Charts first-year experiences and degree requirements across the five Claremont undergraduate colleges, and displays library instruction provided to each program during the 2011-12 academic year.
CMC removes course descriptions from website after semester ends. Contact Kelly Hogencamp (firstname.lastname@example.org) at CMC registrar's office to have report run.
The purpose of this course is to help students become more effective writers. To this end, we will read, discuss, and write about works from a variety of genres--essay, poem, drama, short story, novel. Throughout the course, we will examine the ways that form, feeling, and idea converge in master works of writing. Thematically, our readings center on uses and abuses of language in different personal and social contexts. Our writing concerns will range from the perils and pleasures of punctuation to larger questions of logic, organization, and style, and to the modes of exposition, narration, description, and argument.
In this course you will see how great writers compel the interest of readers and you will learn how to do it too. You will study classic works in each genre and analyze their structure, diction, imagery, themes, and metaphors; you will attempt to employ these elements skillfully in your own writing. You will write at least one page per class, and one or two students will be selected to use the page they have written as the basis for a brief talk on the question of the day. Among our authors will be Homer, Shakespeare, Keats, Balzac, and Yeats.
This course offers an intensive introduction to the study of literature organized around two rich and dynamically related themes: magic and science. Both have a long history of shadowing each other in Western culture, and both have long held a certain pride of place in imaginative writing--from Homer to Harry Potter, John Donne to Robert Frost. As we survey a range of literary forms and genres, our primary goal will be to cultivate the art of critical writing. Through frequent writing assignments and extensive revision, we will develop our responses to literature into cogent and coherent arguments.
This course looks at some of literature's favorite heroes, heroines, and villains across a variety of genres, from classical and medieval epic (The Iliad, Beowulf) to drama (The Oresteia, Medea, Macbeth) and chivalric romance (Lancelot). As we read, we'll pay special attention to imagery, narrative, literary forms, characterization, and plot development. The craft of writing will always be front and center, from short in-class writing exercises to collaborative draft workshops. We'll work on generating text-based paper topics, crafting fluid and well-structured sentences and paragraphs, and incorporating quotations. Students will complete a series of one-page response papers, an in-class presentation, and three 5-7 page papers.
In this course we will read and respond to a variety of texts to foster critical thought about the "American Dream." Each of the works we will read contributes to a larger conversation regarding intersecting discourses of race, class, gender, and nationhood as they complicate contemporary understandings of productivity, success, and privilege in the United States. You will join this conversation by sharing your perspective on the "American Dream" and by applying critical theory to various works. You will thereby flex your critical thinking skills as you practice writing in an organized, thoughtful, and persuasive manner.
This course will explore the epic hero's journey - ancient and modern - as a fundamental metaphor for the search for individual identity and social values, and as a site for asking questions about the nature of the universe and human life. We will begin with ancient epic and turn as the course develops to modern instantiations, exploring how the format has been transformed in terms of theme and narrative. Instruction will cover basic skills of literary analysis and critical thinking; assignments will focus on the development of persuasive, intentional academic writing in the context of a literature course.
This writing-intensive course will emphasize critical thinking, sound argumentation in writing, and close analysis of literature. We'll look at the role of the comic in post-war literature, discussing how writers have turned to humor to capture the reality of modern life. We'll read classics by Beckett, Heller, and Philip Roth, as well as contemporary novels and short stories by Lorrie Moore, Zadie Smith, George Saunders, and Gish Jen, focusing on how these writers use comedy to comment on society, protest political injustice, or expose the absurdity of the human condition.
We will write in response to texts spanning the history of detective fiction: from Poe's "tales of ratiocination," through the Golden Age between the Wars, to the hard-boiled tradition--concluding with a contemporary "metaphysical detective story," which we will read in both prose and graphic novel versions. We will also consider the relationship between hard boiled detective fiction and Hollywood film noir. Texts--and the genre itself--will be treated less as "established facts," more as "mysteries to be solved"; texts will also be seen as potential models for interpretation, by analogies we will draw between detection and literary analysis.
This section will explore the relationships between literature, religion, and society in texts that cover a large historical and geographical spectrum. More particularly, we will investigate the roles of religion and literature within society. Our readings will raise subtle questions relating to the construction of meaning, the human condition, and various worldviews. We will ask how religion uses literature, how literature uses religion, and how humans use both to define themselves and their worlds. Written assignments will develop students' critical and analytical abilities in formal argumentation.
Not required, but recommended, most take. Research-intensive component.
A transdisciplinary examination of the constitution of the individual and his or her role in community, including the development and influence of culture. Sources include classic texts from Plato to Freud and an extensive use of novels, film, music and the visual arts. Topics range over the meaning of being human, the nature of good and evil, the nature of science and knowledge, and fundamental questions of art and religion. At its heart, the course seeks to develop a deep understanding of how the tension between the individual and community defines cultures or entire civilizations.
This class focuses on two clusters of issues. First, would the most reasonable person recognize moral constraints? A skeptic might propose that reason requires acting in self-interest without constraint. Someone even more skeptical might propose that the most reasonable life is not in any case the best human life at all. The second cluster of issues concerns similar optimistic and skeptical views about whether we can gain knowledge of reality by means of reason. We will attend to philosophy, literature and film, and ask whether literature and film are in a better position to advance skeptical views about reason.
This seminar examines some of the most important religious, secular, and political thinkers in human history and their reflections on poverty, wealth, and social change. It also explores their strategies and methods for social change and why their views on wealth and poverty remain influential around the world to this day. Key thinkers analyzed include Moses, Confucius, the Buddha, Aristotle, Jesus, Mohammad, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Adam Smith, John Locke, Max Weber, Karl Marx, Mao Zedung, John Stuart Mill, Walter Rauschenbusch, Dorothy Day, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Desmond Tutu, Leonardo Boff, Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi, Rigoberta Menchú, and Muhammad Yunus.
The Sisyphus of myth was condemned to an eternal punishment of rolling a stone up a hill, only to have that stone roll back down so that he was forced to begin his task anew. While Sisyphus's fate thereby epitomizes meaninglessness, many writers have thought that we are in no better of a position. Do our lives have meaning, or are we no better off than Sisyphus? If we're doomed to meaninglessness, what kind of attitude should we take our existence? And regardless, how should we view death? Course readings, both classical and contemporary, will be drawn primarily from philosophical, religious, and literary texts.
The virtues are traits of character that are taken to allow human beings to do well in every aspect of their lives. This course will trace the development of accounts of the virtues in the Western tradition from the Greeks to the present day. Authors to be covered might include Homer, Aristotle, St. Paul, Aquinas, David Hume, Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin, Jane Austen, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Gilbert Harman.
As Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar argued in 2001, "modernity is inescapable…[and we must]…desist from speculations about the end of modernity. Born in the West some centuries ago under relatively specific socio-historical conditions, modernity is now everywhere" [Gaonkar, Alternative Modernities, p. 1]. The first half of the course, then, does the important work of tracing the story of the birth and development of modernity in the West, and it pays particular attention to the role of religion in this process. The course moves from the religious foundations of modernity to religion's impact on modern philosophy, science, politics, and economics. The second half of the course takes Gaonkar's claim that Western modernity has "specific socio-historical conditions" seriously, and it explores both the impact of Western modernity and the subsequent configurations of non-Western modernity through a case study of India.
This course examines South Asian civilization by looking at the problems of the individual and society, discipline and freedom, culture, the arts and science in comparative perspective.
This course has several purposes. One is to examine several of the major thinkers who have guided Western understanding. A second is to explore the basic issues listed in the course outline. A third is to begin to understand the origin, nature, and differences among several fundamental ways to comprehend human experience and the world around us: religion, philosophy, moral and political practice, art and poetry, and science.
This course explores how influential writers have analyzed the social roles of women and men. We will consider a set of questions: How have thinkers understood the interplay of nature and culture? What arguments did they make regarding education, economics, citizenship, and family life for men and women? What social and political changes did they advocate? We will examine, as well, how their writings were received, what influence they had, and how authors responded to each other's ideas. After some readings from the ancient and medieval world, our focus will be on Europe and the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Shakespeare (Rentz). Burrow.
The Power of Laughter (Bilger). Comedy draws lines between insiders and outsiders, those who get the joke and those who don't. By considering what makes us laugh and how authors incorporate comic elements into their works, we will be able to understand important elements of rhetoric and identity. We will read theoretical essays, plays, short stories, and novels that focus on the subtle and complex workings of comedy and laughter. Writing assignments will focus on making sense of laughter through literary analysis and the application of critical theory.. Literature, Religion, and Society (Carhart). This section will explore the relationships between literature, religion, and society in texts that cover a large historical and geographical spectrum. More particularly, we will investigate the roles of religion and literature in society. Our readings will raise subtle questions relating to the construction of meaning, the human condition, and various worldviews. We will ask how religion uses literature, how literature uses religion, and how human beings use both to define themselves and their worlds. Written assignments will develop students' critical and analytical abilities in formal argumentation.. Meta: Representations of Reading and Writing in Literature (Crockett). Readers, writers, and books make their way into literary works with remarkable frequency. These meta-narrative representations of literature within literature invite us to take seriously our own reading and writing habits as we perform critical analysis. In this course, we will consider how, and to what end, readers and writers are represented in a wide range of literary texts and films. With the help of critical theories and close analysis of the texts, we will consider how individuals and their respective cultures are shaped by, and contribute to, the history of reading and writing.. American Idealism and Pragmatism (McGrath). The American republic is an experiment, a test, Lincoln called it, of whether philosophical ideals can address the vagaries of history. Down the years, the attempt to realize American ideals has proven to be as difficult as reconciling dreams with reality. The result has been a peculiarly experimental literature, one that embodies tension and contradiction, and for that reason finds out the real American life. We will read major American authors, with particular attention to the way writing not only reflects but also discovers the world out there. Student writing will also be a process of discovery, following literary evidence toward new ideas.. Literary Genres through Film (Morrison). This course examines the key literary genres of the novel, the short story, poetry, and drama by pairing significant literary texts with cinematic counterparts. The course is less about film adaptations of literary works than about reaching an understanding of distinctive elements of these genres through a study of the differing forms they take in the media of literature and film. Authors will include Poe, Dickinson, Nabokov, Shakespeare, and Chekhov.. Imagining Adolescence (Noel). This course emphasizes critical thinking, sound argumentation in writing, and close analysis of written work. In this section, we'll read a range of literature and discuss it first in terms of its literary merits and secondly for what it may show about the ways in which adolescence has historically been conceptualized and depicted. You'll write four papers for this course, three of which will focus on literary analysis; for the fourth, you'll have the option of writing a creative piece in order to engage with literature not only as a reader/ respondent but also as a writer.. Animals in Literature and Film (Schur). Why do animals figure so prominently in literature, especially since they do not presumably participate in language? If language is the foundation of literature, how can literature do justice to animals? These are among the questions that will inform our writing in response to both classic and contemporary fiction. We will also consider animals in film, with a case study of King Kong (1933) and its 2005 remake. Special attention will be given to the problem of anthropomorphization: as a rule, this approach to representation and interpretation obscures the human-animal relationship; we will be alert to exceptions, and in search of alternatives.. The Art of the Essay (von Hallberg). We will study the essay by reading a very wide variety of them. In class discussions, we will focus on the artfulness of our authors, though our objective will not be limited to admiration. We will regard these texts as instances of the range of the genre. The techniques commonly recommended to students concern clarity and economy above all else. We too will talk about these virtues, but our discussions will also examine the roles of imagination, playfulness, and surprise in essay-writing. Our objective will be to open up to each student-author a wide sense of the art of the essay.. The Epic Hero’s Journey - Ancient & Modern (Woelfel). This course will explore the epic hero's journey - ancient and modern - as a fundamental metaphor for the search for individual identity and social values, and as a site for asking questions about the nature of the universe and human life. We will begin with ancient epic and turn as the course develops to modern instantiations, exploring how the format has been transformed in terms of theme and narrative. Instruction will cover basic skills of literary analysis and critical thinking; assignments will focus on the development of persuasive, intentional academic writing in the context of a literature course.. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic.
Effecting of all Things Possible (Williams). Women and Science (Edwalds-Gi). Transcending Humanity (Humes). Liberty and Excellence (Blitz). This course has several purposes. One is to examine several of the major thinkers who have guided Western understanding. A second is to explore the basic issues listed in the course outline. A third is to begin to understand the origin, nature, and differences among several fundamental ways to comprehend human experience and the world around us: religion, philosophy, moral and political practice, art and poetry, and science.. Natures of the Self (Gilbert). The course examines the Self as represented and understood during various periods and in different intellectual frameworks within western civilization. Through important works of literature, philosophy, and science, we will examine how the Self is constructed and contested, the relation between independent Self and social Self, between the Self and the story of the Self, and whether or not these exists and identifiable, irreducible Self.. Nature & Imagination (Park). Individual/Society in S. Asia (Kumar). Liberty and Excellence (Thomas). This course has several purposes. One is to examine several of the major thinkers who have guided Western understanding. A second is to explore the basic issues listed in the course outline. A third is to begin to understand the origin, nature, and differences among several fundamental ways to comprehend human experience and the world around us: religion, philosophy, moral and political practice, art and poetry, and science.. Culture/Politics in Europe (Petropoulos). This course examines the interplay of culture and politics in Europe over the past six hundred years. "Culture" will be defined fairly broadly, so as to include a wide range of human behavior, but students will focus primarily on works of literature and political philosophy, visual arts and music, and for the twentieth century, film. The course will explore several key themes, including new conceptions about the individual's place in society, the formation of the nation-state, and the articulation of power through cultural forms.. Individual, Community & Culture (Valenza). A transdisciplinary examination of the constitution of the individual and his or her role in community, including the development and influence of culture. Sources include classic texts from Plato to Freud and an extensive use of novels, film, music and the visual arts. Topics range over the meaning of being human, the nature of good and evil, the nature of science and knowledge, and fundamental questions of art and religion. At its heart, the course seeks to develop a deep understanding of how the tension between the individual and community defines cultures or entire civilizations.. Nature & Imagination in E. Asia (Park). This course examines how individuals and societies in pre-modern and modern Asia have defined nature and environment, how definitions of nature and the environment have guided everyday life, and how theories of nature and environment have inspired new forms of design and social movements. Using a historical and comparative approach to analyze how people in Asia have imagined the relationship between humanity, nature and society, this class explores topics such as Taoist, Shamanistic and Buddhist concepts of nature, geomancy and architecture in traditional Korea, antipollution campaigns in modern Japan, industrialization and agrarian ideology in 1930s Asia and environmental politics in present day China.. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic. Subtopic.
Lisa Cody, Director of FHS Program, on sabbatocal 2011-12, may move to Audrey Bilger, Faculty Director of the Writing Center, Literature Dept..
Writ 1 - Fall. Not research based, half-semester course.. HSA 10 - (Spring 2012). The program in humanities, social sciences, and the arts is structured to promote both breadth of understanding and the in-depth study of a particular disciplinary or interdisciplinary area of special interest. Each student takes HSA 10, a seminar course geared to developing writing and analytical skills, in the spring of his or her first year. A minimum of ten further HSA courses are required in order to graduate. At least four of these must be taken in the student's chosen area of concentration; five (usually including one of the concentration courses and four others) go to satisfying distribution requirements; and two are electives. At least one course (in addition to HSA 10) must include substantial writing. As a means of integrating the study of the humanities, social sciences, and arts into the life of the Harvey Mudd community, the department requires that at least five of the ten courses in addition to HSA 10 be taken from departmental faculty. With only a single prescribed course, the program affords students substantial flexibility to pursue their individual interests and experiment with new areas of study. Study abroad is common and easily fit within the program requirements, as are work in music and other creative endeavors. HSA 10: This course introduces students to inquiry, writing, and research in HSA, through focused exploration of a particular topic selected by the instructor in each section. To encourage reflection on the place of HSA within the HMC curriculum, the course begins with a brief unit on the history and aims of liberal arts education. Also: This seminar course introduces students to inquiry, writing, and research in HSA, through focused exploration of a particular topic selected by the instructor in each section. To encourage reflection on the place of HSA within the HMC curriculum, the course begins with a brief unit on the history and aims of liberal arts education. Writing assignments include a substantial research paper on a topic of interest chosen by the student in consultation with his or her instructor. The course ends with student research presentations in each section, followed by a Presentations Days event featuring the best presentations from across all sections.. 1. Peculiar Tastes (DeLaet). TTH 8:10-9:25 AM. 2. Facts and Interpretations (Sullivan). TTH 8:10-9:25 AM. 3. English with an Accent (Balseiro). TTH 12-1:10 PM. 4. Socratic Dialogues (Wright). WF 1:15-2:30 PM. 5. The Economics of Oil and Energy (Evans). TTH 12-1:10 PM. 6. Political Analysis (Steinberg). MW 2:45-4 PM. 7. US-China Relations: History and the Present (Tan). TTH 6:15-7:30 PM. 8. Gender & Science (Hamilton). TTH 8:10-9:25 AM. 9. Technology and U.S. Society (Barron). MW 1:15-2:30 PM. 10. People and Other Animals (Mayeri). MW 4:15-5:30 PM. 11. Religious Experiences (Dyson). TTH 6:15-7:30 PM. Section Descriptions. Burrow. Booth. Tagge & Garrett. Burrow. Martin. Lowe. Stone. Chappell. Rosenkranz & Kome. Garrett. Snyder.
Faculty Contact. Courses. Paul Miller, Writing Coordinator & Philosophy Dept. (Temp). Fiirst-Year Seminar (Fall 2011). The First-Year Seminar program is designed to help students become more literate people who think, read, write, and speak both critically and competently. All first-year students are required to take a First-Year Seminar in the Fall semester. Successful completion of the course fulfills the College's Written Expression educational objective. Enrollment is limited to 18 students per seminar. First-Year Seminars meet for 75-minute sessions twice a week--Monday and Wednesday 11:00 am - 12:15 pm or Tuesday and Thursday 2:45 pm - 4:00 pm. Although each seminar has a different instructor, topic, and set of readings, all seminars focus on close textual analysis and effective writing strategies. Common events, such as receptions, field trips, and evening lectures, promote discussion among students, instructors, and other members of the Pitzer community.. T-Th 2:45-4:00. M-W 11:00-12:15. 1. American Anarchists (Ward). This seminar will examine the history of anarchism in the United States from the 1830s through the present.. 2. Rock in Las Americas: From 'Refried" Elvis to Punk (M. Soldatenko). In this course, we will explore the history, political economy, and cultural production of Latino/a rock and roll in las Americas. We will investigate the attitudes, dress, hairstyles, dance, and music of Latino/a rockers in Latin America and the United States. Rock and roll is a transnational phenomenon whose different manifestations point to race, class, sexuality, and gender divisions in different nations and contexts. In this course, we will look closely at the changes in rock and how these changes were interpreted in Latina America and Latinos/as in the U.S., as well as the reaction of governments and social groups.. 3. Soccer and Social Change (Boyle). This seminar will introduce students to: (a) the academic study of the hstory and politics of soccer; (b) the relationship between soccer and social change; and (c) participate in a community engagement project with soccer-related organizations.. 4. Video and Diversity (Ma). This seminar studies video as a medium, particularly as it is utilized by women, people of color, lesbians and gays, grassroots activists, as well as other peoples who are under and/or misrepresented by dominant media. The class explores independent video production from historical as well as issue-oriented approaches. The history of video technology, from analog to digital, is studied with a focus on developments that made video an accessible and powerful tool for self-expression and political intervention. Issues around gender, race, class, and sexual politics are examined in relation to works from the above-mentioned communities. Bodies of work by individual makers and collectives are presented as case studies in how multiple issues can be addressed through singular oeuvres.. 5. California's Landscapes: Diverse Peoples and Ecosystems (M Herrold-Menzies). This seminar explores the diverse ecological and cultural landscapes of California, examining how different groups (Native American, Hispanic, African-American, Asian, and European) have transformed California's rich natural resources. Topics include: Native Americans in the Los Angeles Basin and the Redwood Forests; Spanish-Mexican missions of southern California; African-American miners in the Sierra; Chinese and Japanese farmers in the Central Valley; and the wildland-urban interface of L.A.. 6. It Takes a Village (Banerjee). The focus of the course is to examine the proverb, "It takes an entire village to raise a child." Through the use of literature, we will examine the ways in which families and childhood have been constructed in different time periods, across different cultural contexts, and under varying political and social influences. A recurring theme will be to study to what extent the "nuclear family" actually typifies current families and family structure worldwide.. 7. Intercultural Romance: Sexual Border-Crossings and Geopolitical Transformations (Talmor). What can we learn about the most large-scale politico-economic processes--colonialism and globalization--through the most intimate of encounters--sex and love? Sex and love are usually described as being beyond culture, politics, and difference. But are they? We will look at the ways in which the most intimate encounters change or reinforce imbalances of power, the ways they are celebrated and punished.. 8. Science and the Rise of the West (Naftian). This seminar explores the principles, aspirations, and legacy of the Enlightenment, a broad cultural movement in the eighteenth century that has powerfully influenced modern politics, science, and social ideals. Concepts that will receive particular attention are the self, progress, rational thought, science, and the social construction of race, class, and gender. Readings will include works by major Enlightenment thinkers, such as Voltaire, Locke, and Newton, as well as their later critics, including Marx and Foucault.. 9. Colonization, Racialization, and Renewal: Indian Nations of Southern California (E. Steinman). This seminar will utilize field research, community interaction, and classroom meetings to address the following questions: Who are the indigenous communities near Pitzer? How do they view the world? What experiences have they survived to simply exist today? What are their current goals and challenges? E. Steinman.. 10. Reading China (Chao). A child born in Shanghai is expected to live for 82 years, while one born in the United States has a life expectancy of 79 years. Understanding this surprising statistic requires us to examine the rapid change China has undergone in the last three decades. Drawing on articles from the New York Times. The Economist, The China Daily, and the China Heritage Newsletter, this class will interpret and contextualize current events about China. The class aims to provide students with an understanding of the challenges that China faces in the 21st century and its growing influence in a global arena.. 11. Character in American Politics (Miller. As the presidential election year of 2012 approaches, American citizens must again sift through political rhetoric and media reports to decide who should hold perhaps the most powerful political position in the world. Some analysts argue that a candidate's voting record and policy proposals are more important than the public's perception of his or her character. But many Americans still consider personal character the single most important qualification for president. Far too often the media boils character down to a candidate's sex life or past experience with illegal drugs. This course explores the classic work of Aristotle along with the history of the American presidency to discover a much richer perspective on the politics of character.. 12. La Familia (Torres). In this seminar, we will focus on the role of la familia for Latinos living in the U.S. We will explore the construction of la familia from both a historical and contemporary perspective, with particular attention to the psychological and sociocultural factors that contribute to the diversity of la familia. 13. Environmental Toxicology (A. Jones). This seminar will explore the impact of a variety of socio-environmental teratogens (e.g., lead, pesticides, malnutrition, and drugs) on the development and functioning of physiological and behavioral systems. The impact of these agents will be addressed at the cellular, organismic, and sociocultural levels. This seminar will include a "toxicology tour" of the Los Angeles area.. 14. U.S. Educational Experiences (Hidalgo). This seminar will examine various cultural histories of educational experiences in the U.S. from the late 19th century to the current moment. We will read autobiographies, fiction, and primary historical texts that document the contradictory conditions of what it means to "get an education" in the U.S.. 15. Heroic Deviance (Zuckerman). The seminar will examine the ways in which deviance can be positive, altruistic, even heroic. We will look at people from various cultures who went against the grain, violated social norms, and resisted their society's rules for the good of humanity.. 16. What is Science and Who Owns It? (Fucaloro). This seminar traces the development of science from the Ancient Greek traditions (ca. 2400 to 2000 years ago) to the birth of modern science (16th and 17th centuries) to the present, with particular attention to the effect modern science has exerted and continues to exert on our view of the world and our place in it. Some portions of the course requires knowledge of basic mathematics, including basic algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. This will be accessible to all student who have taken pre-calculus in high school.. 17. Romanticism and the Culture of Childhood (Stallard). This course explores the connection between the poet and the child through examining the child as aesthetic object and subject and author of aesthetic experiences. Specifically, it will analyze both treatises on the nature of childhood as seen in philosophical and literary texts and specific depictions of children in poetry.. *. *. *. Garrett. Stone. *. *. *. *. Tagge. Rosenkranz. *. *. *. *. *. Burrow.
Learning Objectives. Degree Requirements. Faculty Contact. Courses. Dara Regaignon on leave, Director of Writing Program (Ken Wolfe, History Dept. active for 11-12). CRITICAL INQUIRY (ID1): Fall 2011. First-year students are required to take the Critical Inquiry seminar (ID 1) in the first semester. Twenty-eight or more sections are offered by permanent faculty from throughout the College. Each section has a unique--and usually interdisciplinary--topic. The goal of the Critical Inquiry seminar is to prepare first-year students to participate fully and successfully in the intellectual community that is Pomona College. To this end, students learn in ID 1 to engage the work and ideas of others; to articulate nuanced, reflective positions of their own; and to present their ideas in a sustained, persuasive manner. Recent seminar topics are listed in the Critical Inquiry [pdf] section of the Pomona College Catalog. During the summer before their first semester at the College, all entering first-year students are provided a description of upcoming seminar offerings and are asked to submit their ranked preferences. 2011-12 Seminars 1. Mimetic Desire in the French Novel. J. Abecassis. 2. Simply Sondheim. J. Bailey. 3. From Information to Knowledge. T. Chen. 4. I Disagree. V. de Silva. 5. "Flashpoints" in Rock & Roll History. K. Dettmar. 6. Telling Stories: Form and Function of Narrative in Everyday Life. D. Divita. 7. Baseball in America. L. Foster. 8. Pomona Goes Green. G. Gorse. 9. Virtuous Markets? G. Hueckel. 10. Can Zombies Do Math? G. Karaali. 11. Muslim Literary Landscapes. Z. Kassam. 12. The European Enlightenment. G. Kates. 13. Travels and Discoveries. A. Khazeni. 14. The TV Novel. K. Klioutchkine. 15. Growth. M. Kuehlwein. 16. Philosophy Through Science Fiction. P. Kung. 17. Living Art in Los Angeles: Southern California Performance Art. J. Lu. 18. Dangerous Books. S. McWilliams. 19. "We": Identity and the New Science of Social Life. A. Pearson. 20. Scientific Reasoning. L. Perini. 21. Music and Beauty. A. Perman. 22. Advice about Love and the Literary Narrator. S. Raff. Some elusive piece of information, says a persistent but questionable intuition, holds the key to love and happiness. Why do the narrators of works of literature so often present themselves as purveyors of just such information? What do readers mean when they say that they are "in love" with a particular author, book, or character? What does a literary work's status as object of love contribute to its authority as advisor about love? In this seminar, we will examine how various texts represent their role in the life of the reader (literature as medicine, aphrodisiac, guardian, spouse, or seducer) as well as the content of literary advice about love (how to seduce a virgin or annoy her, save a marriage or destroy one, curtail erotic melancholy or prolong it). We draw on works by Ovid, Molière, Laclos, Goethe, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Wilde, Henry James, Freud, and Tommaso Landolfi. 23. Fragrant Ecstasies: A Cultural History of the Sense of Smell. H. Rindisbacher. The reek of a Kansas feed lot, the aroma of fresh-baked bread, the scent of jasmine on a breezy spring day… This course provides an entrance into the vast world of olfactory perception, the fleeting realm that leaves only indirect traces, preserved in myriads of objects, texts, and cultural practices all over the world. Smells connect to perfumery and luxury, to chemistry and neuroscience, to aromatherapy and advertisement, to stench and death--but always also to the erotic and sex. It is an interdiscipinary field par excellence. In this seminar we will map the history of olfactory perception as it is reflected in modern Western literature. We'll investigate examples ranging from the sweet smells of romantic nature to the stench of the smoke billowing from Auschwitz. We study texts from many countries, epochs and genres, including literary, cultural, and historical writings, from the old perfumers Septimus Piesse and Eugène Rimmel to Celia Lyttelton's The Scent Trail, and Patrick Süskind's notorious Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. Specific questions include how authors use olfactory description; linguistic encoding of smells; the divisions of the olfactory spectrum; and the synaesthetic reach of scents that ties together people, places, practices and memories. 24. Sonnet, Still Life, Lives. C. Rosenfeld. The English poet Ben Jonson likened the sonnet to an instrument of torture, a "tyrant's bed," where the poet strapped down his thoughts and "some who were too short were racked and others too long, cut short." By contrast, T.S. Eliot suggested that the sonnet "is not merely such and such a pattern, but a precise way of thinking." Why have some people--of certain genders and classes, at certain times and in certain places--considered form instrumental to thinking? Why have others considered form to be limiting of thought or even torturous of thought? In this seminar, we will explore this tension between form and thinking across three different domains of knowledge: the literary, the visual, and the historical. Focusing on the sonnet, still life and lives (commonly, biography) we will ask: what is the relationship between form and the production of knowledge? 25. Adventures with Russian Books: Tales of Passion, Crime, Wars and Revolutions. L. Rudova. Russian literature has long been understood as a vehicle for the expression of political and moral concerns. In this seminar, however, we also consider how this body of literature helps us understand the relationship between the human condition and art. We will read Russian literature from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, seeking to understand the individual, social and political dilemmas faced by central characters in the context of Russian culture and history. In this way, the values, passions, beliefs, dreams and fantasies expressed in Russian fiction will help us understand the peculiarity of the Russian national character. Finally, it is impossible to answer the question why Russian literature continues to stir the imagination of Western readers without examining its artistic craft. We will therefore analyze the narrative strategies and literary techniques that underlie the stylistic originality of such great authors as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Bulgakov, Nabokov, Pasternak, Petrushevskaia and Pelevin. In their writing, students will examine the language and structure of the texts closely, building critical tools that will help them investigate a individual text, author, or issue in more detail, while also situating it in its cultural-historical context. All readings in English. 26. "Tripping the Light Fantastic": A History of Ballroom and Social Dancing. A. Shay. Social dances--such as waltzes, tangos, and sambas--not only encode social and gender roles but also rely on a silent history of cultural appropriation and primitivism. These dances teach their participants how to be a "man" or a "woman" by specifying movements, postures and social behavior deemed socially appropriate to each gender. And millions of Americans have appropriated dances from African American and Latino societies. In this seminar, we'll contemplate how any history of social dance must grapple with issues of gender and sexuality, race, primitivism, cultural appropriation, religion, and censorship. We will consider how early twentieth-century figures such as Vernon and Irene Castle "whitened" and desexualized dances such as the tango, samba, and rumba in order to make them safe to perform by elite members of (generally white) high society. And we'll consider, as well, the century-long exhibition ballroom dance phenomenon (including the recent popularity of television programs such as Dancing with the Stars). In addition to short response papers to particular readings and performances, students will have the chance to explore a topic that relates to the contexts, gender and sexuality, ethnic or social issues surrounding ballroom and social dance in cultural and historical context. In order to better understand what goes into these dances, students will attend one rehearsal of the Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Team. 27. The Sacred Alias: Real Play and the Name Taboo. D. Smith. Sacred language has long harbored the idea that the personal name is an intrinsic part of the self. As such, its advertisement threatens exposure to forces that might undo its bearer. From Homer's Odysseus to the Rumpelstiltskin of the Brothers Grimm, from Superman's Mr. Mxyzptlk to Ursula K. Le Guin's Sparrowhawk, from St. Olaf's troll to Ralph Ellison's Little Man at Chehaw Station, true names and their association to power are of timeless importance. In this seminar, we will explore the (super)natural link between naming and empowerment: How do the weak--through naming work--reverse their condition? Comparing gambits by the socially vulnerable to various games of insight, we'll seek relationships between the detection of tells in gambling and that of so-called true names within social struggle. Through mystical theology's and post-colonial theory's understanding of the use of light to hide things, we will also consider the relationship between concealing and revealing, basic to both tell-reading and true-naming. 28. Nanotechnology in Science and Fiction. D. Tanenbaum. Nanotechnology--which combines physics, chemistry, biology and engineering--is currently one of the most heavily funded and fastest growing areas of science. Depending upon what you read, nanotechnology may consume our world or enable unlimited new materials, destroy life as we know it or enable immortality, lead us to squalor or utopia or simply make better electronic gadgets. We will discuss current scientific research in contrast with a range of fiction by Philip Dick, Neil Stephenson, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Paul McEuen and others. How do science and fiction intermix and inspire each other? Can technology change our self-image and identity? Will technology enhance or subvert the development of the individual or our culture? We will examine how the existing media and literature influence and define both the science and popular culture of nanotechnology. 29. Finding India. R. Woods. The coronation of Queen Victoria as "Empress of India" in 1876--like the Great Imperial Durbar of 1911--asserted British cultural, racial, political and economic power over the subcontinent. At the same time, they both announced and obscured the complex nature of the cultural dynamics and cross-fertilizations between India and Britain, a relationship traceable from 1600 (when the British East India Company was chartered) through the present. Examining essays, historical commentaries, videos, analyses, music, food, sport, wit, wisdom and follies to see how "British India" and "Indian India" were invented and reinvented, we will discuss British exotica and Mughal culture; religious and cultural baggage; ideologies of raj; migration and cultural diversity; and the processes of historical self-conception. See <http://pages.pomona.edu/~rlw04747/rlw/12ID1s29> for up-to-date information.. 1. Mimetic Desire in the French Novel (Abecassis). A major insight of the novel as a genre concerns the nature of desire. Do we really desire persons or objects because of our own true, self-generated desire? Or is desire mimetic, an imitation of a conscious or unconscious model? Stendhal and Proust mercilessly peel away all romantic illusions concerning the authentic origins of desire. In reading Stendhal's The Red and the Black and Proust's Swann in Love in conjunction with René Girard's Deceit and Desire in the Novel, we will analyze in detail the mechanism of mimetic desire and reflect upon its applications to the study of psychology, anthropology and culture writ large. All readings in English.. 2. Simply Sondheim (Bailey). The Hollywood release of Sweeney Todd in 2007 and its composer's recent 80th birthday celebrations have sparked a renewed interest in Stephen Sondheim, an undisputed giant of 20th-century American musical theater. A study of Sondheim's Broadway shows offers a glimpse not only into the history of musical theater, but of the nation which gave it birth and the social complexities that are celebrated in Sondheim's lyrics and music. In this seminar, we will study the composer, his times, and several musicals--including Into the Woods, Company, and A Little Night Music. Writing will consist of critical journalistic reviews, creative expressions and in-depth research.. 3. From Information to Knowledge (Chen). Last year Eric Schmidt, then the CEO of Google, said, "There were 5 Exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every two days." As a result, rather than deciding what additional data should be collected to answer specific questions, the challenge has shifted to determining how to generate meaningful knowledge from vast stores of existing data. Consider, for example, the IBM Watson system that became famous on Jeopardy earlier this year: What technical innovations were needed to design a system that could mine over four terabytes of data to answer individual questions in under three seconds? How might similar techniques be used to improve, for example, doctors' ability to successfully treat patients? How about to better predict hospitalizations and lawsuits? In this seminar, we will discuss technical challenges in making large datasets useful and reflect on the ethical implications of doing so. In the final research paper students will explore these issues by exploring in depth a particular case of their choosing.. 4. I Disagree (De Silva). The most important skill in any relationship--personal, professional, political--is knowing how to disagree. Why? In this seminar we consider the problem of living with difference. What does it take to be the one juror out of 12 who votes innocent? What are the dangers of living with people who agree with you? How does a scientific community confront troublesome new ideas? A religious community? Is it weak to compromise? Do you enjoy being right? Do you prefer being wrong? It is an unfortunate fact that the word "disagreeable" is usually taken to mean "unpleasant." In this seminar, we will rehabilitate the word and revive the noble art of disagreement. Participants will be expected engage with the wider college community as we grapple with these questions.. 5. Flashpoints in Rock n' Roll History (Dettmar). Rock & roll has both endured and enjoyed a rocky public reception since its earliest days: Bill Haley & the Comet's "Rock Around the Clock" (1954) provoked riots across the country, and rock quickly developed a snarling public image. High-profile dust-ups continue to characterize rock's relationship with its public; the vitriol released regarding Rebecca Black's video "Friday" is only the most recent installment. In this seminar, we will trace the "scandalous" history of rock & roll through its public controversies: Bob Dylan "going electric" at Newport, Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar at Monterey, Sinead O'Connor tearing up a photo of the Pope on Saturday Night Live, Milli Vanilli revealed as frauds. … In such moments, we learn a great deal about what rock hopes to be, about its intrinsic contradictions and structural instability, and about the resistance it meets from its own fans. Writing assignments for the course will trace an arc of increasing complexity and more in-depth research, beginning with shorter, "close reading" exercises of musical and filmic moments in rock history and culminating in a sustained, well-researched exploration of the cultural history and significance one of rock's "flashpoints.". 6. Telling Stories: Form and Function of Narrative in Everyday Life (Divita). We tell stories to imbue life events with a temporal and logical order, to establish links between ourselves and the communities in which we participate. Stories thus serve as a primary element in the relationship between language and identity. In this seminar, we will investigate this relationship by examining the linguistic particularities of everyday narratives while thinking about the varied functions that they fulfill. We will look, for example, at the autobiographical narratives that emerge through psychotherapy and the narrative arcs of makeovers on reality television. We will look at personal narratives of the everyday--such as David Sedaris' anecdotes about learning French--and larger cultural narratives such as the War on Terror. During the semester, students will collect their own storytelling data, recording and analyzing narratives from a pool of subjects in order to investigate the representational and interactive dimensions of this vital discursive practice.. 7. Baseball in America. (Foster). Why is baseball America's game? Think of the evolution of baseball as a game played between teams from crossroads towns in the 1860s to Major League Baseball in 2011. Baseball is a game/sport that can be shared between a 4-year-old child with a glove and a 90-year-old great-grandparent who remembers seeing Babe Ruth play in Yankee Stadium. In this seminar, we will evaluate the cultural, economic, historical, political and racial aspects of Major League Baseball. Baseball is also about heroes, people who are bigger than life: Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson and Derek Jeter. Baseball also has anti-heroes, such as Shoeless Joe Jackson and Barry Bonds. Hopefully, at the end of this journey, we will better understand why baseball is America's game.. 8. Pomona Goes Green (Gorse). The Earth Charter states that "we stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future." How do our choices--as individuals in our daily lives and as members of the planned community of Pomona College--affect this future? How does the concept and goal of "sustainability" unite academic, artistic, pragmatic, and social endeavors? In this seminar, we will investigate these questions, using Pomona College as our case study: How can we make this a more sustainable "campus." How can and should such a campus be a model for our global future? In our search for answers we will read authors such as Italo Calvino, Leo Marx, Alan Trachtenberg and William McDonough; write about campus spaces, student organizations and initiatives; and engage the dynamic interdisciplinary field of "Environmental Analysis.". 9. Virtuous Markets (Hueckel). Are there such things? Are not markets simply the forum for the pursuit of self-interested "greed"? Does not economics, the discipline devoted to the study of markets, rigorously avoid questions of morals? Certainly the "dismal science" is widely seen as describing a world populated by actors greedily pursuing their own narrow interests. Yet modern economics is descended from the work of the 18th-century moral philosopher Adam Smith, and some recent work--notably that of Deirdre McCloskey--has called us back to Smith's richer ethical framework to consider that markets may encourage, rather than constrain, the traditional virtues. In this seminar, we will draw from Smith and McCloskey to analyze the ethical character of market behavior. Students will assess McCloskey's argument through brief written reviews of her work, and a longer research paper will provide the opportunity to construct their own evaluation of a controversial market outcome of their choosing.. 10. Can Zombies Do Math? (Karaali). We have all heard of the objective and universal nature of mathematics. Bertrand Russell talked about a beauty cold and austere. Are these perceptions of mathematics related? Accurate? Can anyone but the warm-blooded humans that we are do math? Does a zombie have what it takes to comprehend and appreciate the aesthetics of mathematics? We will tackle these questions in two ways: by investigating what it means to be human and not a zombie and by examining several distinct cases made in defense of the human nature of mathematics. We will find our evidence in personal experiences, as well as in fictional works, essays, and scholarly articles. The semester's intensive reading and writing activities will see the two threads of our inquiry intertwine, as we seek to understand what makes us human and how math relates to our humanity.. 11. Muslim Literary Landscapes (Kassam). In western media, Muslims appear as volatile and angry, the kind of people who are prone to violent uprisings and terrorist attacks. Such representations rarely include the variety of factors--differing interpretations of religion, national identity, the impact of colonization, the struggle for gender justice--that shape the realities of Muslims in the 20th and 21st centuries. In this seminar, we will read literary works by Muslim authors of this period in order to better understand this range of factors. We will read these works alongside critical literature, such as Edward Said's Orientalism, that frames the situation of Muslims in order to extend our knowledge and develop tools for research and writing. Through five written projects, students will develop their understandings of the socio-cultural, historical, and political backgrounds of the issues taken up by the authors. These projects will include researched essays, encyclopedia entries, book reviews, and letters, as well as a bibliography using correct citation format. Three of the assignments will include a comprehensive drafting-and-revision process that includes feedback from peers and a Writing Fellow. By the end of the semester, students should be able to conduct research, read critically, write clearly and have a better understanding of some Muslim societies as well as have a reasonable grasp of some of the issues faced by Muslims.. 12. The European Enlightenment (Kates). European society in the 18th century was riddled with inequalities of all kinds: religious bigotry and political despotism, as well as new forms of racism, slavery, and class strife. The writers and artists associated with the European Enlightenment suggested radical ways to address these problems. These proposals encompassed both the political and social realms, imagining new forms of friendship and marriage, as if those relationships might constitute analogies to politics itself. In doing so, they blurred the lines between the governmental and the social, the political and the private, and established a moral foundation for our modern era. Readings will include primary works from the period by such authors as Rousseau, Voltaire, Diderot, Montesquieu and Richardson.. 13. Travels and Discoveries (Khazeni). In 1325, at the age of 21, Ibn Battuta set off from his native Morocco on the hajj to Mecca. He did not return home to North Africa until 1349, after he had seen not only Mecca, but also Egypt, Syria, Persia, Iraq, East Africa, Anatolia, Central Asia, India, the Maldives, Sumatra and China, traveling nearly 73,000 miles. Following his journeys, Ibn Battuta wrote a book of travels known as the rihla, recounting his adventures. In this seminar, we will explore forms of travel writing about the African, Asian and Indian Ocean worlds. What leads people to travel and how are they changed by the experience? How have travelers from different cultural perspectives and points of origin documented the distances they traversed and their encounters with people and places both familiar and strange? Readings include The Travels of Ibn Battuta, The Baburnama by Zahir al-Din Babur, The History and Description of Africa by Leo Africanus, and Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Emphasis will be placed on writing critical essays on travel and travel literature, culminating in a final original research paper.. 14. The TV Novel: (Klioutchkine). How does a television series relate to our everyday experience and to our understanding of the culture we live in? How did a 19th-century serialized novel relate to its readers' perception of the world around them? What can these genres tell us about our selves? In this seminar, we will explore these questions as we understand the links between the serialized novel and the original television series, the novel's present-day popular incarnation. We will read Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel The Idiot (1867) before focusing on the television series Mad Men.. 15. Growth (Kuehlwein). In The Matrix, Agent Smith likens the human obsession with higher levels of consumption to a virus. Is growth that pernicious or is it a natural and noble goal? In this seminar, we'll examine that question by focusing on the effects of growth. We'll look at whether it is destroying the environment or developing technology to achieve sustainability. Is it eradicating global poverty or just widening income inequality? Is it contributing to worker alienation or creating interesting new jobs? More fundamentally, is it making us happier or more anxious? We'll explore these questions through economic, historical, sociological, and environmental lenses to provide a more holistic understanding of the topic. Students will critically analyze what they read in a variety of writing assignments, including an op-ed piece, an article review, a comparison of two texts, and a research paper.. 16. Philosophy Through Science Fiction (Kung). Alternate universes. Time travel. Robots. Immortality. Mind reprogramming. In some of the best science fiction, authors drop characters into worlds featuring intriguing technologies or wildly different scientific laws. Why? Because the way characters navigate that world dramatizes some previously hidden question about the nature of reality or the human condition. We might ask ourselves, for example, what makes me me? The question becomes more acute if I can endlessly customize my abilities, my character and my memories to suit my taste. Is there any sense in which a "real me" remains? Suppose a time traveler should reluctantly reveal the date and manner of my death. Am I then still in control of my own fate? In what sense has the time traveler's revelation robbed me of freedom to make of my life what I will? We'll examine these sorts of questions through both philosophical readings and science fiction works by Dick, Gilliam, Jonze, Wells, Le Guinn, Whedon and Zelazny, among others. In their papers, students will craft arguments where they attempt to answer them.. 17. Living Art in Los Angeles: Southern California Performance Art (Lu). "Los Angeles again… ./ I sit on the sidewalk naked …/ dozens of slogans are written all over my body… ./ 'to perform is to return' / 'To arrive is just an illusion' / 'the other is thinking of you / I am the other / but you might no longer be yourself," writes performance artist Guillermo Gomez-Peña. You have arrived in Los Angeles. How will you perform? How have you been conditioned to perform? Can human performance bring art and life closer in order to actually help us solve problems as troubling as war and the destruction of the environment? Performance art was conceived as an aesthetic and socio-political practice that attempts to break out of the traditional boundaries of visual art and theater by including body-based work, identity-based work, time-based work and storytelling. In this seminar, we will investigate the historical origins of performance art, focusing specifically on how it emerged from and in the local context of Los Angeles and surrounding areas. In addition to reviewing particular performances and writing for performance, we will produce research papers that will investigate particular artists in depth. Field trips to Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA),and a mural tour with experts from The Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) will also be central to our explorations.. 18. Dangerous Books (McWilliams). In 2005, the journal Human Events released a list of the "most harmful books of the 19th and 20th centuries." The existence of this and similar lists begs the questions: What does it mean to say that a book is harmful--or dangerous? Once we deem a book dangerous, how should we treat it? Readings will include selections from Darwin's Descent of Man, Foucault's Madness and Civilization, Hitler's Mein Kampf, Kinsey's The Kinsey Report and Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, among others. Students will also research and write about dangerous books of their choosing.. 19. 'We': Identity and the New Science of Social Life (Pearson). In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg founded a little-known website for connecting people. By April 2010, 41 percent of the U.S. population had a Facebook account, and by March of 2011, Facebook networks had galvanized social and political movements across South America, North Africa and the Middle East. What drives us to connect with others? Why do we love one sports team and despise others? What makes the iPhone so popular? In this seminar, we'll explore the human propensity to form social groups--from cliques and sports teams to political, ethnic, and national groups--and examine its consequences for modern democracies. We'll focus on what contemporary psychology and the science of identity can tell us about the nature of the social mind, and explore its basic vices and virtues-from ostracism and prejudice to empathy and altruism. Written assignments will provide opportunities for in-depth analysis of current scientific theories of group behavior and their potential for illuminating psychological underpinnings of political and social divisions.. 20. Scientific Reasoning (Perini). Science allows us to learn about things too small to see, and too remote in time or space for direct contact. We know that observation plays a critical role in generating scientific knowledge, but pseudosciences like astrology are also based on observations. Why is it that we can use observational evidence to learn about some things we cannot actually perceive (like electrons) but not others (like an intelligent designer)? In this seminar, we will investigate how scientific reasoning works by analyzing philosophical accounts of scientific knowledge and by using case studies to evaluate and develop those accounts. To clarify differences between scientific and non-scientific reasoning with observational evidence, we will study Intelligent Design. We will also evaluate different proposals about what is required for scientific objectivity, looking at cases in which bias might be involved--including controversies about climate change. As a research project, each student will investigate a case of marginal, biased or pseudo- scientific research--such cases are especially illuminating in understanding scientific reasoning--and provide a philosophical analysis of that case. Our final topic is scientific creativity: What is the role of rationality in the discovery of new phenomena, and in the invention of new hypotheses?. 21. Music and Beauty (Perman). What does it mean to say music is beautiful? Can Chinese opera, American country music and Zimbabwean spirit possession drumming all be beautiful? Does musical beauty thus vary from one society to the next, from person to person? Or is there something universal in the expression of beauty through sound? What makes music beautiful or ugly, good or bad, moving or annoying? In this seminar, we will explore ideas of beauty and philosophies of aesthetics through a cross-cultural exploration of music and its potentials. Drawing on philosophy, ethnomusicology, and other disciplines, we will articulate our own definitions of music, beauty, and aesthetics and explore the implications of these ideas on musical practice itself. Moving from general philosophies of music and beauty to specific case studies from various times and places, we will question ideas of aesthetics, its relationship to ethics, and several alternative approaches to beauty and music. Finally, we address how these ideas of music and the arts shape our understanding of the humanities and the value of the liberal arts. What are the implications of these ideas on how we think about human expression and its importance?. 22. Advice About Love and the Literary Narrator (Raff). Some elusive piece of information, says a persistent but questionable intuition, holds the key to love and happiness. Why do the narrators of works of literature so often present themselves as purveyors of just such information? What do readers mean when they say that they are "in love" with a particular author, book, or character? What does a literary work's status as object of love contribute to its authority as advisor about love? In this seminar, we will examine how various texts represent their role in the life of the reader (literature as medicine, aphrodisiac, guardian, spouse, or seducer) as well as the content of literary advice about love (how to seduce a virgin or annoy her, save a marriage or destroy one, curtail erotic melancholy or prolong it). We draw on works by Ovid, Molière, Laclos, Goethe, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Wilde, Henry James, Freud, and Tommaso Landolfi.. 23. Fragrant Ecstacies: A Cultural History of the Sense of Smell (Rindisbacher). The reek of a Kansas feed lot, the aroma of fresh-baked bread, the scent of jasmine on a breezy spring day… This course provides an entrance into the vast world of olfactory perception, the fleeting realm that leaves only indirect traces, preserved in myriads of objects, texts, and cultural practices all over the world. Smells connect to perfumery and luxury, to chemistry and neuroscience, to aromatherapy and advertisement, to stench and death--but always also to the erotic and sex. It is an interdiscipinary field par excellence. In this seminar we will map the history of olfactory perception as it is reflected in modern Western literature. We'll investigate examples ranging from the sweet smells of romantic nature to the stench of the smoke billowing from Auschwitz. We study texts from many countries, epochs and genres, including literary, cultural, and historical writings, from the old perfumers Septimus Piesse and Eugène Rimmel to Celia Lyttelton's The Scent Trail, and Patrick Süskind's notorious Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. Specific questions include how authors use olfactory description; linguistic encoding of smells; the divisions of the olfactory spectrum; and the synaesthetic reach of scents that ties together people, places, practices and memories.. 24. Sonnett, Still Life, Lives (Rosenfeld). The English poet Ben Jonson likened the sonnet to an instrument of torture, a "tyrant's bed," where the poet strapped down his thoughts and "some who were too short were racked and others too long, cut short." By contrast, T.S. Eliot suggested that the sonnet "is not merely such and such a pattern, but a precise way of thinking." Why have some people--of certain genders and classes, at certain times and in certain places--considered form instrumental to thinking? Why have others considered form to be limiting of thought or even torturous of thought? In this seminar, we will explore this tension between form and thinking across three different domains of knowledge: the literary, the visual, and the historical. Focusing on the sonnet, still life and lives (commonly, biography) we will ask: what is the relationship between form and the production of knowledge?. 25. Adventures with Russian Books: Tales of Passion, Crimes, Wars and Revolution (Rudova). Russian literature has long been understood as a vehicle for the expression of political and moral concerns. In this seminar, however, we also consider how this body of literature helps us understand the relationship between the human condition and art. We will read Russian literature from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, seeking to understand the individual, social and political dilemmas faced by central characters in the context of Russian culture and history. In this way, the values, passions, beliefs, dreams and fantasies expressed in Russian fiction will help us understand the peculiarity of the Russian national character. Finally, it is impossible to answer the question why Russian literature continues to stir the imagination of Western readers without examining its artistic craft. We will therefore analyze the narrative strategies and literary techniques that underlie the stylistic originality of such great authors as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Bulgakov, Nabokov, Pasternak, Petrushevskaia and Pelevin. In their writing, students will examine the language and structure of the texts closely, building critical tools that will help them investigate a individual text, author, or issue in more detail, while also situating it in its cultural-historical context. All readings in English.. 26. Tripping the Light Fantastic: A History of Ballroom and Social Dancing (Shay). Social dances--such as waltzes, tangos, and sambas--not only encode social and gender roles but also rely on a silent history of cultural appropriation and primitivism. These dances teach their participants how to be a "man" or a "woman" by specifying movements, postures and social behavior deemed socially appropriate to each gender. And millions of Americans have appropriated dances from African American and Latino societies. In this seminar, we'll contemplate how any history of social dance must grapple with issues of gender and sexuality, race, primitivism, cultural appropriation, religion, and censorship. We will consider how early twentieth-century figures such as Vernon and Irene Castle "whitened" and desexualized dances such as the tango, samba, and rumba in order to make them safe to perform by elite members of (generally white) high society. And we'll consider, as well, the century-long exhibition ballroom dance phenomenon (including the recent popularity of television programs such as Dancing with the Stars). In addition to short response papers to particular readings and performances, students will have the chance to explore a topic that relates to the contexts, gender and sexuality, ethnic or social issues surrounding ballroom and social dance in cultural and historical context. In order to better understand what goes into these dances, students will attend one rehearsal of the Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Team.. 27. The Sacred Alias: Real Play and the Name Taboo (Smith). Sacred language has long harbored the idea that the personal name is an intrinsic part of the self. As such, its advertisement threatens exposure to forces that might undo its bearer. From Homer's Odysseus to the Rumpelstiltskin of the Brothers Grimm, from Superman's Mr. Mxyzptlk to Ursula K. Le Guin's Sparrowhawk, from St. Olaf's troll to Ralph Ellison's Little Man at Chehaw Station, true names and their association to power are of timeless importance. In this seminar, we will explore the (super)natural link between naming and empowerment: How do the weak--through naming work--reverse their condition? Comparing gambits by the socially vulnerable to various games of insight, we'll seek relationships between the detection of tells in gambling and that of so-called true names within social struggle. Through mystical theology's and post-colonial theory's understanding of the use of light to hide things, we will also consider the relationship between concealing and revealing, basic to both tell-reading and true-naming.. 28. Nanotechnology in Science Fiction (Tanenbaum). Nanotechnology--which combines physics, chemistry, biology and engineering--is currently one of the most heavily funded and fastest growing areas of science. Depending upon what you read, nanotechnology may consume our world or enable unlimited new materials, destroy life as we know it or enable immortality, lead us to squalor or utopia or simply make better electronic gadgets. We will discuss current scientific research in contrast with a range of fiction by Philip Dick, Neil Stephenson, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Paul McEuen and others. How do science and fiction intermix and inspire each other? Can technology change our self-image and identity? Will technology enhance or subvert the development of the individual or our culture? We will examine how the existing media and literature influence and define both the science and popular culture of nanotechnology.. 29. Finding India (Woods). The coronation of Queen Victoria as "Empress of India" in 1876--like the Great Imperial Durbar of 1911--asserted British cultural, racial, political and economic power over the subcontinent. At the same time, they both announced and obscured the complex nature of the cultural dynamics and cross-fertilizations between India and Britain, a relationship traceable from 1600 (when the British East India Company was chartered) through the present. Examining essays, historical commentaries, videos, analyses, music, food, sport, wit, wisdom and follies to see how "British India" and "Indian India" were invented and reinvented, we will discuss British exotica and Mughal culture; religious and cultural baggage; ideologies of raj; migration and cultural diversity; and the processes of historical self-conception. See <http://pages.pomona.edu/~rlw04747/rlw/12ID1s29> for up-to-date information.. Burrow. Burrow. Booth/Kome. Tagge/Garrett. Snyder. Franklin/Tagge. Snyder. Chappell. Gunter. Stone. Booth/Burrow. Burrow/Tagge. Rosenkranz/Lowe. Lowe/Garrett. Tagge. Booth/Burrow. Chappell. Tagge/Booth. Franklin. Rosenkranz/Stone. Tagge. Burrow. Stone. Chappell. Booth. Chappell. Garrett. Stone. Rosenkranz.
Faculty Contact. Courses. Kimberly Drake, Director of Writing Program, English Dept.. Writing 50: Critical Analysis (Fall 1st). Core I: Histories of the Present (Fall 1st). With "Histories of the Present," Core I faculty and students will explore the relationship between historically informed critical thinking and our engagement with contemporary issues and debates. Our investigations seek to highlight the categories and values that we may take to be given or obvious and the ways in which the conventional or received understanding and application of these categories and values can prevent us from seeing ourselves and the world -- social and natural -- in other ways. Core I takes up this task through an examination of a number of ways in which Human Nature and Human Difference are used as the bases of various modes of thought and action. The problems and issues we explore (for example, the alleged relationship between political organization and specific claims regarding a shared human nature, the oppression of and violence towards certain groups, the nature/nurture debates) involve values and categories such as justice, toleration, human rights, development, gender and sexual difference, 'race', universalism, cultural affiliation, and individualism and sociability. Few would deny that these ideas play a central role in our contemporary self-understandings and figure prominently in apparently intractable debates about the world -- whether we define that world in indigenous, local, national, or global terms. What Core I seeks to provide, in relation to such debates, is the vantage point of critical distance: the opportunity to think about and to be self-consciously mindful of the consequences of the very things it is very easy to take for granted.. Core II: Histories of the Present continued (Spring 1st). Core II continues -- with sharper focus and through an array of course offerings -- the interdisciplinary investigations begun in Core I. That is, we develop our examination of the ways in which our contemporary self-understandings (political, moral, economic, aesthetic, etc.) emerge from and express commitments and categories that are often regarded as given -- so "natural" and "obvious" as to prevent us from thinking clearly about their complexities and ambiguities. Core II courses are taught by a faculty member with interdisciplinary research interests and may be team-taught by faculty whose complementary research interests make for productive interdisciplinary dialogue. The Core faculty is currently engaged in developing new and revised Core II courses for the new "Histories of the Present" theme. Core II courses currently offered under the framework of "Culture, Knowledge, and Representation are: Beyond Good and Evil? Moral Ambiguity and the Question of Good and Evil. This course will question the relevance of traditional categories and assumptions concerning moral judgments. To what degree are moral judgments universal?; to what degree culturally determined? And is moral relativism the only alternative to traditional moral belief? Issues examined include the nature of criminality, the effectiveness of transgression, and the importance of the individual moral choice. Material will be drawn from film, drama, prose, fiction, and philosophy. R. Burwick, D. Krauss. Comedy: Ancient and Modern. This course will examine texts both ancient and recent as well as films, TV shows and other modes of comedy in light of theoretical work by thinkers such as Aristotle, Freud, Bakhtin, and Bergson. E. Finkelpearl, J. Peavoy. Communities of Hate. The Holocaust, ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia, the genocide in Rwanda as well as the politics of hate in the United State will be used as case studies in this exploration of the causes of mass hate. Questions raised in the course will include: How are collective identities formed? How can aberrations of collective identity formulation lead to mass hate? How are communities of hate constructed (role of ideology, religion, propaganda, the media, etc.)? What are the social, economic, and political factors that contribute to the emergence of mass hate? What are the underlying psychological principles of mass hate? By which processes do groups and societies create the "Other"? Are race, ethnicity, and gender purely ideological notions? Finally, how do we combat the politics of hate when we know that appeals to our common humanity have not worked? A. Marcus-Newhall, N. Rachlin. The Cultural Politics of Punk & Hip-Hop. This course examines punk and hip-hop subcultures as they move from the social margins to the center. We analyze challenges by punk and hip-hop artists to traditional music, visual art, and literature, as well as their conflicted and sometimes ironic relationship to capitalism and materialistic success. Discussions will focus on issues related to identity and representation as well as the connections among art, culture, and politics. K. Drake, M. Figueroa. Culture Clash: Encounters of the Traveler with the Other. Beginning with the notion that no voyage is completely innocent and that no voyager is merely an impartial observer, this course will examine the variety of experience of travelers including exiles as enforced travelers and their contacts with peoples and cultures other than their own. We will include such texts as the Odyssey, Herodotus' Histories, Apuleus' Metamorphoses, Ovid's Exile poetry,The Travels of Marco Polo,Wolstonecraft'sLetters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Calvino's Invisible Cities, and Naipaul's India. R. Burwick, E. Finkelpearl, M. Katz. Dada, Surrealism, and Their Legacies. Spanning the visual arts and literature, dada and surrealism challenged aesthetic, political, and social conventions. This course will examine how artists and writers rejected the rationality and determinism of the Enlightenment to explore the irrational side of human experience through art, film, and writing. The course will discuss the international character of these movements and their continuing influence on contemporary art. M. MacNaughton. Death. What is death? Why do we care about it? Is death bad? Why do we mourn the dead? What ought to be done with the dead? Has death changed? Can one be dead? Drawing upon philosophical, historical, psychological, religious, and pop-culture perspectives, we will investigate these deceptively simple questions. R. Weinberg. The Detective and the City. In the dark corners of our popular imagination, crime virtually defines the modern city. Every major metropolis has its representative sleuths and criminals, and its own distinctive crimes. This course will survey detective narratives from the late Enlightenment to the postmodern, including the classic closed-room scenarios of Poe and Doyle, the noir fiction (and film) of the early 20th century (Cain, Chandler), pulp fiction of the '50s, neo-noir of the European modernists (G. Perec) and, as the latest twist on the tradition, the so-called "sunshine noir" of contemporary suburban Los Angeles. M. Katz, M. Perez de Mendiola. Discord and Dialog. What should you do when you disagree with someone you take to be as smart and as rational as you are? Under what circumstances should you be intellectually tolerant? We will explore such questions through an examination of scientific, ethical, philosophical, religious, political, and aesthetic debates. Y. Avnur. The Embodied Self: Feminist Theories of the Body, Yoga, and Dance. This course will explore the question, "What is the Body?" in three different fields: feminist theory, yoga, and dance. Our interdisciplinary inquiry into embodiment will focus on how varying historical notions of the female body have influenced our intimate experience of embodiment and how two specific practices -- dance and yoga -- conceptualize the body and provide insights into the shifting cultural meanings of gender. Class sessions will incorporate critical analysis and movement. G. Abrams. A History of Knowledge from the Enlightenment to Wikipedia. The 18th century Enlightenment, especially in France, developed new instruments for the dissemination of knowledge, and also created a new type of person, one for whom universal knowledge is possible and for whom work and thought are no longer separate. This course will examine the French Encyclopedia and the thinkers who contributed to it, as well as trace the heritage of this monument of Enlightenment ideology on the changing nature of the dissemination of knowledge in our own time via the internet and Google. D. Krauss. Investigating Humor in Literature and Mass Media. Who are you when you laugh? How is what people find funny determined by their race, their class, their gender, their sexual orientation, their politics, their age? Is there a universal definition of humor that is not determined by these categories? Are there subjects that are inherently not funny? If we were social scientists, what sorts of questions would we ask about humor? We will look at plays, movies, TV shows, standup comics, comic strips, and other modes of humor in light of theoretical work by Aristotle, Freud, Bergson and others. D. Krauss, J. Peavoy. Literature and the Law: James Joyce's Ulysses. James Joyce's Ulysses, the central text of modern and modernist literature, was banned from the U.S. on the grounds of its obscenity. Based on a detailed reading of the text and case law, the course will explore the important issues raised by the prosecution and later successful defense of this novel. T. Crowley. The Multiple Self. We tend to think of conflict as an interpersonal affair -- a matter of one person's will being thwarted by or in conflict with that of another. We tend, as well, to regard the self as unified and coherent, as a kind of "inner citadel." This conception may reflect the desire that my life and my decisions somehow depend only upon myself. It is clear, however, that too often our own wills are divided and that, if the metaphor is taken in earnest, we are in conflict with ourselves. Drawing on the work of psychologists, philosophers, novelists, and political theorists we aim during the semester to investigate various accounts of the structure, nature, and genesis of mental conflict and division, and the ways in which these competing accounts express competing conceptions of the self and its relation to the social. C. Walker, D. Scott-Kakures. Nationalism and Culture. The modern nation-state is sustained by cultural forms that affirm and create a sense of national identity. This course explores some of the ways in which art, music, film, and other forms of culture help represent and construct nations, prescribe the understanding of nations, and encourage participation in their perpetuation. Y. Kang, J. Koss. The Nature of Nature: Enlightenment Ideas About the Landscape. This course will explore changing attitudes toward nature developed during the 18th century in Europe by surveying representations of nature in the visual arts (paintings, gardens, architecture, and furniture), in the performing arts (music and theatre), and in the texts (essays, poetry, and novels), and by investigating how the study of natural sciences developed during the Enlightenment. B. Coats. Once Upon a Time: Literary and Psychological Approaches to the Fairy Tale. This course is an interdisciplinary approach to the fairy tale that utilizes both literature and psychology. We can look at fairy tales as representations of sociopolitical conditions, of the psyche, or as prescriptions for appropriate behavior. We will explore the relationship of the fairy tale to notions of folk and national culture and to 19th and 20th century psychology as outlined by Freud and Jung. We will also explore modern versions of fairy tales using contemporary psychological and feminist theories. R. Burwick, J. LeMaster. Politics and Culture. This course will consider the importance accorded to culture in modern political activity and identity. A general understanding of why this is so has remained elusive. What is the relationship of cultural practice to the establishment of such central modern political institutions and categories as the nation state, civil society, citizenship, markets, and political protest? This course will consider these and other questions through an analysis that combines the reading of philosophical and theoretical texts on aesthetics, art, and culture with the study of specific cultural forms in historical context. A. Aisenberg, M. Perez de Mendiola. Religion and Travel: Encountering and Representing the Other. In this course, we continue Core I's investigation of how culture and knowledge reproduce each other in diverse forms or representation. From modern anthropology to ancient pilgrimage, from Victorian imperialism to the "discovery" of the New World, we will ask how religion was created in the nexus of encounter with the other, and the continuing role of travel writing in the construction of "other" religions. Through close reading of travel texts and theoretical texts, from the present to the premodern past, we will ask how "religion" (as a concept) and "religions" (as particular objects of Western study) have been represented in various texts (including scholarly essays, memoirs, films, and children's literature).A. Jacobs The Science and Poetry of Sleep. This course looks at ways scientists, social scientists, and artists approach sleep, and at ways sleep is positioned in various cultures and societies. G. Greene Tragedy, Trauma, Terror. This course studies tragedy as a particular kind of artistic form and as a label applied to certain modern historical events. We will emphasize the connections between tragedy, personal and communal trauma, and political and religious terror. Readings will range across literature, history, psychology, politics, and philosophy. G. Simshaw. 20th Century Protest Movements in Words and Music. This course examines 20th century protest literature and music in the U.S. including the blues tradition, the songs of WWI and labor movements, Civil Rights and anti-war poetry and songs, and present-day punk, hip-hop, and rock. Discussions will focus on issues related to identity and representation, as well as the relationship between art, culture, and politics. K. Drake, Y. Kang. Woman/Body/Language. This course looks at the construction of female bodies in language and the reading of women's bodies as texts. Topics to be covered may include media representation, the significance and evolution of Barbie, young femininity, eating disorders, and the possibility of using language for liberatory purposes. C. Walker.. 1. Girls Gone Wild: Unruly Women of Literature and Film (Hoff). "Being a woman is a terribly difficult task," Joseph Conrad famously remarked, "since it consists principally in dealing with men." Conrad's statement contains more than a hint of irony since it conveys both a sympathetic tone and the implication that any woman is defined primarily by her 'dealings' with men. Examining a variety of female characters in literature and film, we will consider how women have negotiated with or rebelled against the notion that men are the chief authors of female subjectivity. Our investigation will ask, for example, what does it mean for a woman to 'author' her own identity? How do various characters challenge received ideas about feminine beauty and virtue? What are the psychological, cultural and legal constraints that drive characters like Medea to kill her own children, or Ophelia to suicide? Finally, who are these difficult men with which women must 'deal'? How do they inform (or inform against) a woman's self-identity? Since this is a writing course, we will make our inquiries into these questions as writers, crafting cogent, even brilliant, academic essays (think: Montaigne). Texts include Euripides' Medea, Jane Austen's Persuasion, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Flannery O' Connor's short story "Good Country People"and the films All About Eve (Director: Joseph Mankiewicz)and The River (Director: Jean Renoir).. 2. The Godhead and the Whore: The Language of Money (Simeroth). The poet Carl Sandburg once wrote that money is, at the same time, "a cushion, the root of all evil, the sum of blessings." Sandburg's words reflect the conflicted task of trying to define money. Why does talking about money generate extreme stances and contradictory definitions? What do we mean when we say "market," or "value," for instance--two words that have numerous philosophical and economic definitions? And why, in some situations, is it considered impolite to discuss money at all? In this course, we'll attempt to describe a language of money with all its convolutions, extremities, puns, and omissions through investigating a variety of texts, including the dollar bill itself. Other texts include selections from Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Edith Wharton, Jerry Sterner's play Other People's Money, and Benjamin Barber's Consumed. We'll conclude with current essays on women, work, and money. All of this work is geared toward the following goal: to help you master the lively art of responsive reading, thinking, and questioning in order to write clear, sophisticated arguments. 3. Portraits of the American Family (Pecchenino). Using a variety of twentieth and twenty-first century texts, our particular section of Writing 50 seeks to explore how U.S. artists use depictions of the domestic scene and domestic relationships to critique both conventional morality and challenges to conventional morality. Our goal is not to come up with a theory for what makes a family "American"; rather, we are seeking a better understanding of the fundamental relationships that construct what is for many the first site of teaching and learning, and a sense of why these relationships occupy a central location in American popular culture. In examining these relationships, we will practice many different types of formal and informal, analytical and creative writing. Each student should come out of this course with a sense of writing as a process that requires rumination, research, composition, editing, critique, and revision. Coursework will include daily reading quizzes, short responses (both critical and creative) to each text, two close readings of texts, and a hybrid critical/creative project that asks students to dramatize and contextualize some narrative strain of their own family's story and then write a researched argument essay on the larger issue behind that story. Students are expected to be engaged participants in our learning environment, to write daily, and to do their own work to the best of their abilities. Course texts include The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton; Black Boy (Part I) by Richard Wright; Maus I & II by Art Speigelman; stories, essays, chapters, and poems by David Sedaris, Joan Didion, Maxine Hong Kingston, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zora Neale Hurston, Sandra Cisneros, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others; television episodes and clips from The Simpsons, The Cosby Show, Arrested Development, and Modern Family; and films and clips by Woody Allen, Douglas Sirk, and others. 4. Writing for Social Change (Drake). This course examines the power of language to transform the individual, the community, and the world. We will discuss fiction, poetry, autobiography, photography, and essays by and about people who want to confront readers with circumstances of oppression and exploitation and present alternatives to current social practices. How do protest writers attempt to engage readers and compel their response? What makes writing and images persuasive, and how can we analyze those techniques so as to use them and also to resist them? What makes language powerful, and how can we tap into this kind of power? We'll consider these questions while reading and writing literary interpretation, creative nonfiction, rhetorical analyses, blogs, and research papers as well as critically responding to the work produced in our class. Some of the authors we'll encounter: Rachel Carson, June Jordan, Barbara Kingsolver, James Baldwin, Marge Piercy, Gloria Steinem, Judith Butler, Tecumseh, Richard Wright, Henry David Thoreau, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Janice Mirikitani, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Barbara Ehrenreich, Michel Foucault, Karl Marx, John F. Kennedy, and Ida B. Wells.. 5. Death and Writing (O'Donoghue). While our mortality is an abiding preoccupation of art, death itself defies representation. Death is figured forth by the arts--including the art of writing--as the very absence that is representation's precondition. We are finite beings who require signs because we are not everywhere and always, but only here and only for now. Writing simultaneously challenges and testifies to our finitude, promising literary immortality and proffering the letter that killeth. As we read in the company of Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Christina Rossetti, Edgar Allan Poe, Hélène Cixous, and William Shakespeare (among others, dead or alive), we will enquire into the cultural grounding of analogies between death and writing. We shall explore the aestheticization of death--and particularly of dead female bodies--and its implicit violence toward the living. We will examine the notional "good death", the proposition that a life of the mind is a process of "learning to die", the stimulation and stultification of the memento mori, and the potential of elegiac writing as a response to an other's death. Your writing will be developed through workshops on distinct aspects of critical prose including rhetorical analysis, scholarly conventions, close reading, valid argumentation, comparative analysis, editing, and research methods. You will write in response to weekly readings and participate in critical discussions of our analyses and our composition. You will present work to peers and lead class discussions. You will draft and edit critical essays and pursue research on a theme of your own devising. This course will present the writing skills necessary for participation in the academic community, and it will give you cause to deeply examine both your life as a scholar and the technology of writing through which your scholarship will be enacted. 6. Arguing About Animals (Tucker). Animals in human society serve as companions and colleagues, provide food and resources, are the subjects of research and function as research tools, entertain us and trigger some of our deepest fears. Pet parents and trophy hunters co-exist in the same communities, animal rights organizations threaten violence against medical researchers, environmentalists debate whether intervening to clean wildlife damaged by oil helps or harms animals. In this course, we will improve writing skills by analyzing works that address the place of animals in human society, written in a variety of disciplines, from literature and the arts to the sciences (from critiques of Charlotte's Web to biological analyses of spider silk), from philosophy to jurisprudence (from discussions of the moral status of animals to California's 2008 passage of Proposition 2). We will also examine non-academic writing on this topic, including fiction (such as Call of the Wild), creative non-fiction (such as Marley and Me or The Omnivore's Dilemma), and blogs (so many to choose from). And we'll watch "Surprised Kitty" at least once.. 7. Caveat Discipulus: Skepticism and Writing (Shimshaw). Skepticism, says John Dewey, is "the mark... of the educated mind." Our goal in this class will be to move towards this mark, cultivating skepticism, the intellectual attitude between abject acceptance and hardened cynicism. We'll make academic writing a forum for developing habits of systematic caution, suspended judgment, and continual testing across disciplines. We'll focus on advancing a number of foundational collegiate skills: questioning knowledge and opinions often taken for granted; crafting argumentative claims that open up to multiple, not just binary, perspectives; scrutinizing evidence used to support new information; and tracking the logic that connects the parts of arguments. We'll work largely with student compositions, but we'll also read the following: John Patrick Shanley's play Doubt, Primo Levi's chapter "The Gray Zone" from his Holocaust memoir The Drowned and the Saved, Richard Dawkins' letter "Good and Bad Reasons for Believing," Michel de Montaigne's "Apology for Raymond Sebond," T.H. Huxley and Karl Popper's respective definitions of the scientific method, Francis Bacon's account of the Four Idols in the Novum Organum, and Aristotle's discussion of logical fallacies in the Rhetoric.. 8. Secrets and Lies (Norvell). This course explores the role of secrecy and lying in our lives. We consider such questions as, How do we interpret the lying of others? How do we make sense of our experience as liars and holders of secrets? What connections are there between memory, lying and "identity"? What does secrecy do in the everyday lives of nuclear scientists? Melanesian secret societies? American marriages? What do we mean by "telling the truth?" In parallel, we will consider issues of secrecy and disclosure, truth and falsity, in the ethics, politics and poetics of academic writing. Readings include texts by Sigmund Freud, Sissela Bok, Michael Taussig, Georg Simmel, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Oliver Sacks, Jorge Luis Borges, Theodor Adorno, Adrienne Rich, Bill Clinton, Julian Assange, and many other interesting and important writers. The principal writing assignments in this course will be a blog, a short precís (a special kind of summary), a close reading essay (also known as textual or rhetorical analysis) based on a single text, a comparative close reading, and a research paper on a literary, social scientific, or historical topic related to secrecy and/or lying. Most essays will undergo substantial revision.. 9. Incompetence (Novy). Why do schools, malls and prisons look suspiciously alike? Is it possible to measure the trajectory of a particle without somehow disturbing that trajectory, and, if not, can anything be measured? Who decided making bonds from loans to people with no money was such a good idea, and why did everyone on Wall Street go along with it? How did everything get ruined, and can anybody fix it? In seeking out a unified theory of incompetence, this course explores a queasy overlap of literature, philosophy, film, physics and economics which shows that our conventions of understanding only keep us in the dark. This is an essay writing course that focuses on writing and research techniques, as well as critical reading and thinking. Texts and primary sources include The Gates of Hell, by Rodin, Molloy, by Samuel Beckett, The Big Short, by Michael Lewis, the South Park episode "Royal Pudding," and the film The Big Lebowski, as well as essays by Rosalind Krauss, Michel Foucault, Karen Barad and Hitler.. Tagge. Burrow. Tagge. Burrow. Tagge. Tagge. Burrow. Burrow. Burrow. Burrow. Tagge. Tagge. Burrow. Burrow. Burrow. Burrow. Tagge. Tagge.