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E-Seminars: Philosophy and Religion


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The following state-of-the-art learning experiences were developed at Columbia University by distinguished faculty members working closely with our skilled instructional technology staff. Three to five hours in length, these in-depth multimedia e-seminars are free to Columbia students, faculty, and staff.

TitleSourceDescription
Crucible of Pluralism: Religion in Modern America
Columbia Learning Experiences
Randall BalmerSince the 1960s, the religious landscape of the United States has undergone striking changes. In recent decades, we have become the most religiously diverse nation on earth. Despite the American ideal of protecting religious diversity, these developments have challenged and disturbed many Americans. In this e-seminar Randall Balmer provides a larger historical context in which to consider the tension between religious conformity and religious diversity in our nation.

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Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890–1945—E-Seminar 1, The Crisis of Victorianism
Columbia Learning Experiences
Casey Nelson BlakeBetween the end of the Civil War and 1900, educated Americans reacted against Victorian values. In the first in a series of e-seminars, Casey Blake describes the new attitudes about the future, the separation of the sexes, masculinity, and the role of women. He concludes by reflecting on the beginnings of modernism at the end of the nineteenth century.

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Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890–1945—E-Seminar 2, The Search for a Scientific Culture
Columbia Learning Experiences
Casey Nelson BlakeBy the end of the nineteenth century, science and technology were exerting a tremendous influence on life in the United States. In this second e-seminar of the series, Casey Nelson Blake explores why Darwin's ideas seemed so revolutionary and how Darwinism helped to move the United States toward a more secular and scientific modern culture.

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Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890–1945—E-Seminar 3, Pragmatism and Its Critics
Columbia Learning Experiences
Casey Nelson BlakeIn this third e-seminar of the series Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890-1945, Casey Nelson Blake explores the philosophy of pragmatism, details the lives and contributions of James and Dewey, and describes the critiques of pragmatist thought.

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Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890–1945—E-Seminar 4, Ethnic Pluralism
Columbia Learning Experiences
Casey Nelson BlakeIn this fourth e-seminar of the series Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890-1945, Casey Nelson Blake presents the range of early-twentieth-century responses to immigration, including arguments for diversity and the contribution of W.E.B. Du Bois.

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Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890–1945—E-Seminar 5, The Intellectuals and the First World War
Columbia Learning Experiences
Casey Nelson BlakeIn this fifth seminar in the series Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890–1945, Casey Blake explores the prewar intellectual scene and the repercussions of President Wilson's decision to join the conflict in Europe.

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Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890–1945—E-Seminar 6, The Rise of Consumer Culture
Columbia Learning Experiences
Casey Nelson BlakeIn this seminar, the sixth of the series Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890–1945, Professor Casey Nelson Blake describes the consumer culture of the 1920s and Middle America's ambivalent embrace of it.

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Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890–1945—E-Seminar 7, The Culture of "The People"
Columbia Learning Experiences
Casey Nelson BlakeIn this seminar, the seventh of the series Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890–1945, Professor Casey Nelson Blake elucidates the impact of the Great Depression, the radical critiques that arose in response, and the legacy of a new form of culture celebrating "the people."

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America and the Muslim World—A Series of Five E-Seminars
Columbia Learning Experiences
Richard W. BullietOver the course of this five-part series, America and the Muslim World, Richard Bulliet, a leading scholar of modern Islam, examines the legacy of misunderstanding between the two cultures. Bulliet chronicles Americans' gradual exposure to the Muslim world in a variety of contexts, and considers the emergence of a significant Muslim population in the United States through immigration and conversion. Finally, Bulliet discusses how Americans have reflected in their popular culture their fascination with the Muslim world.

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America and the Muslim World—E-Seminar 1, Battles and Bibles: 1776-1913
Columbia Learning Experiences
Richard W. BullietThis e-seminar examines the history of America and its relation to the Muslim world. The series will analyze, from an American perspective, the legacy of misunderstanding between the two cultures; the forgotten wars, now over a century ago, between America and parts of the Islamic world; and the emergence of a significant Muslim population in the United States through immigration and conversion.

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America and the Muslim World—E-Seminar 2, Wars and Fantasies: 1914–1960
Columbia Learning Experiences
Richard W. BullietIn the second installment of this five-part series, Professor Richard W. Bulliet, a leading scholar of modern Islam, contrasts the period after World War I with the period immediately following World War II, in terms of real and imagined American engagement in the Muslim world. Although a major American role as protector of Kurds, Armenians, and Syrians was proposed after World War I, it never came to pass. Britain and France instead became the mandatory powers in the region.

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America and the Muslim World—E-Seminar 3, Getting It Wrong: 1953–1979
Columbia Learning Experiences
Richard W. BullietIn the third e-seminar in this five-part series, Professor Bulliet analyzes the period when Americans began to pay attention to Islam. While American awareness of the Muslim world increased, crucial misperceptions about Islam persisted into the 1970s among American tourists, government officials, and scholars, so that all were caught off guard by the Iranian revolution in 1979.

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America and the Muslim World—E-Seminar 4, The Voice of Islam: 1979–1991
Columbia Learning Experiences
Richard W. BullietIn the fourth e-seminar in this five-part series, Professor Richard W. Bulliet analyzes the period between the Iranian revolution and the Persian Gulf War. During those tumultuous 12 years, wars and political events in the Muslim world repeatedly appeared on the front pages of American newspapers, and the Black Muslim movement took root in the United States, leading to an increased awareness of Islam.

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America and the Muslim World—E-Seminar 5, A Moment of Inclusion
Columbia Learning Experiences
Richard W. BullietIn this fifth and final e-seminar in the series America and the Muslim World, Professor Bulliet examines the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001. He considers how they have affected the large Muslim population in the United States and argues that Americans now have an opportunity to learn more about Islam and make their society more inclusive of Muslims.

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