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Fall 2019 Topics

Seminar topics are subject to change every term. Courses cannot exceed 16 students. 

ANGST YEARS: HORMONES, HIGH ANXIETY AND HAPPINESS
Cassada, Katherine

CRN: 17718

Students will explore the complex lives, expectations of, and pressures on middle and high school children, including social, physical, developmental, and emotional challenges that are unique to adolescence. The class will investigate learning styles, autonomy and independence, and expectations for this age group. Students will determine whether they find legitimacy in the popular concept that boys and girls learn and should be taught differently, and how adolescence might influence learning styles and academic success. Students will visit public and independent K-12 schools, single-sex and coeducational classrooms, and possibly after-school programs to develop positions for and participate in debates regarding educational issues that affect adolescents. We will also have fun studying and creating adolescent literature in a diary format.

Associate Professor, Education
Assistant Chair, Graduate Education - Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
Director, Center for Leadership in Education
BARCELONA: MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY
Feldman, Sharon

CRN: 17462

What do artists Salvador Dali and Joan Miro, architect Antoni Gaudi, playwright Sergi Belbel, and athlete Lionel Messi all have in common? The city of Barcelona! In this seminar, we shall look at how Barcelona has been portrayed in works of literature, theatre, film, and other arts. Focusing on the cultural history of this Catalan city from the mid nineteenth century to the present day, we shall see how Barcelona's perpetual transformations, expansions, and urban projects have come to invade and inspire the artistic imagination.

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 LITERATURE
Kenzer, Robert

CRN: 17682,17697

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 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 levels of baseball will be touched on, the primary focus will be Major League Baseball.

CIVIC JOURNALISM AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
Mullen, Thomas

CRN: 17452

In this course, students will learn that journalists don't just report the news - they often have a responsibility to tell stories that inspire social change. This course explores the role and responsibility of journalism in identifying social issues and uncovering ways to resolve them.

Director of Public Affairs Journalism
COLLECTING THE PAST
Loo, Tze

CRN: 17480

This course uses the act of collecting and the institution of museums as lenses to think about something that many people take for granted: how what is accepted as "history" is the result of deliberate processes of collecting facts and representing them in the shape of particular narratives. It combines an examination of the history of collecting with a study of the evolution of institutions of museums as public and often state sponsored attempts to weave a collective national memory. In asking students to analyze how narratives of the past take shape in museums and their material objects, this course introduces students to the power that physical objects possess to tell stories as well as to the implications of those stories.

Associate Professor of History and Global Studies
International Studies Concentration Advisor, Cultures and Communications
Program Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Studies
Japanese Colonialism
Okinawan History
Heritage Studies
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT: RUSSAN FICTION AND FILM
Brandenberger, David

CRN: 17460

"Crime and Punishment in Russian Fiction and Film" examines the acts of transgression and retribution, two long-standing preoccupations of the Russian intelligentsia. An interdisciplinary investigation of how writers, artists and cinematographers have depicted the changing boundaries of propriety and criminality since the early 19th century, this course includes not only short stories and novels, but also poetry, theater, opera and cinema. Indeed, of particular interest in the course is how works of classical literature by authors like Dostoevsky and Tolstoy have been reimagined for performance on the stage and silver screen.

Professor of History and Global Studies
Global Studies Concentration Advisor: Politics and Governance
Imperial Russia / Soviet Union / Post-Soviet space
Ideology & Propaganda
Nationalism
Interdisciplinary methodology (esp. concerning literature and film)
CRIME IN AMERICA
Browder, Laura

CRN: 17479

In this course we will be looking at court cases and media coverage of crimes that have become flashpoints in American history. The foci for popular, political and scholarly discussions about what constitutes crime and what social meanings the event has, as a way of discussing what it can teach us about race, gender, power and class in America. We will also be examining popular fiction and non-fiction as a way of asking why crime entertains us. And what these entertainments suggest about our cultural obsessions.

Tyler and Alice Haynes Professor of American Studies
Program Coordinator, American Studies
Program Coordinator, American Studies
Women in combat
American autobiography
Women and guns
American Communist Party (Earl Browder)
Civil rights in Richmond
EUCLID'S ELEMENTS AND BIRTH OF GEOMETRY
Ross, William

CRN: 17458

Most of the plane and solid geometry students learn in high school essentially comes from the same source, Euclid's tour de force book The Elements. In this book, Euclid, the famous Greek mathematician, teacher, and cataloger of mathematics, complies and refines much of the mathematics known to the Greeks into one remarkable book that had an incredible journey from ancient Greece to the modern education of most geometry students. In this course, we begin with early results of the Egyptians, Thales, Pythagoras and then look forward from Euclid to Archimedes, Descartes, Euler, and Legendre all the way to modern geometry and topology. This course is designed for students who appreciate mathematics and mathematical proofs. No prior college-level mathematics is required.

Professor of Mathematics
Complex analysis
Operator theory
EXPANSION OF EUROPE/ASIA
Kapanga, Kasongo

CRN: 17497

This seminar examines the idea of society, equality and social strife resolution against the background of the encounter of Europe into the New World (notably Africa) as a paradigm of occupation. Today's debate is to see whether China and India inroads into Africa replicates the same paradigm. The seminar will look at the rationalizing ideas as they evolved from the Renaissance (humanism) to their alterations of the 19th and the 20th centuries, then into the 21st century with the rise of new power centers in Asia. The course will start with the perception of China and India on the world stage. Then, John Locke's, "The Second Treatise of Government?" and Montaigne's essay "On Cannibals," will constitute the foundational ideas of the course. The subsequent texts will be read as arguments between two camps pitting, on the one hand, Europe or Asia as the initiator of the encounter, on the other hand, a more egalitarian approach on behalf of Africa on the ground of ideals of equality and individual rights. Mandela's South Africa will serve as a practical test case that we nowadays are familiar with. The seminar will therefore end with questions scrutinizing how South Africa as a whole is grappling with issues of equality on economic, social, legal and environmental fronts in a globalized world where China and India play important roles.

GENDER, VIOLENCE, & ROME
Damer, Erika

CRN: 17463

What role can literature from and influenced by the Roman world play in universities in the 21st Century? Ovid's Metamorphoses will guide a careful examination of gender violence in the Roman world and in contemporary U.S. universities. Gender, Violence, Rome will study the ways that Ovid's Metamorphoses has offered solace and resistance against gendered violence, and been read as supporting power hierarchies that enable violence against women and men. In this course, students will meet Roman literature, and films, drama, and novels inspired by the tradition of Roman culture in Shakespeare, the Godfather, and in Toni Morrison's novel, Love.

Associate Professor of Classical Studies
Program Coordinator, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Roman Poetry of the Augustan Period
Sexuality and Gender in Antiquity
History of the Body
Roman Graffiti
HISTORY OF EUGENICS
Yanikdag, Yucel

CRN: 17461

This course explores the history of eugenics, an early-to-mid 20th century movement, which proposed a variety of policies for supposedly improving the hereditary quality of race by controlling human reproduction. It claimed that most problems such as criminality, alcoholism, pauperism, prostitution, insanity, and others were transmitted genetically from parent to child. Eugenicists aimed to reduce the numbers of these defective, or dysgenic people while trying to increase the number of those judged to have good genes, or eugenic people. The course will examine the history of the development of eugenic science, its policies and practices, and connections to other movements and public responses.

Professor of History
Global Studies Concentration Advisor: Cultures and Communications
Turkey and Ottoman Empire
The Middle East
Nationalism
World War I
HOLY WARS. FROM THE CRUISADES TIL TODAY
Sulzer-Reichel, Martin

CRN: 17496

What perpetuates conflicts and allows catchwords to be reborn and reused over and over again? Is there an inherent force in the way a story is told and retold? Does it create myths or do myths create stories and even locations? All this goes into exploring the relationship between peoples, beliefs, and locations from the Middle East to the United States today. This course will concentrate on how lasting and formative historical narratives are. We will use the crusades as a case study for the relationship between historical events and their reception and re-use in the course of history up until our current political and social lives. We will start with questions about what actually happened during the crusades, how we know what happened, and how reliable our sources as well as academic articles about them are. From there, we will look into what drives the conflicts, especially between the Middle East and the West today. After centuries of warfare between Islam and Christianity, we will look behind and beyond the rationales of the conflicts. In the end, we will see that the mutations of historical narratives are not limited to the crusades, and we will try to determine the extent to which this might be a general human reaction to events that are too complex to cope with. Finally, we will look into the mechanisms and strategies that evolve over time, and how they might not only be the result of making complex realities manageable, but also become the nucleus of future conflict.

Director, Arabic Language Program
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Arabic Language and Culture
HUMAN TRAFFICKING: MYTH OR SCOURGE
Spires, Robert

CRN: 17723

Human trafficking is a social justice issue that has become prominently addressed in the media and through a variety of academic disciplines. However, human trafficking as a construct is embedded in conflicting and problematic paradigms and discourses that manipulate the concepts in political, economic and social ways that may perpetuate the underlying structures and issues causing human trafficking. From humanitarian and development perspectives, to law enforcement, education, policy and social science orientations, the varying discourses related to human trafficking will be explored and students will grapple with challenging questions through a writing intensive approach to inquiry.

Associate Professor, Education
Member, SPCS Speakers Bureau
Human Trafficking & NGO Efforts to Address Trafficking
Disadvantaged Youth in Asia & Africa
Socio-psychological Processes Impacting Educators
ITALIAN-AMERICANS: FROM ELLIS ISLAND TO SOPRANOS
Radi, Lidia

CRN: 17716

This course will examine the Italian-American experience through the lenses of literature, cinema and the performing arts. We will examine the ways in which Italians who migrated to the United States after the unification of Italy depicted their aspirations and their struggles. We will discuss the causes that led to the mass migration of Italians, their relationship to the homeland they left, and their contributions to the country they embraced. We will also investigate how Italian-Americans were constructed as "other" (racially and ethnically) in American literature, television, and cinema.

Associate Professor of French and Italian
Renaissance Studies (French and Italian)
Literature of Migration (Albanian writers in Italy, France and Switzerland)
KNOWING AND CHOOSING IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY
Brown, Mavis

CRN: 17699

There are many lenses through which to analyze the human experience. In this seminar, we will examine knowing on the one hand, and various ways of choosing in the face of adversity and uncertainty on the other, as these concepts play out in selected literary texts and environmental sustainability.

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
LAW, JUSTICE, AND THE COMMON GOOD
Dagger, Richard

CRN: 17457

In this course, we explore important themes in political and legal philosophy by examining novels, plays, and short philosophical works that pose deep and apparently perennial questions about the relationship of law, politics, and justice. Among these questions are: What, if anything, gives some people authority over others? When, if ever, is breaking the law justified? What distinguishes the rule of law from sheer power? What are rights, and how do we come to have them? Is there really such a thing as the public interest or the common good? If so, do citizens have a duty to promote it? While exploring and trying to answer these and related questions, we will also be working to develop skills necessary to scholarly success, especially those involving close reading and clear writing.

E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Chair in the Liberal Arts
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
MAKING MEANINGFUL SPACE
Holland, Dorothy

CRN: 17780,17834

In Belonging: A Culture of Place, Bell Hooks writes, "Spaces can be real and imagined. Spaces can tell stories and unfold histories. Spaces can be interrupted, appropriated, and transformed through artistic and literary practice." This course explores the significance and meanings of material space in our individual and our collective lives. Students will learn various ways to analyze spaces and the stories they tell. Writings by key thinkers on space and will provide concepts for analysis, and kinesthetic engagement with space will enhance spatial awareness. Some of the questions we will ask: How does the configuration of space influence our thinking, our behaviors and our feelings? In what ways does it convey a sense of welcome or exclusion? What stories does it tell?

Associate Professor of Theatre and WGSS
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Advisory Board Member
Theatre history
Directing
Acting
Gender studies
MEANING AND VALUE
McCormick, Miriam

CRN: 17680

Have you ever wondered what makes a person's life go well? Or have you ever wondered how you might make your own life go well? This course is a quest to identify the features of a good human life. In our quest to unravel the components of such a life, we will also gain some insight into how we can improve our own lives by, for instance, instilling our lives with greater meaning and finding ways to become happier. Some more specific questions we will consider are the following: What things are worth pursuing? What is the relationship between a good life and a life of pleasure, happiness and virtue? What are some barriers to living a good life? Could an immortal life be a good or meaningful one? What is the best way to think about death? Is there any meaning or purpose in human existence and can such meaning be found without a faith in God or religion?

Professor of Philosophy
Early modern philosophy
Epistemology
Ethics
MODERN AMERICAN HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS
Stubbs, Jonathan

CRN: 17779

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 define 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
NOBLE BEASTS
MacAllister, Joyce

CRN: 17533

This course explores accounts from history, literature, and science about ways animals have improved our lives by protecting us, working for us, and serving us as sources of comfort, recreation, and entertainment. It also examines the problems and conflicts that can arise with reference to our responsibilities to animals (e.g. in terms of their rights, their welfare, and their health). Our study will be guided by questions such as the following: What do we know about animal nature and intelligence, and how do we know what we know? What do we get from our relationships with animals? What are the relative influences of training, instinct, and intelligence upon animal behavior? What are the implications of this knowledge for our relationships--both with animals and with each other?

Associate Professor of English
History & Biography
Rhetoric & Composition
NOT JUST FOOD: US FOOD POLITICS AND POLICY
Erkulwater, Jennifer

CRN: 17453

This course uses the politics and policy of food in the United States, particularly the rise of the organic and food justice movements, to introduce students to college-level research, analysis, and writing. Students will learn about how our practices concerning food production and consumption affect the world around us and our relationships with one another. Students will read the works of food activists, journalists, and scholars. They will chose a food to research and formulate a scholarly argument about that food. Past student projects include research into breakfast cereal, bagels, corn dogs, potato chips, diet soda, and many more.

Professor of Political Science
Chair, Department of Political Science
Social Welfare Politics
Public Policy
American Politics
POETRY AND MUSIC
Becker, Richard

CRN: 17645

This course primarily strives to enhance understanding of the techniques, topics, and evolution of modern poetry. A focus of our work is reading aloud to activate the musical, bodily and rhythmic features inherent in the sound of the course's poetry. The course surveys mostly American verse, from two of its forerunners, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, to early moderns W.B. Yeats and Robert Frost. It will highlight innovations by Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens and Robert Creeley. The course covers revolutionary blues poet Langston Hughes, African American feminist poets, protest poets and beats, concluding with post moderns W.S. Merwin, John Ashbery and Jorie Graham. A secondary idea of the course is to listen to associated classical, blues, jazz and pop and view associated visual art.

Associate Professor of Music, Coordinator of Piano Studies
Piano performance
Composition
Poetry
POLITICS OF SEXUAL EDUCATION
Snaza, Nathan

CRN: 17836

This course will examine contemporary practices of sexual education in schools, and the controversies surrounding them, in light of a longer history of sexuality as a concept, drawing on biology, sexology, political history, educational philosophy, and feminist and queer studies. We will track the emergence of "sexuality" as a scientific and political concept in the nineteenth century, and examine how state-regulated institutions, especially the school and the hospital have operationalized sexuality as a means of regulating the behavior of individuals and the "health" of populations.

Director, Bridge to Success Program
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Advisory Board Member
Modern Narrative, primarily British and American
Literary Theory and Continental Philosophy
Posthumanism
Social and Cultural Foundations of Education, Critical Pedagogy, Literacy Studies
Sexuality and Gender Studies
POWER AND PREJUDICE OF LANGUAGE
Kissling, Elizabeth

CRN: 17478

Why do certain accents sound good or bad? Who decides what is "proper" English? Why do we change our speech style? Students will learn that our views about accent are linguistically arbitrary. Students will expose language prejudices in the world around them, starting with television and film. Next, they will explore the construction of "standard" language and debunk popular notions about "African American English" and "Spanglish." They will learn about educational practices that either support or disenfranchise speakers of nonstandard varieties. Finally, students will learn about how linguistic style constructs identity and shapes social interaction. They will analyze their own speech and discover their prejudices about language.

Associate Professor of Spanish and Applied Linguistics
Second language acquisition
Language teaching methods
Phonetics and pronunciation instruction
PRINCIPLES OF MICROECON REDUX
Linask, Maia

CRN: 17534

This is a companion course to Principles of Microeconomics. To complement the study of markets and prices in the economics course, students will explore the tension between efficiency and equity through topics such as rent control, price gouging laws, pay express lanes, and sin taxes. Students will also be introduced to various definitions and interpretations of equity and efficiency. Through these lenses students will gain insight into some of the underlying conflict that informs current policy disagreements.

Associate Professor of Economics
International Trade
Industrial Organization
Applied Microeconomics
RACE AND LAW IN THE U.S.
Skerrett, Kathleen

CRN: 17676

This seminar introduces laws and judicial decisions that have defined racial status as the basis for political and social order in the United States. We address issues of citizenship, justice, and freedom, by exploring how racial status can empower and entitle some individuals while exposing others to coercion and subjugation. We will read key judicial decisions to identify core political visions and the arguments that advance them. Yet we will also learn how these decisions and their consequences were contested at every point, generating persistent, conflicting visions of American democracy. Class members will be required to speak and write about values and policies that matter to American democracy. Moreover, we will consider how our own values are reflected in historical contests over race matters in the U.S.

RIGHTS OF THE CRIMINALLY ACCUSED
Bowie, Jennifer

CRN: 17454

This course will tackle important and controversial questions surrounding criminal procedure and the role of the Supreme Court in the development of the rights of the criminally accused. Topics include: (1) The Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, (2) The Fifth Amendment's privilege against self incrimination, double jeopardy issues, and grand jury requirement, (3) The Sixth Amendment's right to an attorney, impartial trial, and speedy trial, (4) The Eight Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. We will focus on understanding the limitations the Constitution puts on the government when it comes to police practices, grand jury practices, evidence, investigations, interrogations, juries, trials, and punishment to name a few. We will question the policy implications of how the Supreme Court has interpreted the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eight Amendments. What does cruel and unusual punishment mean? What are the consequences of secret grand jury proceedings, what reforms should we consider and why?

Associate Professor of Political Science
Pre-Law Advisor
Judicial Politics
Judicial Decision Making
Federal Courts
Civil Rights and Liberties
Constitutional Law
American Politics
SAY WHAT? EXPLORING 2ND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
Kuti, Laura

CRN: 17719

There are many aspects involved in learning a second language. How do humans learn a second language? What instructional approach and strategies should be employed and what teaching strategies support second language acquisition? How does one unpack the fine granularity of phonetics, syntax, and discourse within the context of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)? How is American English distinct? What role does sociology and linguistics play in second language acquisition? Given the connections between language and culture, how does one teach the sociological-cultural context along with TEFL and what should be taught? Students will study how languages are learned, and how second languages are taught. The class will investigate important aspects of English language acquisition including general linguistic concepts, applied sociology and linguistics, and the sociological/cultural context of language teaching.

Assistant Professor, Education
Assistant Chair, Graduate Education - Teacher Education
Member, SPCS Speakers Bureau
English as a Second Language (ESL)
Role of ESL in Schools
SEEING, BELIEVING, AND UNDERSTANDNG
Fishe, Raymond Patrick

CRN: 17536,17535

Methods to summarize information in visual displays are introduced. These tools are used to develop effective visual displays and to increase your knowledge of the information and claims provided in such displays. Visual images are studied to dissect the relevant information and create better images of this information. Both simple (graphs and charts) and complex (photographs, movies, or multipart graphs) images are studied.

The Patricia A. and George W. Wellde, Jr. Distinguished Chair in Finance
Professor of Finance
Corporate Governance
Federal Reserve
IPO Market
Recession Economics
Securities and Exchange Commission
Stock Market Conditions
SLAVERY IN CONTEMPORARY IMAGINATION
Ooten, Melissa

CRN: 17835

This course explores the history of U.S. slavery and its manifestations in popular culture today. We will not only learn about the historical context of slavery, but we will also explore contemporary films, music, art, literature, and public history sites that grapple with slavery and its meanings in our society today. Examples range from Oscar-winning films like 12 Years a Slave and Black Panther to Childish Gambino's Grammy-winning song "This is America" and Beyonce's "Lemonade." Prominent historian Ira Berlin asserts that American history cannot be understood without slavery yet it has only been in the 21st century that prominent dialogues about the continuing meaning of slavery have taken place. Berlin ultimately argues that slavery has become "a language, a way to talk about race in a society in which race is difficult to discuss." This course, then, will focus on analyzing popular material to better understand this "language."

Associate Director, WILL* Program
Gender Research Specialist, Westhampton College
Affiliated Faculty, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
SOCIALISM
Hass, Jeffrey

CRN: 17450,17451

What is socialism? This word has been thrown around for over a century. We have seen the rise and fall of supposedly socialist regimes and societies in the former USSR, while China is basically capitalist now. (Is only Cuba truly "socialist" now?) But what is "socialism?" Is it what Marx-ists or Soviet scholars and leaders said it was? Is it what right-wing pundits or left-leaning British trade unionists say it is? What can we add to the debate? And is socialism dead? Socialism is an important topic, in no small part because in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries it provided the foundation and rough outlines for an alternative modernity, in which private property and general economic inequality were tamed in the name of human empowerment and progress. The reality of Soviet-style socialism was less than stellar. Although to be fair, there was a baby in the bathwater (e.g. in much education). Whether socialism leads to perdition automatically, or whether the Soviet case was one form of socialism (as there are many forms of capitalism) or an aberration of socialism, is something that demands serious exploration. And whether socialism as an idea has run its course or can still generate something useful also demands our attention. For socialism was not just an alternative modernity. It was also a sustained critique of Western capitalist modernity as it existed, and as such socialism and socialists did contribute to some of the benefits we reap today but that are under threat from neoliberalism (e.g. labor rights, a fair distribution of wealth, positive welfare provision, etc.). And so, in this course we will ask just what "socialism" was, is, and could be (if it has a future). And in doing so, hopefully we will ask serious questions about modern life and who we are, and what we could be. Which is exactly what early socialists themselves were doing.

Associate Professor of Sociology
Social change
Russia and East Europe
West Europe (esp. the United Kingdom)
Post-socialism
War (specifically, the Blockade of Leningrad)
Power and culture
Institutions and Institutional change
Economic sociology
Political sociology
Complex organizations
SOCIAL UTOPIAS
Watts, Sydney

CRN: 17526

The problem of social utopias is in realizing them. Born of rational thought and subject to romantic design, utopian communities continue to inspire grand plans. This semester, we will read, discuss, and write about how some of the greatest utopian thinkers, Plato, Rousseau, More, and other revolutionaries, have confronted the knotty problems of social utopia with creativity, sound judgment, and passion. How philosophers, political theorists, leaders of social movements, and community activists imagine utopia reveals a great deal about the actual societies in which they lived.

Associate Professor of History and WGSS
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Advisory Board Member
Early Modern Europe
18th Century France
STAGING CONFLICT: OPERA, POLITICS, AND SOCIETY
Fairtile, Linda

CRN: 17722

Opera is more than entertainment. Like works of literature and operas address the concerns of individuals, families, societies, and nations. They reflect the times in which they were created and the times in which they are performed. Through reading, viewing, and discussion, we will explore these themes in their historical contexts and relate them to contemporary experience. Students will learn to decode the language of opera by watching videos and attending performances. No musical knowledge or experience is required.

Head, Parsons Music Library
Adjunct Lecturer of Music
Italian opera
Archives and manuscripts
STORYTELLING AND IDENTITY
Dolson, Theresa

CRN: 17717

This course explores the role that stories play in forming our own identity, forming relationships with others, and forming the structures through which we understand our world. Students will grapple with these ideas by participating in community-based learning, story-sharing with local incarcerated youth at Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center. All participants in the project collaborate to produce a final creative piece which represents their experience telling stories together. UR students will also read, discuss, research, and write analytically as a way of making sense of their experiences.

Associate Director, Community-Engaged Learning
THE DOUBLE LIFE OF PARIS
Pappas, Sara

CRN: 17679,17678

Paris is one of the most idealized and romanticized cities in the world. Even for those who have never visited, Paris easily conjures recognizable images and reliable stereotypes, from the Eiffel Tower to the Arch of Triumph, and from famous fashion houses to the typical Parisian cafe. In this course, we will challenge this first cliched version of Paris by contrasting it with another version: Paris as the space of political unrest, social conflict, and protest. Through literary texts, film, newspaper articles, historical documentation, and essays, we will explore the long history of the double life of Paris.

Associate Professor of French and Visual Studies
19th-century French art, literature, and culture
THE NEUROSCIENCE OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Bell, Lloyd

CRN: 17838

It is estimated that more than 4 trillion photos will be shared over the Internet in 2019. As photography becomes more ubiquitous in society, the ability to deconstruct how our brain processes images becomes more relevant. By knowing more about the workings of the brain in general and of the visual brain in particular, one can attempt to develop the outlines of a theory of aesthetics that is biologically based. This course uses the core concepts of neuroscience to give students the tools to critically think about the photographic stories they see and share.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF FREEDOM
Hidalgo, Javier

CRN: 17677

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.

Associate Professor of Leadership Studies
Immigration
Citizenship
Global Leadership
THE SECRET LIFE OF BOOKS
Kachurek, Lynda

CRN: 17720

This course explores the past, present, and future role of books as a significant part of the world's cultural heritage. As a transmitter of literacy, knowledge, and culture, a book's impact can be profound, but as an object of worth, desire, or artistic beauty, its value extends beyond the text and even the printed page. By exploring the multifaceted history of the book, students will engage in their own exploration of how they interact with books as well as develop an understanding of the complexity, artistry, and cultural and technological effects on society and culture.

Rare Books and Special Collections Librarian
THE SPACE RACE: FACT, FICTION, FANTASY
Essid, Joseph

CRN: 17726

Between the launch of Sputnik and Apollo 11 the world watched as two superpowers competed peacefully for the prestige of being the first nation to put a human in space, then head to the Moon. No international competition since has quite compared to the scope of The Space Race, and we live in its shadows. Who were the scientists, politicians, astronauts, and cosmonauts of the 1960s? What did artists and historians have to say about them? Why did public interest wane? What remained undone, and what might spur a new Space Race and era of human spaceflight today?

Director, Writing Center
Technology in the classroom
Virtual worlds
Writing centers
Writing Across the Curriculum
THE WHITE HOUSE SAID TODAY
Hobgood, Linda

CRN: 17701,17715

This course is a semester-long study of the presidency as conveyed by chief executives in their own words, by official statements from those appointed to speak on the president's behalf and by official public announcements. Remarks of first ladies, speechwriter's recollections, and mediated interpretations by members of the White House press corps serve as text for scholarly analysis of presidential discourse. We will explore foundational rhetorical precepts and introduce the nature and practice of rhetorical criticism via the genre of contemporary presidential oratory and commentary. Course objectives include: 1. providing a rhetorical perspective of language, leadership, politics and media; 2. introducing terms and practices fundamental to rhetoric and encouraging confidence in using them; 3. 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
THE WORLD AND THE US: GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES OF AMERICA, PAST AND PRESENT
Datta, Monti

CRN: 17724

The United States of America is arguably the most powerful country in the history of world. Some love America for what is and does, giving rise to pro-Americanism, whereas others dislike America just as much, giving rise to anti-Americanism. With the rise of President Trump, however, many at home and abroad are wondering what the future of the United States will be. Will the long-standing Transatlantic Alliance between America and Europe come to an end? What might be the impact of the Border Wall between the United States and Mexico? Is the rise and popularity of President Trump an outlier, or is he a harbinger of more populist leaders to come? What exactly does it mean to "Make America Great Again?" What is "America," to what extent is the "American Dream" still alive, for whom does America belong? In this course, we will take a deep dive into the nature and origins of pro- and anti-American sentiment, from the dawn of the American republic in Jamestown Virginia in 1619, to the triumph of the US after World War Two, to the American retreat from globalism and the rise of populism under President Trump. Students will explore key debates on how individuals and countries have perceived America over time and examine a diversity of documents including qualitative sources (e.g., the writings of foreign observers like Charles Dickens and Alexis de Tocqueville, the speeches of US Presidents from George Washington to Donald Trump) and quantitative sources (e.g., public opinion surveys about the United States from Eurobarometer and the Pew Global Attitudes Project). In addition to meeting all of the prerequisites of a First-Year Seminar (FYS), students will be involved in Dr. Datta's research agenda on the US Image and Anti-Americanism.

Associate Professor of Political Science
Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery
Anti-Americanism and perceptions of the United States
The U.S.-European Transatlantic Gap
U.S. policy towards North Korea
TOLKIEN AND THE MEDIEVAL IMAGINATION
Davis, G.

CRN: 17731

An introduction to Tolkien through his work in medieval English language and literature.

Lewis T. Booker Professorship in Religion & Ethics
Professor of Religious Studies and Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law (PPEL)
Ethics
Western Religious Thought
WATCHING "THE WIRE"
Simpson, Andrea

CRN: 17456

"The Wire," a series produced by HBO, is the main text for this course. Baltimore serves as a case study of cities in America where drugs, mayhem, and corruption routinely betray the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that is our "American Dream." Students learn to analyze the show using the tools of television criticism. Engaging these issues helps develop critical thinking, writing, speaking, and observation skills. Through online posts and writing assignments, students reflect on a world very different from their own. Class presentations allow students to explore topics tangential to the ones illuminated in "The Wire."

Associate Professor of Political Science
Race and Ethnicity
Gender
Political Communication
WHERE IS CUBA?
Davison, Michael

CRN: 17843

Where is Cuba? Musically, geographically, politically, historically, economically and culturally? We will experience the culture of Cuba by studying the history and music of our island neighbor. Besides the US and Brazil, Cuba is one of the superpowers of popular music. We will learn why, and how this came about. We will eat, watch, critically listen to, write, dance and sing! All students can hear a great deal in a musical recording. Our goal is to direct your listening, and learn musical jargon along the way.

Professor of Music
Director of Jazz Ensemble
Trumpet performance
Jazz studies
WHY DOES ANYTHING EXIST?
Simon, Stephen

CRN: 17681

We find ourselves surrounded by physical things: mountains, lakes, chairs, and coffee mugs. In our daily lives we ask countless questions about the reasons for particular things: why is a friend upset, or why is the air conditioner making that clanking noise? But on occasion we cannot help asking a very different kind of question: not why this or that thing behaves as it does, but why are there any things at all. No question about the universe is more fundamental than why there is one in the first place. We will explore competing explanations for the world's existence, including: the natural laws of science; necessary truths of mathematics; the inherent goodness of existence; and an all-powerful deity. We will also examine responses that deny the world has an explanation or that reject the question as meaningless. By engaging strengths and weaknesses of different approaches, and exploring their wider implications, we will learn more about our own deepest commitments while improving the ability to think through and defend positions on challenging inquiries.

Associate Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law (PPEL)
Coordinator, Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law Program
Constitutional Law
Legal and Political Theory
Universal Rights
Natural Law and Philosophy
The American Judiciary
WHY DO WE BUILD? WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
Keefer, Jeannine

CRN: 17842

This course will explore the various roles architecture, building, and design play in shaping how we live, work, play and interact with one another. We will read texts covering a variety or periods and points of view. In reading critical and primary texts students will appreciate the impact design can have on our experience of place. This semester our class will participate in the East End Collaboratory with projects exploring not only the cemetery, but also social infrastructure in the city of Richmond. Questions we will address include: Can we fix a broken society through design? What is the role of the architect or planner in shaping society? What are the roles of old and new structures in our understanding of place and ourselves?

Visual Resources Librarian
WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS IN MODERN AMERICA
Tate, Mary

CRN: 17778

This course is an examination into causes and consequences of wrongful convictions in America. It delves into how race and class impact our criminal justice system at a structural level. We study cases of wrongful convictions and make efforts to understand forensic science, the role of prosecutors, police practices, and other elements of the criminal justice system.

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