If you are having any difficulty using this website, please contact the Help Desk at Help@nullHofstra.edu or 516-463-7777 or Student Access Services at SAS@nullhofstra.edu or 516-463-7075. Please identify the webpage address or URL and the specific problems you have encountered and we will address the issue.

Hofstra University Honors College

HUHC Seminars

Each semester HUHC offers exciting educational opportunities in varying disciplines. HUHC seminars are small, discussion based courses, taught by professors from around the university, who are invited to come teach their dream course. Like Culture & Expression, these seminars often tend toward either greater multidisciplinary or greater particularity in the definition of the topic (see listings and descriptions of recent and future seminars below.) With class sizes limited to no more than 20 students, they are special opportunities to learn by sharing the enthusiasm of professors who are working on well-defined topics in their areas of expertise. In some instances seminar credit may count toward a major or minor with departmental approval.


View Seminars From
Previous Semesters | Summer Seminar 2013 | Spring 2014 | Fall 2014

Spring 2015 | Fall 2015 | Spring 2016 | Fall 2016 | Spring 2017 | Fall 2017


Professor Jennifer Henton, English
MW 12:50-2:15PM
CRN: 92052

This course examines the production, image, and theory of the black presence (and aesthetic) in cinema. Students will be exposed to the historical trajectory of black people in film (Birth of a Nation [1915]) as well as "black film" production (Oscar Micheaux to Dee Rees/Spike Lee) and emergent theories of the black aesthetic. Since thinking, studying, and writing about film studies depends on precise terms and articulation of ways of seeing, a strong theoretical component will accompany this course. Our goal by semester's end is for students to master historical and theoretical knowledge and be able to articulate a deep understanding of the black cinematic tradition in the U.S. Students will communicate their grasp of the area through essays, quizzes, mid-term and final exams, and a final project designed to give students an opportunity to display the insights they have gained.

Professor Joseph Masheck, Fine Arts and Art History
TR 2:20-3:45PM
CRN: 90708

Architecture may be the most ubiquitous of the fine arts (painting, sculpture, architecture); but except for obvious fashions, most people hardly notice it, even though it shapes their experience almost every day. Also: it is by and large the most expensive fine art, of seemingly durable materials; and yet it is the least preserved and most destroyed. Whenever it survives, however, it shows more physically than anything else the 'frame of mind' of people at a certain time: notions of space (by no means always the same); social hierarchy versus equality; not to mention the art's basis in available materials and techniques—everything from physics (e.g. the principle of the cantilever) to metaphysics (the principle of monumentality). We deal in this course with fundamentals of both theory (including the distinction of architecture from mere building) and historical practice in the classical as well as the modern tradition. Students learn how to analyze buildings in terms of structure, style, and cultural function. Two or three field trips. Readings by architects and art historians; but you will also learn how to read a ground plan!

Professor Maria C. Roberts, Department of English
TR 9:35-11:00AM
CRN: 92049

In the dark times, will there also be singing?
Yes, there will be singing.
About the dark times. --Bertolt Brecht

In this workshop we will study "poetry of witness," a genre of poetry described by Carolyn Forche in her anthology Against Forgetting: Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness written by "significant poets who endured conditions of historical and social extremity during the twentieth century—through exile, state censorship, political persecution, house arrest, torture, imprisonment, military occupation, warfare and assassination." Poems that "bear the trace of extremity within them, and [that] are, as such, evidence of what occurred." We will also study 21st century "poetry of engagement" by both established and emerging poets that deal with the public events, government policies, ecological and political threats, economic uncertainties, and large-scale violence that have defined the century to date.

In addition to working on a new poem every other week, each student will give an oral presentation on a poetry collection chosen from the recommended reading. Each student is responsible for photocopying his/her work, distributing it to the class, and then reading it aloud. Those not presenting work are responsible for contributing to the discussion by offering constructive criticism, praise, suggestions for revisions, etc.

During the course of the semester, two poets will visit our class to talk about poetry of witness. Professor Mario Susko, a survivor and witness of the war in Bosnia and Liv Mammone, a Hofstra alum who writes about disability and bearing witness in her work.
(The chair of the English department has indicated this course may be counted as an English/Creative Writing elective toward the completion of the requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Massoud Fazeli, Economics
MW 2:55-4:20PM
CRN: 92053

What does it mean to say we are all equal? Is this merely a positive expression of facts, stating our inherent equality in basic rights, or is it rather a normative statement promoting equality? What do people mean when they say we want equality in opportunity but not artificially imposed equality in result? Is it not true that inequality in result today will inevitably generate unequal opportunity for the next generation?

Isaiah Berlin, a prominent philosopher, stated that: 'the assumption is that equality needs no reasons, only inequality does so… If I have a cake and there are ten persons among whom I wish to divide it, then if I give exactly one tenth to each, this will not, at any rate automatically, call for justification; whereas if I depart from this principle of equal division I am expected to produce a special reason'. Not all agree with this view. Another philosopher, Harry Frankfurt, maintains that equality has no intrinsic moral value. We must rather strive to improve the conditions of the poor and less privileged: 'inequality in incomes might be decisively eliminated, after all, just by arranging that all incomes be equally below the poverty line'. According to this perspective, equality in poverty and misery has no intrinsic moral advantage and will definitely not promote social welfare.

We are facing very critical and politically volatile issues here. For instance, there is growing populist anger in many countries, including the United States. Did those who voted for president Trump do so to express their frustration with growing inequality or was this vote an attempt by the mostly white nativist working class to recreate the "white privilege" as some have called it?

We will discuss three main topics in this course: egalitarianism and its advocates and foes, growing inequality in the distribution of wealth and income in the U.S. in recent decades, the role of social movements and policy in addressing and alleviating these trends.
(The chair of the Economics department has indicated this course may be counted as an Economics elective toward the completion of the requirements for majors or minors, if the student has not already taken an HUHC seminar for Economics credit previously.)

Professor John Pulis, Anthropology
TR 2:20-3:45PM
CRN: 92051

This course will introduce students to cultural anthropology and the way indigenous, native, or first peoples in Asia, Oceania, Africa, and the Americas practice and perform music. Our approach will be historical and descriptive. Using the culture-area approach and the idea of a "soundscape," we will listen, watch (film, live performance- Mohegan drummers, Scottish fiddle players, Brazilian capoeira ), and we will explore the role of "sound" among Tuvan pastoralists, Aboriginal hunter-gathers, South American head-hunters, Navajo-Sioux flute players and various groups in modern and post-colonial societies (Calypso, Ska, Mento, High-Life et al.). Along with the above, we will discuss theory, cultural formation (syncretism, and the way various genres (Hip-Hop, Reggae) have been invented and reinvented across and through time.
(The chair of the Anthropology department has indicated this course may be counted as an Anthropology elective toward the completion of the requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor J. Bret Bennington, Geology, Environment, and Sustainability
TR 2:20-3:45PM
CRN: 93059

Dinosaurs were first unearthed almost 200 years ago and ever since paleontologists have been trying to work out what living dinosaurs were like from their fossil remains. This is particularly challenging because dinosaurs were so enormous and so unusual in their physiology – nothing quite like them exists today. Our ideas about dinosaurs have changed so much over the years that one has to wonder, will we ever really know what living dinosaurs were like? New fossils and new methods of analysis constantly surprise us (who would have guessed twenty years ago that Tyrannosaurus rex had feathers?) yet they do bring us ever closer to seeing these extinct titans as they really were. In this seminar we will explore the methods of analysis paleobiologists have developed for reconstructing the biology of extinct animals and review the latest fossil discoveries and research studies concerning dinosaur physiology, evolution, ecology, behavior, growth, and reproduction. Trips to the American Museum of Natural History and to see dinosaur fossils in the field will be offered. Felt fedoras are optional.

Professors Elizabeth Ploran, Psychology and Jackson Snellings, Computer Science
TR 4:30-5:55PM
CRN: 91107

This seminar will be team-taught by a cognitive neuroscientist and an interactive technologist as a hands-on course in teaching science concepts through physical demonstrations. Students will learn the basics of certain sensation and perception concepts (e.g., color perception, how the ear works) while simultaneously considering how to demonstrate those concepts to lay audiences through short physical laboratory exercises using commonly available objects. The focus will be on how to accurately represent science concepts in an accessible, easy-to-learn way that can reproduced across multiple contexts (e.g., classrooms, museums, home schooling). This course will be equal parts traditional content and project development, with heavy emphasis on interdisciplinary discovery and incorporation of artistic skills into the practice of science communication. Students should be prepared to actively discuss the science behind the concepts while also stretching their creative skills and practicing disseminating information to the public.
(The chair of the Psychology department has indicated this course may be counted as a Psychology elective toward the completion of the requirements for majors or minors. This course will also count for credit towards the Neuroscience minor by petition to Dr. Elisabeth Ploran, chair of the minor.)

Professor Jase Bernhardt, Geology
TR 9:35-11:00AM
CRN: 94558

In an era featuring increasing concern for the environment, but at the same time, an increase in partisanship, how do we consume, interpret, and communicate information about topics such as climate change and sustainability? Throughout this seminar, we will learn how to analyze scientific writing in the mainstream media, academic journals, and governmental reports. Students will have the opportunity to select articles of interest, prepare critiques, and lead group paper discussions. In addition to reading and critiquing the work of others, students will learn how to write about science for both technical and broader audiences. Enhancing these reading and writing assignments will be background lectures demonstrating, at an introductory level, how the various Earth systems operate, how we as humans influence them, and how we can limit our impacts in a just and efficient manner.
(The Director of Sustainability Studies has indicated this course may be counted as a Sustainability elective toward the completion of the requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor David Green, Political Science
MW 2:55-4:20PM
CRN 94569

What are political ideologies, and how do you classify them? Is the left-right dimension of ideology adequate for a discussion of politics? Is it possible to construct a more complex classification? How does one treat nationalist ideologies, or environmentalist ideologies, or religious or multicultural ideologies using a left-right formulation – even an elaborated one?

This course begins with a discussion of the function of ideology in societies, from the anthropological, psychological and analytical perspectives. What are some of the problems of categorizing in ideological terms? Next, the course considers some historical background on the idea of ideology itself, and the way in which our formulations have changed over time.

The course finally examines a wide variety of established ideological belief systems, including conservatism, liberalism, socialism, communism and fascism. Also included will be some other ideologies of rising importance today: nationalism, neoliberalism, anarchism, libertarianism, feminism, environmentalism, liberation ideologies, various multiculturalist ideologies and religious fundamentalisms, including case studies.
(The chair of the Political Science department has indicated this course may be counted as a Political Science elective toward the completion of the requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Miguel-Angel Zapata, Romance Languages
TR 11:10-12:35 PM
CRN 94570

The focus of this course pertains to poets from Spain and Latin America. All of the poets selected have centered some of their key works around certain paintings; these paintings have also influenced their development as poets. A truncated list of the poets and paintings to be studied includes: Jose Angel Valente (Spain: "Picasso-Guernica" and "Lyriker, 1911" by Egon Shiele), Jose Emilio Pacheco (Mexico: "Crist on the Cross" by Bosch), Jose Watanabe (Peru: "The Scream," Edvard Munch), Piedad Bonnett (Colombia: "The Wounded Deer," Frida Khalo), Oscar Hahn (Chile: "Self-Potrait of Van Gogh" and "The Annunciation" by Fra Angelico) and Cristina Peri Rossi (Uruguay: "Hotel Room" by Hopper and "The Sleepers" by Gustave Courbet"). In the poems I have selected, one discovers the transformation of the brush stroke into the written word and an image that reappears as a new work of art. This encounter between poet and painter opens new doors of research into the intrinsic relation between the arts. It is not on a mere whim that so many writers have felt themselves attracted to works of visual art, and at the same time have expressed their interior selves through the contemplation of paintings, and that this exploration has caused them to work their way into the canvas itself, and to reside inside the brilliant house of color.
(The chair of the Spanish department has indicated this course may be counted as an elective toward the completion of the requirements for majors in Spanish, provided the student has not received previous credit for a course in Spanish Literature in Translation, SPLT)


Professor Adam Sills, English
MW 2:55-4:20PM
CRN: 24463
DAVS 0014

The central question for this seminar is what role, if any, do the map, census, and survey play in the creation and consolidation of early modern Britain? To answer that question, we will examine the evolution of cartography and demography from the Renaissance through the eighteenth century and the impact those practices have had not only on the geography of Britain but also on the very creation of the idea of Britain itself. Since the Renaissance, improvements in the accuracy and legibility of maps, the proliferation of empirically-based chorographies, and the popular vogue for travel narratives served to order, package, and commodify space in a fashion that was critical to the formation of British national identity. To "ground" our discussions, we will examine maps and literary works from the period, as well as contemporary theory and criticism, in order to better understand the relationship between cartography, demography, and national identity. Works may include Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year, Maria Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent, Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's The Turkish Embassy Letters, Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, Tobias Smollett's Humphrey Clinker, and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.
(The chair of the English department has indicated this course may be counted as an English elective toward the completion of English requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Isabel Milenski, Music (w/ guest visits by Assistant Dean Lauren Kozol)
MW 12:50-2:15PM
CRN: 22986
DAVS 0014

In this class, we will study the roots and flourishing of the avant-garde in America from 1900 to today. At the end of the semester, we will engage in both the creation and production of a collaborative avant-garde extravaganza. Throughout the 20th century, artists from all disciplines forged previously unimagined and often shocking pieces in the visual arts, music, theater, literature, dance and film, and at times, all of these, all at once. Avant-garde artists broke down the boundaries of media, cultural norms and political/aesthetic conventions. Moved by their time in a war-torn century, these artists produced works that were dark and subversive, but also humorous and absurd.

We will encounter the now legends of the 20th century avant-garde across the disciplines - including E. E. Cummings, Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky, Sonia Delaunay, Hannah Höch, Florence Henri, Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau, Erik Satie, Man Ray and Peter Sellars. In addition, we will explore some of the key movements from Dada and Surrealism to Pop art (Andy Warhol) and Fluxus (Yoko Ono), and the influences on these movements from the circus and mime to collage and chance. We will also meet New York's premier avant-garde collaborators including John Cage, Merce Cunningham and Robert Rauchenberg, and explore more contemporary forays into aesthetic innovation.

This course will be both rigorous and ridiculous. We will study, and we will perform. We will create art and anti-art, and we will do our best to analyze "happenings" that deliberately resist analysis. In addition, we will write and publish a professional program with articles in the spirit of the avant-garde for our final production. The class will culminate in a chance to be part of chance pieces as both experimental cultural creators and consumers.

No background in music or the allied arts are required for those taking this course. Just bring your creativity and passion.
(The chair of the Music department has indicated this course may be counted as a Music elective toward the completion of Music requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Pellegrino D'Acierno, Comparative Languages and Literatures
MW 4:30-5:55PM
CRN: 21252

Adopting a comparative and interdisciplinary approach, this course will attempt to elaborate an anatomy of love by examining a wide range of literary, philosophical and cinematic texts in which the art of love and the act of enamorment is thematized. It will trace the evolution of the idea of love primarily in western culture, with some references to non-western cultures. Beginning with Plato's Symposium, the course will examine the development of the amorous discourse that extends from paganism (Ovid's Art of Love) through the Bible (the Song and Songs) and Christianity to courtly love (the troubadours, Dante, and Petrarch), from the Renaissance (Boccaccio and Shakespeare) and Romanticism through modernism (T.S. Eliot, André Breton, Pablo Neruda) to the present day ("Hollywood love" and "liquid love"). Although the primary emphasis will involve close reading of literary, philosophical, and cinematic representations of love, the work of theorists such as Octavio Paz, Roland Barthes, and Luce Irigaray will also be considered.
(The chair of the Comparative Languages and Literatures department has indicated this course may be counted as a CLL elective toward the completion of CLL requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Barbara Bengels, English
TR 11:10-12:35PM
CRD: 22236
DAVS 0014

In Future Shock, Alvin Toffler argued that science fiction is the most important form of literature to prepare young people for the technological and sociological changes before them. Professor Bengels will discuss the development of science fiction in the twentieth century, its Golden Age, and how it has helped create the twenty-first century. Based on her personal acquaintance with many prominent science fiction writers, she will also use their letters to describe how they were encouraged--or brutally discouraged--from becoming authors. Students will read the best of SF past and present (authors such as Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, Heinlein, Benford), as well as critical articles, and then produce their own comparative analyses.
(The chair of the English department has indicated this course may be counted as an English elective toward the completion of English requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Jean Dobie Giebel, Drama and Dance
TR 9:35-11:00AM
CRN: 24493

This course uses the racial history of Shakespeare performance in the United States and its legacy, including the development of the concept of "colorblind" casting and the backlash against that concept, as basis for discussing current performance practice and issues of diversity in the performing arts. It will begin with a critical examination of nineteenth century Shakespeare productions, and will continue by investigating the history and development of American Shakespeare theater practice through the early twentieth century custom of casting Caucasian actors to play such characters as Othello and Aaron (Titus Andronicus). We will then turn to the concept of "colorblind casting" championed in the latter half of the twentieth century by the Public Theater, producer of the acclaimed Shakespeare in the Park, and contrast that practice with August Wilson's famous rejections of "colorblind casting" in the 1990s. Our ultimate aim will be to explore current issues of equality in racial representation in American performing arts through a discussion of incidents such as Tonya Pinkin's public statement upon leaving the Classic Stage Company's production of Mother Courage, and the public examination of casting practices in Broadway's Hamilton.
(The chair of the Drama and Dance department has indicated this course may be counted as an Drama elective toward the completion of Drama requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Barbara Jaffe, Fine Arts and Art History
TR 2:20-3:45pm
CRN: 20416
CALKS 0013

The invention of photography in 1839 had a profound impact on the human race. The photographic image has become our global language, often more influential than words. But what is a photograph, really? What are its working parts? Where is its power? We will study 10 photographs that altered human thought, changed the arc of history and transformed world cultures.
(The chair of the Fine Arts and Art History department has indicated this course may be counted as a Fine Arts and Art History elective toward the completion of requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Roberto Mazzoleni, Economics
MW 12:50-2:15
CRN: 20417
GALWG 0014

The goal of this seminar is to introduce students to various aspects of the conception of economics as an evolutionary science. Evolutionary theorizing in the social sciences predates the elaboration of Darwin's theory of natural selection in 1859, but since the late nineteenth century several economists embracing an explicitly evolutionary approach to the study of economic development established varied and interesting connections among evolutionary processes in biology and in economics. However, the evolutionary approach failed to establish itself as a dominant paradigm in economics. In 1898, Thorstein Veblen wondered in dismay "Why Isn't Economics an Evolutionary Science?". And Alfred Marshall, whose work contributes key aspects of the 'neoclassical standard' in contemporary textbook microeconomics, wrote in 1920 that "economics, like biology, deals with a matter, of which the inner nature and constitution, as well as the outer form, are constantly changing." The emerging neoclassical approach astonished Joseph Schumpeter, whose view of capitalism led him to write that "the essential point to grasp is that in dealing with capitalism, we are dealing with an evolutionary process." After learning about the roots of evolutionary theorizing in economic thought, we will fast forward to contemporary research and debates among economists that explicitly or implicitly embrace an evolutionary approach. In particular, we will read and discuss recent writings concerned with the characterization of human actors in economics, the evolution of technology, institutions, business firms, and industries.

While no background in economics or mathematics is required, awareness of basic economic principles and familiarity with mathematical modeling will be helpful.
(The chair of the Economics department has indicated this course may be counted as an Economics elective toward the completion of Economics requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Robin Becker, Drama and Dance
TR 9:00-11:00AM
CRN: 24649
LOWE 110

In this course we will explore the relationship of the body in movement to the creative processes of thought and perception. We will be working with the somatic practice of Continuum Movement and with texts that support an inquiry into the role and meaning of the body. In this time of technological advancement and great speed, there is a tendency to disassociate from the slower sensory intelligence of the body. Western culture often views the body as a form to objectify in ways that are similar to how machines are viewed and understood. Continuum Movement challenges that perspective and views the body as an unfolding creative process that is in a dynamic exchange and communication with all life forms. The body is primarily water, and at its essence, Continuum Movement is an exploration of the properties and movement of fluid systems as they shape and form life both within the body and throughout the larger world. Possible texts for the course will be Engaging the Movement of Life by Bonnie Gintis, DO, A General Theory of Love by Thomas Lewis, M.D., Fari Amini, M.D., and Richard Lannon, M.D., and How Life Moves by Caryn McHose and Kevin Frank. The course will also include DVDs documenting current research on movement and perception. The practice of Continuum Movement in no way resembles a dance or movement class in which one is asked to learn a prescribed set of movements. No prior movement experience is required for this course. Instead, this course will offer a process of engaging one's own personal exploration of movement with the goal of becoming more conscious of the sensation of life as it unfolds into our awareness through the communication and expression of movement.
(The chair of the Drama and Dance department has indicated this course may be counted as a Dance elective toward the completion of Dance requirements for majors or minors.

Professor Kara Alaimo, Public Relations
MW 12:50-2:10PM
CRN: 24464

This honors seminar will teach students how to successfully communicate in different countries and work as part of multicultural teams comprised of colleagues with very different workplace practices and expectations. We will study cultures across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. Students will learn the key dimensions on which people of different cultures differ - from our conceptions of time to whether we conceive of ourselves as individuals or part of groups - and examine the business and communication practices that work best in each of the world's ten "cultural clusters."
(The chair of the Public Relations department has indicated this course may be counted as a Public Relations elective toward the completion of Public Relations requirements for majors or minors.

Professors Anoop Rai, Salvatore Sodano, Frank Zarb, Finance
R 1:30-3:30PM
CRN: 24465

In this course we examine financial crises around the globe and the ensuing evolution of financial regulations and public policy. These include analyses of the Tulip mania in the Netherlands in 1637, the South Sea and Mississippi Company bubbles in 1720, the economic panics of 1837, 1873, 1907 in the U.S., the Great Depression in 1929, the Japanese real estate crash in 1991 and the Great Recession of 2008. Misguided economic policies, financial innovation, regulatory forbearance and weak corporate governance are identified as common factors that precede major financial crises. Financial innovation will be shown to be both a catalyst and resolution to financial crises. Students will complete the course with a detailed analysis of the Dodd-Frank Bill of 2008.
(The chair of the Finance department has indicated this course may be counted as a Finance elective toward the completion of Finance requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Arthur Dobrin, Management and Entrepreneurship
TR 11:10-12:35PM
CRN: 24648
GALW 0014

"The essence of it is simple, but the process by which it is established is a great complication." While Simon Schama's remarks refer to art, it applies equally well to ethics. The essence of morality is simple but how we become moral and what it takes to remain moral is far from simple. Using insights from biology, psychology and philosophy the course examines the development and social factors that contribute to becoming a moral person. The course uses the social and hard sciences, fiction, film and self-examination for understanding the foundations and structures that provide the tools necessary for the development of an ethical personality.

* HUHC 021's are non-Liberal Arts Courses.


Professor Ann Burlein, Department of Religion
TR 12:45-2:10PM
CRN: 92236

This course explores the reception of reproductive technologies such as IVF and surrogacy in different religious and cultural contexts. How do such technologies change when they are used by people whose cultural background includes belief in karma, multiple lives, and ancestors? Why do some religions define the use of donor sperm or eggs as adultery? What new forms of spirituality are emerging around the rejection of all artificial technology regarding birth?

(The chair of the Religion department has indicated this course may be counted as a Religion elective toward the completion of Religion requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor David Powell, Romance Languages and Literatures
MW 12:50-2:15PM
CRN: 91206

This course offers the opportunity to explore how films featuring same-sex desires reflect gay life and its concerns as they are manifested in French life. The dual goal seeks to clarify (1) aspects of same-sex culture in France (as distinct from in the US) and (2) how they are depicted in film. We will encounter and attempt to answer how films typically represent gay issues (where we will deal with stereotypes) and how these issues, and thereby their representations, differ in France from how they typically work in the US (so, different stereotypes and difference emphases).

The theoretical lens through which we will examine these films is queer theory, an academic field of inquiry that has proliferated over the past 25 years. We will also use various literary critical methods to analyze the queer message, symbols, context, and significance of queer cultural artifacts. Because we will be dealing with French culture, and French gay culture, you will be acquainting yourself with a social construct that, in many ways, in very different from American society and thus different from the American typical gay experience.

At the same time as we encounter elements of gay filmic culture, we will come across diverse social and political constructs and events that have shaped French gay culture and its response to these constructs. The linguistic element is naturally particularly pertinent; I will provide nuances between the English subtitles and the French dialogue. As in any study that involves reading a translated text, sensitivity to cultural and linguistic differences is key here.

Your participation in the course will be participatory, which will include daily contributions to classroom discussion and an individual or group presentation, as well as analytical, which you will demonstrate in writing assignments. By the end of the course, you will be prepared to better appreciate French queer film, French film in general, and queer film in general. And maybe you’ll end up being fluent in French….

Professor Terry Godlove, Philosophy
MW 12:50-2:15
CRN: 92237

Many of us have been taught that something of world-historical significance happened in Europe in the eighteenth century—a victory of reason over superstition, freedom over tyranny, science over religion.  In a word, Enlightenment.  But is that an accurate picture?  Contemporary critics claim the Enlightenment’s legacy is one of exploitation, dehumanization, colonialism, and the loss of human dignity.  In this course, we will examine the work of Immanuel Kant, one of the Enlightenment’s chief spokesmen.  Among other works we will read his, Critique of Pure Reason (1781, 1787), which clears the way for his claim that persons must never be treated simply as means to ends.  This claim looms large in history, as it helped shape the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, and the United Nations charter.  We will see that Kant was decidedly ambivalent about the prospects for enlightenment, and that he anticipated many of its contemporary critics, even as he championed its values.  Some background in philosophy recommended.

(The chair of the Philosophy department has indicated this course may be counted as a Philosophy elective toward the completion of Philosophy requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Herbie DiFonza, School of Law
TR 11:10-12:45PM
CRN: 93517

The course will study the dramatic changes in American family formation in the 20th and 21st centuries: the demise of the “traditional” two-parent family; the rise in cohabitation, single parenthood, and same-sex partnerships; and the coming-of-age in surrogacy and assisted reproductive technologies.  The course would begin with the post-World War II family and trace the cultural evolution from Leave It to Beaver to Modern Family.  The approach would blend history, law, and social science data, focusing on the contrast between marriage and cohabitation as the starting point for a family, and an analysis on how our society is shifting to a functional redefinition of the family, with significant cultural consequences.  

Professor Andrea Libresco, Education (Social Studies) and Center for Civic Engagement
TR 12:45-2:10PM
CRN: 92234

This course examines the process of electing a president in 2016 and in historical perspective.   Participants will investigate and assess the nominating procedure; the candidates’ stands on the issues of our time; the roles that media, money, parties, debates, advertisements, and the Internet play; the influence of race, class and gender on both voters and candidates; and the domestic and foreign policy challenges that the new president and Congress will face.  Attention will be given to the ways in which citizens participate in the political process and to their quest for the kinds of reliable knowledge that are necessary to make informed judgments.

Professor Tina Mavirkos-Adamou, Political Science
MW 12:50-2:10PM
CRN: 90758

This seminar will focus on the causes, effects, and responses to international migration and the relationship between the international legal environment and that of the nation-state where these crises play out domestically.  The course will begin by defining the legal differences between economic migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, and move on to discuss various humanitarian crises that have resulted from large-scale migration and displacement.  Cases of mass migration will be selected for examination representing several regions of the world, including Central America, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.  The ongoing Syrian crisis, considered to be the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century, will be taken up as a case study representing the complexities and challenges brought on by large-scale forced migration.  As of January 2016, the Syrian war has resulted in more than 11 million Syrians either being killed or forced to flee their homes, representing half of the country’s pre-war population.  This unprecedented movement of people poses formidable challenges for both the international community in responding adequately to this humanitarian crisis, and for nation-states receiving such large numbers of people.  These and other related issues surrounding international migration will be discussed throughout the course.

(The chair of the Political Science department has indicated this course may be counted as a Political Science elective toward the completion of Political Science requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Jonathan Waxman, Music
TR 11:10-12:35
CRN: 93518

Since the beginning of motion pictures, music has been a significant part of explaining the action on screen. Today, music is incorporated in far more media than just contemporary films, playing a major role in television shows, commercials and video games. This course will begin by covering the history of film music beginning with silent films and then continue by examining current trends in film scoring techniques, including the use of popular and original songs, and preexisting music in more recent films and television shows, and analyzing the different ways music is used in commercials and video games over the past three decades.

Professor Ling Huang, Chemistry
MW 2:55-4:20
CRN: 92238

Designer drugs such as “Spice”, “Bath Salts” and “Molly” have spread rapidly around the world in the past decade. In order to avoid law enforcement, the manufacturers of these synthetic compounds keep adjusting formulas to stay in the legal gray area. On the other hand, many users are unware of the dangers that are associated with these poorly-controlled products with unknown chemical identities, resulting in increased emergency room visits and high-profile incidents frequently reported in the media. Law enforcement and legislative bodies throughout the world struggle to keep pace with the changing nature of designer drugs. In this course, students will learn the chemistry behind the synthesis of these drugs, the analytical methods used for the detection and quantification (some done at Hofstra), toxicological effects, and the chemical challenges facing law enforcement and legislations.

No previous background in chemistry is needed as layman terms and Lego-block analogy will be used to describe the chemical reactions. In the seminar relevant laws, war on drugs, web 2.0, silk road, social media’s roles will be discussed. Majority of the reading materials will NOT be on Chemistry, rather on the overall phenomenon of designer drugs. Honor students are encouraged to think about the complex societal impacts designer drug causes and learn the instructor’s perspective as a chemist

Professor Ellen Frisina, Public Relations
TR 12:45-2:10PM
CRN 92235

Are you “too sensitive”?

On the one hand, much has been written about your generation suggesting you are too sensitive and overly aware of “feeling hurt” by words and –isms.  On the other hand, some believe that your generation has the moxey and ambition to rid the world of prejudice and bias. 

So, are you “too sensitive” or “highly aware”?

This course will look at popular books, magazine articles, internet sites and television shows that focus on whether we are becoming “wimps” or “renegades.”  We will look at what many say is the reason behind this – the 24-hour news cycle that “hypes” issues like Snowmageddon or political discourse or “reality” TV – and turns what may be a non-issue into another reason to rail against societal wrongs.  The spread of information is a major focus of this issue as your generation knows more, sees more, is hyper-aware of your world (which is quickly shrinking, as well, because of this).  Is it “TMI” or an important concern?

One need only watch a few episodes of The Daily Show or Talk Soup to see one side of the story – making mountains out of molehills.  On the other side, one can point to several organized and effective campaigns by college students to change the status quo – many may say the Supreme Court decision about gay marriage is a result of your generation arguing that the world “needs to change.”

Several well-documented protests on college campuses highlight how your generation is “hyper-sensitive” to words and actions. Every issue from Halloween costumes to graduation speakers has taken on the mantle of freedom of speech – with both sides arguing that not only do words matter, but also the meaning of words has changed. Again, is it over-sensitivity or focused analysis of a wrong?


According to a recent article in The Atlantic titled “The Coddling of the American Mind”, “….college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like.”  Is this good or bad?  Let’s decide together with some deep critical analysis of both sides of this issue (or non-issue!)

(The chair of the Public Relations department has indicated this course may be counted as an elective toward the completion of PR, JRNL and Media Studies requirements for majors or minors.)


Professor Susan Lorsch, English
TR 11:10am – 12:35pm
Breslin 202
CRN: 22487

Narrative and the Idea of the Double: The notion of the divided self is deeply embedded in Western conceptions of identity--whether the parts of the self represent such easy divisions as "good" and "evil" or more subtle distinctions between ego and superego or between the subconscious and the conscious. Writers of fiction and filmmakers use ideas of the double or "doppelganger" to reflect psychological struggle and to explore the relationship of the self to the self and to the world outside the self. In narrative literature and film, one's shadow-self--whether mischievous, malicious, friendly or forbidding--appears as a reflection of a crisis in identity and offers its alter ego the opportunity for self-exploration. This course will examine some of the ways narratives have explored identity and probed human psychology through the use of the double. In addition to investigating the tales that are told, we will also be studying the variety of techniques fiction and film employ in order simultaneously to demonstrate and embody the divisions and conflicts, the complexities of desire, within the self. Emphasis will be on class discussion and analysis; thus, class attendance and participation, along with written work, will figure significantly in final grades.

(The chair of the English department has indicated this course may be counted as a English elective toward the completion of English requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Akilah Folami, Hofstra University School of Law
MW 9:05am – 10:30am
Breslin 203
CRN: 20449

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press....” The objective of this course is to give students a solid grounding in the Constitutional principles of free speech and free press; the limits of the government’s authority to prevent or punish the reporting of information by traditional journalist, blogger, FB poster and the like; and the rights of reporters to access and confidentiality in newsgathering. The course will also explain the law of defamation, copyright, freedom of information, privacy, the regulation of radio, TV, cable and the Internet as it relates to the rights of expression in the U.S. and other legal concerns important to journalists, broadcasters, advertisers, and bloggers.

Professor Charles Anderson, Psychology
TR 4:30pm – 5:55pm
CRN: 21360

Do you watch the "Big Bang Theory"? Have you wondered whether our digital world will end with a bang, a whimper, or singularity? Did you know that the first computer was named "Maniac"? Have you heard of Alan Turing and the Enigma Code? These questions and others will be answered when we read and discuss the provocative book "Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid," which explores the inter-relationship of math, music, and art. One paper, one oral presentation, and a lot of interesting discussion.

Professor Ilaria Marchesi, Comparative Languages and Literature
Professor Christopher Dippel, Drama
MW 12:50pm – 2:15pm
GALWG 0014
CRN: 20450

In this co-taught seminar we study Greek Tragedy both as literary text and as performance. In addition to reading, discussing and writing about the texts, students will prepare a performance as one of the class projects.

(The chairs of the Classics program and Drama have indicated this course may be counted as a Classics or Drama elective toward the completion of Classics or Drama requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Ira Singer, Philosophy
TR 11:10am – 12:35pm
GALGW 0014
CRN: 23717

What is the most effective path to a tranquil and satisfying life? Three ancient Greek philosophical movements aimed to answer this question. The Stoics advocated relying on reason, and making a sharp distinction between our lack of control over what happens in the world and our complete control over our own attitudes and efforts. The Skeptics advocated a practice of developing strong arguments on both sides of every issue, leading to the obliteration of all firm beliefs, and then to an untroubled, natural way of living. The Epicureans advocated a life devoted to pleasure, but to pleasure of a modest and durable kind; they preferred quiet friendship and frugal meals over great passions and riotous revels. These so-called Hellenistic philosophical schools fell out of favor for a millennium after the fall of the Western Roman empire, but became influential again at the start of the modern era, when figures like Montaigne, Spinoza, and Hume mixed and matched doctrines from the Stoics, Skeptics, and Epicureans. In our own time important philosophers (like Martha Nussbaum, especially in her work *The Therapy of Desire*) have been inspired by the seriousness and ingenuity with which the Hellenistic philosophers addressed the most profound human concerns. This course will examine ancient, early modern, and contemporary texts, aiming to develop and evaluate Stoic, Skeptical, and Epicurean perspectives on life and its challenges.

(The chair of the Philosophy department has indicated this course may be counted as a Philosophy elective toward the completion of Philosophy requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Alfonso Garcia-Osuna, Romance Languages and Literatures
MW 9:05am – 10:30am
LOWE 203
CRN: 23718

Sex and gender are intimately connected to each other throughout history, and the medieval era (roughly 500 to 1500 C.E.) played a critical role in the construction of modern Western sexual and gendered identities. It can be argued as well that many of our ideas about modern love originated in the narratives of medieval romance literature, where there is also a rich tradition of the creative subversion of traditional gender and sex roles. Located at the boundary between the biological and the cultural, human sexuality has been feared for its radical potential to disrupt various structures of human order- and meaning-making, and has been assumed to be a central key to understanding human nature and identity. Through readings of various medieval texts (literary and otherwise), as well as critical readings in body, gender, and sexuality studies, we will explore the critical role of sexuality in shaping the Western human subject and its radical powers for disrupting and transforming bodies and selves over time. By way of making some cross-temporal connections between the medieval world and our own, we will also view some contemporary films such as Cuba’s Strawberry and Chocolate(1993) that explore, in complex fashion, various themes of sexuality and sexual identity. As this is a seminar-style course, preparing for and participating in class are vitally important to your ultimate success, and therefore, your contribution to in-class discussions as well as your attendance record will be factored into your final grade. Although I will provide much guidance and commentary, the students are essentially the
discussion leaders of this course. As this is also a reading-intensive course, not keeping up with the reading could be extremely detrimental to your progress and final evaluation. One final (but important) word: coming to class without the text will count as an absence.

Professor Patricia Hardwick, Anthropology
MW 12:50pm -2:15pm
CRN: 24650

Anthropologists, ethnomusicologists, and folklorists acknowledge the importance of the study of the performing arts for the understanding oftraditional systems of healing, alternative histories, cultural memories, gender relations, ethnic identities, political movements, regional conflicts, and religious revival. Drawing on a varied source of ethnographic studies of the performing arts from North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, this course will focus on how performers embody cultural knowledge, interpret their experiences, construct their realities, offer cultural critique, resist cultural norms, and even facilitate healing through their performances. Throughout the course we will investigate what these embodied ways of knowing can tell us about the individuals that perform them and their relevance within particular cultures. We will examine the importance of the context of performance, and study what effects rapid cultural change, colonialism, tourism, nationalist movements, and religious revival can have on particular performance forms and traditions. We will also evaluate how issues such as mental and physical health, piety, gender, class, ethnicity, social status, and nationalism can be interpreted, mediated and expressed through performance and the performing arts. A series of demonstrations and workshops will be arranged with local performance groups as part of the class in order to allow students to experience and document how cultural knowledge can be embodied through he learning of particular performance forms. A significant portion of the theoretical work that addresses the performing arts as embodied knowledge has been based on ethnographic studies of Latin American and Caribbean music and dance. This literature stresses the importance of the study of dance, music, and the body in order to investigate issues of gender, colonialism, violence, rupture, and cultural continuity. The body is emphasized as one aspect of life that the poor and socially oppressed were able to control, thus the music and social dances of the disadvantaged have been viewed as metaphors of their understanding of the colonial experience. Ethnographies of the sacred performance traditions in South Asia and Southeast Asia emphasize the healing and restorative properties of traditional music and theater. Studies of the public performances and multi-vocal retellings of the great epics of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana reveal how individuals in South Asia can use these performances to construct an intimate understanding of themselves and how the well known epics can be recast to emphasize social issues important to the performer. Ethnographies of the performing arts and traditional martial arts of the Muslim majority nations of Indonesia and Malaysia contradict imaginations of Islam as an abstract, undifferentiated, and unchanging religion, and reinforce the understanding that the interpretation and re-interpretations of Islam and Islamic practice is a historical and ongoing process in Muslim Southeast Asia.

HUHC 20I (H1) Black Mountain Culture

Professor Ron Janssen, Writing Studies

MW 2:55-4:20

Room: DAVSN 014
CRN: 24651

Have you ever had the experience, even for a moment, of thinking that maybe everything you have ever believed or learned (even in C&E!) might be wrong? If so, you are well positioned to enjoy and benefit from a study of the artists and thinkers associated with Black Mountain College. For example, the design engineer Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller, troubled by the distortions in our customary representations of the world (globes, Mercator maps – you probably have had them in every schoolroom), set about to invent his own Dymaxion map. Looking for a way to provide affordable housing for people around the world, he invented the geodesic dome. Charles Olson, dissatisfied with what he saw as the shortcomings in the Greco-Roman traditions of Western thought, turned for correctives to prehistory and Mayan culture. Robert Rauschenberg made paintings with no images and even went so far as to buy and erase a drawing by a famous contemporary. John Cage composed music with no sound. Merce Cunningham used chance operations to replace carefully designed programs of traditional choreography. All of these people were a chief influence on American culture 1950-1975 and beyond. In this course, you will study the writing, visual art, music, dance, and social and scientific developments of this fascinating group of people in order to identify something that we might call “Black Mountain Culture.” In the spirit of Black Mountain College itself, your work will be highly independent of traditional strictures, meaning that term projects will be of your own design (with as much help from me as you want and need) and focused in fields of your own interest. If you have ever wanted to build a geodesic dome before, maybe you will now – or invent your own design. Who will like this course? Arts and science and communications students endowed with curiosity, intuition, and creative imagination. If that’s you, come on in!

Professor Gregory Maney, Sociology
Professor Maureen Murphy, Education
TR 12:45pm – 2:10pm
CRN: 24652

Participants in the Easter Rising of 1916 envisioned alternative futures for Ireland, politically, economically, socially, and culturally. While defeated soundly in military terms, heightened Irish nationalist mobilization in its aftermath brought about some but not all of these changes. The Easter Rising demonstrates the power of vision and acts of sacrifice. It also shows how one event can simultaneously galvanize and divide a population. As a historic event, the Easter Rising provides a lens through which we can interpret the present and chart a course for the future. The 100th anniversary of the Rising provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon the contemporary implications of the Easter Rising and related events. What, if any, lessons does the Easter Rising hold for the peace process in Northern Ireland, transatlantic relations and the role of the Diaspora in Irish affairs, European and global integration, economic and fiscal crises, class inequalities, growing ethnic diversity, the status of women, environmental challenges, and church-state relations? This course draws upon a wide range of disciplinary lenses to answer these important questions.

(The Directors of the Irish Studies Program have indicated that this course may be counted as an elective toward the completion of requirements for Irish Studies minors.) This course DOES NOT satisfy the Cross-Cultural (CC) distribution requirement.


Professor Scott Harshbarger, English
MW 2:55-4:20PM
CRN: 90842

 “The idea that reality,” writes Marie-Laure Ryan, “may include other worlds than the world that we experience every day ranks near the very top of the topics that fascinate the human mind.”  This course will take a good long look at various possible worlds -- from Alice in Wonderland to The Giver, from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to The Ocean at the End of the Lane – and the nature of the selves who inhabit them.  We will consider how authors create worlds within which characters conform, rebel, or otherwise do their best to survive and thrive within the parameters set by their creators.  We will draw on cognitive psychology and narrative theory in order to understand how story-tellers, by tapping into the mind’s capacity to create maps and models of reality, create the fictional worlds that transport and shape us.

Literary Texts:
William Shakespeare, The Tempest
Edgar Allan Poe, “The Fall of the House of Usher”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Frank L. Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Yevgeny  Zamyatin, We
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
Lois Lowry, The Giver
Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Theoretical reading will be drawn from the following:
Frith, C. (2009). Making up the mind: How the brain creates our mental world. John Wiley & Sons.
Gerrig, Richard J. Experiencing narrative worlds: On the psychological activities of reading. Yale University Press, 1993.
Markus, H., & Nurius, P. (1986). Possible selves. American psychologist41(9), 954 – 969.
Pavel, T. G. (1986). Fictional worlds. Harvard University Press.
For more information, please contact Dr. Harshbarger at engsbh@hofstra.edu.

(The chair of the English department has indicated this course may be counted as a English elective toward the completion of English requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Julian Ku, Hofstra University School of Law
MW 4:30-5:55
CRN: 91353

This class will explore how the rise of China will impact the development of international legal institutions and the application of international law more generally.   The class will begin with a brief introduction to contemporary international law and its use and relevance to contemporary international relations.  It will then consider China’s use and treatment of international law with respect to a variety of contemporary global issues including: the use of military force to intervene for humanitarian reasons, the protection of foreign investment, and the settlement of maritime and territorial disputes.  

Over the past forty years, China has gone from one of the poorest and most isolated countries in the world to one of the leading and most influential nations in the world.  As the world’s largest economy (and carbon emitter), and as the second largest military power, China’s impact on the rest of world is, and will continue to be, huge in areas as diverse as international trade, use of military force, the response to climate change, the rise of transnational terrorist groups, and the promotion of human rights.   

As China has continued to rise in global power and influence, the use of international law as a mechanism for regulating and limiting the actions of nation-states has come under strain.  While international institutions like the United Nations and the World Trade Organizations continue to promote the use of international law, scholars and policymakers have questioned the efficacy and importance of international law as a factor in international relations.  Moreover, the relative decline of United States economic and military power compared to nations like China have called into question the future viability of international institutions that the U.S. has long supported. 

For these reasons, there is little doubt that “the rise of China” is one of the most important factors in the future of international law.

Professor Sophie Hawkins, Religion
MW 2:55-4:20
CRN: 92556

In this seminar we will examine our relationship to the things that surround us—from seemingly mundane household items (e.g. the table, the cardboard box) to treasured keepsakes (e.g. love letters) to city monuments (e.g. Statue of Liberty). Through fieldwork and a case study approach we will learn about the often surprising historical and cultural formations that underpin both the objects themselves and our relationships with them. We will question whether we are in fact defined by the things we own/consume/collect, and if so whether it then makes sense to talk about the agency of inanimate things. We will be reading widely from contemporary scholars of material culture, anthropologists, poets, and essayists, and we will be visiting several museums in NYC. The end goal of the seminar will be to collaboratively create a digital cabinet of curiosities of 100 objects whose stories we can tell. 

(The chair of the Religion Department has indicated this course may be counted as a Religion elective toward the completion of Religion requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Sabrina Sobel, Chemistry
MW 2:55-4:20
CRN: 92560

Throughout history, the pursuit of knowledge has been influenced by the prevailing culture. In this seminar, we will explore how the development of math, physics and chemistry have been shaped by culture by reading and discussing select science history books.

Professor David Negrin, Radio, TV, Video, Film
TR 2:20-3:45
CRN: 92561

Centered on the award winning television drama The West Wing, this honors seminar will analyze the legislative goals of the fictional Bartlett presidential administration and compare them to those of true-life presidential administrations in the last three decades. We will also study the research methods, writing techniques, and biography of the creator and show runner Aaron Sorkin. Of the numerous policies, laws, and achievements of the Bartlett administration on The West Wing, some have come to pass in our federal government and some have not. We will trace these domestic and foreign policy issues, analyze their portrayal on the show, and gauge any effect the show itself has had on policy successes or failures. At the same time we will reveal the ingenious writing, production, and overall creative process that made The West Wing one of the greatest dramas in the history of television. This course combines aspects of TV Writing and Production, Political Science, and Civics.

(The chair of the RTVF department has indicated this course may be counted as a Television elective toward the completion of requirements for Television/Video majors or minors.)

Professor Meena Bose, Political Science
TR 12:45-2:10
CRN: 92558

This honors seminar will examine the political leadership and legacy of President Lyndon B. Johnson.  Fifty years after Johnson signed the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, an evaluation of Johnson’s presidential record and continuing debates about those policies is timely and necessary.  Johnson’s presidency set the foundation for current policy discussions about the role of the federal government in social-welfare policy and civil rights.  While the seminar will focus primarily on domestic policy, we also will examine decision making in the Vietnam War, as those choices inform current deliberations about U.S. military intervention.

A unique resource that the seminar will study closely is a collection of special monthly film reports of the Johnson presidency prepared by the Naval Photographic Center from mid-1966 through the conclusion of the presidency in 1969.  Hofstra’s Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency recently acquired this collection (donated by the estate of Naval Photographer Tom Atkins, who made the films), which is available on DVDs in Axinn Library’s Special Collections section.  Students will conduct independent primary research through these films and other archival resources, including documents and oral histories, to develop their own analyses of leadership and policy making in the Johnson presidency.

Students additionally will have a special opportunity to participate in a symposium focusing on the Johnson presidency, particularly developments in voting rights, on December 3, 2015.  Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Robert A. Caro is expected to deliver the keynote address for the symposium, and students will have a special meeting with Mr. Caro to discuss their research on the Johnson presidency.

(The chair of the Political Science department has indicated this course may be counted as a Political Science elective toward the completion of Political Science requirements for majors or minors.)

Professor Iska Alter, English
TR 11:10-12:35PM
CRN: 94475

Although theatre has been a part of American culture since colonial days, it does not become drama nor do plays become dramatic literature until the 20th century. Most responsible for that transformation were the playwrights Eugene O'Neill, Arthur Miller, and Tennessee Williams. These three dramatists attempt to stage not only the complexity of individual action and behavior, but they attempt as well to represent particular American concerns as they emerge through the personal.

 (The chair of the English department has indicated this course may be counted as a English elective toward the completion of English requirements for majors or minors.)

HUHC 20H (H1) ANIMALS IN FILM:  King Kong to Twelve Monkeys
Professor Isabelle Freda, Radio, Television, Video, Film
MW 4:30-5:55PM
CRN: 94476

The way that “nature” is conveyed to us visually is a story which includes some of the best known “stars” of the twentieth – century: King Kong, Flipper, Lassie, Willy and Jaws, to name only a few. The representation of the natural world through film began at the turn of the century in the development of early cinema techniques to tell stories, and continues today in the dramatization of the natural world in film, television, and across digital platforms.  This course examines how nature has been displayed across media and genres: the horror-nature film (Jaws, Willard, The Birds), Science Fiction (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Twelve Monkeys, Them!), the Western (Red River, Stagecoach), animation (The Lion King, Princess Monanoke), and the species-based narrative (Flipper, Lassie, The Black Stallion and Born Free), as well as examining the precursor to the spate of wildlife programming on television beginning in the fifties (Disney’s Living Desert). We will ask how the changing imagery of nature reflects social, cultural, and political trends and events in American society as well as within the film industry.

Students will watch films outside of class. Readings, screenings, written reports required. Students may enroll for this course without having taken RTVF 10, though it is highly recommended.

(The chair of the RTVF department has indicated this course may be counted as a Television elective toward the completion of requirements for Television/Video majors or minors.)

Professor Paul Martorana, Management and Entrepreneurship
TR 2:20-3:45
CRN: 92557

Negotiation is a craft that holds cooperation and competition in creative tension.  While managers need analytical skills to develop optimal solutions they also need negotiation skills to win acceptance and implementation of these solutions.  This course is unapologetically experiential (and therefore fun!). The best way to learn negotiation skills is to negotiate in a safe environment with opportunities to take risks and receive feedback.  This highly experiential course involves interactive exercises and discussions that teach the skills, tactics and strategies for more effective one-on-one, multiparty, team, cross-cultural, one-time, and repeated-interaction negotiations.  Students learn by participating in exercises involving buyer-seller transactions, conflict resolution, ethical dilemmas, cross-cultural, labor-management and environmental issues.  The course is sequenced so that cumulative knowledge can be applied and practiced.  If you discover a tendency that you think needs correction, this is the place to try something new.  The negotiation exercises will provide you with an opportunity to attempt strategies and tactics in a low-risk environment, learn about yourself and build your confidence.

Professor Simon Jawitz, Finance
TR 2:20-3:45PM
CRN: 94477

This course is designed for students who have no prior exposure to business courses. It will provide such students with the tools they need to understand the business world from the inside.  It begins with the assumption that to make sense of our very complex world everyone needs basic information about how businesses come to be and function in relation to one another.  To that end, it will provide a basic understanding of corporate finance, accounting, the debt and equity capital markets and the central role that financial analysis and decision making play in our integrated global economy. Students will learn about how corporations are created and organized, the respective roles and duties of boards of directors, management and shareholders and how conflicts arise and may be resolved.  Students will begin to develop the ability to read and understand financial statements and gain some familiarity with the basic tools used in valuing a business. Students will explore in some depth the concepts of risk and return and learn the fundamentals and key drivers of financial analysis.  Real world examples will be used to illustrate these concepts as we develop them throughout the semester.

The objective of the course is not to encourage students to pursue careers in business.  Nor is it intended as a substitute for courses offered in the Zarb School of Business. While students considering studies in accounting or finance may wish to take this course as an introduction, the purpose of this course is to provide students with information and analytical skills that they will be able to apply in any career.  As it will cover material discussed in Zarb core courses it is not appropriate for current Zarb students.


Professor Joanna Grossman, Hofstra University School of Law
TR 11:10-12:35 – BRES 202
CRN: 22815

This course will explore the law's regulation of families through historical, contemporary, and interdisciplinary perspectives. It will cover topics such as cohabitation; marriage; divorce; child custody and support; child abuse; adoption; and parent-child relationships in the age of sexual freedom, gay rights, and reproductive technology.

Professor Lynne Cohen, School for University Studies
TR 2:20-3:45 – BRES 208
CRN: 20502

This course will explore three novels of Nobel Prize Winner, J. M. Coetzee (born in South Africa in 1940): Disgrace (1999); Elizabeth Costello (2003) and The Childhood of Jesus (2013) from the perspectives of postmodernism and contemporary literary criticism. Two other texts will be required to look at against Coetzee's: Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1899) and Cormac McCarthy's The Road (2006). The course will also reference the renewed interest in South Africa owing to Nelson Mandela's recent death, the Pistorius trial and literature of Nadine Gordimer.

Professor Patricia Navarra, Writing Studies and Composition
TR 2:20-3:45 – NETH 020
CRN: 21523

This course examines Irish drama as cultural and political collaboration, inflected through ideology, staging and programming. We will consider the origin and international influence of the Irish Literary Revival (Yeats, Lady Gregory, Synge) in the midst of Ireland's republican revolution, with its roots in Dublin and the Aran Islands; the 1980 formation of the Field Day Company by writer Brian Friel and actor Stephen Rea in Northern Ireland, and the tradition of Theater Festivals in Dublin and Galway during the rise and development of one of the most powerful national dramas of the twentieth century. Beckett, O'Casey, and Edward Martyn, along with the contemporary works of McDonagh and McPherson will be considered. We will examine the public discourse of Irish drama in the spirit of poet Seamus Heaney, who, having seen the first production of "Translations" in Derry, declared, "This is what theater was supposed to do."

Professor Janet Kaplan, English & Creative Writing Department
MW 2:55-4:20 – GALLWG 013
CRN: 20503

Students will study the tradition of the fool in literature, from early Chinese poetry through Shakespeare and the Native American tradition, then move on to look at the Dadaists and the Surrealists, and at absurdist works by such 20th century writers as John Cage, Barbara Guest, Eugene Ionesco, and Samuel Beckett. Finally, we'll consider work by contemporary writers such as Sherman Alexie, John Ashbery, Dave Eggers, Harryette Mullen, Sarah Vowell, Matvei Yankelevich, and others. Students will respond to these works by writing poetry, short fiction, hybrid texts that include visual collage, and short plays.

Professor Laurie Fendrich, Fine Arts and Art History
MW 2:55-4:20 – BRES 206
CRN: 24672

This is an exciting course for students who wish to develop a rich approach to understanding the meaning of painting. The course requires no previous study of studio art or art history, but is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors only. Through the close study of six great paintings selected from the history of Western art, students will examine individual paintings from multiple perspectives. The list of artists whose work we study is as follows: Memling, Leonardo, Velásquez, Cézanne, Picasso and Warhol. Students will learn to look at individual paintings the way painters look at them—with close attention to the brushstroke, the composition, the way the details fit into the whole, and the means by which color, light and shadow reinforce the painting's structure. We will also ask questions about the historical, sociological and economic "surround" of the individual paintings. What was life like when the painting was painted? What were other artists doing at the time? How well known was the artist at the time? Who was his audience? What happened to the painting after it was painted, and where is it now? Students will read essays or informative chapters from books that have been written about the individual paintings--e.g. the art historian Leo Steinberg's well-known analysis of Las Meninas. Seminar discussions will focus on studying and discussing projected images and discussing the reading assignments; these are kept to a minimum in order to allow students the necessary time it will take to research and write their research papers. The course requires visiting three New York City museums in order to directly look at a few paintings. In exchange for fulfilling this requirement, as well as for individual extended tutorial meetings with the instructor regarding the research paper, two class meetings will be cancelled. The major part of this course is a library research paper (15 pages) on a work of art the student chooses (in consultation with the instructor). Students will submit the paper in various stages (there will be fixed dates)—the thesis, bibliography, outline, first draft, and final draft (due the last day of class). Note that the entirety of the last part of the course is devoted to individual student seminar presentations, based on the research paper, which will be modeled on the approach to looking at paintings students learn during the first half of the course.

Professor Isabel Milenski, Music
TR 4:30-5:55 – LOWE 203
CRN: 24673

Opera is one of the most complex, dramatic and visceral forms of art. The very nature of opera is interdisciplinary. It is storytelling through music, word, theater and spectacle, a celebration of the beauty and violence of human expression framed in aesthetic experience. This will not be a traditional academic course on opera. Instead, theoretical study will launch our visionary work into the realm of performance. We will gain the skills to create one's own production concepts. This course will examine the influences, probe critical discussions and generate creative reflections around three exciting operas, Monteverdi's Orfeo, Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann and Richard Strauss' Elektra. Through study of textual and musical methods of storytelling, we will discover their mythological themes and their sources in literature and the visual arts. We will uncover a prism of perspective to approach each work through philosoply, psychoanalysis, gender studies and politics. Students will encounter operatic mis en scènes by some of the most infamous avant-garde directors and designers of recent times. This exploration of contemporary performance practice will deepen our understanding of the questions these productions ask, as well as how one creates a conceptual language for the stage. Throughout our theoretical study, students will weave their own artisitic visions, applying them to concept building, aesthetics and dramaturgy in order to create their own directorial concept and stage design for each opera we study. We will attend a dress-rehearsals or performance of one of these productions at the Metropolitan Opera. You do not need a background in music or any of the artistic disciplines related to opera. Just bring your creativity! Possible works to study beyond our three representative works include: Orphée by Philip Glass, Orfeo ed Euridice by Gluck, Orphée by Cocteau, Tales of Hoffmann by E.T.A. Hoffmann, Elektra: Production directed by Patrice Chéreau, Film: Mourning Becomes Elektra, Electra by Sophocles, Electra by Euripides, Elektra by Hoffmanstal Background material and theroetical texts for full or partial reading include: The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche, The Cambridge Introduction to Tragedy by Jennifer Wallace, Opera as Drama by Joseph Kerman, Unsettling Opera by David J. Levin, Orpheus and the Roots of Platonism by Algis Uzdavinys, Mad Loves: Women and Music in Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Electra After Freud: Myth and Culture by Jill Scott, and then, you act by Anne Bogart, The Cambridge Introduction to Richard Strauss, Edited by Charles Youmans

Professor Kara Alaimo, Public Relations
MW 2:55-4:20 DAVSN 014
CRN: 24674

The United Nations is currently in the process of developing the world's next plan to end global poverty and achieve sustainable development. This honors seminar will focus on how the U.N. and the broader international community can build global support among key constituencies – including citizens, governments, civil society, and the business community – in order to implement this new agenda. The class will begin with background on global poverty and its root causes as well as the Millennium Development Goals - the world's current plan for ending poverty, which expires in 2015. We will follow developments in real time as the international community negotiates the world's next anti-poverty plan. Next, we will study global advocacy tactics. Students will craft their own strategies for how the U.N. can build the international support it will need in order to finally eradicate extreme poverty and its root causes and protect the environment.

Professor Boonghee Yoo, Marketing & International Business
TR 11:10-12:35 – CV STARR 304A
CRN 24306

A business takes three steps to develop a new product or service successfully: Market Segmentation (Identify and profile distinct groups of buyers who differ in their needs and preferences), Market Targeting (Select one or more attractive and fitting market segments to enter), and Product Positioning (For each target segment, design a right quality product and change customer beliefs and attitudes). Specifically, the course will help students to learn those concepts in depth and develop necessary skills to implement the concepts to real business situations. The course will primarily consist of lectures, discussions, case study, journal articles, real data collection and analysis, and computer applications.


Professor Anna Troester, Dance
MW 2:55-4:20PM
CRN: 90955

From the Bohemian Greenwich Village art circles of the early 1900’s, to the Balanchine Ballets that graced the halls of Lincoln Center, to the activist Folk movement of the 1960’s, the artist has played many roles in society. They include that of the elite virtuoso, the common entertainer, the vagabond philosopher, the activist and the celebrity. The “starving artist” writing his novel, the nameless cabaret dancer performing in nightclubs, the touring pop star showing live at Madison Square Garden, and the designer for major media companies like Apple or Google are just a few of the diverse examples of creative influence in our society. Using 20th Century United States history as a lens, this course will examine the distinct social roles of the artist exhibited through some of the major cultural movements of the past 100 years. This course will consider the questions, What is an artist? What social, historical, political or economic factors make certain social roles possible for the artist? How might the artist’s area of influence change considering current trends in our society and what might be the potential impact? Course materials will include sociological and historical texts, work samples from selected artists, as well as media that reflect perceptions of those artists in their respective times.

Professor Richard J. Pioreck, English
MW 4:30-5:55
CRN: 91518

Any regular viewer knows that The Simpsons are ever ready to break into song.  The musical is America's contribution to world art.  Overwhelmingly, the subject of these musicals is relationships.  While some musicals have explored other topics and ideas in the last 35 years, the musical was founded on the tried and true story of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl.  This central purpose works very well for the writers of The Simpsons to explore the plethora of characters who inhabit this all-American town.  What the writers do is explore relationships through the grotesque lens rather than through the melodramatic lens that supplies the happy ending that is stereotypical of the musical. 

The thing the musical does better than most other forms of art is to handle serious subjects in an off-handed, non-confrontational way.  Music takes the bite of of the implied criticism.  Music allows us to recognize and smile at the foibles in the story, but because the problem is part of the music, not the plot, we can say as Homer often does, "it's true, it's true.  It's so funny because it's true."  But then because we are laughing at the problem, we do not have to deal with the problem.  So while we laugh at the parody, we are also laughing at the foolishness that we recognize, and we are laughing because we realize we might keep laughing, but in Brechtian terms, most likely we will not be galvanized to act.

The musical is America's first sustained cultural export. The form was embraced by the world, and it gave among the first enduring statements about whom Americans believe themselves to be. The stories portrayed on the stage in the American musical have come from the literature of the world as well as from American sources. Regardless of the source, the subject matter is adapted to express thoughts about American ideas and ideals. Looking at the librettos rather than the performances of these plays, but considering the historical context of these plays, provides an insight into the consciousness of the national literature. This course looks at this literature thematically while framing the works in an historical context, providing an overview of the musical's place and cultural importance.

Works Used in The Simpsons (choices made based on availability of the works)

A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams
The Music Man –Meredith Wilson
Marry Poppins – Travers/Disney
Evita – Webber and Rice
The Sound of Music – Rodgers & Hammerstein
Bye, Bye, Birdie – Strouse & Adams
Paint Your Wagon - Lerner & Loewe
Guys and Dolls - Loesser
42nd Street– Dubin & Warren
My Fair Lady – Lerner & Loewe
Beauty and the Beast – Menken & Ashman
Camelot – Lerner & Loewe
Fiddler on the Roof – Stein, Bock & Harnick
Sound of Music – Rodgers & Hammerstein
West Side Story – Sondheim & Bernstein
Grease –Jacobs & Casey

Going Out – David Nasaw
Broadway – Brooks Atkinson
Our Musicals, Ourselves – John Bush Jones
(A previous indication that this course may count toward the completion of English majors/minors was mistaken.  We regret the error.  Don’t hesitate to contact the HUHC office if you have questions or concerns.)

Professor Mary Ann Allison, Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations
MW 2:55-4:20
CRN: 92916

Cell phones do more than distract us, they change everything in our society. Cell phones change how we get promoted at work, how we define what truth is, how large our families are, even what a country is. Not for the first time in human history, new communication technology is changing everything about human society. Some of changes are unprecedented; some recall earlier times. For example, humans are now responding to the Internet in some of the same ways people responded to the development of language. 

Topics covered situate the interaction between media and society in "big history" (from the Big Bang to the present) and include a model of media-triggered social change, which facilitates examining the present and future for individual and social benefit.

Professor John Munz, History
MW 2:55-4:20
CRN: 92921

This course is a study of how College Life and Higher Learning have been depicted through popular American films, and how each film reflects the historical time period in which it was created. Students will examine how social identities are constructed and policed through popular films, and how fictitious narratives can offer important historical perspective into their contemporary zeitgeist.  By watching and discussing the selected films, and reading paired academic texts, students will utilize film as an historical primary source in order to critically analyze how cultural and social conflicts over race, class & gender are worked out on the silver screen. From the less known College (1927)to the widely seen but rarely analyzed Animal House (1978), students will view films spanning the 20th & 21st Centuries, with each film chosen to allow students to examine the historical time period through the window of popular film. 

Dean Evan Cornog, The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication
TR 2:20-3:45
CRN: 92922

This course will explore the vital, and changing, relationship between politics and the press since the nation's founding. We will explore how changes in our political life have been both reflected in and shaped by the press. We will also examine how changes in how news and opinion are delivered (print, radio, TV, online, mobile) have transformed (and are still transforming) our political life. 

Professor Sergei Tsytsarev, Psychology
TR 12:45-2:10
CRN: 92921

The course’s goal is to increase the awareness of students of the cultural perspective on basic and applied issues in psychology; The objectives include a) to read the literature on diversity and multiculturalism and examine the implications of these concepts and perspectives on the training, delivery of psychological services, and policy development in professional psychology; and b) to develop initial skills of multicultural interviewing, assessment and cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy.

Major theoretical and applied issues in cross-cultural psychology with the emphasis on topic are covered. Students learn about the impact of cultural diversity in the domains of human development, education, emotions, cognitions and psychopathology. Readings are assigned that are relevant to assessment and the counseling of children and families of various ethnic, cultural, economic background as well as members of some subcultures within the diverse American culture: individuals with various sexual orientations, alternative life styles, the rich, the poor, the homeless, members of the drug culture, etc.   Students are assigned to work on a) research project in the area of multicultural studies; b) an observational study of a community that must be different from their own, and on c) interviewing a person who has been in this culture for less than 5 years. Their findings are presented in class.  Students receive individual supervision from the course instructor.

One objective in this class is to train students to be competent in a variety of topics in cross-cultural psychology, including some that are sensitive in everyday conversation.  These include questions to help us learn about cultural biases on diagnosis and treatment, drug and alcohol use, typical and atypical sexual behavior, homicidal and suicidal thoughts, peculiar thought patterns, culture bound syndromes, and so forth.  Acquisition of these skills is required for fully understanding the motivations and behaviors.  Students are expected to let their professor know if they are reluctant, unable, or uncomfortable when discussing those issues.

(The chair of the Psychology department has indicated this course may be counted as a psychology elective toward the completion of psychology requirements for majors or minors.  Also, this course DOES NOT count for cross-cultural credit in the Hofstra Distribution System.)

Professor Susan Zwirn, Teaching, Literacy and Leadership
TR       2:20-3:45
CRN: 92920

This course explores what advances in neuroscience can tell us about learning. Brain imaging studies have given us new understanding of the brain's neural systems and how they relate to memory, attention, emotion and creativity. But what can these studies tell us about learning and other aspects of our lives? Through lecture, discussion and hands-on activities, students will discover strategies to apply to their own lives both in and out of school. Linking cognitive science with other disciplines, the course will examine ways to stimulate the brain’s natural approaches to learning. In this dynamic, rapidly changing field, the course’s content will remain open to the latest discoveries.

HUHC 21A (H1) What Everyone Needs To Know About Business
Professor Simon Jawitz, Finance
TR 2:55-4:20PM
CRN: 92917

This course is designed for students who have no prior exposure to business courses. It will provide such students with the tools they need to understand the business world from the inside.  It begins with the assumption that to make sense of our very complex world everyone needs basic information about how businesses come to be and function in relation to one another.  To that end, it will provide a basic understanding of corporate finance, accounting, the debt and equity capital markets and the central role that financial analysis and decision making play in our integrated global economy. Students will learn about how corporations are created and organized, the respective roles and duties of boards of directors, management and shareholders and how conflicts arise and may be resolved.  Students will begin to develop the ability to read and understand financial statements and gain some familiarity with the basic tools used in valuing a business. Students will explore in some depth the concepts of risk and return and learn the fundamentals and key drivers of financial analysis.  Real world examples will be used to illustrate these concepts as we develop them throughout the semester.

The objective of the course is not to encourage students to pursue careers in business.  Nor is it intended as a substitute for courses offered in the Zarb School of Business. While students considering studies in accounting or finance may wish to take this course as an introduction, the purpose of this course is to provide students with information and analytical skills that they will be able to apply in any career.  As it will cover material discussed in Zarb core courses it is not appropriate for current Zarb students.


Spring 2014 HUHC Seminars

Professor Donna Freitas, Religion
MF 11:15 – 12:40PM

In this class we will explore the genre of spiritual memoir/autobiography as a window onto the varieties of American experience and the meanderings of the contemporary self.  We will begin (albeit briefly) with a decidedly contemporary spiritual memoir, then quickly jump back in time to a classic figure, before moving forward again to 20th and 21st century efforts by Americans to become fully human or to become divine. We will address questions concerning the revelation (and concealment) of the self on the page in the context of discrete religious and spiritual traditions, in varying cultural contexts, as well as explore what it is like to search, to be spiritually “lost,” and to discover one has no faith at all. We read a diverse selection of women and men, young and old that will allow us to ask how gender, race, sexual identity, and class affect spiritual experience and its translation into prose. Texts may include works by Joan Didion, St. Augustine of Hippo, Richard Rodriguez, Elizabeth Gilbert, Marjan Satrapi, Eboo Patel, Kevin Roose, and Carlene Bauer. The major writing assignment will include a short work of narrative nonfiction.  There will be two weekend daytrips into NYC dates to be determined.
(The chair of the Religion Department has indicated this course may be counted as a departmental elective toward the completion of requirements for religion majors or minors.)

Professor Ira Singer, Philosophy
TR 11:10-12:35PM
CRN: 23406

Socrates famously claimed that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” This claim is itself one sketchy vision of a good life; it is also a call to describe and to reflect on various visions of living well. What sort of life (or what sorts of lives) should count as genuinely “good,” that is as admirable and worthwhile? This opening question quickly raises other questions, ranging from the abstract (what is the distinctive human place in the scheme of things?) to the concrete (how should people be educated, what kinds of communities should they live in, what should they believe, in order to live well?). In this course, we will read and think about literary and philosophical classics that come to grips with these issues about the good life. We will begin with Plato’s Apology, in which Socrates raises the question of how to live if life is to have value, and literally stakes his own life on his answer. Each subsequent reading will propose, flesh out, and argue for a particular vision of the good life, of the kind of person who can live such a life, and of the kind of community that fosters good living.
(The chair of the Philosophy Department has indicated this course may be counted as a departmental elective toward the completion of requirements for philosophy majors or minors.)

Professor Mary Anne Trasciatti, Rhetoric
TR 2:20-3:45PM
CRN: 20588

Speech has to happen somewhere. Public speech requires public space. In this course we will investigate the nature, meaning, and availability of public space in the United States and its impact on the character and content of public speech. We will consider how material and ideological elements -- the natural landscape, movements in architecture and urban planning, technological developments, economics, law, immigration, war, cultural and political values-- interact to shape where, how, by whom, and for whom public speech happens in and out of doors. We will travel through time and "meet" stump speakers and soapbox orators, "tour" parks, squares, meeting halls, and other civic locations, "visit" rallies, riots, and parades. We will also travel through physical space: participation in at least one field trip is required.
(The chair of the Rhetoric Department has indicated this course may be counted as a departmental elective toward the completion of requirements for rhetoric majors or minors.)

Professor Oskar Pineño, Psychology
TR 2:20-3:45PM
CRN: 21696
NETH 013

This seminar offers students with a dual interest in psychology and computer science an introduction to artificial intelligence (AI), the branch of computer science in charge of studying and developing intelligent machines and software. Instead of offering a broad theoretical perspective on AI, this seminar will provide the students with an interactive, hands-on experience in projects involving various techniques and skills, mainly related to computer programming and electronics, in order to build different “intelligent” systems. Students interested in mathematical models in cognitive psychology and willing to learn the C programming language for physical computing using the Arduino micro-controller are most welcome to join this seminar.
(The chair of the Psychology Department has indicated this course may be counted as a departmental elective toward the completion of requirements for psychology majors or minors.)

Professor Daniel Varisco, Anthropology
MW 2:55-4:20PM
CRN: 20589

With the 1859 publication of On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin inaugurated the modern biological theory of evolution. Within two decades virtually every prominent European scientist had abandoned earlier creationist and catastrophist thinking in favor of an evolutionary model, regardless of whether or not they believed in a God. Yet the debate over the scientific and religious issues has continued to the present. This course will look at the development of the creation myth in its biblical context and later interpretation within Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the importance of Darwin’s theory of evolution, the reception of Darwin’s theory in mid-nineteenth-century England, the subsequent controversy over Darwin and the teaching of evolution as science, “Social Darwinism” and “Intelligent Design.” Students will read a variety of primary texts on both sides of the debate.
(The chair of the Anthropology Department has indicated this course may be counted as a departmental elective toward the completion of requirements for psychology majors or minors.)

Professor Zenia DaSilva, Romance Languages
MW 2:55-4:20PM
CRN: 22264
CALK 306

You know some of the names... maybe most of them: El  Cid, Don Juan, Don Quixote, Mozart, Byron, Moliere, Man of la Mancha, Goya, George Bernard Shaw, Picasso, Verdi, Garcia Lorca, flamenco dance... But do you know how they are linked from times remote till this day? Do you know how they have evolved and been recreated in so many different ways? Read with us, listen with us, watch with us, and you will see how certain figures of Spanish literature have crossed the boundaries of nations and the borders of all the arts: from canvass and stone to theater, to novel, to opera, to film, to Broadway and to dance. And we will end with “Exit Laughing” sampling the current humor of Spain and relating it to our own. Are you ready to come out of the box?

Professor Herb Deutsch, Music
TR 12:45-2:10PM
CRN: 24378
MONR 119

This course explores the inventions and artistic diversions that shaped musical thought from the early twentieth century into the digital age. The dramatic - sometimes often chaotic - changes in musical styles, the invention of electrical and electronic musical instruments and the interaction between “modernism”, abstract art and dadaism on musical thinking are all themes we will be exploring. Finally, a significant portion of our time will be spent discussing the profound effects of digital technology and audio manipulation on musical creativity and performance today. Original thought, ideas and projects will be encouraged.
(The chair of the Music Department has indicated this course may be counted as a departmental elective toward the completion of the requirements for music majors or minors.)

Professor James Kolb, Drama
MF 11:15-12:40
CRN: 22265
LOWE 217

Drama dates from the 5th century B.C.E. in Greece, opera started in 1597 in Florence, Italy, and ballet started at Italian banquets in the late 15th Century, evolving into story ballet at the French court by the late 16th Century. Both opera and ballet as story forms can be traced back to ancient Greek tragedy and, in fact, opera sought to recreate the combination of music, story and dance that was typical of the ancient form.

Shakespeare, in the early 17th Century had to compete with Masques presented at court, so he included song and dance in many of his later plays. Molière was obliged to work at the French court with both opera/ballet composers and choreographers, and adjusted his plays acordingly. In turn the dramas of Shakespeare, Molière, Beaumarchais, Sheridan, Goethe, Schiller, Victor Hugo and numerous other poets and playwrights provided the subject matter and story lines for both ballet and opera into the 21st Century. Even in modern dance, Martha Graham was regularly inspired to create modern dances based on ancient Greek stories and myths, including those dramatic ones involving Clytemnestra, Oedipus, and Medea.

As much as we may see these forms as different, drama, opera and dance have much in common as, for the most part, they are all grounded in character depiction and story telling. Each form has also explored abstraction and has taken different directions in some of its work, but by and large these three forms of performing art share more than they differ. This seminar will explore the commonalities among these three forms from the 16th through the early part of the 21st Century. Because these are aural and visual forms, many examples from all three art forms will be seen and heard in class. Readings in the history of drama, ballet and opera, and readings of a number of plays will assist in connecting the dots among and between these three “differing worlds.”