INQ courses approved by the faculty 7/3/2012
Course Title Approved Faculty Persp Description
110 People and the Planet 11/20/08 Steehler, G
How have we changed the Earth and our environment? How has the environment influenced us? In this course, we will explore both directions of impact: humans on the environment and the environment on humans. Global warming will be considered in detail, but we will also explore the interactions between humans and their environment more generally, drawing examples from long ago and today. Students will learn some basic science related to environmental issues and also examine the economic, political, social, and ethical considerations involved.
110 Strange Tales from the Bible ########## Berenson After a introduction to a scholarly understanding of the origin and interpretation of the Bible, we will address the questions, Why have some tales from the Bible been deemed strange, sparking the interest and imagination of believers and non-believers of various time periods? How have these readers responded to these stories? What significance have they attached to them? This course will center on stories from the primeval stories of Genesis 1-11 (Adam & Eve, the Flood, Curse of Ham/Canaan, the Tower of Babel), the Akedah, the witch of Endor, and Jephthah’s daughter, and Paul’s vision of the Man of Macedonia.
110 The World of Tomorrow ########## Sarabia. The course examines the presentation of societal concerns, debates, and aspirations in the literary genres of science fiction and fantasy. A social scientific lens is employed to critically analyze the characterization of the ideal society in literature. While exploring dystopic descriptions in fiction, the course examines potential remedies or solutions to contemporary social problems. A purposeful exploration of both literary and scholarly works will allow students the opportunity to reflect on their own assumptions about human nature and think about the direction of society.
110 Cicero, Augustine and the Formation
of the Western Mind 1/27/2009 Hinlicky In this course we read, discuss and work together on the critical interpretation in writing of classical texts from religion (Augustine) and philosophy (Cicero) that significantly shaped the Western (i.e. Latin) cultural tradition at its beginning. In the process we reflect on how contemporary thinkers (beginning with ourselves!) appropriate, develop or extend these classical stances in modern projects of learning, inquiry, practice and/or devotion. We inquire into the formation of the Western mind and its bearing in and on our emerging global civilization.
110 Classical Athens and Us 1/27/2009 Schultz . What’s so interesting about the Greeks? What was “the high classical moment” in Athens? Why are so many of our buildings (and ideas) shaped according to the influence of ancient Greece? And, most centrally, how do we appraise our legacy from Classical Greece? As we read, think, and write critically, our goals will be: (1) to learn as much as we can about the Athenians and their way of life, for its own sake, as a topic rich with interest, and (2) to appraise the mixed legacy of Classical Greece. Topics of special interest will include democratic politics, the roles of men and women, slavery, ideas of sexuality, the Athenian legal system, myth and religion, the theatre, issues of war and peace, and concepts of heroism, of happiness, and of knowledge.
110 Faith and Reason 1/27/2009 Zorn Is faith a leap in the dark, a commitment unsupported by any rational considerations? Can a person who is committed to rational inquiry also have faith? For some people, the theory of evolution poses a challenge to faith, but does it have to be that way? These are the kinds of questions that we will consider in this course. Along the way we will explore what it means to have faith, and examine both criticisms and defenses of religious belief. We will do some work examining arguments, including the fundamentals of logic on which they are based and their use in fields a diverse as religion, literature and science.
110 Forensic Science: The Science Behind
CSI 1/27/2009 Hollis How is science applied to the investigation of crime? Modern forensic science uses the latest technologies combined with tried-and-true procedures to gather, preserve, and evaluate evidence of criminal activities. These investigative procedures and the science behind these technologies will serve as the central content for our course.
110 Ghosts and Human Perception 1/27/2009 Carter What do our beliefs about ghosts tell us about our perceptions of truth? What are the distinctions between beliefs and knowledge? This interdisciplinary examination of ghost lore and research into haunting experiences will range from religious notions of the afterlife to psychological studies of such phenomena as schizotypal hallucinations to scientific knowledge of how environmental factors such as infrasound and electromagnetism affect our perceptions of the world around us. The class even gives a brief nod to quantum physics. The students will not be sitting around scaring themselves silly with campfire ghost stories but examining how their beliefs about ghosts provide clues to their most basic assumptions about what it means to be human.
110 Technology and You! 1/27/2009 Steehler, J How does modern technology affect your life? We often think of modern technology as advancing humanity, or as freeing us for exciting new opportunities. But, does it? We will explore the impacts of modern technology in daily life, in relationships, and in society. Our focus will be on the last 50 years of history and the future. Our specific topics will include television, cell phones, the internet, and medical technology.
110 Vikings and Farmers 1/27/2009 Ogier How true is the stereotypical image of the marauding, blood-thirsty Viking? To what degree was life in medieval Scandinavia determined by trade and farming rather than raiding? This course examines Eddic poetry, Skaldic poetry, the Icelandic sagas, Scandinavian law texts, and Hollywood depictions of Vikings in order to separate fact from fiction by applying critical thinking to ancient and modern sources. In addition to analyzing the power and social structures of medieval Scandinavia, students will dissect the uses to which the modern age puts the image of Vikings.
110 Who or What is God? 1/27/2009 McDermott This course asks the question, Who or What is God? We will use foundational texts from four of the largest religious communities of the world (Confucius’ Analects; the Buddha’s Dhammapada; portions of the Qur’an; and the gospel of Luke), to compare and contrast how these four texts answer this and related questions. Our principal methods will be discussion and writing. In the process, students will join a millennia-long conversation, learn to think critically, and improve their writing skills.
110 Are Virtual Realities for Real? 2/18/2009 Shende Most futuristic, and sometimes even present-day, fictional scenarios involve computational devices with abilities far beyond what we actually see today. Often, these devices are artificially intelligent beings that can pass off as humans. In this course, we will encounter several such scenarios in our readings. Are such scenarios simply fantasy, or do they have the potential of becoming reality in the future? Is it possible to create an artificially intelligent being that is indistinguishable from a human being? We will learn as much as we can about computation to try and answer these questions.
110 Cryptography: Secrets and Security 2/18/2009 Ingram Every day vast amounts of private information such as bank account numbers, credit card numbers, medical records, company financial reports, and confidential emails are sent over networks from one computer to another and stored in vast databases. How secure are these transactions and databases? Cryptography, often called the science of secret writing, has been used for thousands of years to keep communications and information secure and is one of the primary technologies in use today. This course will examine the history, mathematics, and modern day applications of cryptography. We will address the role of cryptography, its limitations, and some of the political, social, and ethical considerations that come into play as we strive to ensure security and privacy in our electronic age.
110 Image/Body/Voice 2/18/2009 O’Toole In this class, we will read and write about bodies. We all encounter the world in bodies. Most cultures have very clear ideas about how bodies should be presented in the world as well as standards of attractiveness and notions about ideal bodies. Gender norms also shape ideas about bodies as do age-based, interest-based, and ethnic groups. Most people care about how we “look” and respond to others based upon how they “look;” and we are constantly working on our bodies in various ways to achieve a variety of social rewards. Bodies are simultaneously taken for granted and the focus of a lot of our energy. Listening to the voices of others as they explore the significance of bodies, we will find our own ways of articulating the complex meanings that bodies have for us as individuals and as members of social groups.
110 The Scientific Pursuit of Happiness 2/18/2009 Whitson From the perspective of psychological science this course examines the nature of happiness and explores strategies that have been proposed for the pursuit of happiness. Critical inquiry will be made into several questions, including the following: What is happiness? How happy are people in general? Who is happy, and why? Is it possible to become happier? What happiness strategies or skills are supported by scientific research and which are not? Students will examine and evaluate the contemporary scientific research on happiness and its correlates, and will evaluate strategies purported to increase happiness. Students will also be asked to apply their knowledge of skills derived from happiness research in some dimensions of their everyday lives, and to appraise the outcomes of applying these specific happiness strategies.
110 You and the Law 2/18/2009 Scott This course introduces students to basic legal concepts and processes. The purpose is to provide the student with a basic knowledge of the structure of the United States and Virginia legal systems. It will examine the impact of the law on the judicial, executive and legislative branches of government. We will also examine the actors in the system, i.e., attorneys and others. Basic types of law will be scrutinized. We shall also examine litigation and alternative dispute resolution.
110 Bodies, Corpses & Death Rituals in
the World’s Religions 3/17/2009 Rothgery How do the major religious communities of the world approach bodies and corpses? What rituals are associated with death and dying in these communities? We will look at how bodies are religiously conceived, how bodies are treated ritually and how bodies are treated at death. We will limit ourselves generally to reading introductory essays about Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist/Confucian theories and practices from Asia as well as essays about Jewish, Christian and Islamic theories and practices from the Abrahamic traditions, though we will also read limited selections of primary texts from Asia and from the Abrahamic traditions. In addition to text-critical work, the student will have the opportunity to do “fieldwork” in places such as churches, temples, graveyards, a morgue or other similar sites.
110 Sinking and Swimming: Issues in
Success in Higher Education 3/17/2009 Rosti For many students college represents the best four years of their lives. For others the story is rather different. On a national level, in 2005 only 54% of the students who had entered college in 1999 earned a bachelor’s degree. What difficulties must students overcome on their way to graduation? What factors can help determine the difference between sinking and swimming in the higher learning setting? Through reading and discussing scholarly and popular literature—both non-fiction and a work of fiction--viewing a set of documentaries, exploring through writing the academic and social issues, and putting into practice through a service project some of the strategies that have been linked to student success, we will investigate the college experience. By semester’s end we should have developed a broader view about what the higher learning experience entails and a clearer definition of how students can succeed in this setting.
110 Poetry: What Is It Good For? 3/17/2009 Hoffman, Ka Poetry: What is it good for? To find out, we will look at what poetry does—on the page and in the ear, for the writer and for the reader, in the world and in our own lives. The theme is poetry, and we’ll spend our time reading, analyzing, and responding to it.
110 Retold: Stories from the World and
their Embodiments 3/17/2009 Almeder In this course we will study variations on classic stories from around the world in multiple genres: oral traditions, fiction, film, poetry and art. We will analyze the structure of individual narratives and, using collaborative research and presentation, we will ask how each of these retellings manifests historical and cultural contexts. How do these stories shift form and logic as they move across the world and across genres? Finally, we will construct our own variation of one of the great stories, being able to articulate how our embodiment of the story engages the history and cultural context of the narrative.
110 The Black Death 4/14/2009 Leeson The cataclysmic plague of 1348-50 was a defining event for the late Middle Ages. The questions of how medieval men and women dealt with the high death tolls, the disruptions to trade and commerce, population dislocations, and the challenges to their faith are still pertinent today, particularly in the light of twenty-first century concerns with the spread of infectious diseases (e.g. AIDS, SARS, Avian Influenza). Using a variety of primary source materials (e.g. archaeological evidence, chronicles, poetry, medical reports, woodcuts), students will examine the following issues: geographical origins of the plague, symptoms and transmission, medical responses, socioeconomic impact, as well as religious, cultural, and artistic responses. With a strong emphasis upon document analysis, this course will introduce students to rigorous inquiry in the liberal arts while developing critical thinking and academic writing skills.
110 Gender and Leadership 4/14/2009 Lyon Do men and women lead differently? Do people have different reactions to male and female leaders? Which company policies and organizational cultures help or hinder men and women leaders? Why do family responsibilities to children and elders hold both men and women back from upper management? In this course, we will study gender issues in leadership using an interdisciplinary approach, by integrating research from psychology, sociology, economics, management, and related fields.
110 The Inward Life and Outward Life:
Making a Difference in the World 4/14/2009 Heller How do people create their positive impact on others? We will explore writings by individuals who have made an important, positive impact in recent history. We will ask questions about their motivations, concerns, methods of working, and why they had such a positive impact. We will look at their original context and the conversations in writing that they prompted. In the process, we will think about narrative and argument, autobiography and biography, and the creative ways that people use their energies and change the world. All of this is part of what it means to become an educated person -- adept at reading, writing, speaking, and thinking critically about various kinds of texts.
110 Marriage and Family in the 21 st Hoffman, Kr
Century 4/14/2009 An examination of some of the challenges facing individuals and American society as we seek to maintain and support marriages and families in the 21 st century. Course topics covered help students answer the following questions: How will marriages and families be structured in the future? What will it be like to have a marriage, children, and a career? What are the benefits of being married, having a family, or remaining single? What social policies and laws are needed to support individuals and families as they face the challenges of the future? To address these questions, we review social trends associated with cohabitation, inter-racial marriage, gay and lesbian partnerships, blended and single parent families, and parenting practices.
110 The Media and the Supernatural 4/14/2009 Dunn Harry Potter , Eclipse, The Da Vinci Code, Buffy the Vampire Slayer , The Blair Witch Project , Medium , and the Left Behind series are only recent illustrations of Americans’ longstanding fascination with the supernatural and the paranormal. Our course will examine this fascination within the broader context of the Information Age, with particular focus on New Media. We will also read and write about implications for current religious and spiritual practices, and for tendencies toward secularization (i.e., the weakening of the influence of religious institutions). Key questions: Why do many Americans (especially the young) claim to reject religion at the same time that they readily embrace spirituality? What do media representations of the supernatural reveal about the broader society, as well as about prevailing religious forces? Many of our inquiries will be assisted by techniques and terminology drawn from semiotics, a formal (but easily accessible) method for studying signs, symbols, codes, etc.
110 A Study of American Film 4/14/2009 Fishwick Have you ever wondered what makes a film a classic? Who decides what is the “best movie of all time?” How is that decision made? By examining American Film from a literary, technical and commercial perspective, we will attempt to answer these questions. By viewing the American Film Institute’s top ten film of all time, we will examine film as literary texts and visual art. You will learn to analyze the formal aspects of films—including scenes, shot selection, and dialogue—and will be introduced to genre and theoretical approaches to film study. You will learn to discuss films from a thoughtful and informed perspective, and write critically and analytically about how they work and what they accomplish as films.
110 Wild Justice: The Tradition of
Revenge 4/14/2009 O’Connor The theme of this class is one of the oldest and still pervasive cultural practices: revenge. We often think of vengeance as bloody, illicit, and apt to spiral out of control. Yet revenge is also a course of action associated with those on the margins, who have no access to or have been denied legal recourse, and with the desire to “get one’s due.” The class will examine the complex and ambiguous relationship between revenge, justice, and the law. Is there an ethics of revenge? Is there a structure and aesthetic of revenge?
110 Cultural Perspective: Finding
Ourselves in Folktales 4/21/2009 Stoneman. Who are the “folk” in folktales? How are these “folk” constructed by their cultures? Can we, as modern people, relate to any of the issues facing these “folks” from long ago? How has culture constructed us? How has it impacted the decisions we make in our daily lives? As we read folktales from a variety of cultures and critical materials that help students engage the primary texts, we will use class discussion, writing assignments, and research projects to meet our course goals: 1) to use the knowledge of cultural perspective gained through analysis of select folktales to evaluate how our own lives are impacted by culture; 2) to assess how our cultural perspectives may impact our daily decision-making.
110 First Contact: Native Americans and Larson-Harris,
Europeans 4/21/2009 M For millennia before Europeans arrived, a variety of Native American cultures flourished in North America. This course examines how these cultures changed under the impact of European civilization, a process that lasted for several centuries. Every aspect of the lives of natives was disrupted—their subsistence livelihood, their political organizations, their religious practices, and their connections to specific places—and the impact of these changes is still visible today. To fully appreciate this complex dynamic, it is necessary to explore the rich diversity of traditions that existed before first contact. We will seek to understand how native societies adapted economically, politically, and religiously through assimilation, accommodation, and resistance. We will then go on to focus this inquiry around specific religious movements that arose in response. Our course will answer three related questions: who were Native Americans before Europeans arrived, how were they affected by this momentous meeting,
110 Everything’s an Argument 4/21/2009 Whiteside Why is it important to recognize that everything is an argument? In this course we will answer that question by studying specific types of arguments in detail, considering complex argumentation, and questioning factual assertions made by journalists, scientists, and politicians, among others. As we explore and examine formats ranging from essays to billboards students will be given a firm grounding in the central concepts of rhetoric. This course will also help students further develop their skills in critical thinking, writing, reading, speaking, and researching as well as prepare them for academic and personal success by awakening their intellectual curiosity. Our classroom will serve as a place to think rhetorically and with self-awareness about the beliefs and opinions that inform their actions in the Roanoke College community and beyond.
110 Reading the Landscape: Exploring
“Sense of Place”. ########## Shortridge We have lifelong interaction with the landscape—we conduct our daily lives in it, we seek both the familiar and the exotic in it, and it holds our memories and reveals our values—yet these relationships often go unexamined. What does it means to know a place? How can we study or “read” it? Does place shape us or do we shape it? How does place change over time? This course will focus on an inherently interdisciplinary topic, “sense of place,” using a variety of methods (verbal, physical, visual, etc.) and approaches (literature, history, geography, visual art, etc.) in an effort to comprehend a difficult but powerful subject. Our critical investigation of place/landscape may include the dynamics of insider/outsider, subjectivity/objectivity, and real/ideal—themes that are both personal and universal. By learning to read the landscape, we will better understand our place in it. Use your eyes, be curious, seek answers.
110 Restorative Justice: From
Retribution and Punishment to
Restoration and Reintegration 1/28/2010 Brogan This course examines restorative justice, in theory and in practice, and contrasts its basic principles with the concepts and application of retribution and punishment. From a global perspective, students will examine the historical and cultural contexts in which restoration, reintegration and peacemaking criminology are utilized. Practices such as victim/offender conferencing, family group conferencing and sentencing circles will be researched and critically evaluated. Course material will provide students with the tools to debate the following critical questions: What does justice mean? What is society’s role in responding to wrongdoing? Are restorative justice and retribution mutually exclusive? How can the harm from wrongdoing most effectively be resolved? Can restorative justice be effectively applied in large, more complex and individualistic societies? We critically evaluate literature regarding efforts to utilize compensatory sanctions, collaborative processes and consensual outcomes to rep
110 Fads, Fashions and Movements 3/31/2010 Berntson This course explores two forms of social change in the United States: mass behavior and social movements. Through a close study of fads and fashions, this course will attempt to understand the emergence and disappearance of fads and fashions and what they say about a culture. In addition, the course will study another form of collective behavior, the social movement, by learning about recent movements in the United States. We’ll ask questions about the conditions that give rise to movements, who participates in them and why, and social movement ideology, organization, and tactics.
110 Medieval Mysticism 3/31/2010 Rothgery This course will survey medieval mystical traditions in the Mediterranean world and in Asia. We will focus on the life and thought of Maimonedes, Hildegard, Rumi and Ramanuja and will imagine ways their thought and practice lives in today's world.
110 Global Health Challenges 4/19/2010 Morris What are the largest public health challenges facing the world today? What causes these challenges to persist, and what steps can be taken to ensure “health for all”? This course will survey the field of global health by examining three specific global health challenges: child mortality/under nutrition, HIV and other infectious disease, and heart disease/diabetes. We will pay particular attention to social aspects of disease causation, studying the cultural, historical, political, and economic differences that lead to inequities in health. We’ll read notable ethnographic and scholarly depictions of global health challenges, critically assess past and current attempts at improving public health outcomes, and, through the use of case studies, research, and inquiry-based writing, learn to combine both medical and cultural knowledge in designing effective public health programs.
110 Visual Culture and Graphic Novels 4/19/2010 McGraw This course serves as an introduction to critical methods in popular culture studies, with a focus on the graphic novel as cultural product and practice. Together, we will explore the ways in which meanings emerge in several celebrated texts of the graphic novel genre, as well as some emerging classics. The exploration of visual culture, the image as text and the graphic novel genre will lead us to interesting questions. How do we make meaning out of the image? How do images speak to us? What is Visual Culture? What is a graphic novel? Where are graphic novels situated in popular culture? What does it mean to claim that graphic novels are both marginalized genre and marginalized subject? How do graphic novels work? These questions and many others will guide our investigations of the graphic novel.
110 Myths of Musical Genius: An
Inquiry into Originality in Music 4/19/2010 Marsh What do we mean when we say a composer was a genius, or speak of musician’s genius, or the genius of singer? How can we say a work such as an opera or Broadway show is a work of musical genius, when it is essentially a collaborative project? The term ‘myth’ can refer to any abiding story of human action and achievement. This course covers four stories concerning originality in musicians and their music: Robert Johnson and the Mississippi Delta blues; Ludwig van Beethoven and the classical symphony; Georges Bizet’s Carmen ; and the jazz singer Billie Holiday. We will consider the repertories, teachers, influences, and collaborators, with the goal of understanding the “back-story” of music history, which is all too often eclipsed by the myths and legends of popular consciousness.
Reading and Writing the Self in Late-
Twentieth Century Women’s Memoir 4/19/2010 Hopson Memoir writing engages the author in issues of culture and identity as the writer both records and interprets personal experiences for the reader. This course is a study of the memoir as form. We will explore the memoir as genre by reading and analyzing the memoirs of contemporary American women writers, and we will practice the art of writing memoir.
110 How Did Women Get the Vote? 4/19/2010 Henold In this course we will answer the question, “How did women get the vote?” Specifically, we will learn the basic skills of college level thinking, analysis, and writing through a focused exploration of the American woman suffrage movement. More generally, this course will teach students how to think and write by looking in depth at how historians work. The course starts with the origins of ideas about woman suffrage in the eighteenth century, and ends with the passage of the 19 th amendment in 1920. We will mostly read documents that were written at the time by suffragists and anti-suffragists, supplemented by readings from historians. As we work through the movement’s history we will build skills necessary for reading and analyzing documents, constructing and defending arguments, and communicating ideas effectively in writing.
110 Medicine in America 4/19/2010 Sarisky This course examines medicine in the United States. We will examine the science behind medical decision-making, including making a diagnosis and choosing between treatment options. This course also includes an experiential component to give students some first-hand experience with medical settings
110 From Fantomina to Fight Club:
Literary Representations of
Masculinity 3/30/11 McGraw This course aims to trace representations of masculinity in literatures from the eighteenth century to the present. Current conceptions of masculinity evidenced through texts and images such as Fight Club , John Wayne and Sylvester Stallone have a historical and literary precedent in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Using modern theories of masculinity to guide us through the literature, we will analyze men and masculinity from the perspective of gender instead of a “cultural stand-in for humanity.” Numerous questions will guide our inquiries such as: How have men and masculinities been defined? How do representations of masculinities in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries resonate with current conceptions of masculinities? What characteristics make up modern conceptions of masculinity? We will look at issues that have defined men and masculinities since the eighteenth century. Issues such as labor, reproduction, sexuality, remote fathers, and deviant behavior will remind us that we analyze aran Agricultural Center, Ministry of Agriculture, according to Hamid Taravati, publisher, Iran, e-mail
110 Pharmaceuticals in the USA 3/30/11 Sarisky Where do drugs come from and how are they evaluated? Are newer drugs better than old drugs? Why are drug costs “out of control”? Students in this course will work individually and in groups to use a combination of popular press and scientific sources to study drugs and the drug industry through careful, rigorous analysis of the published claims and evidence provided by both the drug industry and its critics. The course also includes a five-hour service-learning requirement in which students will gain some first-hand experience with the healthcare field.
110 Science, Myths, Magic, and Chaos 3/30/11 Minton, R How do we know what we know? Humans convey information through stories, which can oversimplify and distort the information. The resulting myths may be misinterpreted and modified by those hearing the story. Even our senses are subject to story-telling, as our brains do impressive amounts of computation before sending a story to our conscious mind. Magic tricks and illusions help illuminate some of the details of the brain’s inner workings. Physical processes play tricks on us as well. The mathematical field of chaos explores situations in which seemingly random phenomena are produced by simple mathematical rules. This course explores the boundary between fact and myth and the boundary between the knowable and the unknowable.
110 Ecstasy 4/19/2011 Hanstedt What is ecstasy? An emotion? A mental state? A physiological response to particular stimuli? For some, it's simply a drug to be given at a particular moment in order to achieve a desired effect, while for others it's something to be sought over the course of a lifetime. Is ecstasy a good thing? Is it separate from our ordinary lives, or part of it? Can we strive for and achieve it on our own, or must it be given to us? Should it be a goal in life? Should it be the goal in life? Can it be sustained? Should it be sustained? How has it been defined in the past? How is it related to sin? To fear? To the sublime? Students in this class will read widely and discuss actively literary works relating to this topic, seeking, finally, to answer these questions for themselves and in relation to their own goals in life.
110 Life and Death in the Streets of Paris Han The streets of Paris, whether as sites of (re)construction or deconstruction, playground or battleground, play a critical role in the history of 19 th-century Paris, a role reflected in the numerous works by major 19 th-century writers that foreground the city’s streets. What can we learn about history, society, and culture by examining how, when, and by whom streets are used? We will read excerpts from Hugo, Balzac, and Zola that depict street activity during three major historical periods: the Bourbon Restoration, the July Monarchy, and the Second Empire. We will consider these literary texts in counterpoint to other representations, both written (memoirs, newspaper articles, “objective” histories) and visual (lithographs, caricatures, photographs), of street activity over the same historical periods. Using the contrasts we establish, we will discuss the nature of historical documents and their reliability. What, if anything, can literature communicate that other sources of information cannot?
Life in the Ancient City 4/2012 Totten The history of city life is of particular interest because of the importance of the cities in our own lives as centers of politics, culture and commerce. Scholars agree that the emergence of cities was an integral moment in human history. The urbanized civilizations of the ancient world represent some of the earliest flourishing of the urban form. By engaging with case studies from the ancient world, we will ask: How did city living impact and shape ancient societies? How were cities sustained and constituted socially, economically, and politically? From the start, we will work with the archaeological evidence and the ancient textual sources and learn methods for their analysis. Writing and research assignments will aid us in formulating our own questions and interpretations as we unpack the multi-layered features of the ancient city.
110 Walking the Road of Life 2/1/2012 Talbot What inspires someone to walk a thousand miles? What lessons of life are learned on such a journey? The Camino de Santiago, a medieval pilgrimage route in northern Spain, attracts thousands of hikers annually. Why? The history of pilgrimage and its meaning in the medieval world will lead us to contemporary personal accounts and a recent film on why people would recreate this experience. How does it affect the body, the mind, and the spirit? How does it shape one’s outlook on life? These are the questions we’ll answer.
110 Truth or Hype: Science in the News 4/19/2011 Anderson, K Climate change. Energy. Alternative medicine. Many of today’s hottest issues stand at the interface of science and public policy. Most citizens learn about these complex issues through popular media coverage. But do newspapers, magazines, documentaries, blogs, etc. present an accurate view of the issues? What are the real issues? How do we figure this out? How do we determine if reporting is accurate or fair? Are these the same thing? Who should we trust? What does it mean to be an “expert”? We will explore the science behind controversial issues and evaluate how complicated scientific issues are represented in the media.
110 My New Identity 2/1/2012 Tenbrunsel “I contain multitudes”: thus proclaimed Walt Whitman, American poet of identity and possibilities. As a beginning college student, sibling, daughter or son, friend, teammate, sometime employee, do you feel—at least sometimes—as if you also “contain multitudes”? In this course, we will study the ways human identity has been depicted in a selection of fiction and films. How flexible is identity in fiction? How dependent is the range of possibilities for identity on the society in which one lives? What strains on human psychology and human morality are evinced when one tries to “contain multitudes”? What needs do these new identities fulfill? What advantages do they permit? What costs do they entail? Students will reflect on, and write about, issues of identity in their own lives as these connect to fiction and films studied in the course.
110 Scientist and Society 2/1/2012 Lassiter What do scientists study and how does that affect you? How do scientists see themselves fitting into society? How does society perceive scientists? What do scientists think about their own work? This course will reflect upon the interactions that scientists have with society based on the work they do and the experiments they perform. We will explore writings by scientists and about scientists that include both fiction and nonfiction. Our journey will take us from historical works (e.g. Darwin, Einstein) to popular culture (e.g. Frankenstein, Big Bang Theory).
110 The Seven Deadly Sins 3/1/2012 Leeson Lust, gluttony, greed, pride, envy, wrath, and sloth—the seven deadly sins of the Middle Ages—are vices still making headlines in the modern world. Historians, theologians, and literary scholars have written numerous articles on the seven deadly sins in the past decade. In 1993, prominent novelists and poets penned their take on the vices par excellence in a series for the New York Times Book Reviews ; and recently, a host of fi lm directors, actors, and actresses have taken their turn bringing the seven deadly sins to the silver screen. In this course, students will seek to understand the seven deadly sins as cultural constructi ons whose longevity and centrality attest to their importance in shaping the medieval worldview. When did the seven deadly sins enter the historical record? Were some sins considered more egregious than others? How did medieval thinkers talk about them? How did medieval arti sts depict them? How did medieval men and women of all classes experience them? Why were they so popular aran Agricultural Center, Ministry of Agriculture, according to Hamid Taravati , publisher, Iran, e-mail to author, 25 June 2002;
110 Myths of Artistic Genius: An Inquiry 4/1/2012
into Originality in Art Hardwig What do we mean when we say an artist is a genius? How can we say single works are “masterpieces” of artistic genius when they arise from shared and widely held beliefs and ideas? What about truly collaborative ventures (such as ballet) that combine the efforts of artists, dancers, musicians, and the theater crafts? This course covers four myths of genius—four case studies about originality in art---from Europe and the United States, from 1787 to the present day. For each of these stories we’ll consider how other artists and collaborators and the artistic milieu of each artist’s epoch actually shaped the “genius” attributed to them and their work. And finally we’ll explore the meanings of the words “genius,” “originality,” “novelty,” and “transgression” as they pertain to the particular artists and works above, and what constructs offer the most satisfying explanation for each.
110 The Atlantic Slave Trade 4/1/2012 Bucher How was the Atlantic Slave Trade formed? What were the social and cultural effects of its formation and subsequent decline? This course traces the ways in which the Atlantic Slave Trade brought people and ideas from Africa, Eurasia, and the Americas together through the largest system of forced migration in human history. Students will analyze and discuss the major themes in the history of the Atlantic Slave Trade including: the economic history of the trade, the forms that slavery took within African societies, the demographic changes brought on by the trade, the forms of cultural and intellectual exchange that took place in the Atlantic World, and the emergence of the global abolitionist movement. Finally, all students will both learn and utilize the essential skills of the academic historian.
120 Communication in Leadership 4/14/2009 Smith An investigation of the traits and behaviors of effective, ethical leadership and exploration of how one can inspire a values-based organization with different channels of communication (verbal, non-verbal, written, public, and private). In this sense, an organization is a “social unit of people, systematically arranged to meet a need or to pursue a goal.” The theories of leadership and ethics will be explored, and practical applications (teamwork, oral presentations, writing persuasively) will be utilized to enhance communication and leadership skill development. All topics discussed have a strong underlying ethical component. To accentuate this, ethical leadership will be further analyzed through a unique collection of essays by philosophers, leadership scholars and management theorists. Students will analyze how an increased understanding of communication enhances their confidence and self-image as effective leaders.
The Moral of Our Story 9/29/2010 Wisnefske This course introduces students to ethical inquiry by reading accounts of slaves, POWs, holocaust survivors, and important events in the 20 th century such as the bombing of Hiroshima. Through these non-fiction narratives we will gain insight into key questions in moral philosophy such as: Is morality all relative? Why should we be good? How can we know the difference between right and wrong?
120 Civic Engagement ########## Hill The respective roles of citizens and their governments have been philosophic, ethical, and practical concerns in the West since the Greeks. Students will read sources dealing with the responsibility of citizens to obey, sacrifice, criticize, and serve. The course will emphasize the value contradictions of the “virtue” and “results” civic traditions. Students will read, discuss, research, and write about citizenship in the past and today. Perhaps the chief question that permeates the literature on citizenship is whether the molding of virtuous civic character is the responsibility of government, the community, the individual, or whether public judgments concerning civic virtue have any place in a liberal society at all. Should government be judged by its statecraft , measured by the beneficial results provided to individuals, or by what some call soulcraft , measured by the growth in virtue of its citizens?
120 Spinoza: The Ethics of
Experimentation ########## Adkins This course understands Spinoza’s ethics as an “experimentalism.” Despite the fact that Spinoza died over 300 years ago, his writings remain remarkably prescient for a wide variety of disciplines from religion to neuroscience. The source of this prescience, however, comes from Spinoza’s recasting ethical theory in terms of how we might live rather than in terms of how we should live. Freedom in every aspect of life from the personal to the political to the religious is dependent on a particular way of engaging with the world. This engagement takes the form of an experiment to see if what we engage with results in an increase or a decrease in our capacity to affect and be affected by the world. True freedom, for Spinoza, lies in increasing our capacities.
120 In Socrates’ Footsteps: The
Philosophical Quest for Right and
Wrong ########## Vilhauer How should I live? What is the good life? How can I gain my highest potential? These questions were for Socrates the most important and pressing questions human beings can ask -- and must ask – as he believed “the unexamined life is not worth living.” By following in Socrates’ footsteps, we will embark on the philosophical quest to grasp the truth about right and wrong. This means that we will strive to move beyond popular opinions about the good life, which we too commonly accept without much thought, and toward knowledge grounded in reasons and evidence.
Theologians Under Hitler:
Confusion, Collaboration, Resistance ########## In this course, we will study the various stances adopted by Protestant theologians to the rise of Adolph Hitler with his Nazi conception of the ‘good’ life, making note of concurrent responses by Catholic and Jewish theologians. We will explore how theologians, with their own ideas of the ‘good’ life,’ were perplexed, engaged, enthralled, and/or alarmed and motivated to resistance by Hitlerism. We will role play the parts orally of these theologians and engage in debate with others about how Christians in Germany of the 1930s should take Hitler and his movement. We will write a research paper on a theologian of our choice from this period, exploring his stance in depth and give an oral presentation on it to the class. Finally, we will generalize from this study to reflect on theological conceptions of the good life and how they ought to intersect with other conceptions.
120 Landscapes of Evil in Literature of Selby, D
the Fantastic ########## Both fantasy and science fiction can tell us much about the ways in which cultures view good and evil. Perhaps this is because the origins of both genres can be traced to myths, folktales, allegories, and other literature which has been used to transmit both cultural values and theological principles. In this course , we will read and analyze examples of literature of the fantastic with a focus on the following questions: In what ways have human cultures defined, located, and rationalized evil? How have they suggested that the various forms of evil should be met and “remedied”? In the process of answering these questions, students will develop and articulate their own definitions of evil and recommendations for dealing with it in their lives and in our contemporary culture.
120 Do Unto Others: An Anthropology
of Service 11/19/2009. Morris “Service to others” is a fundamental concept in all human societies. What drives the human desire to serve? This course focuses on understanding varying definitions of service by investigating the historical, economic, and social motivations underlying them. To further understand motivation for service, we’ll read notable ethnographic and biographical depictions of service, analyze theoretical positions speaking both for and against attempts to improve social welfare, and engage in a process of self-reflection about our own motivations for service. In order to facilitate self-discovery, this course requires students to engage in service experiences of their choosing.
Marx’s Philosophical Search for the
Good Life in Modern Societies ########## Leeb What is the good life? How can we live the most meaningful life? How can we fulfill our highest potentials? For Karl Marx our ability to answer these questions has a direct bearing on our ability to understand ourselves as participants in a shared, social world with others. People fulfill and realize their humanity through meaningful work or creative activity, which allows them to contribute to a wider community. According to Marx, in capitalist societies most people are denied such a work activity, which leads to their dehumanization and alienation from their social world. Marx proposed a system of production, which is based on cooperation rather than acquisitiveness and self-interest to counter the negative consequences of capitalism. We will follow the early and late Marx’s search for the good life to get a deeper understanding of key concepts coined by him, such as ideology, alienation, exploitation, exchange- and use-value and class antagonisms.
120 Business Ethics: In Absentia or In
Repair? ########## Shaff This course examines business ethics from a historical and prospective basis. Students will be challenged to evaluate their own view of business ethics and reflect on how that preconception has changed by the end of the course. We will establish what is meant by ethics in the business community, review some examples of ethics violations and what the business world is doing to address the concerns that those ethics breaches have uncovered. Throughout the course we will also look at examples of companies that are doing things the ethical way, and how they should be emulated. We will analyze case studies, topical readings, films and video clips to formulate our base of understanding, and reflect on that knowledge in written papers and in oral debate.
120 Freedom, Ethics, and the Good Life:
Do We Decide? ########## Kelly This course will explore the possibility of leading an ethical life and its relationship to a life lived well, “the good life.” This will be accomplished through an investigation of one of the most interesting and central philosophical and religious issues, the problem of free will and its relation to moral responsibility. Topics addressed will include a history of the problem of free will, determinism, freedom, values, responsibility, skepticism, predestination, the doctrine of karma, reincarnation, and more. The course material will include readings in western and eastern philosophical and theological thought—ancient and contemporary, psychology, and cognitive science.
120 Choosing the Good Life ########## Partin The premise of this course is that life, like art, is about making choices, good and bad. Focusing on several dramas and supplemental, relevant readings, students in this course will examine choices made by playwrights and by the characters in their dramas and will then reflect on those choices and their consequences and the relevance of b