
Anthony Branker

An introductory survey examining the historical development of jazz from its African origins through the present. The course will place emphasis on the acquisition of listening skills and explore related musical and social issues.

Paul Berliner, Thinking in Jazz: The Infinite Art of Improvisation

Robert Walser, ed., Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History

Jonny King, What Jazz Is

Bill Kirchner, ed., The Oxford Companion to Jazz

Miles Davis with Quincy Troupe, Miles: The Autobiography

Ben Sidran, Talking Jazz: An Oral History

Lewis Porter and Michael Ullman, Jazz: From Its Origins to the Present



The East European Novel of the 20th Century
Caryl Emerson

The peoples of East Europe came late to political independence, and early to cultural awareness. Their literature tells unsentimental, sophisticated stories about how not to disappear. Crucial will be such questions as: Are “small peoples” destined to have their art “prefixed”? (e.g., Bach is a composer, Shakespeare is a writer, but Dvo¥rák is a “nationalist composer” and Andrzejewski a “Polish writer.”) At what point do literatures begin to belong to the world? Are national stereotypes reflected in these novels — or created by them?

Jerzy Andrzejewski, Ashes and Diamonds

Jerzy Kosinski, The Painted Bird

Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke

Stanislaw Lem, Solaris

Karel ¥Capek, War with the Newts

Karel ¥Capek, Hordubal

Jaroslav Hasek, The Good Soldier: Schweik

Bohumil Hrabal, Closely Watched Trains

Milan Kundera, The Joke

Ivo Andri, The Bridge on the Drina



The Cinema from World War II until the Present
P. Adams Sitney

We’ll study the history of sound, and often color, film since World War II. Emphasis on Italian Neorealism, the French New Wave, the American Avant-Garde, and the accomplishments of such major filmmakers as Bergman, Hitchcock, Bresson, and Antonioni.



Maya Deren, At Land (1944)

Sidney Peterson, Mr. Frenhofer and the Minotaur (1949)

Roberto Rossellini, Paisà (1946)

Akira Kurosawa, Rashomon (1950)

Jacques Tati, Les Vacances de M. Hulot (1951)

Carl Dreyer, Ordet (1955)

Stan Brakhage, Anticipation of the Night (1958)

Robert Bresson, Pickpocket (1959)

Alfred Hitchcock, Vertigo (1958)

Stan Brakhage, Blue Moses (1962)

Michelangelo Antonioni, L’avventura (1960)

Chris Marker, La Jetée (1962)

Ingmar Bergman, Persona (1966)

Jean-Marie Straub, The Bridegroom, the Actress, and the Pimp (1968)

Jean-Luc Godard, Pierrot le Fou (1965)

Bruce Baillie, All My Life (1966)

Michael Snow, Wavelength (1967)

Martin Scorsese, Mean Streets (1973)

Chantal Akerman, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)

Hollis Frampton, Hapax Legomena:

(nostalgia) (1971)

Andrei Tarkovsky, Nostalghia (1983)



Gerald Mast and Marshall Cohen, Film Theory and Criticism

P. Adams Sitney, Modernist Montage

Parker Tyler, “Rashomon as Modern Art”

Hollis Frampton, “A Pentagram for the Conjuring of the Narrative”

Stan Brakhage, “Telluride Gold”



American Art and Modernism
John Wilmerding

A survey of major developments and movements in American painting and sculpture from the Centennial period to modern times, with collateral attention to photography and printmaking, architecture and landscape design. Attention is given to American art in the light of both national traditions and the evolution of modern art abroad.

Milton Brown et al., American Art

David Bjelajac, American Art: A

Cultural History

Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing About Art

E. B. Feldman, Practical Art Criticism

Martin A. Berger, Man Made: Thomas Eakins and the Construction of Gilded Age Manhood

John Wilmerding, American Views: Essays on American Art

Griselda Pollock, Mary Cassatt: Painter of Modern Women

Bram Dijkstra, Cubism, Stieglitz, and the Early Poetry of William Carlos Williams

William Ivins, How Prints Look

Barbara Ross, American Drawings in The Art Museum, Princeton

Wieland Schmied, Edward Hopper, Portraits of America

David Anfam, Abstract Expressionism

Cecile Whiting, A Taste for Pop



Sociobiology, Sex Roles, and Human Development
Elizabeth Fox

We will use principles of behavioral ecology to examine reproductive strategies and their effect on social systems. Examples will draw heavily from nonhuman primate research but will also include examples from other group-living mammals.

Karen Strier, Primate Behavioral Ecology

Sue V. Rosser, “Possible Implications of Feminist Theories for the Study of Evolution”

Donna Haraway, Primate Visions: Gender, Race and Nature in the World of Modern Science

W. C. McGrew, “Culture in Nonhuman Primates”

Stephen J. Gould, “Sociobiology: The Art of Storytelling”

Randy Thornhill, “Human Rape: An Evolutionary Analysis”

Barbara B. Smuts, “Male Aggression Against Women: An Evolutionary Perspective”

Sarah B. Hrdy, “Three Men and a Baby,” “The Optimal Number of Fathers,” “Who Cared?”

Jane Goodall, Chimpanzees: Bridging the Gap

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