First-Year Seminars (80S and 89S)
ARTS & SCIENCES 89S
Composing Oneself: Stress, Identity, and Wellness (ALP, SS, EI, W)
Interdisciplinary exploration of arts and science related to stress, identity, and wellness. The course adopts a multi-dimensional focus using science, theory, art, literature, and performance. Students use these approaches to understand structural causes of stress, their physiological effects, and how these stressors impact our identities and community ethics. Through text analysis and hands-on experience, students also explore how various arts of wellness, including yoga, mindfulness, and art therapies, impact stress, identity, and ethics. Course texts include literary and discourse theory, social science research, and neuroscience, as well as a variety of primary texts related to stress, identity, and/or wellness, including nonfiction, fiction, poetry, art, and performance. By the end of the course, students should be able to practice stress-reducing wellness strategies. Throughout the course, students keep a semester-long blog for in-depth reflection on their wellness practices; write a paper using theory and science research to analyze a primary text about stress, identity, and wellness; compose two critical reviews of a text, performance, or exhibit; and create a major written document (or equivalent) about stress, identity, and wellness in a particular context. Example topics for this major document or equivalent include identity and wellness on college campuses; failure, stress, and wellness; Buddhism and stress management; music, identity, and wellness; compassion and race; mindfulness and Wall Street; illness and art therapies; self-care in health professions. Course includes opportunities to visit relevant art exhibits, attend related performances, and engage in meaningful interactions with other students, staff, and faculty on campus working in associated areas of research and practice. (Note that this seminar has a select number of reserved seats for first-year students through this A&S 89S.)
Instructors: Denise Comer and Christian Ferney
Denise Comer, Ph.D. (University of South Carolina) is Associate Professor of the Practice of Writing Studies. Her research and teaching interests include narrative medicine, new media, travel writing, writing pedagogy, and writing transfer.
Christian Ferney, Ph.D. (Duke University) is a program director at the Kenan Institute for Ethics. He oversees university-wide ethics initiatives, ethics curriculum development, and the KIE alumni network. His teaching and research interests include sociology, ethics, globalization, and nationalism.
ARTS OF THE MOVING IMAGE 89S / ROMANCE STUDIES 89S / LITERATURE 89S / LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES 89S
Latin American Cinema (ALP, CCI)
This course offers an overview of key moments of Latin American cinema from the 1960s to the present. The examples are drawn from Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, and Cuba. We will examine landmark films and explore the relationship between socio-historic contexts of production and cinematic genres, styles, modes of production, and aesthetics. The first part of the course focuses on the “New Cinemas” of the 1960s and 1970s and the way in which filmmakers of that period attempted to address the lingering effects of colonialism and major problems of social justice through a cinema that was at once politically committed and experimental in form. In another section of the course, we will examine the cinema of Cuba and its evolving relationship with the Cuban Revolution—including the quest for a revolutionary cinema that followed from the 1959 overthrowing of the Batista regime. The final section of the course will look into the “New Cinemas” of the present, the wave of film production that started in 1990s in several countries and continues today. This recent wave includes transnational filmmakers like Alejandro González Iñarritu (Mexico) and Walter Salles (Brazil) and works that have garnered attention in the mainstream circuit as well as in international film festivals and the arthouse circuit.
Instructor: Gustavo Furtado
Gustavo Furtado, Ph.D. (Cornell University) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Romance Studies. He teaches courses on film studies, Latin American culture, and Caribbean Studies. His research interests include cultural studies, Latin American studies, and cinema.
DOCUMENTARY STUDIES 89S / VISUAL MEDIA STUDIES 89S / VISUAL ARTS 89S
The Photographic Essay (ALP)
This seminar teaches the language of photography through the study of classic and contemporary photographic essays and through the completion of assigned photographic essays by the students themselves. Students will learn to make, choose, sequence, and pace their own images for class discussion and for digital projection. During the semester students will complete three assigned photographic essays of at least ten images each. Each essay will be on a particular theme or subject to be announced. Each student’s final project (or fourth essay) will consist of a compilation photographic essay of at least twenty images combining work from all three assignments.
Instructor: Bill Bamberger
Bill Bamberger, B.A. (UNC–Chapel Hill) is Visiting Lecturer in the Center for Documentary Studies. He is known for the innovative ways he has engaged whole communities in the production of his work. His projects explore large social issues of our time by looking at how they are manifest in our families and communities. Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory, with Cathy N. Davidson, won the Mayflower Prize in Non-Fiction and was a semifinalist for the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. His photographs have appeared in Aperture, Doubletake, The Washington Post Magazine, Harper’s and the New York Times Magazine. He is currently working on BALL, a grassroots project that explores the democratization of basketball and the intersection of sports and culture in American life.
Pathways to Biological and Biomedical Research (NS)
So you’ve got an interest in science? Perfect! Take a second to think about this….. Are you confident that you know what it truly means to be a scientist and furthermore, how to maximize your experiences as a budding scientist at Duke University. In this course, we will provide all of the tools necessary to increase your scientific self-efficacy. Science is not a collection of facts to be memorized, but rather it is a way of thinking about the world around us. Throughout the semester, students will learn about the wide range of research being conducted in the biological and biomedical sciences at Duke, from genetics and evolution to pharmacology and neurobiology. In addition to learning about cutting edge research in the field, we teach strategies on how to navigate through the process of becoming a scientist including the discussion of topics such as mentoring, ethics, scientific communication, and discovering your scientific passion. Because science is highly collaborative, students will work in teams to process and understand the scientific literature and to work on case studies. We will have frequent guests -- including faculty, postdocs, and graduate students -- who will not only participate in discussions about their research, but who will also share their stories about how they became passionate about becoming a scientific researcher.
Instructor: Devyn Gillette
Devyn Gillette, Ph.D. (The Ohio State University) is Program Director for the BioSciences Collaborative for Research Engagement (BioCoRE) IMSD Program here at Duke. Her teaching and research interests include the characterization of host innate immune responses to intracellular pathogens. She is currently working to create interventions to enhance recruitment strategies and promote initiatives which positively aid in underrepresented students’ interest, retention, and success in science.
Think Molecules (NS)
How do incredibly tiny things like membranes, proteins, RNA, DNA, look, act, and produce life? You will explore through discussion and hands-on experiments how life's molecules are born, shaped, and work. You will create membranes from their components, unwind and rewind DNA, unfold and re-fold a protein. You will connect molecular structure with self-assembly and function. You will "see" DNA replicate inside cells, DNA make RNA, and RNA make protein, the foundations of all life. The ideas learned are used to discuss origin-of-life scenarios. Grading is based on interest and occasional written tests. Available if you have not yet taken Bio 201/202 and if you don't have Bio 20 (AP) credit.
Instructor: Daniele Armaleo
Daniele Armaleo, Ph.D. (Duke University), is an Associate Professor of the Practice of Biology. His teaching and research interests include developmental and molecular biology.
Energy and Society (Codes Forthcoming)
How do the production, transmission, and consumption of energy shape human society? Conversely, how do cultural, political, and economic structures inform the decisions societies make about energy? This course explores those questions by examining the interplay between energy and society from the origins of a fossil-fueled society to the present. Through reading and discussion of current events, historical analyses, and fiction, you will develop an understanding of the contemporary debates around energy, cutting edge solutions to problems like sustainability, environmental impact, and inequality, and the profound effects that past energy choices have had on human society. Assignments include brief policy memos, which will deepen both your understanding of energy issues and your engagement with Duke’s robust community of energy experts. Some students will also have the opportunity to publish their work on SciPol, a comprehensive online source for scientists, policy makers, and the public on developments in science and technology policy published by the Duke Initiative for Science & Society.
Instructor Jonathon Free
Jonathon Free is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of History and he works with the Energy Initiative. His research and teaching interests include the history of energy and the modern U.S., with an emphasis on energy, political economy, and the environment.
ENGLISH 89S / JEWISH STUDIES 89S
Jewish-American Literature and Culture: Old Worlds and New (ALP, CZ, CCI, R)
This seminar examines an array of writings by Jewish-American authors from the massive immigration of Eastern European Jews to the United States in the 1880s until the present day. The course is divided into three sections: Part One: 1896-1934, The Immigrant Experience and the “First Generation”; Part Two: post WWII-1980s, Assimilation and its Discontents; Part Three: Writings of the present time, New Voices in Jewish-American Literature. Through reading and discussion of novels, short stories, and essays, along with the viewing of two feature films and a documentary, you will develop an understanding of, and appreciation for, the works as artistic creations but also as sociological examinations of Jewish culture in the United States (and abroad) over time. Topics for exploration include the different ways to define Jews and “Jewishness,” the methods and effects of acculturation, relations between Jews and non-Jews, Israel and the American Jew, Jews and Blacks, the Holocaust, the languages Yiddish and Ladino, the “dirty war” in Argentina, and more. The seminar format and the range of readings and assignments are designed to enhance skills in analyzing, writing, and speaking, and to build a sense of community within the group.
Instructor: Judith Ruderman
Judith Ruderman, Ph.D. (Duke University) is Visiting Professor of English. Her teaching and research interests include D. H. Lawrence, modern and contemporary English, and Jewish-American literature. After the publication of her latest book, Race and Identity in D.H. Lawrence: Indians, Gypsies, and Jews, she is now working on "passing" strategies in Jewish-American literature and culture.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & POLICY 89S
US Food Production: What Are We Really Eating? (NS, STS)
As the human population grows and migrates to urban centers, we increasingly want to know the provenance and quality of what we eat. Is the produce grown sustainably? Or does it carry a large environmental cost? Is genetically modified (GM) food part of our diet? And what does GM food mean anyway? Consumers are increasingly aware of the impacts current agricultural methods have on our environment and the demand for sustainable agriculture increases. To understand the nature of current US food production, we will explore agriculture practices agriculture for with a sustainability lens. We will examine issues such as pre and post ‘green revolution’ agriculture and associated pollution, sustainable agriculture, decoupling of food production and consumption, food waste. Future production forecast in a changing environment will be explored using current and projected scenarios of climate change. We will investigate these issues through popular writings (e.g. Ruth DeFries, Michael Pollan, and Paul Greenberg). The popular writings will be reviewed against data in scientific journals. Through discussions, debates, and hands-on field experience, both problems and potential solutions will be addressed at the biological, environmental, and societal level. We take advantage of the Duke Campus Farm for a field trip.
Instructor: Chantal Reid
Chantal Reid, Ph.D. (Duke University) is an Assistant Professor of the Practice and Director of Undergraduate Studies for Environmental Sciences and Policy. Her research and teaching interests include physiological ecology and global change in the context of plant production and sustainable agriculture. She previously worked at the USDA researching the impact of greenhouse gases on soybean and rice production.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & POLICY 89S
Climate Change: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions (NS, STS)
Climate change is one of the defining challenges facing humanity today. The goal of this first-year seminar is to develop a comprehensive and integrated view of contemporary climate change. The first half of the course will examine our current understanding of the science of climate change, and explore the potential societal consequences of a changing climate. The second half of the course will focus on potential solutions, with a focus on technological, political, and social challenges that will have to be overcome to mitigate and adapt to climate change. More broadly, the course seeks to develop intellectual, academic, and learning skills by engaging students in active inquiry, critical analysis, and discussion of competing ideas.
Instructor: Prasad S. Kasibhatla
Prasad Kasibhatla, Ph.D. (University of Kentucky) is Professor of Environmental Chemistry. The overarching theme of his research is to develop a fundamental and quantitative understanding of the factors that determine the chemical composition of the atmosphere. He is particularly interested in delineating natural and anthropogenic impacts on the chemical composition of the atmosphere, and in exploring the potential for these impacts to affect natural ecosystems. His research involves the use of numerical models in conjunction with remote and in situ measurements of atmospheric composition.
GENDER, SEXUALITY, & FEMINIST STUDIES 89S
Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East (ALP, SS, CCI, W)
This survey seminar on gender and sexuality in the Middle East and North Africa examines the historical making and remaking of masculinities, femininities and sexualities through religious rites of passage, nationalism and war. Seminar participants will learn about the centrality and contested nature of all these matters. Assigned material includes quality fiction, film, and scholarship from anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, and history. The seminar requires university-level reading, writing and engagement.
Instructor: Frances Hasso
Frances Hasso, Ph.D. (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) is an Associate Professor of Women’s Studies. Her specialties include gender studies and transnational studies. Her research has focused on the intersections between states, social movements, and individual subjectivities and identities, especially in the Arab world.
GENDER, SEXUALITY & FEMINIST STUDIES 89S / ENGLISH 89S / LITERATURE 89S / VISUAL MEDIA STUDIES 89S
Girls Go Global (ALP, CZ, CCI, W)
Girls Go Global will explore how girlhood is imagined, represented, and lived in various locales around the globe, focusing specifically on representations of girls that have emerged from the United States, Japan, West Africa, and Iran. Looking at modern and contemporary literature, film, and visual culture in which girls play central roles, we will analyze the cultural meanings attributed to girls from a feminist perspective. The questions animating the course are these: What kinds of images, stories, and objects have girls from the United States, West Africa, and Iran been given to imagine themselves in the world? How do representations of girls reflect culturally specific ideas about traditions, morals, and ethics? Why are representations of girls so rhetorically effective for creating feelings of familial, national, and racial belonging?
Instructor: Kimberly Lamm
Kimberly Lamm, Ph.D. (University of Washington) is an Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies. Her research fields include contemporary feminist art, contemporary poetry, feminist theory, and 19th- and 20th-century US Literature. She is currently completing a book manuscript entitled: “Poetics of Address: Imagining the Other Woman in Contemporary Art.” Increasingly, her research and teaching interests are drawn to the styles, objects, and practices that can be identified by and through the term "femininity," which has led to her interest in girl cultures and fashion.
GERMAN 89S / ARTS OF THE MOVING IMAGE 89S / LITERATURE 89S
Surveillance and Society: Big Brother, Secret Police, and Reality TV (ALP, CZ, CCI, EI)
A study of surveillance in fiction, and as historical and contemporary reality. Surveillance begins with the erosion of the bourgeois idea of a right to privacy, reaches an extreme in totalitarian states, and resurfaces in the contemporary digital age of 24-hour self-monitoring and self-display. We will explore the ethical, political, social, and aesthetic dimensions of surveillance. Materials to be examined include dystopian novels (Orwell, Atwood), philosophical texts (Bentham, Foucault), films that employ and depict techniques of surveillance (Caché, The Lives of Others, The Conversation, Enemy of the State), and historical and legal documents from the German and American contexts.
Instructor: Kata Gellen Norberg
Kata Gellen Norberg, Ph.D. (Princeton University) is an Assistant Professor of Germanic Languages and Literature. Her teaching and research interests include German literature and film, German-Jewish studies, and modernist studies.
GLOBAL HEALTH 89S
Finding What Works to Improve Health and End Extreme Poverty around the World (SS)
Incomes are stagnant in many parts of the world, and the gap between the rich and poor has never been greater. Every year, millions of children die before their fifth birthday, mostly from preventable causes. Many more are infected with HIV, tuberculosis, or malaria, and 1 out of every 10 people on the planet live in extreme poverty. How is this still the case when, over the past few decades, the rich world has transferred approximately 2 trillion in aid to developing countries? Has it all been a waste? Money thrown down "Third word rat-holes"? Or has this money been woefully inadequate? Are there any reasons for optimism? Students will examine these and other questions by reading and discussing a selection of popular titles in global health and development. Critically, we will consider the role of the international community—and each of us as world citizens—in contributing to progress.
Instructor: Eric Green
Eric Green, Ph.D. (University of South Carolina) is an Assistant Professor of the Practice of Global Health. His primary research and teaching interests focus on how technology can improve health and health systems in low-income settings. He is currently collaborating with colleagues on studies in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Liberia, and Rwanda. His research portfolio spans from formative work on human centered design to impact evaluations of individual and group interventions.
HISTORY 89S / AFRICAN & AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES 89S
Middle Passages: The Atlantic Slave Trade and Other 18th-Century African Sea Journeys (CZ, SS, CCI, R, W)
"Middle Passages” offers to first-year students the opportunity to conduct original research about the greatest pre-1870 human migration in history: the forced migration of African captives across the Atlantic to the Americas. The instructor will guide students to ask their own questions about the Middle Passage, then to use primary sources to explore and (when possible) answer those questions. Instructor and students will avail themselves of the wealth of newly accessible on-line primary sources, as well as published sources. Although the seminar stresses primary sources, it will also acquaint students with a range of published scholarship about the Middle Passage.
Instructor: Janet Ewald
Janet Ewald, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin, Madison) is an Associate Professor of History. Her teaching and research interest is in African history.
HISTORY 89S / AFRICAN & AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES 89S
U.S. History in Fact and Fiction (CZ, SS, EI)
In this course we will think seriously about history as a craft. Students will consider academic texts alongside novels and films in order to gain an appreciation for diverse forms of historically-engaged narrative. Through readings, class discussions, and analytical papers, we will pay close attention to ways of crafting and analyzing stories that set historians apart from (or connect them to) other writers and thinkers. Throughout the semester, we will use the experience everyday Americans’ encounters with white supremacy and industrial capitalism as our path into twentieth-century U. S. history. We will try to tease out the various strands of culture, class, geography, and gender that shaped the twentieth century. By examining how historians and others tell stories of the past (from within certain perspectives and/or at certain times), we will analyze what meaning those stories convey. To meet this objective, students will turn in short (approximately 2 pp.) critical responses over the course of the term. At the end of the term, they will submit one longer essay (8-10 pp.) that brings together the dual goals of the course: a practical knowledge of the themes that animated American politics and society in the twentieth century and a critical awareness of how we each approach the past. In all assignments, I expect students to pay as much attention to the form and content of their own writing as they do the form and content of the course material.
Instructor: Adriane Lentz-Smith
Adriane Lentz-Smith, Ph.D. (Yale University), is an Associate Professor of History. Her research and teaching interests lie in African American history, twentieth-century United States History, and the history of the US & the World. She is also interested in how African Americans engaged the world in the age of Cold War civil rights, and how their participation in the project of US state and empire set the horizons of their freedom struggles.
Aztecs and Mayans: A Story of Love, Sex, and Violence (ALP, CZ, CCI, EI)
Regarding the Aztecs, French Renaissance philosopher Michel de Montaigne, wrote, “They burn the victims alive and tear their hearts and entrails out. Others, even women, are flayed alive, and with their bloody skins they dress and disguise others.” This violent European fantasy of the Aztecs and the Mayans distorts the real lives of the indigenous people who lived at the time of the European conquest of the Americas. Over the semester, our seminar will engage in an interdisciplinary exploration of the Nahuas (most often incorrectly categorized as Aztecs) and the Mayans, two groups of indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica. By examining art, architecture, literature, song, mythology, film, and history, we will discover the extensive stories of the extraordinary people who built the Mesoamerican temples. We will examine the ways in which these peoples were re-imagined through colonial rule and by modern, Western, peoples. Through our own extensive discussion and debate within class, we will interrogate methods of ethnographic understanding. We will engage in a creative process to write our own stories in which we re-imagine these people through both fiction and rigorous historical and anthropological research. In the end, we will find that the stories that we read and the stories that we create become stories of love, sex, and violence—re-imagined through our own voyeuristic fantasies.
Instructor: Peter Sigal
Peter Sigal, Ph.D. (University of California, Los Angeles), is a Professor of History. His research and teaching interests center around the relationships between gender, sexuality, and colonialism.
Irish Questions (ALP, CZ)
Topical introduction to the history of Ireland from its entry into the United Kingdom through the present. Class sessions will be devoted to discussions of questions with global ramifications for our understanding of nationalism and racism, religion and violence, empire and the postcolonial. Was Ireland a kingdom or a colony? What caused the Great Famine? When did the Irish become “white”? Were members of IRA and/or UDI terrorists or freedom fighters? What is the difference between history and heritage, memory and commemoration? What are the prospects and preconditions for “truth and reconciliation” in Northern Ireland today?
Instructor: Susan Thorne
Susan Thorne, Ph.D. (University of Michigan at Ann Arbor), is an Associate Professor of History. Her research and teaching interests are most broadly put in the imperial history of industrial capitalism. She is particularly interested in exploring the intersecting histories of poverty, race-thinking, and class formation in nineteenth century Britain.
INFORMATION SCIENCE + STUDIES 89S / POLITICAL SCIENCE 89S / ENGLISH 89S
One Person, One Vote (CZ, EI, W)
What does it mean for a government to justly represent its people? What do we mean by “one person, one vote”? In the 2016 Evenwel v. Abbott case, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the long-standing principle that each person (including children, felons, non-citizens, and the mentally disabled) rather than each votershould be counted in apportioning political representation. In writing for the majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appealed to “history, precedent, and practice” to argue that the appellants “have shown no reason for the Court to disturb this longstanding use of total population.” This course explores the “history, precedent, and practice” of political representation alongside its ethical, political, and mathematical contexts. The course will start by investigating the long (and surprising) history of conceptions of political representation in the West. We will explore how the meaning and importance of the term “representation” changed from the direct democracies of Greek city states to Medieval notions of corporate life to contemporary political theories in order to better understand the relationship between representation and consent. Alongside works of political theory, we will study imagined conceptions of political participation in plays, novels, and film. With this range of notions of political representation in mind, we will study two recent landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases qualitatively and quantitatively: Citizens United v. FEC (2010) and Evenwel v. Abbott (2016). While Citizens United presents itself as a case about free speech and campaign finance legislation, we will consider its implications for the ethical as well as legal definitions of “personhood.” We will then turn to Evenwel v. Abbott to consider the mathematical problems of fair representation. The course will culminate in a group research project completed in collaboration with students from Math 89S “Game Theory and Democracy” (Hubert Bray). N.B.: you do not need to be enrolled in Math 89S, but you will need to attend occasional workshops outside the regular class meetings.
Instructor: Astrid Giugni
Astrid Giugni, Ph.D. (Duke University), is Visiting Assistant Professor of English. Her research and teaching interests include political literature of seventeenth-century revolutionary authors, particularly John Milton, and Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
JEWISH STUDIES 89S / ETHICS 89S / RELIGION 89S / POLITICAL SCIENCE 89S / PUBLIC POLICY 89S
Values in Action: The Duke Philanthropy Lab (CZ, CCI, EI)
In this course, we will come to understand the nature of giving—the means and mechanisms, problems and solutions, successes and failures—even as we study the history, theory and structure of civil society. We will pay special attention to how specific religious traditions and communities have understood personal-societal obligations through time. In our exploration of this material, we will draw examples from the Jewish traditions (highlighting a premodern model of social organization and mutuality, and exemplifying minority-majority dynamics over time) and American traditions (with a focus on the present), in particular but not exclusively, to ground our analysis. A special feature of the course will be the opportunity for the class to apply theoretical knowledge to a real world decision-making process by determining how to real funds—to make actual grants—to nonprofit organizations, locally and (potentially) abroad. This course will employ a team-based learning model. The class will periodically constitute itself as a pluralistic philanthropic board composed of “committees” of 4-5 students; your committee will meet as a working group for a substantial part of each meeting, as well as outside of class. Each committee will develop funding priorities and award grants to local organizations in specific fields of interest and urgency. In the process of choosing recipients, we will reflect on several key questions: What is the basis of private action for the public good? How do non-governmental organizations operate domestically and globally? How should charitable dollars be distributed and what role do nonprofit organizations and philanthropic dollars play in a modern democracy? What are the appropriate criteria to be used to select grant recipients and, as donors, reflect on our own actions and choices? And—distinctive to this class—how do our cultural, ethnic, and religious traditions and those of others affect how we give and how we can act most effectively for good in the world? This course will provide an in-depth understanding of philanthropy, tsedakah, zakat, benefaction: its historical development, normative and structural elements, and modern agency as a driver of social change. By the end of the course, students will have knowledge of the history and structure of civil society, the tradition of competing value commitments in civil society, the modern nonprofit sector and its relationship to government and for-profit arenas, and key challenges facing nonprofit organizations today nationally and globally. Ultimately, students will apply this knowledge to a practical exercise in philanthropic grant-making. Readings come from political philosophy, history of ideas, traditional/sacred scriptures, public policy, and mass media; we will, in particular, focus on a range of readings from the Jewish tradition—from the biblical period to today—in order to explore how these ideas change over time.
Instructors: Laura Lieber and Christy Lohr-Sapp
Laura Lieber (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion. Her areas of teaching and research focus on Jewish literature, culture and religious practice, folklore studies, the history and theory of Religion and the Hebrew Bible and its interpretation.
Christy Lohr Sapp (Ph.D., University of Exeter) is the Associate Dean for Religious Life at Duke University Chapel. Her areas of teaching and research focus on Christian theology, leadership, and interfaith religions. She has worked in a variety of ecumenical and interfaith organizations including the World Council of Churches and the North American Interfaith Network.
LATINO/A STUDIES IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH 89S
LatinX Communities in the US (Codes forthcoming)
Special topics seminar in LatinX Communities in the United States.
Instructor: Staff, Departmental
Game Theory and Democracy (Codes forthcoming)
What is democracy? More specifically, how does one create rules for elections which have outcomes most consistent with democratic values? The magnitude of the game theory of the single vote ballot in democracies that use it is huge: the two party system, the need for political primaries, obstacles facing 3rd party candidates, and how voters are “throwing their votes away” when they vote for them. This is not inherent to democracy. This is the game theory of the single vote ballot. Alternatively, using preferential ballots in elections is a natural idea since it allows voters to express a 1st choice, a 2nd choice, a 3rd choice, etc. on each ballot, thereby collecting more information from each voter and creating the potential for an outcome which better represents the voters. However, there are many ways to determine the winner of a preferential ballot election, and each “preferential ballot vote counting method” has its own game theory, both for the candidates and the voters, some better and some worse, and often very different from the game theory of the single vote ballot. So which preferential ballot vote counting method is the best? Does there exist a vote counting method which incentivizes politicians to seek out centrist, consensus building positions and to focus on issues important to voters, more than game theoretic tactics meant to manipulate the electorate? Or is there another goal we should be pursuing? In this course, we’ll use game theory and mathematics to study these questions.
Instructor: Hubert Bray
Hubert L. Bray, Ph.D. (Stanford University) is a Professor of Mathematics and Physics. His teaching and research interests include geometric analysis, general relativity, and theoretical astrophysics. His interests include black holes, dark matter, and the curvature of spacetime.
MUSIC 89S / DANCE 89S / THEATER STUDIES 89S
Creation and Recreation: Great Art Through a Prism (ALP, R)
Students will study a source material and several interpretations in different media to understand how perceptions of the material and message are changed by the interpretation or language of the media used. Plays, dance, movies, opera, incidental music, books, Japanese Noh, visual art and books are all examined. Opportunities to engage with top scholars and performers in class and outside. Required field trip to Staunton, VA to the American Shakespeare Center for a play and classes in Elizabethan theater.
Instructor: Barbara Dickinson, Harry Davidson, and Susan Dunn
Barbara Dickinson, M.A. (American University), is Professor of the Practice of Dance. Her specialties include Modern Technique, Repertory, Performance, Choreography, and Dance History.
Harry Davidson, M.MUS (Pacific Lutheran University), is Professor of the Practice of Music. He has led numerous symphonies and orchestras around the world.
Susan Dunn, M.MUS (Indiana University, Bloomington), is Professor of the Practice of Music. Her specialties include German lied, Italian and German opera, Broadway and art songs in all languages, directing opera and popular song performances.
Composers of Influence (ALP)
Throughout the history of the arts in Western civilization, certain individuals stand out whose achievements seem to propel the very nature of their respective art forward. They are said to stretch its boundaries by manipulating its raw materials in ways not conceived of prior to their time. These artists end up exerting enormous influence on others - those working in the
same field and the culture in general. This course examines the lives and works of specific composers who have had an unusually powerful influence in the process, informing us a great deal about music's path through the ages. It may also yield insights into the nature of influence and progress themselves. Composers to be studied are J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Wagner, and Stravinsky.
Instructor: Harry Davidson
Harry Davidson, M.Mus. (Pacific Lutheran University) is a Professor of the Practice of Music and Director of the Duke Symphony Orchestra. He made his major orchestra debut conducting the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He has guest conducted numerous professional and conservatory ensembles, including the Charlotte Symphony, the Akron Symphony, and the Cleveland Institute of Music and Oberlin College Conservatory orchestras. His teaching and research interests include orchestral conducting, opera conducting, and music history.
Discovering Music (ALP, CZ)
An introduction to Western music, tracing its storied history from the Middle Ages to the present. The course begins by considering the elements of Western music and their notation, and then examines the music of the principal historical periods (Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern and Post-modern) by turning to major celebrated compositions and examining them in their cultural and historical contexts. While focusing on Western classical music, the course also looks at examples of non-Western music and popular music.
Instructor: R Larry Todd
R. Larry Todd, Ph.D. (Yale University), is the Arts & Sciences Professor of Music. His research and teaching interests include 18th-20th Century music, music of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, and Beethoven.
Moral Change and Human Nature: How Are Moral Conversions Possible? (CZ, EI)
We are fascinated by individuals who make a dramatic change in themselves for the better. In the film, "The Lives of Others," an agent for the East German secret police ends up trying to save the people he is assigned to spy upon. During the Second World War, Oskar Schindler changed from a roguish playboy to an industrialist who sheltered Jews from the Nazis. C.P. Ellis was a high official of the Ku Klux Klan in Durham who formed a friendship with black civil rights activist Ann Atwater and helped integrate the Durham public schools. What happened to them? We will discuss these cases and explore their implications for the possibility of moral change. What in human nature makes change possible? Do people come to know something, to see something, that they did not see before, that changes them? We will read philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch who argues for this view. Does it take events of great emotional impact to bring about change? We will read David Hume's theory of sentiment as the primary human motivation. To become a good person, must one already have some goodness that is inborn? The classical Chinese philosopher Mencius held that there are moral "sprouts" such as natural compassion that can be nurtured and grown. His theory also raises the question of what environmental, social and institutional conditions need to be in pace for moral growth and conversion to take place. We will read psychological literature on what makes for a "resilient" person who can overcome early adversity and a disadvantaging environment. We will also look at psychological studies of human tendencies that might stand in the way of moral change such as the Milgram study of obedience to authority.
Instructor: David Wong
David Wong is the Susan Fox Beischer and George D. Beischer Professor of Philosophy. His research and teaching interests include moral differences and similarities across and within societies, the attempt to understand morality naturalistically, and the nature of conflicts between basic moral values.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION 89S
Hot Topics in Health
This course will provide an overview of the components of health and wellness, with more specific topics/current trends or issues being explored within each component. Emphasis will be on information, resources, and skills to help students achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle, as well as an understanding of the broader health issues facing our current society.
Instructor: Janis Hampton
Janis Hampton, M.A. (UNC–Greensboro) is Assistant Professor in the Practice of Health, Wellness and Physical Education. Her fields of teaching and research interest center on developing awareness of health and fitness issues for the general population as well as young adults.
From Quarks to the Cosmos (Codes Forthcoming)
The quest to understand the ultimate laws of nature is an ancient one. The roots of our investigations reach back to the first philosophers. At its heart, we seek to answer the questions: what are the most basic building blocks of the observed universe, how do they interact with each other and what is the nature of the space that contains them? Remarkably, the physics of the smallest things we know about is also tied to the cosmology of the universe and the largest distances and structures we can measure. The beautiful theories that describe this physics are the culmination of the work of generations of scientists and are strikingly predictive. However, the picture we have before us today is far from complete. Over 95% of the universe seems to be made of matter or energy we cannot explain. The universe is expanding at a faster and faster rate, creating even more of itself as a function of time. On top of all of this, our world unaccountably seems to exist solely of matter and not anti-matter. How did we come to understand these things about the universe and how are we addressing remaining questions? In this class, we will use lectures, discussions, readings outside of class, quantitative mathematical problem solving, frequent presentations by students, problem sets and projects to learn some of the history and basics of astronomy, modern particle physics and cosmology. We will pay particular attention to the instruments and measurements people have used over time to infer what we know and how and why people finally came to accept results. Students will have the opportunity to study a topic of their choice in further depth with a final project and presentation.
Instructor: Christopher Walter
Christopher Walter, Ph.D. (California Institute of Technology) is an associate professor of physics. His research and teaching interests involve particle physics and cosmology. He works to understand both the nature of the neutrino in giant detectors deep underground, and why the expansion of the universe is accelerating using telescopes on top of mountains.
PORTUGUESE 89S / LITERATURE 89S / AFRICAN & AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES 89S
Race and Sex in Brazilian History and Society (ALP, CCI)
Brazil is commonly understood as an example of a “racially democratic” nation, but as scholars have recently shown, racism permeates all aspects of Brazilian society. This course examines the development of the theorization of race, racial identity and race relations in contemporary Brazil, and will explore very closely the role of sex, and sexuality in the construction of race relations. We will attend to questions such as: how is desire racialized? How is racial difference produced through sex as a material practice and what is the function of sex in racial (self)formation? How do we reconcile questions of pleasure and desire and the structures of power and national identity? The approach of the course will be interdisciplinary, drawing upon works from literature, music, film, anthropology and history. Topics will include colonialism and enslavement, abolition, nationalism, social activism, and popular culture. We will also consider how Brazilian social relations differ from or conform to other racialized patterns in other nation-states in the Americas. Particular attention will be placed on the impact of the interrelationship between race, gender, class, and nation on the lives of black Brazilians. Conducted in English.
Instructor: Lamonte Aidoo
Lamonte Aidoo, Ph.D. (Brown University) is an Assistant Professor of Portuguese Studies. He teaches courses on 19th-20th century Brazilian literature, Afro-Brazilian cultural studies, comparative Brazilian and inter-American racial formations, the confluence of sexuality and national identity. His research interests include slavery and abolition in the Americas, miscegenation, comparative trans-Atlantic studies (Anglophone, Francophone, Hispanic, Lusophone).
Beyond Reason: Empathy and Identity (NS, SS, R, W)
Leadership in the knowledge-based economy and globally interconnected world of the 21st century requires that students develop their abilities to constructively engage ethnic, religious, and political differences and generate and apply knowledge in the service of society. The premise is that developing the capacity for critical reasoning is necessary but not sufficient. It is also necessary to develop a personal epistemology that is, beliefs about knowledge and its justification, and the capacities of empathy that is, the ability to understand and share the feelings, perspectives, intentions, and mental states of another person, and identity, the integrated experience of oneself as a unique individual that includes one's goals, values, and commitments. This seminar takes a developmental science approach to synthesizing and applying the knowledge and understandings generated across the biological and social sciences and humanities about the nature, development, and enhancement of personal epistemology, empathy, and identity. Selected readings are provided for each session. Clinical cases, in the form of videotape, and narratives from literature are utilized to reflect salient issues and processes. Students write three, 3-8 page, synopsis/application papers based on the assigned readings and a 12-15 page research review paper on a topic of their choice. Students read and respond to each other's work. In individual meetings with the instructor, feedback is provided on the rough drafts of each paper and students submit revised papers as their final product. Grade is based on the quality of papers and participation in class discussion. Each synopsis paper accounts for 15% of the grade, the research paper accounts for 40%; and class participation accounts for 15%.
Instructor: Robert Thompson, Jr.
Robert J. Thompson, Jr., Ph.D. (University of North Dakota) is Emeritus Professor of Psychology. His research interests include how biological and psychosocial processes act together in human development; the adaptation of children and their families to developmental problems and chronic illnesses, including sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis; and the assessment of teaching and learning in higher education.
Diversity in Psychology (SS, CCI, W)
We live in a world that is increasingly diverse in terms of race and ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and other factors. This course will examine the psychological science of diversity by considering two angles. First, we will consider diversity research regarding the "target" and examine studies on the psychological and social consequences of being part of a stigmatized group. Second, we will investigate the role a "perceiver" plays through learning about research regarding people’s views of diversity and reactions to discrimination and inequality. Various methods, research populations, approaches to research, and areas of psychology will be covered to serve as an introduction to diversity in psychology as a whole.
Instructor: Sarah Gaither
Sarah Gaither, Ph.D. (Tufts University), is an Assistant Professor in Psychology and Neuroscience. Her research and teaching interests include interracial interactions, intergroup relations, mixed-race perceptions and experiences, developmental perspectives on the origins and causes of racial stereotypes, prejudice, and identity.
RUSSIAN 89S / ETHICS 89S / LITERATURE 89S
Tolstoy and Dostoevsky (ALP, CCI, EI)
The Russians go deep into your soul and discover strange and scary things lurking there. In a year of political upheavals, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky are more relevant than ever. They wrote in a time when personal freedoms were under threat; when saying the wrong word could send you straight to prison; when social classes were in conflict and revolution was in the air. They ask: how can God be all-powerful and yet allow suffering? Why do I do evil though I want to do good? Can I understand the soul of another? Above all, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy are great storytellers. Taught in English, but you may choose to read the assignments in any language--English, Russian, or any other.
Instructor: Carol Apollonio
Carol Apollonio, Ph.D. (UNC–Chapel Hill) is an Associate Professor of the Practice of Slavic and Eurasian Studies. Her teaching and research interests include 19th-century Russian literature, language pedagogy, translation and interpreting theory and practice, Russian post-glasnost prose fiction and Japanese language and literature.
Making Bad: Deviance, Crime, Law, and Society (SS, EI)
This course is based on the premise that deviance, crime, and law are socially-constructed phenomena. As such, these social constructs have acquired their meaning through human interactions within social, political, and historical contexts. This means that the attributes, behaviors, and conditions society members label as “deviant” or “criminal” vary over time and place, as do societal reactions to such violations. How the society in which we live shapes, and is shaped by, this process of “making bad” will be a central focus. The role social power plays in the creation and maintenance of deviance, crime, and law will also be a central theme.
Instructor: Maria Febbo
Maria Febbo, Ph.D. (North Carolina State University) is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology. Her teaching and research interests include social inequality, criminology, juvenile delinquency, and the sociology of education.