Spring 2015 First-Year Writing Seminars


Common Ground: Education Beyond the Ivory Tower

This course offers you a chance to become a more engaged member of the Ithaca community as part of your first-year writing experience. For two afternoons a week, Cornell students will engage with Ithaca middle school students as mentors and tutors outside of class. Writing assignments will help you reflect on the tutoring experience and the role of education and responsible citizenship in a democratic society. Readings will include Savage Inequalities by Kozol, Life and Death of the Great American School System by Ravitch and essays by Barber, Freire, and King. Our ultimate goal will be to broaden students' perspectives on our public educational system and the role of universities in their communities.

SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. X-listed Writ 1400 and Engl 1140 17810

Student schedules must accommodate Tuesday and Thursday trips (3-5 PM) to Boynton Middle School.

ANTHROPOLOGY 1150 Perspectives on the World Economy

The recent recession and financial crisis across the world have brought into sharp focus the fact that economies across the globe are highly interconnected. This course explores the historical development of an interconnected, global economy, focusing on the historical trajectory of capitalism and its attendant social relations. We will pay special attention to the development of capitalism in the non-Western world. Readings will draw from history, anthropology, and sociology; including the work of Eric Wolf, Sidney Mintz, Marx, and Immanuel Wallerstein. We will also read blogs and journal and newspaper articles. Writing assignments will clarify and build upon the reading and include reading responses, summaries, critiques, analytical and argumentative essays.

SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Nidhi Mahajan 17255 Stacey Langwick


Person, Time, and Religious Conduct

What happens when we die? Does our skin define the limits of our being? Why are we named for ancestors, for saints, for martyrs, or teachers? How do we act in the face of all these questions? We will read and write about religious strategies from a broad range of traditions that help link individuals to those who came before, those who will come after, and those with us now. You will gain skill at various forms of writing, such as personal reflection, critical summary, and comparison and synthesis of existing scholarship. Your writing will address human practices, from body markings to pilgrimage, fasting and martyrdom, as responses to anxieties and dilemmas shared by Homo sapiens across the bounds of culture and history.

SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Jonathan Boyarin 17261


Human Rights: International Law, Advocacy, and Activism

The investigations of this course will take us from the halls of the UN where human rights treaties are negotiated, to the offices of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to the work of grassroots human rights defenders. Though human rights are often presented as universal and politically neutral norms, we will find that a very different picture emerges when we pay attention to dynamics of power, culture, and gender. We will analyze legal scholarship, ethnographic texts, popular media, and human rights reports, to explore a range of pressing issues, including women’s rights, indigenous rights, land rights, and business and human rights. Students will write papers analyzing course texts and films, and pursue a final project on a human rights case study of their choice.

SEM 101 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Emily Hong 17262 Stacey Langwick

ANTHROPOLOGY 1189 Witchcraft, Insurance, and Terror

“A brutal typhoon kills 6,300 people in the Philippines!” “A lone wolf terrorist ends the lives of 77 people in Norway!” “A driverless train carrying 72 boxcars of crude oil explodes in Canada!” All of these statements refer to events in which foreseeable and unforeseeable conditions intermingle, and unintended and intended acts mix. In a chance-filled world of unavoidable violence, this course asks: how do social institutions distribute responsibility for experiences of loss? Drawing on anthropological research, noir fiction, and the philosophy of design, this seminar aims to denaturalize the cultural production of misfortune and the quintessential spaces of its management, from insurance offices to climate conferences. Writing assignments will encourage students to “think dangerously” and to juxtapose academic texts alongside non-academic artifacts.

SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Alexander Gordon 17806 Stacey Langwick


Who Owns Culture? Propaganda, Theft, Museums, and Heritage Wars

Why do people care about art and history? And how do people use public displays of art for political purposes? These questions will frame our investigations into “heritage policy,” in which the arts’ power to represent identities has become the center of intense international debates and controversies. These issues affected propaganda in Nazi Germany and Sadaam Hussein’s Iraq, encouraged tourism in “developing” countries that commodified historic sites, led Italy to accuse major American museums of supporting the theft of valuable antiquities, and sparked violent conflicts between Cambodia and Thailand. By critiquing scholarship, films, and online media, students will engage with a range of rhetorical methods for creating convincing arguments, analyzing both textual and visual sources, and better understanding their relationship to their own “cultural heritage.”

SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Elisabeth Emmons Hahn 17265 Maria Fernandez


hey guys let’s talk about cool stuff #swag

What is cool? I’m dead serious yo, nobody I know seems to have an answer. Do you listen to cool music? Do you wear cool clothes? Why? How do you know? We’ll probably talk mostly about fashion and music. We’ll also talk about how race and gender might figure into the “cool” equation, and maybe think about what “cool” means in other societies. These are pretty hard questions, so you’ll have to be ready to work hard—but you’ll leave the class with a good idea of what “cool” is. Writing assignments will range from short response papers, to online writing, to a final research project. If you sat at the cool table for the past four years of your life, or if you never got to, or if you didn’t care—this class is for you.

SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Dexter Thomas 17268 Brett de Bary

ASIAN STUDIES 1107 Remaking Japan

Hollywood remakes, once an occasional curiosity, have become a genre in and of itself. Not only do they allow for Anglophone filmgoers to experience those same stories transplanted into a form to which they can more readily relate, but they also spell profits and merchandising opportunities for production companies attempting at once to define and cater to a thriving niche market—to say nothing of Hollywood’s recapitulations of its own classics, updated to reflect changing standards in technique, technology, and taste. Japanese films constitute a sizable yield of the Hollywood remaking machine, and as such deserve closer attention regarding the themes and trends to which they attend. Remaking Japan is designed to engender a deeper, more critical understanding of the issues involved in the art of remaking in the broader sense, and more specifically in the case of Japanese-American creative exchange, and uses that concept as the foundation for an intensive journey through interpretive, descriptive, and critical writing. Remaking Japan draws upon the medium of film to strengthen notions about the visual imagination of words, all the while engendering cross-cultural awareness of one of the world’s largest market-driven industries.

SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Tyran Grillo 17850 Brett de Bary

AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1813 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.

SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Locksley Edmondson 17270

AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1822 The African American Short Story

The short story is an ideal genre through which one might gain a basic introduction to African American literature and its major themes. As a form and genre, the short story’s specific origins within African American literature are traceable back to the antebellum era of the nineteenth century. The genre was significantly advanced in the post-bellum era by authors such as Charles Chesnutt, thrived throughout the twentieth century, and continues to develop in contemporary African American literature. In this course, we will consider short stories by Chesnutt, Jessie Fauset, Nella Larsen, Arna Bontemps, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Ann Petry, Rosa Guy, Paule Marshall, Ernest J. Gaines, and Toni Morrison. The primary goal of this course as a First-Year Writing Seminar is to reinforce the skills of students in good and effective writing. Through weekly entries in a reading journal, the production of six papers, including several of which will be revised, and periodic in-class writing exercises, students will produce an extensive portfolio of written materials over the course of the semester. This course is designed to give students one of the strongest possible foundations upon which to build for success as writers in the years at Cornell and beyond.

SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Riche Richardson 17272


Flocks, Swarms, and Crowds: How Order Emerges Out of Chaos

What can the unified motion of a flock of birds teach us about the behavior of human crowds? Can the decentralized decision-making of a honeybee swarm offer insights into what makes an effective democracy? Biological systems exemplify self-organization, where order emerges out of chaos without the help of any leader or conscious over-sight; and scientists are only beginning to explain how these feats of organization are achieved. In this course, we will explore this emerging field and relate biological examples of self-organization to human societies. We will use primary scientific literature and popular science formats, including blogs, podcasts, and books such as Sync and Honeybee Democracy. Writing will engage various audiences while synthesizing course material, emphasizing logical flow and clarity in the writing process.

SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Julie Miller 17273 Kern Reeve

CLASSICS 1531 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 students’ written communication skills. Assignments will include preparatory writing and six essays focusing on our readings and discussions in class.

SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Micaela (Micky) Carignano 17253 Eric Rebillard

CLASSICS 1562 Augustine’s Confessions

The Confessions is an autobiographical account of Augustine’s discovery of god through his reading of philosophical texts and, eventually, the Bible. But since he regards his own story as an example of ordinary human development, he uses it as a way of thinking about human nature in general. This allows him to analyze some fundamental problems in life—sin, friendship, emotions, sex, faith, and the existence of god—through his narrative. The course will follow Augustine’s intense focus in this work on reading texts (since the decisive changes in his life all came from discovering books). We will learn how to interpret and analyze informal arguments and how to reconstruct theories sketched in the text and to set them out with clarity and concision.

SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Charles Brittain 17254


The “city”—as place or idea—has haunted the human imagination across time and across the world. But what is so haunting about a city? Why and how can cities inspire both freedom and fear? In an attempt to answer these and other questions, we will look at the ways in which four cities have been “seen” by different writers, musicians, and artists. In so doing, we will learn how to structure sharp, coherent essay responses to these portrayals, using different styles of writing: expository, evaluative, comparative, and argumentative. In this class, we will “see” Paris, New York, London, and Cairo through readings, films, and songs, including: Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris; Paul Simon’s and Alicia Keys’ lyrics; and the writings of Dickens and Mahfouz.

SEM 101 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Kholoud Hussein 17257 Tom McEnaney


When we meet people for the first time, it is common to be asked about our names and where we are from. This course will explore what it entails to identify ourselves and others with place. What does it mean to belong to a place? What is the relationship between place and our bodies, values, thoughts and worldviews? Does place construct who we are, or is it the other way around? How are place and identity represented in literature and film? We will attempt to examine these questions in a variety of literary texts and films. Authors and films may include Orwell, Kafka, Camus, Dostoyevsky, Mahfouz, Alien, Blade Runner, Inception. Writing assignments will encourage students to write with style, formulate complex arguments, and produce coherent essays.

SEM 102 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Ahmad Alswaid 17258 Tom McEnaney


From Occupation to Occupy: Politics and Literature

What is "occupation"? How did a term that refers to oppressive colonial and military regimes also become associated with progressive protests like Occupy Wall Street? Are occupations of texts in any way similar to occupations of spaces—and how do they work? Through readings of historical and theoretical texts alongside literary works from around the world, this seminar will explore the concept and practice of occupation as transformative as well as oppressive, as political as well as literary. We will examine, for instance, how J. M. Coetzee's Foe and Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea infiltrate and contest the colonialist assumptions of classic novels like Robinson Crusoe and Jane Eyre, and how Middle Eastern literature employs forms of literary occupation to treat and respond to political occupation. Coursework will emphasize reading critically and developing rigorous, argument-based essays.

SEM 103 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Liron Mor 17259 Tom McEnaney

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1109 Trans Nationalities, Trans Sexualities

This seminar explores creative works set in different parts of the world that deal with themes related to transgenderism and sexuality, including representations from non-Western contexts that may challenge our own notions of gender. Material for study is drawn from a variety of sources, ranging from a novel about an intersex child in England, to a film about a woman who returns to her Philippine hometown after gender transition, to an episode of the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. Students from a variety of backgrounds are encouraged to participate, and no prior familiarity with transgender issues is required.

SEM 104 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Meredith Talusan 17600 Tom McEnaney

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1109 The Rhetoric of Race

This course explores how language can be used to construct race, which we often consider stable and “natural.” First, we read texts by colonialists and philosophers to help us understand how definitions of race are time and space-specific. Next, the course looks at how mass media communicate or deconstruct race in our (post)modern era. Lastly, we examine the reality /mirage of the post-racial era with the election of Barack Obama. Our analysis gives us insight into the larger issue of how rhetoric shapes our sense of reality. Acquiring writing skills through the ability to interrogate written and visual texts is our crucial goals. More importantly, we explore how writing is not just a subject for a classroom but a tool to create realities/worlds.

SEM 105 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Naminata Diabate 17260


In the experimental film Ghost Dance (1983), Jacques Derrida says “The cinema is the art of ghosts, a battle of phantoms.” Beyond the visible apparition on the screen, how is the cinematic experience necessarily an encounter with ghosts from the past and the future? Why is the cinema always haunted? Investigating the relation between cinematic time and spectral time that is “out of joint,” we will meet many ghosts—literary, vengeful, philosophical, political—in theoretical, and filmic texts from across cultures. Through written and oral assignments, students will be encouraged to develop their critical thinking, reading, and writing abilities. Directors include Stanley Kwan, Nonzee Nimibutr, Joshua Oppenheimer, Edward Yang, Alain Resnais, and Derek Jarman.

SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Elizabeth Wijaya 17263 Tom McEnaney

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1126 Reading the Classics Anew

This course will focus on examining classical texts from Ancient Greece and the way they have been appropriated, interpreted, resurrected, or even distorted in subsequent fictional re-imaginings. For example, looking at Euripides’ “Medea” alongside Toni Morrison’sBeloved or Homer’s Odyssey alongside Derek Walcott’s Omeros, the course aims to think about questions of canon, the limits of interpretation, and the potential value of the Classics themselves. These texts will not only be the subject of students’ writing, but will also offer models for the way in which authors themselves interpret ancient texts.

SEM 102 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Hannah Karmin 17264 Tom McEnaney

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1133 Posthuman Fictions

In this course, we will survey a number of twentieth-century literary and cinematic fictions that articulate what it means to be more or less than human. From Franz Kafka’s speaking animals to Philip K. Dick’s cyborgs, from Toni Morrison’s ghosts to the zombies ofThe Walking Dead, we will analyze the philosophical, historical, and political limits and implications of what we call the human. Students will emerge from the seminar with the ability to read critically and write with clarity. The course will also acquaint students with critical work about the emergence of posthumanism by authors such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault, Donna Haraway, N. Katherine Hayles, Cary Wolfe, and others.

SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Antoine Traisnel 17266

DEVELOPMENT SOCIOLOGY 1211 The Cultural Politics of Reproduction

While reproduction seems to be among the most personal and private of human experiences, it is also a deeply social and political activity. How, when, and who should reproduce? What role does the state play in regulating and disciplining reproductive bodies? How do race, class, gender, and sexuality shape reproductive choices and experiences? This course explores how personal experiences of reproduction are informed by and structured through systems of power. Drawing on a variety of sources from scholarly analyses to popular media, we will examine theories of reproduction, the relationship between reproduction and power, and questions of freedom, rights, and reproductive choice. The course aims to both foster critical analysis and to help students write convincingly and confidently.

SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Sara Keene 17271 Philip McMichael


Precarious Work and Workers in the Global Food System

Do you ever wonder about the working conditions and daily lives of the people who produce our food? This course asks how ethnicity, legal status, gender, and age shape access to basic rights for agricultural workers across the global food system. How do migrant farmworkers cope with anti-immigrant political and social climates? What happens to children who are trafficked to produce food commodities cheaply? Does Fair Trade make a difference for indigenous peasant communities? This course will engage with documentaries, ethnographies, media reports, sociological literature, and historical fiction pieces that address the precarious social life of food. By writing film and book reviews, reading responses, op-ed pieces, and research papers, students will gain skills in close textual analysis and in developing strong arguments.

SEM 101 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Kathleen Sexsmith 17275 Philip McMichael

ENGLISH 1105 Madwomen

Why do we love the spectacles of profoundly talented yet tragic women such as Amy Winehouse, Sylvia Plath, and Virginia Woolf? Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar wrote about the figure of the “madwoman in the attic” in nineteenth-century literature; in this course, we will look forward from there toward more contemporary figures. Course texts will include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls, and poems from Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, and Anne Sexton. Students will also have an opportunity to complete group research projects on “madwomen” of other mediums, such as pop music and visual art. Students will be expected to invest in their growth as writers through intensive revision and thoughtfully participating in peer-review processes.

SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Stevie Edwards 17277 Elizabeth Anker

ENGLISH 1105 Action Heroines

Terminator 2, The Powerpuff Girls, The Hunger Games, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Veronica Mars. Popular culture has provided a steady stream of powerful female lead characters in the form of films, television shows, and young adult fiction. In this course, we will zoom in on these female superheroes to discover what “postfeminism” is and how it deeply informs representations of women in popular culture. Is our culture truly celebratory of strong women, or must they always be done away with or undermined by sexist tropes? Discussion will be based largely on close readings of works (film, television, and fiction) as well as supplemental critical articles. Most papers will be revised with the aid of the instructor and peers.

SEM 102 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Shyla Foster 17278 Elizabeth Anker

ENGLISH 1105 (Un)American Beauties

When Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America 2014, reactions ranged from joy to outrage, but why? What is "American beauty"? How does "beauty" affect how we treat ourselves and others? Reading works by Edith Wharton, Adrian Tomine, Gwendolyn Brooks, Cornell alumna Toni Morrison, and others, we will ponder "beauty" in relation to "Americanness." How have these concepts been shaped by race, class, and gendered expectations? And what is their impact on women's decision-making, socioeconomic prospects, psychological wellbeing, and relationships? Students will develop a series of papers analyzing and comparing literary texts as well as reflecting on their own experiences. By examining how authors’ decisions influence readers, we'll learn to weigh our own decisions as writers, and to value clarity, coherence, and precision.

SEM 103 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Jungmin Kim 17279 Elizabeth Anker


Women and Fiction, Revisited

In 1929, Virginia Woolf published A Room of One's Own, in which she urged women writers to establish their own literary tradition. Eighty years later, VIDA (Women in the Literary Arts) was created to challenge still-entrenched perceptions of literary value by tallying the gender disparities in major publications and book reviews. This course takes up issues at the intersection of gender and literary production in order to reconsider the ideas of community and literary value in women's writing. Texts will include Woolf's essay alongside selections from contemporary writers like Siri Hustvedt, Toni Morrison, Sheila Heti, Alison Bechdel, and Jennifer Weiner. Through class discussion, close reading, creative essays, and an individualized research project, students will explore tough questions such as: does it matter who writes the story?

SEM 104 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Emily Fridlund 17280

ENGLISH 1111 Fantasy of Asia

I have had to learn how to love Tolkien while trying to find myself in the unmapped lands in the East where the Green and Blue wizards disappeared to. So writes a fantasy enthusiast from India. Western publishers (and

Game of Thrones fans) associate the “fantasy” genre with the European Middle Ages. But non-European cultures have fantasy traditions as well. This course will explore both examples of Asian fantasy (including the classical Chinese narrative Journey to the West and films by Hayao Miyazaki) and the perception of Asia in Western works like Naomi Mitchison's Travel Light. As we go, we will write to learn, approaching the six required essays as a journey of discovery, learning about ourselves as writers as we map out new ideas.

SEM 101 MW 07:30–08:45 p.m. Jane Glaubman 17281 Neil Saccamano

ENGLISH 1111 Rebels with a Cause

What does it mean to “grow up” in the face of war, industrialisation, and modernity? What happens to the line between childhood and adulthood when the future is uncertain? In this course, we will consider how maturity gets defined, in both children’s books and coming-of-age narratives, as characters struggle to reconcile their inner selves with the outer world. We will look at stories of adolescence and rebellion across a range of genres, exploring questions of self-discovery, sexuality, and existential angst. Possible authors include Jeanette Winterson, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Arundhati Roy, and Edward Gorey. Through discussions and writing assignments focused on close-reading and cohesive arguments, this course will investigate the compromises necessary for fitting in, and what happens when the pieces don’t match up.

SEM 102 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Amber Harding 17282 Neil Saccamano

ENGLISH 1111 Spy Writers

What is the relationship between professional writers and spies? Do the techniques of espionage hone one’s skills as a reader and writer? We will read works of known spies-turned-writers like Daniel Defoe, W. H. Auden, and John Le Carré, noting that techniques of surveillance and interrogation mirror close-reading and engagement with critical sources and outside research. At their best, spies are careful observers and nuanced writers. Studying the techniques of the best spy writers teaches not only how to write for a particular audience and purpose, but also how a piece of writing can contain the code for its own reading. We will write “intelligence reports” analyzing critics including Auden and Todorov, use question-and-answer formats, and learn to write expository essays with both imagination and accuracy.

SEM 103 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Christina Black 17283 Neil Saccamano


Cantonese, Fukienese, Tiawanese, Mandarin, Tahishanses...it's all Chinese to me

In her memoir Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston identified a conundrum familiar to many US-born children of Chinese immigrants when she asked: “What is Chinese tradition and what is the movies?” What is “Chinese tradition”? Does it mean the same thing to people in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, or to Chinese diasporic communities in North America? Does “Chineseness” change across time and space? While there will be occasion to discuss what “Chineseness” means in different Asian contexts, this course will focus primarily on how ideas of “China” and “Chineseness” have been historically constructed by, for, and in the West—particularly in the US. Course materials include Chinese American literature, as well as films, photographs, and historical and sociological studies of East/West relations.

SEM 104 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Shelley Wong 17284

ENGLISH 1134 True Stories

When students write personal essays for college applications, they not infrequently discover just how challenging writing about and presenting themselves to the public can be. In this course, we’ll examine how well-known authors such as Maxine Hong Kingston, Alison Bechdel, Tim O’Brien, and others construct their public, written selves. We’ll consider how an author’s self-presentation affects how readers interpret the experiences, insights, and knowledge presented in each text; we’ll also consider how the style of writing affects how readers understand an author’s personality and motives. Readings will include short essays, possibly some poems, and a few longer works. Together, and writing frequent essays, we’ll explore why and how people write about themselves—for self-exploration, political or social change, purely to practice a form of art, or for other reasons—and we’ll investigate how writing shapes lived experience.


Common Ground: Education Beyond the Ivory Tower

This course offers you a chance to become a more engaged member of the Ithaca community as part of your first-year writing experience. For two afternoons a week, Cornell students will engage with Ithaca middle school students as mentors and tutors outside of class. Writing assignments will help you reflect on the tutoring experience and the role of education and responsible citizenship in a democratic society. Readings will include Savage Inequalities by Kozol, Life and Death of the Great American School System by Ravitch and essays by Barber, Freire, and King. Our ultimate goal will be to broaden students' perspectives on our public educational system and the role of universities in their communities.

SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. x-listed w/ Writ 4100 & Amst 1140 17811

Student schedules must accommodate Tuesday and Thursday trips (3-5 PM) to Boynton Middle School.


The Mystery in the Story

What makes a story, and what makes it a mystery story? In this course, we'll study and write about the nature of narratives, taking the classic mystery tale written by such writers as Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and Raymond Chandler as typical of intricately plotted stories of suspense and disclosure that have been written and filmed in many genres: Greek tragedy, horror tales by Poe and Shirley Jackson, psychological thrillers by Ruth Rendell and Patricia Highsmith, neo-noir films such as Memento and Fight Club, and postmodern mystery

parodies such as those of Paul Auster and Jorge Luis Borges. We'll look and fear that drive them, and the secrets they tell—or try to keep hidden.

at the way they hold together, the desire


Black Plays and Performance

Comedian Dave Chappelle recalls an incident in which a white cast member laughed good and hard at a sketch in rehearsal, leading Chappelle to wonder if the cast member had understood his satire or was simply laughing at the stereotype he was trying to satirize. The simultaneous potential for liberation and subjugation is a central “ambivalence” of Black performance, according to Douglas A. Jones. So what to do in the face of this ambivalence? In this course, we will watch videos of and read plays by African American playwrights to consider the various tensions and promises within the possibilities of Black performance. Students will participate in class discussion and complete informal writing assignments to build critical thinking and writing skills, as well as building skills of evaluation and argument through multiple drafts of critical essays.

SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Jesse Goldberg 17293 Kevin Attell


Apocalypse and the Nuclear Age

On August 6, 1945, the world changed forever. With the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, we realized that humanity had the capacity to bring about its own end. Ever since, the concept of a man-made apocalypse has captured our popular imagination, and this is evident in American fiction of the last half century. In this course, we will consider the connections between history and literature and try to address why Americans like repeatedly to imagine the end of the world in their entertainment by reading novels by George Stewart, Robert Heinlein, Walter Miller, Cormac McCarthy, and Octavia Butler. We will also explore questions about race, gender, sexuality, and class in these apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic scenarios. Writing assignments will encourage critical engagement with primary and secondary texts.

SEM 102 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Ji Hyun Lee 17294 Kevin Attell


Contemporary African-American Literature and Culture

This course will examine contemporary African-American literature and culture. Through aesthetic, generic, and contextual approaches, we will consider how African-Americans are defining themselves and our contemporary world. We will pay particular attention to questions of race in contemporary American life and African-American cultural production as well as how race intersects with others markers of identity like gender, sexuality, and nationality. Texts for the course will include: Toni Morrison's Beloved; Essex Hemphill's Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men; Paul Beatty's White Boy Shuffle; Spike Lee's Bamboozled; Elizabeth Alexander's American Sublime; Barack Obama's "A More Perfect Union"; and, a range of Hip-Hop tracks.

SEM 103 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Dagmawi Woubshet 17295 Kevin Attell

ENGLISH 1158 Did Indians Write?

“Did Indians write?—like, before Columbus?” This class introduces students to the practices used by Native Americans to communicate prior to the adoption of what, in 1744, an Indian leader called “pen and ink work.” We will learn to read wooden baskets, carved-shell belts, and painted hides for how they expressed the histories and cultures of Indian societies. We will discuss accounts of how these objects operated during colonial encounters, comparing the written record to the materials themselves. And we will explore how Native authors integrated these materials into their writing. Throughout, we will complicate our definitions of writing and consider how Indians’ supposed illiteracy was used to justify colonization. Readings and discussions will inform response papers and formal essays.

SEM 104 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Daniel Radus 17296 Kevin Attell


Race and Writing in American Fiction

Immigrants. Slaves. Indigenous peoples displaced from their land. How do the different cultures that have coincided in this country comprise and define “America”? How have legacies of national atrocities and cultural difference shaped American literature of the last fifty years? What does multicultural literature have to do with questions of socioeconomic class? We will explore these questions through reading African-American, Asian-American, Native American, and Latino/a literatures, including reflections on whiteness. Authors may include Frank Chin, Jhumpa Lahiri, Toni Morrison, John Edgar Wideman, Helena Maria Viramontes, Junot Diaz, Sherman Alexie, and Raymond Carver. Students will develop their capacity for clear, intelligent, and lively writing through the practice of close reading and literary analysis.

SEM 105 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Daniel Sinykin 17297 Kevin Attell


A Place Called Home

How does place shape our identity? How do our attitudes about home impact our relationships with one another and with the land we live on? We will address these questions, and consider home as a geographical, cultural, and personal construct, through fiction and memoir predominantly set in rural places. Writers may include Willa Cather, Leslie Marmon Silko, Janisse Ray, Anthony Doerr, and Annie Proulx. We will refine our writing skills through analytical essays concerning these texts, and through personal essays examining how we identify with the native places we call home and with our new homes here at Cornell.

SEM 106 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Caroline Zeilenga 17298 Kevin Attell


The Hunger Games

This seminar explores the trials of characters from the margins of society: orphans, unexpected heroes, and con artists. We will read selected works of fiction, from the notorious early nineteenth-century The Female Marine to the recent bestseller The Hunger Games, that have captivated the imaginations of readers from different generations in the US and abroad. Some of the key issues we will discuss in the seminar include wealth and poverty, race, gender, and sexuality. With the help of secondary literature and a selection of films that we'll study alongside the readings, we'll be learning how to become more attentive readers and better writers. Discussions and writing assignments will supplement each other, giving you the opportunity to learn about style, argumentation, and research

SEM 107 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Kamila Janiszewska 17299 Kevin Attell

ENGLISH 1167 Great New Books

Would you be able to identify the Shakespeare or Austen of your time? What are the best books being written today and how do we know they are great? What role do critics, prizes, book clubs, and movie adaptations play in establishing the appeal and prestige of new literature? Are there some books that are great in their moment and others that will be considered great for generations to come? These are some of the questions we'll explore as we read, discuss, and write critical essays about several of the most acclaimed books published in the last twenty

years. Our readings will include works in

a range of genres, from novels and memoirs to poetry and graphic novels.


Birds, Beasts, and Bards: The Poetry of Animals

If you love animals but can’t keep them in your dorm room, poems may well be the perfect substitute. Evoking the bodies and spirits of non-human creatures has always been one of the special domains of poetry. In this course, we’ll consider a wide range of poems that take many different approaches to unlocking the mysterious otherness of animals, using all the tricks and techniques of this venerable art: rhythm, form, metaphor, observation, and imagination. In discussions and essays, we’ll explore the ways in which poems about animals raise major questions of ethics and epistemology, while achieving the primal magic of translating life into language. Poets to be studied will include Blake, Keats, Whitman, Dickinson, Frost, Lawrence, Moore, Bishop, and many others.

SEM 102 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Roger Gilbert 17330

ENGLISH 1168 Beyond Good and Evil

In this course, we will be looking at characters who blur the line between good and evil. We will read about monstrous humans and humanoid monsters. Our subjects’ crimes will range from pedophilia to murder and mass murder. We will ponder such questions as: Do the ends ever justify the means? Is it possible to relate to a homicidal narrator? Is there such thing as an objective morality? Throughout the course, students will learn how to think and write critically about the texts, and to articulate clear arguments in their writing. Each student must write six essays over the course of the semester. Possible authors include Mary Shelley, Alan Moore, Albert Camus, Vladimir Nabokov, and Margaret Atwood.

SEM 103 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Karen Elterman 17331 Elisha Cohn

ENGLISH 1168 Minimalisms

From IKEA to iPhones, our everyday visual culture seems to be saturated by minimalist designs: clean, simple, impersonal, geometric, and accessible. But what appears to be mainly a consumerist aesthetic nowadays actually has a long cultural history, embedded in movements that critique rather than buttress capitalism. In this course, we will explore different facets of minimalism in the twentieth century and in our time, as a visual art movement, as a literary aesthetic, and as a philosophical doctrine. By turning to authors such as Samuel Beckett and Gertrude Stein, we will ask: if “less is more,” what is “enlarged” when these artists abandon sumptuous particulars in favor of the spare surface? Writing assignments will invite you to experiment with “lessness” as a stylistic principle.

SEM 104 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Ben Tam 17332 Elisha Cohn


Medicine, Monsters, and Madmen

Why does Gothic fiction associate science and medicine with monsters and madmen? This course examines the relationship between Gothic literature and science, pairing prominent nineteenth-century medical theories with the fiction that draws on them. Students will be asked to think about how authors such as Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, and Robert Louis Stevenson attempt to exploit, illuminate, or remedy cultural anxiety surrounding medical knowledge. This course will also consider how film adaptations, podcasts, art, and music have perpetuated key Gothic themes in modern society. In addition to argumentative and analytical writing, assignments may include writing a Gothic short story based on a medical case study, analyzing pre-nineteenth-century anatomical representations of the human body, and completing informal reading response papers.

SEM 105 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Kristie Schlauraff 17333 Elisha Cohn

ENGLISH 1168 Fiction into Film

Successfully adapting literary fiction to film is a difficult business. Hundreds of pages of text must be distilled down to ninety minutes of screen time. In doing so, a screenwriter decides which elements of the source material are essential, inessential, and mutable; the result is a new piece of fictional narrative that is sometimes faithful to the book, sometimes wildly different. What changes are inevitable? What has been omitted or added? How does film use its own unique grammar and syntax to communicate ideas from the text? These questions will be central to our work, as we write several critical essays regarding (and even try our own hand adapting) work as disparate as The Big Sleep, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and The Orchid Thief.

SEM 106 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Adam Price 17334 Elisha Cohn


Pop Culture Goes Medieval

Get medieval on your class. The middle ages never end in our pop culture representations, rewrites, and rehashes. Hollywood fantasy blockbusters rule the box office, HBO reinvigorates George RR Martin, and World of Warcraft restages the crusades online. This course analyzes contemporary pop culture that plunders the medieval for its themes. Why do (mis)representations of the middle ages fascinate us? What does it mean about our now that we need to return to a then? As we read novels, short stories, and, yes, watch Game of Thrones, we will consider what representing an “other time” does for us. Our short analytical essays will use close reading of various texts (novels to video games) to produce theses with social significance for contemporary culture.

SEM 107 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Matthew McConnell 17335 Elisha Cohn

ENGLISH 1170 Short Stories

What is the difference between an anecdote and a short story or a memoir and a short story? How does the short story separate itself from the prose poem, the myth, or the parable? What can a short story do that no other art form can do, including cinematic narrative? This course will focus on the reading and analysis of short stories derived from a range of cultures and time periods, with some emphasis on English-language stories, particularly those from the North American continent. Writers may include but not be limited to: Tobias Wolff, Alice Munroe, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Willa Cather, Edgar Alan Poe, Nikolai Gogol, Eudora Welty, Louise Erdrich, Haruki Murakami, Denis Johnson, Margaret Atwood, Donald Barthelme, Flannery O'Connor, Edith Wharton, Raymond Carver, Joyce Carol Oates, and Anton Chekhov. There will be a research component and some workshop discussion of student work.

David Faulkner


Altered States in the Middle Ages

In cultures from antiquity to the present, dreams, visions, and other altered states have enjoyed a privileged status. Despite the fact that the logic of these altered states can often appear irrational or nonsensical, dreamers and visionaries appear to have access to valuable information from other realms. This course will explore the medieval literature of suspended consciousness, including dream visions by Chaucer and his contemporaries, popular prophesies, and accounts by mystical “visionaries,” with additional forays into more contemporary work indebted to these medieval texts. In doing so, we’ll chart how medieval authors struggle to distinguish between virtuous “truth” and diabolical “fiction.” Experimentation with our own forms of “trance” writing will prove to be a useful step in developing our own clear and direct authorial voice.

SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Adin Lears 17349 Samantha Zacher

ENGLISH 1191 Rescaling the Human

From Gulliver’s Travels to Alice in Wonderland to The Incredible Shrinking Woman, literary works have consistently imagined what might happen if humans changed in scale. This course will explore how shifts of scale also change our perspective as readers, distorting familiar realities and bringing strange new ones into focus. We’ll discover how stories posing as fantasies and science fictions can encode biting political satires and environmental warnings. We’ll continue by analyzing the figures of human scale we use to discuss today’s big-picture problems, including “carbon footprints” and the Anthropocene—the geological period marked by human impact on the planet. In-class debates, blog posts, and reading responses will be expanded into full-length essays as we explore literature’s role in rescaling what it means to be human.

SEM 102 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Aaron Rosenberg 17350 Samantha Zacher

ENGLISH 1191 Ventriloquism and the Author

What do we mean when we speak of an author’s “voice”? And why might an author choose to speak through an invented persona or “dummy”? This course explores such questions, which are fundamental to critical thinking and good writing. We will investigate how authors have endeavored to control what their readers take away from a text, and also how they have consciously distorted and disguised their own voices through sophisticated textual personae. Readings may include ancient and medieval oracular and mystical texts, early medical and psychoanalytic writings on “hysteria,” and camp performance in contemporary popular culture. Understanding the complex constructions and functions of the authorial voice over time will help us to comprehend and develop the authorial roles we take on in our own writing.

SEM 103 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Adin Lears 17351 Samantha Zacher

ENGLISH 1191 Mind Reading

Whenever we think we know what a movie character is thinking, whenever we feel a poem’s speaker is being evasive, and whenever we form an emotional connection to someone in a novel, we are reading minds where there are none. Why does it seem so natural to do this? Why do we get attached to fictional characters? Is this something we learn how to do, or is the ability innate? In this seminar, we will analyze literature and films and study recent theories from evolutionary psychology and philosophy in order to think about how and why we mind-read fictional works. Students will then use this knowledge in their essay assignments by learning how to anticipate the expectations, biases, and responses of their own readers.

SEM 104 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Matthew Kibbee 17352 Samantha Zacher

ENGLISH 1191 Faith in Doubt

“God is dead,” Friedrich Nietzsche famously proclaimed, adding: “Yet his shadow still looms.” Indeed, Nietzsche’s atheistic writing often employed religious terminology, while that of his religious contemporaries was regularly suffused with a language of doubt. G. K. Chesterton, for instance, provocatively asserted that Christianity was the only “religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist.” In this course, we’ll explore questions raised by this overlap between faith and doubt: Can doubt be a form of faith? Can religious language be reworked for secular ends? How does the interplay of faith and doubt make us “modern”? Readings include Frankenstein, Thus Spake Zarathustra, and contemporary scholarship on secularism and modernity. Writing assignments will train students to make connections between literary works and cultural questions.

SEM 105 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Bernadette Guthrie 17353 Samantha Zacher

ENGLISH 1270 Reading Poetry

What can reading poetry teach us about good writing and critical thinking? This writing seminar deals with a variety of poetry, from the Renaissance to contemporary musical lyrics, in order to make students better readers and writers. We will work collectively in a seminar setting to 1) learn about the formal aspects of poetic texts; 2) improve writing skills; 3) develop habits of critical thinking; 4) learn how to write critical papers; 5) talk about what is at stake in reading a poem and doing critical analysis.

SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Barbara Correll 17357

ENGLISH 1270 Writing About 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, Conrad, Joyce, Woolf, Hurston, Nabokov, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Rhys, Welty, Kafka, and Morrison. We will focus on short fiction, with the seminar culminating in the study of one or two short novels. Close, attentive, imaginative reading and writing will be central throughout.

SEM 102 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Jeremy Braddock 17358


Misfit Poets: From Baudelaire to Bob Dylan

For centuries, misfits and outcasts have chosen poetry as their mode of expression. In this course, we will explore the ways in which poems and songs can serve as a form of subversion, protest, or refusal of societal norms. Readings will come from three generations in literary history which bear a strong relation to each other: the so-called “accursed poets” of nineteenth-century France, the American Beat poets of the 1950s and 1960s, and folk and rock ‘n’ roll artists from the 1960s to the present. Critical readings from Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Rancière, Theodor Adorno, and Walter Benjamin will help us consider the ways in which poetry functions inside and

outside of society. Frequent writing assignments will help students refine skills in expository and analytical composition.

SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Neal Allar 17374 Kathleen Long


Disorderly Subjects: Building, Breaking, and Remaking Culture

What might be revolutionary about the power of writing to rearrange what society considers “normal”? How can stories change our view of events? This course will explore theoretical discussions about modern revolutions (Arendt, Kant, Marx) as well as cinematic and literary examples (Kleist, Porumboiu, Hensel, Wolf) to watch as language builds, disrupts, and rearranges social orders. Through critical engagement with these texts, we will investigate how power works in society and experiment with the potential of language to remake the worlds it names. Formal essay assignments will draw on textual analysis and critical discussion of course readings to help you practice effective academic writing and develop your own world-making writing skills.

SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Katrina Nousek 17376 Douglas Brent McBride


From Fairy Tales to the Uncanny: Exploring the Romantic Consciousness

How did bawdy tales of peasants using magic to climb the social ladder get transformed into moral lessons for children? The answer lies in Romanticism and its appropriation of the imagination as a force for social transformation. As Romantics edited older tales for juvenile consumption they wrote new ones for adults. This new fiction created the matrix for modern pop genres like fantasy, science-fiction, murder mysteries, and gothic horror. To understand this paradigm shift in modern culture, we will read, discuss, and write about a variety of texts the

Romantics collected, composed, or inspired, including poetry and film, in addition to classic fairy tales and

Romantics collected, composed, or inspired, including poetry and film, in addition to classic fairy tales and academic scholarship on the topic.

SEM 101 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Ekaterina Pirozhenko 17379 Douglas Brent McBride SEM 102 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Douglas McBride 17507

GERMAN STUDIES 1113 Participatory Culture

The rise of online media in the late twentieth century has led to the formation of alternative public spheres, with new opportunities for active participation open to anyone with internet access and basic computer skills. While some celebrate the liberating potential of active consumerism, amateur criticism, fan culture, or social media activism, others are concerned about online harassment, censorship, or the future of intellectual property. In this seminar, we explore these different aspects of "participatory culture" by studying a variety of digital text forms, complemented by a number of thought-provoking theoretical texts. We combine the practice of traditional academic writing with exercises in writing blogs and tweets, and explore the potential of social networking platforms for the publication and exchange of scholarly thought.

SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Hannah Mueller 17385 Douglas Brent McBride

GERMAN STUDIES 1150 German Lyric Poetry

Friedrich Holderlin, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Paul Celan are arguably the most influential lyric poets to have written in German. Although each responded to events of his day (the French Revolution, First World War, and Second World War, respectively), they all aspired to transcend their immediate contexts. Their success is indicated by the interest prominent philosophers have taken in their work and the many musical settings their poetry has inspired. This seminar will address concerns common to all three writers: individual and collective memory, the (dis)enchantment of the world, the materiality and musicality of language, and the encounter with the foreign. Writing assignments are designed to help you articulate critical argumentation. No knowledge of German required.

SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Klas Molde 17634 Douglas Brent McBride

GERMAN STUDIES 1170 Marx, Nietzsche, Freud

A basic understanding of Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud is a prerequisite for participating in critical debates in the humanities and social sciences. Our seminar will explore key terms in the revolutionary models of critical analysis these thinkers pioneered: historical materialism, post-metaphysical philosophy, and psychoanalysis. This will mean articulating points of contrast as well as convergence. Discussions and writing exercises will focus on texts that created the discursive framework for critiquing society and culture today. Our method will proceed from the premise that critical reading, thinking, and writing are inseparable moments in the same operation of critique. The question that guides that method will be: Do alternative ways of thinking exist in opposition to the ones we view as natural, inevitable, or universal?

SEM 101 MW 07:30–08:45 p.m. Jordan Thomson 17383 Douglas Brent McBride

SEM 102 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Matthew Stoltz 17384 Douglas Brent Brent McBride


The Evolution of American Grand Strategy

What was the point of American intervention in the First World War? Was the Cold War inevitable? Should the United States try to contain a rising China and confront a resurgent Russia? This course explores these and similar questions in an attempt to understand the way the United States has defined and pursued its interests in a changing world. We’ll investigate this topic by analyzing texts written by decisionmakers, like Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Kissinger; historians, like George Herring and Walter McDougall; and political scientists, like Fareed

Zakaria. We will also use a variety of writing assignments—including policy memos, opinion articles, and counterfactual histories—to simultaneously engage with the puzzles at the heart of the course and improve written communication skills.

SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Steven Ward 17306


From Social Movements to Political Parties

Social movements and political parties have long been closely linked. Some movements like the environmental moment in Western Europe have spawned their own (Green) parties, while others, like the Tea Party, have worked within existing ones. This begs the question: why do some movements become parties, while others don't? What exactly is the link between movements and parties? This course offers an introduction to movement parties and discusses issues such as the conditions for the founding of these parties, their continued interactions with the social movement they originated from, and the determinants of their success, in elections and with regard to public policy. This course draws on readings from journalistic, think-tank, and academic sources; in critically engaging with these sources, students will develop the ability to conduct research and write successfully on issues relevant to the social sciences and beyond.

SEM 102 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Steffen Blings 17307 Ken Roberts

GOVERNMENT 1101 Humanitarian Interventions

Can military force meet humanitarian goals? Every major U.S. use of force in the last two decades includes humanitarian objectives—from delivering food and medical supplies in Somalia, to providing education for women in Afghanistan, to protecting Libyan civilians. This course examines the effectiveness of these efforts, focusing on humanitarian interventions and peacekeeping operations. Students will explore why such operations became prevalent, the ethical dilemmas involved, and when operations are most likely to be successful. Readings combine academic sources with excerpts from news and policy reports, such as presidential speeches and Samantha Power’s

A Problem From Hell. Writing assignments include policy memos responding to crisis scenarios, analyses of political statements, and a research paper on the effectiveness of intervention in a chosen case.

SEM 103 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Sarah Maxey 17308 Matthew Evangelista


There Goes the ‘Hood: Gentrification in American Cities

From East Harlem in New York City to Chinatown in Los Angeles, the process of gentrification has changed the character of hundreds of neighborhoods across America. In this seminar, we will explore the different definitions of gentrification as well as the various explanations of why gentrification happens in certain neighborhoods. Reading materials will 1) explore the relationships between gentrification and issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexual orientation and 2) consider the role of local government in the gentrification process. Through collaborative discussions and reflection essays, students will develop analytical writing and critical thinking skills. The seminar will use an introductory textbookThe Gentrification Reader as well as draw on film and digital media to provide alternative perspectives.

SEM 104 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Diane Wong 17309 Michael Jones-Correa


Empire and Democracy: Ancient to Modern

Classical Athens and the Roman Republic were governed by democratic institutions which were unprecedented in scale and exceptional in the demands placed on their citizens. Democracy also went hand in hand with war: under forms of democratic governance, both Athens and Rome formed empires and pursued policies that brought their citizens into a war of some kind almost every year. This course will focus on the connections between

democracy and imperialism based on primary sources, including Herodotus, Thucydides, Aristotle, Polybius,

democracy and imperialism based on primary sources, including Herodotus, Thucydides, Aristotle, Polybius, Cicero, and Livy. Engaging directly with ancient sources, writing assignments will range from response papers to analytical and argumentative essays. We will conclude the course with comparisons to American democracy.

SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Timothy Sorg 17317 Barry Strauss


Centuries of Bloodshed? Violence in the Middle Ages

The supposedly widespread violence of the Middle Ages frequently captures modern attention. Graphic violence is often a selling point for medieval-themed media, such as HBO’sGame of Thrones series. Often, medieval violence seems to be pointless and cruel; a barbaric aspect of a less civilized time. Was violence in the Middle Ages as senseless as it seems to us? How did the denizens of the Middle Ages experience this violence? Were they as appalled or intrigued by it as we seem to be? In this course, we will consider and write about the way medieval authors interpreted and represented violence in a variety of genres including history, law, and literature. Assignments will focus on close readings of assigned texts and on building compelling and cogent arguments based on these readings. Other assignments will ask students to reflect on their own opinions on violence and to consider how these opinions shape the way we study violence in other contexts.

SEM 101 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Maximilian McComb 17318 Oren Falk


The Prize and the Peril: African Nations at Fifty

The recent Jubilee celebrations of fifty years of African independence offer an apt moment to assess the legacy of the nationalist movements that brought about independence and the nations they spawned. One observer has argued that even in countries with “nothing to celebrate,” all jubilee nations eventually featured “some form of official commemoration.” Why were these commemorations so important to Africans? Why does nationalism continue to catalyze such heated debate, in Africa as around the world? What does “independence” mean anyway? This course examines the tension over who gets to define “the nation” in Africa and why. The goal will be to analyze historical debates on “the nation” in Africa and to write persuasive arguments assessing them.

SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Mark Deets 17319 Sandra Greene


Paper Politics: Writing in India, 1700-Present

The Indian subcontinent poses a paradox in histories of the written word. Despite high rates of illiteracy, it has produced vibrant textual traditions in over a dozen vernacular and a few “global” languages. Yet what institutional and social contexts have informed the cultures of writing in South Asia? We address this question through historical and anthropological perspectives. Readings and discussions will focus on the worlds of the Mughal scribe, the colonial book printer, and the bazaar public sphere. We shall learn of the written labor of subordinate clerks and peons, and follow the paper trail to the halls of postcolonial bureaucratic offices. Our aim will thus be to understand the dynamics of writing and power that have historically constituted state and popular politics in South Asia. Writing assignments will range from responses and reviews to independent research-based writing.

SEM 101 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Rishad Choudhury 17642 Durba Ghosh


Gandhi and the Politics of Non-Violence

This course will examine the writings of Mohandas K. Gandhi, a leader of the nonviolent movement against British colonialism in India. In particular, students will consider whether Gandhi’s philosophies of self-reliance, moral discipline, civil disobedience, nonviolent protest, and vegetarianism are applicable to living in the modern world. We will read some of Gandhi’s well-known criticisms of modernity, including Hind Swaraj and My

Experiments with Truth, and address the sources, impact, and legacy of Gandhi’s ideas, including the relationship

Experiments with Truth, and address the sources, impact, and legacy of Gandhi’s ideas, including the relationship between Gandhian non-violence and the American Civil Rights Movement. Written assignments will involve close readings of Gandhi’s work with an eye toward engaging whether his ideas translate to being a modern and morally responsible individual in the early twenty-first century.

SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Durba Ghosh 17321


European Modernisms: Style in Architecture, Literature, Film

This course examines design in early twentieth-century Italy and France to provide a toolkit of stylistic techniques for argumentation. You will analyze a single expression of Modernism across architecture, literature, and film. Perched on the cliffs above the Mediterranean shore, the home of author Curzio Malaparte is a Modernist marvel. Photos, paintings, and plans from this architectural jewel will contextualize its role as the setting for Jean-Luc Godard’s sumptuous film Contempt. The dream-like short stories of Malaparte himself will round out this visit to the isle of Capri. Weekly role-play and debates will connect art, politics, and persuasion. For the final project, you will build a multimedia ePortfolio to demonstrate the development of your approach to writing, style, and Modernism.

SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Diana Garvin 17322 Kathleen Long


Sounds in the World Around Us

Sounds, of human language and from other sources, occur all around us. We process sounds and language seamlessly, unconsciously. What are sounds and how do they serve as the building blocks of language? In this course, we consider the elements of spoken and written language and develop tools to investigate the role sound plays in communication. We consider human speech sounds, other aspects of sound conveyed beyond linguistic meaning (social information, emotion), and effects of new technologies on modes of communication. Readings provide background for these topics as well as primary sources of different styles. Class assignments are structured so that students practice writing in a variety of different formats and styles. The class will develop observational and analytic skills, while emphasizing writing as a process. We will experiment about language together.

SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Abby Cohn 17323

LINGUISTICS 1100 Words and Pictures

This class explores the collaboration of language and image in creating meanings at multiple levels. We will discuss and write about popular culture—caricatures, comics, graphic novels, and advertising—along with high culture artifacts such as paintings and illuminated manuscripts, examining the interplay and analogies between understanding language and interpreting images. We will discuss phenomena that cut across words and pictures: both may represent reality. A sentence may be true or false—can the same be said of a picture? Both language and visual representation are governed by conventions, and would be impossible without them. Information may be foregrounded and backgrounded in both channels, and can be ambiguous, contradictory, nonsensical, or self-referential.

SEM 102 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Dorit Abusch 17324

LINGUISTICS 1100 English Outside the Box

Do grammar books know all the answers about English? Some do acknowledge regional dialects and other 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

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.

SEM 103 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Wayles Browne 17325


From Cuneiform to Cryptography

We will explore the development, implementation, and if relevant, the decipherment of a number of writing systems, including cuneiform, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and Mayan, as well as those used to record several modern languages. We will study the linguistic principles behind different writing systems and compare some of the techniques used in decipherment with those used in cryptography. Writing assignments will help students develop as writers by focusing on the writing process, from how to identify interesting problems to how to present a complete and polished product. No previous exposure to other writing systems is necessary.

SEM 104 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Joshua Buffington 17326 Abby Cohn

LINGUISTICS 1100 Myths and Controversies

Some say, “English is from Latin” others, “English is from German.” Both are not true: English is from Old English. As for the present state of the language, regretful comments such as “Young people are ruining the language,” or “French is more logical,” are by no means uncommon. Is there any more merit to these complaints than to the above statements on the origins of English? This course addresses common linguistic misconceptions, and provides students with a basis for evaluating assertions concerning language in the popular press. Writing assignments will take the form of short reaction pieces, critique and research papers. Special attention will be devoted to developing ideas, effective organization, and phrasing. No formal linguistic analysis is involved.

SEM 105 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Kim Will 17327 Abby Cohn

LINGUISTICS 1100 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 critical 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.

SEM 106 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Jennifer Weigand 17328 Abby Cohn


Text, Context, and “Sext” in Chaucer’s
Wife of Bath

“In wifehood, I will use my instrument/ As freely as my Maker has sent it.” (Prol. 149-50). So says the Wife of Bath in her famed Prologue. The Wife frequently uses the text to make sexual jokes, or to “sext.” Our seminar will focus not only on those “sexts,” but also on the life of Chaucer and how his experiences appear in the Wife’s Tale. We will learn about late fourteenth-century England and read many of the source texts Chaucer used. Through vigorous class discussion and formal writing exercises, including a creative writing piece, this class will engage you in the world of Chaucer, late medieval sexuality and gender, and a literary tradition stretching back to the fifth century C.E.

SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Hannah Byland 17344 Thomas Hill


Map Quest: Space, Place, and Movement in Medieval Society

Where are you going? How should you get there? The answers to questions like these, so easily found today, were not nearly so definite or available in medieval societies. This class will look at how medieval people discovered and defined their worlds. We will look at pilgrim and travel itineraries from wanderers such as John Mandeville, William Wey, and Ibn Battuta, to consider how they saw the spaces through which they traveled. We will also look at medieval maps, and discuss how shifts in mapmaking suggest broader changes in how people understood the world. Through class discussions, writing exercises, and papers, students will examine these texts and maps to think about different ways that medieval—and modern!—people define and identify their spaces.

SEM 102 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. John Greenlee 17345 Masha Raskolnikov


Medieval Modernities and the Modern Middle Ages

No place is so alien as the past, and Hollywood’s depictions of the Middle Ages—with its skin clad barbarians, pillaging Vikings, and blood thirsty crusaders—make that era seem especially so. This class will attempt to dispel this foreignness by focusing on large conceptual ideas, such as speech and community, in both the Middle Ages and today to trace the similarities between these two eras as well as to elucidate the indebtedness of modernity to the Middle Ages. Towards this end, this class will examine a variety of sources, including The Benedictine Rule, Fight Club, Norse myths, and excerpts from the Sandman comics and the television series Firefly. This course will hone students’ writing and analytic skills through class discussion, writing exercises, and formal papers.

SEM 103 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Rae Grabowski 17346 Thomas Hill


The Crusades through Arab Eyes

This course examines one of the most famous series of events in the Middle Ages—The Crusades. However, instead of studying the European perspective on the Crusades we will investigate how these events impacted the inhabitants of the Middle East; Arab, Muslim, Jew, and Christian. We will also examine the impact that the Crusades still have on the modern Arab and Muslim worldview. We will use our investigation of the Crusades as a springboard to learn and practice skills necessary to succeed in academic writing through a variety of writing and research assignments.

SEM 104 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Russell Stepp 17347 Thomas Hill

MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1103 The Evolution of Fairy Tales

Incest, murders, strip teases, single mothers, a soulless protagonist—what else is Disney leaving out? This course will trace popular tales back to disturbingly unfamiliar forms and compare them to current trends in telling fairy tales. We will question what defines a fairy tale and why so many authors have felt compelled to adapt these tales into sanitized, religious, queer, feminist, gory, saccharine, parodic, admonitory, and sexualized retellings. Readings will range from medieval texts and Hans Christian Andersen to Angela Carter and twenty-first century multimedia. Short responses, analytical essays, and a creative writing assignment will strengthen students’ writing and critical reasoning.

SEM 101 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Anna Waymack 17348 Thomas Hill

MUSIC 1701

American Idol to Afghan Star: Reality Music Television and the Age of Global Culture

This course critically engages the global phenomenon of “reality” musical television shows, from American Idol to Afghan Star, India’s SaReGaMaPa, and beyond. How are ideas of national and ethnic belonging negotiated on these shows? How does musical performance become a site for navigating between “the global” and “the local”? And how do the ideas of “music” and “performance” differ between shows and cultures? We explore these issues by drawing on foundational works regarding popular culture and music, anthropology of media, and globalization. Through writing assignments, including close visual analysis of reality music show clips, we will hone our critical thinking and writing skills to develop arguments about the relationship between transnational media, global culture, and musical performance.

SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Anaar Desai-Stephens 17354 Neal Zaslaw


Law, Society, and Culture in the Middle East

An exploration of the nature of the classical Islamic judicial system and notions of justice. Class discussions will be based upon the close reading of historical materials, including legal documents, judicial opinions, and court cases (all in English translation!), which will form the basis of writing assignments. Themes to be treated will include the marital regime, relations between parents and children, gender, slavery, the intergenerational transmission of property, the status of non-Muslims, crime and its punishment, law, and the public sphere.

SEM 101 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. David Powers 18016


Early Islamic History in Modern Fiction

This first-year seminar will explore stories of the first century of the history of Islam and of the prophet Muhammad as told through modern historical fiction. Reading novels by authors such as Salman Rushdie and Driss Chraibi alongside selections from ancient primary sources such as the Qur'an and the sira (”biography”) of the Prophet Muhammad, we will see how these twentieth-century novelists have used ancient stories from the early Islamic period to tell stories that are remarkably modern. There will be a variety of writing assignments in this class ranging from more informal “journal entries” to formal academic essays, and even a brief attempt at historical fiction.

SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Adam Bursi 17356 Kim Haines-Eitzen


The Ethics of Euthanasia, Animal Rights, and Punishment

Is it ever acceptable to euthanize someone? Is it wrong that animals suffer so that people can routinely eat meat? Do criminals ever deserve punishment? More fundamentally, what does it mean to deserve? What is suffering? What is it about a person, if anything, that obligates us to treat them in certain ways? The purpose of this class is to cultivate your ability to analyze and formulate rationally persuasive arguments regarding these questions. Through constructive in-class discussions and a series of writing assignments, we'll gain some understanding of rather abstract concepts such as well-being, personhood, obligation, and deservingness. We will then use this understanding to grapple with three contemporary ethical issues: euthanasia, animal rights, and punishment.

SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Austin Duggan 17359 Ted Sider


Feminism, Gender, and Education

This course will explore many different issues involving gender in the lives of university students and recent graduates. Issues will be examined through the lens of critical feminist theory. What are the unique problems that women experience while in college? What does masculinity mean in the twenty-first century? In what ways is gender relevant in the classroom? Is there a ‘boys crisis’ in public education? We will consider the various ways that conceptions of gender limit and frustrate social interactions and the sense of self. Subject matter will include Title IX, social constructionism, fraternities and sororities, sexual relations, sexual assault, masculinity, men’s rights, and others. Writing assignments will include thoughtful responses to challenging reading, argumentative papers on policy related to gender, expository writing explaining historical social change, and a comprehensive final paper that will demonstrate synthetic understanding of course material.

SEM 102 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Daniel Manne 17360 Ted Sider

PHILOSOPHY 1110 Philosophy and Economics

Economics is extremely prestigious and economists have acquired a huge influence in society, yet they also have received a lot of criticism. We'll discuss whether economics is really a science, as well as how it differs from other sciences. We'll examine the assumptions that economists make about rationality, welfare, justice, etc. and discuss whether they are justified. We may also discuss how economic analyses have been applied to issues like criminality and law. We'll read papers by contemporary philosophers and economists, as well as classical texts by Adam Smith, Karl Marx, etc. No knowledge of economics is required, as everything you need to know for the course will be explained in class or in the readings. You will learn how to analyze and evaluate arguments, as well as how to present your own arguments in a clear and persuasive manner.

SEM 103 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Philippe Lemoine 17361 Ted Sider

PHILOSOPHY 1111 Early Modern Skepticism

Can we know that that there is a world outside of our minds? Do we have free will? Is there such a thing as cause and effect? Is knowledge possible? A skeptic doesn’t think so. Should we be skeptics too, or can we respond to their arguments? We will look at works from several early modern philosophers who adopted a skeptical approach to certain issues: René Descartes, Elisabeth of Bohemia, Baruch Spinoza, George Berkeley, and David Hume. In addition to learning how to persuasively and clearly formulate, evaluate, defend, and criticize arguments in writing, we will consider the role that style plays in philosophical prose.

SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Ian Hensley 17362 Ted Sider


Human Beings: Morals and Metaphysics

Do we have free will, and what would that amount to anyway? Were you to use a Star Trek transporter, through which you de-materialize in one place and apparently re-materialize in another, would the second person really be you? This writing-intensive course will begin with thinking through metaphysical questions about human beings such as these. We will eventually transition into investigating moral questions, aided by our metaphysical musings. For example, how can we justify, if at all, particular ways of harming others (such as abortion)? Do human beings stand apart from the rest of nature, from a moral point of view? Through explaining and evaluating arguments of contemporary philosophers, and crafting philosophical positions of one’s own, students will develop skills in writing clearly and persuasively.

SEM 102 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Daniel Murphy 17363 Ted Sider


Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Incredulous Stares

As a discipline, philosophy is famous for addressing problems that transcend and challenge our commonsensical view of the world. This course is an introduction to that tradition. Our aim is to carefully investigate some of the most intellectually stimulating (and outrageous) puzzles and arguments that philosophy has to offer. For instance, we'll consider questions such as: Am I rational? Can consciousness be scientifically explained? Does the existence of evil prove that God cannot exist? This course is designed to teach clear, cogent writing by first fostering the ability to think clearly about challenging and intriguing issues. To do this, we'll read a variety of largely contemporary sources. There will be several different types of writing assignments: e.g., formal papers, analyses, and reading responses.

SEM 103 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Stephen Mahaffey 17364 Ted Sider

PHILOSOPHY 1111 Ethics of the Future

What are our obligations with respect to future persons—persons who don’t yet but will exist? Is it wrong for parents to (intentionally) bring a disabled child into existence? Is it wrong to deplete all our natural resources if it will not affect us negatively but only future generations? One familiar answer to these questions is: such acts are wrong because they harm some particular (future) person(s). But this account is powerfully challenged by Derek Parfit’s so-called “non-identity problem.” It is the aim of this course to examine this problem and its far-reaching implications as well as a variety of solutions to it. Through their writing, students will learn how to reconstruct and evaluate arguments of others as well as develop arguments of their own.

SEM 104 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Francesca Bruno 17365 Ted Sider


Persons: Human, Divine, and Other

The notion of a person is important to us. It is commonplace to talk about our personal rights and responsibilities, about having personal time or personal space. The notion is central in legal theory and politics too (e.g., in debates over abortion, or corporate rights). But what is a person? What sort of things can be persons? And what does being a person mean for how one lives one’s life? We will draw mainly from philosophical sources in answering these questions—from Plato, Aquinas, and Hume, for example. But we will draw from other sources too: literary, legal, and psychological, as well as from popular culture. Through it all, we will work on writing in a style aimed at providing sound arguments for one’s views.

SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Nathan Bulthuis 17366 Ted Sider


Death, Dying, and Killing: The Philosophy of Death

Death concerns us all. But what is death? What is it for a living being in general, and a human being in particular, to die? Whatever death exactly is, most of us think that it is usually a bad thing—not just for the living ones left behind, but also for the person who dies. But is this attitude justified or, as argued by as great thinkers as Epicurus and Lucretius, wholly irrational? Death also raises some profound ethical questions. Is it ever permissible to kill a person for that person’s own sake? Is abortion permissible, and if so, when? Through writing assignments focused on argument analysis, this class will help students improve their critical skills and write about their own thoughts clearly and systematically.

SEM 102 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. David Kovacs 17367 Ted Sider


PLANT PATHOLOGY 1100 Symbiotic Associations in Nature

Life on Earth as we know it relies on relationships amongst species, bridging the Kingdoms in the Tree of Life in unexpected and elegant ways. Myriad qualities and natures are found amid these interwoven existences, or symbioses, ranging from cooperative to detrimental. Together, we will explore these relationships and how they drive evolution and build ecosystems within and among organisms. Classes will focus on conceptual discussions, writing discussion, and critique as well as presentations. We will utilize a broad range of reading materials reflecting the many genres of scientific communication. Students will practice these varied forms of writing and enhance each other's writing through cooperative peer review.

SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Carly Summers 17368 Eric Nelson


“You’ve Got Time”: An Introduction to Prison and its Representation

This course focuses on the American penitentiary and “hyper-incarceration,” with a particular emphasis on the writings, performances, and cultural representations of incarcerated people. We will begin by discussing “why we care” about mass incarceration and prison reform, move to close readings of prisoner artworks, and then analyze examples of the prison genre from film, television, and other media. At the same time, students will develop their critical, creative, and persuasive writing skills through peer and instructor review and a multi-draft essay process. From Jack Henry Abbott to Orange is the New Black, from Blood In, Blood Out to Rhodessa Jones and The Medea Project, this course engages with the most profoundly “othered” space in American history and the humans who fall victim to its logics.

SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Nick Fesette 17370 Nick Salvato


Introduction to New Media Art: History, Theory, and Practice

The goal of this course is to introduce the student to an understanding of new media art from a historical, theoretical, and artistic perspective. The course explores the convergence of contemporary art and technology, and uses this understanding to strengthen critical, analytical, and creative writing and thinking skills. We will learn about a wide variety of new media artworks ranging from robotic art, internet art, and performance art to video games, computer animations, and interactive art. Course work will emphasize close analysis of these new media artworks from a historical and theoretical lens.

SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Ozum Hatipoglu 17371 Nick Salvato

PERFORMING & MEDIA ARTS 1125 The Undead...Live! Vampires on Stage

Vampires are everywhere. This course hunts the dangerous and subversive figure of the vampire across the pages and stages of a wide range of plays: A haunting coming-of-age story, a raucous comedy about murderous lesbian secretaries, a melodrama about marital virtue, and a theatrical exploration of political revolution, amongst others. Students will be asked to consider why vampires emerge in particular historical and contemporary moments, and what cultural anxieties they express, as well as how the vampire is constructed and performed for theatre audiences. By engaging with course texts, students will develop strategies for attentive reading and thoughtful writing. Assignments ranging from reviews to research papers will focus on critical thinking, preparation, clear prose, and papers structured around well-supported claims.

SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Aoise Stratford 17372 Nick Salvato


Eastern European Film

Eastern Europe has contributed unique films to the global cinema. In this class, students will watch, discuss, and write about a variety of films—thrillers and comedies, Oscar winners as well as lesser-known films—from Poland, Russia, Bosnia, and Turkey. In addition to learning basic terminology, students will have the opportunity to become acquainted with the cultures, history, and geography of Eastern Europe. Students will write film reviews, analytic, and personal essays. All films are subtitled.

SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Ewa Bachminska 17849


Scientific Writing in Learning and Memory

In the age of tweets and hashtags, the development of ideas is fast and collaborative. The demand for writing to be clear, concise, and well-reasoned is high, especially in the sciences. This course will help students gain skills in critically reading published research and constructing written pieces about research, including a paper critique, literature review, and peer-reviewed manuscript. The texts will be student-chosen articles in the psychology of learning and memory in peer-reviewed journals accessible online. All writing will be individual but done in a highly collaborative environment with peers and the instructor.

SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Michelle (Tianyi) Tong 17373 Thom Cleland

ROMANCE STUDIES 1102 Words at Play

Play can be defined as a voluntary observance of artificial rules. Put enough such rules together and you have something far more intimate and dreadful than a game: a world suitable for writing fairy stories. The work of internationally-acclaimed fabulist Italo Calvino will furnish material in this class for us to consider the creative act by which are generated both the play of fiction and our own attempts at self-accounting. Students will be responsible for reading a variety of thematically relevant materials, chiefly from Calvino’s pen, and assessing, both verbally and in writing, the various ways in which they construe the stakes of imaginative fiction.

SEM 101 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Joel Pastor 17375 Kathleen Long

SOCIETY FOR THE HUMANITIES 1110 Reporting from Hell

When you’re being bombed, hunted down or otherwise persecuted, can you objectively report on what’s happening? Is your on-the-spot report on hell superior to testimony you give years later? Is an eyewitness report superior to that of an historian? Is a filmed report superior to a written one? We will address these and related questions through analytic discussion and writing about the legendary Edward R. Murrow's radio broadcasts during the Blitz of London in World War II, written accounts by Jewish children trapped in the Holocaust, and a report smuggled out of a Soviet labor camp for women political prisoners. We will also examine documentary films, oral testimony of Holocaust and Soviet camp survivors, and (if time permits) Internet reports on some recent hells.

SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Sidney Orlov 17380


Under the Influence: Narcotics Writing in Latin America

In this seminar, we will study narcotic experience as a literary object. Focusing on Latin American authors and the Hispanic literary tradition, we will read (in English translation) short stories, poems, and a novel that describe being under the influence of narcotics, withdrawing from narcotics, or being close to others who use narcotics. We will explore the value that these experiences hold for authors and reflect on how authors have represented them in language. We will learn why some authors have compared these experiences to the experience of writing and reading. Students will develop writing strategies and skills, producing critical essays, creative fiction, and a research paper.

SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Mozelle Foreman 17381 Kathleen Long

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY STUDIES 1121 Gender and Science

Why do so many women and minority students drop out of STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields? Is this true at Cornell, the alma mater of so many top-ranked scientists (including Nobelist Barbara McClintock)? This course seeks to investigate this topic with a variety of projects and writing assignments that build from class descriptions and analysis of majors to the final research paper; possibly using Cornell’s own University archives (in honor of the sesquicentennial in 2015).

SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Margaret Rossiter 17386

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY STUDIES 1126 Science, Power, and Social Policy

In the contemporary societies, we seek out scientific knowledge to inform our decisions about social life. We often use scientific evidence to help answer questions about how we should raise children, design education systems, manage inequality, and envision criminal justice, amongst many others. How and why does science help us answer the big questions about how we should live our lives and govern our society? How do we navigate issues of controversy and uncertainty? How are forms of scientific evidence used in policy making? With academic, popular, and science fiction readings concerning contemporary bioethics, genomics, neuorscience, and environmental studies, students will learn how science builds its authority and hooks into the public’s imagination. This course aims to prompt creative thought, build reading skills, and enable critical analysis.

SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Kasia Tolwinski 17387 Stephen Hilgartner

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY STUDIES 1126 Histories and Presents of Environmental Illness

Who is to blame for environmental pollution that causes human illness? How does environmental illness change the “nature” of the human body? This course posits that while Western cultural traditions erect strict divisions between the “natural” and the “human-made,” these boundaries are blurred by the effects of modern, polluted landscapes on human bodies. Drawing on history, anthropology, and science and technology studies (STS), we will destabilize the nature/culture dichotomy through reading philosophical texts by John Stuart Mill, William Cronon, and Donna Haraway; historical work by Timothy Mitchell; and popular writing by Michael Pollan. Writing assignments will ask you to debate authors’ points of view in class discussion, synthesize various writers’ insights in academic essays, and apply your knowledge through researching and analyzing contemporary case studies.

SEM 102 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Danya Glabau 17388 Michael Lynch


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.

By permission only. This course is appropriate for students who struggled in their fall FWS. If you think you will benefit from intensive work on academic writing, contact Tracy Hamler Carrick (thc33@cornell.edu) or come to 174 Rockefeller Hall to discuss your writing and enrolling in WRIT 1380. "S/U" grades only.


Common Ground: Education Beyond the Ivory Tower

This course offers you a chance to become a more engaged member of the Ithaca community as part of your first-year writing experience. For two afternoons a week, Cornell students will engage with Ithaca middle school students as mentors and tutors outside of class. Writing assignments will help you reflect on the tutoring experience and the role of education and responsible citizenship in a democratic society. Readings will include Savage Inequalities by Kozol, Life and Death of the Great American School System by Ravitch and essays by Barber, Freire, and King. Our ultimate goal will be to broaden students' perspectives on our public educational system and the role of universities in their communities.

SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Darlene Evans 17808

Student schedules must accommodate Tuesday and Thursday trips (3-5 PM) to Boynton Middle School.