The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas

CTI 302 • Classics Of Socl/Polit Thou

33055 • Dempsey, Erik
Meets MWF 900am-1000am WAG 208
(also listed as GOV 314)
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CTI 302: Classics of Social and Political Thought

This course explores the changing role of human psychology in the history of political thought through the study of classic texts in philosophy and psychology. In roughly chronological order, we will examine several key philosophers’ accounts of the deepest human concerns—justice, happiness, and love—and the potential political life has to fulfill those yearnings. In the final part of the course, we will study Darwin’s evolutionary theory of human mental faculties in The Descent of Man, Freud’s theory of unconscious psychological drives, and current theories of evolutionary psychology. We will discuss how these different views of human nature suggest different approaches to politics and ethics.

We will read selections from the following works:

Plato The Republic, The Symposium

St. Augustine: The Confessions, City of God

Hobbes The Leviathan

Rousseau Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil

Darwin The Descent of Man

Freud Civilization and its Discontents

And selected articles on evolutionary psychology

Grading: Your grade will consist of two medium lengths papers (25% each), a final exam (30%), and class participation and reading quizzes (20%). Attendance is mandatory.

CTI 302 • Classics Of Socl/Polit Thou

33065 • Dempsey, Erik
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm WAG 208
(also listed as GOV 314)
show description


CTI 302: Classics of Social and Political Thought

This course explores the changing role of human psychology in the history of political thought through the study of classic texts in philosophy and psychology. In roughly chronological order, we will examine several key philosophers’ accounts of the deepest human concerns—justice, happiness, and love—and the potential political life has to fulfill those yearnings. In the final part of the course, we will study Darwin’s evolutionary theory of human mental faculties in The Descent of Man, Freud’s theory of unconscious psychological drives, and current theories of evolutionary psychology. We will discuss how these different views of human nature suggest different approaches to politics and ethics.

We will read selections from the following works:

Plato The Republic, The Symposium

St. Augustine: The Confessions, City of God

Hobbes The Leviathan

Rousseau Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil

Darwin The Descent of Man

Freud Civilization and its Discontents

And selected articles on evolutionary psychology

Grading: Your grade will consist of two medium lengths papers (25% each), a final exam (30%), and class participation and reading quizzes (20%). Attendance is mandatory.

CTI 302 • Classics Of Socl/Polit Thou

Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 303
(also listed as GOV 314)
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CTI 302 Classics of Social and Political Thought

Instructor: Liebeskind, Louise


No Prerequisites


This course will explore the changing role of human psychology in the history of political thought through the study of classic texts in philosophy and psychology. In roughly chronological order, we will examine several key philosophers’ accounts of the deepest yearnings of the human soul and the potential for political life to fulfill those yearnings, noting the dramatic changes between the ancient, medieval, early modern, and late modern periods. In the final section of the course, we will study Darwin’s evolutionary theory of human mental faculties in The Descent of Man, Freud’s theory of unconscious psychological drives, and current theories of evolutionary psychology. We will discuss how these developments in our understanding of the origin and character of human mental phenomena affect the place of psychological study in political thought.


We will read selections from the following works:


Plato The Republic, The Symposium

St. Augustine  The Confessions, City of God

Hobbes The Leviathan

Rousseau Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil

Darwin The Descent of Man

Freud Civilization and its Discontents

And selected articles on evolutionary psychology



Assignments and Grading:


25%: Weekly Short Writing Assignments

20%: First Paper

25%: Second Paper

20%: Final Exam

10%: Attendance and participation

CTI 303 • Competing Visions Good Life

33075 • Abramson, Jeffrey
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ 1.120
(also listed as GOV 314)
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Course description: Government 314: Competing conceptions of the good life

Professor: Jeffrey Abramson



    This is a basic introductory course to political philosophy. Through a reading of works of political thought from Plato to        the present, we confront enduring debates about the meaning of liberty, tolerance, equality, justice and the good life.


Prerequisites: none


Grading Policy:  plus or minus grades.   Midterm Exam counts 30%; Final exam counts 50%; attendance and participation counts 20%


Books for Purchase:

Plato:   Euthyphro, Apology, Crito (Library of Liberal Arts)

Plato:       Republic (Basic Books)

Sophocles:   Three Theban Plays (Penguin)

Aristotle:   Nichomachean Ethics (Hackett)

Aristotle:   Politics (Oxford)

Augustine:   Confessions (Penguin)

Machiavelli: The Prince and the Discourses (Modern Library)

Hobbes:      Leviathan (Penguin)

Locke:       Letter Concerning Toleration (Hackett)

Locke:       Second Treatise on Government (Hackett)

Rousseau:    Basic Political Writings (Hackett)

Mill:        On Liberty (Hackett)

Abramson:    Minerva’s Owl (Harvard)           

CTI 304 • The Bible & Its Interpreters

33080 • Case, Megan
Meets MWF 900am-1000am PAR 103
(also listed as R S 315)
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Before there was God, there was Enki; before God tamed the sea, Marduk defeated Tiamat. While much of the Western world has been shaped by the story of creation found in Genesis, what shaped those biblical accounts? The first half of this course focuses on this question, examining other creation accounts found in the ancient Near East, such as Atraḫasīs and the Enūma Eliš, in order to place the biblical stories in their wider cultural setting. In the second half of the course, we analyze various interpretations of creation found in the traditions of the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Throughout the entire course, “myth” serves as our guiding concept, as we consider whether the various creation accounts in the ancient Near East properly fit in that category.



  • Stephanie Dalley, Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, The Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989).
  • Malise Ruthven, Islam: A Very Short Introduction, 2nd edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).
  • Robert A. Segal, Myth: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
  • Normon Solomon, Judaism: A Very Short Introduction, 2nd edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).
  • Linda Woodhead, Christianity: A Very Short Introduction, 2nd edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).
  • The Harper Collins Study Bible
  • The Study Quran, Harper Collins
  • Other readings will be posted on Canvas



Class Participation: 15%

Canvas Questions: 20%

Creation Story Small Comparisons: 15% (5% each)

Creation Story Large Comparison: 20% (10% comparison; 10% analysis)

Final Paper: 30% (5% 1st Draft; 5% Peer Review; 20% Final Draft)


CTI 304 • The Bible & Its Interpreters

33085 • Batlan, Katharine
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 305
(also listed as R S 315)
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This course aims at familiarity with controversial passages in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, with an emphasis on the cultural context in which these texts were created in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean, as well as their noteworthy interpreters throughout United States history. We pursue this aim through reading the scriptures themselves, exploring the cultural context in which they were created, and a wide range of exegetes (or interpreters) of the Bible throughout American history. The first section of the course outlines the Bible’s role in colonial life and nation-formation. We will look at the most important passages for establishing colonies and, later, a new nation. In the second section of the course, we will look at major disputes of interpretation of the Bible in American history – including polygamy, slavery, science, and school Bible reading. We will refer to a variety of translations of the Bible, including King James, the Douay-Rheims, and the New Revised Standard Version. 

  Grading: 10% Participation 20% Intellectual Journals 25% Two Position Papers (10% and 15% each) 45% Final Paper (5% for articles, 10% for draft, 5% for peer review, 25% for final paper)   Required Texts:  A Bible - either the Harper Collins Study Bible NRSV or Authorized King James Version from Oxford University Press Memorial and Remonstrance by James Madison Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe Many readings will be posted on Canvas  

CTI 305G • Intro To The Old Testament

33090 • Pat-El, Na'ama
Meets TTH 930am-1100am MEZ 2.124
(also listed as J S 311, MES 310, R S 313C)
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This class aims to introduce students to the modern study of the Hebrew Bible. The class will focus on the study of the Bible's history and literature and will explore the main methodologies used in its study. The final goal is to equip students for more advanced classes and research on the Hebrew Bible.


English Bible. The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version With the Apocrypha, Oxford University Press. OR: HarperCollins Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version, Harper One. Textbook:Coogan, M. D. (2011). The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. 2nd Edition. New York, Oxford University Press.

Grading Policy

25% Class attendance, participation and preparation

25% Quizzes

25% Midterm

25% Final exam

CTI 310 • Ancient Philosophy

33095 • Koons, Robert C
Meets TTH 930am-1100am WAG 308
(also listed as C C 304C, PHL 301K)
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An introduction to the political ideas and theories of the ancient Greeks and Romans. We will focus on primary texts by Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and Augustine of Hippo, supplemented by some selections from the Greek historian Thucydides and the political school of thought known as the “Sophists”. About one-third of the course will be devoted to role-playing game, The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C.  This game is part of a “Reacting to the Past” method developed at Barnard College. Students will be assigned different roles, e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch, Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him to death. Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals, though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas.

The heart of each game is persuasion. For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents. Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and the more you draw upon these texts and the more cleverly you draw upon them, the better. You have two ways of expressing your views: orally and in writing. Both will be graded.

CTI 310 • History Of Religions Of Asia

33100 • Brereton, Joel
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am UTC 3.102
(also listed as ANS 301R, R S 302)
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This course surveys the central beliefs and patterns of life of living religious traditions of Asia. It will focus particularly on the basic texts or narratives of these traditions, on their essential histories, and on the concepts of humanity, the world, and the divine that are distinctive of each. In addition, the course will explore not only what people believe religiously but also what they do religiously. Part of the course, therefore, will consider the ways of life, forms of social action, and rituals practiced by different communities. Not all Asian traditions can be included in a one-semester survey. The traditions chosen have large numbers of adherents, possess particular historical significance, and represent different cultural areas. They include Hinduism, South and Southeast Asian Buddhism, South Asian Islam, Buddhism in Tibet, China, and Japan, Popular Chinese Religion, the Confucian and Daoist Traditions, and Shinto.

CTI 310 • Western Civ In Modern Times

33115 • Vaughn, James M.
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm WEL 2.308
(also listed as HIS 309L)
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This lecture course surveys the history of Europe and its overseas expansion from the late Middle Ages to the present.  The central theme of this survey is the origins and evolution of modernity, including the development of the centralized state and its democratization, the secularization of society, the disenchantment of nature, and the emergence and transformation of global capitalism.  Class lectures are supplemented by readings from the textbook and from primary sources.

Text for the course:

Judith Coffin, Robert Stacey, Joshua Cole, and Carol Symes, Western Civilizations: Their History and Their Culture (course textbook)

Grading policy:

Attendance and Participation: 10%

Mid-Term Essay Exam 1: 25%

Mid-Term Essay Exam 2: 25%

Final Essay Exam: 40%

CTI 310 • Intro To Philos Of Religion

33117 • Martinich, Al
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm WAG 214
(also listed as PHL 305, R S 305)
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This course investigates four different attitudes that have been held about the relation of humans to God. First is an ancient view according to which God's existence is presupposed and all events are interpreted as expressions of God's will. Second is a medieval view according to which the existence of God and his various attributes are suitable subjects for proof and argument. Third is a modern view according to which God exists but little is known about him through reasoning. Fourth is a contemporary view according to which God is assumed not to exist, and it is asked whether anything has any value and whether human life has a meaning. Although the course is divided historically, our goal will be to identify what is true or false, rational or not rational about the views expressed in each.

CTI 321 • Theor Foundtns Modern Politics

33120 • Viroli, Maurizio
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WAG 420
(also listed as GOV 351D)
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Theoretical Foundations of Modern Politics


GOV 351D/CTI 321

Spring 2016



Professor Maurizio Viroli


Class: TTH 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM in WAG 420




The main goal of this course is to offer students a historical and philosophical introduction to political philosophy. Unlike most introductory courses in political theory, GOV 351 does not attempt to cover the whole history of political philosophy from ancient Greece to our time, but focuses on a main theme, namely, the excellence of politics. It uses a few ancient and modern philosophers whose writings are particularly relevant for the topic of the course: Arendt, Aristotle, Cicero, Erasmus, Hobbes, Kant, Machiavelli, Marx, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville, Thucydides.



Laptop Policy - No laptops or cell phones should be used, seen, or heard during class. All power point slides will be available online. Please take any additional notes by hand.




Reading List - Books marked with * are required; all the others are recommended.


Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, Harcourt Brace


*Aristotle, Politics, University of Chicago Press


*Cicero, On Duties, Cambridge University Press


Constant, “Of the Liberty of the Ancients” in Constant, Political Writings, Cambridge University Press


*Dostoevsky, The Legend of the Grand Inquisitor, Filiquarian Publishing


Erasmus, The Education of a Christian Prince, Cambridge University Press


Gentile, Politics as Religion, Princeton University Press


*Hobbes, Leviathan, Cambridge University Press


*Locke, Second Treatise of Government, Cambridge University Press


*Kant, “What is Enlightenment?,” “Perpetual Peace,” and “Idea for a Universal History,” in Kant, Political Writings, Cambridge University Press


*Machiavelli, The Prince, Oxford University Press


Machiavelli, Discourses on Livy, University of Chicago Press


Marx, “The Communist Manifesto” in The Marx-Engels Reader, Tucker ed., Norton

Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws, Cambridge University Press

*Rousseau, “Discourse on Inequality” and “Discourse on Political Economy,” in Rousseau, Basic Political Writings, Hackett


Skinner, Renaissance Virtues (selection), Cambridge University Press


*Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Mayer ed., Harper Collins


*Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War, Martin Hammond edition, Oxford University Press

Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars, Basic Books

*Walzer, Exodus and Revolution, Basic Books


Assignments and Grading


This course will use plus/minus grading. The midterm will consist of a six-page paper (typed and double-spaced) and will constitute 40% of your grade. The final will consist of an eight- page paper (typed and double-spaced) and will constitute 50% of your grade. For each paper you will be given four prompts of which you will choose one to address in your paper.

Attendance will constitute 10% of your grade. You may miss two classes without penalty to your attendance grade, but you will lose one percentage point for each unexcused absence after that. All requests for excused absences must be submitted in writing to your TA with proper documentation at least one week in advance, except in cases of emergency.

CTI 325 • Morality And Politics

33125 • Stauffer, Dana
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 1
(also listed as GOV 351L)
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GOV 351L/CTI 325: Morality and Politics  37925/33125


Do the ends justify the means? If they don’t, what does? When the moral and the expedient conflict, which one should you choose? Is revenge just? Is it a good idea? What, if any, are legitimate grounds for starting a war? Is it always better that the truth come out in politics? Is loyalty to our friends and family more important than the common good? How much should ethical considerations guide our political decision-making? Does the best political order aim at a morally decent life for individuals and communities? Or are moral aims misplaced in politics? We will examine the ways in which great thinkers both ancient and modern have grappled with these questions. About half of the course will be devoted to examining the arguments that political philosophers—Aristotle, Cicero, and Machiavelli—make about the role of morality in politics. We will spend the other half of the course examining moral dilemmas, and how various characters resolve them, in plays and novels by authors such as Euripides, Shakespeare, Addison, and Ibsen.


Required Texts:


1. The Theban Plays. By Sophocles. Agora.


2. Euripides II. By Euripides. Complete Greek Tragedies Series. University of Chicago.


3. Euripides IV. By Euripides. Complete Greek Tragedies Series. University of Chicago.


4. Politics. By Aristotle. Oxford University Press.


5. The Prince. By Niccolo Machiavelli. University of Chicago Press.


6. Julius Caesar. By William Shakespeare. Bantam Classics.


7. Darkness at Noon. By Arthur Koestler. Bantam Books.


8. Ibsen: Four Major Plays, Volume II. By Henrik Ibsen. Signet Classics.


9. On Duties. By Marcus Tullius Cicero. Cambridge Texts.


10. Cato: A Tragedy and Selected Essays. By Joseph Addison. Liberty Fund.


11. Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. By Aristotle. University of Chicago.


Grading and Requirements:


First Exam 30%          Second Exam 30%       Paper 30%


Class Participation and Quizzes 10%

CTI 326 • Structure Of Indiv Liberties

33127 • Jacobsohn, Gary J.
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm CBA 4.324
(also listed as GOV 357M)
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The focus of this course is on the ways in which the Constitution protects individual rights as it accommodates the competing claims of groups, communities, and the state. While the emphasis is on the United States Supreme Court, the class will also look at how other constitutional polities address similar issues.  We examine rights under the Constitution as they have evolved and been defined through judicial interpretation during periods of crisis and normalcy.  Some of the topics to be considered include: equal protection under law, substantive and procedural due process, freedoms of speech and religion, and privacy. Under these rubrics are to be found such issues as affirmative action, capital punishment, hate speech, property rights, abortion, and gender discrimination. Much of the reading is of Supreme Court opinions that highlight the politics of constitutional development.


Requirements: two short papers and a final exam

Grading: 30% for each paper, 40% for the final

Texts: Kommers, Finn, and Jacobsohn, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (Vol. 2), 3rd. ed., another book TBA

CTI 326 • Constitutional Interpretatn

33129 • Perry, Jr., H. W.
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 1
(also listed as GOV 357M)
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Gov 357 Constitutional Interpretation

Spring 2016

H. W. Perry, Jr.


General Description of the Course

            The only prerequisites are those required by the Gov. Dept. for upper level courses.

             Determining what the Constitution means, determining how to determine what it means, and determining who should determine what it means are fundamental tasks for participants in the American political process and for students of it.  The course may be of interest to those thinking about attending law school, but it is equally valuable to those who have no such interest.  Given the nature of our society, understanding the Constitution and constitutional law is part of a liberal arts education.  For the most part, the course does not focus on the "civil liberties" provisions in the Constitution; those important subjects are left to other courses.

One objective of the course is for the student to become a constitutional interpreter who contributes intelligently to this ongoing process.  Judges play a very important role in defining the meaning of the Constitution.  As such, it is important to learn what judges have said the Constitution means and to understand how they came to such conclusions.  This necessitates learning how to read and analyze judicial opinions.  The student should develop a sufficient comfort level with legal analysis so that she or he can evaluate intelligently some important interpretations of the justices and ask the questions that a student of politics should ask

                  Another objective of this course is to improve reasoning and communication skills  As in most courses, good writing is demanded, but it is also important to develop the capacity to think and speak on one's feet.  Mastering the use of language, orally and in writing, increases the ability to think and communicate clearly.  Moving toward such mastery is a vital part of education.

                  The course requires a substantial time commitment.  The time required varies greatly over the course of the semester, and as described below, it is hard to plan ahead.

Format of the Course

            There are few lectures.  A combination of the case and Socratic methods is used.  This requires students to come to class, to be prepared, and to listen to one another.  Daily preparation is required.  The method assumes that, instead of lecturing, I am making points through discussion with students.  Lack of preparation or repeated absences or will hurt one’s grade.  The workload in this course increases dramatically as the semester proceeds.

            There will be one or more evening sessions for the Moot Court that require attendance late in the semester. 


  • Midterm examination; Moot Court Group Project; Final Examination
  • Class attendance and participation are required and may affect a grade positively or negatively.




  • Constitutional Law, 18th ed., Kathleen Sullivan and Noah Feldman, eds., Foundation Press
  • Deciding to Decide, by H. W. Perry, Jr., Harvard University Press 

CTI 335 • Regime Persp On Amer Politics

33130 • Tulis, Jeffrey
Meets TH 330pm-630pm GAR 1.134
(also listed as GOV 379S, LAH 350)
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GOV 379S   Regime Perspectives on American Politics

Spring 2016

Jeffrey K. Tulis


This is a seminar on American politics and culture.   Two purposes govern the selection of texts for the course and guide our discussion of them.  All of our texts attempt to look at American politics as a whole.  Most books and courses on America look at only a part, such as the Presidency, or elections, or popular culture.  Here we attempt to think about how the parts of America fit together.  Even when these texts speak about a part, for example an institution such as the presidency or the Congress, they present the topic from a vantage point on the whole polity.   To see the polity as a whole also means that we will have to revisit and rethink aspects of our political life that we take for granted – that we don’t examine because those parts have become so natural or familiar to us.  Seeing the polity whole enables us to render the familiar unfamiliar, to make what we take for granted strange and new.


To see the polity as a whole requires that we get some distance from our subject, much as to see the planet earth as a whole requires one to look at it from outer space.  Just as it is difficult to get visual perspective on a place living within it, it is difficult to understand the promise or pathologies of a regime from within.  To get critical distance from our politics, we will closely study three sets of texts that look at American politics from a distance.   The first part of the course will recover the perspective of the founding debate between Federalists and Anti-federalists.   This fundamental debate reveals what is a stake in the basic architecture of the American regime.  The second part of the course is a close study of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.  Regarded by many as the best book ever written on democracy and the best book written on America, Tocqueville sees our polity whole because he looks at it from the vantage point of Europe, in general, and France, in particular.  In the third part of the seminar we think about American politics from the perspective of thoughtful commentators who feel only nominally included in the polity.   Half in and half out, these extraordinary black American writers reveal fissures and fault lines in the American regime.  We end the class with a discussion of America’s place in the world today – examining a speech by a writer who articulately raises challenges to our self-understanding that are inarticulately expressed today in rage and ranting from enemies of the United States.




Three take home analytic essays, chosen from a list of topics I provide, each weighted 25% of the course grade.  Late essays will not be accepted, except with a doctor’s excuse or a Dean’s excuse for family emergency.


OR as an option: you may write the two short essays (both together weighted 25%) and do a longer 15 page paper on a topic of your choice in consultation with me (weighted 50% of your course grade).   Government honors students who are thinking of doing an honors thesis next year may prefer this option to begin to develop research and writing skills for longer work.  Students who prefer this option will need to designate their preferred third short essay and have discussed with me a topic for their long paper by March 30. 



The Federalist

Selected Anti-Federalist writings

Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Essays, speeches and articles by Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois, Booker T. Washington, James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison

CTI 345 • Dante

33135 • Raffa, Guy P
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BEN 1.106
(also listed as E 366D, EUS 347, ITC 349)
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Dante: Spring 2016

ITC 349, same as E 366D, crosslisted with EUS 347 and CTI 345

TTH 2-3:15 in BEN 1.106

Professor Guy Raffa, Dept. of French and Italian

E-mail:; Home Page:

The Divine Comedy offers a remarkable panorama of the late Middle Ages through one man's poetic vision of the afterlife. However, we continue to read and study the poem not only to learn about the thought and culture of medieval and early modern Europe but also because many of the issues confronting Dante and his age are no less important to individuals and societies today. Personal and civic responsibilities, governmental accountability, church-state relations, economics and social justice, Dante's influence on artists and other writers, benefits and limitations of interdisciplinarity—these are some of the themes that will frame our discussion of the Divine Comedy. Although you will read the poem in English, a bilingual edition will enable you to study and learn famous lines in the original Italian. The course is taught in English and contains flags for Writing and Global Cultures.

Danteworlds ( In addition to detailed entries, audio recordings, and study questions, this Web site contains hundreds of images from works by Sandro Botticelli, an anonymous 16th-century artist, John Flaxman, William Blake, Gustave Dorè, and Suloni Robertson.

Through close reading, class discussion, and the use of Danteworlds, you are expected to identify and explain the significance of major characters, references, and ideas in Dante's Divine Comedy (Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise) and Vita Nuova. You will be tested on this ability in responses to study questions (a low-stakes writing assignment) and two in-class exams. An essay, which you will rewrite based on my feedback, will assess your ability to support an interpretation of a specific aspect of Dante's poetry with detailed textual analysis and scholarly research. A peer-editing activity will help you to revise and edit your own work. I expect you to have read the assigned cantos and reviewed the corresponding material in Danteworlds (including the study questions) before class.   

Required Texts: (you must use the editions of these texts ordered for the class)

            Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso (Trans. Allen Mandelbaum)

            Vita Nuova (Trans. Barbara Reynolds)

Optional Text: The Complete Danteworlds: A Reader's Guide to the "Divine Comedy" (Raffa)

Canvas: We will use the CANVAS learning management system to organize and provide course content on-line. When you log in to Canvas ( and select the course, you will have access to the syllabus, assignments, lecture presentations (pdf), grades, and a discussion forum (for posting responses to study questions). You will be required to submit most assignments on-line using Canvas. For help with Canvas, consult the student tutorials ( or contact support staff (

Assignments and Computation of Grade:

10%: 1500-word essay on the Inferno (credit for successful completion)

25%: Major rewrite of this essay incorporating scholarly research (graded)

5%:   Annotated bibliography of research sources (credit for successful completion)

5%:   Peer-review (credit for successful completion)

10%: Responses to study questions in Canvas Discussion Forum (credit for successful completion)

30%: Two in-class examinations  (graded: 15% each)

15%: Classwork and participation


CTI 345 • Fictions Of The Self/Other

33140 • Wettlaufer, Alexandra K
Meets TTH 930am-1100am WEL 3.260
(also listed as C L 323, EUS 347, F C 349, WGS 345)
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FC 349

Fictions of the Self and Other



            This course focuses on representative works from 19th- and 20th-century French fiction, from Balzac’s Realism to the present. We consider literature in its relation to history, culture, and society, with special attention to both form and style in the development of the novel, poetry, and theatre.  The class includes a visit to the Blanton Museum and a session at the HRC examining rare books and manuscripts by the authors we are studying.



Balzac, Le Père Goriot

Sand, Gabriel

Baudelaire, The Parisian Prowler (Spleen de Paris)

Flaubert, Madame Bovary

Colette, The Vagabond

Proust, Swann’s Way

Sartre, No Exit

Camus, Exile and the Kingdom

Duras, The Lover



Participation:   20%

In-Class Presentation: 20%

Short paper: 20%

Final paper outline: 10%

Final paper: 30%


CTI 345 • Major Works Of Dostoevsky

33145 • Livers, Keith
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm WEL 3.266
(also listed as C L 323, REE 325)
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This course explores the dilemmas of homicide, suicide, patricide and redemption in the novels of Fyodor Dostoevsky — Russia’s greatest chronicler of human suffering and triumph. Over the course of the semester we will read a number of Dostoevsky’s greatest works, including Notes From Underground, Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov. At the same time, we will look at the contemporary intellectual and social trends relevant to the development of Dostoevsky’s career as a writer and thinker.


Required Texts:

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes From Underground, tr. Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, tr. Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, tr. Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Great Short Works of Fyodor Dostoevsky


Most classes will consist of both lecture and discussion.  Since part of the course grade is based on informed participation, it is imperative that you do ALL of the readings by the day in which they appear in the syllabus. 



  • Regular attendance/participation
  • 2. Completion of required readings by date indicated in          syllabus
  • Course work/Course Credit:
  • 3 essays (5-6 pages each): 70%   
  • Participation: 20%
  • Attendance: 10%

CTI 371 • Einstein In Age Of Conflict

33160 • Martínez, Alberto A.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ 1.122
(also listed as HIS 350L)
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While age-old scientific concepts were being overturned by the rise of modern physics, Europe was torn apart by wars of unprecedented scale. This history course analyzes these developments, examining the rise of the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics against the stage of international political upheavals. Following the life of Albert Einstein, the course focuses on conceptual developments (from the 1880s through the 1940s) and intellectual conflicts. It also studies the lives of physicists such as Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg, and J. Robert Oppenheimer, in the context of changing cultural and political environments. We will read and discuss various kinds of materials: manuscripts, letters, accounts by historians, physicists, essays, and even secret transcripts of controversial conversations. The material will be understandable even to students with no significant background in physics. Among the topics involved are the following: How did relativity and the quantum clash with earlier conceptions of nature? Why did physics become so apparently difficult to understand? In Europe and America, how did scientists and politicians behave in times of international catastrophe? How were the academic and social orders affected by the development of nuclear weapons?



•           Jürgen Neffe, Einstein: A Biography, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.

•           John Heilbron, The Dilemmas of an Upright Man. Max Planck and the Fortunes of German Science. Harvard University Press, 2000.



•           One reaction essay, of 600 words in length. 

•           One historical analysis paper, 1000 words. The topic of the historical analysis paper will be individually selected by each student from a few alternatives. 

•           Final Research Paper, of at least 2500 words. A draft of the introduction or outline of the Research Paper will be expected 3 weeks before the final due date; for critical feedback. The subject of the final Research Paper will be designed by each student under advisement with the Instructor. This will equal 75% of the grade for the course.

CTI 372 • Darwin & Politics Of Evolution

33165 • Prindle, David
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 301
(also listed as GOV 353D)
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“Darwin and The Politics of Evolution”

Spring,  2016

Professor David Prindle


Purpose of the Course


            Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, generally shortened to The Origin of Species, is one of the two or three most influential science books ever published.  But unlike the case with other science books, The Origin, published in 1859, is also of profound political importance.  Part of this political importance—the implications of Darwin's theory for religious explanations of the diversity of life—is well understood by all socially-aware citizens.  But there is much less awareness of the political implications of controversies within the science of evolutionary biology founded by Darwin.

     In this class I will explicate and explore both the "outside" and "inside" political implications of the science launched by the Origin, and ask the students to evaluate them.


Assigned Reading


1)  Charles Darwin,  The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, first edition,

      (Barnes and Noble Classics, 2004) [first published 1859]

2)  Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True  (Viking, 2009)

3)  Phillip Johnson, Darwin on Trial, second edition, (InterVarsity Press, 1993)

4)  David Prindle, Stephen Jay Gould and the Politics of Evolution  (Prometheus Books,


5)  A package of readings, available online.


Grading Criteria


        There are three assignments due in this class. I may make some minor adjustments in a few of the final grades to reflect excellent class participation, but in general, each of the three assignments counts one-third of the final grade.

        For your three assignments, you may choose to write two essays and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay.  It is up to you to decide how you mix the tests and essays, and in what order you choose to do them.  You may not, however, "load up" by turning in an essay at the same time that you take a test, thus getting two‑thirds of the assignments out of the way on the same day.

            At the end of the semester, an average of 92.3 or higher will earn an "A,", 90 to 92 will earn an “A-,” 88 to 89.7 will earn a “B+,” 82.3 to 87.7 will earn a "B," 80 to 82 will earn a "B-," 78 to 79.7 will earn a "C+," 62.3 to 77.7 will earn a "C," 60 to 62 will earn a "C-," and 50 to 59.7 will earn a "D."  People who have missed one or more of the three assignments, or who average below 50, will receive an “F.” 





            Student are able to enroll in this class through two channels.  First, Government majors who are eligible for upper-division standing may enroll through the usual departmental processes.  Second, students who are participating in the Thomas Jefferson Center’s “great books” program (officially, CTI in the catalogue), may enroll in the class through that program.

CTI 375 • Biblical Prophecy

33169 • Pat-El, Na'ama
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm MEZ 1.120
(also listed as J S 363, MEL 321, MES 342, R S 353)
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The course introduces students to the variety of prophetic types in the Old Testament, their development through history and their parallels in Near Eastern Literature.


Bible Petersen, D. L. (2002). The Prophetic Literature: an introduction. Louisville, KY, Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0664254537


20% Class attendance, participation and preparation. 20% 2 review papers. 30% Midterm. 30% Final exam.

CTI 375 • Confucianism

33170 • Sena, David M
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm MEZ 2.124
(also listed as ANS 372, R S 352)
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Course Description
In this course we examine the philosophy and historical context of classical Confucianism.  Focusing on the translated writings of Confucius, Mencius, and Xunzi, as well as on recently discovered texts found in ancient tombs, this course examines the systems of thought in early Confucian writings.  In addition to discussing the history of ideas, we will also pay close attention to the cultural background of the period and to the social context in which these texts were written by considering such issues as literacy and the transmission of specialized knowledge in ancient China.  The focus of the course will be on the classical period (sixth through third centuries B.C.E.), but we will also consider the legacy of Confucian thought and institutions in the early empire and beyond.

Course Goals
The primary goal of this course is to help you develop your ability to read closely and understand seminal texts from the classical period of Chinese literature.  A fundamental principle in this course is that we cannot fully understand classical Confucian texts without considering the social, intellectual, and cultural milieu within which these texts were generated.  Therefore the second goal will be to learn how to use social and cultural history as a method for enhancing one's understanding of texts.  Third, in focusing on Confucian thinkers and texts, we aim to understand the philosophical content of this important tradition, to understand the how these ideas fit within the larger social and intellectual context of ancient China, and to assess their relevance to our own lives.

class participation: 20%
informal writing: 15%
short paper: 20%
midterm exam: 20%
final paper: 25%

The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophical Translation. Trans. Roger T. Ames and Henry Rosemont, Jr. New York: Ballantine, 1998 [PL 2478 L328].

The Essential Mengzi: Selected Passages with Traditional Commentary. Trans. Bryan W. Van Norden. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2009.

Hsun Tzu: Basic Writings. Trans. Burton Watson. New York: Columbia University Press, 1963 [B 128 H66 E55].

Additional readings available electronically.

CTI 375 • History Of Rome: The Empire

33180 • Riggsby, Andrew M
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WAG 101
(also listed as AHC 325, HIS 321)
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This class will cover the story of the Roman empire from the death of Caesar to the fall of Rome in A.D. 476.  After working our way through the narrative of this period (about half th semester), we will examine a number of topics that cut across time.  The course will touch on politics, law, war, the economy, social classes, gender, and psychopathic emperors.

CTI 375 • Kierkegaard And Existentialism

33184 • Holm, Jakob
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PHR 2.114
(also listed as C L 323, EUS 347, GSD 360, PHL 334K)
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Soren Kierkegaard is one of the most influential thinkers from the 19th century and widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. He has exerted an enormous influence on Western culture during the last 150 years and has inspired numerous writers, artists, and filmmakers, who have found new perspectives in his philosophy and theology.

Kierkegaard wrote about a wide range of topics, e.g. organized religion, Christianity, ethics, and psychology, and he explored our emotional responses when we are faced with life choices. In that way, much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a unique individual in a concrete human reality. In his texts, he is displaying an almost postmodern fondness for metaphor, irony and parables, and he made use of various pseudonyms, which he used to present different viewpoints.

In this course we will explore excerpts from a number of Kierkegaard’s key texts such as Either/or, Fear and Trembling, The Concept of Anxiety, Stages on Life’s Way, The Sickness unto Death and Works of Love. It will give us a thorough understanding of his concepts and ideas which we will apply on a wide-ranging number of authors, among others Friedrich Nietzsche, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Franz Kafka as well as the two most well-known writers connected with existentialism, Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre. We will also watch movies from the heyday of existentialism, the mid-20th century, by directors such as Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini and Akira Kurosawa, and look at the influence of Kierkegaard and existentialism within theater as well. In that way, the course will examine the scope and range of Kierkegaard’s ideas in the 20th century and up till today where his ideas seem more relevant and inspiring than ever.

The course aims at increasing your ability to think and work analytically – and ponder some of the most important questions you’ll face in your life. Furthermore, you will in this course develop the ability to read and analyze literary and non-literary texts, to present your ideas through coherent argumentation, to formulate good questions and to communicate your discoveries to others. This Kierkegaard course is an opportunity to explore one of the most pivotal philosophical directions within the last 150 years – and in that process explore yourself.

The course will meet the Writing Flag and the Global Cultures Flag Criteria



Essays: 30%

Final essay: 20%

Quizzes: 20%

Midterm: 10%

Participation: 20%

CTI 375 • The Transcendentalists

33185 • Koefoed, Jonathan
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm MEZ 1.120
(also listed as HIS 366N, R S 346)
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The Transcendentalists (CTI 375--33185; HIS 366N; R S   )

University of Texas at Austin, Spring 2016

T, TH, 3:30-5:00pm, Rm. MEZ 1.120



Jonathan Koefoed, Ph.D.


Prerequisites: None


Flags: None


Course Description: This course will explore the American Transcendentalists and associated intellectual movements of the early-to-mid nineteenth century. The Transcendentalist movement was thoroughly trans-disciplinary; it included writers, reformers, ministers, and teachers who spoke and wrote publicly at a particularly rambunctious moment in American history. Questions about political democracy, slavery, gender relations, and an emerging industrial economy roiled American consciousness, and the Transcendentalists responded to all of these questions creatively and provocatively. Indeed, many scholars see the Transcendentalists as the first intellectuals to create a thoroughly homegrown philosophy and literature. The Transcendentalists thus serve as a lens into both timeless humanistic questions as well as a distinctive historical moment.


Methodologically, this course will attend to both the American and transatlantic contexts of the Transcendentalist movement. But this course will also provide an opportunity for close reading and discussion of the most seminal Transcendentalist texts, including Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self-Reliance and Henry David Thoreau's Walden. The guiding historical question of the course will be: to what extent was transcendentalism a uniquely American phenomenon—emphasizing as it did individualism, nature, and the creation of a distinctly American literature—and to what extent was it intimately intertwined with the Romantic movement afoot in Europe? Other, more timeless questions will arise from these sources: What is the role of nature in human flourishing? How do the impulses toward cosmopolitanism and nationalism relate to one another? What is the relationship between individual identity and our larger social identity and civic responsibility, particularly in a democratic society? And finally, to what extent can religious meaning or "spirituality" be constructed without recourse to traditional religious doctrines and institutions?


Primary source readings will include: Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nature,” “The American Scholar,” “Self-Reliance,” “The Transcendentalist,” and Emerson's particularly inflammatory “Divinity School Address”; Henry David Thoreau, Walden and “Resistance to Civil Government”; and selections from such sources as Margaret Fuller, Woman in the Nineteenth Century; Theodore Parker, “The Transient and Permanent in Christianity”; and Orestes Brownson, “The Laboring Classes” among other readings. In keeping with the comparative and transatlantic nature of the course, students will also read comparative selections from Karl Marx, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Immanuel Kant, Percy Shelley, and other European romanticists. We will also utilize selected readings by contemporary scholars to illuminate the Transcendentalists' historical context and aid us in interpreting them.




Participation and Pop Quizzes: 20%

Paper 1: 20%

Mid-Term Exam: 15%

Paper 2: 20%

Final Paper: 25%


Required Texts:


Breckman, Warren. European Romanticism: A Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2008.

Buell, Lawrence, ed. The American Transcendentalists: Essential Writings. Modern Library edition. New York: Modern Library, 2006.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Blithedale Romance. Norton Critical Editions. Norton, 2010.

Thoreau, Henry David. Walden, Civil Disobedience, and Other Writings. Edited by William Rossi. 3rd ed. Norton Critical Editions. New York: Norton, 2008.


Selected Coursepack Readings