Upper School
US Curriculum


The Upper School English faculty strives to lead students to embrace a life-long appreciation of literature, analytical thought, and engagement in their world.
Students hone their grammar skills, find their own voices for various audiences, develop their use of diction and syntax, learn to exploit literary/rhetorical devices, refine their logical thought and expression, and grow as successful public speakers. They develop a mastery of on-demand and process-oriented writing so they can dispatch simple writing tasks and tackle complex ones.

Our teachers nurture students through reading and writing assignments, writing workshops, thoughtful feedback, and frequent one-on-one meetings. Students become perceptive readers and fluent, powerful communicators as they gain skills that facilitate self-discovery, critical thinking, self-awareness, originality, intellectual independence, ethical use of evidence and research, and the capacity to construct knowledge for themselves.

English: Major Courses

List of 7 items.

  • English 9

    6 meetings per seven-day cycle/3 credits.
    Required for ninth-graders.

    Ninth-grade English is designed introduce all upper school students to the foundational reading, writing, and thinking skills necessary to become successful English students throughout their high school careers and beyond. Students are exposed to drama, film, creative nonfiction, poetry, short stories, and novels, where they learn the conventions associated with these forms and the skills necessary for reading, analyzing, and discussing them. Throughout the course of the year, the students learn how to close-read language-based details within a text, determine which of those details have significance, and characterize them into a textual pattern (reoccurring language in a text). It is through examining these textual patterns that students learn how to begin the process of argumentation, both verbal and written. This course aims to use writing to generate ideas in addition to expressing interpretations and arguments in traditional analytical essays as well as creative writing pieces. Over the course of the year students work on key aspects of writing from composing sentences and paragraphs to multi-stage essays that move from proposals to drafts to final versions.

    Typical works include a summer reading text, short fiction, a film, and such texts as Romeo and Juliet, Antigone, and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

    As in History 9, students not meeting a minimum standard of competency in English 9 maybe asked or required to enroll in a writing workshop or to participate in some other program to support their writing.
  • English 10

    6 meetings per seven-day cycle/3 credits. Required for sophomores.

    In tenth-grade English, we explore works of poetry, drama, and fiction in order to develop students’ reading, writing, and speaking skills. In developing these skills, students enhance their ability explore textual patterns (reoccurring language in a text) and to reflect on the consequences of abstract ideas in the world beyond the text. Classroom discussion supports the development of close-reading and analytical thinking, and students take increasing ownership in discussion over the course of the year. In their writing, students continue to develop upon the analytical foundation learned in ninth grade. Their writing throughout the year consists of in-class essays, homework posts, reflective journals, some creative work, and formal multi-stage essays that move from generative writing to topic proposals to drafts to final versions.

    Possible course texts include a summer reading text, a variety of poetry and short fiction, a Shakespearean play, and a novel (past novels include: A Passage to India, Heart of Darkness, Black Swan Green, and others).

    As in U.S. History, students not meeting a minimum standard of competency in writing in English 10 may be asked or required to enroll in a writing workshop or to participate in some other program to support their writing.
  • English 11

    6 meetings per seven-day cycle/3 credits.
    Required for juniors.

    In eleventh-grade English, we explore American works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in order to continue to develop students’ reading, writing, thinking, and speaking skills. In this curriculum that emphasizes the way stories are told, students will encounter challenging and divergent styles of narrative that will enhance their ability to reflect on the consequences of abstract ideas in the world beyond the text. Classroom discussion and online discussion board posts function as the bedrock of course, and, as the year progresses, class will be run via student presentations and leaderless discussions. In their writing, students continue to develop their analytical skills from tenth grade, but with a focus on putting texts in conversation with contemporary articles, pop culture, and literary theory. Their writing throughout the year consists of in-class essays, homework posts, reflective journals, some creative work, and formal multi-stage essays that move from generative writing to topic proposals to drafts to final versions.

    Possible course texts include a summer reading text, American fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and scholarly articles (past works include: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Between the World and Me, The Sound and the Fury, The Great Gatsby, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, The Bluest Eye)
  • English 12: Overview

    6 meetings per seven-day cycle/3 credits. Required for seniors.
    Ranging over American, British, and World Literature in translation—as well as the so-called “new” English literature of Africa, India, and the Caribbean—each of Hackley’s two twelfth-grade English courses comprises a three-trimester unit introducing students to collegiate-level work in exploring and writing about literature, culture, and theory.

    While each of the courses offers a unique selection of texts, themes, and critical perspectives, all courses serve to develop students’ skills as readers of many types of “texts”: literature, journalism, films, theatre, advertisements, and the visual arts. In addition, students will develop their skills both as writers and thinkers through class presentations, group projects, and writing tasks in a variety of genres.

    Students will come to appreciate that the Anglo-American literary tradition is not the only viable tradition; that the Anglo-American tradition has complexities they have not yet encountered; that a historical approach must not look purely at the center of a literary domain, but must also look at its borders on the margins of the text; that there are no “theory-free” readings of texts or cultures; that all language is political and that even the “plain style” has an agenda; that the politics of “othering” limits our perceptions; that we must step out of and look critically at the center of society; and that we have much to learn from the range of critical theories open to us – including but not limited to historicism, new criticism, feminism, Marxism, deconstruction, new historicism, cultural materialism, queer theory, post-colonial theory, etc.

    Students will pursue class presentations, group projects, and writing tasks in a variety of genres, with the major written project (but no exam) due in the third trimester.

    The English Department will offer two three-trimester course options to seniors:Hitchhikers Guide to Insanity and Gumshoes.See descriptions below. Students will indicate their preferred course on course selection forms. While we will make every effort to accommodate student preferences, both scheduling conflicts and the necessity of maintaining a favorable student-to-teacher ratio inevitably prevent a small number of students from enrolling in their chosen English 12 course.
  • English 12: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Insanity: Mental Illness as a Literary Trope

    English 12 Logistics: The English Department will offer two three-trimester course options to seniors: Hitchhikers Guide to Insanity and Gumshoes.
    Students will indicate their preferred course on course selection forms. While we will make every effort to accommodate student preferences, both scheduling conflicts and the necessity of maintaining a favorable student-to-teacher ratio inevitably prevent a small number of students from enrolling in their chosen English 12 course.

    A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Insanity: Mental Illness as a Literary Trope
    When doctors complain a novel or film depicts mental illness inaccurately, they often miss the point. While some works depict mental illness to improve understanding of the mentally ill, most focus on mental illness as a device by which to reveal what is silly or wise, bad or good, unhealthy or healthy. Our goal here is to explore what literary madness shows us about the world and ourselves — and how it does so. In some works, madness is a pitiable condition to which we are driven. In others, madness is our only sane response to the horrible or absurd. In others, madness is a nervous punch line — a way to dismiss what makes us uncomfortable. Who among us doesn’t know a story about a “crazy” ex boy- or girl-friend? In still others, madness is a mark of divine inspiration or genius. We’ve all heard of an idea is “so crazy it might just work.” While the British cherish mental illness domesticated as eccentricity, other cultures stigmatize mental illness as shameful. Finally, as Michel Foucault points out, cultures use insanity as a label by which to contain what they fear socially or politically. So, writing about insanity may be a response to political or social conflict. After all, in Russia dissidents once were hospitalized for their views and in America feminist discontent once was medicalized and treated.

    Short texts will include such works as “Diary of a Madman” by Nikolai Gogol, “Ward Number Six” by Anton Chekov, “Cares of a Family Man” by Franz Kafka, “Bartleby the Scrivener” by Herman Melville, and “Porphyria’s Lover” and other poems by Robert Browning.

    Longer texts will include such works as Ajax by Sophocles, Hamlet or King Lear by William Shakespeare, Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse, The Trial by Franz Kafka, Vladimir Nabokov – Despair or Pale Fire, Nightwood by Djuna Barnes, Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry, The English Teacher by R.K. Narayan, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, Darkness Visible by William Styron, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, Regeneration by Pat Barker, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon.

    Films may include: Psycho, Marnie, A Clockwork Orange, A Beautiful Mind, and The Soloist.
  • English 12: Gumshoes: Mysteries, Private Detectives, & the Principles of Deduction

    English 12 Logistics: The English Department will offer two three-trimester course options to seniors: Hitchhikers Guide to Insanity and Gumshoes.
    Students will indicate their preferred course on course selection forms. While we will make every effort to accommodate student preferences, both scheduling conflicts and the necessity of maintaining a favorable student-to-teacher ratio inevitably prevent a small number of students from enrolling in their chosen English 12 course.

    Gumshoes: Mysteries, Private Detectives, & the Principles of Deduction
    Sherlock Holmes always maintained to his amanuensis Dr. Watson that his great insights owed themselves to little more than “elementary” principles. Indeed one might assert that any quest for knowledge is a quest for that which is the case -- for the truth. If one proceeds from agreed-upon observable facts, one can solve any number of cases: Who stole the Maltese Falcon? What happened at the Watergate Hotel? Just who was this Charles Foster Kane fellow? The principles of deduction can help to order our investigations not only into specific issues or scandals, but also into personal identity and even metaphysical or ontological realities. What, though, if those facts are elusive, kept secret by certain individuals or forces, or even themselves somehow in question? What can an analysis of the act of detection tell us about the detective, as well as the world that she/he strives to understand? Indeed, characters -- the citizens who read about them -- all journey in some way from innocence to experience (or even some kind of enlightenment). In this course, we will consider the identity politics of those who detect, the complexities of the social and political environments through which those detectives move, the philosophical or political nature of the sought insight or critical missing object (re-imbuing the Hitchcockian “MacGuffin” with meaning), and the critical shift from gathering facts to assessing various interpretations of the “truth.”

    Texts may include, but are not limited to, Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49, Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn, Akimitsu Takagi’s The Tattoo Murder Case, Willkie Collins’s The Moonstone, Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö’s Roseanna, Walter Mosley’s Little Scarlet, a volume from Alexander McCall Smith’s series The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Sherman Alexie’s Indian Killer, Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (novel / play), Diane Wei Liang’s Paper Butterfly, Subcomandante Marcos and Paco Ignacio Taibo II’s The Uncomfortable Dead, Tana French’s Broken Harbor, Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being, and films such as Hitchcock’s Rear Window, Welles’s Citizen Kane, Polanski’s Chinatown, Paluka’s All the President’s Men, and Kurosawa’s High and Low.
  • Advanced Placement English Exams

    During the spring semester, Juniors and Seniors who wish to take the AP Language and Composition exam and/or the AP Literature and Composition exam may take advantage of an after-school review program in the appropriate AP English test-taking strategies. These sessions will be provided by the English Department.

English: Minor Courses

List of 13 items.

  • The Vision: Multiple Views, Rich Media

    3 meetings per seven-day cycle/2 credits.

    Open to grades 10-12.

    Enrollment in the course is by application only. Enrollment will be limited to 12 students, including two editors-in-chief (who have already been selected), three managing editors (to be selected from current sophomores for a two-year commitment in junior year and senior year, when they will serve as editors-in-chief), two literary editors, two art editors, one web editor, and one media/sound editor.When applying, students should indicate for which role or roles they feel they are best suited.Past experience with InDesign or a similar graphics program is a plus, though not a requirement,and students should mention what relevant experience they have in their applications. This course will involve students creating a year-long presentation of Hackley creative writing and visual arts through print, web,and digital media.  

    Students will begin by soliciting, evaluating,and editing literature and artwork for inclusion in a new on-line literary and art magazine.They will help create and manage a basic online posting system on the Hackley website,and they will work as editors to support the online presence of these materials—both for internal and external audiences-with regular bi-weekly postings.

    Students will select the best of the art and literature gathered for online presentation and will include this work in the printed publication.

    Students will learn to use the InDesign graphics program to develop and manage visual layouts.They will design the printed publication and see it through all phases of editing, proofing, and print production. They will also have to work within a budget, which will necessitate creative decision making as they bring their vision (pun intended) into reality. And they will be required to support and meet frequent deadlines for various components and phases of the project, culminating with delivery in the spring of The Vision publication.

    In addition, The Vision will offer published students the opportunity to read their work (or have it read) for an audio CD that will accompany the printed magazine. Students working on the publication will help support the recording process and oversee the creation of the CD.

    Throughout the process of presenting both on-line and print versions of The Vision, students will learn to combine and manipulate different types of media such as text, audio, and graphics.They will employ microphones, scanners,and other input devices to gather information.While students will be enrolled based on application for specific roles in the editorial structure, where they will hold primary responsibility, students will participate in and learn all aspects of the project.
  • Collaborative Storytelling and Role-Play Gaming

    3 meetings per seven-day cycle/ 2 credits.
    Enrollment limited.

    This interdisciplinary course will use roleplay gaming and collaborative storytelling as a means to analyze literature and historical periods, write creative fiction and poetry, and foster social and emotional learning. The structure of course units will involve reading from a particular literary genre, watching corresponding films, analyzing historical documents, collaboratively building a fictionalized world and characters based on class texts, and then roleplaying scenes and scenarios to foster ideas for individual student writing and group presentations.

    In addition to role-playing, creative writing, and making presentations for class, students will learn about game system creation, reflect on metagaming, and lead games as the head storyteller, which requires public speaking and improvisation skills. In the process, students will develop their written, spoken, and creative expression as well as their teamwork, collaboration, creativity, and intercultural competency.

    Potential texts and excerpts may include, among others: The Lord of the RingsTrilogy, Peter Jackson (films); The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, CD Projekt (video game); Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, Black Mirror and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Various Artists; The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman(comic book series); Anglo-Saxon Chronicle; The Decameron, Giovanni Boccaccio; and Sacred texts in Buddhism and Taoism.

    Potential game modules may include Vampire: The Masquerade by White Wolf, Collaborative Worldbuilding by Trent Hergenrader, Dungeons and Dragons by Wizards of the Coast, Star Wars: Age of Rebellion by Fantasy Flight Games, Dread by The Impossible Dream, among others.
  • Sophomore Seminar in Creative Writing

    3 meetings per seven-day cycle/2 credits
    Open to sophomores.

    This is a course for those who think they can’t write creatively and for those who think maybe they can. Our major goal is that students become comfortable not only writing, but also talking about what they and others have written.

    Some topics for writing will come from the teacher, and some from the students, but there will also be free writing without a particular topic and writing in which individuals choose their own topics.
  • Foundations of Creative Writing

    3 meetings per seven-day cycle/2 credits

    Open to juniors and seniors; open to sophomores with special permission of the Department Head. Enrollment limited to two sections.

    Foundations of Creative Writing students are required to keep a journal and to carry a small notebook in which they jot down thoughts, observations, overheard dialogue, or anything else that might be useful material in their creative writing. In addition, they have weekly assignments of varying lengths that involve them in a variety of writing techniques and subjects. The class meets three times a cycle to analyze and critique assignments, and to talk about writing.
  • Advanced Creative Writing

    3 meetings per seven-day cycle/2 credits

    Prerequisite: Foundations of Creative Writing or special permission of Department Head

    “Life, friends, is boring,” writes John Berryman in his fourteenth Dream Song. “We must not say so.” And yet, clearly was Berryman compelled to do so, in this poem and the 384 other poems that make up his masterwork. The Dream Songs is many things – confessional, angry, sullen, sensual, jazzy, offensive, compassionate, elegiac – but it is first and foremost a work that is inimitably Berryman’s. Advanced Creative Writing, then, will provide a setting for proven (but still learning) writers to explore those topics, themes, ideas, and utterances they feel compelled to put to page. It is a course in which students will learn the further use of the creative tools they will need in composing what might turn out, one day, to be their own masterworks. It is a course that will train creative writers to recognize creative voice – in canonical writers, in each other, and in themselves.

    Students will read and write in a range of creative writing genres (including poetry, short fiction, plays and screenplays, and song lyrics), but they will also focus on a self-selected topic or aspect of craft – akin to the sort of concentration a student might develop and pursue in an AP art studio course. The workshop experience will be the cornerstone of the course: students will submit their creative pieces for peer review and discussion.

    Peer creative writers will read those works prior to workshop, and prepare some feedback in advance. As personal reflection helps foster the development of a distinct unique voice, students will reflect in various ways on their own works and creative processes. Finally, students will encounter a variety of creative practices by reading widely from canonical and contemporary sources (which may include volumes from The Best American Poetry series and literary journals such as Poetry, American Poetry Review, and Tin House). The course may include occasional texts about the writing process (such as Dillard’s The Writing Life, Hugo’s The Triggering Town, and Dobyns’s Best Words, Best Order).

    The pre-requisite for Advanced Creative Writing 124 is Creative Writing 123. In exceptional cases, students who have not satisfied this requirement may apply for departmental approval with a writing sample.
  • Independent Research in English and History

    3 meetings per seven-day cycle/ 2 credits.
    Open to Juniors and Seniors.

    IREH offers students the opportunity to conduct advanced research and writing at the college level under the guidance of English and History faculty. Students will develop their own topics or research questions, review the scholarly literature in the relevant discipline(s), understand and employ the research methodologies relevant to their research, and write on the research question, ultimately producing significant research essays.

    Students may choose to research and write on questions in English or History, or they may develop interdisciplinary questions touching on both. While much research can be carried out using resources available at Hackley, we will support students in developing relationships with scholars whose own work is relevant to the students’ research.

    Students may complete the course in one academic year, or, should their research require it, and with approval of the relevant instructors and department chairs, may continue the course for a second year.

    Enrollment in IREH is by application to the relevant department(s). Students wishing to pursue research in English should direct an application to the English Department Head. Students wishing to pursue research in History should direct an application to the History Department Head. Students wishing to do interdisciplinary research in both departments should direct applications to both Department Heads.

    Students should submit at the time of course registration an application consisting of a short statement (approximately 250 words) explaining why they would like to pursue this course of study and what topic they think they might like to explore. Department Heads will then seek the recommendation of the students’ current teachers in the appropriate disciplines.
  • Countenancing Horror: American & International Horror Film, 1920 - Present

    3 meetings per seven-day cycle/ 2 credits.

    Limited enrollment: preference to seniors; juniors admitted as space permits.

    Do you like scary movies? To be sure, plenty of fascinating insights can arise from asking of any horror film the question, “What scares us, & why?” This course, however, proceeds by first fixing that question
    10in time. Why do definitions of the horrific change? Why do certain trends and tropes appear in certain eras but not others? Why, for instance, is the alien invasion film likelier to appear in the 1950s, the zombie film in the 1960s (and again in the 2010s), and the “pod person” in the 1970s? Why is the “wronged woman” a recurring figure in the horror cinema of 2000s Japan and Korea? This course will ask students to consider what the particular villains, monsters, and baddies in various eras and cultures have to teach us about certain cultural milieus and societal zeitgeists (a term which itself comes from the German for “time-ghost”). Course films may include may include The Omen, Dawn of the Dead, Alien, Hellraiser, An American Werewolf In London, Ju-on, Let the Right One In. Course texts may include excerpts from The Horror Film (Stephen Prince, editor) and various articles from scholarly journals. Students taking this elective understand that certain R-rated films will be part of the curriculum.

    Texts: Prince, Stephen. The Horror Film. Rutgers University Press, 2004.
  • Foundations of Reading, Writing, and Thinking

    3 meetings per seven-day cycle /2 credits.

    Open to all Upper School students with preference to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.

    Focused on the practical, immediately useful basics of writing, “Foundations of Reading, Writing, and Thinking” is intended for students who want to improve their skills as readers and writers.

    Language allows us to communicate our ideas and to learn those of others. The more skillfully we put our ideas into words, the better we can understand ourselves and the world around us. Focused on practical reading, writing, and thinking skills, the goal of this course is to help upper school students develop and strengthen their reading and writing skills, and through them to strengthen their thinking and communication skills. We will examine both published and student-generated writing.

    We will begin by working on introductions and theses: what to include in them when writing and what to look for in them when reading. Next we will work on organization and support of ideas within paragraphs and organization of paragraphs within essays: how to organize to express ideas clearly and how to read actively to discern the organization and meaning of others. Then we will take up the often-neglected conclusion, giving it the same attention. In the process we will focus on close reading skills and on developing sensitivity to diction, syntax, and tone.

    As the year progresses—and in response to student needs—we will also work on editing and proofreading skills, which will involve learning the necessary grammar and punctuation. As much as possible we will deal with grammar though online exercise and quizzes. In the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, the teacher will provide students with individualized instruction and feedback.
  • Public Speaking

    3 meetings per seven-day cycle/2 credits

    Open to all students.

    (Note: This course does not satisfy the Visual/Performing Arts graduation requirement.)

    This course will assist students in developing better public-speaking skills through the use of voice, speech and presentation technique.

    Topics covered in this class will include:
    • Presenting informative, persuasive, storytelling, demonstration, impromptu and group speeches
    • Dealing with stage fright
    • Using one’s voice to one’s advantage
    • Relating to the audience

    Students will be required to write their own speeches throughout the course of the year. They will watch and analyze great inspirational speeches, as well as those of their classmates.
  • The Good Life: Seminar in Moral Philosophy (Not Offered 2019-20)

    3 meetings per seven-day cycle/2 credits

    Open to juniors and seniors. Enrollment Limited.

    What does it mean to live a good life, and what is the relation between living well and making moral choices? In this course, we will think hard about these questions and wrestle with some of the most compelling issues of the human condition. Why should I want to do the right thing, and how do I know what that is? What makes a dilemma a moral dilemma? Is it more important to act morally, or to be the sort of person who makes moral choices? What does it mean to be a friend? Is there a relation between our happiness and the moral values we hold? Students will consider theories by thinkers such as Aristotle, Epictetus, Kant, Mill and Frankel and test them against their own experience and lived dilemmas. The goal is to become more sensitive to the moral dimensions of our everyday life and to develop the thinking skills and vocabulary to address them. For the final project, each student will develop their own “Credo,” a set of self-identified principles essential to living one’s life well.
  • Literature of Social Comment (Not Offered 2019-20)

    3 meetings per seven-day cycle/2 credits.

    Open to seniors and juniors. (Also listed in the History Department.)

    This course will include ancient and modern texts on ethics, human rights, protest, and social action, will have a fairly wide range geographically and temporally, and will focus on several groups whose civil rights have been challenged. The direction of the course and the breadth of the syllabus will also reflect the interests of the class; students will be equally responsible for contributing discussion items, will monitor online and print media daily, and will be assessed on class participation. Other assessments will include written reflection, oral presentations, podcasts, and the use of additional technology. The course will culminate in a final project reflecting the passion of each student, to which considerable class time in Trimester 3 will be devoted. We will welcome occasional guest members to the class: faculty, students, alumni, and parents.
  • American Paradoxes: Moby Dick, National Contradictions, and the Search for Meaning (Not Offered 2019-20)

    3 meetings per seven-day cycle/2 credits

    Open to juniors and seniors; open to sophomores with special permission of the Department Head. Enrollment limited to twelve students.

    Like Quentin Compson, English teachers and students worry constantly about time: how do we balance the importance of reading broadly while also reading deeply and richly?

    This minor course offers one possible solution: spend an entire year reading one of the classic “tomes” of literature classes at a (reasonably) leisurely pace. While students will occasionally be asked to write short reflection pieces, assignments in this course will all be readings from the novel in order to prepare for rich, interesting discussions.

    Why “The Whale” (Melville’s subtitle for the book)? Why read novel that seems to be about a bunch of white men doing “manly” things? Reading Moby Dick remains a part of Hackley history, its prose remains beautiful, and its fundamental weirdness remains intriguing, but Melville’s exhaustive exploration of America through the lens of a sea yarn provides the best reason for contemporary readers to tackle its complications. How are we to understand a nation championing equality yet legalizing slavery? A nation committed to democracy that enables demagoguery? A nation that heroically challenges frontiers while leaving destruction in its wake? What place is there for an individual within a nation’s communal institutions? What value do science, art, and introspection have when weighed against the forces of economic growth? Melville’s novel does not judge: it reveals, questions, and sprawls.

    The course will include numerous excursions, both intellectual and literal. We will visit the Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts for the annual marathon reading (and eat at the ridiculously good DB Burgers right next to the building), study the real biology of whales, debate the ethics and international complications of contemporary whaling, and, mostly, have a grand, leisurely, intellectual year.
  • Psychology (Not Offered 2019-20)

    3 Meetings per cycle/2 credits

    Open to seniors and juniors. Preference to seniors. Juniors admitted as space may permit.

    Understanding human behavior, whether it be that of others or of oneself, is at the core of all of life’s endeavors. This introductory course in psychology is designed to examine human behavior, social development, and mental processes. Students will learn how biological heritage, environment, and experience influence development and behavior. Through examination of psychologists and their research, students will gain a clear understanding about what motivates human behavior and how we perceive, remember, adapt, solve problems, form relationships, and find our place in the world.

    Topics will include development, learning, memory, intelligence, motivation, emotion, personality, social psychology, and abnormal psychology. Theorists will include, but will not be limited to, Freud, Piaget, Erikson, Pavlov, Skinner, Bandura, Kohlberg, Gilligan, Maslow, Gardner, Rogers, Milgram, and Zimbardo. Students will unravel the history of the field of psychology and discover the importance of psychological experiments through examination of past studies and their design, as well as through creating and developing their own experiments.
    • Gleitman, Gross, and Reisberg, Psychology.
    • Hock, 40 Studies that Changed Psychology: Explorations into the History of Psychological Research
    • Oltmanns, Neale, Martin, and Davidson, Case Studies in Abnormal Psychology