What is religion, and why do people care so much about it? This course will examine the history and practices of some of the world's major religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We will read sacred texts and "travel" to sites of worship. In addition, the course will look at some lesser-known religions and spiritual systems as well as how religious people deal with racial and economic inequality, gender, sexuality, ability, climate change, disease, and more. Throughout the course, we will be asking questions about human experience, consciousness, and the idea of the sacred. This course will demonstrate that understanding religion is critical to participating in a global community and will neither advocate or denigrate religious participation. (Gen. Ed. I, DG)

This course will examine the development of Boston from roughly 1876 to the present day. We will use Boston as a lens to explore historical continuity and change in American cities since the end of Reconstruction and assess the significance of these developments to the city’s contemporary political, social, and cultural landscape. Our course will situate the role of a diverse constellation of actors in shaping Boston’s built environment and resultant struggles over power and equity. In doing so, this course will examine how the emergence of “modern” Boston reshaped and remade ideologies of race, sex, gender, nationality, and citizenship. By centering the diverse experiences and perspectives of Bostonians from varying racial, ethnic, gender, and national backgrounds, in addition to offering opportunities to exercise historical reading, writing, and analytical skills, this course meets the General Education requirement for Historical Studies and Diversity in the United States.

(Gen.Ed. HS, DU)
This course explores how queer individuals and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities have influenced the social, cultural, economic, and political landscape in United States history. With a focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the course covers topics such as the criminalization of same-sex acts, cross-dressing, industrialization and urbanization, feminism, the construction of the homo/heterosexual binary, transsexuality and the "lavender scare" during the Cold War, the homophile, gay liberation, and gay rights movements, HIV/AIDS, and (im)migration. We will often look to examples from the present to better explore change over time and the modes and influences that shape both current and past understandings of gender and sexual difference. (Gen. Ed. HS, DU)