Judgment and the Novel

Semester: 
Fall
Year: 
2015
Subject Name: 
Law, Jurisp & Social Thought
Course Number: 
239
Institution: 
Amherst College

This course approaches the problem of judgment and narrative in the context of a “crisis of judgment” that plagued the eighteenth-century novel and returned in the twentieth century. In this crisis, we see either a suspension of judgment (judgment is withheld, deemed condemnatory, moralizing, idiosyncratic) or an insistence that judgment be reached objectively, scientifically, or we see it as simply necessary. The novel stages and complicates this crisis. We will ask whether novels teach readers how to judge others or complicate and forestall judgment? In the first part of the course, we will look at other responses to the crisis of judgment, such as aesthetic and legal responses. We will think about what goes into a judgment; what makes a judgment legitimate; whether judgments even should be objective or intuitive; and what problems are posed by judicial discretion and precedent. We will read these in the context of historical work on common law legal judgment, record-keeping and stare decisis. We then turn back to the eighteenth century to broach the problem of judgment in moral and aesthetic writings. We will consider some major, but relatively short novels (that might include Haywood’s Fantomina: Or, Love in a Maze, Fielding’s Joseph Andrews, Austen’s Emma, Godwin’s Caleb Williams, Brown’s Wieland and, more recently, McEwan’s Saturday and St. Aubin’s Never Mind) with a view to how they stage the interrelated problems of judgment, subjectivity, and autonomy.


Limited to 30 students.  Fall semester.  Visiting Professor Youssef.


 

Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Schedule #: 
LJST-239-01-1516F

Course Sections

Judgment and the Novel
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0 Sharif Youssef syoussef@amherst.edu MW 08:30AM-09:50AM CONV 209

Amer Art in the Jazz Age

Semester: 
Fall
Year: 
2015
Subject Name: 
Art & the History of Art
Course Number: 
357
Institution: 
Amherst College

The American avant-garde in the period between the two world wars was both revolutionary and combative, determined to forge a radical style that was in tune with European innovations yet also clearly American.  This course will explore the achievement of such painters and photographers as Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Ansel Adams, Aaron Douglas, and Stuart Davis against the background of more conservative movements of the era (e.g., American Impressionism, the colonial revival) as well as in light of the lively culture generated by bohemian writers, patrons, critics, and political activists.


Limited to 15 students.  Fall semester.  Visiting Professor Troyen.


 

Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Schedule #: 
ARHA-357-01-1516F

Course Sections

Amer Art in the Jazz Age
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0 Carol Troyen ctroyen@amherst.edu T 01:00PM-03:30PM CHAP 204

Probability

Semester: 
Fall
Year: 
2015
Subject Name: 
Statistics
Course Number: 
360
Institution: 
Amherst College

(Offered as STAT 360 and MATH 360.)  This course explores the nature of probability and its use in modeling real world phenomena. The course begins with the development of an intuitive feel for probabilistic thinking, based on the simple yet subtle idea of counting. It then evolves toward the rigorous study of discrete and continuous probability spaces, independence, conditional probability, expectation, and variance. Distributions covered include the Bernoulli and Binomial, Hypergeometric, Poisson, Normal, Gamma, Beta, Multinomial, and bivariate Normal. Four class hours per week.


 Requisite: MATH 121 or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Horton.

Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Crosslisted Section ID: 
MATH-360-01,STAT-360-01
Schedule #: 
STAT-360-01-1516F

Course Sections

Probability
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0 Nicholas Horton nhorton@amherst.edu TTH 11:30AM-12:50PM; F 12:00PM-12:50PM SMUD 205; SMUD 205

Genres of Responsibility

Semester: 
Fall
Year: 
2015
Subject Name: 
Law, Jurisp & Social Thought
Course Number: 
247
Institution: 
Amherst College

If someone attempts to buy a stolen iPad and it turns out that the iPad wasn’t stolen, should the state prosecute an attempt to purchase stolen goods? Under what circumstances should the use of a voodoo doll to inflict injury be considered an aggravated assault or an attempted murder? If my family stole your family’s land 150 years ago and has worked it since, what (if anything) are you owed? Law has a unique approach to such situations because it has its own internal logic and an account of judgment that differs from what we typically recognize as moral judgment. This course explores what distinguishes the legal account of responsibility from moral reasoning, aesthetic judgments, and psychoanalytic and sociological explanations of behavior. We will examine different legal categories, such as torts and crime and the way mental and physical (neurological) disabilities are treated by the law; the litigation of impossible acts, omissions, fraud, and the creation of passive risks; the reasonableness of social/sociological justifications and excuses (and the difference between a justification and an excuse); and, finally, the appropriateness of legal remedies to structural discrimination and ancient wrongs.


Limited to 30 students.  Fall semester. Visiting Professor Youssef.


 

Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Schedule #: 
LJST-247-01-1516F

Course Sections

Genres of Responsibility
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0 Sharif Youssef syoussef@amherst.edu MW 02:00PM-03:20PM MERR 2

Histories of Judgment

Semester: 
Fall
Year: 
2015
Subject Name: 
Law, Jurisp & Social Thought
Course Number: 
220
Institution: 
Amherst College

Although their jobs are distinct, the judge and the historian confront a number of similar questions. How, for instance, can we arrive at sound judgments about events that have occurred? What kinds of evidence should we rely upon as we do so? What should be our standard of proof? In what ways do our social and cultural contexts inform our judgments? Can we ever be certain in these judgments? In this course, we will explore various answers to these questions as we consider the similarities and differences between the roles of the judge and the historian. We will do this by studying exceptional histories of three trials—Carlo Ginzburg’s account of the heresy trial of Domenico Scandella, Natalie Zemon Davis’ account of the imposture trial of Arnaud du Tilh, and Jill Lepore’s account of the 1741 conspiracy trials of slaves and poor freemen in colonial New York—along with primary documents from each case and essays on historical methodology. Taken together, this material will help us to analyze the logics through which legal judgments were reached in the various cases, and to explore questions about legal evidence and standards of proof at different times and in different societies. It will also allow us to consider the kinds of judgments that historians can make about past societies given the primary evidence that is available to them, as well as the significance of their investigations for the present.


Limited to 30 students. Fall semester. Visiting Professor S. Johnson.


 

Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Schedule #: 
LJST-220-01-1516F

Course Sections

Histories of Judgment
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0 Sarah Johnson sejohnson@amherst.edu MW 03:00PM-04:20PM SMUD 205

Cultural History to 1800

Semester: 
Fall
Year: 
2015
Subject Name: 
German
Course Number: 
315
Institution: 
Amherst College

This Advanced Reading, Conversation and Composition course evolves around sites of memory related to German history. It is based on discussion, and close analysis of a wide range of cultural materials, including selections from all types of media. Materials will be analyzed both for their linguistic features and as cultural documents. Textual analysis includes study of vocabulary, style, and selected points of advanced grammar. Round-table discussions, oral reports and structured composition exercises that enable students to navigate German language and culture successfully. Conducted in German. Three class hours per week, plus an additional hour in small TA-sections.


Requisite: GERM 210 or equivalent. Fall semester. Lecturer Schrade.

Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Schedule #: 
GERM-315-01-1516F

Course Sections

Cultural History to 1800
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0 Christian Rogowski crogowski@amherst.edu TTH 10:00AM-11:20AM CHAP 119

Two-Level Quantum Mechan

Semester: 
Fall
Year: 
2015
Subject Name: 
Physics
Course Number: 
137
Institution: 
Amherst College

This course is designed for math and science students who are not majoring in physics but would like to learn the principles of quantum mechanics rigorously.  For the most part, we will discuss the so-called two-level systems and collections of such systems. A two-level system has two basic states from which all other states may be constructed by linear combinations.  We will begin with a review of linear algebra in two dimensions where the normalized vectors represent physical states and 2 x 2 matrices represent physical quantities and transformations.  We will introduce the algebra of complex numbers as needed. Our prime examples will be an electron spin in an external field, and the various polarization states of the photon.  Next we will consider a larger system that consists of several two-level subsystems. Though such a system is still very simple to describe, surprisingly, it exhibits nearly all the subtle and challenging features of the quantum theory. With the formalism developed, we will explore a range of foundational questions and applications such as uncertainty and measurement, entanglement, the EPR challenge and Bell’s theorem, the no-cloning theorem and teleportation.  The work in the course comprises regular problem sets, two midterm exams and a final.  Two meetings per week.  


Requisite:  MATH 111 or equivalent.  Although the course will cover the necessary mathematics, some prior familiarity with vectors, matrices and basic linear algebra is useful. Fall semester. Professor Jagannathan.


 

Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Schedule #: 
PHYS-137-01-1516F

Course Sections

Two-Level Quantum Mechan
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0 Kannan Jagannathan kjagannathan@amherst.edu MW 02:00PM-03:20PM MERR 211

Twentieth Century Europe

Semester: 
Fall
Year: 
2015
Subject Name: 
History
Course Number: 
132
Institution: 
Amherst College

(Offered as HIST 132 [EU] and EUST 133.) At the turn of the century, Mark Twain described Europe as a paradise of “tranquil contentment,” prosperity and genuine freedom. Labelled as the “Age of Extremes,” however, Europe’s twentieth century was marked by fierce ideological and political conflict, war and genocide and the beginning of the end of a domination over world affairs that the European nations had exercised for centuries. By 2012, the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and lauded once again as a beacon of relative stability and peace. This course will explore the major events, development and trends of European history in the twentieth century: the two world wars; the confrontation between liberalism, fascism, and communism; decolonization; the Cold War; the socio-cultural revolution of the 1960s; the Balkan Wars in the 1990s and the apparent triumph of democracy in European politics.  Course materials will focus on changing notions of race, class, and gender during the course of the century and draw on primary documents, including novels and historical fiction, memoirs, films, political manifestos, government documents and interviews.  Two class meetings per week.


Limited to 30 students. Fall semester. Visiting Professor Trask.


 

Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Crosslisted Section ID: 
EUST-133-01,HIST-132-01
Schedule #: 
HIST-132-01-1516F

Course Sections

Twentieth Century Europe
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0 April Trask atrask@amherst.edu TTH 02:30PM-03:50PM MERR 315

Data Struct & Algorithms II

Semester: 
Fall
Year: 
2015
Subject Name: 
Computer Science
Course Number: 
301
Institution: 
Amherst College

This course continues the exploration of data structures and algorithms that is begun in COSC 201. Topics include balanced search trees, amortized algorithms, graph data structures and algorithms, greedy algorithms, dynamic programming algorithms, NP completeness, and case studies in algorithm design.


Requisite: COSC 112 and 201. Fall semester.  Professor Glenn.

Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Schedule #: 
COSC-301-01-1516F

Course Sections

Data Struct & Algorithms II
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0 James Glenn jrglenn@amherst.edu MWF 11:00AM-11:50AM; TH 11:30AM-12:20PM BEBU 107; SMUD 206

Roman Law

Semester: 
Fall
Year: 
2015
Subject Name: 
Law, Jurisp & Social Thought
Course Number: 
207
Institution: 
Amherst College

The influence of Roman law far exceeded the spatial and temporal limits of the Republic and Empire that produced it. Concepts and doctrines from the Roman legal tradition have informed how subsequent societies have understood the idea of private property, for instance, and they have also played a role in the evolution of the law of the sea, international law, and human rights law. In this course, we will study this important legal tradition through sources that date from 450 BC to 533 AD, including the Law of the Twelve Tables; Cicero’s speeches and treatises; the histories of Sallust, Livy, Plutarch, Suetonius, and Appian; the Institutes of Gaius; and the Digest of Justinian. We will use these texts as resources for exploring the ways in which the law both reflected and shaped ethical, social, and political systems within Rome. Throughout the course, we will be especially attuned to the meanings that law and justice held for the Romans, the diverse sources of law in Rome, the forms of power that the law secured within the Roman socio-political order, the ways in which Romans sought to use the law to resolve problems that arose within the Republic and the Empire, as well as the relationship between law and rhetoric. Among the specific laws that we will examine are those concerning landholdings, theft, citizenship, slaves, marriage, and the family.


Limited to 30 students. Fall semester.  Visiting Professor S. Johnson.

Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Schedule #: 
LJST-207-01-1516F

Course Sections

Roman Law
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0 Sarah Johnson sejohnson@amherst.edu MW 12:30PM-01:50PM FAYE 117