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Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants*
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Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT 05753)
Patricia Zupan (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50918-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is the Good Life and How Do I Live It?"

The development of a seminar by four faculty members on the question, What is the good life and how do I live it?

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2013 – 5/31/2016

University of Vermont (Burlington, VT 05405-0001)
Alex Zakaras (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50123-09
Individualism and Its Dangers (course title)

A one-semester seminar to be offered at least twice, to undergraduates, on the problem of individualism and its dangers.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,036 (approved); $24,036 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 6/30/2011

St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN 55057-1574)
Ka Wong (Project Director, 09/09/2014 - present)
AQ-228793-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Conceptions of the Hero

The development and teaching of a new course to study cross-cultural conceptions of the hero.

Project fields: Classical Literature; East Asian Literature; East Asian Studies
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,967 (approved); $21,967 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2015 – 12/31/2016

Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3858)
Alan Wolfe (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50010-09
Enduring Questions Course on Evil

The development of a seminar that scrutinizes conceptions of evil from antiquity to the twenty-first century.

Project fields: Political Science, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2010

San Francisco State University (San Francisco, CA 94132-1722)
Megan Williams (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50838-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "Why Are We Interested in the Past?"

The development of an undergraduate course on the question, Why are we interested in the past?

Project fields: History, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,845 (approved); $24,803 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2013 – 5/31/2016

Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA 02481-8203)
Cord Whitaker (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50712-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is Racial Difference?"

The development of an undergraduate course on the question, What is racial difference?

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,996 (approved); $24,996 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2012 – 6/30/2017

Centre College of Kentucky (Danville, KY 40422-1309)
William Weston (Project Director, 09/16/2010 - present)
AQ-50371-11
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What is a Happy Society?"

The development of an upper level course on the question, What is a happy society?

[Grant products]
Project fields: Sociology
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $23,748 (approved); $23,747 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2011 – 5/31/2014

Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, CA 91702-2701)
David Weeks (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50019-09
"The Art of Leadership" new Humanities course

The development of an undergraduate course that would examine a series of questions centered on leadership.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 6/30/2011

Regents of The University of California (Irvine, CA 92697-7600)
James Weatherall (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-51039-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Conceptions of Time in Physics, Philosophy, Fiction, and Film

The development of an undergraduate seminar on conceptions of time in physics, philosophy, fiction, and film.

The development of an undergraduate seminar on conceptions of time in physics, philosophy, fiction, and film. James Weatherall, assistant professor of philosophy at the University of California, Irvine, develops a course to consider What is time? from the perspectives of physics, philosophy, fiction, and film. As its title suggests, this course approaches the question of time as a humanistic inquiry, surveying traditional Chinese philosophy, Abrahamic theology, Ancient Greek philosophy, Kantian and modern philosophy, historical and current physics, and the modern novel. The goal of the course is twofold: to engage students in multiple perspectives on the human conception of time, and to highlight for them critical tensions between the representation of time in the physical sciences and in literature and the arts. The course is divided into two parts. The first part investigates the physics and metaphysics of time; students read selections from Plato's Timaeus, Aristotle's Physics, Augustine's Confessions, Newton's Scholium on Time and Space, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, and Einstein's Theory of Relativity. In addition, discussion of early Taoist and Zen Buddhist writings on time are paired with the screening of the film Groundhog Day. The second part of the course explores the depiction of time as a subjective experience in fiction, film, and psychology. Readings include James Joyce's Ulysses; excerpts from Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain; Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse; Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49; Vladimir Nabokov's Ada, or Ardor; and Ernst Pöppel's Mindworks. Students write two essays for the course and participate in a weekly online discussion board. The project director interviews students after the first iteration and revises the course based on their feedback.

Project fields: Philosophy of Science
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,991 (approved); $21,991 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2014 – 6/30/2017

American University (Washington, DC 20016-8200)
Paul Wapner (Project Director, 09/10/2014 - present)
AQ-228859-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Suffering

The development and teaching of a new undergraduate seminar on the meaning of suffering.

Project fields: Ethics; Philosophy, General; Political Science, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,993 (approved); $21,993 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2015 – 4/30/2017

New Mexico State University, Las Cruces (Las Cruces, NM 88003)
Mark Walker (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50610-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is the Nature of Happiness?"

The development of an undergraduate seminar on the question, What is the nature of happiness?

Mark Walker, an assistant professor of philosophy, develops a course on "the nature, value and means to obtain happiness." He argues that "the nature of happiness is not as well understood as we might imagine or hope. Its value may not be what we think it is, and we may be mistaken in how to pursue it." The course utilizes insights from classic Western sources, contemporary social science, and Buddhism. Professor Walker notes that this course might be the first time that many of his students, a number of them first-generation undergraduates, tackle original texts; hence, it includes an introductory section on critical thinking. Then the course moves through a number of topics, first using Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and a recent psychological study, "The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?" by Sonya Lyubormirsky and others, to complicate the question of whether the inhabitants of Huxley's "brave new world" are happier than we are. Next, it looks at the film The Matrix to see if the altered mental state of the character Cypher makes him "really happy." Plato's Myth of the Cave from the Republic and a recent article by Charles L. Griswold elaborate the mental state theory of happiness. The course then moves beyond such mental accounts to Plato's Philebus and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics to consider other bases of happiness in knowledge and virtue; the idea that there might be a difference between happiness and well-being will also be introduced. J. S. Mill's Utilitarianism then offers the view that people have a duty to maximize total happiness. Recent readings from social science and "positive psychology" by Lyubormirsky, Martin Seligman, and others allow the students to consider whether success leads to happiness or happiness to success. Political considerations regarding happiness are addressed through John Locke's Two Treatises of Government, and the Declaration of Independence. Readings from contemporary social science by Ed Diener, John Helliwell, and Haifing Huang explore whether public policy can be used to promote happiness. Finally, the class considers Buddhist perspectives articulated by the Dalai Lama about the root causes of happiness and unhappiness. In addition to standard classroom activities, the students are given opportunities to present papers to the undergraduate philosophy club and to set up a "philosophy booth" during one of the class periods to engage other students in the question. Professor Walker states that since most of his teaching is on contemporary sources, he wishes to use the course development time to improve his skills with historical texts and to increase his understanding of Buddhism.

Project fields: Ethics
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,995 (approved); $20,806 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 4/30/2014

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (Fayetteville, AR 72701)
Padma Viswanathan (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-51117-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Literature and Morality

The development of a course for third- and fourth-year undergraduates on concepts of morality, as represented in literature from different times and cultures.

A course for third- and fourth-year undergraduates on concepts of morality, as represented in literature from different times and cultures. The course on the question, Can good books make us better people? examines ways in which stories have been used for moral instruction. During the first unit of the course, Religious and Originary Texts, students read selections from the Indian epic, the Mahabharata; the Qur'an; the Bible; and Greek mythology as both literary productions and declarations of cultural values. The second unit, Teaching Tales, Fairy Tales and Moral Entertainments, focuses on allegorical tales for children as exemplified in Aesop's fables and the Indian Panchatantra. It then turns to the heavily symbolic märchen of the Grimm brothers and the inventive, ambiguous stories of Hans Christian Anderson before concluding with darker, more challenging selections from The Arabian Nights and Dante's Inferno. The third unit, Satire, focuses on the ways that humor and caricature work with and against our natural desires to identify with fictional characters as exemplified in works by Aristophanes, Jonathan Swift, and Molière. During the final unit, "Colonial Encounters and Cosmopolitanisms," students read Aphra Behn's Oroonoko; selections from Anton Chekhov, Italo Calvino, and Archibald Colquhoun's The Nonexistent Knight and The Cloven Viscount; and Alison Bechdel's Fun House. Students learn to analyze narrative texts for their literary value and effects, becoming conversant in character development, narrative perspective, description, dialogue, doubling and repetition, metaphor, story structure (including withholding and suspense), and the creation and use of dramatic conflict. They are asked to tease out the moral axes in each text--to describe a character's decision points, for example, and how these emerge out of and thereby reveal his or her nature. They then discuss whether or how narrative offers the possibility of different, equally plausible plot lines. Three course assignments include a paper discussing the moral values of a text discussed in class, a short story that proceeds from a clear moral dilemma, and a short reflective essay on the writing process.

Project fields: Literature, Other
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,614 (approved); $21,614 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 5/31/2016

Elon University (Elon, NC 27244-9423)
Shawn Tucker (Project Director, 09/16/2009 - present)
AQ-50290-10
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Pride, Humility, and the Good Life

The development of an upper-level seminar with readings in Homer, Lao Tzu, C.S. Lewis, Ralph Ellison, and others.

[Grant products]
Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,965 (approved); $24,965 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 12/31/2011

University of North Carolina, Asheville (Asheville, NC 28804-3251)
Robert Tatum (Project Director, 09/09/2014 - present)
AQ-228774-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Morality and Material Progress

The development and teaching of a new undergraduate seminar on the relationship between morality and material progress.

Project fields: Economics
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,000 (approved); $22,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2015 – 5/31/2018

Furman University (Greenville, SC 29613-0002)
Benjamin Storey (Project Director, 09/16/2009 - present)
AQ-50229-10
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "Know Thyself: But How?"

The development of a first-year seminar for undergraduates on the question of self-knowledge from moral, political, theological, and philosophical perspectives.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $23,860 (approved); $23,860 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 5/31/2012

DePaul University (Chicago, IL 60604-2287)
Howard Steeves (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50658-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is Free Will?"

The development of an undergraduate seminar for twenty-five students on the question, What is free will?

Howard Steeves, a professor of philosophy at DePaul University, develops an honors seminar to investigate the notion of free will, specifically as it relates to the question of time. The project director opens up the notion of free will as an experimental test case, using an example from Thomas Hobbes and Baron D'Holbach's discussion of the laws of motion governing billiard balls on a table. This analogy of the physical laws describing a mechanical universe then is extended to the problem of God's foreknowledge for human freedom, as evidenced in the works of Augustine and Aquinas. Going beyond the political and cultural institutions of the Christian church, the course also examines the malleability of space and time, concepts that were ushered in by the scientific revolution and Einsteinian relativity. As a counterpoint to the Western perspective, students are introduced to Buddhist texts and writings from Sufi mysticism. The preliminary reading list that the project director studies to prepare for the course includes works by Aristotle, Bergson, Heidegger, Hume, Kant, Merleau-Ponty, Jalalu'ddin Rumi, Schopenhauer, and John Searle, as well as other source readings from history, science, religion, literature, and anthropology. The class is taught over a ten-week quarter and the enrollment is capped at twenty-five students, selected from a diverse range of backgrounds. The course is writing intensive and includes a requirement for students to produce a twelve-page research paper. In addition to readings and creative class exercises, the project director has planned a field trip to the Chicago Adler Planetarium.

Project fields: Philosophy, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,991 (approved); $24,919 (awarded)
Grant period: 9/1/2012 – 2/28/2014

University of Wisconsin, Green Bay (Green Bay, WI 54311-7003)
Alison Staudinger (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-51030-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Role of Work in Human Life

The development of a first-year seminar on the changing nature of work throughout history, with consideration of its economic, political, and personal importance.

The development of a first-year seminar on the changing nature of work throughout history, with consideration of its economic, political, and personal importance. Alison Staudinger, assistant professor of Democracy and Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, develops a course on the nature of work. The project director centers the inquiry on four sub-questions. The course begins by asking, What is work? and seeks responses from Hesiod's Works and Days, the ancient myths of Prometheus and Pandora, the Rule of St. Benedict, and Simone Weil's Gravity and Grace. The second question, Are humans workers by nature? is explored through The Human Condition by Hannah Arendt, the "Master Slave Dialectic" from the Phenomenology of Spirit of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and "Alienated Labor" and "Critique of the Gotha Programme" by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The third question, What is the relationship between work and justice? takes as its point of departure debates between Plato and Aristotle. Students read The Republic and The Politics for their examination of "natural slavery" and how this concept is relevant to contemporary discussions of inequality. This issue, in relation to consumption and work in a developed country like the United States, is explored through Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and Michael Glawoger's documentary film Workingman's Death, in tandem with a site visit to the Grohmann Museum at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The last question, What work should I do? introduces issues of race, gender, and class into labor questions, thereby complicating topics previously considered. Readings for this section include Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns, Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, Herman Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener," a debate between W. E. B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington on the place of work for ex-slaves, and Studs Terkel's Working. As a final project, students add a chapter to Terkel's book based on their own video interviews.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General; Philosophy, Other; Political Science, Other
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,000 (approved); $22,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 12/31/2015

Lewis and Clark College (Portland, OR 97219-7879)
Jessica Starling (Project Director, 09/05/2014 - present)
AQ-228744-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Self-Discipline and Asceticism

The development and teaching of a new undergraduate course on asceticism.

Project fields: Comparative Religion; Cultural Anthropology; Ethics
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,000 (approved); $22,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2015 – 5/31/2018

St. Anselm College (Manchester, NH 03102-1310)
Kevin Staley (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50154-09
Liberty and Justice in the Contemporary World

The preparation and teaching of an undergraduate course in liberty and justice in the contemporary world.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 6/30/2011

Montclair State University (Montclair, NJ 07043-1699)
Brian Smith (Project Director, 09/16/2010 - present)
AQ-50357-11
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Sustains Liberty?"

The development of an undergraduate course on the question, What sustains liberty?

Project fields: Political Science, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $19,505 (approved); $19,505 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2011 – 5/31/2013

University of New England (Biddeford, ME 04005-9599)
David Smith (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50748-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Makes Us Human?"

The development of a course for undergraduates to investigate the question, What makes us human?

David Smith, associate professor of philosophy at the University of New England, develops a course that engages students in a philosophical, historical, and scientific reflection on the essence of what it means to be human. The course is organized around a series of subsidiary questions such as: "Is there such a thing as human nature? Does knowledge of human nature provide grounds for making inferences about how we should live? Is human nature essentially 'good' or 'bad'? Is human nature innate and non-malleable, or can it be changed? How have ideas about human nature been used to justify racism, slavery, colonialism, genocide, and the exploitation of non-human animals? What, if anything, can the scientific disciplines of evolutionary biology and neuroscience tell us about human nature?" The course reading includes Plato's Phaedo and Republic, Aristotle's De Anima and Nicomachean Ethics, Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, Aquinas's Treatise on Human Nature, Pico della Mirandola's Oration on the Dignity of Man, Descartes's Meditations, Hobbes's Leviathan, Rousseau's Discourse on Human Inequality, Hume's Treatise of Human Nature, Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Peter Singer's Animal Liberation, Freud's Civilization and its Discontents, Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, and Saul Kripke's Naming and Necessity. The course aims to bring together students from a variety of majors and draw on existing strengths of the university - in particular, the Center for Excellence in Neuroscience and the Center for Global Humanities. Pursuant to course development, the project director's reading program is comprehensive and includes works on philosophical essentialism as background. The director also travels to two major conferences for the purpose of discussing the planned course with colleagues.

Project fields: Philosophy, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,500 (approved); $22,500 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 4/30/2015

Lawrence University of Wisconsin (Appleton, WI 54911-5699)
Martyn Smith (Project Director, 09/10/2014 - present)
AQ-228872-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Nature of Life

The development and teaching of a new seminar that would integrate humanistic and scientific approaches to understanding the nature of life.

Project fields: Comparative Religion; History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine; Interdisciplinary Studies, Other
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,466 (approved); $21,466 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2015 – 4/30/2018

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN 55455-0433)
J.B. Shank (Project Director, 09/16/2009 - present)
AQ-50223-10
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Nature of the Cosmos

The development of a course for undergraduates that explores ancient, religious, and scientific cosmologies.

Project fields: Philosophy of Religion
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $23,782 (approved); $22,895 (awarded)
Grant period: 1/1/2011 – 12/31/2012

University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, TN 37996-0001)
Urmila Seshagiri (Project Director, 09/11/2014 - present)
AQ-228995-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Duty

The development and teaching of a new undergraduate course on duty.

Project fields: British Literature; Classical Literature; South Asian Studies
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,000 (approved); $22,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 9/1/2015 – 8/31/2017

University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ 85721-0001)
Robert Schon (Project Director, 09/16/2010 - present)
AQ-50411-11
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "Why Cooperate?"

The development of an upper level course on the question, Why cooperate?

Project fields: Anthropology
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2011 – 5/31/2014

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (Cheyney, PA 19319)
Jeffrey Sapiro (Project Director, 09/16/2010 - present)
AQ-50496-11
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "Why Be Just?"

The development of an undergraduate seminar on the question, Why be just?

Project fields: Ethics
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $18,360 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2011 – 5/31/2014

University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA 90095-9000)
Otto Santa Ana (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50840-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is the Nature of Human Laughter and Humor?"

The development of a cross-listed undergraduate course on the nature of human laughter and humor.

[Grant products]
Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,964 (approved); $20,896 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2013 – 6/30/2015

University of Montana (Missoula, MT 59801)
Robert Saldin (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50688-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Form of Government Is Best Suited to Human Society?"

The development of an undergraduate seminar on the question, What form of government is best suited to human society?

Assistant Professor Robert Saldin develops a first- and second- year seminar that is sponsored by the university's political science department and honors college. The seminar addresses how governmental structures are attuned to social arrangements and how these structures influence "a society's way of life." The first part of the course considers theories about governmental forms, with examples from classical antiquity. "An essential purpose of this first portion . . . will be to encourage students to take a step back from our own familiar life within a liberal democracy" and consider other possible forms of government organization in different times and places. Tentative readings for this section include selections from Aristotle's Politics, Plato's Republic, and Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War. Aristophanes' The Clouds, Shakespeare's Coriolanus, and Plutarch's "Life of Lycurgus" are read in full. The second part of the course examines "three government forms-theocracy, liberal democracy, and socialism-that are contemporary, and controversial" to provide specific case studies to illuminate the central question. Readings on theocracy include John Winthrop, "A Model of Christian Charity"; Ayatollah Khomeini, "Messages to Pilgrims"; Thomas Jefferson, "Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom"; and Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter. Readings for liberal democracy encompass Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America; Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin; and Kurt Vonnegut, "Harrison Bergeron." Socialism is studied through Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto; Vladimir Lenin, The State and Revolution; and Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon. The course is offered twice, in Fall 2013 and Fall 2014; each iteration includes two outside guest lectures open to the university community with live streaming video; the lecturers also meet privately with the class to discuss their presentations. Professor Saldin notes that his scholarly training focuses on "American politics and public policy." The grant allows him to expand his expertise into other periods and cultures through close study of works listed in the scholarly bibliography included in the application.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,999 (approved); $24,995 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2012 – 12/31/2014

New York University (New York, NY 10012-1019)
Martha Rust (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50660-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is Memory?"

The development of an undergraduate honors seminar on the question, What is memory?

Martha Rust, an associate professor of English with a specialty in medieval literature and a background in nursing, and Suzanne England, a professor of social work with an interest in gerontology, develop a course on memory as a source "from which we draw both in acting as morally astute agents in the present and in envisioning new possibilities for the future." In approaching the subject, the course addresses such subsidiary questions and issues as, Where does memory exist in the brain, and what are its connections with sensory organs? Why do our memories change, and how accurate are they? What is the connection between memory and the self-and with language and story-telling? Can a preoccupation with memories forestall beneficial growth and change? and What events are best forgotten and how do we go about forgetting them? The course is divided into six units, the first three on memory in its "untrained and personal states" and the last three on the "training of memory, its uses and abuses." The first unit approaches childhood memories through readings in Augustine's Confessions, Eric Kandel's In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind, and Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich. The second unit, on the idea of memory, draws on David Bloch, Aristotle on Memory and Recollection; Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory; Sigmund Freud, "Screen Memories"; John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding; Plato, Theaetetus; William Wordsworth, "Tintern Abbey"; and W.G. Sebald, Vertigo. In the third section, on the science of memory, the class reads more from Kandel's book, studies Jamie Ward's The Student's Guide to Cognitive Neuroscience, and views Akira Kurosawa's film Rashomon. The fourth unit, on memory in art, draws on additional chapters from Augustine, Borges's "Funes the Memorious," Thomas Bradwardine's "On Acquiring a Trained Memory," and A. R. Luria's The Mind of a Mnemonist: A Little Book about a Vast Memory. The fifth section, on cultural memory, includes Italo Calvino's "World Memory," Primo Levi's The Drowned and the Saved, and George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. In the final unit, on forgetting, the class utilizes Janna Quitney Anderson, "Does Google Make Us Stupid?"; Alice Munro, "The Bear Came Over the Mountain"; and Sarah Polley's film version of Munro's story. Professors Rust and England draw on the materials in the course bibliography to grow intellectually in such areas as cultural memory studies and the practice of memory in a variety of time periods; in addition, Professor England benefits from Professor Rust's nursing background and knowledge of cognitive neuroscience and Professor Rust benefits from Professor England's scholarly expertise. The course includes a website and an electronic discussion board to foster intellectual community.

[Grant products]
Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 9/1/2012 – 8/31/2015

Trustees of Indiana University (Bloomington, IN 47401-3654)
Jonathan Rossing (Project Director, 09/08/2014 - present)
AQ-228765-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Purpose and Value of Play

The development and teaching of a new upper-level course on the meaning of play in human life.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,000 (approved); $22,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2015 – 12/31/2016

Regents of the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001)
Levi Romero (Project Director, 09/10/2014 - present); Allison Hagerman (Co Project Director, 03/24/2015 - present)
AQ-228886-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Identity and Place

The development and teaching of a new undergraduate course on the human connection with place.

Project fields: Hispanic American Studies; History of Philosophy
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $32,998 (approved); $32,998 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2015 – 5/31/2017

York County Technical College (Wells, ME 04090-5341)
Seth Rogoff (Project Director, 09/16/2010 - present)
AQ-50479-11
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Nature of Dreams

The development of an undergraduate seminar on the nature of dreams.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,837 (approved); $24,837 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2011 – 12/31/2013

University of North Carolina, Charlotte (Charlotte, NC 28223-0001)
Joanne Robinson (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50675-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "How Is the World Ordered?"

The development of an undergraduate course on the question, How is the world ordered?

Joanne Robinson, an associate professor of religious studies, notes that while human beings are constantly ordering things, they seldom reflect on that activity. "Yet concerns about order and the threat of disorder have pervaded Western thought and practice." Hence Professor Robinson develops a course to address such questions as "Is order inherent in nature or is it a human construct (or a mix of both)? When is order constructive and when is it restrictive? What assumptions form the foundations for classifying and categorizing things and ideas?" The first section of the course addresses how humans have explained the order they find in the natural world. Readings include creation stories from the Hebrew Bible, ancient Greece, Zoroastrianism, and Native American traditions. These are studied in conjunction with excerpts from Lucretius's On the Nature of Things and Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species, Italo Calvino's essay "Crystals," and Stephen Strogatz's Sync: How Order Emerges from Chaos in the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life. In the second section, the class looks more closely at taxonomies of the natural world, including Aristotle's Categories, Isidore of Seville's Etymologies, either Bartholomew of England's On the Properties of Things or the medieval Physiologus, and Jorge Luis Borges's Book of Imaginary Beings. For a contemporary treatment, the class studies Carol Yoon's Naming Nature: The Clash Between Instinct and Science. In the third section, the students consider current discussions of classification and category through a reading of E. O. Wilson's Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge and David Weinberger's Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder. "These texts, taken together, complicate the question of order in ways relevant to students' (presumably) technology-focused lives." Professor Robinson notes that while she has looked at the question before, NEH support allows her "to break out of the disciplinary ordering of my academic life [in religious studies] and delve into other disciplines, such as cognitive science, library history and science, linguistics, anthropology, biology, and philosophy." The course opens with an exercise comparing the systems of ordering in the printed telephone book with the on-line ordering of such information; it also explores visual means of ordering. The students develop a public website on systems of order for the university community.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $20,837 (approved); $20,642 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 12/31/2014

Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY 13244-0001)
William Robert (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50723-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is Belief?"

The development of a lower-division undergraduate course to investigate multiple perspectives on the question, What is belief?

William Robert, an assistant professor in the department of religion, proposes to "explore a wide range of forms, stakes, and effects of belief as an abiding, perhaps even fundamental human phenomenon." The capacious framing of the primary question raises other questions - Is belief necessary? Is it beneficial? Is religious belief different from other kinds of belief? What happens when belief conflicts with scientific evidence or with personal experience? The course unfolds around four major themes: Belief as Human Activity, Belief as Cognitive Function, Belief as Meaningful Orientation, and Belief as Embodied Practice. The readings in each section are drawn from diverse times and cultures in order to put contemporary perspectives in the company of ancient or more traditional sources. As an example, in the second unit on the cognitive dimension of belief, students encounter Anselm of Canterbury's ontological arguments for the existence of God and Kant's extension of this rational tradition, as well as two recent books by contemporary writers, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason, by "New Atheist" Sam Harris, and, giving the theme a final modern twist, Michael Shermer's The Believing Brain, which contends that the need for belief is brain-based and quintessentially human. Also studied are works by Augustine of Hippo, Euripides, Plato (Phaedrus), Aquinas, Anne Bradstreet, Walt Whitman, Kierkegaard, Michel de Certeau, John Cottingham, and Judith Butler, along with passages in the Qur'an, the Dhammapada, writings of early Christian monks, and the Yoga Sutras. To foster a sense of community, Professor Robert relies extensively on smaller discussion groups and asks that students post and respond to posts on a course blog on a weekly basis. A wide-ranging bibliography engages the applicant in forays into unfamiliar disciplines and related investigations during the development phase.

Project fields: Religion, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,526 (approved); $24,526 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2012 – 12/31/2013

Bethel College, Minnesota (St. Paul, MN 55112-6902)
Daniel Ritchie (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50954-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Good Is Leisure?"

The development of a senior capstone course course on the question, What good is leisure?

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $23,089 (approved); $23,090 (awarded)
Grant period: 9/1/2013 – 5/31/2015

Stetson University (DeLand, FL 32723-8300)
Kimberly Reiter (Project Director, 09/09/2014 - present)
AQ-228796-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Definitions of the Natural

The development and teaching of a new junior seminar on diverse conceptions of what is natural.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,982 (approved); $21,982 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2015 – 7/31/2017

Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL 60115)
Andrea Radasanu (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50947-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is the Role of Women in an Ideal Society?"

The development of an upper-level undergraduate course that asks, What is the role of women in an ideal society?

Project fields: Political Science, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 8/1/2013 – 12/31/2015

Scripps College (Claremont, CA 91711-3948)
Nathalie Rachlin (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50033-09
What Is Happiness?

The development of a course that explores the question, What is happiness? by taking a historical overview of its changing interpretations from Greek antiquity to the present day.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,000 (approved); $21,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2011

Earlham College (Richmond, IN 47374-4095)
Vincent Punzo (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50062-09
On Human Dignity

The development of a freshman-level seminar on notions of human dignity in fiction, non-fiction, and philosophy.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,000 (approved); $22,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2010

Tulane University (New Orleans, LA 70118-5698)
Stephanie Porras (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-51006-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Conceptions of Authenticity and Originality

The development of an undergraduate honors colloquium on conceptions of authenticity and originality as debated in literature, music, philosophy, art, and the sciences.

The development of an undergraduate honors colloquium on conceptions of authenticity and originality as debated in literature, music, philosophy, art, and the sciences. Stephanie Porras, assistant professor of art history at Tulane University, develops a course that draws on legal, ethical, and technological issues alongside historical analysis and philosophical debate to explore the question, What is a copy? The first unit, Technology of the Copy, considers the history of reproduction from the invention of print, photography, digital duplication, and three-dimensional molds to gene sequencing. Readings include Elizabeth Eisenstein's The Printing Press as an Agent of Change, Paul Craddock's Scientific Investigation of Copies, Hillel Schwartz's The Culture of the Copy, Erasmus on printed books, Rainer Maria Rilke on Auguste Rodin's bronzes, and Jorge Luis Borges's "The Circular Ruins." The second unit, Copy/Original, explores philosophical views on copying, cognition, and being. Readings include extracts from Plato, Aristotle, Bacon, Leibniz, Kant, Heidegger, Benjamin, and Marcus Boon. These theoretical perspectives are then integrated into discussions of aesthetic theory, anthropology, and psychology, thus providing a rich array of conceptual and critical vocabulary for students. Additional readings include Coleridge's On Poesy or Art; Freud's Totem and Taboo; Girard's Deceit, Desire and the Novel; and Michael Taussig's Mimesis and Alterity. The third unit, Copies and Authorship, focuses on debates about innovation, originality, and artistic ownership. Topics include Dürer's ideas about copy and invention, sixth-century Chinese art theory, Brahms' defense of his first symphony, Arthur Danto on Warhol, and Gus van Sant's remake of Psycho. Readings include Forrest and Koos's Dead Ringers: The Remake in Theory and Practice; Jacques Derrida's Copy, Archive, Signature; Marvin Carlson's The Haunted Stage: The Theater as Memory Machine; and David Evans's Appropriation. The final unit, Appropriation, Depropriation and Theft, focuses on ethical, legal, and political ramifications of the copy. Students stage mock trials of recent high profile cases in plagiarism, forgery, and patent litigation. They read sections from Richard Posner's The Little Book of Plagiarism, Siva Vaidhyanathan's Copyrights and Copywrongs, and Howard Brody's Future of Bioethics. Films screened for the course include Banksy's 2010 Exit Through the Gift Shop, the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs and its remake The Departed, and the documentary Good Copy, Bad Copy. Students create a course wiki and write a detailed analysis of a copy that they own.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $20,234 (approved); $20,234 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 6/30/2016

North Dakota State University, Main Campus (Fargo, ND 58102)
Carrie Anne Platt (Project Director, 09/10/2014 - present)
AQ-228816-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Purpose of Education

The development and teaching of a new course for sophomores and juniors on changing concepts of an educated person.

Project fields: History, Other
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,987 (approved); $21,987 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2015 – 5/31/2017

Georgetown University (Washington, DC 20057-0001)
Samantha Pinto (Project Director, 09/20/2010 - present)
AQ-50572-11
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is Equality?"

The development of an undergraduate course on the concept of equality in the cultural and historical contexts of Europe, Africa, and the United States.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2011 – 12/31/2014

State University of West Georgia (Carrollton, GA 30118-0001)
Jesus Peralta (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50956-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Does It Mean to Be Free?"

The development of an undergraduate seminar on the question, What does it mean to be free?

Project fields: Political Science, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,491 (approved); $22,491 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2013 – 5/31/2015

St. Norbert College (De Pere, WI 54115-2099)
Marcella Paul (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50682-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is Time?"

The development of an honors course to explore the question, What is the nature of time?

Marcella Paul and Joel Mann, teachers of literature and philosophy, respectively, at St. Norbert College, explore a question that has long engaged human curiosity, What is time? Their course investigates how multiple notions of the structure, measurement, and perception of time vary across cultures and historical periods. Readings in history and philosophy are complimented by the study of literature, art, and film. In the first module, students explore the foundations of the topic by considering questions such as whether time is linear, cyclical, circular, or eternally branching. This section includes readings by Iain Morley and Colin Renfrew, Shahn Majid, John Polkinghorne, and Jorge Luis Borges. Students examine sundials and calendars to consider visual and mathematical approaches to time. In the second module they explore sacred and secular time by comparing St. Augustine with Christian mystics like Theresa of Avila. By contrast, the Popul Vuh and short stories by Carlos Fuentes illustrate indigenous views. These comparisons are extended by reading the poetry of Octavio Paz, T. S. Eliot, and Pablo Neruda. Thirdly, students consider how personal dynamics such as emotion and age affect the experience and perception of time. They read from Nabokov's Speak, Memory and listen to the NPR broadcast, "Why Does Time Fly By as You Get Older?" Finally, they study recent portrayals of time in David Harvey's Condition of Postmodernity and Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried. Designed for an interdisciplinary honors program, the course supports the College's newly defined goal of increasing the number of humanities majors. In their joint course preparation, the applicants "effectively tutor each other" and explore how the linking of their fields enriches their understanding-and teaching-of the topic.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $24,900 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 12/31/2014

Shimer College (Chicago, IL 60616)
Stuart Patterson (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50786-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is the Role of Reading in Human Life?"

The development of a course that explores the question of what we should read and why.

Stuart Patterson, associate professor of liberal arts at Shimer College, develops a course that explores why and what people should read. Designed both to engage and to critique Shimer College's Great Books curriculum, the course provides a structured venue for students to consider the intellectual, personal, and ethical dimensions of reading and thus, the foundation of a liberal arts education. Divided into six thematic units, it begins with Plato's Phaedrus, where Socrates queries the relationship between reading, writing, and conversation. The next section considers debates over canonicity - what we should read and how that is determined. Students first examine Shimer's own canon by reading The Great Conversation, whose author, Robert Maynard Hutchins, laid the groundwork for the college's curriculum. This is set alongside a larger discussion in Lee Morrissey's reader, Debating the Canon. Students then compare the four New Testament gospels to apocryphal texts, the latter supported by secondary sources. Thirdly, beginning with Montaigne and Cervantes, students explore the early modern phenomena of book ownership and reading as a private enterprise. In the fourth section, students revisit works and concepts encountered earlier in the course through the lens of contemporary theorists who have questioned the relationship between author, text, and reader: Mikhail Bakhtin and Jorge Luis Borges (both of whom discuss Don Quixote) and Jacques Derrida, who discusses Phaedrus. Finally, Marshall McLuhan's The Gutenberg Galaxy allows students to ask if, in his words, "the medium [really] is the message." In visits to the Art Institute of Chicago and the Newberry Library, students compare the activity of reading with the viewing of art and consider the materiality of books in light of a digital future.

[Grant products]
Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,752 (approved); $24,752 (awarded)
Grant period: 9/1/2012 – 8/31/2016

North Carolina Central University (Durham, NC 27707-3129)
Camille Passalacqua (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-51043-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Narratives of Survival and Healing

The development of an upper-level undergraduate course focused on literary and historical perspectives on the challenges of trauma, survival, and healing.

The development of an upper-level undergraduate course focused on literary and historical perspectives on the challenges of trauma, survival, and healing. Camille Passalacqua and Rachelle Gold, assistant professors of English at North Carolina Central University (a historically black liberal arts college in Durham, North Carolina), develop a course for juniors and seniors focused on the following questions: Can men and women survive and heal after trauma, not just physically, but also psychologically and creatively; and, if so, how? Students in the course explore a variety of works that address these questions, comparing literature from various eras and nations and examining different means of communicating extreme experiences. Aristotle's Poetics, with its ideas of purgation through pity and fear, is introduced to frame the course readings, along with contemporary work on trauma by such writers as Shoshana Felman. This theoretical grounding prepares students for the comparative investigation of paired texts to illuminate particular areas. Selections from Homer's Odyssey and Michihiko Hachiya's Hiroshima Diary explore the physical and psychological cost of war; portions of Tacitus's Germania and Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee take up questions of invasion, colonization, and cultural preservation. The personal cost of surviving violence is shown in both Sophocles' Antigone and Alicia Partnoy's The Little School: Tales of Disappearance and Survival in Argentina. Issues of wartime politics and male veterans' experiences of battle are explored in Shakespeare's Henry V and Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried. Sara Nomberg-Pryzytk's narrative of her two years in Auschwitz is read alongside Dori Laub's essay "Bearing Witness" to consider the relationship between trauma survivors and those who read or hear their stories. Finally, experiences of displacement or exile within one's own homeland are illuminated by the first-hand accounts in Farewell to Manzanar (Jeanne Wakatusi Houston) and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Harriet Jacobs). Two films are also shown: the documentary From Swastika to Jim Crow and the Argentine drama The Official Story. In developing the course, the project directors expand their knowledge beyond their expertise in African-American topics and recent eras to include a broader historical and geographical perspective. They also plan to disseminate their work through an on-campus faculty institute.

Project fields: English
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $32,955 (approved); $32,955 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 5/31/2016

Wheaton College (Norton, MA 02766-2322)
John Partridge (Project Director, 09/16/2010 - present)
AQ-50363-11
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What is the Good Life?"

The development of a first-year seminar on the question, What is the good life?

Project fields: Philosophy, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2011 – 5/31/2013

Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT 05753)
Cynthia Packert (Project Director, 09/11/2014 - present)
AQ-228974-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Conceptions of Beauty

The development and teaching of a new first-year seminar on cross-cultural conceptions of beauty.

Project fields: Art History and Criticism
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,000 (approved); $22,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2015 – 5/31/2018

Boise State University (Boise, ID 83725-0001)
Jacqueline O'Connor (Project Director, 09/16/2010 - present)
AQ-50389-11
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What is Justice?"

The development of an undergraduate course on the question, What is justice?

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,643 (approved); $21,642 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2011 – 4/30/2014

Emory University (Atlanta, GA 30322-1018)
Andrew Mitchell (Project Director, 09/16/2009 - present)
AQ-50300-10
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "How Does One Live a Life that Ends?"

The development of an introductory level undergraduate course that charts a three-part historical trajectory from ancient Sumerian and Greek texts to twentieth-century thought.

Project fields: Philosophy, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,965 (approved); $24,705 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2010 – 1/31/2013

Roosevelt University (Chicago, IL 60605-1394)
Svetozar Minkov (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50005-09
Course on Happiness: under the Enduring Questions Pilot Course Program

Development of an undergraduate course on the nature of happiness and fulfillment, as explored through the works of Greek, English, and French theorists.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $24,143 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2010

College of St. Benedict (St. Joseph, MN 56374-2099)
Shane Miller (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50859-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What is a Monster?"

The development of an upper-level undergraduate seminar on the question, What is a monster? -- from Antaeus to Zombies.

Project fields: Communications
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,999 (approved); $24,999 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2013 – 5/31/2015

Macomb County Community College (Warren, MI 48088-3896)
Elliott Meyrowitz (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-50979-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Just War Tradition

The development of a community college course on the circumstances under which war may be justified and whether it can be conducted ethically once begun.

The development of a community college course on the circumstances under which war may be justified and whether it can be conducted ethically once begun. Elliott Meyrowitz, a Vietnam combat veteran with a J.D. degree and a Ph.D. in history, develops a course for community college students on the question, What is a just war? Meyrowitz argues that the position that "all war should be condemned" is untenable; as a result, "from the time of the Roman Empire and early Christianity philosophers and theologians began to develop the concept of a 'just war.'" Given contemporary problems of war and conflict, the enhancement of "students' ability to distinguish between justifiable and unjustifiable use of armed force" is pressing. The course is organized into four units: 1) just war theories over time and in the western and eastern traditions, as exemplified by important writers; 2) how these thinkers as well as military strategists have developed alternatives to just war theory; 3) case studies of World Wars I and II, Vietnam, and recent American actions in the Middle East and Afghanistan; 4) application of just war theory to a range of circumstances such as total war, nuclear war, guerrilla war, genocide, ethnic cleansing, civil war, asymmetric war, and terrorism. The core readings for the course include writings by Thucydides, Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Kant and recent scholars and theorists including Michael Walzer, John Keegan, James Turner Johnson, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Christopher Paul, and David Fisher.

Project fields: History, Other
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,000 (approved); $22,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 6/30/2015

Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5200)
Dini Metro-Roland (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present); Jeffrey Jones (Co Project Director, 01/07/2014 - present)
AQ-50928-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is Human Flourishing?"

The development of an undergraduate honors course by two faculty members to explore the question, What is human flourishing?

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,365 (approved); $21,365 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2013 – 4/30/2016

Eastern University (St. Davids, PA 19087-3617)
Steven McGuire (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50762-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is a Person?"

The development of an undergraduate course to investigate the question, What constitutes personhood?

Steven McGuire, assistant professor of political science at Eastern University, develops a course to investigate the definition of "person" by examining historically contested cases of personhood. These fall under five categories: "non-human animals, artificial intelligence, prenatal and cognitively impaired human beings, women, and slaves." The course is organized around these categories, with leading questions and readings to guide each section. Some of the key questions are: "What distinguishes human beings from animals? Is it possible for artificial intelligences to become persons? What is the biological basis of personhood? How we determine whether a computer or an android is a person? Are prenatal and/or cognitively impaired humans persons? Can a human being lose his or her personhood? Why have women been historically denied the rights of full personhood? Is a slave a person or property?" Class readings include Aristotle's De Anima, Descartes' Discourse on Method, the Book of Genesis, Frans de Waal's Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved, Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Ray Kurzweil's The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, Huxley's Brave New World, Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, as well as exemplary court cases involving abortion, slavery, and women's rights. In addition to class meetings and blog discussions, the project director has also planned a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, two film screenings (Truffaut's Wild Child and Spielberg's E.T.), and dissemination of the course at a national conference.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,887 (approved); $24,886 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 4/30/2015

Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA 15282-0001)
Jeffrey McCurry (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50016-09
"The Meanings of Life: Ancient Visions"

The development of an undergraduate course on the meaning of life, focusing on writings from ancient Greece and Rome.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $17,870 (approved); $17,369 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 6/30/2011

Elmira College (Elmira, NY 14901-2099)
Corey McCall (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-50981-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Value and Role of Art in Human Life

The development of a mid-level undergraduate course for students in nursing, business, and the sciences to explore the value and role of art in human life.

The development of a mid-level undergraduate course for students in nursing, business, and the sciences to explore the value and role of art in human life. Three faculty members (in philosophy, literature, and history) develop a course on the question, Why does art matter? Anchoring the course in W. E. B. Du Bois' 1903 essay, "The Talented Tenth," they situate art within the liberal arts tradition and tie it to questions of value. The first of three units begins with a historical focus. Students read Aristotle, Nietzsche, and Thomas Mann, among others, to explore differences between intrinsic and instrumental value, and between aesthetics and taste. In the second unit students consider the value of the difficult in art. They first read Henry James' 1884 essay, "The Art of Fiction," which argues that "no good novel will ever proceed from a superficial mind." They then read William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. In the final unit, students explore the value of the arts in American society. Martha Nussbaum's Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities prompts inquiry about the relationship between democracy and the arts. Susan Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others prompts discussion about what it means to look at images of war. The course is intended to bridge the gap between liberal arts and professional programs and expand the nascent honors program, most of whose students have declared majors in nursing, business, and the sciences. To link the arts and professional domains further, students interview local, business, science, and medical professionals about their views on art. A workshop at the Corning Museum of Glass with arts and business leaders probes these views in depth. The faculty engage in interdisciplinary challenges as they meet weekly over the summer of 2014 to finalize the syllabus. They also collaborate after teaching the course by presenting their work at the Institute for Pedagogy in the Liberal Arts at Emory University and at a regional faculty development program.

Project fields: History, Criticism, and Theory of the Arts; Interdisciplinary Studies, General; Literature, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,291 (approved); $24,291 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 7/31/2017

Cornell College (Mount Vernon, IA 52314-1098)
James Martin (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50825-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is the Relationship Between Tradition and Innovation?"

The development of an interdisciplinary undergraduate humanities course that asks how we reconcile tradition and innovation.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2013 – 4/30/2016

Ursinus College (Collegeville, PA 19426-2513)
Jonathan Marks (Project Director, 09/16/2009 - present)
AQ-50234-10
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What is Love?"

The development of an upper-level undergraduate course on the nature of love in works by Augustine, Shakespeare, Rousseau, Austen, Freud, and Darwin.

Project fields: Political Science, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,808 (approved); $24,808 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 5/31/2012

Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley, MA 01075-1461)
Elizabeth Markovits (Project Director, 09/16/2009 - present)
AQ-50185-10
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is Family?"

The development of a first-year seminar on the changing meanings of "family" from classical to modern times.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $18,535 (approved); $18,487 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 12/31/2011

King's College (Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711-0801)
Jonathan Malesic (Project Director, 09/16/2010 - present)
AQ-50358-11
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Value of Work

The development of a general education course on the value of work.

[Media coverage]
Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,920 (approved); $24,920 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2011 – 12/31/2012

High Point University (High Point, NC 27262-4221)
Amy MacArthur (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-51134-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Conceptions of Conscience in Western Philosophy, Religion, and History

The development of an upper-level undergraduate course on various understandings of conscience.

The development of an upper-level undergraduate course on various understandings of conscience. Amy MacArthur, an assistant professor of philosophy, develops a fifteen-week course for juniors and seniors on the question, What is conscience? Students focus on different sets of questions about conscience organized into four units; produce 1,000-word critical papers in the first three units; complete a longer research paper on a significant historical or current event, movement, or issue in which the notion of conscience has been invoked; and give an in-class presentation of their work. The first unit explores the place of conscience in the Christian religious tradition, both Catholic and Protestant, moving from St. Paul to Augustine and Aquinas before taking up more contemporary thinkers such as Tillich and Neibuhr. Secular conceptions of conscience in Western thought are taken up in unit two, from the ancient Greeks and Romans (Socrates, Aristotle, the Stoics, Marcus Aurelius) to philosophers of the modern period (Hobbes, Smith, Hume, Kant). The third unit concentrates on skeptics and critics who reject the idea of conscience as an internal guide to moral action, including Bentham, Darwin, Nietzsche, and Freud. The final section explores how the appeal to conscience has been used by individuals and groups in defense of their actions, with readings ranging from Plato's Apology to selections from Luther, Thoreau, and King. The themes of this unit and the capstone project are further illuminated by a class visit to Greensboro's International Civil Rights Center and Museum. In each semester that the course is offered, MacArthur convenes a panel discussion on conscience featuring faculty across a variety of disciplines and open to the public. She devotes course development time to narrowing down the topic and refining the selection of core readings for each unit, as well as to considering potential works of fiction and to selecting several "films of conscience" (required viewing for the course) to be shown in conjunction with an ongoing faculty film series.

Project fields: Philosophy of Religion
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,000 (approved); $22,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 4/30/2016

Keene State College (Keene, NH 03435-0001)
Mark Long (Project Director, 09/16/2009 - present)
AQ-50221-10
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What is Nature?"

The development of an upper level humanities course focusing on the study of changing concepts of nature from the ancient world to the age of Darwin.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,097 (approved); $24,097 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 5/31/2012

Northeastern University (Boston, MA 02115-5000)
Amanda Lawrence (Project Director, 09/11/2014 - present)
AQ-229019-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Relationship between Innovation and Tradition

The development and teaching of a new undergraduate course on the relationship between innovation and tradition.

Project fields: Architecture
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,000 (approved); $21,800 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2015 – 5/31/2018

West Chester University (West Chester, PA 19383-0001)
Margarete Landwehr (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-51021-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Cultural and Scientific Understandings of Empathy

The development of an undergraduate course on empathy.

The development of an undergraduate course on empathy. The director, a professor of German at West Chester University, develops a course that examines the question, What is empathy? through eastern and western philosophy and religion, evolutionary biology, psychology, and the arts. In the first section, students read works by Mencius, the Dalai Lama, Khalil Gibran, and Rumi as they consider the ways that Eastern religious and philosophical thinkers have conceived of empathy. They then turn to the Western religious and philosophical tradition, reading selections that include excerpts from the Bible, Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature, Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments, Max Scheler's The Nature of Sympathy, and Martin Buber's I and Thou. In the third section, students read selections from Darwin's The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, Frans de Waal's Age of Empathy, Marc Behoff's The Emotional Lives of Animals, and Marco Iacoboni's "Neural Mechanisms for Empathy in Primate Brains" to learn how biologists view empathy. They then take up psychology, reading essays by William James, Alvin Goldman, and Pinchas Noy. The final section of the course explores some of the ways that the arts have dealt with empathy, with readings that include Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, selections from Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin and Ivan Turgenev's Sportsman's Notebook, Friedrich Schiller's "The Stage as a Moral Institution," Martha Nussbaum's Love's Knowledge, Aristotle's Poetics, and poems by Shelley, Wordsworth, Maya Angelou, Pablo Neruda, and Walt Whitman. Students also view and discuss several films, including To Kill a Mockingbird, Oliver Twist, Salaam Bombay (India), Central Station (Brazil), and The Lives of Others (Germany), and visit local museums and theatrical performances. Students write research papers and critical responses to the readings.

[Grant products]
Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, Other
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,970 (approved); $21,970 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 4/30/2016

Yale University (New Haven, CT 06510)
Helene Landemore (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50950-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "How Do We Choose -- and Choose Well?"

The development of an undergraduate course on the art of choosing.

Project fields: Political Science, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 4/30/2016

Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA 02215-3693)
Lori Landay (Project Director, 09/16/2009 - present)
AQ-50283-10
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What is Being?"

The development of a course for seniors that examines three themes especially relevant to Berklee's performing arts mission: seeming versus being, performance on stage and in everyday life, and the power of images and illusion.

Project fields: American Studies
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 9/1/2010 – 5/31/2012

SUNY Research Foundation, Brockport (Brockport, NY 14420-2932)
J. Kurtz (Project Director, 09/16/2009 - present)
AQ-50217-10
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What is Forgiveness?"

The development of a junior-level undergraduate seminar that explores the concept of forgiveness through literature, philosophy, religion, criminal justice, and international relations.

Project fields: Literature, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,558 (approved); $24,558 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2010 – 6/30/2012

College of Charleston (Charleston, SC 29424-0001)
Larry Krasnoff (Project Director, 09/16/2010 - present)
AQ-50522-11
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is the Rule of Law?"

The development of a first-year seminar on the question, What is the rule of law?

Project fields: Law and Jurisprudence
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2011 – 4/30/2014

Hampshire College (Amherst, MA 01002-3359)
Karen Koehler (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-50988-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Differing Conceptions of Art Over Time

The development of a course for third-semester students on differing conceptions of art from prehistoric times through the present day.

The development of a course for third-semester students on differing conceptions of "art" from prehistoric times through the present day. Drawing from selected texts in philosophy and literature, as well as examples in music, film, architecture, performance, and design, the class on the question, What is art? examines whether art is fundamental to the human psyche or vital to the look of the world we live in. In the first of five sections, Origins, students consider the urge to produce art. They view Werner Herzog's film Cave of Forgotten Dreams, which explores the earliest cave paintings though the lens of contemporary desires, and compare early fertility figures with contemporary performance art. This section concludes with essays on critical theory by Martin Heidegger and Theodor Adorno. In the second section, Authenticity, students discuss essays by Walter Benjamin and Jonathon Keats while investigating the stylistic effects and legal ramifications of appropriation in the work of visual artists Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, and Shepard Fairey. Shakespeare's King Lear is paired with film adaptations by Andrew McCullough, Jean Luc-Goddard, and Akira Kurosawa as encouragement to consider how cultural differences are expressed in the act of dramatization. The third unit, Spirituality and the Transcendent, focuses on the ideas of eighteenth-century aesthetic philosophers Kant, Burke, and Goethe, and the poetry and pictures of William Blake, Francisco Goya, and William Wordsworth. The fourth unit, Mimesis, explores the relationship between real life and representation in readings from Plato, Susan Sontag, and Jacques Lacan and portraits ranging from Roman busts to Leonardo, Picasso, and Arbus. Participants also read Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray and James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The final unit, Commitment, explores the socio-political dimensions of art with selections from Diderot and Marx, as well as Tolstoy's treatise "What is Art?" and Sartre's "What is Literature?" Examples of political art include the paintings of Jacques Louis David, Russian revolutionary cinema, and two polemical novels, William Morris's News from Nowhere and Emile Zola's The Masterpiece. Arthur Danto's After the End of Art and Hans Belting's Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image Before the Era of Art are used to open up a dialogue on artistic production and intention. The course concludes with an analysis of two films: Exit Through the Gift Shop, a study of the elusive artist Banksy, and Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, a documentary on the Chinese political dissident and experimental performance artist.

Project fields: Art History and Criticism
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,000 (approved); $22,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 12/31/2015

University of Maine, Machias (Machias, ME 04654-1329)
Elizabeth Kindleberger (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50782-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What is Nature?"

The development of a capstone seminar on the question, What is nature?

Two faculty members, an ecologist and a historian, develop a capstone seminar for the Environmental Liberal Arts curriculum at University of Maine, Machias, on the question, What is nature? Grounded in the proposition that "nature is not just one idea; [but] a set of complex ideas," they organize the course into five thematic modules where readings and assignments provide a broad introduction to the ways diverse conceptions of nature shape worldviews. The course considers the following questions: What is at stake in humanity's changing conceptions of nature? How have people used and valued animals? What patterns do people perceive in nature? How do humans see, care for, and value the landscape? and How do people consider and respond to the changing condition of nature today? Primary and secondary readings cover Aristotle to Darwin and Melville to Atwood. These include, for example, selections from Aristotle's Physics and Politics, Tora Johnson's Entanglements: The Intertwined Fates of Whales and Fishermen, Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, and Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake. Additional sources include creation stories, films, and art works from Asian, Native American, and Judeo-Christian traditions. The material thereby allows students to explore how different cultures across time and space have viewed nature. Intended as a required seminar for the primarily non-traditional and first-generation students at this rural institution, the course also fosters the development of critical academic skills. Readings build in length and sophistication as the semester proceeds; the study of art, film, and local landscapes help elucidate the text-based sources; and support structures for any required remedial help are available. Finally, a carefully structured assignment at the end of each module asks students to write about a local issue in light of the conceptions of nature under study. In the third module, for example, students read material on humans' relationship with animals. They then turn to excerpts from Moby Dick and an article about the portrayal of the environment in the novel. They close the module by assessing how the local problem of whales becoming entangled in fishing gear elicits different views of human-animal relationships. As part of the fourth module, the class visits Native American petroglyph sites and the Farnsworth Art Museum.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,960 (approved); $24,960 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2012 – 5/31/2015

Pomona College (Claremont, CA 91711-4434)
Gizem Karaali (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-51099-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Aims and Value of Education

The development of a first-year seminar that would examine philosophy of education from Plato and Rousseau to contemporary views on the purpose of education.

The development of a first-year seminar that would examine philosophy of education from Plato and Rousseau to contemporary views on the purpose of education. Mathematics professor Gizam Karaali of Pomona College develops a course for first-year students on two related questions: What is good education and what is education good for? The course readings draw on educational philosophy and history, pedagogical theory, and fiction from a variety of cultures, disciplines, and historical periods. Karaali organizes the course into nine units around topics such as contemporary controversies and the purposes of higher education; historical foundations of education and schooling in the United States; philosophical foundations; contemporary controversies about homeschooling, for-profit education, online education, and MOOCs; and early child education philosophies. Other topics include the educational functions of the arts, humanities, and mathematics, respectively. The final unit concentrates on the purposes of a liberal education. Readings include Plato's Republic and Meno; and writings on education by Locke, Kant, Rousseau, Mill, Whitehead, and Dewey; Piaget, Erikson, and Montessori; Confucius, Gandhi, and Tagore; and Freire and Foucault. Course work involves up to one hundred pages of weekly reading, for which students are required to create discussion questions as well as lead in-class and online discussions. Additional assignments include writing projects demanding comparative analysis, focused research, and self-reflection. Plans for dissemination include the presentation by the project director of her course materials and findings at selected conferences on arts and humanities education.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,996 (approved); $21,996 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 10/31/2016

Willamette University (Salem, OR 97301-3922)
Jennifer Jopp (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50086-09
What Is a Just Society?

Development of a lower division undergraduate course addressing issues related to justice, just society, and what makes justice prevail.

Project fields: History, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 6/30/2012

Roosevelt University (Chicago, IL 60605-1394)
Marjorie Jolles (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50833-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is a Family?"

The development of an intermediate-level undergraduate course on the question, What is a family?

[Grant products]
Project fields: Philosophy, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,432 (approved); $21,114 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2013 – 12/31/2014

CUNY Research Foundation, John Jay College (New York, NY 10019-1069)
Olivera Jokic (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-51033-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Nature of Friendship

The development of an undergraduate course on friendship.

The development of an undergraduate course on friendship. Olivera Jokic, an assistant professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, develops and teaches a course that examines the nature of friendship from a variety of perspectives. The course begins by looking at how writers from several time periods and cultures have represented friendship and then considers whether friendships are a function of culture. Next, the course turns to the question of whether friendship is a common good or is motivated by self-interest, and examines the ways that gender and gender roles might influence friendship. The final section of the course investigates the relationship between friendship, difference and equality, and distance, including the role that technologies like Facebook play in developing and maintaining friendships. Course readings include Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Plato's Phaedrus and Lysis, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Jane Austen's Persuasion, Zadie Smith's White Teeth, Oscar Wilde's De Profundis; essays by Vine Deloria, John Stuart Mill, and Michel de Montaigne; and poetry by Sappho, Li Bai and Du Fu, William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and Langston Hughes. Readings are supplemented by the viewing and discussion of such films as Some Like it Hot, 4 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days (from Romania), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Thelma and Louise, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Throughout the course, students keep a journal of their reactions to the readings, produce midterm analytical projects related to course readings and discussions, and create final exhibits about friendships that are displayed on campus.

Project fields: Gender Studies; Interdisciplinary Studies, General; International Studies
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,000 (approved); $22,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 12/31/2015

Concordia College, Moorhead (Moorhead, MN 56562-0001)
Linda Johnson (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50621-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "How Can Meaning Be Found When a Culture Has Been Lost?"

The development of a fourteen-week course on the question, How do people respond to severe cultural upheaval and loss?

Project directors Linda Johnson, a historian of East Asia, and Stewart Herman, a theological ethicist, design a new upper-level "global perspectives" course, open to all Concordia College students, that enables students "to explore the ethical, cultural, and historical dimensions of human experience with a heightened sensitivity to contingency and vulnerability." Jonathan Lear's Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation and Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart provide a framework of theoretical questions and vocabulary for discussing the ways that humans and human societies respond to "radical cultural upheaval" and loss. The course is built around six "strategies," each strategy represented by a pair of readings from different cultures and time periods, that help individuals cope with such loss. Augustine's City of God and Albert Camus' The Plague, for example, are paired to illustrate how some individuals, facing societal collapse, re-envision their lives in either religious or humanistic terms. Boethius's The Consolation of Philosophy and Kamo no Chomei's Hojoki: Visions of a Torn World are used to show how some individuals turn to religion to cauterize the wounds of individual loss. Euripides' Andromache and Nguyen Du's The Tale of Kieu illustrate how some individuals await (or renounce) a personal rescue that restores wholeness and liberty. Sophocles' Antigone and Chikamatsu Monzaemon's Chushingura demonstrate how individuals can reassert traditional cultural and political values by noble self-sacrifice. Elie Wiesel's Night and Peter Gay's My German Question: Growing up in Nazi Berlin demonstrate how individuals can devote themselves to living out their lives "without slipping into the cultural abyss." Finally, Winona LaDuke's Last Standing Woman chronicles the decline and reconstruction of Anishinabe Indian culture in northern Minnesota by returning to traditional ways. The latter reading is paired with a visit to White Earth Tribal and Community College fifty miles from campus.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,998 (approved); $24,998 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2012 – 5/31/2015

University of Wisconsin, Green Bay (Green Bay, WI 54311-7003)
Derek Jeffreys (Project Director, 08/18/2014 - present)
AQ-228608-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Punishment

The development and teaching of a new seminar on the history, ethics, and representation of punishment.

Project fields: Ethics
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,438 (approved); $21,438 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2015 – 5/31/2017

CUNY Research Foundation, John Jay College (New York, NY 10019-1069)
Jonathan Jacobs (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50581-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "Is Virtue Its Own Reward?"

The development of an undergraduate course on the question, Is virtue its own reward?

Jonathan Jacobs, a professor of philosophy and the recently appointed director of the Institute for Criminal Justice and Ethics at John Jay College, develops an undergraduate course on the relationship between virtue and happiness. The matter, he argues, "is among the most fundamental and enduring concerns for any reflective person." Sub-themes under the general question include the varieties of moral value and how they are realized, what makes an excellent life, whether morality is "desirable and enjoyable for its own sake," and "whether vice and moral corruption undermine happiness and damage prospects for it." The course utilizes sources from Jewish, Islamic, Christian, and non-religious philosophical traditions as well as works of fiction. It begins with ancient perspectives in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and progresses to "Eight Chapters" and "Laws Concerning Character Traits" by Moses Maimonides, Thomas Aquinas's "Treatise on the Virtues," and Alfarabi's "The Attainment of Happiness." The early modern period is represented by Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Joseph Butler's "A Dissertation on the Nature of Virtue," and Immanuel Kant's The Doctrine of Virtue. The course then turns to Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim and Andre Gide's The Immoralist for literary treatments and to writings by Gabrielle Taylor, Thomas Nagel, and Bernard Williams on the concept of "moral luck." In justifying his use of the two novels, Professor Jacobs argues that they "are compelling studies of conscience, self-respect, moral aspiration, guilt, shame, love, friendship, the challenges of failures of integrity, and the effort to change one's character." The project director states that he stretches intellectually by investigating the subject of vice and weakness, learning how to incorporate literary narrative into his teaching with the help of colleagues, and closely studying several works on the course syllabus that are new to his teaching.

Project fields: Ethics
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,991 (approved); $24,974 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2012 – 12/31/2014

St. Mary's University of San Antonio (San Antonio, TX 78228-5433)
Glenn Hughes (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50728-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is Human Dignity?"

The development of an undergraduate course to explore the question, What is human dignity?

Glenn Hughes and Megan Mustain, professors of philosophy at St. Mary's University, develop a course open to all undergraduates on the question, What is human dignity? The course invites students to reflect on the significance of the idea of human dignity as one that is both ubiquitous in the public discourse of our time and also intimately linked to the Catholic liberal arts tradition that informs the vision and culture of St. Mary's University. It is structured around four historical periods: classical, medieval and Renaissance, Enlightenment, and modern/contemporary. The first section raises the central issue of whether dignity should be identified with wealth, status, pleasure, and the trappings of power - and if not, with what characteristics or capacities it should be associated. The second section turns to medieval and Renaissance conceptions of human dignity. In the third section, modern secular articulations of the meaning of human dignity come to the foreground. In the fourth section, students explore how recent political crises have brought the question of human dignity to prominence in various contemporary artistic, political, philosophical and religious responses to it. Readings for the course include the book of Job, Marcus Aurelius's Meditations, Christine de Pizan's Book of the City of Ladies, Pico della Mirandola's Oration on the Dignity of Man, Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Martha Nussbaum's Women and Human Development, and Gabriel Marcel's "Techniques of Degradation." To complement the readings, two documentaries, "Eyes on the Prize" and "Shoah," stimulate student discussions about human rights and human dignity.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,992 (approved); $24,992 (awarded)
Grant period: 1/1/2013 – 6/30/2015

University of Tulsa (Tulsa, OK 74104-9700)
Jacob Howland (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50002-09
Enduring Questions in the Humanities: Mortality and Meaning, God and Suffering

The development of a freshman-level undergraduate course on the interrelated issues of mortality and meaning, God and suffering.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,994 (approved); $24,994 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 6/30/2011

Carroll University (Waukesha, WI 53186-5593)
Scott Hendrix (Project Director, 09/11/2014 - present)
AQ-228960-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Social Response to Poverty

The development and teaching of a new seminar for first-year students to examine religious, philosophical, and historical views on poverty and its role in human life.

Project fields: Comparative Religion; History, General; Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $18,264 (approved); $18,264 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2015 – 12/31/2017

Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH 44106-4901)
Anne Helmreich (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50047-09
Enduring Questions: Pilot Course on "Nature and Culture"

The preparation and teaching of an undergraduate seminar on nature and culture.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,092 (approved); $24,092 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2010

SUNY Research Foundation, College at Purchase (Purchase, NY 10577-1402)
Casey Haskins (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50014-09
Questions of Happiness: Philosophy, Cinema, and Literature

The development of a course for undergraduates exploring the meaning and attainability of human happiness.

Project fields: Philosophy, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2010

Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley, MA 01075-1461)
James Hartley (Project Director, 09/10/2014 - present)
AQ-228849-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Business and Morality

The development and teaching of a new undergraduate course on the morality of business activity.

Project fields: Economic History; Ethics; Intellectual History
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,000 (approved); $22,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2015 – 5/31/2018

Emory University (Atlanta, GA 30322-1018)
Ann Hartle (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50761-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is Civility?"

The development of an undergraduate philosophy course on the question, What is civility?

Ann Hartle, a professor of philosophy with a specialty in the early modern period, develops an introductory course on the idea of civility, "placing it within the context of the social bond in modern liberal societies." Recognizing that the concept was "presupposed in pre-modern life," Professor Hartle argues that civility became a fully articulated problem "with the advent of liberal society, that is, with the origins of the freedom of the individual to pursue the good life in his own way." She also notes that the "meaning of civility depends upon the kind of unity and the level of diversity that a given society seeks to enjoy." The course addresses the problem through a series of related questions about the nature of the social bond, especially in democratic societies; the difficulties of civility in a multicultural and religiously plural society; the role of education in fostering civility; and the relationship between citizenship and civility. The first unit of the course, on pre-modern forms of civility, is based on close readings of Aristotle's Politics and Josef Pieper's Leisure, the Basis of Culture; the latter focuses on the importance of education, study, and contemplation for civilized life in ancient and Christian cultures. The second unit, on civility in early modern philosophy, considers essays by Montaigne and Rousseau's The Social Contract, which provide classic formulations about the roles of individual freedom and religion in social and civil life. Professor Hartle states that she will probably add recent works on religion and civility to this unit during the course development phase. The third unit, on contemporary problems of civility, utilizes Michael Oakeshott, On Human Conduct, and Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, Solidarity, which address distinctions between varieties of human association and propose alternative conceptions of liberal society. In addition to standard classroom activities and assignments, the students plan and conduct discussion sessions for the university community.

[Grant products] [Media coverage]
Project fields: Philosophy, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 4/30/2015

Le Moyne College (Syracuse, NY 13214-1301)
Jennifer Gurley (Project Director, 09/16/2010 - present)
AQ-50570-11
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "Why Do Humans Write?"

The development of a freshman undergraduate seminar on the question, Why do humans write?

Project fields: Literature, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,775 (approved); $24,774 (awarded)
Grant period: 12/1/2011 – 6/30/2013

University of Arkansas, Little Rock (Little Rock, AR 72204-1000)
Rochelle Green (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50857-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is Education?"

The development by two faculty members of a course to explore the question, What is education?

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2013 – 4/30/2015

Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT 06459-3208)
Peter Gottschalk (Project Director, 09/11/2014 - present)
AQ-229081-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Conceptions of the Sacred

The development and teaching of a new undergraduate course on different understandings of the sacred.

Project fields: History of Religion
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $20,698 (approved); $20,698 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2015 – 5/31/2018

Millsaps College (Jackson, MS 39210-0002)
Kristen Golden (Project Director, 09/08/2014 - present)
AQ-228768-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Peace and Violence

The development and teaching of a new course using historical, biological, and comparative cultural approaches to explore the question of whether peace is possible or violence is inevitable.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, Other
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $33,000 (approved); $33,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2015 – 5/31/2017

Le Moyne College (Syracuse, NY 13214-1301)
Jennifer Glancy (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50860-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Does Prayer Do?"

The development by two faculty members of a general education course for undergraduate students that asks, What does prayer do?

[Grant products]
Project fields: Religion, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,747 (approved); $24,747 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2013 – 5/31/2016

University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ 85721-0001)
Michael Gill (Project Director, 09/16/2010 - present)
AQ-50351-11
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "Where Does Morality Come From?"

The development of an undergraduate course on the question, Where does morality come from?

[Grant products]
Project fields: Ethics
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,999 (approved); $24,693 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2011 – 5/31/2013

Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC 27109)
Cynthia Gendrich (Project Director, 09/16/2009 - present)
AQ-50260-10
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "Why Do People Laugh?"

The development of a first-year undergraduate seminar on comedy and humor drawing from ancient to modern sources, including Aristophanes, Moliere, Wilde, and Toole.

Project fields: Theater History and Criticism
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,800 (approved); $24,800 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 12/31/2011

University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH 03824-3585)
Katherine Gaudet (Project Director, 09/11/2014 - present)
AQ-228955-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Definitions of the Criminal

The development and teaching of a new honors course for first- and second-year students on philosophical, legal, and literary perspectives on the criminal.

Project fields: American Studies
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,507 (approved); $21,507 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2015 – 4/30/2018

Carroll University (Waukesha, WI 53186-5593)
John Garrison (Project Director, 09/09/2014 - present)
AQ-228777-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Afterlife

The development and teaching of a new undergraduate seminar on conceptions of the afterlife.

Project fields: Comparative Religion; Interdisciplinary Studies, General; Literature, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $17,660 (approved); $17,660 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2015 – 12/31/2017

City Colleges of Chicago, Wilbur Wright College (Chicago, IL 60634-1500)
Bruce Gans (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50011-09
Enduring Questions: What Is Freedom?

The development of a course that would examine the question: what is freedom?

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $24,978 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 5/31/2011

Luther College (Decorah, IA 52101-1041)
Philip Freeman (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50118-09
Enduring Values: Gilgamesh to Frankenstein

The preparation and teaching of an undergraduate seminar addressing questions of friendship, love, and human dignity.

Project fields: Classics
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,950 (approved); $24,950 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 6/30/2012

Franklin and Marshall College (Lancaster, PA 17603-2802)
Lee Franklin (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-50986-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Examined Life

The development of a first-semester interdisciplinary seminar on the examined life.

The development of a first-semester interdisciplinary seminar on the examined life. A four-member faculty team develops a course for first-semester students that explores the question, What is the examined life? The course is organized into three historical units, framed by a prologue and epilogue. In each unit, a relevant example of period art supplements the core readings and a biographical case study encourages students to assess an examined life. With a deliberate focus on close reading, analytical writing, and group discussion, the course immerses students in the very practice they are studying. The prologue invites students to compare Ancient Near Eastern cosmology and Michelangelo's "Genesis" in the Sistine Chapel. In Unit 1, on antiquity, readings of Hesiod, Sophocles, Aristotle, and Polykleitos address themes of happiness, fate, and freedom. A study of Greek and Roman portraiture shows idealized versus realistic conceptions of physical beauty, and Socrates' trial and death provides the biographical lens. Unit 2, on the medieval world, uses Augustine's Confessions as the biographical case study. Students read the Rule of St. Benedict and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to compare monasticism and pilgrimage, and a study of monastic and pilgrimage architecture elucidates the different traditions. Students also compare the emerging liberal arts of al-Ghazali with the scholasticism of Aquinas. In Unit 3, on the modern era, Shakespeare and Rembrandt illustrate a new interiority and Nietzsche and Freud its later iterations. The social emphases of Austen and Marx are contrasted with the reclusiveness of Dickinson and Thoreau. Landscape painting shows nature as a place of solace and terror, and Darwin's letters supply a biographical view. Finally, in the Epilogue, students consider the contemporary world by comparing the ubiquitousness of self-representation ("selfies" and social media) with Foucault's portrayal of individuals in institutional settings. The faculty meet weekly to integrate the perspectives of their four disciplines (philosophy, religious studies, art history, and anthropology) into the final syllabus. They also develop a series of colloquia with guest speakers, films, and faculty debates as a means to bring the intellectual community of the course to the rest of the campus. They envision the course as a model for the new "Connections" curriculum, and work with faculty to develop additional courses in this vein.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $38,000 (approved); $38,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 4/30/2017

St. Mary's College of Maryland (St. Mary's City, MD 20686-3002)
Iris Ford (Project Director, 09/16/2010 - present)
AQ-50420-11
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Materialism in Human Life

The development of a first-year seminar on the phenomenon of materialism, with particular regard to its ethical, cultural, and political dimensions.

Project fields: Anthropology
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,625 (approved); $20,369 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2011 – 12/31/2013

University of Richmond (Richmond, VA 23173-0001)
Jessie Fillerup (Project Director, 09/16/2009 - present)
AQ-50254-10
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What is Time?"

The development of an undergraduate course that explores concepts of time through music and literature.

[Grant products]
Project fields: Music History and Criticism
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,978 (approved); $24,978 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 12/31/2012

College of St. Benedict (St. Joseph, MN 56374-2099)
Emily Esch (Project Director, 09/16/2010 - present)
AQ-50393-11
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Human Nature and Our Place in the Universe

The development of an upper-level undergraduate course on the question, What am I?

Project fields: Philosophy, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $23,637 (approved); $22,734 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2012 – 12/31/2014

Centre College of Kentucky (Danville, KY 40422-1309)
Sara Egge (Project Director, 09/10/2014 - present)
AQ-228863-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Citizenship

The development and teaching of a new undergraduate course on what it means to be a citizen.

Project fields: History, General; Political Science, General; Western Civilization
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,975 (approved); $21,975 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2015 – 4/30/2018

University of Houston (Houston, TX 77204-0001)
Casey Dué Hackney (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50699-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "Who Owns the Past?"

The development of an undergraduate course on the question, Who owns the past?

Project fields: Classical Literature
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $20,881 (approved); $20,798 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 12/31/2013

University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT 06269-9000)
Anna Mae Duane (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50944-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What is Empathy?"

The development of a one-semester capstone course examining the question, What is empathy?

Project fields: American Studies
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $18,005 (approved); $18,005 (awarded)
Grant period: 1/1/2014 – 5/31/2016

Kennesaw State University Research and Service Foundation (Kennesaw, GA 30144)
Paul Dover (Project Director, 09/11/2014 - present)
AQ-228977-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Relationship between Past and Present

The development and teaching of a new undergraduate course on the relationship between past and present.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,000 (approved); $22,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2015 – 5/31/2017

Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY 11550)
Simon Doubleday (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50879-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is Friendship?"

The development of an introductory course that would explore the history of the question, What is friendship?, from ancient Mesopotamia to social networks.

Project fields: Classical History
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,977 (approved); $24,977 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2013 – 5/31/2016

Wofford College (Spartanburg, SC 29303-3663)
Christine Dinkins (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present); Julie Sexeny (Co Project Director, 03/28/2012 - present)
AQ-50779-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "How Do We Best Educate Citizens?"

The development of an undergraduate seminar on the question, How do we best educate citizens?

This discussion-based first-year undergraduate seminar is jointly developed by Christine Dinkins, an assistant professor of philosophy, and Julie Sexeny, an assistant professor of English and film. The course approaches the issue of "what goals, content, and methods of education . . . best serve to educate citizens in a democracy" by challenging students "to critique the concept of education and its assumptions about citizenship." In the course's first unit ("Why do we teach and learn?"), students consider the nature of good citizenship, ask who has the authority to define it, and assess the value of education. Course readings include Plato, Republic, Books II and III; Friedrich Nietzsche, essays from Twilight of the Idols and Beyond Good and Evil; Mark Edmunson, "On the Uses of a Liberal Education: As Lite Entertainment for Bored College Students"; and Parker J. Palmer and Arthur Zajonc, The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal. The second unit ("What do we teach and learn?") considers what counts as knowledge, who has authority over it, the value of a canon of knowledge, and the effect of a canon on voices excluded from it. Readings encompass Plato, Apology; Jamaica Kincaid, "In History"; Richard Rodriguez, "The Achievement of Desire"; and Roland Barthes, "The Death of the Author." In the third unit ("How do we teach and learn?"), the class addresses the best ways of engaging students in learning, the role of authority in the classroom, and the extent to which technology allows students to become independent learners. The readings include Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile: Or, Treatise on Education; Plato, Republic, Book VII; Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Books II and VI; Paolo Freire, "Pedagogy of the Oppressed"; and Martha Nussbaum, "Citizens of the World." The core reading list also includes three contemporary works on the uses of technology in higher education. Professor Dinkins and Professor Sexeny each teach a section of the course in Fall 2012 and Fall 2013; the two groups meet jointly in the evening to view and discuss two films: George Lucas' THX 1138 and Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist. Electronic postings and short documentary projects engage the college community in the subject.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $20,297 (approved); $19,989 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 4/30/2014

Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH 44106-4901)
William Deal (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50616-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is Free Will?"

The development of an undergraduate seminar on the question, What is free will?

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2012 – 12/31/2013

Morehead State University (Morehead, KY 40351-1686)
Scott Davison (Project Director, 09/16/2009 - present)
AQ-50310-10
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Good and Evil

The development of a course that examines the nature of good and evil through the study of philosophy, literature, sociology, psychology, and film.

Project fields: Philosophy, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,365 (approved); $24,365 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 5/31/2012

Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI 48824-1168)
Tobin Craig (Project Director, 09/16/2010 - present)
AQ-50502-11
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Value of Science

The development of an undergraduate seminar on the question, What is the value of science?

Project fields: History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,973 (approved); $24,973 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2011 – 5/31/2016

Carleton College (Northfield, MN 55057-4044)
Laurence Cooper (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50057-09
Cosmos or Chaos: Views of the World, Views of the Good Life

The development of a freshman seminar at Carleton College that focuses on what it means to live well and whether the structure of the universe supports human efforts to live well.

[Grant products]
Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $17,496 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2013

Dominican University (River Forest, IL 60305-1099)
Christopher Colmo (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50026-09
Gandhi and Western Classics

The preparation and teaching of a senior-level undergraduate seminar that addresses the question of justice through works by Gandhi and classical Western philosophers.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,765 (approved); $23,872 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2010

Berea College (Berea, KY 40404-0001)
Jason Cohen (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50606-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is a Neighbor?"

The development of a fifteen-week course framed around the question, What is a neighbor?

Co-directors Jason Cohen and Richard Cahill explore the question of "how we live among fellows and strangers in an expanding world" in the context of East-West encounters culminating in present global events represented by the Arab Spring. Cohen, an English professor, teaches comparative courses in Continental and English literatures, and the history of ideas; Hill, a historian, teaches about the Middle East, Islam, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. The course examines how concepts like brother, friend, enemy, and duty "inform discussions of neighborly proximity, community formation, and early legal codes." The first unit, "Proximity," begins with a comparative study of Christian, Jewish, and Islamic texts on civic and political duties, specifically Augustine's City of God and Confessions; Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed and "Laws of Kings and their Wars"; Nizam al-Mulk's Siyar al Muluk (Book of Government or Rules for Kings); and Al-Ghazali's On the Duties of Brotherhood. The second unit, "Encounter," focuses on England's literary encounter with the Arab World, as well as the influence of Napoleon's Egyptian campaign on the importation of an Arabian exoticism into French art and culture; participants read The Arabian Nights alongside Edward Said's Orientalism. Unit three, "Obligation," focuses on Ibn Khaldun's systematic treatment of social and natural systems in The Muqaddimah set into dialogue with Thomas Elyot's The Book Named the Governor, an "influential humanist conduct manual." Students also read Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra "to uncover correspondences between Middle Eastern and Western ideas about the ethical obligations owed to a neighbor." Unit four, "Hospitality," contrasts Immanuel Kant's model of "cosmopolitan hospitality" in Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals with Hannah Arendt's The Human Condition, which locates hospitality around the hearth "where we accept strangers without hesitation." In addition to in-class discussions, students participate in an international online student forum with "chat partners" at the American University in Cairo, Egypt (AUC). The general undergraduate course is to be taught a total of four times during the grant period.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2012 – 7/31/2015

Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA 90263-0002)
Kristen Chiem (Project Director, 09/11/2014 - present)
AQ-229068-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Significance of Art

The development and teaching of a new first-year seminar on the role of art in diverse cultures.

Project fields: Art History and Criticism; Cultural Anthropology; Western Civilization
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,977 (approved); $21,977 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2015 – 4/30/2018

Suffolk University (Boston, MA 02108-2770)
Evgenia Cherkasova (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50803-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is the Meaning of Life?"

The development of a first-year seminar to explore the question, What is the meaning of life?

[Grant products] [Media coverage]
Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,953 (approved); $24,953 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2013 – 7/31/2015

Cleveland State University (Cleveland, OH 44115)
Sonya Charles (Project Director, 09/16/2010 - present)
AQ-50514-11
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Would an Ideal Society Look Like?"

The development of an undergraduate course that asks what an ideal society would look like.

Project fields: Philosophy, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,778 (approved); $24,778 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2011 – 12/31/2012

University of San Francisco (San Francisco, CA 94117-1050)
Thomas Cavanaugh (Project Director, 09/10/2014 - present)
AQ-228883-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Concepts of Wisdom

The development and teaching of a new undergraduate course on wisdom.

Project fields: History of Philosophy
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $18,359 (approved); $18,359 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2015 – 12/31/2016

Moravian College (Bethlehem, PA 18018-6650)
Bernardo Cantens (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-51022-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Diverse Concepts of Peace

The development of an upper-level undergraduate course on the meaning of peace in diverse cultural and historical settings and on the conditions under which peace might be obtained.

The development of an upper-level undergraduate course on the meaning of peace in diverse cultural and historical settings and on the conditions under which peace might be obtained. Bernie Canteñs, a philosophy professor at Moravian College, and Kelly Denton-Borhaug of the religion department develop an upper-level undergraduate course open to all students on the question, What is peace? They engage the subject by studying subsidiary questions: How do we define peace? Why are there so many different visions of peace? Is peace realistic in a world filled with so much violence and war? What are the greatest challenges to achieving peace? Is peace sustainable? What role do social, political and economic conditions play in our understanding of peace? Are we obligated to pursue peace? These questions point to the relationship of peace to ideas about justice, equality, security, morality, violence, nonviolence, compassion, resentment, and revenge. The course is divided into four units: 1) visions of peace, encompassing reason, religion, consent, rights, democracy, and pragmatism; 2) theoretical themes emerging from the first unit, including human nature, inner and outer peace, positive and negative peace, just war, and violence and non-violence; 3) case studies of peace, focusing on the careers of the nonviolent Chicano activist Cesar Chavez and the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh; and 4) consideration of the future of peace, in which students investigate the question as manifested in their own lives. The course asks students to develop analyses and plans to build peace and then present their ideas to the class. Readings are drawn from such classic works and authors as the Bible, the Qu'ran, Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hobbes, Kant, Clausewitz, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thich Nhat Hanh, and contemporary writers and theorists including Hannah Arendt, Michael Walzer, Daniel Berrigan, the Dalai Lama, Joam Evans Pim, Jose Antonio Orosco, Gene Sharp, and Jody Williams. From an extensive core reading list, students are expected to read 75-100 pages per week. The course includes an opening visit to the Brandywine Peace Community and uses electronic media for dissemination. Course development complements and expands the directors' research on forgiveness, political reconciliation, just war theory, and U.S. war culture and sacrifice. The course ties in with the college's general education curriculum, which is currently focused on the central themes of poverty and inequality, sustainability, health care, and war and peace.

Project fields: Area Studies; Ethics; Religion, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $32,256 (approved); $32,256 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 12/31/2016

Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI 53233)
Gerry Canavan (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50920-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is Worth Preserving?"

The development of an upper-level undergraduate course on the question, What is worthy of preservation?

[Grant products]
Project fields: American Literature
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,948 (approved); $24,948 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2013 – 5/31/2015

Nazareth College of Rochester (Rochester, NY 14618-3790)
Scott Campbell (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50756-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Is the Value of a Liberal Arts Education?"

The development of an undergraduate course to investigate the question, What is the value of a liberal arts education?

Scott Campbell, associate professor of philosophy, and Marjorie Roth, associate professor of music, of Nazareth College of Rochester, develop a course on the question, What is the value of a liberal arts education? Open to students from all majors and professional programs, the course reconnects the historical liberal arts with current educational practices in Western as well as non-Western cultures. By emphasizing the core habits of mind inherent in the original liberal arts which promote a healthy, balanced, and productive human life, the course extends into the larger concerns of the college faculty, programs, disciplines, and administration, helping students to see how a liberal arts education informs life beyond academia. The course is divided into three sections. The first section focuses on the meaning and purpose of education; the second section examines the origin, evolution, and illustration of the liberal arts from antiquity to the present; and the third section connects the Western notion of liberal education to its counterparts in Asian and Islamic thought. Readings for the course include: Martha Nussbaum's Cultivating Humanity, Aristotle's Metaphysics, Plato's Republic, Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, Remi Brague's Wisdom of the World, Dante's Convivio, W. H. Stahl's Martianus Capella and the Seven Liberal Arts, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Tao Te Ching. Weekly evaluative exercises serve as preparation for three research papers. The project directors also develop two web-based resources for the course, and make ample use of campus and Rochester community resources.

[Grant products]
Project fields: Education
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,380 (approved); $24,380 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 6/30/2014

University of Central Arkansas (Conway, AR 72035-5001)
Jesse Butler (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-51002-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Pursuit of Self-Knowledge through Philosophy and Literature

The development of a first-year course that explores, through literature and philosophy, the pursuit of self-knowledge.

The development of a first-year course that explores, through literature and philosophy, the pursuit of self-knowledge. The freshman-level course, drawing in the main on philosophical and literary works, explores the human pursuit of self-knowledge and facilitates students' understanding of themselves in relation to diverse conceptions of self and identity. The course begins with core readings on two ancient figures who shaped world history through inquiries into their own nature: the Greek philosopher Socrates and the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama. Students study Socrates' oracle-inspired quest to "know thyself," as portrayed in Plato's Apology and Phaedo, then turn to Siddhartha's pursuit of enlightenment through inquiry into his true nature, as depicted in the Anatta-lakkhana ("Discourse on the Not Self Characteristic") and Maha-parinibbana ("Last Days of the Buddha"). This course is grounded in the comparative exploration of these figures to highlight two influential yet quite different conceptions of the self: the identification of oneself as an immortal rational soul and the view that the self is a temporary illusion fabricated through desire. To bridge the ancients with modernity, students explore Aristotle's commentary on the soul, virtuous self-cultivation in Confucianism, Christian conceptions of the soul in the medieval period, and modern conceptions of self in Rousseau and Descartes. The course then turns to an exploration of personal identity in nineteenth- and twentieth-century North American literature, focusing on four largely autobiographical works: Henry David Thoreau's Walden, Crow medicine man Yellowtail's account of his participation in the Sun Dance, Helen Keller's The Story of My Life, and bell hooks's Bone Black: Memories of Childhood. A study of the contemporary frontiers of the human self via the intersections of the sciences and humanities includes Patricia Churchland's Brain-Wise: Studies in Neurophilosophy and Owen Flanagan's The Problem of the Soul: Two Visions of Mind and How to Reconcile Them and MindScience: An East-West Dialogue, the latter a compendium of conversations with humanistic scholars and scientists in the fields of religion, psychology, neuroscience, and medicine. The course concludes with Andy Clark's Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence, which argues that modern technology is nothing less than an extension of ourselves.

[Grant products]
Project fields: Philosophy, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,913 (approved); $21,913 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 4/30/2017

SUNY Research Foundation, Brockport (Brockport, NY 14420-2932)
Austin Busch (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50021-09
Confronting Death

The development of a junior-level undergraduate course dealing with issues of death, the afterlife, mourning, suicide, and the impact of biomedical advances on understanding death.

Project fields: Literature, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,525 (approved); $21,525 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2011

Villanova University (Villanova, PA 19085-1478)
Peter Busch (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50172-09
The Question of Justice: From the Piraeus to the Mountaintop

The preparation and teaching of a sophomore-level undergraduate course on the question of justice.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,600 (approved); $24,600 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 5/31/2012

Butler University (Indianapolis, IN 46208-3487)
Christopher Bungard (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-51049-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Comedy and the Human Experience

The development of a two-semester first-year seminar to explore the diverse functions of comedy, with attention to its cultural variation and its role in handling difficult topics.

The development of a two-semester first-year seminar to explore the diverse functions of comedy, with attention to its cultural variation and its role in handling difficult topics. Classics professor Christopher Bungard develops a two-semester first-year seminar that explores the role of comedy in human experience. From the laughter of God to the film The Gods Must Be Crazy, the question, Why is it funny? has endured since antiquity. More pointedly, the subject of comedy raises serious questions of its own. To what extent is comedy bound up in cultural norms? Does comedy alienate or invite? How does comedy play with human perceptions? What is the role of comedy in civic discourse? Can we laugh at war? Should we? After an introductory study of how comedy works, students engage in probing these deeper questions while exploring major trends in comedic history. Readings span ancient Athens and Rome, Renaissance Europe, the Middle East, Japan, Nigeria, South Africa, and modern America. They also span diverse genres, from plays and films to traditional fables and comic strips. Students read Aristotle, Aristophanes, and Aesop; Shakespeare, Molière, and Oscar Wilde. They also study Kyogen, a traditional form of Japanese comic theatre; they read Nigerian playwright and Nobel prize winner Wole Soyinka and contemporary philosopher Alenka Zupancic. Classic films such as The Great Dictator, Duck Soup, and episodes of M*A*S*H round out the repertoire. Through performance of plays, a shared blog, and several writing assignments, students formulate their own theories about comedy. Bungard supplements his expertise on Roman comedy by reading primarily modern and global materials. He also attends local performances and speaks with professional comedians to familiarize himself with contemporary practice. He involves his students in Butler's annual undergraduate research conference and presents the work at other venues.

[Grant products]
Project fields: Classical Literature; Interdisciplinary Studies, General; Literature, Other
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,796 (approved); $21,796 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2014 – 5/31/2017

Linfield College (McMinnville, OR 97128-6894)
Nicholas Buccola (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-51120-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Concepts of Freedom in Philosophy, Law, Literature, and Theology

The development of an elective undergraduate course on ideas about freedom spanning Greek philosophy and early Christian theology to American thought and modern literature.

The development of an elective undergraduate course on ideas about freedom spanning Greek philosophy and early Christian theology to American thought and modern literature. Nicholas Buccola, a political science professor at Linfield College, develops a course that explores the ways freedom has been defined across a broad range of historical eras, cultures, philosophical perspectives, and genres. Buccola asks, What is freedom? Why do human beings want to be free? Should human beings be free? What sorts of political, economic, and social institutions are best suited to promote human freedom? What are the greatest obstacles to human freedom and can those obstacles be overcome? Responses to this enduring question come from writers as diverse as Plato (The Trial and Death of Socrates), Machiavelli (Discourses on Livy), St. Augustine (City of God), Mary Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman), Henry David Thoreau (Walden), W. E. B. Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folk), James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time), Ayn Rand (Anthem), Drucilla Cornell (At the Heart of Freedom), and Jonathan Franzen (Freedom). In the work of these writers, students confront ideas about the political dimensions of freedom, threats to freedom posed by state or private power, and the existential perils of freedom. Students complete a writing assignment for each of three sections of the course, take active part in a regular online forum, lead discussion in class, and meet with the professor in small groups for peer-review writing workshops. The work plan includes preparatory reading as well as presentations at a campus-based series of faculty development meetings and at a topical discussion group and conference devoted to the teaching of interdisciplinary courses on "Ultimate Questions."

Project fields: Political Science, General; Political Theory; Western Civilization
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,000 (approved); $22,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2014 – 5/31/2016

North Georgia College and State University (Dahlonega, GA 30533)
Renee Bricker (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-51123-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Concepts of Peace in Western and Eastern Cultures

The development of an upper-level undergraduate seminar on ideas about how to attain and secure peace, open to cadets and civilian students at a military college.

The development of an upper-level undergraduate seminar on ideas about how to attain and secure peace, open to cadets and civilian students at a military college. Four faculty members develop an upper-level seminar open to all students on the enduring question, What is peace? In addition to the question of what constitutes peace, the subject involves the additional consideration of whether peace should be established and maintained whatever the cost, or if it should be constrained by attempts to achieve justice. In order to address these questions, the course considers classic authors and works from western and eastern traditions, including Thucydides, Aristophanes, Sun Tzu, the Song of Roland, Christine de Pizan, Erasmus, Shakespeare, the Abbe St. Pierre, Rousseau, Kant, Clausewitz, Gandhi, Mao Zedong, and Kurt Vonnegut, plus modern scholars and theorists including Hannah Arendt, Michael Howard, and Michael Doyle. The participating faculty members include Renee Bricker (early modern history), Donna Gessell (English), Michael Proulx (ancient history), and Yi Deng (philosophy); course preparation allows each to expand his or her academic perspectives. The course itself meets once a week for two and a half hours in seminar format; it also takes advantage of electronic media to post weekly student "talking-papers" and facilitate intellectual interchange outside the classroom. The students are also expected to present papers at the college's undergraduate research conference and revise them for an undergraduate journal.

[Grant products]
Project fields: History, General; Literature, General; Philosophy, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $36,399 (approved); $36,399 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 12/31/2016

McDaniel College (Westminster, MD 21157-4303)
Peter Bradley (Project Director, 09/16/2009 - present)
AQ-50225-10
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "Why Be Educated?"

The development of a first-year course on the nature and value of liberal education.

Project fields: Metaphysics
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,984 (approved); $24,984 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 5/31/2012

College of New Jersey (Ewing, NJ 08628-0718)
David Blake (Project Director, 09/11/2014 - present)
AQ-228910-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Ancient and Modern Meanings of Fame

The development and teaching of a new mid-level undergraduate course exploring the meaning of fame from the ancient world through the Enlightenment.

Project fields: Western Civilization
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,973 (approved); $21,973 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2015 – 12/31/2016

Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT 05753)
Timothy Billings (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-51076-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Problems of Translation

The development of an undergraduate course highlighting historical and cultural issues related to the translation of texts from one language to another.

The development of an undergraduate course highlighting historical and cultural issues related to the translation of texts from one language to another. In six units, the course pairs critical writing about translation with multiple translations of primary sources. Unit one, Is anything lost in translation? begins with an examination of fundamental problems of translation related to language, cognition, and culture with excerpts from Cicero, St. Jerome, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Edward Sapir, and Benjamin Whorf, in addition to selected chapters from David Bellos's recent book, Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Unit two, What is lost when we translate sacred texts? surveys the historic debates over Biblical translations in Europe, with readings including (among other sources) Purvey's prologue to the Wycliffe Bible, the translators' preface to the King James Bible, and Eugen Nida's seminal work on "dynamic equivalence." Students then read Books I and II of Genesis (covering the cosmogony and the tower of Babel story) in over a dozen versions from the Coverdale to the Revised Standard Catholic. Unit three, What is lost when we translate poetry? tests Bellos's proposition that such translations "cannot be 'poetry' itself." Students see how this idea is contradicted and confirmed by reading (among other works) a dozen translations of book one of The Iliad. Unit four, What is lost when we translate "exotic" languages? explores how the assumptions translators make about other cultures can affect their translation choices. The class reads "The Tale of the Ensorcelled Prince" from One Thousand and One Nights in a dozen versions from the Victorian period to the present. They also discuss the preservation of lost Greek texts in Arabic translation during the Abbassid. Unit five, What is lost when we translate texts we can't understand? explores the implications of translation as a creative personal process and the assumptions made in the face of cultural, linguistic, and historical differences. Primary focus is on the classic of Daoism known as the Tao Te Ching. The final unit, What is gained when we translate? explores new paradigms to see what they may contribute to our understanding of the enduring question, while delving further into the creative potential of translation as a form of translingual artistic collaboration. Students read excerpts from the seminal work by Pound on "ideogrammic" translation, Lefevere on translation as "re-writing," De Campos on translation as "cannibalism," Liu on neologisms in "translingual practice," Niranjana on translation as "Orientalism," and Bassnett and Bellos on translation "hegemonies" and the global market.

Project fields: Comparative Literature
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $21,886 (approved); $21,886 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 4/30/2017

Kean University (Union, NJ 07083-7133)
Christopher Bellitto (Project Director, 09/16/2009 - present)
AQ-50184-10
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "Is There Such a Thing as a Just War?"

The development of an undergraduate course that examines arguments in the Bhagavad Gita, Augustine, Aquinas, von Clausewitz, and the Geneva Conventions.

Project fields: History, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2010 – 7/31/2012

Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3858)
Alice Behnegar (Project Director, 09/21/2011 - present)
AQ-50646-12
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "Thinking About Law: What Is It and What Are Its Claims on Us?"

The development of an upper-level undergraduate seminar on the question, What is law and what are its claims on us?

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,432 (approved); $22,378 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2012 – 5/31/2014

Trustees of Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3800)
Martha Bayles (Project Director, 09/11/2014 - present)
AQ-229066-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Virtue and Gender

The development and teaching of a new senior seminar to explore the relationship between virtue and gender.

Project fields: Western Civilization
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $22,000 (approved); $22,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2015 – 12/31/2017

Regents of the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001)
Eleni Bastea (Project Director, 09/11/2014 - present)
AQ-228962-15
NEH Enduring Questions Course on How Societies Remember

The development and teaching of a new undergraduate course on history and memory.

Project fields: Architecture; Cultural History; History, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $32,688 (approved); $32,688 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2015 – 4/30/2017

Saginaw Valley State University (University Center, MI 48710-0001)
Peter Barry (Project Director, 09/16/2009 - present)
AQ-50242-10
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "Evil and Evil People"

The development of an undergraduate course for sophomores and juniors on such topics as ancient, medieval, and modern conceptions of evil; typologies of evil and wickedness; evil people and evil actions; evil characters in literature and film; Nazism and the Holocaust; and group action and genocide.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $25,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2010 – 6/30/2012

Eastern Kentucky University (Richmond, KY 40475-3102)
Michael Austin (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50018-09
Do we need God for the good life?

The development of an undergraduate course that addresses issues relating to the good life, including God's existence or non-existence, human nature, human fulfillment, and moral growth.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,096 (approved); $24,096 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 6/30/2011

Western Kentucky University Research Foundation (Bowling Green, KY 42101-1016)
Audrey Anton (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50953-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "Why Are Bad People Bad?"

The development of a general education course to explore the question, Why are bad people bad?

Project fields: History of Philosophy
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $23,390 (approved); $23,390 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2013 – 6/30/2015

Mount Marty College (Yankton, SD 57078-3724)
Paul Anders (Project Director, 09/14/2012 - present)
AQ-50864-13
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What is Authority?"

The development of an undergraduate course by two faculty members on the nature, origins, and structures of authority.

Project fields: Philosophy, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $25,000 (approved); $24,550 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2013 – 8/31/2015

Northwestern University (Evanston, IL 60208-0001)
Mark Alznauer (Project Director, 11/14/2008 - present)
AQ-50099-10
Should Art Be Moral? The Ancient Quarrel Between Philosophy and Poetry

The development of a one-semester course that would be offered at least twice, for twenty undergraduates, on the question of the moral value of art.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,749 (approved); $24,749 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2010

Georgia State University Research Foundation, Inc. (Atlanta, GA 30302-3999)
Andrew Altman (Project Director, 09/13/2013 - present)
AQ-50990-14
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Religious Tolerance

The development of a mid-level undergraduate course on religious tolerance in Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and secular traditions.

The development of a mid-level undergraduate course on religious tolerance from Jewish, Christian, Islamic and secular traditions. Andrew Altman (professor of philosophy) and Abbas Barzegar (assistant professor of religious studies) develop a fourteen-week seminar for sophomores and juniors that examines the ethical questions arising from religious difference. They consider a range of competing answers to the questions across the centuries from both religious and secular sources. Students study and debate the perspectives offered through four main course units. The first, on the emergence of religious tolerance in Christian Europe, counterpoints readings from medieval and early modern Christian theologians such as Augustine, Luther, and Calvin, who argued against tolerating heretical views, with defenses of tolerance from such thinkers as Locke, Spinoza, and Mendelssohn. The second unit explores how major thinkers of the Islamic world addressed issues of tolerance and intolerance. Students read works by medieval authors justifying ecumenical and inter-religious exchange (al-Ghazali and Ibn 'Arabi) or advocating exclusion (Ibn Tamiyya) and then consider contemporary theorists (such as Tariq Ramadan) who consider Islam's relationship to values of freedom and equality. The third section, From Jewish Emancipation to the Holocaust: The Spread and Collapse of Enlightenment Values, examines Enlightenment-era debates on Jewish emancipation in Europe followed by the rise of Nazi anti-Semitism, with readings from Arendt, Goldhagen, and Levinas. The final unit takes up contemporary issues of tolerance for liberal democracies, offering perspectives from philosophy (Rawls), political theory (Andrew March), and Islamic studies (Vincent Cornell). Students write three papers; in addition, they contribute to a publicly accessible course website containing information and analyses of historical and current events related to religious tolerance. The university's Center for Ethics, where Altman serves as Director of Research, collaborates in offering course-related forums, open to the campus and the public, for scholars to discuss issues of tolerance.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $32,995 (approved); $32,995 (awarded)
Grant period: 8/1/2014 – 5/31/2017

University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA 90089-0012)
David Albertson (Project Director, 09/16/2009 - present)
AQ-50244-10
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Power of Visual Images

The development of an undergraduate seminar on the significance of religious and secular images in ancient, medieval, and modern times.

Project fields: Philosophy of Religion
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amounts: $24,933 (approved); $24,933 (awarded)
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 12/31/2012

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