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Seminars for the Fall Term 2016

Butler College

FRS 101 The Word EC
Adele Goldberg

The meanings of words tend to be quite complicated. For example, "to fire" someone from a job is different than laying them off, expelling, banishing, or deporting them. The verb "fire" also has a range of meanings, as we can fire a person, a gun, or words. How are the subtle aspects of word meanings learned without explicit instruction? No other species is capable of learning either the number of words or the variety of words that humans do.

In this discussion-based course, students will learn about the many ways in which learning, producing, and comprehending words in particular, and language in general, is an incredible ability. We will introduce students to basic theoretical ideas, experimental techniques and findings, and the major controversies in the psychology of language. We will also design an experimental study as a group to investigate an outstanding question in the field. (Tuesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 103 Pilgrimage Art, Architecture, and Experience LA
Alexander Harper

Humans long have performed pilgrimages, or journeys undertaken to places as acts of religious or spiritual devotion. Pilgrimage art has been defined not as a type of art, but rather as a context for interaction between pilgrims, people involved in the devotional practice of pilgrimage, and the art and architecture they encountered. This seminar will examine the art and architecture as well as the visual and material culture surrounding acts of pilgrimage dating from antiquity to today, and across cultures including Roman, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, and secular. Objects and materials studied will include souvenirs taken home by pilgrims, badges worn by pilgrims to identify themselves as pilgrims to a particular site, and reliquaries fabricated to house venerated relics. Pilgrimage sites examined will include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Old St. Peter's Basilica, Mecca, Santiago de Compostela, Bodh Gaya, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The aim for the seminar is to investigate how these sites, objects, and monuments have been understood, employed, contested, and venerated by pilgrims from antiquity until today. What do these objects and monuments tell us about the ritual aspects of pilgrimage? What do they say about pilgrimage as a cultural and/or social practice? Has pilgrimage art changed over time? To approach these questions, in addition to art and architectural history, the course engages with other fields including anthropology, sociology, economic history, and cultural studies.

Course materials and activities will include readings, the screening of two documentaries (one on the Hajj, an annual pilgrimage to Mecca, and another on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela), visits to the Princeton University Museum of Art to view collections relevant to the course, and a trip to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York. Student assignments include short reading responses, one reading presentation, a shorter paper (4-5 pages) assigned at the beginning of the semester, and a longer research paper (10-15 pages) due at the end of the term. (Wednesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 105 Flirtation or Seduction? LA
Barbara Nagel

What is the difference between flirtation and seduction? In the age of dating apps — Tinder and Grindr, for example — it is more difficult than ever to define these two terms, let alone tell them apart from one another. Why do we suspect sirens or pickup-artists of "seduction," whereas the fleeting encounter in a café seems to be a mere "flirtation?" In this seminar, we will seek answers to these questions by moving from the long literary and philosophical history of seduction (e.g. Homer's Odyssey, Plato's Symposium, and Laclos's Les Liaisons dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) to the recovery of the potentiality of flirtation in critical theory (Adorno, Benjamin, Bloch, and Simmel).

The seminar will make evident that art plays a crucial role in this history, insofar as this culture is bound to the idea of eros; like eroticism, culture transcends the demands of the merely biological and the necessary. If the German philosopher Immanuel Kant defines the idea of the beautiful as "purposiveness without purpose" then flirtation is the most extreme conclusion of this idea: it is not about consummation but about free or purposeless play.

The basic hypothesis that we intend to explore is thus the following: whereas seduction is infatuated with power and therefore goal-driven (as in Laclos, Machiavelli, film noir, or Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will), flirtation is envisioned as an open, equalizing endeavor (as in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Henry James's Daisy Miller, George Cukor's film The Philadelphia Story, and especially in "queer" artworks such as Heinrich von Kleist's Penthesilea, Andrew Haigh's film Weekend, or in Todd Haynes's film Carol). What remains in flirtation, mostly under the sign of failure, are the aspects of rhetoric and artistic technique. In flirtation, the mean(s) becomes an end in itself. Flirtation thus fails only when it falls back into a strategy of seduction. There will, however, also be moments when the distinction between flirtation and seduction is no longer so clear, as becomes evident especially in Shakespeare but also in Turgenev's First Love. This is because flirtation and seduction overlap at times: flirtation turns into seduction; seduction may even have its flirtatious moments. (Monday, Wednesday 11:00 a.m.-12:20 p.m.)


FRS 107 Millennial Feminism SA
Melissa Deem

Young women have come to occupy a highly contested and visible place within the popular circulation of feminism. Recently, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright chastised young women concerning their "debt" to Hillary Clinton and an earlier generation of women/feminists. Young women of the Millennial Generation are seen as both rejecting feminism and as among the generation with more feminists than any that preceded it.

Are there more young women feminists than ever before? Is feminism only for those who identify as female? What is feminism to you? How does your understanding of feminism fit within the various manifestations of gender politics today as well as the recent history of feminism? Does it even make sense to mark feminism as generational? Is feminism anachronistic?

Popular understandings of the place of feminism within our recent history are often informed through the delectable images of television shows such as "Mad Men" or the liberal politics of Gloria Steinem. The dominant media images of feminism privilege an understanding of feminism as generational, always female, middle class, and white, while obscuring the multiplicity of practices and identities that have circulated under the sign of feminism. In this seminar, we will read contemporary media texts (blogs, documentaries) and feminist writing as well as texts produced during the movement generally called Second Wave Feminism in the late 1960s and 1970s. We will look at the concerns these texts articulate, the demands they make, and what is not in the texts. In this manner, the course attempts to expand the field of reference for what constitutes the recent history of feminism. (Thursday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 109 FAILURE: The "Other 'F' Word" — Success and Innovation's Sibling? SA
John Danner
Anonymous Freshman Seminar

Princeton students are quite appropriately and understandably focused, if not actually fixated, on success — in the classroom, on the athletic field, and for their emerging careers. But success has a less well-understood sibling, which is often a precursor and even prerequisite for that success, whether in business, science, athletics, or the arts: failure.

Although we may treat failure as a regrettable event, it has the potential to become a strategic resource, invaluable in its ability to show us — sometimes painfully and usually uncomfortably — what we don't yet know but need to in order to succeed in our chosen objective.

Failure is like gravity — a subtle, pervasive but invaluable fact of life. The Wright Brothers used it to fly; the ancient Romans to deliver fresh water to 1.5 million residents; and Nobel prizewinners to make profound discoveries in their labs — not to mention entrepreneurs, artists, authors, architects, and athletes who've used the lessons of failure to achieve impressive success. In short, as much as we might prefer to deny or defy it, failure will likely be a companion in much of what we do, and our attitudes and skill in dealing with it can shape our own trajectory of accomplishment.

This seminar will offer incoming freshmen a unique interdisciplinary window into this "other 'f' wor[l]d" of failure, with an opportunity to see firsthand how valuable it can be in the pursuit of success. In addition to utilizing my own recent book on this topic, The Other "F" Word: How Leaders, Teams, and Entrepreneurs Put Failure To Work (John Wiley & Sons, 2015), we will explore additional readings from history, technology, behavioral economics, psychology, and even philosophy to anchor our class [see sample readings list]. Whether by Skype or in person, we will also hear from prominent experts and professionals — from academia, entrepreneurship, politics, and the arts — who will share candidly their own failure-centric insights with their future counterparts.

This seminar is not for the faint-hearted. We'll explore some uncomfortable territory, but it should be a fascinating odyssey through both familiar and unfamiliar terrain. Curiosity, creativity, a spirit of open-minded inquiry, and perhaps a dose of humility and humor will be the prerequisites for admission. In the event the seminar is oversubscribed, I reserve the right to invite interested students to submit a short essay outlining their reasons for wanting to join our class. (And although it would be especially apt in this case, this will not be a "pass/fail" seminar.) (Monday 7:30 p.m.-10:20 p.m.)


FRS 111 Canceled 20th-Century Poetry: Politics, War, Love, and Religion LA
Neil Rudenstine

This seminar focuses on the work of four major 20th-century poets, placing them in the context of their different eras: W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, and Wallace Stevens. There will be weekly background readings that will suggest some of the ways in which the experience of political divisiveness, or war, or impassioned love, or religious and spiritual values, had a powerful effect on the writers we will be studying.

We will spend three weeks on each of the four writers, reading a limited number of poems in depth in order to see how they express meaning in many ways: through the poets' apparent "statements," through their tones of voice, or through their use of imagery and metaphor. We will also try to trace how the work of each poet develops throughout a lifetime of exploring, probing, questioning, and deepening in a quest for new meaning.

The seminar will be run as an active discussion group. Writing: one modest-size paper on each poet. (Monday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 113 American and Russian Science Fiction: Story-Worlds in Dialogue LA
Elena Fratto
Class of 1975 Freshman Seminar

This seminar examines science fiction in Anglo-American literature and film with special emphasis on its dialogue with the Russian tradition and their mutual influences. We will follow the evolutionary trajectory of the genre: from time-travel to dystopias; from alien invasions to interplanetary encounters; from outer space to cyberspace; from human-machine hybrids to biopolitics. We will discuss foundational literary texts and films by such authors and filmmakers as H. G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, Evgenii Zamiatin, Isaac Asimov, Stanisław Lem, Andrei Tarkovskii, Stanley Kubrick, Arkadii and Boris Strugatsky, Philip K. Dick, Ursula Le Guin, Octavia Butler, and more, with particular attention to the historical and cultural milieu in which these works were produced and to cross-media adaptations. We will analyze the questions, hopes, and anxieties that these narratives address and articulate, the imagery they employ, and the features of the story-worlds they construct. We will discuss how questions of authorship and agency, of narrative time and space, and the definitions of the self, the other, the human, and the post-human are framed and negotiated. (Wednesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)

Forbes College

FRS 117 Scientists Against Time HA
Harold Feiveson
Bert G. Kerstetter '66 Freshman Seminar

This seminar will explore some of the critical contributions of (mostly Allied) scientists, engineers, and mathematicians during World War II. Topics will include radar; the Spitfire and the Battle of Britain; cryptography and the breaking of the German Enigma code; microwave radar, operations research, and other technical breakthroughs in the Battle of the Atlantic against German submarines; the great advances in medicine — penicillin, anti-malarials, DDT, and others — during the war; amphibious craft, advanced aircraft carriers, and the B-29 Superfortress in the Pacific theater; navigation aids, the proximity fuse, and the Mustang P-51 and the erratic history of strategic bombing; tides, weather, artificial harbors, deception in the D-Day invasion; and the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb. (Thursday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 119 Dreams and Nightmares LA
Marina Brownlee

From Artemidorus in antiquity to Freud in modern times, dreams and nightmares have been a perennial human fascination. Dreams and nightmares can express fears and fantasies that we acknowledge consciously or that we repress from our waking hours, from scandalous or forbidden contexts and narratives, to spiritual or utopian evocations. This course will explore political, philosophical, medical, and psychosexual representations of dreams and nightmares in a variety of historical and cultural periods by such extraordinary authors as Aphra Behn, Giovanni Boccaccio, Jorge Luis Borges, Angela Carter, Julio Cortázar, Miguel de Cervantes, María de Zayas, Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, and William Shakespeare. Related films by Neil Jordan, Julie Taymor, Luchino Visconti, and William Wilder will enhance our discussions and allow us to consider the visual and kinetic possibilities of film in dialogue with the verbal possibilities of writing and reading. In other words, the combination of text and film will reveal to students the cognitive abilities of each medium.

This seminar is devoted to exploring the phenomena of dreams and nightmares, their parameters, and their expressive potential — both aesthetic and epistemological. How do these events enhance the expressive potential of a work (either verbal or visual)? In what ways are the characters of the work in question enlightened by their experiences with dreams or nightmares? To what degree are these events occurrences that speak to their readers and viewers by virtue of being universal fears and fantasies, irrespective of the space and time of their production?

These are some of the questions and issues that will inform our discussions. (Tuesday, Thursday 11:00 a.m.-12:20 p.m.)


FRS 121 Design, Craft, and Ethical Value EM
Guy Nordenson

A work of design, as opposed to an artifact that has evolved over a long time — say, a modern carbon composite kayak as compared to a native Aleutian kayak — is generally thought of as the work of an individual, not that of a collective or a society. In a similar way, art and craft are opposed as being either the unique, sometimes radical, works of individual genius or the opposed incremental and conservative manifestation of a traditional technique.

This difference is in effect a version of the social tension of individual expression against material and social continuity and is often argued in strongly moral terms — either explicitly or implicitly. The idea of buying locally grown food instead of industrialized or imported alternatives, as evidenced by the locavore and slow food movements, is an example of this tension, as is the "craftavism" movement — a combination of craft making and activism.

The 19th-century reform and social movement of Arts and Crafts associated with William Morris and John Ruskin has had echoes through the 20th and 21st centuries in the work of important architects and engineers from Frank Lloyd Wright to Renzo Piano, Félix Candela, and Peter Rice. In addition, there have been visual and performing artists such as John Cage and Merce Cunningham or Donald Judd and Isamu Noguchi, whose connections to Zen Buddhist practice as well as avant-garde art and design movements have created links between the neo-Gothic and the Chinese, Korean, and Japanese traditions of highly refined craft practices.

This seminar will examine a wide array of historical periods, movements, and fields of practice to explore the value of craft from social and aesthetic perspectives. The range of topics have been chosen from the perspective of a practicing structural engineer and will cluster around the field of architecture and engineering. Still, as the emphasis will be on design as a craft as well as an art with high aspirations, elucidating how the sometime tension between art and craft is productive and reflects broader social currents, there will be plenty for those whose interests are not necessarily bound for architecture or engineering.

The seminar aims to introduce students to a range of historical cases and examples of craftsmanship and to develop explanations and arguments for the ethical value, if any, of craft in the design of institutions, objects, and structures. The seminar will also develop students' writing skills through the development of short papers. (Wednesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 123 Writing Systems of the World EC
Joshua Katz
Agnew Family Freshman Seminar

How do you — and how did the Egyptians — read hieroglyphs? Why is the English language so difficult to spell? In what ways is texting affecting written communication the world over? In this seminar we will examine writing systems from both a theoretical and a historical point of view: what is the essence of writing, and how do orthographic systems spread and develop over time? By discussing the nature of writing and studying in some detail a number of different orthographies, we will uncover general linguistic and cognitive principles that underlie the transfer of speech into written form and see what, for example, Chinese characters and Greek letters do and do not have in common. The amount of time we spend on a given language or topic will depend on the interests and prior knowledge (if any) of the participants, but we will certainly examine ancient and modern scripts from all over the world (from India to the Americas, with an emphasis on Europe and the Near East), think about the process of decipherment, and consider the cultural implications of (il)literacy.

Readings will include The Writing Revolution: Cuneiform to the Internet by Amalia E. Gnanadesikan, Mark Collier and Bill Manley's How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Step-by-step Guide to Teach Yourself, chapters from Peter T. Daniels and William Bright's encyclopedic The World's Writing Systems, and selected titles from the excellent new series "Ancient Scripts" published by the British Museum in partnership with the J. Paul Getty Museum. There will be a strong visual component to the course, and we will take advantage of various resources on campus, including the Princeton University Art Museum and the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections in Firestone Library. (Monday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 127 Big Brothers Are Watching You: Internet Privacy and Security SA
Brian Kernighan

Individual privacy and security have decreased greatly as the Internet and the World Wide Web, smartphones, and networked gadgets have become pervasive in our lives. Today we are continuously watched by a remarkable array of systems marshaled by companies, criminals, and governments, including our own. The perpetual surveillance that was such an ominous part of Orwell's 1984 looks benign when compared to the monitoring that we not only enable today, but to which we enthusiastically contribute.

In 2013, Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency had been monitoring the phone calls, emails and Internet use of everyone in the USA. Myriad corporations track us online and in the real world, and have made it hard for anyone to be anonymous. Social networks encourage us to reveal deeply personal information in turn for "keeping in touch." Electronic break-ins at businesses and government agencies are frequent; information about customers and employees is stolen in large quantities, to be used for fraud and identity theft. Attacks on individuals are also common; subtle targeted attacks on employees are one of the most common ways that corporate computers are breached. With cloud computing, individuals and companies store their data on servers run by Amazon and others. That data is no longer held directly by its owners but by third parties with different agendas, responsibilities, and vulnerabilities. There's a rapidly growing "Internet of Things" in which cars, security cameras, home electronics, medical equipment, and a great deal of infrastructure all connect to the Internet. The benefits are compelling but there are many risks, and security for such devices is often weak to nonexistent.

Cryptography is one of our few effective defenses, since it lets us keep communications and data storage private. But strong cryptography is under continuous attack. Governments don't like the idea that individuals or companies or terrorists could have secure communications, so there are frequent proposals to require back doors into cryptographic mechanisms that would allow government agencies to subvert our encryption.

This seminar provides the necessary technical background to understand how data about us is collected, analyzed, and redistributed. We will also discuss the social, economic, legal, political, and ethical issues raised by widespread surveillance, and how we might balance the legitimate but competing interests of corporations, governments, and individuals. We will also study ways in which individuals can regain some control over their own information. (Thursday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 129 Poverty Policies and the Dispossessed in America SA
Carol Stack
Anonymous Freshman Seminar

Urban disasters like the flooding of New Orleans in 2005 provide a particular lens onto social inequality and the danger zone normally concealed in the mundane practices of democracy. In this seminar we will ask what we can learn about the precarious arrangement of class and race inequality in America by turning to the ruptured social order created by Hurricane Katrina. Drawing from ethnographic accounts, print media, and popular culture, we will examine the findings that turned Katrina in a national debate.

In the first three weeks of the seminar, we will turn to the historical controversies over the "culture of poverty," debates that are deeply seeded in urban sociology and anthropology, in order to provide necessary background for our exploration. Together we will identify key controversies in the Moynihan Report and reframe the discussion in light of the contributions of William Julius Wilson and Susan Greenbaum, two scholars whose work has framed the social policy debates over the causes of persistent poverty — and whose highly regarded opinions differ.

By week four, we will begin to dig more deeply into the ethnographic data on the strength or fragility of low-income kin networks by looking cross-culturally at a comparison of African American kin ties and Mexican immigrant kin networks. This ethnographic and policy-oriented discussion will prepare us to raise broad and compelling questions about the social networks of low-income families who endured Hurricane Katrina.

By mid-semester our discussions will move directly into the untidy chaos of disasters and the impact of recovery policies on low-income families. Katherine Browne's award winning Standing in the Need, and Alice Fothergill and Lori Peek's The Children of Katrina, document the efforts of African American families to get control over their lives in the eye of the storm, and their anguish in the years that followed. In both of these recently published accounts, scholars follow low-income families and children over a period of eight years as they left their bayou communities in New Orleans and then slowly returned. These superb books document, person by person, policy by policy, the complexities of return that these families faced.

The final book for the seminar, Ron Eyerman's Is This America, brings the readings full circle to the public debate on the social policies of disaster. Eyerman draws from print media, television, and the national debate on poverty, and links poverty and disaster policy together in the context of Katrina. (Tuesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 131 Canceled The Science and Art of Mapping the World STN
Catherine Riihimaki

From the navigation apps on your cell phone to ancient drawings of an earth not yet fully explored, maps demonstrate the fundamental ways in which we understand and interact with our world. They can be beautiful pieces of art, but they also represent the collection, analysis, and presentation of rich datasets related to politics, populations, commerce, ecosystems, and the environment. Almost every discipline deals with geographic information, from sociologists who may track demographic patterns, economists who may map the flow of goods and services from one place to another, ecologists who may document the distribution of species, and landscape designers who may create new spaces that foster community building.

This seminar is designed to bring together students with a wide range of interests to learn practical skills of modern, digital geographic analysis and graphic design — skills that will be applied in diverse ways to the big problems of many fields — and to discuss the advances and challenges of mapping in the 21st century. How do maps help and hinder our understanding of the world? How do free and widely available tools like Google Maps change our interactions with geographic data? How can mapping skills transform your education and future career path? Weekly assignments, readings, and discussions will prepare students to contribute original research in their field of interest by the end of the semester. (Thursday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)

Mathey College

FRS 115 What Makes for a Meaningful Life? A Search EM
Ellen Chances
Kurt and Beatrice Gutmann Freshman Seminar in Human Values

With the pressures and frenzied pace of contemporary American life, it might sometimes feel as if there is little time to contemplate the question of what makes for a meaningful life. How does each individual find deeper meaning for himself or herself? What is the purpose of my life? What is the relationship between the meaning of my life and some kind of larger purpose? How do our lives fit into the larger world around us? Throughout the ages, writers, thinkers, and religious figures, as well as wise ordinary folks — the person next door, one's parents and grandparents — have grappled with these questions. The course explores some of the responses to the "big questions" of life from a variety of perspectives. The readings and films are taken from different cultures, different time periods, and different spheres of human endeavor and experience — for example, from Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov to Kurosawa's Ikiru (To Live); from The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi to Forrest Gump; from Marcus Aurelius' Meditations to A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh; from Taoism to Tolstoy; from Martin Luther King to Anna Karenina; from Pablo Casals to Casablanca; from Martin Buber's I and Thou to Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus to Albert Schweitzer's "reverence for life." The goals of the seminar are twofold. First, to investigate the thoughts that others have had. Second, to examine the students' own questions and responses to the issues raised. (Monday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 125 The Unfinished Work of Art LA
Carolina Mangone
Barrett Family Freshman Seminar

What does it mean for a work of art to be finished? Who or what determines when a painting or sculpture is complete? Why does an object that is unfinished so captivate the imagination? This seminar will explore these questions by examining the longstanding Western fascination with incomplete works of art. Beginning in 16th-century Italy with the emergence of the "non finito" as a category to describe Michelangelo's unfinished art, we will examine how half-painted canvases and partly chiseled marbles became viewed as aesthetic objects to be preserved, collected, displayed, and discussed. Moving beyond Italy and forward in history, we will consider how this phenomenon was emulated, broadened, and transformed by generations of artists who, unlike their Renaissance forebears, deliberately left their works in apparent states of unfinish.

Focusing on unfinished objects and the historical discussions they stimulated, this seminar will explore major themes such as concepts of perfection and imperfection; posthumous completion; the temporal flexibility of non-finish (suspended/ever-changing/unfinishable); strategies for displaying unfinished work; and destruction as an act of creation. Because unfinished art leaves so much open to the mind of the observer, it raises a question central to the study of art history: What is the role of the viewer in generating meaning in art? Works by Jan van Eyck, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian, Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Rodin, Cezanne, Mondrian, Warhol, Robert Smithson, and Lucien Freud, to name a few, will be discussed in class and examined firsthand during regular visits to the Princeton University Museum of Art as well as on excursions to New York City to see works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. (Wednesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 133 Materials World STL
Ilhan Aksay
Richard L. Smith '70 Freshman Seminar

Materials surround and constitute us. Materials produced by natural geological and biological processes find common use in our daily activities. We also synthesize materials not usually found in nature. Civilizations evolve with advances in materials. Materials are often identified by the ages of humankind: stone, bronze, iron, and, most recently, silicon. Materials: What are they, how are they made, and how are they used? What materials are in our future? This seminar will address these questions both in the classroom and in the laboratory.

Aggregates of atoms, through specific atomic or molecular interactions that define their structure, evolve into materials of the various forms we know as metals, polymers, and ceramics. A material's properties are determined by the nature of these atomic interactions and structural features. We will begin by examining this interplay among the nature of atomic interactions, the structures that form as a consequence, and the consequent properties of materials. We will continue with a study of the processes used to synthesize and produce materials. Different methods are used depending on the type of material, contrasting human and natural syntheses. Man-made materials are typically produced by high-temperature methods. On the other hand, biologically produced materials follow a low-temperature approach. Synthetic materials are designed to satisfy only one or two functions, but biologically produced materials are typically multifunctional and have properties (e.g., self-replicating, self-healing) that have yet to be introduced into man-made materials.

The overall objective of this course is to attain an understanding of the important processes for controlling materials properties through nano- and microstructural design and processing. This course aims to evaluate the possible use of bio-inspired methods in technological applications.

Most of the seminar will be spent in a classroom setting. It will involve discussions that address the background information essential to understanding the history of materials, whether produced by humans or biological systems. In addition to the time spent in class, students will conduct five laboratory-based experiments on materials processing and characterization, guided by University researchers. The experiments will range from the first materials produced by humans (clay-based), on to metals and polymers, and ending with materials currently being developed for applications such as lithium-sulfur batteries and conducting polymers. In addition to the time in discussion and the laboratory, students will be expected to analyze their experimental data and to organize their information in written reports. (Tuesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 139 Everyday Enchantment: Blurring the Boundary Between the Arts and Life LA
Barbara White
Professor Roy Dickinson Welch Freshman Seminar in Music

A sculpture made of half-chewed lard. A group of commuters in Grand Central Station suddenly and inexplicably stopping, standing still for 10 seconds, then continuing on their way. Song lyrics incorporating the last words of a man who died in police custody.

It is common for artworks to represent everyday life, but more and more, artists in all disciplines take materials directly from their surroundings. Instead of imitating city sounds, a composer might use the actual sounds of bells or traffic or crickets, reshaping background noise into something to puzzle over, wonder at, and even buy. However, the boundary between ordinary and special does not give up without a fight. For example, a Manhattan gallery recently mounted an exhibit of Instagram photos, selected and printed by an established artist. His reproductions sold for tens of thousands of dollars, inciting controversy. Those who initially created and posted the images responded by selling prints of their own originals — for much lower prices.

The repackaging of humble materials is not new. Many artists in various disciplines have smudged the boundary between art and life, as when Marcel Duchamp (in)famously placed a bicycle wheel on a pedestal in 1913. (It is now held by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.) Forty years later, John Cage created an equally mischievous piano piece composed only of silence. In the 1960s, choreographer Yvonne Rainer explored "pedestrian movement," and Yoko Ono instructed performers to make art of the eating of a tuna sandwich, the utterance of a cough, or the removal of clothing.

Earlier generations of experimental artists seemed to revel in mystification and countercultural status, but today we take for granted that everyday experience can be aesthetically invigorating. With ubiquitous digital media and technology, the arts become less distinct from ordinary experience, and individual artistic disciplines get mixed up too. Such blurring of boundaries raises questions about aesthetics, authorship, expertise, spectatorship, commodification, and community.

This seminar seeks enchantment in everyday experience, considering the allure and the danger of mixing up life and art. In addition to studying and writing about historical artworks, students will research current-day practice and will complete open-ended creative projects. Experience in any artistic discipline is welcome but is by no means required; more important is a spirit of curiosity and exploration. For our purposes, "art" refers not only to visual art but to a wide variety of creative undertakings that result in performances, objects, rituals, stunts, and other possibilities we will soon discover. (Tuesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 141 Life in a Nuclear-Armed World SA
Zia Mian
Frank E. Richardson '61 Freshman Seminar in Public Policy

In an April 1945 memo to President Harry Truman, Secretary of War Henry Stimson announced the coming of the nuclear age. The United States, Stimson wrote, was about to complete "the most terrible weapon ever known in human history, one bomb of which could destroy a whole city." He warned that "the world — would be eventually at the mercy of such a weapon. In other words, modern civilization might be completely destroyed."

Four months later, on hearing the news that America's atom bomb had destroyed its first target, the Japanese city of Hiroshima, President Harry Truman declared, "This is the greatest thing in history."

This course will look at what it has meant to live with the bomb in America, how and why the bomb has spread to other states, the threat of nuclear terrorism, and the links between nuclear weapons and civilian nuclear energy programs. It will also look at what has happened after the April 2009 speech by President Barack Obama declaring that, "As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act... So today, I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons."

In this course, we will unpack some of the meanings of the nuclear age, using scholarly and popular writings as well as movies and documentary films about "the bomb." We will look at the design, development, production, and maintenance of a nuclear arsenal, and the associated economic, political, and environmental costs, as well as examining people who lived and worked in communities as part of the nuclear complex. We shall look also at the struggles of the anti-nuclear movement in its efforts to restrain decision-makers, end arms races, and to ban the bomb. (Wednesday 7:30 p.m.-10:20 p.m.)

Rockefeller College

FRS 143 Cold War in the USSR: The Life and Times of Nikita Khrushchev SA
Deborah Kaple

Cold War. Moscow, March 1953. Feared Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin dies, leaving a legacy of mass terror and an extensive system of slave labor camps full of innocent people arrested on trumped-up charges. This was Stalin's Gulag, a highly secretive institution whose name could not be spoken aloud for fear of arrest. The tyrant's death sets off a leadership crisis, and a power struggle ensues between notorious KGB chief Lavrenty Beria, Stalin henchman Georgy Malenkov, and Communist Party First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev. In a surprise one-two, Beria boldly moves to enhance his popularity and distance himself from Stalin by opening the gates of the Gulag, releasing 1.5 million convicts into Soviet society with no warning or preparation. This causes mass chaos. Soon, the new government is flooded with petitions from people insisting on the release of their still-incarcerated relatives. In a few months, Beria is arrested and shot, and the unlikely Khrushchev, a peasant from Ukraine with a fourth-grade education, emerges victorious in the leadership struggle. As he battles to gain control over the Soviet Union, it becomes clear that he has to answer to his nation for the repression and the Gulag, and all the pain these had cost the Soviet people for 25 years. On February 25, 1956, he makes the speech of his life at the 20th Communist Party Congress, and changes the course of the Soviet Union. In his "Secret Speech," he shocks the world by denouncing Stalin and blaming him for all the terror that had taken place. With this, he ushers in a new era of openness and a lifting of Stalin's repressive controls over Soviet life. Thus begins "The Thaw" in the USSR.

In this course, we will learn about Stalin's repression and life in the Gulag. We will read from actual Politburo transcripts as the leadership contenders decide how to deal with each other and Stalin's legacy, and we will look into Khrushchev's earlier life for clues to explain his meteoric rise in the Communist Party. Then we will turn our attention to the incredible outpouring of creative energy, as a population that had been repressed for decades comes alive. We will experience the results of this unexpected Soviet freedom by reading the new "Thaw" literature; looking at outrageous "non-Soviet" art, fashion, and design; watching "Thaw" films; and listening to the music of the bards. We will also follow Khrushchev as he travels the world as the new Soviet leader touting his new doctrines of "de-Stalinization" and "peaceful co-existence." Finally, we will examine the inevitable disastrous consequences of Khrushchev's new policies on the Socialist bloc, as these countries, one after another, erupt in disarray and revolution, trying to leave Communism behind.

Throughout the course, we will focus on ethical and sociological questions posed by Khrushchev's actions. Was Communism as a form of government structurally repressive? Was Stalin really the only person responsible for the mass arrests and the Gulag that terrorized the nation? As one of Stalin's loyal followers, was Khrushchev guilty, too? Was the Communist Party? Were all ordinary citizens? And if so, what has this meant for today's Russia, a country that still has not come to terms with its complicity and responsibility for Stalin's crimes? (Tuesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 145 Public Leadership and Public Policy SA
Nathan Scovronick
L. Richardson Preyer '41 Freshman Seminar in Public Service

This seminar will review key presidential policy decisions on domestic and foreign policy issues, and will consider the ethical, legal, and operational frameworks for effective, responsible public leadership. It will examine cases such as the passage of civil rights legislation, the management of natural disasters, and the conduct of military actions such as those involving Cuba, Vietnam, and Iraq. Students will review relevant literature from history, psychology, and politics; discuss the central policy issues in each case; and evaluate the decision-making process in view of these frameworks. (Wednesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 147 The Science of Mythbusters STN
Joshua Shaevitz

How do scientists actually go about answering practical questions? How does science function as a way of understanding our world, and importantly, how does it differ from other approaches? As its point of departure, this course will examine and critique selected episodes of the television series MythBusters (Discovery Channel), which tests the validity of many popular beliefs — including myths, rumors, traditions, and stories — in a variety of imaginative ways. We will take the opportunity to delve more deeply into the applicability of the scientific method in understanding a vast range of real-world problems, and into the practical acquisition of fact-based knowledge, which together form the cornerstone of all science. The intellectual framework of this course will be based, first and foremost, on skeptical inquiry, combined with the other key ingredients of good science, which include: framing the question, careful experimental design, meticulous observation and measurement, quantitative analysis and modeling, the evaluation of statistical significance, recovery from failure, disseminating findings, and the continuous cycle of hypothesis and testing. This course is geared toward non-science students and requires only basic algebra, which we will use to approach problems in basic probability and statistics. There is also a hands-on "dorm lab" component that involves some fabrication and a significant amount of individual testing and measurement outside of class. The final course project will involve developing and writing a scientific-style grant proposal to test a myth. (Monday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 149 Ethics in Finance SA
Jean-Christophe de Swaan
John H. Laporte Jr. '67 Freshman Seminar

Examples of ethical transgressions in financial markets abound, despite a slew of high-profile scandals exposed over the past two decades. The global financial crisis arguably highlighted the extent to which we seem to have made little progress in stamping out unethical behavior in markets. This seminar will explore ethics in financial markets using a case-based method. Our approach will be grounded in an understanding of the role of a financial system in an economy and society. We will frame the discussion by reviewing the economic development and egalitarian arguments in favor of markets and considering their limits. We will address the seminar's topic from various angles, drawing on financial theory and concepts of behavioral ethics, corporate governance, economic development, and public policy.

In addressing ethical issues, a few themes will be emphasized throughout the semester:

• An attempt to distinguish ethical issues that are systemic in nature from those that relate to individual decision-making and character.

• For the systemic issues, a comparison of corporate governance across national financial markets, with an emphasis on the United States, China, Japan, and India, and how the typical conflicts of interest encountered in each of these countries might be linked to the nature of their financial systems.

• For the issues related to individual decision-making, case studies will illustrate various patterns observed in markets, from outright deceit, fraud, and manipulation to more nuanced mishandling of conflicts of interest. For the latter, we will pay particular attention to the concept of "bounded ethicality" and the gray areas in which financial actors have to balance a complex web of duties and incentives. Many of these discussions will center on the conflicts that arise from agent-principal relations such as corporate executives acting on behalf of shareholders and investment managers acting on behalf of clients.

• A discussion of role models — finance professionals who pursue their self-interest in a responsible manner, in ways that seek to benefit society rather than extract value from it. Some of these individuals will visit the seminar to discuss specific decisions they made that are at odds with the path taken by their peers.

• An exploration of the economic and social value of investments and which types of investments might create the most positive impact beyond financial returns.

This seminar is targeted at a broad group of students, including students who have an interest in financial markets from an investment, economic development, or public policy perspective, as well as those who have an interest in concepts of moral reasoning applied to finance. There are no specific prerequisites for the class, although having taken introductory economics will help.

The course will feature several guest speakers, including a business leader, a regulator, and finance practitioners, who are ethical role models who can provide a personal perspective on conflicts of interest encountered in financial markets and specific ways in which they have tried to address them during their careers. (Thursday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 151 Philanthropy: Can We Save the World Through Generosity? SA
Stanley Katz
Bert G. Kerstetter '66 Freshman Seminar

Thanks to an initiative of the Pallette Foundation, students in this freshman seminar will engage in a very special project. The foundation has agreed to provide you with $50,000 to enhance your understanding of and interest in philanthropy. It will be up to the students in the course to determine the object(s) of our philanthropy, the number and size of our gift(s), the mode of awarding the gift(s), and our plans for evaluating the success of our gift(s). The only limitation that the foundation has placed upon you is that the recipients of the gift(s) must be U.S. 501(C)(3) nonprofit organizations.

This seminar will place its gift-giving effort in the context of philanthropy and civil society in the United States. We will ask how modern philanthropy emerged in America in the early 20th century, how and why the private philanthropic foundation was created to implement the purposes of philanthropy, and what problems in public policy have emerged as a result of philanthropy. We will also examine the functions of civil society, the space between the state and the market, in the United States. Here, we will particularly inquire how the nonprofit organizations that form the core of civil society contribute to democracy, and how they are influenced by the actions of philanthropy and philanthropists. We will bring both empirical and theoretical concerns to this inquiry. How does the philanthropic system of the United States actually work? What improvements might be made to the system? How can philanthropy be understood at the level of moral and political philosophy?

But the core of your work will be to organize yourselves as a group to determine how best to act as philanthropists — how to donate $50,000 in the best manner possible before the end of the term. This should be quite a group adventure, and I am looking forward to seeing how you do. (Tuesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 153 Canceled Things Come to Life: Explorations in Modern and Contemporary Art and Literature LA
Brigid Doherty

"What is art?" In Must We Mean What We Say? (1969), philosopher Stanley Cavell argues that the answer to that question "will in part be an answer which explains why it is we treat certain objects, or how we can treat certain objects, in ways normally reserved for treating persons." Cavell's question — why do we treat certain objects, or how can we treat certain objects, namely works of art, in ways normally reserved for treating persons? — will occupy us throughout our work together as we explore a range of responses that have been offered, since the 19th century, to the question "What is art?"

Literature is rich with examples of persons experiencing works of art as things come to life. You may recall, for example, Pygmalion and his ivory sculpture animated by Cupid's kiss in Book X of Ovid's Metamorphoses, or think of the predicament of the subject of the painted portrait in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). Through a series of case studies ranging from the mid-19th-century poetry and art criticism of Charles Baudelaire to the contemporary art and writing of Laurie Anderson, William Kentridge, Gerhard Richter, Patti Smith, Rosemarie Trockel, and Jeff Wall, this seminar will investigate how engagements with longstanding artistic traditions, changing socioeconomic conditions, and new technologies and media in Western modernity since the 19th century have shaped the formal procedures of art and literature and the aesthetic theories developed to comprehend them.

From the aesthetic contemplation of a carcass in Baudelaire's poem "Une Charogne" (1856) to the radical self-transformation of a performance artist's own body in Don DeLillo's novella The Body Artist (2001), many of the works of art and literature we shall study together involve aesthetic complexities at stake when things (seem to) come to life in art, as well as ethical complexities at stake when works of art come to be regarded as (virtually) animate objects. Many of the works also explore the ethical and aesthetic challenges confronted by artists and writers under conditions of mourning, both personal and collective.

We shall pay special attention to relationships between art and literature, and to attempts to conceptualize those relationships in ethical terms. Artists and literary authors to be studied include, in addition to Baudelaire, Trockel, Kentridge, Wall, Richter, DeLillo, Anderson, and Smith: E.T.A. Hoffmann, Heinrich von Kleist, Auguste Rodin, Rainer Maria Rilke, Georges Méli[e]s, and Franz Kafka. Additional readings will include works by Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Walter Benjamin, and others. (Thursday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 155 Dante's Inferno: A Guide to Hell (and Back) LA
Simone Marchesi

A three-part poetic report of a visionary journey through the realm of the dead, The Divine Comedy takes its readers on a ride through a gruesome hell in which impenitent sinners are eternally chastised by the most imaginative torments; the more serene airs of purgatory, where souls of the repented purify and ready themselves for paradise; and a final vertiginous, poetically exhilarating, ascent through the heavens toward the direct beatific vision of God. Along the way, Dante — both author and protagonist — encounters souls from all ages of mankind and from the most diverse walks of life: from the most ancient ones, like Adam (in heaven), to the most recently deceased, like the last popes from Dante's own day (surprisingly confined to hell). These meetings not only punctuate and propel the poem's plot, but they also present its readers with larger cultural questions: Where should we draw the line between advancing religious convictions and struggling for power in politics? How should we choose from among competing philosophies of life? What is the nature of art? And more fundamentally, how do we read a poetic text? By presenting us with these questions, the poem will challenge and enrich our perception and understanding of religious, ethical, and aesthetical issues.

In this course, we will use Dante's The Divine Comedy as an invitation and a starting point to become better readers of literary texts. The seminar will consist of a collaborative, close reading of the Inferno, and it will expand into the analysis of selected cantos of Purgatorio and Paradiso. Short introductory lectures will alternate with student-led class discussions, film screenings, and presentations on Dante's reception in modern poetry and art. We will use a bilingual edition, which will allow us to access the text easily, while providing us opportunities to observe nuances of meaning or style preserved in the original language. We will also take advantage of the wide array of resources available to Dante students at Princeton. The remarkable collection of illustrated editions of The Divine Comedy in Firestone Library and the Princeton University Art Museum, as well as the incredible wealth of information contained in the web-based Princeton Dante Project, will help to familiarize us with the culture of Dante's time and the scholarly activity that has surrounded the poem over the last seven centuries.

One key feature of the course will be the experimentation with active-learning techniques. Students should expect, for instance, to work in small, fluidly forming, discussion groups to tackle key issues in the readings and report to the class. They will be asked to prepare one-word lectures on select cantos of the Inferno, defend them, and eventually agree on one to be adopted as mnemonic aid for the class. Emulating professional Dante scholars, they will be given the opportunity to become the class leading experts on one facet of Dante's culture. In sum, they will be asked to become directly responsible for an informed, meditated, and collaborative interpretation of the poem.

At the end of the seminar, we will have acquired a wealth of techniques of interpretation that will prepare us to perceive and decode meaning in other literary texts beyond the Inferno. A great reader of classical and biblical poetry himself, Dante will be our first guide in this interpretive journey and help us develop and train our sensibilities for other poetry beyond his own. (Tuesday 7:30 p.m.-10:20 p.m.)


FRS 159 Science, Technology, and Public Policy SA
Harold T. Shapiro

The overall objective of this seminar is to understand and assess how American scientists and U.S. science policy have served the interests of the nation, the U.S. Government, and the scientific community. Moreover, we will discuss the ethical issues that often arise in these contexts.

The seminar will begin with a lecture/discussion that identifies the interrelationship between science, technology, economic growth, and public policy. We will also identify the tools available to federal and state governments to both invigorate and direct the national scientific enterprise. In this initial meeting we will also consider specific example of the use of new science and technology to achieve particular political aims (i.e., victory) in World War II, its impact on the war and on science more broadly. Moreover, this example will help us sketch out just how this formative experience in World War II reshaped post-war U.S. government attitudes both for the support of science and technology ("policy for the support of science and technology") and the reliance of governments on science and technology to achieve particular public policy objectives ("science and technology in support of policy").

All subsequent sessions of the seminar will revert to a more purely seminar format where students share the responsibility for both leading and participating in the discussions.

Once in this more purely seminar format (i.e., by our second meeting) the next three sessions will focus on three case studies of important national issues that involve the intersection of science, technology, and public policy. In particular we will discuss the legal, scientific, and policy issues that emanated from the development of: first, Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), along with human reproductive cloning and embryonic stem cell research; second, global warming; and third, our national energy policy. In all these cases the focus will be on the new technological options available and the respective role of science, scientists, public policy, ethics, and law in addressing the potential of: a) ART, human reproductive cloning and stem cell research; b) the domestic and international policy challenges surrounding global warming; and c) the nation's energy challenges.

The seminar will then consider more carefully the relationship of science and technology to economic growth and the manner in which federal policies can influence these matters. In this context, we will turn to a fuller discussion of the evolving role of the U.S. government in stimulating/directing the growth of science and technology, as the government itself becomes more dependent on new achievements on the scientific frontier.

In subsequent meetings of the seminar we will focus on a series of areas in which developments on the scientific frontier raise important additional issues for U.S. public policy. We will consider such areas as: classical and contemporary eugenics, public health policies surrounding vaccines and contagious diseases, the use of human subjects in medical research, and the details of just how government decisions are made in the process of setting public policies in the U.S.

If time permits, the seminar will conclude by considering a few additional issues on the frontiers of science and technology policy such as: globalization, developments in neurobiology, fusion energy, the environment, the science and technology workforce, etc.

Through the course of our discussions, we will come to see the many inherent and potential conflicts of interest that may arise when scientists serve as advocates and advisers in heated policy debates where egos, money, and power are at stake. (Wednesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 161 Histories of the Future HA
Erika Milam
The Stansky Family Freshman Seminar

The future is contested territory. What will happen in one week? Where will the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean be located in 200 years? Will humanity even exist in three millennia — and if it does, will we still be us? Any attempt to answer questions like these requires identifying events or changes in the present and extrapolating their consequences into the unknowable future. In short, the future is unstable because we cannot agree on what is important about the present. In this seminar, we will use narratives about the future to explore the past from the perspective of the history of science in two ways. Most straightforwardly, futuristic narratives composed in the past century provide us with excellent clues as to the cultural context in which authors penned their accounts. We will thus use "the future" as a guide to the past. The means and methods by which scientists and science fiction authors have created their "futures" have also changed. Time itself has a history.

Our sources include scientists' reflections on the past and its connection to the future, speculative fiction written to explore events yet to come, and historical/theoretical writings that place these accounts of the future squarely in the cultural milieu in which they were written. Some of these stories function as utopian dreams or dystopian warnings about the future, in which authors hope the future can be altered through action in the present. In other, more apocalyptic specters, even the mere existence of the future cannot be relied upon — whether as a consequence of intervening natural, political, or supernatural events. We will use these readings to analyze how the concepts of time and history have changed, and to better understand the meanings we now invest in our own futures. (Monday 7:30 p.m.-10:20 p.m.)

Whitman College

FRS 163 "Once Upon a Time..." Magic Tales and Their Meanings LA
Margaret Beissinger

In this course, we will explore classic magic ("fairy") tales from around the world, focusing on traditional narrative patterns and their meanings. We will view magic tales as stories that reflect significant moments and experiences of the life cycle (e.g., coming of age, marriage, etc.) and will explore symbolic journeys (often of initiation, both male and female), representations of the Other World (forests, faraway kingdoms, the land of the dead, etc.), and family relationships (between parents and children, siblings, etc.), to name a few. We will examine many topics, including oral composition, variants and multiforms, storytellers and performance (including storytelling as a revived art form), the major critical approaches that have influenced the study of the genre (oral-traditional, historic-geographic, structuralist, myth-ritual, psychological, symbolic, socio-historical, and feminist), and how magic tales inform other types of narrative (in literature and film).

Most of the seminar (weeks 1-10) will focus on traditional magic tales and how they function in Euro-American and non-Western cultures. During the last two weeks of the course (weeks 11 and 12), we will examine how magic tales are adopted and adapted in Western literature and film. We will seek to understand how and why magic tales are composed and performed — how and why they resonate so profoundly and evoke intriguing layers of cultural, social, and psychological meaning. Our goal is to "read" the "texts" of magic tales and to understand how and why they so vividly express the human experience. (Tuesday, Thursday 1:30 p.m.-2:50 p.m.)


FRS 165 Is Your Zip Code Your Destiny? Exploring the Social Determinants of Health SA
Heather Howard

Over the last century, the United States has made substantial improvements in health indicators, including increased life expectancy. Despite that progress, and even as we spend approximately one-sixth of our gross domestic product on healthcare (more than any other industrialized nation), we have significant, and persistent, healthcare disparities and gaps in health access and outcomes. We are beginning to understand that there is more to individual and community health than habits, healthcare, or even our genes. Indeed, the context of our lives — where we live, work, and play — helps determine our health status. This course will explore the social determinants of health, including economic opportunity (or lack thereof), environmental influences, educational resources, social capital, and public safety.

This course will examine the factors affecting health status from the unique perspective of Trenton. New Jersey's capital, Trenton is a diverse city with approximately 84,000 residents that has low home ownership rates and one of the state's highest rates of violent crime. One-third of Trenton's children live in poverty and nearly half are obese. Students will study various perspectives on the social determinants of health and, through a partnership with the Trenton Health Team (a community health improvement collaborative working to improve health outcomes and contain health care costs), engage with efforts to confront those conditions and improve health status in Trenton. The proposed partnership will allow students to explore the complex factors affecting the health of a community and the roles of community-based organizations, the government, and health care providers in addressing health inequities and improving health status.

A series of readings will expose students to the current academic literature. Students will then choose a topic for more in-depth research, write a paper on the topic, and present their findings to the class. For example, a student might choose to study the impact of access to transportation on health status. The student will produce a paper summarizing the research and investigating the issue using Trenton as a case study, and report those findings to the class. The various student papers will then form a report to the Trenton Health Team. (Wednesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 167 Princeton, Slavery, and Historical Memory HA
Martha Sandweiss

This freshman seminar, based at Whitman College and in the University archives at Mudd Library, will focus on Princeton University's historical connections to the institution of slavery. Building on work done by undergraduate students for the Princeton and Slavery Project over the past four years, students will explore the meaning of historical memory at both the institutional and personal level. Together, we will think about what Princeton University might do to address its involvement with slavery. The focus of the class, however, will be on how the historical memory of slavery functions in the individual lives of Princeton students, alumni, staff, and faculty.

After doing extensive reading about Princeton and slavery, slavery and public history, and the theoretical debates about historical memory, students will work together and with filmmaker Melvin McCray to create a series of short film interviews about the burden of America's slaveholding past and its impact on individual Princetonians descended from slaveholders, slaves, and, perhaps, both. In preparation for these interviews, students will learn how to do genealogical research and navigate the Princeton University archives. Students will be responsible for finding interview subjects, preparing interview questions, and conducting face to face interviews that will: 1.) lead to short write-ups that will become part of an online exhibition on the Princeton and Slavery website; and 2.) serve as preliminary interviews for the film work to be done by McCray, a prize-winning filmmaker and 1974 alumnus who made the much-acclaimed film Looking Back: Reflections of Black Princeton Alumni. Students will also contribute to the film by doing transcriptions and picture research in University archives.

The film interviews produced by this class will become an integral part of the Princeton and Slavery website, set to roll out in fall 2017. This website will present the first full investigation of slavery's impact on Princeton, with dynamic timelines, maps, and exhibitions that track the slaveholding practices of early Princeton trustees and faculty; follow campus debates about slavery; explore Princeton during the Civil War; document slavery in the town of Princeton; and follow the lives of Princeton's Southern students. (Tuesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 169 Expressing the Passions of the Soul: The Study of Human Emotions in Art and Science LA
Alexander Todorov

After hundreds of years of studying the expressions of emotions, artists and scientists continue to argue about their nature. Are these expressions innately specified and universal or learned and specific to one's culture? Do they provide clear signals about our emotional states? Or are these signals recognizable only within the situational context in which we observe them? Until the end of the 19th century, the artistic study of expressions was intricately related to their scientific study. Although these connections have been lost, the same questions that dominated artistic debates in the 18th century dominate the modern scientific debates.

In 1688, Charles Le Brun, one of the most dominant figures in 17th-century French art, delivered a lecture on the facial expressions of emotions: the first attempt in human history to systematically explore and depict such expressions. The lecture was extremely popular, published in more than 60 editions, and served as a drawing manual in many art schools. In the 19th century, science-based manuals replaced the art-based manuals. The two most important books on emotional expressions before Darwin's The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals were written by scientists for artists: Charles Bell's Essays on the Anatomy of Expression in Painting (1806) and Duchenne de Boulogne's The Electro-Physiological Analysis of the Expression of the Passions (1862).

Although Darwin's book was a bestseller, it was quickly forgotten. His ideas re-emerged in psychology in the 1960s. Following in Darwin's footsteps, psychologists argued that there is a limited set of universal emotional expressions that are easily recognized. Since then, this view has been repeatedly contested by other psychologists and is a perpetual topic of debate among emotion researchers. The arguments are the same as the arguments raised against Le Brun after his death: his system was too artificial and limited, failing to capture expressions as they occurred in real life and the many nuances in the expressions of the passions. While the academic debate continues, millions of dollars are invested in companies promising to read our emotions from our faces. We will finish the seminar with a critical review of commercial applications.

During the seminar, we will study original works of art from the collection of the Princeton University Art Museum, read original historical texts, modern research papers, and papers from the popular media. (Tuesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 173 Mother Tongues: Language and National Identity in the 21st Century SA
Mariana Bono
Professor Whitney J. Oates '25 *31 Freshman Seminar in the Humanities

Language is part and parcel of our daily lives. For many speakers, the use of language remains largely unconscious and unnoticed. At the same time, language is inextricably linked to social value and national identity. Nations are imagined and narrated into being, Benedict Anderson argues in his renowned work on imagined communities, a process deeply influenced by language. Languages are more than systems of communication. Languages are social institutions, ideological battlegrounds, and instruments used by nation-states to homogenize populations, define citizenship, and create social hierarchies.

This seminar aims to develop novel ways of thinking about languages beyond the ontological realm as sociopolitical entities, to raise critical awareness of the ways in which language creates and perpetuates power in society, and to deconstruct well-established notions such as linguistic authority, nativity, and foreignness. We will discuss the development of nationalism in relation to "national" and other languages, the rise of vernaculars, the link between language and nationhood, linguistic ideology, and the one-nation-one language premise.

We will then turn our attention to language dynamics in the 21st century and issues of regional and non-territorial languages, hybrid identities and multilingualism, the myth of the mother tongue, linguistic allegiance, and language shift. Finally, we will explore the ways in which language shapes culture and identity, and impacts schooling and citizenship in a transnational, interconnected world.

The seminar is designed for students who are interested in learning about language as a social practice. No previous knowledge in the field of linguistics is required. Class readings and discussions are grounded in specific geographical and historical contexts and cases. In order to connect theoretical insights with local practices and personal narratives, students will be asked to look around them for evidence of language contact situations — in the urban landscape and the media, and in their own families and communities. (Wednesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 175 Sizing Up the Universe QR
Robert Vanderbei
Richard L. Smith '70 Freshman Seminar

In this seminar, we will investigate the sizes of and distances to planets, stars, and galaxies far, far away. We will start with familiar objects having sizes we can readily grasp and carefully work our way up to the largest, most distant objects in the observable universe. We will describe how these sizes and distances were first measured by scientists/philosophers as our understanding of the universe we live in evolved and matured over the years. But, more than that, we will learn, and in some cases demonstrate, how many of these measurements can be done with fairly modest equipment in our modern age. For example, we will see: a) how one can measure the diameter of the Earth from a single picture of a sunset; b) how one can measure the distance to the sun by analyzing pictures of nearby asteroids taken through a small telescope over the course of a few nights; and c) how one can measure the distance to nearby stars using a few pictures taken over the course a year or two, again through a small telescope. Depending on weather and available resources, we hope to demonstrate with actual nighttime observations some of these fundamental measurements. (Tuesday, Thursday 3:00 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 187 Philosophical Analysis Using Argument Maps EM
Simon Cullen
Peter T. Joseph '72 Freshman Seminars in Human Values

What, if anything, do we owe the global poor? Is abortion morally permissible? Is assisted suicide? Is it ever permissible to destroy a human embryo for medical research? Should we massively extend the human lifespan to thousands of years, or perhaps even to biological immortality? Is free will possible in a deterministic world, and if it is not, are we ever morally responsible for our actions? What are the conditions of personal identity? At a fundamental level, what are race and gender? What is the probability that we live in a computer simulation?

These are some of the toughest, most pressing questions in practical ethics and metaphysics. Philosophers have addressed these questions by producing subtle, intricate, and often beautiful arguments. In this seminar, you will assess those arguments and produce your own. You will learn to think like a philosopher — to strip an argument presented in prose to its bare essentials and produce a visual map that displays its structure plainly.

Learning to visualize arguments in this way will improve the clarity and rigor of your own thinking and writing. It will put you in a position to make progress on hard questions such as those above. And it will improve your ability to crisply convey your ideas — an ability that will serve you well not just in your Princeton classes, but also in the political, professional, and civic reasoning you employ for the rest of your life.

Please visit http://bit.ly/phimaps-info for more information about the seminar and argument mapping, and the results from a two-year controlled experiment on the effectiveness of the seminar. (Monday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)

Wilson College

FRS 177 The World of Noir LA
William Howarth
William H. Burchfield, Class of 1902, Freshman Seminar

Noir ... is the long drop off the short pier and the wrong man and the wrong woman in perfect misalliance. It's the nightmare of flawed souls with big dreams and the precise how and why of the all-time sure thing that goes bad. — James Ellroy

In the 1940s, pulp magazines and B-films created a new genre, eventually called Noir (dark, black). On page and screen, hundreds of these thrilling "gangster" stories — stark, vivid, and ambiguous — shaped the imagination and self-concept of a world beset by depression and fear.

As the post-atomic world shifted from hot to cold war and grappled with civil rights and urban decay, Noir depicted a dream-like world where morality turns fluid, crime undermines justice, and capitalism sours democracy.

Although the political outlook of Noir ranges from liberal to libertarian, its core tension remains: crime and justice are mirror analogues, shadow selves of each other. In this seminar, we will map Noir's rise and spread, relate it to the rise of postmodern thought, and study its triumph as a cultural style.

We will raise questions including: Why do law-abiding viewers so enjoy crime stories? What are the sources of crime and corruption? How does the work of criminal investigation proceed? Is crime natural to our species? Why do we admire outlaws yet condemn them? What can we say to the transgressor within ourselves?

The seminar is fast-paced and demanding. Meetings will feature intense discussions of readings in film history, methodology, and criticism. They will inform your writings, weekly journal entries, and final Reading Period essay. (Advice: Please do not think that a film course is somehow "easy.") (Wednesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 179 Crime in the Great Novel LA
Sheila Kohler

Why are we fascinated by violence? Why does the murder mystery have such a considerable readership? Why have some of our greatest novelists taken up this form? Is it because the well-structured crime novel contains and controls violence in a cohesive form? Is it because the repetitive, familiar narrative structure like the fairy story with its neat beginning, middle, and end, makes it less frightening? Or do we all have violence within some dark part of ourselves and are able to express this in the crime novel with impunity?

We will read five novels (and view some film versions) — from different places and times where crime plays a major role: Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, Russia, 1866 (in three parts); Camus' The Stranger, France 1942; (in two parts); John Fowles' The Collector, England, 1963 (in two parts and film); Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Colombia, 1981; and Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr Ripley, America, 1955, and the two film versions: Purple Noon, 1960, and The Talented Mr Ripley, 1999. (Wednesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 181 Graphic America: Comics, Graphic Narrative, and American Culture LA
Alfred Bendixen

In 1986, the publication of Maus, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and Watchmen transformed a popular form of American entertainment — the comic book — into a new literary and artistic form that demanded serious attention from readers and scholars — the graphic novel. In this seminar, we will explore some of the core texts of the emerging canon of graphic narrative, paying particular attention to how specific works combine language and visual imagery in ways that enlarge the possibilities of narrative form and provide a new kind of critique of American culture. We will develop strategies for interpreting and evaluating the cultural significance and aesthetic quality of narratives based on sequential art.

We will begin our exploration by using one of the most popular American comic strips, Bill Watterson's "Calvin and Hobbes," to define the specific characteristics of the form and its capacity to mask philosophical complexity with deceptive simplicity. Next, we will examine some of the recognized masterpieces, including Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, Alan Moore's Watchmen, Art Spiegelman's Maus, and Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, as well as some graphic explorations of American life that seem likely to enter this new canon, such as Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese, Craig Thompson's Blankets, Roz Chast's Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Will Eisner's To the Heart of the Storm, and Howard Cruse's Stuck Rubber Baby. These texts provide new ways of looking at race, class, sexuality, gender, and the entire process of growing up and growing older in the United States. By the end of the course, students will have discovered some amazing new books and new ways of reading the graphic narrative and the culture it depicts and critiques. (Wednesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 183 Bodies in Cultural Landscapes LA
Patricia Hoffbauer
Louise S. Sams, Class of 1979, Freshman Seminar

This seminar explores the intricate history of Western fascination with non-white bodies in motion, from representations recorded in early ethnographic films to contemporary portrayals of the moving body in Hollywood films, videos, documentaries, and concerts. We will examine how expectations projected onto these bodies have shaped contemporary discourses on gender, race, and culture. Finally, the seminar will expose students, with or without prior experience, to the joy of watching, analyzing, creating, and presenting their own performances.

Our approach to a wide variety of cultural materials and readings will be divided into three units. The first unit, Body as Culture, will focus on representations of "otherness" as recorded by European ethnographers since the late 1890s. The second, Body as Commerce, will focus on the implementation of FDR's Good Neighbor Policy in Hollywood musicals, including those featuring Brazilian performer Carmen Miranda. The final unit, Body as Art, will explore the rich New York dance field from the early days of modern dance to trends of contemporary dance today.

We will travel to New York City for one field trip to see a performance, which will likely take place on a Friday or Saturday during the semester. A guest artist who was involved with the beginning of "voguing" will visit our class to discuss his experiences as a voguer and his days at the Harlem Balls. (Wednesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 185 Revolutionary Russia: Utopianism, Terrorism, and Subversion in the Empire of the Tsars, 1840s-1917 HA
Ekaterina Pravilova

In 1917, a new socialist state emerged from the ruins of the old Romanov Empire and the dreams of several generations of Russian radicals came true. How could the idea of the Russian Revolution evolve in the autocratic state? What were the ideological differences between terrorists and populists, Marxists and anarchists, Bolsheviks and Mensheviks? This seminar will explore the history of revolutionary ideas and movements in Russia from the 1840s until the fall of the Russian Empire in 1917. We will read the memoirs of terrorists and gendarmes who chased them, as well as the cult novels of Russian revolutionary youth and political pamphlets. We will also analyze the role of women in the radical movement and study the political programs of revolutionary parties. (Tuesday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 189 Death and the Character LA
Chloe Kitzinger

In his well-known essay "The Storyteller" (1936), the critic Walter Benjamin wrote: "What draws the reader to the novel is the hope of warming his shivering life with a death he reads about." The moment of death, in other words, is the moment of meaning: we seek out literary characters because we can see the shape of their biographies from beginning to end, as we will never be able to see our own lives. And yet, the representation of death is as problematic as it is terrifying: how far can a narrative follow its hero(ine) towards death? What does it mean to narrate an experience that neither author nor reader have had — but that both are certain to have one day?

In this course, we will consider death as a subject and a problem of narration, focusing primarily on great 19th-century European writers who treated this problem in especially adventurous or provocative ways. Our concern will be both with the narrated deaths of literary characters, and, more generally, with the ending that gives shape to a biography or plot. Some of the questions we will address include: What can fictional narratives of death tell us about philosophical, psychological, and medical ones, and vice versa? How does the completed life story of a character echo with the stories that novels tell about historical periods and epochs? What kinds of aesthetic, ethical, and epistemological questions do narratives of death attempt to solve, and what kinds do they open? Throughout the semester, we will explore both the theme of narrated death, and the relationships between author, reader, character, and form that lie at the heart of literary storytelling. Core texts include Balzac's Père Goriot, Dostoevsky's The Idiot, Eliot's The Mill on the Floss, and Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich, along with collateral readings from philosophy, psychology, and literary theory.

Near the end of the course, we will glance forward to more recent non-fictional narratives about the end of life, by writers including Paul Kalanithi and Oliver Sacks. Requirements: approximately 120-200 pages of reading per week, active participation, an oral presentation leading off discussion of one assigned reading, a 7-8 pp. midterm paper, and a 12-15 pp. final paper (or significant revision and extension of the midterm paper — student's choice). (Monday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 191 Philosophy and Criminal Justice EM
Gideon Rosen
Dean Eva Gossman Freshman Seminar in Human Values

The criminal justice system is supposed to be a justice system. The police, the courts, the prisons, and the rest are not just powerful tools through which the state can control the people. They are — or at least they ought to be — parts of a morally defensible system in which just laws are enforced by just means for just purposes. As we are constantly reminded by current events, every real criminal justice system falls woefully short of this ideal. But if we are to criticize and reform these systems, it pays to think about what an ideal, fully justifiable system of criminal justice would be like. The aim of this seminar is to do just that.

The plan is to approach classic questions about morality and the law through the lens of concrete problems of criminal justice. What is the proper scope of criminal law? We approach the question by looking first at the constitutional debate over sodomy laws in the United States, and then at more recent controversies about the (de)criminalization of prostitution and drug use. Is it ever morally permissible to punish conduct that has not been criminalized in advance? The U.S. constitution says no, but the punishment of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg seems to say otherwise. When should a person be liable to punishment? We approach the question by analyzing a case that tests the limits of the insanity defense, and then by considering an argument from neuroscience for the conclusion that criminal punishment is never truly justified because conscious choice is an illusion. Throughout the course the aim will be to elicit general moral principles by reflecting on real cases and concrete problems. Readings will be drawn from philosophy, legal scholarship, judicial decisions, and news reports. Each session will focus on a small number of (mostly recent) cases. We will do our best to understand the empirical issues and the existing law; but the chief goal will be to articulate the moral principles that ought to guide law in the area, and so to say what a decent system of criminal justice would be like. (Thursday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 193 Life Stories LA
Amy Rowland
Class of 1975 Freshman Seminar

How does a writer construct a self through narrative? In recent years, many novelists have experimented with autobiographical elements in fiction, from the secular confessional to social reflection. Are such works merely veiled memoirs, taking cover under the label of fiction so as to escape questions of validity, evidence, and truth? Recently, journalists, too, have employed autobiographical techniques that allow them to create more intimate and compelling narratives that reflect on social identity, including race, gender, and class. This seminar looks at how the use of the authorial "I" in both contemporary fiction and journalism situates and represents distinct selves embedded in complex contexts, and how they overtly blend fact and fiction to enable self-disclosure and, at times, self-deception. We will also take up themes of artifice and truth, psyche and embodiment, inheritance and loss, belonging and exclusion, friendship and family. We will read, among others, Teju Cole, Junot Díaz, Barbara Ehrenreich, Katherine Boo, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. We will also read critical essays on the self and narrative. (Thursday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 195 Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. EM
Cornel West

This course will examine the work and witness of two great prophetic figures of the 20th century: Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. We shall explore the pietistic, prophetic, and poetic dimensions of the writings and the impact of their lives then and now. We also shall discern how they wrestle with the problematic of nihilism, namely the challenge of meaninglessness, hopelessness, lovelessness, and the possible triumph of "might makes right." We shall highlight their philosophical, spiritual, and moral response to the catastrophe of evil in the modern world. Sponsored by the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. (Monday 1:30 p.m.-4:20 p.m.)


FRS 197 Crime, Deviancy, and Punishment in East Asia EM
David Leheny

Gangsters, sex workers, and serial killers rule much of East Asia's pop culture, even though they tend to be pretty rare in much of contemporary life in the region. There could hardly be two sets of images less similar. On the one hand, we have the East Asia of economic growth and stable if occasionally troubled governance described in the news media and scholarship about China, Japan, and Korea; smoke-belching factories, nuclear families, and gray-suited bureaucrats dominate these reports. On the other hand, we have the unrestrained gangs, the serial killers, and the violent and dark mysteries of much of the region's popular culture. Can these images be reconciled? Should one be considered reality and the other a fantasy? And what do these coexisting images tell us about views of justice, punishment, and right and wrong?

This course will examine themes of crime and punishment in the past and present, and even the future, in East Asia. Ranging from premodern history to contemporary politics, the sources in this class will include ancient documents, films, and novels, as well as scholarly accounts of the region. Our goal will be to consider not just moral principles and their place in political action, but also the venues in which they are articulated and debated. In doing so, we will aim to examine East Asia from a new perspective, by thinking about what has been criminalized in Asia, why these prohibitions have taken place, and how we can understand what these limits have meant to residents themselves. And we will also consider how crime and violence inhabit literary and cultural genres that shape how people in Asia might consider the world around them as well as the ways in which people outside of Asia discuss and interpret the region. (Monday 7:30 p.m.-10:20 p.m.)