Freshman Seminars Fall 2002


Mesoamerica in the Modern World
Catherine Newling, Lecturer in Anthropology
What’s going on right now in the region stretching from northern Mexico to the Panama canal, and why should we care? How can anthropological knowledge and method help us better understand the social, political, religious, economic, cultural and demographic changes that mark this region? This discussion-based seminar will use the metaphor of “movement” and “exchange” (of people, commodities, ideas, cultural forms) between Mesoamerica and the United States to answer these questions. Specific topics may include the rise of Protestantism, illegal migration to the U.S., tourism, NAFTA, indigenous political movements and war. Throughout the semester, we will consider how examining issues such as these helps us not only to understand the relationship within Mesoamerica itself, but also to understand the relationship between Mesoamerica and the U.S. (Distribution)
anth (025) 029.401 or ltam (383) 029.401 | Monday & Wednesday | 3:00 – 4:30

Performing Identity
Julia Lynn Offen, Lecturer in Anthropology
What can we read from the stories and images represented or “performed” in popular culture? How do such media enrich our experiences of ourselves, our communities and our identities? This seminar explores cross-cultural imaginations of identity in cultural performance. We examine collective identities and social inequalities as they are expressed and negotiated through public cultural exchange. Particular attention will be paid to the performance of gender and sexuality in contemporary popular culture. We will consider critical social theories, ethnographic texts and representations from public culture (film/video, television, music, web sites, books, museum exhibits, etc.). (Distribution)
anth (025) 069.301 | Tuesday | 1:30 – 4:30

Money in Society and Culture

Jay Dautcher, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Across history and across cultures, money has profoundly shaped the social world. In its myriad forms and functions, money finds expression as object and idea, as complex technological system and potent psychological symbol. In this course we will consider the meanings that social scientists, cultural critics and popular movements have invested in the objects and practices that surround the use of money in human culture. Topics to be covered include ideas about the origins and functions of money; the role of money in ancient and contemporary global trading regimes and political formations; diverse and multiple regimes of exchange and money use in different cultures; the impact of money on notions of value, time, social life and moral order; ritual, magical and symbolic uses of money; and alternate money forms such as community-based currencies and digital/cyber cash. While focusing on objects and relationships associated with economic life, the course will serve as an introduction to basic concepts anthropologists use to think about society, culture and politics. Readings, classroom discussion and guided research projects will provide the basis for a series of short writing assignments. (Distribution)
anth (025) 120.401 or folk (221) 120.401 | Monday | 2:00 – 5:00

Amsterdam: Venice of the North, or a Modern Sodom and Gomorrah?
Robert Naborn, Lecturer in Dutch
This seminar will take you on a virtual canal boat trip through Amsterdam, guided by a Dutch native. Stops along the way include a peek into the Cum Laude Coffee Shop near the Red Light District, looking into how Dutch society tries to cope with drugs and prostitution; the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, witnesses to Holland’s art history; the Nederlandsche Bank, the Dutch central bank, also providing insight into European central banking and the Universiteit van Amsterdam, evidencing the differences between the American and the Dutch educational systems. In-class discussions will include Dutch policies on finance, education, art, health and crime. Through slides, film, texts and the internet you will gather information to engage in these discussions, which will culminate in an essay answering the question in the course title. (Distribution)
dtch (449) 008.301 | Monday & Wednesday | 3:00 – 4:30

Identity, Intimacy, Maturity
Vivian C. Seltzer, Professor of Human Development and Behavior
Psychological development is ongoing throughout life. Specific age periods are defined as critical periods of development when psychological identity is either resolved or remains unfulfilled as a result of premature closure or identity diffusion. Identity, intimacy and maturity are related concepts, independent but intertwined. A full identity reinforces psychological readiness for intimacy (which may or may not be accompanied by physical intimacy). Possession of identity and the ability it brings to engage in intimate relations profoundly affect attainment of psychosocial maturity. This course examines both the process and content of critical areas of psychosocial functioning. Both the idiosyncratic nature and the interrelated dimensions of each of the three periods are examined, as are definitions, positive and/or negative contributing forces, manifestations, irregularities and so forth. Readings introduce the theoretical framework that underpins these three concepts. Class seminars present their theoretical linkages and raise further issues; class projects and assignments allow for pragmatic analyses. (Distribution)
frsm (233) 104.301 | Tuesday | 1:30 – 4:30

Dilemmas in International Development
Richard Estes, Professor, School of Social Work
World social development has arrived at a critical turning point. Economically advanced nations have made significant progress toward meeting the basic needs of their populations; however, the majority of developing countries have not. Problems of rapid population growth, failing economies, famine, environmental devastation, majority/minority group conflicts, and increasing militarization, among others, are pushing many developing nations toward the brink of social chaos.
This seminar exposes students to the complex social, political and economic forces that influence national and international patterns of development. Particular attention will be given to the development dilemmas confronting the developing nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Attention also will be given to helping students understand the possible choices that more economically advanced countries can make in helping poorer countries advance their development objectives.
Students will be exposed to the interplay of international forces that inhibit the progress of developing nations and can actually add to their maldevelopment. They will undertake an original piece of research on an international development topic of special interest to them. They will also be invited to meet with prominent professionals in the international development community. (Distribution)
frsm (233) 106.301 | Friday | 2:00 – 5:00

Joan Goodman, Professor of Elementary Education and Howard Lesnick, Professor of Law
The concept of integrity as a moral value has been aptly called both fundamental and elusive. Drawing on readings from literature, philosophy and the social sciences, this course will examine the meaning of integrity and the reasons underlying its centrality and elusiveness. We will also consider the ways in which it may come to play a defining role in decision making, both in our personal lives as students, teachers and citizens and in the ethics of such professions as business, education, law and medicine. (Distribution)
frsm (233) 128.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 – 12:00

The Law and Lawyers in American Society
Arnold J. Rosoff, Professor of Legal Studies
How does the American public really feel about our legal system? At times, the public’s view seems very positive; at others, quite negative and distrustful. Has the perception shifted over the past several decades? If so, is it because the legal system is changing, or is it just a shift in the public’s reaction to what it sees and knows of the legal system? How much is reality as opposed to images of reality cast by films, literature, television and the press?
This course will explore public perceptions of the U.S. legal system as reflected in literature, films, tv and other “mirrors” of our society. It will focus on changing views of judges, juries, lawyers and the law itself. The films considered will present varied images—from very positive (To Kill a Mockingbird) to very negative (The Firm), from fact-based historical (Gideon’s Trumpet) to fanciful (The Devil’s Advocate) and from the sublime (Twelve Angry Men) to the ridiculous (Ally McBeal). It will examine tough issues of professional ethics and business practicality, such as a lawyer’s decision to pursue the public interest when doing so risks financial ruin for his firm (A Civil Action). The course material will include, in addition to film and tv excerpts, books, articles from the professional and popular press and actual court opinions. The course format combines lecture, Socratic dialogue and group discussion in an informal setting, which includes dinner served in a Quad college house. Active, regular class participation is required and will count significantly in the grading. (Distribution)
frsm (233) 290.301 | Thursday | 4:30 – 8:00

Medicine in Africa
Steven Feierman, Professor of History and Sociology of Science
This course focuses on the story of health, healing and disease on the African continent in its historical context. What is the relationship between the growth of cities and the spread of aids or between globalization and malnutrition? Is biomedicine practiced on the African continent the same way it is in the u.s., or are there important differences? What are the major African healing traditions, and how do they work? What are the forces in our world today that lead to malnutrition and disease in Africa or to health and well-being? (Distribution)
hssc (321) 018.301 | Tuesday | 1:30 – 4:30

Italian Politics and Society
Julia Lynch, Assistant Professor of Political Science
With 54 governments since World War II, a porn star in the Parliament, a secessionist movement in the North, corruption scandals, illegal immigration, terrorism, organized crime and a litany of other political woes, many see Italian politics as a perennial basket case. But while Italy may be better known for its great food, fashion and art than for serious statesmanship and high politics, it is an important country on the world stage—Italy has the fifth-largest economy in the world and a population larger than Britain or Spain. This course examines the perceptions and the realities of Italian politics, focusing on the problem of uneven regional development, the role of class politics, the persistence of Church and family in politics and society and Italy’s relationship with the European Union. (Distribution)
psci (505) 009.301 | Tuesday | 1:30 – 4:30

Freedom and Political Philosophy
Andrew Norris, Assistant Professor of Political Science
What does it mean to be free? What are its metaphysical and practical preconditions? Is freedom something that individuals can enjoy in private, or something that requires a vibrant public life? Has the idea of freedom evolved with our cultural, economic and industrial life? How does the modern media affect the freedom of our choices? Is freedom simply the absence of external constraint, or are there criteria internal to the idea of freedom? This course will address these and other central questions in the political philosophy of freedom. The readings and the discussions in our small group will demand a lot of every participant. But the theme should prove as engaging, as it is important to a group of people most of whom have only recently left home for the freedom of the university. What sort of freedom that is will, of course, also be open to question.
Attendance and the submission of all assigned material is required. Students should expect to work through a great deal of complicated, abstract material, almost all of which will need to be read at least two or three times. 40 percent of the student’s grade will be based upon the tests, 50 percent on the papers and 10 percent on class participation. The written work will be evaluated in terms of the quality of the writing and the accuracy and the subtlety of the reading it describes. I do not change grades.
Assigned Editions and Texts
Zygmunt Bauman, Freedom (Minnesota)
Epictetus, Enchiridion (Bobbs-Merrill)
Eric Foner, The Story of American Freedom (Norton)
Mill, On Liberty (Norton Critical Edition)
Sartre, Existentialism and Human Emotions (Citadel)
Reader, with the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, 1789 and selections from Hannah Arendt, Noam Chomsky, P. Devlin,
J. Feinberg, Isaiah Berlin, Sut Jhally, Thomas Hobbes, Marx, Aristotle and de Tocqueville. (Distribution)
psci (505) 009.302 | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 – 12:00

The New World Order and its Critics
Rudra Sil, Assistant Professor of Political Science
This seminar aims to understand the different pillars of, and various challenges to, the “new world order” that has supposedly emerged in the post-Cold War era. Several alternative understandings of this “new world order” are probed, ranging from those emphasizing the inexorable and qualitatively distinct advancement of a global economy to those who are more attentive to economic and cultural forces that are opposing globalization and those who stress the continuing relevance of realpolitik with powerful states as the most dominant actors in the international system. In the process, we will consider the debate over economic globalization, the prospects for global governance in the management of conflict and the coordination of economic interests, the possibilities for global democracy, as well as the dominant position of the United States in the present international system. For all these issues, we will also consider the particular claims and strategies of actors who proclaim themselves to be “critics” of various components of the present “world order” (ranging from anti-globalization protests such as those at the 1999 WTO meeting in Seattle to anti-corporate activism, ethno-religious mobilization and challenges to U.S. power and foreign policy from within and abroad). However, to make better sense of the issues at stake in the present debates and to gauge the novelty of various aspects of the present era, we will also undertake a more comprehensive examination of the idea of a universal “order” shared by individuals, nations, regions and various kinds of social, economic and cultural groups. This will take us back to earlier efforts to construct some sort of multi-national, multiethnic political order as evident, for example, in the periods before and after World War II. (Distribution)
psci (505) 009.303 | Wednesday | 2:00 – 5:00

Constitution Making
William Harris, Associate Professor of Political Science
This is a seminar in constitutional theory that will focus on the problems of
creating or restructuring a political order by writing and adopting the design of that order in a set of words contained within a text. The course will have a large component of political and interpretive theory, as well as American political thought. There may be some materials from other constitutional systems besides the United States. However, the course is primarily a way of looking analytically at the founding of the American Constitution by considering how a new constitution would be written, argued for and ratified more than 200 years later, then questioning the nature of its authority. After more than two centuries of experience in interpreting the existing constitutional document, how might a constitution-maker draft a new one to take into account the problems that we have discovered? Requirements: extensive reading and active scholarly discussion; one short analytical paper; one medium-length paper and a final essay examination. Non-honors students need
permission. (Distribution)
psci (505) 187.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 3:00 – 5:00

Religion, Health and Healing
E. Ann Matter, Professor of Religious Studies
This seminar will investigate some of the many dimensions of the relationship between religious traditions and physical health and healing. How do major world religions approach these inevitable and very human questions? What about spiritual traditions that are not part of organized, established religions? Can spiritual and religious practices heal? Are there really miracles of healing brought about by divine intervention? How does modern medical science respond to such issues? We will read primary and secondary sources from a variety of traditions and viewpoints, and will interview practitioners of religious and medical establishments. Students will write two papers. Non-honors students need permission. (Distribution)
rels (541) 102.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 1:30 – 3:00

Male-Female Communication, East and West CANCELLED
Franklin Southworth, Professor Emeritus, South Asia Regional Studies
Every individual has a unique way of speaking. Some of our differences in speech style are individual, while others are affected by our gender, our upbringing, ethnic group membership, place of origin, socio-economic class, age or other factors. These differences can enrich, and sometimes complicate, our verbal interactions with other members of our society.
This course looks at these differences in a cross-culturally oriented framework that emphasizes the social context of face-to-face communication, both verbal and nonverbal. We will be concerned with communication in male groups, in female groups, and in mixed groups, in our own society and in others; we will look at aspects of social behavior that correlate with communicative differences. We will seek explanations of communicative differences in terms of the socialization process and the different social roles which we play as men or women and as members of different social groupings.
Apart from learning about interactions between language and social life in our own and other societies, the course is designed to enhance observational skills and to encourage an analytical approach to the study of verbal and nonverbal communication. One weekly two-hour session will be devoted primarily to discussion of the readings (which include writings by linguists, anthropologists and sociologists, social and educational psychologists, political scientists and others) with minimal lecturing. A second one-hour session will be used for observation and practice, including simulated interactions and films. In all of our discussions, we will attempt to bridge the cultural experiences of North Americans and those of members of other societies (particularly South Asians).
The first eight weeks of the course will acquaint students with the main assumptions made about this subject by works in a number of different disciplines. The remaining time will be spent on individual research projects, including discussion of individual readings. The papers and projects will involve both library research and observational research.
Papers: Four short (two-page) papers on specified subjects. One final paper on individual work. Regular attendance and participation in discussion are expected. (General Requirement)
sars (593) 013.401 or wstd (677) 013.401 | Wednesday | 2:00 – 5:00
Introduction to the Social Sciences

Ivar Berg, Professor of Sociology
In this course, we will explore the best-founded constructs and perspectives from the social sciences and apply them to an examination of American society: its structures, its institutions and the forces and sources of stability and change that shape our social system. We will examine the recent histories and current states of our religious, educational, political, communal, familial and cultural adaptations to evolving circumstances. The new and serious literature on “The Sixties” permits us, meanwhile, to consider the pre-1960 forces that gave us that remarkable era and its legacies. An intensive analysis of political, social, economic, cultural and psychological conflicts offers an opportunity to put social sciences perspectives to applied analytical purposes. Our students’ autobiographical interest, as Baby Boomers’ offspring, can be well served by this experience: the multiple issues joined in the Sixties work as a “critical” or “natural experiment” regarding social change. Non-honors students need permission. (General Requirement)
soci (589) 001.301 | Tuesday | 3:00 – 6:00

Society and History
Ewa Morawska, Professor of Sociology
At the turn of the 21st century attention is focused on the future, but how much about our lives and social world is determined by the past? How does history shape our personal lives, preferences and identities? How does contemporary society--including its economy, culture, and politics reflect the events of the past? In this seminar we will explore how the past matters to the present by looking at individual biographies and at the group experiences of peoples of different nationalities, races and ethnicity’s, and religions. (Distribution)
SOC 041.302 (589) Tuesday 1:30 - 4:30

War and Peace: Theories of the Causes and Prevention of War
William Evan, Professor Emeritus of Sociology
This seminar is an examination of seven theories of the causes of war, which will be tested by case analyses of well-documented wars throughout history—from the Peloponnesian wars to the Afghanistan war. The concluding section of the course deals with five theories and strategies for the prevention of war. Students apply the theories in preparing a term paper on a specific war. (Distribution)
soci (589) 052.301 | Wednesday | 2:00 – 5:00

Homelessness and the Urban Crisis
Dennis Culhane, Professor, School of Social Work
This seminar in urban studies introduces students to many of the major social
issues confronting our nation’s cities by focusing specifically on the problem of urban homelessness. The course examines the treatment of homelessness and extreme impoverishment as social problems historically, as well as through contemporary debates. Several areas of intensive study will include the prevalence and dynamics of homelessness, the affordable housing crisis, urban labor market trends, welfare reform, health and mental health policies and urban/suburban development disparities. Particular attention is also paid to the structure of emergency services for people who have housing emergencies. The course concludes by examining current policies and advocacy strategies. (Distribution)
urbs (657) 100.301 | Wednesday | 5:00 – 8:00

Do the Rite Thing: Ritual in American Life
Felicity Paxton, Lecturer in Women’s Studies
Starting with birth and working chronologically through a series of case studies,
this course invites students to examine the centrality of ritual in modern American life. We will look closely at rituals that celebrate the human lifecycle as well as overtly competitive sporting and political rituals. We will explore rituals that unfold at the local level as well as those that most Americans experience only via the media. Rituals under examination will include birthday parties, bar and bat mitzvahs, Halloween, quinceañeras, proms, graduations, rodeos, homecomings, weddings, Greek initiations, beauty pageants, reunions and funerals. Students will be encouraged to critically examine their own ritual beliefs and practices and to consider these and other theoretical questions: What is the status of ritual in post-industrial culture? What distinguishes popular from official ritual and secular from religious ritual? How do sociological variables such as race, class, gender, sexuality and religion shape people’s understanding of, and participation in, modern American rituals? What role does ritual play in family life? How do contemporary rituals bond Americans at the local and/or national level? All students will be expected to conduct original research on a ritual of their choosing. (Distribution)
wstd (677) 082.401 or folk (221) 082.401 | Thursday | 2:00 – 5:00


Jewish Law and Ethics
Barry Eichler, Associate Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
How has Jewish law developed over the millennia from biblical times to the present? What insights can this legal tradition offer us today as we seek answers to such issues as abortion, euthanasia, genetic research and business ethics? This course will examine the literary and legal sources of Jewish law within a historical framework, with special emphasis upon the development and dynamics of Jewish jurisprudence. It will also explore the relationship between Jewish law and social ethics. (Distribution)
ames (465) 152.401 or jwst (353) 152.401 or rels (541) 127.401
Tuesday & Thursday | 9:00 – 10:30

Superstition and Erudition: Daily Life in the Middle Ages
Francis Brévart, Associate Professor of German
Individuals in medieval times lived basically the same way we do today: they ate, drank, needed shelter, worked, had sex, became ill, planned religious holidays, talked about the weather, were intrigued by the secrets of nature in their environment, traveled and were eager to learn about people and customs in distant places. The difference lies in the manner in which they carried out these actions and fulfilled their goals. This course focuses on several aspects of daily life in the Middle Ages (12th - 16th centuries). We will gain insights into medieval chronology and astrology, on which a multitude of quotidian happenings were centered (farming, slaughtering of animals, personal hygiene, marrying, escaping from jail, steps taken to conceive a male child, appropriate days to let blood, etc.). We will look at medieval cookbooks and become instantly disillusioned with today’s so-called medieval banquets. We will discuss daily life in and around the university and investigate the curiosities and hazards of traveling by land or sea. Finally, the course will explore the precarious state of medieval medicine and pharmacy, the specific diseases of men and women and their frequently barbaric treatments, the use of so-called wonder drugs, exotic plants and animals by professional physicians and medical charlatan alike, and early forms of marketing. (Distribution)
grmn (293) 008.301 | Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 11:00 – 12:00

The History of Obscenity
Sarah Leonard, Mellon Fellow in History
How have perceptions of obscenity and blasphemy changed over time? This course will explore the invention and transformation of obscenity as a legal and intellectual category in Europe from the early modern period to the present. Using recent work by historians and reading condemned books themselves, the class will work to situate obscenity in historical context. We will consider how early modern ideas of the “obscene” and the “blasphemous” expressed assumptions about human nature and sexuality, religion and freedom. In revolutionary Europe, how was pornography used to undermine established authorities? In the 20th-century context, we will ask how notions of obscenity were shaped by modern warfare, an interventionist state and technological change. (Distribution)
hist (317) 102.301 | Monday | 2:00 – 5:00

Rethinking Man and Machine: Technology and its Critics in Modern Europe
Sara Pritchard, Mellon Fellow in History
The pace of technological change has dramatically accelerated over the past three centuries. This course examines part of that history by highlighting not only some of the key moments in the recent history of technology in modern Europe, but also by focusing on how Europeans thought about and responded to this emergent technological society. How did contemporaries understand and view, celebrate and criticize technological change? How did they conceive of the relationship between technology and society, economy, politics and nature? Emphasizing historical and cross-cultural perspectives, specific themes in the class include the relationship between technological change and work; technology and identity and social, environmental, and feminist critiques of technological development. We will closely examine an array of primary sources from the 18th century to the present, including images, fiction, diaries, parliamentary reports, technical treatises and artifacts from several national contexts in order to explore how modern Europeans experienced and understood technological change in their daily lives and communities. (Distribution)
hist (317) 102.302 | Wednesday | 2:00 – 5:00

Biography as History: The Gilded Age
Robert Engs, Professor of History
Robber Barons, Suffragettes, Wobblies, New South Apologists, Black Accommodationists—these were among the men and women who shaped America in the half century from the Civil War to the triumph of Progressivism. That era witnessed the transformation of the United States from a predominantly agricultural and rural nation to an industrial powerhouse with over half its people living in towns and cities. Great fissures divided classes and races; women remained disenfranchised and demeaned. The upper classes mocked the poor and nonwhite for their poverty and color. In response, reform movements arose challenging the ways of the privileged. All these currents and changes are revealed in the biographies and autobiographies that will be the central texts of this seminar. Beginning with Mark Twain’s classic The Gilded Age, we will trace the central actors and dissenters of the time. During the course of the seminar, students will select individuals or groups about whom they will write their term paper, an analytical biography based on primary and secondary sources. (Distribution)
hist (317) 104.301 | Wednesday | 2:00 – 5:00

Tracing Roots of the “Information Society”
Sarah Igo, Assistant Professor of History and Faculty Fellow in Ware College House
In recent years, journalists and pundits have pointed to the dramatic arrival of an “information age” specific to the late 20th century. This course traces a much longer history of the ways information gathering, dissemination and use have shaped American culture. This is, in part, a technological story. We will explore the development of mail, telegraph, telephone, broadcasting, news and electronic networks in the United States; the social effects of time-and-space-altering inventions and the creation of a film-and-television-mediated society. The seminar will also inquire into the cultural debates and intellectual dilemmas raised by new modes of communication. Among the questions we will ask are: Why were popular reading habits of the 19th century regarded as a sign of national moral decline? How did concepts of “mass opinion” and “mass society” unsettle early 20th-century democratic ideals? And have emerging electronic technologies contributed to the privatization of American public life? Throughout, we will be attentive to the interplay between practices and consciousness; communication; and culture, the medium and the
message. (Distribution)
hist (317) 104.302 | Tuesday | 1:30 – 4:30

Interethnic Relations Among Asian Americans
Eiichiro Azuma, Assistant Professor of History
This reading seminar will focus on how different groups of Asians interacted with each other in the context of early 20th-century American society, especially in Hawaii and California. Such issues as ethnicity, complexity of race relations (as opposed to conventional black-white binarism) and the intricate entanglements of class and race will also be examined. (Distribution)
hist (317) 104.402 or asam (035) 013.402 | Tuesday | 2:00 – 5:00

Revolutionary Ideas, Ideologies of Revolution in the Modern Middle East CANCELLED
Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet, Assistant Professor of History
Revolutions have toppled many regimes in the Middle East, and ideologies have played a central role in fomenting these regional rebellions. This seminar surveys some of the major ideologies and thought processes that have caused significant change in the cultural, social and political arenas. We will examine icons of imperialism and nationhood, as well as the varying sources of conflict within and between states. Novels, essays and secondary works will comprise the bulk of the readings. The weekly assignments will focus on particular themes or on works that show the nature of revolution and change in various contexts and geographic settings, including in Egypt, Iran, Israel, Iraq and Turkey. Thematic texts will be supplemented with some factual information to help the students put the ideas of revolt in the proper historical context. (Distribution)
hist (317) 106.301 | Tuesday | 2:00 – 5:00

Religion and Resistance in Colonial Africa
Cheikh Babou, Lecturer in History
This seminar looks at the experience of Africans from the era of the European “Scramble for Africa” in the 1880s to the years of African Independence in the 1960s through the lens of African religious practices and movements. Topics include the role of Islamic brotherhoods in Africa; European missions and African churches; millenarian and reform movements; education and leadership; and religion, nationalism and pan-Africanism. Students will examine colonial documents, African oral traditions, spiritual songs and prayers and contemporary religious writings to gain an understanding of the meaning of religion in African life during a period of great change on the continent. (Distribution)
hist (317) 106.302 | Monday & Wednesday | 3:00 – 4:30

Images of Islam and the Middle East, 1798–2002
Kveta Benes, Mellon Fellow in History
Television images of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and of the Islamic fundamentalists held responsible have been forever emblazoned on the American national consciousness. But few realize that there is a long tradition in the West of associating negative images of violence, extremism and unbridled passion with Islam and the Middle East. This course places the rhetoric and propaganda of the current war on terrorism in the broader historical context of two centuries of European and American representations of what is often termed the “Orient.” It examines a broad range of cultural images that have been linked with Islam and the Middle East in literature, the fine arts, music, architecture and academic scholarship from 1798 to 2002.
The goal of the course is not to discover the “truth” behind popular representations of Islam and the Middle East. Rather, students will be asked to explore the complex relationships between knowledge, power and media as they pertain to these areas. Starting with the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt in 1798, the course will ask how the demands of empire building and imperialism encouraged particular depictions of Islam and the Middle East. This seminar will also examine how European and American identities have been defined by the construction of the “Orient” as a cultural “other.” How has the self-presentation of the West as a civilized, rational and democratic society depended on opposing images of the violent, irrational and despotic Middle East? (Distribution)
hist (317) 106.303 | Wednesday | 2:00 – 5:00

Bilingualism in History
Gillian Sankoff, Professor of Linguistics
This course takes a historical approach to tracing (and reconstructing) the nature
of language contacts and bilingualism over the course of human history. Contacts between groups of people speaking different languages, motivated by trade, migration, conquest and intermarriage, are documented from earliest records. At the same time, differences in socio-historical context have created different kinds of linguistic outcomes. Some languages have been completely lost; new languages have been
created. In still other cases, the nature and structure of language has been radically altered. The course introduces the basics of linguistic structure through a discussion of which aspects of language have proved to be relatively stable, and which are readily altered, under conditions of bilingualism. (Distribution)
ling (381) 054.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 12:00 – 1:30

Introduction to Philosophy
Steven Jauss, Lecturer in Philosophy
In this introductory survey we will explore several central philosophical questions, such as: Could there be freedom in a world governed by deterministic laws? Could someone be blameworthy for an action even if he or she could not have done otherwise? Is it possible to deceive oneself? Is hell real? Are numbers? Are moral claims objectively true or false? Are beauty and evil compatible? (General Requirement)
phil (493) 001.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 9:00 – 10:30

Introduction to Philosophy
Lecturer in Philosophy
This course is an introduction to such topics as our knowledge of the material world, the relation of mind and body, the existence of God and the nature of morality. (General Requirement)
phil (493) 001.302 | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 – 12:00

Lecturer in Philosophy
This course is an introductory examination of four important philosophical topics: free will and determinism, arguments for and against the existence of God, skepticism and the nature of scientific reasoning and moral relativism. (General Requirement)
phil (493) 001.303 | Tuesday & Thursday | 1:30 – 3:00

Jewish-Christian Relations Through the Ages
Talya Fishman, Associate Professor of Religious Studies
This course explores the changing perceptions of the “other” religious culture as expressed in Jewish and Christian writings from antiquity to the present. Primary source readings (in English translation) include selections from the Gospels, Pauline Epistles, Church Fathers, medieval Jewish chronicles and legal sources, Martin Luther, proponents of Jewish Emancipation and 20th-century papal documents. (Distribution)
rels (541) 219.401 or jwst (353) 219.401 or hist (317) 219.401
Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 – 12:00


Narrative Journeys: Africa and Asia
Roger Allen, Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Have you ever read the Tales of Sindbad and his travels? Do you like narratives about journeys, both ancient and contemporary? The purpose of this seminar is to introduce freshmen to a variety of narratives in different literary genres; to do so through the theme of the journey, whether it be a physical journey from one place to another, a process of change—a rite of passage perhaps, or an inward psychological quest. Female and male authors are presented, as are different periods in the long history of the Middle East and Africa. All the texts to be read are in English translation. (Distribution)
ames (465) 038.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 3:00 – 4:30

Possessing Women
Linda Chance, Associate Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
A man from Tennessee writes Memoirs of a Geisha. A Japanese novelist tells the story of the “comfort women” who served the Japanese army. A 10th-century courtier poses as a woman writing the first woman’s diary. Poets from Byron to Robert Lowell, through Ezra Pound to Li Po, have written as though they were women, decrying their painful situations. Is something wrong with this picture, or is “woman” such a fascinating position from which to speak that writers can hardly help trying it on for size? In this course we will look at male literary impersonators of women as well as women writers. Our questions will include: Who speaks in literature for prostitutes? Whose bodies are the property of men? What happens when women inhabit the bodies of other women via spirit possession? Readings will draw on the Japanese traditions which is especially rich in such cases, and will also include Western and Chinese literature, anthropological work on possession, legal treatments of prostitution and film. Participants will keep a reading journal and write a paper of their own choosing. (Distribution)
ames (465) 187.401 or coml (113) 187.401 or wstd (677) 187.401
Tuesday & Thursday | 1:30 – 3:00

Textual Form: The Rhetorics of Textual Presentation
Shannon Mattern, Mellon Fellow in History of Art
George Herbert’s Wings, perhaps one of the most famous examples of concrete poetry, illustrates that a text’s meaning derives not only from the words themselves, but also from their placement on the page. Typefaces, textual effects, spacing, margins, even paper quality, offer layers of meaning in addition to that carried in the words’ denotations and connotations. Textual presentation is its own rhetoric. This course will examine the meanings inherent in text form. We will begin the course with a brief look at the time before text—when Plato and Socrates debated the merits of orality and literacy—then examine the evolution of writing systems, scribal culture, the Gutenberg Revolution and the subsequent development of typographic culture over the past five-and-a-half centuries. We will end the course by looking at the aesthetics and status of text in our so-called visual culture, examining the convergence of the visual and textual in information architecture and considering the possibility of a return to textuality, or a secondary textuality, in the digital age. The course is designed to expose students to the concepts of visual and formal rhetoric, to encourage a holistic approach to reading and literacy and to help them to understand how communication forms shape our thinkable thoughts and way of knowing. The course will incorporate close readings of assigned books and articles, group discussion, multimedia presentations, visits to local museums and libraries and possible guest lectures by typographers, printmakers and graphic artists. Students will compose two or three short papers and one substantial end-of-term written project. (Distribution)
arth (033) 100.301 | Monday | 3:00 – 6:00

The Ambient Roar: The Novel in Our Media-blitz Age
Christopher Donovan, House Dean, Gregory College House and Lecturer in English
Over the course of the last century, the steady emergence of new technologies and communication channels has eroded the privileged position of the American novel at the forefront of popular and influential art forms. From what vantage have novelists observed the effects wrought by film, television and most recently the Internet on the American consciousness? How have these new technologies, in turn, gradually altered the form of the novel? With an eye on how novelists define their role in this increasingly “noisy” climate, we will examine texts spanning the period from the early days of Hollywood to our digital present. We will illuminate this discussion by analyzing films, ranging from silent landmarks to contemporary pop-cultural milestones, that have altered our social fabric and means of perception in ways these novels criticize, mirror or celebrate. Texts may include West’s The Day of the Locust, Percy’s The Moviegoer, DeLillo’s White Noise, Pynchon’s Vineland, Coupland’s Microserfs, and Stephenson’s Snow Crash; assigned films may include Altman’s The Player, Weir’s The Truman Show or Linklater’s Waking Life. (Distribution)
engl (197) 016.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 1:30 – 3:00

Dramatizing Histories Cancelled
Roberta Stack, House Dean, Hamilton College House and Lecturer in English
Imaginative reconstruction of the personal, private and very human moments that surround historical figures and events can be hard to resist. Authors, playwrights, visual artists and filmmakers often indulge in these dramatic flights of historical fancy, and audiences revel at the chance to time travel. How delightful to play the voyeur spying on Richard of Gloucester as he plots for the throne of England, sitting in the jury box at the trial of Oscar Wilde, joining a master class for opera singers given by Maria Callas or watching the Cuban Missile Crisis unfold behind the scenes. In this course we will explore artistic works that take historical facts and flesh them out dramatically. We will pursue not only audience perception and the limits (if any) on artistic license, but also raise the question of how one processes historical research. Given a set of facts about a person, event or era, how far can/should a responsible scholar go in drawing conclusions? We will look at works by a range of artists working in diverse genres. This course is intended for those who are intrigued by history, plays, films, art and experiencing the past through intelligent imagining. (Distribution)
engl (197) 016.302 | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 – 12:00 in the 18th Century: Bestsellers and Book Traffic, 1700-1800
Jennifer Snead, Mellon Fellow English
For better or worse, the Internet has had a profound impact on the publishing industry, challenging traditional notions of intellectual property, publication, distribution, audience and the material nature of printed matter itself (to name just a few). Has the beginning of the 21st-century witnessed the end of print culture as we know it? To get a better understanding of these contemporary issues, this course explores English print culture in America and Great Britain at its beginnings during the 18th century. How did writers in England and its American colonies understand their authorship and their audiences? How were books printed, sold and distributed? Who bought them, who read them and in what ways? We’ll read a variety of 18th-century writers from both sides of the Atlantic as well as current scholarship on copyright, the book trade and reading audiences during this time period. We will also visit Van Pelt Library’s rare book room, the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Rosenbach Museum and Library (both in Center City). Readings will include but not be limited to works by Addison, Franklin, Pope, Wheatley, Cook, Finch, Johnson, Equiano and Ashbridge. This course is affiliated with Writing Across the University and fulfills half of the College Writing Requirement. (Distribution)
engl (197) 016.303 | Tuesday & Thursday | 3:00 – 4:30

American Civility
Lydia Fisher, Lecturer in English
At this time of global upheaval, when Americans are frequently using words like “civilized” and “barbaric” to organize their understandings of current events, it seems worthwhile to examine the development of such concepts in American culture. This course examines American literature’s imagery of civilization and savagery. In the American literary tradition, the “land of the free, home of the brave” often appears as an untamed wilderness—the untainted territory of “natural man.” And, alternately, American writers have figured their nation’s sophistication in contrast to other nations and peoples, depicting the United States as a model society of republican virtue, populated by democratically cultivated citizens. Through our readings of course texts (which will include fiction, social science writing, political speeches and popular journalism) we will examine American writers’ responses to social movements and historical conditions that have contributed to changing conceptions of the “nature” and culture of the American people. We will investigate early Americans’ fascination with imagery of vast, untamed lands full of rustic pioneers and Indians, asking how later writers’ responses to such institutions and conditions as American slavery, immigration, class unrest, gender inequality and racial tensions revisited and revised powerful ideologies that produced Americans’ notions of civilization. Readings may include works by J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Gertrude Bonnin, Stephen Crane, Henry James, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Nella Larsen, Kate Chopin and Ralph Ellison. Evaluation for the course will include
discussion participation, group projects, frequent, short written responses to course materials and a longer, end-of-term paper project. (Distribution)
engl (197) 016.305 | Tuesday & Thursday | 9:00 – 10:30

Imitations of White: Jewishness, Blackness and Gender
Lori Harrison-Kahan, Lecturer in English
In American literature and culture, Jews and African-Americans are often depicted as imitating white ways whether through the process of assimilation or by disguising their origins and passing for white. In these depictions, gender plays an important role. For example, light-skinned African-American protagonists who pass for white are disproportionately women, and immigrant Jewish men are often portrayed as emasculated. This seminar will focus on literary and cultural representations of Jewish and black identity, while paying particular attention to gender stereotypes. We will examine literary and popular works from four major periods: the turn of the century, the Jazz Age/Harlem Renaissance, the Cold War era and contemporary culture. We will address questions such as: How were the themes of passing and assimilation revised and adapted by different writers (and by films) over the course of the 20th century? How do the textual strategies of these narratives reflect the theme of American self-invention? And how do these works offer alternative views on American self-making that challenge the prototypical model of the self-made man? Authors may include Edith Wharton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mary Antin, Anzia Yezierska, Nella Larsen, Jessie Fauset, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller, Sylvia Plath, Toni Morrison, Danzy Senna and Rebecca Walker, as well as a number of films and secondary critical readings. (Distribution)
engl (197) 016.306 | Tuesday & Thursday | 9:00 – 10:30

Going Shopping: Consumer Culture in the United States
Patrick Wehner, Lecturer in English
A deceptively simple part of our everyday routines, "shopping" can be both a source of pleasure and a cause of anxiety, a freedom to be celebrated and a compulsion to be scorned, an expression of our individual tastes and the basis for the most far-reaching of our social relationships. Why do we have such mixed feelings about buying things and participating in what is often referred to as our consumer culture? What is the relationship between this consumer culture and ideas about what makes life in the United States distinctive? What are our rights as consumers, and what are our responsibilities? This seminar will examine some of the familiar features of our consumer culture from new perspectives. First, we will look at the historical roots of a mass consumer market to see whether some of the concerns and contradictions that we consider unique to our times might be part of a larger story. Next we will consider some of the ways that people use the things they buy to make meaning in their lives. Finally, we will look at some of the problems that critics of consumer culture have brought to our attention-including materialism, conformity, and concealed exploitation-and weigh these concerns against the promises and possibilities that other writers have applauded. In our discussions and exercises, we will analyze a range of materials including fiction, memoir, journalism, cultural criticism, documentary film, and advertisements. Reading assignments may include selections from such historical and contemporary observers as David Brooks, Kate Chopin, Douglas Coupland, Don DeLillo, Betty Friedan, Daniel Harris, bell hooks, Naomi Klein, Robert and Helen Lynd, Ann Powers, James Twitchell, and Thorstein Veblen.
ENGL (197) 016.308 Tuesday & Thursday 9:00 - 10:30

Reading Contemporary American Autobiography
Michael Awkward, Professor of English
In this course, we will be reading several different types of American autobiographical writings. By reading essays, books and other examples of authorial self-representations, we will seek to understand the variety of ways in which contemporary American writers describe themselves and their relationships to the communities and national and international events in the contexts of which their self-fashioning—their becoming and inscription of themselves—takes place. Students will be asked to do a variety of types of writing: two to three 3-5 page critical essays on the course material; a month-long daily journal; weekly response papers; and a 5-7 page description of a significant moment in their own lives. (Distribution)
engl (197) 016.401 or afam (009) 016.401 | Tuesday & Thursday | 3:00 – 4:30

Writers and Society in the 17th and 18th Centuries: The Construction of the Modern Author
Geoffrey Turnovsky, Mellon Fellow in Romance Languages and Literatures
Since the 19th century, the author is typically assumed to work outside of society, either as a transcendent moral guide, immune to society’s everyday pressures, or as
a misunderstood poet, ignored by a utilitarian society that sees no practical value in artistic labor. By contrast, life was very different for writers of the 17th and 18th centuries. As gens de lettres, they were esteemed for their ability to articulate in their works models of elegant speech and behavior that others might follow. At the same time, complying with strict codes regulating conduct and language in society was an integral part of their activities as authors. This course studies the complex interaction between writers and society in the Classical and Enlightenment ages, focusing on the diverse ways that writers expressed, participated in, were inspired by, but also influenced, critiqued and contested the values and ideals of the societies in which they wrote and were read. Topics of interest will include the role of the writer at court; the social utility of literature as a source of both pleasure and moral instruction; the tension caused by the need to conform to social norms and, as an individual, to shine intellectually. We will study how the relations between writer and society evolved in the 18th century, as philosophers like Voltaire demanded greater recognition for the value of their intellectual endeavors. Finally, we will turn our attention to the late 18th century attack on the culture of elite society undertaken by Rousseau, considering its importance for the articulation of a private, personal, modern experience of literature and authorship. Readings will be drawn from Lafayette’s Princesse de Clèves, La Rochefoucauld’s Maximes, Molière’s Misanthrope and Bourgeois gentilhomme, Voltaire’s Lettres philosophiques, and articles from the Encyclopédie, as well as selections from Rousseau’s Confessions and Rêveries du promeneur solitaire. (Distribution)
fren (229) 208.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 3:00 – 4:30

Comic and Erotic Literature of the French Renaissance
D. E. Lorraine Sterritt, Dean of Freshmen and Director of Academic Advising, Lecturer in Romance Languages and Literatures
In this course, we will examine the ways in which 16th-century French writers make use of humor, from the sublime to the bawdy, in their treatment of relationships between the sexes and in their social commentaries.
Readings will include works by Francois Rabelais and Marguerite de Navarre. As background, we will also read brief selections from classical works and from Boccaccio’s Decameron. The class will be conducted in English, and all the readings will be in English translation. Assignments will include oral presentations, a mid-term paper and a final paper. No prior knowledge of Greek, Latin, Italian or French is needed. (Distribution)
fren (229) 210.301 | Tuesday | 4:30 – 7:30

Perspectives in French Literature
Joan DeJean, Trustee Professor of French
This seminar is designed to provide students with a thorough overview of the French literary tradition, from the 12th to the 20th centuries. It will be centered on an exploration of the various ways in which love has been portrayed in the history of French literature. We will be asking why it is that France, and French literature, have always been perceived as having a particular affinity with love, romance and eroticism. We will read major plays and novels, among them, Moliere’s Don Juan and Merimee’s Carmen. Students will be asked to explore such issues as: evolving conceptions of love in literature; the play between sexuality, religion and socio-
economic systems; the relationship between the individual, the amorous individual, the amorous couple, and society. All readings and class discussions will be in French. (General Requirement)
fren (229) 221.304 | Tuesday & Thursday | 12:00 – 1:30

Lords of the Ring
Christina Frei, Coordinator of the German Language Program and Lecturer in German
“One Ring to rule them all; One Ring to find them; One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them; In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.” (J.R.R. Tolkien) So begins your journey into legends and traditional lore. You will read stories of unrequited love, betrayal, magical powers and the deeds of dragon slayers. This course traces the power of the tales of the ring from J.R.R. Tolkien to Richard Wagner, from the Middle High German epic the Nibelungenlied to the Norse poetry of The Saga of the Volsungs and back to the 20th century with Thomas Mann’s The Blood of the Walsungs. (Distribution)
grmn (293) 002.301 | Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 2:00 – 3:00

Painters and Poets: Language and Vision in Italian Renaissance Literature
Frank Pellicone, House Dean, Harrison College House and Lecturer in Italian
Both literary and visual artists develop various techniques to bridge the gap between vision and reality. The relationship that develops between images and words, thus, often work, to create history, to share experiences and to shape the future. Often, however, the different forms of expression conflict in their attempts to reconcile the rational with the irrational. The literature of the period between 1300 and 1600 in Italy readily demonstrates the complex association between these two forms of expression. Through selections from Dante’s Comedy, Boccaccio’s Decameron and his Genealogy of the Ancient Gods, Petrarch’s Canzoniere, Michelangelo’s poetry, Cellini’s Autobiography, Castiglione’s Courtier, Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso and Vasari’s Lives of the Artist we will explore various ways that authors have depicted the relationship between painters and poets to impart their views on ethics, aesthetics, politics, fame, knowledge and death. Additionally, we will look at works such as Alberti’s On Painting, Leonardo’s notebooks and works of philosophers of the period such as Valla and Pico to see how other intellectual forces engaged in the debate. (Distribution)
ital (349) 241.301 | Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 2:00 – 3:00

Words Words Words CANCELLED
Christine Brisson, Associate Director, College House Computing
and Lecturer in Linguistics
There’s a lot more to word meaning than the typical dictionary entry lets on. In
this seminar we will explore many facets of word meaning, beginning with the differences between various dictionaries and then opening up our explorations to the sorts of properties of words that dictionaries don’t tell us about.
Consider, for example, the sentences “Kara broke the window” and “The window broke,” versus “Keith read the newspaper” and “Keith read.” Both broke and read show an alternation between transitive and intransitive variants, but the subject of intransitive “read” (Keith) clearly has a different relationship to the verb than the subject of intransitive “broke” (the window). Where does this difference come from, and what consequences does it have for our understanding of how language works?
Topics to be covered will also include “how to do things with words” (like promise) and the “Aristotle-Vendler” system of classifying verbs into classes such as “state” (know, love) and “activity” (write, annoy). Finally, we’ll look at some contemporary work on the meanings of words, such as the Word Net lexical database and its
applications in computational projects, particularly in the building of specialized and general search engines for the Internet. (Distribution)
ling (381) 056.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 3:00 – 4:30

The Medieval Hypertext and the Cybermonastic Reader
Robert Romanchuk, Mellon Fellow in Slavic Languages and Literature
Did the medieval readers of the Eastern Roman Empire invent hypertext? Are bestsellers in the form of dictionaries, crossword puzzles, hourglasses, tarot decks and menus as post-modern as mtv2 or as pre-modern as the second Sophistic?
In this course, you will travel between the 10th century and the 21st on a weekly basis but without any jet lag; you will enter a world in which reader, words and writer change places as easily as the pixels on a CRT. Reading the delirious and delicious novels, plays and stories of Milorad Pavic forward and backward, in books and on cd-rom, you will rediscover the startlingly contemporary reading habits of the medieval monk and the late antique origins of the most up-to-date “hyperfiction.”
Evaluation is based on discussion, weekly response-essays in an online “open book” of the course and an in-class presentation. Reading is approximately 80 pages a week in various formats and orders. (Distribution)
slav (569) 106.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 3:00 – 4:30

Introduction to Acting
Rose Malague, Senior Lecturer of English and Theatre Arts
Acting “looks” easy. Audiences see actors portraying characters but often remain unaware of the intellectual, emotional, physical and technical skills required to create vivid theatrical behavior. What makes an actor effective? This course is an introduction to acting theory and practice with primary emphasis on Stanislavsky-based techniques. Combining practical experience (exercises, improvisations, scene work) with intellectual exploration (theoretical readings, script analysis, writing assignments), the class culminates in the performance of a scene from the modern repertoire. Introduction to Acting also serves as an ideal introduction to the practical aspects of Penn’s theatre arts major, with guest artist/teachers and trips to theatrical productions. Students considering a theatre major are especially encouraged to enroll. (Distribution)
thar (641) 120.303 | Tuesday & Thursday | 3:00 – 4:30


Freshman seminars in the Math Department at Penn aim to give the student an early exposure to the creative side of mathematics, with an emphasis on discovery, reasoning, proof and effective communication. Small class sizes permit an informal, discussion-type atmosphere, and often the entire class works together on a given problem. Homework is intended to be thought provoking, rather than skill-sharpening.
Each seminar meets for one-and-a-half hours per week, and an entire year counts for one credit unit.
One or the other of these seminars is required for the Math Major, but both are open to all students interested in mathematics. The best time to take these seminars is in the freshman or sophomore year

Introduction to Mathematical Analysis
(This course has a more calculus flavor)
Esfandiar Haghverdi, Lecturer in Mathematics
math (409) 200.301 | Tuesday | 12:00 – 1:30
math (409) 200.302 | Thursday | 12:00 – 1:30

Introduction to Modern Algebra
(This course has a more algebraic flavor)
Lecturer in Mathematics
math (409) 204.301 | Tuesday | 10:30 – 12:00
math (409) 204.302 | Thursday | 10:30 – 12:00


The Big Bang and Beyond
Gino Segre, Professor of Physics
An introductory course for freshmen who do not intend to major in a physical science or engineering. This seminar covers theories of the Universe ranging from the ancient perspective to the contemporary hot big bang model, including some notions of Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity. Topics will include the solar system, stars, black holes, galaxies and the structure, origin and future of the Universe itself. Elementary algebra is used. It counts as a physical world course and satisfies the Quantitative Data Analysis Requirement. (General Requirement)
astr (037) 007.301 | Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 11:00 – 12:00

Structural Biology and Genomics Seminar
Ponzy Lu, Professor of Chemistry
Structural biology is the scientific method of describing, predicting and changing the properties of living organisms, including humans, based on complete genome structures and 3-dimensional structures of cellular components. It is a direct outgrowth of the intellectual and technical revolutions that occurred during the last decade. It has become a most powerful approach to understanding biology and
solving problems in medicine.
We will discuss how macroscopic biological properties, such as reproduction, locomotion and viral infection, are determined by chemical properties of proteins and nucleic acids. Changes in biological function, such as those that accompany hereditary diseases like cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia, result from minute changes in individual proteins. Much larger changes in genome and protein structure are often tolerated without apparent consequence. This selectivity and tolerance provides opportunities for the biotechnology industry to alter biological functions in ways thought to guarantee profits.
We will also examine how research results in structural biology are presented in various audiences. The broad range of medical, social and political problems associated with the advances will be considered.
This is a two-semester seminar that continues in spring 2003 with 0.5 c.u. each semester. A portion of the spring semester will address current fads/fashions in molecular research. (General Requirement)
chem (081) 022.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 8:00 – 9:00

Synthetic Metals: Introduction to Modern Solid State Chemistry
Alan G. MacDiarmid, Professor of Chemistry
Synthetic metals—polymers (“plastics”) that have the electronic, magnetic and optical properties of metals while retaining the flexibility and processibility characteristics of conventional polymers have recently come of age. The basic concepts of modern solid state chemistry will be illustrated using synthetic metals and also semiconductors such as silicon together with selected applications in electronic devices, such as rectifiers, solar cells, etc. Suggested for science majors with at least one year of high school chemistry. (General Requirement approval pending)
chem (081) 023.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 – 12:00

Freshman Recitation: Evolution of the Physical World
Hermann Pfefferkorn, Professor of Earth and Environmental Science and
Gino Segre, Professor of Physics
This course will explore the Big Bang and the origin of elements, stars, Earth, continents and oceans. Students must register for both the lecture and a recitation. The recitation listed below is restricted to freshmen and is led by Professors Pfefferkorn
and Segre. (General Requirement)
geol (289) 003.401 (lec) | Tuesday & Thursday | 1:30 – 3:00
geol (289) 003.402 (rec) | Tuesday | 3:00 – 4:00

Freshman Recitation: Introduction to Geology
Gomaa Omar, Instructor of Earth and Environmental Science
This course is an introduction to the processes and forces that form the surface and the interior of the Earth. We will discuss changes in climate and the history of life. We will also discuss earth resources and their uses. Field trips are required.
Students must register for both the lecture and a recitation. The recitation listed below is restricted to freshmen and is led by Dr. Omar. (General Requirement)
geol (289) 100.001 (lec) | Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 11:00 - 12:00
geol (289) 100.201 (rec) | Monday | 2:00 – 3:00

Honors Physics I: Mechanics and Wave Motion
Alan Johnson, Professor of Physics
This course parallels and extends the content of the introductory physics course for students in engineering and in the physical sciences at a higher mathematical level.
It is the first semester of a small-section two-semester sequence recommended for well-prepared students and particularly for those planning to major in physics. Classical laws of motion: interaction between particles, conservation laws and symmetry principles, rigid body motion, noninertial reference frames and oscillations will be discussed. Prerequisites: math 140 and 141. Students must register for the lecture and the lab. Non-honors students need permission. (General Requirement)
phys (497) 170.301 (lec) | Monday, Wednesday, & Friday | 10:00 – 11:00
and Monday 2:00 – 3:00
phys (497) 170.302 (lab) | Wednesday | 1:00 – 3:00


Structural Biology and Genomics Seminar

Ponzy Lu, Professor of Chemistry
Structural biology is the scientific method of describing, predicting, and changing the properties of living organisms, including humans, based on complete genome structures and three-dimensional structures of cellular components. It is a direct outgrowth of the intellectual and technical revolutions that occurred during the last decade. It has become a most powerful approach to understanding biology and solving problems in medicine. We will discuss how macroscopic biological properties, such as reproduction, locomotion and viral infection are determined by chemical properties of proteins and nucleic acids. Changes in biological function, such as those that accompany hereditary diseases like cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia, result from minute changes in individual proteins. Much larger changes in genome and protein structure, however, are often tolerated without apparent consequence. This selectivity and tolerance provides opportunities for the biotechnology industry to alter biological functions in ways thought to guarantee profits. Topics discussed include the human genome project, the retrovirus (HIV) that is the causative agent of AIDS and the molecular basis for brain function. We will also examine how research results, especially those of structural biology, are presented to its various audiences. The broad range of medical, social and political problems associated with these advances will also be considered. (General Requirement)
CHEM 022.301, Thursday, 1:30-3:00

Freshman Recitation
Evolution of the Physical World

Hermann Pfefferkorn, Professor of Earth and Environmental Science
and Gino Segre, Professor of Physics
This course will explore the Big Bang, and the origin of elements, stars, Earth, continents, and oceans. Students must register for both the lecture and a recitation. The
recitation listed below is restricted to freshmen and is led by Professors Pfefferkorn
and Segre. (General Requirement)
GEOL 003.401 (lecture), Tuesday & Thursday, 1:30-3:00
GEOL 003.402 (recitation), Tuesday, 3:00-4:00

freshman Recitation
Introduction to Geology

Reginald Shagam, Adjunct Professor of Geology
This course is an introduction to the processes and forces that form the surface and the interior of the Earth. We will discuss changes in climate and the history of life. We will also discuss Earth resources and their uses. Students must register for both the lecture and a recitation. The recitation listed below is restricted to freshmen and is led by Professor Shagam. (General Requirement)
GEOL 100.001 (lecture), Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 11:00-12:00
GEOL 100.201 (recitation), Monday, 2:00-3:00


Crystals: The Science and Power Behind the Realities and Myths
Krimo Bokreta, House Dean of Kings Court English House and Lecturer in Environmental Science
From the daily vitamin supplements to the cosmetics we wear, crystals are prevalent in our life. They are present in the water we drink, in the food we eat, in the air we breathe. They are the topics of myths and legends, the rise and downfall of civilizations. They are at the core of our current technological revolution and the centerpiece of frontier science.
This seminar will explore the basics of the scientific principles underlying the architecture and design of crystals, their properties and applications. We will examine the environments where they are formed: in rocks, in the bottom of the oceans, in space, in the human and animal body, in factories. We will also take a look at the relationship, through time, between man and crystals, the impact on health and the environment, as well as the development of legends, folktales and today’s pop-culture. (General Requirement)
envs (201) 097.301 | Tuesdays | 7:00 – 10:00

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