SEM 104: The Global Conversation of the 20th and 21st Centuries

Building on the Western tradition explored in the second and third seminars, readings focus on the Great Conversation of the modern world, which includes the West but also includes important intercultural and global voices. 

The course focuses on issues of significant relevance for a 21st century student, as well as texts that allow for integrative thinking across the entire Collegiate Seminar sequence.  The last portion of the course will include students reflecting on what they have learned and how they have grown, revisiting the steps of ther intellectual development in a capstone experience.

The reading list is current but subject to modification. From some texts selections are read.

 Reading List
  • Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
  • Mahmoud al-Braikan and Taleb Abd al-Aziz, Fifteen Iraqi Poets
  • Maya Angelou, "On the Pulse of Morning"
  • Gloria Anzaldúa, This Bridge Called My Back (selections)
  • Hannah Arendt, On Violence
  • Paul Celan, "Death Fugue"
  • Miguel de Unamuno, “Saint Emmanuel the Good,
  • Theodosius Dobzhansky, "The Teilhardian Synthesis"
  • Andrea Dworkin, Pornography (selections)
  • Frantz Fanon, Wretched of the Earth (selections)
  • Richard P. Feynman, "Atoms in Motion”
  • Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents
  • Robert Frost, "The Gift Outright"
  • Mahatma Gandhi, Selected Political Writings
  • Garrett Hardin, "The Tragedy of the Commons"
  • Xiao Hong "Hands”
  • Qiu Jin, selected poems
  • Franz Kafka, "The Metamorphosis"
  • Robert Lawrence Kuhn, "Can Religion Withstand Technology?"
  • Jhumpa Lahiri, "The Third and Final Continent"
  • Audre Lorde, "An Open Letter to Mary Daly" and Daly, Letter of Response
  • Naguib Mahfouz, The Time and the Place (selections)
  • Nelson Mandela, "I Am Prepared to Die"
  • Gabriel García Márquez, "The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother"
  • Thomas Merton, Contemplation in a World of Action (selections)
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, Aphorisms
  • Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis
  • Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spe
  • Vandana Shiva, Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge
  • Desmond Tutu, No Future Without Forgiveness (selections)
  • UN General Assembly, "Universal Declaration of Human Rights"
  • Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own (selections)
  • Yevgeny Yevtushenko, "Babi Yar"