Autumn 2022 Seminars

Body

Seminars listed under ASC 1137 have letter grades; those listed under ASC 1138 are graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory.

Seminars meet for the full semester unless otherwise noted.

Letter Graded A-E

Dreams and Dream Interpretation in Antiquity: Social Mores and Daily Life (FULL)

Professor J. Albert Harrill | ARTSSCI 1137.01 | Class # 27147

Friday, 10:20 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

All people dream. But what do dreams tell? Do all dreams require interpretation? What light does professional dream interpretation shed on the history of social mores? This course tackles these big questions historically, from the perspective of the ancient world, by examining the only professional dream handbook to have survived from Greco-Roman antiquity: Artemidorus, The Interpretation of Dreams (early third century C.E.). Study of Artemidorus moves us across disciplines, thanks to its most notable admirer in modern times, Sigmund Freud, and Artemidorus today continues to find numerous enthusiastic readers--and even practical users. That is because the book presents a sort of beginner's manual, in which Artemidorus collects dreams from a wide range of people--men and women, boys and girls, free and enslaved, rich and poor--in order to teach the tricks of the trade. This primary text is a fascinating entree into the question of how to conceptualize slavery, gender, religion, social mores, and the family in the ancient world.  It teaches us how to do history "from below," beyond the standard textbook evidence produced by and for the aristocratic elite. We learn a great deal about the ordinary lives of Greeks living under the Roman Empire.  A close reading of this primary text in its cultural context will characterize how this seminar will proceed. No prior knowledge of dream interpretation or ancient religion is required.

Graphic Novel and Storytelling

Dr. Cathy Ryan | ARTSSCI 1137.02 | Class # 36050

Tuesday and Thursday, 12:40 p.m. to 1:35 p.m. 7 Week Session 1

Graphic Novel and Storytelling is a one-credit (A-E) seminar on storytelling and graphic novels that meets Tuesdays and Thursdays during a 7-week period (First Term). The seminar will provide students foundational understanding of modes of reading, authorship, and interpretation. Students will learn storyboarding, how to read, and ways to compose visual texts. Discussion topics include precursors to the graphic novel and Pixar’s “22 Rules of Storytelling.” Lessons include “Storyboarding,” “Graphic Arts and Adaptation,” “Social Activism and Documentary,” and “’Memoir’ Graphic Novels.” Short readings, video clips, and animated films will be principal course texts. Students will visit the Galleries in the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, participate in a project showcase, and attend Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC).

Much of the work this term takes place in the classroom without too much homework. Students will share, explore, and create original compositions. This seminar will appeal strongly to all-level students interested in art, English studies, storytelling, graphic novel, digital literacy, visual design, and film.

What's Love Got to Do With It? Women, Men, and Romance

Professor Linda Mizejewski | ARTSSCI 1137.03 | Class # 26372

Monday, 1:50 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

What does romance mean in the era of digital dating, hookup culture, and the MeToo movement? Does romance mean different things across gender, racial, and sexual differences? How is romance related to love and longterm relationships? This course explores romance as a social, cultural, biochemical, and psychological phenomenon, focusing on its contemporary practices and discourses. Our topics will include wedding culture, intimate-partner violence, college dating practices, and the importance of the rom com as a popular representation of romance. Our ongoing questions will engage issues of race, class, sexuality, and ability in relation to these topics.

"Headless Body in Topless Bar": Researching Tabloid Journalism

Professor Gerry Greenberg | ARTSSCI 1137.04 | Class # 25703

Thursday, 10:20 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

How do you view the tabloids? Guilty pleasure? Car wreck journalism? Slander and defamation? Why do National Enquirer stories end up in the New York Times? If it's trash, why do so many people care? This course will address these issues and more. Academically, the tabloids have a place in folklore, anthropology, history, and law as well as journalism. We will examine the phenomenon of tabloid journalism as it appears in print and electronic media, and demonstrate the use of research tools for discovering information on the subject.  Readings will investigate the tabs from several academic and popular perspectives. Students will search for, examine and discuss tabloid journalism's place in popular culture.

Racism, Social Justice, and Higher Education in HBCUs and PWIs

Professor Judson Jeffries and Professor Joy McCorriston | ARTSSCI 1137.05 | Class # 26388

Wednesday, 2:00 p.m. to 2:55 p.m.

This course will feature prominently the history of universities and colleges in cultural contexts. Together in faculty-led discussions, we will learn about the ways in which higher education both promotes and undermines democracy in the US. Building on a foundational understanding of the value of an education, we will explore the future of higher education and its merits in its global context. Not only will we discuss those US universities considered the most prestigious such as Harvard, Yale, University of Chicago, but we will also study Historically Black Colleges and Universities, e.g., Howard University, Fisk University, Tuskegee University.

More than Just Recipes: Exploring American Cookbooks

Professor Jolie Braun | ARTSSCI 1137.06 | Class # 36492

Wednesday, 9:10 a.m. to 10:05 a.m.

Although we’re all familiar with cookbooks, most people typically don’t give them much thought: they’re just collections of recipes. Yet they also include many other components: advice, personal narratives, and artwork, as well as ideas about what kind of foods to eat and how to prepare them. While cookbooks have a utilitarian value, they are also often aspirational texts (meaning that they help readers imagine and possibly try to realize who they want to be). This class takes cookbooks seriously, and we’ll spend the semester studying some American classics of the genre. We will consider how cookbooks have been a way to document food and cooking trends and advancements in technology; promote specific ideas about nutrition and health; record stories of communities; and how they reveal the values and concerns of the historical moment in which they were created. By the end of this course, you’ll have a deeper understanding of how cookbooks have both reflected and helped shape ideas about food and identity in the United States over the past two hundred years.

To help us think about these topics, we will examine American cookbooks from 1796 through the 21st century. This course will be based in the Rare Books & Manuscripts Library (RBML) and we will have the opportunity to work with materials in RBML’s Peter D. Franklin Cookbook Collection during class sessions.

How to Live a Fulfilling Life (FULL)

Professor Jennifer Patton | ARTSSCI 1137.07 | Class # 28314

Monday, 1:50 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Who am I? What do I want? How might I create the life I envision? This First-Year Seminar will serve as an avenue to explore questions critically important to the development of college students as they transition to adult life—questions rarely posed in traditional classrooms: Who am I? What do I want? What do I value? How might I create the life I envision? We’ll examine the work of philosophers and essayists ranging from Epictetus and Montaigne to Viktor Frankl and Maya Angelou in addition to academic theories from life satisfaction and emotional-state theorists. Along the journey, we’ll engage in journal prompts designed to help students better understand who they are, what they value and what type of life they want to build. Finally, students will create a possibility map for themselves based on their semester-long self-discoveries.

Black Greek-Letter Fraternities and Sororities in American Life

Professor Judson Jeffries | ARTSSCI 1137.08 | Class # 37159

Friday, 1:30 p.m. to 2:25 p.m.

This course will feature prominently the history of Black Greek-letter fraternities and sororities at both historically Black campuses as well as predominantly white campuses universities. We will learn about the ways in which Black Greek-letter fraternities and sororities both promotes academic success, leadership and racial and gender equality. Finally, students will learn how the advent of Black Greek-letter fraternities and sororities have helped change the landscape in higher education in both the 20th and 21st centuries.  

Political Courage

Professor Vladimir Kogan | ARTSSCI 1137.09 | Class # 28291

Monday, 11:00 a.m. to 11:55 a.m.

Politics and public policy shape the lives of ordinary people in profound ways. This course examines how policymakers make decisions and the forces that influence their thinking. In particular, we will examine the case of housing desegregation in the city of Yonkers, New York--as dramatically depicted in HBO's miniseries "Show Me a Hero"--to think about how, and under what conditions, people with honorable intentions succeed in translating their goals into policy. We will also identify the forces that may thwart their efforts and the courage sometimes required to do the right thing in politics.

The Legacy of The Sopranos

Professor Sean O’Sullivan | ARTSSCI 1137.10 | Class # 24995

Friday, 9:10 a.m. to 10:05 a.m.

Every young person in America is watching The Sopranos. That was the claim last fall in the headline of a New York Times article, which noted that the show’s streaming hours tripled during the pandemic, and suggested that a “new audience is seeing something different” in the series that took television by storm more than twenty years ago. That apparent full-on revival was recently confirmed in the most highly visible of cultural spaces: a Super Bowl commercial, one that painstakingly recreated the opening credits of the show, this time featuring Tony Soprano’s daughter Meadow literally in the driver’s seat. This course will consider what The Sopranos was, how it both challenged and embraced the conventions of television, and how television in 2022 reflects the series’ legacy. We will focus on the first season, week by week, looking closely at the strategies that The Sopranos adopted in 1990 from the established rhythms of serial storytelling in order to create itself, and then to transform the language of television and our collective expectations of the medium. The course trajectory will consider how the television season—arguably the most compelling narrative form of the first decades of the 21st century—was rediscovered and remade through The Sopranos’ improvised experiment.

A Study of Sin: Moral Psychology (FULL)

Professor Steven Bengal | ARTSSCI 1137.11 | Class # 24416

Monday, 12:40 p.m. to 1:35 p.m.

A runaway trolley is steaming towards five incapacitated people on the tracks, but with the flip of a switch, you can divert it off of this track! However, it will be diverted into a second track, where another person lays incapacitated. Modern moral conundrums, like the trolley problem, are the center of a debate about what people SHOULD do: is it morally correct to pull the switch, or not? But how people SHOULD make moral decisions, and how they actually DO, are often quite different. This class is an exploration of contemporary moral psychology: the science of how people come to their moral decisions. It will consist of reading and discussion on psychology research into guilt, moral dumbfounding, taboo, emotion, psychopathy and more. Of what makes a saint, and a sinner, and everything between.

Personal Identity and Personality: Why we are Who we are

Professor Nancy Rudd | ARTSSCI 1137.12 | Class # 37104 

Tuesday, 11:10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 7 Week Session 1, Hybrid delivery

We examine the key components of our personal identity (including cultural, gender, spiritual, and other important personal or social identities) and the construct of personality to understand how we think of ourselves as we do and how we present ourselves to others. Using short assessments of these aspects, students will complete a final project in which they focus on personal style (apparel, accessories, hair, social media images) as they compose and present their identities publicly to others.

Life Hacks through (Psy) Pod Casts

Professor Lisa Cravens-Brown | ARTSSCI 1137.13 | Class # 37137

Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. to 12:25 p.m.

Psychology research has so much to offer us all, but reading research can be difficult and feel like a chore. New college students already have enough difficult reading to work through, but there are still valuable things that psychology has to offer the entering freshman. Enter podcasts! Employing this useful popular media resource, we will explore a few of the important life lessons psychology has to offer new students. I have curated a list of research-based popular media sources through which we will explore a number of “life hacks” and their implications for students’ lives as scholars and in their personal lives.

Money Can Grow on Trees: Sustainable Development in Costa Rica

Professor Ozeas Costa | ARTSSCI 1137.14 | Class # 37138

Friday, 3:30 p.m. to 4:25 p.m. 

Costa Rica, the “Green Republic”, known worldwide for its conservation efforts, attracts millions of tourists to its parks and reserves every year. After accelerated deforestation between 1830 and 1980, the country experienced a remarkable transformation, moving from only 20% forest cover in 1990 to almost 60% forest cover today. This all happened while the country – once considered “the poorest Spanish colony” – became the most prosperous and stable democracy in Central America. Over the last 25 years, the country has tripled its GDP, reached a 98% literacy rate, established a high-quality universal health care system, achieved life expectancy rates higher than the United States, and almost 100% of the country’s energy comes from clean, renewable sources. In this course, we will explore how this tiny Central American country managed to undergo this unprecedented change. Through assigned readings, discussions, and group activities, we will investigate the social, cultural, economic, and environmental drivers of this transformation, and explore how the country navigates the complex relationship between conservation of natural resources and economic development.

Happiness: What is it and who gets it?

Professor Jennifer Cheavens | ARTSSCI 1137.15 | Class # 37139

Wednesday, 1:50 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

If you ask people what they want in the future, most of them will tell you they want to be happy. New parents will tell you that it doesn’t matter what their child does in the future as long as that child is healthy and happy. College students let you know that they want a future career and relationships that bring them meaning and happiness. People nearing retirement say that they want to spend their time doing the things that make them happy. What exactly are we envisioning when we set our sights on a happy future? What do we know about what makes us happy? Is happiness for the few or for the many – can we all be happy? Is it something that needs to “be found” or is happiness something that is accessible to us at any given moment? Do we need to be successful before we can be happy or does being happy increase the likelihood that we will be successful? In this seminar, we will examine the lessons gleaned from the scientific study of happiness and well-being. Each week we will cover a new topic in the study of happiness and will attempt to put these lessons into practice.

Depression in Modern Times: From Conceptualization through Treatment

Professor Dan Strunk | ARTSSCI 1137.16 | Class # 37393

Wednesday, 10:20 a.m. to 11:15. a.m.

Mood disorders are common, sometimes debilitating, mental health conditions with considerable societal costs. These disorders include depression, bipolar disorder, and several variants of these disorders. In industrialized nations, depression alone ranks among the leading causes of disability. Bipolar disorder, while less common, is associated with even more marked impairments. In this course, we will focus primarily on depression and examine a number of key questions.

We will consider questions such as: How have we come to define depression as we do? How do we understand the vast individual differences in how people experience depression and related mood disorders? How does the experience of mood disorders differ across cultures? What role do genes and environment play in the mood disorders? How effective are some of the key treatments used to treat depression? How do they work? How can we best use available treatments to provide the best care for those with depression?

The Second Sex in the Third Reich: Women in Nazi Germany

Professor Birgitte Søland | ARTSSCI 1137.17 | Class # 37495

Tuesday, 3:00 p.m. to 3:55 p.m.

Most research on Nazi Germany and World War II focuses on men and male experiences. In contrast, this course focuses on the lives and experiences of German women during the Nazi Era (1933-1945). Based on historical evidence we will seek to find answers to a variety of questions: How did the Nazi Party understand women?  What roles were women supposed to play in Nazi Germany? Why did some women support the Nazis? How did Nazi policies impact the lives of women from different backgrounds, including Jewish women?  How did World War II impact German women? And, finally, did gender play a role in the Holocaust? If so, how?           


back to top

Graded S/U

From Apollo to Space X: The History of the U.S. Space Program

Professor John Horack and Professor Caroline Wagner | ARTSSCI 1138.01 | Class # 35193

Monday, 5:30 p.m. to 7:20 p.m 7 Week Session 1

In the 1960s, the United States of America undertook a great adventure of putting humans into outer space. The epic saga is infused with triumph, tragedy, and intrigue. Many political, social, and technological factors are interwoven in the remarkable achievements tied to America’s space program. This class will explore America’s commitment to space travel, beginning with the Mercury Program, the Apollo Moon Landing Program, the Space Shuttle, and the International Space Station. The course will examine the political reasons for the creation of the space program, the role of the public in providing support, and the technology that succeeded in supporting this monumental achievement. Following the mission to the Moon, America’s space program has taken unexpected turns, and we will discuss the rise of the private sector in plans for SpaceX and others to put both cargo and humans into space over the long term.

The Space Behind Our Eyes: Mental Health, Campus Life & Creative Self-Expression

Professor Jeffrey Haase | ARTSSCI 1138.02 | Class # 36491

Tuesday, 10:20 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. 

The issue of mental health on campuses continues to eclipse almost everything, which is especially concerning to incoming freshman. 2020 increased the instability of our physical and mental capacity. Knowledge and expression are two ways of addressing the collective issues facing this ever-increasing complex topic. This class begins with the book, “Learning How to Do Nothing” by Jenny Odell that explores ways of resisting the attention economy. The course will dive into the rabbit holes about mental health and campus life through a series of articles, podcasts, videos, and topical research gathering techniques. We will take a broad look at examples and structures of creative expression and innovative storytelling. The final assignment will ask each student to create a story covering learnings, experiences, and feelings of what is important to know about mental health and campus life. These can take the form of videos, audio recordings, poetry, drawings, comic strips, short stories and installations. In addition students will post weekly in a coordinated effort on an Instagram page that visually journals our findings and conversations.

Technology for Social Justice

Professor Kevin Passino | ARTSSCI 1138.03 | Class # 35195

Wednesday, 10:20 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Course Goals: (i) Make students aware of the state of poverty, development, and racism in the world, (ii) Show students an approach to anti-poverty/anti-racist technology development, and (iii) provide an introduction to two research areas in research.

Course Content: The course content includes: (i) an introduction to the state of poverty and development in the world, (ii) an introduction to race and racism, (iii) an overview of social justice, (iv) a summary of the major approaches to promote development, (v) an introduction to a participatory development methodology for technology, (vi) an introduction to racial/algorithmic bias with examples, and (vii) a presentation of four current research challenges, two in anti-poverty technology and two in antiracist technology.

Global Climate Change and Earth's Future

Professor Joel Wainwright | ARTSSCI 1138.04 | Class # 27146

Tuesday, 1:50 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

An examination of global climate change through an interdisciplinary lens combining the natural sciences, history, film, decision science, and contemporary political discourse. We attempt to connect the dots linking our knowledge of the natural world with the actions, or lack thereof, being taken in response to this purportedly existential threat.

The Creative Habit

Professor Ashley Perez | ARTSSCI 1138.05 | Class # 36820

Tuesday, 9:10 a.m. to 10:05 a.m.

Do you think you're too busy to be creative? Have you let yourself be fooled by the myth that some people are creative but others are not? What if you learned that creativity is a habit that you can develop? For you, this habit might create resonant words, splashes of color, bursts of music, the first strokes of your graphic novel, or a surprising sense of tranquility. Or maybe it will lead to something else altogether. In this seminar, we will explore big ideas about creativity and experiment with hands-on strategies for building creative practice. No two paths through the course will be the same, but what's sure is this: when you commit a few minutes each day to cultivating the creative habit, your well being increases, your perspective on the world shifts, and your insight deepens. What will your creative habit look like? Come find out!

Policing, Race, and Space in the U.S.

Professor Mathew Coleman | ARTSSCI 1138.06 | Class # 24994

Monday, 10:20 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

The Ferguson MO shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, catapulted the problem of racialized police power into the headlines of the U.S. (and global) media, and thereby sparked an intense national--and again, global--conversation on the intersection of police power, race, and urban governance in American cities. However, unlike other well-known and media scrutinized accounts of racialized police violence in the U.S.--for example, Rodney King's beating at the hands of LAPD officers in March 1991, which led to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, or Marquette Frye's arrest by a white California Highway Patrolman in August 1965, which prompted the so-called Watts Riot--Brown's killing has directed popular media and public attention towards what we might call the persistent and everyday aspects of racialized police power. In other words, Brown's killing has prompted a widespread rethinking of racialized police power as an exceptional and unusual event. In part this growing awareness is due to the now routine recording of police-civilian interactions by concerned onlookers, and the use of social media to make visible for a broad public police practices that used to be largely invisible outside select communities and populations. This class offers undergraduate freshman a critical introduction to the everyday of police power in the U.S., with a focus on the racialization of modern American policing and the technologies, policies, laws, and practices behind the racialization of policing. The class will emphasize specifically the geography of everyday
racialized police practices--or how racialized police work is fundamentally about the production and management of space.

No background in Geography is expected or required in order to enroll in this course.

Keep Calm and Carry On :: Stoic Philosophy & Modern Life

Professor Jacob Risinger | ARTSSCI 1138.07 | Class # 26389

Tuesday, 12:40 p.m. to 1:35 p.m.

As the COVID pandemic swept through the world, the popularity of Stoic philosophy skyrocketed. Around the globe, readers found comfort in the teachings of the Stoic emperor Marcus Aurelius, who once asserted, “The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.” In this convivial seminar, we’ll explore some of the teachings of the Roman Stoics, but we’ll also pay attention to the outsized impact that Stoicism has had on modern literature, culture, and thought. How does Stoic philosophy purport to restore balance and perspective amidst the anxieties of everyday life? What role should emotion play in our individual and collective decision-making? Is it possible that a life of cool detachment might be more radical than a life of passionate engagement? And how has the figure of the Stoic been celebrated, maligned, and (mis)understood over time? Come along for the ride as we investigate a philosophy that has captivated figures ranging from George Washington and Adam Smith to J.K. Rowling and Anna Kendrick.

Arthurian Legends

Professor Karen Winstead | ARTSSCI 1138.08 | Class # 36920

Tuesday, 1:50 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

King Arthur and his court have captivated people for centuries. Their stories are told and retold in art and literature—and now also in film, television, and video games. In this seminar, we will examine the main source for the Arthurian legends that we know today, Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur. Although it was written more than five hundred years ago, Malory’s epic of Arthur’s rise and fall is surprisingly contemporary. In the style of modern fantasy fiction and games, its knights and ladies test their mettle through perilous adventures as they chase their dreams.  But, like us, they also struggle to reconcile what they are with what others expect them to be as they negotiate messy relationships with friends, siblings, parents, spouses, and lovers.

Spending time with Malory’s masterwork will deepen your knowledge of the Middle Ages and of the Arthurian tradition while enhancing your skills in close reading and critical thinking. You will see, I hope, how a work from the distant past can shed light on the world we live in and the issues we face.

Requirements include participation in our weekly class meetings, which I’ve dubbed “Round Tables,” and weekly written responses, which I’ve dubbed “quests,” to pivotal issues in the readings.  To illuminate the week’s reading assignment, I’ll bring in film clips and modern adaptations of Malorian themes for us to discuss. 

Uh-oh, are our thoughts and actions reasonable? [Checking on what Psychology has had to say about that.]

Professor Fabio Leite | ARTSSCI 1138.09 | Class # 36942

Monday, 10:20 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. 7 Week Session 1

If psychological science’s knowledge seems at times removed from “the real world”, enroll in this course and see that questions about human mind and behavior asked in labs have a straightforward connection to how we think (e.g., evaluate evidence) and behave (e.g., make decisions) in our daily lives outside labs.

The Arts of Living: Thinking as a Way of Life

Dr. Ryan Helterbrand | ARTSSCI 1138.10 | Class # 23189

Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. to 2:25 p.m.

Many people assume that philosophy and literature are nice additions to a “real” education. But this is a relatively new perspective on these disciplines. From the time of the ancient Greeks until the Industrial Revolution, the humanities were considered the center of a real education. More, they were understood to equip their students with an “art of living.” This seminar will explore the idea of an art of living from the ancients to the moderns. Some questions we will consider: what did the ancients mean when they described thinking as an art of living? What makes up this art? How can we practice it? How does modernity transform our understanding of what it means to live a good life? And how can we reclaim this ancient tradition with an eye to making it work for us in our current, dizzying, hypermodern moment?

Transgenes and Stem Cells and Clones, Oh My! Exploring Biology Through Fiction (FULL)

Professor Susan Cole | ARTSSCI 1138.11 | Class # 37140

Monday, 3:00 p.m. to 3:55 p.m.

Can we learn anything about biology through fiction? How accurately is science portrayed in writing and in television? Can we really clone people? Live forever? Make zombies? What are the methods and ethics behind our genetic manipulation of the world around us?

In this course we will investigate biological science using fiction as our starting point. We will read stories and watch television programs or movies addressing important questions in biology. In addition, we will discuss the real science behind these questions, using scientific literature to understand and interpret the science you see in television and fiction. Class discussions will explore how close the relationship is between real science as practiced in the lab to its depictions in fiction. In addition, we will discuss how the fictional depictions of biological sciences affect societal understanding of these important issues. Scientific background will be provided, and non-science majors are encouraged to register.

Science and pseudoscience: Why do so many people believe nonsense?

Professor Don Terndrup | ARTSSCI 1138.12 | Class # 37151

Wednesday, 1:50 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. 

Most science education up through high school focuses on the results of science, meaning the facts we have uncovered about the physical universe. Often missing is a careful look at the process of science. How do we make reliable, repeatable observations? How do we learn about the way physical processes operate? How do we resolve scientific disputes, and how are new results accepted by the community? In this seminar, we will explore these issues by focusing on three case studies of pseudoscience, broadly defined as topics which sound scientific but aren’t. These case studies will come from the discipline of astronomy and will concentrate on three ideas with large communities of believers: the Flat Earth, astrology, and UFOs. While we will spend some time on the evidence that these belief-systems are factually incorrect, our focus will be to understand how people holding these beliefs think about evidence, and whether they follow thought processes that are similar (or not) to those employed in science.

Financing Your Future (FULL)

Professor Doug Alsdorf | ARTSSCI 1138.13 | Class # 37152

Wednesday, 10:20 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

After you graduate and enter the working world, you will have many financial questions. How much are my taxes? Is an advanced degree a good idea? Am I investing enough money? What are the risks of investing? Should I pay off my student loans early? Should I buy a home or rent? And so on. While all of these questions are practical, they are real life tests of your thinking skills. Learning how to thoughtfully address problems is a hallmark of a college education. Because your personal finance has a measurable balance, e.g., the amount of money in your account, you can assess the decisions that you will make.

Know Your Recreational Drugs

Professor Gopi Tejwani | ARTSSCI 1138.14 | Class # 37154

Wednesday, 1:50 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Have you ever seen anyone using a drug such as marijuana, cocaine, or amphetamines?  One of every three Americans has used these drugs.  In addition, millions of Americans presently abuse legal drugs such as alcohol, tobacco/nicotine, and narcotics.  Every day more than, 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids (more than 800 a week), thanks to over-prescription of painkillers and use of cheaper forms of heroin and synthetic opioids.  More than 841,000 people in the USA died from a drug overdose between 1999 and 2019 according to the CDC, 70% of them due to opioid overdose. In 2020 at least 5,215 Ohioans and 93,331 people died in the USA from unintentional drug overdoses; a 29.4% increase from the previous year. Many people who become hooked on prescription opioids go on to use heroin, or worse illicit fentanyl, which is many times potent.  Fentanyl overdose, which can occur almost instantaneously when the drug is taken, is the main reason for rising deaths in America. According to CDC data, fentanyl was involved in more than 60% of overdose deaths in the USA in 2020.

The total economic burden in 2017 with opioid abuse alone was about 80 billion dollars alone healthcare costs, lost productivity and legal costs.

Do you know how these drugs change your physiology, mind, and behavior?

Quantum Mechanics: Uncertainty, Measurement and Entanglement

Professor Bill Putikka | ARTSSCI 1138.15 | Class # 37184

Monday, 10:00 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. 7 Week Session 1

Quantum mechanics is the lingua franca of modern physics. Students taking an introductory physics course, however, typically only experience a limited introduction to quantum ideas at the end of the year. This one credit seminar will provide an introduction to the ideas of quantum mechanics at a mathematical level suitable for first year students without requiring calculus. Conventional intuition about measurement does not apply to quantum systems, as captured in the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. This course explores this issue through the electron's magnetic moment. Furthermore, entanglement describes what happens when multiple quantum particles interact, leading to profound changes in our thinking about objective reality. This point bothered Einstein and led to his belief that quantum mechanics is incomplete. We will consider the issues that bothered Einstein through interacting magnetic moments. Our approach permits us to do the quantum mechanical calculation and compare it to a common sense analysis favored by Einstein and show that the two disagree. Recent experiments agree with quantum mechanics, not Einstein.

The School to Prison Pipeline

Professor Mary Thomas | ARTSSCI 1138.16 | Class # 28325

Wednesday, 9:10 a.m. to 10:05 a.m.

The surveillance of youth and the policing of their behaviors pervades the US education system so systematically that the phrase “school to prison pipeline” reflects its ubiquity. This course examines the causes and practices of the pipeline.  We will consider how the pipeline is gendered, sexualized, and racialized, and how it affects young children and teens alike. We will also pay attention to the racial disproportionality of the pipeline, the ways that youth sexuality has been criminalized (especially for girls and gender non-conforming youth), the relationship between bullying and violence and the pipeline, and alternatives to incarceration and criminalization for youth behavioral issues.  While the US has seen a drop in the number of youth incarcerated in recent years, the course considers whom this drop prioritizes and the challenges in undoing the prison nation’s impact on gender non-conforming girls, youth of color, and LGBTQ youth. Finally, we will explore the concept of abolition and alternatives to punitive approaches.

The Mindful College Student

Professor Dustin Miller | ARTSSCI 1138.17 | Class # 28326

Wednesday, 10:20 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. 7 Week Session 2

Mindfulness, the ability to be fully present in your life, can make a critical difference in your college experience. It is rare that we are taught to be present in our lives – in our bodies, minds, and spirit. Start off your college experience by learning a skill that can enhance the remainder of your life. Especially during COVID-19, this evidenced-based practice can assist the way you choose to live out each day. This course will expose you to the science behind mindfulness (how it impacts the structure and function of the brains with implications for learning), notions of stress and stress reactivity, and the role that emotion and rumination can play in our daily experience. We will practice various forms of contemplative experience (including meditation, reflective writing, and simple movement practices) providing students with a practical way to apply the theory of mindful awareness to their lives. 

One's first year of college is a time of great personal, social, and professional growth. It is the most critical time to begin developing the habits and mindset that will determine who one becomes following graduation. In order to be the best version of oneself, self-awareness must be given adequate attention. This seminar will introduce students to various mindfulness activities that would encourage learning beyond the traditional lecture, memorization, and test preparation format of many college courses. Students will instead become familiarized with practices to help them cultivate compassion and acceptance of oneself and others, all components that are necessary to living a fulfilled life.

Why do we travel?

Professor Gregory Jusdanis | ARTSSCI 1138.18 | Class # 37609

Wednesday, 1:50 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

People travel more today than they ever have in history. They visit penguin colonies in Antarctica, hike through Tibet, and go on “Lord of the Rings” pilgrimages in New Zealand. Travel has developed into a billion-dollar industry. Yet, there is a dark side to travel with millions of people dislocated by war, famine, disease, and climate change. For refugees, languishing in camps and slums, travel is a forced rather than a voluntary experience. 

In this seminar we will analyze the reasons people have traveled through the ages. We will begin with travel in antiquity, and then read from the accounts of Marco Polo and of Ibn Battuta, and then we will look at the writings of modern travelers. Our aim is to explore travel in all of its manifestations from leisure cruises, modern resorts, to study abroad, migration and exile. We will also consider the impact of the corona virus on travel today. 

Each week we will read from some of the best writing in the world to see how men and women have experienced travel as a form of exploration, personal odyssey, leisure, and forced dislocation.