395H Seminars, Spring 2019

Spring 2019

The following 395H seminars are 3 credit hour classes. ACE credit is noted by each course. Some courses also meet College of Arts & Sciences College Distribution Requirements (ASC CDR); specifics are noted with each course. Enrollment in these courses will follow regular University enrollment procedures and occur on a first-come, first-served basis in accordance with your assigned priority registration times. If this is your final semester and you have an unmet ACE need AND you have difficulties getting into a course section with that ACE, contact Dr. Burnett ASAP.

How Did We Get Here? From the Enlightenment to Donald Trump


No.: **** Section: 001 6:00-8:50p, M
Oldfather 638 Dr. Tim Borstelman ACE 5; ASC CDR C or F

Course description

This course will provide a one-semester overview of the historical development of the contemporary United States. We will first explore the pre-history of the country, focusing on the Enlightenment, the Protestant Reformation, European colonialism, the African slave trade, and the American Revolution. Next we will examine the creation of the powerful modern American state, digging into the processes of continental expansion, industrialization, immigration and the two World Wars. Finally, we will wrestle with key contemporary challenges, most notably the Cold War, struggles for social justice, globalization, climate change, and technological innovation. Students will write three brief papers, co-lead one week's discussion, and give an oral presentation on a research topic of their choice. This seminar offers an opportunity to examine the most important historical themes and issues of the past 500 years-a foundation for an educated citizen.

American Film Music in a Suburban Age (1950-present)


No.: **** Section: 003 11:00-12:15p, Tu/Th
WMB 109 Bushard ACE 7

Course description

The most familiar entertainment icons and storylines from the 1950s and 60s remain potent signs that continue to resonate within contemporary American society and culture. In recent decades, the entertainment industry has capitalized on this trend with films and television shows that take a look back on the 1950s and 1960s with a mixture of nostalgia and criticism. In this class, we will explore how the central concerns of the Fifties and Sixties—and resulting treatment in the motion picture media—can be examined and understood through the music of the time period. Through a focus on the films' soundtrack and scoring (both then and now) as well as engagement with appropriate primary and secondary texts, we will discover that specific television shows and films offer a more nuanced vision of community and conformity than is usually recognized, revealing much about our own current social anxieties.

Coming-of-Age Stories in American Life


No.: **** Section: 004 2:00-3:15p, Tu/Th
Andrews 35 Dr. Maureen Honey ACE 5; ASC CDR C or F

Course description

This literature course covers several diverse American writers who range from the early part of this century to the present day. These coming-of-age stories feature young people discovering who they are, characters who struggle to define themselves on their own terms and live according to values they believe in. How successful they are is at the heart of their narratives. Why they succeed or fail is a mystery embedded in the facts of their existence, sometimes discovered by them, sometimes not. This is a discussion class that is centered on student responses to the texts and the issues they raise so daily attendance and completion of the assigned reading are central to the course. Readings will include: Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower (1999); Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925); Fauset, Plum Bun (1928); Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969); Swick, Paper Wings (1996); Bechdel, Fun Home (2006); Capo Crucet, Make Your Home Among Strangers (2016); and Moore, A Gate at the Stairs (2008). Assignments will include three papers, one slide show presentation, in-class writing, and daily attendance.

Note: Students who have previously enrolled in ENGL 101H with Dr. Honey are not eligible to take this course as many of the texts overlap.

Concepts of Modern Physics


No.: **** Section: 005 8:30-9:20a, MWF
Jorgensen 151 Dr. Peter Dowben NO ACE
Prereq: PHYS 142 or 212 with a grade of C+ or better

Course description

Some of the concepts and ideas underlying modern areas of physics through readings from non-technical works by noted physicists and science writers. Includes quantum mechanics, relativity, cosmology, vacuum fluctuations, dark matter, dark energy, the cosmic microwave background, and examples of modern technology. The emphasis is on the implications of quantum mechanics and relativity.

Global Economic and Political Contradictions: The Best of Times or the Worst of Times?


No.: **** Section: 006 6:00-8:50p, Tu
Neihardt 2109 Dr. Wes Peterson ACE 6, 9

Course description

At the end of the Cold War in 1989, Francis Fukuyama concluded that the age-old question about the way in which human societies should be organized had been resolved. Liberal democracy and free-market capitalism had carried the day marking “the end of history.” But history did not end: in 2014, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán trumpeted the glories of “illiberal” democracy and economic nationalism and in 2018, former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright warned of the potential return of fascism. Many have suggested that the world order created after World War II, the source of much of our current prosperity, is in grave danger. At the same time, other thinkers have pointed to the incredible gains humans have made over the past 75 years. They report evidence that we live longer, have higher incomes and more wealth, are better fed, have more leisure, travel more, and enjoy lives that are much richer than has ever been the case in human history. So are we living in the best of times or the worst of times? The purpose of this seminar is to explore this question through readings and discussion with active participation by students in the evaluation of the various arguments, the collection and interpretation of statistical data, and the marshaling of additional information concerning the current state of the world and prospects for the future.

The Many Faces of Captain America: Exploring Gender, Sexuality, Race, and Representation


No.: **** Section: 007 2:30-3:45p, MW
Neihardt 1105 Dr. Sarah Imes-Borden ACE 9

Course description

This class will begin with exploration of Captain America’s origin as a comic book hero conceived by Timely Comics’ writer Joe Simon, who was born in 1913 to an impoverished Jewish family, After the very first printing in December, 1940, Private Steve Rogers and his superhero alter ego Captain America were virtually household names. Our studies will be very strictly limited to Cap’s canonical origin (the Simon/Kirby era, then Stan Lee 1941-1945) and the current Marvel Cinematic Universe (The First Avenger, The Winter Soldier and Civil War). We’ll examine how the Captain’s approach to the Second World War challenged our country to examine racism, sexism, a self-appointed mandate to champion democracy, and what it means to forcibly sequester an "other" in our society. We’ll also discuss the complex issues surrounding sidekick Bucky Barnes; the fresh-faced young teen now elevated to heartthrob du jour status. Other areas of interest will include the historical and current significance of the Howling Commandos, the evolution of Agent Peggy Carter’s character, the controversy regarding LGBTQA+ themes within the MCU, and how we, the fans, can pursue a level of discourse that effectively dismisses the admonishment "It’s just another superhero movie!"

Psychological Development in Adolescence and Early Adulthood


No.: **** Section: 008 12:30-1:45p, Tu/Th
Neihardt 1105 Dr. Lisa Crockett ACE 6; ASC CDR D or F

Course description

Adolescence is a time of dramatic changes in physical, psychological, and social development. In the U.S., this period offers important opportunities for growth as well as challenges and risks to healthy development. Development continues into early adulthood when young people begin to assume the roles and responsibilities of adults. To broaden our understanding of development during adolescence and early adulthood, this course will explore the experience of youth in this country as well as in other geographic and cultural settings. We will start by considering the “discovery” of adolescence as a stage of life and the boundaries of that period, especially the boundaries between adolescence and adulthood. Next, we will examine major developments in the physical, cognitive, and social domains that begin in adolescence and continue into early adulthood. Then, we will turn to some of the health risks of adolescence and early adulthood as well as opportunities for positive development. Finally, we will critically evaluate the need for a separate stage (“emerging adulthood”) to adequately characterize development in early adulthood. Throughout the course we also consider variations in development and experience by considering adolescents and young adults growing up in diverse circumstances including U.S. minority youth and youth from non-western cultures. This seminar will consist of short lectures and class discussions based on designated book chapters and scientific articles.