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Principal Course Distribution Requirement

Principal courses offer introductions to the breadth of disciplines in the College. They acquaint students with the subject matter in an area, with the types of questions that are asked about that subject matter, with the knowledge that has been developed and is now basic to the area, and with the methods and standards by which claims to truth are judged.

Students must complete courses in topical groups in three major divisions (humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences). For the B.A., three courses are required from each division, with no more than one course from any topical group. The B.G.S. requires two courses from each division, with no more than one from any topical group. To fulfill the requirement, a course must be designated as a principal course according to the codes listed below.

These are the major divisions, their topical subgroups, and the codes that identify them:

Humanities

  • HT: Historical studies
  • HL: Literature and the arts
  • HR: Philosophy and religion

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • NB: Biological sciences
  • NE: Earth sciences
  • NM: Mathematical sciences
  • NP: Physical science

Social Sciences

  • SC: Culture and society
  • SI: Individual behavior
  • SF: Public affairs

No course may fulfill both a principal course distribution requirement and a non-Western culture or second-level mathematics course requirement. Laboratory science courses designated as principal courses may fulfill both the laboratory science requirement and one of the distribution requirements. No free-standing laboratory course may by itself fulfill either the laboratory science requirement or a principal course requirement. Students should begin taking principal courses early in their academic careers. An honors equivalent of a principal course may fulfill a principal course requirement.

View all approved principal course distribution courses »

Non-Western Culture Requirement

A non-Western culture course acquaints students with the culture, society, and values of a non-Western people, for example, from Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, or Africa. Students must complete one approved non-Western culture course.

One approved non-Western culture course is required. Occasionally courses with varying topics fulfill the non-Western culture course requirement. See the Schedule of Classes for details. These courses are coded NW.

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Transfer and Earned Credit Course Codes

These codes are used to evaluate transfer credit and to determine which academic requirements a course meets.

  • H: Humanities
  • N: Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • S: Social Sciences
  • W: World Civilization and Culture
  • U: Undesignated Elective Credit (course does not satisfy distribution requirement)

All Liberal Arts & Sciences courses

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This course asks how fiction written in Central Europe engaged and grappled with the totalitarian experience imposed by Nazi and Soviet forms of government. The course focuses on the works by 20th-century Polish, Czech, and Hungarian writers that deal with totalitarianism. (Same as SLAV 514.) LEC
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Studies in one or more national literatures. Discussion and frequent critical papers. Prerequisite: Completion of one junior-senior level course in a language and literature department. LEC
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A survey of the principal modes of Chinese thought from their origins through the imperial period. Not open to students with credit in EALC 132. (Same as EALC 642 and PHIL 506.) Prerequisite: Eastern civilization course or a course in Asian history or a distribution course in philosophy. LEC
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An interdisciplinary study of elements that have contributed to the development of a particular civilization, such as Irish, Scottish, or Scandinavian. LEC
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Students will undertake substantial work in the translation of non-technical writing, e.g., poems, short stories, novels, essays, from any foreign language to English, and examine the practical and theoretical problems encountered in or raised by translation. Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of at least third-year foreign language work. LEC
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This course traces the various manifestations of the Devil through Russian and European folklore, myth, theology, culture, and literature. Although the focus is on Russian literature, classic European works are discussed, as they had a powerful impact on the modern Russian conception of the Evil One. Readings in English. (Same as SLAV 566.) LEC
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An examination of conceptions of masculinity from Europe and North America since the eighteenth century. Historical examples illustrate a diverse range of topics, including medicine and the body, emotion and willpower, consumption and beauty, war and fascism, homophobia and sexual orientation, and the interplay of race and class in conceptions of manhood. (Same as WGSS 570.) LEC
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An examination of the role of the human body in the creation of personal and social identities in the West since the sixteenth century. Contemporary theories of embodiment are applied to a variety of historical themes, which may include posture, manners and morality; cleanliness and hygiene; exercise, dieting and body-building; sexuality and personal identity; fashion, make-up and cosmetic surgery; vegetarianism, self-help literature and alternative medicine; tattooing and body modification; and the history of the senses. (Same as WGSS 575.) LEC
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Examination in depth of the historical, social, and artistic growth and development of one major urban center. LEC
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An interdisciplinary study of elements that have contributed to the development of a particular civilization, such as Irish, Scottish, or Scandinavian. LEC
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An intensive examination of the history and theory of masculinities in the Western World since the sixteenth century. Students will become acquainted with some of the key theories of men and masculinities, examine in depth the interplay between manhood and modernity, and develop research projects on a topic negotiated with the instructor. May be repeated if content varies sufficiently. LEC
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An intensive examination of the role of the human body in the creation of personal and social identities in the West since the sixteenth century. Emphasis is on understanding how contemporary theories of embodiment are applied to concrete historical or contemporary problems. May be repeated if course content varies sufficiently. LEC
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An introduction to the theoretical areas of computer science and their applications. Emphasis will be placed on the methods and standards by which computer science makes judgments and on what computers can and cannot accomplish. Among major topics covered are: how to read and to implement algorithms; what is memory and how much of it is required for various tasks; why computers cannot multiply; how finite-state machines compute; applications of finite-state machines to programming; recognizing languages; formal grammars. "Can machines think?" and other contemporary topics in the philosophy of computer science will be covered as time permits. Prerequisite: MATH 101 or MATH 104. LEC
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The course explores some of the most significant and enduring ideas in mathematics: the great theorems, discoveries of beauty and insight that stand today as monuments to the human intellect. Emphasis will be placed on the methods and standards by which mathematics makes judgments. Among the major topics covered are: Euclid and the infinitude of primes, Archimedes determination of circular area, Cardano and the solution of the cubic, the Bernoullis and the harmonic series, a sample of Euler's number theory, Cantor and the transfinite realm. Along with the essential mathematics, the humanity of these great mathematicians is captured. Prerequisite: Membership in the University Honors Program, high school algebra and geometry, and permission of the instructor. LEC
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This course is designed to allow students to do further readings in the theory of computing beyond the material presented in IPS 101. Topics, scope, and meeting times to be arranged for the individual student. Prerequisite: IPS 101 and consent of instructor. LEC
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Special course for candidates for advanced degrees. Fundamentals of grammar and reading of material of medium difficulty. Open to graduate students and to seniors planning graduate study. Does not satisfy any part of the undergraduate language requirement. Presupposes no previous study of Italian. Conducted in English. LEC
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Offers knowledge of essential grammar and basic oral communication skills through practice in grammar, listening comprehension, and conversation. Active participation required. Strongly recommended for students with no previous study of a foreign language and minimal linguistic background as well as for students in professional schools who plan to participate in study abroad programs in Italy. Completion of both ITAL 107 and ITAL 108 is equivalent to ITAL 110 and allows students to enroll in ITAL 120. LEC
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A continuation of ITAL 107. Completion of both ITAL 107 and ITAL 108 is equivalent to ITAL 110 and allows students to enroll in ITAL 120. Prerequisite: ITAL 107 or Italian Coordinator's approval. LEC
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Five hours of class. Essentials of grammar and composition, easy reading, practice in pronunciation and speaking. LEC
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Five hours of class. Reading of simple texts; diction; speaking; elementary composition. Prerequisite: ITAL 110. LEC
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Part of accelerated two-course sequence (with 156) for students with previous language study or strong linguistic background. Offers a basic reading and/or speaking knowledge of Italian through practice in pronunciation, grammar, translating, and writing. Double-track course is offered both to students who want a basic, passive reading/translating knowledge and an active knowledge of Italian. Prerequisite: Previous study of another language or permission of instructor. LEC
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A continuation of ITAL 155. Study of grammar and emphasis on reading skills. Prerequisite: ITAL 155 or permission of instructor. LEC
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Intensive and extensive reading of modern texts; vocabulary, idioms, and discussion in Italian of texts. Review of grammar. Prerequisite: ITAL 120. LEC
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Continuation of ITAL 230. (ITAL 240 completes foreign language requirement.) Prerequisite: ITAL 230. LEC
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A complete review of Italian grammar and usage for the advanced student. Compositions, conversation, and supportive readings in Italian. Prerequisite: ITAL 240 or permission of instructor. LEC
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Representative works and trends from origins to Renaissance. Prerequisite: ITAL 240 or reading knowledge of Italian. LEC
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Representative works and trends from 17th century to present. Prerequisite: ITAL 240 or reading knowledge of Italian. LEC
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An advanced study of Italian grammar, conversation, composition, with selected aspects of Italian civilization. Available only to participants in the KU summer language institute or semester abroad program in Florence or Rome. Prerequisite: ITAL 240. LEC
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An advanced study of Italian grammar, conversation, composition, with selected aspects of Italian civilization. Available only to participants in the KU summer language institute or semester abroad program in Florence or Rome. Prerequisite: ITAL 303. LEC
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Intensive review of grammar and usage for advanced students. Compositions, conversation, and advanced readings in Italian. Prerequisite: ITAL 300 or permission of department. LEC
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Survey of Italian culture with study of geography, history, government, education, Roman archaeology, and music. Lecture, discussion, and supportive readings. Not open to native speakers of Italian. LEC
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Survey of Italian culture with study of art and architecture, literary masterpieces in translation, science, culinary arts, and cinema. Lecture, discussion, and supportive readings. Not open to native speakers of Italian. LEC
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A study of particular aspects of and/or periods in Italian culture. May be repeated for credit with departmental permission. Prerequisite: ITAL 240 or permission of instructor. LEC
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Major works representing various movements, themes, or genres. May be repeated with departmental permission. All work done in English. LEC
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A survey of representative short stories of the 19th and 20th Centuries, including Verga, Panzini, Pirandello, Guareschi, Moravia, Calvino, Landolfi, and Bigiaretti. Prerequisite: ITAL 240 or reading knowledge of Italian or permission of instructor. LEC
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A survey of 19th and 20th century poets and their works, including Leopardi, Pascoli, d'Annunzio, Govoni, Palazzeschi, Gozzano, Marinetti, Boccioni, Ungaretti, Montale, Quasimodo, and Pasolini. Prerequisite: ITAL 240 or reading knowledge of Italian or permission of instructor. LEC
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Detailed study of Dante's epic poem with a close reading of the Inferno. Prerequisite: ITAL 300 or demonstrated knowledge of Italian. LEC
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Detailed study of selected masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance from the 13th to the 18th centuries. Prerequisite: ITAL 300 or demonstrated knowledge of Italian. LEC
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With Italian 466, a survey of representative 19th and 20th century novels including those of Manzoni, Pirandello, Svevo, Deledda, Vittorini, Moravia, Pavese, Pratolini, Buzzati, Ginzburg, and Calvino. Prerequisite: ITAL 240 or reading knowledge of Italian or permission of instructor. LEC
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See ITAL 465. Prerequisite: ITAL 240 or reading knowledge of Italian or permission of instructor. LEC
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A study of a period, theme, group of authors, or cultural movement. Subject matter will vary; may be taken more than once if subject differs. Prerequisite: ITAL 300 or demonstrated knowledge of Italian. LEC
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May be taken more than once, total credit not to exceed nine hours. Various fields of Italian literature. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor, given only to those having demonstrated ease in reading Italian. IND
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Various topics in Italian literature or culture. Minimum of three hours of Italian 499 required for a B.A. with Honors in the Italian option of the French degree. Students must discuss Honors eligibility and their topic with a faculty member before enrolling. Honors paper must be written in Italian. LEC
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Detailed study of Dante's masterpiece. Attention will also be given to such matters as the development of the Italian language at Dante's period and the relation of the Comedy to Dante's other works. Prerequisite: Reading knowledge of Italian. LEC
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Continuation of ITAL 502. Prerequisite: Completion of ITAL 502. LEC
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May be taken more than once, total credit not to exceed nine hours. Directed readings, conferences with instructor. Prerequisite: ITAL 495 or consent of instructor. IND
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An introduction to Japanese for students enrolling in the Summer Study Abroad Program. Familiarity with the basic structural patterns of the language is stressed through general conversation. The hiragana and katakana syllabaries are introduced. LEC
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Continuation of JPN 100. Available to students who took JPN 100 as part of the Summer Study Abroad Program. Not available for credit for students who have previously completed JPN 104. Prerequisite: JPN 100 or equivalent. LEC
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Three hours of lecture, three hours of drill per week. Acquisition of basic language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing). Not available for credit for students who have previously completed JPN 101. LEC
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Continuation of JPN 104. Prerequisite: JPN 101, JPN 104, or equivalent. LEC
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Three hours of lecture, three hours of drill. Prerequisite: JPN 108 or equivalent. LEC
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Enhancement of conversational ability at the intermediate level. Used primarily to accommodate transfer credits. Prerequisite: JPN 204 or equivalent. LEC
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Continuation of JPN 204. Prerequisite: JPN 204. LEC
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Supervised and individualized study and practice of language skills through direct experience in interviews and guided practical applications in various public settings in Japan. Some conventional classroom instruction in grammar included. Offered only during the Summer Institute in Hiratsuka, Japan. Prerequisite: Two semesters or the equivalent of Japanese language study. LEC
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Instruction in special skills in Japanese, such as pronunciation, recognition of Chinese characters, comprehension of broadcast media, etc. at the freshman/sophomore level. Course work must be arranged through the office of KU Study Abroad and approved by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. May be repeated for credit if content varies. LEC
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Intensive practice of communicative skills at the advanced level. Prerequisite: JPN 208 or equivalent. LEC
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Continuation of JPN 306. LEC
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Supervised and individualized study and practice of language skills through direct experience in interviews and guided practical applications in various public settings in Japan. Some conventional classroom instruction in grammar and usage. Offered only during the Summer Institute in Hiratsuka, Japan. Prerequisite: Four semesters or the equivalent of Japanese language study. LEC
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Instruction in special skills in Japanese, such as pronunciation, recognition of Chinese characters, comprehension of broadcast media, etc. at the junior/senior level. Course work must be arranged through the office of KU Study Abroad and approved by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. May be repeated for credit if content varies. LEC
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Instruction in discussion in formal contexts and speech making. Prerequisite: JPN 504 or equivalent. LEC
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Readings in Japanese on a subject selected by a student with the advice and direction of the instructor. Individual meetings and reports. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. IND
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Readings in selected modern Japanese texts on various topics: history, education, language, society, business, and literature. Meets three hours per week. Prerequisite: JPN 208 or equivalent. LEC
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Continuation of JPN 504. Prerequisite: JPN 504 or equivalent. LEC
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Study of Japanese language especially appropriate to business situations. Although the course emphasizes developing conversational ability, the primary focus is on strengthening reading and writing in the specialized area. The course includes discussion of non-verbal aspects of Japanese business practices as well. Prerequisite: The first semester of third-year Japanese or the equivalent. LEC
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Introductory grammar and readings in classical Japanese texts. Prerequisite: JPN 508. LEC
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Continued readings of classical Japanese texts, on the intermediate and advanced level. Introduction to the elements of kambun (Sino-Japanese) and sorobun (epistolary) styles. Prerequisite: JPN 542 or equivalent. LEC
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Readings and interpretation of modern Japanese texts from various fields. Continued study of the language in the form of oral discussion and written reports. Prerequisite: JPN 508. LEC
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A continuation of JPN 562. Prerequisite: JPN 562 or equivalent. LEC
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This course strengthens reading and writing skills and continues developing conversational ability. It assumes a higher level of competency in Japanese than JPN 509 and includes both verbal and non-verbal aspects of Japanese business practices. Prerequisite: Completion of third-year Japanese or equivalent. LEC
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Students will read selections from materials on a given topic or topics. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: JPN 564 or permission of instructor. IND
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Varying topics with varying prerequisites. LEC
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Advanced language training for the study of Japanese sources in the humanities or social science field of the student. Prerequisite: JPN 564 or consent of instructor. RSH
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A detailed examination of various Japanese language reference works and research materials. Emphasis will be placed on the use of different types of reference works to carry out research strategies. Prerequisite: JPN 508 or equivalent and JPN 580. LEC
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This course introduces students to new subject matter, perspectives, and/or interdisciplinary approaches to Jewish Studies. Topic, instructor, and prerequisite to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. LEC
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The course focuses on the narratives through which Jews made sense of their lives under the impact of the forces of modernity, beginning in the "old world," and moving through the 19th century and into the 20th. The goal is to analyze how the imagination of Jewish writers was captured by the changes in social structures such as new educational, residential and occupational opportunities, leading to increased interactions with the gentile society. Students read and discuss literary works based in the shtetl in revolutionary Russia, and in America. We will also look at memoirs and letters written by ordinary Jews. All assigned texts will be in English. LEC
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Jews and Slavs have shared territory from the Middle Ages to the present day. The contact between these culturally and linguistically distinct groups have shaped many centuries of Eastern European history - from the extreme violence of the pogroms to long periods of peaceful coexistence and cooperation. "Jews and Slavs" examines the history and cultural geography of Slavic-Jewish contact from the perspectives of both groups. Through literature, film, journalism, and folklore, students learn about the profound influence Jews and Slavs have had on each other, the uneasy feelings that accompanied their interactions, and the creative and fascinating impact their interaction had on both cultures. (Same as SLAV 318.) LEC
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By examining the modern concept of Yiddishkeit (Jewishness), this course explores Jewish secularism as a set of modern intellectual, literary, and cultural practices that redefined the relationship between the secular and religious in literature, music, theatre, art, humor, and foodways. This interdisciplinary course draws on theoretical approaches from history, cultural studies, religious studies, folklore, and linguistics to examine the different secularizing cultural practices of the Jews in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in North America. LEC
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This course explores the variety of ways in which American Jews create Jewish identities as individuals and groups. It traces the emergence of the various current divisions within Judaism: Reform Judaism (which by definition, implies Orthodoxy), then Conservative Judaism, and then the later development of Reconstructionist Judaism. The course also explores other contemporary options for being Jewish: cultural Jews, secular Jews, unaffiliated Jews, religious Jews, and gay or lesbian or transgendered Jews. LEC
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In this class, we view films in English, Yiddish, Hebrew and Russian (with subtitles) to explore issues of Jewish identity, culture, and religion. We discuss important historical and cultural processes such as the break-up of the shtetl life, immigration to America, Zionism, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, as well as the friction between religious and secular ways of life, and learn to apply our understanding of these processes to film analysis. LEC
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Investigation of a special topic or project selected by the student with advice, approval, and supervision of the Faculty adviser in Jewish Studies. Such study may take the form of directed reading or special research. Regular reports to and conferences with the adviser are required. A final research report will be required. Course may be taken more than once; total credit not to exceed 6 hours. Open only to students pursuing a minor in Jewish Studies. IND
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Required for Honors in the minor. The honors version of JWSH 490. Open only to students pursuing a minor in Jewish Studies. IND
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Examination of special topics in Jewish Studies. Topic and instructor to be announced in Schedule of Classes. May be repeated if topic varies. LEC
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Jewish folklore is extraordinarily rich and varied. From folktales to riddles, from legends about the exalted rabbis to irreverent jokes, folklore is central to the Jewish way of life. This course traces the extent to which oral elements appear in traditional Jewish literary texts such as the Bible; read and discuss folktales, and examine minor genres such as proverbs, riddles and jokes. Topics include the supernatural beings of Jewish folklore dybbuks, seductive female demons, and golems. Students acquire theoretical tools with which to analyze folklore (Jewish or otherwise), read stories, watch movies, and collect samples of folklore from informants. LEC
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Intensive study of a selected topic from interdisciplinary areas in Jewish Studies. Topic, instructor, and prerequisite to be announced in Schedule of Classes. LEC
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Five hours of class per week. Basic level or oral fluency and aural comprehension. Vocabulary acquisition, pronunciation, grammar, and writing. Reading of simple texts. Not open to native speakers of KiSwahili. LEC
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Five hours of class per week. A continuation of KISW 110. Readings in cultural texts. Prerequisite: KISW 110. LEC
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Three hours of class conducted in KiSwahili. Intermediate oral proficiency and aural comprehension. Systematic review of grammar. Writing skills beyond the basic level. Introduction to modern KiSwahili texts and discussion in KiSwahili. Prerequisite: KISW 120. LEC
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Three hours of class conducted in KiSwahili. Continuation of KISW 210. Discussion in KiSwahili of texts studied. Prerequisite: KISW 210. LEC
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A practical KiSwahili language course involving advanced study of the grammar, reading of texts on a variety of subjects, conversation, and composition. Taught in KiSwahili. Designed for students who have had two or more years of KiSwahili study. Open to native speakers. Prerequisite: KISW 220 or consent of instructor. LEC
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A continuation of KISW 310. Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of KISW 310 or consent of instructor. LEC
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Designed for native and near-native speakers, this course involves reading newspapers and other publications in the language intended for native speakers, conversation, oral presentations, and advanced grammar. Prerequisite: Native or near-native speaker proficiency or consent of instructor. LEC
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Continuation of KISW 401. LEC
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The course objective is a sophisticated command of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in KiSwahili. Texts used include newspapers and other KiSwahili publications not expressly for language learners, and spoken material intended for native speakers is introduced. Conversation and oral presentations. Advanced grammar. Available for elective credit in the major. Prerequisite: Native, near-native or second language competence or satisfactory completion of fourth level language proficiency. LEC
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Five hours of class and two hours of drill in the spoken language each week. Grammar and readings in selected texts. LEC
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Continuation of KOR 104. Prerequisite: KOR 104. LEC
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Five hours of class and two hours of spoken drill. Readings in selected texts in modern Korean. Prerequisite: KOR 108 or equivalent. LEC
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Continuation of KOR 204. Prerequisite: KOR 204. LEC
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Readings in Korean on a subject selected by a student with the advice and direction of the instructor. Individual meetings and reports. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. IND
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Readings in and discussion of selected modern Korean texts on various topics: history, literature, society, and language. Prerequisite: KOR 208 or equivalent. LEC
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Continuation of KOR 504. Prerequisite: KOR 504 or equivalent. LEC
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