We know the feeling: It’s Week One and you want to have a chill spring quarter. But you also want to take one of those classes that will leave you thinking about what you learned long after your college years. Where to turn to for this precious information?
Fear not! While you were partying it up in Cabo, the Review spent our spring break combing through ExploreCourses for you. Below, we’ve picked out our favorite classes being taught this quarter, almost all of which Review members have taken (and approved). While these courses don’t all teach from a conservative perspective, they are all well taught and avoid the progressive obsessions that too often dominate Stanford. So consider giving one of these courses the Old College Try.
AMSTUD 124A: The American West (ARTHIST 152, ENGLISH 124, HISTORY 151, POLISCI 124A). Professors Bruce Cain, Shelley Fishkin, David Freyberg, David Kennedy. 5 Units. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 AM - 1 PM. Fulfills WAY A-II, WAY-SI.
CLASSICS 84: The Romans (HISTORY 102A), Professor Walter Scheidel. 3-5 Units. Mondays and Wednesdays, 11 AM - 12 PM. Fulfills WAY-SI.
CLASSICS 395: Ancient Greek Rationality, Public and Private (PHIL 338R, POLISCI 238R, POLISCI 438R) 3-5 Units. Professors Chris Bobonich and Josiah Ober. Tuesday, 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM.
COMPLIT 37Q: Zionism and the Novel (JEWISHST 37Q), Professor Russell Berman. 3 Units. Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:45 AM - 11:15AM. Fulfills PWR 2.
ECON 126: Economics of Health and Medical Care, Dr. Jayanta Bhattacharya, Thomas MaCurdy, and Britni Wilcher. 5 Units. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:45 PM - 8:45 PM. Fulfills WAY-SI.
GERMAN 147: The Conservative Revolution, Professor Russell Berman. 3-5 Units. Wednesdays, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM.
HISTORY 102: History of the International System since 1914 (INTNLREL 102). Professor Rob Rakove. 5 Units. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 9:45 AM - 10:45 AM. Fulfills WAY-SI.
HISTORY 153: Creation of the Constitution, Professor Michael McConnell. Spring Quarter. 5 Units. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 2:15 PM - 3:35 PM.
This class is frequently recommended by the Review, and for a good reason. Professor McConnell delivers insightful, thought-provoking lectures exploring how the Framers crafted the Constitution, from its intellectual origins in the works of William Blackstone and Baron de Montesquieu, to the political bargaining at the Constitutional Convention. Although this class is taught within the law school, Professor McConnell, a former appellate judge and constitutional law scholar, encourages undergraduates to enroll.
HISTORY 204G: War and Society (REES 304G). Professor Amir Weiner. 3-5 Units. Thursdays, 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM. Fulfills WAY-SI.
HUMCORE 13: Humanities Core: Great Books, Big Ideas — Europe, Modern (FRENCH 13, HISTORY 239C, PHIL 13). Professor Keith Baker and Professor Dan Edelstein. 3 Units. Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:30 AM - 1 PM. Fulfills WAY-A-II, WAY-ER.
INTNLREL 115: Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence, Professor Amy Zegart. 5 Units. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:45 AM - 11:15 AM. Fulfills WAY-SI.
MS&E 297: "Hacking for Defense": Solving National Security issues with the Lean Launchpad, Steve Blank, Dr. Joseph Felter, Steve Weinstein. 3-4 Units. Tuesdays, 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM.
PHIL 80: Mind, Matter, and Meaning, Professor Jared Warren. 5 Units. Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM. Fulfills WAY-A-II.
Professor Warren covers a lot of ground in ten weeks: Phil 80 includes material covering the basics of metaphysics, personal identity, and the nature of belief. But the breadth of the material, in addition to the regular writing required (five papers will be written over the quarter), is what makes the course so beloved. Eva Davis ‘22 highly recommended Phil 80 for being the rare course which “actually critiques your writing and helps you improve your thinking.” Warren is known for being an excellent professor as well.
PHIL 171P: Liberalism and its Critics: 20th Century Political Theory (ETHICSOC 130, POLISCI 130), Professor Brian Coyne. 5 Units. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 AM - 1 PM. Fulfills WAY-ER.
POLISCI 125P: The First Amendment: Freedom of Speech and Press (COMM 151/251, ETHICSOC 151) Professor Nate Persily. 5 Units. Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM.
For pre-law students, or even those simply curious about how American law works, this class is for you. The course covers the various Supreme Court cases that form America’s modern free speech doctrine. This course is taught exactly as a law school class would be taught. If you’re not sure what that’s like, just think of the movie The Paper Chase with Professor Nate Persily as a (nicer) Professor Kingsfield.
POLISCI 131L: Modern Political Thought: Machiavelli to Marx and Mill (ETHICSOC 131S). Professor Allison McQueen. 5 Units. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM. Fulfills WAY-AII and WAY-ER.
POLISCI 234: Democratic Theory (ETHICSOC 234, PHIL 176P), Professor Brian Coyne. 5 Units. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30 PM - 3 PM. Fulfills WAY-ER.
POLISCI 234S: The Political Theory of Progress Reconsidered, Jacob Abolafia. 5 Units. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 AM - 1 PM. Fulfills WAY-ER.
While this course is about progressivism, don’t immediately dismiss it as just another far-left class. Conservatives (or libertarians) would do well to understand the political ideology which dominates Western society. Further, this course being taught by a serious Stanford post-doc, it also explores major conservative critiques of progressivism.
POLISCI 237: Varieties of Conservatism in America, Peter Berkowitz. Spring Quarter. Mondays, 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM. 5 Units. Fulfills WAY-ER, WAY-SI.
Dr. Berkowitz’s reputation as a scholar of American conservatism precedes himself, having previously taught at Harvard College and at the Antonin Scalia Law School. He regularly contributes his insights on political theory and current events to the pages of The Wall Street Journal and RealClearPolitics and was Director of Policy Planning at the State Department during the Trump Administration.
POLISCI 248D: China in the Global Economy. Professor Jean Oi. 5 Units. Wednesdays, 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM.
POLISCI 326: Executive Power Under the Constitution. Professor Michael McConnell, 2 Units. Thursdays, 4:15 PM - 6:15 PM.