Disruptive Thinkers, Ideological Conflict, and Social Revolution

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This course is under review for 2021. Course registration will open to accepted students once courses are confirmed.

Course Description

In this course, students will engage with great thinkers in world history, explore great social movements of our time, and immerse themselves in key ideological controversies that underpin contemporary global society.
Students will:
• Revisit the twilight of medieval Europe as the great Protestant challenge to Catholicism ushers in a new modern and individual consciousness, unleashing unexpected anxieties that would later manifest in the witch-craze that swept Europe and America.
• Investigate some of the most lively debates in the history of science, including the firestorm unleashed by Darwin's revolution and the bitter controversy over who really discovered the calculus.
• Debate one of the most intractable problems of modern life: intellectual property. Is innovation stimulated or hindered by the laws that allow people to own their own inventions and creative labor? Examining one of the most high-profile cases in recent popular culture, we will ask how to distinguish between legitimate artistic influence and copyright infringement.

While exploring these topics with their peer colleagues through careful thought and polite debate, students will learn to read closely, write analytically, and gain the critical thinking skills necessary to thrive in a college-level liberal arts classroom.

They will:
• Practice and analyze the forms and methods of close reading and analytical writing.
• Grapple with complex ideas and differing points of view and learn to engage in scholarly debate with your peers with civility and passion.
• Produce three short (2-3 page) analytical response papers.

Prerequisites: No specific prior experience or knowledge is required.

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEHI0957

Program Information


Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences for students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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