Blog Post

Surprise Endings w Dan Ariely and Cathy Davidson: Reading Schedule

Next semester (Spring 2013), Dan Ariely and I are offering a course called "Surprise Endings:  Social Science and Literature," where we discuss the different ways we learn about human nature and self-knowledge from social science experiments and from works of literature, film, and other forms of artistic expression that don't use a single empirical method to reach conclusions about our human ability to deceive ourselves.  Students will be conducting public online discussion groups before each class, then interviewing us and videotaping our responses and they will upload the video interviews to the Duke YouTube Channel as a public online "course." 


Then . . .  the interesting part begins where students, working in project teams, develop the topic from each unit into some kind of online interactive, public experience.  At the end, we'll assemble the all into a new kind of Massive Online Open Course (MOOC)---a MEANINGFUL Online Open Course!   Students will learn by doing and they will be working to get past the "talking heads" and the "sage on the stage" passive version of most current MOOCs to really think about how we learn best and to try to create those kinds of interactive learning experiences and practices on line.    It is a grand exercise in knowledge-making. 


YOU ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE.   Once we have the syllabus finalized, we'll be sending out information about how to take part in the online reading groups, where to download the videos, and other details.   In the meantime, here's our most current reading/viewing list for the literary texts and movies.  We'll be finalizing our social science readings soon.  Stay tuned!


Class Schedule


Wednesday, Jan 9 -

  • Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown, A New Culture of Learning:  Cultivating Imagination for a World of Constant Change  [ORDERED]
  • John Seely Brown, “Global One-Room Schoolhouse, Or How To Become an Entrepreneurial Learner”
  • Monday, Jan 14 - RESERVE

  • Georg Simmel “The Stranger” RESERVE
  • Toni Morrison’s Nobel Prize in Literature Lecture, 1993:
  • Noam Chomsky “Where Artificial Intelligence Went Wrong,” The Atlantic, Nov 1, 2012
  • and in This Is How You Lose Her.  RESERVE

    Monday, Feb 4 –

    Monday, Feb 25 –

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby  [ORDERED]
  • Monday, March 25 - 

    • Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad  [Ordered]

    Monday, April 15 - 


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