Course Descriptions

Summer 2021 Courses

Some courses note important registration and course timeline information from the course schedule with an * symbol

ANTH 02 – Intro to Sociocultural Anthropology (Alyssa Miller)

This course is an introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology. We will explore the history, method, and theoretical paradigms the discipline has used to approach the study of various cultures—from diverse peoples around the world to anthropologists’ home cultures. Culture is about connection: the ties that bind us together as well as the barriers that keep us apart. Culture can be found in language, music, spirituality, kinship, methods of governance, systems of economic exchange, and much more. In this class, we will learn about the rules and structures that define who we are in relation to one another, and gain a deeper understanding of the social, cultural and environmental forces that shape our world.

ART098 –Making Fun in Art and Visual Culture (Tim Berg)

This course will explore the historical and contemporary uses of humor in the conceptualization and creation of works of art as well as other products of visual cultural. Students will explore a variety of methodologies, including but not limited to, drawing, collage, digital manipulation, video, performance and sculpture in order to manifest a variety of creative projects.

ART 012 – Painting (Sarah Sarchin)

This is a beginning painting course with a focus on technical skills, visual sophistication, and critical awareness. critical awareness. This course will include a wide array of projects, including work from the figure, self-portrait, landscape, and still life. Students will work primarily in oil or acrylic, whichever is more appropriate for working remotely. figure, self-portrait, landscape, and still life. Students will work primarily in oil or acrylic, whichever is more appropriate for working remotely.

ART 141 – Intro to Digital Art  (Maura Murnane)

The objective of this studio class is to provide students with the means, both conceptual and technical, to manifest their ideas, and to locate them in the historical conversation of fine art. Lectures and presentations will be followed by in class studio time to work in small groups. Guided critique sessions follow larger projects. The class covers basic skills in photo manipulation, graphics, and painting/drawing, first covering pixel art, then photo based additive collage, subtractive collage, photo-realistic painting methods, and forgery/composite images.

ASTRO 066 L KS – Elementary Astronomy (Matthew Powell)

All areas of modern astronomy are discussed in this conceptual survey of the basic principles of astronomy. Major topics include the history of astronomy, the sun, moon and planets, stars, galaxies, cosmology, and life in the universe. There is no pre-requisite, but you should read the textbook to get an idea of the level of the class. We will also do some basic math examples in class or in lab, but it will be kept to a minimum. Please make sure that you understand them, as you may be asked to do similar types of problems on homework or on a test. You should also make sure you know approximate sizes and distances. My hope is that by the end of the semester, you will be able to apply the critical thinking skills from this class to everyday life, as well as have a general understanding of the universe that we live in and the objects within it.

BIOL 064 KS– Marine Biology (Emily Roberts)

The aim of this course will be to provide a broad overview of the diversity of marine habitats and the physical and biological processes that influence marine organisms. We will explore: the geological and physical structure of the oceans, the diversity of plants and animals in the ocean, the interaction of organisms with one another and with their physical environment, and the effects of human activity on marine ecosystems.

BIOL 175 KS – Applied Biostatistics (Matthew Faldyn)

Applied Biostatistics is an introduction to the principles of how statistics are used to analyze biological phenomena.
Fundamentally, this class is about making sense of the dynamic world around us; from best management practices for endangered species to the efficacy of the medicines you take, biostatistics are everywhere. Over the next four months, we’ll discuss topics ranging from experimental designs, hypothesis testing, data, visual representations, and analyses.

BIOL 181 KS– Molecular Basis of Neurological Disorders (Brian Duistermas)

Molecular basis of neurological disorders is an introduction to the biology of nervous system disorders from the underlying molecular and cellular pathology to the gross cognitive and behavioral symptomology. General topics include traumatic brain injury, neurodegeneration, memory, sensory-motor, and developmental disorders. Classes will be a combination of lectures and discussions of original research articles. A strong emphasis will be placed on developing and improving skills related to independent exploration and presentation of these subjects.

DANC 114a – Yoga: Evolving Practices (Kevin Williamson)

Modern postural yoga and its many branches have become one of the most influential forms of exercise, spirituality and meditation in the world. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to its study through embodied, experiential learning accomplished through asana practice, somatic integration, meditation, philosophical/historical discussion, and study of biomechanics. Students will learn postures, Sanskrit names, alignment variations, and transitions for flow and be introduced to various yoga methodologies, pranayama, and apply beneficial qualities from other somatic systems to their yoga practice. Students will safely learn postures (asanas) and engage critically with physical inquiry, lecture, readings, and class discussion to contextualize embodied practices within the broader historical framework of yoga’s development in regions of India and beyond. Readings, written assignments, and research projects/presentations augment studio experiences.

EA 144 – Visual Ecology (Paul Faulstich)

NatureWorks: Aesthetics and Praxis in the Anthropocene Our relationship with the world is impacted by the images we use to understand and express our place in nature. This course engages investigation and application of ecological concepts and how these are addressed through art. We experiment with conceptual approaches to art making and strategies for how artists can create positive visions for the future. In this combined theory & praxis course, we integrate studio art with scholarly analysis and engaged field research as we create socially and environmentally responsible artworks.

ECON 051 – Principles of Macroeconomics (Menna Bizuneh Fikru)

Introduction to the determination of national income and output including an examination of fiscal policy and monetary policy. Within this framework, such problems as budget deficits, inflation and unemployment will be studied, as well as international economic issues such as trade deficits and exchange rates. Basic economic principles will be applied to current policy questions.

ECON 104 – Macroeconomic Theory (Menna Bizuneh Fikru)

Advanced analysis of the determination of national income, employment and prices in an open economy. Theories of consumption, investment, business cycles and the effectiveness of government stabilization policy are examined. Various schools of thought are considered. Prerequisites: Econ 51 & 52; Math 30 or equivalent.

ECON 091 – Statistics (Nayana Bose)

Statistics is the science of collecting, presenting and interpreting data in order to test hypotheses and draw conclusions. In this class, we will be learning classical statistics and its applications.

ENG 030 – Intro to Creative Writing (Adam Novy)

The goal of this course is to give students the creative and cognitive experience of writing poetry, fiction
and creative non-fiction, as well as knowledge of the conventions in those forms, and their pedagogical
value. This course is designed as a workshop focusing on the writing of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction,
and the discourse of craft. Through the examination of a variety of literary traditions, stylistic and
compositional approaches, and the careful reading and editing of peer stories, students will strengthen
their prose and develop a clearer understanding of their own literary values, and the dynamics of creative
writing, as well as the cognitive demands made by these practices. Ultimately, the students will expand
their creative and critical thinking.

MS 050 – Intro to Film (Thomas Connelly)

The course introduces students to the study of film, film history and various methods of critical analysis. This course will include the study of style, narrative form, genre, aesthetics, and social and cultural implication of film. We will examine the role of mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and sound in order to discern the role that style and artistic choices involve viewers’ understanding of a film. We will also critique films in order to understand film style and form and how they function as a whole. In addition, students will be introduced to basic theoretical approaches to interpreting fictional films. Lectures will be accompanied by screenings.

MS 82 – Intro to Video Art (Ann Kaneko)

This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of video production and offers an intensive introduction to video production, specifically, digital video cameras, microphones, lighting, digital editing software, sound design and other post-production techniques. This course will examine video production through a series of exploratory projects, contextualizing them historically and formally by other experimental film and video art work. The class is critiquedriven, and the discussions that follow the screening of each exercise are the principal method by which the successes and shortcomings of that work are evaluated. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic-induced distance learning requirements, this class has been adapted from how this normally hands-on class is taught.

MS 120 – Social/Media (Elizabeth Affuso)

This course will consider how social media is impacting personal communication, consumption practices,
and media industries. Through case studies of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr,
Pinterest, and related spaces students will theorize the role of interactivity in contemporary popular culture.
This class will consider how social media impacts narrative form, political engagement, performance of
self, and cultural conceptions of reading/authorship. In addition to discussing the media industry’s use of
social media platforms as sites of promotion, participation, and surveillance, students will produce critical
media analyses using these platforms as part of their coursework.

ORST198C PZ- Advanced Research Topics (Jeff Lewis & Barbara Junisbai)
*Inside Out Course
*Senior ORST Majors Only

This seminar will introduce students to issues related to the creation and management of individual research projects leading to their senior thesis. Each student will propose, design and draft the initial sections of their thesis project and present their initial work at the end of the semester.

PHIL 032- Ethical Theory: Contemporary (Kyle Thompson)          

As individuals living in diverse social contexts, how should we act? What makes for being a good person and living a good life? In this class, we’ll explore contemporary ethical theory with a focus on contemporary ethical challenges. Students will learn the unique strengths and limitations of consequentialism, deontology, virtue ethics, and care ethics so that they may think critically about a variety of moral problems. Along the way, they’ll grapple with the metaethical underpinnings of moral systems, asking questions about objectivism, relativism, religiously grounded ethics, and more. Additionally, the course will be sensitive to research in moral psychology, which helps us better understand the role of evolution, bias, and emotion in the processes of reasoning about complex ethical issues  unique to our present moment.

PHIL 036 – Gender, Crime, and Punishment (Susan Castagnetto)

The course explores issues of crime and punishment through a lens of gender, also
considering intersections of gender, race, class, age, and sexuality. We will examine issues that bring women
into the criminal justice system and that face them in prison and on release, the impact of the system on mothers
and families, and the gendered structure of prisons, among others. In addressing these themes, we will also
consider the nature and purpose of punishment, the current state of the criminal justice system, including the war
on drugs, mass incarceration and the growth of the prison-industrial complex, how we define or conceive of
crime, the relationships between the criminal justice system and other social and political institutions, whether
prisons should be reformed or abolished, changes being made, and how we can make change. Readings are from
a variety of sources and disciplines, including scholarly work, pieces from the media, work by advocacy
organizations, and firsthand accounts.

POLI 135 – Political Economy of Food (Nancy Neiman)
*Inside Out Course

This course will examine the production, distribution, consumption, and waste of food in contemporary U.S. society and globally. It analyzes contemporary practices such as: the institutionalization of factory farming as expressions of the logic of modernity; and the legacy and impact of global colonial structures on the production, consumption, and meanings of food. The course will also take a look at alternatives to dominant food practices and students will develop group projects that engage community organizations involved in food justice work. Students will be asked to work on group projects that engage the community remotely around food justice issues.

POST 040 – Introduction to International Politics (Lisa Koch)

In this course, we will engage with both theory and historical evidence to tackle key puzzles in international relations. How do states (countries) exercise power and influence over other states? Why do states go to war instead of negotiating peace? Do international laws or organizations change the way states interact? How are international economic relations affected by the policies states adopt in trading with one another? Why don’t states agree on a common set of global environmental policies? The topics included in this course will introduce you to the main concepts and questions in the study of international relations. Through a variety of assignments, this course will provide many opportunities for you to hone your analytical skills and to practice the art of clear, persuasive communication.

POST 139 – Politics of the Middle East (Hamid Rezai)
*Inside Out Course

As the holder of one of the world’s largest reserves of petroleum and natural gas, and due to its proximity to Europe, the Middle East has been the focus of regional and international competition for millennia. In this course we will start with the domination of the states and societies of the Middle East by the Western Powers like France and Great Britain after the decline of the Ottoman Empire during the early 20th century and examine the implications of Imperialist intervention for societies in this region, including their diverse responses to Western colonialism. Subsequently, we will investigate ideologies, actors, and events that have shaped the domestic, regional, and international politics of the states of this region. To this end, we will analyze causes, trajectories, and outcomes of the constitutional revolutions in Iran and the Ottoman Empire in the early twentieth century and historical processes like economic development, rapid modernization, urbanization, and social and educational expansion to explore their short and long-term consequences for this region. We will also look at the influence of non- state actors and civil societies on the politics of the region. Civil society associations, countless forms of powerful social movements, and several revolutions since the beginning of the 20th century continue to shape the fate of states and societies in the modern Middle East.

POST 154 – Street Politics/Contentious Politics (Hamid Rezai)
*Inside Out Course

Why, how, and when do people protest? Why do some collective protests last just one or a couple of days while
others continue for months or even years? Why do some episodes of contention turn into social movements or
even into tragic civil war (Syria), while others disappear? Why and how do some protest events transform into
radical revolutionary movements with the aim to topple the existing political order in their respective countries?
Why are there social movements, but no revolutions, in functioning democracies? These are among the questions
we will be exploring, studying, and discussing comparatively this semester. We will examine different forms of
coordinated collective actions of students, women, youth, ethnic minorities, and poor people in Asia, Europe,
Latin America, and Africa to see whether there are common causes for the emergence of these movements across
time and locations. Furthermore, we will unearth the ideological, demographic, economic and cultural origins of
these movements and the tactics and strategies employed by the actors involved to understand why some powerful
movement succeed while other fail.

PSYCH 010 – Introduction to Psychology (Darin Brown)

The purpose of the course is to introduce the student to psychology as it developed from a nonscientific interest to a scientific approach to human behavior. Special attention will be given to some of the major systems, issues and methods involved in contemporary psychology. Students will be expected to participate in research studies in psychology or complete an approved alternative.

PSYCH 101 – Brain and Behavior (Tom Borowski)

This course provides an introduction to the biological bases of cognition and behavior. Topics may include basic neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, visual and auditory perception, attention, language, hemispheric specialization, memory, emotion, motor control, and social neuroscience.

PSYCH 124 – Psychology of Fatherhood (Mita Banerjee)
*Inside Out Course
*Registration is contingent upon a follow up discussion with the Instructor.

This course offers a broad, interdisciplinary look at the Psychology of Fatherhood. We will look at the role of fathers in households, as well as the histories of fathering, cross-cultural variation, and the impact of social class/race/ethnicity on Fathering. What are the challenges that face contemporary fathers, and how is this role understood in the light of shifting views on gender and family structure–the course will address these questions.

PSYCH 140 – Psychology of Mindfulness (Marcus Rodriguez)
*3 week course

*Inside Out Course

Introduce the philosophical and theoretical foundations of mindfulness, including its evidence base, intervention strategies, and adaptations for different populations. Explore various topics related to mindfulness, including spirituality, neuropsychology, and mindfulness based therapies. Explore theory and history surrounding social justice issues related to stigma and psychological disorders. Discuss equity in access to mental health treatment and strategies to challenge hegemonic structures and practices.

PSYCH 181 – Psychological Disorders (Ted Bartholomew)
This is an interactive course designed to challenge students to thoughtfully examine psychopathology in context. That means we will, broadly, explore the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders and aim to understand how to identify characteristics and symptoms indicative of specific conditions. However, these conditions and disorders cannot be separated from their context – that is, these categories were developed in a WEIRD context (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic), predominantly with White, cis-gender men. As such, these diagnoses are not universal; thus, our work together will collaboratively examine the existence of these conditions, the context that influence these diagnoses, the cultural construction of disorders, and the balance between human strength and difficulty.

SOC 030 – Deviant Sex Cults? (Phil Zuckerman)
Many deviant religious movements that are centered around a charismatic leader often institute non-normative sexual practices. Why? Who joins them? What is it like being in these movements? How are the experiences different for women than for men? In this class, we will examine various non-conformist religious groups such as The Children of God/The Family, The Source Family, The Shakers, the Rajneeshees, The Oneida Perfectionists, and others that engage(d) in both novel forms of religious life and non-normative sexual dynamics. Sociological, Psychological, and Historical perspectives on deviance, religiosity, and sexuality will frame our analyses.

SPAN 033 – Intermediate Spanish (Arianna Alfaro Porras)
*Pre-requisite required – SPAN 002 or 22 required or passing a placement test (available by request)

Spanish 33 is an intensive, intermediate-level course in which students use inquiry, creativity and collaborative thinking to explore language and intersections of culture in local and global communities of Latin America and the U.S. This course is infused with opportunities to put in practice different language functions in authentic meaningful communication. This idea is conceived from and directly linked to the foundation of our Spanish program that is based on the concept that language is a social practice. Our approach in class will often be directed toward exploring how to use language for different purposes in different contexts. This process will involve strengthening cross-cultural and language communicative modes: interpersonal, interpretative, and presentational. In addition, our Study Abroad programs (Costa Rica and Ecuador) play an important role in achieving this objective through different types of interactions during the semester. This course is delivered in a blended online format with a balanced mix of asynchronous and synchronous components.