Courses

SPRING TERM 2018 — Course at the Newman Institute, Uppsala:

Communicating with Heart and Soul: The Craft of Moral Dramatization

“The responsibility of the writer as a moral agent,” Noam Chomsky once observed, “is to try to bring the truth about matters of human significance to an audience that can do something about them.” But what if the audience does not care about distant atrocities or gradual catastrophes? Through case studies and practical workshops, we investigate the creative methods that engaged citizens have used to communicate the ethical urgency of human predicaments.

To be given on selected Monday afternoons between Jan. and March. 7.5 högskolepoäng. Free of charge; registration is required. The course meets in Uppsala. Further details here. Register here.

 

SPRING TERM 2018 — Course at Uppsala University:

Religious Life in Sweden

Through field trips, lectures and in-class interviews, this course investigates the religious and cultural complexity of today’s Sweden.

To be given on selected Tuesday afternoons between Jan. and March.  7.5 högskolepoäng.  Further details here.

 

SPRING TERM 2018 — Course at Uppsala University:

Courage That Changes the World

Sophie Scholl left her classes to secretly distribute pamphlets against Adolf Hitler; eleven-year-old Malala Yousafzai lived amidst the Taliban while blogging about their brutality. Human history is filled with individuals who were ready to risk everything for a common good. What motivated them? What were the effects of their civic courage? What can our bravest contemporaries and fallen heroes teach us about how to live? The course includes in-class interviews with courageous guests.

To be given on selected Tuesday evenings between Jan. and March. 7.5 högskolepoäng. Here is more information in Swedish and in English. Register here.

 

SELECTED PAST COURSES:

Course at the Newman Institute, given in Stockholm:

The Making of Human Sacredness

Whether or not one considers people sacred in an absolute sense, one can analyze the cultural construction of human sacredness. What is it about the human being that is made inviolable, and how is that collective work accomplished, contested, and sometimes undone? We explore such questions by examining political and religious rituals, human-rights declarations, and the workings of general-welfare societies, as well as literature and film.

7.5 högskolepoäng.  Further details here.

 

 

 

Course at Uppsala University:

Make Your Voice Heard! Citizen Participation in the Public Conversation

How can ordinary citizens participate in public debates? The course examines questions of the media’s influence, opinion formation, democracy and leadership. It includes practical exercises to help students learn the arts of persuasion. There will be in-class interviews with journalists, public intellectuals and others, as well as small-group projects to take part in actual public life.

7.5 högskolepoäng.

 

 

Course at Uppsala University:

Happiness

What causes happiness? Can one make oneself happier by conscious effort? Is happiness a worthy goal for one’s life? Is it anappropriate goal for public policy? The course investigates understandings of happiness and its ethical and existential dimensions by means of studies from diverse academic disciplines, in-class interviews with invited guests, and students’ own fieldwork research projects.

7.5 högskolepoäng.  Further details here.

 

Course at Uppsala University:

Global Distress and Personal Responsibility: Living amidst Others’ Suffering

The course explores the ways in which people respond ethically to what Susan Sontag called “the simultaneity of wildly contrasting human fates.” How are we to live in a world of gaping inequalities and persistent violence? What are the obligations of those who are comfortable to those who suffer? In-class interviews with invited guests and group research projects probe questions of personal responsibility with regard to choices about consumption, careers, child-rearing, and political engagement.

7.5 högskolepoäng.  Further details here.

 

Course at the Newman Institute, given in Stockholm:

Civic Courage and Global Service

What is the place of civic courage in the lives of diplomats, aid workers, UN peacekeepers and others engaged in international service? Are these individuals obliged to take great risks in the fulfillment of their duties? How is one to balance a commitment to aiding distant strangers with a wish to protect one’s own family? This course explores these and related questions through biographical studies and films about such figures as Raoul Wallenberg and Harald Edelstam; in-class interviews with diplomats, aid workers and soldiers; and students’ own interview-based research projects.

7.5 högskolepoäng.

 

MORE ABOUT MY COURSES:

I co-edited a book based on my Harvard University courses, entitled Global Values 101: A Short Course (Beacon Press, 2006). My introductory chapter can be read here. The book is available from bookstores in Sweden and the USA, and a Korean translation was published in South Korea.  The Harvard courses were also the subject of an essay I wrote for GU Journalen.