Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Best of...Fall 2009 Courses

It's that time of year again. It begins with an email from Robert Bromfield, but by now we have reached the point where departments and academic advisers are demanding to see Course Enrollment Sheets. In case you need a little help choosing courses, some of the bloggers have selected their favorite fall term classes which are being offered again this year.

African American Studies

  • African American Cultural Practices (AAS 201) M W 11:00 am - 11:50 am- Maria Salciccioli ’09, Tasnim Shamma ’11
  • Princeton University Reads (ENG 133) M W 10:00 am - 10:50 am-

Every time I walk by Professor Michael Wood's office, I hesitate a little. I mean, I do that thing, where I pretend to have forgotten something stupid, like a pen, so that I can work up the courage to go to his office and talk to him about life. I haven't done it yet, and now that he's no longer teaching Princeton Reads, I feel like I've kind of missed my chance to talk to him.

Okay, so, here's the point of this little blurb. I really liked Princeton Reads. No, I loved it. I took it my freshman year (two years ago), and when people ask what classes they should take, I say "PRINCETON READS" without hesitating. I mean, sure, my friends have said that really, listening to lecture is like listening to a professor ramble for a while. But the rambling was really deep. And I mean, sure it was really cool that Toni Morrison came (and talked about Oprah!), but I read a bunch of books that I wouldn't have read otherwise. Okay, the 700+ page Blonde is a bit intimidating, but after reading it, I was kind of obsessed with Marilyn Monroe.

It's rare that I ever get so happy/excited about something, so I guess it means that I must really really like this class. While the course catalog says another professor is teaching the class, the reading list is still awesome (lots of big deals, if that's what you're into).

And if that isn't enough to make you take the class, well...For both of the papers that I had to write for this class, the preceptor was the one who asked ME if I wanted an extension!
-Stephanie Lee ’11
Amara Nwannunu ’11

  • The United States Since 1920 (HIS 383) M W 2:30 pm - 3:20 pm-
If I had the choice, I would not let anyone graduate from Princeton without taking HIS 383 with Professor Kruse. This US History course deals with perhaps the most interesting century of our country thus far, and covers crucial events such as the New Deal, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Watergate Scandal in detail. The lectures are the best part of this course—you won’t see students Facebook stalking or online shopping during Kruse’s perfectly planned but still utterly fascinating lectures. Each class begins and ends with a relevant song from the time period being studied, and Kruse's lectures frequently includes primary source video clips. The weekly readings are long, but carefully selected so that nothing feels useless or tedious to read. The course has 2 exams during the semester and one final exam, and the tests consist mainly of long essays with topics given ahead of time so that you can prepare. For History fanatics and HA requirement-seekers alike, this course is a must.
-Sara Wallace ’12
Maria Salciccioli ’09

Humanistic Studies
  • Literature and the Arts I (HUM 216) T W Th 11:00 am - 11:50 am- Hyung Lee ‘12, Tasnim Shamma ’11
  • History, Philosophy, and Religion (HUM 217) TBA- Hyung Lee ’12, Tasnim Shamma ’11

  • International Relations (POL 240) T Th 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm-
Politics concentrators often say that a handful of courses can provide practically all of the knowledge that one needs to excel in the department as a whole. POL240: International Relations is one of such courses. Taking this class my first semester freshman year provided a very solid foundation for my future study in a variety of social sciences courses. In fact, the material offered a myriad of other useful benefits. As I watched the 2008 presidential election unfold, I was particularly pleased to find that I was much more abreast of foreign policy developments than Governor Sarah Palin. If you have any interest in understanding the mechanics of the international political system, you should absolutely take this course. It’s interesting, it’s practical, and you will definitely walk away with the ability to explain the Bush Doctrine to Charlie Gibson (should you ever be chosen as a vice presidential candidate).
- Amara Nwannunu ’11
Stephanie Lee ’11
  • Causes of War (POL 388) M W 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm- Maria Salciccioli ’09

  • Introduction to Psychology (PSY 101) M W 11:00 am - 11:50 am- Stephanie Lee ’11
  • Abnormal Psychology (PSY 207) T Th 12:30 pm - 1:20 pm- Maria Salciccioli ’09
  • The Brain: A User's Guide (PSY 208) T Th 10:00 am - 10:50 am- Amara Nwannunu ’11
  • Social Psychology (PSY 252) M W 11:00 am - 11:50 am- Maria Salciccioli ’09
  • The Western Ways of War (SOC 250) T Th 11:00 am - 11:50 am- Amara Nwannunu ’11
  • Spanish Language and Culture Through Cinema (SPA 209) M W 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm- Sara Wallace ’12