ART HISTORY 89S / MEDIEVAL & RENAISSANCE STUDIES 89S / VISUAL MEDIA STUDIES 89S
Monasteries and Cathedrals (ALP, CZ, CCI)
This course introduces students to the history and design of cathedrals and monasteries in medieval Europe. Themes include the development of Gothic architecture from Romanesque foundations in France, the importance of fractions and Euclidean geometry for medieval architects, and the material and financial costs of monumental construction projects during the middle ages. In addition to lectures and discussion, students will design a counterfactual monastery or cathedral using 3D graphics software as part of a final project. In-class tutorials will teach students how to draw plans, elevations and sections of churches and monastic buildings and how to build 3D models from these drawings.
Professor: Edward Triplett
Edward Triplett, Ph.D. (University of Virginia), is Instructor* of Art, Art History and Visual Studies. He teaches courses on the history of European castles, cathedrals and monasteries, and courses on historical and cultural visualization. He is a core member of the Wired! Lab for digital art history and visual culture and his research investigates the history of fortified architecture in medieval Spain and Portugal through GIS and 3D visualization.
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.
Professor: 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.
CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY 80S
Gentrification and Culture (Codes Forthcoming)
From Durham to New York, Detroit to Berlin, Austin to Tokyo, poor and working-class people are being displaced in a pernicious economic pattern that social scientists have dubbed “gentrification” since the early 1960’s. Often confused for revitalization, gentrification is a set of economic and political practices in urban spaces that rapidly displaces marginalized populations to make way for middle and upper-class residents. In this course, we will explore the cultural elements of this economic phenomenon such as: how people speak about gentrification in everyday life, the inextricable links between race, gender and economic injustice, the art and expressive culture that springs from gentrifying spaces, and the work of anti-gentrification artists and activists. Readings will include ethnographic, literary, musical and other creative works addressing the social structure and everyday experiences of life in gentrifying cities.
Professor: Jay Hammond
Jay Hammond (B.M. Berklee; M.A. Columbia); is a Ph.D candidate in the department of Cultural Anthropology at Duke. Drawing from his anthropological and musical training, he is writing up a dissertation on traditional jazz performance in the rapidly gentrifying urban landscapes that are New Orleans and New York City. As a musician, his artistic aspirations are to find new sounds with new people; while his intellectual aspirations are to better understand the historical, political and ideological struggles that prevent and/or foster such collaborations.
CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY 80S
China in Africa (SS, CCI)
China and Africa are fast embracing each other. There has been an extensive exchange of personnel, goods and technologies between the “Middle Kingdom” and the “Dark Continent”, inviting us to trace a different trajectory of globalization away from the Western-centered vision of globalization. At a time when the Trump administration is retreating from globalization, China is pushing forward the One Belt One Road Initiative, a mega infrastructure project resuming the “Silk Road” linking all the way to North and East Africa. These developments are not only of realistic significance but also of theoretical significance. This course takes a broad look at the historical and contemporary linkages of China-Africa relations, and explore the multi-faceted developments over the centuries. What are the connections and ruptures between the Cold War times and the contemporary period? How do the Africans engage the Chinese in different fields? What are the anthropological and historical tools to unpack these dynamic phenomena? How do these developments suggest the emergent future and shape of things to come for the China-Africa relationships, and the world at large? In this class, students will read a variety of genres, including oral histories, novels, journal articles and journalistic stories. We will also watch a number of films and documentaries.
Professor: Yidong Gong
Yidong Gong is a PhD candidate (Duke University) in Cultural Anthropology. His research interests include medical anthropology, global health, transnationalism, postsocialism and postcolonialism. He has made a number of research trips to South Sudan and East Africa at
large. He was a feature writer with Xinhua News Agency in Beijing before coming to Duke. He likes classical and world music, nature documentaries and national parks, and playback theater, among other things.
DOCUMENTARY STUDIES 89S / VISUAL ARTS 89S / VISUAL MEDIA STUDIES 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.
Professor: Bill Bamberger
Bill Bamberger’s work explores large cultural and social issues of our time: the demise of the American factory, housing in America, adolescents coming of age in an inner-city high school. His book with Cathy N. Davidson, Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory, won the Mayflower Prize in Nonfiction and was a semifinalist for the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. His photographs have appeared in Aperture, DoubleTake, Harper’s, the Washington Post Magazine, Fortune,and the New York Times Magazine. Bamberger has had one-person exhibitions at the Yale University Art Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and the National Building Museum. A trademark of Bamberger’s exhibitions is that they are first shown in the community where he has chosen to photograph, prior to their museum premier.
The Enlightenment (ALP, CCI, EI)
This seminar is an introduction to the period commonly referred to as the European Enlightenment. Spanning roughly the century between 1690 and 1790, the Enlightenment laid the foundations for the modern world that, for better or worse, we now inhabit and seemingly take for granted. Defining of the Enlightenment are major shifts in understanding human consciousness, religious culture, secular society and moral theory, and (perhaps underlying it all) a concept of political economy driven by self-interest, public credit, and a consumer culture. – Our seminar readings will be divided into four thematic clusters: 1) The Emergence of Political Economy & the Modern Social Imaginary. – 2) The Modern Individual: Consciousness, Passions, Freedom and other Enigmas. – 3) Understanding Value in a World of Facts: Religion & Moral Philosophy. – 4) Critiquing the Enlightenment. – Readings will include works by John Locke, Adam Smith, David Hume, Voltaire, G. E. Lessing, Moses Mendelssohn, and Immanuel Kant. Alongside these readings, we will also consider salient paintings and artworks, including Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, which, perhaps more than any other work of 18thcentury art, embodies the spirit of the Enlightenment while also offering an ironic commentary on it.
Professor: Thomas Pfau
Thomas Pfau is the Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of English, with secondary appointments in Germanic Languages and the Duke Divinity School. His research and publications have focused on literature, aesthetics, and philosophical theology from the 18th century forward.
Great Poems of English Language (Codes Forthcoming)
Beginning with some medieval ballads, this course will sample poems by major artists—and some not so major—covering a half millennium. The core of the syllabus will feature Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton from the English Renaissance; Pope, Swift, and Dr. Johnson from the Age of Reason; Keats, Wordsworth, and Coleridge from the Romantic period; Tennyson, Browning, and Housman from the Victorians; and Yeats, Eliot, and Dylan Thomas from the Modern period. The American contributors will include Whitman, Dickinson, Frost, Millay, and Pound. Two or three hour exams; two term papers (4-6 pages); and some contributions to class discussion. No three-hour final exam.
Professor: Victor H. Strandberg
Victor Strandberg, who earned his PhD in English and American Literature at Brown University, has been a member of the Duke English Department since 1966. His publications include numerous essays on (mostly) American writers, from Poe and Whitman to Faulkner, T. S. Eliot, and Joyce Carol Oates. He has had teaching appointments abroad in Sweden, Belgium, Germany, The Czech Republic, Japan, and Morocco.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & POLICY 89S
Climate Change (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.
Professor: 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.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & POLICY 89S
Environmental Change in the Big-Data Era
A revolution in how we understand environmental change occurred in the last 20 years, from the type and amount of data that are available to the ways in which it is synthesized and interpreted. The training needed for the next generation of scientists, engineers, and decision makers includes a blend of modeling, computation, and the capacity to exploit large data streams accessed primarily from the internet. Students will be introduced to different sources of data, their strengths and limitations, their use, and interpretation through readings and discussions of key scientific literature, and through data exploration. Examples will be used to introduce basic concepts in R software.
Professor: James S. Clark
James S. Clark, Ph.D. (University of Minnesota) is Nicholas Professor of Global Environmental Change in the Nicholas School of the Environment and Professor of Statistical Science in Trinity. His research focuses on how global change affects populations, communities, and ecosystems. His lab is using long-term experiments and monitoring studies to determine disturbance and climate controls on the dynamics of 20th century forests in combination with extensive modeling to forecast ecosystem change. He teaches about community ecology and climate change.
What Now? Life, The Universe, and Everything (EI)
“Socrates,” Soren Kierkegaard tells us, “doubted that one is a human being by birth; to become human or to learn what it means to be human does not come that easily.” How, then, does one become human? Perhaps one attends a university like Duke. But how does a university teach someone to be human? Perhaps by teaching them to ask the right questions about Life, the Universe, and Everything (a nod to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). Peter Drucker once proclaimed that “the important and difficult job is never to find the right answer, it is to find the right question.” Drawing on novels, short stories, and a variety of philosophical texts, this course explores what it means to be human by introducing students to the challenges of finding the right questions about Life, the Universe, and Everything. Part of the What Now? network of first-year seminars.
Professor: David Toole
David Toole, Ph.D. (Duke University), is jointly appointed in the Duke Global Health Institute and the Divinity School as Associate Professor of the Practice of Theology, Ethics, and Global Health. He is also a senior fellow in the Kenan Institute for Ethics, where he co-directs The PLANET Project, which focuses on ethics and environmental policy. He is working on two book projects that currently occupy much of his time: What Are People For? Questions Concerning What It Means to Be Human and Outposts of Hope: Theological Dispatches from the Frontlines of Poverty and War. The latter tells the stories of five hospitals located in zones of conflict in eastern Africa.
What Now? Telling Time in a Hectic Age (CZ, EI, W)
In this class, we will think critically about time in both our communal and personal lives. Looking at issues such as incarceration, religion, environmental policy, gender and racial inequalities, and public decision-making, as well as time-management, productivity, and work-life balance, we will consider different conceptions of time, what it is for, and how to use it well. Part of the What Now? network of first-year seminars.
Professor: Mari Jørstad
Mari Joerstad is a research associate at the Kenan Institute for Ethics. A religious studies scholar by training, her research interests include ecological readings of the Bible, environmental justice, and land and migration.
ETHICS 89S / POLITICAL SCIENCE 89S
What Now? Virtuous Thinking in an Age of Political Polarization (SS, EI, W)
Americans today live in a time of political polarization and cultural tribalism. Those with whom we have deep disagreements, assuming we interact with them at all, are often viewed as not just wrong but as irrational and immoral. Is this a good thing? What sort of habits of mind (e.g. intellectual humility and charity) and practices should we cultivate in response to this reality? In her concession speech, Hillary Clinton asked her supporters to keep an “open mind” with respect to the coming Trump presidency, but what exactly does that mean? What shouldn’t it mean? Using social and political science literature, this course will examine the current phenomenon of political “partyism” and cultural segregation in our society. Using moral philosophy, the class will address the question of the proper ethical response to deep political disagreements. Authors may include some of the following: Amy Chua, Cass Sunstein, Kathryn Schulz, Shanto Iyengar, John Stuart Mill, David Brooks, and Alan Jacobs. Part of the What Now? network of first-year seminars.
Instructor: John Schendel Rose
John Rose, Ph.D. (Princeton Seminary), is Associate Director of the Arete Initiative and Instructor at the Kenan Institute for Ethics. His research and teaching interests include the tradition of virtue ethics, particularly Aristotle, and Christian philosophy and theology, with an emphasis on Augustine and Aquinas.
ETHICS 89S / PHILOSOPHY 89S
What Now? Happiness and Freedom (CZ, EI)
An examination of three important concepts from moral and political philosophy and the relations between them: (1) the notion of a good life, (2) the notion of being autonomous or self-directing, and (3) the notion of personal freedom. Happiness is considered as one (but not the only) approach to a good life. We will also examine moral dilemmas that can arise when these values conflict. Readings will be both historical (Aristotle, Mill) and contemporary (Berlin, Frankfurt, Feinberg, Nussbaum, Nozick, Haidt) and may include some literary works as well. Part of the What Now? network of first-year seminars.
Instructor: Jennifer Hawkins
Jennifer Hawkins, Ph.D. (Princeton University), is Associate Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and a core faculty member of the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine. Her research interests in philosophy focus on well-being, happiness, theories of emotion, practical reason, and notions of self. Her interests in medical ethics are focused on disability, the care of patients with dementia, assessment of decision-making capacity, psychiatric illness, and the nature of suffering. In her spare time she reads amazing kids literature with her children.
ETHICS 89S / PHILOSOPHY 89S
What Now? What we owe to each other (CZ, EI)
What obligations do we have to each other? Do we have different obligations to friends, family, and strangers? Is loyalty a moral value or is impartiality more important? We will consider whether social life is necessary for or an impediment to the best human life. In particular, we will focus on altruism--giving to others with nothing expected in return--and on collective moral obligations. When a moral problem, like alleviating global poverty or remedying climate change, is solvable not by individual action, but by coordinated, collective action, does that morally obligate each of us individually? Part of the What Now? network of first-year seminars.
Professor: Jesse Summers
Jesse S. Summers is an Academic Dean in Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Kenan Fellow in the Kenan Institute for Ethics, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Duke University. His research focuses on philosophical issues surrounding irrationality, including rationalization, anxiety and anxiety disorders, addiction, and compulsion.
GERMAN 89S / ARTS OF THE MOVING IMAGE 89S / LITERATURE 89S
Surveillance and Society: Big Brother, Secret Police, and Reality TV (CZ, CCI, EI)
What ever happened to the threat of Big Brother and the sanctity of the right to privacy? Surveillance used to be a tool of discipline and punishment employed by totalitarian states to control their citizens. It was something to be feared, and if at all possible resisted. We live in an age in which surveillance has not only become pervasive, but we have become desensitized to its insidious effects. In the digital age, new genres of entertainment (reality shows) and new forms of social media (blogs, Facebook, Instagram) enable us to make public spectacles of ourselves voluntarily. This course will explore how surveillance went from a science-fiction nightmare in the early 20th century, to a political and social reality in the mid-to-late 20th century, and finally to the post-Orwellian daydream of non-stop global self-display that it is today. We will explore the political, social, ethical, and aesthetic dimensions of surveillance through discussions and debates about such works as Orwell’s 1984, Foucault’s Discipline and Punish, and Hitchcock’s Rear Window. The course will be organized by units on “The Right to Privacy?,” “Dystopian Visions in Fiction,” “Surveillance in Prisons,” “Surveillance and the East German State,” “Surveillance as Self-Protection,” “Terror and Surveillance,” and “Surveillance as Entertainment.”
Professor: Kata Gellen
Kata Gellen, 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.
HISTORY 89S / AFRICAN & AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES 89S
Middle Passages: The Atlantic Slave Trade and Other 18th-Century African Sea Journeys (CZ, SS, EI, 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.
Professor: 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.
Sexuality Around the World (CZ, SS, CCI, EI)
Students will study the relationship between sexual desires, acts, pleasures and dangers in various areas of the world throughout human history. We will examine hunter and gatherer societies, early modern urban communities, modern rural villages, and postmodern globalized societies. We will compare different regions and time periods in order to consider the effects of discourses and desires related to sexual behaviors and subjectivities. We will particular discuss the importance of colonialism in the development of the modern concept of sexuality. We will analyze a variety of institutions that seek to instill an ethics of sexual pleasure and danger, including the family, religion, law, ethnography, sex work, and pornography.
Professor: 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.
JEWISH STUDIES 89S / CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY 89S / RELIGIOUS STUDIES 89S / HISTORY 89S
Race, Class and Religion: Identity Politics in the Age of Trump (SS, CCI)
Drawing on the particular history of Jews as a case study illustrating the tensions, dynamics, and developments of ethnicity and religion in the US more broadly, students in this seminar will learn how the politics of race, class, and religion have informed the making and transformation of religious identities. Together, we examine the impact of economy, technology and culture production on the nature of difference, as we work toward an understanding of race and religion as socially constructed categories. Readings will include scholarship in anthropology, cultural studies and history, primary source documents, as well as popular materials, such as film, literature and music.
Professor: Joshua Friedman
Joshua B. Friedman (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is the Perilman Postdoctoral Fellow at Duke’s Center for Jewish Studies. His areas of teaching and research focus on the anthropology of Jews and Judaism, religion and secularism, race, political economy, kinship, language and identity politics.
LATINO STUDIES GLOBAL SOUTH 89S
At Arm’s Length: The Selfie and Self-Representation (Codes Forthcoming)
This course focuses on self-portraiture and Latinx social and cultural representations. Social media, mass marketing and communication, and migration and citizenship issues will be platforms for investigating a variety of behaviors and material expressions to present the self. The goal of the course is to develop and apply techniques for social and critical analysis of self-representation. Seminar members will read about and discuss phenomena in the fields of art, performance, media studies, gender studies, and cultural studies. Students will build upon and exercise these approaches through the making of selfies, visual compositions, oral presentations and analytic essays.
Professor: Rene Galvan
INFORMATION SCIENCE + STUDIES 89S / ENGLISH 89S / POLITICAL SCIENCE 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”? This course explores the history, precedent, and practice of political representation alongside its ethical, political, and literary contexts. The course will start by investigating the long (and surprising) history of conceptions of political representation in the West, 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.
Professor: 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.
LITERATURE 89S / POLITICAL SCIENCE 89S / SOCIOLOGY 89S
Global Protest (SS, EI, CCI)
Social movements today are throughout the world some of the most powerful forces for challenging social injustice and creating political change. In this course we will explore how social movements work and what they can do Part of the course will be dedicated to studying the primary models and theories of social movements that have been developed in the fields of Sociology and Political Science. These readings will give us a vocabulary and a conceptual framework for understanding how people organize, how social movements use the media, the role of leadership, the meaning of success, and several other basic issues. We will also focus on social movements of the last few decades and students will conduct group projects on a selected contemporary social movement. Social movements considered include (but are not limited to) #BlackLivesMatter, Occupy, the 15M movement in Spain, the Gezi Park encampment in Turkey, and the Arab Spring uprisings.
Professor: Michael P Hardt
Michael Hardt, PhD (University of Washington) is Professor in the Literature Program. His research and teaching focus on political theory, contemporary philosophy, and theories of global order.
The Magic of Numbers (QS, STS, R)
This course will explore some of the intriguing and beautiful mathematics that underlies the arts, technology, and everyday life. No technical background is required beyond standard high school algebra and geometry; instead, we will emphasize how to discover and analyze patterns using mathematical reasoning.We will explore a selection of elegant and accessible subjects that will expose us to a broad variety of mathematical disciplines, from combinatorics (the mathematics of counting) to geometry (the mathematics of shapes) to number theory (the mathematics of whole numbers). We'll see how the golden ratio and a number sequence called the Fibonacci numbers appear throughout nature, music, and other "non-mathematical" areas; how games of chance can be understood through probability and some simple counting arguments; how the ancient Greeks found order and symmetry in three-dimensional shapes; and how factoring whole numbers leads to "unbreakable" codes like the ones that underlie internet security. Emphasis will be placed on appreciating ways in which mathematical patterns can be applied to society and the natural world.Please note that this is a rigorous mathematics course, and you will be graded partly on your ability to understand and craft precise mathematical arguments. Although we won't assume familiarity with calculus or other advanced methods, an advanced mathematical background may be helpful, not directly for the material you may have learned in calculus, etc., but indirectly for past exposure to mathematical lines of reasoning.
Professor: Lenhard Ng
Lenhard Ng, Ph.D. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), is a Professor of Math. His research and teaching interests lie in the general mathematical area of geometry and topology, and more specifically in the fields of low-dimensional topology and symplectic geometry. He has also collaborated intensively with physicists, examining string theory and mirror symmetry.
Game Theory and Democracy (STS)
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.
Professor: 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.
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.
Professor: 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.
Making Music Today (ALP)
You might occasionally go to a concert—and might know about the wealth of live performances offered at Duke through the activities of a talented friend or roommate. There is so much going on at Duke, and students’ schedules are so busy, finding out which event to attend, and how to do so intelligently, can be daunting. In signing up for Making Music Today, you are asked to “imagine a class where some sessions were cancelled and replaced with occasional evening attendance at events…” and to “imagine learning something about a world-class performance before you attend, and have the chance to talk about it.”
This is precisely what we will be doing in Making Music Today. The course is intended to offer an enjoyable, introductory forum to explore both a variety of musical styles, and some entrée into the ways musicians are creating music and discussing today’s field, in the context of a pluralistic, global education. Along the way, you’ll also be gaining writing skills and aesthetic understanding — not to mention facts about musical sound, forms of expression, and cultural movements. An additional purpose of the course is to introduce you to the rich and civilized concert life at Duke you will hopefully want to explore during your years of study.
A few topics we’ll be discussing:
· How do musical artists live in the world of today, and yet also come from somewhere?
· How does a wonderful jazz singer remain rooted in tradition, and address an audience who has grown up on Hip-hop? If s/he creates hybrid music, how long does it remain so?
· What is does it mean for music to be classical in India, or in Western Europe? And what is the importance of the classical arts, anyway? If arts are fundamentally important to humanity, why?
· How is technology changing the way we create music?
No previous background in music is required. By the time you complete Making Music Today, you’ll know something about music, and become an informed listener.
Professor: Stephen Jaffe
Stephen Jaffe is Mary and James H. Semans Professor of Composition in the Department of Music at Duke. An active composer, his music is performed and recorded all over the world. Professor Jaffe loves to teach “Making Music Today” with the involved assistance of one of Duke’s graduate fellows, in effect bringing together three generations of students around the bounty of musical study.
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.
Professor: 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.
Professor: 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 (NS)
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.
Professor: Christopher Walter
Christopher Walter, Ph.D. (California Institute of Technology) is a 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 / AFRICAN & AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES 89S / LITERATURE 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. Taught in English.
Professor: 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).
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 15-20 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%.
Professor: Robert Thompson
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.
RELIGION 89S / CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY 89S / ETHICS 89S / SOCIOLOGY 89S
Faith and Firearms in America (CZ, EI)
This course surveys the relationship between faith and firearms in the contemporary American context. It considers the place of firearms in the lives of everyday Americans and how firearm ownership relates to various forms of religious belief and practice. It also explores various ethical approaches to this timely and pressing issue. Topics include guns, Christianity, and violence; guns and gender; guns, race, and class; ethnographic studies of American gun cultures; and ethical frameworks for evaluating American gun ownership. The course takes an interdisciplinary approach, utilizing readings from various disciplines, including history, religious studies, sociology, and cultural studies, and the viewing and analysis of films.
Professor: Michael Remedios Grigoni
Michael Grigoni is a Ph.D. Candidate (Duke University) in the Graduate Program in Religion. His research and teaching interests center on American religion, theology, ethics, and ethnography. This seminar emerges from ethnographic fieldwork he is currently conducting among Christian handgun owners in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.
ROMANCE STUDIES 89S / ARTS OF THE MOVING IMAGE 89S / LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES 89S / LITERATURE 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.
Professor: 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.
ROMANCE STUDIES 89S / LITERATURE 89S / MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE 89S
The Worlds of Cervantes (ALP, CZ, CCI)
This course provides a reader manual to Don Quixoteand the captivity plays by Miguel de Cervantes (1557-1616). It examines the multiple spaces of the Mediterranean world inhabited by travelers, day laborers, soldiers, captives, and pirates, Cervantes creates to reflect about displacement. For Cervantes migration defines his own life experience and that of his characters. Together they portray the human spirit, which seeks adventure, pursues dreams, and finds reason to hope in the most adverse circumstances. The course juxtaposes Cervantes's works with an exhibit about the arts of migration (Nasher, Rubenstein Center for the Arts), materials from the Rubenstein Library, and a workshop by prominent Cervantes scholar Mary Gaylord (Harvard U).
Professor: Elvira Vilches
Elvira Vilches, Ph.D. (Cornell) is Associate Professor of Spanish Studies and Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Romance Studies. She teaches courses on literary master pieces produced in 16th and 17th Spain and the Americas. Topics explore ethics, migration, the production of knowledge, medical practices, and the overlapping of commerce and culture. Her research explores conceptual intersections between culture, literature, and the history of capitalism.
What Now? 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. Part of the What Now? network of first-year seminars.
Professor: Carol Apollonio
Carol Apollonio, Ph.D. (UNC–Chapel Hill) is a 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.