Jan 27, 2023  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Interdisciplinary Programs & Courses


Interdisciplinary

Programs

Courses

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    ID 100A Becoming a Lifelong Learner


    (1 credit)
    Designed to assist incoming Gateway to Success Summer Bridge Program students in becoming acclimated to the university culture and its academic expectations. Students will critically examine themselves as lifelong learners, exploring techniques and strategies to use as they adapt to the structures, routines and expectations of college life. Students examine their academic goals, personal strengths, and identify areas for further development; become familiar with college resources and services through in-class presentations from campus staff.  The course guides students to explore various time management strategies, examine their values, and strengthen their knowledge of effective study techniques. 

    This course is required for all students admitted to the University who attend the Gateway to Success Summer program.

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    ID 100B Becoming a Lifelong Learner


    (1 credit)
    Designed for students to examine their academic goals, personal strengths, and identify areas for further development, this proactive course guides students in reviewing learning strategies and study skill techniques. This course assists students to recognize their learning style and learn how other factors such as  health & wellness, and finances affect a student’s academic success and satisfaction in college. Students will convert their theoretical knowledge of learning strategies to practical application in the college classroom. Ultimately, the goals of this course are to help facilitate a smooth transition to college and lay the foundation for a successful college career. This course is required for all students admitted to the University via the Gateway to Success Program. 
     

    This course is required for all students admitted to the University via the Gateway to Success program.

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    ID 101 Science in Civilization I


    In this course, students learn and apply basic concepts of physics and chemistry. The interrelationships among the fields of science are stressed, and concepts are reinforced throughout the semester. Basic problem-solving skills are emphasized in both lecture and the required laboratory component. The goal of the course is to produce scientifically literate students who are able to make informed decisions in an increasingly technologically oriented world. This is a one-semester, stand-alone course for non-science majors, including those who are preparing for the teaching profession. Topics covered include the nature of science, the scientific method, motion, gravity, energy, laws of thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, waves, light, chemical reactions and nuclear energy. Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly. 

    Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly.

    Prerequisite: Satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement inventory or successful completion of MA 100  is required.
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    ID 102 Science in Civilization II


    In this course, students learn and apply basic concepts of astronomy, geology and biology. The interrelationships among the fields of science are stressed, and concepts are reinforced throughout the semester. Basic problem-solving skills are emphasized in both lecture and the required laboratory component. The goal of the course is to produce scientifically literate students who are able to make informed decisions in an increasingly technologically oriented world. This is a one-semester, stand-alone course for non-science majors, including those who are preparing for the teaching profession. Topics covered include astronomy, the origin and evolution of life, the nature of living things, geology, weather, aquatic systems, human biology and genetics.

    Three class hours and three laboratory hours weekly.

    Prerequisite: Satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement inventory or successful completion of MA 100  is required. ID 101  is not a prerequisite for this class.
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    ID 125 Strategic Career Planning


    (2 credits)
    This course is designed to broaden the scope of the professional decision-making process and develop competencies in successfully transitioning from college to career. Emphasis is placed on developing a solid foundation for major selection, career exploration, job and internship search strategies, self-assessment, and interview preparation. The class requires students to develop professional branding materials and explore careers of interest. All students enrolled in the course are required to complete assignments that culminate with the development of a personalized strategic career plan.  This course is open to all class levels. 

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    ID 135 AU Blueprint


    (2 credits)
    This course is designed to assist you in establishing good academic standing as well as gain insight on skills that will strengthen your academic acumen and become self-responsible learners.  You will be provided with tools you need to design your educational goals at Arcadia.  Discussions and activities will revolve around seizing opportunities, strengthening organizational skills, discovering new ways of learning, uncovering pathways for major and career, connecting you to campus resources and becoming resilient.

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    ID 228 Shakespeare on Stage with Seniors


    The class offers students the opportunity to engage in a cross-cultural and cross-generational experience using a dramatic text as the initial point of contact. Students will study, analyze and discuss the text; learning skills necessary create and perform as the characters from Shakespeare’s plays. They will, as a class, work with the senior citizens as they rehearse and perform scenes from the chosen Shakespeare comedy reversing age appropriate roles with the senior citizens. At the end of the semester, Arcadia students and senior citizens will perform selected scenes from the chosen Shakespeare comedy. The purpose is to engage and connect with the members of a community outside of their own and participate in the creation of a theatrical experience along with that community.

    Prerequisite: EN 101  
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    ID 252 Laughing Matters


    Why do we laugh? What is laughter? What makes something funny? How do we laugh? In this course, students will investigate, discuss and analyze the science, theories, and effects of laughter and humor. Through the study of the science of laughter, physiological and psychological processes about the brain and laughing will be investigated. The social, physical, and mental benefits will be experienced and analyzed through participation and exploration of laughter yoga, stand up performance, physical comedy, improvisation and interactive games. Through the exploration of mass media (digital, print, broadcast, and outdoor media), students will develop a comedic eye while discussing observations of various sociological and political perspectives. The universality of educational competencies of laughter and humor will be applied and implemented through a sustained fieldwork experience with elementary students and the building of a culminating project with those students.

    Students will be required to obtain three clearances (FBI, Child Abuse, and Criminal Record Check) prior to participating in the fieldwork experience. 

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    ID 325 Artist in the Community


    This course fulfills the Global Connections Experience requirement and has been designed with the criteria for those experiences in mind. It provides a sustained cross-cultural experience in conjunction with local schools and community organizations. Students engage in personal creative development through various hands-on art projects within the first section of the course. Beginning in weeks five or six, the second section provides the opportunity for students to take that creative expression to the community in order to explore the power of art to bring people together, create connections across differences, and re-create community spaces. Community service hours in organizations occur primarily during class time. The course concludes with an art exhibit of student work to be shared with the Arcadia community, friends and family. Students from a variety of disciplines are invited to enroll and no particular prior background experiences in the arts are required. All students are required, however, to make a commitment to stretching beyond the familiar as they meet new people and engage in individual and community art making.

    Note: Background checks and child abuse clearances are required for some locations.
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    ID 330 Inside Out


    This unique, experimental course is affiliated with the national Inside/Out program. The class meetings will take place at a Philadelphia-area correctional facility. where students have the opportunity to learn about the criminal justice system in the United States. The class is composed of Arcadia students (outside) and incarcerated individuals (inside). Inside and outside students meet once a week inside the facility  to discuss readings related to the course topic and to work on research projects. Students must be willing to abide by the rules and procedures of the prison and the Inside/Out program. Enrollment in the course is by permission of the Arcadia Inside Our program coordinator only. 


    NOTE: If for any reason, such as public health issues,  outside groups are not permitted to enter the facilities, Inside-Out courses may take place on Zoom with formerly incarcerated people participating as “inside” students.
    Note: An approved application and background checks are required for course  enrollment . The course also requires travel time to and from the facility, which are usually at the Philadelphia Department of Prison’s complex  in Northeast Philadelphia.

    Note: An approved application and background checks are required for this course.

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    ID 330A Inside Out: Art (Representational Drawings)


    Many advanced drawing classes focus on developing personal vision and style. In Representational Drawing, participants will review drawing basics – line, tone, perspective and composition, but the class will emphasize specific techniques required to render textures, surfaces, transparency, etc. – in fact, various ways to produce realistic still life subjects in graphite, charcoal and ink. Though the class is considered to be “advanced,” this label primarily reflects its discrete goal – i.e., the generation of accurate, realistic drawings. There are no prerequisites, though Drawing I (FA 104 ) and Drawing II (FA 105 ) are recommended.

    Goals:

    • To provide students with a comprehensive repertoire of techniques required to generate representational images.
    • To foster an environment for exchange of creative solutions and discussion related to the value of representational art.
    • To encourage thought and discussion of the relevance of art-making in restrictive settings and attitudes toward art produced in such settings.
    • To foster connections between participants on the inside and on the outside.
    • To promote creative problem solving within the perceived limitations associated with representational drawing.


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    US 203 Songwriting: A Blend of Poetry and Music


    This course will be directed toward students who consider themselves poets and are interested in adding music, and/or musicians looking to write lyrics and investigate poetry, and/or for students that just want to write songs and be a part of a songwriting team. Either way, this interdisciplinary class is designed to teach students to make beautiful, memorable (maybe even sellable) songs. It will give them an understanding of some of the best songs ever written and how/why they became so good. In this class students will be poets, musicians, critics, and scholars.

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    US 207 Global Citizenship: Who in the World Are We?


    What does it mean to be a citizen of the world? This course will explore this question from a historical, political, cultural and personal perspective. Students will develop a clearer understanding of what citizenship is, a clearer understanding of the ways citizenship is changing as a result of globalization, and a strategy to enact change in an era of globalization.

    The class will explore the question of where one’s identities come from. The class will look at global issues, such as climate change, crimes against humanity, and global poverty. What role have global citizens played in addressing these issues in the past? What will the emerging role of “global citizens” be in the future? Students will ultimately be required to take a perspective on what citizenship in a global era means for each of them. What are the rights and responsibilities associated with being a global citizen?

    Finally, we will raise questions about social change. Historically, how have definitions of citizenship been used to bring about social change? How is this different in light of globalization? How can global citizens have a positive influence on global issues? What are the change mechanisms through which they can act?
     

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    US 212 Where Race Lives, What Race Says


    In a highly racialized society like the U.S., our lived experience of race is not theoretical or abstract, but rather it’s an embodied, sensory experience that has impacted every single one of us to varying degrees. This experience deserves a voice. In this course, we use memoir and storytelling, poetry and spoken word, bodymapping and spacemapping to explore and express how we have been impacted by race personally and also how racialization affects different bodies differently.
     

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    US 213 Gender Bending & Film


    By examining the history and analyzing the previously established norms regarding cis gender or heterosexual actors in drag and transgender performances, students will be able to examine and analyze the issues and changes in 21st century transgender characters in film. Students will begin by learning the history of actors playing characters in drag, cross-dressing, and transgender roles in film. They will learn about the LGBTQ+ community’s representation in film and become familiar with gender designation vocabulary. Students will work with a writing guide for film analysis that includes vocabulary and guidelines to: interpret symbols (images, lighting, sounds, etc.) not just for the ideas they represent but also for their effects on storytelling, including but not limited to the choices made in a film help to shape that film as a unique work of art, how a technique has a certain effect on the audience, and how filmmakers achieve that effect. Students will analyze examples of mainstream cinema, the evolution of transgender characters and storylines, and how that characterization effects the lives of transgender people. Finally, students will research, analyze, and critique the controversy regarding cisgender actors playing transgender roles.
     

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    US 216 Social and Ethical Issues in Sports


    There is a lot more to sports than what takes place on the field or on the court. Just read the sports page on any particular day. There are stories of steroid abuse, recruiting violations, questions of academic eligibility, playing hurt, gambling, paying college athletes, diversity and gender issues, violence, hazing, graduation rates of student athletes, youth sports, moral and religious issues, issues related to the Olympics and politics, and the media’s relationship to sports. In this seminar, students will read, view, and discuss texts that delve into these and other issues. Learning will occur through course readings, class discussion, lecture, and writing assignments. Class trips are planned to Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field.

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    US 219 The Politics of Climate Change


    Why does California experience so many wildfires? How might we learn to see and read climate history, infographics, and photography? What do Bob the Flamingo, the Bramble Cay melomys, and Coleoptera the dung beetle have in common? Why is contact with humans so catastrophic for other life forms? How does climate change affect humans disproportionately, across geographic and socioeconomic dimensions, and gender, sex, ethnic, and racial identities? What are some of the local and regional responses to climate change? Finally, how might we use photography to communicate about climate change with the general public? Through experiential learning, visualization of climate science, readings, and photoethnography, this course introduces students to the challenges of environmental stewardship in the current geological age known as the Anthropocene. Weekly course materials include readings and visualizing climate change. The visualization of climate change is a central component of the course; visuals help us to better comprehend the politics inherent in climate change debates. The course materials further guide us in exploring critical insights from multidisciplinary research in global climate change and the environmental social sciences. In particular, we focus on the political and practical issues in climate change, including the ways that people are disproportionately impacted across geographic and socioeconomic dimensions. We pay special attention to how competing conceptualizations of self, culture, and society mediate the ways that humans experience climate change. Our initial focus is on the scientific observation of climate variables and the impact of sea-level rise due to climate change. By identifying various evidence used in climate modeling and data visualization, students determine the anthropogenic and natural causes of climate change and the impact of climate change on environmental and sociopolitical systems. Next, students examine the consequences of species extinction, natural disasters and conflict, and environmental racism in terms of the possibilities for a climate justice movement. Course assignments engage students in visual literacy, citizen science, public advocacy, and photoethnography to be agents in making sense of life with climate change.
     

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    US 225 Outcasts, Rebels and Other Normal People


    This University Seminar focuses on compelling stories of individual and collective struggles and transformations in the midst of social oppression. Topics explored include identity, conformity, prejudice, rebellion, personal and societal transformation, pluralism, social reform, human rights, and freedom. Authors may include James Baldwin, Simone de Beauvoir, Frederick Douglass, Mohandas Gandhi, Khaled Hosseini, Martin Luther King Jr., Peter Matthiessen, Arthur Miller, and Walt Whitman, to name a few.

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    US 226 Shakespeare on Stage, Page and Screen in 21st Century


    This University Seminar asks the questions: Why do we still read and perform Shakespeare? How can these centuries-old play texts, written in a style of English that we no longer speak, still be meaningful for us today? This course seeks to answer these questions by approaching Shakespeare from three distinct perspectives: Shakespeare in performance, Shakespeare as literature, and Shakespeare as film. Using a combination of methodologies and approaches, this course fosters a fuller appreciation for how Shakespearean texts written for an Early Modern audience might resonate with present-day American cultural sensibilities. Students examine how aspects of performance, cinematic imagination, and literary analysis can work together to create urgent and relevant meanings for modern audiences. Particular attention is paid to the study of visual imagery associated with Shakespeare, including the examination of visual evidence from Elizabethan/Jacobean England and the analysis of how scenic, lighting, and costuming choices can communicate meaning in contemporary film and performance contexts. Students also work actively with the play texts in class, “on our feet,” to acquire a physical and kinesthetic sense of how live performance helps condition and contributes toward our understanding of a dramatic text.

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    US 228 Science in Visual Arts


    Art and science may seem to be polar opposites; however, they are inseparable disciplines in many ways. They share the same desire to understand and investigate the world by organizing our perception. The main content of this course examines the question, “Why do we see what we see?” We address this question by looking at visual arts through the lens of science. Understanding how we visually perceive artworks and how our brain processes that information enables both art and science students to not only enrich their knowledge but also gain interdisciplinary perspectives. As a result, students create informed artworks and innovatively approach scientific research.

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    US 229 3-Dimensional Programming and Storytelling with Alice


    This course is designed to introduce students to computer programming through the use of the “Alice” programming language. “Alice” is a very simple introductory language that students will almost immediately be able to use to create animations.

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    US 230 International Computer Ethics


    This University Seminar examines the ethical consequences of the expansion of computer usage in our society and internationally. The course aims to give students a solid grounding in ethics in general and the ethical dilemmas that are unique to computer applications.

    Note: US 230 can count toward the Computer Science or Computing Technology majors and minors or the Philosophy major and minor. Non-major students who want an introduction to computer programming might consider US 229 3-Dimensional Programming and Storytelling with Alice  
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    US 231 Climate Change: Science and Policy


    This course will cover the current understanding of the earth’s climate, the changes the climate is undergoing, and how U.S. and world-wide policies are developing to address the changes. Coverage will commence with an overview of the earth sciences and climate sciences and the scientific evidence for climate change, including historical evidence of previous climate changes. An understanding of the science and data sets the stage for an understanding of the political battle in the U.S. over what, if anything, should be done. Because climate science is not a core undergraduate science, it is necessary to present it first. This will serve as a basis for a rational discussion of the generation of policy, which depends so much on the trends that the climate data indicates have already started. How other nations are being affected by and responding to climate changes will also start with the climate changes impacting them, and thereby, policy development responding to these changes. Downstream impacts can include economics, geography, social disruptions, food security, and others. Students will also evaluate how the data has translated (or not) to policy implementation. 
     

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    US 233 Copy!-Right? Creativity and Copyright


    “Blurred Lines” (2013) infringed on Marvin Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give It Up.” Or not. A person’s perspective on copyright and other intellectual property issues (inventions and patents) can depend a lot on if they are using someone else’s work or their work is getting used. This course explores how different ways of thinking about IP both protects and hinders creative expression. Visual and performing creators—formal or informal—will all gain something from taking it. Students create two transformative works of artistic expression as a basis for considering the different issues in actual practice.

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    US 234 Representations of the Spanish Civil War


    This University Seminar examines perceptions of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and their international implications. Topics discussed include the significance of the war, the political and social background of Spanish events and society, and how the conflict has been represented by Spanish, American, Canadian, English, and French writers and philosophers. Texts include journalistic perspectives as well as autobiographical accounts and poetic responses. Spanish and international films and documentaries are screened, covering topics such as women’s participation in the war and the origins of global responses to the war. This course is a bilingual course and is taught in both Spanish and English. Readings are in both Spanish and English.

    Prerequisite: SP 102  
    Note: US234.1 can count toward the History, International Studies & Spanish majors and minors.
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    US 236 Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Spain: From Eden to Exile


    This course will examine the coexistence of the three principal religions: Christianity (Catholicism), Islam, and Judaism during the Middle Ages. Tenets and beliefs of each religion will be examined in detail. Art and architecture reflecting the three religions will be analyzed and will include such national treasures as the synagogues in Toledo, the mosque in Córdoba, The Alhambra in Granada, and the cathedrals of Santiago de Compostela and Seville. Topics discussed will include the Spanish Inquisition, The Catholic kings, the reconquest, and medieval life in Europe at that time. The historical time period will cover roughly from 700-1492. Readings will include various poems written by writers of the three religions, El Cid, La Celestina, and historical documents of the epoch. Teaching the coexistence of the three religions exposes students to different ideological discourses embodied in cultural fields of the time. The class will also examine the three religions and their role in Spanish society today. This course is a bilingual course and will be taught in both Spanish and English. Readings will be in both Spanish and English.

    Prerequisite: EN 101  and SP 202  
    Note: US 236 can count toward the History, International Studies and Spanish majors and minors
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    US 239 Soulfood: Poems for Now


    In times of personal and social upheaval and uncertainty, people have always turned to poetry. This seminar delves into this phenomenon, focusing on recent and contemporary poets whose work responds to the uncertainty, anxieties, and social-justice struggles of our current time. Students draft and share their own poems inspired by and responding to these poets; they will also experience how creative work itself helps feed our souls and shows us paths forward. Designed for students with or without experience in writing poetry, the course includes instruction and exercises in specific techniques and skills. It has a Writing designation and requires three short essays as well as a portfolio of revised, polished poems.

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    US 241 Invisible Women: An Exploration of Female Entrepreneurship


    This course introduces students to the psychological, sociological, and economic dimensions of entrepreneurship as they review extant research on female entrepreneurs. Students will develop their understanding of the female entrepreneur’s (psychological) motivations for starting and owning a business, the (sociological) network of relationships she establishes to support and sustain her business, and the (economic) resources that her business uses and creates.

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    US 242 Place, Space, and the Global World: Exploring Immigrants and Identity


    In this University seminar, the lens of place is used to explore issues of immigration, migration, and ethnic identity. Immigrants and migrants have arrived, settled, built communities, laid down roots and moved on, with others arriving after them leaving layers of material traces that give significance to the present, document the past, and point to the future. They have left material traces and maintained connections with home villages in previous centuries of immigration as well as in contemporary times. Forms can be aesthetic expressions, hold memories and give meaning to everyday lives, and are symbolic of who we are in an increasingly globalized world. Students learn how different disciplines use place as an interpretive mode to understand the relationship of ethnicity to place(s), how difference (ethnicity, gender, race) is delineated in space, the politics of public space, issues of memory and place (including transnational connections), and globalization and place. A diverse range of reading assignments, images, video, and four field trips to Philadelphia will augment class discussion. The class visits a Puerto Rican urban garden and casita, a Palestinian mosque and deli, the 9th Street Market, and Chestnut Hill. The students hear firsthand from the people who work and live in these places their significance for them and the connections or disconnections of meaning they hold. An interdisciplinary approach is also reflected in the kinds of assignments required of students. In introducing students to the topic of diversity and difference, the concept of worldview and how it varies cross-culturally and over time is discussed. An ethnographic fieldwork project is required in which students must interview at least one person. During the course of the semester, through in-class exercises and take-home assignments, students are guided step-by-step in the methodology of conducting original research.

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    US 243 Science and Popular Culture


    This course will connect concepts and phenomena that are found in various scientific disciplines with aspects of popular culture. Students will explore science concepts in the areas of physics, astronomy, biology, and others. This will be achieved through media studies and analysis of popular culture mediums such as film, music, comic books, and television programs that incorporate scientific theories, principles, and people. Students will be challenged to determine accurate and inaccurate portrayals and use of science within these popular culture mediums. In doing so, students will gain a deeper understanding of scientific history and principles. Furthermore, this course will allow students to see the many ways in which science can influence popular culture.
     

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    US 244 Sound Studies, Music, and Sound Arts


    This introduction to the variety of sound-based methods of investigation and creative expression includes explorations of sound in our environment, sound as data for understanding cultural and ecological environments, and the use of found and human-made sounds for creating and performing music. Global, historical, and philosophical perspectives on sound and sound art are studied as resources for creating our own forms of sound art, music notations, and the construction of sound worlds for further exploration. Assignments include reflection on the sounds one hears and does not hear in contrasting locations, the creation of a musical instrument using found and recycled objects, experiments with visual representations of music compositions building upon the sounds of the found objects, performance of others’ compositions, and critique of contemporary experimental sound installations.

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    US 245 Music & Storytelling


    This seminar offers the student the opportunity to study the performing arts, literature, and music. The student response to the works read and viewed will be in the form of discussions and written assignments that vary from character analysis to formal research on a particular writer/composer/work. The uniqueness of the course lies in studying the connection between music and storytelling, in ballet, in plays and novels made into film and in Opera and modern dance.

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    US 248 Flying Solo: The Art of Solo Performance


    The “Solo Actor” has evolved from the ancient Greek and Roman mimes through the historic portrayals of presidents (GIVE “EM HELL HARRY) and literary greats (MARK TWAIN TONIGHT! and THE BELL OF AMHERST) to the provocative rants of “everyman/woman” in productions like Eve Ensler’s THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES and Anna Deavere Smith’s LET ME DOWN EASY. Shows can include satires, impersonations, anthologies, adaptations, and recitals but can also be classified as more personal autobiographical performance pieces. Hybrids combine a variety of performance types including mime, dance, music and poetry. What they have in common is that they are performed by one artist whose purpose is to tell a story to an audience.

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    US 250 Exploring Art in Philadelphia


    This class utilizes integrative learning to investigate the variety of artistic venues available in Philadelphia and the surrounding region. This seminar course will meet once a week at an arts venue in the Philadelphia/ Glenside area with mandatory asynchronous assignments offered via Canvas. Content delivered on Canvas will introduce, explore, and investigate the organizing principles governing art and design and will explore content and concepts in contemporary art and practice that students will experience at venues off campus. Student presentations and reflective journaling and notetaking will analyze and synthesize the experiences we have at each location. Exploring Art in Philadelphia serves as a way for students to connect what they are learning in the classroom to the variety of venues and experiences in the cultural artistic landscape around them. The course offers a working definition, through varied examples, of the artistic zeitgeist in the Philadelphia region.

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    US 251 The Hero Culture: A Quest for Truth


    The main purpose of this course is to provide each student with an opportunity to develop their own answers to the question, “What makes a person extraordinary?” Students will begin the course by examining established “heroes,” both real and imaginary, and compiling a list of the traits they possess and actions that they perform that the students deem worthy of the word “heroic.” Students will then be presented with lesser-known real-life individuals and fictional characters, those they normally might not connect with the word “hero,” and will be asked to examine them as potential repositories of excellence. What elements of this person or character are constructive or even potentially destructive to our ideas of self and the society we live in? What can I learn from their behavior? What of them do I see in myself, and what qualities do I value more than others? What does the word “heroic” really mean to others and to me? Should I re-examine, change, or expand my personal definition of heroism? How can I become more heroic in my daily life? By pursuing their individual responses, students will move away from traditionally accepted views of the “heroic” to formulate a more personalized vision of greatness. By making interconnections with fundamental sociological issues, students will be encouraged to integrate their heroic visions into their own philosophies of human existence.

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    US 253 Science Fiction and Social Reality


    This University Seminar will explore the genre of contemporary science fiction, focusing on several key themes that address the world outside the classroom. By reading several novels and watching and discussing television episodes and films, we will examine how science fiction—at once entertaining, inspiring, serious, instructive, and funny—reflects and shapes our current and future culture, beliefs, behavior, and selves. Students will read and watch texts in thematic units to gain an understanding of how science fiction frames questions about social issues and change (such as gender identity, racial equity, or environmental activism). Students will also conduct research on a contemporary social issue and have a chance to create and present their own work of speculative fiction that addresses how they would like to reflect and/or shape the conversation and the world of their own future with regards to that social issue.

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    US 254 Coming Out


    This University Seminar uses the intellectual practice of visual literacy to explore the idea of coming out—what it has meant historically and what it means in society today as it is applied to undocumented immigrants, LGBTQ+ people, those dealing with mental illness or drug addiction, survivors of sexual assault, and other stigmatized identities or experiences. Through the use of texts, pictures, videos, and personal and professional artwork, students explore the idea of coming out from many directions in multiple individual, social, and political contexts.

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    US 256 Lying Maps (& Other Spatial Fictions)


    This is a geohumanities course in learning how to see hidden realities in the everyday world and in learning to identify the values that are buried beneath the seemingly ordinary surface of our daily lives. Specifically, we will be making an interdisciplinary investigation into how the spatio-visual world is understood in the fields of cultural geography, art history, urban studies, and cartography. Our starting premise will be that if you stand on a hilltop and survey the environment as it spreads out in front of you, what you see is emphatically not what you get. To unpack this conundrum we will explore landscapes, cityscapes, and maps while asking questions like: what does it mean to decode a landscape? How can you “read” a cityscape as you walk down the street? What can we learn about a culture’s values by examining its built form? How is examining built forms different from interpreting or reading a map? How do maps and other visual representations actually help re-shape the physical world, rather than just report on what already exists? In what ways do maps lie? What contradictions exist between how places are represented and what they actually are?

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    US 258 African American Religious History: From Slavery-Free


    This course surveys the religious history of the African American enslaved. The course examines the origins of Black religion in America, the aspects of African religion that were retained by the enslaved, how enslaved African were evangelized and converted to Christianity, the nature of the Christianity to which the enslaved were converted and what was distinctive about religion in the slave quarters. The course will build students’ writing as well as analytical and research skills through completion of writing assignments, online discussions, readings, study of the Library of Congress’ narratives of the formerly enslaved, and a research paper.

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    US 260 Eco-Cinema and Climate Change


    The coming century brings grave uncertainty about our lives on the planet.  Climate change may after our ways of life; our relationship to each other, and our collective future.  This course examines the process of climate change in documentary films, fiction films, and reports issued by various government and agencies around the world.  We will chart the end of the Anthropocene- man-made-climate through these sources to assess how we are representing the most crucial global issue of the moment.  Documentary films include: Darwin’s Nightmare (2004), An Inconvenient Truth (2006), Up the Yangtze (2007), Gasland (2010), Chasing Ice (2012), Before the Flood (2016), An Incovenient Sequal-Truth to Power (2017), and The Age of Consequences (2017).  Fiction films: The Day After Tomorrow (2004), The Last Winter (2006), Wall-E (2008), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), Downsizing (2017), and Geostorm (2017).  We will examine scientific reports on impact of climate change on water availability and purity, air and pollution, radiation, mobility, etc.  Assignments include weekly class participation, evaluations of films, a research project on a specific aspect of climate change and visual project/statement representing the urgency of climate change.

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    US 261 Representations of the Holocaust


    This course will examine perceptions of the Holocaust, the systematic state-sponsored persecution of Jews, Gypsies, gays, communists, and people with disabilities by the Nazi Regime and its collaborators. We will analyze the international implications, repercussions, and genocide. Topics discussed will include the significance of the holocaust, the political and historical events preceding it, philosophical debates about good and evil, theories of violence and authority, memory and survival, gender and holocaust representation, and the concept of a willing perpetrator. Readings will include various accounts of the Holocaust, both fictional and autobiographical, and we will study their effects on the reader. We will also examine visual culture and the Holocaust such as photos, movies, and comics and how popular culture shapes public memory.

    Prerequisite: EN 101  
    Note: US261 can count toward the minor in German.
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    US 262 Sex, Sin & Kin: The Genesis, Evolution and Future of Gender


    The ways in which whole sets of ideologies and practices function to define, direct and limit gender and gendered activities differ markedly according to time, place and culture. The purpose of this course is to explore key issues and debates in the history of women and men, in cross-cultural perspective, within the framework of the relationship between gender and change. The main focus of the course is the gendered experiences of women in the modern world, specifically the West, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Far East, with selected references to historical antecedents in the pre-modern world. Students examine the variety of ways in which women have reflected upon and reacted to the gendered conditions of their lives. We explore representations and self-representations of women within and external to specific cultures. This includes understanding how the categorization as male and female determines so many aspects of individual lives and personal power, the power of groups, and the larger systems of power they confront. The course also raises the question of the future direction of gender, social responsibility and change. Assignments consist of readings in anthropology, history, gender theory, literature, and memoirs. 

    Note: US 262 can count toward the History and International Studies majors and minors.
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    US 263 Postcolonialism on Screen


    This course is primarily interested in how colonial and postcolonial subjects and identities have been constructed, negotiated, contested, and resisted. Thus, a fundamental question asked here is: How has the colonial experience restructured thinking about race, culture, class, economy, politics, and sexuality? To explore these key issues and questions, this course will examine how films have represented different themes in postcolonial studies. Students will read key texts in postcolonial studies and then attempt to understand how issues raised in these texts are represented in film.

    Note: US 263 can count toward the International Studies major and minor.
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    US 265 Jewish Humor


    This course is taught from a historical perspective from the shtetls of Eastern Europe, to Jewish life in the U.S. between 1880 and 1924, to the Catskills of the 1940s (known as the Borscht Belt Comics), Lenny Bruce in the 1950s, Woody Allen and Jackie Mason in the 1960s and 70s, and contemporary Jewish humorists such as Joan Rivers, Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, Adam Sandler, Sacha Baron Cohen, Chelsea Handler, and Sarah Silverman. We will analyze Jewish humor and its origins as a defense against suffering and persecution. We will watch films such as “Annie Hall” and “Borat” as well as clips of Seinfeld episodes and stand-up comedians and analyze the humor from a visual perspective such as the use of props, shticks, etc. We will examine Jewish humor—which originally started as a response to oppression, hardship, and terror—and what happens when that oppression disappears. Focus is on the importance of comedy in Jewish culture and in the immigration and assimilation of Jewish people.

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    US 266 Understanding the Age of Genocide


    This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study and understanding of genocide from several theoretical foundations and perspectives, including political science, international law, peace and conflict resolution, sociology, anthropology, psychology, and history. The course will harness different perspectives on the formation of genocide in modern and historical settings while highlighting the potential avenues for preventing future genocidal acts. Subjects covered will include the underpinnings of the concept of crimes against humanity, the psychology of group violence, historical revisionism, transitional justice, reconstruction, reconciliation, trauma healing, the responsibility to protect and humanitarian intervention, and conflict prevention and resolution. These main themes will be highlighted through numerous genocide case studies from each continent as well as exploring lesser known or contested historical cases. The course will also feature guest lectures from genocide survivors, opportunities for research and reflection, and a simulation on humanitarian intervention in a contemporary genocide case.

    Note: US 266 can count toward the International Studies major and minor.
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    US 268 Utopia/Dystopia


    In this course students examine the twin phenomena of utopian/dystopian thought from several disciplinary angles–philosophical, political, literary, religious, and architectural. In doing so students will also explore the myriad ways in which utopian and dystopian thinking are related forms of social critique of the present moment. We will read novels, watch films, learn about experimental living on communes, and examine the plans of architects and urban planners. Throughout the semester we will ask questions like: what motivates people to try to construct a perfect world? What do utopian and dystopian expressions tell us about a society’s values? Where is the line between utopian and dystopian thinking?

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    US 270 First Amendment Abridged


    This class will focus on First Amendment rights. It is the foundation upon which we chose to build this country, and, yet, it is arguably the most debated and morphing of all rights. Why? We will look at precedent setting court cases that deal with First Amendment issues such as book banning, hate speech, obscenity, restriction during war time, etc. We will examine moments in time and the cultural climate that provides the rationale for our legal and moral attitudes about freedom of speech and expression and censorship. Students will come to understand what they consider to be their guaranteed right to freedom of expression and when and how they are willing to have those rights abridged (if at all).

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    US 271 Great Cases in International Law


    This course introduces students to international affairs through some major cases of international law, discussing their political and historical circumstances, the process and the outcome, with a conclusion on the impact on contemporary international affairs. Through the cases, the students examine some core principles of international law, including international human rights law, international criminal law, and the law of armed conflict, and discuss their parallel with rules of the domestic legal systems. The course also introduces students to the relevance of international law in the domestic legal system and the complexity of issues of international affairs. The course offers an overview of the most unique, pervasive, and influential international law cases with, in some instances, a particular interest for the United States.

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    US 272 Getting It Off Your Chest


    This course is designed to develop students’ skills in writing editorials, Op-Eds, personal essays, columns, online writing, broadcast essays, as well as music, movie, and restaurant reviews and to give them insight into advocacy journalism and writing. Students will be exposed to various research and writing techniques essential to editorial writing and will be encouraged to publish their Op-Eds in newspapers and on websites.

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    US 273 Visual Propaganda of Armed Conflict


    Armed conflicts have occurred in the historical record for thousands of years and the use of propaganda to support such endeavors has occurred nearly as long. While the development of new weapons technology and combat tactics has evolved over centuries, the use of propaganda has been present to justify the conflict, recruit participants, raise national awareness, or to present images of war to the population. Some of these images have become the most iconic of our time. From the early photography used during the U.S. Civil War, propaganda posters of the World Wars, the televised images of Vietnam, to the images of today, the use of propaganda in armed conflict has impacted the way individuals perceive armed conflicts around the globe. In this class, students will explore the complex dynamics of conflict with a focus on evaluating the impact of propaganda. Utilizing primary and secondary sources, the students will gather information on the strategic use of propaganda and examine its psychological, artistic, and nationalistic elements.

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    US 274 Witches & Warriors: Powerful Women in Pop Culture


    Witches and female warriors offer two of the most iconic representations of powerful women in pop culture. Though these representations are often contested, debated, and tied to desirability, they also shape the way that our modern culture views feminine strength. This course will combine visual representations of witches and warriors in fiction with a variety of critical readings and seminar-style discussions to analyze the various ways that feminine power is represented in stories such as Aliens, The Witches of Eastwick, Xena, Wicked, and Star Wars to name a few. We will explore theoretical and archetypal concepts of beauty, sexuality, and power to establish working definitions of these concepts so that we may then apply them to the visual representations of iconic female characters of film, television, theater, and comics. Using theories from cultural studies, film and gender studies, and literary studies, we will explore how the cultural legacy of feminine power is tied to our notions of gender, race, social status, sexuality, identity, and agency.
     

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    US 275 Scientific Ethics


    This course focuses on the interactions of science and technology with societal values and ethics. Different ethical systems are examined to provide context for diverse perspectives. While scientific knowledge provides factual information on what is known and is possible, decisions on the application of technology are dependent upon a society’s acceptance or restrictions. Topics will include contemporary value conflicts associated with the distribution of and access to the benefits and burdens of modern technologies such as energy production, stem cell therapy, and genetic engineering.

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    US 276 The Secret Symbols of Pop Culture


    This course provides an in-depth exploration of the way we are constantly manipulated in movies, television shows, art, and advertisements through the use of mystic and religious symbols, names, and even colors. In this seminar, students are given a survey of the following topics: heroes’ journeys, heroines’ journeys, alchemy, ring composition, morality plays, mythology, Christian symbolism, and the symbolism used by the Mormon, Buddhist, and Jewish traditions. The class is progressive and the pieces used in turn become more complex so that students may see multiple layers of symbolism. In addition, students keep a journal, collecting images associated with each week’s topic. At the end of the course, they use their knowledge to create an original work, layering multiple levels of symbolism into the work.

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    US 279 Environmental Science & Policy


    This seminar explores environmental pollution, its underlying sciences—toxicology, pollution chemistry, and environmental science—and the law and regulations governing pollution, looking to see the links between these two disciplines. Lectures, in-class exercises, and a project (report and presentation) for groups of students will provide the students with an understanding of the current state of law and science on pollution.

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    US 280 Exploring Entrepreneurship in the Arts


    This course explores the relationship between art making and entrepreneurship with an active focus on self-discovery. Using the seminar format, classes consist of group discussions, lectures, projects, independent work (readings/videos), guest speakers, and field trips. The course has an online syllabus and website, including electronic versions of all readings/texts, links to artists, writers, theorists, galleries, business people, films, videos, case studies, and other online content; accounting and marketing software, e-commerce, social media, etc. Course content is organized into three units. “Unit I. Models” includes a historical and visual survey of entrepreneurship in the arts, including visual, theoretical, and quantitative analyses of artist/entrepreneur case studies, guest speakers, and online resources. In “Unit II: Creative Notions: Philosophies/Ethics/Commerce,” students address the questions and concepts raised in the process of blending art with commodity, contracts, copyright, intellectual property, budgeting, and financial statements. In “Unit III: Practice: Business Planning for a Creative Enterprise,” students carry out a practical application of course concepts by creating a business plan, using both visual and quantitative reasoning in their arts-entrepreneurial business plan development.

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    US 282 Silence


    Our culture values sound, voice, music, and noise. Unaware of our own senses in the midst of modern life, we have lost the meaning of silence. Silence is always defined in negative terms, as absence of sound, as a void and as a gap to be filled. We are not comfortable with silence. This course examines the philosophical meaning of silence across cultural and religious traditions. We will ask a number of questions: What is silence? How do other cultures understand silence? What is the place of silence in Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam? Are paintings silent? Are images silent? Is there a place for silence in architecture? Can/must we travel far away in search of silence? Is it possible to find/seek silence? How do we understand silence on its own terms? Did sound technology destroy silence? Is silence an environmental issue? Is death an experience of silence? How did modernism change our understanding and experience of silence?

    Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher.
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    US 283 Walking


    This course is about “learning to walk” in our thinking, in the spaces around us and in the two cities near us: Philadelphia and New York City. We will learn from Jean-Jacques Rousseau how to become advocates for walking for contemplation. We will follow Walter Benjamin’s path as flâneurs in the spaces around us. This course explores the philosophy and the politics of walking. In addition to essays, philosophical works, travelogues, maps of our living spaces, and films, we will reflect on one of the most urgent philosophical and political issues of our time. Exercises will include essays, group symposia, walking diaries, and examining the relationship between walking and representation in film.

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    US 284 Arts Leadership and Management


    This seminar explores topics related to arts and culture leadership and management. Course content focuses on practical skills necessary for careers as professional artists, curators, administrators, and leaders of arts and culture organizations. This includes administrative principles, program development, practical applications, and trends in the current arts and cultural environment. Topics will also include principles of nonprofit management and structures, concise business writing, grant writing, demographics research, fundraising, arts education, ethical practice in community-based arts programs, marketing, communications, and leadership styles. The course will include established and emerging arts leaders as key guest speakers.

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    US 286 Myths, Metaphors, and Morals in the Whedonverse


    Joss Whedon—an American television and film screenwriter, director, and producer—has become one of the most iconic and influential movers of pop culture. He is the creator of multiple cult shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Dollhouse and has been intimately involved in major film franchises including Toy Story, and The Avengers. Currently, Joss Whedon has more scholarly books and articles written about him and his artistic visions than any other living writer today. Buffy the Vampire Slayer debuted as a TV series in 1997 and is to this day considered one of the most artistic and metaphor-ridden shows to successfully document the teenage experience. How did the show reach this level of cultural importance and popularity? Can we understand its rise and appeal through deconstruction? In this course we will be studying Joss Whedon as a writer, artist, and director. We will explore the artistry behind his shows, attempt to understand the ways he drew on myth and created lasting images and storylines that feel timeless, as well as explore the underlying morals that seem to guide his storytelling choices. We will explore the psychology, mythology, philosophy, feminism, writing, and directorial choices of one of today’s most important storytellers.

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    US 287 Short Story and Photography


    This course will examine that relationship through a close reading of several short stories by figures such as Julio Cortázar, Italo Calvino, John Updike, Raymond Carver, Cynthia Ozick, William Faulkner, Bing Xin, Dorris Dörrie, E. Annie Proulx and others. We will proceed with the thesis that the relationship between short story and photography arises out of one of the fundamental paradoxes of photography: photographs are borne as “moments in time,” but their survival depends on the irresistible and inevitable stories they generate. With that in mind, the course will include exercises in writing short stories as responses to existing and new photographs.

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    US 290 Science Fiction, Fantasy & the Environment


    This course explores the ecological vision of selected fantasy and science fiction works (both literature and film).  As a class, we will investigate how the alternate views of the environment presented in works of fantastic fiction encourage us to rethink our assumptions regarding the human-made problems affecting our environment today.  We also use these works to examine our personal relationship towards the environment and consider the duty we have, if any, to help preserve and protect the world around us.  Can fantastic fiction spur real world action?  We will attempt to answer this question by reading excerpts from The Lord of the Rings and works by Ursula K. Leguin, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Ray Bradbury, among others.  We will also watch several visual works, including the movie Soylent Green and Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke.

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    US 292 Sociology of the Simpsons


    Using The Simpsons television show as a road map, this course will explore several social themes across American culture as they are portrayed in broadcast media, emphasizing and improving students’ own sociological imagination.  The Simpsons is America’s longest running sitcom and has provided countless hours of entertainment while making community issues relevant and relatable.  In this course we will examine many different social themes through the eyes and lives of the main characters and the universe that they occupy.  Our emphasis will be on how wide the spectrum of social issues The Simpsons encroaches upon as well as how broadcast media uses vehicles like The Simpsons to discuss social issues and concerns affecting American society.  Through assignments and readings, students will gain a deeper understanding and hopefully a new outlook on how social issues can be discussed openly and through the media.  Students will employ their sociological imagination when they create a script for an episode of The Simpsons that involves a social concern. They will also have an opportunity to explore a social topic and its impact in broadcast media in more depth through several research assignments.

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    US 293 Untapped: Exploring the Socio-Cultural and Scientific World of Beer


    This course introduces students to the world of beer, by exploring the cultural, historical, social, and political dimensions of this beverage as well as the science and technology that is used in the brewing process. Students will trace the historical legacy of beer to several ancient empires (i.e., Mesopotamia, Aztec, Egypt, and China) and also evaluate the contemporary state of beer in the United States. Students will also examine the intersection of race, class, and gender in the production and consumption of beer.  In addition to the cultural and historical coverage, students will also examine the brewing process by brewing their own beer at a local craft brewery, which will be evaluated by faculty and staff. Lastly, students will visit local craft breweries to further understand the brewing process and participate in a sensory evaluation. 

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    US 294 Fashion, Italian Style


    Why do we immediately associate Italy with style and fashion?  The course traces the origins of ideas of personal style and social grace in the courts of the Italian Renaissance and their transformation through modern history.  Italy provides a perfect case study to observe the evolution of fashion from traditional handcrafting to one of main national industries, leading to the establishment of Made in Italy as a global brand, both in clothing and in industrial design.  Special attention is paid to fashion advertising images, and how they reflect or problematize dominant notions of gender and nationality.  An additional focus is on Italian cinema, both as it portrays the fashion industry and as it uses fashion in costume design and set decoration.

    Films will be screened with English subtitles, class discussion all readings are in English; no knowledge of Italian required.

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    US 295 European Cinema: Politics, Melodrama, Entertainment


    The class will focus on recent European cinema, in particular how popular genres (melodrama, comedy, etc.) reflect on the sociopolitical struggles of contemporary Europe. We will consider productions from several European countries (France, Italy, Germany, Spain, UK, etc.) to examine how such films comment on social reality in confronting issues that are challenging public opinion in Europe and around the world. We will examine how these films appeal to the audience’s emotional response, whether that is tears, laughter, anger, or fear. Social issues to be examined will include especially immigration and racism, economic crisis, class differences, and sexuality and gender expectations.   

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    US 299 World War I: History, Literature and Film


    A little over a century ago, the Great War was raging. No one knew the death and destruction that would take place and certainly no one anticipated a sequel. Many current global trends and events can trace their origins to World War I. This seminar investigates the film and literature of World War I from contemporaries to the present. Classic literature from Remarque to Hemingway will be read and analyzed. Films from All Quiet on the Western Front to War Horse will be viewed to learn how the horrors of the war have been portrayed through the years. Students will inquire how documentaries about the war have changed from the mid-twentieth century to the twenty-first.