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College of Arts and Sciences


Senior Seminar/Advanced Topics in Communication: Communication and Aging

Loretta L. Pecchioni
Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies
Louisiana State University

COMM 4220, 3 semester hours, Section 100, Class No. 15879
COMM 4000, 3 semester hours, Section 100, Class No. 13071
Session A: June 1–July 2, 2015
Aging is a social process that is reflected in communicative patterns and practices that accumulate, and are both reproduced and challenged, by the individuals and society. This course examines four levels of analysis that impact the aging process, focusing primarily on the challenge of maintaining independence and resisting negative stereotypes of aging that lead to dependence and frailty. May be repeated twice for credit on different topics. Prereqs., COMM 3210 and 3300 or consent required.

Professor Pecchioni’s research focuses on health communication, with emphases on aging, family, interpersonal, and cultural health communication. She is the author of three books and numerous journal articles and book chapters.


Studies in Special Topics: Queer Black Renaissance

Gary Edward Holcomb
Professor of African American Literature
Ohio University

ENGL 5529, 3 semester hours, Section 200, Class No. 19260
Session A: July 7–August 7, 2015
Focuses on the extraordinary literary yield by interwar-period radical queer African American and Caribbean authors. The course will explore such questions as how the Harlem Renaissance may be seen in terms of black modernist aesthetics, black transnational culture, and radical black queer art and political action. Students will study texts by such black authors as Mae Cowdery, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, and others. The aim of the course is to equip students with a historicized understanding of interwar period queer transnational black literature.

Professor Holcomb has published widely on the Harlem Renaissance, Great Depression period black writing, and contemporary black fiction. He is the author of Claude McKay, Code Name Sasha: Queer Black Marxism and the Harlem Renaissance, cited for honorable mention for the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights Book Award.

Film Studies

Topics in Film TheoryCritical Studies:  History of Disney Animation, 19232013

Lauren Rabinovitz
Professor of American Studies and Cinematic Arts
University of Iowa

FILM 4043, 3 semester hours, Section 100, Class No. 18906
ARTF 5043, 3 semester hours, Section 100, Class No. 18907
Session A: June 1–July 2, 2014
Surveys how Walt Disney’s animation studios have influenced film aesthetics and American cultural values, ideals, and experiences. We address the company’s evolution from making short cartoons in the 1920s to its production of animated art in the 1930s and 1940s to its resurgence in the age of computer-generated imagery at the end of the 20th century. We consider Disney’s importance in the Depression era and World War II, its role in Cold War and Civil Rights politics, its contribution to changing leisure behavior, and its advertising and marketing of childhood in the age of movies, television, and the Internet. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours, provided the topics are different.

Professor Rabinovitz is one of the premier feminist scholars of American cinema, American culture, the avant-garde, and feminist history. She is the author of many books and articles; her scholarship ranges from early travelogues and the development of the American amusement park, to the history of American food, American cinema, and cultural history.


Environments and Peoples: Environment and Human Migration

Robert McLeman
Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies
Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada

GEOG 4742, 3 semester hours, Section 001, Class No. 19239
ENVS 4100, 3 semester hours, Section 001, Class No. 19268
Session M: May 11–29, 2015
Develop a basic understanding of the physical processes most often associated with environmental migration and learn the socio.economic, political, and demographic theories and concepts commonly used in the social sciences to explain migration behavior. Students will combine these two sets of knowledge and apply them using socio-ecological systems approach to explore past and present cases of environment-related migration from the U.S. and around the world. Studies the interaction of people and the environment, including human adaptation and modification of environments, cultural interpretation and construction of landscapes, and natural resources and land management. May be taken twice. Topics vary. Recommended prereqs., GEOG 1982, 1992, 2002, or 2412.

Dr. McLeman is a former Canadian foreign service officer and currently specializes in research on the human dimensions of environmental change. An award-winning teacher, he uses a range of methods to introduce students to the topic.


Topics in Humanities: Interpreting Contemporary Culture

Vanessa Place
Writer and Artist

HUMN 3093, 3 semester hours, Section 001, Class No. 19250
Session M: May 11-29, 2015
In the 21st century, readers access texts with new kinds of devices, and these devices also access readers, tracking and decoding habits and gestures. This course will examine the historical, ethical, and aesthetic aspects of these new kinds of reading. Course texts will include literary, historical, and media writings from 1900 to the present, with a focus on the avant-garde. Sharpens critical and analytical abilities by asking students to consider theories about arts, culture, media, and identity, and then to apply and assess those theories in relation to a selection of visual and verbal texts from a range of cultural and linguistic traditions. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts.

Vanessa Place is a practicing criminal appellate lawyer, publisher, artist, art critic, and author of seven fiction and nonfiction books. Place’s work as an attorney has informed her work in many mediums, from screenwriting for Law and Order to her visual and literary projects.

International Affairs

Special Topics in International Affairs: Climate and International Society

David Zierler
Office of the Historian

IAFS 3000, 3 semester hours, Section 100, Class No. 15666
Session A: June 1–July 2, 2015
In what ways are climate change and international society connected, and what is required of contemporary societies to address future environmental crisis? This interdisciplinary course will examine problems and policies related to climate change, including agriculture, gender, ecotourism, and religious conservatism, as well as traditionally studied areas of fossil fuels and political interest groups.

David Zierler works in the Office of the Historian at the U.S. Department of State. He is currently working on documentary histories of the Iran-Contra scandal and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He has taught for the CU in DC program.


Critical Thinking: Contemporary Topics: Conspiracy Theories

Stuart Brock
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand

PHIL 3180, 3 semester hours, Section 001, Class No. 19241
Session M: May 11–29, 2015
Examines philosophical and psychological issues pertaining to conspiracy theories. Questions addressed include: What is a conspiracy theory? Is conspiracy theorizing irrational or immoral? What are the social, political, or psychological conditions most conducive to the development and maintenance of conspiracy theories? This course will cover philosophical topics in applied epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind, and ethics. Prereq., 6 hours of philosophy course work.

Professor Brock works in the areas of metaphysics, philosophy of language, and theory of knowledge. He has published extensively and is an excellent lecturer known for his ability to make difficult ideas accessible.

Political Science

Comparative Political Economy

Caroline Dufy
Professor of Political Science, Institute d’Etudes Politiques de Bordeaux, France
Research fellow at Centre Emile Durkheim, France

PSCI 3092, 3 semester hours, Section 200, Class No. 19259
Session B: July 7–August 7, 2015
Presents theories on the interaction between policies and economics, economic models of politics, and familiarizes students with an approach that will prove useful in understanding current developments in both economics and politics. Explores relationships between financial markets, currency regimes, and politics with some special consideration of the behavioral foundations of political and economic developments. Recommended prereq., PSCI 2012.

Professor Dufy is an accomplished political scientist specializing in public policies in Post-Soviet countries and their impact at local levels. She is widely published and is currently working on Globalization and Developmental Public Policies in Emerging countries.

Religious Studies

Topics in Judaism: Meaning after the Holocaust

Martin Kavka
Associate Professor, Department of Religion
Florida State University

RLST 4260, 3 semester hours, Section 001, Class No. 19252
JWST 4260, 3 semester hours, Section 001, Class No. 19253
RLST 5260, 3 semester hours, Section 001, Class No. 19254
Session M: May 11–29, 2015
The attempted extermination of European Jewry during World War II still makes us question beliefs that we might think make our lives worth living. This course will look at some of these questions and consider various religious and secular answers. Students will explore the rise of Jewish mysticism and Asian religions in post-Holocaust American culture. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours. Recommended prereqs., 6 hours of RLST or JWST courses at any level or instructor consent.

Professor Kavka is the former Berman Professor of Jewish Studies at Lehigh University and is the author or editor of five books on religion, philosophy, and Jewish Studies. He was nominated for the 2014 Florida State University Distinguished Teaching Professor.


Contemporary Russian Literature

Polina Barskova
Associate Professor of Russian Literature
Hampshire College

RUSS 4831, 3 semester hours, Section 001, Class No. 18891
Session M: May 11–29, 2015
Aims at creating a map of the contemporary Russian literature exploring its institutions, major players, and genres, as well as the modes of its interaction with other aesthetic discourses and media. Acquaints students with the most representative works of Russian writers from the Fall of the Soviet Union  to the present in a broad historical and political perspective. Examines the relationships between ideological concepts and aesthetics, and the treatment of moral and social issues in recent literary works. All readings are provided in translation. Taught in English. Recommended prereq., lower level literature course. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts or contemporary society.

Professor Barskova is a prominent scholar of modern Russian literature and culture, but also an award-winning poet. She authored nine books of poetry published in Russian and three in English translations.


Social Inequalities in Health

Jen’nan Ghazal Read
Associate Professor, Sociology and Global Health
Duke University

SOCY 4052, 3 semester hours, Section 201, Class No. 19334
Session B: July 7–August 7, 2015
Focuses on social inequalities in health in both U.S. and international contexts. Reviews the link between health status and various types of social statuses, including but not limited to socioeconomic status, gender, race, and ethnicity. Explanations for the relationships between these factors and various health outcomes are discussed. The class focuses on multiple levels of analysis, from the physician-patient interactions to health care systems and social policies. Students have the opportunity to develop their own specific research interests in this field. Prereq., SOCY 1001.

Dr. Read is Associate Professor of Sociology and Global Health at Duke. She is currently on leave to serve as the Assistant Executive Director for Health Services Research at the Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar. She is a Carnegie scholar and leading expert on Arabs and Muslims in the west. She is widely published and has appeared on numerous national and international television shows. This is her second summer as a FIRST scholar.


Introduction to Theatre

Lisa Wolpe
Actress and Producing Artistic of the Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company

THTR 1009, 3 semester hours, Section 200, Class No. 15583
Session B: July 7–August 7, 2015
Introduces the varieties of theatrical art, past and present, contributions of the various theatrical artists to the total production, and the place of theatre art in today’s society. Designed for nonmajors. Approved for GT-AH1. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts.

Lisa Wolpe is an actress, director, teacher, playwright, and producer. She has received numerous awards including a nomination for Best Leading Actress by “Broadway World” for her Hamlet with LA Women’s Shakespeare Company. She has directed 23 productions at universities and conservatories and has taught at UCLA, MIT, Boston University, and others.