Spring 2014 (January 13–May 8, 2014)
No classes: 1/20, 2/9-2/15, 3/3-3/9, 4/17-4/20
LS613.401: The American Ethos
Ethos refers to the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or people as manifested in its beliefs and aspirations. Questions about the nature of the American “character” in this broader sense often permeate the national dialogue. No matter what the topic of debate everyone seems to have a firm idea of what being an American means. Yet invariably individual definitions of the American identity differ widely. This course will probe a broad spectrum of material, from belletristic literature and academic studies to icons of popular culture and time-honored symbols of the United States, to come to a better understanding of those enduring, if sometimes contested, American values.
Dr. Randall Donaldson and Mr. Louis Hinkel
Tuesday, 6:30–9:00 [1/14/2014–4/29/2014] (Historical), no class 2/11, 3/4
LS651.401: Fashion and Philosophy
Fashion is impossible to escape. Your phone, clothes, car, house, hobbies, all connect at the same place: where design and industry meet. Fashion and Philosophy examines multiple issues surrounding the art and business of fashion. Ethical and social philosophy is used to explore topics that include: the body, working conditions, design leaders, film portrayals, and fashion's contribution to art and civilization.
Dr. Graham McAleer
Wednesday, 6:30–9:00 [1/15/2014–4/30/2014] (Thematic). no class, 2/12, 3/5
LS744.501: American Manhood in the Making
With the dawn of the American democratic experiment came new opportunities for identity and gender construction. Men and women from all over the world poured into America and brought with them their own notions of what it meant to be men and women. Although manhood is often viewed as stable and fixed, rooted in biological truths, history and literature tell a story of gen-dered contingency and uncertainty, often paired with intense anxiety. This course looks at the way manhood has changed in America by reading the historical and literary documents that in-fluenced Americans’ perceptions of themselves and their individual and collective manhood.
Dr. Patrick Brugh
Monday, 6:30–9:00 [1/13/2014–5/5/2014] (Thematic), no class 1/20, 2/10, 3/3
LS640.601: Contemporary Mysticism and Spirituality
A mystical world-view attentive to the unity of all things, the possibility of release from suffering, an awakening to a “higher” plane of reality, or to the richness of the natural world, has long been a theme of ancient philosophies, both Eastern and Western. Such spiritual themes are also central to contemporary authors writing in both popular and explicitly philosophical ways. This course explores a series of such twentieth- and twenty-first-century (American) texts, as well as our own beliefs and experiences.
Dr. Drew Leder
Tuesday, 6:30–9:00 [1/14/2014–4/29/2014] (Thematic), no class, 2/11, 3/4
LS772.601: Writing a Life; Architecture of the Memoir
What most of us think of as the sixties happened in the early 1970s, and the films, books and pop culture of the era reflected a deepening questioning and cynicism that began with the previous decade. By the decade’s end, the President would declare a “national malaise.” Then again he wouldn’t be president much longer. This class examines the inquiries into order, coherence, form and values that grew out of the cultural redefinitions underway as the 1960s drew to a semi-apocalyptic close. Texts include six novels (some big), five films (some epic) and three TV series that defined and interpreted that decade of excess.
Dr. David Dougherty
Thursday, 6:30–9:00 [1/16/2014–5/30/2014] (Creative), no class 2/13, 3/6, 4/17