Course Descriptions

Language & Expression (8 credit-hours, 2 fixed courses)

CORE 101 – Rhetoric & Communication (4 credit-hours)
The command of language and the ability to communicate effectively in speech and writing is essential to leadership. This is why eloquence in the broadest sense is one of the most highly valued benefits of a Liberal Arts education. The opening course in our Liberal Core is designed to develop the reading and presentation skills that our students will need throughout their lives. Our curriculum nurtures our students’ rhetorical abilities throughout their college career, especially through the Liberal Core. Rhetoric & Communication is designed to first identify the different aspects of expression and eloquence as distinct and essential abilities, and to develop and improve them through application and practice.

Explaining the combination of powers involved in the ancient division of rhetoric into invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery, the Roman orator Cicero says in his classic text on rhetoric, De Oratore: “Since all the activity and ability of an orator falls into five divisions, he must first hit upon what to say; then manage and marshal his discoveries, not merely in orderly fashion, but with a discriminating eye for the exact weight as it were of each argument; next go on to array them in the adornments of style; after that keep them guarded in his memory; and in the end deliver them with effect and charm.”

The material, classroom experience, and exercises of Rhetoric & Communication are designed to cultivate all five of these critical abilities, together with sophisticated reading skills. Class content will focus on compelling and relevant texts that anticipate the themes of the larger Liberal Core, and they are chosen to elicit opinion and encourage discussion and debate. As they develop their powers of reading seminal texts, students will practice and improve communication skills through regular writing assignments as well as presentations. Rhetoric & Communication will also feature the ethics of discourse and communication, so that tact and respect for the other become an essential part of students’ experience and understanding of rhetorical ability.

CORE 121 – Jehan-e-Urdu (The World of Urdu) (4 credit-hours)
This course is designed to fulfill our commitment to the vernacular, as well as to reap the potential of modern Urdu literature and criticism to illuminate decisive aspects of our modernity. Jehan-e-Urdu is a pedagogically dynamic course that will rapidly advance students’ appreciation and knowledge of Urdu through engagement with powerful texts of prose and poetry selected to speak to the concerns of the student today, opening up Urdu as a living world of insight and thought.

Historical & Social Thought (8 credit-hours, 2 fixed courses)

CORE 102 – What is Modernity? (4 credit-hours)
No one in the medieval world thought they were ‘medieval.’ The belief that we live in a distinct period of world history – that of ‘modernity’ – sets us apart from all pre-modern peoples. It is a defining aspect of who we are, essential to our modern identities. It is thus imperative to the task of understanding ourselves and our world, and it is essential to the task of thoughtful self-cultivation. Habib University’s pedagogical charter of yohsin requires us to ask the questions: What is it to be modern? What is modernity?

Our ‘modernity’ is the very air we breathe. It encompasses, at an ever-gathering pace, all aspects of our lives. This is why the question of modernity has been a central concern across the range of disciplines and fields of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. This course will address the most important elements of our global and regional modernity today. Beginning with an investigation of the emergence of this unique world-historical identity, we then turn to the historical formation of key structures and features of the modern in the following domains: political modernity; economic modernity; modernity and ecology; and modernity and religion. By the end of the semester the historical character and specificity of these foundational spheres of our present will be visible.

CORE 201 – Pakistan & Modern South Asia (4 credit-hours)
Nation-states – including that of Pakistan – emerged in the region of South Asia in the middle of the 20th century. How did such a world-historical event come about? What has it meant for the peoples of this region? In short, what is the history of our present – what is the history of our regional modernity?

This question takes on a particular urgency in Pakistan as the region passes through the current period of crisis and change. With a significant focus on the emergence and trajectory of Indo-Muslim nationalism and the creation of Pakistan, this course will be an overview of the modern history of South Asia from the immediate pre-colonial historical scene, through the colonial period, including the rise of anti-colonial nationalism and decolonization, to the Cold War and the contemporary period of transformation and turmoil.

Apart from the main outlines of the history of modern South Asia, students will also learn to place the region’s colonial modernity within the larger framework of modern history. Students will learn to identify major features of the colonial economy, politics, and society under which – especially after the Great Rebellion of 1857 – regional religious and other social reform movements emerged, nationalisms formed, and the dramatic transformation of regional languages and traditions took place, processes that continue into the present.

Students will learn to see contemporary conflicts, ideologies, identities, and structures as specific to the modern period rather than as natural cultural expressions, and they will begin to see regional cultures and societies themselves as historical entities.

Philosophical Thought (7/8 credit-hours, 1 fixed course, 1 elective course)

CORE 202 – Hikma I: History of Islamic Thought (4 credit-hours)
After the interrogation of modernity in Core 102 and 201 in particular, Core 202 turns to a second meta-theme of the Habib Liberal Core Curriculum: the question of inheritance. Ranging across philosophy, literature, history, law, and the arts, Hikma I is an encompassing survey of Islamicate thought that seeks to give a sense of the historical and philosophical complexity and depth of the tradition, with significant reference to the region of South Asia.

In the module on ‘Religion & Modernity’ in Core 102, and subsequently in our historical survey of socio-religious as well as nationalist reform and revivalist movements in the colonial period in Core 201, we studied the dramatic transformation and discursive constitution of ‘religion’ and ‘culture’ in the colonial-modern period. Both regionally, as well as in the global modern generally, ‘Islam’ and its cultures and societies, have also become particularly sensitive and difficult regions of the discursive landscape.

An elective course of 3/4 credit-hours, see below for list of offered electives.

Formal Reasoning (3/4 credit-hours, one of the following two courses)

CORE 111 – Logical problem Solving (4 credit-hours)
Logic is a powerful tool to understand the phenomenon around us. Logical thought leads us not only to deeper insight, but to a particular approach towards problem solving. This approach has proven immensely useful through the introduction of computers and other machines that are supported by implementing algorithms. This course provides an introduction to basic logical techniques and their use in the analysis of arguments. It aims to provide an introduction to propositional logic, use propositional logic techniques to analyse arguments, develop problem-solving skills and the ability to express a solution to a problem in algorithmic form, and provide exposure to programming a computer in a high-level language.

CS 101 – Programming Fundamentals (3 credit-hours)
The knowledge of programming languages is becoming increasingly essential as it enables us to create new tools and products that can revolutionize the way we live and work. Whether it’s a new mobile app, a cutting-edge video game, or a sophisticated scientific simulation, programming plays a critical role in innovation. With the explosion of data in recent years, programming has become essential for analyzing and making sense of large data sets. The course, Programming Fundamentals, studies the most exciting aspect: how can we create? Computers have opened the floodgates for limitless creativity in all endeavors of life: entertainment, science, business, agriculture, finance, education, health, engineering, manufacturing, etc. But in order to make computers do what we want, we have to instruct them in their language. There are many such languages, called programming languages, and this course offering covers ‘python’. Programming languages have made possible things that were seemingly impossible. So, while it is important to know the tools, it is equally, if not more, important to be creative and to imagine. Therefore, the course straddles both extremes and teaches to bridge the gulf between free thinking creativity and low level, technical details in programming fundamentals.

Quantitative Reasoning (3/4 credit-hours)

An elective course of 3/4 credit-hours, see below for list of offered electives

Natural Scientific Method & Analysis (3 credit-hours, one of the following two courses)

CORE 200 – Scientific Methods
How do we make decisions? How do we evaluate information? Should we trust all information? How should we decide which information is trustworthy? How do we recognize the limitations of a claim? These matters are not only for practicing scientists but form an important part of our daily lives. At a time when information is more easily accessible than ever before, how do we intelligently utilize available information in making choices? How should we develop our evidence-based decision-making skills? This course builds on the foundations of scientific methods of inquiry and works to apply them to our everyday lives. Utilizing a wide array of examples, it illustrates scientific methods and their applications.

Another course CORE 203 – Scientific Methods: A Biology Perspective is also offered.

Creative Practice (Minimum 3 credit-hours)

Electives totaling to a minimum of 3 credit-hours, see below for list of offered electives

Creative Practice Electives

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
MUS 111 Breathing Bansuri 4
MUS 223 Khayal Gayeki: The Aesthetics and Evolution of a Vocal Form 3
MUS 225 Ghazal Gayeki: A Cultural Legacy of South-Asia 3
RELS/ANT 100 Jamal: Islamic Aesthetics & Design 4
PLAY 253 Artifacts from the Future 3
MUS 227 Thumri ki Kahani: Romance in Raag Form 3
COM 237 Introduction to Creative Writing 3
CND 103 Urban Experience 4
CND 121 Introduction to Photography 3
CND 131 Introduction to Illustration 3
CND 133 Illustration 3
CND 136 Drawing I 3
CND 201 Digital Design Studio 3
CND 224 Intermediate Photography 3
CND 235 Computer Generated 2D Animation 3
CND 236 Film Production I 3
CND 239 Writing for the Screen 3
CND 240 Film Editing: Theory & Practice 4
CND 245 The Artist’s Book 3
CND 271 Cartography 4
CND 272 Illustration as Narration 3
CND 273 Typography 4
CND 276 Computer Generated 3D Animation 3
CND 323 Music Video Production 3
CND 331 DIY City-Design Inquiry 3
CND 336 Typography II 3
CND 404 New Media Art 3
CND 181/ARZU 121 Reading Plays 3
CND/LIT 244 Staging the Real 3
CS 224 Object Oriented Programming and Design Methodologies 4
CS 353 Software Engineering 3
CS 355 Database Systems 4
CS 412 Algorithms: Design and Analysis 3
CS/CSD 240 Cartography 3
CSD 134 Computer Generated 2D Animation 4
EE 391 Engineering Design and Innovation 1
LIT/CND 261 The Art of Fiction I – Fairy Tales 3
LIT/CND 362 The Art of Fiction II – Contemporary Short Stories 3
MGMT 301 Technology Management and Entrepreneurship 3
MUS 101 Music of South Asia 3
PLAY 221 Speculative & Critical Design 3
PLAY 223 Introduction to Service Design 4
PLAY 231 Cartography 3
PLAY 221/CND 253 Speculative & Critical Design 3
PLAY 222/CND 254 Designing Sustainable Artefacts 4
REL 123 Islamic Calligraphy 4
CS 333 Human Computer Interaction 3
COM 237 Introduction to Creative Writing 3
MUS 228 Folk Music: The Indigenous Sounds of South Asia 3
DES 217 Creating Comics 3
DES 319 Fundamentals of Digital Animation 3
COM 233 Creative Writing: The Mechanics of the Modern Short Story 3
COM 251 Introduction to Dance-Art Forms in Pakistan 3
LIT/CND 361 The Art of Fiction II: Contemporary Short Stories 3
LIT/COM 220 Deconstructing Magic as a Muggle 3
LIT/COM/DES 235 Choose Your Own Adventure: Exploring Interactive Fiction 3
LIT/COM 238 Interrogating World Literature: Lives and Ideas – On Intellectual Life Writing 3

Quantitative Reasoning Electives

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
ENVS/SDP 251 Water: Science, Society and Policy 3
ENVS 102 Introduction to Environmental Systems 3
MATH 106/MUS 226 Music and Mathematics 3
MATH/PHIL 222 Paradox & Infinity 3
MATH 108 An Introduction to the Practice of Statistics 4
EE 354 Introduction to Probability and Statistics 3
CE 361 Introduction to Probability and Statistics 3
MATH 310 Probability and Statistics 3
ENER 101 Energy I 3
ENER 103L Energy I Lab 1
ENER 104 Renewable Energy 3
ENER 104L Renewable Energy Lab 1
ENVS 101 Climate Change and Us 3
ENVS 121 Water is for fighting over 3
MATH 107 Lie Detector: Practice of Statistics 3
SCI 101 Introduction to Sustainability 3
SCI 122 Inventing the information age 3
SDP 202B Quantitative Research Methods 4
DATA 101/SDP 122 Introduction to Data Analytics 3

Philosophical II Electives

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PHIL/RELS 302 Hikmah II 3
HUM/PHIL  301 What it Means to Be Human: Comparative Hermeneutics of Self 4
LIT/PHIL 251 Urdu Criticism and the Question of Modernity 3
LIT/PHIL 311 Literature, Philosophy, and the Problem of Virtue 3
PHIL 121 Introduction to Political Philosophy 3
PHIL 122 Introduction to Western Philosophy 3
PHIL 200 What is Philosophy? 4
PHIL 201 Philosophy in the Anthropocene 4
PHIL 210 Modernity, Race and Philosophy 3
PHIL 221 Medieval Islamic Philosophy 4
PHIL 300 Philosophy of History 4
PHIL 321 Philosophy & the Question of Justice 4
PHIL 324 The Oneness of Being: The Creative Imagination of Ibn ‘Arabi 3
PHIL 325 Dream Interpretation: A Decolonial History 3
PHIL 326 Philosophical Hermeneutics 3
PHIL 375 Philosophy in the Anthropocene 4
PHIL 421 The Philosophy of Marx 4
PHIL/COM 219 Tragic Philosophy and Film 4
PHIL/ECO 421 The Philosophy of Marx 4
PHIL/LIT 351 Poetics of Iqbal 3
PHIL/REL 327 Spirituality, Philosophy and Science 3
PHIL/SDP 222 What is Power? Foucault, Biopolitics & Critical Thinking 3
MATH/PHIL 222 Paradox and Infinity 3
CND 225 Frankfurt and Beyond 4
CSD 341 Enlightenment and Romanticism 4
HIST 325 Islamic Art and Visual Culture 3
LIT 229 Fiction and Philosophy 3
POLI 222 Introduction to Political Philosophy 3
REL 101 Introduction to Aesthetic Traditions 4
REL 313 Islamic Aesthetic Traditions 4
SDP 191 Introduction to Philosophy 4

Furthermore, all courses with a prefix of PHIL will fulfill the Philosophical II requirement of the Habib Liberal Core.