Spring 2018 Seminars

The Ancient Mind: Cyber-Brain and Society (CZ)

Understanding who we are now demands understanding where we came from; the study of the ancient mind is thus one of the most challenging and fascinating research activities regarding Homo sapiens and human society and requires a multidisciplinary approach. This is possible through dialogue between neurosciences and the humanities, particularly connecting the study of art and material culture with cultural models, cultural patterns and the evolution of the brain. The class aims to open new perspectives in the study of the past and in the intersection of the brain sciences, humanities, archaeology, anthropology, art, philosophy, aesthetics and visual studies.
Instructor: Maurizio Forte
Maurizio Forte, Ph.D. (Sapienza Universita di Roma) is William and Sue Gross Professor of Classical Studies, and Professor of Art, Art History and Visual Studies. His teaching and research interests include classical archaeology, digital and cyber archaeology and world heritage.

How Organisms Communicate (NS, STS)

Speech often is cited as a unique characteristic of Homo sapiens, something that that sets us apart from other animals. But how unique is human language? What, if any, precursors to language do we find in the natural world? How do organisms other than humans communicate and what do they have to say? This class will explore the communicative world of animals, from the simplest chemical signals used by slime molds when they aggregate to the complex vocalizations of birds, whales and primates – including humans. We will explore fundamental principles of evolution that shape communication systems, the physics and physiology of different communication modalities, and connections that can be made across very different ways of communicating. This class is not just for scientists – anyone with an interest in how the natural world relates to the human condition will find this class a useful multidisciplinary exploration of how one organism may affect the behavior of another. Students will prepare for class sessions using readings, video lecture segments, and other multimedia materials, with class time reserved for team-based discussion of this material. Other activities include demonstrations, presentations, reading and interpreting primary scientific literature, and short writing assignments.
Instructor: Stephen Nowicki
Stephen Nowicki, Ph.D. (Cornell University), is Bass Fellow and Professor in the Departments of Biology, and in Psychology and Neuroscience in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, and in the Department of Neurobiology in Duke Medical School.  He also is Dean and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. His research interests span behavioral ecology and neuroethology, in particular the structure, function, and evolution of animal communication systems.  In his spare time Steve cooks, plays trombone in the Duke Pep Band, and juggles flaming clubs.

Music as Mirror, Mediator, and Prophet (CZ, SS, CCI, R)

This course investigates the way in which music serves as a mirror, mediator and prophet in societies undergoing political and social transitions. It explores how history is told, how the present is expressed, and how the future is envisioned thought music. The course contains relevant readings and a research project through which techniques of effective scholarship are explored as part of the Freshman experience.
Instructor: Ingrid Bianca Byerly
Ingrid Bianca Byerly, Ph.D. (Duke University), is a South African interdisciplinary scholar. She is the Director of the Humanitarian Challenges Focus cluster, and Senior Lecturing Fellow in ethnomusicology and public speaking, with affiliations to the Department of Cultural Anthropology, Music, and the Sanford School of Public Policy. Her research and teaching interests include world music, humanitarian advocacy and techniques of student success.

Race, Research & the Visible Spectrum: The Future of STEM Through Diversity in Research (SS, EI, STS)

By 2050, the U.S. is projected to grow by nearly 100 million residents. Over 50% of this population is estimated to be minorities. However, according to National Science Foundation, less than 30% of current scientists and engineers working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) occupations are non-white. Diversity in the U.S. is increasing, yet minority participation in many STEM fields remains stagnant or has declined. How can science continue to solve complex problems without diversity? The goal of this course is to introduce students to the process of scientific inquiry through exploration of research opportunities while also examining the societal and ethical implications entrenched in the lack of minority presence in science and engineering. This class will facilitate research as an exploratory experience to be integrated with the course material and objectives to offer students the opportunity to survey research opportunities at Duke.
Instructor: Nyote Calixte
Nyote Calixte, Ph.D. (Louisiana State University), is Director of Academic Engagement for the Natural Sciences in the Academic Advising Center. Her teaching and research interests include science-based higher education, STEM education, and underrepresented groups in higher education.

Gulf Disasters and Recovery (NS, STS)

The Gulf of Mexico is bounded by five coastal states with economic interests in tourism, sport and commercial fishing, and recreation. Explores negative impacts of Deep Horizon oil spill (DHOS) on water resources, migratory fishes and marine mammals; habitats and fauna of coastal states. Examines restoration efforts initiated in 2013. Compares ecosystem recovery efforts related to DHOS and impact of hurricane Harvey. Questions addressed through governance (federal and state) and state of coastal ecosystems prior to event. Using discussions, debates, and focused literature reviews, determine if effective monitoring is in place to provide critical baseline data prior to future events.
Instructor: David Hinton
David Hinton, Ph.D. (University of Mississippi), is Nicholas Professor of Environmental Quality in the Nicholas School of the Environment. His research and teaching interests include mechanistic toxicity in all life stages of small, aquarium model fish and in selected species with particular environmental relevance (freshwater and marine).

Trans Identities and Activism (ALP, CZ, CCI)

Transgender politics seem to be everywhere, but what does this media attention mean for lived gender identities and liberation? Consider the visibility of trans celebrities such as Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, and Caitlyn Jenner; the success of Amazon’s streaming TV series Transparent; and proposals to restrict bathroom use for trans people. This class rethinks these cultural flashpoints through a survey of topics central to contemporary trans identity and activism: media representations of trans lives; the politics of trans medical care; gender policing in public space; the relationship between trans liberation and feminist activism; and many other issues.
Instructor: Nicholas Clarkson
Nick Clarkson, Ph.D. (Indiana University) is a Postdoctoral Associate in Transgender Studies with the Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies Program.  His research interests include transgender studies, LGBT studies, surveillance studies, masculinities, and feminist theories of the body.  His current research focuses on the effects of post-9/11 airport security and identity documentation policies on transgender people.  He is developing additional research projects on the possibilities for feminist gay masculinities and the growing interest in astrology and tarot within queer communities.

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. 

Dangerous Beliefs and Seductive Images: The Literature of Religious Violence in the "Secular" West (ALP, EI)

Can religion be held responsible for violence? How do images spark our imagination? These two seemingly disparate questions have become more closely connected in the wake of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack and the subsequent debates over freedom of expression. In this class we will ask: how are religious beliefs used to justify acts of violence? We will explore how the concept of nation-state that developed in the Renaissance is deeply implicated with our current war on terror. Paying close attention to the classic, medieval, and early modern periods, we will consider how artistic expressions (visual and literary) have come to be seen as important weapons in ideological and cultural fights.
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.

Survival Stories: How do stories survive and help us survive? (ALP, CZ, CCI)

Aristotle said it was laughter, but now fiction seems to be what distinguishes us from other animals. This course will try to honor both Aristotle and modern theories by reading several literary masterpieces that are both funny and complex. How might these stories help us survive and how did the stories themselves survive across cultures? Our investigation will take shape around one of the great masterpieces of world literature, Boccaccio's Decameron, which not only transforms earlier traditions such as The Arabian Nights and Apuleius’ The Golden Ass but also inspires later postmodern experiments including Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller.
Instructor: Martin Eisner
Martin Eisner, Ph.D. (Columbia University) is Associate Professor of Italian Studies and the Director of Graduate Studies for both the Department of Romance Studies and the Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies. He regularly teaches courses on topics such as Dante, the problem of love, the future of literary criticism, and the history of the book. His research investigates the many literary masterpieces produced in fourteenth-century Italy through the lens of their material transmission in manuscripts, printed books, and digital forms. 

Race, Class and Religion: Identity Politics in the Age of Trump (Codes Forthcoming)

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.
Instructor: 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.

Application of Mathematics to Physiology and Medicine (NS, QS, R, W)
This seminar uses the Socratic method with discussions of how to apply mathematics to understand human physiology. Topics include: the heart and circulation, heat and temperature regulation, oxygen uptake in the lungs, the immune system and infectious diseases, nephrons and the kidney, ovulation number in mammals, chemistry and cell metabolism, sensory neurobiology. Students do background reading and work in groups on problem sets, presenting their group work to the class and writing short papers. Each student conducts a research project, gives two 25-minute lectures to the seminar, and writes a 20-page paper. On the final exam students write essays about group work and each other’s projects.
Instructor: Michael Reed
Michael Reed, Ph.D. (Stanford University) is a Professor of Mathematics. He teaches analysis and mathematical biology with his research interests concentrating on the applications of mathematics to biological systems.

African-American Music in the Twentieth Century (ALP, CCI)
Music by African-Americans represents one of the most important cultural phenomena of the 20th century. This course moves through various dimensions of African-American Music in the Twentieth Century. It is divided into three parts: New Orleans, Duke Ellington, and 1950s-60s Rhythm and Blues. These areas have been selected to show diversity of the tradition, to draw out interpretive cultural and sociological themes that touch upon the music, and to get familiar with some of the greatest musical achievements.
Instructor: Thomas Brothers
Tom Brothers, Ph.D. (University of California – Berkeley) is a Professor of Music. His teaching and research interests include popular music, jazz, late medieval and early Renaissance music, and African-American music.

Drama Through Music (ALP)
Drama per musica is what the early Italians called opera: 'drama by means of music.' Over two centuries after the composition of the early works in this genre, the German composer, Richard Wagner wrote a tract entitled, Oper und Drama, in which he expounded upon his own theories concerning the relationship between music and drama. How are we today to comprehend opera as musical drama? The question is relevant because the popularity of opera has increased and in its repertoire we find some of the most sublime artistic expressions known to human kind. This seminar will examine exemplary works in that repertoire with the hope of unlocking some of the mystery, relevance and enjoyment of drama per musica.
Instructor: Harry Davidson
Harry Davidson, M.M. (Pacific Lutheran University) is a Professor of the Practice in the Music Department 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.

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.

Authoritarian Governments, Terrorists, and Modern Propaganda (CZ, CCI)

Course will attempt to understand propaganda as a social phenomenon: how propaganda is designed by different actors who face different and diverse audiences (e.g., how are narratives selected)? What psychological and social/political factors determine it effective alongside its media components, how does it form a part of the larger strategy employed by both authoritarian rulers and terrorists in order to recruit supporters, legitimate their actions, and generally enhance their prestige. We will pay particular attention to these two types of actors (authoritarian governments and terrorists) and compare them to democracies.
Instructor: Or Honig
Or Honig, Ph.D. (University of California, Los Angeles) is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science.

Inequality: Evil? Or Inevitable? (SS, CCI, EI)

The course will give students a greater theoretical and empirical understanding of issues relating to political representation and inequality from an interdisciplinary perspective (e.g., political science, economics, sociology, psychology, and neuroscience). Special attention will be paid to understanding the measurement of representation and inequality, and the actual facts of the distribution of income and policy outcomes. One of the most important goals of this course is to give students the facts and the analytical tools with which to form judgments about the relative effectiveness of policies for the purpose of reducing political and economic inequality.
Instructor: Andrew Ballard
Andrew Ballard is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at Duke University. His research concerns the relationships between legislators, their constituents, and political parties, and how political decisions are made when legislators and voters have competing incentives.

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.

U.S., China and the Asian Pacific Region (Codes Forthcoming SS, W)
The Asian Pacific Region is the major center of economic growth in the 21st century. We can expect a major shift of power and wealth in teh world toward this region in the decades ahead. How the United States and China interact with each otehr in this region will determine not only peace and prosperity, but also the future of the world.

Instructor: Bai Gao
Bai Gao, Ph.D. (Princeton University), is a Professor of Sociology. His research and teaching interests include economic sociology, political economy, comparative historical sociology, Japanese society Chinese society, and East Asian capitalism.


History in the Making (ALP, CCI, EI)

A freshman seminar focusing on close readings of dramatic texts with an eye to their realization in performance. The theme of this seminar is the relationship between drama and history. Plays range from the Greeks to Shakespeare, to Tom Stoppard, to Hamilton: The Revolution.  We will concern ourselves with the development of creative research methods primarily for actors and directors and of a rationale for the intersection of history as represented in these plays and contemporary U.S. culture.  We will investigate the concept of national identity as a social construction and examine in depth the ideals, assumptions, and conflicts of the various cultures represented in these plays.  A central focus of the course is the critical assessment of the ethical and political consequences of the characters’ public and personal decision-making with emphasis on understanding ways in which the ethical and political issues/controversies of the characters as represented in these plays, frame and shape human conduct.  
Instructor: Jody McAuliffe
Jody McAuliffe (MFA, Yale University) Professor of the Practice of Theater Studies and Slavic and Eurasian Studies. Her research and teaching interests include directing, adaptation, dramaturgy, performance and integrated media, documentary, and development of new work.  Most recently, as Resident Artist at Abrons Arts Center in New York, she adapted and directed Don DeLillo’s The Body Artist.  Publications include The Mythical Bill, A Neurological Memoir; My Lovely Suicides; Crimes of Art + Terror; and Plays, Movies, and Critics. Recipient of Duke’s Trinity College Distinguished Teaching Award. 

First-Year Acting: Acting Basics (ALP)
"It’s a common misperception many beginning actors make: acting is pretending. Action, by definition, is based in reality but we rarely see that on the stage, in television, or on film. “To act” means “to do” yet most performances seem to be self-involved, shallow, forced, and self-conscious as a result of this belief that we have to PRETEND to react to what’s going on in front of us. It is possible to marry your imagination to the reality of actually doing something authentic on stage. By inflating your awareness, sensibilities, and listening skills, we can gain ease and purpose on stage and act within an imaginary circumstance with a reality that you can identify with. We will begin to find this through physical group exercises and games. We will use ACTION as the basis of our technique and work with one another in a close and responsible way, considering our partner's/partners' safety above all. EXPECTATIONS: To understand the history of acting and the relevance of Stanislavski’s “System”; exercise attention, concentration, memory, and listening skills through acting exercises & games; proficiency of beginning acting technique through memorized scene work."
Instructor: Kristen Marks
Kristen Marks, M.F.A. (Moscow Art Theatre School), is Visiting Lecturer of Theater Studies. Her research and teaching interests focus on acting.

Visual Culture of Venice (ALP, CZ)
The urban landscape of Renaissance Venice experienced notable change beginning with Napoleon’s forced entry into the city in 1797. Significant intervention included the destruction of many Renaissance monuments and, therefore, great loss to the architectural and artistic patrimony of the city. The goal of this Wired! course is to map the urban landscape of early modern Venice by re-constructing lost architectural monuments of the fifteenth-seventeenth centuries along with their immediate surroundings. To accomplish this, students will work in groups to use digital tools, such as Sketch-Up, to translate historical and modern maps, plans, prints, engravings and paintings into 3-D models. In addition to the exterior reconstruction of the buildings, students will use inventories and various imagery to recreate interior spaces. These monuments will be mapped onto present-day Venice.
Instructor: Kristin Lanzoni
Kristin Lanzoni, Ph.D. (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art, Art History and Visual Studies. Her teaching and research interests include Renaissance and Baroque Art History. This seminar is supported by a grant from the Humanities Writ Large.