Spring 2009 first-Year WRiting Seminars

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AMERICAN STUDIES 1140 SEM 101

Common Ground: Cornell and Ithaca in Collaboration

Would you like to experience Cornell as something more than campus? This course offers students a meaningful community interaction as part of their writing experience. Specifically, students in this seminar will meet at regular intervals (during the normal class time) with a class of Ithaca High School juniors and/or seniors to engage in critical discussions about our community and American cultural values as they relate to shared readings (e.g., Franklin, Baldwin, Anzaldúa, Trask, Leguin, Ehrenreich, Madison, Reich). Writing assignments as well as projects relating to local issues will will challenge student views in connection to various types of diversity, which may include class, gender, and ethnicity. Ideally, students will broaden their perspectives while developing a greater comprehension of textual material, as well as verbal and written skill in considering that material rhetorically.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.     x-listed w. Engl 1140 & Writ     11935

FOR HIGH SCHOOL MEETINGS, WE WILL NEED TO LEAVE CAMPUS BY 11:15

 

AMERICAN STUDIES 1142 SEM 123

The African American Experience Through History and Literature

What has been the African American experience in the United States? We will explore the complexities of this subject by studying texts from a range of periods—Slavery, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, the Post cold War era—and written by various African American historical figures, authors, and scholars. Among texts we may discuss are David Walker's Appeal to End Slavery, selections from Langston Hughes's The Ways of White Folks, and writings from Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Students will strengthen their writing skills through a series of writing assignments based on the assigned readings and classroom discussions.

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.     x-listed with Hist     11391

 

ANTHROPOLOGY 1128 SEM 101

Cigarette Cultures

This course considers how a range of communities are constituted in relation to the cigarette industry. We will examine how actors such as smokers, anti-tobacco advocates, health officials, contract tobacco farmers, and industry executives define themselves and are defined by others. What structural politics underpin the knowledge and practices of these groups? How do assumptions about age, gender, class, race, and ethnicity figure into the constitution of different actors and corporate strategies? In addressing these questions, we will consider debates over the moral, aesthetic, economic, spatial, and bodily dimensions of cigarette production and consumption. In addition to scholarly books and articles, we will analyze and write about a range of popular texts from corporate websites to public health materials, movies, photographs, advertisements, and museums.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.    Marina Welker     10879

 

ANTHROPOLOGY 1162 SEM 101

Excavating the Postcolumbian World: Artifacts, Spaces, Texts

If there are plenty of historical documents, why do archaeology? Because the information preserved in the ground can’t be found anywhere else! This seminar explores the interplay between artifacts, spaces, and texts by examining archaeological sites from the past 500 years in North America, Africa, and Australia, a period during which modern attitudes toward economic systems, race relations, and gender roles emerged. We will read and write about the work of James Deetz, Susan Lawrence, Diana Wall, and Charles Orser to unearth the physical histories of contemporary ideas. Students will ground their own texts in durable principles of writing by using thorough revision, peer review, proper citation, and ample supporting evidence.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Kurt Jordan    10880

 

ANTHROPOLOGY 1163 SEM 101

Anthropologies of the Voice

How does one describe the social life of speech? What kinds of social relationships do we build, negotiate, and animate through our voice? From ritual and performance, to gender and the poetics of everyday routine, this class addresses and writes about such questions by asking how anthropologists have explored the voice in performance. Beginning with sociolinguistic and anthropological approaches to “doing things with words” we will continue by considering how voices are disciplined, are invested with desire, are mass mediated, and are occasionally made to stand as the foundation of “culture.” Particular social phenomena we examine include the significance of the performing voice for understandings of gendered difference, the politics of postcolonial modernity, and the permeable, culturally meaningful boundary between language and music.

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Daniel Fisher     10881

 

ANTHROPOLOGY 1165 SEM 101

The Mandala and McDonalds: Technology and Transformation in Cultural Perspective

One hears continually how the world is getting smaller. Yet what exactly does this mean in a cultural sense? Is cultural particularity falling victim to the “McDonaldization” of the world, or do new technologies enable new forms of identity and identification? What is the individual’s relationship to history and locality in a cosmopolitan environment? This seminar will read modern theoretical works and case studies dealing with globalization, the city, and the interpretations of history through an anthropological perspective. Students will have the opportunity to think about and compare new forms of being and belonging, and compare these to other forms of historical transformation. Students will write response papers applying theoretical insights to concrete examples from around the world.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.    Andrew Johnson    9630

 

ANTHROPOLOGY 1171 SEM 101

The History and Archaeology of Early Iroquois Reservations

Were early Iroquois reservations really “slums in the wilderness”? Both primary source documents and contemporary historical analyses have made such claims, but based on what evidence? In this course, we will analyze the positions and ideologies that shape the documentary and archaeological record of the era, paying close attention to the colonial nature of both nineteenth-century descriptions and more recent scholarly work. Concurrently, we will examine our own positioning as we construct new ways of understanding these communities. Writing assignments will include personal reflections, documentary analysis of historic journals, letters and speeches, and critical essays.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.    Beth Ryan    10882

 

ARCHAEOLOGY 1162 SEM 101

Excavating the Postcolumbian World: Artifacts, Spaces, and Texts

If there are plenty of historical documents, why do archaeology? Because the information preserved in the ground can’t be found anywhere else! This seminar explores the interplay between artifacts, spaces, and texts by examining archaeological sites from the past 500 years in North America, Africa, and Australia, a period during which modern attitudes toward economic systems, race relations, and gender roles emerged. We will read and write about the work of James Deetz, Carmel Schrire, Diana Wall, and Charles Orser to unearth the physical histories of contemporary ideas. Students will ground their own texts in durable principles of writing by using thorough revision, peer review, proper citation, and ample supporting evidence.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.     x-listed with Anthr 1162    11888

 

ARCHAEOLOGY 1171 SEM 101

The History and Archaeology of Early Iroquois Reservations

Were early Iroquois reservations really “slums in the wilderness”? Both primary source documents and contemporary historical analyses have made such claims, but based on what evidence? In this course, we will analyze the positions and ideologies that shape the documentary and archaeological record of the era, paying close attention to the colonial nature of both nineteenth-century descriptions and more recent scholarly work. Concurrently, we will examine our own positioning as we construct new ways of understanding these communities. Writing assignments will include personal reflections, documentary analysis of historic journals, letters and speeches, and critical essays.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.     x-listed w/Anthro 1171    11891

 

ART HISTORY 1114 SEM 101

Classicism: From Temples to Teapots

Why does Goldwin Smith have big columns in front? Why did Hitler choose to build in the classical style? Why has classical architecture endured through time? The aim of this course is to investigate these and other questions related to classical architecture as part of the built environment. Buildings are a form of cultural expression and as such provide a framework for our actions and our personal fulfillment. Every one of us will at some point have to take a stand on matters related to the built environment affecting the quality of our lives and the lives of others. This couse will develop the writing skills necessary to describe and analyze our findings. Frequent writing/reading assignments will provide an opportunity to develop these skills.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.    Pauline Morin     9817

 

ART HISTORY 1127 SEM 101

African Personal Adornment: Changes and Translations

Central African ivory, Venetian glass beads, Indian Ocean shells, West African gold, and Dutch cloth are just some of the materials covered in this seminar. Students will examine how intercultural trade has affected the creation, use, and interpretation of African personal adornment. Case studies will include the nineteenth-century trade in cloth within West Africa, the use of African adornment in European modern art and fashion, and the role of African aesthetics in contemporary global arts and fashions. While developing skills in critical analysis and writing, students will study both scholarly and popular interpretations of the art objects. The course will incorporate visits to on-campus resources, such as the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.    Amanda Gilvin    10940

 

ART HISTORY 1128 SEM 101

Art Between Rome and the Middle Ages

This course will explore the transition from the Late Roman period to the early medieval period from an art historical perspective. This transition period has traditionally been called "Early Christian," but in this course, we will question that label as we consider both

sacred and secular works of art. We will examine monuments such as the ruins at Pompeii and the Hagia Sophia, works of art such as the colossal head of Constantine and the icons of Mt. Sinai, and figures such as Justinian, Constantine, and Helena. Writing assignments for this course are intended to improve students' analytical skills, to encourage them to conduct original research, and to help them learn to communicate their ideas clearly in both written and oral presentations.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.    Taryn Chubb    9818

 

ASIAN STUDIES 1106 SEM 101

The Great Epic of India

The great Sanskrit epic, Mahabharata, is one of the principal monuments of world literature. This vast, enthralling, and powerful tale of intra-familial war and world-historical decline (of which the famous Bhagavad Gita forms but a small part) transformed the religious and literary consciousness of India, and exercised a broad impact throughout South and Southeast Asia. This course will introduce students to this remarkable text and the literary tradition it inaugurated, through selected readings from the epic itself, along with samples of later renditions of its story (including contemporary theatrical, TV, and comic book versions).

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.    Larry McCrea     9867

 

ASIAN STUDIES 1108 SEM 101

Modernity and Wartime Japan

In World War II, in what was seen as a war against the West, Japanese writers and intellectuals planned a new world order that was beyond the merely modern West. What was their criticism of the West and how did they understand themselves as overcoming it? Was this only an ideological justification for their empire or, given the rise of East Asia, does it have lessons for us today? What can it teach us about the future of East-West relations? In this course, we will examine these questions through literary, historical, and philosophical texts, including Overcoming Modernity (1942). Students will practice writing based on a rigorous reading of these texts.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.    Takeshi Kimoto    9868

 

ASIAN STUDIES 1114 SEM 101

Colonial Violence and the Mother-Daughter Relationship

This course will explore how the figure of the mother in colonial contexts is depicted and imagined from the perspective of the daughter. Do the daughter's views differ depending on whether she belongs to the race of the colonizer or the colonized? Do any discrepancies exist in the daughter's mind between the representation of the mother and the idea of nation? How do heterosexual and/or interracial relationships complicate her relationship with the mother? How does sexual victimization of the daughter affect all of these? Through discussion and frequent writing assignments, we will consider these questions after a brief introduction of women's autobiographical writings and psychoanalytic theories of motherhood. Readings include works by Kyoko Hayashi, Marguerite Duras, a Filipina ex-comfort woman Maria Rosa Henson, Jamaica Kincaid, and Doris Lessing.

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Yuko Shibata    9873

 

AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1801 SEM 101

Stories, Poems, and Essays by Black Male Writers

This course introduces students to the broad spectrum of literature by Black men that address the challenges and obstacles presented by the complexities of life in the United States and the victories achieved. From Boyd and Allen’s anthology Brotherman—portraying the Black man’s long odyssey in this country—students will read and write about the human experience as told through the voices of Black male writers. As a text, Brotherman offers “a literal and metaphorical map of the Black man’s quest for self-affirmation.” Through writing essays, students will learn to reflect upon the inner journey toward self-awareness as portrayed through this collection of fiction and non-fiction drawn from the rich body of 150 years of Black literature.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Beverly Blacksher    11287

 

AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1803 SEM 101

Exploring Self-Knowledge with Stories by African American Women Writers

This seminar will provide us with a unique opportunity to explore the visions, values, themes, characters, and settings presented by African American women writers. Probing the rich worlds of Harriet Jacobs, Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison, we will engage in dialogue—both written and oral—for a stimulating exchange of ideas. Literary themes of self-knowledge will be studied in conjunction with essays and other works by authors of diverse backgrounds. Through written and oral communication, we will face the challenge and the privilege of understanding the significance of literary themes as they relate to broader issues of society, and to our personal lives as well.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Beverly Blacksher    11288

 

AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1811 SEM 101

Women Writing in South Africa

In this course, students will explore the works of Southern African women. We will read and respond in discussion and writing to testimonies, films, stories, songs, and many other texts that represent the voices of women in Southern Africa. In our studies, we will discover what the voices of Southern African women are and how their discourse expresses experiences in the countries of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Mozambique.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.    Sarah Mkhonza    11289

 

AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1812 SEM 101

Africa Through European Eyes

This seminar explores how Europeans understood and depicted Africans from the late Middle Ages to the beginning of the 20th century. Students will examine the association between perception and image, as well as understand how European notions of race, ethnicity, and civility changed over time. The tragedy of slavery looms large during this period, but an examination of European architecture, fine arts, posters, and exhibitions demonstrate a more complicated, though not necessarily benign European image of the southern continent and its peoples. Students will encounter monsters, wealthy kings, romanticized pharaohs, Uncle Toms, and oversexed bodies. Writing assignments will help students develop the skills necessary to analyze historical and contemporary writings, to think critically about their viewing habits, and to write about important cultural issues.

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Diane Butler     12126

 

AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1813 SEM 101

Pan-African Freedom Fighters In Their Own Words

This seminar will examine autobiographical writings and advocacy statements and speeches by selected freedom fighters from Black America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Through written and oral communication, students will explore the ideas, values, activities, and impact of individuals such as W. E. B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Amy Jacques Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, African American women in the Civil Rights Movement (including Ella Baker, Septima Clark, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Angela Davis), Nelson Mandela, African Women in the South African Anti-Apartheid Struggle (including Winnie Mandela, Ruth Mompati, Mavivi Manzini, Albertina Sisulu), and Bob Marley. Video and film presentations will augment reading, discussion, and writing assignments.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.    Locksley Edmondson    12127

 

AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1814 SEM 101

Introduction to Africana Philosophy

In this course, you will be introduced to key ideas in Africana philosophy that respond to our contemporary world. These ideas center on the Africana conception of person, society, community, knowledge, gender relations, beauty, and the arts. We will ask questions such as: what is the nature of the human subject and the community? In what ways does the Africana conception of freedom and responsibility respond to the prevailing social pessimism, alienation, evil, and terror in our contemporary political, social, and cultural life? How does the Africana conception of person, history, and culture help explain globalization and perhaps resist it? In what ways does Africana womanism answer to or fail to answer questions of gender equity and the family in our contemporary cultural life? You will learn to formulate, write about, and think critically about your own ideas, experiences, environment, and society.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.    Adeolu Ademoyo    12128

 

ASTRONOMY 1109 SEM 101

Birth of the Universe

The study of the origin, evolution, and ultimate fate of the Universe (known as cosmology) is riddled with issues that are not yet fully understood. In this course, we will investigate the current understanding of cosmology from the perspective of science newcomers who want to become better acquainted with the Universe. We will not use mathematical methods; rather, we will take a creative and philosophical approach to our exploration. Texts and stories by popular authors such as Dan Hooper and Alan Lightman will help us investigate some recent burning cosmological questions: What happened after the Big Bang? What exactly are dark matter and dark energy? What does the future hold? Students will participate in this new era of cosmology through writing and in-class discussion.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Ann Martin     3461

 

NEUROBIOLOGY & BEHAVIOR 1220 SEM 101

Discovering Little Lives on our Big Planet

As humans, it is easy to remain in our human-centered worlds but a lift of the head and a look around reveals a planet inhabited by countless other creatures, many of which are social like ourselves. In this course, we will delve into the social lives of little beings—those smaller than us in size but much larger by sheer numbers—yes, the insects. We will examine the well-known eusocial insects (ants, bees, and wasps) but our primary focus will rest on the “other social insects” comprising of diverse groups such as earwigs, treehoppers, and larval herds of beetles, moths, and sawflies. Readings will involve both scientific and popular literature and assignments will comprise a mixture of reflective and research-based writing.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Lynn Fletcher    9963

 

NEUROBIOLOGY & BEHAVIOR 1220 SEM 102

Why are People? The Evolution of Life, Love, and Health in Humans and Other Animals

Why are there two sexes? Why does everyone get sick and die? Throughout history, humans have often described how they live, love, and languish. Only after Darwin’s revolutionary insight can we understand why. Today, we know that every detail of animal life is influenced by the genetic struggle to reproduce. We take many bizarre consequences for granted, but exploring the fascinating underlying explanations can reshape our worldview. We will study wildlife videos, and read popular books by evolutionary biologists, including the author of the highly-praised NY Times "Wild Side" blog, who focuses closely on sexual behavior. This class involves frequent scientific and journalistic writing about the reasons animals look and act the way they do, including reflections on the evolution of human life and health.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.    Christopher Wilson    9964

 

CLASSICS 1531 SEM 101

Greek Myth

The course will focus on the stories about the gods and heroes of the Greeks as they appear in the works of ancient Greek literature. We will read a selection from Greek authors, inquiring into the relationship between myths and cultural, religious, and political realia of the society in which they were shaped and perpetuated. Alongside the primary texts, we will read a number of recent scholarly works on the subject. We will start by discussing myths in general terms (theories, basic concepts) and will proceed toward the analysis of individual stories and cycles. This fascinating material will serve as a vehicle for improving your written communication skills. Assignments will include preparatory writing and six essays focusing on our readings and discussions in class.

MWF 08:00–08:50 a.m.    Roman Ivanov    9935

 

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1108 SEM 101

Language and Politics: Peeling Back the Onion—Politics and Truth in Social Realism

As a genre, Social Realism seeks to lay bare the truths of everyday life, peeling back the layers that gild our image of reality in order to expose the darker ties between people and their environments. But if realism allegedly mirrors life, what happens when its “objectivity” comes with a political imperative? Can a political view also be objective? In this class, we will look to literature, film, and other visual arts from around the world in an attempt to answer those questions. Possible texts range from short pieces by Bertolt Brecht and Maxim Gorky to a novel by Upton Sinclair and films by Ken Loach. Assignments will be devoted to every step of the writing process, including brainstorming, informal journal entries, and formal essays.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.    Sarah Pickle     11455

 

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1108 SEM 102

Language and Politics: Eastern Novels, Western Prizes

What does Rudyard Kipling mean when he laments, “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet…”? Is there something about the cultures and literatures of the East and the West that render them impossible to bridge? How do novelists authorize their own versions of the “East” and the “West,” and what qualities of “Eastern” novels lead to the award of Western prizes? This course will critique the categories, “East” and “West,” by focusing on award-winning novels by East Asian writers as well as by Western writers who wrote about the East. Authors include Oe Kenzaburo, Gao Xingjian, Yi Munyol, Rudyard Kipling, and Pearl Buck. We will pursue these questions through frequent drafting and revision of essays.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Jina Kim     11456

 

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1109 SEM 101

Writing Across Cultures: Jungle Fever—The Dynamics of Race and Desire

What are the rules of (interracial) attraction? How do community, politics, and power determine or discourage racially “transgressive” desire? Can sexual desire across racial, ethnic, and cultural lines transcend prejudice, or is it based in erotic stereotyping and a desire for the exotic? This course will address these questions by investigating various forms of representation: film, in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever and Mira Nair’s Mississippi Masala; historical and biographical writing on black sex icon Josephine Baker; novels How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired by Dany Laferrière and Heremakhonon by Maryse Condé; and theatre, in David Hwang’s play M. Butterfly. Students will write short critical responses, argumentative and literary essays, and will develop revision skills through formal peer review.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.    Kavita Singh     11458

 

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1114 SEM 101

Multiple Voices: The Fatal Allure of Narcissism

Narcissism, or the obsession with one’s own image, can importantly shape the way people participate in their social and cultural worlds. This course will examine the role played by narcissism in the formation of identity and in the ways we approach literature and art. Readings will include Freud’s essay On Narcissism, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, and Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, as well as encounters with contemporary art and film. Students will develop critical faculties and writing skills through writing essays analyzing their own personal responses to a variety of texts.

MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m.    Yoon Oh    11461

 

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1118 SEM 101

Literature and Morality: The Future of Religion is Here and Now

Recent theoretical scholarship in contemporary philosophy, theology, politics, and culture, often invokes the term "post-secularism." But what is the post-secular? This course asks if “post-secularism” is a mere return to religion, or if it is inscribing its own new, future religion. Or might it be the completion of the Enlightenment project to evacuate the religious from all rational thought? What are the stakes for the contemporary world? We will address these questions through literature (DeLillo, Saramago, Lispector), philosophy (Nietzsche, Derrida), popular culture (Southland Tales, Matrix Trilogy), and everyday experiences of culture and politics that are implicitly or explicitly traced by the religious. And through a integrated series of writing assignments, we will attempt to better articulate what constitutes “post-secularism.”

MWF 08:00–08:50 a.m.    Irving Goh     12598

 

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1123 SEM 101

Mapping Literary Spaces: “Are We All Americans?”—Encounters Between France and the U.S.

The views that the French and Americans have of each other often consist, as the scholar John Engle writes, of “finely honed complexes of superiority and inferiority.” How have these “complexes” been honed by writers’ and filmmakers’ encounters with one another’s culture? To what extent are these encounters shaped by a need to define the self or by a desire to discover the French or American “Other”? Why do France and the U.S. consistently function as points of reference in each other’s cultural projects? Through critical analysis in discussion and writing of texts and films (such as Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, and Godard’s Breathless), students will discover the complex and fruitful role that the two countries play for one another.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Carissa Sims     11462

 

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1123 SEM 102

Mapping Literary Spaces: Going Back and Beyond—Literature, Time, and Travel

"Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world." In Joseph's Conrad's Heart of Darkness, the narrator places Africa in the past, creating an evolutionary scale of cultures in which the European traveler inhabits the up-to-date present. Travel writers try to make sense of the culturally different by comparing it to what they already know. In the process, they often evoke both their search for identity and their version of world history. This seminar explores how works by Conrad, W. G. Sebald, V. S.Naipaul, and others situate places and cultures temporally. We will read the literary strategies of these texts through themes like historical progress, globalization, and belonging. Writing exercises will focus on close textual analysis and effective argumentation.

MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m.    Kaisa Kaakinen    11463

 

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1123 SEM 103

Mapping Literary Spaces: Parables of the Grotesque and Fantastic

A clerk wakes up to discover himself transformed into a gigantic insect. A traveler attends a dinner party for wealthy cannibals. A man who can never forget slowly goes insane. These grotesque tales suggest the changing nature of the literary parable amid the increasingly distorted, violent, and chaotic world of the first half of the twentieth century. This seminar will examine reflections of this world in texts by Franz Kafka, Jorges Luis Borges, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Samuel Beckett. We will examine the surreal, vulgar, and obscene elements that make these works perverse parables, ones without moral or redemption. Student writing will trace the connections between these works, with an emphasis on interpreting texts that elude the very task of interpretation.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.    Paul Flaig     11464

 

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1124 SEM 101

From Crisis to Composition: Life as We Know It—Shock, Disaster, and Rubbish

Can we learn something from trash? From disaster and shock? What do these phenomena say about the way in which we are choosing to live our lives today? In this class, through reading, discussion, and critical writing assignments, we will ponder various media coming from different disciplines in an attempt to turn apocalyptic narratives, garbage dumps, natural disasters, and market "shock therapy" into avenues for reflection and knowledge. We will make interdisciplinary connections among the Bible, contemporary fiction and poetry by Cormac MacCarthy and Federico García Lorca, contemporary non-fiction and journalism by Roberto Saviano and Naomi Klein, and sociological accounts on the history of trash in both written texts and documentary films.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.    Marcela Romero Rivera    11465

 

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1126 SEM 101

Comparative Arts:Creative Truths—Objectivity and Artistry in Documentary Film

In 1926, John Grierson defined the documentary film as the “creative treatment of reality.” In defining the documentary as both creative and “real,” he tried to quell a debate that was only just beginning. Is the nonfiction film objective or subjective? Science or art? What is the status of its truth claims? What distinguishes fiction from nonfiction film? Through analyses of the content, structure, and style of a range of nonfiction films, we will address these questions and develop some of our own. Films will include, among others, Chronicle of a Summer, High School, and Roger and Me. Screenings will be supplemented with writings by such critics as David MacDougall, Bill Nichols, and Michael Renov. Writing assignments will include journal entries and response papers, as well as formal essays.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Katherine Groo    11466

 

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1126 SEM 102

Comparative Arts: Virtual Pleasures and Magic Mirrors—Gender and Video Games

Are critics right to describe some video games as “feminine” and some as “masculine”? How does the pleasure we take in video games relate to our ideas about gender and selfhood? If the cultural frameworks of gender shape our understanding of our own bodies, how do they influence our experience of virtual bodies in video games? How do specific games, like Tomb Raider, Portal, or Grand Theft Auto, challenge or reinforce these received ideas? Seminar participants will investigate these questions by playing, discussing, and writing about video games in connection with scholarly articles from varied approaches: psychoanalysis, cyberfeminism, sociology, and, of course, video game studies. We’ll explore the field of gender studies while exercising analytical practices specific to the complex medium of electronic games.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Madeleine Reich Casad    11474

 

CITY AND REGIONAL PLANNING 1109 SEM 101

Disaster and the Modern City

Cities have always been at risk from natural hazards; floods, earthquakes, typhoons, and tsunamis have taken a heavy toll on urban populations throughout history—from Antioch in 526 CE to Chengdu in 2008. In this course, students will write about natural disasters and their effects on urban settlements and human society. We will survey literature from a number of sources, including urban disaster studies, international organizations and humanitarian relief agencies, and the popular press. In the second half of the course, we will focus on several recent urban disasters, including Hurricanes Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans in 2005. Through discussion and essay assignments, students will engage the following questions: are disasters natural? How are cities and urban dwellers more or less vulnerable than rural areas and peoples? Do disasters impact different types of people in different ways?

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Andrew Rumbach    7245

 

CITY AND REGIONAL PLANNING 1109 SEM 102

Cities and Regions:Social Movements and Collective Action in the Age of Globalization

Globalization processes have had profound economic, social, and cultural consequences on the peoples of both developed and developing countries. The last decade has been marked by what the media has referred to as a rising tide of “anti-globalization protests”. Who are these protestors and what are they protesting against? In this course, we will examine responses by social movements to globalization processes and explore how movements channel grievances into collective action by considering the protests of neighborhood, women’s, indigenous, and environmental movements, among others. We will also investigate how social movements have scaled up mobilization to the global level, and assess whether movements have taken advantage of the opportunities created by globalization. Students will reflect on these issues in short response papers and critical essays.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.    David Driskell     7246

 

EARTH AND ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES 1400 SEM 101

Writing in the Sciences: Environmental Perspectives

As a global society, we're facing a dilemma: a growing population seeks an ever-increasing standard of living, but the environmental consequences of our actions have become too costly to ignore. How do we gather information to make informed decisions about the environment? How does this new information change our view of the world and our place in it? This course examines interactions between humans and the environment from individual, societal, and scientific perspectives. Readings include scientific journal articles and book excerpts, such as Tom Friedman's Hot, Flat, and Crowded, James Lovelock's Gaia, and Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. A portion of the course will be devoted to a research project about a current environmental issue, such as global climate change, pollution, or threats to biodiversity.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.    Stephen Jessup    9965

 

ECONOMICS 1105 SEM 101

Economics and Activism: The Freakonomics of Real World Problems

Activists, policymakers, and the general public cannot make informed decisions about socioeconomic issues like trade agreements, WalMart and biofuels without an understanding of the economic forces at work. This course invites students to learn core economic principles and apply them to pressing social issues by writing well-researched position pieces. Students choose a theme at the beginning of the course, anything from African poverty to gender in the workplace, and organize their writing around their themes. Assignments include short essays, assessments of popular positions and a research paper. Readings include key economic texts on behavior and social policy, as well as articles from periodicals. We will emphasize the role of incentives, welfare trade-offs and constraints in the determination of social outcomes, and we will pay careful attention to the differences between writing to inform, writing to argue, and writing to inspire.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Brian Dillon     12131

 

ENGLISH 1105 SEM 101

Gender and Writing:Women and the War Story

This course will focus on literature that uses the lens of women’s experience to narrate and represent war and armed resistance. We will examine both the representation and participation of women in resistance movements and wars and will be guided by the following questions: 1) How are women represented in resistance movements? 2) How do women represent themselves? and 3) How do women represent and define resistance? We will discuss and write about fiction, non-fiction essays, and autobiographical texts that reveal the ways in which women participate in or resist civil wars, foreign invasions, and other forms of violence related to territorial, political, or cultural ideologies. Possible authors include Virginia Woolf, Edwidge Danticat, Helena María Viramontes, Julia Alvarez, Demetria Martinez, Miriam Cooke, and Cristina Garcia.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.    Belinda Rincon    11577

 

ENGLISH 1105 SEM 102

Gender and Writing: Gender Across Cultures in Fiction and Film

Do sexual and gender identity shift according to different races, classes, cultures, and times? How do everyday ideas about sex, gender, and sexuality become normalized in different societies? We will use cross-cultural comparisons to explore issues of gender and sexual stereotyping, such as the idea that females are more emotionally sensitive than males or that certain sexual orientations are more natural than others. We will consider the effect such ideas have on daily life, as well as the ways in which such ideas are either enforced or disrupted. We will explore, and write about these questions through a wide range of literary texts and films including Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre with Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea, Kimberley Peirce’s film Boys Don’t Cry, and Deepa Mehta’s film Fire.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Mukti Lakhi     11580

 

ENGLISH 1108 SEM 101

Writing About Film

A writing course that focuses on film, particularly on Hollywood classics, past and current. How is a film put together so that it will manipulate and move its audience? What are the roles of editing, camera movement, soundtrack, and image? What does a film tell us about its culture and our cultures? About the relations between women and men, between filmer and filmed? We explore such questions as we analyze six films. We read about film history, techniques, and analysis. Students write both short exercises designed to sharpen attention to details of each film and regularly scheduled essays on a wide range of topics, such as relations between men and women as represented in these films, the appeal of movie stars, ways of identifying a director's characteristic style, and the tension between the soundtrack and the visual composition in a particular scene.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.    James Cecil     11581

Students must be free to attend screenings on Mondays at 6:30 and Thursdays at 4:45. Choose another writing seminar if your schedule conflicts with these screenings.

 

ENGLISH 1108 SEM 102

Writing About Film

A writing course that focuses on film, particularly on Hollywood classics, past and current. How is a film put together so that it will manipulate and move its audience? What are the roles of editing, camera movement, soundtrack, and image? What does a film tell us about its culture and our cultures? About the relations between women and men, between filmer and filmed? We explore such questions as we analyze six films. We read about film history, techniques, and analysis. Students write both short exercises designed to sharpen attention to details of each film and regularly scheduled essays on a wide range of topics, such as relations between men and women as represented in these films, the appeal of movie stars, ways of identifying a director's characteristic style, and the tension between the soundtrack and the visual composition in a particular scene.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.    Ryan Dirks    11582

Students must be free to attend screenings on Mondays at 6:30 and Thursdays at 4:45. Choose another writing seminar if your schedule conflicts with these screenings.

 

ENGLISH 1108 SEM 103

Writing About Film

A writing course that focuses on film, particularly on Hollywood classics, past and current. How is a film put together so that it will manipulate and move its audience? What are the roles of editing, camera movement, soundtrack, and image? What does a film tell us about its culture and our cultures? About the relations between women and men, between filmer and filmed? We explore such questions as we analyze six films. We read about film history, techniques, and analysis. Students write both short exercises designed to sharpen attention to details of each film and regularly scheduled essays on a wide range of topics, such as relations between men and women as represented in these films, the appeal of movie stars, ways of identifying a director's characteristic style, and the tension between the soundtrack and the visual composition in a particular scene.

MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m.    Justin Souza    11583

Students must be free to attend screenings on Mondays at 6:30 and Thursdays at 4:45. Choose another writing seminar if your schedule conflicts with these screenings.

 

ENGLISH 1109 SEM 101

Culture of the Raj

Judging from the recent spate of popular novels and movies dealing with the British rule in India, the "Raj" was a time of pageantry and color, adventure, and romance. But to what extent is this image historically accurate? How did people live their lives, and how did the colonial rule affect not only Indian society and culture but also contemporary Britain? The Raj did invent many of the modern forms of spectacle and public ceremonial display, but is there anything else that survives to the present day? What do we know about "race" and nationalism, for instance, or literature and imperial ideology, and the various "cultural" ways we understand ourselves—then as much as now? To explore these topics, we will discuss and write about both literary and historical texts, as well as some current films and popular fiction.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.    Satya Mohanty    11584

 

ENGLISH 1111 SEM 101

Thinking Across Cultures: Natives and Strangers

Belonging and not belonging. Inclusion and exclusion. Familiarity and estrangement. How does the U.S. order its social relations? How does a society construct and enforce social, political, psychological, and economic boundaries? How do these boundaries operate in daily life? How does our society determine who is a “native” and who is a “stranger”? What are some of the ways through which people are included and excluded (for example, by way of race, gender, class, sexual or religious orientation, or able-bodiedness). How are people’s lives affected by such determinations? We’ll be reading and writing about a number of twentieth-century American authors who grapple with these issues in their writing (including, possibly, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Saul Bellow, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, and Gwendolyn Brooks).

MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m.    Shelley Wong     12134

 

ENGLISH 1111 SEM 102

Thinking Across Cultures: Writing Exile

What does it mean to be stateless or displaced? What does it mean to be a stranger? And how does the figure of the political exile or immigrant trouble our ideas about national identities, borders, and home? This course will explore literary and cinematic representations of exile, immigration, refuges, and asylum. We will look at literatures of resistance and forbidden literatures; grapple with what it means to offer hospitality or asylum; and question the relationship between language, literature, and place. Texts forming the basis of discussion and writing assignments may include the graphic novel Persepolis; the films Babel, Dirty Pretty Things, Maria Full of Grace, Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke; and Junot Diaz’s Drown.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.    Danielle Haque    12135

 

ENGLISH 1111 SEM 103

Thinking Across Cultures: Foreign AffairsùCosmopolitanism in Nineteenth-Century Britain

This course will explore the tension between commitments to and beyond the nation in British literature written in the second half of the nineteenth century, when nationalism spread dramatically across the European continent through wars, annexations, and revolutions. Students will read and write about novels, stories, plays, and poems that grapple with what it means to belong to a nation and ask whether the possibilities for community or solidarity across borders have been limited in a world of nation-states. Possible texts include Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native, Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent, and Oscar Wilde’s play, An Ideal Husband.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.    David Coombs    12136

 

ENGLISH 1127 SEM 101

Shakespeare

This seminar provides a unique opportunity for students to work very closely with just a few of Shakespeare's plays: a total of four or five over the course of the semester. We will use these texts as a source and motivation for our own reading, writing, and critical analysis, but we will be attentive also to the plays as performances. Film screenings, performances, and historical materials related to the plays in production will be included in each seminar, though the particulars will vary according to the instructor. Course work will involve extensive writing—both formal and informal—and drafting.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.    Christopher Kempf    12139

 

ENGLISH 1127 SEM 102

Shakespeare

This seminar provides a unique opportunity for students to work very closely with just a few of Shakespeare's plays: a total of four or five over the course of the semester. We will use these texts as a source and motivation for our own reading, writing, and critical analysis, but we will be attentive also to the plays as performances. Film screenings, performances, and historical materials related to the plays in production will be included in each seminar, though the particulars will vary according to the instructor. Course work will involve extensive writing—both formal and informal—and drafting.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.    Brad Zukovic    12141

 

ENGLISH 1127 SEM 103

Shakespeare

This seminar provides a unique opportunity for students to work very closely with just a few of Shakespeare's plays: a total of four or five over the course of the semester. We will use these texts as a source and motivation for our own reading, writing, and critical analysis, but we will be attentive also to the plays as performances. Film screenings, performances, and historical materials related to the plays in production will be included in each seminar, though the particulars will vary according to the instructor. Course work will involve extensive writing—both formal and informal—and drafting.

MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m.    Jon Katz    12142

 

ENGLISH 1134 SEM 101

Memoir and Memory

In this course, we will examine how authors construct their public, written selves. Since the self is, at best, a difficult and multi-faceted concept, we will consider a variety of texts in our endeavor to understand an author's choices of literary techniques in his or her narration of the remembered, created self. While book-length memoirs such as Kincaid's My Brother or Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life will figure in our investigation of methods of self-exploration and presentation, other readings will be drawn from non-fiction profiles, reflective

essays, plays (e.g., The Laramie Project), poems, and visual renderings (e.g. Maus). Through reading and the frequent writing of essays we will explore how and why people write about themselves, while always asking, "How does writing shape lived experience?"

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.    Sarah Scoles     12144

 

ENGLISH 1134 SEM 102

Memoir and Memory

In this course, we will examine how authors construct their public, written selves. Since the self is, at best, a difficult and multi-faceted concept, we will consider a variety of texts in our endeavor to understand an author's choices of literary techniques in his or her narration of the remembered, created self. While book-length memoirs such as Kincaid's My Brother or Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life will figure in our investigation of methods of self-exploration and presentation, other readings will be drawn from non-fiction profiles, reflective essays, plays (e.g., The Laramie Project), poems, and visual renderings (e.g. Maus). Through reading and the frequent writing of essays we will explore how and why people write about themselves, while always asking, "How does writing shape lived experience?"

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.    Jennifer Ray    12146

 

ENGLISH 1134 SEM 103

Memoir and Memory

In this course, we will examine how authors construct their public, written selves. Since the self is, at best, a difficult and multi-faceted concept, we will consider a variety of texts in our endeavor to understand an author's choices of literary techniques in his or her narration of the remembered, created self. While book-length memoirs such as Kincaid's My Brother or Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life will figure in our investigation of methods of self-exploration and presentation, other readings will be drawn from non-fiction profiles, reflective essays, plays (e.g., The Laramie Project), poems, and visual renderings (e.g. Maus). Through reading and the frequent writing of essays we will explore how and why people write about themselves, while always asking, "How does writing shape lived experience?"

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.    Christine Suwendy    12148

 

ENGLISH 1134 SEM 104

Memoir and Memory

In this course, we will examine how authors construct their public, written selves. Since the self is, at best, a difficult and multi-faceted concept, we will consider a variety of texts in our endeavor to understand an author's choices of literary techniques in his or her narration of the remembered, created self. While book-length memoirs such as Kincaid's My Brother or Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life will figure in our investigation of methods of self-exploration and presentation, other readings will be drawn from non-fiction profiles, reflective essays, plays (e.g., The Laramie Project), poems, and visual renderings (e.g. Maus). Through reading and the frequent writing of essays we will explore how and why people write about themselves, while always asking, "How does writing shape lived experience?"

MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m.    Benjamin McCormick    12149

 

ENGLISH 1134 SEM 105

Memoir and Memory

In this course, we will examine how authors construct their public, written selves. Since the self is, at best, a difficult and multi-faceted concept, we will consider a variety of texts in our endeavor to understand an author's choices of literary techniques in his or her narration of the remembered, created self. While book-length memoirs such as Kincaid's My Brother or Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life will figure in our investigation of methods of self-exploration and presentation, other readings will be drawn from non-fiction profiles, reflective essays, plays (e.g., The Laramie Project), poems, and visual renderings (e.g. Maus). Through reading and the frequent writing of essays we will explore how and why people write about themselves, while always asking, "How does writing shape lived experience?"

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Sarah Jefferis    12150

 

ENGLISH 1140 SEM 101

Common Ground: Cornell and Ithaca in Collaboration

Would you like to experience Cornell as something more than campus? This course offers students a meaningful community interaction as part of their writing experience. Specifically, students in this seminar will meet at regular intervals (during the normal class time) with a class of Ithaca High School juniors and/or seniors to engage in critical discussions about our community and American cultural values as they relate to shared readings (e.g., Franklin, Baldwin, Anzaldúa, Trask, Leguin, Ehrenreich, Madison, Reich). Writing assignments as well as projects relating to local issues will will challenge student views in connection to various types of diversity, which may include class, gender, and ethnicity. Ideally, students will broaden their perspectives while developing a greater comprehension of textual material, as well as verbal and written skill in considering that material rhetorically.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.    Janine Nieroda    11933

HS MEETINGS, WE WILL NEED TO LEAVE CAMPUS BY 11:15

 

ENGLISH 1147 SEM 101

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 Dashiell Hammett 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 The Usual Suspects and Memento, and postmodern mystery parodies such as those of Paul Auster and Jorge Luis Borges. We'll look at the way they hang together, the desire and fear that drive them, and the secrets they tell—or try to keep hidden.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.    Alex Gonzales    12151

 

ENGLISH 1147 SEM 102

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 Dashiell Hammett 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 The Usual Suspects and Memento, and postmodern mystery parodies such as those of Paul Auster and Jorge Luis Borges. We'll look at the way they hang together, the desire and fear that drive them, and the secrets they tell—or try to keep hidden.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.    Steven Pinkerton    12152

 

ENGLISH 1147 SEM 103

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 Dashiell Hammett 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 The Usual Suspects and Memento, and postmodern mystery parodies such as those of Paul Auster and Jorge Luis Borges. We'll look at the way they hang together, the desire and fear that drive them, and the secrets they tell—or try to keep hidden.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.    Tea Bajraktarevic    12153

 

ENGLISH 1158 SEM 101

American Literature and Culture: The Space of Solitude

When we imagine the experience of going “into the wild,” why do we envision ourselves alone? In this course, we will examine the intersections between solitude and place in American literature, tracing—and complicating—how authentic engagement with landscape is linked to particular modes of social interaction and isolation. We will look again at various literary figures whom we think we know—the solitary pilgrim, the cloistered poet, the self-effacing observer—and consider the possibility of inhabiting a social solitude, of understanding anonymity and intimacy as states (spaces?) as co-implicated as they are opposed. Writing assignments will include short responses and critical essays analyzing texts such as Thoreau’s Walden, Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, Dickinson’s poems, Krakauer’s Into the Wild, and Herzog’s film Grizzly Man.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.    Sarah Ensor    12154

 

ENGLISH 1158 SEM 102

American Literature and Culture: The Power of the Page—Message and Media

Do Benjamin Franklin and Paris Hilton have anything in common? This course argues that yes, both knew how to manipulate the power of the media to achieve their goals. American writers have been taking advantage of the ability to broadcast ideas around the country and the world since colonists began sending descriptions of the “new world” back to Europe. How did the ability to reach an audience of readers for poems, novels, and historical records affect the history of revolution, slavery, and rights in the U.S.? Today, when you comment on a blog, or “broadcast yourself” on YouTube, how does it affect how people perceive you and your ideas? In this course, we will explore and write about these relationships between American writers and the media that carry their words.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.    Jonathon Senchyne    12155

 

ENGLISH 1158 SEM 103

American Literature and Culture: Blue Collar and Blues

What is music’s relation to literature? What is literature’s relation to class? In this course, we will examine the uniquely American phenomena that is “The Blues,” a creative and social movement, which springs from our nation’s long-standing issues with poverty, gender, and race. “Blue Collar and Blues” is a wonderful opportunity for students to analyze the art of the “barely getting by” and the “down and out.” In discussion and critical writing, we will be tackling such works as the poetry of Langston Hughes and James Wright, “Nickel and Dimed” by Barbara Ehrenreich, the fiction of John Steinbeck and Raymond Carver, and the music and lyrics of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Billie Holiday.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Jared Harel     12156

 

ENGLISH 1158 SEM 104

American Literature and Culture: Race and Urban Culture in New York City

How does race shape the literature of the city? How does fashion complicate our understanding of art? This course will use the perspective of New York City to explore the interactions of race, art, and fashion in American culture. The assigned reading will focus on novels written by New York writers such as Toni Morrison’s Jazz, Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Jonathan Lethem’s Fortress of Solitude. Additional readings will be drawn from The New Yorker magazine, Newsweek, short stories, interviews, and cultural criticism. Topics for discussion and critical writing will include fashion, architecture, and urban gentrification and their relation to race, class, and gender.

MW 07:30–08:45 p.m.    Marcus Braham    12158

 

ENGLISH 1158 SEM 105

American Literature and Culture: Love and Hate in the Fiction of Toni Morrison

From racial self-loathing and "killer" motherlove to love's sweet revenge, the two strongest human emotions drive much of Morrison's fiction. What happens when either love or hate is taken to the extreme? How has American culture and history inspired these emotions? Together we will explore these questions and more as we read the fiction of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. Texts for the course include The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, Beloved, and Love, as well as critical commentaries of these novels. Students will write a number of response papers and formal essays and will be expected to contribute to the class's overall understanding of Morrison's fiction through oral presentations.

MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m.    Jami Carlacio    12159

 

ENGLISH 1158 SEM 106

American Literature and Culture: How the Other Half Lives—Writing and the Poetics of Poverty

On June 1, 2008, the Broadway musical Rent ended its lengthy run, marking the end of a cultural phenomenon that had its origins in the frantic 1980s. This course will examine Rent and other texts that take up poverty as an artistic topos. We will consider how poverty has been made to signify everything from artistic creativity and political possibility to deviance and criminality. Some of the topics we will examine include slums, the Great Depression, documentary photography, muckraking, political radicalism, sharecropping, and immigration. Some of the texts we will consider are Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives, Tillie Olsen’s Yonnondio, essays by James Baldwin, and Ann Petry’s The Street. Requirements include six formal essays, in-class writing exercises, and peer reviews.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.    Corinna Lee    12161

 

ENGLISH 1158 SEM 107

American Literature and Culture: Creativity and Community

What does it mean to create work together? What is the status of meaning when the act of creation is a communal one? This class in discussion and writing, will consider these and other questions from a variety of literary and artistic perspectives. We will move from silent partnerships such as those of editors with authors to troubling forms of “collaboration” such as plagiarism to more traditional acts of productive cooperation. Among the works considered will be the films of Joel and Ethan Coen, the graphic novels of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neil, and the collaborations of the poet Marilyn Hacker with the novelist Samuel R. Delany.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.    Jacob Brogan    12162

 

ENGLISH 1158 SEM 108

American Literature and Culture: Guns, Gals and Gold: Legends of the West

Gunslingers, gamblers, prostitutes, and prospectors: these icons of the western frontier inhabit American consciousness. In this course, we will explore mainstays of the western genre--the laconic lawman, the mystic savage, the whore with a heart of gold--and the stories we tell about them. Using fiction, film, ballads and poetry, we will examine narratives of community, self reliance, and utopian idealism. How do these legends define a nation's identity and values? We'll also consider how the western survives cross culturally and in our contemporary imaginings. Writing assignments will include short responses and multi-draft critical essays on works by Louis L'Amour, Zane Grey, Sherman Alexie, Annie Proulx, and others. We'll watch High Noon, The Proposition, Deadman, and selected episodes from Deadwood and Cowboy Bebop.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.    Shilo McGiff    12163

 

ENGLISH 1168 SEM 101

Cultural Studies

From TV news to rock lyrics, from ads to political speeches to productions of Shakespeare, the forms of culture surround us at every moment. In addition to entertaining us or enticing us, they carry implied messages about who we are, what world we live in, and what we should value. This course is built on the assumption that learning to decode these messages is a survival skill in today's media-saturated world and also excellent training for reading literature. We will analyze and write about cultural forms as texts to be read for what they tell us about men and women, wealth and power, race, nation, and technology. Readings may include fiction, films, advertisements, television shows, and essays on the theory of cultural studies.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.    Seth Perlow     12217

 

ENGLISH 1168 SEM 102

Cultural Studies

From TV news to rock lyrics, from ads to political speeches to productions of Shakespeare, the forms of culture surround us at every moment. In addition to entertaining us or enticing us, they carry implied messages about who we are, what world we live in, and what we should value. This course is built on the assumption that learning to decode these messages is a survival skill in today's media-saturated world and also excellent training for reading literature. We will analyze and write about cultural forms as texts to be read for what they tell us about men and women, wealth and power, race, nation, and technology. Readings may include fiction, films, advertisements, television shows, and essays on the theory of cultural studies.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.    Lily Cui     12218

 

ENGLISH 1168 SEM 103

Cultural Studies

From TV news to rock lyrics, from ads to political speeches to productions of Shakespeare, the forms of culture surround us at every moment. In addition to entertaining us or enticing us, they carry implied messages about who we are, what world we live in, and what we should value. This course is built on the assumption that learning to decode these messages is a survival skill in today's media-saturated world and also excellent training for reading literature. We will analyze and write about cultural forms as texts to be read for what they tell us about men and women, wealth and power, race, nation, and technology. Readings may include fiction, films, advertisements, television shows, and essays on the theory of cultural studies.

MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m.    Virginia Heatter    12219

 

ENGLISH 1168 SEM 104

Cultural Studies

From TV news to rock lyrics, from ads to political speeches to productions of Shakespeare, the forms of culture surround us at every moment. In addition to entertaining us or enticing us, they carry implied messages about who we are, what world we live in, and what we should value. This course is built on the assumption that learning to decode these messages is a survival skill in today's media-saturated world and also excellent training for reading literature. We will analyze and write about cultural forms as texts to be read for what they tell us about men and women, wealth and power, race, nation, and technology. Readings may include fiction, films, advertisements, television shows, and essays on the theory of cultural studies.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Brigitte Fielder     12220

 

ENGLISH 1168 SEM 105

Cultural Studies

From TV news to rock lyrics, from ads to political speeches to productions of Shakespeare, the forms of culture surround us at every moment. In addition to entertaining us or enticing us, they carry implied messages about who we are, what world we live in, and what we should value. This course is built on the assumption that learning to decode these messages is a survival skill in today's media-saturated world and also excellent training for reading literature. We will analyze and write about cultural forms as texts to be read for what they tell us about men and women, wealth and power, race, nation, and technology. Readings may include fiction, films, advertisements, television shows, and essays on the theory of cultural studies.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.    Patrick Foran     12221

 

ENGLISH 1168 SEM 106

Cultural Studies

From TV news to rock lyrics, from ads to political speeches to productions of Shakespeare, the forms of culture surround us at every moment. In addition to entertaining us or enticing us, they carry implied messages about who we are, what world we live in, and what we should value. This course is built on the assumption that learning to decode these messages is a survival skill in today's media-saturated world and also excellent training for reading literature. We will analyze and write about cultural forms as texts to be read for what they tell us about men and women, wealth and power, race, nation, and technology. Readings may include fiction, films, advertisements, television shows, and essays on the theory of cultural studies.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.    Jane Juffer    12222

 

ENGLISH 1170 SEM 101

Linked Stories

We will investigate a number of short fiction collections that concern a defining incident or trace the development of a character (or characters) over a period of time and/or geographical space. When these stories are read together as a collection, they can define a world. This course, then, in discussion and frequent writing, explores some of the finest achievements of modern short fiction that share a common setting, characters, or an overarching plot. Texts may include works by the following authors: Sherwood Anderson, Raymond Carver, Edwidge Danticat, Junot Diaz, Louise Erdrich, Denis Johnson, James Joyce, Alice Munro, Gloria Naylor, Tim O'Brien, and Flannery O'Connor.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.    Allison Barrett     12225

 

ENGLISH 1170 SEM 102

Linked Stories

We will investigate a number of short fiction collections that concern a defining incident or trace the development of a character (or characters) over a period of time and/or geographical space. When these stories are read together as a collection, they can define a world. This course, then, in discussion and frequent writing, explores some of the finest achievements of modern short fiction that share a common setting, characters, or an overarching plot. Texts may include works by the following authors: Sherwood Anderson, Raymond Carver, Edwidge Danticat, Junot Diaz, Louise Erdrich, Denis Johnson, James Joyce, Alice Munro, Gloria Naylor, Tim O'Brien, and Flannery O'Connor.

MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m.    Estella Gonzalez    12226

 

ENGLISH 1170 SEM 103

Linked Stories

We will investigate a number of short fiction collections that concern a defining incident or trace the development of a character (or characters) over a period of time and/or geographical space. When these stories are read together as a collection, they can define a world. This course, then, in discussion and frequent writing, explores some of the finest achievements of modern short fiction that share a common setting, characters, or an overarching plot. Texts may include works by the following authors: Sherwood Anderson, Raymond Carver, Edwidge Danticat, Junot Diaz, Louise Erdrich, Denis Johnson, James Joyce, Alice Munro, Gloria Naylor, Tim O'Brien, and Flannery O'Connor.

MW 07:30–08:45 p.m.    Matthew Grice     12227

 

ENGLISH 1185 SEM 101

Writing About Literature: Thwack! Heroes and Culture Clashes They Embody

Why should we, in a world where it can take an entire day’s wages to fill our gas tank, care about grown men in tights? This course, in writing and in class discussion, will explore how (super)heroes come to embody the cultural conflicts (and the “ideologies” involved in them) that occur in societies medieval and modern. We will examine heroes such as Beowulf, a figure in whom pagan and Christian ideals intermingle; King Arthur, whose legends have been used to portray different conceptions of chivalry and courtly love; and Batman, who in his 70 years of existence has represented brooding modernism, American wartime patriotism, and 1960s’ camp.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.    Matthew Spears     12312

 

ENGLISH 1185 SEM 102

Writing About Literature: If I Wrote You—Letters, Longing, and Literature

In this seminar, we will engage in a broad-ranging, careful study of letters from classical antiquity through the twenty-first century. We will discuss and write about the letter’s material presence and form(s), historical evolution, and engagement with issues of distance and absence, foreignness and exile, friendship and sympathy. As we encounter fictional and non-fictional letters alike, we will consider the ways that our reading of a letter changes when it appears within or provides the structure for another genre, including the novel and the lyric poem. Our readings will lead us to authors ranging from Ovid (Letters from Pontus) to Mary Shelley (Frankenstein) to Ted Hughes (Birthday Letters); in addition to writing analytical essays, we will spend the semester developing and reflecting on an original series of our own letters.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.    Giffen Maupin    12313

 

ENGLISH 1185 SEM 103

Writing About Literature: Utopia and Its Discontents

A utopia is an ideal state—but from whose point of view? People rarely agree on politics, and therefore utopias often differ drastically from one another. This course features literature about a variety of imaginary and “real” societies that are divided into factions with competing ideals, interests, and points of view. In our reading, discussion, and writing, we will consider themes such as political authority, corruption, and rebellion, and we will explore the following questions: What makes a government legitimate? How do rebels justify their actions? Can a utopia ever be established by utopian means? Featured texts will include excerpts from the King James Bible; selected plays, poems, and/or short stories; and two recent novels: Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.    Bryan Alkemeyer    12314

 

ENGLISH 1185 SEM 104

Writing About Literature: Journals, Diaries, Notebooks—Form and Fire

How have authors transformed their sometimes humdrum lives into works of exciting literature? Where does the biographical person end and the literary persona begin? To what extent do journals exhibit the raw materials of the writing process and to what extent can they represent a finished—if often fragmentary—form? We will explore questions about the tensions of life versus art, public versus private, fact versus artifice, and process versus product. In addition to formal essays, students will be expected to write their own journals appropriating the techniques and styles of the authors we study. Readings will include selections from: The Diaries of Samuel Pepys, Dorothy Wordsworth’s The Grasmere Journals, Lichtenberg’s The Waste Book, Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet, and Roethke’s Straw for the Fire.

MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m.    William Cordeiro    12315

 

ENGLISH 1185 SEM 105

Writing About Literature: The Wanderer and the Wilderness—Travel and Nature Narrative

From fictional stories of ship voyages to personal accounts of wilderness survival, writers have shaped the way we think about the world and our natural surroundings across the centuries. In this class, we will explore the overlaps between two popular genres of writing: travel and nature narrative. The course will discuss such topics as the dialogue between nature and the imagination, memory and perception, the natural and the supernatural. Authors may include Daniel Defoe, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Henry David Thoreau, Jack London, and Barry Lopez. While the course will seek to develop critical writing skills, assignments may include some creative writing as well as a screening of Sean Penn’s recent film, Into the Wild, and an optional outdoors trip.

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Sarah Eron     12316

 

ENGLISH 1185 SEM 106

Writing About Literature: Laughter and the Limits of the Human

“No animal laughs save man,” writes Aristotle. What is it about comedy that makes us human? Conversely, how do humor and satire challenge our conceptions about what it means to be human? As we will see, even though comedy may define the human, it also takes an interest in the limits and excesses of humanity: the grotesque, the fool, the automaton, and the animal. We will read about hack poets who are more machines than men, a race of super-intelligent horses bent on committing genocide, as well as a litany of drunkenness, abuse, insult, idiocy, and barbarity. Authors and texts for discussion and critical writing assignments, will include Erasmus, Rabelais, Shakespeare, Swift, Pope, Sterne, Beckett, DeLillo, and The Simpsons.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Jess Keiser     12317

 

ENGLISH 1185 SEM 107

Writing About Literature: Gone to the Dogs—The Canine in Literature and Culture

This interdisciplinary seminar will introduce students to behavioral, ethological, philosophical, historical, and literary perspectives on dogs. It will also emphasize how thinking about the dog-human relationship has changed profoundly over the past several decades. Mark Derr’s A Dog's History of America, Virginia Woolf’s Flush, Donna Haraway’s The Companion Species Manifesto, Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, and Raymond and Lorna Coppinger’s Dogs: A New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior, and Evolution are some of the possible course readings.  Writing assignments will include short essays, a revised longer essay, and in-class critical thinking exercises. The mode of the class will be discussion. Students will have the opportunity to take several voluntary off campus field trips during the semester.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Laura Donaldson    12318

 

ENGLISH 1190 SEM 101

Great Books? Exploring the Literary Tradition

What do Beowulf and Virginia Woolf have in common? In this course, we will examine and question some of the major works of English literature across various genres and periods.Authors may include Chaucer, Shakespeare, Swift, Austen, Woolf, and Joyce. Touching upon such themes as sex and satire, romance and reason, and travel and colonialism, we will ask what makes these works "great" literature, why we continue to read them, and how they have generated traditions of readership over the ages. Writing assignments will focus on introducing and developing skills in close reading and literary interpretation.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.    Owen Boynton    12324

 

ENGLISH 1190 SEM 102

Great Books? Exploring the Literary Tradition

What do Beowulf and Virginia Woolf have in common? In this course, we will examine and question some of the major works of English literature across various genres and periods.Authors may include Chaucer, Shakespeare, Swift, Austen, Woolf, and Joyce. Touching upon such themes as sex and satire, romance and reason, and travel and colonialism, we will ask what makes these works "great" literature, why we continue to read them, and how they have generated traditions of readership over the ages. Writing assignments will focus on introducing and developing skills in close reading and literary interpretation.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.    Katie Compton    12325

 

ENGLISH 1190 SEM 103

Great Books? Exploring the Literary Tradition

What do Beowulf and Virginia Woolf have in common? In this course, we will examine and question some of the major works of English literature across various genres and periods.Authors may include Chaucer, Shakespeare, Swift, Austen, Woolf, and Joyce. Touching upon such themes as sex and satire, romance and reason, and travel and colonialism, we will ask what makes these works "great" literature, why we continue to read them, and how they have generated traditions of readership over the ages. Writing assignments will focus on introducing and developing skills in close reading and literary interpretation.

MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m.    Matthew Fellion     12326

 

ENGLISH 2700 SEM 101

The Reading of Fiction

This course examines modern fiction, with an emphasis on the short story and novella. Students will write critical essays on authors who flourished between 1870 and the present, such as James, Joyce, Woolf, Hurston, Lawrence, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Rhys, Welty, Salinger, and Morrison. Reading lists vary from section to section, and some may include a novel, but close, attentive, imaginative reading and writing are central to all.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.    David Faulkner    12327

First-year students may enroll only if they have taken one First-Year Writing Seminar, scored a "4" or "5" on the Princeton AP examination, or received a "700" or better on the English Composition or CEEB tests.

 

ENGLISH 2700 SEM 102

The Reading of Fiction

This course examines modern fiction, with an emphasis on the short story and novella. Students will write critical essays on authors who flourished between 1870 and the present, such as James, Joyce, Woolf, Hurston, Lawrence, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Rhys, Welty, Salinger, and Morrison. Reading lists vary from section to section, and some may include a novel, but close, attentive, imaginative reading and writing are central to all.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.    James Adams    12328

First-year students may enroll only if they have taken one First-Year Writing Seminar, scored a "4" or "5" on the Princeton AP examination, or received a "700" or better on the English Composition or CEEB tests.

 

ENGLISH 2700 SEM 103

The Reading of Fiction

This course examines modern fiction, with an emphasis on the short story and novella. Students will write critical essays on authors who flourished between 1870 and the present, such as James, Joyce, Woolf, Hurston, Lawrence, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Rhys, Welty, Salinger, and Morrison. Reading lists vary from section to section, and some may include a novel, but close, attentive, imaginative reading and writing are central to all.

MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m.    Jeremy Braddock    12329

First-year students may enroll only if they have taken one First-Year Writing Seminar, scored a "4" or "5" on the Princeton AP examination, or received a "700" or better on the English Composition or CEEB tests.

 

ENGLISH 2700 SEM 104

The Reading of Fiction

This course examines modern fiction, with an emphasis on the short story and novella. Students will write critical essays on authors who flourished between 1870 and the present, such as James, Joyce, Woolf, Hurston, Lawrence, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Rhys, Welty, Salinger, and Morrison. Reading lists vary from section to section, and some may include a novel, but close, attentive, imaginative reading and writing are central to all.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.    Elizabeth Anker    12330

First-year students may enroll only if they have taken one First-Year Writing Seminar, scored a "4" or "5" on the Princeton AP examination, or received a "700" or better on the English Composition or CEEB tests.

 

ENGLISH 2700 SEM 105

The Reading of Fiction

This course examines modern fiction, with an emphasis on the short story and novella. Students will write critical essays on authors who flourished between 1870 and the present, such as James, Joyce, Woolf, Hurston, Lawrence, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Rhys, Welty, Salinger, and Morrison. Reading lists vary from section to section, and some may include a novel, but close, attentive, imaginative reading and writing are central to all.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.    Robert Lehman    12332

First-year students may enroll only if they have taken one First-Year Writing Seminar, scored a "4" or "5" on the Princeton AP examination, or received a "700" or better on the English Composition or CEEB tests.

 

ENGLISH 2710 SEM 101

The Reading of Poetry

What can reading poetry teach us about writing critical essays? How can we become more perceptive and critical readers of poetry, and also better prose writers? This course deals with a rich variety of poems, including sonnets, odes, sestinas, villanelles, and songs. By engaging in discussions and working with varied writing assignments, we will explore major modes and genres of English poetry, learn about versification techniques, rhetorical strategies, and thematic and topical concerns. In the process, we will expand the possibilities of our own writing.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.    Frederic Bogel     12333

First-year students may enroll only if they have taken one First-Year Writing Seminar, scored a "4" or "5" on the Princeton AP examination, or received a "700" or better on the English Composition or CEEB tests.

 

ENGLISH 2710 SEM 102

The Reading of Poetry: Poets of the Last Ten Minutes

What can reading contemporary poetry teach us about writing interpretive essays? How can we become more perceptive readers of poetry, and also better prose writers? In this course, you'll write about an eclectic assortment of contemporary poetry books with an eye toward matters of content and form. In the process, you'll expand the possibilities of your own interpretive writing. We'll consider the poems' relation to tradition and genre; its meter or rhythm, metaphors, tropes, rhetorics, tones, and silences. We'll also focus on themes and subtexts. The course might include a "tournament of books," in which students post essays on the class blog, comparing assigned volumes. There will be seven to twelve assigned books. The "ten minutes" of the subtitle alludes to geologic time. In mortal time, the poetry will be of the last ten years.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.    Alice Fulton     12334

First-year students may enroll only if they have taken one First-Year Writing Seminar, scored a "4" or "5" on the Princeton AP examination, or received a "700" or better on the English Composition or CEEB tests.

 

ENGLISH 2720 SEM 101

The Reading of Drama

In this course, we will study and write critically about plays, older and newer, in a variety of dramatic idioms and cultural traditions. We will practice close, interpretive reading of texts and pay attention to their possibilities for live and filmed performance. Readings will include works by such playwrights as Sophocles and Shakespeare, Arthur Miller and Caryl Churchill, Ntosake Shange and Tony Kushner, and some drama criticism and performance theory. Attendance at screenings and at live productions by the Theatre Department may be required.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.    Stuart Davis    12335

First-year students may enroll only if they have taken one First-Year Writing Seminar, scored a "4" or "5" on the Princeton AP examination, or received a "700" or better on the English Composition or CEEB tests.

 

ENGLISH FOR LATER BILINGUALS 1116 SEM 101

English for Academic Purposes

This seminar is designed to improve the writing skills of students from non-English speaking countries who have attended U.S. high schools for from one to four years. The seminar seeks to improve vocabulary, sentence and paragraph structure, and organization of compositions. A major component is production of a research paper, a project that helps develop skills in library resource use, note-taking, paraphrasing, summarizing, and following the conventions of formal paper writing.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.    Deborah Campbell    9567

Placement by test. This seminar is not suitable for students whose schooling has been entirely in English-medium schools. Do not request this course on a ballot: register with the instructor, Deborah Campbell, in 301 White Hall.

 

FRENCH 1104 SEM 101

Négritudes: "Black" Thought in the American Harlem Renaissance and the French-Speaking Worlds

Must the black "die to white culture in order to be reborn with a black soul"? In the 1930s, the movement known as négritude brought together a group of writers and intellectuals who sought to discover and valorize a "black soul," a black identity, and reject French colonial racism in Africa and the Caribbean. In this seminar we will explore the evolution of négritude (together with its critiques) and examine its cross-cultural ties with the American Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s. We will read such key texts as Jean-Paul Sartre's Black Orpheus, as well as equally important works by writers such as Langston Hughes, W.E. B. DuBois, and Aimé Césaire. Students will be asked to engage critically with the texts, writing regular reactions to readings and videos, as well as textual analyses and longer research papers.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.    Ioana Vartolomei    9951

 

FRENCH 1107 SEM 101

Transnational Human Rights: The French and Haitian Revolutions

Before the United Nations declared that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” revolutionary France declared that “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights.” At once conservative and radical, this declaration reverberated throughout France and its colonies sparking further revolt, revolt which fundamentally changed the declaration and shaped our current understanding of human rights. Crossing history, political theory, and literature (Victor Hugo) this interdiscipinary writing seminar explores the transnational actions and debates from which human rights emerged and evolved. We will focus on exchanges between the French and Haitian Revolutions and examine the role of women, the poor, and religious minorities. Through various genres of writing students will critically engage these exchanges in dialogue and debate.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Cory Browning     12132

 

FRENCH 1119 SEM 101

Techniques of Interpretation: An Introduction to Semiotics

In its broadest meaning semiotics is the study of signs that carry information: roadside signs, fashions, advertisements, publicity posters, literary modes. This course, which does not presuppose prior technical knowledge, will introduce the students to a critical reading of signs: the signifier (the concrete expression of the sign) and the signified (the message) and their various interactions. Exercises will be essays on how to analyze various signs taken from practical experience, such as advertisements from magazines or TV or from cultural phenomena (fashion codes, artistic modes).

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.    Rhoda Possen    9952

 

FRENCH 1140 SEM 101

States of Exception: Five Moments in French History

Riots, Katrina, protests, an ice storm. . . What justifies martial law, a state of emergency, or a state of exception? This course will discuss the development of the concept of “state of exception” as defined by Carl Schmitt and Giorgio Agamben. To illustrate what it can mean to institute a “state of exception,” we will focus on five movements in French history; the Terror (1793–94); the Commune (1871), Vichy France (1940–44); May ‘68 and the 2005 riots through the reading of texts such as Robespierre’s Virtue and Terror, Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française, and Karl Marx’s The Civil War in France. Writing assignments will include responses to the readings, argumentative essays, and the writing of speeches or articles.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.    Caroline Ferraris-Besso    9953

 

GERMAN STUDIES 1109 SEM 101

From Fairy Tales to the Uncanny: Exploring the Romantic Consciousness

As cultural productions, literary texts not only reflect certain values of the culture that produces them, but also reinforce and perpetuate these values, influencing the reader/listener to judge and respond to the world in certain ways. As educative texts with implicit or explicit lessons, fairy tales have been a primary expression of such cultural values and thus a primary tool in shaping cultural identity. Beginning with selections from the Brothers Grimm, we will examine the features and functions of fairy tales and the persistence of fairy-tale elements beyond their ninteenth century beginnings. We will pay particular attention to their transformation during German Romanticism, with its fascination with the paranormal, the supernatural and the uncanny. The emphasis of the course is on improving writing skills.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.    Bonnie Buettner    9938

 

GERMAN STUDIES 1109 SEM 102

From Fairy Tales to the Uncanny: Exploring the Romantic Consciousness

As cultural productions, literary texts not only reflect certain values of the culture that produces them, but also reinforce and perpetuate these values, influencing the reader/listener to judge and respond to the world in certain ways. As educative texts with implicit or explicit lessons, fairy tales have been a primary expression of such cultural values and thus a primary tool in shaping cultural identity. Beginning with selections from the Brothers Grimm, we will examine the features and functions of fairy tales and the persistence of fairy-tale elements beyond their ninteenth century beginnings. We will pay particular attention to their transformation during German Romanticism, with its fascination with the paranormal, the supernatural and the uncanny. The emphasis of the course is on improving writing skills.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.    Stanka Radovic    9940

 

GERMAN STUDIES 1109 SEM 103

From Fairy Tales to the Uncanny: Exploring the Romantic Consciousness

As cultural productions, literary texts not only reflect certain values of the culture that produces them, but also reinforce and perpetuate these values, influencing the reader/listener to judge and respond to the world in certain ways. As educative texts with implicit or explicit lessons, fairy tales have been a primary expression of such cultural values and thus a primary tool in shaping cultural identity. Beginning with selections from the Brothers Grimm, we will examine the features and functions of fairy tales and the persistence of fairy-tale elements beyond their ninteenth century beginnings. We will pay particular attention to their transformation during German Romanticism, with its fascination with the paranormal, the supernatural and the uncanny. The emphasis of the course is on improving writing skills.

MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m.    Douglas McBride    9941

 

GERMAN STUDIES 1114 SEM 101

Charlatans, Rogues, Upstarts and Swindlers: The Picaresque in German Literature

A German Quixote? The picaresque colors many texts in German(ic) literature from Grimmelshausen to Böll and Grass. This course will look at rogues, outlaws, and swindlers in (primarily) German texts from the Middle Ages to the Baroque and into more modern literature.  In discussion and essay assignments, students will explore a wide range of themes and elements of the picaresque, including alienation, social/personal notions of identity, burlesque humor, (mis)education, and the outcast. In what respects might the picaresque novel function as an "anti-Bildungsroman?" What constitutes a picaresque novel/character? What role does the picaresque serve in literature, in society? Students will explore such questions in assignments designed to encourage the development of analytical, academic writing skills, strengthening students' abilities to offer critical readings of texts.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.    Grace Gemmell    9943

 

GERMAN STUDIES 1140 SEM 101

Strangers, Exiles, and Migrants

This course will focus on the interplay between strangeness, exile, and migration as existential but also social conditions. German literature provides a vast field of insight into strangeness, otherness, the motif of the decadent intellectual abroad and the intellectual in exile, homelessness, and estrangement within language. The German cinema and works by migrant authors, on the other hand, reflect in a peculiar fashion the problematics of living in a multicultural world. Students will be provided with the opportunity of delving into three dimensions of identity, while reading and writing about a variety of texts and authors—from mystics (Angelus Silesius) to twentieth-century literary icons (Rilke, Mann, Christa Wolf), from poems to prose, and cinema. The emphasis of the course will be on the improvement of analytical writing skills.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.    Arina Rotaru     9944

 

GERMAN STUDIES 1170 SEM 101

Marx, Nietzsche, Freud

To understand—and criticize—contemporary discourses in the core disciplines of the social sciences, the humanities, and even the natural sciences, it is necessary to have a basic grasp of Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. This seminar introduces: (1) these three revolutionaries who have exerted a tremendous influence on modern and postmodern thought and practice; and (2) key terms and analytic models of political economy, philosophy, and psychoanalysis, including differences and intersection points. Discussion and writing assignments focus on short texts and short passages from longer texts essential to understanding their work and to producing a critical analysis of contemporary world society, politics and culture. The core problem: Do alternative ways of thinking and acting exist in opposition to how we already think and act?

MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m.    Leila Ibrahim    9945

 

GOVERNMENT 1101 SEM 101

Power and Politics: Governance in Africa—Trends and Trajectories

Is democracy taking root in sub-Saharan Africa? In what way does Africa’s history shape politics on the continent today? How should the international community go about promoting good governance in the region (if at all)? In this seminar, students will have the opportunity to join these and other current debates in the field of African politics. Contemporary issues in African governance will be explored through class discussions. Most importantly, students will discipline their views on governance in Africa through a series of in-class and out-of-class writing assignments, some of which will be evaluated in small-group sessions led by the instructor with an eye towards improving both form and content.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.    Kristin McKie     9946

 

GOVERNMENT 1101 SEM 102

Power and Politics: Pirates and Political Order

For centuries, pirates have threatened political order. Sir Francis Drake preyed upon Spanish silver galleons in the late sixteenth century, and marauders hold ships for ransom off the coast of Somalia today. In this course, through discussion, reading, and frequent writing, we will investigate the often contentious but sometimes cooperative relationship between pirates and the state, including: how pirates governed themselves; piracy as an instrument of statecraft; the relationship between piracy and imperial expansion and decline; smuggling as an illicit political economy; and international law as a framework for defining and suppressing piracy. Drawing on both political science and the history of piracy, we will also examine contemporary threats to the political order, including transnational terrorism and drug cartels.

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Noelle Brigden     9947

 

GOVERNMENT 1101 SEM 103

Power and Politics: Causes of War and the War in Iraq

Why do states fight wars? Moreover, what can existing theories of war tell us about the causes of modern conflicts such as the most recent war in Iraq? In this course, we will begin by examining prominent theories of war. We will then study the events leading up to the war in Iraq, assessing which theories best explain why, when, how, and with whose cooperation the Iraq war was fought. Students will answer these fascinating questions in writing assignments that are designed to help them hone their analytical skills and learn to communicate their ideas clearly.

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Jessica Weeks    9948

 

GOVERNMENT 1101 SEM 104

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.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Andy Mertha    9950

 

HISTORY 1104 SEM 101

A Few Good Men: The American Soldier in the Popular Imagination

“Old soldiers never die, they just fade away,” Douglas MacArthur once famously remarked. But soldiers, whether young or old, have never faded from the American popular imagination. The men and women who serve in the military appear everywhere, from the blockbuster films Americans flock to see, to political advertisements, to patriotic songs, and even to music videos. In this course, we will examine and write about the various ways in which soldiers, from the colonial period to the present, have appeared in popular culture. We will look at how the media portrays soldiers, and how soldiers present themselves, in order to understand both the place of the military and the importance of the warrior in American society.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Karen Thomas    11058

 

HISTORY 1107 SEM 101

Pirates, Smugglers, Merchants, and Trade: Exploring Early America’s Economy

Benjamin Franklin wrote that “no nation was ever ruined by trade.” What did Franklin mean by this? What factors influenced the formation of early America’s economy and what were the important features? Students will encounter egalitarian pirates, scheming smugglers, wealthy merchants who struggled with the tenets of their religion, the emergence of new commodities, the rise of the slave trade, mercantilism, consumerism, and the creation of a global economy. Recent scholarly work about the goods and the people of the early American economy reexamines economic development in different imperial, regional, and local contexts. Writing assignments for this course will help students develop the skills necessary to analyze historical and contemporary writings and to communicate their ideas in written presentations.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.    Kim Todt     10889

 

HISTORY 1109 SEM 101

I want my Mommy! Motherhood and Womanhood in the Italian Renaissance

What does it mean to be a mother? What expectations, fears, desires, and beliefs does this term entail? What is the relation between ideological, idealized perceptions of motherhood and motherhood performed in practice? These questions were vigorously examined during the period known as the Italian Renaissance. We will inquire into Renaissance perceptions of motherhood, family, and gender by examining a wide variety of Renaissance texts and cultural products, such as theatrical plays, medical treatises, household-management books, personal diaries, religious texts, sculptures, and paintings. This course will encourage the development of analytical, academic writing skills by strengthening the student’s ability to offer a critical reading of texts. In addition, students will learn how to incorporate materials drawn from different academic disciplines into one, coherent, original argument.

MW 07:30–08:45 p.m.    Yael Nadav-Manes    11059

 

HISTORY 1110 SEM 123

The African American Experience Through History and Literature

What has been the African American experience in the United States? We will explore the complexities of this subject by studying texts from a range of periods—Slavery, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, the Post cold War era—and written by various African American historical figures, authors, and scholars. Among texts we may discuss are David Walker's Appeal to End Slavery, selections from Langston Hughes's The Ways of White Folks, and writings from Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Students will strengthen their writing skills through a series of writing assignments based on the assigned readings and classroom discussions.

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.    William Harris     11062

 

HISTORY 1114 SEM 101

The Cold War: Revolt and Revolution

This course introduces students to three major, closely related themes in the study of twentieth-century United States and world history: the Cold War, revolutionary movements in the postwar era, and nationalism. How did the Cold War and revolutionary movements shape the global political landscape as we know it today? How do we write about the role the politics of nationalism played in the outcome of the Cold War and revolutionary movements? Texts in this course include the writings of Ché Guevara, Fidel Castro, and Franz Fanon, and historians Eric Hobsbawn and John Gaddis. Essays of varying length will be assigned throughout the course.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Jorge Rivera Marin     7559

 

HISTORY 1180 SEM 101

Viking America

Five centuries before Columbus’s fateful journey, Europeans in flimsy wooden ships were trekking westward across the Atlantic. This course examines the Norse discovery of America ca. 1000 AD, focusing on the so-called ‘Vínland sagas’ (whose authenticity was only vindicated in the 1960s with the unearthing of Viking Age archaeological remains in Newfoundland). 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 and with the afterlife of the Norse journeys in popular imagination. Students will write short essays reviewing and reassessing existing historiography, refining our sense of the relationship between events and their textualization, both now and in the past.

MWF 02:30–03:20 p.m.    Oren Falk     11932

 

HISTORY 1230 SEM 101

Monstrous Births, Scheming Midwives: Childbirth in Europe 1500-1700

When Mary Toft gave birth to rabbits in 1726, only some (but not all) doctors thought she was faking. Why was her story plausible, and how were the rabbits explained? Who controlled childbirth, and who had the power to decide whether a pregnancy was real? How did Mary Toft experience the event? Monstrous births, dishonest midwives, infanticide, and the powers of pregnant women were topics of fascination and debate in early modern Europe and America. In this course we use writings by midwives, medical treatises, letters, autobiographies, news reports, and trial records to examine practices and beliefs surrounding childbirth, and at how these in turn reflected concerns about property, sexuality, health and religion.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Rachel Weil     11063

 

HORTICULTURAL SCIENCES 1160 SEM 101

Nature Writing

Today more than ever we need individuals who not only enjoy or study nature, but also can write effectively about it so that others will know what they know, and feel what they feel. We will begin by "reading like a writer" as we examine the work of others, from Thoreau and Whitman, to Edward Abbey and Wendell Berry, to emerging new voices in this genre. Initial writing assignments will focus on contrasting author techniques (e.g., essay structure, style, voice) in relation to thesis and audience. Nature writing is more than a desk job, and in the spirit of getting "out there", we will have at least two field trips and associated writing assignments. By end of semester students will research, write, and revise two in-depth essays on topics of personal interest, one in the "celebrating (or confronting) nature" tradition, the other in the "natural history", "popular science", or "environmental" category.

MW 08:40–09:55 a.m.    David Wolfe    11057

 

LINGUISTICS 1100 SEM 101

Language, Thought, and Reality: Metaphors We Live By

We typically think of a metaphor as a purely literary phenomenon, a rarefied figurative device. This course aims to uncover the pervasive “hidden metaphors” we use in everyday speech and what they reveal about the way we conceptualize ideas, perceptions, emotions, and other abstract categories (for example, He demolished my argument: AN ARGUMENT IS A BUILDING). Essay assignments for this course will include linguistic analyses of texts on politics and society, evaluation of the role metaphor plays in historical language change, and exploration of non-linguistic metaphor in art and advertising. We will read selections from the work of linguists, philosophers, psychologists, and art historians.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.    Joanne Johnson    11064

 

LINGUISTICS 1100 SEM 102

Language, Thought, and Reality: From Cuneiform to Cryptography

When ancient writings are discovered we are faced with a challenge: how can we decipher an unknown script or an unknown language? Such puzzles have bedeviled scholars for centuries, and are not unlike the challenges a cryptanalyst faces when trying to break a code. In exploring the techniques behind the decipherment of such scripts as Egyptian Hieroglyphics and Linear B, this class will also address the nature of writing systems from Cuneiform, Chinese, and Meso-American to the modern day. Writing assignments will vary from formal descriptions of writing systems to analyses of decipherment techniques. No previous exposure to other writing systems is necessary.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Teresa Galloway    11065

 

LINGUISTICS 1100 SEM 103

Language, Thought and Reality: How to Build a Language

Hundreds of languages have been created for practical or artistic purposes, from existing material or from whole cloth. But to be legitimate they must be speakable, or at least believable. We will explore the linguistic tools necessary to compose a language, from sounds to words to sentences and full texts. We will also examine the history of constructed languages—which have succeeded, which have failed, and why? The ultimate goal will be for each student to begin constructing a new language of their own and to justify its linguistic validity and its practical or artistic merit.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Edward Cormany    11066

 

LINGUISTICS 1100 SEM 104

Language, Thought and Reality: Language and Gender

A significant number of our daily interactions are accomplished through language and experienced through the lens of gender. Through readings, discussion, and crtitcal writing assignments, we will examine the connection between language and gender. How does gender shape our communications, how our words are perceived, and how we perceive the language used by others? What type of language do we use to talk about gender? To consider these questions, we will draw on the academic literatures of both gender studies and linguistics, as well as primary sources from the media for examples of “talking about gender.” We will also examine the psychological literature on the results of experiments on gender and language use and cognition.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.    Sarah Courtney    11067

 

LINGUISTICS 1100 SEM 105

Language, Thought, and Reality: English Outside the Box

Do grammar books know all the answers about English? Some do acknowledge regional dialects and others identity-based varieties, but most ignore the many context-specific "grammars" we all recognize. What features mark sports announcer talk, flight attendant style, in-group talk, and news headlines? What happens when we choose words for their age, shape, or origin? Can and should a sentence have multiple meanings? Students will read extracts from famous figures in history and from linguists and others who think about language, and will make their own linguistic observations. Writing assignments will include language data you have collected, explanations of your findings about your own data, persuasive opinion pieces, and pieces using language under extra constraints.

MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m.    Wayles Browne    11475

 

MATHEMATICS 1890 SEM 101

Certainty and Ambiguity: Exploring Mathematical Concepts Through Writing

Ever wonder how a line can fill a square and how we can count infinities? In this course, we consider these and other mathematical notions. We analyze and practice writing as a means to learning mathematics. We read outstanding texts about the nature of mathematics, such as (but not limited to) Reuben Hersh’s The Mathematical Experience, William Byers’s How Mathematicians Think, and Ivars Peterson’s Mathematical Tourist. We also debate the merits of the research into how mathematicians think and what they do in their profession; occasionally we will invite Cornell faculty to join in our discussions and share their experience of mathematical practice. The assignments will concern well known mathematical concepts, as well as the relationship between mathematics and language, literature, art, music, and nature.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Mircea Pitici     11407

 

MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101 SEM 101

Aspects of Medieval Culture: Martyrs, Mystics & Madmen: Making the Medieval Saint

Medieval hagiography offers a wealth of literary material originally intended as much for entertainment as for edification. The holy men and women depicted in the lives of saints serve simultaneously as moral exempla and as sources of enjoyment for the reader. Still, who exactly are these saints we read about? Martyrs? Mystics? Miracle workers? Often yes. But, would you believe prostitutes and cross-dressers, madmen and visionaries? In this seminar, we will explore the diverse representations of sanctity in the hagiographical tradition of the Middle Ages, addressing both the literary and the historical questions which are raised therein. Close reading of the primary texts in translation will be supplemented by in-class discussion and regular exercises in critical writing.

MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.    Zachary Yuzwa    9905

 

MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101 SEM 102

Aspects of Medieval Culture: Dante’s Divine Comedy

Modern American life challenges our will to live ethically and to imagine a world ruled by love and justice. A late medieval version of this crisis haunted the Italian poet Dante, whose obsession with love and justice governed his vision of the afterlife. The poem recounting this vision remains unmatched for its intellectual and imaginative force, spiritual audacity, and political rage. Through selected readings, we will encounter these aspects of the poem as well as Dante's distinctive treatment of topics including courtly love, Christian theology, and intellectual history. The course will also emphasize the ways in which Dante's poetic prowess persuades readers to believe his insistence on the truth of his vision. Writing will improve through close reading, essays, and class discussions.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.    Ashleigh Imus     9908

 

MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101 SEM 103

Aspects of Medieval Culture: Before The Onion—Satire and Social Criticism in the Later Middle Ages

One of the best ways to get a sense of a culture's most cherished values (and its most hotly contested issues) is to consider what its writers choose to make fun of and how they attempt to do so. With a goal of making us better interpreters of medieval culture as well as more clever readers, this seminar will examine some of the subtlest, funniest, most scandalous, and most critical literature—prose and verse, fiction and history—from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries. A number of essays and informal exercises will help students develop sharper, subtler, and more engaging writing of their own; while focusing attention throughout on the complexity and elegance of medieval writers, the course will also encourage perspective on contemporary questions.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Leigh Harrison    9909

 

MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1103 SEM 101

Legend, Fantasy, and Vision: Irish Myths and Legends—The Hero and the Goddess

Old Irish literature is filled with heroism, romance, tragedy, bawdy humor, and outrageous inebriation. In this course, we will examine some of the famous adventures (and misadventures) of the heroes of ancient Ireland against their mythological and social backgrounds. We will particularly focus on the presence of the Otherworld and the relations of kings and heroes to the goddess figure. We will also look at how these tales are re-imagined in modern Irish culture, from poetry to punk rock. Writing will include formal papers, weekly journals, exercises, and some creative assignments. Readings will be from the Tain Bo Cualinge, the stories of Fin MacCumaill, and excerpts from Yeats, Synge, and Joyce.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Danielle Cudmore    9912

 

MUSIC 1701 SEM 101

Sound Sense and Ideas: Music and Language

In speaking, writing, and even thinking about music; we depend on language to express our ideas and feelings about something that apparently is not verbal at all. But is music actually non-verbal? This seminar will explore various types of relationships between music and language: in music that sets a verbal text (song, sacred music; opera), in progam music (instrumental music associated with a verbal text or idea), and writings about music, including “absolute” instrumental music. Both Classical and popular musics will be covered.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.    James Webster    11056

 

MUSIC 1701 SEM 102

Sound, Sense, and Ideas: Music and Meaning from Virtue to Violence

This seminar will examine historical moments when Western music was particularly influenced by ideas in other artistic or cultural spheres, and the ways these influences “played out” within the music. Topics include virtue/virtuosity in Renaissance Italy; the eighteenth-century cult of sensibility; twentieth-century Expressionism and the tortured musical subject; and funk music’s role in the black power movement. We will examine visual art, read primary sources (Castiglione, Sterne, Freud, Baraka), and discuss music ranging from the earliest opera to clavichord fantasias, from Pierrot Lunaire to Funkadelic. In shorter assignments, we will aim to develop clarity and coherent summarization. Through essay writing we will discuss issues of scholarly style, personal voice, and the development of a thesis.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Ellen Lockhart     11436

 

NEAR EASTERN STUDIES 1987 SEM 101

Stories from Muslim Africa: A Celebration of Diversity

How do African Muslim writers engage with their communities’ struggles over religion, gender, ethnicity, race, and identity in the twentieth century? The intriguing answers to this question are found in the fictional writings of Malika Mokaddem, al-Tayyib Salih, and Haggag Hassan Oddoul. We will read the novellas and short stories of these African writers, and explore, through writing, their thoughts on ethnicity, gender, and religion in the aftermath of colonialism and harsh post-colonial realities. The course will emphasize the strategies employed by these authors to write about religious and cultural difference and accommodation. Students will interrogate these readings through journal entries, creative writing, essays and a final research paper on a relevant theme of choice.

MWF 08:00–08:50 a.m.    Rose-Louissa Oburra    8384

 

PHILOSOPHY 1110 SEM 101

Philosophy in Practice: Equal Opportunity, Education, and the Family

Nearly everyone supports the ideal of equal opportunity. But what do we mean by it? Do we mean only that, say, race and gender shouldn't prevent us from getting ahead? Or do we mean something more? Should everyone be given an equal education? Should wealthy parents be allowed to give their children advantages other parents cannot? In this course, we will examine why we value opportunities in the first place and what we should be promoting when we endorse equal opportunity. We'll then consider some problems that emerge with implementing this ideal, focusing particularly on parental rights and education policy. Readings will be drawn from contemporary authors, and assignments will focus on developing both writing and critical thinking skills.

MWF 03:35–04:25 p.m.    Vincent Baltazar    9915

 

PHILOSOPHY 1111 SEM 101

Philosophical Problems: The Problem of Free Will

What is free will? Do we have it? Is free will compatible with the idea that everything is determined? Are we ever really morally responsible for our actions? In this course, we will examine such questions. We will look at arguments put forward by philosophers such as Peter van Inwagen and Harry Frankfurt on the nature of free will and responsibility. Our aim is to make clear both in discussion and in writing what such philosophers are claiming and assess their arguments. In such a contentious subject, clarity of thought and language are a must.

MW 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Stephen Kearns    9919

 

PHILOSOPHY 1111 SEM 102

Philosophical Problems: Knowledge and Objectivity

Science is fundamentally social in many ways. For instance, scientific theories are produced by a process of collaboration that includes scientists, technicians, politicians, administrators, and members of the public. In this course, we will use the social nature of science to inspire philosophical reflection on questions such as: What does it mean to think of scientific theories as socially constructed? Does it imply that they cannot be objective? But then, what is scientific objectivity? Must scientific theories have it? Can scientific theories be objective if they reflect social values? Because it is easier to explore and write about questions like these when we have concrete examples before us, we will study some of the controversial history of IQ testing as well as the debate about teaching intelligent design in high-school.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Mark Fedyk     9921

 

PHILOSOPHY 1111 SEM 103

Philosophical Problems: Problems in Ethics

A train is running out of control down some tracks. If you do nothing, it will continue on its path and kill five people. You can do nothing to stop it, but you can pull a switch to redirect it down a path where it would kill only one person. Are you morally required to pull the switch? Is it even morally permissible to do so? Ethics is the area of philosophy concerned with questions like these, about which actions are morally right and morally wrong. This course will introduce students to various issues in contemporary ethics. Particular emphasis will be put on questions connected to metaphysical topics such as causation, agency, persons, and identity over time. Readings will consist of articles by contemporary philosophers.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.    Raul Saucedo    11054

 

PHILOSOPHY 1111 SEM 104

Philosophical Problems: Free Will and Moral Responsibility

Under what conditions are we free? What is the connection between being free and being morally responsible? What does being a person have to do with being free and morally responsible? How do things like ignorance, addiction, and even luck undermine our responsibility? In this course, we will examine these issues by reading essays and fictions by philosophers, and possibly by viewing some film excerpts. We will write with an eye towards analyzing and critically evaluating some of the key ideas and arguments in these works. The main text for the course will be Gary Watson's Free Will. Students may need to schedule time for viewing films.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Patrick Mayer     9924

 

PHILOSOPHY 1112 SEM 101

Philosophical Conversations: Descartes' Meditations—Escaping the Evil Deceiver

How do I know that I exist? How do I know that I am reading this course description? Descartes recognizes that it is possible to doubt much of what we take ourselves to know. In the Meditations on First Philosophy (1641), one of the most important works in the history of philosophy, Descartes sets out to provide a secure foundation for philosophical, scientific, and everyday knowledge. We will follow Descartes’ project through a close reading of his text. Highlights include the method of doubt (including the evil deceiver hypothesis), the cogito (“I think therefore I am”), and proofs for the existence of God. Students will be encouraged to understand, articulate, and evaluate Descartes’ arguments. One essay will be assigned for each of the six meditations.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Saul Rosenthal    9931

 

PHILOSOPHY 1112 SEM 102

Philosophical Conversation: Why Be Moral?

Doing the right thing can be hard. In fact, it is a common belief that the demands of morality may sometimes conflict with our own self-interest. So, why be moral? In this course, we will begin by examining Glaucon’s challenge to Socrates in Book II of Plato’s Republic. There, Glaucon asks Socrates to say what justice is and show that the just person is happier than the unjust person. We will then explore how this challenge is addressed in the works of subsequent philosophers, such as Hobbes, Clarke, Butler, and Rousseau. Through a series of short analytic essays, students will learn to identify, evaluate, and construct moral arguments and develop a skill set for engaging critically in a discourse about morality.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.    Nathaniel Jezzi    11055

 

ROMANCE STUDIES 1105 SEM 101

The Difficult Female: Rebellion and Marriage in Cervantes and Shakespeare

How do you solve a problem like Katerina or Preciosa? Simple: control her through marriage. In this course we will examine how both Cervantes and Shakespeare give their female characters a great deal of latitude, allowing them to resist their gendered cultural expectations. Rebellion, whether expressed through cross-dressing, mingling with gypsies, or sexual infidelity, lends itself well to comedy, but it can only go so far, and as is the case in much early melodrama, order must be restored. Some of the themes we will explore include the female as the caretaker of man's honor, woman as a harbinger of male destruction, the feminine muse and the protesting female. Readings will include Cervantes' Exemplary Tales and Interludes, as well Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Students will write brief essays on a particular aspect of their choosing from the readings culminating in a research paper at the semester's end.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.    Tamra Paz-Soldán    12517

 

ROMANCE STUDIES 1107 SEM 101

Nightmare and Fantasy in Borges and Kafka

Labyrinth, other self, eternity, dreams: in this course we will examine the nightmarish realities that Borges and Kafka depict in their fiction . Although the two authors never met, it was Borges who first began to promote Kafka's work in the Spanish-speaking world. We will focus on Borges' metaphysical speculation on the nature of time, the universe, and reality, as well as on Kafka's use of fiction as a vehicle to come to terms with his childhood. Readings (all in English, of course) may include excerpts from Ficciones, The Aleph and Other Stories, and Kafka's The Complete Stories, plus The Trial and The Metamorphosis in their entirety. Students will write brief essays on aspects of their choosing from the readings, culminating in a research paper at the semester's end.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.    Tamra Paz-Soldán    12129

 

ROMANCE STUDIES 1107 SEM 102

Nightmare and Fantasy in Borges and Kafka

Labyrinth, other self, eternity, dreams: in this course we will examine the nightmarish realities that Borges and Kafka depict in their fiction . Although the two authors never met, it was Borges who first began to promote Kafka's work in the Spanish-speaking world. We will focus on Borges' metaphysical speculation on the nature of time, the universe, and reality, as well as on Kafka's use of fiction as a vehicle to come to terms with his childhood. Readings (all in English, of course) may include excerpts from Ficciones, The Aleph and Other Stories, and Kafka's The Complete Stories, plus The Trial and The Metamorphosis in their entirety. Students will write brief essays on aspects of their choosing from the readings, culminating in a research paper at the semester's end.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Tamra Paz-Soldán    12130

 

SOCIETY FOR THE HUMANITIES 1130 SEM 101

Propaganda

How does propaganda work? Does it necessarily involve lies? Why is so much of it kitsch? What is its curious relationship to religion? We will explore these questions in the context of propaganda in Soviet Russia, the United States, and Nazi Germany, especially World War II propaganda for domestic consumption. Our wide-ranging materials will include scholarly writing on propaganda; propaganda posters; speeches by Stalin; Life magazine advertisements; films from Frank Capra's famous series Why We Fight; propaganda advice from Hitler and his Minister for Propaganda; and Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will—sometimes called the greatest propaganda film ever made. If time permits, we will look at some current American propaganda and anti-propaganda legislation submitted to Congress. Our essays will be analytic.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.    Sidney Orlov    11443

 

SOCIETY FOR THE HUMANITIES 1290 SEM 101

David and Goliath: Case Studies in the Rhetoric of Scale

Drawing on large-scale and small-scale works of art, architecture, and literature, we will investigate the relation between a work's scale and its subject, purpose, and intended audience; its political and cultural context; and its aesthetic impact. Works that play with scale will be of particular interest. Throughout, we will exploit parallels with our own work: mostly small-scale (3–4 page) analytic essays. Course materials will range from solemn to virtuoso to silly uses of scale (some supplied by students' field work on campus), and include the most famous satirical exploitation of scale, Swift's Gulliver's Travels. We will also read scholarly discussions bearing on our subject.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.    Sidney Orlov    11442

 

SPANISH 1106 SEM 101

Voluptuous Mysticism: Ecstasy and Transcendence in Latin America

The Cole Porter lyrics, “What moments divine, what rapture serene,” would probably describe what most people think about the mystic experience. But what happens when we mutate the divine and replace serene with terrifying? A discussion of Early Modern Spanish mystics, such as Saint Teresa and Saint John of the Cross, will help us to better understand the sources of twentieth-century mysticism in Latin America. We will then move across the Atlantic to discuss the poetry, prose, film, and plastic arts of Cuba, Bolivia, and Mexico, looking at works by Virgilio Piñera, Jaime Sáenz, Carmen Boullosa, and Carlos Bolado. Our critical texts will focus on how gender/sexuality orient mystics. The basic requirements include: six essays, reading responses, peer revisions, and two evening film screenings.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Beth Bouloukos    9958

 

SPANISH 1108 SEM 101

Reconquest and Conquest:Narratives of Conflict in Old and New Spain

January, 1492: as Christopher Columbus watched, Granada surrendered to Ferdinand and Isabella, the “Catholic Monarchs” of Castile and Aragon. Thus ended the so-called “Reconquest” of the Iberian peninsula, but soon, Columbus’ voyage of “discovery” would set off a new era of conquest and empire. Can the conquest of the Americas be seen as a continuation of the “Reconquest” of the Iberian peninsula? Were indigenous Americans the same as Muslims in the eyes of Spain? We will try to answer these questions with readings such as the Poem of the Cid, the diaries of Christopher Columbus and Hernán Cortés, and Montaigne’s “Of Cannibals.” Writing assignments will include an ongoing “diary of discovery,” papers involving historical research and literary analysis, and scripts for debates and closing arguments.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.    Henry Berlin    9960

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY STUDIES 1112 SEM 101

Bugs and Bombs: Thinking about Bioterrorism Threats in a Post 9-11 World

Rapid advances in biotechnology, as well as changing social and political climates since September 11, 2001, have created new public fears that the malicious release of pathogens and toxins is a clear and present threat. Analysts argue over what frameworks and methodologies should be used to assess these threats. This course will examine the various analytical frameworks that can be used to assess the threat of biological weapons. We will examine case studies (e.g., the 2003 Iraq War, 2001 anthrax attacks), as well as declassified documents, and other relevant social science and technical literature. Writing in the course will consist of short essays on the assigned readings, as well as additional writing that reflects particular styles of communication and analysis found in governmental and non-governmental documents.

TR 08:40–09:55 a.m.    Kathleen Vogel    11448

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY STUDIES 1123 SEM 101

Technology and Society: The American Atomic Age

This course will examine the events building up to the Atomic Age and its unheralded consequences. “How and why did this state of affairs come to dominate the American way of life?” will be a continually addressed question, but other important questions from this time will be discussed as well: What does it take to make atomic weapons possible? Why would scientists and engineers build them? Course material will include texts and movies both from the period and by current scholars, and writing assignments will be based on both primary and secondary sources as a way to develop strong writing skills.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.    Benjamin Wang     11449

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY STUDIES 1126 SEM 101

Science and Society: Science and Nazism

From eugenics and human experimentation to conventional and atomic weapons development, many scholars argue that the National Socialists manipulated science for their own ends. Did the Nazis “corrupt” science, or is the notion of pure, disinterested science a myth? In this seminar, we will explore the relationships between science and politics in Weimar Germany and under Hitler, as well as in the United States and the Soviet Union. Texts will include papers by Albert Einstein, histories of the “hidden” German atom bomb project, debates over the roots of modern genetics in Dr. Josef Mengele’s twin studies at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Michael Frayn’s play Copenhagen. Writing assignments will help students construct well-supported, nuanced arguments and will foster critical thinking skills.

TR 01:25–02:40 p.m.    Robert Schombs    11450

 

THEATRE, FILM & DANCE 1210 SEM 101

The Irish Dramatic Tradition

The Irishman (and woman) has played a particularly important role both on and off the stage in the history of the modern Western theatre. Students in this seminar will examine and write about some of the most important Irish plays of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries alongside a survey of modern Irish history and culture. Discussions will cover the stereotype of the “Stage Irish” and prejudice against the Irish in England and the U.S. We will consider the history of oppression and imperial rule in the contexts of violent rebellions, language, and the Catholic Church. At the same time, there will be an emphasis on the strong legacy of black comedy that the Irish have contributed to the English-language stage.

TR 10:10–11:25 a.m.    Anne Beggs     11050

 

THEATRE, FILM & DANCE 1220 SEM 101

Performing Violence/Violent Performances: The Theatre of Latin America

Although each Latin American nation possesses its own history and identity, it is violence—from the conquest of Columbus to the twentieth-century dictatorships—that has been a common link between the people of the Americas. This seminar examines the rich and diverse performance traditions of Latin America, focusing on texts that explore issues associated with violence and conflict. By investigating various art forms (theatre, dance, street performance, protest), we will examine the ways Latin Americans use performance as a form of resistance and as a tool for social change. Topics of emphasis for creative and critical writing include: the effects and continuing legacy of colonization on indigenous communities, torture, genocide, memory, politics, and the different challenges associated with staging live performances in times of crisis.

TR 02:55–04:10 p.m.    Jimmy Noriega     11052

 

THEATRE, FILM & DANCE 1240 SEM 101

Virtual Bodies, Living Machines: The Role of Technology in Live Performance

What is the role of technology in live performance? How does technology interact with performers and vice versa? This course explores the consequences of mediating art through technology and the significance of an onstage encounter between body and machine. To examine the relationship between technology and performance is to examine perspectives on power and unrest in society. Discussions and assignments will engage with plays, operas, films, visual art, poetry, and cultural theory. Works considered may include Fritz Lang's film, Metropolis; a "factory play" by the controversial GDR dramatist, Heiner Mueller; and the twentieth century American opera, Nixon in China. Writing assignments will focus on close, critical readings of literary and dramatic elements of the creative works and will include research and creative writing opportunities.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.    Jennifer Williams    11053

 

THEATRE, FILM & DANCE 1260 SEM 101

In on the Act: The Spectator’s Role in Comedy

In his book on jokes, Freud proposes that there are three necessary components for a joke: the teller, the butt or object of the joke, and the audience. This course will explore the audience’s role in this triad. How does a spectator interact with characters in a comedy? Can the audience be complicit in a joke on another character? Is our laughter at a Bugs Bunny cartoon the same as our laughter at a Donald Duck cartoon? We will study plays, films, cartoons, and critical and theoretical essays, and texts may include Bergson’s Laughter, Plautus’s Miles Gloriosus, Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Buster Keaton’s film The General, and the Marx Brothers’s Duck Soup. Writing assignments will be critical essays analyzing our readings and films.

MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m.    Sarah Powers     11051

 

WRITING 1380 SEM 101

An Introduction to Writing in the University

This writing seminar is designed for students who need more focused attention in order to master the expectations of academic writing. The course emphasizes the analytic and argumentative writing and critical reading essential for university-level work. With small classes and with weekly student/teacher conferences, each section is shaped to respond to the needs of students in that particular class.

MW 10:10–11:00 a.m.    Barbara Legendre    11479

Do not request this course on a ballot. Students who believe they need this kind of intensive work should either call 255-6349 or come to 174 Rockefeller Hall to make an appointment with a member of the Workshop staff. “S/U” grades only.

 

WRITING 1380 SEM 102

An Introduction to Writing in the University

This writing seminar is designed for students who need more focused attention in order to master the expectations of academic writing. The course emphasizes the analytic and argumentative writing and critical reading essential for university-level work. With small classes and with weekly student/teacher conferences, each section is shaped to respond to the needs of students in that particular class.

MW 11:15–12:05 p.m.    Joe Martin     11480

Do not request this course on a ballot. Students who believe they need this kind of intensive work should either call 255-6349 or come to 174 Rockefeller Hall to make an appointment with a member of the Workshop staff. “S/U” grades only.

 

WRITING 1380 SEM 103

An Introduction to Writing in the University

This writing seminar is designed for students who need more focused attention in order to master the expectations of academic writing. The course emphasizes the analytic and argumentative writing and critical reading essential for university-level work. With small classes and with weekly student/teacher conferences, each section is shaped to respond to the needs of students in that particular class.

TR 10:10–11:00 a.m.    David Faulkner    11485

Do not request this course on a ballot. Students who believe they need this kind of intensive work should either call 255-6349 or come to 174 Rockefeller Hall to make an appointment with a member of the Workshop staff. “S/U” grades only.

 

WRITING 1380 SEM 104

An Introduction to Writing in the University

This writing seminar is designed for students who need more focused attention in order to master the expectations of academic writing. The course emphasizes the analytic and argumentative writing and critical reading essential for university-level work. With small classes and with weekly student/teacher conferences, each section is shaped to respond to the needs of students in that particular class.

TR 11:15–12:05 p.m.    Joe Martin     11486

Do not request this course on a ballot. Students who believe they need this kind of intensive work should either call 255-6349 or come to 174 Rockefeller Hall to make an appointment with a member of the Workshop staff. “S/U” grades only.

 

WRITING 1380 SEM 105

An Introduction to Writing in the University

This writing seminar is designed for students who need more focused attention in order to master the expectations of academic writing. The course emphasizes the analytic and argumentative writing and critical reading essential for university-level work. With small classes and with weekly student/teacher conferences, each section is shaped to respond to the needs of students in that particular class.

TR 01:25–02:15 p.m.    Tracy Hamler Carrick    11490

Do not request this course on a ballot. Students who believe they need this kind of intensive work should either call 255-6349 or come to 174 Rockefeller Hall to make an appointment with a member of the Workshop staff. “S/U” grades only.

 

WRITING 1400 SEM 101

Common Ground: Cornell and Ithaca in Collaboration

Would you like to experience Cornell as something more than campus? This course offers students a meaningful community interaction as part of their writing experience. Specifically, students in this seminar will meet at regular intervals (during the normal class time) with a class of Ithaca High School juniors and/or seniors to engage in critical discussions about our community and American cultural values as they relate to shared readings (e.g., Franklin, Baldwin, Anzaldúa, Trask, Leguin, Ehrenreich, Madison, Reich). Writing assignments as well as projects relating to local issues will will challenge student views in connection to various types of diversity, which may include class, gender, and ethnicity. Ideally, students will broaden their perspectives while developing a greater comprehension of textual material, as well as verbal and written skill in considering that material rhetorically.

TR 11:40–12:55 p.m.     x-listed w/ Engl & Amst     11934

HS MEETINGS, WE WILL NEED TO LEAVE CAMPUS BY 11:15

 

WRITING 1420 SEM 101

Writing and Research in the University

An introduction to college research that emphasizes use of information databases such as the library catalog, print and electronic indexes, and the worldwide web. Students will learn how to convert information into an argument, synthesize and acknowledge research sources, find their own voice in academic writing, and share their findings with their peers. Short written assignments will culminate in a research paper on a topic that draws upon students’ own background, interests and experiences. Many of the readings for the course will be from a list created individually by students. Students will learn how to develop a prospectus and an annotated bibliography supporting their own research. No previous experience with new research media is required. This seminar is taught collaboratively by a writing instructor, a research librarian, and a team of peer mentors.

MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m.    Darlene Evans    9615

Student will be required to meet with a peer tutor for an additional 1 hour each week.