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MCWP 50 Course Descriptions

All students with more than 90 cumulative units will receive notification from the Muir Writing office before enrolling in MCWP courses.

  • Important Note: Unenrolled students (including those on the waitlist) who miss any class meeting of Muir Writing will be considered NOT ELIGIBLE to enroll in the course. Enrolled students who miss the first two class sessions will be asked to drop. Responsibility for dropping the class from the Registrar’s records belongs solely to the student.
  • The reading and writing requirements are the same for all sections.
  • Books can be purchased through the UC San Diego Bookstore.

MCWP 50 TOPICS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

 

 

Texts

The Craft of Research, Fourth Edition

  • The Craft of Research, Fourth Edition by Wayne Booth, Gregory Colomb, Joseph Williams, Joseph Bizup and William T. FitzGerald

A Writer's Reference 10th Edition

  • A Writer's Reference, 10th Edition by Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers 

Please purchase it from the bookstore, as we have a version that is specific for the Muir College Writing Program.

Student-printed reader

We no longer require students to purchase a reader. Students are required to print out articles for use in class.

Spring 2024

Centering Indigenous Perspectives

The acronym BIPOC, which stands for “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color,” is increasingly deployed by activists, journalists, and scholars in broader conversations about systemic racism, social justice, and structural inequality. While many use this term to highlight shared connections, some critics argue that it is a term with the ability to obscure, rather than elevate, the unique experiences of these groups within the United States, as well as their differences. In this course, we will read a variety of texts by scholars that focus on issues central to Indigenous peoples and communities in the 21st century. Our class will examine the arguments of these scholars, and others in our class discussions, to increase our knowledge of how such arguments are created. The course culminates with your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

 

SEC. ID

SEC.

DAYS

TIME

ROOM (HSS)

INSTRUCTOR

431534

002

MW

11:00-12:20

2346A

Bartulis, Jason

431536

003

MW

12:30-1:50

2346A

Bartulis, Jason

431592

012

MW

8:00-9:20

2305A

Silva, Kelly

431593

013

MW

9:30-10:50

2305A

Silva, Kelly

431651

024

MW

9:30-10:50

MANDE B-152

Nies, Laurie

431655

025

MW

11:00-12:20

MANDE B-152

Nies, Laurie

The Internet is a Paradox

Our lives are full of rich complexity, conflict, and contradictions. It is at these sites of contradiction that the most perplexing and rewarding ideas arise about what it means to be a human in the digital age. The rise of the internet has propelled innovation and social change unlike humanity has experienced before. Along with the ways that the internet has democratized information, made us more connected, and enhanced our lives, there are an equal number of negative implications associated with these technologies. Many have described the internet as a paradox. Perhaps Lewandowski and Pomerantsev (2021) said it best: “This is the fundamental paradox of the Internet and social media: They erode democracy and they expand democracy. They are the tools of autocrats and they are the tools of activists. They make people obey and they make them protest. They provide a voice to the marginalized and they give reach to fanatics and extremists.”

We will be reading, researching, and constructing original arguments about how the internet both disrupts and preserves the status quo, contributes to and dissolves oppressive forces that negatively impact the lives of marginalized and BIPOC communities, and how the internet both expands and constrains the possibility for a more equal and equitable society. 

 

SEC. ID

SEC.

DAYS

TIME

ROOM (HSS)

INSTRUCTOR

431538

004

MW

3:30-4:50

2305A

Krone, Jarret

431539

005

MW

5:00-6:20

2305A

Krone, Jarret

"Let's Get in Formation": Race, Gender, & Intersectionality in Popular Culture (Humanities)

With movements such as #OscarsSoWhite, Popular Culture institutions like Hollywood are increasingly critiqued for their nefarious lack of diversity, inclusion, and equity. This course questions the historical legacies, and contemporary violences, of ideological and economic practices that have often marginalized and exploited people of color, LGBTQIA+ communities, and people with disabilities. Focusing on media that blend narratives with visuals--film, television, commercials, public speeches, concerts, and music videos--students in this course will interrogate how Popular Culture has been, or can be, leveraged in the building or dismantling of systemic oppressions. Our class will examine the arguments and performances of scholars and public figures in our investigation of how Popular Culture renews, revises, and resists institutional and individual investments in white, wealthy, patriarchal, heteronormative, able-bodied privileges. In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, we will work to understand the arguments’ structures while introducing and supporting your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to this course topic.

SEC. ID

SEC.

DAYS

TIME

ROOM (HSS)

INSTRUCTOR

431540

006

TTh

2:00-3:20

2305A

Smith, Haydee

431596

016

MW

11:00-12:20

2305A

Miller, Kellie

431598

017

MW

12:30-1:50

2305B

Miller, Kellie

431650

023

TTh

3:30-4:50

2305A

Smith, Haydee

How to Make a Monster (Humanities)

Through time and across cultures, humanity has invented monsters as a way of conceptualizing, understanding, and even “exorcising” that which it fears. The difference of the Other is certainly a fear all societies have had, and continue to have. Fear of the queer, fear of the immigrant, fear of the disabled, fear of the woman—each of these (and more) have been made monstrous in the arts and in public discourse since time immemorial. Through an engagement with texts engaging with Monster Theory, we can gain unique and urgent insight into how marginalized peoples are relegated to the margins in the first place.

 

SEC. ID

SEC.

DAYS

TIME

ROOM (HSS)

INSTRUCTOR

431544

007

TTh

3:30-4:50

MANDE B-152

Compas, Sean

431606

020

MW

9:30-10:50

2305B

Carter, Jennifer

431607

021

MW

11:00-12:20

2305B

Carter, Jennifer

431649

022

TTh

2:00-3:20

MANDE B-152

Compas, Sean

The Politics of Work: Who Does It for How Much and What It Means for the Future of the Planet

Through time and across cultures, humanity has engaged in work, sometimes forced and unpaid, sometimes respected and sometimes not.  All humans trade their physical and emotional labor as a means of survival through work in all sectors of the economy and all our jobs contribute to some combination of the preservation or destruction of the planet.  Our class will explore how the intersections of gender, race, sexuality, family history, immigration status, ability/disability, and even religion play a role in the ability to move between socioeconomic classes and choose the type of work we engage in.  Through engagement with scholarship around climate change in addition to sociological studies about work, students will create their own informed, research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

 

SEC. ID

SEC.

DAYS

TIME

ROOM (HSS)

INSTRUCTOR

431549

008

TTh

8:00-9:20

2305B

Redela, Pamela

431601

019

TTh

9:30-10:50

2305A

Redela, Pamela

Ocean Justice (Getting It Right) (Social and Environmental Justice)

Most of the world’s population lives within 200 miles of the seacoast, and yet only the few (overrepresented by race, power, and gender), have had jurisdiction over the oceans’ vast resources. As rising sea levels, commercial exploitation, and pollution of our oceans threaten global health, the need for the voices of the BIPOC community in conversation are necessary to ensure justice for those who are likely to suffer coastal climate change consequences first.

We will be reading, researching, and constructing arguments about caring for coastal wetlands, maintaining biodiversity, mapping (and mining) the seabed, along with possibilities for regenerative farming, geoengineering, and the United Nations’ recommendations on evolving international marine laws to better protect the “high seas,” our coastal homes, and the ocean habitat on which the world has always depended for food, medicine, climate stability, and recreation. Can the voices of change and activism sustain the Final Frontier of our planet?

 

SEC. ID

SEC.

DAYS

TIME

ROOM (HSS)

INSTRUCTOR

431557

011

TTh

12:30-1:50

MANDE B-152

Carter, Andrea

431594

014

TTh

11:00-12:20

MANDE B-152

Carter, Andrea

Space and Place

Space and place, particularly in relation to the concepts of nature and home, are frequently taken for granted as objective realities or otherwise sublimated into our daily existence. However, they are terms that are also general enough to be debatable in everything from philosophical discourse to political theory, literature, anthropology, history, arts and culture, cinema and television, and more. Conflicting notions of place and home can fuel international conflicts and war. In the arts, one can witness a history of human thinking in changing depictions of nature, or consider the different approaches to space and place in sculpture and architecture. Assigned readings/screenings draw upon geography as well as visual studies, art history, cultural studies, and architectural history. Students will read about the creator of Central Park, Frederick Law Olmsted, but they will also learn from Las Vegas and consider the Center for Land Use Interpretation's (CLUI) digital archive. How have the concepts of nature and wilderness shifted over time? What are the key works of culture or philosophical developments pertaining to our understanding of the world as well as changing notions of place and "home?" How have car culture and global travel changed our experience of space? How are the ideologies of late capitalism communicated by the modern city?

 

SEC. ID

SEC.

DAYS

TIME

ROOM (HSS)

INSTRUCTOR

431656

026

MW

12:30-1:50

2305A

Pham, Vincent

431657

027

MW

2:00-3:20

2305A

Pham, Vincent

486838

A00

MW

11:00-12:20

REMOTE

Miller, Elizabeth

486843

B00

MW

12:30-1:50

REMOTE

Miller, Elizabeth

486844

C00

MW

2:00-3:20

REMOTE

Miller, Elizabeth

Crime and Ambiguities around Justice

Everyone says we need to stop crime, but crime seems to happen whether we want it to or not. It seems in the nature of humans to create laws, break them, and then have heated, media-fueled, discussions on the victims, the perpetrators, the lawmakers, or the crimes themselves. Crime is also high stakes, so it comes with a clash between entertainment value, high emotion, historical injustices, and a need for rigorous, logical attention. In this class, students will read and write academic arguments around the ambiguities surrounding crime that lead to challenges in a justice system.

 

SEC. ID

SEC.

DAYS

TIME

ROOM (HSS)

INSTRUCTOR

431668

028

TTh

11:00-12:20

2305A

Morshed, Michael

431669

029

TTh

12:30-1:50

2305A

Morshed, Michael

Winter 2024

In the Name of Science: Rationalization, Rights, and Recognition (Sciences)

Medical students and doctors swore the Hippocratic Oath, until 1973 when the Supreme Court “rejected it as a guide to medical ethics.” [1]  Despite the oath, unethical medical experiments on population groups vulnerable to abuse like the Syphilis Study at Tuskegee (US) and the “Unfortunate Experiment” (New Zealand) occurred during the decades of modern medicine. Researchers rationalized those unethical experiments that often occurred without the consent of participants, as necessary for furthering medical knowledge.   

However, some unethical experiments lead to treatments that benefited the public. Our class will consider the problem of medical ethics and rationalization, and patients’ rights and recognition. We will examine arguments associated with our course topic in an effort to understand their structures while introducing and supporting your own informed argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

[1]  For more information, see “Hippocratic Oath: Losing Relevance in Today's World?” by Vishal India and M.S. Radhika.   

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

309048

001

TTh 9:30-10:50

HSS 2346A

Carrie Wastal

How to Make a Monster (Humanities)

Through time and across cultures, humanity has invented monsters as a way of conceptualizing, understanding, and even “exorcising” that which it fears. The difference of the Other is certainly a fear all societies have had, and continue to have. Fear of the queer, fear of the immigrant, fear of the disabled, fear of the woman—each of these (and more) have been made monstrous in the arts and in public discourse since time immemorial. Through an engagement with texts engaging with Monster Theory, we can gain unique and urgent insight into how marginalized peoples are relegated to the margins in the first place.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

309049

002

TTh 8:00-9:20

HSS 1106A

Pamela Redela 

309063

003

TTh 9:30-10:50

HSS 1106A

Pamela Redela

309065

005

TTh 12:30-1:50

HSS 2305B

Pamela Redela

309123

029

TTh 8:00-9:20

MANDE B-152

Jennifer Carter

309125

030

TTh 9:30-10:50

MANDE B-152

Jennifer Carter

309259

034

TTh 11:00-12:20

MANDE B-152

Jennifer Carter

Ocean Justice (Getting It Right) (Social and Environmental Justice)

Most of the world’s population lives within 200 miles of the seacoast, and yet only the few (overrepresented by race, power, and gender), have had jurisdiction over the oceans’ vast resources. As rising sea levels, commercial exploitation, and pollution of our oceans threaten global health, the need for the voices of the BIPOC community in conversation are necessary to ensure justice for those who are likely to suffer coastal climate change consequences first.

We will be reading, researching, and constructing arguments about caring for coastal wetlands, maintaining biodiversity, mapping (and mining) the seabed, along with possibilities for regenerative farming, geoengineering, and the United Nations’ recommendations on evolving international marine laws to better protect the “high seas,” our coastal homes, and the ocean habitat on which the world has always depended for food, medicine, climate stability, and recreation. Can the voices of change and activism sustain the Final Frontier of our planet?

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

309064

004

TTh 11:00-12:20

HSS 2305A

Andrea Carter

309066

006

TTh 2:00-3:20

HSS 1106A

Andrea Carter

309067

007

TTh 3:30-4:50

HSS 1106A

Andrea Carter

Storytelling and its Uses (Humanities)

There are universal elements that stories share no matter the culture they come from. Experts see this as evidence of how embedded stories are in the human experience. Stories have the power to persuade us, reinforce social norms, entertain us, pass knowledge, even influence our biology. In the course, students will research and write about the practice of storytelling while using the LMS Canvas (available to enrolled students) and its tools, including Zoom, Video, Peer Review, Chat, Assignments, Quizzes or Worksheets, and Turnitin.com.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

309068

008

TTh 2:00-3:20

Mande B-152

Michael Morshed

309069

009

TTh 3:30-4:50

Mande B-152

Michael Morshed

309076

013

MW 9:30-10:50

HSS 2305B

Vincent Pham

309077

014

MW 11:00-12:20

HSS 2305B

Vincent Pham

309090

022

TTh 11:00-12:20

HSS 2305B

Michael Morshed

309100

025

MW 12:30-12:20

HSS 2305B

Vincent Pham

"Let's Get in Formation": Race, Gender, & Intersectionality in Popular Culture (Humanities)

With movements such as #OscarsSoWhite, Popular Culture institutions like Hollywood are increasingly critiqued for their nefarious lack of diversity, inclusion, and equity. This course questions the historical legacies, and contemporary violences, of ideological and economic practices that have often marginalized and exploited people of color, LGBTQIA+ communities, and people with disabilities. Focusing on media that blend narratives with visuals--film, television, commercials, public speeches, concerts, and music videos--students in this course will interrogate how Popular Culture has been, or can be, leveraged in the building or dismantling of systemic oppressions. Our class will examine the arguments and performances of scholars and public figures in our investigation of how Popular Culture renews, revises, and resists institutional and individual investments in white, wealthy, patriarchal, heteronormative, able-bodied privileges. In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, we will work to understand the arguments’ structures while introducing and supporting your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to this course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

309070

010

MW 2:00-3:20

HSS 2305A

Haydee Smith

309074

011

MW 3:30-4:50

HSS 2305A

Haydee Smith

309075

012

MW 5:00-6:20

HSS 2305A

Haydee Smith

Centering Indigenous Perspectives

The acronym BIPOC, which stands for “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color,” is increasingly deployed by activists, journalists, and scholars in broader conversations about systemic racism, social justice, and structural inequality. While many use this term to highlight shared connections, some critics argue that it is a term with the ability to obscure, rather than elevate, the unique experiences of these groups within the United States, as well as their differences. In this course, we will read a variety of texts by scholars that focus on issues central to Indigenous peoples and communities in the 21st century. Our class will examine the arguments of these scholars, and others in our class discussions, to increase our knowledge of how such arguments are created. The course culminates with your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

309078

015

MW 2:00-3:20

HSS 2305B

Jason Bartulis

309080

017

MW 8:00-9:20

HSS 2305A

Kelly Silva

309081

018

MW 9:30-10:50

HSS 2305A

Kelly Silva

309087

019

MW 11:00-12:20

HSS 2305A

Kelly Silva

309089

021

TTh 9:30-10:50

HSS 2305B

Laurie Nies

309091

023

MW 9:30-10:50

HSS 1106A

Jason Bartulis

309092

024

MW 11:00-12:20

HSS 1106A

Jason Bartulis

The Internet is a Paradox

Our lives are full of rich complexity, conflict, and contradictions. It is at these sites of contradiction that the most perplexing and rewarding ideas arise about what it means to be a human in the digital age. The rise of the internet has propelled innovation and social change unlike humanity has experienced before. Along with the ways that the internet has democratized information, made us more connected, and enhanced our lives, there are an equal number of negative implications associated with these technologies. Many have described the internet as a paradox. Perhaps Lewandowski and Pomerantsev (2021) said it best: “This is the fundamental paradox of the Internet and social media: They erode democracy and they expand democracy. They are the tools of autocrats and they are the tools of activists. They make people obey and they make them protest. They provide a voice to the marginalized and they give reach to fanatics and extremists.”

We will be reading, researching, and constructing original arguments about how the internet both disrupts and preserves the status quo, contributes to and dissolves oppressive forces that negatively impact the lives of marginalized and BIPOC communities, and how the internet both expands and constrains the possibility for a more equal and equitable society. 

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

309101

026

MW 2:00-3:20

MANDE B152

Jarret Krone

309102

027

MW 3:30-4:50

HSS 2305B

Jarret Krone

309103

028

MW 5:00-6:20

HSS 2305B

Jarret Krone

Spring 2023

Centering Indigenous Perspectives (Social and Environmental Justice)

The acronym BIPOC, which stands for “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color,” is increasingly deployed by activists, journalists, and scholars in broader conversations about systemic racism, social justice, and structural inequality. While many use this term to highlight shared connections, some critics argue that it is a term with the ability to obscure, rather than elevate, the unique experiences of these groups within the United States, as well as their differences. In this course, we will read a variety of texts by scholars that focus on issues central to Indigenous peoples and communities in the 21st century. Our class will examine the arguments of these scholars, and others in our class discussions, to increase our knowledge of how such arguments are created. The course culminates with your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

138709

001

TTh 9:30-10:50

HSS 2305A

David Quijada 

138784

012

MW 8:00-9:20

HSS 2305A

Kelly Silva

138795

013

MW 9:30-10:50

HSS 2305A

Kelly Silva

138803

018

TTh 8:00-9:20

MANDE B-146

Pamela Redela

138804

019

TTh 9:30-10:50

MANDE B-146

Pamela Redela

138850

028

TTh 11:00-12:20

HSS 2305A

David Quijada

Where Science Meets Community for Better Mental Health (Science)

In response to the high rates of mental health needs, this course will encourage students to engage in and critically examine new medical, psychological, sociology, technology, and education research to provide equitable, accessible, and culturally sensitive mental health treatment. In keeping with the goals of MCWP 50, our class will examine the arguments of scholars and others in our class discussions to increase our knowledge of how such arguments are created. The course culminates with your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

138713

002

MW 12:30-1:50

HSS 2346A

Andrea Carter

138718

003

MW 11:00-12:20

HSS 2346A

Andrea Carter

138775

010

TTh 11:00-12:20

MANDE B-146

Kathleen Bryan

"Let's Get in Formation": Race, Gender, & Intersectionality in Popular Culture (Social and Environmental Justice)

With movements such as #OscarsSoWhite, Popular Culture institutions like Hollywood are increasingly critiqued for their nefarious lack of diversity, inclusion, and equity. This course questions the historical legacies, and contemporary violences, of ideological and economic practices that have often marginalized and exploited people of color, LGBTQIA+ communities, and people with disabilities. Focusing on media that blend narratives with visuals--film, television, commercials, public speeches, concerts, and music videos--students in this course will interrogate how Popular Culture has been, or can be, leveraged in the building or dismantling of systemic oppressions. Our class will examine the arguments and performances of scholars and public figures in our investigation of how Popular Culture renews, revises, and resists institutional and individual investments in white, wealthy, patriarchal, heteronormative, able-bodied privileges. In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, we will work to understand the arguments’ structures while introducing and supporting your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to this course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

138725

004

MW 3:30-4:50

HSS 2305A

Haydee Smith

138727

005

MW 5:00-6:20

HSS 2305A

Haydee Smith

138730

006

TTh 2:00-3:20

HSS 2305A

Jarret Krone

138732

007

TTh 3:30-4:50

HSS 2305A

Jarret Krone

How to Make a Monster (Humanities)

Through time and across cultures, humanity has invented monsters as a way of conceptualizing, understanding, and even “exorcising” that which it fears. The difference of the Other is certainly a fear all societies have had, and continue to have. Fear of the queer, fear of the immigrant, fear of the disabled, fear of the woman—each of these (and more) have been made monstrous in the arts and in public discourse since time immemorial. Through an engagement with texts engaging with Monster Theory, we can gain unique and urgent insight into how marginalized peoples are relegated to the margins in the first place.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

138769

008

TTh 8:00-9:20

HSS 2305B

Jennifer Carter

138770

009

TTh 9:30-10:50

HSS 2305B

Jennifer Carter

Empathy, Narrative, and Social Change (Social and Environmental Justice)

How do stories increase empathy ultimately help spark change in an increasingly divided society? In response to increasing racial, gender, and ideological divides, this course encourages students to explore the role of empathy and narrative in making social change. Through a variety of media and diverse voices, we will investigate how stories, specifically the creation of empathy through narrative, catalyze social movementsIn keeping with the goals of MCWP 50, our class will examine arguments of scholars, thinkers, storytellers and changemakers. Class discussions and individual research will help students craft a strong research-based argument about the role of empathy and narrative in a relevant social issue. 

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

138783

011

TTH 12:30-1:50

HSS 2305A

Michele Bigley

Talking to the People (Science)

In this course, we will read, discuss, and write about the academic research surrounding the communication from scientists and technologists to specific audiences, such as lawmakers, technology users, consumers, and patients. The course culminates with your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

138796

014

TTH 11:00-12:20

HSS 2305B

Michael Morshed

138800

015

TTH 12:30-1:50

HSS 2305B

Michael Morshed

Show and tell: Visuality, Collection and Display (Humanities)

The human propensity to both collect and display things has been present in visual culture throughout history, including cabinets of curiosity, museum exhibitions, hobby collectors, and the movement to divest institutional interests. Conceptions of collections and display effect on the way we view things, what fine “art” is, and audience participation. This topic explores issues from the late nineteenth-century museum complex, object ownership, contemporary critique, and curatorial discourses within a global context.
How did we start accumulating all this stuff? What does it reveal about the collector and the viewer? Who are some of the groups denied access to these cultural activities?
Research projects will address how students can explore a topic around some of these debates and arguments. Possible research topics include emerging Indigenous inclusion and representation in institutions, the complex and interwoven histories of Black museum communities, or inquiries into outsider objects from folk communities.

Students will then propose a joint writing and research proposal to argue for their project viability, amass an annotated bibliography of sources, and create an academic research-based argument.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

138801

016

MW 11:00-12:20

HSS 2305A

Vincent Pham

138802

017

MW 12:30-1:50

HSS 2305B

Vincent Pham

The Idea of News in America (Humanities)

Journalism in the United States today struggles through a variety of crises — economic, epistemic, and technological. Digital networks have upended traditional models of funding, distributing, and practicing journalism. In addition, cultural shifts have wrested journalism’s previous centrality to national discourse, even challenging the institution in what’s often called an era of “post-truth.”

In this theme, students will quickly survey a history of American media ¬— from the initially partisan function of colonial newspapers, through the professionalization of the practice of news gathering, to the commodification of news content. Students then will develop their own arguments about the role and future of contemporary journalism within this particular democracy.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

138843

026

MW 12:30-1:50

HSS 2305A

Thomas Conner

Winter 2023

Food Insecurity: Causes, Impacts, and Remedies (Science Track)

Feeding America’s recent report, Map the Meal Gap 2022, finds that “children’s food insecurity rates are higher than 40%” in some states’ counties. Moreover, Black and Latino individuals’ food insecurity rates are higher than those of white individuals in “almost 99%” of US counties. The racial inequities and escalating food prices that contribute to food insecurity are challenging our society to acknowledge and reverse food insecurity. Medical, scientific, and economic researchers have investigated different aspects of these inequities and base their arguments and recommendations on their research. Our class will examine the arguments of these researchers and others in our class discussions to increase our knowledge of how authors develop their arguments. The course culminates with your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

104232

001

TTH 9:30-10:50

HSS 2346A

Carrie Wastal

Talking to the People (Science track)

In this course, we will read, discuss, and write about the academic research surrounding the communication from scientists and technologists to specific audiences, such as lawmakers, technology users, consumers, and patients. The course culminates with your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

104236

005

TTH 11:00-12:20

HSS 2305B

Michael Morshed

104238

007

TTH 2:00-3:20

McGill 2315

Michael Morshed

104239

008

TTH 3:30-4:50

McGill 2315

Michael Morshed

How Healthy Can We Get Together? Where Science Meets Community for Better Mental Health (Science Track)

In response to the high rates of mental health needs, this course will encourage students to engage in and critically examine new medical, psychological, sociology, technology, and education research to provide equitable, accessible, and culturally sensitive mental health treatment. In keeping with the goals of MCWP 50, our class will examine the arguments of scholars and others in our class discussions to increase our knowledge of how such arguments are created. The course culminates with your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

104237

006

TTh 12:30-1:50

HSS 2305B

Kathleen Bryan

104240

009

TTh 11:00-12:20

HSS 1106A

Andrea Carter

104241

010

TTh 12:30-1:50

HSS 1106A

Andrea Carter

104242

011

TTh 3:30-4:50

HSS 2305B

Andrea Carter

Centering Indigenous Perspectives (Social and Environmental Justice track)

The acronym BIPOC, which stands for “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color,” is increasingly deployed by activists, journalists, and scholars in broader conversations about systemic racism, social justice, and structural inequality. While many use this term to highlight shared connections, some critics argue that it is a term with the ability to obscure, rather than elevate, the unique experiences of these groups within the United States, as well as their differences. In this course, we will read a variety of texts by scholars that focus on issues central to Indigenous peoples and communities in the 21st century. Our class will examine the arguments of these scholars, and others in our class discussions, to increase our knowledge of how such arguments are created. The course culminates with your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

104243

012

TTh 3:30-4:50

HSS 1106A

Michele Bigley

104250

019

MW 9:30-10:50

Mandeville B-146

Kelly Silva

104251

020

MW 11:00-12:20

Mandeville B-146

Kelly Silva

104252

021

MW 12:30-1:50

Mandeville B-146

Kelly Silva

Show and tell: Visuality, Collection and Display (Humanities track)

The human propensity to both collect and display things has been present in visual culture throughout history, including cabinets of curiosity, museum exhibitions, hobby collectors, and the movement to divest institutional interests. Conceptions of collections and display effect on the way we view things, what fine “art” is, and audience participation. This topic explores issues from the late nineteenth-century museum complex, object ownership, contemporary critique, and curatorial discourses within a global context.
How did we start accumulating all this stuff? What does it reveal about the collector and the viewer? Who are some of the groups denied access to these cultural activities?
Research projects will address how students can explore a topic around some of these debates and arguments. Possible research topics include emerging Indigenous inclusion and representation in institutions, the complex and interwoven histories of Black museum communities, or inquiries into outsider objects from folk communities.

Students will then propose a joint writing and research proposal to argue for their project viability, amass an annotated bibliography of sources, and create an academic research-based argument.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

104244

013

MW 11:00-12:20

HSS 2152

Vincent Pham

104245

014

MW 2:00-3:20

McGill 2315

Vincent Pham

104246

015

MW 3:30-4:50

McGill 2315

Vincent Pham

How to Make a Monster (Humanities track)

Through time and across cultures, humanity has invented monsters as a way of conceptualizing, understanding, and even “exorcising” that which it fears. The difference of the Other is certainly a fear all societies have had, and continue to have. Fear of the queer, fear of the immigrant, fear of the disabled, fear of the woman—each of these (and more) have been made monstrous in the arts and in public discourse since time immemorial. Through an engagement with texts engaging with Monster Theory, we can gain unique and urgent insight into how marginalized peoples are relegated to the margins in the first place.

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

104247

016

TTh 8:00-9:20

HSS 2305A

Jennifer Carter

104248

017

TTh 9:30-10:50

HSS 1106B

Jennifer Carter

104249

018

MW 5:00-6:20

HSS 2305B

Jennifer Carter

"Let's Get in Formation": Race, Gender, & Intersectionality in Popular Culture (Humanities track)

With movements such as #OscarsSoWhite, Popular Culture institutions like Hollywood are increasingly critiqued for their nefarious lack of diversity, inclusion, and equity. This course questions the historical legacies, and contemporary violences, of ideological and economic practices that have often marginalized and exploited people of color, LGBTQIA+ communities, and people with disabilities. Focusing on media that blend narratives with visuals--film, television, commercials, public speeches, concerts, and music videos--students in this course will interrogate how Popular Culture has been, or can be, leveraged in the building or dismantling of systemic oppressions. Our class will examine the arguments and performances of scholars and public figures in our investigation of how Popular Culture renews, revises, and resists institutional and individual investments in white, wealthy, patriarchal, heteronormative, able-bodied privileges. In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, we will work to understand the arguments’ structures while introducing and supporting your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to this course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

104253

022

MW 9:30-10:50

HSS 2315

Haydee Smith

104254

023

MW 11:00-12:20

HSS 2315

Haydee Smith

104255

024

MW 12:30-1:50

HSS 2315

Haydee Smith

117939

025

TTh 9:30-10:50

HSS 2305A

Jarret Krone

117940

026

TTH 11:00-12:20

HSS 2305A

Jarret Krone

117944

027

TTH 2:00-3:20

HSS 2305B

Jarret Krone

Summer 2022 

Art and Politics

The political sphere includes and regulates many things that have a direct effect on our livelihoods and communities: minimum wage, access to healthcare, immigration, infrastructure, the regulation of our bodies, whom we can marry, and so much more. This topic explores art in politics and politics in art, ranging from antiwar arts activism in the 1960s, the social politics of representing BIPOC histories and individuals, boycott and divestment, and various case studies of both artists and notorious controversies that highlight the tensions between artists/makers, artworks, audiences, local communities, and the museum as mediating institution. Assigned readings draw on art history and museum studies, but the subject matter of the course will also touch on various social histories. How do the arts intersect with and/or represent political issues, movements, themes, and identities? What roles does politics play in the arts, and vice versa? What are some of the past and recent controversies in the arts, and what kinds of art have been considered transgressive? Possible research topics include (but are not limited to) the connections between the arts and politics pertaining to climate change, social justice movements, activism, globalization, labor practices, funding structures, war, museums and/or stakeholders, and more. Students will identify a scholarly debate, or research conversation (in relation to the course topic), propose a project that will participate in that conversation, engage with and analyze sources from the research process in the form of an annotated bibliography, and construct an academic research-based argument.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

094067

F00

TTH 11:00-1:50

REMOTE

Elizabeth Miller

Disability and Popular Culture

Upwards of 43 million Americans are currently experiencing some kind of physical, cognitive, or sensory impairment, and that number is on the rise. And yet despite the pervasiveness of these kinds of disabilities among the U.S. population, and despite the fact that disabled people comprise one of the largest U.S. minority groups, disabled figures are often stereotyped in movies, comic books, commercials, novels, and on television shows, as being deserving of the viewer’s pity, or as being excessively courageous because of their ability to overcome what is often portrayed as a troubled or difficult existence. These stereotypes mark disabled people as ‘other’, thus marginalizing an already marginalized population. In this course, we will examine popular representations of disability to uncover assumptions about the normal or ideal body. We will look at the way disability intersects with issues of race, gender, sexuality, and the environment to better understand the ways disability is constructed (and reconstructed) through social practices and spaces. We will read scholarship from a variety of perspectives that consider impairments in relation to history, nationality, race, gender, and sexuality. In the process, students will apply this scholarship—and their own independent research—to a popular cultural form with the objective of making and defending an argument about disability in a research paper.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

085464

B00

MW 11:00-1:50

REMOTE

Jennifer Marchisotto

How to Make a Monster

Through time and across cultures, humanity has invented monsters as a way of conceptualizing, understanding, and even “exorcising” that which it fears. The difference of the Other is certainly a fear all societies have had, and continue to have. Fear of the queer, fear of the immigrant, fear of the disabled, fear of the woman—each of these (and more) have been made monstrous in the arts and in public discourse since time immemorial. Through an engagement with texts engaging with Monster Theory, we can gain unique and urgent insight into how marginalized peoples are relegated to the margins in the first place.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

085463

A00

TTH 8:00-10:50

REMOTE

Jennifer Carter

085467

E00

TTH 11:00-1:50

REMOTE

Erik Homenick

Silent Crisis: Mental Health in the Pandemic

Mental health conditions have increased along with the pandemic but very little about this crisis has made its way into everyday conversation. The CDC has reported that among those experiencing more mental health problems are racial and ethnic minorities and young people. It is important to acknowledge the mental health impacts brought about by the stress, grief, and loss of the pandemic. There is also the work of finding help to deal with mental health conditions and their impacts. The pandemic has brought to light the deep need for connection and community while recent discoveries in neuroscience have brought new therapeutic possibilities. In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, in this course students will propose, research and write their own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to this important course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

TBD

TBD

TBD

REMOTE

Andrea Carter

Storytelling and Its Uses

There are universal elements that stories share no matter the culture they come from. Experts see this as evidence of how embedded stories are in the human experience. Stories have the power to persuade us, reinforce social norms, entertain us, pass knowledge, even influence our biology. In the course, students will research and write about the practice of storytelling while using the LMS Canvas (available to enrolled students) and its tools, including Zoom, Video, Peer Review, Chat, Assignments, Quizzes or Worksheets, and Turnitin.com.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

085465

C00

MW 2:00-4:50

REMOTE

Vince Pham

085466

D00

MW 5:00-7:50

REMOTE

Mike Morshed

Spring 2022 

Disability and Popular Culture

Upwards of 43 million Americans are currently experiencing some kind of physical, cognitive, or sensory impairment, and that number is on the rise. And yet despite the pervasiveness of these kinds of disabilities among the U.S. population, and despite the fact that disabled people comprise one of the largest U.S. minority groups, disabled figures are often stereotyped in movies, comic books, commercials, novels, and on television shows, as being deserving of the viewer’s pity, or as being excessively courageous because of their ability to overcome what is often portrayed as a troubled or difficult existence. These stereotypes mark disabled people as ‘other’, thus marginalizing an already marginalized population. In this course, we will examine popular representations of disability to uncover assumptions about the normal or ideal body. We will read scholarship from a variety of perspectives that consider impairments in relation to history, nationality, race, gender, and sexuality. In the process, students will apply this scholarship—and their own independent research—to a popular cultural form with the objective of making and defending an argument about disability in a research paper.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

074899

035

TTH 9:30-10:50

HSS 1138

Laurie Nies

074906

042

TTH 11:00-12:20

HSS 1106A

Trung Le

074907

043

TTH 12:30-1:50

HSS 1106A

Trung Le

How to Make a Monster

Through time and across cultures, humanity has invented monsters as a way of conceptualizing, understanding, and even “exorcising” that which it fears. The difference of the Other is certainly a fear all societies have had, and continue to have. Fear of the queer, fear of the immigrant, fear of the disabled, fear of the woman—each of these (and more) have been made monstrous in the arts and in public discourse since time immemorial. Through an engagement with texts engaging with Monster Theory, we can gain unique and urgent insight into how marginalized peoples are relegated to the margins in the first place.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

074865

001

MW 8:00-9:20

HSS 2333A

Jennifer Carter

074866

002

MW 9:30-10:50

HSS 2333B

Erik Homenick

074867

003

MW 11:00-12:20

HSS 2333A

Erik Homenick

074879

015

MW 9:30-10:50

HSS 2333A

Jennifer Carter

074885

021

TTH 8:00-9:20

HSS 2333A

Jennifer Carter

074886

022

TTH 9:30-10:50

HSS 2333A

Jennifer Carter

074888

024

TTH 12:30-1:50

HSS 2333B

Grant Leuning

074900

036

TTH 11:00-12:20

HSS 2333B

Grant Leuning

"Let's Get in Formation": Race, Gender, & Intersectionality in Popular Culture

With movements such as #OscarsSoWhite, Popular Culture institutions like Hollywood are increasingly critiqued for their nefarious lack of diversity, inclusion, and equity.  This course questions the historical legacies, and contemporary violences, of ideological and economic practices that have often marginalized and exploited people of color, LGBTQIA+ communities, and people with disabilities.  Focusing on media that blend narratives with visuals--film, television, commercials, public speeches, concerts, and music videos--students in this course will interrogate how Popular Culture has been, or can be, leveraged in the building or dismantling of systemic oppressions. Our class will examine the arguments and performances of scholars and public figures in our investigation of how Popular Culture renews, revises, and resists institutional and individual investments in white, wealthy, patriarchal, heteronormative, able-bodied privileges.   In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, we will work to understand the arguments’ structures while introducing and supporting your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to this course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

074868

004

MW 12:30-1:50

HSS 1128B

Jenni Marchisotto

074869

005

MW 2:00-3:20

HSS 1128B

Vince Pham

074870

006

MW 3:30-4:50

HSS 1128B

Vince Pham

074878

014

MW 8:00-9:20

HSS 1128B

Jenni Marchisotto

Silent Crisis: Mental Health in the Pandemic

Mental health conditions have increased along with the pandemic but very little about this crisis has made its way into everyday conversation. The CDC has reported that among those experiencing more mental health problems are racial and ethnic minorities and young people. It is important to acknowledge the mental health impacts brought about by the stress, grief, and loss of the pandemic. There is also the work of finding help to deal with mental health conditions and their impacts. The pandemic has brought to light the deep need for connection and community while recent discoveries in neuroscience have brought new therapeutic possibilities. In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, in this course students will propose, research and write their own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to this important course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

074871

007

MW 5:00-6:20

HSS 2333B

Andrea Carter

074880

016

MW 11:00-12:20

HSS 2333B

Andrea Carter

074881

017

MW 12:30-1:50

HSS 2333B

Andrea Carter

074883

019

MW 3:30-4:50

HSS 2333B

Andrea Carter

074892

028

MW 9:30-10:50

HSS 1128B

Kathy Bryan

074893

029

MW 11:00-12:20

HSS 1128B

Kathy Bryan

Storytelling and Its Uses

There are universal elements that stories share no matter the culture they come from. Experts see this as evidence of how embedded stories are in the human experience. Stories have the power to persuade us, reinforce social norms, entertain us, pass knowledge, even influence our biology. In the course, students will research a story or aspect of storytelling and write an original argument on how the story or aspect makes humans take action or change their perspective on an issue.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

074889

025

TTH 2:00-3:20

HSS 2333A

Mike Morshed

074890

026

TTH 3:30-4:50

HSS 2333A

Mike Morshed

074894

030

MW 12:30-1:50

HSS 2333A

Mike Morshed

074895

031

MW 2:00-3:20

HSS 2333A

Mike Morshed

Water & the West

As increasing aridity and growing water scarcity continue to redefine the American West, debates and conversations over water rights and access have grown in significance. As pressing as these matters may be, they are recurring themes in the region's history and development. In this course we will explore the economic, cultural, social, and increasingly racialized contours of the debates over water in the American West, as well as the responses of states, municipalities, and local communities to these challenges with innovative and creative solutions. In keeping with the goals of MCWP 50, our class will examine the arguments of these scholars and others in our class discussions to increase our knowledge of how such arguments are created. The course culminates with your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic. 

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

074874

010

TTH 11:00-12:20

HSS 2333A

Kelly Silva

074875

011

TTH 12:30-1:50

HSS 1128B

Kelly Silva

074905

041

TTH 9:30-10:50

HSS 2333B

Kelly Silva

Winter 2022 

Bioethical Quandaries

The interdisciplinary field of bioethics grapples with conflicts that arise in medical practice, such as patients’ refusal of life-saving treatment or how to allocate scarce resources such as organs. It also considers dilemmas that emerge in response to new biotechnologies, such as stem-cell research, human genetic engineering, and prenatal diagnostics. In this course, we will explore some of the ethical and legal questions that arise in healthcare, medical research, and the use of biotechnology and bioengineering. In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, you will examine arguments about this topic in an effort to understand their structures while introducing and supporting your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

069253

001

TTH 12:30-1:50

CENTR 208

Sophie Staschus

069262

010

TTH 11:00-12:20

CENTR 208

Sophie Staschus

Disability and Popular Culture

Upwards of 43 million Americans are currently experiencing some kind of physical, cognitive, or sensory impairment, and that number is on the rise. And yet despite the pervasiveness of these kinds of disabilities among the U.S. population, and despite the fact that disabled people comprise one of the largest U.S. minority groups, disabled figures are often stereotyped in movies, comic books, commercials, novels, and on television shows, as being deserving of the viewer’s pity, or as being excessively courageous because of their ability to overcome what is often portrayed as a troubled or difficult existence. These stereotypes mark disabled people as ‘other’, thus marginalizing an already marginalized population. In this course, we will examine popular representations of disability to uncover assumptions about the normal or ideal body. We will read scholarship from a variety of perspectives that consider impairments in relation to history, nationality, race, gender, and sexuality. In the process, students will apply this scholarship—and their own independent research—to a popular cultural form with the objective of making and defending an argument about disability in a research paper.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

069254

002

TTH 8:00-9:20

HSS 2305A

Laurie Nies

069255

003

TTH 9:30-10:50

HSS 2305A

Laurie Nies

069258

006

TTH 11:00-12:20

HSS 2333B

Trung Le

069259

007

TTH 12:30-1:50

HSS 2333B

Trung Le

Exploring the “I” in BIPOC

The acronym BIPOC, which stands for “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color,” is increasingly deployed by activists, journalists, and scholars in broader conversations about systemic racism, social justice, and structural inequality.  While many use this term to highlight shared connections between the experiences of Black and Indigenous peoples, some critics argue that it is a term with the ability to obscure, rather than elevate, the unique experiences of these groups within the United States, as well as their differences.  In this course, we will explore issues central to Indigenous peoples and communities in the 21st century.  We will explore debates about land, culture, health care, resource management, economic development, tribal sovereignty, and the ongoing legacies of America’s colonial past. In keeping with the goals of MCWP 50, students will examine arguments by scholars and others in an effort to understand their structures while researching and writing an original, research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

069236

025

TTH 9:30-10:50

HSS 1138

Kelly Silva

069237

026

TTH 11:00-12:20

HSS 1138

Kelly Silva

069238

027

TTH 12:30-1:50

HSS 1138

Kelly Silva

Health, Racism, and the Environment in the Time of Climate Change

Racial inequities in healthcare and the environmental dangers caused by climate change are challenging our society to acknowledge and repair the systemic inequities in our healthcare, communities, and the health dangers caused by the changing environment. Medical, scientific, and environmental researchers have investigated different aspects of these inequities and based their arguments and recommendations on their research.  In this era of uncertainty of who or what to believe, our class will examine the arguments of these scholars and others in our class discussions to increase our knowledge of how such arguments are created. The course culminates with your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.   

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

069241

030

TTH 9:30-10:50

HSS 2346A

Carrie Wastal

How to Make a Monster

Through time and across cultures, humanity has invented monsters as a way of conceptualizing, understanding, and even “exorcising” that which it fears. The difference of the Other is certainly a fear all societies have had, and continue to have. Fear of the queer, fear of the immigrant, fear of the disabled, fear of the woman—each of these (and more) have been made monstrous in the arts and in public discourse since time immemorial. Through an engagement with texts engaging with Monster Theory, we can gain unique and urgent insight into how marginalized peoples are relegated to the margins in the first place.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

069256

004

TTH 8:00-9:20

 HSS 2333B

Jennifer Carter

069257

005

TTH 9:30-10:50

HSS 2333B

Jennifer Carter

069263

011

TTH 8:00-9:20

HSS 2346A

Erik Homenick

069264

012

TTH 11:00-12:20

HSS 2305A

Erik Homenick

069230

019

MW 8:00-9:20

HSS 2333A

Jennifer Carter

069231

020

MW 9:30-10:50

HSS 2333A

Jennifer Carter

"Let's Get in Formation": Race, Gender, & Intersectionality in Popular Culture

With movements such as #OscarsSoWhite, Popular Culture institutions like Hollywood are increasingly critiqued for their nefarious lack of diversity, inclusion, and equity.  This course questions the historical legacies, and contemporary violences, of ideological and economic practices that have often marginalized and exploited people of color, LGBTQIA+ communities, and people with disabilities.  Focusing on media that blend narratives with visuals--film, television, commercials, public speeches, concerts, and music videos--students in this course will interrogate how Popular Culture has been, or can be, leveraged in the building or dismantling of systemic oppressions. Our class will examine the arguments and performances of scholars and public figures in our investigation of how Popular Culture renews, revises, and resists institutional and individual investments in white, wealthy, patriarchal, heteronormative, able-bodied privileges.   In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, we will work to understand the arguments’ structures while introducing and supporting your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to this course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

069269

017

MW 3:30-4:50

HSS 1128B

Jenni Marchisotto

069232

021

MW 12:30-1:50

HSS 2333A

Vince Pham

069233

022

MW 2:00-3:20

HSS2333A

Vince Pham

069242

031

MW 8:00-9:20

HSS 2346A

Jenni Marchisotto

Storytelling and Its Uses  

There are universal elements that stories share no matter the culture they come from. Experts see this as evidence of how embedded stories are in the human experience. Stories have the power to persuade us, reinforce social norms, entertain us, pass knowledge, even influence our biology. In the course, students will research a story or aspect of storytelling and write an original argument on how the story or aspect makes humans take action or change their perspective on an issue.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

069260

008

TTH 2:00-3:20

HSS 2333B

Mike Morshed

069261

009

TTH 3:30-4:50

HSS 2333B

Mike Morshed

069266

014

MW 11:00-12:20

HSS 2333A

Mike Morshed

069268

016

MW 2:00-3:20

HSS 1128B

Mike Morshed

 

 

Fall 2021

Cultures of Crime

Everyone says we need to stop crime, but crime seems to happen whether we want it to or not. Some even make a living from it. How we treat those who have broken rules has changed over time as our morals and definitions of crimes have evolved.

In this course, we will consider how modern society identifies and reacts to criminals and how punishment is determined by examining a variety of scholarly arguments that cross crime with subjects such as the US Justice System, terrorism, revenge, class, gender, and pop culture.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

051206

003

MW 12:30-1:50

HSS 1128B

Mike Morshed

051207

004

MW 2:00-3:20

HSS 1128B

Mike Morshed

051213

010

TTH 2:00-3:20

HSS 1138

Mike Morshed

051214

011

TTH 3:30-4:50

HSS 1138

Mike Morshed

Disability and Pop Culture

Upwards of 43 million Americans are currently experiencing some kind of physical, cognitive, or sensory impairment, and that number is on the rise. And yet despite the pervasiveness of these kinds of disabilities among the U.S. population, and despite the fact that disabled people comprise one of the largest U.S. minority groups, disabled figures are often stereotyped in movies, comic books, commercials, novels, and on television shows, as being deserving of the viewer’s pity, or as being excessively courageous because of their ability to overcome what is often portrayed as a troubled or difficult existence. These stereotypes mark disabled people as ‘other’, thus marginalizing an already marginalized population. In this course, we will examine popular representations of disability to uncover assumptions about the normal or ideal body. We will read scholarship from a variety of perspectives that consider impairments in relation to history, nationality, race, gender, and sexuality. In the process, students will apply this scholarship—and their own independent research—to a popular cultural form with the objective of making and defending an argument about disability in a research paper.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

051211

008

TTH 11:00-12:20

HSS 1138

Trung Le

051212

009

TTH 12:30-1:50

HSS 1138

Trung Le

051204

001

MW 8:00-9:20

HSS 2305A

Laurie Nies

Health, Racism, and the Environment in the Time of Climate Change

Racial inequities in healthcare and the environmental dangers caused by climate change are challenging our society to acknowledge and repair the systemic inequities in our healthcare, communities, and the health dangers caused by the changing environment. Medical, scientific, and environmental researchers have investigated different aspects of these inequities and based their arguments and recommendations on their research.  In this era of uncertainty of who or what to believe, our class will examine the arguments of these scholars and others in our class discussions to increase our knowledge of how such arguments are created. The course culminates with your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.   

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

051215 012 TTH 9:30-10:50 HSS 2346A Carrie Wastal

"Let's Get in Formation": Race, Gender, & Intersectionality in Popular Culture

With movements such as #OscarsSoWhite, Popular Culture institutions like Hollywood are increasingly critiqued for their nefarious lack of diversity, inclusion, and equity.  This course questions the historical legacies, and contemporary violences, of ideological and economic practices that have often marginalized and exploited people of color, LGBTQIA+ communities, and people with disabilities.  Focusing on media that blend narratives with visuals--film, television, commercials, public speeches, concerts, and music videos--students in this course will interrogate how Popular Culture has been, or can be, leveraged in the building or dismantling of systemic oppressions. Our class will examine the arguments and performances of scholars and public figures in our investigation of how Popular Culture renews, revises, and resists institutional and individual investments in white, wealthy, patriarchal, heteronormative, able-bodied privileges.   In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, we will work to understand the arguments’ structures while introducing and supporting your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to this course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

051218

015

TTH 8:00-9:20

REMOTE

Haydee Smith

051219

016

TTH 9:30-10:50

REMOTE

Haydee Smith

The Elastic Lens: Documentary, Portraiture, and the Avant Garde.

Photography is often conceived as simply a mode for (re)presenting the “real.” However, in this course, we will approach the phenomenon of photography as a means to question the act of documentation itself. This topic explores the discourses surrounding photography in contexts ranging from ethnography to social documentation, policing, medical imaging, portraiture, and the visual arts. We will ask such questions as: in what ways does photography intersect culture? How might photography reinforce or undermine social and historical dynamics? In this course, students will be given the opportunity to research and analyze the histories that lay dormant beneath the surface of images. In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, students will examine a variety of arguments related to the course topic in an effort to understand their contents and structure. Students will be asked to introduce and support their own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course themes.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

051208 005 MW 3:30-4:50

HSS 1128B

Vincent Pham
051209 006 MW 5:00-6:20

HSS 1128B

Vincent Pham

Spring 2021

90 Day Fiancé: Immigration, Gender, and American Exceptionalism

What issues arise when the United States’ government gives citizens 90 days to marry their foreign fiancé and what does this tell us about immigration law, gendered expectations, and cultural stereotypes? Since 2014, TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé has enthralled viewers with their take on the challenges faced by international couples. Taking into account the politicized, familial, cultural, and financial barriers faced by these couples, this course examines issues such as: the private and public role and romanticization of marriage; uses of technology in markets of desirability; implicit biases in the US immigration system; reality television and documentary storytelling; and racialized and gendered stereotypes. While the 90 Day Fiancé offers a useful framework, students may create their own research projects along any of the aforementioned categories. In keeping with the goals of MCWP 50, we will work to understand academic arguments’ structures while introducing and supporting your own research-based argument about an issue relevant to this course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

045652

015

MW 11:00-12:20

RCLAS R240

Nur Duru

045653

016

MW 12:30-1:50

RCLAS R190

Nur Duru

045658

021

TTH 11:00-12:20

RCLAS R260

Nur Duru

045659

022

TTH 12:30-1:50

RCLAS R217

Nur Duru

045676

038

TTH 2:00-3:20

RCLAS R224

Haydee Smith

045675

039

TTH 3:30-4:50

RCLAS R198

Haydee Smith

Bioethical Quandaries

The interdisciplinary field of bioethics grapples with conflicts that arise in medical practice, such as patients’ refusal of life-saving treatment or how to allocate scarce resources such as organs. It also considers dilemmas that emerge in response to new biotechnologies, such as stem-cell research, human genetic engineering, and prenatal diagnostics. In this course, we will explore some of the ethical and legal questions that arise in healthcare, medical research, and the use of biotechnology and bioengineering. In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, you will examine arguments about this topic in an effort to understand their structures while introducing and supporting your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

045646

009

MW 11:00-12:20

PETER 104

Kathy Bryan

045647

010

MW 12:30-1:50

PETER  104

Kathy Bryan

045656

019

TTH 9:30-10:50

RCLAS R262

Sophie Staschus

045657

020

TTH 11:00-12:20

RCLAS R189

Sophie Staschus

045679

042

MW 11:00-12:20

RCLAS R239

Andrea Carter

045681

044

MW 2:00-3:20

RCLAS R199

Andrea Carter

045682

045

MW 3:30-4:50

RCLAS R162

Andrea Carter

Cultures of Crime

Everyone says we need to stop crime, but crime seems to happen whether we want it to or not. Some even make a living from it. How we treat those who have broken rules has changed over time as our morals and definitions of crimes have evolved.

In this course, we will consider how modern society identifies and reacts to criminals and how punishment is determined by examining a variety of scholarly arguments that cross crime with subjects such as the US Justice System, terrorism, revenge, class, gender, and pop culture.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

045639

003

TTH 11:00-12:20

 TM 102 -1 

Mike Morshed

045642

005

TTH 2:00-3:20

 WLH 2115

Mike Morshed

045643

006

TTH 3:30-4:50

 WLH 2115

Mike Morshed

045684

047

MW 9:30-10:50

RCLAS R233

Melinda Guillen

045685

048

MW 11:00-12:20

RCLAS R234

Melinda Guillen

Disability and Popular Culture

Upwards of 43 million Americans are currently experiencing some kind of physical, cognitive, or sensory impairment, and that number is on the rise. And yet despite the pervasiveness of these kinds of disabilities among the U.S. population, and despite the fact that disabled people comprise one of the largest U.S. minority groups, disabled figures are often stereotyped in movies, comic books, commercials, novels, and on television shows, as being deserving of the viewer’s pity, or as being excessively courageous because of their ability to overcome what is often portrayed as a troubled or difficult existence. These stereotypes mark disabled people as ‘other’, thus marginalizing an already marginalized population. In this course, we will examine popular representations of disability to uncover assumptions about the normal or ideal body. We will read scholarship from a variety of perspectives that consider impairments in relation to history, nationality, race, gender, and sexuality. In the process, students will apply this scholarship—and their own independent research—to a popular cultural form with the objective of making and defending an argument about disability in a research paper.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

045650

013

MW 8:00-9:30

RCLAS R161

Trung Le

045651

014

MW 9:30-10:50

RCLAS R223

Trung Le

045665

028

TTH 12:30-1:50

RCLAS R218

Ayden LeRoux

045666

029

TTH 2:00-3:20

RCLAS R119

Ayden LeRoux

045671

034

TTH 8:00-9:20

RCLAS R67

Laurie Nies

045672

035

TTH 9:30-10:50

RCLAS R235

Laurie Nies

 

 

TTH 11:00 - 12:20

 

Ayden LeRoux

Exploring the “I” in BIPOC

The acronym BIPOC, which stands for “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color,” is increasingly deployed by activists, journalists, and scholars in broader conversations about systemic racism, social justice, and structural inequality.  While many use this term to highlight shared connections between the experiences of Black and Indigenous peoples, some critics argue that it is a term with the ability to obscure, rather than elevate, the unique experiences of these groups within the United States, as well as their differences.  In this course, we will explore issues central to Indigenous peoples and communities in the 21st century.  We will explore debates about land, culture, health care, resource management, economic development, tribal sovereignty, and the ongoing legacies of America’s colonial past. In keeping with the goals of MCWP 50, students will examine arguments by scholars and others in an effort to understand their structures while researching and writing an original, research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

045637

001

TTH 8:00-9:20

RCLAS R70

Kelly Silva

045638

002

TTH 9:30-10:50

RCLAS R234

Kelly Silva

045664

027

TTH 11:00-12:20

RCLAS R262

Kelly Silva

“Now Let’s Get In Formation”: Race, Gender, & Intersectionality in Popular Culture

With movements such as #OscarsSoWhite, Popular Culture institutions like Hollywood are increasingly critiqued for their nefarious lack of diversity, inclusion, and equity.  This course questions the historical legacies, and contemporary violences, of ideological and economic practices that have often marginalized and exploited people of color, LGBTQIA+ communities, and people with disabilities.  Focusing on media that blend narratives with visuals--film, television, commercials, public speeches, concerts, and music videos--students in this course will interrogate how Popular Culture has been, or can be, leveraged in the building or dismantling of systemic oppressions. Our class will examine the arguments and performances of scholars and public figures in our investigation of how Popular Culture renews, revises, and resists institutional and individual investments in white, wealthy, patriarchal, heteronormative, able-bodied privileges.   In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, we will work to understand the arguments’ structures while introducing and supporting your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to this course topic.  

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

045667

030

MW 3:30-4:50

RCLAS R167

Jennifer Carter

045668

031

MW 5:00-6:20

RCLAS R142

Jennifer Carter

045669

032

TTH 11:00-12:20

RCLAS R259

Erik Homenick

045670

033

TTH 12:30-1:50

RCLAS R214

Erik Homenick

045688

051

TTH 3:30-4:50

RCLAS R201

Jennifer Carter

Pre-Exisiting Conditions: Anti-Blackness in the Medical Industrial Complex

According to the CDC, Black individuals are approximately five times more likely to be hospitalized by—and twice as likely to die—from COVID-19 than their white counterparts. While these statistics are the most pressing to our current moment, similar ratios exist throughout the healthcare system, showing Black Americans to be dying from treatable illnesses at disproportionate rates. Access to healthcare in America is an economic privilege. As a result, BIPOC are far less likely to receive quality care. Moreover, healthcare professionals consistently dismiss or discredit complaints by marginalized communities, a habit intricately tied to the anti-Black, misogynist, and xenophobic roots of the American Medical Industrial Complex (MIC). In this course, we will examine how race, gender, and sexuality affect access to care in the MIC. We will read scholarship from a variety of perspectives that consider both the historical foundation for and contemporary perpetuation of these disparities. Students will apply this scholarship—and their own independent research—with the objective of making and defending an original focused argument about Anti-Blackness in the MIC in a research paper.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

045644

007

MW 8:00-9:20

RCLAS R160

Michael Berman

045645

008

MW 9:30-10:50

RCLAS R225

Michael Berman

045660

023

TTH 2:00-3:20

RCLAS R223

Jenni Marchisotto

045661

024

TTH 3:30-4:50

RCLAS R196

Jenni Marchisotto

The Elastic Lens: Documentary, Portraiture, and the Avant Garde

Photography is often conceived as simply a mode for (re)presenting the “real.” However, in this course, we will approach the phenomenon of photography as a means to question the act of documentation itself. This topic explores the discourses surrounding photography in contexts ranging from ethnography to social documentation, policing, medical imaging, portraiture, and the visual arts. We will ask such questions as: in what ways does photography intersect culture? How might photography reinforce or undermine social and historical dynamics? In this course, students will be given the opportunity to research and analyze the histories that lay dormant beneath the surface of images. In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, students will examine a variety of arguments related to the course topic in an effort to understand their contents and structure. Students will be asked to introduce and support their own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course themes.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

045654

017

MW 2:00-3:20

RCLAS R201

Michael Witte

045655

018

MW 3:30-4:50

RCLAS R165

Michael Witte

045686

049

TTH 12:30-1:50

RCLAS R216

Vincent Pham

045687

050

TTH 2:00-3:20

RCLAS R221

Vincent Pham

Upvote/Downvote: The Social Roles of Pop Culture Criticism

Movies, music, TV, books, visual art — how do you decide which of it is any good? Importantly, where do those debates actually occur, how do various media shape these discourses, and why should it matter? Students in this course will read texts from media studies and the humanities about the social maintenance of standards for art and culture, particularly the sanctioned role of the arts critic and ways that online media have helped decentralize that gatekeeping role with varying impacts on culture’s creators, consumers, and capitalists. According to the mission of MCWP 50, these arguments will be examined in order to understand their structure and synthesize their claims before students craft their own informed, research-based argument about the roles of arts criticism in society.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

45673

036

TTH 2:00-3:20

RCLAS R222

Thomas Conner

45674

037

TTH 3:30-4:50

RCLAS R126

Thomas Conner

Winter 2021

Cultural Imperialism: Constructing the “Other”

How do sensationalized tales, and false dichotomies, of heroes and villains shape our understandings of majority and minority communities? Taking interlocking systemic oppressions— racism, sexism, heteronormativity, classism, xenophobia, ableism—into account, students in this class will unpack the overlapping layers of popular culture, ideology, representation, oppression, and privilege. In this course students will analyze arguments about how stories function to replicate, resist, and rewrite the dominant narratives that shape our educational, legal, medical, and social institutions while researching and writing a research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.  

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

034597

016

TTH 11:00-12:20

RCLAS

Nur Duru

034598

017

TTH 12:30-1:50

RCLAS

Nur Duru

034536

020

MW 9:30-10:50

RCLAS R140

Nur Duru

034537

021

MW 11:00-12:20

RCLAS R234

Nur Duru

Cultures of Crime

Everyone says we need to stop crime, but crime seems to happen whether we want it to or not. Some even make a living from it. How we treat those who have broken rules has changed over time as our morals and definitions of crimes have evolved.

In this course, we will consider how modern society identifies and reacts to criminals and how punishment is determined by examining a variety of scholarly arguments that cross crime with subjects such as the US Justice System, terrorism, revenge, class, gender, and pop culture.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

034585

005

MW 2:00-3:20

RCLAS

Melinda Guillen

034589

008

MW 9:30-10:50

RCLAS

Melinda Guillen

034590

009

MW 11:00-12:20

RCLAS

Melinda Guillen

034591

010

TTH 11:00-12:20

CENTR 214

Mike Morshed

034593

012

TTH 2:00-3:20

PETER 102

Mike Morshed

034594

013

TTH 3:30-4:50

PETER 102

Mike Morshed

Disability and Popular Culture

Upwards of 43 million Americans are currently experiencing some kind of physical, cognitive, or sensory impairment, and that number is on the rise. And yet despite the pervasiveness of these kinds of disabilities among the U.S. population, and despite the fact that disabled people comprise one of the largest U.S. minority groups, disabled figures are often stereotyped in movies, comic books, commercials, novels, and on television shows, as being deserving of the viewer’s pity, or as being excessively courageous because of their ability to overcome what is often portrayed as a troubled or difficult existence. These stereotypes mark disabled people as ‘other’, thus marginalizing an already marginalized population. In this course, we will examine popular representations of disability to uncover assumptions about the normal or ideal body. We will read scholarship from a variety of perspectives that consider impairments in relation to history, nationality, race, gender, and sexuality. In the process, students will apply this scholarship—and their own independent research—to a popular cultural form with the objective of making and defending an argument about disability in a research paper.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

034581

001

MW 8:00-9:30

RCLAS

Trung Le

034582

002

MW 9:30-10:50

RCLAS

Trung Le

034542

026

TTH 8:00-9:20

RCLAS R44

Laurie Nies

034543

027

TTH 9:30-10:50

RCLAS R231

Laurie Nies

034544

028

TTH 11:00-12:20

RCLAS R224

Ayden LeRoux

034545

029

TTH 12:30-1:50

RCLAS R202

Ayden LeRoux

Exploring the “I” in BIPOC

The acronym BIPOC, which stands for “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color,” is increasingly deployed by activists, journalists, and scholars in broader conversations about systemic racism, social justice, and structural inequality.  While many use this term to highlight shared connections between the experiences of Black and Indigenous peoples, some critics argue that it is a term with the ability to obscure, rather than elevate, the unique experiences of these groups within the United States, as well as their differences.  In this course, we will explore issues central to Indigenous peoples and communities in the 21st century.  We will explore debates about land, culture, health care, resource management, economic development, tribal sovereignty, and the ongoing legacies of America’s colonial past. In keeping with the goals of MCWP 50, students will examine arguments by scholars and others in an effort to understand their structures while researching and writing an original, research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

034592

011

TTH 12:30-1:50

RCLAS

Kelly Silva

034595

014

TTH 8:00-9:20

RCLAS

Kelly Silva

034596

015

TTH 9:30-10:50

RCLAS

Kelly Silva

Media & Materiality: The Spirit of Digital Engagement

Every day, many of us are steeped in digital media engagements — communicating via social media, consuming digital video, and now even conducting our education via teleconferencing platforms. But when we look at the screens, what do we actually see? How is it that we “forget” the laptop in front of us in order to engage with the absent people at the other end of the media system? Students in this course will read texts from cultural studies and media studies that consider these issues from a possibly surprising perspective: discussing everyday media encounters as metaphors of spiritual events, and positing that media allow interaction with both the living and the dead. According to the mission of MCWP 50, these arguments will be examined in order to understand their structure and synthesize their claims before students craft their own informed, research-based argument about a related topic.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

044934

033

TTH 2:00-3:20

RCLAS

Thomas Conner

044945

034

TTH 3:30-4:50

RCLAS

Thomas Conner

“Now Let’s Get In Formation”: Race, Gender, & Intersectionality in Popular Culture

With movements such as #OscarsSoWhite, Popular Culture institutions like Hollywood are increasingly critiqued for their nefarious lack of diversity, inclusion, and equity.  This course questions the historical legacies, and contemporary violences, of ideological and economic practices that have often marginalized and exploited people of color, LGBTQIA+ communities, and people with disabilities.  Focusing on media that blend narratives with visuals--film, television, commercials, public speeches, concerts, and music videos--students in this course will interrogate how Popular Culture has been, or can be, leveraged in the building or dismantling of systemic oppressions. Our class will examine the arguments and performances of scholars and public figures in our investigation of how Popular Culture renews, revises, and resists institutional and individual investments in white, wealthy, patriarchal, heteronormative, able-bodied privileges.   In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, we will work to understand the arguments’ structures while introducing and supporting your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to this course topic.   

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

034599

018

TTH 2:00-3:20

RCLAS

Haydee Smith

034600

019

TTH 3:30-4:50

RCLAS

Haydee Smith

Pre-Exisiting Conditions: Anti-Blackness in the Medical Industrial Complex

According to the CDC, Black individuals are approximately five times more likely to be hospitalized by—and twice as likely to die—from COVID-19 than their white counterparts. While these statistics are the most pressing to our current moment, similar ratios exist throughout the healthcare system, showing Black Americans to be dying from treatable illnesses at disproportionate rates. Access to healthcare in America is an economic privilege. As a result, BIPOC are far less likely to receive quality care. Moreover, healthcare professionals consistently dismiss or discredit complaints by marginalized communities, a habit intricately tied to the anti-Black, misogynist, and xenophobic roots of the American Medical Industrial Complex (MIC). In this course, we will examine how race, gender, and sexuality affect access to care in the MIC. We will read scholarship from a variety of perspectives that consider both the historical foundation for and contemporary perpetuation of these disparities. Students will apply this scholarship—and their own independent research—with the objective of making and defending an original focused argument about Anti-Blackness in the MIC in a research paper.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

034546

030

TTH 2:00-3:20

RCLAS R151

Jenni Marchisotto

034547

031

TTH 3:30-4:50

RCLAS R90 

Jenni Marchisotto

034583

003

MW 11:00-12:20

RCLAS

Matthew Howland

034584

004

MW 12:30-1:50

RCLAS

Matthew Howland

The Elastic Lens: Documentary, Portraiture, and the Avant Garde

Photography is often conceived as simply a mode for (re)presenting the “real.” However, in this course, we will approach the phenomenon of photography as a means to question the act of documentation itself. This topic explores the discourses surrounding photography in contexts ranging from ethnography to social documentation, policing, medical imaging, portraiture, and the visual arts. We will ask such questions as: in what ways does photography intersect culture? How might photography reinforce or undermine social and historical dynamics? In this course, students will be given the opportunity to research and analyze the histories that lay dormant beneath the surface of images. In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, students will examine a variety of arguments related to the course topic in an effort to understand their contents and structure. Students will be asked to introduce and support their own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course themes.

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

034540

024

MW 3:30-4:50

RCLAS R187

Michael Witte

034541

025

MW 5:00-6:20

RCLAS R133

Michael Witte

034538

022

MW 12:30-1:50

RCLAS R175

Vincent Pham

034539

023

MW 2:00-3:20

RCLAS R203

Vincent Pham

The Myth of a White Western Wilderness

Part of the myth of the wild west is one of intrepid white settlers, cowboys, and lawmen setting out to forge new lives of freedom and opportunity in the wilderness. However, the myth is only partially true given the experiences and contributions of black people in settling the wild west. Many historical documents (including John Muir’s essays) reflect the attitudes of the day by focusing on white men and ignoring the black men and women who also shaped life in open spaces of the west. What can we learn from this history that we can apply to today’s continual, yet mutable, exclusion of black participants in the wilderness?       

In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, we will work to understand the arguments’ structures. The course culminates with your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.   

 

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

037057

032

TTH 9:30 -10:50

RCLAS

Carrie Wastal

 

 

Fall 2020

Disability and Popular Culture

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

014974

001

MW 8:00-9:20 RCLAS

Laurie Nies 

014975

002

MW 9:30-10:50

RCLAS

Laurie Nies

Upwards of 43 million Americans are experience some kind of physical, cognitive, or sensory impairment. Yet despite the fact that disabled people comprise one of the largest U.S. minority groups, disabled figures are often stereotyped—and thus further marginalized—in popular culture as being deserving of the viewer’s pity, or as being excessively courageous because of their ability to overcome what is portrayed as a difficult existence. We will examine popular representations of disability to uncover assumptions about the normal or ideal body. We will read scholarship from a variety of perspectives that consider impairments in relation to history, nationality, race, gender, and sexuality. In keeping with the goals of MCWP 50, students will examine arguments about this topic in an effort to understand their structures while researching and writing a research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

The Elastic Lens: Documentary, Portraiture, and the Avant Garde

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

014977 004 MW 2:00-3:20 RCLAS Vince Pham
014979 006 MW 5:00-6:20 RCLAS Vince Pham
025054 015 MW 3:30-4:50 RCLAS Michael Witte
034108 017 MW 5:00-6:20 RCLAS Michael Witte

Photography is often conceived as simply a mode for representing the “real.” However, in this course, we will approach the phenomenon of photography as a means to question the act of documentation itself. This topic explores the discourses surrounding photography in contexts ranging from ethnography to social documentation, policing, medical imaging, portraiture, and the visual arts. We will ask such questions as: in what ways does photography intersect culture? How might photography reinforce or undermine social and historical dynamics? In this course, students will be given the opportunity to research and analyze the histories that lay dormant beneath the surface of images. In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, students will examine a variety of arguments related to the course topic in an effort to understand their contents and structure. Students will be asked to introduce and support their own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course themes.

Bioethical Quandaries

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

014981 008 TTH 11:00-12:20 RCLAS    Sophie Staschus
  014982      009 TTH 12:30-1:50 RCLAS    Sophie Staschus
The interdisciplinary field of bioethics grapples with conflicts that arise in medical practice, such as patients’ refusal of life-saving treatment or how to allocate scarce resources such as organs. It also considers dilemmas that emerge in response to new biotechnologies, such as stem-cell research, human genetic engineering, and prenatal diagnostics. In this course, we will explore some of the ethical and legal questions that arise in healthcare, medical research, and the use of biotechnology and bioengineering. In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, you will examine arguments about this topic in an effort to understand their structures while introducing and supporting your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.

Ghosts in the Machines: Are Media Technologies Haunted?

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

014983 010 TTH 2:00-3:20 RCLAS Thomas Conner
014984 011 TTH 3:30-4:50 RCLAS Thomas Conner

In the modern media age, death is not so final— from dead singers on radio and dead actors on TV, to Facebook feeds that transition into memorial sites and “hologram” concerts featuring pop stars in posthumous performances. How do these encounters with technology negotiate everyday relationships between the living and the dead? Students in this course will read texts from cultural studies and media studies that consider these issues from ideological, sociological, material, and spiritual perspectives. According to the mission of MCWP 50, these arguments will be examined in order to understand their structure and synthesize their claims before students craft their own informed, research-based argument about a related topic.

What’s New? New Media and Innovation

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

014986 013 TTH 2:00-3:20 RCLAS Jonathan Walton
014987 014 TTH 3:30-4:50 RCLAS Jonathan Walton

 In contemporary times, we are surrounded by newness: new media, new technologies, and new ways of being. Innovations in science, computing, and communication continually threaten to upend established norms of human societies. But the promises and perils of new media and innovation stretch back in time to the Scientific Revolution. How can we put the newness of contemporary technological developments in context and critically analyze the social changes that accompany them? Students will conduct a research project on a new development in science, technology, or media, resulting in a substantial research paper.

The Myth of a White Western Wilderness

 

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014985 012 TTH 9:30-10:50 RCLAS Carrie Wastal

Part of the myth of the wild west is one of intrepid white settlers, cowboys, and lawmen setting out to forge new lives of freedom and opportunity in the wilderness. However, the myth is only partially true given the experiences and contributions of black people in settling the western wilderness. Most historical documents and images reflect the attitudes of the day by focusing on white men and ignoring the experiences of the black men and women who also shaped life in open spaces of the west. What can we learn from this history that we can apply to today’s continual, yet changeable, exclusion of black participants in the wilderness?

Our class will examine the arguments of these scholars and others in our examination of the contributions of black settlers unacknowledged in the mythic western wilderness. In keeping with the goals and requirements of MCWP 50, we will work to understand the arguments’ structures while introducing and supporting your own informed research-based argument about an issue relevant to the course topic.   

Pre-Existing Conditions: Anti-Blackness in the Medical Industrial Complex

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033572 016 TTH 3:30-4:50 RCLAS Jenni Marchisotto

According to the CDC, Black individuals are approximately five times more likely to be hospitalized by—and twice as likely to die—from COVID-19 than their white counterparts. While these statistics are the most pressing to our current moment, similar ratios exist throughout the healthcare system, showing Black Americans to be dying from treatable illnesses at disproportionate rates. Access to healthcare in America is an economic privilege. As a result, BIPOC are far less likely to receive quality care. Moreover, healthcare professionals consistently dismiss or discredit complaints by marginalized communities, a habit intricately tied to the anti-Black, misogynist, and xenophobic roots of the American Medical Industrial Complex (MIC). In this course, we will examine how race, gender, and sexuality affect access to care in the MIC. We will read scholarship from a variety of perspectives that consider both the historical foundation for and contemporary perpetuation of these disparities. Students will apply this scholarship—and their own independent research—with the objective of making and defending an original focused argument about Anti-Blackness in the MIC in a research paper.