Complex Problems & Enduring Questions

As a member of the class of 2025, you are invited to enroll in Boston College’s innovative, team-taught Core courses: Complex Problems and Enduring Questions. Each one is collaboratively taught by two faculty members from different academic departments, and each is designed to engage students in interdisciplinary explorations of topics of critical importance. These include areas such as ethics and engineering; race and violence; markets, cultures, and values; economics, law, and health policy; the value of freedom; psychological and literary perspectives of disability; and more.

Complex Problems and Enduring Questions courses extend inquiry beyond the classroom to labs, reflection sessions, conversations with outside speakers, and off-campus field visits, creating an intensive shared learning experience for both teachers and students. They exemplify Boston College’s innovative approach to Core education by establishing a foundation for students’ intellectual development and preparing them to become engaged, effective world citizens.

You will have the opportunity to enroll in this fall’s Complex Problems and Enduring Questions courses when you register during your summer orientation session. Both are worth six credits and fulfill two of the University’s Core Curriculum requirements. In November, you will be eligible to register for Spring 2022 Complex Problems and Enduring Questions courses, which are also listed in the brochure.

Play
Core pilot course video

Students and faculty discuss the benefits of Complex Problems and Enduring Questions courses.

Spring 2022 Complex Problem and Enduring Question Courses

Complex Problems


Powering America: The Past and Future of Energy, Technology and the Environment

HIST1513 + EESC1507

John Ebel, Earth and Environmental Sciences Conevery Valencius, History
Vena Offen, Core Fellow, Environmental Studies

Fulfills 1 History II + 1 Natural Science

Complex Problems


Making the Modern World: Design, Ethics, & Engineering

EESC1717 + HIST1517

Jonathan Krones, Engineering
Jenna Tonn, Engineering
Russell Powell, Core Fellow, Theology

Fulfills 1 Natural Science + 1 History II + Cultural Diversity

Enduring Questions


Shifting Forms: Political Belonging in Song and Film

POLI1033

Shifting Forms: Sexuality and Belonging in Modern Literature and Film

ENGL1732

Jonathan Laurence, Political Science
Kevin Ohi, English

Fulfills 1 Social Science + 1 Literature



Enduring Questions


The Making of the Modern Mind: Morality

POLI1034

The Making of the Modern Mind: Mathematics

MATH1702

Ryan Hanley, Political Science
Avner Ash, Mathematics

Fulfills 1 Social Science + 1 Math

Enduring Questions


For the Love of the Game: Theology of Sport

THEO1714

For the Love of the Game: Sociology of Sport

UNAS1720

Richard Gaillardetz, Theology
Kyoung-yim Kim, Morrissey College Faculty

Fulfills 1 Theology (Christian Theology) + 1 Social Science + 1 Cultural Diversity

Enduring Questions


God and the Good Life

THEO1702

Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov: What is the Good Life?

SLAV1161

Stephen Pope, Theology
Thomas Epstein, Classics

Fulfills 1 Theology (Christian Theology) + 1 Literature



Enduring Questions


Family Matters: Psychology of Adoption

SOCY1715

Family Matters: Stories of Adoption and Kinship

ENGL1710

Oh Myo Kim, Lynch School of Education and Human Development
James Smith, English

Fulfills 1 Social Science + 1 Literature

Enduring Questions


Narrative and Myth in American Culture: Disney

ENGL1725

Social Norms and Values: Disney

COMM1701

Bonnie Rudner, English
Rita Rosenthal, Communication

Fulfills 1 Social Science + 1 Literature

Enduring Questions


Revolutionary Media: How Books Changed History

HIST170501

Revolutionary Media: How Reading Changes Us

ENGL1715

Virginia Reinburg, History
Mary Crane, English

Fulfills 1 History I + 1 Literature



Enduring Questions


Coming of Age: Literature

UNAS1708

Coming of Age: Film

FILM1701

Susan Michalczyk, Morrissey College Faculty
John Michalczyk, Art, Art History & Film

Fulfills 1 Art + 1 Literature Core

Enduring Questions


Encountering Confinement: The Historical Politics of Mass Incarceration

HIST1729

Encountering Confinement: Ethnographies of Youth Captivity and Constraint

SOCY1727

Carlos Zúñiga Nieto, Core Fellow, History
Nora Gross, Core Fellow, Sociology

Fulfills 1 History II + 1 Social Science + Cultural Diversity

Enduring Questions


Boundaries of Belonging: Race and Anti-Essentialist Art

ENGL1734

Boundaries of Belonging: Geographies of Race and Place in America

ENVS1701

John Brooks, Core Fellow, English
Robin Wright, Core Fellow, Environmental Studies

Fulfills 1 Literature + 1 Social Science + Cultural Diversity



Enduring Questions


Maternity and Science: Neuroscience and Genetics

UNAS1718

Maternity and Science: Society, Culture, and Public Health

PHCG1701

Jessica Black, BC School of Social Work
Tara Casebolt, Core Fellow, Global Public Health and the Common Good

Fulfills 1 Natural Science + 1 Social Science

Enduring Questions


Animals in the Moral Imagination: Art and Empathy

ARTH1720

Animals in the Moral Imagination: Beyond Human Justice

PHIL1720

Jennifer Burns, Art, Art History and Film
Melissa Fitzpatrick, Carroll School of Management

Fulfills 1 Arts + 1 Philosophy

Enduring Questions


The Holocaust: Memory and Representation

UNAS1721

The Holocaust: Memory and History

HIST1728

Nicholas Block, Eastern, Slavic and German Studies
Devin Pendas, History

Fulfills 1 Arts + 1 History II + Cultural Diversity