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Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants*
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Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT 05753)
Patricia Zupan
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 6/1/2013 – 5/31/2016

University of Vermont (Burlington, VT 05405-0001)
Alex Michael Zakaras
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 amount awarded: $24,036
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 6/30/2011

Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3858)
Alan Wolfe
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2010

San Francisco State University (San Francisco, CA 94132-1722)
Megan H. Williams
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 amount awarded: $24,803
Grant period: 6/1/2013 – 5/31/2016

University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH 03824-3585)
Cord James Whitaker
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 amount awarded: $24,996
Grant period: 6/1/2012 – 5/31/2014

Centre College of Kentucky (Danville, KY 40422-1309)
William "Beau" Weston
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?

Project fields: Sociology
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amount awarded: $23,747
Grant period: 6/1/2011 – 5/31/2014

Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, CA 91702-2701)
David Weeks
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 6/30/2011

New Mexico State University, Las Cruces (Las Cruces, NM 88003)
Mark Walker
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 amount awarded: $24,995
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 4/30/2014

Elon University (Elon, NC 27244-9423)
Shawn R. Tucker
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.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amount awarded: $24,965
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 12/31/2011

Furman University (Greenville, SC 29613-0002)
Benjamin Whitton Storey
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 amount awarded: $23,860
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 5/31/2012

DePaul University (Chicago, IL 60604-2287)
Howard Peter Steeves
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 amount awarded: $24,991
Grant period: 9/1/2012 – 2/28/2014

St. Anselm College (Manchester, NH 03102-1310)
Kevin M. Staley
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 6/30/2011

Montclair State University (Montclair, NJ 07043-1699)
Brian A Smith
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 amount awarded: $19,505
Grant period: 6/1/2011 – 5/31/2013

University of New England (Biddeford, ME 04005-9599)
David Livingstone Smith
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 amount awarded: $22,500
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 4/30/2014

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN 55455-0433)
J.B. Shank
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 amount awarded: $23,782
Grant period: 1/1/2011 – 12/31/2012

University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ 85721-0001)
Robert Schon
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 6/1/2011 – 5/31/2014

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (Cheyney, PA 19319)
Jeffrey David Sapiro
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 5/1/2011 – 5/31/2014

University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA 90095-9000)
Otto Santa Ana
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.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amount awarded: $24,964
Grant period: 7/1/2013 – 6/30/2015

University of Montana (Missoula, MT 59801)
Robert Patrick Saldin
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 amount awarded: $24,999
Grant period: 6/1/2012 – 12/31/2014

New York University (New York, NY 10012-1019)
Martha Dana Rust
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.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 9/1/2012 – 8/31/2015

York County Technical College (Wells, ME 04090-5341)
Seth Nathaniel Rogoff
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 amount awarded: $24,837
Grant period: 5/1/2011 – 12/31/2013

University of North Carolina, Charlotte (Charlotte, NC 28223-0001)
Joanne Maguire Robinson
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 amount awarded: $20,837
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 12/31/2014

Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY 13244-0001)
William Robert
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 amount awarded: $24,526
Grant period: 6/1/2012 – 12/31/2013

Bethel College, Minnesota (St. Paul, MN 55112-6902)
Daniel Edgar Ritchie
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 amount awarded: $23,090
Grant period: 9/1/2013 – 5/31/2015

Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL 60115)
Andrea Maria Radasanu
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 8/1/2013 – 12/31/2015

Scripps College (Claremont, CA 91711-3948)
Nathalie Rachlin
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 amount awarded: $21,000
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2011

Earlham College (Richmond, IN 47374-4095)
Vincent Punzo
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 amount awarded: $22,000
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2010

Georgetown University (Washington, DC 20057-0001)
Samantha Nicole Pinto
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 5/1/2011 – 12/31/2014

State University of West Georgia (Carrollton, GA 30118-0001)
Jesus Salvador Peralta
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 amount awarded: $22,491
Grant period: 6/1/2013 – 5/31/2015

St. Norbert College (De Pere, WI 54115-2099)
Marcella L. Paul
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 12/31/2014

Shimer College (Chicago, IL 60616)
Stuart Patterson
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.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amount awarded: $24,752
Grant period: 9/1/2012 – 8/31/2015

Wheaton College (Norton, MA 02766-2322)
John Partridge
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 6/1/2011 – 5/31/2013

Boise State University (Boise, ID 83725-0001)
Jacqueline O'Connor
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 amount awarded: $21,643
Grant period: 5/1/2011 – 4/30/2014

Emory University (Atlanta, GA 30322-1018)
Andrew John Mitchell
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 amount awarded: $24,705
Grant period: 7/1/2010 – 1/31/2013

Roosevelt University (Chicago, IL 60605-1394)
Svetozar Yuliyanov Minkov
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 amount awarded: $24,143
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2010

College of St. Benedict (St. Joseph, MN 56374-2099)
Shane Miller
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 amount awarded: $24,999
Grant period: 5/1/2013 – 5/31/2015

Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5200)
Dini Metro-Roland (project director)
Jeffrey Jones (co-project director)
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 amount awarded: $21,365
Grant period: 5/1/2013 – 4/30/2016

Eastern University (St. Davids, PA 19087-3617)
Steven McGuire
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 amount awarded: $24,886
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 4/30/2015

Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA 15282-0001)
Jeffrey McCurry
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 amount awarded: $17,870
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 6/30/2011

Cornell College (Mount Vernon, IA 52314-1098)
James L. Martin
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 5/1/2013 – 4/30/2016

Ursinus College (Collegeville, PA 19426-2513)
Jonathan Marks
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 amount awarded: $24,808
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 5/31/2012

Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley, MA 01075-1461)
Elizabeth Markovits
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 amount awarded: $18,535
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 12/31/2011

King's College (Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711-0801)
Jonathan Malesic
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 amount awarded: $24,920
Grant period: 5/1/2011 – 12/31/2012

Keene State College (Keene, NH 03435-0001)
Mark Long
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 amount awarded: $24,097
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 5/31/2012

Yale University (New Haven, CT 06510)
Helene Landemore
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 4/30/2016

Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA 02215-3693)
Lori R. Landay
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 9/1/2010 – 5/31/2012

SUNY Research Foundation, Brockport (Brockport, NY 14420-2997)
J. Roger Kurtz
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 amount awarded: $24,558
Grant period: 7/1/2010 – 6/30/2012

College of Charleston (Charleston, SC 29424-0001)
Larry D. Krasnoff
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 5/1/2011 – 4/30/2014

University of Maine, Machias (Machias, ME 04654-1329)
Elizabeth Randall Kindleberger
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 amount awarded: $24,960
Grant period: 6/1/2012 – 5/31/2014

Willamette University (Salem, OR 97301-3922)
Jennifer Jopp
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 6/30/2012

Roosevelt University (Chicago, IL 60605-1394)
Marjorie Jolles
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?

Project fields: Philosophy, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amount awarded: $21,432
Grant period: 5/1/2013 – 12/31/2014

Concordia College, Moorhead (Moorhead, MN 56562-0001)
Linda L. Johnson
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 amount awarded: $24,998
Grant period: 6/1/2012 – 5/31/2015

CUNY Research Foundation, John Jay College (New York, NY 10019-1069)
Jonathan A. Jacobs
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 amount awarded: $24,991
Grant period: 7/1/2012 – 12/31/2014

St. Mary's University of San Antonio (San Antonio, TX 78228-5433)
Glenn Arthur Hughes
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 amount awarded: $24,992
Grant period: 1/1/2013 – 6/30/2015

University of Tulsa (Tulsa, OK 74104-9700)
Jacob A. Howland
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 amount awarded: $24,994
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 6/30/2011

Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH 44106-4901)
Anne L. Helmreich
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 amount awarded: $24,092
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2010

SUNY Research Foundation, College at Purchase (Purchase, NY 10577-1402)
Casey Haskins
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2010

Emory University (Atlanta, GA 30322-1018)
Ann Hartle
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 4/30/2015

Le Moyne College (Syracuse, NY 13214-1301)
Jennifer Anne Gurley
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 amount awarded: $24,774
Grant period: 12/1/2011 – 6/30/2013

University of Arkansas, Little Rock (Little Rock, AR 72204-1000)
Rochelle Green
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 5/1/2013 – 4/30/2015

Le Moyne College (Syracuse, NY 13214-1301)
Jennifer A. Glancy
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 amount awarded: $24,747
Grant period: 6/1/2013 – 5/31/2015

University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ 85721-0001)
Michael B. Gill
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?

Project fields: Ethics
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amount awarded: $24,693
Grant period: 6/1/2011 – 5/31/2013

Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC 27109)
Cynthia M. Gendrich
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 amount awarded: $24,800
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 12/31/2011

City Colleges of Chicago, Wilbur Wright College (Chicago, IL 60634-1500)
Bruce Michael Gans
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 amount awarded: $24,978
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 5/31/2011

Luther College (Decorah, IA 52101-1041)
Philip Freeman
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 amount awarded: $24,950
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 6/30/2012

St. Mary's College of Maryland (St. Mary's City, MD 20686-3002)
Iris C. Ford
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 amount awarded: $24,625
Grant period: 5/1/2011 – 12/31/2013

University of Richmond (Richmond, VA 23173-0001)
Jessie Fillerup
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 amount awarded: $24,978
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 12/31/2012

College of St. Benedict (St. Joseph, MN 56374-2099)
Emily Esch
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 amount awarded: $23,637
Grant period: 7/1/2012 – 12/31/2014

University of Houston (Houston, TX 77204-0001)
Casey Dué Hackney
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 amount awarded: $20,798
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 12/31/2013

University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT 06269-9000)
Anna Mae Duane
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 amount awarded: $18,005
Grant period: 1/1/2014 – 5/31/2015

Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY 11550)
Simon Doubleday
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 amount awarded: $24,977
Grant period: 6/1/2013 – 5/31/2016

Wofford College (Spartanburg, SC 29303-3663)
Christine Sorrell Dinkins (project director)
Julie Sexeny (co-project director)
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 amount awarded: $20,297
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 4/30/2014

Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH 44106-4901)
William Deal
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 6/1/2012 – 12/31/2013

Morehead State University (Morehead, KY 40351-1686)
Scott Alan Davison
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 amount awarded: $24,365
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 5/31/2012

Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI 48824-1168)
Tobin Leon Craig
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 amount awarded: $24,973
Grant period: 6/1/2011 – 5/31/2015

Carleton College (Northfield, MN 55057-4044)
Laurence David Cooper
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.

Project fields: Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amount awarded: $17,749
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2013

Dominican University (River Forest, IL 60305-1099)
Christopher A. Colmo
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 amount awarded: $23,872
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2010

Berea College (Berea, KY 40404-0001)
Jason Elliot Cohen
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 6/1/2012 – 4/30/2015

Suffolk University (Boston, MA 02108-2770)
Evgenia Cherkasova
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 amount awarded: $24,953
Grant period: 5/1/2013 – 7/31/2015

Cleveland State University (Cleveland, OH 44115)
Sonya Marie Charles
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 amount awarded: $24,778
Grant period: 5/1/2011 – 12/31/2012

Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI 53233)
Gerry Canavan
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?

Project fields: American Literature
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amount awarded: $24,948
Grant period: 6/1/2013 – 5/31/2015

Nazareth College of Rochester (Rochester, NY 14618-3790)
Scott McElroy Campbell
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.

Project fields: Education
Program: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Division: Education Programs
Total amount awarded: $24,380
Grant period: 5/1/2012 – 6/30/2014

SUNY Research Foundation, Brockport (Brockport, NY 14420-2997)
Austin Busch
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 amount awarded: $21,525
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2011

Villanova University (Villanova, PA 19085-1478)
Peter Benjamin Busch
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 amount awarded: $24,600
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 5/31/2012

McDaniel College (Westminster, MD 21157-4303)
Peter Bradley
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 amount awarded: $24,984
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 5/31/2012

Kean University (Union, NJ 07083-7133)
Christopher M. Bellitto
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 7/1/2010 – 7/31/2012

Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3858)
Alice Behnegar
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 amount awarded: $22,432
Grant period: 6/1/2012 – 5/31/2014

Saginaw Valley State University (University Center, MI 48710-0001)
Peter Brian Barry
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 amount awarded: $25,000
Grant period: 7/1/2010 – 6/30/2012

Eastern Kentucky University (Richmond, KY 40475-3102)
Michael Warren Austin
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 amount awarded: $24,096
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 6/30/2011

Western Kentucky University Research Foundation (Bowling Green, KY 42101-1016)
Audrey Anton
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 amount awarded: $23,390
Grant period: 7/1/2013 – 6/30/2015

Mount Marty College (Yankton, SD 57078-3724)
Paul Anders
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 amount awarded: $24,550
Grant period: 6/1/2013 – 8/31/2015

Northwestern University (Evanston, IL 60208-0001)
Mark Vinzenz Alznauer
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 amount awarded: $24,749
Grant period: 7/1/2009 – 12/31/2010

University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA 90089-0012)
David Albertson
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 amount awarded: $24,933
Grant period: 6/1/2010 – 12/31/2012

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