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The Core Curriculum

About Contemporary Civilization

Chair of Contemporary Civilization: Matthew Jones, 514 Fayerweather Hall, mjones@columbia.edu
Contemporary Civilization Bulletin

Founded in 1919 as a course on War and Peace Issues, the central purpose of Contemporary Civilization is to introduce students to a range of issues concerning the kinds of communities – political, social, moral, and religious – that human beings construct for themselves and the values that inform and define such communities; the course is intended to prepare students to become active and informed citizens. While readings in this one-year course change from time to time, the factors that lead to adoption of a text always include historical influence, the presentation of ideas of enduring importance, and the demonstrated ability of a text to provoke productive discussion.