Summer Program: Summer Courses
Each Chesick Scholar chooses ONE of Course A or B and ONE of Course C or D
Course A: Reading Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin: A course in Religion, Literature, Race and Gender
On the 160th anniversary of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, the course will examine this landmark text as one of the formative literary texts of the Atlantic World. Second only to the Christian Bible in publication sales throughout the entire nineteenth century, Uncle Tom's Cabin is a work in classical literature which explores the themes of religion and social reform; race and representation; gendered authority and domesticity. The course will examine the impact of what scholars have labeled the "Transatlantic Stowe" and the global impact of the novel, particularly its reception throughout North America and England. As a course in religion, literature and representation, students will be exposed to important primary and secondary sources that span from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Students will engage in a research project using these primary sources and present their research in an open symposium.
Course B: The History of Haverford College
Haverford College is fortunate to have extraordinary resources in Magill Library’s Special Collections, including thousands of written documents as well as visual images (paintings, photographs and films) and examples of material culture. This course will teach students to analyze and interpret this type of evidence while also introducing them to the history of the institution they have chosen to join.
Given our time limit of five weeks and the vast nature of our collection, we will have to be selective. Thus, the course will be organized chronologically and thematically. We will focus on examples from each era when the people who collectively have been the College defined its identity, goals and overall purpose, at times after significant conflict and debate. An underlying premise of the course will be that this is an ongoing process that the students will all contribute to over the next four years. Each week we will examine a different era and decisive moments in the self-definition of Haverford College, beginning with the school’s origins, moving through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and ending in the recent past. In addition to enhancing student’s understanding of the history of Haverford College, they will develop expertise in the research and writing skills necessary to excel at Haverford. They will also be introduced to the richness of our Special Collections at the outset of their college careers. Students will engage in a research project using these primary sources and present their research in an open symposium.
Course C: Biological Psychology
This accelerated 5-week course will introduce students to biological psychology through consideration of current knowledge about the mechanisms of the nervous system, mind, and behavior. Students will learn about interrelations among brain, behavior, and subjective experience. The course will also include a basic introduction to the statistical procedures that commonly are used in psychological research.
Goals and Objectives
Full engagement with the course material should enable students to:
- Explain the basic organization and structure of the nervous system and its components
- Describe the electrical and chemical processes that underlie neural communication
- Apply knowledge of synaptic transmission and fundamental principles of learning to understand how the nervous system can change in response to experience
- Explain the neural and hormonal mechanisms involved in drug addiction, sleep, sexual behavior, and emotions
- Demonstrate the ability to perform and interpret appropriate basic statistical analyses using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS)
The course will meet for 8 hr/week for 5 weeks, including a 2-hr weekly laboratory session. The lab portion of the course will cover neuroanatomy, primarily through sheep brain dissection. (Students who object to the use of animal materials in the laboratory will be given an alternative assignment covering the same basic concepts, through virtual dissection and model building.)
Course D: Applied Statistics
This course will focus on using the tools of statistics to solve problems in a wide variety of disciplines. After a rapid-paced introduction to issues related to collecting and describing data, students will use real datasets to understand Hypothesis Tests and Confidence Intervals, Normal and t-distributions, Chi-Square tests and Multiple Regression. Students will gain experience with using computer models in a lab setting to simulate real-world situations, and work in groups on open-ended investigations, culminating in projects that they will present in a symposium.
In addition to the projects, there will be regular graded homework assignments, and a midterm and final exam. The course meets for 8 hours per week, including 2 hours in lab. Note: This course is appropriate even if students have had AP Statistics or its equivalent.