VLPA Courses

Winter Quarter 2019 VLPA courses

Please note: class times, locations, fees, enrollment numbers and course descriptions may change.  Check the time schedule or MyPlan for updates. 

African-American Studies

Afram 318 – Black Literary Genres (5 credits)
MW 2:30-4:20
Instructor: Erik Jaccard
Considers how generic forms and conventions have been discussed and distributed in the larger context of African American, or other African diasporic literary studies. Links the relationship between generic forms to questions of power within social, cultural, and historical contexts. Offered jointly with ENGL 318.

Afram 337 – Popular Music, Race, Identity, and Social Change (5 credits)
TTh 1:30-3:20
Instructor: Sonnet Retman
Diversity credit

Focuses on popular music, shifting formations of race and identity and social change in various cultural, historical, and political contexts. Explores popular music as a tool for social change, a vehicle for community-building and a form of political and aesthetic expression. Offered jointly with GWSS 241.

American Ethnic Studies

AES 212 – Comparative American Ethnic Literature (5 credits)
TTh 12:30-2:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor: Jang Huh
Diversity credit
Open to all majors on 11/19.

Reviews selected texts by African American, American Indian, Asian American, Chicano/Latino, and Euro American writers. Includes a comparison of how texts envision and interpret a diverse American culture and social, political relations among peoples of the United States. Explores the power of cultural agency in the creation of America's literature.

AES 440 – History and Memory: Race, Archives, and Afterlives (5 credits)
TTh 10:30-12:20
Instructor: Linh Nguyễn

This course explores the power embedded in the narration of history. Who gets to claim history and how does personal memory uphold or challenge these narratives? Who is able to claim particular events and moments? What are our archives and how do race and gender affect what is worthy of curation? We will explore these themes as well as the question of cultural and collective memory, feminist memory and subjugated knowledge. Open to students from all majors. No prerequisites are required.    

American Indian Studies

AIS 443 – Indigenous Films, Sovereign Visions (5 credits)
TTh 10:30-12:20
Instructor: Daniel Hart
Diversity credit
Explores fiction, documentary, experimental film, and digital media by indigenous artists from around the world. Focuses on personal, political, and cultural expression. Issues include media and sovereignty movements, political economy, language revitalization, the politics of decolonization, and indigenous aesthetics. Offered jointly with COM 443A.

Art History

Art H 214 – Art of India (5 credits)
TTh 12:30-1:50
Quiz W, times vary
Instructor: Sonal Khullar
$30 fee required
Writing credit
Surveys the material culture and artistic production of South Asia, which includes the present-day nation states of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, from antiquity until the early modern period.

Art H 250 – Rome (5 credits)
TTh 1:00-2:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor: Albert Sbragia
Focuses on Rome as an historical, intellectual, and artistic world center. Literary and historic documents, visual arts, architecture, film, and opera used to explore the changing paradigms of the Eternal City. In English. Offered jointly with HSTEU 250/ITAL 250.

Art H 270 – Contemporary Art and Identity (5 credits)
Online course. See Time Schedule or MyPlan for details on course access, tuition and additional fees.
Instructor: Kolya Rice

$30 course fee
Introduces participants to various ways contemporary artists and art movements have explored the intersection of visual representation, identity formation, and politics, one of the most persistent themes in art since the 1960s.

Art H 273 – History of Photography (5 credits)
Online course. See Time Schedule or MyPlan for details on course access, tuition and additional fees.
Instructor: Kolya Rice

Survey of photography from its beginnings in the early 19th century to the digital imaging of today. Study photography as an artistic medium, a social text, a technological adventure, and a cultural practice. Key photographers, cultural movements and recurring themes will be explored with close attention to the social and cultural contexts in which photographs were produced, circulated and consumed.

Art H 310 – Chinese Art and Archeology (5 credits)
MWF 8:30-9:50
Instructor: Haicheng Wang
$30 course fee
Introduces Chinese art and archaeology from the Neolithic to the Han Dynasty. Focuses on the history of developing technology and the archaeological basis for understanding the development of art and visual culture in early China.

Art H 390 – American Architecture through an Ecological Lens (5 credits)
MWF 10:00-11:20
Instructor: Meredith Clausen
$30 required fee

Introduction to the history of American architecture and urbanism as seen from an ecological perspective, from the time of indigenous inhabitants to the present.

Asian Languages and Literatures

Asian 206 – Modern Literature of South Asia: Literature and Culture of South Asia from Tradition to Modernity (5 credits)
TTh 2:30-4:20
Instructor:  Christopher Diamond
Introduction to medieval and modern South Asian literature in its cultural context. Texts in English translation.

Asian 225 – Indian Philosophical Literature (5 credits)
MW 1:30-3:20
Quiz Th, times vary
Instructor: Prem Pahlajrai
Writing credit
Add code required. See time schedule for more information.

Introduction to various topics pertaining to the vast philosophical literature of India, such as its origins and contexts, dharma; karma and free will; logic and argument. A variety of systems from Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, theistic, and non-theistic schools are covered. Taught in English.

Chicano Studies

CHSTU 332 – Chicano Film (5 credits)
MW 1:30-3:20
Instructor: Lauro Flores
Diversity credit
Provides a historical overview of the evolution of Chicano culture through film. Critically examines the portrayal and self-portrayal of Chicanos in film and selected works of narrative. Taught in English. Offered jointly with Span 332.


Clas 231 – Race, Identity, and the Ancient Mediterranean World (5 credits)
MTWTh 9:30-10:20
Instructor: TBA
Explores ancient authors' perceptions of others (foreigners, "barbarians," people on the margins of their known-worlds, slaves, etc.) alongside current scholarship on ancient perceptions of race and identity. Also examines how different groups/nations in nineteenth/twenty-first centuries used their views of Greek and Roman societies to make modern claims about race, white privileges, and power. Offered jointly with HSTAM 231.

Clas 239 – Greece: From Ancient to Modern (5 credits)
TTh 12:30-2:20
Instructor:  Alexander Hollmann
How are Ancient and Modern Greece connected to each other? Learn about great moments in Ancient Greek culture (tyranny and democracy, tragedy and comedy, athletics and art) and the complex ways Modern Greece has drawn on this heritage by exploring ancient and modern texts and images. Offered jointly with JSIS A 239.

Clas 335 – Age of Nero (5 credits)
TTh 10:30-12:20
Instructor: Alain Gowing
Detailed study of the history and culture of the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero (AD 54-68). Includes readings in the historian Tacitus' account of Nero, as well as in authors such as Petronius, Lucan, and Seneca, and consideration of the artistic and architectural achievements of the period. Recommended (not required): HSTAM 111, HSTAM 302, HSTAM 312, or HSTAM 313; CLAS 122, CLAS 320, CLAS 329, or CLAS 330. Offered jointly with HSTAM 335.

Clas 430 – Greek and Roman Mythology (3 credits)
MWF 9:30-10:20
Instructor: Stephen Hinds
Optional linked writing course

This course will introduce you to the principal myths of ancient Greece in Greek and Roman sources, to the main places and characters involved, to some of the ways in which myth functioned in real life in Ancient Greece, and ways it functions in human societies in general. You will get a sense of how Greek myth fitted together into a system, and we will look for connections and patterns that made that system work and for developments, events and influences that made it change. You will read some excellent literature and, of course, encounter some fantastic stories - which are more than simply stories. We will approach myth as stories that people tell to create the (virtual) worlds in which they live, and our goal in this course will be to reconstruct some of these worlds on the basis of stories that survive from Antiquity.

Clas 432 – Classical Mythology in Film (5 credits)
MW 7:30am-9:50am
Instructor: James Clauss
Comparison and discussion of classical myths and modern films inspired by them. Promotes access to the reading of classical mythology. Analyzes significant differences between ancient literary and modern cinematographic representations of the myth.

Cinema and Media Studies

CMS 270A – Perspectives on Film: Northern Perspectives (5 credits)
TTh 11:30-1:20
Instructor: Eric Ames
$10 course fee
Co-taught by Eric Ames and Andy Nestingen, this course will give you a set of tools for exploring the cinema from various perspectives. Directors to be discussed include such notables as Ingmar Bergman, Carl Dreyer, and Lars von Trier; films include Nanook of the North, Sami Blood, Let the Right One In, The Killing (the Danish TV series), The Black Power Mixtape, and The Square. Rather than focus on a particular genre, country, period, or filmmaker, we will explore a diversity of materials, with three main objectives:
To learn a set of key terms for the study of film and television;
To gain an understanding of film and television as cultural productions;
To learn how to do a sequence analysis.

Questions? Contact Eric Ames (eames@uw.edu) and Andy Nestingen (akn@uw.edu).

CMS 275 – Perspectives on Visual Culture: Black Panther (5 credits)
TTh 10:30-12:20
Instructor:  Jose Alaniz
Diversity credit
$10 course fee
“A nation of paradoxes. Technology existing with primitive traditions … and not always coexisting peacefully.” Thus does writer Don McGregor describe the fictional African nation of Wakanda, afrofuturist utopia and home of King T’Challa, the Black Panther, the first black superhero, introduced by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Fantastic Four Vol. 1, No. 52 (July, 1966).

This course examines the emergence, development and sociocultural significance of the Black Panther up to the figure’s latest incarnation in the Marvel Studios films. Along the way we will sample some of the comics figure’s key storylines, such as McGregor et al.’s “Panther’s Rage” (Jungle Action #s 6-18, 1973-1975) and Ta-Nehisi Coates et al.’s “A Nation Under Our Feet” (Black Panther, 2016-2017); consider the representation of Africans, African-Americans and superheroes in comics; discuss Wakanda as African homeland; and read some important works by Black authors which inform the character’s political stakes and cultural meaning. Authors covered, in addition to the aforementioned, include Reginald Hudlin, Christopher Priest, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Nnedi Okorafor, Jackie Ormes, Matt Baker, Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Adichie.

CMS 397B – Special Topics: Sound of Cinema (5 credits)
MW 8:30-10:20
Instructor: John Vallier
$10 course fee
This course examines the role of sound in film. In it students will focus on:   
- the technological development of motion picture sound, from silent to surround; 
- the evolution of film music, its functions and impact on viewers/listeners;   
- foley, sound design, dialog, and the final mix; 
- feminist, postcolonial and other theoretical considerations of cinematic sound

Classes will be a combination of lectures, student-led discussions, guest speakers, and screenings. As part their assignments, students will apply what they learn by mixing music, voice, and/or noise into theoretically grounded soundtracks of their own. 

Comparative History of Ideas

Chid 250A – Special Topics: Utopias Gone Awry: Conflict and Paradise in the Black Sea Region (5 credits)
TTh 10:30-12:20
Instructor: Mary Childs
This course introduces students to the history and political dynamics of the Black Sea region through contemporary literature, art, film, music and food. We will look at the multicultural makeup of the countries surrounding the Black Sea – Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia and Turkey – and investigate why conflicts persist in this border area between east and west, Europe and Asia. Identifying patterns of turbulence, gender politics, and environmental degradation, we will also explore positive cultural continuities in the region. In this seminar style course, students will contribute through reports discussions and creative projects.

Chid 250B – Special Topics: Race, Criminalization, and Biopower (5 credits)
MW 8:30-10:20
Instructor: Caleb Knapp

This course introduces students to theories of power over life itself – what contemporary thinkers often call “biopower.” It pays special attention to criminalization as a form of biopower and explores how discourses of the “criminal” produce and pathologize racial and sexual difference, marking some people as “deviant” and therefore subject to premature death. The course traces a genealogy of the theory of biopower in conjunction with readings of literary and cultural texts. Emphasis will be placed on developing theoretical understanding in and through the examination of particular historical moments across a range of periods and geographies. Assignments include several short papers and a final project.

Chid 250C – Special Topics: Underworld Poetics: Writing from other Dimensions (5 credits)
TTh 10:30-12:20
Instructor: July Hazard
Writing credit
Visionary poets can stand in strange relation to the world. Some come from or speak from another world. Others inhabit worlds that are illuminated, haunted, or transparent. Some recount travel between layers of reality or report enhanced encounters with nonhuman beings. This class explores ways some writers cross into and write out of other dimensions – including punk clubs, gay underworlds, subway tunnels, fleabag hotels, outer space, undersea civilizations, angelic and demonic realms. Class writings will probe poetic relations to natural and social environments, via automatic writing, somatic composition, text collage and other experiments. Students will keep illustrated journals of their otherworldly engagements, and construct or improvise underworlds. Offered jointly with C LIT 250C.

Chid 250D – Special Topics: Literatures from Ghana (5 credits)
TTh 8:30-10:20
Instructor: Anupama Taranath

Join us for an exploration of Ghanaian Literature across the decades from the 1960s to our contemporary moment. From short stories to novels, comics to films, we’ll engage it all to better understand how histories of colonialism, anti-colonial struggles, feminism, postcolonial realities and a complicated economy have influenced a rich tradition of storytelling, literary dissent and representational politics in West Africa. We’ll focus on how issues of power, privilege, gender race, sexuality, wealth, and poverty play out in different contexts and make connections to our own lives in Seattle and beyond. Offered jointly with Engl 316A.

Comparative Literature

C LIT 210-Literature and Science: Environmental Literature (5 credits)
TTh 10:30-12:20
Instructor: Gary Handwerk
This class will examine how science circulates across society, in particular, how it gets told as stories and what issues are at stake in formulating it in narrative terms.  The scientific enterprise has enormous effect in the modern world across all sectors of life; how citizens and non-scientists in a given country understand its nature and purposes is crucial for the impact that it has.  We will be looking at texts oriented toward a wide popular audience, across several different areas of science, but with a general environmental focus from Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (chemical pollution) and Stephen Weart’s The Discovery of Global Warming (climate) to Devra Davis’s When Smoke Ran Like Rain (epidemiology) and Terry Tempest Williams’ Refuge (ornithology, water resources), as well as dipping back in time to look at portions of Darwin’s Origin of Species.  Class work will include ungraded e-responses, journaling activities, short analytical essays, and a group project.  An important class goal is for participants to refine their understanding of their own scientific and environmental perspectives. Offered jointly with Engl 265.

C LIT 252A – Intro to Genres: Don Quixote (5 credits)
MW 12:30-2:20
Instructor: Donald Gilbert-Santamaria
“The fault lies not with the mob, who demands nonsense, but with those who do not know how to produce anything else.”—Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

The long arc of modernity begins with Don Quixote. So, at least, goes one reading of Cervantes’s most important work of fiction. But what does an assertion of modernity for a book originally published in 1605 really mean for a reader in Seattle in the early years of the twenty-first century? Taught in English, no prerequisites. Offered jointly with Spanish 318A.


ENGL 242C – Reading Fiction of the Pacific Northwest (5 credits)
MW 2:30-4:20
Instructor: Frances McCue
Writing credit
Set in the mythic landscape of deep forests, twisting waterways and the open plains, fiction from this region is, by turns, stark and lush, urban and wild. In this course, we’ll read fiction set in Washington, Idaho and Montana and along the way, we’ll visit the Hoh Rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula, mountain towns in Idaho and the city of Seattle. We’ll approach reading as writers do, asking “How might this have been made?” Our time in class will simulate a lively artists’ studio where we will test out fiction writing strategies to illuminate our reading and we’ll work in groups to convene deep reading methods and discussions. 

Engl 242D – Neverland: Prose Fictions of Displacement (5 credits)
TTh 6:30pm- 8:20pm
Instructor: Gillian Harkins
Writing credit
This Reading Prose Fiction class will explore post-1988 narratives about geographies of displacement in the United States. The year 1988 marked a turning point in struggles to transform existing world orders, with the U.S. as one central site of contestation over radical redistributions of wealth and power.  The announced end of the Cold War promised global transformations in distributions of wealth and power.  This Reading Prose Fiction class will explore some of the cultural imaginaries born from these struggles over redistribution, with a specific focus on literary narratives that resituate capitalism within post-1988 geographies of displacement. By telling stories about the way people and things are made valuable or disposable through prose fictions of place, these narratives ask if and how the concept of empire applies to the contemporary period. Required Texts: Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place (1988); Karen Tei Yamashita, Through the Arc of the Rainforest (1990); Lawrence Chua, Gold by the Inch (1998); Justin Torres, We the Animals (2011); Louise Erdrich, The Round House (2012).

ENGL 257 – Asian-American Literature (5 credits)
MW 11:30-1:20
Instructor: Michelle Liu
Diversity credit
Asian American populations have been deeply impacted by restrictive immigration legislation and American foreign policy, putting its peoples in a unique position for defining Americanness. How do artists with an Asian ancestry challenge a country that ostensibly celebrates diversity yet looks with suspicion on the foreign? We’ll look at the creation of “Asian American literature” as a category to examine this question. Why was Asian American literature created? Who is Asian American literature for? To explore these questions, we will consider the short stories of Jhumpa Lahiri; the essays of Carlos Bulosan and Alex Tizon; the comedy of Eddie Huang and Margaret Cho; and novels (in whole and in part) by Annie Choi, Bich Minh Nguyen, and Celeste Ng.

ENGL 259A – Literature and Social Difference (5 credits)
TTh 10:30-12:20
Instructor: Stephanie Clare
Writing and Diversity credit
Literary texts are important evidence for social difference (gender, race, class, ethnicity, language, citizenship status, sexuality, ability) in contemporary and historical contexts. Examines texts that encourage and provoke us to ask larger questions about identity, power, privilege, society, and the role of culture in present-day or historical settings.

ENGL 270 – Uses of the English Language: (5 credits)
MW 2:30-4:20
Instructor: John Webster
Writing credit

This W-class will introduce you to the world of English Sentences.  You will learn about their elements and their structures, you’ll learn to think about them as examples of a range of different styles and registers, and you will look at sentences from literature as well as from ordinary life.  You’ll write many sentences yourself, both as your own and as imitations of famous sentences from the past—even sentences from the morning newspaper. 

This will not be a grammar class (though we will do enough syntax to make you a better reader and maker of sentences), but you’ll nevertheless learn much about the many different ways English speakers put their thoughts into words. At the end of the course you’ll leave having memorized a few sentences, written more than a few others, read and spoken some of the most famous in our language, and heard many, many more. 

ENGL 368 – Women Writers (5 credits)
MW 12:30-2:20
Instructor: Kimberlee Gillis-Bridges

Diversity credit
Open to all majors on Nov. 19th

Investigates how perceptions of "woman writer" shape understandings of women's literary works and the forms in which they compose. Examines texts by women writers with attention to sociocultural, economic, and political context. Considers gender as a form of social difference as well as power relationships structured around gender inequality.

ENGL 466 – Queer and LGBT Studies (5 credits)
TTh 1:30-3:20
Instructor: Stephanie Clare
Writing and Diversity credit
Open to all majors on Nov. 19th
Special topics in queer theory and lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) studies. Examination of ways lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer histories and cultures are represented in criticism, literature, film, performance, and popular culture.

Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies

GWSS 241 – Hip Hop and Indie Rock (5 credits)
TTh 1:30-3:20
Instructor: Michelle Habell-Pallan
Introduction to pop music studies. Examines how archives, oral histories, and new media transform stories about music. Traces rhythms, tempos, and genres including blues, gospel, estilo bravio, punk, son jarocho, and disco that influence hip hop and indie rock, contextualizing their relation to gender, race/ethnicity, class, locality, and nation. Offered jointly with AFRAM 337.

Ancient and Medieval History

HSTAM 370 – The Vikings (5 credits)
MTWTh 1:30-2:20
Instructor: Terje Leiren
Offered jointly with Scand 370.
This is a lecture/discussion course on the history of the Vikings.  Following a largely chronological sequence, but not rigidly bound by it, the class will exam the history of Scandinavia during the "viking age," approximately AD 750 - AD 1100, through the written and archeological records.  The first half of the course will focus on the Vikings at home in Scandinavia.  This will include an examination of the origins of Vikings society in the pre-historical period, including aspects of the great migrations and subsequent settlement patterns, the establishment of family farms, and the development of Viking material culture (such as the Viking ship).  We will also examine the political, social and cultural expressions of Viking society, such as commercial expansion, military conflict and religious expression.  The structure and significance of the pre-Christian pagan religion of the Scandinavian North will also be discussed.  The second half of the course will focus on the expansion of Viking society and the international contacts through exploration, settlement, trading and raiding.  Included in this overview will be Viking activity in Russia, Byzantium, Germany, France, England, Ireland, and Scotland as well as the North Sea islands of the Faroes, Iceland, Greenland and Vinland (in North America).

Historically, Vikings have inspired, and occasionally been romanticized by, writers and musicians alike, from Richard Wagner in the nineteenth century, to J.R.R. Tolkien in the twentieth century.  What, if anything, is the historical basis for some of these views?  Who were these people we call "Vikings" and how did they live?  What were the roles of family, law, art and literature in Viking society?  And, what has been the influence and legacy of the Vikings on western civilization and our own time? 

History of Modern Europe

HSTEU 276 – Postwar Europe (5 credits)
MW 10:30-12:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor: Jordanna Bailkin
Writing and Diversity credit
Explores efforts to reconstruct Europe and European identity after 1945. Assesses the successes and failures of these efforts. Addresses themes of poverty and affluence, postwar justice, Americanization, expansion and collapse of communism, decolonization, migration, and ongoing ethnic tensions that threatened new forms of warfare. Explores the history uses of film.

JSIS-Area Studies

JSIS A 207 – Asian Civilizations: Traditions (5 credits)
MTWTh 12:30-1:20
Instructor: Rachel Silberstein
Interdisciplinary introduction to the civilizations of Asia, particularly those of India, China, Japan, and Korea. Explores the religion, philosophy, literature, art, and social and political thought of these civilizations from ancient times to the 17th century.

JSIS-Global and Thematic Courses

JSIS B 391 – Climate Change – An International Perspective (5 credits)
TTh 12:30-2:20
Instructor: Robert Pavia
Explores climate change science in the context of geographic, social, and political constraints, considering the role of art, activism, and Arctic indigenous peoples in communicating impacts and mitigation. Students gain knowledge in key atmospheric and ocean science principles along with the role of science in society Offered jointly with ARCTIC 391.

Landscape Architecture

L Arch 353 – History of Modern Landscape Architecture (5 credits)
MW 11:30-12:50
Quiz F 11:30-12:50
Instructor: Thaisa Way
Writing credit

Development of profession and art of landscape architecture in the United States, Europe, South America, and Japan in relation to prevailing social, economic, political, and cultural factors. Relationships with other professions, especially architecture and urban planning, and other arts, such as painting and sculpture. Open to non-majors.

L Arch 361 – The Human Experience of Place (3 credits)
TTh 10:00-11:20
Instructor: Lynne Manzo
Interdisciplinary approaches to exploring the reciprocal relationship between people and the landscapes of everyday life. Through readings, discussion, in-class activities and mini-projects, students study place attachment, relationships to nature, environmental attitudes and perception, personal space, territoriality, urban public space, diversity, participation, and the politics of space. Open to non-majors.


Music 131 – History of Jazz (5 credits)
Group start online course. See Time Schedule or MyPlan for details on course access, tuition and additional fees.
Instructor: Abigail Blackwell
Extensive overview of important musicians, composers, arrangers, and stylistic periods of jazz history from emergence of the first jazz bands at the turn of the twentieth century through post-modern bebop era of the 1990s.

Music 160 – American Folk Music (5 credits)
MTWThF 8:30-9:20
Instructor: Christina Sunardi
Introduces different types of folk music practiced in the United States. Examines how pieces, genres, performers, and consumers fit into particular socio-historical contexts as well as issues including identity politics and the roles of the media.

Music 162 – American Pop Song (5 credits)
Group start online course. See Time Schedule or MyPlan for details on course access, tuition and additional fees.
Instructor: Graham Peterson
Historical, social, and stylistic study of popular idioms from the late nineteenth century to the present. Most attention to contemporary idioms (rock, country-western, soul, hip-hop). Various facets of the industry examined to learn how they influence taste and musical style.

Near Eastern Languages and Civilization        

Near E 201 – Intro to the Ancient Near East (5 credits)
MW 1:30-3:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor: Gary Martin

Surveys the peoples, places, and events of the ancient Near East. Examines the cultures of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel with an eye to each culture's cultural contributions. Pays special attention to shared cultural elements as well as distinguishing characteristics of the peoples of these regions.

Near E 229 – Islamic Civilization (5 credits)
TTh 1:30-3:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor:  Hamza Zafer
Covers major developments in the formative, classical, and modern periods of Islamic civilization from seventh century Arabia to the contemporary Muslim world. Looks at the development of Islamic religious thought and legal practice as well as the Muslim polities, cultures, and intellectual traditions of Asia, Africa, Europe, and America. May not be taken for credit if credit earned in NEAR E 210. Offered jointly with JSIS A 210.

Near E 317 – Jewish Literature and Film (5 credits)
MW 2:30-4:20
Instructor: Sasha Senderovich

Major themes of Jewish life treated in modern narrative and cinema. Topics include religious tradition and modernity. Jewish immigration to America, responses to the Holocaust and Zionism. Offered jointly with JEW ST 318.

Near E 337 – Egyptian Cinema (5 credits)
MW 6:00-7:50pm
Instructor: Terri DeYoung
History and development of Egyptian cinema. Examines a range of topics, including: the transition to sound, the differentiation into film genres, the nationalization of the film industry in the 1960s, the role of the director as auteur, and the recovery of the Egyptian film industry after 2000.


Phil 102 – Contemporary Moral Problems (5 credits)
TTh 1:00-2:20
Quiz WF, times vary
Instructor:  Michael Blake
Philosophical consideration of some of the main moral problems of modern society and civilization, such as abortion, euthanasia, war, and capital punishment.

Phil 243 – Environmental Ethics (5 credits)
MW 1:00-2:20
Quiz TTh, times vary
Instructor: Stephen Gardiner
Writing credit

Focuses on some of the philosophical questions that arise in connection with environmental studies. Topics to be considered include: the ideological roots of current issues, values and the natural world, public policy and risk assessment, intergenerational justice, and social change. Offered jointly with ENVIR 243.


ROMN 420 – Romania Transformed (5 credits)
MW 9:30-11:20
Instructor: Ileana Marin
Situated at the border between the East and West, Romania embodies the co-existence of cultural paradoxes informing major artistic trends and ideologies during the last 100 years. The course investigates the roots of surrealism, dadaism, theatre of the absurd, as well as practices of resistance against totalitarian regimes, and women's roles in forging a new democratic society. The main goal of this course is to explore what made Romanian culture different from those of its former communist neighbors and to ultimately challenge preexisting views of the East bloc as a compact entity. We will read a range of texts across literary genres, watch internationally acclaimed movies, and analyze unsettling multimedia artworks.


Russ 260 – Topics in Russian Cultural History:  Underworlds (5 credits)
MTWTh 12:30-1:20
Instructor: Barbara Henry
Optional writing credit
Examines real and metaphoric underworlds in literature and films about the afterlife, the heroic journey, guilt, grief, violence, and redemption. Students learn how the mythic underworld functions not only in art, but in their own lives. Offered jointly with CHID 270B and Comp Lit 250A.

Scandinavian Studies

Scand 100 – Intro to Scandinavian Culture (5 credits)
MTWTh 1:30-2:20
Instructor: Liina-Ly Roos
The Scandinavian experience from the Viking Age to the present day; the background for contemporary Scandinavian democracy, with major emphasis on the cultural, political, and religious development of the Scandinavian countries.

Scand 330 – Scandinavian Mythology (5 credits)
MTWTh 12:30-1:20
Instructor: Lauren Poyer

Integrative study of religious life in the pre-Christian North. Emphasis on source materials, including the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda. Discussion of historical, archeological, and folkloric evidence.

Slavic Languages and Literatures

Slavic 425 – Ways of Meaning: Universal and Culture Specific Aspects of Language (5 credits)
MW 2:30-4:20
Instructor:  Katarzyna Dziwirek
Diversity credit

Focuses on the diversity of human experience and the social and cultural conditioning of language use. Language as a mirror of culture and national character. Universal and culture/language specific components in linguistic expression of emotions, courtesy/politeness and rudeness, prejudice and (in)sensitivities, linguistic expression of gender differences in different cultures.