Studies of Ideas

How to Know Everything  —  CANCELLED
W 6:00 pm – 8:40 pm
Note:  Some Meetings Online
Professor Muller

The idea that “knowledge is power” is one of the motivating factors behind humanity’s development of many different technologies. In this course, we will examine the history of various information technologies including writing, libraries, movable type, encyclopedias, telegraphy, classrooms, computers, and the internet through readings from classics such as Plato through contemporary scholars such as Ann Blair, James Gleick, and Edward Tufte. These histories of the underlying technologies of scholarship will give us the opportunity to critically examine what lies behind the impulse to “know everything” and the great civilizations and problems that are built on this drive to know and therefore control more of our world.

Politics and Society

Comparative Politics — CANCELLED
T  6:00 pm – 8:40 pm
Note:  Some Meetings Online
Professor Rossi

This course is an introduction to the comparative study of politics within nations. More specifically, it surveys the institutions of government and the development, or lack thereof, of democracy. In general, three overarching questions dominate the countries we will study:

  1. Why are some countries democratic and others are not?
  2. Why are some countries more democratic than others?
  3. How did countries get to where they are today?