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Transformational Works

"Transformational Works" Courses

These courses focus on one or more works (whether of literature, film, art, music, architecture, inventions, scientific experiments, or mathematical proofs) that faculty identify as groundbreaking, or as having special significance in their own and others‘ intellectual and personal development. The courses focus on involving students in the excitement of liberal inquiry, and on helping them to develop higher-order reading and discussion skills. Courses may be counted toward particular majors and minors at the discretion of departments or programs.

“Transformational Works” courses prepare students:

  • to read complex “texts” (including works of literature, art, architecture, film, history, scientific inquiry, and so forth) using techniques and strategies appropriate to the nature of the work;
  • to inquire through collaborative conversation with others into the meaning and significance of a work;
  • to apply what they learn from a work to questions and problems that are not directly or obviously related; and
  • to engage in intellectual inquiry with excitement and a strong sense of relevance.

Recent course offerings:

  • Untangling The Wire: The TV Serial as a Transformational Work
  • Darwin 200
  • Medea: Maiden and Monster in Greek, Roman, and Contemporary Culture
  • Introducing Philosophy Through Star Trek
  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Transformational Work
  • Interpreting Buddhist Literature