- Illustration by Tom White/9 Surf Studios
Short of taking a sabbatical and enrolling in the College for a semester, how can you know what undergraduates study today? Enter The Harvard Sampler, a collection of essays by faculty members derived from or about their courses in the Core Curriculum or its successor, the General Education curriculum (first implemented in 2009, with many Core and departmental offerings carried over, plus dozens of new ones; see www.generaleducation.fas.harvard.edu )—intended to broaden liberal-arts studies in eight fields. The volume, edited by Jennifer M. Shephard (in the division of social science), Stephen M. Kosslyn (a psychologist and former dean of social science, now director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford), and Harvard College dean Evelynn M. Hammonds, includes a dozen chapters, in disciplines ranging from evolutionary biology and human rights to global history and psychology. Excerpts from five of the essays (minus their references to the underlying academic literature) follow. The book will be published by Harvard University Press in October.
Enhancing Religious Literacy 
by Ali S. Asani
Asserting Power Over Technology
in an Era of Leaky Bits 
by Harry R. Lewis
Literature and the Environment 
by Lawrence Buell
Why the Finns Do Not Drink but Die
and the French Drink but Do Not Die 
by Karin B. Michels
Accounting for a Good Life 
by Thomas M. Scanlon Jr.