SUMMER (May 28–August 20, 2015)
No classes 7/2 and 7/3
LS 689-401: American Film Classics
Everyone loves the movies, and we all have our favorites. We recommend some to friends, noting that the acting was “brilliant,” the camera work was “awesome,” or the story “moving.” Yet we don’t often pause to consider the meaning behind the words. In this course we will take a close look at several films generally considered classics and attempt to establish how they achieve their effect on us. Once we’ve established a framework for discussion we will take up an additional ten films, selected at least in part from a survey of those in the class.
The emphasis in each class will be on discussion and developing a critical eye for the way a film is made. (Creative)
Dr. Randall Donaldson
Monday & Wednesday, 6–9 p.m. [6/1–7/8/2015]
Required of all students in their first semester
LS 620-501: Power & Money: Understanding a Global Economy in Flux
Volatile energy prices, stock market swings, ISIS, Ebola, droughts in Australia, Russian ice-breaker oil-tankers, Chinese investments in Africa, wind farms sprouting everywhere except off Martha's Vineyard, government's role in all this – these are all related directly or indirectly. How and why – and what should be done about it – are the subjects of intense, important debates – and trillions of dollars. In this class, we will begin to look at the global political economy from the perspectives of the Ivory Tower, Wall Street, Main Street, the Arab Street, and more. This course will focus on five approaches to the broad intersection (double-helix?) of power and money.
We begin with young love in Washington–an easy, enjoyable novel that uses the main characters to explore the legitimate and important challenges of different economic theories applied to everyday life. We move next the basics of classical economics: mercantilism and liberalism, and the Keynes-Hayek debates around which many of the largest “power and money” questions still revolve. This background will help us approach the questions of crisis, systemic risk, and “too big to fail.” We will consider two emerging questions of power & money – cybercrime and cybersecurity. Finally, we take a look at power & money in the world, erasing the artificial labels of “foreign” and “domestic”.
Together, these offer a number of perspectives into understanding power and money and their influence on each other. (Historical)
Dr. James Quirk
Tuesday & Thursday, 6–9 p.m. [5/28–7/9/2015, no meeting on 7/2]
LS 752-601: Sex and Modernity
Talk of sex is all around us, and yet the topic seems taboo in American society. Debates rage in the medical, political, legal, religious, and educational realms over how, when, and where the discussion of and practice of sex can take place. The consensus of that discussion, even if you closed or currently close your ears to the banter will directly impact you. Inevitably, as human beings and—therefore—animals, we are sexual beings. Unlike animals, however, we have developed specific vocabularies and systems that resist and regulate sexual activity. The writing we will read and produce in this class will hone our own mastery of this language and empower you to claim and support your own position on human sexuality from different perspectives, whether biological, political, or religious.
This class explores the history, literature, scholarship, and philosophy of regulating and promoting sex acts. In his seminal work on human sexuality, the French philosopher Michele Foucault suggests that much of the regulation of sexuality in the Middle Ages and early modern period had little to do with the desires of the people having sex and much to do with the desires of the people adjudicating sexual behavior. So what does our consumption of texts about sex tell us about who we are and what we desire as individuals and as a culture? We will examine how people have consumed texts—among them: novels, plays, films, artworks, poems, and songs—about sex, both celebrated and forbidden, and how they have responded to those works. With scholarly and philosophical readings that include Sade, Freud, Foucault, de Beauvoir, Fausto-Sterling, and Aristotle, as well as popular (and underground) literary works such as “Spring Awakening", Lolita, Wetlands, “The Vagina Monologues”, and [maybe] Fifty Shades of Grey, we will consider the language and rhetoric of sex practices—both material and literary—in depth.
You will compose multiple texts, including an informational pamphlet for a specific community group, a lesson plan (and supporting materials) for a class about sex, and - in a sustained research paper - you will link some institutional, political, military, or university policy on sex to one or more of the works that we will discuss in class. (Thematic)
Dr. Patrick Brugh
Tuesday & Thursday, 6–9 p.m. [7/13–8/20/2015]