Core Group Approves New Courses

Additional 15 Brings Total to 91

The Standing Committee on the Core Curriculum this week released a list of 15 new Core courses it approved during this school year.

Eight of the new courses will be offered next year. The remaining seven are bracketed and will be given in 1981-82. The additions bring the total number of Core courses listed in the course catalogue to about 90.

The Core committee also released data showing that the number of General Education courses listed in next year's catalogue will fall from the current 61 to 45. But the total number of Core courses listed will rise from the current 85 to 91 in next year's catalogue.

The increase does not total 15 because several already approved Core courses--including those to be taught by Glen W. Bowersock '57, associate dean of the Faculty for undergraduate education, Michael Walzer, professor of Government, and Yosef H. Yerushalmi, professor of Hebrew and of Jewish history, who are all leaving--have been cancelled.

The list of new courses includes seven in the Literature and Arts area, four in Science, three in Historical Study and one in Moral Reasoning. The committee added no new courses to the Foreign Cultures area, which will list 16 courses in the 1980-81 catalogue, more than any area.


Fate and Free Will

David Layzer, professor of Astronomy, said yesterday his new Core course, Science A-22, "Chance, Necessity, and Order," will examine, in part, "the way in which physical, astronomical, biological and psychological explanations of events are related."

The course will also investigate the interaction between specialized and general scientific research, he said.

Layzer added that the course will meet only in discussion sections and that grading will be based on written work and participation in class discussions.

"I think it's a unique format, at least at Harvard, for lower-level courses--it requires a relatively steady level of effort throughout the year rather than a concentrated effort in the last three weeks," Layzer said.

Steven E. Ozment, professor of History, will offer Historical Study B-12, "The Protestant Reformation," next spring. He said yesterday the course will examine, among other things, the variety of causes sparking a revolutionary movement.

He added that the course will look at the use of pamphlets in the 16th century, the way the Reformation appealed to popular culture, and the competition between theologies and social philosophies that took place at the time.

Ozment said he is now transforming his current course, History 1294, "Reformation Europe: 1450-1650," into the Core course. The new class will "deal more with social, cultural and urban history rather than intellectual history," he added.

Brian J.L. Berry, Williams Professor of City-Regional Planning, said yesterday he agreed to develop his Core course, Historical Study A-21, "The Modern History of World Population: Urbanization Technology and the Use of Resources," after Bernard Bailyn, Winthrop Professor of History and chairman of the Core's Historical Study Subcommittee, asked him to do so.

The course deals with "the manner in which the present distribution of world population emerged in the 19th and 20th centuries," Berry said, adding that he will be doing most of the "creative design" work for the class--which will be given in 1981--next year.

"I have to learn more about the level and pace appropriate for a Core course," he said