HONORS SEMINARS FALL 2015
Howard Marchitello: Rethinking the Galileo Affair
MW 2:50-4:10, CS 202
Course note: Satisfies the Literature requirement in Arts and Sciences, Literature or Fine Arts in Nursing, an Arts and Sciences elective in Business
It has been argued that the modern world was born in March 1610 with the publication of Galileo Galilei’s Sidereus nuncius (The Starry Messenger), a book that exploded the two-thousand-year-old understanding of the nature of the universe—and with it the traditional place of humankind in it. The reverberations in science and in religion that this book inaugurated functioned together as a kind of revolution that permanently changed Western culture. The first part of this course is dedicated to the study of Galileo’s scientific, literary, and moral contributions to this Copernican revolution; we will read widely in Galileo’s astronomical and cosmological works, including The Starry Messenger, Letters on Sunspots, The Assayer, and Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. The second part of the course will trace Galileo’s perhaps inevitable conflict with the Catholic Church, culminating in his forced Abjuration in 1633. In an effort to understand Galileo’s fate at the hands of the Office of the Inquisition we will read depositions in the proceedings, as well as testimony and transcripts of the trial. The final part of the course will consider the after-life of the Galileo affair as re-interpreted by other writers (including Bertold Brecht, among others), as addressed by scholars of the history of science, and as re-cast by the late 20th-century recuperation of Galileo and his work offered by the Vatican.
Westman: Women and the Arts in Western Culture
MW 11:00-12:20, CS 203
Course note: Satisfies Literature requirement in Arts and Sciences, Literature or Fine Arts in Nursing, an Arts and Sciences elective in Business
Course note: Satisfies the Diversity (D) requirement in Arts and Sciences
“Women and the Arts” will examine the material, social, and political conditions that made it possible for women artists, composers, and writers to flourish in some historical periods in Western culture as well as the conditions that created nearly insurmountable barriers for women artists in other times and places. Students will examine issues like the following: Why were there virtually no women artists in Ancient Greece? How did medieval convents create unique opportunities for creative women? Did women artists have a “Renaissance?” What role did the Protestant Reformation play in creating opportunities for creative women? Why were the French Academies a big barrier for women artists? How did marriage to a more famous male writer, composer, or artist both help and hinder women artists? This interdisciplinary course is a survey of the humanities in western culture through the lens of gender, race/ethnicity, and class.
50:525:119:01 (Political Science)
Richard Harris: Democracy, Liberty, and Big Government
Th 1:30-4:10, CS 203
Course note: Satisfies a Social Sciences requirement in Arts and Sciences, a Free Elective in Nursing, an Arts and Sciences elective in Business
An exploration of the origins, benefits and costs of big government. We start with E. L. Doctorow’s Ragtime, using this celebrated novel as a springboard for a consideration of how the relationship between the national government and the citizenry shifted at the beginning of the 20th century; and how that Constitutional watershed set the stage both for expansions (like the New Deal and the Great Society) and for the conservative reaction that culminated in the Reagan Revolution. We end with the current standoff over the narrow, originalist view of the Constitution and the more expansive legal realist (that is, the “living document”) view of the Constitution.
Alexandra O’Donnell: Introduction to Psychology
TTh 3:00-4:20, CS 110
Course note: Satisfies a Social Sciences requirement in Arts and Sciences, the “Introduction to Psychology” option in Business. This course is required in Nursing.
The main goal of the Introduction to Psychology is to gain fundamental knowledge of the field of psychology and human behavior. To do this, we will investigate various concepts, theories, and research studies across a wide variety of sub-fields in psychology, including motivation, development, and mental illness. Furthermore, we will discuss the interdisciplinary nature of the field, and the application of psychology to other disciplines, such as health. Particular emphasis will be placed on the following: 1) Understanding the scientific method as it applies to the field; 2) critically thinking about psychological ideas and theories; and 3) applying what we learn to our everyday lives. Students will engage in daily activities, such as writing prompts and online polls, to generate class discussions about the materials. Other work will include assigned textbook and research article readings, quizzes, exams, and the option to either participate in research within the Psychology or, alternatively, write a research paper. Priority to School of Nursing students.
50:525:121:01 (Childhood Studies)
Lauren Silver: Youth Identities
TTh 1:30-2:50, CS 202
Course note: Satisfies a Transcultural elective in Nursing, an Arts and Sciences elective in Business
Course note: Satisfies the Diversity (D) requirement in Arts and Sciences
How do youth affect the cities where they live? This seminar examines the identities of youth coming of age in cities, within the United States and across the world. We pay close attention to the influences of urban contexts such as neighborhood, school, work, family, and peer groups, as well as child welfare and juvenile justice systems. We will investigate how identity roles are informed by structures of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality. The course takes a multi-disciplinary approach, applying perspectives from anthropology, sociology, and human development. We also draw upon youth writings, digital expressions, and poetry, as well as documentary films to enrich our understanding of urban youth perspectives on their own identities.
50:525:128:01 (Urban Studies)
Tyler Hoffman: Making Social Change
Wednesday 3:00-5:20, CS 203
Course note: Satisfies a Social Sciences requirement in Arts and Sciences, a Transcultural elective in Nursing, an Arts and Sciences elective in Business
In this seminar we will examine the opportunities, strategies, and processes (governmental, organizational, etc.) for making social change on small and large scales and on various institutional platforms. We will take up a range of examples of efforts to make such change, from the conception of an idea through its marketing and implementation, the so-called “how-tos.” Students will come to understand how others have made change and will have the opportunity to envision themselves as agents of change in areas such as education, health, poverty, public safety, and sustainability. The course includes an experiential learning component that will involve field work and research in the city of Camden.
Robert Schindler: Spirituality in Business: Balancing Head and Heart
TTh 3:00-4:20, CS 202
In the business world, and often in the society at large, there is a persistent emphasis on our rational and material side (our “head”). There is much less attention to our spiritual side (our “heart”). The spiritual aspects of our experience – our imagination, our hopes and dreams, the feelings and impressions of our innermost thoughts – are commonly devalued, neglected, misinterpreted, and even suppressed. Gaining an awareness and appreciation of our spiritual side helps restore a balance that can enhance our ability to manage ourselves and lead others. In this course, we study both scientific research and traditional wisdom to better understand our spiritual side. We apply these understandings to the everyday activities of dealing with customers, getting along with others in an organization, and keeping on the path toward achieving our personal goals.
Course note: Satisfies a free elective in Nursing, an Approved Elective (School 52, 300 level) in Business
Heritages and Civilizations courses
Note: All sections satisfy the Civilizations and Heritages requirement in the General Education Requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Nursing, and School of Business.
M.A. R. Habib, World Masterpieces I
TTh 1:30-2:50, ATG 212
A survey, within their historical contexts, of writings from antiquity through the Renaissance. Beginning with Gilgamesh, the Bible and Homer, we will draw on texts from a variety of cultural traditions, European, Indian, American, Chinese, and Islamic. These texts will be examined in their historical contexts, with due emphasis upon their literary, thematic, and ideological interrelations. We will spend considerable time on techniques of reading, interpretation, and exposition. Course requirements will include a number of short papers, a journal, and one examination.
Anne Vial, World Masterpieces I
TTh 11:00-12:20, ATG 124
Gerald VerBrugghe, Values of Western Civilization
MWF 11:15-12:10, ATG 221
This course looks at five pre?modern epics of the Western World: The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Aeneid, The Shahnameh (Persian Book of Kings), and The Nibelungenlied; and seeks to compare the human values expressed in them with the values of the major religions of the west as seen in their sacred literature: The Tanach (Hebrew Sacred Scripture), The New Testament, and The Qur’an. We will not by a long shot read all of these works; our reading will be a close one of selected passages in order to compare and contrast “secular” literature with the “religious” literature.
Kenneth Elliott, History of Theatre I
MW 1:20-2:40, FA 240
A survey from the classical period through the 17th century, with emphasis on the major periods, typical plays, performance theories, important figures, and major playhouses and forms of production. Western and non-Western traditions will be examined.