Complex Problems & Enduring Questions

As a member of the class of 2024, 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 and moral world citizens.
 

View Fall 2020 Catalog PDF

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Core pilot course video

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

Complex Problems

Planet in Peril: The History and Future of Human Impacts on the Planet

Juliet Schor, Sociology
Prasannan Parthasarathi, History

Fulfills 1 Social Science + 1 History II

Complex Problems

Beyond Price: Markets, Cultures, Values

Can Erbil, Economics
Kalpana Seshadri, English

Fulfills 1 Social Science + 1 Literature

Complex Problems

From #BlackLivesMatter to #MeToo: Violence and Representation in the African Diaspora

Régine Jean-Charles, Romance Languages and Literatures
Shawn McGuffey, Sociology

Fulfills 1 Social Science + 1 Literature

Complex Problems

Making the Modern World: Design, Ethics & Engineering

Jenna Tonn, History
Jonathan Krones, Earth & Environmental Sciences

Fulfills 1 Natural Science & 1 History II

Enduring Questions

Thinking about Feelings: The Psychology of Emotion

Andrea Heberlein, Psychology

Feeling Like Ourselves: How and Why Literature Moves Us

Andrew Sofer, English

Fulfills 1 Social Science + 1 Literature

Enduring Questions

Life, Liberty & Health: Policy, Politics & Law

Mary Ann Chirba, BC Law

Life, Money & Health: The Economics of Healthcare

Tracy Regan, Economics

Fulfills 1 History II + 1 Social Science

Enduring Questions

Living on the Water: Coasts, Development, and Sea Level Change from Venice to Boston

Gail Kineke, Earth & Environmental Sciences

Living on the Water: Venetian Art, Architecture, and the Environment

Stephanie Leone, Art History

Fulfills 1 Natural Science + 1 Arts

Enduring Questions

Spiritual Exercises: Engagement, Empathy, Ethics

Brian Robinette, Theology

Aesthetic Exercises: Engagement, Empathy, Ethics

Daniel Callahan, Music

Fulfills 1 Arts + 1 Theology (Christian Theology)

Enduring Questions

Narrative and Myth in American Culture: Disney

Bonnie Rudner, English

Social Norms and Values: Disney

Rita Rosenthal, Communication

Fulfills 1 Literature + 1 Social Science

Enduring Questions

Growing Up Gendered: Contemporary Media Representations

Lisa Cuklanz, Communication

Growing Up Gendered: Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Gender in Contemporary Society

Sharlene Hesse-Biber, Sociology

Fulfills 1 Literature + 1 Social Science

Enduring Questions

Geographies of Imperialism: History of Colonization

Elizabeth Shlala, History

Geographies of Imperialism: Theology of Colonization

Natana DeLong-Bas, Theology

Fulfills 1 History II + 1 Theology

Enduring Questions

Flawed Founders: George Washington and the Mythology of a Heroic President

Marc Landy, Political Science

Flawed Founders: King David and the Theology of a Political Hero

David Vanderhooft, Theology

Fulfills 1 Social Science + 1 Theology (Sacred Texts & Traditions)

Enduring Questions

Environmental Migrations: Climate Change

Yasmin Bijani Zaerpoor, Environmental Studies

Environmental Migrations: Asylum Seekers

Carlos Zún͂iga Nieto, History

Fulfills 1 History II + 1 Social Science

Enduring Questions

When Life Happens: Disability and the Stories We Tell

Clare Dunsford, English

When Life Happens: Psychology Views Disability

Penny Hauser-Cram, Lynch School of Education and Human Development

Fulfills 1 Social Science + 1 Literature