On Campus Courses

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ANT 270Japanese Culture and Society Through Film Oftentimes, things like sushi and manga come to mind when people think of Japanese culture. But who are contemporary Japanese, how does the social structure of Japanese society differ from ours, and in what ways has Japan been influenced by the West and vice versa? In this course, we will investigate these questions by watching, discussing, and writing about Japanese films. We will also consider the ways in which film as a medium can be used to learn about culture. Counts toward Asian Studies minor and International Studies major.
ANT 314 Native Americans of the North Carolina Piedmont Using John Lawson’s 1701 historical account, this course will explore the ethnohistory, archaeology and cultural re-emergence of Piedmont North Carolina’s Native Americans. Students will visit the reconstructed Occoneechi Town Site, find remnants of the Indian Trading Path and participate in a mini-dig near the northern Alamance County community of “Little Texas.” Ethnoarchaeology, combined with interviews with living descendants of local Siouan Indians, will provide an understanding of the culture and history of these people.
ART 273Carolina Journey Take road trips across North Carolina to explore and tell human stories. Through travel experiences and multi-disciplinary readings (including history/oral history, literature & poetry, geographic information, newspaper articles, and film/cinema) students will consider the multifaceted nature of identity and location, making studio-based digital humanities projects that narrate the deep complexity of human experience. No pre-requisites required. Students will build digital skills beginning where they are as an individual. Field trips may occasionally be all day, extending outside regular class meeting time.
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COM 100Communications in a Global Age Contemporary media play a vital role in society, both locally and globally. In this course, students study the importance of books, newspapers, magazines, recordings, movies, radio, television and the internet, and the messages carried through news, public relations and advertising. The course emphasizes the relationship of media and democracy, ethical decision-making, the diversity of audiences, and the global impact of communications.
COM 330International Communications Media systems differ substantially in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and the rest of the world. In this course, students examine the media systems of many countries, stressing the chief problems of communications across cultural, economic, sociological and political barriers. Using a comparative approach, this special winter term section of the course will address issues of media practice and diversity in various nations and influences within and across borders.
COM 386Gender in Communication This course will examine multiple relationships related to gender, communication and culture. Students will be introduced to theories, research and pragmatic information demonstrating the multiple ways in which views of masculinity and femininity are shaped within contemporary culture. Students will explore ways in which communication plays a role in creating, reflecting, sustaining and altering cultural views of gender. The special winter term course will provide an analysis of the social construction of gendered patterns in organizations, media, and close relationships. Students of any major are welcome. Counts toward Women's/Gender Studies minor.
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EDU 211School & Sociecty Education 211 is designed to introduce students to the cultural, social, historical, legal and philosophical foundations of education. Students examine critical issues that impact education in the 21st century. An integrated field experience enables students to analyze a variety of perspectives on the purposes of education and instructional practices related to classroom management, learning environment, and meeting the needs of learners who are diverse in culture, language and ability. (Please note that field placements for Winter Term are limited to K-8 schools.) Students will develop skills in critical thinking, leadership, observing, interviewing, reading, writing and oral communication. This course will use an inquiry approach. A grammar competency test will be required in this class. Must fill out data sheet in Mooney 102 prior to registration.
EDU 298Children's Literature This course is a study of children's literature as a basis for meaningful learning experiences and for stimulating a love of reading in elementary-grade students. It will explore a broad range of reading materials in various genres and formats and help the student learn to assess the components of worthy, developmentally appropriate literature. Over the course of this semester, a student will become familiar with popular authors and illustrators, while considering ways to excite children's interest in reading. Students will be asked to respond deeply and critically to their own reading experiences in order to understand how children's literature can connect with its audience and illuminate and enhance any course of study. Although this is NOT a methods or a reading course, future teachers will begin to develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions to use books effectively with children. This course does not fulfill the General Studies Literature requirement. Prerequisite: EDU 211 or permission of instructor.
EDU 467Early Childhood Education Research, Policy and Practice This course will focus on connecting the science of early childhood development with real world application of program design and implementation. It includes an analysis of how federal, state and local policies impact early childhood programs and acquaints students with the advocacy process as a means to influence policy decisions based on the science of early development. Counts toward Poverty and Social Justice Studies minor.
ENG 255 DV1Examining Heroes In this course, we'll look at various definitions and examples through a range of literature and films, of the hero and the anti-hero. Heroes represent the most ideal values of a particular society. By examining heroes revered by a variety of societies, a greater awareness of values both specific to individual cultures and universal across cultures can be reached. What is heroism? Is it possible for heroes to exist in the modern world? What is the relationship of historical situation to heroism? How can we compare heroes from various eras, cultures, countries? What role does gender play in hero stories? We will also consider related ethical issues: What is good behavior? How do we evaluate the actions of others? How do we judge others and ourselves and what standards do we use?
ENG 255 DV2Comedy of Manners: The Restoration, Wilde, Orton, and Labute The comedy of manners is supposed to improve society by reflecting back its empty affectations: the conventions by which we “act properly” and the clichéd ways we pursue love, fame, and fortune. But who is really being reflected in these comedies and to what end? In many cases, the self-interested men in these plays, who trade on their cleverness for financial gain and sexual pleasure (William Wycherley’s rakes, Oscar Wilde’s dandies, Joe Orton’s thugs, and Neil LaBute’s yuppies), are ultimately as satirized as their societies. And what of the other sex: the women these rakes pursue and who pursue them in turn? This course addresses these questions and others by examining the evolution of the comedy of manners from Restoration comedies through contemporary theatre and film.
ENG 255 DV3 Noir and Hard Boiled Crime Students will look at examples of noir and hard-boiled crime stories - classic novels from Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett to more contemporary works from Megan Abbott and Elmore Leonard - to examine the political and social themes reflected in such narratives. The course will explore the influence of culture, race, and gender on a single genre throughout its history.
ENG 375Alternate Languages Spoken and written languages are common and fairly easy to study, but the more uncommon and unusual forms of communication are the main topics in this course. While we will look briefly at the important aspects of sound, writing, and grammar of languages, this course will take students into the worlds of pictographic and glyphic languages, non-verbal communication, sign languages, cryptology and secret codes, Morse Code, Braille, the inner-workings of “made-up” languages like Esperanto, Klingon, and Navi, as well as other more obscure ways that people and animals communicate. Students will have the opportunity to try their hand at “reading” and creating languages of their own through group work and in-class activities. This course fulfills the Language credit in the English Major and counts towards Advanced General Studies credit.
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FRE 122Elementary French II This course continues the development of basic French skills for students who have already had a solid introduction to French. Emphasis continues to be placed on oral and written communication in the present, past and future tenses with use of authentic materials such as music, film, television clips, news articles, blogs and podcasts. Students practice vocabulary and grammatical structures in small group and pair work activities. Communicative activities lead students from structured practice to free expression. Proficiency goal on the ACTFL scale: Intermediate low. Prerequisite: FRE 121 or placement at this level.
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GST 202Culture, History, and Art of Iraq During the last decade, the United States was involved in war with Iraq. Many Americans and especially the young know very little about this country and why the government decided to send the troops there. Most of what they know comes from the media, just bits and pieces here and there about what really happened in that country. But after the war was over and the troops came home, in order to have a future understanding of what happened and why, we need to know more about that country, about the other side’s ways of thinking and believing. By showing the history, culture, and mentality of Iraqis, this course will help students “in a neutral way” to know more about Iraq and the war that took place in that part of the world. Counts toward Civilization or Expression requirement. Counts toward Middle East Studies minor and International Studies major.
GST 224Disarming Injustice: Nonviolence and the Civil Rights Movement In this course, we will examine how civil rights leaders and activists used the theories and tactics of nonviolence to challenge the institutions of segregation in the American South. The course will culminate in travel to sites important to the movement in Atlanta, Montgomery, Birmingham, and Selma. Open to sophomore Leadership Fellows only. Counts toward Civilization or Society requirement. Counts toward African and African-American Studies and Poverty and Social Justice Studies minors.
GST 250Comparative Cinema: European Film & Hollywood Remakes This course will analyze the cultural and artistic differences between several European (primarily French) films and their Hollywood remakes. Students will be asked to examine the reasons behind these differences. Monographs such as Lucy Mazdon’s Encore Hollywood: Remaking the French Cinema, Internet sources, and the films themselves will serve as class texts. Counts toward Civilization requirement.
GST 302 Italian Cinema Italy has given human civilization among its most precious works of art (The Sistine Chapel, The Mona Lisa); literature (Dante, Calvino); political science (Machiavelli, Gramsci); music (Verdi, Puccini); science (Galileo, Volta); cars and design (Ferrari, Lamborghini); films (Rossellini, Fellini); and, of course, pizza. Unfortunately (or maybe it’s because of that?), it has also given civilization one other thing: the Mafia. The Mafia is a very complicated thing. It is cultural, economic, financial historical, sociological, geographical, linguistic, national, international, and VERY political phenomenon. It has to do with issues concerning class, gender, the family. This course will look at the Mafia through the prism of Italian and Italian-American films, trying to discern the differences, especially the difference between myth and reality. We will accompany, so to speak, our movies with some literary, political, historical, and critical readings in order to read these movies in a comparative fashion and in their historical context. Films will include Rossellini’s spectacular version of Tommasi di Lampedusa’s The Leopard, Alberto Lattuada’s Il Mafioso, Francesco Rosi’s Hands over the City and Salvatore Giuliano, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather I and II, Martin Scorsese’s Casino, Matteo Garrone’s Gomorrah, Marco Trucco’s Excellent Cadavers, as well as one episode of The Sopranos. All readings, movies, and discussions will be in English. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third of fourth year of study. Counts toward International Studies major and Italian Studies minor.
GST 306College Athletic Administration This course provides a comprehensive and interdisciplinary examination of intercollegiate athletics in higher education. Although intercollegiate athletics has played an integral and undeniably significant role in the American system of higher education since the mid-nineteenth century, the debate about its purpose and how to govern college athletics still exists. This course will include an historical overview of college sport (1850 - present), an introduction to the organizational structures and policies governing member institutions and will focus on a variety of events and issues that speak to the impact of intercollegiate athletics at colleges and universities. Topics will be used to challenge student’s ability to critically examine current administrative issues. Many issues will challenge personal philosophies of sport and its place in higher education. Topics include--among others--the debate surrounding required academic standards for college athletes, athletic department relationships with corporate entities and media partners, the impact of sports programs on campus culture, student athletic well-being, the role of college and university presidents in intercollegiate athletics, and how college sports interacts with Title IX and gender equity. Through readings and discussions we will consider various prescriptive alternatives for the challenges facing college athletics. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third or fourth year of study.
GST 323Work & Society in a Globally Networked Age In this course, we will explore the changing nature of work from a socio-historical perspective in which particular emphasis will be placed on current trends and the resulting societal implications in our global age of an increasingly globally networked economy. In the process, we will look at how work has been created, organized, performed, valued and compensated at different points in history. The course will also include exploration into credentialing and hiring practices related to issues of education, skills, experience, gender, race, class, etc. The overarching goal of the course will be for students to have a better understanding of work and the implications of current work-related trends within the larger socio-historical context. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third or fourth year of study.
GST 324Substance Abuse and Human Behavior This course provides an interdisciplinary overview of factors influencing alcohol and other drug use including facets of personality, culture and genetics. Students examine issues from a public health model and investigate prevention strategies based on lifestyle choices and harm reduction. Local, national and international issues are explored through presentations, class discussions, field trips and a research paper on alcohol and other drug issues in a country other than the United States. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third or fourth year of study. Counts toward Public Health Studies.
GST 333Religion & Art of Asia This course explores the symbiosis of religious thought and expression in the pan-Asian sphere. It investigates the history of Indian, Chinese and Japanese religious art and architecture and considers Asia’s contemporary material and popular culture as both expressions of and constructions for the sacred. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third or fourth year of study. Counts toward Asian Studies minor and International Studies major.
GST 342Understanding Educational Disparities in the United States Since the Coleman Report of 1966, the “academic achievement gap” has been as the heart of education policy. Drawing on research and evidence from the fields of economics, education, sociology, psychology and public policy, we will critically analyze the causes, consequences and potential solutions to academic achievement gaps in the United States. The course will begin with a critical look at the determinants of educational success. Then, we will use this research to help us better understand the causes of existing achievement gaps. Finally, we will study various education policies and debates and use our research to evaluate these policy initiatives. Course material will include readings from economics, education, psychology and policy journals, popular press articles, video clips and documentaries. Students will also read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third or fourth year of study. Counts toward Poverty and Social Justice Studies minor.
GST 415 Why Were These Books Banned? Who controls what we read and view in the United States? How does the First Amendment of the Constitution protect our rights for accessing books and films? Where does it fall short? Under what context(s) has censorship been necessary and/or misused? This interdisciplinary seminar will examine banned books and controversial films throughout the history of the United States. Governmental decisions for banning media, as well as books banned by school districts and communities will be studied. Using historical, sociological, and political lenses, students will read/view and examine a variety of banned books and controversial films. Topics will include the freedom to read, the First Amendment, those in power, the creation of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), democracy and its implications, morality, and access. Implications for policy will be made regarding the future of banning books and films. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third of fourth year of study.
GST 416Wealth & Poverty This course will focus on the profound disparity between people who live in wealth and people who live in poverty at the beginning of the 21st century. Particular attention will be paid to moral responsibility and accountability of people in the First World to the problems of global inequality. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third or fourth year of study. Application and acceptance required. Additional travel fee is required. Counts toward Peace and Conflict Studies and Poverty and Social Justice Studies minors.
GST 433Coming Home: The Impact of Studying Abroad This course encourages and facilitates the in-depth reflection on and analysis of the experience of spending time abroad and then re-entering one’s home culture. Students will be asked to contribute to this seminar by presenting appropriate details from their experience(s) abroad and to collaborate with classmates to compare experiences and, by the end of the term, arrive at a more comprehensive understanding of the patterns that exist when all classmates experiences are examined as a whole. The unifying concepts that will guide the course include culture, culture shock, reverse culture shock, moral career (in the way sociologist E. Goffman uses this term), ethnocentrism, cultural relativity, self-identity, impression management, and compartmentalization. This course is specifically designed for those Elon students who have spent a semester or winter term abroad. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third or fourth year of study.
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HST 271Old Times There Are Not Forgotten: Understanding the Culture of the South This course explores the major qualities that make the South a distinct region. Topics include music, the farming tradition, politics, literature, family and gender, the arts, religion, race relations and the role of social class in historical and contemporary contexts. Upon completion, students should be able to identify characteristics that distinguish Southern culture. The course will include field trips to area historic sites.
HST 370LGBTQ History in the U.S. Students in this course will study the experiences of people in the United States sometimes called “homosexual,” “lesbian,” “gay,” “trans,” “queer,” and other terms and how and why those experiences changed over time. Students will explore what factors affected their experiences, including policies, attitudes, community development, social movements, and changing notions of identity. While some attention will be paid to earlier periods, the course will focus primarily on events of the 20th century, and students will do a project related to post-1950 history. Students of any sexual orientation or gender are welcome in the course, and there are no course prerequisites; however, students should be willing to grapple with upper-level history assignments and be open to learning about people who may have been different from or similar to themselves. Counts toward Women's/Gender Studies minor.
HST 376Youth and Revolution in the Modern World This course in global and transnational history explores the fascinating dynamics, causes, and pathways of revolution in recent times. Revolution is simultaneously terrifying yet exhilarating, out of control yet deeply intentional. How have revolutions fundamentally transformed the lives of people around the world? We focus on case studies from India, China, Iran, and still unfolding events in Egypt. Key themes of the course include nationalism, anti-colonialism, economics, religion, and youthful rebellion.
HSS 212Counseling Individuals and Families This course examines theories and methods used in conflict resolution for families and individuals.  This section will focus on providing foundational knowledge to help students work effectively with minority groups such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and with Native American, and  Latino clients in counseling. Information about minority individuals, experiences, and communities will be provided through readings, assignments, and lectures. Students will gain self-awareness by reflecting on exposure to issues faced by minority populations under the confluence of the dominant culture.  Individual and family dynamics will be explored.  Students will apply knowledge and awareness through case study, role play, in class activities, and technology enhanced sessions with counselors from agencies serving minority groups across the Southeast.
HSS 371Modernization of Fatherhood This course focuses on the many issues, societal expectations, joys and challenges that accompany fatherhood. Particular emphasis will be on the dynamics of the relationships between fathers and their children, how these dynamics are change over the lifespan, and how a person’s relationship with his or her own father influences future generations. The course will also explore the societal perceptions and media portrayals of fatherhood across cultures, of special populations (i.e. teen fathers, stay-at-home dads), and how these perceptions have changed throughout history. Counts toward Women's/Gender Studies minor.
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ITL 121Elementary Italian I This course is designed for students with little or no prior experience in the language. Special emphasis is placed on active communication, to develop oral and comprehension skills. Students will learn to converse and write about daily routines, likes, and dislikes in the present, and will commence usage of past tenses. Factual information about the nature of daily life and routines in Italian culture will also be acquired. Proficiency goal on the ACTFL scale: novice high. No prerequisite.
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MUS 274Woodstock, Hippies & Other Enduring Legacies: Music of the 60’s & 70’s The course will cover the major music groups in the ‘60s and ‘70s and the advent of the technological advance in recording. The student will gain an understanding as to why this music/technology influenced the groups of today. It will start with the Beatles and their influences and will end with the early Police and Donna Summer era. Groups covered will include Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Bob Dylan, The Rolling stones, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Pink Floyd, The Who, Fleetwood Mac and Aretha Franklin. Soul, R&B, folk, punk, disco and major songwriters will also be covered. In addition, important recording advances that made it possible for this music to be presented on LP records will be discussed. Woodstock, The Monterey International Pop Festival, Height Asbury the rise of Southern rock and their influence on popular music will be included.
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PHL 112How Should We Live? This course invites you to think philosophically about the meaning of our working ethical values such as responsibility, respect and compassion, but also to develop a critical perspective on values: what life might be, should be, and ought to be. What is worthwhile and really matters? How does anyone know for sure? We explore the scope and depth of values such as community, beauty, justice, equality and wealth, while testing those values with rational skepticism and shared experience. The goal is to ask better questions about how we live so that we can practice those values that will enable us to bring about what is most worthwhile in action, community and in life.
PSY 245 Early Childhood Development Recent research has led to a new appreciation of the importance of early life experiences on child development. This course examines the power of the inseparable and highly interactive influences of genetics and environment on the complex emotions, cognitive abilities and essential social skills that develop during the early years of life. The implications of this new understanding of early childhood for families, communities, policy makers and service providers who strive to increase the odds of favorable development are explored.
PSY 310Memory & Memory Disorders This course is about the human ability, or inability, to acquire and retain information, to recall it when needed, and to recognize it when it is seen or heard again (i.e, encoding, storage, retrieval). The course is presented from the perspectives of cognitive neuroscience and clinical neuropsychology and will examine theories and research techniques involved in the study of memory. Topics to be covered include amnesia, false memory, emotional memory, individual differences in memory and memory disorders related to brain damage, aging, diseases and psychiatric disorders. Prerequisite: PSY 111.
PSY 314 Psychology and Law This course explores psychological research on eyewitness testimony evidence, interviews and interrogations, and jury procedures with particular emphasis on memory, judgments and decision making. Prerequisite: PSY 111.
PSY 374Stereotyping and Prejudice Through the lens of gender, racial, and sexual prejudice, this course will examine the basic psychological processes that underlie stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination. Cultural, societal and media influences will be discussed as well. Prerequisite: PSY 111. Counts toward Criminal Justice Studies minor.
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REL 271Jews, Greeks and Romans: Being Jewish in the Classical World What did it mean to 'be Jewish' in the Greco-Roman world? This course will explore the myriad ways that Jewish communities across the Mediterranean engaged with Greco-Roman culture and constructed their own ways of being Jewish. Using texts, artifacts and images--from rabbinic commentaries to Roman catacombs--we will investigate cross-cultural dialogue and interaction with local, non-Jewish neighbors with the goal of understanding how different Jewish communities understood themselves in the context of non-Jewish others. Counts toward Jewish Studies minor.
REL 272Muhammad & the Origins of Islam This course addresses the background, conditions, and repercussions of the career of the Prophet Muhammad and the foundation of the Arab empire or caliphate after his death. We will explore in detail the revelation of the Quran, Muhammad’s conversion of the tribes of Arabia to the new faith, and the formation of a new culture, religion, and civilization in the century after his mission. Along the way, we will examine controversial issues such as the treatment of women in Islam, the role of jihad or “holy war” in the foundation of the community, and the controversies and conflicts over leadership among the Prophet’s companions that led to the split between Sunnis and Shiites. Counts toward Middle East Studies minor and International Studies major.
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SOC 131Sociology Through Film This course will explore sociological principles, ideas, themes and issues as they may be illustrated in cinema. Both contemporary and classic movies will be shown. Relevant readings will be assigned to accompany each session of the course. It is recommended that students will have taken Sociology 111, but it is not a requirement.
SOC 245Nonviolence of the Brave In this course, the students will be exposed to the ideas and personalities of political philosophers and leaders who have influenced major non-violent social and political movements in this century. Students will learn about Thoreau, Gandhi, King and others and discuss the common themes running through their philosophies and action plans, in comparison with the philosophies and action plans of leaders like Mao Tse Dong and Malcolm X. Several feature films and documentaries.
SPN 122Elementary Spanish II This course continues development of skills in basic structures within increasing cultural and literary competence. Special emphasis continues to be placed on development of oral and comprehension skills. Students will learn to discuss topics of a personal nature in present, past and future, and to express opinions on a limited range of topics. Knowledge of Hispanic history and cultures is also extended. Proficiency goal on the ACTFL scale: Intermediate low. Prerequisite: SPN 120 or 121, or placement at this level.
SPN 374Spanish American Culture The Spanish American Culture course explores main events in the culture and the history of Latin America in the 20th and 21st centuries. This course includes lectures, documentaries, films, songs, and readings and will be taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPN 320 or placement at this level.

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