Visions of the Future in Cli-Fi Novels and Movies
PSCI 1001.01 W 3:10-4:40pm (one 45-min. session: 1/13; seven 90-min. sessions: 1/20-4/6)
Course DescriptionAs a genre, science fiction regularly imagined where society was headed and what our world might look like in near or distant times. Depictions of this sort often served as critiques or satires of current society as well as predictions of a future one. In recent years, political debate has swirled around the issue of climate change, which is inherently about the future, and often about a more distant future than is typically discussed in the policy forum. A new literature has emerged, called
"cli-fi," that deals with this issue in interesting ways. This course will focus on that literature, as well as on the politics of the underlying issue it addresses.
The course will meet on alternate weeks and will discuss the following novels (all of manageable length): Oreskes and Conway, Decline of Western Civilization; Ian McEwan, Solar; Nathaniel Rich, Odds Against Tomorrow; Maggie Gee, The Flood; Kim Stanley Robinson, Forty Signs of Rain. In addition to participating in the class discussions, students will be asked to write a brief analysis (200-400 words) of two of the books for a leading cli-fi blog and a 5-page paper about any book, movie, TV show or video game that deals with climate change. The papers will be presented in the last two class and I will meet individually with each student to offer suggestions about his or her written work.
EvaluationClass Participation: 15%
2 Blogs: 20%
Final Paper: Written product 50%; Oral presentation 15%
Required Readings, [subject to change]Oreskes & Conway, Decline of Western Civilization
Ian McEwan, Solar
Nathaniel Rich, Odds Against Tomorrow
Maggie Gee, The Flood
Kim Stanley Robinson, Forty Signs of Rain
PSY 1001.01 W 4:10-5:25pm (one 50-min. session: 1/13; ten weekly 75-min. sessions: 1/20-3/30)
Course DescriptionThis seminar will explore major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, OCD, and anxiety disorders. We will focus on principles of neuro anatomy, neurophysiology, and pharmacology which have contributed to her understanding of these disorders. A framework of diagnostic systems, including DSM V, will be discussed and we will have 3 patient interviews, usually done at the Vanderbilt psychiatric Hospital. Instead of a text, we will review and discuss significant papers relating to our diagnostic categories. At the conclusion of this course, students should have an understanding of how major illnesses appear, how psychiatric diagnosis is made, the overall prevalence of these disorders, and some ideas about treatment. We will focus in particular on psychiatric illnesses in young people. We will read one short book, The Center Cannot Hold, a biographical account of psychosis, by Elyn Saks.
EvaluationGrades will be dependent on class participation and an essay, which depicts an account of major psychiatric illness drawn from media, literature, or personal experience.
Required ReadingsElyn Saks, The Center Cannot Hold
RLST 1001.01 W 3:10-4:40pm (one 50-min. session: 1/13; eight 90-min. sessions: 1/20-3/23)
Course DescriptionAll serious leadership starts from within and the quest for leadership, therefore, is first an inner quest to discover who you are.
- Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner
Ethical leaders take responsibility for leading their lives in ways that contribute to a more just world. They do the inner work necessary to construct a moral character, and the outer work necessary to contribute to the well being of others. This seminar focuses on developing this type of leadership, with emphasis on discovery of your particular values, goals, and gifts to contribute. Together we will consider questions such as: How can we create and then act in alignment with an inner moral compass? How can we negotiate the different perspectives of others to generate collaboration? How can we manage the stress caused by uncertainty, ambiguity and pressures to succeed? How can we be authentic to ourselves while serving the common good? We will use a narrative method to help us answer these questions. Engaging in character development, we will describe our ideal identities as ethical leaders in inspiring and guiding “self stories.” Our stories will be enriched through practices of self-reflection that increase self-awareness, self-regulation and motivation. And we will increase our abilities to put our particular plots into action by working on empathy and social intelligence, which help us empower others to become leaders themselves. The seminar begins with one 50-minute introductory session (January 13 3:10-4:00 pm) followed by eight 90-minute classes (3:10-4:40 pm on January 20 and 27; February 3, 10, 17 and 24; March 2 and 30). In each class, we will discuss theory (ideas and concepts from assigned reading and in class presentations), and practice using new knowledge (individual exercises and group activities).
In this class, we will explore the following concepts and practices:
- how a narrative understanding or ‘self story’ grounds an ethical identity
- how moral reasoning, virtue ethics and moral psychology inform our character construction and action
- how to identify one’s core values and develop intentions and goals to enact them
- what disables your ability to act on your values (psychological biases and rationalizations, social pressures, habits, etc.) and how to combat those disablers
- what enables your ability to act on your values (religious beliefs, moral reasoning, ethical exemplars, ethical codes, moral allies, mindfulness, etc.) and how to employ those enablers
- how to relate to the perspectives and values of others
- how to negotiate values disagreements with others and find common ground for collaboration
- how to construct a guiding story of oneself as an ethical leader
EvaluationYou will be expected to complete reading before each session, and to bring your full participation, sense of humor, intellectual curiosity and respect for others’ differences to share with us. Evaluation for this class includes:
- participation as demonstrated by attendance, discussion and engaging in-class activities (50%);
- 3 one-page essays that will build toward your final paper (30%: 10% each), and
- an approximately eight-page paper that reflects your exploration of your leadership identity (20%).
Required ReadingsHis Holiness the Dalai Lama, Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World and course notes and presentations provided by Dr. Baker online and in class.
SOC 1001.01 M 4:00-5:30 pm (one 45-min. session: 1/11; eight weekly 90-min. sessions: 1/25-3/21)
Course DescriptionAmericans own more guns than in any other Western nation. Where does this want/need for guns originate? Why are Americans so attached to their deadly weapons and why are citizens in many states demanding the right to walk about with guns; on the streets, in schools and in our parks? This seminar looks at how guns became a part of American culture and examines some of the facts and myths that are attached to gun ownership. We will also explore the various gun laws in different states and the impact that those laws have on police, criminals and ordinary citizens.
- Research on chosen state gun laws/stand your gun laws (20%)
- Weekly response papers (4 x 10% each = 40%)
- Final project on gun incident of choice (25%)
- Attendance/Participation (15%)
Required ReadingsReadings will be posted on Blackboard or distributed as handouts.
SPED 1001.01 F 1:10-2:00pm (14 weekly 50-min. sessions, 1/15-4/22)
Course DescriptionCertainly teachers need to know how children learn to read and write, but what about everyone else? Many non-teachers encounter opportunities to help others learn to read. For example, parents help their children with reading and writing homework, and adults volunteer their time to tutor children learning to read and to help adults who have limited literacy skills. This class is designed for any college student who wants to understand how children learn to read (and write) and why some children encounter difficulties in learning to reading and write. In this course, learners will explore models of reading and the factors (e.g., oral language, home environment, preschool experiences, quality of instruction) that influence literacy achievement outcomes, methods of reading instruction, federal policy on reading and writing instruction, and the reading and writing research in education sciences, language sciences, psychology, and neuroscience. Instructional methods include assigned readings, class-wide and small group discussions, discussion boards, guest lectures on reading research, observations of literacy assessment and literacy intervention with children with reading disabilities.
EvaluationMethods of evaluation will include a 12-minute collaborative presentation on an assigned community literacy resource (25%), three reflective writing essays (45%), class attendance and participation (20%), and contributions to discussion boards on Blackboard (10%).
Required ReadingsPedriana, A. (2010). Leaving Johnny behind: Overcoming barriers to literacy and reclaiming at-risk readers. Lanham, MD: R&L Education
ISBN-10: 1607099136 ISBN-13: 978-1607099130
***Students should order this textbook on their own.
Some websites resources:
http://www.childrenofthecode.org/ http://www.readingrockets.org http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/reading/Pages/default.aspx
The instructors will provide copies of additional readings and other resources, either by hard copy or posted on Blackboard.
THTR 1001.02 W 4:10-5:40pm (one 50-min. session: 1/13; eight 90-min. sessions: 1/20-3/23
Course DescriptionAs popular entertainment, the American musical has provided a stage to enact a variety of characters that embrace and confront dominant perceptions of social identity and the shifting demographics of U.S. culture. Since the emergence of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s integrated musicals during the mid-twentieth century, choreography has contributed significantly to the development of iconic characters who both reinforced and shaped contemporary understandings of gender, race, ethnicity, and class. Jack Cole’s jazz movements in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes accentuated Marilyn Monroe’s feminine sexuality; Jerome Robbins’s salsa-inspired rhythms in West Side Story drew boundaries between Anita’s Puerto-Rican allegiance and Maria’s assimilationist desire; Savion Glover’s staccato tap/rap numbers in Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk punctuated the characters’ different narratives of the black experience in U.S. history.
This class will examine musical choreography, both in film and live performance, as artistically embodied expressions of American social identity. The primary texts for the course will be films and video clips (accessible from the OAK site), augmented by essays that introduce students to the language of dance and theories of social identity. Representative choreographers and musicals include:
- Agnes de Mille (Oklahoma!; Carousel)
- Katherine Dunham (Casbah; Stormy Weather)
- Jerome Robbins (On the Town; The King and I; West Side Story)
- Bob Fosse (Sweet Charity; The Pajama Game)
- Michael Bennett (A Chorus Line; Dream Girls)
- Savion Glover (Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk)
- Bill T. Jones (Spring Awakening; Fela!)
- Andy Blankenbuehler (In the Heights; Hamilton)
EvaluationStudents will be evaluated based on class participation (30%), four short (one page) movement analyses (40%), and a small group discussion facilitation (30%).