Spring '15 Course Schedule

View Fall '14 Course Schedule


FWIS 108. GRAPHIC NOVELS AND THE ART OF COMMUNICATION

While the image of spandex clad superheroes still dominates perceptions of graphic novels, the medium has evolved into a varied and complex form of expression in the decades since Superman’s first appearance in Action Comics (1938).  From their inception, though, graphic novels have always showed a deep connection to the historical events, anxieties, and struggles that surrounded their creation.  In this course, we will examine graphic novels from a variety of perspectives, including the historical, the political, the social, and the literary.  Students will develop research skills through an engagement with the growing critical literature on graphic novels, and will strengthen communication skills by writing and presenting analyses of the cultural relevance of graphic novels, all while maintaining an awareness of the formal properties that make them such a unique and diverse medium. D1.
108.001  MWF 10:00 - 10:50  Messmer, David
108.002  MWF 11:00 - 11:50  Messmer, David

FWIS 109. SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE READING MIND

If we devote much of our free time to reading short bursts of social media communication, does this diminish our capacity to devote thought and attention to much longer or more difficult texts? If so, what might we lose—and gain—in the process, as scholars and as human beings? This course will explore such questions and the assumptions behind them. We’ll scrutinize popular arguments and academic research on the effects of digital media, while also examining short stories, poems, and essays on the topics of reading, digital technology, and the act of attention. In the process, students will extend their own capacities for analysis, critical reading, and reflection, while developing their writing abilities in a variety of genres, ultimately working towards a research paper and a final presentation in which students will use social media itself to refute or support claims against social media. D1.
109.001  MWF 11:00 - 11:50  Nixon, Burke

FWIS 113. MASS CULTURE JAPAN

Japan and the U.S. are connected by a mutual fascination with each other’s mass culture (hip-hop, manga/anime, graffiti, cosplay, etc.), with each country frequently employing the other as foil, inspiration, cautionary tale, and shocking ‘other’. The consistent background noise that news about the U.S. in Japan, and Japan in the U.S. represents has prompted anthropologists to engage Japan ethnographically– that is to work and study for extended periods among those responsible for the production and distribution of popular culture. In this course, we will examine selections from this growing body of work, juxtaposing it with theoretical readings on the nature of publics, crowds, and image circulation in general, so as to better understand the way these products and projects work. D2.
113.001  TR 1:00 - 2:15  Rodwell, Elizabeth

FWIS 126. CURRENT EVENT PHYSICS

"MRI-Philips" by Jan Ainali - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Did you know the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms tests beer to make sure it is radioactive? That is not a typo. They actually want it to be radioactive. You will learn why in this course, the goal of which is to present physics to you in a useful, real world context. You will learn about nuclear weapons, dirty bombs, the fuel economy, and medical imaging, and you will be encouraged to suggest additional topics to be covered and to ask questions. Class discussions will draw on the material presented in Physics and Technology for Future Presidents, which is a fun, interesting textbook. We will not only discuss physics, but also learn to write about physics in clear, precise, and persuasive terms. D3.
126.001  TR 1:00 - 2:15  Padley, Paul & Volz, Tracy

FWIS 129. OBJECTIVITY IN PERCEPTION

Seeing the color of a thing in front of you is quite different from seeing that someone is to blame, and both these seem quite different from seeing something on TV. The first seems to be a more a direct case of perception, based only on "sensory input", while the second seems to involve interpreting and the third is fairly indirect. These differences seem to make the kind of perception involved in the first case more "objective" and other two more "subjective". This course examines what, if any, principled distinctions can be drawn between these varieties of perception, the ways they interact, the kinds of things that can be perceived in each, and what implications all this has for their degree of objectivity. Readings are taken mainly from the philosophy of perception and epistemology. Relevant material on perception from contemporary cognitive psychology and neuroscience will be discussed as needed. D1.
129.001  TR 1:00 - 2:15  Barkasi, Michael

FWIS 130. WRITING EVERYDAY LIFE

This course is dedicated to the poetics of everyday life. It introduces its participants to cultural and historical writing that draws from the real world and from the forms and colors of the ordinary. First, we will experiment with some non-fiction writing styles, from journalistic, to poetic, to documentary and ethnographic. Then, shifting the focus from writing styles to writing topics, the course will delve into how we experience landscapes, bodies, and objects in prosaic ways. We will develop reading, research, writing, and presentation skills through creative assignments and workshops. Engaging in fieldwork around Houston, we will practice observational and literary tactics, such as experimenting with rhythm and repetition, shifting scales from the micro to the macro, and making the strange familiar or the familiar strange. In short, we will explore, evaluate, and communicate the everyday. This course is eligible for credit toward the major in anthropology. D1.
130.001  TR 1:00 - 2:15  Dib, Lina

FWIS 134. COLLECTING ART: PERSPECTIVES OF ARTISTS, PATRONS, AND MUSEUMS

This course is designed to explore the interconnected roles of those who make art, the individuals who buy it, and the institutions charged with preserving and displaying these important creative contributions to society. Do these three entities have a synergistic relationship or do their various ideas/agendas prevent a harmonious partnership? What role do collectors have in the career trajectory of artists?  The history of art collecting and patronage will be discussed as students explore the role of the museum, the art market, public and private collections, artists who are influenced by or incorporate collections in their work, and the psychology of collecting.  Practical concerns about museum management, conservation, provenance, and art law will also be addressed.  Houston has a large and active art community, and through this course, students will be encouraged to engage in the world of museums and galleries that lie just beyond the hedges of Rice University. D1.
134.001  TR 9:25 - 10:40  Fuqua, Kariann

FWIS 136. THE WORLD ACCORDING TO PIXAR

Finding Nemo (2003) courtesy of imdb.com

In the summer of 2013, writer Jon Negroni posted a new essay called “The Pixar Theory” on his blog, and it very quickly went viral.  Essentially, Negroni suggests that each of the films made by the Pixar studio is one piece of a larger narrative about the interconnectedness of our world.  Whether one agrees with Negroni’s argument or not, it does speak to the complexity and sophistication of the Pixar films, which critics have long hailed for their strong writing and powerful social commentary.  In this course, we will be delving into the world of Pixar by watching many of the films and exercising our analytical skills through a variety of writing assignments.  We will pay just as much attention to the narratives of the films as to their technical elements, such as animation and color theory, as we explore the meanings they create. D1.
136.001  TR 9:25 - 10:40  Eyler, Joshua

FWIS 137. POPULAR MUSIC AND AMERICAN CULTURE

By Tengilorg (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

This course will explore the world of popular American music by looking at a number of recent albums and songs as well as many critical and journalistic writings about music.  Ranging from Celine Dion’s Let’s Talk About Love to Chance the Rapper’s Acid Rap, and from a novelistic portrayal of Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality to a memoir of the Riot Grrrl movement, these texts will also allow us to think critically not only about music itself, but about what other issues (race, gender, sexuality, class, taste, etc.) we talk about when we talk about music.  Assignments will include album reviews, song analyses, genre/region presentations, and personal essays. D1.
137.001  MWF 4:00 - 4:50  Klein, Andrew

FWIS 139. WHODUNNIT? EXPLORING THE GOLDEN AGE OF DETECTIVE FICTION

Although The Great Gatsby has become the seminal text of the interwar period, the 1920s and 30s also saw the flourishing of detective fiction, a wildly popular genre that still has a major presence in the publishing and television industries. In addition to studying the history and major practitioners of the genre, such as Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and Ngaio Marsh, the class will wrestle with a variety of critical questions: Why did the detective novel flourish between the world wars? Why did the many famous women mystery writers create few female detectives? What kind of transatlantic influences were at work? Why has Golden Age style fallen out of favor with critics even as it remains popular with readers? Students will learn to read and write about popular fiction as a reflector, perpetuator, and occasional challenger of the wider culture. D1.
139.001  MWF 10:00 - 10:50  Neill, Heather

FWIS 142. THE NOVEL IN 8MM: TRANSLATING FROM THE 19TH CENTURY PAGE TO THE 20TH CENTURY SCREEN

Sleepy Hollow (1999) courtesy of imdb.com

If critics love the book and the movie gets an Oscar nod, do you run to Amazon or Netflix? If your favorite book is the next summer blockbuster, are you first in line for tickets? If Rotten Tomatoes critics give it a 95% and the audience rating is a 55%, are you still going to shell out $12.50 for the movie ticket? In this course, we seek to answer the eternal question: can the book and the movie both be good? Through reading iconic authors from the 19th century – Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Louisa May Alcott, and Henry James – and then watching film versions of those novels and short stories, we will explore how narrative can shift focus and significance when told through different mediums. By analyzing the written and film versions of each narrative, and we will critically debate the merits, intents, and efficacy of each approach. D1.
142.001  TR 10:50 - 12:05  Rosenthall, Karen

FWIS 143. SUSTAINABILITY IN AMERICA

What do we mean when we use the term “sustainability”? What kinds of concepts and patterns of thought are we invoking and where do they come from? What, exactly, are we aiming to sustain? In this course, we will analyze the roots of sustainability in American literature, history, and popular culture. Identifying the grounding assumptions of this concept, we will explore the treatment of issues such as food scarcity, subsistence agriculture, environmentalism, and population control in images, short stories, films, essays, and speeches. We will become authorities in how discourses of sustainability work, locating their hidden meanings and agendas, and analyzing their representation of themes such as race, labor, reproduction, democracy, and social justice. Using our knowledge of American sustainability, we will design and propose our own sustainability initiatives, all the while challenging and rethinking what it means to be “sustainable” in “America.” D1.
143.001  TR 10:50 - 12:05  Goode, Abby

FWIS 146. EARTH SCIENCE IN ACTION

Students will develop effective written and oral communication while learning about exciting Earth science problems (e.g., earthquakes, tsunami, climate, sea level). The course will introduce the science, and will train students how to organize a scientific argument, compose and edit a research paper, and give an oral presentation. D3.
146.001  TR 1:00 - 2:15  Dugan, Brandon

FWIS 147. AMERICA THROUGH FRENCH EYES

"The Adventures of Tintin - 03 - Tintin in America" by It is believed that the cover art can or could be obtained from the Hergé Foundation. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Tintin in America via Wikipedia

The United States has always been a source of fascination--both attraction and repulsion--for the French. This course aims to understand American culture and identity as revealed by transatlantic encounters with the French. We will study French intellectuals' observations (de Tocqueville, de Beauvoir) as well as images of America in French popular culture (comic strips, films). The course will also broaden significantly beyond France to consider America from Chinese, African, and Mexican perspectives. Students will learn from the expertise and teaching styles of guest professors Anne Chao, Jeffrey Fleisher, and Moramay López-Alonso. The Spring 2015 version of this course could therefore be called "America through Foreign Eyes." The course will also provide an opportunity for students to think deeply about the tasks of learning and teaching. Since a future version of "America through Foreign Eyes" will be offered online, students enrolled in the FWIS 147 seminar in Spring 2015 will participate in occasional experiments and discussion of transforming a standard university classroom course into a digital massive open format, thereby giving Rice first-year students a rare opportunity to impact pedagogy and educational goals. D1.
147.001  TR 10:50 - 12:05  Fette, Julie

FWIS 152. THE VISUAL CULTURE OF SUBURBIA

Though suburban America has been cliché for more than a century, our vocabulary for describing the strip malls and boomburgs of the twentieth century is limited. This class will take to heart architectural historian Reyner Banham’s statement, “I learned to drive in order to read Los Angeles in the original.” To develop a new fluency in American suburbia, we will examine advertisements, television, film, and criticism that represent both the production and consumption of the low-density fringes of American cities. Through representations of urban and architectural forms, the class will evaluate the political and economic contexts that undergird suburbia. After two introductory writing assignments, students will prepare a research paper that explores a single suburb, represented in literature or film, that advances an argument about the spatial qualities of that place. A brief, final assignment will be to write or visually compose a manifesto on suburban living. D1.
152.001  Thurs. 1:00 - 3:29  Stevens, Sara

FWIS 153. THE LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITION

"Lewis and clark-expedition" by Charles Marion Russell - originally uploaded on en.wikipedia by en:User:AlexPlank at en:Image:Lewisclarkrussell.jpg. Filename was Lewis and clark-expedition.jpg. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

In 1803 Thomas Jefferson established an exploratory party to travel up the Missouri River to its headwaters and across the “Stony” Mountains all the way to the Pacific and back again, reporting on every aspect of what they encountered. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were chosen to lead the “corps of exploration,” and setting out from St. Louis in the spring of 1804, the party spent almost three years performing their duty. Their journals record their encounters with many Native Americans and graphic descriptions of animals, plants, and geological formations never before seen by Europeans. The men overcame tremendous hardships, traversed extremely hostile terrain, suffered hunger, cold, and hail storms, and met a variety of very diverse Indian nations.  All this they describe in vivid language in their journals, now available on-line and in print.  Students will read and analyze portions of these journals and write short papers on them.  This course is eligible for credit toward the major in History. D1.
FWIS 153.001  TR 9:25 - 10:40  Boles, John

FWIS 156. OLD MAIDS: SINGLE WOMEN IN LITERATURE AND CULTURE

This course explores how single life has been written about and discussed from the nineteenth century to today. Students will explore literary, cultural, and visual representations of the single woman and discover to what extent these portrayals still trade on the same stereotypes and assumptions of the Victorian era. Students in this course will examine the way we understand, explain, and write about single women. As they do this, they will be required to read, write, and present their ideas about single women and singleness. Although the course will primarily focus on the female experience of singleness, the overall aim of the course is to question the idea of “single” as an identity category with specific cultural, literary, political, economic, and personal implications. D1.
156.001  MWF 1:00 - 1:50  Harvey, Maggie

FWIS 157. RACE AND SOCIETY IN POST-APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa is one of the most racially complex societies in the world. It has also been home to some of the world’s most notorious racial segregation. ‘Apartheid’ controlled every facet of South African life, whether one was white, black, “coloured,” or Indian.  Although apartheid officially ended twenty years ago, race is still a deeply divisive issue in South Africa. The question remains: is it possible for a country to unite after decades—even centuries—of deep racial divisions? Through the lens of anthropology, students will engage important concepts like ‘race’ and ‘culture,’ learn the history of apartheid, and explore the current racial dynamics of this incredible African nation. Through written responses and individual research, students will also hone their scholarly writing in ways that will enhance their ability to think critically about the world around them and contribute to their success in all fields of study at Rice. D2.
157.001  TR 10:50 - 12:05  Vlachos, Nathanael

FWIS 158. ROBOTS, ZOMBIES, AND VAMPS, OH MY! THE CULTURAL CONTEXTS OF HORROR

By Alejandro Lunadei (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Supernatural beings have haunted our imaginations for centuries, but within the last two decades, depictions of vampires, zombies, and robots have proliferated in our media landscape to such an extent that we have become seemingly immune to their terror. Vampires attend high school, zombies are on basic cable, and we talk to our phones more than we do our families. Yet these mystifying, ever-evolving figures continue to speak to our latent cultural anxieties. This course will examine how three classic horror archetypes—the robot, zombie, and vampire—rose to popularity and the means and methods by which subsequent generations have adapted these figures to their own needs. Our classroom discussions will use close reading techniques, and historical and social analysis to show these figures reflect our cultural fears concerning alienation, consumerism, desire, sexuality, racism, modernity, and technology. D1.
158.001  TR 4:00 - 5:15  Saiken, Anna

FWIS 159. THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE IN 20TH AND 21ST C. AMERICAN FICTION

Ellis Island Flag and Faces, Exhibit photograph, Ellis Island, New York, New York (1980). Carol M Highsmith. Photograph in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

In a recent interview, author Jhumpa Lahiri suggests that viewing “immigrant fiction” as a discrete genre marginalizes works that are engaged with more expansive and timeless literary themes. “From the beginnings of literature poets and writers have based their narratives on crossing borders, on wandering, on exile, on encounters beyond the familiar,” she asserts, “Given the history of the United States all American fiction could be classified as immigrant fiction.”  Limning the literary history from early narratives of alienation and assimilation to contemporary fiction’s negotiations of identity within a global context, we will examine not only how works by and about American immigrants resemble one another, but how they reflect and reshape the broader American literary tradition. This course develops skills in analyzing a primary source work of literature; considering the relationship between texts and images; synthesizing scholarship; conducting basic research; and entering academic debates through discussion and writing. D1.
159.001  MWF 11:00 - 11:50  Festa, Elizabeth

FWIS 161. EXPLORING THE AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM

By ChvhLR10 (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

Course will survey the American legal system, discussing the structure of the courts and role of the judiciary in American politics.  Major topics will include criminal and civil law, differentiating the states’ and federal court systems, and comparing Texas’s legal system to other states’ courts. D2.
161.001  TR 1:00 - 2:15  Kracatovich, Erin

FWIS 162. CRITICAL THINKING IN A DEMOCRACY

We will examine the vital importance and significant challenges of thinking critically as a citizen in a democracy.  Critical thinking runs counter to an inherent tendency towards confirmation bias in decision making.  This conflict is often exploited by governmental leaders and media to control specific outcomes which may not be in the best interests of individual citizens or the citizenry collectively.  Students in this class will learn to develop their critical thinking and analytical skills in the context of the function of a democratic society.  They will learn to analyze media and political rhetoric to recognize and work past propaganda, partisanship, hypocrisy, and nationalism. D2.
162.001  TR 2:30 - 3:45  Hutchinson, John & Hutchinson, Paula

FWIS 163. MEDICAL HUMANITIES: LITERATURE, MEDICINE, AND THE PRACTICE OF EMPATHY

This course will provide an introduction to the field of medical humanities, focusing specifically on narrative medicine and the role narrative can play in illness and the clinical encounter. We’ll also examine the use of literary fiction as a way to increase empathy in doctor-patient interactions, which will lead to a series of questions: Can empathy be taught? If so, can the humanities, and literature in particular, teach it? To help us explore these and other questions, we’ll scrutinize academic research on empathy and fiction, as well as examining some of the most influential texts in the field of medical humanities. We’ll also read medical-themed short stories by Ernest Hemingway, Lorrie Moore, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the physician-writer Anton Chekhov, among others. Writing assignments will range from a work of personal reflection to a research paper and presentation arguing for or against the use of literary fiction in medical schools. D1.
163.001  MWF 1:00 - 1:50  Nixon, Burke
163.002  MWF 2:00 - 2:50  Nixon, Burke

FWIS 165. WRITING ABOUT THE VISUAL ARTS

Johannes Vermeer, A Lady Writing A Letter, c. 1670-71, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

This course addresses how we look, think, and write about art. How does one render in words what is without language, but calls for interpretation? What do we want or need to know to give a good account of a work of art? How does culture and time period shape our responses? Our course readings (drawn from writers, critics, and art historians) will be of interest for their content but also as models for how we might write about art.  There will be special attention to painting but also to works of photography, architecture, and sculpture, as well as moving images (video, film). We will study European and American artworks and writers as well as examples drawn from around the globe, in addition to viewing art works as a group at the Menil Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts, or on the Rice campus.
165.001  MWF 3:00 - 3:50  Senkevitch, Tatiana

FWIS 166. WRITTEN IN STONE: AN INTRODUCTION TO PALEONTOLOGY AND COMMUNICATING THE PAST

Paleontology is the scientific study of various traces of ancient life. Students in this class will develop effective written and oral communication while learning about exciting paleontological research. The course introduces the student to the history of the earth as told by the fossil record. Students will become familiar with vertebrate and invertebrate anatomy, taxonomy, evolution, extinction, fossil formation, and dating techniques as well as various field recovery and lab preparation methodologies. Focus will be placed on the identification of actual fossil remains and the local fossil record of Texas. This discussion and field-based class will explore the field of Paleontology from multiple perspectives. Excursions to the Houston Museum of Natural Science and excavations at a local Ice Age Mammoth site will provide hands-on experience with actual fossils. Class activities will train students how to organize a scientific argument, compose and edit a research paper, and give an oral presentation. D3.
FWIS 166 TR 2:30 - 3:45  Costa, August

FWIS 168. CASE STUDIES OF BUILDING DESIGN PROBLEMS

This course is not for the faint of heart. We will read and analyze case studies, project documents and other source materials on buildings that have experienced serious design problems and ended up in the news and in court. Some major buildings lose their high-rise windows inexplicably, others experience catastrophic structural failures, while others are saved from disaster through brilliant professional skill and sheer luck. You will write about what went right and wrong, why the situation happened, who caused the problem, and who should have acted differently. We will conduct a mock trial with students serving as the designers, constructors, clients and others involved, as well as their attorneys. The broad goals of the course are to improve and refine your ability to think and write critically and powerfully, and to present a convincing argument on the written page and in person. D1.
168.001  TR 1:00 - 2:15  Fleishacker, Alan

FWIS 171. WORD MAGIC

Courtesy of Mark H. Evans

People create inner models of the world to represent their experience and guide their behavior. How we state and say things has direct impact on how we feel and affect others. Students will be introduced to art of persuasion, learn about the power of words, the importance of word choice, and might of a metaphor. They will learn to create effective messages through understanding patterns of communication and how they can be altered to bring about a change in human behavior. The course offers an opportunity to analyze and discuss various readings related to neuro-linguistics. It suggests recording observations, writing reports and a short research paper. D2.
171.001  TR 10:50 - 12:05  Belik, Katerina

FWIS 177. BIZARRE BIBLICAL STORIES

"JMartin7thPlague1828" by H. Le Keux. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The Hebrew Bible has acted as an important foundational book for western culture, and has served as the basis for Judaism and Christianity.  Included within this book are some incredibly bizarre accounts, dealing with topics such as fratricide, seduction, incest and magic.  This course will examine some of these stories, primarily from the books of Genesis and Exodus.  We will see how these stories have been interpreted, and have been afforded meaning, throughout the ages.  Throughout, we will deal with questions of history and archaeology, of faith and of meaning – what the biblical text meant to its ancient readers, and what meanings it has today.  All texts will be read in English translation. D1.
177.001  TR 2:30 - 3:45  Ogren, Brian

FWIS 181. THE GOLDEN AGE OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE, OR, HOW ALICE (IN WONDERLAND) BECAME HARRY POTTER'S GREAT-GREAT-GREAT GRANDMOTHER

The “Golden Age” of children’s literature, approximately dated from 1865-1914, produced many of our most famous children’s classics, including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Peter Pan. This course will discuss and write about why this period produced so many influential books and how those stories still shape our ideas about writing for children. We will read a number of children’s novels as well as excerpts from scholarly publications about children’s literature. Students will focus on writing strong academic essays. Students will also learn about different kinds of oral communication, from dramatic reading aloud to formal presentations. D1.
181.001  MWF 11:00 - 11:50  Neill, Heather

FWIS 182. INTERSECTIONS IN ART & SCIENCE

In a survey of both classic and arcane material, this course looks at how these different ways of engaging with the world have crossed paths - from World Fairs, to cinema, as well as current exhibits in Houston galleries, hackerspaces and museums. Participants delve into modes and trends from surrealism and experimental film, to bio-art, interactivity and networked collaboration. Discussing these cross-disciplinary relationships, their ethics, ideas and outcomes, participants produce a variety of responses in the form of journal entries and critical essays. Sessions involve lectures, writing workshops, film screenings, and gallery visits. This course is eligible for credit toward the major in anthropology. D1.
182.001  TR 2:30 - 3:45  Dib, Lina
182.002  4:00 - 5:15  Dib, Lina

FWIS 183. FAMOUS FAKES IN EARLY CHRISTIAN LITERATURE

The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, the Gospel of Judas, the Secret Gospel of Mark ... 2 Thessalonians, the Pastoral Epistles. These are some of the famous fakes in early Christian literature. Or are they? Is it possible to tell, and if so, how? What makes one of them a fake and not another? Are ancient and modern forgeries really that different? What is a forgery, anyway? In this course we will read and write about these and other questions as we discuss these texts along with the canonical Gospel of Mark and the undisputed letters of Paul. We are interested in these questions because we want to discuss not only authorship and forgery but also: how academic information is produced, represented, and analyzed; what critical tools are available for analysis; and the ways in which the selection and use of such tools are part of broader cultural dynamics. D1.
183.001  MWF 2:00 - 2:50  Adamson, Grant

FWIS 185. CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POETRY

This course will explore the world of contemporary American poetry by looking at some of the most exciting collections to come out in the past few years.  Ranging from the intimate lyrics of Peter Campion’s El Dorado to the minimalist verse of Christina Davis’ An Ethic to the historical polyphony of Amaud Jamaul Johnson’s Darktown Follies, these collections have been chosen: 1) to introduce students to some varieties of American poetry in their literary and historical contexts; 2) to increase each student’s ability to understand and analyze how given poems “work”; 3) to develop each student’s ability to put the results of their engagements with poetry into clear, effective prose; and 4) to build a framework for reading and understanding other types of poetry.  Perhaps more significantly, though, these books will also allow us to ask a larger questions: what, if any role, can poetry play in contemporary life? D1.
185.001  MWF 10:00 - 10:50  Klein, Andrew
185.002  MWF 2:00 - 2:50  Klein, Andrew

FWIS 190. YOUTH REBELLION: SIXTIES MUSIC AND THE MAKING OF A COUNTER-CULTURE

Courtesy of punkhart.com

The 1960’s still stands as one of the most tumultuous periods of US history.  Many of the contending forces that still shape US life have complex roots there, among them civil rights, sexual liberation, environmentalism, and gay rights.  In fundamental ways, however, the sixties were also about youth culture. A massive demographic wave of kids born after WWII came crashing down on an adult world a lot of them—though not all—didn’t much like and felt little imperative to accept.  Popular music, probably more than any other cultural form, served as this culture’s mode of self-expression. So, sixties popular music, both US and British, will be at the center of a multi-media course that also makes use of materials in television, fiction, and film. The most important focus of the course, however, will be on improving writing and oral presentation skills. Students should expect to write and revise a number of short essays in the course of the semester and to make a minimum of two oral presentations. D1.
190.001  TR 2:30 - 3:45  Derrick, Scott