Light in the darkness: learning from Sept. 11

By D. Lyn Hunter, Public Affairs

23 January 2002 | When Music Professor Davitt Moroney woke up the morning of Sept. 12, he knew he had to diverge from the classroom lecture he had planned — and instead help his students, and himself, process the tragic events of the preceding day.

“It couldn’t be business as usual. We were all still too confused,” says Moroney. “I adapted the class by showing how Bach reacted to grief and death through his music. His compositions, which move from gentle, sweet consolations to loud, rather violent organ pieces, express a whole range of emotions.”

Like Moroney, campus faculty from a broad range of disciplines have rethought and revamped their teaching in the wake of this fall’s events, creating an array of new spring semester classes on complex issues raised by Sept. 11.

“In creating these new courses, our faculty are doing what they do best: revising and rethinking what they teach in the classroom in response to new ideas and events,” says Christina Maslach, vice provost for undergraduate education.

“We’ve tried to spotlight these individual efforts and bring them together in a broad focus, using a major social issue as an organizing principle.”

Among the many new Sept. 11-related courses are a wealth of offerings in the Freshman Seminars Program, which brings small groups of entering students into conversation with campus faculty around topics of mutual interest.

Click below to read about four new Sept. 11-inspired Freshman Seminars.


"Sept. 11: Causes, Consequences & Policy Implications"
"Asymmetric Conflict: Ethics of Guerrilla Warfare and Terrorism"
"Music's Voice in a Violent World"
"Pundits, Pollsters and Policy"


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