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Of Beers, Bond and Brackets: The New Harvard Curriculum

Course Guide Changes

By Emily M. Bernstein

If you came to Harvard to learn about partying, there's good news at hand. Now, you can get credit for it--by taking Anthropology 95, "Romance, Consumerism and Alienation: Explorations in American College Culture."

Taught by Assistant Professor of Anthropology David W. Rudner, the course will study the kind of beer that undergraduates drink, the kind of clothing they wear and the way they make and keep friends. Not only that, Rudner says the 15-20 students enrolled will publish their findings in a study of college culture.

If self-reflection is not for you, don't despair. The University offers plenty of other choices. This year's courses run the gamut from "Molecular Biology of the Cell A" to "The Confucian Gentleman." Junior professors conjured up most of the exciting new offerings, but more familiar Harvard names are behind a few innovative options.

Curtain Call

VES 157r, "Classics of East European Cinema (1949-1989)," for example, brings the iron curtain to the silver screen. Taught by Film Archive Curator Vladimir K. Petric, the course will feature several American premieres, released from Eastern Europe only recently under glasnost. "It will be interesting to see how artists tried to express something hidden--in this case, between the images," Petric says.

For the more pragmatic, the Economics Department has a new course on the books--a preprofessional option in financial accounting. Business School student Sanjay Kallapur leads this introduction in basic accounting for undergraduates anxious to become CPAs.

Hard Core?

If the Economics Department is setting its records straight, there's no accounting for the folks at the Core office. To the chagrin of seniors desperate to finish their requirements and freshpeople seeking the love-of-their-life in large lectures, many Cores are bracketed. The rest all seem to be scheduled for Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11.

In the Foreign Cultures realm, the word is, "Stay at home." Such staples as "Sources of Indian Civilization," "Shogun" and "Carribean Societies" are not being offered, although Middle Eastern buffs might want to check out Assistant Professor of Government and Social Studies Houchang E. Chehabi's fall class on "Society, Religion, and Politics in Iran."

Hudson Professor of Archaeology Kwang-chih Chang is offering a new Historical Study B course on "Complex Society in Ancient China. And Ford Foundation Professor of International Security Joseph S. Nye, Jr. is once again at the helm of Historical Study A-12, "International Conflicts."

But the bard is not back at center stage in Literature and Arts A. Despite a promise in last year's course catalog, the Core is not offering a course in Shakespeare this year. This spring, though, Professor of American Literature and Language and Afro-American Studies Werner Sollors will teach a new Literature and Arts A course on "Ethnicity in Modern American Literature and Culture."

Boardman Professor of Fine Arts John Shearman will beef up Literature and Arts B's selection with a spring course on Michelangelo. But those hoping to fulfill this Core the cool way will be disappointed to learn that Jazz is bracketed until next year.

The Harvard version of the Donahue Show--Professor of Government Michael J. Sandel's Moral Reasoning 22, "Justice"--also won't be offered this year. In fact, only one Moral Reasoning course is scheduled for the fall, although there are two new offerings in the spring--Moral Reasoning 38, "Autonomy and Alienation," and Moral Reasoning 40, "Confucian Humanism and Moral Community."

For the science shy, there's the standard Science A-18, "Space, Time and Motion." But Science A-17, "The Astronomical Perspective," has been changed to a half course for the fall and will not count for Science B. 1

A new face at Harvard this year is Civil Rightsleader and Student Nonviolent CoordinatingCommittee founderJulian Bond. Bond will teach twoAfro-American Studies courses about Southern Blackpolitics and the rise of the Civil Rightsmovement.

And Professor of History Akira Iriye, a recentrecruit from the University of Chicago, will teamup with Professor of History Charles A. Maier andWarren Professor of History Ernest R. May for awide-ranging class on world history over the pastcentury.

Revamped Requirements

Perhaps the most sweeping changes are newrequirements for two of the largestconcentrations--history and economics.

Sophomores entering history must now takeHistory 1, "Western Societies, Politics, andCultures," According to Maier, the course is thebrainchild of a group of history professors whowanted to develop a comprehensive introduction tothe discipline. Calling previous western historysurveys at Harvard "the casualties of thelate-60s" the new survey course includes readingfrom a standard text, as well as contemporarycultural and theoretical texts.

Meanwhile, organizers of the largestintroductory course--Social Analysis 10--areinstituting a "number of dramatic changes" tobetter meet student needs, says AssistantProfessor of Economics Douglas W. Elmendorf. Hesays the course will incorporate four newtopics--the environment, economics of health care,poverty and protectionism.

The macroeconomics portion of the class in thespring will include less math and more currentevents topics.

Best of all, Elmendorf says Ec 10 will ease itsgrading policy to make it more in line with otherCores.

Course Politics

And finally, the "Politically Correct CourseOffering Award for 1989" goes to Mellon Professorof the Humanities Barbara Johnson. Although onleave this year, Johnson renamed her Literatureand Arts A-50 class--formerly "Black WomenWriters"--to "African American Women Writers." Theupdated course will come back in vogue in time forthe 1990-91 school year."When Father Was away on Business": aYugoslavian film to be shown in Vladimir K.Petric's fall course on East European cinema.

A new face at Harvard this year is Civil Rightsleader and Student Nonviolent CoordinatingCommittee founderJulian Bond. Bond will teach twoAfro-American Studies courses about Southern Blackpolitics and the rise of the Civil Rightsmovement.

And Professor of History Akira Iriye, a recentrecruit from the University of Chicago, will teamup with Professor of History Charles A. Maier andWarren Professor of History Ernest R. May for awide-ranging class on world history over the pastcentury.

Revamped Requirements

Perhaps the most sweeping changes are newrequirements for two of the largestconcentrations--history and economics.

Sophomores entering history must now takeHistory 1, "Western Societies, Politics, andCultures," According to Maier, the course is thebrainchild of a group of history professors whowanted to develop a comprehensive introduction tothe discipline. Calling previous western historysurveys at Harvard "the casualties of thelate-60s" the new survey course includes readingfrom a standard text, as well as contemporarycultural and theoretical texts.

Meanwhile, organizers of the largestintroductory course--Social Analysis 10--areinstituting a "number of dramatic changes" tobetter meet student needs, says AssistantProfessor of Economics Douglas W. Elmendorf. Hesays the course will incorporate four newtopics--the environment, economics of health care,poverty and protectionism.

The macroeconomics portion of the class in thespring will include less math and more currentevents topics.

Best of all, Elmendorf says Ec 10 will ease itsgrading policy to make it more in line with otherCores.

Course Politics

And finally, the "Politically Correct CourseOffering Award for 1989" goes to Mellon Professorof the Humanities Barbara Johnson. Although onleave this year, Johnson renamed her Literatureand Arts A-50 class--formerly "Black WomenWriters"--to "African American Women Writers." Theupdated course will come back in vogue in time forthe 1990-91 school year."When Father Was away on Business": aYugoslavian film to be shown in Vladimir K.Petric's fall course on East European cinema.

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