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Fall 2014 Topics

America in the World, the World in AmericaAmerican Studies; Film Studies; Transnationalism
Monika Siebert
CRN: 15570 and 15572

Narratives of Globalization in Literature and Film.:  How do the contemporary storytellers, fiction writers and filmmakers alike, meet the challenge of representing America on the global canvas? Through what specifically literary and cinematographic techniques do they narrate the historic and contemporary ways in which American experience has been and continues to be intertwined with the world? In a careful study of selected novels and films by American and international authors, we will consider the effects of the increasingly transnational perspectives in contemporary literature and film on our understanding of the United States and its relationship to the rest of the world.

Associate Professor of English
Contemporary American Literature
Indigenous literature and film in North America
American GodsReligion; Popular Culture; History
Douglas Winiarski
CRN: 15634 and 15635

An obscure man in New York City’s dingiest neighborhood is reborn as an Old Testament prophet. An immigrant Jewish peddler struggles to practice his faith in Yankee New England. An enslaved African American receives visions of a bloody Christ that ignite an insurrection. Early America was awash in a sea of gods both old and new. In this seminar, we will explore the alternative religions that flourished in nineteenth-century America, then turn to the study of religion in contemporary popular culture. The course concludes with an extended journey through Neil Gaiman’s award-winning science fiction novel, American Gods.

Professor of Religious Studies and American Studies
Chair, Department of Religious Studies
Religion in early America
Native American religions
Religion and popular/material culture
Are they Amazons? Categories of Women in Renaissance ItalyGender;History;Social Issues
Christine Contrada
CRN: 15594

Since Joan Kelly posed her question "did women have a Renaissance?" historians have spent the last few decades carefully considering the place of women in Renaissance society rather than continuing to exclude them to the periphery of the historical narrative. Based on studies of social and cultural norms categories of women have emerged. They are saints, sinners, humanists, mothers, daughters, wives, and even, when they have leadership positions or were active philosophers, unnatural Amazons. This course will explore these labels in a historical context to place their experiences more clearly into the larger history of their age.

Barcelona, Modern and ContemporaryLiterature; Visual culture; Architecture
Sharon Feldman
CRN: 15576 and 15577
This seminar will look at how the city of Barcelona is portrayed in literature and other works of art. Our focus will be the cultural and intellectual history of this Catalan city from the mid nineteenth century to the present day. We shall explore the perpetual transformations, expansions, and urban projects that have been carried out by architects, designers, and urban planners, as well as politicians, and we shall see how these projects have invaded the imagination of artists, intellectuals, writers, playwrights, and filmmakers.
Professor of Spanish and Catalan Studies
William Judson Gaines Chair in Modern Foreign Languages
Spanish and Catalan theatre and performance
Theatre translation and translation theory
Baseball in Film and LiteratureFilm; Baseball; Literature

Robert Kenzer
CRN: 13443

This seminar explores how baseball has been portrayed in American film and literature through four mediums: documentary, feature film, fiction, and non-fiction.  The course will encourage four mediums: documentary, feature film, fiction, and non-fiction.  The course will encourage students to think about the ways these mediums reveal how baseball has embodied critical aspects of American society including race and ethnicity, urbanization and suburbanization, business, labor-management relations, and media.  While all the levels of baseball will be touched on, the primary focus will be Major League Baseball.

Capitalism and Its DiscontentsHistory; Society; Justice
Eric Yellin
CRN: 15296
This course will consider how philosophers, novelists, social reformers, economists, and ordinary people have understood, promoted, opposed, and sought to reform capitalism since the eighteenth century. Focused on the history of the United States, the course will encourage students to think about the social and political implications of capitalist and anti-capitalist ideologies. Readings will examine inequality, work, gender roles, and class and racial hierarchies in the past and today. Authors include Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Franklin Roosevelt, Milton Friedman, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Thomas Piketty.
Associate Professor of History and American Studies
Modern United States
U.S. Political and Social History
African American History
Changing International Consumer Culture in a Digital WorldMarketing; International
Dana Lascu
CRN: 15418 and 15419

What does it mean to be part of a global consumer culture? This course will undertake a socio-culturally inspired analyses of consumption, addressing global consumer culture from mutliple perspectives -- marketing (primarily), economics, communication, gender studies, anthropology, history, and sociology.  We will examine the impact of globalization on consumers from low- and medium-income countries, and their consumption as a consequence of and in tandem with consumption patterns and rituals in high-income countries. Among others, the course will engage in a critical analysis of global consumerism based on readings from industry and from popular culture sources.

Professor of Marketing
Marketing Research
International Marketing
Civic Journalism & Social JusticeJournalism; Social Justice
Tom Mullen
CRN: 15422

This course will explore the various ways that journalism has functioned as an instrument of social justice through identification and publication of issues that include poverty, racism, war, health, religion, education and other related topics.  Students will study case histories in which journalists have brought public attention to important social concerns and the ways in which those concerns were resolved to bring about more just communities.  Research includes identifying contemporary issues of concern and applying basic journalism training to create awareness of specific social situations.  This fall, students will take part in a journalism department project to help produce work related to the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.

Director of Public Affairs Journalism
Conservation, Foreign Policy and DevelopmentBiology; Conservation; International
Peter Smallwood
CRN: 15339

Many developed countries are very concerned about the rapid, accelerating loss of the earth's biodiversity. In developed countries, there are many government programs and non-government organizations (NGOs) dedicated to conserving biodiversity, and these programs are most often focused on the developing world. Conservation projects often have economic development objectives intertwined with their conservation objectives, partly as a strategy to attract funding, especially in countries with active conflicts.  This seminar will examine conservation programs from an interdisciplinary approach; from the basic science of conservation, to the economics of conservation, and the ways in which foreign policy objectives interact with conservation objectives.

Associate Professor of Biology
Science Policy
Conservation Biology
Environmental Studies
Contemplative Traditions in ArtArt; Religion; Literature
Mark Rhodes
CRN: 15601

This course will examine the visual art, poetry and music connected to or inspired by three important and influential world contemplative religious traditions.  Though there are, at some levels, enormous differences between Zen, Sufism and Mystical Christianity, there are also surprising similarities in the aims, methods, approaches, and most importantly, the language used by great practitioners of these traditions.  We will study a selection of primary texts, and since these texts explore religion at an esoteric level, they are very challenging. We will also devote a limited amount of time reading from scriptures, including Buddhist Sutras, The Old and New Testaments, and the Quran.

Cops, Crime, and Pop CultureMedia & Communication; Crime; Popular Culture
Nicole Maurantonio
CRN: 15584 and 15774

This course will examine popular representations of police and crime within a variety of genres, from reality TV to news. Through a critical analysis of primary source materials collected through independent research, students will engage with fundamental questions of media representation as they relate to issues of race, class, and gender.

Associate Professor
Director of Advising, First-Year Seminar, and First- and Second-Year Programming
Public memory
U.S. media history
Race and representation
Qualitative research methods
Crime, Justice and the LawCrime; Punishment; Justice
Richard Dagger
CRN: 15442
Our students grow up surrounded by crime. Even those from the safest neighborhoods have been exposed to crime in what they read (from comic books to mystery novels), what they watch (in movies, television shows, and the news), and in what they play (videogames). There are conceptual and ethical questions about crime, however, that they are likely not to have considered. What, for example, is a crime - or what should count as one - and how do crimes differ from other wrongful acts? Is everyone who commits a crime a criminal? Or would we do better to treat crimes as diseases that require therapy rather than punishment? These and related questions will be the subject of this seminar.
E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Chair in the Liberal Arts, Emeritus
Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law (PPEL)
Political and legal philosophy, with special interests in republicanism, political obligation, and the justification of punishment
Crime & Punishment : Russian Fiction & FilmLiterature; Russia; English
David Brandenberger
CRN: 15637

"Crime and Punishment in Russian Fiction and Film" examines the acts of transgression and retribution, two long-standing preoccupations of the Russion intelligentsia. This course specifically investigates how writers, artists and cinematographers have depicted the changing boundaries of propriety and criminality since the early 19th century. An interdisciplinary course, it includes with its historically-informed framework not only short stories and novels, but also poetry, opera and cinema. Important shifts in expression and representation are identified during the emergence of imperial Russian civil society; the 1917 revolution; the Stalin period; later Soviet stagnation; and after the collapsse of Communism in 1991.

Professor of History and Global Studies
Global Studies Concentration Advisor: Politics and Governance
Imperial Russia / Soviet Union / Post-Soviet space
Ideology & Propaganda
Interdisciplinary methodology (esp. concerning literature and film)
Darwin's Theory, Then and NowBiology; Science; Culture
Gary Radice
CRN: 15341
Darwin's On the Origin of Species is arguably one of a few books whose publications changed culture. Surprisingly, few have read the book and understand what Darwin said and did not say about how species evolve. This course will examine the historical and biographical context for Darwin's book, and then fast forward to how Darwin's ideas are viewed today by biologists after 150 years of advances in genetics, biogeography, paleontology, embryology, and genomic analysis.
Democracy and EducationEducation; Politics; Philosophy
Nathan Snaza
CRN: 15571

This course will investigate the historical, social, political, and philosophical contexts of American schools and debates about school reform.  Through readings, discussions, volunteer work in Richmond Public  Schools, autobiographical essays, and an individual research project, students will explore the complicated - even contradictory - relations between schooling and democratic life in the U.S.  Readings will begin with essays by "Founding Fathers" Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Rush and conclude with a unit on how the OCCUPY movement (especially in NYC and Chicago) intersected with grassroots activism by parents, students and teachers to resist the increasing corporatization of public schools.

Director, Bridge to Success Program
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Advisory Board Member
Modern Narrative, primarily British and American
Literary Theory and Continental Philosophy
Social and Cultural Foundations of Education, Critical Pedagogy, Literacy Studies
Sexuality and Gender Studies
Entrepreneurship and Innovation as Drivers of Economic GrowthEconomics; Capitalism; Entrepreneurship
Porcher Taylor
CRN: 15592

“Entrepreneurial capitalism” is a form of capitalism where entrepreneurs, who continue to provide breakthrough ideas that meet the test of the marketplace, play a central role in the system. This capitalist system is punctuated by large numbers of the actors within the economy who not only have an “unceasing drive and incentive to innovate” but also undertake and commercialize revolutionary innovations and inventions. Is entrepreneurial capitalism “a new view of the wealth of nations” and an innovation pathway to global growth during this jobless recovery? This seminar will explore how entrepreneurial capitalism can advance both economic growth and national security.

Adjunct Professor, Paralegal Studies
Professor Emeritus, Paralegal Studies
Paralegal studies
Epidemics & EmpiresBiology; History; Society
Lisa Summers
CRN: 15297 and 15299

Smallpox, malaria, yellow fever, lungsickness and other maladies were central to imperial conquests, colonialism, and modernization. And recent globalization has pulled attention back to problems from cholera to polio and HIV/AIDS. Using varied case studies, this seminar asks how have such illnesses--epidemic, endemic, epizootic and pandemic--mattered during the years of imperial conquest and globalization? Why do they happen and what do they mean? How are they social and cultural diseases? How did people re-make themselves and their societies to cope with the challenges they posed then and pose now?

Samuel Chiles Mitchell-Jacob Billikopf Professor of History and Global Studies
Africana Studies Advisory Board Member
Global Studies Concentration Advisor: Politics and Governance, Culture and Communications
Colonial Africa
History of Education
Nationalism and Decolonization
Ethics and the Banality of EvilEthics; Evil; Military
Lionel Mew
CRN: 15593

This course uses lectures, discussions and research to examine scenarios where unspeakable acts by seemingly ordinary people become routine and accepted. The effects of these acts, where ordinary people perform evil actions on individuals and society are discussed in detail. The effects on perpetrators, victims, observers and society at large are considered. Questions of whether these instigators are evil, whether they become evil when associated with evil leaders and groups, or feel that they are innocents who disassociate themselves from evil are examined. Cases include military scenarios throughout history.

Program Chair, Information Systems
Assistant Professor, Information Systems
Member, SPCS Speakers Bureau
Information Systems Operations & Development
IT Security
IT Auditing
Cloud Computing
Films of the 1940's: Paranoia, Patriotism or PropagandaFilm; History; Narrative
Walter Schoen
The students will be asked to "read" films as cultural reflections of the times in which they are created.  This "reading" will include anlaysis of narrative as well as cinamagraphic techniques used in the creation of movies.  The course will be driven by the question, "Can a popular medium such as film be a primary source for understanding history?"
Associate Professor of Theatre
Chair, Department of Theatre & Dance
Theatre in Russia
Framing the US ConstitutionLaw; Legal History
John Pagan
This course provides an examination of the making of the United States Constitution, focusing on the political ideas that led to the creation of the American republic; the Constitutional Convention of 1787; the ratification debates, and the adoption of the Bill of Rights. Through our readings and discussion, we will undertake a critical examination of the lofty ideals and pragmatic compromises that produced the framework of American government.
Global Medicine and HealingMedicine; International; Health
Jennifer Nourse
CRN: 15304

This is a seminar in medical anthropology. The seminar examines how people in cultures from around the world regard and heal illness. While Western biomedicine is acknowledged throughout the world as effective, in some cases, people turn to traditional or ethnomedical cures. How people articulate their selections in these medically plural environments raises a host of questions we will explore throughout the semester: How do people discuss their illnesses? Do they use metaphors ("I'm fighting a cold")? What is their process of healing? Our readings will conclude with consideration of healing efficacy, spiritual healing and pharmaceutical testing of herbal curing.

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Islamic Medicine
Traditional Medicine and Biomedicine in Southeast Asia and Beyond
Mothering, Midwifery and Ethnic Identity in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia
Political Autonomy and Ethnic Identity in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia
Green SchoolsGeography; Environment; Renewable Energy
Mary Finley-Brook
CRN: 15540

Seminar participants will learn to identify patterns and processes of greening in institutions of higher education while developing research, writing and presentation skills. This campus sustainability seminar is divided into three parts. At the start of the semester, we will learn to analyze the foundations of environmental sustainability and each student will define their own notion of "ecological intelligence." The second part examines green/renewable energy and campus sustainability. Library research from this second part will inform individual and samll group research in the final part of the class. Students will develop a unique on-campus research project while having the support of a team of peer researchers and a faculty mentor.

Watching the Detectives: Crime in Fiction and FilmLiterature; Film; American
Abigail Cheever
CRN: 15575
The hard-boiled novel produced some of the twentieth century's most famous movies, spawning a new visual style (film noir) and establishing the gangster and detective film as among the medium's most celebrated genres. This seminar pairs novels such as Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice, and Chandler's The Big Sleep, among others, with their subsequent film adaptations and homages to enable an in-depth consideration of the genre of the crime and detective story and concept of film adaptation. Students will read, watch, analyze and research 1) the formal properties that define detective novels and films 2) the literary and film traditions, historical circumstances, and cultural contexts from which these genres emerged, and 3) the differences that emerge when literary texts are translated into the predominantly visual medium of narrative fiction film.
Associate Professor of English
Post World War II American novels and films
Contemporary American literature and culture
Hollywood Film
Hearing Cinema: Music in Hollywood FilmFilm; Music; Cinema
Jeffrey Riehl
CRN: 15650

Through the study of eight Hollywood films, this course examines how music in film narration creates a point of experience for the spectator. Students consider what music is doing in the movies in the first place, and then how it does what it does. Students also examine what and how music signifies in conjunction with the images and events of a story film. By sensitizing students to the fore-and background levels of musical meaning in film, they will begin to hear cinema's uses of music in order to read films in a more literate way.

Associate Professor of Music, Director of University Choirs
Chair, Department of Music
Choral music of Slovenia
Sacred works of W.A.Mozart
Music and Religion
Choral and Vocal Pedagogy
How the Brain Creates GodPsychology
Craig Kinsley
CRN: 15636

This course will examine the evidence - evolutionary, social, neurobiological - for the presence of god, religious experience, and religion in the life and development of the human. We will cover the entire history of advanced life, and discuss how religion, early and present, shaped the human and its societies. One question: did god create man or did the brain create god?

Knowing and Choosing in the Face of Adversity and UncertainitySelf; Interdisciplinary; Literature
Mavis Brown
CRN: 15585

There are many lenses through which to analyze the human experience. In this reading-intensive course of challenging texts, we will examine knowing on the one hand, and various ways of choosing in the face uncertainty and adversity on the other, as these concepts play out in selected classic texts. In the second part of the semester, we will examine the ways in which contemporary individuals seek to fashion happy and fulfilling lives, as we shift our focus to a 21st century situation of adversity that demands change.

Associate Professor of Education
Educational policy and school reform
21st century framework for learning
Child and adolescent development/diverse learners
Weaving children's literature into the curriculum
Global awareness: cultural and educational perspectives
Modern American Human Rights Lawyers: Leadership and Community ServiceLaw; Leadership; Community Service
Jonathan Stubbs
CRN: 15658

Many lawyers become  leaders and serve in roles  ranging   from heads of local civic and religious institutions, to President of the United States.  This course explores the relationship between the law and leadership.  It will challenge students to refine what leadership means to them in theory as well as provide practical experiences for reflection. The specific focal point for such thought and writing will be roles that lawyers have played in addressing social justice issues in America.  The course proceeds on the explicit premise that leadership involves service to others for the common good.

Professor of Law
Race and the Law
Constitutional Law
Human Rights Law
Myth and Cult in Ancient GreeceClassics; Mythology; Religion
Julie Laskaris
CRN: 15424

This course will explore ritual practice in ancient Greece and its reflection in Greek myth.  It will be of particular interest to students interested in classical studies, archaeology, history, art history, anthropology, religion, and literary studies.  Some main goals will be for students to learn the meanings and functions of ritual practice in Greek culture and to see how myth may elucidate those meanings and functions.  Primary sources will be both textual and archaeological/art historical.  Primary textual sources will include Hesiod's Theogony, Homeric and Orphic Hymns, tragic plays, and ancient mythographers.  Archaeological evidence from the sites of religious worship, and the depictions of ritual on vase paintings and other works of art will be the major non-textual sources.  Readings from secondary sources will include selections from Walter Burkert, Structure and History in Greek Mythology and Ritual, and several articles on narrowly focused topics.  Topics will include:  sacrifice (animal, human, other), pilgrimmage, boundary-crossing (oracles and divination, visiting the underworld, transvestism), hero and heroine cult, rites of passage (birth, the decision to keep or expose an infant, coming-of-age, marriage, death), mystery religions, and foundation myths.

Associate Professor of Classical Studies
Chair, Department of Classical Studies
Ancient Medicine
Gender in Antiquity
Noble Beasts: Animals in Life and LiteratureLiterature; Animal Studies; English
Joyce MacAllister
CRN: 15574

Our relationship with animals has been both varied and long-standing.  Indeed, for centuries, animals have served us as companions, servants, entertainers, and prey. Only recently, however, have scholars representing a variety of disciplines begun to pool their resources to extend our knowledge of the emotional and rational capacities of animals.  Many are arguing, moreover, that this knowledge has significant implications for our own behavior. James Serpell is one of these. A faculty member at U. Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine, Serpell encourages us to consider both the contributions animals have made to our lives and the problems and responsibilities these experiences have incurred.  In keeping with his charge, we will explore accounts from history, literature, and contemporary research regarding the ways animals have improved our lives (e.g. in protecting us, in providing models of communal interaction, in serving as sources of comfort, and in providing recreation and entertainment).  In dealing with the problems of these relationships, we will explore such contemporary conflicts as those between defenders of "animal rights" and proponents of "animal welfare."  We will also examine issues relating to the care and sustenance of animals, particularly with reference to advances in veterinary technology and medicine.

Associate Professor of English
History & Biography
Rhetoric & Composition
Persuasion and Law in AntiquityClassics; History; Law
Walter Stevenson
CRN: 15425
Though we may think that the polished speeches are as much a part of modern trial lawyers as their tailor-made suits, Pineider briefcases and Lexus sedans, this form of discourse has a history stretching far back into antiquity. Not only do courtroom harangues have a deep history, but this course will argue that the invention of set speeches to juries in ancient Athens began western culture's endless fascination with clear, persuasive writing and speaking. So in this seminar we will explore how developments in Greek and Roman culture created particular linguistic conventions for the courts that have remained practical to this day. Concepts of clarity, sequential thought, consistency, coherence, eloquence and style will be studied and exercised.
Associate Professor of Classical Studies
Affiliated Faculty
Ancient History
Roman Imperial Society
Greek and Latin Literature
The Philosophy of FreedomEthics; Justice; Politics
Javier Hidalgo
CRN: 15294

Is freedom valuable? Why should we care about it? In this course we will examine the nature and value of freedom. We will consider the value of different freedoms, such as freedom of expression and economic freedom, and explore the relationship between freedom and various public policy issues, such as immigration, hate speech, prostitution, drug use, and human enhancement. The readings will be philosophical papers on these topics.

Associate Professor of Leadership Studies
Global Leadership
Poetry and MusicPoetry; Music
Richard Becker
CRN: 15563

This course will feature guided listening to and reading of modern poetry and modern music. Beginning with their romantic forerunners the course will work its way through a century of modernists including a few post moderns of late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Beginning with poetry of Emily Dickinson and music of Robert Schumann we will conclude with poetry of Billy Collins and music of John Adams. The key objective is the nurturing of reading and listening more critically for deeper experiences of these art forms.

Associate Professor of Music, Coordinator of Piano Studies
Piano performance
Racism without racists: The contemporary science of diversity and inequalityRacism; Diversity
Crystal Hoyt
CRN: 15292

Traditional psychological approaches to understanding diversity often located the root of inequality in overt negative attitudes. However, contemporary research into prejudice reveals that it is now expressed in much more nuanced and subtle ways and it persists because it remains largely unrecognized. Social scientists no longer solely focus on overt animosity directed toward minority individuals but now focus on how biases can arise from normal cognitive, motivational, and sociocultural processes. This course will explore the causes and consequences of social identity (race, gender, sexuality, class...) based inequalities by focusing broadly on the subtle nature of contemporary biases.

Professor of Leadership Studies and Psychology and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Colonel Leo K. & Gaylee Thorsness Endowed Chair in Ethical Leadership
Women and Minority Leaders
Stereotypes and Discrimination
Complex Social Issues
Representing Social Problems in America, 1880-1940Photography; Literature; Film
Margaret Denton
CRN: 15606
This course will consider social issues in America from the 1880s to 1940 through primary and secondary texts, photographs, and films. We will analyze how each of these mediums narrate stories, authenticate experience, communicate ideologies, and impact the reader/viewer. We will look at the ways in which texts and images overlap, intersect, and sometimes contradict each other.
Associate Professor of Art History, Emerita
18th, 19th and 20th Century Art History
History of Photography
Resilience, Optimism, and HappinessPsychology; Self
Andrew Newcomb
CRN: 15633

How do we deal with adversity and find happiness? In this course we will explore the process of resilience as a pathway humans use to cope with challenge in their lives. Using a multi-dimensional ecological perspective we will examine how cultural and contextual factors influence protective processes that underlie human wellbeing. From this framework we will study the special role that optimism plays in dealing with life events. Finally we will consider whether resilience and optimism lead to happiness or if happiness is simply a cognitive construction that can be found regardless of the adversity in our lives.

Professor of Psychology, Emeritus; Dean of Arts and Sciences, Emeritus
The Rhetorical Lives of MapsMedia and Communication; International; History
Tim Barney
CRN: 15580 and 15581

This course is a historical and critical interpretation of how maps aided and complicated America's rise to international power.  The processes, production, display, and circulation of maps gave way to a "geographic imagination" that constrained both policy and popular culture - in turn, Americans saw their place in the world in very spatialized ways.  From a rhetorical perspective, maps gave us specific and partial perceptions of the globe and cartographers from a host of different institutions and with various national and international interests (government institutions like the State Dept., the CIA, the Department of Defense, academic institutions like the American Geographic Society, popular magazines like National Geographic and Time, and corporations as diverse as Rand McNally and Google) sketched the contours of American identity in both longitude and latitude.  The course teaches students how to critique maps as systems of visual codes and also contextualizes for them how maps are used as rhetorical strategies by American elites and publics; by both the powerful and those challenging the powerful.  Not only then is this a course on cartography; it's a course on the wild world-making processes of U.S. geopolitics and international space.

Associate Professor
Chair, Department of Rhetoric & Communication Studies
Visual rhetoric
Discourses of space and place
Cold War public address
Eastern European political culture
Sex, Mindfulness and the LawLaw; Sex; Mindfulness
Shari Motro
CRN: 15403

Historically, Western societies' main mechanism for regulating sex and reproduction was marriage. In recent decades, the criterion for socially legitimate sex has shifted from marriage to consent. What is consent? If non-consensual sex is bad, does that mean that all consenual sex is good, or at least neutral? How does, and how should the law shape sexual culture? This course uses legal theory, mindfulness meditation and communication practices, and creative writing to examine these issues, with a special focus on the implementation of Title IX on college campuses generally, and at the University of Richmond in particular.

Senior Research Scholar
Tax Law and Policy
Gender and the Law
Information Design and the Law
Social UtopiasHistory; Utopias
Sydney Watts
CRN: 15298

This course explores the idea of utopia and how it has been put into practice among several "intentional communities" in Europe and the United States.  The course begins with the study of Plato's Republic and Thomas More's Utopia and continues with the hsitorical examination of several utopian communities of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  The class will also visit and learn from communities in the richmond area that strive to make the world a better place.

Associate Professor of History and WGSS
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Advisory Board Member
Early Modern Europe
18th Century France
Summons to Conscience: Questioning Civil Rights Leadership and Popular Misconceptions of the Freedom StruggleCivil Rights; Race; African American
Julian Hayter
CRN: 15594

Historian Jacquelyn Dowd Hall contended, "...remembrance is always a form of forgetting, and the dominant narrative of the civil rights movement...distorts and suppresses as much as it reveals". Conventional stories of the American civil rights movement demonstrate that direct-action protests and non-violent resistance helped end Jim Crow segregation. In popular memory, we often attribute these freedom struggles and subsequent civil rights legislation to a handful of activists and policymakers. While Martin Luther King's eloquence inspired generations of activists and President Johnson's appeals for an equality of results standard shaped the civil rights bills, everyday people played an integral role in civil rights activism and policy creation. This course utilizes contemporary literature from the mid-20th century and recent historical scholarship to interrogate the essence of civil rights organizational strategies. To that end, we will examine how supposedly average Americans were central to the development of modern liberalism. The course will not only examine mid-20th century social movements, but also how civil rights legislation influenced American equality after 1965.

Associate Professor of Leadership Studies
Modern African American History
American Civil Rights Movement
African American Politics in Richmond, Virginia
American Political Development after 1945
The Search for the SelfInterdisciplinary; Literature
Marcia Whitehead
CRN: 15340
The course will explore various avenues for finding or creating an identity as expressed in texts representing several literary genres, including novels, poems, memoirs, short stories, and philosophical works. Students will analyze and discuss texts from a wide range of cultural settings and will be asked to look beyond their assumptions of personal autonomy or "nature/nurture" dichotomies. Texts are likely to include most of the following: Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart; Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions; Rich, Adrienne Rich's Poetry and Prose; Augustine,Confessions; Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat; Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents; Beauvoir, The Second Sex; Sophocles, Oedipus Rex; Borges, Labyrinths.
Humanities Librarian
Trauma and Recovery in the Modern NovelLiterature; Novel; Recovery
Elizabeth Outka
CRN: 15573

In this course, we will consider how literature depicts various kinds of physical and emotional trauma, exploring the ways that novels, poems, and plays can, as Shakespeare noted, "Give sorrow words." We will also examine how literature portrays the possibilities for recovery, and how it may itself become an avenue for renewal, offering both writers and readers ways to witness, record, and remember past traumas. Alongside the literature, we will investigate different psychological theories of trauma and its aftermath, and various approaches to recovery, from therapeutic treatment to historical efforts such as Desmond Tutu's South African Commission on Truth and Reconciliation.

Professor of English
Twentieth-century British and Irish literature and culture
History of the novel
War Reporting: The American Experience: Journalism; History; Political Science
Robert Hodierne
CRN: 15423

Students will examine how the American media have covered wars starting with the American Revolution and progressing through the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Wars are a central part of American history. For better or worse, media coverage of those wars affected both the decision to wage war and the ways in which those wars were waged. The professor has covered the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Water: From Noah's Flood to KatrinaWater; Literature; International
Walid Hamarneh
CRN: 15607

One of the earliest natural forces to face human beings was water. It was a challenge, but more importantly it was the life giver and the life destroyer. Many cultures represented this ambivalent attitude towards water in their myths and literature. Water became through floods the means of destroying the old and giving birth to the new. In our modern times, we still gaze at water with similar ambivalence. We will look at the representations of this complex attitude to water in literature and other cultural forms that the human imagination has produced in response to the experience of water.

Where is Cuba?Cuba; Salsa; Latin Jazz
Michael Davison
CRN: 15564

The country does not appear on a US flight map.  To be Cuban does not mean that you are an American actor, or the owner of the Dallas Mavericks.  Cuba is a country, geographically so close, but philosophically and politically so distant.  This course will explore the history and culture of Cuba through its music and dance.  It will also explore the students' attitudes and beliefs toward Cuba and Cubans.  We will read, write, listen, dance and eat Salsa!  We will also study and listen to first-hand recordings and videos of Cuba exploring Latin jazz - a blending of American jazz with Cuban rhythms.

Professor of Music
Director of Jazz Ensemble
Trumpet performance
Jazz studies
The White House Said Today: Rhetoric of the Executive BranchRhetoric and Communication Studies; Politics; Media and Communication
Linda Hobgood
CRN: 15582 and 15583

This course is a semester-long study of the presidency as conveyed by chief executives in their own words, by official utterances from those appointed to speak on the president's behalf, by official public appearances and remarks of first ladies, speechwriters' recollections, mediated interpretations by members of the White House press corps and scholarly analyses of presidential discourse.  We will explore foundational rhetorical precepts and introduce the nature and practice of rhetorical criticism via the genre of contemporary presidential speeches and commentary.  Course objectives include:  providing a rhetorical perspective of language, leadership, politics and media, introducing terms and practices fundamental to rhetoric; to encourage confidence in using them, and demonstrating the epistemological value of rhetorical inquiry.

Director, Speech Center
Faculty member, Rhetoric and Communication Studies
Business & Professional Speech
Interpersonal Communication
Group Communication
Political Rhetoric
Public Speaking
Rhetoric of Contemporary First Ladies
Speech Writing
Theory & Pedagogy
Wrongful Convictions in Modern America - Costs, Causes, and SolutionsInterdisciplinary; History; Law
Mary Tate
CRN: 15295

In the United States, there have been over 240 exonerations achieved through advances in DNA testing capabilities. Seventeen of those DNA exonerations arose in cases where individuals were sentenced to death. There is an additional universe of wrongful convictions that involves cases where proof of innocence is not biological in nature. Such cases pivot around other sources of exculpatory evidence, including recanted testimony, mistaken identification or official misconduct. The production of wrongful convictions is a lens through which society can examine a plethora of important realities. Race, poverty, faith in science and reason, notions around punishment and redemption and the allocation of scarce resources are all fluidly and dynamically tied to the study of wrongful convictions.

Director, Institute for Actual Innocence
Professor of Law, Legal Practice
Wrongful Convictions
Actual Innocence Commissions
Post-Conviction Remedies