Fall 2016 First-Year Writing Seminars
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APPLIED ECONOMICS & MANAGEMENT 1106 Economics and the Environment
As political leaders, media sources and businesses adapt themselves to the reality of impending climate change effects, rather than debating their existence, we are left with the question of how to balance the need to adjust humankind's footprint on the earth with the material needs of society and the desires of the developing world to attain a better standard of living. How do we balance economic needs with those of protecting the planet? Environmental economics has stressed the importance of efficiency, choosing policies that maximize social and private benefits net of costs. Topics in the course will include climate change, air and water pollution, energy and the environment, environmental challenges in developing countries and environmental policies in cities. Writing assignments aimed at various audiences will include editorials, summaries of research, and policy briefs.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Oleg Firsin 17809 Cindy van Es
AMERICAN STUDIES 1144
American Cities in the Global Economy: Market, People, Place
Why do some regions thrive during a recession? What role can local governments play in an economic system that seems to exacerbate the divide between rich and poor? Using cities as a lens, we’ll examine the global economy and how it helps shape the way we live. Drawing on readings from both the popular press and the academy, we will investigate a range of places and industries: from international manufacturers and regional home builders to chain stores and investment banks; from small, single-industry towns to large, urban regions. In class and through written assignments, you will learn to analyze, explain, and debate the economic geography of U.S. cities, all the while learning the writing skills you’ll need at Cornell and in the wider world.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Peter Wissoker 18098 Sabinne Haenni
Culture, Society, and Power: Age of Extinctions—Morality, Conservation, and Design
In a world radically altered by biodiversity loss and climate change, where do we look for signs on how to act? What does extinction mean today, when we can conserve plant and animal species by genome sequencing? How can architecture and design help us rethink climate change adaptation strategies? Can one talk about sustainability and the colonization of Mars in the same breath? What makes future a destination worth arriving at, and why do humans think they must survive? Exploring topics such as climate migration, geoengineering, conservation genomics, and Mars One mission through academic texts, fiction, non-fiction, and film, this seminar examines the social and humanistic implications of contemporary ecological challenges. Writing assignments will encourage guided research and experimentation with style and format.
SEM 101 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Can Dalyan 17810 Marina Welker
Culture, Society, and Power: (Re)Performing the Caribbean—Identity, History, and the Nation
Why has performance been such a significant form of cultural expression for Caribbean and Afro-descendant communities? Through various media—such as text, film, and photography—this course explores how people of the Caribbean construct ideas of their history and national identity. We will examine the major debates in Caribbean and Afro-American studies surrounding themes of race, sexuality, gender, diaspora, and dance. In shorter critical essays, fieldwork writing, and a final research project, students will explore how people negotiate lived realities through various kinds of performance.
SEM 102 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Elena Guzman 17811 Marina Welker
Culture, Society, and Power: Nuclear Imagination—Technologies and Worlds
Can pondering nuclear technologies’ promises and perils be an exercise in re-imagining our world? This course explores how nuclear waste challenges scientists to envision distant future Earths, how meltdowns reorganize populations’ ways of life, and how some see nuclear energy as a climate change solution. It explores Cold War scientists’ workplace worlds, how various national cultures have interpreted nuclear technologies, and how nuclear weapons evoke imageries of contaminated wastelands, metropolitan ruins, and world-endings. Students will read about nuclear technologies’ cultural, historical, and political circumstances alongside philosophical and anthropological readings about imagination (Crapanzano), worlds (Povinelli), the sublime (Burke/Kant), and the uncanny (Freud). Writing assignments challenge students to fuse together insights from these works in imaginative ways.
SEM 103 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Vincent Ialenti 17812 Marina Welker
Culture, Society, and Power: Urban Biography—Writing the Intimate Lives of Cities
What intimate encounters do cities make possible? What encounters might cities constrain? This course explores the experiences and possibilities of contemporary urban life through a focus on what love, sex, sexual commerce, and family reveal about the economic, political, and material contexts of cities. The course will emphasize how such intimate matters are relevant to understanding consumer cultures, globalization, and the impact of changing urban infrastructures and development in a global context. Readings will draw broadly on relevant ethnography, cultural geography, journalism, fiction, and film. Students will be asked to engage critically across these texts, to develop an argument by putting texts into productive conversation with one another, and to write an “intimate biography” of a city they choose.
SEM 104 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Scott Sorrell 17813 Marina Welker
Culture, Society, and Power: Paleofantasies
Should we try to emulate the lifestyles of our Stone-Age ancestors? What is the value or risk in adopting a “caveman” diet or other activities? What did early humans actually eat, how did they obtain and process food, and how do we know about their behaviors? We investigate the relevance of ancient diet, nutrition, and medicine to ourselves through study of artifacts and fossil remains, recent hunter-gatherers, and the genetics of modern and ancient humans. Topics include the role of running and fire in the human past, the uses of animal and plant foods, and our evolutionary changes since the appearance of modern humans and the beginnings of agriculture. Readings includePaleofantasy by Marlene Zuk and articles from popular science magazines. Assignments emphasize critical engagement with current controversies.
SEM 105 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Thomas Volman 17814
ART HISTORY 1155
Writing About Blaxploitation Film and Photography
This writing seminar introduces freshmen to the world of 1970s era Blaxploitation Film and the music, photography, fashion, and art of the period. Students will screen essential films that defined the genre and read critical analyses of these works as they develop the skills of formal analysis (of film, musical scores, and art), reviewing time-based media, and comparison and contrast. This short-lived period in American film history employed the largest number of African Americans in the film industry both before and behind the camera. It produced films that contrasted the popular culture of the period with growing civil unrest over women’s and gay rights as well as the civil rights of African Americans. Students in this course will be taught to write about these memorable films and the documentary, fashion, and art photography produced during the same period alongside real concerns about race, gender, and sexuality rights.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Cheryl Finley 17815
ART HISTORY 1156
Bibliophilia: a Visual History of Women Reading
Tranquil depictions of women reading books arguably constitute one of the loveliest recurring themes in the history of art. On one hand, they capture interior, intellectual lives, the quiet intimacy of the domestic sphere. On the other, they reveal the learned woman as radical, access to information as dangerous to the patriarchy, literacy as powerful and subversive, and reading as a means to connect, escape, and transcend. This course considers the rich trove of images of women reading, and seeks to complicate it by highlighting the various ways in which they reflect and confront history and culture through theories of privilege, access, pleasure, leisure, and labor. Works include paintings by Mary Cassatt and Diego Rivera, images of Marilyn Monroe and Virginia Woolf, and evocations of literary bibliophiles like Hermione Granger and Elena Ferrante. Students will learn to write visual analyses that incorporate social history, use primary sources in Cornell's collections, explore emerging methods to access these images via digital archives, and ultimately, write content for a collaboratively curated exhibition.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Hannah Ryan 17816 Claudia Lazzaro
ART HISTORY 1157
Visions of Revolution: 1789–Present
The hero's mask in V for Vendetta, a popular-commercial emblem, leapt to the status of a revolutionary icon as it multiplied on the faces of thousands of activists, from Occupy Wall Street to the streets of Sao Paulo. Such artifacts and images can communicate the heightened, consciously historical experience of living through revolutionary moments. How can this sense of extraordinariness be embodied by visual accounts of a historical event or articulated by visual fantasies about it? How do works of visual and material culture express, re-imagine, or commemorate a revolution? We will investigate the relationship between revolutionary action and art, between art and revolutionary imagination. Writing assignments will involve close observation and description, interpretation, and research.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Asli Menevse 17817 Claudia Lazzaro
ASIAN STUDIES 1101
Chaste Ladies, Savvy Concubines, and Fox Spirits: Representations of Womanhood in Traditional China
This course offers students guided study to a selection of Chinese cultural materials, including historical records, literary works, expository essays, and film, which provide insights into Chinese conceptions of womanhood in traditional China. Students in this course will develop their critical reading and academic writing skills through discussion and essay assignments in which they analyze the conceptions of womanhood reflected in these contexts and explore their implications for gender identity and relations in Chinese and world cultures. Assigned readings are in English. No prior knowledge of Chinese and/or Chinese culture is required or expected.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Ding Xiang Warner 18189
ASIAN STUDIES 1105
Chinese Autobiographical Tradition
How is the self perceived in relation to the world in Chinese literary tradition? This course examines a wide variety of autobiographical writings in China by inquiring into the tension between past and present, history and memory, public and private, and individual and family. We will focus on the ways in which the reconstruction of self has been deeply related to its cultural, social, and political conditions. The readings are the most popular and influential Chinese texts in English translation, covering the period from the second century to the contemporary period. Writing assignments include self-narratives and a series of reflective and analytical pieces, with an emphasis on revision practices.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Suyoung Son 17818
ASIAN STUDIES 1111
Literature, Culture, Religion: From Vedas to Gandhi—Hindu Identity, Nationalism, and Muslim Response
Centered around an elaborate role-playing game set in India on the Eve of Independence, this course uses award-winning methodology of Reacting to the Past to enable you to relive the challenges and compromises faced by the major players in this pivotal time in India’s history. We will begin by responding to textural sources of the Hindu tradition, including Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad-Gita, proceed to the introduction of the Qur’an, and conclude with the study of Hindu and Muslim revivalist movements and the search for national identity in the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth centuries. Writing assignments supported by class discussions will train students to read and respond critically and skillfully.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Anna Golovkova 17819 Larry McCrea
ASIAN STUDIES 1111
Literature, Culture, Religion: Reading Our Monsters
Medieval images of earthquake-causing catfish, the curious sprites and spirits of Miyazaki’s films, a 1936 “poison woman” trial, a cannibal manifesto, one Kanye West song––this course explores how we think and talk about monsters across cultures and generations. Given that our obsession with monsters pervades popular and traditional imaginations, what can it unveil about ourselves? Starting from this question, we can begin to critically consider the impact of monstrosity in shaping relationships and identities. Classwork will draw from diverse texts and films, including writings by Sigmund Freud, Abe Kobo, and Natsuo Kirino and the films Macunaíma and Spirited Away. Trusty sidekicks to confronting the seeming monster called “writing,” assignments aim at furnishing comfort and confidence in clear, focused writing.
SEM 102 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Andrea Mendoza 17820 Brett de Bary
ASIAN STUDIES 1111
Literature, Religion, Culture: Disability in East Asia and Beyond
“The world isn’t built with a ramp,” writes disabled adventurer Walt Balenovich in his book Travels in a Blue Chair. Neither is the world built with any universal understanding of disability. This course examines what it means to be disabled in both theory and practice, especially in East Asian contexts. We begin by looking at the term “disability” and its various connotations, then move on to disability in Japan—specifically stigmas against blindness, deafness, and paraplegia—and China before ending with recent, more radical conceptions of disability. Multimedia engagement with issues ranging from guide dogs to nanotechnology will aid in understanding overlaps between, and barriers of, disability within East Asia, while also building a critical toolkit for understanding “able-bodied” assumptions in ourselves beyond it.
SEM 103 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Tyran Grillo 17821 Brett de Bary
ASIAN STUDIES 1111
Literature, Religion, Culture: The Vietnam War through Film and Literature
Why do they fight? Who was the “enemy”? These questions examine the multiple views and experiences of the Vietnam War (1965–75) for both Vietnam and America. We will compare and contrast how both sides represented the war through iconic novels like The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh, and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, and Vietnamese and Hollywood film and documentaries such as Apocalypse Now and Last Days in Vietnam. How do literature and the media shape our perception of the Vietnam War? We will critique, analyze, and problematize how the Vietnam War is remembered, by whom, and for what purposes through the themes of propaganda, nationalism, memory, post-war legacies, and reconciliation. Our writing assignments will emphasize persuasive argument, critical analysis, organization, tone, and style.
SEM 104 MW 07:30–08:45 p.m. Eileen Vo 18267 Brett de Bary
AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1832 Thinking Heidegger: Reading Was Heisst Denken?
We have a range of expressions that deal with thinking. For example: She is very good at “thinking on her feet” or he “thinks fast” both denote speed of thought—or, the ability to command the response the moment the encounter demands. However, in these expressions, we hardly ever raise the question of what thinking is. This course seeks to address precisely this issue, What is thinking?, through a reading of Martin Heidegger’s workWas Heisst Denken? (“What is Called Thinking?”) Heidegger is relentless in his pursuit of this question and as thorough as he can be. Still, it could be argued that the question remains incompletely answered, presenting itself as a challenge to us in our engagement with it. Was Heisst Denken? is the primary text for this course, with an excursion or two through the work of WEB DuBois and Michel Foucault in those moments that these figures turn their attention fully to thinking.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Grant Farred 18181
AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1840 The Prize and The Peril: African Nations at Fifty
The recent Jubilee celebrations of fifty years of African independence offer an apt moment to assess the legacy of the nationalist movements that brought about independence and the nations they spawned. One observer has argued that even in countries with “nothing to celebrate,” all jubilee nations eventually featured “some form of official commemoration.” Why were these commemorations so important to Africans? Why does nationalism continue to catalyze such heated debate, in Africa as around the world? What does “independence” mean anyway? This course examines the tension over who gets to define “the nation” in Africa and why. The goal will be to analyze historical debates on “the nation” in Africa and to write persuasive arguments assessing them.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Mark Deets 17779 Judi Byfield
AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1841 Exotic/Erotic Blackness: Race, Sex, and Cultural Consumption
How did Blackness become an object of curiosity, desire, and fascination? How did it become exotic? In this course we will see that this is not the result of a recent development in the representation of black bodies. Rather the construction of Blackness as exotic/erotic originates as far as the beginnings of colonialism. We will look at how and why black bodies have been sexualized and commodified through literary and media representation. We will then turn to works by black intellectuals and writers who analyze and resist this form of cultural consumption. Students will critically address these issues and demonstrate their knowledge of the material through close readings and essay writing.
SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Alex Lenoble 17778 Noliwe Rooks
ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY 1640
Socially Responsible Wildlife Conservation in a Postcolonial World
Today we face a global biodiversity crisis, a sixth mass extinction mediated by human impact. Unfortunately, countries harboring the greatest remaining biodiversity are often the most marginalized. How then do we contribute to conservation in a socially responsible way? In this course we will explore biodiversity preservation within the context of postcolonialism. Students will improve their ability to write and think critically about the unequal power dynamics inherent in international conservation by reading authors including Foucault, Said, and Spivak. Through shorter critical responses and a final research essay, students will then apply these theories to contemporary conservation issues of their choosing. Particular focus will be given to sub-Saharan Africa, both a site of violent colonial history and home to most of the world’s remaining megafauna.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Caitlin McDonald 17823 Kelly Zamudio
CLASSICS 1531 Greek Myth
This course will focus on the stories about the gods and heroes of the Greeks as they appear in ancient literature and art. We will examine the relationship between myths and the cultural, religious, and political conditions of the society in which they took shape. Beginning with theories of myth and proceeding to the analysis of individual stories and cycles, the material will serve as a vehicle for improving your written communication skills. Assignments include preparatory writing and essays focusing on readings and discussions in class.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Jake Nabel 17824 Eric Rebillard SEM 102 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Micaela (Micky) Carignano 17825 Eric Rebillard
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1109
Writing Across Cultures: Communities Like Your Own—Literary Encounters with the “Animal”
In this course we will consider the question of representing, constructing, and encountering the elusive figure of the “animal” across different literary traditions, genres, and media. Beginning by considering—and questioning—our own pre-existing definitions of the term, “animal,” we will then move on to survey a selection of writers, thinkers, filmmakers, and artists who have grappled with this term. Our exploration will span Classical thought (Greek, Judeo-Christian, and Islamic traditions); Darwin and his reverberations East and West; selections from British, American, and Arabic literature (The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner; Moby Dick; The Bleeding of the Stone) and contemporary endeavors such as Blackfish and Planet of the Apes. Through our consideration of such materials, we will practice composing conceptually and structurally-compelling argumentative essays.
SEM 101 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Kholoud Hussein 17826 TBA
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1109
Writing Across Cultures: The Ulysses Theme—Coming Home to Ithaca (Over and Over Again)
As we return to Ithaca for a new year at Cornell, let’s spend our fall charting the literary journey of the character of Odysseus, a man striving to finally get back to his own Ithaca (an island in Ancient Greece, not a city in upstate New York). We will follow Odysseus through time and space as he gets resurrected in different time periods, languages, genres, and cultures by some of the most brilliant literary minds in history. From epic hero to tragic villain, from philosophical wanderer to eternally damned sinner, to a well-meaning ad man trying to rekindle his relationship with his wife, Odysseus (or Ulysses) has traveled a long way and inhabited countless characters. In this class we will use Odysseus to get a sense of the way literature continually builds on old themes in order to once again make it new. The class will read selections of the writings of a number of authors including Homer, Sophocles, Dante, Joyce, Cavafy, and Walcott. We will try to borrow Odysseus’ craft in writing assignments that will involve analysis and comparison of texts as well as research.
SEM 102 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Hannah Karmin 17827 TBA
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1109
Writing Across Cultures: Latin American Paranoiacs—Crime, Conspiracy, Terror
What if reality was a waking nightmare, and terror could engender a whole imaginary world? Questions like these drive the genre Argentine author Ricardo Piglia calls “paranoid fiction.” One man’s obsession with details, a dictator’s megalomania, the traumas of state terrorism, a quest to unveil a reality-generating machine—through such devices, the authors we will read explore paranoia through texts that fracture our sense of the real into one conspiracy theory or another. Students will develop close reading and academic writing skills by engaging critically with metaphysical crime novels, variations on the “dictator” novel, and short fiction by masters such as Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortázar. Literary readings will be complemented by critical and philosophical texts; we will also watch and discuss films.
SEM 103 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. D. Bret Leraul 17828 TBA SEM 104 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. D. Bret Leraul 17829 TBA
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1109
Writing Across Cultures: Ukraine and Russia through Gogol’s Eyes
For several years now, Ukraine and Russia have been in the headlines as their conflict has captivated the world. Nikolai Gogol (1809–52) is uniquely positioned to provide some answers to many questions surrounding this conflict. A native of Ukraine, Gogol moved to St. Petersburg at the age of twenty. His works set in Ukraine and Russia, his juxtaposition of the two ethnicities, are relevant in gaining an understanding of this tragic strife between the two neighboring countries. Gogol’s picturesque style is abundant with rhetorical devices. Studying Gogol’s works chronologically, from “The Fair at Sorochintsy” to “The Overcoat,” will enable students to familiarize themselves with his oeuvre’s wide range. This, in turn, will equip students with numerous tools designed to enrich and improve their writing skills. Most important, writing assignments will help students to learn how to write in a lucid and coherent manner.
SEM 105 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Gavriel Shapiro 17830
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1126 Comparative Arts: What is Contemporaneity?
In this course we will study contemporary art alongside contemporary literature, always with the question in mind: “what is contemporaneity?” Our investigation will range from empirical questions about what is trending or fashionable, to discursive questions about who is addressed by and who is left out of “the contemporary,” to philosophical questions about the temporal and logical structure of contemporaneity. Is Lady Gaga, like, so 2013? Does everyone in the world share the same time, or the same sense of what is contemporary, regardless of geography, class, gender, religion, or language? How long does the contemporary last? Do contemporary literature and artworks reflect more on contemporaneity than their modernist predecessors? We will seek to answer these and other questions through critical readings of artistic, literary, and philosophical works by Giorgio Agamben, Banksy, Walter Benjamin, J. M. Coetzee, Die Antwoord, Johannes Fabian, Edouard Levé, Jamaica Kincaid, James Kelman, William Kentridge, Tom McCarthy, Ivan Vladislavi?, and others.
SEM 102 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Jan Steyn 17832 TBA
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1126 Comparative Arts: Cinematic Worlds
How does the world I inhabit collide with the world of a film? If the experience of the cinema presents a form of thinking and of world-formation, what could world cinema teach us about our place in the world in relation to others? As Siegfried Kracauer asks: “What is the good of film experience?” In this class we will read literary and philosophical texts alongside a selection of classic and contemporary “foreign films,” including the works of Anthony Chen, Jean-Luc Godard, László Nemes, Lynne Ramsay, Béla Tarr, Wong Kar-Wai, and Edward Yang. Students will be encouraged to develop their writing styles through honing their visual and critical reading abilities.
SEM 103 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Elizabeth Wijaya 17833 TBA
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1126 Comparative Arts: Aesthetics for Beginners
This course will treat basic concepts of aesthetics with reference both to theoretical texts and to artworks of all forms, genres, and periods, as well as to natural phenomena. With care and precision, we will address elementary questions of aesthetic experience: Are there objective standards of beauty or does it really lie in the eye of the beholder? What do we mean when we call something “sublime”? Is it meaningful to argue about taste? Why do we sometimes take pleasure in the ugly and the disgusting? What is the relationship between aesthetic and moral judgment? Developing their own critical writing, students will gain argumentative skills crucial for any academic discipline. Readings may include Plato, Aristotle, Longinus, Rousseau, Burke, Kant, Darwin, Baudelaire, and/or Nietzsche.
SEM 104 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Klas Molde 18163 TBA
SEM 104 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Klas Molde 18163 TBA SEM 105 MW 07:30–08:45 p.m. Klas Molde 18164 TBA
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1133
Studies in Literary Theory: The Idea(l) of Teaching
A master often manages to establish himself as the absolute source of knowledge while at the same time presenting himself as a mediator towards that absolute. His subjects—students—are often subjugated and
stultified, with a (in)commensurable gap between them being constantly renegotiated yet maintained. This figure of teaching has penetrated our society in a pervasive way. Various agents, including mass media, nation-states, native speakers, large corporations, and other patriarchal figures, have taken on the role of such a “master.” Has “teaching” always been so hierarchical? What kind of historical transformation has “teaching” undergone? Are there alternative ways of translating and communicating knowledge? We will examine figures such as Plato, Bruce Lee, and Aaron Swartz, and write critical essays about/against/for the idea(l) of teaching.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Junning Fu 17834 TBA
CITY AND REGIONAL PLANNING 1109 Environmental Politics
The politics of the environment permeate American life. They involve issues ranging from very local concerns (e.g., protection of individual water supply sources or potential development of highly valued open space) to the broadest possible national and international concerns (e.g., protection of the country’s national parks, air pollution controls, and strategies for confronting global warming). This course examines our collective discussions of environmental issues: e.g., what groups wish to accomplish (or prevent) regarding the environment, what interests motivate those widely varying groups, what tactics/strategies those groups utilize for influencing decision-makers, and what factors most significantly shape decision-makers’ specific choices about protecting or harming the environment. Readings, class discussions, and writing assignments will deal with both historic and current environmental controversies.
SEM 101 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Richard Booth 17838
DEVELOPMENT SOCIOLOGY 1200
Good intentions: Exploring the Promise and Pitfalls of International Volunteering
Many university students take part in international volunteer and service learning experiences with good intentions to “make a difference.” But are we really “doing good”? In this seminar students will use concepts from critical development theory to examine the recent global boom in volunteer tourism (or “voluntourism”), “gap years,” and international service learning. Students will engage with documentaries, scholarly literature, media reports, and fiction to discuss the history and politics of international development and volunteering, and to craft their own visions of ethical volunteer experiences. By writing essays, reading responses, film reviews, op-ed pieces, promotional pamphlets, and by learning to critique their peers’ work, students will gain skills in textual analysis and develop strong written arguments.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Alice Beban 17839 Wendy Wolford
DEVELOPMENT SOCIOLOGY 1200
Imagined and Real Solidarities: Transnational Activism in a Globalizing World
Thousands of shoes from around the world stood in protest on Paris sidewalks at COP21 in November 2015, as mass demonstrations were held in cities from Brazil to Hong Kong demanding climate justice. Many such social mobilizations—for instance the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring—have emerged in recent years across national borders, expressing solidarities among people who are seemingly disconnected in their everyday lives. How are such global solidarities produced and organized? How do they challenge/transcend a nationalist sociological imagination? Is this a new phenomenon reflecting a “globalizing” world? In this course through
scholarly and popular media texts, we will explore historical and contemporary social movements to reflect on
scholarly and popular media texts, we will explore historical and contemporary social movements to reflect on these questions while developing critical thinking and writing skills. Students will learn how to write argumentative essays and opinion pieces.
SEM 102 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Divya Sharma 17840 Phil McMichael
DEVELOPMENT SOCIOLOGY 1200
The “Third World Within”: Poverty and Paradox in the United States
We typically see the US as exemplifying the First World. But poverty, exploitation, and marginalization are everywhere, evident in widespread income inequality, high rates of incarceration, contaminated drinking water, gun violence, and more. Together, we will examine these problems and forgotten backwaters in the US, asking whether they stand apart from modern development or are a hidden part of it, learning to see the world as more than just developed and undeveloped. For example, how do the natural gas pipelines crisscrossing Pennsylvania forests relate to energy markets in nearby Manhattan, or compare to energy extraction in other parts of the world? Writing assignments (personal essays, satire) will build towards a sociological research proposal, where students will articulate realistic, data-driven research questions about the paradoxes that surround us.
SEM 103 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Eleanor Andrews 17841 John Sipple
Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise? The US Healthcare System
The healthcare debate is one of the most contentious issues of our generation, and for good reason. The United States health care system accounts for 17.2% of US GDP and around 25% of the Federal Government’s budget. But the healthcare system isn’t just a policy question; it impacts us individually. Visiting doctors, dealing with insurance, seeing the 1.45% Medicare deduction on every paycheck—for each of us, the healthcare system is ever-present. However, as inescapable as it is, the healthcare system is also often incomprehensible. This course will introduce you to the basics of the US healthcare system along with basic economic ideas. It will help you understand both the United States health care system and your own health care choices. Writing assignments will include summarizing, evaluating, and constructing arguments or positions in the health care debate.
SEM 101 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Daniel Ludwinski 17850 Cindy van Es
Looking Back at High School
Musician Frank Zappa once advised, “Drop out of school before your mind rots from exposure to our mediocre educational system. Forget about the Senior Prom and go to the library and educate yourself . . .” Would he repeat this advice today if he could visit most U.S. high schools? We will explore common features of high schools, juxtaposing these features with what is known about adolescence and the world outside school. Our tools for exploring will be reading, discussing, and working each week with local high school students. Why look back? Because then we can look forward more mindfully to our own education and to the school experiences of future generations.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Bryan Duff 17858
Student schedules must accommodate a Tuesday (2:45-4:30 pm) trip each week to Groton High School. Transportation provided. Because of the weekly trip to the high school, the amount of reading will be reduced so that total hours of commitment to the course will be commensurate with other FWSs.
Writing and Sexual Politics: Stories of Female Friendship
How have alliances between women been expressed in fiction? How have these literary depictions contributed to, contradicted, or complicated our ideas of how females relate among themselves? How well has recent writing done to address Virginia Woolf’s 1929 observation of the dearth of female friendship on the page—her insistence that the hypothetical line, “Chloe liked Olivia,” represents “a first in literature”? This course will explore the bond between members of “the second sex” as constructed in a range of narratives, from biblical stories to play and novel excerpts (William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, James Baldwin, Lorraine López, Elena Ferrante), to the contemporary television series Girls and Orange is the New Black. Writing assignments will include reading responses, analytical essays on single works, and comparative assignments bringing ideas from one to bear another, and creative assignments in which students tell their own stories of female friendships.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Tess Wheelwright 17863 Dagmawi Woubshet
Writing and Sexual Politics: Sex, Girls, and Misogynoir—Feminist Essays
This course will introduce students to a personal yet often political genre of personal, creative nonfiction, and academic essays that focus on combating sexism, writing women’s lives, and redefining gender. Reading essays by writers such as Jessica Valenti, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Roxane Gay, Rebecca Solnit, Mark Anthony Neal, and Sikivu Hutchinson will highlight questions surrounding women’s bodies, religion, queer sexualities, and masculinity. The readings will query how, in Simone de Beauvoir’s words, one becomes a woman, and consequently what effects patriarchy and male domination have on the gendered world. Writing assignments will range from writing your own creative nonfiction, poetry, and personal essays, to close reading analyses of texts.
SEM 102 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Marquis Bey 17864 Dagmawi Woubshet
Writing and Sexual Politics: Introduction to Female Madness
Since ancient times madness and witchery have been associated with the use of female voice in public. Introduction to Female Madness is a course on writing about literature with a focus on female voice, whether authors or characters, and the way it addresses the tradition of its own otherness. The students will write five critical and one personal essay in response to short novels by such authors as Christa Wolf, Jean Rhys, Jane Bowles, Bessie Head, and Zadie Smith, as well as a selection of international poetry.
SEM 103 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Valzhyna Mort 17865
Writing and Sexual Politics: Queer Women Writers
In this course we will read texts by and/or about queer women such as Audre Lorde and Alison Bechdel to analyze the queer ways authors and protagonists visualize themselves and the world from positions of abjection and joy. We will also think through what it means to be “queer,” and how queerness both shapes and is shaped by one’s position. Students will encounter a range of authors including texts by and about nonwhite, nonAmerican, and transgender/gender nonconforming subjects. This will serve to enrich our analysis of queerness in literature, but also to nuance our understanding of queerness as a lived experience. To this end, students can expect to write both critical and creative essays.
SEM 104 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Elizabeth Alexander 17866 Dagmawi Woubshet
Writing and Sexual Politics: Erotics of Knowledge
What is the erotic? In Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power, Audre Lorde defines it as “our deepest and nonrational knowledge,” associated with love, intimacy, and attachment as well as the “measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings.” Similarly, in Plato’s Symposium, erotic love is defined as something “in between mortal and immortal,” akin to discernment which is “something in between wisdom and ignorance.” In this discussion- and writing-intensive course, we will question the “in-betweenness” of erotic love and whether it implies perpetual transition. Texts will include Kate Chopin’s The Awakening and James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room. Together, and writing frequent critical and creative essays, we’ll explore the ways in which erotic love is a form of self-knowledge and how self-knowledge is a form of chaos.
SEM 105 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Korey Williams 17867 Dagmawi Woubshet
Writing and Sexual Politics: Empathy and Technology
“Unplug,” “do a social media purge,” “just go outside”: psychologists, bloggers, and our moms all claim that using less technology might lead to more genuine emotional connections. But what about our current relationship with technology draws worries of social disengagement? How are current digital technologies different from telephones, photographs, and even letters, that have connected us with other people over the past centuries? And, technology aside, how much do we know about our ability to empathize anyway? We’ll engage these questions through case studies of hashtag activism, SecondLife, cyborgs, war photography, and crisis helplines. As a writing community, we’ll draft, workshop, and revise frequent creative and critical essays considering the ways that technologies support, interfere with, or interrogate our experiences of empathy and apathy.
SEM 106 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Liza Flum 17868 Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon
Writing and Sexual Politics: Science Fiction and Feminism
Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury, Vonnegut: these are some of the names that come to mind when thinking about the seminal writers of science fiction, a genre historically dominated by men. Often ignored in this history are the women who also contributed influential works. This course will examine texts by some of the pioneering female authors of science fiction, including James Tiptree, Ursula Le Guin, Joanna Russ, Margaret Atwood, and Octavia Butler. We will read their stories and novels in the context of history and politics, especially feminist movements. We will discuss how science fiction’s strength as allegory gives writers the freedom to explore questions not only about gender but race, sexuality, and class as well. Writing assignments will encourage critical engagement with primary and secondary texts.
SEM 107 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Ji Hyun Lee 17869 Cathy Caruth
Writing Across Cultures: Imaginary Lands
What does it take to make a world real? This course will study texts that seem as if they could be set in reality, perhaps our own or perhaps one entirely distant. Using a mixture of speculative fiction and alternate histories firmly grounded in logic and realism, we will read world-building texts that present their lands as real, encyclopedias, codices of imaginary lands and languages, and meta-fiction. Focusing on intersections of narration, creation, and deception, we’ll explore novels and stories by Italo Calvino, Jan Morris, Jorge Luis Borges, and others. Through class discussions and a variety of writing assignments designed to develop and adapt your skills from analytical convictions to creative projects, this course will investigate writing as a means to understand worlds.
SEM 101 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Amber Harding 17879 Mark Morris
Writing Across Cultures: Theories of Blackness from Around the Globe
Definitions of Blackness vary across space and time. Langston Hughes admitted to being called white in Africa. Some reports cite forty-three percent of “Black Canadians” not self-identifying that way. The Irish were at one time considered the “Blacks of Europe.” But, if race is historically and regionally contingent, how can the diaspora be a space that encompasses Black experience across these locations? Through a comparative approach, we ask what does the Black diaspora mean in Vancouver, New York, Paris, Johannesburg, London, or Castries? We will explore the contradictions and complexities across these remappings to ask: is diaspora space, feeling, kinship, culture, history, or (beyond) words? Writers and artists may include WEB DuBois, Dionne Brand, Zadie Smith, Bob Marley, and Jamaica Kincaid.
SEM 102 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Katherine Thorsteinson 17880 Satya Mohanty
Writing Across Cultures: Speaking Science Fictions
How will people speak with their neighbors hundreds of years from now? Email? Telepathy? Messenger bat? In this course we will look at how future humans, aliens, and machines communicate with each other in science fiction—and what happens when communication fails. Readings will include works by William Gibson, Walter Miller, and China Mièville. Writing assignments, both analytical and creative, will explore how science fiction uses unconventional or invented language to comment on real-life social problems and conflicts. As we read and write, we’ll consider how language is changing today to anticipate and shape the future.
SEM 103 MWF 02:30–03:20 p.m. Claire Whitenack 17881
Writing Across Cultures: Inside the Haunted House
Enter only if you dare: This course is for supernatural sleuths compelled to investigate the haunted sites of Western film and literature both classic and new. What exactly constitutes a haunting? How and why are phantoms so often tethered to place? In what ways are our pasts linked to our present—both for good and for ill? Our explorations will include a crumbling Victorian mansion (del Toro’s Crimson Peak), a “spiteful” old house in rural Ohio (Morrison’s Beloved), and a phantom London alley where vampiric prophets lurk (Mitchell’s Slade House). Student sleuths will further their oral and written communication skills through collaborative discussion, informal presentation, and the individual completion of six linked “investigative reports” on each haunted site we encounter.
SEM 104 MW 07:30–08:45 p.m. Cody Klippenstein 17882 Ernesto Quiñonez
Writing Across Cultures: History from the Margins
What stories has mainstream America tended to leave out of its “official” historical record? Through work by Sherman Alexie, Toni Morrison, Junot Diaz, Andrea Gibson, and Tarifa Faizulla, we will explore the way the literary qualities of history endow it with the potential for multiple representations, honing in on how minoritized American identities have revised the historical/political record. Informal experimental writing assignments will lead toward the drafting and revision of argumentative essays.
SEM 105 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Briana Thompson 17883 Satya Mohanty
Writing Across Cultures: The Age of Revolution
Revolutions and social movements rocked the Atlantic and Mediterranean worlds from 1776 to 1848, inspiring and inspired by passionate young writers who came of age just as world history seemed to be cracking open. Focusing on the American, French, and Haitian Revolutions in art and literature from the eighteenth century to the present, this class will ask how personal and historical “ages” intersect and explore the many kinds of
relations between artistic and political transformation. Texts from William Blake, Walt Whitman, René Depestre,
relations between artistic and political transformation. Texts from William Blake, Walt Whitman, René Depestre, Herman Melville, Alejo Carpentier, Georg Büchner, Heinrich von Kleist, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Aimé Cesaire, Helena Maria Williams, Jacob Lawrence, Karl Marx, Hannah Arendt, Edmund Burke, Alexis de Tocqueville, Victor Hugo, and CLR James.
SEM 106 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Amanda Goldstein 17884
Writing Across Cultures: The Culture of the Raj
Judging from the recent spate of popular novels and movies dealing with the British rule in India, the "Raj" was a time of pageantry and color, adventure and romance. But to what extent is this image historically accurate? How did people live their lives, and how did the colonial rule affect not only Indian society and culture but also contemporary Britain? The Raj did invent many of the modern forms of spectacle and public ceremonial display, but is there anything else that survives to the present day? What do we know about “race” and nationalism, for instance, or literature and imperial ideology, and the various “cultural” ways we understand ourselves—then as much as now? Readings will draw on both literary and historical texts, and include some current films and popular fiction.
SEM 107 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Satya Mohanty 17885
Writing Across Cultures: Revenge!
“How did I plan this moment? With pleasure.”—Edmond Dantès (The Count of Monte Cristo). To plan revenge is easy, but what are the costs and consequences of getting it? This class will examine the methods and motives of vengeance in order to understand its historical and cultural significance in literature and film. In the process, we will attempt to answer the question of why these narratives not only endure but also enjoy such a prominent place in the canon. We will look for revenge everywhere: from Shakespeare, to Bollywood films, to American Westerns. Working independently and in class, students will gain experience in interpretative reading and analysis, as well as innovative writing and editing.
SEM 108 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Mary-Margaret Stevens 17886 Helena Viramontes
Writing Across Cultures: Native American and Latino Hauntings
What does it mean to haunt or to be haunted? This class will investigate the ways in which many North American indigenous cultures negotiate the concepts of home, memory, and identity through ghost stories of various kinds. Framed correctly, the concept of the ghost can upset Western notions of time and place: it explores our relationship to place, and it speaks to the ways in which indigenous peoples remember. On the other hand, the ghost has been used against indigenous peoples by Western colonizing powers. We will look at the tensions revealed by the concept, and we will explore how the ghost as a tool can, in different hands, be used as both a mode of oppression and of decolonization. The class will look at different kinds of media, and class readings will include works by Lorraine López, Eden Robinson, Juan Rulfo, Sherman Alexie, and LeAnne Howe. Writing assignments will include formal, analytical arguments as well as creative pieces.
SEM 109 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Mariana Alarcon 17887 Satya Mohanty
Writing Across Cultures: Narrative and Nation Making in the U.S.
Author and professor Thomas King writes, “The truth about stories is that that’s all we are.” In this course we will explore the power of narrative to create and contest ownership, nationality, and belonging. We will discuss who is included when we say “American,” as well as think about how possession becomes legitimized, and inclusion naturalized, through progressive narrative. Our readings may include novels by Charles Brockden Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Willa Cather, Jovita González, and Leslie Marmon Silko paired with excerpts from Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu, Ernest Renan, and Patricia Seed. Writing assignments will include responses to readings, analytical and argumentative essays, and a research project.
SEM 110 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Amber Vasquez 17888 Satya Mohanty
Writing Across Cultures: Beyond the Selfie
When we write directly about ourselves, we begin with the “I.” So much depends on this “I”: we write in the first person to appeal to others, to narrate our own experiences, and to convey our most personal fears and desires. What constitutes a compelling, honest first-person voice? In this course we will explore this question by examining a variety of mediums—essays, memoirs, podcasts—expressed exclusively in the first person. From the standup comedy of Richard Pryor, the childhood reimaginings of William Maxwell, the disillusioned voice of Joan Didion, we will study how other writers embody the “I” to communicate and investigate their miseries, their psyches, their memories. We will write both critical and personal essays.
SEM 111 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Ling Ma 17889 Helena Viramontes
Writing Across Cultures: Get in Formation—History in Real Time
When Beyoncé dropped “Formation,” Internet heads spun deconstructing its intention. Did she mean to make a political or historical statement? Via texts aligned in thought with many current sociopolitical movements (#blacklivesmatter, LGBTQA rights, etc.), we’ll consider the art and literature of this moment as the center of a pop culture phenomenon made possible by the current digital stage. As we encounter multi-genre works by artists and writers such as: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Warsan Shire, Eula Biss, Juliana Huxtable, and others, we’ll investigate, debate, and analyze these texts as inextricable from both the implications and power of history formed and history in “formation.” We’ll evolve from just consuming and disseminating these texts to being thinkers and writers who analyze them to make our own university-level written works.
SEM 112 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Renia White 17890 Lyrae VanClief-Stefanon
ENGLISH 1134 True Stories
When students write personal essays for college applications, they often discover just how challenging
writing about and presenting themselves to the public can be. In this course we’ll examine how well-known authors such as Maxine Hong Kingston, Alison Bechdel, Tim O’Brien, and others construct their public, written selves. We’ll consider how an author’s self-presentation affects how readers interpret the experiences, insights, and knowledge presented in each text; we’ll also consider how the style of writing affects how readers understand an author’s personality and motives. Readings will include short essays, possibly some poems, and a few longer works. Together, and writing frequent essays, we’ll explore why and how people write about themselves—for self-exploration, political or social change, purely to practice a form of art, or for other reasons—and we’ll investigate how writing shapes lived experience.
The Mystery in the Story
What makes a story, and what makes it a mystery story? In this course we'll study and write about the nature of narratives, taking the classic mystery tale written by such writers as Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and Raymond Chandler as typical of intricately plotted stories of suspense and disclosure that have been written and filmed in many genres: Greek tragedy, horror tales by Poe and Shirley Jackson, psychological thrillers by Ruth Rendell and Patricia Highsmith, neo-noir films such as Memento and Fight Club, and postmodern mystery parodies such as those of Paul Auster and Jorge Luis Borges. We'll look at the way they hold together, the desire and fear that drive them, and the secrets they tell—or try to keep hidden.
American Voices: Cool Stuff—American Literature and Pop Culture
Where would Junot Diaz be without hip-hop? Langston Hughes without jazz? Nathanael West without film? American Literature developed during the explosive growth of industrial capitalism and mass consumerism. Consequently, the study of American Literature, as a field, has to account for the influence of mass/popular culture in identifying a uniquely “American” tradition. No longer confined to the text, the current field of American Literature now considers a range of non-print media (such as film and music) to be valid and necessary objects of study. We will explore how authors of classic American literature have been influenced by popular culture. Expect to read, watch, listen to, and write analytically about works from Faulkner, Hughes, West, Diaz, Tarantino, Scorcese, Coltrane, Guthrie, Wu-Tang Clan, and Public Enemy.
SEM 101 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Christopher Berardino 17851 Shirley Samuels
American Voices: American Ghosts
Sociologist Avery Gordon argues that, “To study social life one must confront the ghostly aspects of it.” This course will explore the ghostly figures that appear in American literature from the early national period to the twenty-first century. What forms do ghosts take? In what ways can people be haunted? How do specters recalibrate our understanding of chronology and history? And what do ghosts demand of us—ethically, socially, and politically? We will pay particular attention to what ghosts have to do with gender, race, class, and sexuality. Texts will likely include Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Anna Lee Walters’s Ghost Singer, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, short works by Washington Irving, Herman Melville, Henry James, and Sherman Alexie, and selections from theoretical texts. We will think about critical writing, research, and reading as ways of engaging with spectral—with what seems invisible, insubstantial, unreal, non-present, dead, or past. In addition to formal assignments, students will do regular informal writing activities such as reading reflections, a brief essay that connects an older literary text with a current event, and a collaborative in-class paper written in small groups.
SEM 102 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Gabriella Friedman 17852 Shirley Samuels
American Voices: Documenting America, 1900–1945
The demand for documentation, the hunger for authenticity, and the urge to share in the experiences of others were widespread in the first half of the twentieth century. This course explores the various ways artists, photographers, writers, and government agencies attempted to document American life. How do such documents fluctuate between utility and aesthetics? In what ways do these works document issues of race and gender that
complicate our understanding of American life? How are our understandings of industrialization and consumerism, the Great Depression and World War II, shaped and altered by such works as the photographs of Hine, Lange, and Evans, the paintings of Lawrence, the films of Chaplin, and the literary works of Himes, Williams, Hurston, and Agee? Writing assignments will include analyses and comparisons of photographs, films, and texts.
SEM 103 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Vincent Hiscock 17853 Shirley Samuels
American Voices: Listening to Indigenous Voices and Solving Global Problems
Evidence tells us that the world today is threatened by massive social and environmental imbalances: poverty, climate change, and continuing population explosion. After considering the causes of these imbalances under a regime of global capitalism, this course will look at a range of alternative ideas, specifically from Indigenous thinkers, about how the world should work if we want to keep it socially and ecologically in balance. The alternatives we will query come from a range of Indigenous writers of fiction, poetry, and theory, who locate themselves in Native American (north and south), Aboriginal, and Maori communities. Writing assignments will be based on critical encounters with these texts.
SEM 104 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Eric Cheyfitz 17854
American Voices: Writing as Self-Exploration
Didion says, “I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means.” We often don’t know the depth and nuance of what we feel and think until we work to uncover it. Writing can help us expand and unravel ourselves, our world, and complex theories. We’ll explore class and family through George Saunders’ madcap surrealist stories, race and invisibility in James Baldwin’s personal essays, sexuality in Maggie Nelson’sexperimentallyricessays,listlessnessinTaoLin’s Taipei,addictionandredemptioninDenisJohnson’s Jesus’ Son, love and loss in Junot Díaz and Stuart Dybek’s stories, and more. We’ll write personal and critical essays that ask who we are, what we’re up against, and why it matters.
SEM 105 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Kirsten Saracini 17855 Shirley Samuels
American Voices: Contemporary African American Literature and Culture
This course will examine contemporary African-American literature and culture. Through aesthetic, generic, and contextual approaches, we will consider how African-Americans are defining themselves and our contemporary world. We will pay particular attention to questions of race in contemporary American life and African-American cultural production as well as how race intersects with other markers of identity like gender, sexuality, and nationality. Texts for the course will include: Toni Morrison's A Mercy; Melvin Dixon's Love's Instruments; Claudia Rankine's Citizen; Percival Everett's Erasure; Spike Lee's Bamboozled; Chimamanda Adichie's Americanah; Barack Obama's "A More Perfect Union"; and a range of Hip-Hop tracks.
SEM 106 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Dagmawi Woubshet 17856
American Voices: Slave Narrative, Then and Now
This seminar has a double focus on slave narratives. We’ll read classic African-American slave narratives by Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, William Wells Brown, Olaudah Equiano, William and Ellen Craft, and others. Next to these early texts, we’ll read hybrid slave narratives by contemporary novelists like Charles Johnson, Toni Morrison, and Edward P. Jones. Our aim is to learn the literary conventions of slave narratives and the ways in which modern writers explore, exploit, and even explode the genre. Along the way, we aim to write clear analytical essays about the works we read.
SEM 107 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. James Warren 17857
ENGLISH 1167 Great New Books
Would you be able to identify the Shakespeare or Austen of your time? What are the best books being written today and how do we know they are great? What role do critics, prizes, book clubs and movie adaptations play in establishing the appeal and prestige of new literature? Are there some books that are great in their moment and others that will be considered great for generations to come? These are some of the questions we'll explore as we read, discuss, and write critical essays about several of the most acclaimed books published in the last twenty years. Our readings will include works in a range of genres, from novels and memoirs to poetry and graphic novels.
Cultural Studies: Literature and Climate Change
What does literature have to offer a dying world? Indeed, what is the point of reading and writing in an age of ecosystem collapse, climate change, and mass animal extinctions? In this course we will examine how a diverse set of authors imagine environmental degradation and climate change, taking special care to emphasize eco-disasters as both scientific and cultural phenomena. We will also explore how texts and films, from Walden to Wall-E, from Eating Animals to Mad Max: Fury Road, envision more hopeful and just environmental futures for all of earth’s inhabitants: plant, animal, and human. Writing assignments will include creative projects, a film review, and, because action is the antidote to despair, a letter to a government representative.
SEM 101 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Kristen Angierski 17870 Elizabeth Anker
Cultural Studies: Poem/Song/Sound
What happens when poetic language is sounded out—spoken, performed, sung, or recorded? In this course we’ll open our eyes and ears to the complex relationship between poetic language, sound, and popular song in the twentieth century by studying a broad array of text and audio objects (plenty of poems and songs, yes, but also some stranger things like sound art, sound poems, nursery rhymes, slam poetry, etc.) and by engaging with some less familiar reading and performance practices (prosodic analysis, close listening, poetry recitation, etc.). Critical attention to the sounds that language makes—to all its excellent nonsense!—will make us more sensitive and sensible writers ourselves. Assignments will include argumentative analyses, critical meditations, and some creative poem-, sound-, and song-making of our own.
SEM 102 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Matthew Kilbane 17871 Elizabeth Anker
Cultural Studies: Artist vs. Audience
Artists learn how to make their audiences laugh and cry; they plunge them into new worlds and make them believe. To be an artist is to have incredible power over one’s audience. Audiences, however, have tricks of their own. They can fight back with reviews, petitions, and even fiction of their own. In this class we’ll study the strategies various artists use to control their audiences’ reactions, as well as the strategies their audiences have used to resist being seduced. In the course of our studies, you will learn to write more persuasively and to read more creatively. Texts may include: The Big Bang Theory, Brokeback Mountain, Francis Beaumont’s The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Shakespeare's Hamlet, and Bertolt Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle.
SEM 103 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Molly Katz 17872
Cultural Studies: Monsters in Fiction
We find ourselves fascinated by vampires, zombies, and aliens. But why? What do we find so compelling about these monsters? And what can they teach us about ourselves? This course will investigate a variety of monsters and use them as critical lenses into the societies they terrorize. We will thoughtfully examine the fears, anxieties, and transgressions that monsters reflect, the cultural moments they capture. We will learn to discern and analyze the undercurrents of meaning that boil beneath our most popular narratives—and we will learn how to write about them. From Dracula toThe Walking Dead, this class uses monsters to engage with human questions and concerns. What is it that makes us human? The answers might surprise or even frighten us.
SEM 104 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Lena Nguyen 17873 Elizabeth Anker
Cultural Studies: Reading the Face
Can emotions be read on the face? To what extent can feelings or experiences be hidden by our expressions? This course will investigate the face within the broad context of Western literary history, tracing changing attitudes about what counts as a “character” in fiction in the past two centuries. We will see that the face has rarely been a reliable reflection of interiority in fiction. But what has? Looking closely at the construction of the literary portraits of characters in such diverse works as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, and Rachel Cusk’s Outline, we will begin to unpack and problematize the perennially complex relationship between techniques of characterization and notions of subjectivity. Students will write a series of critical and creative essays that engage such deceptively simple questions as: what makes us feel we understand who anyone is?
SEM 105 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Emily Fridlund 17874
Cultural Studies: Finding the “Kid” in Kids’ Popular Culture
How is the figure of the child constructed in popular culture? When and to what degree do children participate in the construction of these representations? This course surveys a variety of contemporary media texts (television, film, and the internet) aimed at children ranging in age from pre-kindergarten to young adults. We explore how these texts seek to construct children as empowered consumers, contesting adult conformity, even as they often present themselves as teaching children how to “grow up.” Taking a cultural studies approach, the class will consider the connections between the cultural texts and the realms of advertising, toys, and gaming.
SEM 106 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Jane Juffer 17875
Cultural Studies: Word Spirits
The Japanese term kotodama refers to the spirits or ghosts of words. The idea is that negative words can haunt you or harm people, and good ones can improve the world. What are words made of, what are their mysterious powers, and how best to harness them? Can they really change the world? Or are there limitations to the powers of language, as indicated by the cliché: “actions speak louder than words”? We will converse with the word spirits of authors such as Jamaica Kincaid, Haruki Murakami, Richard Wagamese, Lucille Clifton, William Shakespeare, and Eduardo Corral. By writing love poems, personal stories, and analytical essays, we will explore the ghosts of words and the possible ways language can “move” us and, just maybe, the world.
SEM 107 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Richard LaRose 17876 Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon
Cultural Studies: Nature, Land, Property
Westerners routinely understand land (and by extension nature) as property. But American naturalists and Indigenous peoples offer alternatives conceiving nature, legally, aesthetically, and empathically. We will examine narratives of property and ownership that have been constructed around “nature” since the classical period—narratives that have led to outcomes as divergent as the formation of National Parks to the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. We will explore alternative narratives that conceive of nature as a kinship system shared between humans and other beings, and asking in the process what is or might be meant by concepts of “nature,” “environment,” “land,” and “place,” and thinking through diverse understandings of what nature is, and whether it can be “owned.” Writing assignments will range from personal essays about property, to close readings and comparative analyses.
SEM 108 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Lauren Harmon 17877
Cultural Studies: Digital Literature and New Media
Could a Twitter feed be literature? How about a video game? Is the computer coding underlying both a kind of poetry? In class we will address these questions and many more, in an effort to understand and write about emerging digital forms and their relation to “Art” and “Literature.” In the past 30 years, computer technology has enabled new forms of art to be possible and visible. We will read, watch, and play a plethora of these works. We will also read recent scholarly work on digital literature and new media. And we will become better writers and thinkers as we articulate this still-new world of potential literature.
SEM 109 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Travis Duprey 17878 Andrew Galloway Alice Fulton
ENGLISH 1170 Short Stories
What is the difference between an anecdote and a short story or a memoir and a short story? How does the short story separate itself from the prose poem, the myth, or the parable? What can a short story do that no other art form can do, including cinematic narrative? This course will focus on the reading and analysis of short stories derived from a range of cultures and time periods, with some emphasis on English-language stories, particularly those from the North American continent. Writers may include but not be limited to: Tobias Wolff, Alice Munro, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Willa Cather, Edgar Allan Poe, Nikolai Gogol, Eudora Welty, Louise Erdrich, Haruki Murakami, Denis Johnson, Margaret Atwood, Donald Barthelme, Flannery O'Connor, Edith Wharton, Raymond Carver, Joyce Carol Oates, and Anton Chekhov. There will be a research component and some workshop discussion of student work.
ENGLISH 1183 Word and Image
Writers and artists from Homer to Raymond Pettibon have been fascinated by the relationship between words and images, a relationship that is sometimes imagined as a competition, sometimes as a collaboration. What are the differences between literary and visual media? What can the juxtaposition of word and image teach us about the nature of representation? What other goals do artists and writers hope to achieve by coupling words with images? To explore these questions, we will consult works drawn from a range of periods and genres (graphic novels, medieval manuscripts, contemporary art and new media, emblem books, film, literary gaming, fiction, and poetry). The course is structured around a progressive set of writing assignments and will include both informal exercises as well as formal essays.
SEM 101 SEM 102 SEM 103 SEM 104 SEM 105
MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.
Noah Lloyd Cary Marcous Seth Koproski Samson Jardine Elisabeth Strayer
17902 Kevin Attell 17903 Kevin Attell 17904 Kevin Attell 17905 Kevin Attell 17906 Kevin Attell
British Literature: Literary Insomniacs
Sleeplessness seems to be the defining condition of modern life. It is also a condition that seems to define literary production and consumption. Whether it is the reader immersed in a gripping novel, the poet as the anxious, sleepless lover, or the literary genius working deep into the night. This course will explore the connection between literature and insomnia by looking at a diverse set of texts including Caleb Williams, poems by William Wordsworth and Christina Rossetti, as well as films such as Andrej Tarkovsky’s Solaris. Writing assignments will include literary analyses and research, as well as personal and creative pieces.
SEM 101 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Ruoji Tang 17929
British Literature: To Be or Not To Be
“To be or not to be, that is the question,” Hamlet says. Perhaps it’s the wrong one. Perhaps the right question, the more daunting question is: “What does it mean to be at all?” Early Modern philosopher Descartes argued: “I think therefore I am.” Can the Self be chalked up to the brain, a barrage of neural impulses? Does it reside between your ears, or in your heart, your soul, or somewhere else? Today’s rapid shifts in identity, technology, and science force us to grapple with these same questions once again. We will explore Early Modern answers from religion, philosophy, literature, medicine, and the belief of souls and ghosts for clues to answer the most poignant question of all: what it means to be you. The six major writing assignments will include critical summary, argument analysis, personal reflection, literary analysis, philosophical argumentation, and close reading.
SEM 102 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Jonathan Reinhardt 17930 Elisha Cohn
British Literature: Socialism in the U.K.
What does “socialism” mean for the arts? At the end of WWII, its global empire crumbling, the United Kingdom’s Labour Party launched an ambitious plan to “socialize” Britain. This course looks at British culture and politics from 1948, when the National Health Service was founded, to 1985, when Margaret Thatcher broke a long and militant miners’ strike. We’ll read fiction by novelists like Samuel Selvon and Doris Lessing and essays by the inventors of “cultural studies”; we’ll study audio documents from political speeches to the Sex Pistols; and we’ll analyze classics of British cinema by directors like Loach and Roeg. Choose a theme, such as immigration or class, and write your way across this history through a series of essays. In this course writing assignments will mostly focus on making connections between disparate materials, such as narrative history or political rhetoric and short stories or popular songs, rather than simple close readings.
SEM 103 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Jane Glaubman 17931 Amy Villarejo
British Literature: Medical Monsters
Surgery and writing have a lot in common: both involve taking a body, (physical in the first case, textual in the second) cutting it apart to see how it works, extracting useful pieces, inserting new bits, and discarding others, all in attempt to create a whole which is more than the sum of its parts. This course uses the experimented-on physical body as an occasion to consider how we “experiment” on our own textual bodies, through examining the “medical monsters” of nineteenth-century fiction. Reading Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” and The Island of Dr. Moreau, we’ll learn how nineteenth-century medical experimentation challenged ideas of religion, nature, animality, and human identity. Visits to Cornell’s Brain Collection and the Johnson Museum will supplement readings. Writing assignments will include literary analyses, a descriptive “dissection” of a textual body, and a final research essay.
SEM 104 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Amelia Hall 17932 Elisha Cohn
British Literature: Coming of Age in the Ninteenth Century
Orphans and princes, innocents and criminals—Victorian literature was fascinated with the figure of the child. This seminar will explore how Victorian ideals of childhood yield to the demands of adulthood at a time when scientists and philosophers were reconsidering human development. We will investigate not only conflicting notions of childhood in the British empire’s globalizing world, but also the extent to which childhood prefigures an adult’s identity. Students will gain experience with reading influential and recent criticism, and writing in response. Readings may include: Brontë, Jane Eyre; Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass; Dickens, Great Expectations; Kipling, The Jungle Book.
SEM 105 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Elisha Cohn 17933 Elisha Cohn
Writing About Literature: All Our Favorite Books
In this course you will suggest and select the books we shall read with the idea of analyzing the category of like, love, or favorite. We shall be interested in aesthetics and taste in literature. What is your favorite book and why? Why are some books called guilty pleasures and others literary reads? To truly love a book, understanding it through analysis is the best expression of that love. In this course we shall move forward with the understanding that critical analysis does not kill one’s love for a book, it enhances it.
SEM 101 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Mukoma Wa Ngugi 17934
Writing About Literature: Poetry and the Art of Paying Attention
Lyric poems are engines of attention: attention to language’s subtle and physical effects, and attention to the surprises of our everyday world. This course will help students develop as confident readers and writers about lyric poems and, by extension, about other topics requiring close and careful observation; it will help students develop skill and grace in their own writing; it will encourage attention to our daily surroundings as a source of joy, wonder, relaxation, and balance. Requirements include frequent essays, brief but challenging readings, and memorization of lyric poems. Readings will include diverse lyric poems from different centuries and cultures, prose about lyric poetry, and prose essays as models for student writing.
SEM 103 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Joanie Mackowski 17936
Writing About Literature: The Reading of Fiction
We will examine modern fiction from 1870 with an emphasis on the short story and novella. Our writers will include: Conrad, Dostoevsky, Joyce, Kafka, Lawrence, Mann, Chekhov, Hemingway, Faulkner, and a full-length novel by Woolf. We will not only study form and narrative strategies but we will also put these works in the context of intellectual and historical developments, including parallel developments in modern art. Student writing assignments will be mostly critical essays, but there will be one creative assignment. Our goals will be to develop close, attentive, imaginative reading and writing—and to enjoy our reading and writing!
SEM 104 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Daniel Schwarz 17937
Writing About Literature: Doubling, Disguise, and Desire in Drama
Theatre is never more theatrical than when it doubles itself—in strategically paired characters, in plays about playing, in tales of vindictive intrigue, in parallel plotlines, in confusions of gender and identity, in reflections on its own dark or joyous origins. Beginning with Euripides’ The Bacchae, this course will explore such doublings and the frenzies they entail, reading comedies and tragedies by such playwrights as Shakespeare, Thomas Middleton, Oscar Wilde, Bertolt Brecht, Tom Stoppard, and Suzan-Lori Parks, and viewing them, when possible, in live or filmed performance. And we’ll write a lot.
SEM 105 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Stuart Davis 17938
Writing About Literature: Forms of Poetry
In this class we will study the history and evolution of several traditional forms in English poetry including blank verse, sonnet, common meter, ode, couplet, and syllabic poetry and free verse, as well as some French Forms such as the villanelle and triolet. Students will write short papers on six of the forms and give one in-class report on a topic of their choice. They will also write an original example of one of the forms studied.
SEM 106 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Robert Morgan 17939
Writing About Literature: Who’s Afraid of Theater?
The media’s continuing attacks on Hollywood film and television are not new: long ago Plato warned against theater when he criticized dramatic imitation. In this seminar we will examine some representative moments in the history of “anti-theatrical” debates, asking such questions as: How is imitation related to personal and national identity? How does theater compete with family, religion, and education in forming moral character and citizenship? Why do questions of sexual and social transgression become associated with drama? We will pair our study of plays with some anti-theatrical criticism: e.g., Sophocles’s Oedipus the King with Plato’s Republic; Shakespeare’s Tempest with contemporary Puritan attacks on theater; Moliere’s The Misanthrope with Rousseau’s Letter to M. D'Alembert; Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera with his own writings on theater.
SEM 107 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Neil Saccamano 17940
FEMINIST, GENDER & SEXUALITY STUDIES 1109 Technologies of Desire
The goal of this seminar is to introduce the student to an understanding of the convergence of contemporary art and new technologies and use this understanding to focus on issues of sex, sexuality, and gender identity from a creative, and analytical perspective. We will explore the shared concerns and topics that bring new media artworks together with these critical concepts and issues. This seminar will approach new media art as a condensed terrain which brings the following questions and topics together: eroticism/technology, carnal desires/cyber sexualities, hybrid, alien, and digital bodies and desires, cyberspace/gender identity, embodiment/virtuality, and self/bodily extensions. These subjects will be explored through a wide variety of artworks ranging from digital art, installations, interactive art, performance art, internet art, video games, robots, cyborgs, and avatars.
SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Ozum Hatipoglu 17947 Kathleen Long
FEMINIST, GENDER & SEXUALITY STUDIES 1110 Intimacy Unleashed: Beyond the Human
Most of us have shared intimate moments with our friends or lovers, but what about intimacy beyond the human? In this course we will ask how our perception of ourselves as human changes in our entanglement with nonhuman beings—a lapdog in eighteenth-century Britain, atoms of carbon in Futurism, or even a mosquito in South East Asia—that triggers erotic sensations far beyond our imagination. Taking posthumanism, queer theory, and critical race theory as our guiding tools, this course will survey science writing, manifesto, and African-American gay erotica in the context of AIDS, among others, to examine what forms of non-normative sexualities and their potential dangers are unleashed as the human/nonhuman divide is radically challenged. We will approach this topic through lively discussion as well as formal and creative academic essays.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Ben Tam 17899 Kathleen Long
GERMAN STUDIES 1109
From Fairy Tales to the Uncanny: Exploring the Romantic Consciousness
How did bawdy tales of peasants using magic to climb the social ladder get transformed into moral lessons for children? The answer lies in Romanticism and its appropriation of the imagination as a force for social transformation. As Romantics edited older tales for juvenile consumption they wrote new ones for adults. This new fiction created the matrix for modern pop genres like fantasy, science-fiction, murder mysteries, and gothic horror. To understand this paradigm shift in modern culture, we will read, discuss, and write about a variety of texts the Romantics collected, composed, or inspired, including poetry and film, in addition to classic fairy tales and academic scholarship on the topic.
SEM 101 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Alexander Brown 17900 Douglas Brent McBride
GERMAN STUDIES 1115 Sports Fanaticism
Sports are never just entertainment. They also create communities of fans—fanatics—with values and rituals that closely resemble religious movements. The guiding principle behind this writing seminar is that there is a relationship between the form of a particular sport—what happens on the field—and the fans it produces. The difference, then, between a Yankees and a Cowboys fan is not just a jersey, but a worldview. Students will practice academic writing skills by analyzing these worldviews as expressed in the books and films surrounding specific sports themselves. These will include Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch, Phil Alden Robinson’s Field of Dreams, and Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia, as well as critical works by Immanuel Kant, Susan Sonntag, and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Matteo Calla 17907 Douglas Brent McBride
GERMAN STUDIES 1117 Just Friends?
In popular culture and literature, in the humanities and in the social sciences, friendship—a relationship of choice without institutional foundation—is a topic that allows for the exploration of the concept of community. We speak of “friending” someone or being “Facebook friends,” but can we define friendship? Plato and Aristotle already asked: Are friends alike or do opposites attract? Can a good friendship end? Other questions recently emerged: Can individuals of the same sexual orientation be friends? Is friendship between humans and animals possible? How does one mourn the end of a friendship? Looking at philosophical essays, literary texts, films, and scholarship from various disciplines the seminar will hone the ability to critically reflect in writing and discussion on arguments, concepts, and representations.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Elke Siegel 17908
GERMAN STUDIES 1170 Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
A basic understanding of Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud is a prerequisite for participating in critical debates in the humanities and social sciences. Our seminar will explore key terms in the revolutionary models of critical analysis these thinkers pioneered: historical materialism, post-metaphysical philosophy, and psychoanalysis. This will mean articulating points of contrast as well as convergence. Discussions and writing exercises will focus on texts that created the discursive framework for critiquing society and culture today. Our method will proceed from
the premise that critical reading, thinking, The question that guides that method will view as natural, inevitable, or universal?
and writing are inseparable moments in the same operation of critique. be: Do alternative ways of thinking exist in opposition to the ones we
GERMAN STUDIES 1190
Evil, God, and Modern Thought: Exploring the Enlightenment
How could a just God create a world full of incomprehensible suffering? Finding solutions to this persistent question seriously preoccupied enlightenment thinkers who promised to make the world more coherent. This seminar explores a number of “modern” attempts to justify the existence of “evil” both in the world and in us. As we read and discuss novellas (Kleist, Voltaire), poems (Milton, Goethe, Blake), essays (Leibniz, Rousseau), letters (Shaftesbury), manifestos (Lessing), and philosophy (Kant, Hegel, Marx), we will discover how culture appropriates religious authority in its quest to vindicate God from the charge of having catastrophically failed humanity. To understand the significance of this development we will critically engage with and write about a number of diverse texts that challenge assumed boundaries between religion and culture.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Matthew Stoltz 17913 Douglas Brent McBride
Power and Politics: Thucydides for Today
In this class we consider the wisdom of Thucydides, and pose the question, has politics changed in 2500 years? Leadership, rhetoric, democracy, revolution, war; some popular commentators refer to a “Thucydides Trap” in describing contemporary relations between the U.S. and China. Dig deeper, and there are arguments about the wellsprings of all political behavior—which Thucydides saw as honor, interest, and fear. This semester, we will read Thucydides' great work, The Peloponnesian War, and write about its lessons for, and application to the politics of today.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Jonathan Kirshner 17914
Power and Politics: Politics on the Athenian Stage
What does art have to do with politics? What do the plays of fifth-century B.C.E. Athens stage and teach about democracy? From Aeschylus’ Oresteia to Euripides’ Electra to Aristophanes’ Frogs and Knights, this course studies ancient Greek tragedies and comedies in their historical context and also for their ongoing relevance to contemporary political questions about justice, authority, power, and the rule of law. Writing assignments will progress from short descriptions and opinion pieces to more complex analytical essays.
SEM 102 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Jill Frank 17915
Power and Politics: Democracy and Secrecy
What is covert action? Is it compatible with democracy? Should it be? In this course students will engage in discussion and research over the history and politics of covert action in the United States. Interested in exploring Cold War interventions in states such as Guatemala and Iran? Itching to add your voice to the discussion surrounding the appropriateness of secrecy in a democracy? If the answer is yes, you will enjoy this seminar. Readings will draw heavily from Tim Weiner’s Legacy of Ashes, as well as a variety of articles. Through this topic, students will explore important techniques in writing essays, opinion pieces, and effective research papers.
SEM 103 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Katherine Welch 17916 Sarah Kreps
Power and Politics: Military Innovation in World Politics
Drones or cyber warfare? Nuclear submarines or stealth bombers? From gunpowder to the nuclear revolution, advancements in military technology have often redefined and revolutionized world politics. This writing seminar examines the politics of military innovation and technological advancement and their impact upon the international system. Will drones and cyber warfare change the way we think about conventional wars altogether? How does the proliferation of these technologies affect the US and its relations with the world? The causes and effects of military innovations will be studied through the examination of a number of historical cases drawn from the World Wars, the Cold War, and the post-Cold War world. We will engage with these topics through writing memos, op-eds, foreign policy briefs, and academic research.
SEM 104 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Debak Das 17917 Sarah Kreps
Power and Politics: Public Opinion and U.S. Militarism
Since September 11, 2001, the United States has waged two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, participated in a multilateral intervention in Libya, and launched drone strikes in countries throughout the Middle East, South Asia, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. What does the American public think about the dramatic escalation of U.S. military violence since 9/11? How does the media’s coverage of U.S. foreign policy influence American attitudes? Students will read the latest scholarship investigating these questions and diverse media coverage of episodes of U.S. military action abroad, such as the
New York Times
, Al Jazeera, Fox News, and The Daily Show. Students will write op-eds, memos, foreign policy briefs, and academic research in which they evaluate the implications of American attitudes towards and the media’s coverage of post-9/11 U.S. militarism. The ultimate goal of this course is for students to develop the writing skills needed to participate effectively in democratic debate.
SEM 105 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Stephen Roblin 17918 Sarah Kreps
Power and Politics: African Elections
Elections have been held in Africa since colonial times, yet their forms and functions have varied considerably over the past century and across countries. What purposes do these elections hold and how are they similar or different from elections in Western countries? This course traces the evolution of elections in Africa since independence, focusing on current events, and explores the different roles they play in different contexts. The course discusses the evolving line between democracy and authoritarianism in Africa, and the role that elections play in demarcating that line. Through a series of related writing assignments culminating in an original research paper, students will learn to formulate and support arguments appropriate for the social sciences.
SEM 106 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Natalie Letsa 17919 Sarah Kreps
Power and Politics: From Social Movements to Political Parties
Social movements and political parties have long been closely linked. Many movements try to influence political actors and some, like the environmental movement in Western Europe, have spawned their own (Green) parties, while others, like the Tea Party, have chosen to work within existing ones. This raises the question: why do some movements become parties, while others focus on protest or lobbying strategies? This course offers an introduction to the interactions between social movements and political parties. We will discuss issues like the conditions under which movements are able to change government policy and how the inception of movement parties influences party-movement relationships. This course draws on readings from journalistic, think-tank, and academic sources. In critically engaging with these sources, students will develop the ability to conduct research and write successfully on issues relevant to the social sciences and beyond.
SEM 107 MW 07:30–08:45 p.m. Steffen Blings 18016 Sarah Kreps
Power and Politics: The Politics of Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.
In this course we will examine theories that attempt to explain the roles of race and ethnicity in U.S. politics and the ways in which individuals use race and ethnicity as resources for political organization. We will examine the phenomenon of ethnicity and race in the political development of the U.S. Finally, we will look at the political attitudes and behaviors of ethnic and racial populations in order to measure their contemporary political influence. The course’s substantive focus is the politics and experiences of specific groups: African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans. This examination will not only enhance our understanding of these groups’ political roles, but will demonstrate that the U.S. political system cannot be adequately understood without understanding the political dynamics of ethnicity and race.
SEM 108 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Sergio Garcia 18235
HISTORY 1180 Viking America
Five centuries before Columbus’s fateful journey, Europeans in flimsy wooden ships were trekking westward across the Atlantic. This course examines the Norse discovery of America ca. 1000 AD, focusing on the so-called “Vínland sagas.” We will study these sagas as medieval historians’ attempts to write about their own past, contrasting their works with modern historians’ takes on the same issues. We will also engage with Native American perspectives, with the contact zone between texts and material evidence, and with the afterlife of the Norse journeys in popular imagination. Students will write short essays reviewing and reassessing existing historiography, with the aim of refining our sense of the relationship between events and their textualization, both now and in the past.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Oren Falk 18185
Writing History: Japan After Fukushima
The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster has opened up a series of questions not only over nuclear safety but also rather broad social and historical structures: Did the disaster result from too little technological progress or too much? Can humans have control over nature while their lives are a part of nature? Students will pay special attention to controversial questions about nuclear power, nuclear weapons, industrialization, and pollution. While this course offers materials mainly on modern/contemporary Japanese history (Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Minamata disease etc.), students will be encouraged to recontextualize their ideas in a global history and to rethink the relationships between humanity and nature, science and society in the wake of technological disaster. Writing assignments will include analytical reviews and research.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Sujin Lee 17920 Naoki Sakai
Writing History: Race Questions and Problems in the U.S.
This course explores the importance of race in the U.S. from the early ninteenth century into the present. In particular, we will examine the race questions and prejudices—from the “Irish Question” to the “Mexican Problem” to Black Lives Matter—which have shaped the country’s social, political, and economic structures. Primary sources such as letters, government documents, oral testimonies, music compositions, and secondary sources ranging from academic books/articles to films, will help us determine how and why resources, privileges, and rights were allocated as they were to the country’s inhabitants—and how those who did not receive them responded. Seminar discussions will revolve around assigned readings and writing exercises. Essays will be primarily based on guided original research to be completed by students.
SEM 102 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Alberto Milian 17921 Maria Cristina Garcia
Writing History: The Early Modern Death Penalty
It is clear that the death penalty is a source of controversy in our time, but how did pre-modern societies view executions? In this course we will look at early modern descriptions of executions and the controversies surrounding them. We will consider the rituals around executions, the final words of the condemned, and printed reactions to executions in the early modern public sphere. Specific cases of interest will range from royal executions, including Charles I of England and Marie Antoinette, to treasonous conspirators, such as Guy Fawkes. We will look at the social importance of executions from religious dissidents to thieves and highwaymen. Writing assignments will require thoughtful reflections on historical attitudes to the legal, social, political, and emotional aspects of executions.
SEM 103 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Kaitlin Pontzer 17922 Rachel Weil
Writing History: Communal Utopias in Nineteenth-Century America
Long before the hippie communes of the 1960s and 1970s, thousands of nineteenth-century Americans attempted to reform “mainstream” society by participating in experiments in communal living. This course focuses on the radical visions for alternate futures put forth by members of communal experiments and how these visions connect in surprising and powerful ways to urgent twenty-first-century concerns. We will pay special attention to movements for gender and racial equality, economic reform, and environmental sustainability in nineteenth-century communal settlements. Alongside recent historical scholarship, we will read memoirs, critiques, and fictional accounts of communal life from writers and thinkers such as Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Friedrich Engels. Students will emulate and critique “utopian” writing in their own essays.
SEM 104 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Molly Reed 17923 Aaron Sachs
Writing History: Foreign Knowledge and Local Power in Early Asia
How did the story of Jesus become a tool of revolutionaries, and ethnography a tool of empire? The stories of Jesus and Rama; technologies of mapping, writing, and art; new ways of thinking about gender and ethnicity—these were all, in one part of early modern Asia or another, seen as powerful forms of foreign knowledge. This course explores the relationships between these kinds of knowledge and power in South, Southeast, and East Asia from the fifteenth through the mid-nineteenth centuries. We will consider the agents of knowledge innovation: rulers, traders, missionaries, captive artisans, and even peasants. Guided by the instructor and assisted by classmates, students will experiment with different genres of writing about history, developing some of it from outline to polished prose.
SEM 105 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Matthew Reeder 17924 Tamara Loos
Writing History: The American Revolution in Unexpected Places
For many Americans, few historical events hold more appeal than the American Revolution. Together with its accepted legacies, the revolution continues to inform their collective national identities. In addition, its ability to captivate scholars and the general public alike is made evident by the constant outpouring of plays, films, and books celebrating the founding era. Indeed, the revolution remains one of the most well-known and well-studied subjects of historical inquiry. Yet, most studies of the period focus almost exclusively on thirteen of Britain’s former colonies, sidelining the empire’s other thirteen colonies in North America and the Caribbean. This seminar brings the latter colonies into focus, asking how the seemingly familiar story of the American Revolution changes when approached from less familiar vantage points.
SEM 106 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Jacqueline Reynoso 17925 Mary Beth Norton
Writing History: Food in Modern Japan—Commodity, Power, and the Body
Can exploring food and eating habits affect the way we understand and narrate historical events and cultures? How do the issues of food production and consumption critically intersect with major historical themes such as nationalism, imperialism, gender, race, and global capitalism? This seminar explores these themes through the lens of food, particularly focusing on twentieth-century Japan and East Asia. Topics include: eating meat/vegetables and modernity; the birth of nutritional sciences; industrialized food cultures; dietary reform movements; total war and “eating for victory”; home economics and gender; the Cold War politics of kitchen; food and national identity; health and environment, among others. Students will have the opportunity to learn how to craft their own historical arguments through the practice of critical reading and class discussion.
SEM 107 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Soo Kyeong Hong 18180
Other People Are Impossible: Empathy in Art, Science, and History
It's impossible to actually enter another person's mind, but living in a shared world requires us to constantly engage with what others are thinking or feeling. In this course we look at this quandary in historical and contemporary context, considering how writers, artists, philosophers, and scientists have articulated this interpersonal gap and sought to overcome it. We will investigate concepts of solipsism and empathy and see how thinkers have used them in formulating systems of ethics and moral philosophy. We will consider the evolution of psychology, of how scientists have sought to pierce the veil of the mind. And we will think through how the situation changes depending on our unique historical position. Students will develop skills in close reading and analysis of a wide array of texts. Possible authors include Sigmund Freud, David Foster Wallace, Leslie Jamison, Karl Marx, and Emmanuel Levinas.
SEM 108 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Jacob Krell 18198 Camille Robcis
HISTORY 1402 Global Islam
In this course we will examine Islam as a global phenomenon, both historically and in the contemporary world. We will spend time on the genesis of Islam in the Middle East, but then we will move across the Muslim world—to Africa, Turkey, Iran, Central-, East- and Southeast Asia—to see how Islam looks across global boundaries. Through reading, class discussions, and frequent writing, students will try to flesh out the diversity of Islam within the central message of this world religion.
SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Eric Tagliacozzo 17926
African-American Politics and Identity Beyond U.S. Borders
How have African Americans envisioned liberation as a global political and cultural project? This writing seminar will explore the work of black twentieth-century thinkers who understood racial oppression as a global problem and insisted on pursuing global solutions. By reading a series of short articles and chapters, students will gain exposure to the main themes in African-American transnational thought. By preparing short essays, they will strengthen their style, organization, and persuasive power as writers. Finally, they will hone their skills of political analysis and gain a new appreciation for the creative dimensions of historical writing.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Russell Rickford 17927
Writing Italy, Writing the Self: Jewish-Italian Literature and the Long Twentieth Century
The Jewish community of Rome is the oldest one in all of Europe, dating back to 200 BCE, and the authors of some of the most important twentieth-century works of Italian literature are Jewish. In this course we will examine how some of these writers (Moravia, Saba, Bassani, Primo Levi, Carlo Levi, Ginzburg, Sereni, Bruck, Loewenthal, Janaczek, Elkann, Piperno, and others) have articulated the self against the background of the historical events that have shaped the past hundred years: two world wars and different social movements of the pre- and post-WWII eras. The seminar includes several film screenings.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. K.E. von Wittelsbach 17928
Language, Thought, and Reality: Biological Foundations of Language
What is so special about the human brain that only it, and no other animal brain, can create language? To consider this question, we will examine the current state of knowledge about the biological substrate for all aspects of language, including the most up-to-date research on phonetics, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. We will look at the heated debates in the research on child language development, aphasia, and brain imaging technology. Students will learn how to read scientific texts about language critically, as they write about these in essays, including reviews, critiques, and research proposals.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. John Hale 17953
Language, Thought, and Reality: Linguistics and (pre-)History
How do linguists use language as a tool to discover prehistory? In addition to the more obvious sources of historical data (documents, physical remains, etc.), scholars often make use of linguistic data in constructing theories about (pre-)historical events and patterns. In this class we will examine and write about four basic questions. First, how do linguists uncover earlier stages of linguistic history? Second, what kinds of inferences can be legitimately drawn from linguistic data for (pre-)historical investigation? Third, how can we distinguish between plausible and implausible uses of linguistic data? Fourth, what role does ideology play in shaping or misshaping historical reconstruction? Some particular topics that may be covered: The Indo-Aryan invasion hypothesis; Ancient Macedonian; The peopling of the Americas and pre-Columbian contact; Egyptian influence in Africa. Students will write critical analyses of proposals evaluating them for logic, attention to contradictory evidence, ideology, and rhetoric. They will also try their hands at constructing both a good and a specious theory.
SEM 102 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Michael Weiss 17954
Language, Thought, and Reality: The Death of Language
This course will address issues related to language death, including: What does it mean for a language to be endangered? For a language to die? Should we care? Are some languages more viable or valid than others? We will discuss issues such as the role English and other global languages, language as a vehicle for culture, linguistic prejudices, language revival programs, etc. The course will touch on languages and dialects around the world, including Ainu (Japan), Nivkh (Russia), Guaraní (Paraguay), and Ebonics (United States). The main text will be supplemented by primary sources, electronic, and print. Short writing assignments will focus on revision, group discussion, and argumentation.
SEM 103 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Jacob Collard 17955 Michael Weiss
Language, Thought, and Reality: Language and the Law
How do language and the law intersect? This course will explore basic linguistic theory relating to speech acts, linguistic fuzziness, and bilingualism, and connect it to legal issues involving language. Topics include language-related power asymmetries in court, the problems of vague and ambiguous language in legal interpretation, laws about language, and the distinction between lying and perjury. We will read important court cases related to language rights, problems, and crimes, as well as excerpts from books such asWordcrime: Solving Crime Through Forensic Linguistics (Olsson 2009). Most importantly, students will learn to write essays in which they construct an argument and then defend it using both readings assigned for the course and relevant outside readings the students find on their own.
SEM 104 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Sarah D’Antonio 17956 Michael Weiss
Language, Thought, and Reality: Metaphors We Live By
We typically think of metaphor as a purely literary phenomenon, a rarefied figurative device. This course aims to uncover the pervasive “hidden metaphors” we use in everyday speech and what they reveal about the way we conceptualize ideas, perceptions, emotions, and other abstract categories. Assignments for this course will include linguistic analyses of texts on politics, society and popular culture, evaluation of the role metaphor plays in historical language change, and exploration of non-linguistic metaphor in gestures, advertising and cartoons. We will read and write about selections from the work of linguists, philosophers, and psychologists.
SEM 106 MW 07:30–08:45 p.m. Andrea Hummel 17958 Michael Weiss
Language, Thought, and Reality: How to Build a Language
In the twenty first century, there has been a resurgence of constructed languages, driven in part by their visibility in Avatar, Game of Thrones, and the film adaptations of Lord of the Rings. However, hundreds of languages have been constructed for reasons as diverse as finding God, uniting nations, aiding the disabled, and communicating with computers. The majority have been deemed failures, either because they were unpopular or lacked linguistic sophistication. We will explore the linguistic tools necessary to compose linguistic systems with the expressive power, systematicity, and limitations of natural languages, from the level of sounds to words to sentences. The ultimate goal is for each student to begin constructing their own language and to justify its linguistic validity and practical or artistic merit.
SEM 107 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Dan Burgdorf 17959 Michael Weiss
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: Reading Medieval Legends—Heroism that Never Was?
How does the heroic past come down to us? By reading Beowulf along with related texts such as The Battle of Maldon and The Saga of the Volsungs, we shall investigate heroic legends and consider their representations of the past: for instance, what did idealism and nostalgia have to do with these tales? We will also pay attention to style, which ranges from sentence structure, point of view, and voice, to the general manner or form in which a work of art is constructed. Class discussions and a series of papers will encourage clear writing, close reading, and analysis of the texts.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Edward Currie 17964 Thomas Hill
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: The Briton’s Britain—Constructing Medieval England
Today, if you think of England, a fairly well-defined image likely comes to mind. You can picture its basic geographies, you imagine monuments like Stonehenge or London Bridge, and you can probably place the country in some type of historical context. But how did people in the Middle Ages conceive of England, or of Britain? How did the medieval English understand the history and geography of their island home? These are the basic questions that we will address over the course of the semester. Course readings will includeBede, Geoffrey of Monmouth, and Gerald of Wales. The semester’s essay assignments will ask students to think about the ways that history and geography get created—both in the medieval period and today.
SEM 102 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. John Greenlee 17965 Raymond Craib
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: From Parchment to Pixel—The Future Lives of Medieval Books
This class explores the history of the medieval book in today’s digital world. Together we will explore a range of medieval topics through a modern lens; from the production of luxury bespoke manuscripts to the casual scribblings of scribes and readers, from the introduction of the printing press to the rise of a reading public. We will examine primary sources in class visits to Kroch Library and the Johnson Museum, read medieval texts that deal with book production, and study digital editions of manuscripts. Discussions will seek to draw out details and major themes to develop the skills for writing informal responses, close readings, and critical essays. The class builds towards a final project in which students curate their own online exhibition.
SEM 103 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Ruth Mullett 17966 Andrew Galloway
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: From Abraham to Genghis Khan—Migration before Modernity
In this course we will read a variety of global texts that recount the legendary origins of peoples and the migration myths that bind them together. We will begin by examining the foundations of medieval ideas about migration and national history in the Hebrew Bible and in Greco-Roman epic. We then turn to early medieval narratives about conquest and conversion, observing how Christians and Muslims adapted these ancient texts to imagine themselves as the heirs of Rome and Abraham. These themes will also be explored in later Central Asian texts such asThe Secret History of the Mongols. Through class discussion and a series of formal papers, this course will introduce students to the analysis of literary texts and the fundamentals of writing and research.
SEM 104 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Patrick Naeve 17967 Samantha Zacher
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: Writing History in Late Antiquity
Why would a historian call the Byzantine emperor a demon or accuse the empress of prostitution? What do we make of such questions? In reading late antique texts, we will encounter epic battles, scandals, intrigue, and miracles, all of which raise questions about “fact” and “fiction.” How and why were these texts written? What were their authors hoping to accomplish? From Eusebius to Procopius and beyond, these authors experimented with genre and style in order to convey the truths most important to them. As we confront the wondrous variety of weirdness in late ancient texts, students will try out some of these techniques for themselves. There will be reading responses, short papers, one research paper, and a final portfolio due at the end of class.
SEM 105 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Danielle Reid 17968 Benjamin Anderson
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: Gods and Kings in the Middle Ages and Beyond
Throughout the Middle Ages, Church and State frequently cooperated and just as frequently were at odds. When did Church and State come to be seen as separate powers? How do medieval authors justify the Church over the State, and vice versa? To what extent do medieval ideas of Church and State still apply today? In this course we will examine texts that argue for and against Church power and State power, including the Book of Kings from the Old Testament and Machiavelli’s The Prince, letters from Popes and Kings, and modern theories of sovereignty. Students will be expected to write one 8–10 page research paper on a topic of their choice, with several shorter response assignments to encourage critical thinking and discussion.
SEM 106 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Paul Vinhage 17969 Andrew Hicks
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: Magic in Arthurian Legends
From the earliest courtly romances to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Arthur’s court still captivates our cultural imagination. Magic is integral to the continuing appeal of these tales as a source of explanation, justification, testing, and conflict. In this course students will write analytically about the role of magical objects, creatures, and people in a variety of Arthurian literature. They will compare value arguments made about magic in these tales. What is magic’s role in upholding or questioning the values of Arthur’s court? What kind of events or policies can magic justify? Which kinds of magic are within bounds and which are transgressive? Assignments will include short responses, critical analyses of these questions as well as others, and a creative writing piece.
SEM 107 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Abigail Sprenkle 18186 Oren Falk
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1103
Legends, Fantasy, and Vision: Introduction to Oral Tradition and Literature
Literature as usually defined and studied consists of a canon of “authorized” texts—texts written by specific authors and then made public (“published”) in a fixed form. An alternative tradition of literature, however, is “oral”/“traditional” literature, texts such as ballads and folktales which were disseminated orally and which change from performance to performance. This course will serve as an introduction to “oral”/“traditional” literary forms, concentrating on English and Scots ballads and folktales, but giving some attention to literary authors such as Malory and Tolkien who either write in a traditional mode or who imitate “traditional”/“oral” literature in their fictions.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Thomas Hill 18008
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1103
Legend, Fantasy, and Vision: Otherworlds of Medieval Literature
What do we imagine past the margins of our world, and how do we draw those borders? This course will explore literary representations of medieval Otherworlds, ranging from islands of the dead and eerie realms under hills to preposterous foreign lands where enormous Christian armies wait to turn the course of history. Course readings will draw from disparate genres: chronicles, hagiographies, travel narratives, tales of King Arthur, lais, and ballads. At the end of the semester we will touch on recent adaptations of medieval Otherworlds. We will consider the political, religious, and nation-building agendas behind these ostensibly distant or imaginary lands, as well as modern echoes in fiction, news, and cyberspace. Assignments will include written responses to the readings, structured close readings, and formal essays building on classroom discussions.
SEM 102 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Anna Waymack 18009 Masha Raskolnikov
Music and Morality: From the Republic to Compton
Is music a source of moral improvement or corruption? What can music reveal about a person’s moral character? Can music be malevolent or is it inherently benign? In this course we will add our voices to lively and longstanding debates about the ethical value of music through guided essay assignments that develop critical writing skills. Drawing on key philosophical texts, such as Plato’s Republic, films, such as Straight Outta Compton, newspaper articles, blogs, and government documents, we will investigate and write about a series of modern musical controversies. Topics to be covered include alleged links between music and violence in hip hop and metal scenes; the CIA’s use of music in its enhanced interrogation program; and the place of popular music within contemporary Islamic cultures.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Nicole Reisnour 18011 Steve Pond
Music and Morality: Writing Soul, Writing Funk
As “rhythm and blues” morphed into “soul” in the late 1950s and “funk” in the late 1960s, American mainstream markets embraced cultural blackness in its many forms, with black popular music as a soundtrack for a decades-long cultural transformation. This course embraces soul and funk from several viewpoints. How can we translate notions of soulfulness and funkiness, across realms of hearing and text? What are soul’s and funk’s musical and political legacies? In this course we will engage with recordings and texts in discussion, hands-on music-making and, most of all, writing to delve into a vital historical moment in black popular music, as well as implications for the music’s role today. Musical experience is not required.
SEM 102 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Steve Pond 18012
Music and Morality: Queer Noises
Why did disco music emerge in gay, black communities? How did Riot Grrrls bring “girls to the front” of punk shows? Is there space for queer rappers in hip-hop? From punk to “women’s music,” from David Bowie to Angel Haze, we will explore how individuals use musical performance and fandom to navigate gender and sexual identities and desires. A wide range of popular music and music videos, as well as various styles of writing about music, will help us to understand what “queer” means and how LGBTQ identities and communities are formed through sound. Through writing assignments, we will develop critical arguments about how popular music in the United States mediates queerness as identity, practice, and politics in order to think about larger questions of sound, the self, and culture.
SEM 103 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Lee Tyson 18196 Steve Pond
NEAR EASTERN STUDIES 1944
The United States and Middle Eastern Wars
This course examines the relationship between warfare and violent conflict in the Middle East on the one hand, and the historical development of the Foreign Policy of the United States of America on the other hand. We will examine how American interventions in the Barbary coast, the two World Wars, the Cold War, and the War on Terror have shaped the modern Middle East. We will consider political and social history, as well as the military aspect of the various conflicts we study. We will also look at the decision calculus of Washington policy makers at different points in history, as well as the impact of U.S. foreign policy on the region. The course will be based on a variety of published academic readings, as well as primary sources and films. Writing assignments will range from informal reading responses to formal academic essays.
SEM 101 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Kyle Anderson 18013 Ziad Fahmy
NEAR EASTERN STUDIES 1963
Things the Prophets Never Told You: Archaeology and Religion of Ancient Israel
A casual reading of the Hebrew Scriptures might lead one to believe that the normative religion of the Israelites was that spelled out in the Torah and Prophets. However, a more critical appraisal of the Biblical texts, along with an analysis of extra-Biblical texts and archaeological materials, demonstrates that the Israelites were often closer to their pagan neighbors than to modern Judaism or Christianity. Students will explore these similarities and differences in their essays. Topics may include: cult prostitution, magic, funerary rites, temple ritual, Hebrew mythology, etc. Readings will be from the Hebrew Bible, translations of extra-biblical texts, articles on archaeology, and modern synthetic treatments of Israelite culture.
SEM 101 MWF 02:30–03:20 p.m. Jeffrey R. Zorn 18014
Philosophy in Practice: Is Everything Real Made of Atoms?
A common belief is that the really real things in the world can all be reduced to the basic elements of physics (electrons, fields, etc.). This kind of assumption results in difficult questions about what to do with those categories (such as ethical values, rules, laws, nations, and markets) that don’t seem to have a complete description in the hard sciences; are all such categories “subjective”? Socially constructed? Unimportant? Less true? In this class we will consider examples of categories that do not obviously reduce to physics, and ask what kinds of conclusions we should draw from this. Possible categories for discussion include ethical facts, facts about race, and facts about gender. Pre-writing and writing assignments will involve analyzing, evaluating, and responding to philosophical arguments.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Frances Fairbairn 17941 Tad Brennan
Philosophy in Practice: Truth, Lies, and Deception
This course will be a philosophical exploration of truth-telling, lying, hypocrisy, deception, self-deception, etc., and what practical significance theories about such has on our lives. We will explore, in reading and writing, questions such as: Why should I tell the truth? When, if ever, is it appropriate to not tell the truth? What is a lie? (kinds of lies, distinguishing lies from falsehoods and other kinds of deception). Are some lies worse than others? What is hypocrisy? What is self-deception? How does self-deception work? How can I guard against self-deception? Is self-deception always a vice—or can it be a virtue? Where possible, we will center our discussion and writing around real cases to help keep our theorizing concrete and practical.
SEM 102 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Chad McIntosh 17942 Tad Brennan
Philosophy in Practice: Feminism, Gender, and Education
This course will explore many different issues involving gender in the lives of university students and recent graduates. Issues will be examined through the lens of critical feminist theory. What are the unique problems that women experience while in college? What does masculinity mean in the twenty-first century? In what ways is gender relevant in the classroom? Is there a “boys crisis” in public education? We will consider the various ways that conceptions of gender limit and frustrate social interactions and the sense of self. Subject matter will include Title IX, social constructionism, fraternities and sororities, sexual relations, sexual assault, masculinity, men’s rights, and others. Writing assignments will include thoughtful responses to challenging reading, argumentative papers on policy related to gender, expository writing explaining historical social change, and a comprehensive final paper that will demonstrate synthetic understanding of course material.
SEM 103 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Daniel Manne 17943 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Problems: Naturalism and its Critics
Does science give a complete picture of the world? The naturalist says that it does, but how do free will, morality, or consciousness fit into a world of atoms and particles? If we can’t have free will in such a world, then the naturalist is forced to say that free will is merely an illusion. The anti-naturalists respond that the obvious existence of free will demonstrates that there must be more to the world than atoms and particles. Moderate naturalists want to have it all by showing that free will fits into the picture that science gives us. In this course we will examine these conflicts in an attempt to determine whether the natural world is all there is. You will come away from the course with a better understanding of how to interpret, analyze, and create your own arguments and with a better idea of how to clearly communicate this understanding in your writing.
SEM 101 MWF 02:30–03:20 p.m. David Fielding 17944 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Problems: Philosophical Issues in the Sciences
This course will cover a range of theoretical and practical issues that relate to the sciences, especially biology. What counts as life? Is there anything wrong with genetically modifying organisms? How does one perform scientific research ethically? Is race a biological category? Students will engage with questions such as these through a range of academic and non-academic readings. Writing assignments will focus on writing in the discipline of philosophy. Through (re)constructing, evaluating, and defending arguments, students will learn to write clearly and persuasively.
SEM 102 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Marta Heckel 17945 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Problems: Puzzles in Ancient Ethics
Are actions good because God approves of them, or does God approve of them because they are good? Are we obligated to obey the law? Why should I behave morally? Can a life without pleasure be happy? Ancient Greek philosophers debated these ethical questions, among others. Students will use these philosophers’ works as springboards to examine these issues. Writing assignments will focus on developing three skills: explaining others’ arguments, formulating criticisms of others’ arguments, and formulating one’s own arguments. Reading assignments will come from the works of Plato, Aristotle, and contemporary moral philosophy.
SEM 103 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Ian Hensley 17946
Philosophical Conversations: The Existence of God
Does the very existence of the universe, or the fact that it can sustain life, prove that there is a God? Does the pain and suffering of the innocent prove the contrary? In this course we will examine a range of arguments for and against God’s existence. We will also ask whether theistic belief could be rational even if the evidence does not support God’s existence. Blaise Pascal, for instance, famously held that no argument could settle the question of whether God exists, yet it remains rational to believe (”to wager”) that God does. Through writing, discussion, and the careful analysis of texts, students will be introduced to the practice of philosophical reasoning and argument.
SEM 101 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Kimberly Brewer 17948 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Conversations: A Philosopher’s Guide to the Galaxy
Is time travel possible? Are we stuck inside a computer simulation? Is it ethical to genetically alter our children? In this course students will grapple with philosophical questions from each of the major areas of philosophy—language, metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics—alongside works of science fiction by Asimov, Huxley, Le Guin, and others. The scenarios dreamed up years ago in these works—space travel, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence—are now becoming realities. With this in mind, readings and assignments will tie philosophical theories to the real world, creating a unique opportunity for an accessible dialogue between science and philosophy. Students will critically engage with recent journalism as well as classic works, and learn to carefully craft philosophical arguments in clear, well-styled writing.
SEM 102 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. August Faller 17949 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Conversations: Speech and the Modern Society
The freedom of speech is integral to our democratic society. One obvious and compelling reason to protect it is that uninhibited political discourse is our tool for conveying our needs and preferences to the government. Recent events, however, have raised questions about how respecting this value ought to look in practice. Does everyone, in fact, get an equal opportunity to participate? How do we ensure that? What, if anything, might pornography, censorship on social media, voter ID laws, and the recent protests on college campuses tell us about the limits of free speech in society? With the help of both classic and contemporary works we will contemplate the value of free speech and its limits. Writing assignments will include responses to case studies, short papers and reviews, and longer argumentative essays.
SEM 103 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Lucia Munguia 17950 Tad Brennan
PERFORMING & MEDIA ARTS 1130
Going Undercover: Radical Undercover Journalism and the (Re)creation of Self
What would it be like to go through life as a completely different person? In order to expose and combat social injustice, journalists have crossed lines of race, gender, age, class, and appearance, and gone undercover, sometimes risking their reputations, sanity, and even their lives. But what are the results of these experiments? Do the ends justify the sometimes ethically questionable means? How does “going undercover” affect an individual or a community? By examining works of John Howard Griffin, Sarah Jones, Morgan Spurlock, Barbara Ehrenreich, Norah Vincent, and a variety of identity-probing texts, we examine the complex facets of diverse identities. The course facilitates a range of writing assignments and culminates in students devising and executing their own undercover journalism and research projects.
SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Rosalie Purvis 17951 David Feldshuh
PERFORMING & MEDIA ARTS 1131 Performing the Past / Rehearsing the Future
When artists engage with historical subjects, is there an obligation to represent those subjects accurately? Can dramatic interventions into history empower artists and audiences to imagine a future that diverges from our past? What are the ethical considerations involved in altering historical narratives for political or artistic purposes? Contemporary works such as Lin-Manuel Miranda’sHamilton have captured the imagination of American audiences, raising significant questions about theater’s ability to not only represent the facts of history, but also its ability (and perhaps responsibility) to meaningfully intervene into historical narratives. This course engages with these questions through the close analysis of dramatic texts. Through in-class discussions, direct instruction, and collaborative writing workshops, students will develop the ability to analyze scholarly arguments and produce coherent, concise, persuasive prose.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Caitlin Kane 17952 David Feldshuh
PERFORMING & MEDIA ARTS 1132 Boyfriendtwin: Queer Uncanny Doppelgängers
Why are two identical people unsettling? “Uncanny” resemblances suggest the strange, even the supernatural. This course will investigate the doppelgänger myth influencing superstitions about un- or supernatural twins across the history of literature, drama, and film. We will look at a diverse selection of materials including Shakespeare, Robert Louis Stevenson, Christopher Nolan, and Joss Whedon. Considering the ways doubles work across styles fromThe Parent Trap to The Shining, the course concludes with an exploration of the contemporary social phenomenon of “twinning” in queer culture in relation to the long legacy of the double. With an emphasis on in-class discussion and peer editing, this class will foster and enhance each student’s ability to produce coherent, concise, persuasive prose in the form of critical arguments.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Joshua Cole 17960 David Feldshuh
PERFORMING & MEDIA ARTS 1133 Sex Acts: American Drama 1950–Present
Is sex always a private matter? What constitutes sex and what happens when it is performed in public? This course asks: how does sex in theater and performance contribute to our understandings of identity, power, and community? Grounded in a study of dramatic literature and theatrical spectacles, this course discusses how representations of sex in theater and performance contribute to and challenge prevalent understandings of theater history, intimacy, and what “good” and “bad” theater is. With an emphasis on in-class discussion and peer editing, this class will foster and enhance each student’s ability to produce coherent, concise, persuasive prose in the form of critical arguments. Students will analyze examples of performance through the lenses of critical texts drawn from the fields of performance studies, theatre studies, gender and sexuality studies, Black studies, and critical race theory.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Jayme Kilburn 17970 David Feldshuh
PERFORMING & MEDIA ARTS 1134 Poetics of Incarceration
The number of American prisons grows each year—a growth with alarming ties to racism. As seen, for instance, in the HBO productions of Oz and Orange is the New Black, and events at Abu Ghraib, as well as numerous other recent and historic prison narratives, prisons (and prison metaphors and similes) drive our understanding of crime, our legitimization of U.S. citizenship, and our comprehension of racial and class identities. How can we articulate how prison performs as a social symbol? Drawing on historical and theoretical texts as well as present day media, we will explore how prison as reality and “prison as metaphor” permeate our thoughts, our speech, and stage, film, and literary representations. Through brief personal in-class writings, short interpretative essays, and a moderate research paper, we will work to synthesize, and perhaps shift, our individual and group perceptions of a life under siege in the shadow of the racist prison wall.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Byron Suber 18190 David Feldshuh
East European Film
Eastern Europe has contributed unique films to the global cinema. In this class students will watch, discuss, and write about a variety of movies: Oscar winners and lesser-known films, thrillers and comedies from Russia, Poland, Turkey, Kazakhstan, and more. In addition to learning film terminology, students will have the opportunity to become acquainted with the cultures, history, and geography of Eastern Europe. They will write film reviews, technical analyses of films, and personal essays. All class films are available for streaming through Blackboard.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Ewa Bachminska 17961
Apply the Basics: An Exploration of Cognition and Perception
Understanding pathology requires knowledge about the cognitive and perceptual systems that underlie behavior, and how these systems are implemented in the brain. Oliver Sacks’ collection of case studies inThe Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat will illustrate numerous neurological disorders and exemplify the applied research mindset. Empirical articles written by basic science researchers will complement Sacks’ writings and provide a foundation for understanding the disorders depicted therein. In order to learn how theory-driven science can inform clinical practice and how clinical populations can provide insights into the link between brain and behavior, we will critically evaluate and synthesize both basic and applied perspectives through class discussion and a variety of writing assignments.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Ethan Jost 17962 Morten Christiansen
ROMANCE STUDIES 1102
The Craft of Storytelling: Decameron
All of us tell stories for a variety of reasons—to entertain, to console, to teach, to persuade—to discover and explore both our inner lives and the world we inhabit. Stories are one of the prime ways in which we make sense of a world that is not always propitious. They serve as instruments by which we seek to shape our future. In this seminar we shall consider how the craft of storytelling helps us face the task of living: the love and the happiness and the community we seek, the virtues we espouse, our talents and our vulnerabilities. Our principal reading (in English translation) will be a masterpiece of European literature, Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron (ca. 1349–51), which showcases one hundred stories told by ten young Florentines fleeing the Black Death of 1348. Students will write both analytic and personal essays.
SEM 102 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi 17972 SEM 103 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi 17973
ROMANCE STUDIES 1102
The Craft of Storytelling: Queer Hispanisms
With the emergence of queer-themed expressions in a global context, representations of queerness and alternative sexualities in Hispanic cultural contexts are particularly interesting for their tensions with culturally specific notions of masculinity, femininity, and family. The seminar will explore stories, theories, and politics of queer sexuality and gender in the Hispanic world by examining works by Latin American, US Latino/a, and Spanish authors. In order to take stock of different contexts for imaginaries and expressions of queerness, we will discuss a wide range of literary and critical texts, and films, from Pedro Almodóvar’s queer cinema to José Donoso’s novelistic rendering of cross-dressing, from Cherrie Moraga’s Chicana feminism to Beatriz Preciado’s transgender activism. Students will develop their own interests and interpretations through reading responses and essays. Please note: The day/time for this seminar has been changed. Previously listed as MWF 2:30–3:20, this seminar will now be offered MW 2:55–4:10.
SEM 104 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Itziar Rodriguez 17974
ROMANCE STUDIES 1102
The Craft of Storytelling: Folk and Fairy Tales
Most of us remember fondly the fairy tales we were told as children, and retell these tales with nostalgia and affection. But folk and fairy tales are more than just entertaining stories. This course will focus on folk and fairy tale traditions from Europe (mainly southwest Europe) and the Mediterranean in order to investigate what they can tell us about the peoples and cultures that shaped them. We will develop the critical writing skills necessary to function as academic writers by producing analyses of folk tales, reviews of secondary literature, and a research paper that will hone our ability to craft strong and compelling arguments. All readings in English translation.
SEM 105 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Russell Stepp 18270 Kathleen Long
ROMANCE STUDIES 1108
Cultural Identities/Cultural Differences: The Defiant Muse—Women, Poetry, and Arts in Contemporary Italy
Italian poetry, from Dante onwards, offers us multiple examples of women depicted as angelic sources of spiritual purification or means of an ascension to God. But what happens when women begin to write their own stories? This seminar will trace the representation of women as ideal—and yet objectified—muses in Italian culture. We will then focus on Italian poetry, performance art, and cinema (all in translation) by or about women. The examples we will analyze stand not only as stepping-stones for encouraging critical re-thinking of women’s roles in Italy and beyond, but also as models for your own writing: brave, radical, serious. Class will include museum visits and movie screenings; writing assignments will include analyses of literary texts, artworks and films, as well as responses to critical writings and collaborative projects.
SEM 101 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Valeria Dani 17975 Kathleen Long
ROMANCE STUDIES 1108
Cultural Identities/Cultural Differences: A Fistful of Bullets—American and Italian Westerns, Ford to Leone
This course introduces students to writing about film by examining a signature genre in American and Italian cinema. What cultural anxieties—about racial and national identity, masculinity and colonial violence—do classic American “Westerns” like John Ford’s Stagecoach or The Searchers respond to? And how have later films such as Sergio Leone’sDollars trilogy or Quentin Tarantino’s Django commented upon this tradition? These are among the most important films ever made. How has the Western evolved, and why has it returned? Learning how to write about a film goes hand in hand with learning how to read one; attention to detail in cinema necessitates attention to our own blind spots. Writing assignments will include analyses of a director’s style, critiques of a film’s ideological themes, perhaps a fragment of a screenplay or a Hollywood pitch.
SEM 102 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Timothy Campbell 17976
ROMANCE STUDIES 1108
Cultural Identities/Cultural Differences: New Order in the New World
What if you woke up tomorrow to find that the entire U.S. government had vanished? This is exactly what happened to the Portuguese people on November 29, 1807: due to the Napoleonic Wars, the entire Portuguese royal family fled to Brazil, becoming the first royals to set foot in the New World and forever changing the course of events in the Americas. Texts such as 1808: The Flight of the Emperor and artworks from the period will provide students with a novel, broader understanding of the New (and the Old) World. Writing assignments will include critical responses to readings, supporting interpretations, and research into interdisciplinary approaches to aesthetic and historical questions.
SEM 103 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Simone Harmath-de Lemos 17977 Kathleen Long
ROMANCE STUDIES 1113
Thinking and Thought: Dante’s Examined Life
Why do we study? What is the point of learning? Do we aspire to more than career success? A philosopher once said that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Is this true? In this course we’ll answer this question while venturing into Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, a work that not only describes the state of souls after death, but also urges us to consider how we, in this life, envision ourselves and our communities. Reading the poem in English translation, we shall use it as a frame for further interrogation. Students will write both analytic and personal essays.
SEM 101 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Antonio Di Fenza 17978 Kathleen Long
ROMANCE STUDIES 1113
Thinking and Thought: Understanding “Je suis Charlie”
After the French satirical newspaper was attacked by terrorists in January 2015, a global controversy arose between supporters of their particular brand of satire and advocates of a more respectful approach to cultural differences. From the beginning, the genre of satire is characterized by excess and vulgarity. This class will explore the French tradition of socio-political satire from the Renaissance of François Rabelais, through the Enlightenment with Voltaire and Diderot, to modern journalism from and about Charlie Hebdo. Ultimately, we will ask what led “Charlie Hebdo” to produce the now well-known caricatures. Students will learn how to analyze images and texts in writing, and they will be required to organize several in-class debates.
SEM 102 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Pauline Goul 17979 Kathleen Long
ROMANCE STUDIES 1114 Semiotics
What allows us to make assumptions about people based on the way they speak or dress? How can we understand the deeper meaning of a fairy tale or an episode of The Simpsons? What does macaroni and cheese mean, and why is it not on the menu at most upscale Manhattan eateries? This seminar introduces semiotics, the study of signs and the meaning-bearing sign systems they form; sign systems that include not only human language but also literature, painting, sculpture, film, music, dance, and also such aspects of popular culture as advertising, fashion, food, and television, to name just a few. The diversity of semiotic systems provides many possibilities for thinking and writing critically about the world we live in.
SEM 101 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Ti Alkire 17980 SEM 102 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Ti Alkire 18161
Nature in Latin America
Is race socially constructed or a biological fact? Where is “nature” and what is our relationship with it? In this course we analyze the interplay of race, nature, and geography in Latin America from the first encounters between Amerindians and Europeans to environmental and social justice movements of the 21st century. Primary texts (letters, short stories, poetry, movies, maps, music art) and topics include: Columbus’s descriptions of the “New world,” colonialism, mestizaje, and nationalism (Marti), the cosmic race, South American landscapes, environmental, Americanisms (Neruda), Macondo and Magical Realism (Garcia Marquez), ecofeminism (Ferré), queer ecology, eco-socialsim and “Mother Earth,” and eco-racial imperialism ( Avatar). Students are encouraged to develop their own interests and interpretations through short writing assignments aimed at sharpening critical thinking.
SEM 101 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Shawn McDaniel 17963
Latin American Radicals
From Simón Bolivar to Che Guevara, Latin America certainly has seen its share of radicals. Worshipped by some and reviled by others, these are figures who individually or collectively revamped what politics, art, or literature could be about. Presenting us with a wide range of styles and formats, these radicals have a lot to teach us about the art of writing. We will study essays, letters, diaries, manifestos, poems, short stories, and novellas written by or about some of the most illustrious Latin American radicals, including Sor Juana and Emiliano Zapata, as well as collective actors such as the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. Between emulation and critique, we will try in our own ways to step in and out of their shadow.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Pedro Erber 17981
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY STUDIES 1117 From Hiroshima to the Internet
The seminar will explore the history of science, technology, and society in the United States during the Cold War. Students will write about such themes as government funding, promotion, and regulation of new military and civilian technologies, gender and technology, the entwining of technology and politics, and the mutual relationship between technological change and social change. Topics include nuclear weapons, the space race with the Soviets, the transformation of the social sciences, and the commercialization and further development of such military-funded information technologies as the digital computer, Internet, and GPS by AT&T, IBM, Apple, Google, and other firms.
SEM 101 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Ronald Kline 17982
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY STUDIES 1126 Science and Society: What is Mathematics?
Is mathematics an art or a science? What about writing? This First-Year Writing Seminar will challenge your conception of art, science, mathematics, and writing through the notion of “craft.” While many have written about the role of craft in the production of mathematics, a similar sort of craft is crucial to the writing process as well. Throughout the semester, we will read and write about historical, philosophical, sociological, editorial, and fictional accounts of mathematics as a way to discuss and practice the art and science of writing. Students will develop skills and gain insight into the synergy of reading, writing, discussion, and reflection. Note: this is a writing course; a background in mathematics is not required!
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Ellen Abrams 17983 Suman Seth
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY STUDIES 1126
Science and Society: Exploring Science and Technology through Science Fiction
In an interview with the BBC World Service book club, celebrated science fiction author Kurt Vonnegut responded to his professional title. “I resent it,” explained Vonnegut, “I’m a serious writer (...) It’s a reason for academics to ignore me.” Rather than overlook science fiction, this seminar will focus its attention upon the ways in which such texts contribute to an understanding of concepts from the field of Science and Technology Studies. Partnering science fiction with more traditional academic texts, students will explore topics such as testing, expertise, gender, and post-colonialism. Students should expect to not only develop their academic writing skills, but to do so with attention to a more creative and individual style of academic writing.
SEM 102 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Sahar Tavakoli 17984 Trevor Pinch
Elements of Academic Writing: Metaphor in Art, Science, and Culture
Metaphor is the essence of human creativity—a form of thought, desire, and the language of the unconscious mind. How does metaphor operate in literature, pop culture, politics, and the thought of theoretical scientists such as Einstein and Richard Feynman? Can we improve our capacity to think metaphorically? The Writing 1370 classroom is a dynamic workspace where students assemble the scholarly tools necessary to explore complex, interdisciplinary questions. Because Writing 1370 is designed as a workshop, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing by collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1370 provides an individualized setting for students to learn flexible and sustainable strategies for studying the essential elements of academic writing and for producing clear, precise academic prose that can address a variety of audiences and meet diverse rhetorical aims. “S/U" grades only.
SEM 101 MW 10:10–11:00 a.m. Brad Zukovic 17985 SEM 102 MW 11:15–12:05 p.m. Brad Zukovic 17986
Elements of Academic Writing: Food for Thought
How does the food on your table tell a story about you, your family, your community, your nation? How do we make food choices, and how are these choices complicated by the cultural, socio-economic, and political forces that both create and combat widespread international hunger and food insecurity? The Writing 1370 classroom is a dynamic workspace where students assemble the scholarly tools necessary to explore complex, interdisciplinary questions. Because Writing 1370 is designed as a workshop, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing by collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1370 provides an individualized setting for students to learn flexible and sustainable strategies for studying the essential elements of academic writing and for producing clear, precise academic prose that can address a variety of audiences and meet diverse rhetorical aims. “S/U" grades only.
SEM 103 MW 12:20–01:10 p.m. Tracy Hamler Carrick 17987
Elements of Academic Writing: Connecting Cultures
What is culture? How does culture set standards for our behavior? How do we negotiate the intersections between cultures? How do the processes of culture determine the politics of assimilation, the power of language, and the spaces we inhabit? Particularly in writing, how does culture help us determine strategies appropriate for convincing a variety of distinct audiences and purposes? The Writing 1370 classroom is a dynamic workspace where students assemble the scholarly tools necessary to explore complex, interdisciplinary questions. Because Writing 1370 is designed as a workshop, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing by collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1370 provides an individualized setting for students to learn flexible and sustainable strategies for studying the essential elements of academic writing and for producing clear, precise academic prose that can address a variety of audiences and meet diverse rhetorical aims. “S/U" grades only.
SEM 104 TR 10:10–11:00 a.m. Darlene Evans 17988
Elements of Academic Writing: Civic Writing
What does it mean to engage in civic issues in 2016? In an election year, what counts as effective civic writing and speaking in politics? How is civic engagement shaped by identity, those who have access to civic-spaces, and technology? And, what is the relationship between civic writing and change? The Writing 1370 classroom is a dynamic workspace where students assemble the scholarly tools necessary to explore complex, interdisciplinary questions. Because Writing 1370 is designed as a workshop, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing by collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1370 provides an individualized setting for students to learn flexible and sustainable strategies for studying the essential elements of academic writing and for producing clear, precise academic prose that can address a variety of audiences and meet diverse rhetorical aims. “S/U" grades only.
SEM 105 TR 12:20–01:10 p.m. Kate Navickas 17989
Elements of Academic Writing: Writing Back to the News
Students will ensconce themselves in debates raging within the contemporary news media—such as politics, conflicts within higher education, gender equality, international crises, American popular culture—and will write about contemporary controversies to different audiences in a variety of mediums, such as argumentative essays, investigative pieces, and blog posts. The Writing 1370 classroom is a dynamic workspace where students assemble the scholarly tools necessary to explore complex, interdisciplinary questions. Because Writing 1370 is designed as a workshop, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing by collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1370 provides an individualized setting for students to learn flexible and sustainable strategies for studying the essential elements of academic writing and for producing clear, precise academic prose that can address a variety of audiences and meet diverse rhetorical aims. “S/U" grades only.
SEM 106 TR 01:25–02:15 p.m. Kelly King-O’Brien 17990 SEM 107 TR 02:30–03:20 p.m. Kelly King-O’Brien 17991
Elements of Academic Writing: Theories of Happiness
What makes you happy? And how does happiness differ between different people? How do complex factors like genetics, culture, family, education, socio-economic background, and gender determine how happy we are, and how do our life choices contribute to our own and others’ happiness? The Writing 1370 classroom is a dynamic workspace where students assemble the scholarly tools necessary to explore complex, interdisciplinary questions. Because Writing 1370 is designed as a workshop, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing by collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1370 provides an individualized setting for students to learn flexible and sustainable strategies for studying the essential elements of academic writing and for producing clear, precise academic prose that can address a variety of audiences and meet diverse rhetorical aims. “S/U" grades only.
SEM 108 MW 01:25–02:15 p.m. Jessica Sands 17992
SEM 109 TR 11:15–12:05 p.m. Jessica Sands 17993
This course is particularly appropriate for multilingual writers.
Opening up New Worlds through Research and Rhetoric
Drawing upon personal or academic experiences and interests, students select their own topics and design research portfolios that highlight significant analytic research. To do this, you will step through the Cornell Library gateway and receive a semester-long guided tour through one of the world’s most amazing research libraries––its vast search engines, its abundant print and electronic collections, its precious special collections and archives. This introduction to college research explores using data bases, evaluating information, and engaging both to produce effective academic writing. Study techniques of analysis for converting scholarly information into thesis, synthesizing and acknowledging sources, developing voice and style, crafting technically and rhetorically sophisticated prose. Readings provide models of interdisciplinary scholarship highlighting researched-based writing in the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. This course is especially appropriate for students who feel they have only just begun developing their academic research and writing skills.
SEM 101 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Darlene Evans 17994
SEM 102 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Kate Navickas 17995
First-year students preferred. Those other than first-year students should contact instructor for permission.