On Campus Courses

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ANT 227From the Ground Down Students explore the adventure and science of archaeology from the perspective of an anthropologist. This course highlights great discoveries in archaeology with a look at famous sites worldwide. An overview of the development of archaeology from treasure hunting to a high-tech science are presented. Additional topics include fieldwork techniques, artifact analysis, interpretation, forensic analysis and cultural resource preservation. The course includes visits to archaeological sites in the area.
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.
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.
ANT 380The Ancient Maya The class will address specifically the culture or civilization of the ancient Maya through archaeological remains, art, architecture, and ethnohistoric documentation. Students will be introduced to the origins of Maya civilization through the peak of Maya civilization, along with the collapse and colonial contact with the Maya. Along with the chronological perspective of these developments, an additional thematic approach will also be taken to the course. A few important themes to be addressed in the course include ancient Maya politics, economics, social organization, religion, art, architecture, technology, and material culture.
ART 273Digital Storytelling: Humanity and Difference Take road trips across North Carolina to explore and tell human stories. Through travel experiences and multi-disciplinary readings and viewings (including art, literature, history, geography, journalism, and film) students will consider the multifaceted nature of identity, making studio-based digital storytelling projects that narrate the deep complexity of human experience. No pre-requisites required. Students will build digital skills beginning where they are as individuals. Field trips may occasionally be all day, extending outside regular class meeting time. Materials fee: $150.
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BIO 105 BPersonalized Medicine You are undoubtedly a unique individual full of your own thoughts, hopes, dreams, strengths, and weaknesses that make you who you are. Yet your core biological make-up, your DNA, is 99.9% identical to all other humans. This tiny genetic variation has a dramatic impact on your health and which preventative and therapeutic options might be right for you. The sequencing of the human genome and efforts to characterize human genetic variation have paved the way for a new understanding of an individuals’ disease risk and likely response to treatment. In this course, we will cover basic principles of molecular genetics and genomics and then study how advances in DNA technology and our understanding of genetic variation are making it possible to create a new level of personalized diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. We will also discuss ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding personalized medicine.

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COM 100 CCommunications in a Global Age Contemporary media play a vital role in society. In this course, students study the importance of books, newspapers, magazines, recordings, movies, radio, television, the Internet and mobile media, 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 266The Fellows Experience This Communications Fellows course will explore the media industry in Central Florida, the home of two top 20 media markets. Students will learn about journalism and media ethics in a local economy reliant on strategic communications efforts of the tourism, film, interactive, and web design industries. Students will spend two weeks at Elon then travel to Central Florida to meet with media ethicists at the Poynter Institute, journalists at the Orlando Sentinel, and a communication strategist at Disney's Educational Experiences and Universal Studios. Communications Fellows only.
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.
COM 370Gender and 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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DAN 341Dance in Worship This course is an exploration of the role of dance in worship in a variety of cultures from primitive ancient rituals through 21st-century contemporary worship. Although a lecture course, students will at times be active participants in various forms of sacred dance. Students will also learn of the history and theory of dance as a form of worship. This course is for dancers and non-dancers.
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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. Must fill out data sheet and criminal background check in Mooney 102 prior to registration. Counts toward Poverty and Social Justice Studies minor.
EDU 345Classroom Management for Elementary, Middle Grades, and Special Ed. This course focuses on the important aspects of establishing a healthy, positive classroom environment that promotes academic growth as well as social development, for all school age children and adolescents, including exceptional learners. A practicum in the public schools is required in this course. Prerequisites: EDU 211 and admission to the teacher education program.
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 AComedy 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 ECounterculture FictionsMake Love, Not WarDrop Acid, Not BombsDo Your Own ThingDon’t Trust Anyone Over 30Power to the PeopleThe Revolution Will Not Be Televised. Evoking a variety of sights, sounds, and social contexts, the term counterculture continues to inspire as many definitions as it once did catchy slogans. From civil disobedience and campus unrest to consciousness expansion and communal living, this course examines how post-Beat Generation writers both imagined and engaged with the era’s sociopolitical conflicts across diverse media – including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, popular music, and film. In short papers and presentations, students will analyze and evaluate the extent to which counterculture fictions participated in period activisms along a loose timeline spanning the passage of the Voting Rights Act in August 1965 through the final U.S. troop withdrawals from Vietnam a decade later. With an equal emphasis on classic and revisionist accounts, course readings may include the work of Thomas Pynchon, Ishmael Reed, Joan Didion, Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, Hunter S. Thompson, Samuel R. Delany, Robert Stone, Philip Roth, Susan Choi, Dana Spiotta, and Rachel Kushner.
ENG 255 HMad Men and Bad Men: American Masculinities in Contemporary Fiction and Television What’s the difference between Don Draper and Walter White, or the difference between Pete Campbell and Jessie Pinkman? What can the runaway popularity of Mad Men and Breaking Bad, and the different men at the center of those stories, show us about American cultural attitudes toward masculinity in the mid-2010s? Putting Mad Men and Breaking Bad into conversation with American literature including works from Walt Whitman to John Updike, John Cheever, Philip Roth, David Foster Wallace and Chang-Rae Lee, we will work to unpack representations of American masculinities as those representations respond to shifts in American cultural history. Through our work with these texts, we’ll develop critical approaches for reading and theorizing gender and sexuality. In particular, we’ll focus on how fiction and television, as archives of the American cultural imagination, represent masculinity as a tense negotiation between power and powerlessness.
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FNA 278The Arts, Advertising, and Aesthetic Response Before we think and judge, we sense: see, hear, touch, taste, smell. This sensory response leads us to read the stimuli, filter it though our own context of knowledge, experiences and cultural traditions, and then to evaluate. Our aesthetic is a value system of this sensory response. Artists use aesthetic principles to engage the audience's senses and then apply contextual references to layer in meaning. Application of these principles and references are not lost to the creators of mass media. How can we become aesthetically wise in our 24-7 world? First, we will examine how art, music, poetry and film use aesthetic elements and structure to communicate. Then we will examine historical and cultural influences on aesthetic design. We will demystify the power of mass media by finding the elements, structures and aesthetics in action. Finally, we will apply these principles to a creative team project – a mock ad that employs the elements and principles of at least three art forms and includes historical/cultural references.
FRE 371French Theatre in Production Students in this course will undertake the critical reading and production of a significant work of French or Francophone theater. The course will involve deep discussion and critical thinking about the role of theater in French society as well as literary and cultural analysis of the play being produced. Students enrolled in the course are expected to take an active role in the production of the play, either as actors or as technical support, or both. The play will be performed for an open Elon audience at the end of WT. Prerequisite: FRE 222 or permission of instructor.
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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 239The Korean Wave What do the film Ninja Assassin, an award-winning television series about the first queen of Korea and a pop group that earned a Guinness record for the world’s largest fan club have in common? They are all part of the Korean Wave (Hallyu), a cultural movement characterized by the spread of South Korean culture around the world. Beginning in 1992, the Korean Wave transports Korean popular culture, itself a mixture of Korean and various global cultures, to locations within East Asia and around the globe. Through an interdisciplinary study of music, television and film, students will learn about the transnational nature of Korean popular culture. Counts toward Expression requirement (non-literature).
GST 287Films by/about Nazis Students in this course will examine topics of political, artistic, and social relevance in Germany as expressed in film. The central concern will be the intersection of film with national and individual identity, examining how films express, reflect, or project a particular understanding of the individual and the nation. Specific topics might include immigration, the lingering aftereffects of Nazism, Expressionist explorations of the psyche and the human mind, the role of women, or other political, social, or human concerns. Films in German with English subtitles. Counts toward Expression requirement (non-literature). Counts toward German Studies minor.
GST 292Discovering Dixie This course explores the diverse cultures, rich histories and traditions, music, food, and locations that help create our contemporary definitions of “Dixie” and encourages students to develop a formative understanding of the region as a multi-cultural and dynamic, rapidly evolving yet perpetually “southern” influence in America. The course is a travel-embedded course that begins meeting on campus, then travels for approximately 12 days to locations such as the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Qualla Indian Boundary, Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee, Oxford, Mississippi, New Orleans, Louisiana, Mobile, Selma and Birmingham, Alabama, Atlanta, Georgia, and Charlotte, NC. Application and acceptance required. Additional travel fee is required. Counts toward Civilization or Society 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. Counts toward the Sport and Event Management minor.
GST 321Entrepreneurship & the Arts Musicians, artists,writers and other artistic people face special challenges creating and operating ventures focused on their artistic endeavors. This course, designed for students who are not majoring in Business, addresses how to start a new enterprise and many of the unique problems and circumstances encountered in establishing and operating such a venture. Since many artsorganizations are not-for-profit, special attention will be placed on the idiosyncrasies of non-profit organizations. Emphasis will be placed on the development of business and project plans and the operations of arts-related ventures. 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 421Peak Performance: Pumping Body, Mind & Spirit This course will integrate knowledge from the social and physical sciences to show how the interaction, especially of the mind, body and spirit, is important to obtain peak performance in our endeavors. The term “peak performance” takes on different meanings depending on the discipline in which it is being discussed (exercise science vs. psychology vs. business). This course will discuss the different definitions and theories behind peak performance, discuss common characteristics of “peak performers” and develop plans to help the student become a “peak performer.” This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third or fourth year of study.
GST 470Sustainable Development: Microfinance and Agriculture in Peru This class takes a holistic approach to understanding the ways to support the standard of living in developing countries, by focusing equally on cultural, economic, and financial factors that affect well-being as well as agricultural, nutritional, and ecological factors. After carefully studying these aspects in the classroom, we will travel to Northern Peru to engage in field based learning. This will allow us to learn from those we work with at least as much as we share. In conjunction with the Arbor Day foundation, we will engage Peruvian coffee farmers and provide assistance through microfinance to develop sustainable coffee production as well as provide food sovereignty, nutrition and sustainable food production. This will be a multi-year project and each class will have a direct role in helping achieve this goal. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third or fourth year of study. This is a physically demanding travel experience. Application and acceptance required. Additional travel fee is required. This course does not satisfy the ELR requirement.
GEO 360Geography of North America This upper-level survey course examines the major physical, biological, cultural, political and economic patterns across Canada and the United States as a basis for exploring the interrelated connections between the natural world and its human inhabitants. Through readings, multi-media exercises, case studies and individual research, students will receive an overview of both physical and human geography as well as experience in geographic reasoning and map analysis. No prerequisite.
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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 363African-American History, 1850-Present Beginning with the slave system in the mid-19th century, this course examines recurring issues and problems in African-American history through the post-Civil Rights era. Study focuses on three themes: the similarity and differences of African-American experiences; the extent to which they were oppressed yet also had choices; and their strategies to cope with their social and political situations.
HSS 111The Art & Science of Human Service Studies This course explores the history, values and ethics of the human services profession. Students are introduced to the theoretical approaches to human services work, issues of social justice and the evidence used to guide interventions and policy designed to address human problems. A minimum of 40 hours of field work in an approved human services setting is required.
HSS 326Special Populations: Strategies to End Homelessness This course will focus on successful direct service programs, advocacy and current policy initiatives designed to address homelessness in the US. Students will study the implementation of these initiatives in North Carolina traveling to cities across the state to hear from professionals working in each area. Students will also work alongside people who are homeless and participate in program delivery in these cities as well as in the local region. Participation in the course requires group travel and lodging that will take place during weekdays and a fee of $300 to cover costs. Please contact instructor with questions.
HSS 382Practicum Away: Theory and Practice of Human Service Studies This course introduces students to the biopsychosocial model of understanding human systems in a cross-cultural environment. Three weeks of direct practice and observation in a human services organization in an international or domestic setting away from campus allows students to apply and conceptualize various aspects of human service delivery, particularly cross-cultural practice, using this approach. Student learning will be guided and enhanced through course readings, weekly seminars, written assignments and faculty site visits. Prerequisites: HSS 111, 2.1 cumulative GPA, status as a declared Human Services Studies major or minor, and approval of application for practicum.
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MUS 106Chamber Ensemble By audition only.
MUS 272Why Does the Fat Lady Sing? Students will study basic concepts of opera, including historical, musical, and biographical information. The course will proceed chronologically, discussing major opera composers and vocabulary that accompanies each time period. Each class period meets for three hours, Monday through Friday, and will have some component of critical thinking analysis (audio/video examples). Major opera plots and characters will also be discussed, and students will be encouraged to relate them to modern society and find their relevance.
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.
MUS 319History of American Music Study of American music from 1620 to the present focuses on elements of various musical cultures (e.g., Western and Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America) that have influenced the American style of music.
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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 277Psychology of Humanitarian Aid Psychologists who study the workplace are trained to use their expertise in selection, training, leadership and statistics to improve organizations and their employees. This course will uniquely apply these concepts to nonprofit and humanitarian aid organizations. Designed as a service-learning course, students will learn about psychological principles, as well as performing hands-on work with a local nonprofit to improve a specific aspect of their organization. Prerequisite: PSY 111.
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.
PHS 381Public Health Studies Practicum Three weeks of direct practice and observation in a public health organization provide the opportunity for students to apply and conceptualize various aspects of health care delivery using this approach. Student learning will be guided and enhanced through weekly seminars, written assignments, and faculty site visits. Prerequisites: PHS 201, status as a declared Public Health Studies major or minor, and submission and approval of the application for practicum.
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REL 239Judaism and the Environment This course analyzes historical and contemporary teachings of the Jewish tradition regarding animals and the natural world. We will study the stories of creation in the Bible and in the Jewish imagination; the treatment of nature in Jewish law, philosophy and mysticism; traditional prohibitions on causing suffering to animals, wasting natural resources, and various forms of pollution; and responses to current environmental crises among contemporary American and Israeli Jews.
REL 274The Agony of Belief: Faith, Doubt, and Skepticism in Modern Film Is it possible in this day and age to have faith? Given everything we now know about the world and our place as humans within it, can one still believe in a transcendent God? Does religion offer any response to the horrendous violence and suffering witnessed over the last century? This course explores the dilemma of religious belief in the modern world. We will do this primarily by watching a number of films that wrestle with these questions (including Au hasard Balthazar, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Tree of Life). As a supplement to these movies, we will also be reading selections from the most important critics and defenders of religion in the modern period (Pascal, Weil, Freud, Dawkins). Some of the voices we will encounter argue that religious belief is still possible, even necessary. Others are far less optimistic.
REL 276Islamic Mysticism: Twirling Lawyers and Naked Poets This course looks at the development of Sufism from its earliest manifestations through today. Students will learn about the textual production, ritual practices, institutional formations, and theoretical developments that make Sufism a unique and vibrant thread running through Islamic history. After providing an overview of its history and development, the course will explore contemporary representations of Sufism and debates over its place in Islam.
REL 277Spiritual but Not Religious? Spirituality, Religion, and Secular in Modern US History This course focuses on the popular "spiritual but not religious" phenomenon as a way of examining the categorical assumptions that scholars of religion and the general public make about non-religious spirituality, religion, and "the secular." Attention will be paid to particular strains of spirituality found in the practices of various traditional and new religious movements and "cult" practices. The course will also examine the recent prevalent trend to incorporate spirituality education into secular institutions and public healthcare practices.
REL 279Sexuality and Salvation in Christian and Muslim Worlds People often imagine an impassable gulf between religious doctrines and secular culture, but there are many religious adherents who see no conflict. This course explores theories of gender, sexuality, and race in contemporary Christianity and Islam. We will focus on the complex questions, resources, and strategies of holding many identities together that often, from the outside, seem conflicting.
REL 286India's Identities: Religion, Caste, and Gender in Contemporary South India This Winter Term course emphasizes the diversity of contemporary Indian identities, devoting particular attention to religion, caste, and gender. This course brings students into a range of Indian religious spaces associated with Hindu, Jain, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish traditions and into direct contact with Indians from an array of caste backgrounds, education levels, and occupations, allowing them to develop an informed appreciation of the diversity of the world's largest democracy. Through directed study opportunities, lectures, and daily interactions with Indians who live and work in the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, we will consider the nature of religious identity and practice; explore cultural expectations regarding gender (including arranged and other forms of marriage); assess the ways in which caste does and does not matter in contemporary society; and analyze how tradition and modernity interact in this rapidly changing nation. Cross-listed with REL 286 IS. Prerequisite: STA 207. Application and acceptance required. Additional travel fee is required. Counts toward Civilization or Society requirement. The course may also be counted as a Religious Studies elective and counts toward the Women's & Gender Studies and Asian Studies minors. This course satisfies one unit of experiential learning toward fulfillment of the Experiential Learning Requirement.
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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.
SOC 370Being and Becoming a Global Citizen In this course we will survey a wide range of global social problems including the current Ebola outbreak, the threat of ISIS, child immigrants from Central America, sex trafficking in Nepal, Thailand and elsewhere, and issues related to global climate change, and other issues and news current during the time frame of our session. Using these crises as a backdrop we will examine and critique the global humanitarian responses to these events/phenomena including both emergency aid and development efforts. Students will read about and research these topics and will be responsible for presenting to the class on an issue of their choice. Students will be challenged to work together on a class project to actively address one or more issues. Work in the course will be geared toward deepening each student’s understanding of what it means to be a globally aware and ethically responsible citizen.
SOC 375Gender and Crime This course examines how gender shapes patterns in crime, victimization, and criminal justice, with an emphasis on the U.S. context. The course adopts an intersectional approach that recognizes the importance of sexuality, social class, and race/ethnicity for understanding men’s and women’s experiences with crime and justice. Topics include sexual violence; street harassment; feminization of poverty and the gender gap; masculinities and crime; and gender, sexuality, and bias crime. The role of gender in criminological theory will be explored in depth.

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