Fall 2017 First-Year Writing Seminars
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AMERICAN INDIAN AND INDIGENOUS STUDIES 1120
Science Meets Spirit: Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Natural Resource Management
Native peoples across the Western hemisphere use knowledge systems that differ fundamentally from those of Western science. Using traditional oral as well as written texts and contemporary writings by Native and
non-Native scholars, we will examine the tensions and complementarities of these two knowledge systems. Using Iroquois knowledge systems in the northeast as a focal point, we will examine how they conceptualized their ecosystem and used it for agriculture, comparing it to resource management based on Western science. We will also explore how contemporary indigenous communities negotiate with non-Indian scientists, policy-makers, and legislators across boundaries that reflect very different ways of knowing. Through reading and writing activities, students will critically examine these issues and define their own views on what constitutes knowledge.
SEM 101 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Jane Mt. Pleasant 17620
AMERICAN INDIAN AND INDIGENOUS STUDIES 1121
Environmentalism: Imperative, Imperialist, or Indifferent?
What counts as a “natural” part of the environment, worth preserving? Who gets to answer these questions, and whose answers matter? The answers have implications for economics, politics, and public health. In this course you will encounter environmentalist discourse through the voices of anthropologists, ecologists, philosophers, activists, and indigenous peoples. We will wrestle with how to understand the relationship between nature (“the environment”) and culture (“society”), and what consequences result from such concepts. Reflection assignments and class discussions will sharpen our analysis and writing skills to examine critically the viewpoints we engage, while longer position papers will mobilize these skills to sustain more complex arguments.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Sam Bosco 17623 Jane Mt. Pleasant
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 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Peter Wissoker 17834 Noliwe Rooks
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 include Paleofantasy by Marlene Zuk and articles from popular science magazines. Assignments emphasize critical engagement with current controversies.
SEM 101 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Thomas Volman 17609
Culture, Society, and Power: Plant Politics
Plants constitute a great deal of our social and material worlds (think food, medicine, fuel, housing). Human lives are intimately entwined with plant lives, so perhaps it is not surprising that our relations with plants have a politics. It may be more surprising to ask what plants can teach us about politics. This class explores with plants: What it means to be human? What counts as knowledge? What are the implications of the way we conceptualize nature? We will take advantage of the Cornell Botanic Gardens, the Johnson Art Museum as well as scientific, legal, cultural, medical, environmental texts to develop answers to these questions together. With an international focus, we will consider issues as wide-ranging as genetically modified foods, biopiracy, plant communication, and compost.
SEM 102 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Stacey Langwick 17610
Culture, Society, and Power: Well-behaved Women Seldom Make History—Women in Science
This course considers the history of women in science, from Marie Curie to Jane Goodall: their contributions to various fields; the feminist critique of scientific practice; and recommendations for change, to encourage the representation of women in science. From Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex to contemporary feminist critiques by physicist Evelyn Fox Keller, readings will demonstrate how important it is that barriers facing women in science be overcome. If just one of the women listed above had gotten fed up and quit—as many do—the history of science would be changed forever. Writing assignments will focus on developing strong analytical arguments and will range from academic biographies of women scientists to op-eds about the state of gender equity in different scientific fields.
SEM 103 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Dana Bardolph 17611
Culture, Society, and Power: Aliens, Evolution, and (Un)popular Science
What do finch beaks, fake fossils, and UFOs have in common? How are audiences influenced by the ways scientists present evidence? This course draws upon scientific archaeological case studies—as well as pseudoscientific hoaxes—that have captured the attention of both academic and popular audiences. Our readings will lead us to consider what structures a convincing argument, why certain scientific findings are controversial, and how seemingly objective data might be manipulated. Writing assignments will explore how the spheres of academic and popular scientific discourse inform one another, as well as how to alter writing style for different audiences.
SEM 104 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Anastasia Kotsoglou 17612 Marina Welker
Culture, Society, and Power: The State's Magic and the Question of the Future
The (nation-)state is back. For a long time, the state appeared to be in retreat; globalization was eroding national boundaries and the market was getting the upper hand. But, as recent news from around the world shows, the state has returned to haunt our lives. How might one try to understand this being which figures so prominently in the world today? How can we study its simultaneously real and illusory nature, its forms, its powers, its effects? In this course we explore these questions from an anthropological perspective. We engage with theoretical, ethnographic, and journalistic accounts to ask when and how the state should be re-imagined. Writing assignments will include analyzing, composing, and reflecting on ethnographic texts, and a final research project.
SEM 105 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Ana Laura Cocora 17613 Marina Welker
Culture, Society, and Power: Expert Responses to the Rejection of Expertise
The election of Donald Trump, the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, and post-truth politics have all been characterized as a popular rejection of expertise. This poses a fundamental, even existential, challenge to universities like Cornell, along with the specialist training and research they support. This seminar will ask students to consider two questions: How have we arrived at a point where experts are held in such low esteem? and How should universities respond to this challenge? This class will encourage students to think and write critically about both the portrayal of science and expertise by populist political movements, and the genuine failings of academics to engage the public.
SEM 106 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Timothy McLellan 17614 Marina Welker
ART HISTORY 1161
Seeing in Miniature: Indian Painting
This course explores miniature painting styles in India, from landscape to erotica, spanning the Deccan sultanate to the British Empire from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. We will explore a variety of methods and perspectives for studying Indian painting such as formal visual and textual analysis as well as the politics of museum displays. In addition to looking at miniature paintings, students will creatively and critically analyze film (The Chessplayers) as well as primary and secondary source materials. The final writing assignment will be a research paper on one of the paintings viewed in class.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Natalia Di Pietrantonio 17605 Claudia Lazzaro
ASIAN STUDIES 1110
Piety, Politics, and Protection: Indian Ocean Buddhism
Long before the steamship, the airplane, the iPad, and Snapchat, Buddhist monks, merchants, pilgrims, and adventurers created a Buddhist network across the space of the Indian Ocean, including much of what we now refer to as southern China, India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia. Why did Buddhist travelers leave their homes for other corners of the Buddhist world? What texts, religious rituals, and magical talismans did they carry? How did mobile persons and things create Buddhism? In this seminar we move between brief primary sources composed by these travelers and their patrons, literary and art historical evidence related to Buddhist networks, and scholarship on trade and networks in order to see the hopes and fears, aims and motivations, of premodern Buddhists on the move.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Anne Blackburn 17673
ASIAN STUDIES 1111
Political Cinema, Cinematic Politics
We are surrounded by images, and more than ever the visual is a crucial mediation to understand what it means to be in the world, and what it takes to act on it. In this seminar we will think with images and theories about the relation between image and politics, or seeing and acting. How can film be political? Is there a cinematic side to politics? In the seminar we will discuss the political tradition of cinema, from the Soviet Union to Latin America and Asia. But we will also rethink what the "political" means, its imbrication with our bodies and perception.
Alongside the films, we will read critical theory, anthropology, and political theory, to help address film and politics from a more complex perspective.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Andre Keiji Kunigami 17718 Pedro Erber
ASIAN STUDIES 1111
Literature, Culture, Religion: Religion and Ecology in Modern South Asia
Environmental and ecological issues such as climate change, ozone depletion, air and water pollution, and deforestation are among the most challenging issues facing the world today. In this class we will examine these issues within the context of South Asia (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh), with particular reference to the variety of religious traditions found throughout the region (including Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Islam). Readings will include source material examining both historical as well as contemporary and ethnographic case studies. Through response papers, short essays, and a research paper students will practice marshalling evidence in support of an argument, as well as cultivating critical thinking skills, personal voice, and stylistic control.
SEM 102 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Vincent Burgess 17720 Dan Gold
ASIAN STUDIES 1111
Literature, Culture, Religion: “Women on the Verge. . .”
In the wake of the global popularity of films like Mamoru Oshii’s anime Ghost in the Shell, scandalous Mexican telenovelas, and best-selling works of Han Kang and Clarice Lispector, this course traces the constructions of femininity and madness in cinema and literature across East Asia and Latin America. Our seminar will begin by considering ideologies surrounding femininity and womanhood since the early 1900s and then explore more recent trends in gender representation within popular culture. As the evolution of gendered tropes bears the marks of many cultural issues, discussions will regard questions on race, politics, and society.
Assignments will aim at furnishing comfort and confidence in clear, focused writing by encouraging critical thinking, playing with different styles and voices, and building complex arguments.
SEM 103 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Andrea Mendoza 17719 Brett deBary
AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1816
Writing Black Experience and Black Lives
The study of selected works and ideas of writers of the black experience which allows students to read, respond, and write about different genres as they shape their own ideas on these and related topics. We will include poems, essays, short stories, which explore the black experience. Various approaches to writing and responding to literature at university level will be presented. Students will develop writing skills in critical areas that will be transferable to other courses and in their future academic and professional careers.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Carole Boyce Davies 17625
AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1825
Educational Innovations in Africa and the African Diaspora
This course deals with educational innovations geared to promoting equal opportunity based on gender, race and class, in Africa and the African Diaspora. After an introduction of the concepts and theories of education and innovations and the stages of innovation as planned change, the course will focus on concrete cases and different types of educational innovations. The selected case studies, in the United States, include the creation and expansion of historically black institutions with a focus on Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University), Lincoln University, Spelman College, and the Westside Preparatory School in Chicago. The African cases to be studied include African languages for instruction in Nigeria, science education also in Nigeria, Ujamaa and education for self-reliance in Tanzania, classroom action research in Lesotho, Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in African higher education with a focus on African Virtual Universities (AVU), the application of the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) in Côte d’Ivoire, and OnLine learning at the University of in South Africa (UNISA).
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. N’Dri Assie-Lumumba 17628
AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1846
The Color and Class of Water: Environmental Justice and Public Health
The lead crisis in Flint, Michigan and the protests at Standing Rock are among the recent moments of social unrest concerning development. Communities around the globe are facing rising inequities often involving resources like water. Studying social aspects of water crises helps reveal class and race disparities within resource management. Water conflict resolution depends on greater understanding of the power struggles within environmental planning. Students in this course will advance their comprehension of inequalities, with the help of research from environmental justice, public health, and sociology. Students will refine their communication skills by exploring narrative voice, clarity of argument, and the ability to explain academic material to non-academic audiences. Assignments will include evidence-based research papers, creative journalism projects, and peer review workshops.
SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Theresa Pendergrast 17636 Noliwe Rooks
AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1847
Space/Place/Body: Remapping the Circum-Caribbean
In this course we will “remap” the boundaries of the circum-Caribbean to include the U.S. Gulf South. The Caribbean and the American South have been intertwined since the Haitian Revolution in the 1790s. In fact, Caribbean philosopher Édouard Glissant calls these regions “spaces of the plantation” connecting the Black and French Atlantic. This geographical space has also produced a range of non-normative or “queer” bodies, expressed through racial mixing (métissage), or the “masisi” (gays and lesbians) in Haiti, or the “Sissy Bounce” performance culture of New Orleans. By writing about such evidence, students will learn how this cultural mixing or “creolization” creates a “non-place” that rejects fixed positions, where borders act more like membranes than walls and bodies possess an openness to affect and be affected by others.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Marshall Smith 17638 Noliwe Rooks
NEUROBIOLOGY & BEHAVIOR 1220
Wandering Naturalists: The Value of Contemplative Rambles
E. O. Wilson wrote that “A lifetime can be spent in a Magellanic voyage around the trunk of a single tree.” From John Muir’s thousand-mile walk to Florida to Annie Dillard’s years at Tinker Creek, scientists and artists often gain their greatest insights by exploring a deeper relationship with the natural world, frequently losing themselves in contemplative journeys. Students will read works by naturalists, philosophers, and poets, describing how they have experienced, in Emerson’s words, “truth, goodness, and beauty” in nature. By considering classic texts adjacent to modern works by writers of diverse backgrounds, we will examine the universal experience of interdependence with our surroundings as well as the richness of each individual’s experience of nature. Students will reflect upon readings in a series of essays.
SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Sara Keen 17618 Kern Reeve
NEUROBIOLOGY & BEHAVIOR 1220
The Evolution of Morality
Why are some things morally right and other things morally wrong? Is it always right to help others and tell the truth? Is it always wrong to lie, steal, and kill? Are humans the only species that has morality? We will learn how morality evolves by immersing ourselves in cutting-edge and often controversial research in psychology, anthropology, animal behavior, evolutionary biology, and moral philosophy. We will explore how human minds recognize right and wrong, study how moral rules vary among human societies, and investigate examples of moral behavior in apes, monkeys, birds, and dogs. We will write in several styles for various audiences about where morality comes from, why it exists, which species have it, and what purpose it serves.
SEM 102 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Darragh Hare 17619 Kern Reeve
Great Roman Inventions
What do the book, the calendar, blown glass, and concrete have in common? Our modern world would be unimaginable without them, from the ability to schedule meetings to the construction of New York's skyscrapers. But they have something else in common: all were Roman inventions. How did such concepts come into being? What is it about the historical context of the Roman Empire that facilitated their development? And how did they become building blocks of our modern world? “Invention” is also part of the writing process, which students will practice through at least five essays, from informal responses to historical arguments involving published sources.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Astrid Van Oyen 17606
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.
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1109
Writing Across Cultures: You Don’t Know Me
We write for other people, and we read because other people have written for us. In this course we will learn how to read deeply and critically (poems, short stories, a novel); and how to write clearly and analytically (analyses, comparisons, argumentation). We will investigate how the texts we read allow us to reach across distance and know something, but also how, in the information age, they demonstrate what we cannot know. We will consider how we reach towards our readers when we write, and how in turn our writing is changed by the reader we imagine. Literary texts in the course will include work from the United States, Israel, South Africa, and Sudan.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Nitzan Tal 17749 Debra Castillo
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1109
Writing Across Cultures: Experimental Arabic Literature
How does experimental literature differ from traditional or conventional literature? When does literature become experimental? Is it a conscious choice that authors make when they write? What experimental tools do they use? We will examine these questions in a variety of modern Arabic texts, including prose and poetry.
Additionally, we will investigate the relationship between experimental Arabic literature and its interactions with a Western literary legacy. We will read works, in English translation, by such authors as Naguib Mahfouz, Sonallah Ibrahim, Tayeb Salih, and Adonis. Assignments include experimental and preparatory writing and peer-reviewed exercises to help students produce creative and complex argumentative essays.
SEM 102 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Ahmad Alswaid 17752 Debra Castillo
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1109
Writing Across Cultures: 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 103 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Ruoji Tang 17751 Debra Castillo
This class changed after balloting from The Idea(l) of Teaching to Literary Insomniacs.
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1109
Writing Across Cultures: Reading Poetry
Poems are puzzles, and in this class you’ll figure them out by writing about them. You’ll learn how to answer the key question “What is this poem about?” and how to explain your conclusions to other readers. The language of poetry may be distinguished from everyday language, but the skills needed for understanding and writing about poetry are broadly useful, for academic and for practical purposes. Readings include poems by Robert Louis Stevenson, A. E. Housman, Robert Frost, Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, and Marina Tsvetaeva, among others.
SEM 105 MWF 03:35–04:25 p.m. Nancy Pollak 17753
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1109
Writing Across Cultures: The Third World and #TravelPorn?
What is the Third World and how are bikini-clad blond girls on the beaches of Thailand related to it? Since the 1990s, global economic shifts have changed how we understand the world map as well as how this understanding affects foreign policy and political identity, in ways that have forced a rearticulation of such outdated models as those of the “First” and “Third” worlds. This course considers the question of the “Third World,” and concepts like #wanderlust, through class discussions on history, culture, and global politics. Through a variety of reading and writing practices, students will learn how to craft persuasive arguments while gaining insight on how to approach and critically analyze a range of cultural objects such as films, literature, and popular music.
SEM 106 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Vinh Pham 17750 Debra Castillo
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1109
Writing Across Cultures: A Taste of Russian Literature
Explore the culinary tradition and culture of Russia in broad historical, geopolitical, and socioeconomic context through the lens of Russian folklore, short stories of Gogol, Chekhov, and Bulgakov, works of contemporary Russian-American writers, visual art, and international film. The literary journey will take you from the lavish tables of the XVIII-century aristocracy, to the hardship and austerity of GULAG prison, to the colorful and savory regional fare of the former Russian Empire and Soviet Union, to the fridge and pantry staples in the everyday life of Russian family. Your writing assignments will help you develop critical thinking and argumentative skills, precision and clarity of expression, ability to write with discipline, creativity, and a sense of style.
SEM 107 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Raissa Krivitsky 17755
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1126
Comparative Arts and Media: Violence and Visuality
When we watch James Bond movies, seldom do we ask: how many people has James Bond killed? Why are images of violence sometimes desirable? Is our vision necessarily complicit in the mass (re)production and consumption of visual violence? Or can seeing be ethical, empathic, and resistant to actual violence? This course explores the politics, aesthetics, and ethics of visualizing/visualized violence. We will examine a variety of visual materials, including news footage, photography, animation, documentary, and fiction films, by filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino, Michael Haneke, and Joshua Oppenheimer. Through writing, students will learn to analyze visual texts with accurate, medium-specific vocabulary, develop informed and nuanced argument, and critically reflect on the position of the viewer.
SEM 101 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Kun Huang 17738 Debra Castillo
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1126
Comparative Arts and Media: Things
What can the seemingly mundane objects that populate everyday life tell us about our relationship to the world? And if art, as Karl Marx put it, is a “secret confession,” what might it confess about this relationship, about “things”? In this seminar we will explore how art—including literature, film, and visual media—can help us to unlock the hidden stories and histories contained in things. By engaging with these materials, we will learn to think and write about how art reflects on and engages with the things of our world, be they objects, commodities, possessions, money, or even bodies. Though we will consider things from a variety of contexts, we will concentrate on French film, novels, and visual art from the twentieth century.
SEM 102 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Marc Kohlbry 17739 Debra Castillo
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1126
Comparative Arts and Media: Remix Culture
When Rihanna’s 2012 performance of “Diamonds” aired on Saturday Night Live, it was received as “odd,” “trippy,” and “confusing.” Performing in front of a green screen, Rihanna had mixed together fractal geometries, Greco-Roman sculptures, marine habitats, and techno-rave soundscapes, creating an audiovisual remix. The culture of remix has always challenged national, cultural, and racial boundaries. Today, when sound and image travel across borders and time, how do they speak to their “original” communities? What can they tell us about the cultural formations of authorship, network, globalization, and post-coloniality? This seminar will encourage students to write about sound and image in relation to various media technologies. Examples may include sound collage, tape music, radio deejay, post-rock, and internet art.
SEM 103 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Junting Huang 17741 Debra Castillo
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1126
Comparative Arts and Media: 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 17743 Debra Castillo
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1126
Comparative Arts and Media: Contemporary Southeast Asian Independent Cinemas
How do the independent cinemas of Southeast Asia circulate among global networks? What can cinema teach us about transnational modernity, global capitalism, and emerging forms of resistance in Southeast Asia today?
Could the recent cinema of this dynamic, diverse region help us to imagine its possible futures, allow us to hear its ghosts? In this global cinema class we will focus on post-2010 festival-oriented films from maritime and mainland Southeast Asia, including the works of Anthony Chen, Davy Chou, Lav Diaz, Mattie Do, Phan Dang Di, Pimpaka Towira, and Midi Z. Exploring film’s many forms, students will draw inspiration from analyzing cinematic craft as a repertoire of multi-sensory writing.
SEM 105 MW 07:30–08:45 p.m. Elizabeth Wijaya 17742 Debra Castillo
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1126
Comparative Arts and Media: Introduction to Film Analysis
This course provides analytical tools to understand the composition of moving images and the hidden messages they convey. Through increased sensitivity to visual and compositional elements (framing, camera movement, color, sound, montage, etc.), it develops the ability to translate these observations into cogent arguments about film, to think with images and write with images; that is, to transcribe these image observations, this thinking with images, into words. Weekly screenings include films by F. W. Murnau, D. W. Griffith, François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, Ingmar Bergman, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, etc. Individual essays or film reviews will be assigned to facilitate the understanding of each film.
SEM 106 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Shu-mei Lin 17740 Debra Castillo
CITY AND REGIONAL PLANNING 1109
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 16795
DEVELOPMENT SOCIOLOGY 1200
“You Want Fries with That?” Food Work and Workers
This is a course for students who want to understand the everyday lives of workers in some of the most vital, yet difficult, dangerous, and dirty jobs in the US. We will trace the working lives of the 21.5 million people who plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve, and sell the food we eat. This course brings food work and workers to the center of students’ writing, critical thinking, and discussion. Assigned readings will come from the fields of sociology, ethnic studies, anthropology, geography, and history. Students will also read shorter pieces of journalism, industry and advocacy reports, and fiction, alongside film clips and oral histories highlighting the everyday experiences of food workers. Assignments for different audiences may include blog posts, magazine articles, and speeches as well as academic research.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Carrie Freshour 17608 Philip McMichael
Teens in School
What do research and experience tell us about adolescents in the U.S.? What needs and desires are fundamental, and which are culturally or individually variable? Are U.S. middle and high schools (at least some of them) well designed in light of what we know about teens and the world they are growing up in? Insight into these questions will come from reading, frequent writing, discussion, and weekly trips off campus to work with middle school students. Important scheduling note below.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Bryan Duff 17624
Student schedules must accommodate Tuesday trips (2:40-4:30 PM) to a local middle or high school. Transportation provided. Because of the weekly trips, 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: Invalid Women
In this class students will explore notions of women’s health and ability as it has been represented in literature from the ninteenth century to the present. We will examine reproductive health, body image, mental illness, physical ability, and health as it relates to the aging female body. Readings will include a mix of popular literature, poetry, television, and film. Along the way, writing assignments will encourage students to think critically about the ways in which the female body is articulated in popular discourse.
SEM 101 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Verde Culbreath 17675 Elisha Cohn
Writing and Sexual Politics: Modernist Feminisms
How do you create yourself? This course will study texts on identity formation by female modernist authors both American and British, queer and straight. As Virginia Woolf famously wrote, “on or about December, 1910, human character changed”—the ways people connected with each other had shifted, and relations as well as personal means of expression were no longer easily understood. Human character changed and is still changing, particularly as our concepts of identity grow more fluid and our society more troubled. Focusing on intersections of self-narration, oppression, and resistance, we'll read texts by Woolf, H.D., Jeanette Winterson, Elizabeth Bishop, Mary Oliver, and more. Assignments will be both analytical and creative, investigating writing as a means of advocacy when all other options have been denied.
SEM 102 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Amber Harding 17676
Writing Across Cultures: The Uncaged Narrator
Writer Jerome Chayn once said, “The novel was born free but everywhere I see it in chains.” There are certain expectations and rules when it comes to writing, especially when it comes to narration. But when do these rules becomes constraints, and what happens when writers disobey or challenge these barriers? We will draw on examples that are considered both traditional and nontraditional to answer these questions. From the drug-addled narration of Denis Johnson’s short fiction and narrative insanity of Kathryn Davis’ Duplex to the fragmentary memoirs of Maggie Nelson and aggressive lyric “I” of punk songs, we will explore and dispute our notions of voice, narration, and structure. This uncomfortable and uncertain space will be our point of focus throughout the semester. Analytical and creative writing will encourage students to know the rules before breaking them.
SEM 101 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Mario Giannone 17692
Writing Across Cultures: Hemingway and Joyce, Fighter and Friend
In this course we will ask how two friends and drinking buddies, Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce, blew the conventions of literature apart with their works. In particular we will examine these authors’ unique narrative techniques, comparing them to a variety of works by their predecessors and by the authors they continue to inspire. By coming to understand the role of Hemingway and Joyce in the shaping of literature as we read it today, students will both grow as readers and learn techniques to improve their own writing. Readings will include short stories, excerpts and novels from Hemingway, Joyce, Sherwood Anderson, David Foster Wallace, Virginia Woolf, and others. Writing assignments will involve short responses, and longer analytical essays.
SEM 102 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Jessica Abel 17693 Daniel Schwarz
Writing Across Cultures: Shakespeare and Walcott
In “The Schooner Flight” Derek Walcott writes, “Either I’m nobody, or I’m a nation.” In this course we will listen to the dialogue between Shakespeare and Walcott. We’ll explore questions of race, class, gender, and power raised by The Tempest, Othello, Hamlet, and find where questions planted by Shakespeare are harvested in Walcott’s White Egrets, The Arkansas Testament, and other works. We will not shy away from autobiographical elements both authors provide. We’ll see how Audre Lord’s poems widen our scope, studying Walcott as womanists and feminists. And we’ll work to answer Shakespeare’s question, “How with such rage can beauty hold a plea / Whose action is no stronger than a flower?” as well as Walcott’s question, “How can I turn from Africa and live?” In this course we will study the dramatic monologues of Shakespeare and poems of Derek Walcott as arguments, and we will model our essays on the structure, clarity, and coherence of those arguments.
SEM 103 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Samson Jardine 17694
Writing Across Cultures: Aliens and Others—Science Fiction at the Borders
How do we square the fundamental themes of science fiction‘s reliance on humanity‘s need to colonize the stars, encounters with the alien Other, the end of the world—with modern thought that troubles the colonial mindset? This course asks what it means to encounter the nonhuman being, as well as ourselves, particularly through writings by historically oppressed peoples. It covers a time period stretching from the fifteenth century and the discovery of a ”New World“ to modern-day pop music. From writers and artists like Robert A. Heinlein to Leslie Marmon Silko, from Octavia Butler to Janelle Monae, this class will interrogate what it means to think about speculative fiction emanating from the margins. Writing assignments will include literary essays, shorter freewriting exercises, and short, creative experiments in students’ own science fiction.
SEM 104 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Noah Lloyd 17695 John Lennon
Writing Across Cultures: Literary Labyrinths
What is a labyrinth? Is it an architectural structure, like the Minotaur’s maze? Or is it a concept, like Sherlock Holmes’ mutable mind palace? In this course our goal is to explore the significance of literary labyrinths ranging from Classical Antiquity to the present. Although we will study labyrinths as both symbol and setting, we will also examine how they offer a way to interpret the experiences of everyday life—the library, the computer, the book, and the mind. We will refine our analytical skills this semester by studying labyrinthine texts, and ways of reading, and by developing of a creative final project. Our major texts will include: Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Chaucer’s House of Fame, Borges’ Labyrinths, Danielewski’s House of Leaves, and Rowling’s The Goblet of Fire. Writing assignments will include textual and visual analyses, literature reviews, and a creative project.
SEM 105 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Kaylin O'Dell 17696
Writing Across Cultures: Call it Wutchu Want—LatinX Literature
Latinx is new. Earlier examples include: Latina/o, Hispanic, or straight-up Brown. Using Latinx as a point of departure, we’ll go deeply into poetry, short stories, memoirs, and novels written by writers who might be identified as Latinx (don’t worry if you yourself ain’t Latinx, or if you might be but aren’t sure). Readings will embrace Sandra Cisneros, Eduardo C. Corral, Kirstin Valdez-Quade, Junot Díaz, and others. Not all writers studied will necessarily be Latinx, and our focus will be on contemporary work—published sometime within the past twenty years, more or less. The goal will be moving through writing assignments intended to answer preliminary questions: What is Latinx? And who am I? And do these descriptions even matter?
SEM 106 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Leo Rios 17697
SEM 107 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Leo Rios 17698
CLASS CANCELLED - Writing Across Cultures: It’s All Chinese to Me
CLASS CANCELLED - “Cantonese, Fukienese, Taiwanese, Mandarin, Taishanese . . . it’s all Chinese to me.” In her memoir Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston identified a conundrum familiar to many US-born children of Chinese immigrants when she asked: “What is Chinese tradition and what is the movies?” What is “Chinese tradition”? Does it mean the same thing to people in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, or to Chinese diasporic communities in North America? Does “Chineseness” change across time and space? While there will be occasion to discuss what “Chineseness” means in different Asian contexts, this course will focus primarily on how ideas of “China” and “Chineseness” have been historically constructed by, for, and in the West—particularly in the US. Course materials include Chinese-American literature, as well as films, photographs, and historical and sociological studies of East/West relations.
SEM 108 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Shelley Wong 17699
Writing Across Cultures: Authority and the Individual
In this course we will read stories of characters in conflict with authority. How has the struggle against the power of the State, the justice system, the parent, the patriarchy, the further pressures of society, been represented in literature across cultures? Studying the fiction of James Baldwin, Mohamed El-Bisatie, Ariel Dorfman, William Faulkner, Gabriel García Márquez, Franz Kafka, Jamaica Kincaid, Heinrich von Kleist, Flannery O’Connor, Kurt Vonnegut, Luisa Valenzuela, Sholeh Wolpé, and others, we will explore what these works have to say about the possibilities for reform if not revolution, resistance if not freedom. Students can expect regular essay assignments focused on the structuring and sharpening of analytical arguments, in recognition of the pen as mightier than the sword.
SEM 109 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Tess Wheelwright 17691
Writing Across Cultures: Translation and Transnational Literature
A translator is a ghostly figure: she is never really present, but she makes possible the crossover from one mode to another; she is silent but also speaks on behalf of the original. This course will explore the theme of translation in relation to the effects of globalization and as a figure for the experience of being displaced from an original context or text. Readings include W.G. Sebald’s The Emigrants, Ha Jin’s Waiting, Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day, Yoko Tawada’s Memoirs of a Polar Bear, amongst others. Through class discussion and written responses, students will develop focused theses for writing papers. We will work collectively toward asking focused questions, finding meaningful frames of analysis, and writing with effective economy.
SEM 110 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Mee-Ju Ro 18604
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: Drawing the Line—Writing, Image, or Music?
Early 1900s: Atlantic “Imagist” writers adapt Japanese methods to “write to paint”—Cubism meets its literary peer. Early 2000s: mistaken for images, U.S. artists globalize writing as graffiti multiplies, inscribing identity across continents. All along neglected by “literature,” music sings words. Writers pushed the gendered, racial, economic, and aesthetic line drawn for “real” writing arts—authorities still declare them nothing more than lines or noise. This class provides rigorous preparation for your collegiate and future life. Guest practitioners lead classic and innovative writing workshops: lyrical analysis, public writing, strategic publication, TED talks, and more.
Readings will include: poets (Amiri Baraka, Ezra Pound, H.D.), lyricists (Billie Holiday), “high” artists (Jenny Holzer, Sol Lewitt), graffiti writers (Skeme, Lady Pink, Meres), and rappers (Kendrick Lamar, Young Thug).
SEM 101 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Abram Coetsee 17700 Thomas Hill
American Voices: Low Modernism in America—The Lost Movement
This class will explore whether "proletarian" or "ethnic" literature, produced between the 1920s and 1940s, constituted its own brand of modernism. While the academy has canonized and championed the works of Eliot, Pound, and Hemingway as literary masterpieces, less attention has been paid to modernist writers of color whose works were published simultaneously. This lost movement, shaped by immigration and great migration, represents an important historical moment for people of color who radically changed what it means to be an American. Our task will be to not only investigate WHY these works remain largely unread, but HOW they have influenced multiethnic art of today. Expect to read, listen to, and watch works from Hughes, Wright, Tsiang, Bulosan, Faulkner, Ellington, Guthrie, Ford, Wu-Tang Clan. Daily writing exercises will supplement analytical essay assignments and other written projects.
SEM 102 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Christopher Berardino 17701 Kevin Attell
American Voices: Drawing the Line—Writing, Image, or Music?
Early 1900s: Atlantic “Imagist” writers adapt Japanese methods to “write to paint”—Cubism meets its literary peer. Early 2000s: mistaken for images, U.S. artists globalize writing as graffiti multiplies, inscribing identity across continents. All along neglected by “literature,” music sings words. Writers pushed the gendered, racial, economic, and aesthetic line drawn for “real” writing arts--authorities still declare them nothing more than lines or noise. This class provides rigorous preparation for your collegiate and future life. Guest practitioners lead classic and innovative writing workshops: lyrical analysis, public writing, strategic publication, TED talks, and more.
Readings will include: poets (Amiri Baraka, Ezra Pound, H.D.), lyricists (Billie Holiday), “high” artists (Jenny Holzer, Sol Lewitt), graffiti writers (Skeme, Lady Pink, Meres), and rappers (Kendrick Lamar, Young Thug).
SEM 103 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Abram Coetsee 17702 Thomas Hill
American Voices: Writing, Memory, and Survival in the Novels of Toni Morrison
How does literature help us retrieve the stories that are not fully remembered in our personal and collective pasts? In what ways does the novel bear witness to, and participate in, the stories of survival that mark our histories? In this course we will examine these questions in the context of American history and African-American experience as they are intertwined in the novels of Toni Morrison. We will consider individual and collective identity, friendship and love, war and community, and the haunting of intergenerational history. We will also examine the narrative forms Morrison created to tell these stories. Texts include Sula, Beloved, and A Mercy, as well as some of Morrison’s critical writing.
SEM 104 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Cathy Caruth 17703
American Voices: The American Labor Movement
This class will explore literary portrayals of some of the battles of American labor against corporatized economic power in the early twentieth century. During this period, the industrial labor movement in the United States faced much violence and adversity in its attempt to achieve a decent standard of living. We will discuss why and how it is that the people involved in these struggles were demonized and their struggles misrepresented in the popular press. Now that the labor movement’s political influence has been greatly diminished in this country, it is important to explore its history by examining the works of its literary representatives. Each text will provide students a starting point to critique/confront, through their writing, serious problems which are quite relevant today.
SEM 105 MW 07:30–08:45 p.m. David Cosca 17704 Kevin Attell
American Voices: Literary Dis/abilities
How do literary representations of disability interact with attitudes we encounter in contemporary American culture? Do characters and narrators ascribe specific power or disempowerment—social, political, physical, discursive—to people with disabilities? How might these descriptions uphold or challenge cultural expectations about embodiment? This course approaches these questions by analyzing works of twentieth-century and contemporary literature in the context of prominent arguments in disability studies. Alongside fiction and poetry by writers like William Faulkner, Jillian Weise, Mark Haddon, and Molly McCully Brown, we will read critical work to contextualize our analysis and to explore intersections between disability studies and studies of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Writing assignments will build on in-class discussion and will include informal responses, as well as multi-draft argumentative essays.
SEM 106 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Emily Rials 17705
American Voices: Realists, Mystics, and Mystic Realists
Out of a tension in the mid-nineteenth-century American intellectual environment between pragmatism and transcendentalism, a new kind of artist-figure emerged. We will call this figure the “mystic realist.” Such artists founded large and varied ways of imagining the self and the world that set a pattern for twentieth-century art and culture, a tradition that continues to the present day. From Walt Whitman to contemporary artist Gabriel Orozco, we will consider artists and writers—primarily from North America, but with some European context—whom we might understand in relation to these terms. All the while, we will learn to compose increasingly appetizing and sophisticated essays on works in media ranging from poetry to street sculpture.
SEM 107 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Vincent Hiscock 17706
SEM 108 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Vincent Hiscock 17707
American Voices: In the House—Black Creative Artists Configuring Home
We will read and analyze configurations of home in the works of black creative artists: from poets Lucille Clifton (“if I stand in my window”) and Cornelius Eady (“Gratitude”) to singers Luther Vandross (”A House is Not a Home”) and Stephanie Mills (”When I Think of Home”) to novelists Octavia Butler ( Kindred, The Parable of the Talents) and Toni Morrison (Beloved, A Mercy) to filmmakers Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust) and Jordan Peele (Get Out).
SEM 109 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon 17708
American Voices: Black Plays and Performance
Comedian Dave Chappelle recalls an incident in which a white cast member laughed good and hard at a sketch in rehearsal, leading Chappelle to wonder if the cast member had understood his satire or was simply laughing at the stereotype he was trying to satirize. The simultaneous potential for liberation and subjugation is a central “ambivalence” of Black performance, according to Douglas A. Jones. So what to do in the face of this ambivalence? In this course we will watch videos of and read plays by African American playwrights to consider the various tensions and promises within the possibilities of Black performance. Students will participate in class discussion and complete informal writing assignments to build critical thinking and writing skills, as well as building skills of evaluation and argument through multiple drafts of critical essays.
SEM 110 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Jesse Goldberg 17709
American Voices: Heirs of Columbus
Narratives of discovery and conquest underpin popular conceptions of the history of the Americas, from the “discovery” of the Americas by Christopher Columbus to the unearthing of the Kennewick Man in Oregon 500 years later. Beginning with the journals of Christopher Columbus and the Spanish Requerimiento, students will query problems of translation and historiography, and discuss how these problems inform national narratives. We will explore alternative narratives that challenge the premises of discovery and conquest and construct alternative histories of the Americas. We will read works by Christopher Columbus, Alvar Nuña Cabeza de Vaca, William Apess, William Cronin, Anna Lee Walters, and Qwo-Li Driskill before culminating with Gerald Vizenor’s novel Heirs of Columbus, reimagining along the way the possibilities and problems of ”the New World.“
SEM 111 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Lauren Harmon 18228
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: Private and Public on American TV
Is TV public or private? How do we negotiate these supposedly separate spheres through media production, consumption, and circulation? This course explores how American television has been negotiating the public and private since its inception. Its early appearance in living rooms confronted the viewer with a public medium within her private space, and programming has continually entertained with challenges to the divisions between public and private. More recently, the election of a reality TV star has brought this supposed dichotomy to bear as a political weapon and propagandistic tool. Current events—and this course—demand that we broaden our perspectives, investigate our media consumption habits, strive to understand media environments, and articulate ourselves through various media in both public and private spaces.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Katherine Waller 17722 Nick Salvato
Cultural Studies: Reading Nature—People and Their Environments
In an era of climate change, deforestation, and declining biodiversity, how are we to think about the environment in which we live? This course will use literary texts to explore how people have represented nature through time and across cultures. We will examine depictions of the natural world in sources ranging from folktales to Romantic poetry to anime. Looking at a variety of representations will give us a broad framework for understanding modern environmental movements and communities affected by environmental destruction. We will read excerpts from environmentalists including Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson, and analyze statements from the industries these activists reacted against. Students will learn to close read texts and write coherent arguments based on textual evidence.
SEM 102 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Madeline Reynolds 17723 Eric Cheyfitz
Cultural Studies: Postcolonial Remix
What were the literary, cultural, psychological, economic, political, and even ecological effects of colonialism? This course examines some of the most dynamic and innovative literary works by postcolonial writers—that is, literature written by people who were, at one point or another, colonized in some way—from Africa, India, the Caribbean, and the United States. Classic works of postcolonial studies are paired with cutting-edge, contemporary responses, tracing the evolution of postcolonial thinking to the present day. Writing assignments will include close literary analysis, compositions, and research.
SEM 103 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Mint Damrongpiwat 17724 Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon
Cultural Studies: But Seriously, Folks—Comedy as Political Retaliation
Name your favorite way to a laugh: slapstick, scripted sketch, improvisation. Comedy is socially constructed, so no one is ever “just joking” when employing humor, whether we're giggling at or with each other. In this course we‘ll be troubling the traditions, motivations, and ethics that inform jokes and the comics who compose them.
Ranging from eighteenth-century satire to contemporary prose humorists like ZZ Packer and David Sedaris, to standup, sketch comedy, and sitcoms, we'll be analyzing how humor applies a political critique with the same fervor as any other academic inquiry. We‘ll likely write jokes, essays, film reviews, and a research project.
SEM 104 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Annie Goold 17725
Cultural Studies: Art and Argument—The Personal Essay in Contemporary America
How have contemporary American writers engaged with the personal essay form—a form committed to extended meditation, argument, and analysis—in order to respond to the last fifty years of American history and culture? What makes the “personal” so persuasive? And which re-imaginings of the form seem most suited to the here and now? Through class discussion and the composition of our own critical, creative, and personal essays, we will explore how the personal essay’s diverse forms and foci reflect the complex interplay between socio-historical moment and authorial intention. We will read essays by American authors writing on place, culture, race, and art, including James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, Gloria Anzaldúa, Sherman Alexie, David Foster Wallace, Leslie Jamison, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Yiyun Li.
SEM 105 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Michael Prior 17726
Cultural Studies: The University in Fiction
How does fiction represent the college experience, and what can it teach us as we begin our own journeys at Cornell? In this course we will explore fictional portrayals of universities in contemporary literature, looking in particular at the genre of the campus novel. We will consider how these fictional universities, as well as the characters who populate them, intersect with our own knowledge of and expectations for college. Authors may include Don DeLillo, Junot Díaz, Lorrie Moore, and Zadie Smith. Through class discussion, critical essays, and personal reflections, we will develop our ability to analyze texts and construct persuasive, coherent arguments.
SEM 106 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Elisabeth Strayer 17727 Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon
Cultural Studies: “Everyone’s Entitled to One Good Scare”—The Horror Film and Us
Vampires. Witches. Hauntings. Zombies. This course is for film buffs and lovers of cinematic horror. It is also for those who are willing to tackle a few questions: how does the zombie embody anxieties about the American Dream? Is Dracula really a symbol for fear of the aristocracy, and if so, how can the vampire narrative help us understand the role of wealth and capitalism in our contemporary lives? What assumptions do narratives of witchcraft make about domesticity and womanhood? This course is about developing tools for both film and literary analysis, but it is also about how we can read the horror film as a translation of anxieties that form and persist in U.S. culture. Cinematic pieces include Nosferatu, Night of the Living Dead, and Get Out. Supplementary readings include essays, short fiction, and poetry. We’ll produce a variety of writing: formal essays, creative pieces, and a film review.
SEM 107 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Jasmine Jay 17728
Cultural Studies: Nothing Makes Sense ¯\_(?)_/¯
Meaning: we all seem to be searching for it, but of what consequence is it when reading is a subjective experience? What if we relied solely on the senses? And what if those senses didn’t make sense? Devoted to texts of strangeness, spontaneity, ambiguity, absurdity, and senselessness, this course will explore the subtle art of not making sense. By writing about and reading from the work of César Aira, Yoko Tawada, Talking Heads, American television commercials, and more, we’ll figure how meaning and process in “serious” writing can be stimulated and embodied by play, silliness, abstraction, and weirdness. Course prerequisite: confusion.
SEM 108 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Shane Kowalski 17729
Cultural Studies: “Or of the Press”—Are the Media Free?
What is the press? Is it free? Do we need it? What will be its future? In the era of the 24-hour media feed, Wikileaks, and “fake news,” controversy around the press grows, as the public trusts it less and consumes it more than ever before. This course is about the legal right to write in the public interest, media technology, information, and privacy. We'll study news culture, history, and ethics, and look at how class, race, and gender intersect with issues of veracity and newsworthiness. Assignments will include news reviews, research in Cornell’s Rare Manuscript Collection and collaborative long-form “New Journalism.” Authors include Plato, Joan Didion, W. E.B. Du Bois, D. G. Compton, and Philip K. Dick. Films include Citizenfour, Network, and Spotlight.
SEM 109 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Michaela Brangan 17730
Cultural Studies: Exposing Spines—The Anatomy of Bookish Bodies
The history of books has long been associated with the fleshly body, from the early use of vellum pages and leather bindings to the terminology we still use to describe components of books—spines, headers, faces. How do these physiological metaphors affect our responses to the bodies of characters in novels and short stories? What kinds of embodiment are endorsed in the pages we read? In this course we will study the history of book production and contemporary book-making practices in order to reconsider the material forms—and bodies “exposed”—in literary works by writers like Mary Shelley, Jenny Boully, and Tyehimba Jess. In addition to reading responses and multidraft argumentative essays, assignments will include hybrid approaches that invite students to practice crafting their own experimental book-forms.
SEM 110 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Emily Rials 17731
Cultural Studies: Everyone’s a Critic
“In many ways,” says Anton Ego in Ratatouille, “the work of a critic is easy.” Is that true? This course examines critical writing intended for general readers—book and film reviews in particular—with an emphasis on the practical strategies critics use in framing their writing for different audiences and in manipulating different forms (the review-essay, the survey, the hatchet job, the retrospective, etc.). We’ll read from some of the great mid-century critics (Pauline Kael, Randall Jarrell), as well as the many critics who have flourished in the contemporary era (Updike, Vendler, Wood, Dargis, et al.). Our goal will be to better understand, if not answer, the ancient question, “What’s the point of criticism?”, as well as its modern variant, “Why should anyone care what That Guy thinks?”
SEM 111 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. David Orr 17732
Cultural Studies: True or False? Storytelling in Fiction and Nonfiction
What makes a compelling story? Whether it‘s true or invented, some stories fall flat while others captivate and even persuade us. In this class we‘ll be examining voice, style, perspective, and structure for the things that make a story tick. We’ll also be asking: what are the unique advantages of fiction vs. nonfiction? Where do they require different approaches and what holds true across both genres? Do we engage with one form differently than the other? Our reading list will include primarily shorter form fiction and nonfiction, ranging from classics to the contemporary: George Saunders, Jennifer Egan, James Baldwin, Zadie Smith, David Foster Wallace, Leslie Jamison, Junot Diaz, Roxane Gay, Aimee Bender, Alice Munro, Raymond Carver, Ernest Hemingway, and others. Writing assignments will include critical, personal, and creative pieces.
SEM 112 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Christine Vines 17733
Cultural Studies: Sickness and Cinema
”You're sick“ is a common exclamation of abuse, usually voiced with disgust when our more perverse desires are exposed to others. This course will look at points of convergence between desire and disease, especially the psychological, and how such disease transfers play out on our movie screens. In class we will look at such psychological disorders as fetishism, paranoia, addiction, and masochism alongside narratives of viral transmissions in films like A Scanner Darkly, Contagion, Bug, World War Z, Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist, and Antiviral. We will track how desire challenges notions of health and wellness in order to embrace the perverse pleasures of being sick. Writing assignments will include scenic and textual analysis.
SEM 113 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Zachary Price 17734 Stuart Davis
Cultural Studies: The Reservation in Film and Literature
The reservation is a space with a distinct identity in the U.S. national imaginary and in the experiences of American Indian peoples. Literature from or about reservations, then, engages a wide range of ideas about Native identities, politics, and law. As the physical space that embodies John Marshall’s “domestic dependent nations,” the reservation remains an exceptional space in the context of United States law and history. We will examine how its representation in film and literature responds to, complicates, and resists the ongoing coloniality of the reservation system. Students will examine historical documents and case law alongside fictional representations of the reservation by Native Americans and non-Natives, learning in the process to write analytically about both historical and fictional texts.
SEM 114 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Lauren Harmon 18229
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.
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.
British Literature: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Villains and all manner of baddies have fascinated audiences for centuries, from medieval to modern. Whether it’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Shakespeare’s Iago, or Satan himself, narratives about villains have continued to shape our written and oral traditions. But why do we create them? And perhaps more importantly, why does it feel so good to be bad? In this course we will define what it means to be a villain and explore how this category has changed over time. Moreover, we will investigate how and why villains within literature inspire emotional and affective reactions, delving into what it is that keeps us coming back for more. Our major literary readings will include: Milton’s Paradise Lost, Shakespeare’s Othello, Le Fanu’s Carmilla, and Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.
Writing assignments will move from shorter responses to longer analyses and research SEM 101 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Kaylin O‘Dell 17632
British Literature: The Medieval Animal
This course explores the role of “the animal” in medieval literature, art, culture, and law. Readings will be drawn from animal fables, travel narratives, saints’ lives, bestiaries, and romances. We will also explore the bizarre practice of animal trials and executions and consider what these spectacles reveal about attitudes towards animals and the complex relations between humans and non-humans in medieval culture. The course will periodically include readings from ancient and contemporary philosophy and literature for comparison. In general, we will gauge how representations of “the animal” both challenge and uphold the fiction of a stable “human” identity.
SEM 102 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Samantha Zacher 17633
British Literature: Shakespeare in Conversation
“Go rot!”—that’s a quote from Shakespeare, believe it or not. Passionate, disjointed, disruptive, provocative conversation—both in and about Shakespeare’s plays—has kept Shakespeare alive for us for four hundred years after his death. Conversation about Shakespeare can take many forms, and so will your writing for this class on ‘Shakespeare in Conversation.’ In one essay, you will weigh in on a debate scholars have had about Shakespeare. You will also, however, interview others outside the class about Shakespeare, then write up the results; read fiction written in response to Shakespeare and then write your own; and study how Shakespeare appears on social media sites like tumblr and twitter and talk about Shakespeare on twitter yourselves.
SEM 103 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Molly Katz 17634
SEM 104 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Molly Katz 17635
British Literature: Jane Austen Made Me Do It
We don’t need to add zombies to Pride and Prejudice to know that Jane Austen still walks the earth, undead.
Her influence on popular culture—movies, sequels, “updates,” spoofs, fan fiction—has never been greater than today. Something about her writing makes us want to (re)write. We will read Pride and Prejudice (1813) and Emma (1816) in their revolutionary historical context, to watch Austen manipulating the popular culture of her day—especially that threatening new thing called “the novel,” written and read largely by women. We will also watch and read some modern-day transformations of Austen’s works (and perhaps invent some, learning from her stylistic games). Writing assignments may include commonplace-book entries, conduct manuals, literary analyses, critical syntheses, archival/museum research, and a creative project.
SEM 105 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. David Faulkner 17850
Writing About Literature: The Powers of Narrative
This course explores how stories move their readers. It aims to help you respond to the narratives we read with an ever-growing intensity of perceptiveness and pleasure. We’ll begin with short fiction, carefully explored, and move on to one or two of the best romantic novels on offer, also carefully explored: Pride and Prejudice and A Room with a View are the likely choices. Throughout, your own writing will be a subject of sustained attention.
SEM 101 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Harry Shaw 17639
Writing About Literature: Banned Books
In this writing seminar we will read and respond to literary works that have been banned at various points in history and in different cultures. We will read them for sheer enjoyment and interpretation, but we’ll also talk about the reasons, sometimes quite surprising, for their suppression and look for common threads between them in the way they challenge political or social authority. Readings will include Aristophanes’ play Lysistrata, Lillian Hellman’s play
The Children’s Hour
, Voltaire’s Candide, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl, and poems by Walt Whitman, Charles Baudelaire, Anna Akhmatova, and Allen Ginsberg.
SEM 102 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. George Hutchinson 17640
Writing About Literature: Enemies, A “Love” Story?
Drama is about passion and conflict. Its purpose is to stage the most intense of personal and political relationships. Very often the hero of a drama is at odds with an enemy. But what is an enemy? Is he a stranger? Is he personal? Political? Is he racial or religious? Is he even a “he”—and if so, is there any escaping him? The course focuses on the figure of the enemy in influential plays from antiquity and the Renaissance through modernity, including Euripides’ Medea, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, and Othello, Bertolt Brecht’s Measures Taken, Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, and August Wilson’s Fences. What can drama teach us about the enemy?
SEM 103 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Philip Lorenz 17641
FEMINIST, GENDER & SEXUALITY STUDIES 1111
#intersectionality: Feminist Ethnography through New Media
This course uses “intersectionality” as a lens for the study and production of media and ethnographic writing.
We will read popular and academic texts on intersectionality—from its foundations in black feminism and beyond—that orient us towards the ways that race, class, gender, and other identities shape experiences of oppression and struggles for liberation. Applying an intersectional prism allows us to ask: how do Twitter hashtags such as #SayHerName and #BlackLivesMatter or music videos such as Beyoncé’s ”Formation“ invoke the dynamics of difference and sameness in today’s social movements? Students will produce an original music video, a journalistic ethnographic essay, and a multimedia storytelling project, and gain insights on their own involvement in the structures of power inherent to research, media, and everyday life.
SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Emily Hong 17607 Kate McCullough
FEMINIST, GENDER & SEXUALITY STUDIES 1112
Shoulda Put a Ring on It? Feminists, Queers, and Marriage
What kind of institution is marriage in contemporary US society? What relationships does it describe and between what kinds of people? In this course students will think and write about the meanings of marriage from diverse perspectives. When the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of federal “marriage equality” in 2015, the use of “equality” to describe the legalization of same-sex marriage at the federal level provokes many questions: What does it mean to be equal? Why is marriage the central institution through which different sexualities are made equal before the law? This class starts with proponents and critics of same sex marriage and traces this debate from queer thinkers to their feminist colleagues who earlier wrote about marriage as an economic institution that reproduces gendered divisions of labor. Students will use course texts to debate these themes and to write their own position papers. They will pick objects of contemporary popular culture and write about how marriage is represented. As a final project they will use course texts and interviews and write the story of relationships which may or may not resemble a legally recognized marriage.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Scott Allen Sorrell 17672 Kate McCullough
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 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Leslie Adelson 17669
SEM 102 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Ben Tam 17668 Douglas Brent McBride
GERMAN STUDIES 1118
Why do we play games and why do we have fun with them? What makes us winners and losers? This course will explore various approaches to games and humans at play. We will try to understand why people play and why they prefer some games to others. Interdisciplinary in nature, the class will offer readings from areas of sociology, psychology, history, mathematics, and cultural studies (just to name a few). By reading and analyzing and playing with Nabokov, Hesse, Zweig, Berne, Huizinga, and Schenkel we will make connections between games, national identity, gender, class, and intelligence, and will construct arguments about various scholarly and fictional written and cinematic texts.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Ekaterina Pirozhenko 17643
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, and writing are inseparable moments in the same operation of critique. The question that guides that method will be: Do alternative ways of thinking exist in opposition to the ones we view as natural, inevitable, or universal?
Power and Politics: Social Inquiry
How can we understand and evaluate social phenomena, whether in the news, in conversation, or in our own direct life experiences? Too often college students remain unaware of the many tools of social inquiry available to them and are therefore limited in their ability to analyze material they encounter during and after college. In this seminar exploring specific subjects they would like to study, students will develop tools of social inquiry such as causal reasoning and research methods; they will examine the ethics of research design. Through readings, discussion, films, and, of course, intensive writing, students will explore topics drawn from such disciplines as government, anthropology, sociology, and psychology, all of which are linked through the common thread of the modes of social inquiry that lie at their core.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Andrew Mertha 17626
Power and Politics: Gender, War, and Education—Three Classics of 1930s Britain
The 1930s, not unlike today, were a time of turmoil and danger in Britain and throughout the world. Women agitated for equal rights in education and the economy while the threat of war seemed to argue for putting such concerns aside in the interest of national defense. Fascists clashed with pacifists and socialists, while Idealists put their faith in international law and Realists stressed power. This seminar covers these themes through close readings of three classics: E. H. Carr’s political study, The Twenty Years’ Crisis, Virginia Woolf’s feminist anti-war essay, The Three Guineas, and Dorothy Sayers’ mystery novel, set in a women’s college of Oxford University, Gaudy Night. Writing assignments range from biographical sketches and short fiction to political analysis and opinion pieces.
SEM 102 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Matthew Evangelista 17627
Power and Politics: Power and Resistance
Where and how do we recognize “power” when we go to work, study at school, watch the news, search the internet, buy new sports shoes, chat with our friends, have our morning coffee, or march in demonstrations? All these experiences in our everyday lives shape us as individuals and organize society in diverse ways. In this course we will critically engage with theories of power and resistance developed by influential modern social and political theorists. We will pursue questions about the space for agency and freedom given the relations and constraints of power within which we act. Writing activities will encourage students to discuss power and politics by elaborating on “why they do what they do,” “how they know what they know,” or “how they become who they are.”
SEM 103 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Nazli Konya 17629 Jill Frank
Power and Politics: Populism and Democracy
“Populism” is an essential term in our contemporary political vocabulary, yet its meaning and its significance for democratic politics are highly contested. Is populism a form of democratic politics or a sign of democracy’s malfunction? What does it mean to belong to a democratic ”people,“ and how do different movements appeal to the people’s political authority? Through an analysis of contemporary populisms and their historical roots in the United States and elsewhere, this course will consider how populism intersects with racism and ethnic nationalism, electoral democracy and party politics, and changes in modern capitalism and the international order. Readings will be drawn from political theorists, historians, politicians, and activists, and the course will culminate with a research paper of the student’s own design.
SEM 104 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Edward Quish 17630 Jason Frank
Power and Politics: Self-Determination
This class focuses on aspirations for independent, self-determining political societies emerging in the Atlantic world. We do so by examining a case of Atlantic self-determination that continues to go relatively overlooked: The Haitian Revolution. By whom, and under what conditions, were these aspirations written and achieved in Haiti? What was the nature of these aspirations? Writing assignments will involve analyzing primary documents, responding to historical arguments, and synthesizing published research.
SEM 105 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Timothy Vasko 17631 Alex Livingston
Power and Politics: Modern Democracy and its Critics
How should we understand modern (mass, liberal, and capitalist) democracy which is so familiar and natural to most of us? What problems, if any, are associated with this hegemonic model of sociopolitical organization? To address these questions, this course studies some of the key texts of four prominent critics (Tocqueville, J. S. Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche) of modern democratic society in the nineteenth century including excerpts from Democracy in America, On Liberty, The Communist Manifesto, and The Genealogy of Morals. Engaging with these thinkers’ classic critiques will give students an opportunity to critically reflect on the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of their own societies in a sophisticated manner. Writing assignments will progress from short exercises for developing specific skills to more complex essays.
SEM 106 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Jin Gon Park 18001 Alexander Livingston
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 11:40–12:55 p.m. Oren Falk 17615
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 101 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Jacob Krell 17652 Camille Robcis
Climate Change and Human History
Climate change has been impacting human history as long as there have been humans around to be impacted.This seminar will introduce students to writing at the college level through an investigation of the deep historic roots of what appears to be a modern phenomenon. We will focus on historical debates about climate change from the dawn of human pre-history until the present day. This course is global in scope; readings will feature case-studies from China, the Mediterranean, Africa, and Latin America. We will read a combination of scientific scholarship, historical articles and book chapters, and primary-source evidence. This course is open to any and all interested freshmen, no prior knowledge of any kind is assumed.
SEM 102 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Kevin Bloomfield 17648 Eric Rebillard
Making Up People: Psychology, Medicine, and Philosophy
No one had PTSD in the nineteenth century, bacteria did not cause disease until the 1860s, and no one had human rights until the 1940s. What do these statements mean? How has “human nature” changed over time? We will attempt to answer questions like these by looking at examples in the history of psychology, medicine, and philosophy. To understand these developments in their historical contexts, we will read a variety of primary sources by authors like Sigmund Freud, Louis Pasteur, and Friedrich Nietzsche as well as secondary materials by historians of science and philosophy. Assignments will be directed at improving writing skills, but also learning to have fun with difficult ideas.
SEM 103 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Nathaniel Boling 17654 Camille Robcis
Idealism, Nihilism, Populism, Terrorism: this First-Year Writing Seminar is an encounter with the history of Russian radicalism. Students will examine the development of the revolutionary Russian intelligentsia ranging from the Decembrist Revolt to Bolshevism in power (the 1820s to the 1920s), and explore the works of its political, literary, and artistic avant-gardes. How did radical thought and radical identities arise out of an age of social, political, and economic upheaval? What texts and debates—as well as fantasies and anxieties—fueled their development? How was revolution imagined and undertaken at the intersection of politics, philosophy, and art? Sources will range from prose works (by e.g., Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy) and political texts (by e.g., Bakunin, Herzen, Lenin) to poetry, artworks, and films.
SEM 104 MWF 02:30–03:20 p.m. Nicholas Bujalski 17649 Claudia Verhoeven
Laws of Migration and Empire
The modern world was made by human movement and the empires forged by (and that forged) its pathways, and both were made by (and made) law. This course examines the roles of law—colonial, national, international—in facilitating or forcing the migrations that built European overseas empires and in governing the diverse groups of people they brought together. From early trade, slavery, and settlement to anticolonial activists, labor migrants, and refugees more recently, we will study how law and migration together shaped the rise and fall of empires—analyzing through close readings of thinkers, lawyers, and judges how and why new law is argued or made—and how these forces are shaping Europe, where immigrants from formerly colonized territories face ongoing legal and political reactions. Writing assignments will involve developing and critiquing historical arguments, using both primary sources and published scholarship.
SEM 105 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Chris Szabla 17653 Itsie Hull
Wealth and Poverty in Modern India
What is wealth, and how is it created? Why did some societies become wealthier than others? How do individuals and societies navigate conditions of wealth and poverty? This writing seminar explores new answers to these old questions. Drawing on texts from a wide range of fields, including history, economics, literature, sociology, and others, we will think about the ways in which ideas of wealth and poverty explain modern India and the world we live in today. We will consider both classic theories of wealth and poverty, as well as current debates around development, economic growth and sustainability, market governance, and social inequality. Writing assignments will include analytical essays, reviews, and response papers.
SEM 106 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Osama Siddiqui 17651 Durba Ghosh
Diasporic Fauna: Histories of Overseas Animals
From Zheng He’s return to China in 1415 with a giraffe to exhibitions of orangutans in Europe in the 1920s, the spectacle of exotic species in foreign lands has shaped human imaginings. In this writing seminar we will explore recent efforts to historicize changing relationships between human beings and non-human species. We will grapple with key questions in environmental history and animal studies: What role have foreign animals played in the human imagination throughout history? How have certain species, and even certain individual animals, raised considerations of political, socio-cultural, and scientific problems? What does the spectacle of foreign wildlife in zoos and circuses reveal about who we are? Students will hone their writing skills through engagement with primary and secondary sources, theories of animal-human relationships, and literature.
SEM 107 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Matthew Minarchek 17650 Eric Tagliacozzo
The Birth of Europe? Culture and Society in the Carolingian Empire
Every year, the German city of Aachen awards the Charlemagne Prize to individuals who have promoted European unity. At a time when the value and existence of the European Union are increasingly questioned, we should perhaps look back at the medieval king from whom the prize takes its name. The legacy of Charlemagne and his dynasty, the Carolingians, has haunted us until the present day. In the present course, we will follow medieval Europe’s most famous family from their rise in post-Roman Gaul to their supposed decline two centuries later. Our purpose is not simply to count kings and their famous deeds, but to unravel the social and cultural dynamics of the Carolingian period by surveying a variety of legal, historical, and religious sources. Writing assignments will ask students to draw evidence from these sources to support historical arguments.
SEM 108 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Max McComb 17787 Oren Falk
Post-World War II America: Crisis and Continuity
Why are the years following World War II considered so remarkable in the landscape of American history?
Several critical events and debates that rocked the nation from the 1940s onward reverberate today, such as involvement in wars, civil rights, women’s rights, concerns about teenagers, and crises in American cities. Enriched by a variety of primary sources, including films and TV shows, this course analyzes the central events, people, and forces that transformed American society and culture from the years after World War II to the present. The course aims to help students learn how to write persuasively about scholarship and primary sources, while gaining a deeper appreciation for the lasting influence of the major events, crises, and interpretations of post-World War II American history.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Kelly King-O’Brien 17759
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 17616
Papers of Empire: Writing and the Colonization of America from Columbus to Lewis and Clark
When Christopher Columbus left what Europeans believed to be the known world in 1492 in quest of empire, his decision to keep a journal established a critical link between writing and the colonization of the ”New World.“ For the next three centuries Europeans strove to establish and maintain authority over peoples and territories via networks of information that flowed back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean (and later, the continental United States) in bundles of paper. This course examines the relationship between writing (considered broadly to include journals, letters, diaries, books, reports, maps, and drawings), and European nations' expropriation of millions of prior inhabitants of the western hemisphere. How did Europeans, and later, Americans use writing to facilitate the process of conquest?
SEM 101 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Jon Parmenter 17583
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, Bassani, Primo Levi, Carlo Levi, Ginzburg, Sereni, Bruck, Loewenthal, Janaczek, Elkann, and Piperno) 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 two film screenings.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Kora von Wittelsbah 17715
JEWISH STUDIES 1987
Jews on Film: Visible and Invisible
Why were Jews virtually invisible in films made during the Hollywood’s “golden age”? Is this a surprise, given the leading role played by American Jews in founding the studio system? Writing about the films studied in this course will help students situate and interpret the presence (and absence) of characters identifiable as Jews in Hollywood films released from 1927 until the present. We will view approximately six films outside of class and study excerpts from others. Films to be studied in whole or part may include: The Jazz Singer, The Great Dictator, Holiday Inn, The Apartment, Funny Girl, Silent Movie, Annie Hall, Yentl, Barton Fink, and A Serious Man. Students will write film analyses, review essays, reflective responses, and explorations of contextual material. Readings from film studies and popular journalism will situate these films within the historical, cultural, and industrial contexts in which they were produced.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Elliot Shapiro 17674
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 of English and other global languages, language as a vehicle for culture, linguistic prejudices, language revival programs, etc. The course will touch on many diverse languages and dialects with an emphasis on languages of the Americas including Mi'gmaq (Canada), Ch'ol (Mexico), Passamaquoddy (United States), and Kaqchikel (Guatemala). Texts will come from a variety of sources including academic articles, book chapters, and primary sources. Short paper assignments will focus on revision, group discussion, and argumentation.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Carol Rose Little 17596 dorit Abusch
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 102 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Robin Karlin 17597 Dorit Abusch
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: Imagining Empire—Symbols of Power in the Medieval World
The Middle Ages often seem to be dominated by the actions of kings, queens, and emperors: men and women elevated to supra-human status, able to command both the fear and the love of their subjects. But how did these individuals advertise and maintain their power? Indeed, how powerful actually were they? How was “kingship” conceptualized in the medieval imagination? This course will investigate different possible answers to these questions by studying objects and buildings representing royal and imperial power, the ideas of medieval thinkers, and comparative approaches put forward in modern theory. Students will develop skills in writing evidence-based, discursive essays, building from short reaction and descriptive pieces towards critical essays based on assigned readings.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Samuel Barber 17655 Eric Rebillard
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: Women in Anglo-Saxon Literature
From fighting demons to ruling kingdoms, women in Anglo-Saxon literature model exceptional behavior, religious faith, and political influence. What female role models were available to readers, and what roles did real women play in shaping literary representations of the feminine? From Eve, the first woman, to Emma, one of the last queens of Anglo-Saxon England, this course will explore representations of women in the literature of early medieval England and women’s roles in literary production as writers, audience, and patrons. We will read selections from poetry, saints’ lives, histories, letters, and other genres. Writing assignments will include short responses, close-reading analyses of primary sources, and critical essays.
SEM 102 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Sophia D’Ignazio 17656 Masha Raskolnikov
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: Getting Emotional in the Middle Ages
Weeping monsters, blushing heroes, bored monks, and laughing kings: how did medieval writers put their feelings into words? What do the characters they created tell us about medieval emotion? Did they experience emotions in the same way that we do? We will consider these questions by looking at Old and Middle English texts like Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, as well as strange riddles, tragic elegies, wild saints’ lives, and monster catalogues. Through class discussion, short responses, and formal writing assignments, students will examine these texts while strengthening their research and analytical skills.
SEM 103 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Ryan Lawrence 17657 Samantha Zacher
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: Death, Faith, and Doubt in the Medieval Short Story
In this course we will explore examples of doubting faith in scenes of impending death in both medieval and modern short fiction. Based on our reading of several short medieval narratives (including works by Geoffrey Chaucer, Marie de France, and Chretien de Troys) and several modern short stories, we will ask—despite the empiricism and skepticism of our age—“did faithful believers in the Christian Middle Ages face death differently than we do? Did their doubts run as deep?” Reading and discussion will include themes of faith and belief, the battle between instinct and intellect, and bargains with God. Writing assignments will prepare students to compose college-level essays, and begin to think about the topics that they will tackle in an inductive fashion.
SEM 104 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Louis McLaughlin 17658 David Powers
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: There and Back Again—Routes Across the Medieval Globe
In this course we will explore a series of “itineraries” across Africa, Asia, and Europe during the Middle Ages (500–1500 CE) that brought people into contact across national, linguistic, and religious boundaries. Such itineraries include routes of pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Mecca, and Santiago de Compostela, as well as the “Silk Road” and other major arteries of global trade. These itineraries also expand into mythic kingdoms at the edges of the world and visionary journeys into heaven and hell, such as those recounted in legends of Alexander the Great and Dante’s Divine Comedy. Through a series of formal essays, we will practice the fundamentals of writing and independent research while learning how medieval authors and artists imbued the spaces around them with memory and meaning.
SEM 105 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Patrick Naeve 17659 Andrew Hicks
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: Romans and Barbarians in Late Antiquity
The Roman Empire defined itself against its neighbors—so-called “barbarian” outsiders. Roman texts describe these people with a mixture of disdain and fascination, calling barbarians both uncivilized and admirable, inferior, and dangerous. Modern historians write about the barbarians with the same contradictions: they are simultaneously the destroyers of classical civilization and the ancestors of modern European nations. What do these conflicted descriptions say about Greco-Roman culture? What do they tell us about our own? This course will explore ancient stereotypes of “barbarian” peoples from their origins in Greek authors such as Herodotus to the late antique historian Procopius. We will examine these stereotypes’ impact on historians’ (mis)understandings of the “Fall of Rome,” and their continuing legacy in the politics of the present day. Students will develop skills in critical analysis of ancient and modern historian texts through reading responses, short essays, and one research paper.
SEM 106 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Danielle Reid 17660 Benjamin Anderson
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: The Anglo-Saxon World—Monsters, Warriors, Legends, and Kings
Who were the Anglo-Saxons? In current popular imagination, they were legendary warriors who wielded magic and fought dragons and Vikings. Modern scholars use the term to describe the diverse groups of Germanic settlers who began migrating to Britain around the fifth century and maintained power there until the Norman Conquest in the eleventh century. This course will explore how Anglo-Saxons sought to define and redefine themselves, asking critical questions about who is attempting to leverage this cultural identity and why. We will closely read a variety of sources that span the breadth of the period—from the earliest Old English laws to Bede’s Ecclesiastical History to Beowulf—and develop our skills of analysis through writing informal reading responses, critical essays, and a self-directed research project.
SEM 107 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Abigail Sprenkle 17661 Oren Falk
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 108 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Paul Vinhage 17662 Andrew Galloway
Sound, Sense, and Ideas: Baroque and Classical Music
From guided listening to readings about and discussions of European music of the eighteenth century, this course explores ways of thinking and writing about various genres of music as well as about music’s roles in society. Composers studied include Vivaldi, Handel, Rameau, Bach and his sons, Haydn, Mozart, and early Beethoven. Attendance at one or more live performances.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Neal Zaslaw 17680
From “Talented Tenth” to “Bad and Boujee”: Exploring Racial Authenticity Politics through Black Music
What has it meant to be “authentically Black” in the United States imagination since the turn of the twentieth century, and how meaningful is this concept? How have uplift ideologies operated interracially and within the Black public sphere over time, and what have been their results? This course considers how music acts to articulate “authentic” Blackness, from W. E. B. Du Bois’s view of bourgeois “double-consciousness” to the competing claims about racial (in)authenticity that underlie contemporary hip-hop discourse. In this course students will write about complex and provocative social issues as well as musical aesthetics. Our cross-disciplinary focus places prevailing and contested expressions of Blackness in dialogue, toward a grounded view of Blackness as complex and unending.
SEM 102 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Maxwell Williams 17679 Neal Zaslaw
NEAR EASTERN STUDIES 1922
The Sons of Sinbad: Readings in Arabic Travel Writing
Is the Sinbad story merely a story of wondrous events aimed at entertaining its readers? Or does its symbolic language tell us something about the nature of crossing frontiers and encountering the unknown? How do we locate significant moments in a given travel narrative and on what basis do we analyze these moments? In this seminar we will do a close reading of a number of primary literary texts in Arabic travel writing from both the medieval and the modern periods. The main goal of the seminar is to develop the students' skills in understanding literary texts and talking about them through a series of writing assignments. Readings include, but are not limited to, the English translations of: The Story of Sinbad the Sailor from The Arabian Nights; The Travels of Ibn Battuta by Ibn Battuta; Mission to the Volga by Ibn Fadlan; The Journey of Ibn Fattouma by Naguib Mahfouz; and Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih.
SEM 101 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Rama Alhabian 17599 Deborah Starr
Philosophy in Practice: Morality, Crime, and Mass Incarceration
Questions around criminal justice have lately been receiving more critical attention than at any other time in recent history. But for all the talk about an emerging bipartisan consensus in favor of reform, the US remains the world’s leading jailer. Whether we want to criticize, defend, or simply understand the criminal justice system, we need to grasp the legal and philosophical principles that have guided its development. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to investigating the connections between criminal justice, mass incarceration, and moral philosophy. Readings will be drawn from judicial opinions, criminal statutory codes, empirical work on the carceral state, and philosophical writings by Plato, Kant, Bentham, and Mill, among others. Assignments will include short reconstructions of important arguments as well as longer essays.
SEM 101 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Alexander Boeglin 17579 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 102 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Daniel Manne 17580
Philosophical Problems: Between Theory and Reality—The Philosophy of Science
Most of us think of science as having a mainline to the truth; if some claim is supported by science, then it is surely true. What gives science this special status? And what exactly gets to count as “scientific” in this sense? Just the natural sciences, or the social sciences too? What about anthropology and history? Do all “sciences” really share the same methodology, and is that methodology really more reliable than other methodologies? Is science always our best tool in finding out about the world, or are there some aspects of the world that science (even a fully developed science) can’t tell us about? In this class we will explore these questions and others with a view to literature in the philosophy of science.
SEM 101 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Frances Fairbairn 17588 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Problems: The Demands of Morality
Morality places demands on us. For example, if you see a child drowning in a pond, then you are morally required to save them. But what else does morality demand of us? Are you morally required to donate large amounts of money to charity? Are you morally required to donate a kidney to someone on dialysis? Some philosophers have thought so. We will consider arguments for and against the view that morality places such extreme demands on us. We will also consider whether, and why, you should bother doing what morality demands of you. Readings are from both historical and contemporary philosophers, including Peter Singer, Susan Wolf, Plato, and Shantideva. Writing assignments will focus on careful argument analysis and clear, rigorous writing.
SEM 102 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Thomas Foerster 17589 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Problems: Your Body, Your Word—Bodily Matters of Consent
It is common to think of consent as the most important means an individual has to determine what happens to their body. Despite this, we rarely stop to reflect on just how many bodily matters arise in our own lifetimes. We also rarely reflect on how little we can consent to. For example, it is illegal to sell one’s own organs and State law determines at what age one can legitimately consent to sexual relationships. This class discusses how consent plays a role in a variety of bodily matters. We will explore consent as it relates to issues like sexual relations, sexual promises, end-of-life medical decisions, organ donation, the commercialization of one’s body and body parts, participation in clinical research trials, and more.
SEM 103 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Lucia Munguia 17590 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Problems: The Explanation of Human Action
Today, you will perform hundreds of actions: brushing your teeth, walking to class, eating with friends. You will be surrounded by people performing their own actions—good and bad ones. Why do we act as we do? Why do we sometimes act badly? What goes wrong when I know I should write my assignment, but go partying instead? In order to answer those questions, we need to think more about what kind of mental states contribute to actions.
What exactly are beliefs, desires, will, and emotions, and what role do they play in the generation of actions? We will look at different answers to those questions given by early modern and contemporary philosophers. Writing assignments will focus on careful argument analysis and clear, rigorous writing.
SEM 104 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Freya Mobus 17591 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Problems: Philosophy, Feminism, Sex, and Gender
This course will cover a range of theoretical and practical issues that relate to sex and gender, viewed primarily through a feminist lens. What are sex and gender? How do they relate to society and culture? To science? How do our views of sex and gender affect our ethical views? How should they? Students will engage with questions such as these through a range of academic, non-academic, historical, and contemporary 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 105 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Marta Heckel 17592 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Problems: The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence
Many artificial intelligence (AI) researchers think we may see human level AI in our lifetimes. This raises a number of important philosophical questions. One set of questions concerns what we would (ethically) owe to these AIs. Would they possess conscious experiences? And is that sufficient to make them matter the same way that humans do? Another set of questions concerns how we can expect the AIs to treat us in turn. Some researchers worry that human level AI poses an existential threat to our species. Is that right? Or would sufficiently intelligent
machines be able to figure out the ethically correct way to behave? What if there is no objectively correct way? And if advanced AI does pose an existential threat to humans, do we have an obligation to prevent its emergence? In this course we will examine questions likes these using philosophical methods. 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 106 MW 07:30–08:45 p.m. David Fielding 17856 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Conversations: How to Disagree
What is virtue? Is knowledge necessary for acting well? How do we acquire knowledge for good action?
Philosophers disagree over these questions. What are they disagreeing about? What are the rules for engaging in such disagreements? What can we learn by looking at disagreements among philosophers? In this class we are going to think about these questions by reading from authors such as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Hume. The assignments will include both short expository papers and longer essays. In the first half of the class we are going to practice writing short response papers to the readings. In the second half of the class there will be longer papers where one writes on topics discussed in the first unit.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Zeyu Chi 17594 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Conversations: Augustine’s Confessions—A Search for Meaning
No thinker has done more to shape the Western intellectual tradition than Augustine (354–430 AD), and no book displays Augustine’s dynamic vision of reality more compellingly than the Confessions. Its probing and intimate reflections on the meaning of human life, the nature of God and mind, good and evil, love and sexuality, and time and eternity have challenged every generation since Augustine’s own. The seminar will be structured around a close, critically engaged reading of the Confessions. Some attention will be given to its historical context and significance. Required work will include short interpretive and analytical assignments and longer synthetic and critical essays. Attention will be given to developing tools for critical reading and thinking as well as for effective writing.
SEM 102 MW 07:30–08:45 p.m. Scott MacDonald 17595
Philosophical Conversations: Reasoning About Moral Issues
Does a fetus in a woman’s body have a right not to be killed? Would a worldwide ban on eating and using animals increase the net happiness of the world? Do animals have moral rights? Do we have the right to die on our own terms? Do we owe it to other people to tell the truth about ourselves? Do we have a right to sell or use our own body for money? In this course we are going to explore contemporary moral issues regarding abortion, assisted suicide, lying about oneself, vegetarianism, animal rights, and the morality of prostitution (or selling body parts). (Subtopics may change.) Based on a clear understanding of ethical terms, concepts, and distinctions, we are going to tackle philosophical arguments for and against these topics. Through reading and discussing contemporary works in philosophy on these questions, and through writing assignments, students will develop the ability to critically read, understand, and write about academic texts.
SEM 103 MW 07:30–08:45 p.m. Yuna Won 17857 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Conversations: Defying Expectations—Early Modern Women Philosophers
In this course students will explore the rich philosophical ideas of several seventeenth-century English and French women, including Mary Astell, Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, and Gabrielle Suchon, who defied societal expectations by participating in the intellectual debates of their time. Forbidden to attend university, and unjustly ignored by traditional narratives of the history of modern philosophy, they nevertheless persisted in playing significant roles in the development of philosophy and science. Students will examine a wide array of issues in the history of ethics, physics, and biology, as set forth in different kinds of texts, including treatises, letters, and plays. Through their own writing students will learn how to extract, explain, and evaluate arguments within the texts, as well as develop arguments of their own.
SEM 104 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Francesca Bruno 17998 Tad Brennan
PERFORMING & MEDIA ARTS 1128
Arts Writing: Journalism and Public Media
What do excellent journalistic and academic writing have in common? Both draw upon similar skills and values: clarity, attention to detail, awareness of audience, and the writer's deep, informed engagement with a topic. Moreover, to discuss current arts events effectively, the writer must push beyond simple, factual reporting to interpret or translate, with a distinctive voice, creative work for specific audiences. Students in this seminar will attempt a range of assignments in arts writing: reviews, feature articles, reflective and synthetic essays, educational materials, and critical analyses.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. J. Ellen Gainor 17642
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, tv, and film. We will look at a diverse selection of materials by authors, scholars, and artists including Plato, E. T. A. Hoffman, Hans Christian Andersen, Edgar Allan Poe, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sigmund Freud, Rod Serling, Gene Roddenberry, and Joss Whedon. While considering the ways doubles work across literary, cinematic, and televisual styles from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the course simultaneously explores the contemporary social phenomenon of “twinning” in queer culture as it relates to the double’s long legacy. 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 02:55–04:10 p.m. Joshua Cole 17644 Amy Villarejo
PERFORMING & MEDIA ARTS 1137
Adapt and Revise: History through Theatre and Performance
How does a playwright adapt a historical event or figure for the stage? What roles do authenticity and accuracy play in dramatic adaptations of history? What makes history relevant on today’s stage? And what’s the big deal about Hamilton, anyway? In this course we will read and watch plays, musicals, and performances that stage history. While our focus will be on dramatic texts, we will also examine how and by whom history is written, as well as the nature of artistic representation. With an emphasis on in-class discussion, student-led research, and in-class writing workshops, this course will foster and enhance each student’s ability to produce coherent, concise, persuasive prose in the form of critical arguments.
SEM 101 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Erin Stoneking 17646 Amy Villarejo
PERFORMING & MEDIA ARTS 1138
Playing (with) History: Reviewing the Past through Performance
The history play is among the oldest forms of dramatic text. Performances that draw upon historical narratives for their subject matter continue to proliferate the contemporary stage. However, the past and its construction is a site of contention. Women, people of color, and individuals identifying with the LGBTQ community, name but a few identity categories that find themselves ignored and erased by many historical narratives. This course considers how performance can be a tool for marginalized communities to reassert narrative control over accounts of the past. Through close reading and analysis of dramatic texts and live/mediated performances, as well as a wide range of critically-engaged writing assignments, we will explore questions surrounding history’s construction and the potential of performance to intervene.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Samuel Blake 17647 Amy Villarejo
PERFORMING & MEDIA ARTS 1139
Broad Comedy: Funny Women and their Fans
The story of twentieth-century American popular culture is in no small part a story of talented comedian being denied stages, microphones, and cameras. What is so threatening about a funny woman? Who is threatened? In what ways, and in which venues, have comediennes found ways to perform—and who exactly laughs with (or at) them? In this course we will use various case studies, from medieval comedian dell'arte to silent film star Fay Tincher to Netflix series such as Haters Back Off!, to generate a working response to these questions and more.
With an emphasis on in-class discussion and peer editing, this course helps students develop the particular skills required to write about popular culture and performance in its various context.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Seth Soulstein 17735 Amy Villarejo
Extreme Parental Care: Animal Survival and Social Learning
What does parental care look like in a crocodile? How do meerkats learn to eat scorpions? Why do some species of birds need to practice singing in front of an audience to develop a good-sounding song? This class will focus on examples of “extreme” or bizarre parental behaviors in the animal kingdom, from amphibians to whales. We will discuss the cognitive capacities required for parental care in other species and the importance of social learning for the development of adaptive skills. Readings will include original research articles as well as Frans de Waal’s Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? Students will learn how to translate scientific findings for the public, concisely convey their ideas, and propose their own research.
SEM 101 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Katerina Faust 17593 Michael Goldstein
Myths and Legends of Psychology
What causes déjà vu? How much of your brain do you actually use? Typical answers to these questions are often inaccurate, yet they appear to have become common knowledge. Together we will learn how myths of psychology are perpetuated and how to debunk such widespread misconceptions. We’ll identify and respond to myths portrayed in various forms of mass media, with a special focus on film. For instance, what does the movie Fight Club convey about dissociative identity disorder? Is this portrayal consistent with facts? We’ll learn to use scientific findings to scrutinize numerous journalistic and cinematic works that preserve common legends surrounding psychological phenomena. Through a variety of writing activities, we’ll discover how to craft articulate and convincing arguments as we debunk psychology’s greatest myths.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Kacie Armstrong 17585 James Cutting
Psychology, Critical Thinking, and Communicating Science
Why do some people believe in astrology while others oppose it? What is the difference between science and pseudo-science? Drawing from research in psychology, this course will introduce students to the science about human reasoning and decision making. We will dive into a diverse range of topics such as astrology, personality testing, and evolution to uncover psychological, and sometimes also socio-political factors behind seemingly questionable beliefs. We will also discuss how to effectively communicate science and why sometimes scientists fail to do so. Students will read about both scientific studies as well as pseudo-scientific writings relevant to the topic of the week. Writing assignments will challenge students to analyze controversial topics in a manner that reflects their critical thinking, as well as communicating scientific ideas to a public audience effectively.
SEM 102 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Bohan (Gandalf) LI 17586 Khena Swallow
ROMANCE STUDIES 1102
The Craft of Storytelling: The Cannibal and the Explorer—Ethics of Travel Writing
Sailors, explorers, travelers—their stories are among the oldest sources of entertainment for humanity—and travel literature one of the oldest genres of writing. Why do travelers fascinate us so much? This class will explore connections between travel and literature, from Montaigne and Jean de Léry to Jules Verne and Isabelle Eberhardt. By exploring different forms of travel writing, we will consider ethical questions of race, gender, and class generated by the discovery of Others, and examine the mirror that travel places in front of us. In this class you will be prompted to write your own adventure short story, and a travel journal, as well as think critically about stories others have written about American cannibals and African adventures. Come explore!
SEM 101 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Anne Caroline Sieffert 17716
ROMANCE STUDIES 1102
The Craft of Storytelling: Weird Fiction from Latin America and the World
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, before popular genres took off, writers were free to mix up elements of detective stories with horror, fantasy, and science fiction in their work; this was called “weird fiction,” and its most well-known author is probably H. P. Lovecraft. In this course we will explore the particularities of weird fiction, study it’s history, and analyze why today authors are back to creating hybrid forms that are known as the “new weird.” We will focus on authors from Latin America in their relationship with writers from all over the world: Borges, Cortázar, Rulfo, Mariana Enriquez, Stephen King, Angela Carter, China Mieville, Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link.
SEM 102 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Edmundo Paz-Soldan 17717
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 103 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Antonio Di Fenza 17953 Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi
ROMANCE STUDIES 1108
Cultural Identities/Cultural Differences: Literature Afloat, Identities in Motion
Traveling has never been so easy: cheap plane tickets, Buzzfeed articles that highlight the best eats, and a backpacking culture have made traveling an accessible luxury. But travel is not always a luxurious, nor voluntary experience. This course will engage with travel and its more profound repercussions, examining texts wherein overseas travel has a direct relationship with identity formation. Particularly, we consider how geographical movement and displacement can affect the ways in which identities are constructed, modified, remembered, and forgotten. Important themes of discussion will include diaspora, generational gaps and differences, immigration, nostalgia, among others. Through this course students will reflect on the experiences of migration, refuge, and political instability, and engage in other pertinent socio-political issues in today’s world.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Yen Vu 17677 Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi
ROMANCE STUDIES 1108
Cultural Identities/Cultural Differences: Writing Italy
Starting in the mid-1600s, one of the most important experiences for many young upper-class Europeans was the Grand Tour, an extensive educational trip that culminated in Italy, the land of classical ruins, Renaissance art, and breathtaking landscapes. Since then, Italy has become the destination where artists have searched for insight, growth, and renewal. Following this tradition, we will take a virtual tour of Florence, Rome, and Venice by analyzing the text and exploring the context of three acclaimed novels for which the setting is as important as any of the characters: E. M. Forster’s A Room with a View, Henry James’s Daisy Miller, and Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice. The students will write creative and analytical essays, and produce the text for a travel blog.
SEM 102 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi 17678
ROMANCE STUDIES 1109
Image and Imagination: Women in Horror—A Feminist Perspective
Women have been at the center of the horror genre since its origins. They have been haunted, possessed, slaughtered, chased, and objectified. This course will not only trace the representation of women as victims, but will also investigate their role as embodiments of evil or as active monster slayers. We will soon realize that horror is a privileged landscape for understanding the role of women in society and the fears connected to the changes this underwent in the twentieth century. The characters we will encounter encompass social and cultural tensions, often exposing misogynistic and heteronormative tendencies existing in the milleus that give birth to them.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Valeria Dani 17670 Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi
ROMANCE STUDIES 1109
Image and Imagination: Human and Non-Human in European Visual Cultures
What does it mean to be “human” in visual culture? And what kind of human is revealed by the advent of moving images? In this course we will use Italian and other European visual cultures as a lens through which we can reconsider our idea of the human and our relationship with the non-human. Literary and critical texts, advertisements, videos and cartoons will supplement the analysis of cinematic representations of Pinocchio, Punchinello, Steel Jeeg, and other human automatons. Through visual research, analytic essays, and creative writing, students will gain interdisciplinary skills that will make them competent interpreters of the language of images.
SEM 102 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Lia Turtas 17671 Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi
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 102 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi 17712
SEM 103 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi 17713
ROMANCE STUDIES 1113
Thinking and Thought: On Love
Love is everywhere—in our own lives, but also in literature, film, art, and media. Yet we spend very little time thinking critically about love and its companion, sex. In this course we will analyze love from a multiplicity of perspectives, drawing on philosophical, religious, literary, visual, and sociological texts. We will consider such topics as philosophical approaches to love, feminist thinking on love and sex, state regulations of sexuality, loveand sex in literature, film, and popular culture, sex on campus and the hook-up culture, as well as the intersections between race, ethnicity, class gender, and sexuality.
SEM 104 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Itziar Rodriguez 17711
ROMANCE STUDIES 1114
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 02:30–03:20 p.m. Ti Alkire 17714
ROMANCE STUDIES 1120
Animals in Global Cinema: Human and Non-Human
In this class students will explore the human-animal bond and conflict represented in international films, especially from Hispanic and Francophone countries. We will discuss wildlife, companion and farm animals in conjunction with human cultures and politics. Students will learn about issues concerning various species e.g., dogs, sheep, bees, and elephants portrayed in dramas and comedies, documentaries, and animated films. Students will also master film terminology and learn how to write film reviews, technical film analyses, and creative essays. The class includes guest speakers and a presentation at the Cornell Johnson Museum. All films are available for streaming through blackboard for students to watch them in their free time.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Ewa Bachminska 17622
Homelessness in the American City
Since the late nineteenth century, research on urban housing instability has played a vital role in establishing fields ranging from investigative journalism (Riis 1890) to urban sociology (Anderson 1923) and has remained popular in the social science discourse. The enduring presence of such studies might lead you to believe that the homeless are a permanent fixture on the social science agenda, but the term “homelessness” did not enter the popular lexicon until the 1980s. This course traces the evolving discourse on homelessness from the dawn of the twentieth century through present. We will engage with writing assignments ranging from short response essays to unique research projects, all of which focus on the shifting definitions of homelessness while fostering students’ abilities to write good expository prose.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Paul Muniz 17621 Filiz Garip
Race, Policing, and Inequality in the American City
By definition, the police are charged with enforcing the law with tools that, in many cases, include the use of violence. In recent years, much debate has emerged on whether police forces (as organizations embedded in local communities) and police officers (as individual actors who have discretion in their use of force) overstep their authority. This course will draw on recent social science research on policing in the U.S. and police relationships with communities of color, social movement organizations, and laws that “police the police.” Through a series of written assignments, students will build and practice the skills to interpret, analyze, evaluate, and discuss social science evidence on policing, and to communicate their ideas about policing effectively to different audiences.
SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Theresa Rocha Beardall 17721 Filiz Garip
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY STUDIES 1113
Vital Politics: Science, Medicine, Activism
During Spring 2017, headlines announced: “Thousands Rally in DC for March for Science;” “March for Science: Crowds Join International Global Earth Day Protests.” But why are people gathering to assert—publicly—that science matters? What is the relationship between science and politics, science and democracy, science and social change? This seminar examines social movements in which issues of science and medicine have become objects of contentious political debate. We explore environmentalism and green movements, reproductive justice, HIV and AIDS, and related topics in the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies. Closely examining the craft and rhetoric of effective communication, we “read” academic scholarship, print and web-based words and images, fiction and film. Assignments include response papers, critical essays, and creative pieces.
SEM 101 MW 07:30–08:45 p.m. Chris Roebuck 17849
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY STUDIES 1116
Charles Darwin (1809-82) lived during an extraordinary period in global history. In Darwin's time, imperial politics combined with the rise of industrial capitalism to produce a world order dominated by Victorian Britain. This class will investigate how these larger social developments would become crucial to the origin and reception of Darwin's scientific work. We will explore topics such as: natural history and colonialism; Darwin's scientific theories and Victorian political and economic theories; social Darwinism and scientific racism; and the use of evolutionary ideas by anti-imperialist intellectuals in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. We will tackle recent Darwin scholarship, and we will also make use of online databases of Darwin's letters and Victorian texts in the library's special collections.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Jessica Ratcliff 17587
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY STUDIES 1123
Technology and Society: How to Build a Scientist
What is a scientist and how does one become one? And which comes first, science or the scientist? In this writing seminar students will consider the ways in which settings, clothing, technologies and tools, language, and gestures intersect to transform ”people“ into ”scientists“ and the products of their labor into ”science.“ Presenting science as a kind of act or performance, the course will encourage students to think and write critically, with a framework applicable to multiple academic disciplines. Readings for this seminar will be varied in their format (from academic articles to cartoons) as well as their authorship (from J. L. Austin to Jay Z), such that students learn to engage with a broad range of material in scholarly writing.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Sahar Tavakoli 17584 Trevor Pinch
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY STUDIES 1126
Science and Society: Stories of (Agri)Culture
This seminar will teach you to write clearly about issues in agriculture, paying particular attention to the mutual shaping of science and society. For inspiration, we will critically read compelling writers from a variety of genres, such as Liberty Hyde Bailey, Rachel Carson, Evelyn Fox Keller, and Michael Pollan. We will draw extensively on Cornell-based resources and stories through visits with university archivists, historians, laboratories, and scientists. Writing assignments may include: magazine-style science articles about researchers at Cornell, as well as oral histories with agriculturalists in the Ithaca or Cornell communities. This course will culminate in the submission of a collaborative proposal for a Mann Library exhibit on stories of agriculture and society at Cornell.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Rebecca Harrison 17581 Rebecca Slayton
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY STUDIES 1126
Science and Society: Making the Scientific Subject—An Intersectional Feminist Approach
Science is a creative process. Indeed, this statement alone is enough to spark controversy. The claim becomes still more agitating and powerful when bringing to bear what or whom certain sciences are creating while striving towards “progress.” In this course students will examine historical and contemporary examples of the power of natural and social sciences, how they have aided in the creation of particular political subjects and norms in relation to sex, gender, race, and nature. Students will engage in writing activities tailored to cultivate strong arguments with authorial voices that will allow them to address controversial material with precision. Compelling writers, such as Ta-Nehisi Coates and Edward Said, will help guide students in the pursuit of making their writing exact and expressive.
SEM 102 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Lisa Avron 17582 Sara Pritchard
Elements of Academic Writing: Environmental Problems and Solutions
Human activities have ever-more serious impacts on our local regions and the planet. How can we think and write about improving public understanding of climate change, water scarcity, environmental health, and agriculture and wildlife sustainability? The Writing 1370 classroom is a dynamic workspace where students assemble the scholarly tools necessary to explore these complex, interdisciplinary questions. By collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions, and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1370 is an alternative route FWS that provides a workshop 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. *This course is particularly appropriate for multilingual writers.
SEM 101 MW 10:10–11:00 a.m. Jessica Sands 17772 This course is particularly appropriate for multilingual writers.
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 these complex, interdisciplinary questions. By collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions, and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1370 is an alternative route FWS that provides a workshop 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 102 MW 11:15–12:05 p.m. Brad Zukovic 17773
SEM 103 MW 12:20–01:10 p.m. Brad Zukovic 17774
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 these complex, interdisciplinary questions. By collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions, and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1370 is an alternative route FWS that provides a workshop 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 MW 01:25–02:15 p.m. Tracy Carrick 17775
Elements of Academic Writing: Sci Fi Short Stories
How will people speak with their neighbors hundreds of years from now? How will technology change communication? What can we learn from science fiction about language and culture today? 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. The Writing 1370 classroom is a dynamic workspace where students assemble the scholarly tools necessary to explore complex, interdisciplinary questions. By collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions, and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1370 is an alternative route FWS that provides a workshop 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 09:00–09:50 a.m. Claire Whitenack 17776
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 these complex, interdisciplinary questions. By collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions, and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1370 is an alternative route FWS that provides a workshop 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 10:10–11:00 a.m. Darlene Evans 17777
Elements of Academic Writing: Language, Identity, and Power
How does language shape our world and our sense of who we are? How do identity factors like gender, sexuality, race, class, culture, and nationality influence our meaning-making practices? How do labels and names construct meaning and carry power? What languages and language practices do we associate with power and why? The Writing 1370 classroom is a dynamic workspace where students assemble the scholarly tools necessary to explore these complex, interdisciplinary questions. By collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions, and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1370 is an alternative route FWS that provides a workshop 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 107 TR 11:15–12:05 p.m. Kate Navickas 17778
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. By collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions, and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1370 is an alternative route FWS that provides a workshop 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 TR 12:20–01:10 p.m. Kelly King-O’Brien 17779
Elements of Academic Writing: Environmental Problems and Solutions
Human activities have ever-more serious impacts on our local regions and the planet. How can we think and write about improving public understanding of climate change, water scarcity, environmental health, and agriculture and wildlife sustainability? The Writing 1370 classroom is a dynamic workspace where students assemble the scholarly tools necessary to explore these complex, interdisciplinary questions. By collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions, and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1370 is an alternative route FWS that provides a workshop 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. *This course is particularly appropriate for multilingual writers
SEM 109 TR 01:25–02:15 p.m. Jessica Sands 17780 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 17737
SEM 102 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Kate Navickas 17736