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New Courses!

 

Each semester, the Bryn Mawr Curriculum Committee and Bryn Mawr Faculty create and approve new courses to add to the curriculum.  Check back prior to each semester for the latest list of new courses.

Additional course details include enrollment limits, requirements or approaches met, and meeting times are available in the TriCo catalog.

[Skip to Spring 2015 Courses]


Fall 2014

Food in Italy (ITAL B229)

Professor TBA

A profile of Italian literature/culture/cinema obtained through an analysis of gastronomic documents, film, and literary texts. This interdisciplinary course explores the art of cuisine through the analysis of literary texts, culture, and films from the early modern period to the 21st century. We will conclude with a discussion of the Slow Food Revolution, a movement initiated in Italy in 1980 and now with a world-wide following, and its social, economic, ecological, aesthetic, and cultural impact to counteract fast food and to promote local food traditions. Prerequisite: ITAL 102

Comparative Political Philosophy (PHIL B224/POLS B224)

Professor Stephen Salkever

An introduction to the dialogic construction of comparative political philosophy, using texts from several cultures or worlds of thought: ancient and modern China, ancient Greece, and the modern West. The course will have three parts. First, a consideration of the synchronous emergence of philosophy in ancient (Axial Age) China and Greece; second, the 19th century invention of the modern "West" and Chinese responses to this development; and third, the current discussions and debates about globalization, democracy, and human rights now going on in China and the West. Prerequisite: At least one course in either Philosophy, Political Theory, or East Asian Studies, or consent of the instructor.

Health Psychology (PSYC B231)

Professor Laurel Peterson

This course will provide an overview of the field of health psychology using lecture, exams, videos, assignments, and an article critique. We will examine the current definition of health psychology, as well as the theories and research behind many areas in health psychology (both historical and contemporary). The course will focus on specific health and social psychological theories, empirical research, and applying the theory and research to real world situations. Prerequisite: Introductory Psychology (PSYC B105) or Foundations of Psychology (PSYC H100)

Art of Italian Unification (ITAL B340)

Professor Alexander Harper

Following Italian unification (1815-1871), the statesman, novelist, and painter Massimo d’Azeglio remarked, “Italy has been made; now it remains to make Italians.” This course examines the art and architectural movements of the roughly 100 years between the uprisings of 1848 and the beginning of the Second World War, a critical period for defining Italiantà. Subjects include the paintings of the Macchiaioli, reactionaries to the 1848 uprisings and the Italian Independence Wars, the politics of nineteenth-century architectural restoration in Italy, the re-urbanization of Italy’s new capital Rome, Fascist architecture and urbanism, and the architecture of Italy’s African colonies.

An Introduction to Middle Eastern History (HIST B234)

Profesor Ari Ariel

The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to the history of the Middle East from the late 18th century until the present. From the late Ottoman period onward, we will consider the impact of a series of events and transformations – the rise of European power (as exemplified in Napoleon’s invasion of 1798), the incorporation of the Ottoman Empire into a global economic system, the Ottoman Tanzimat movement, and the rise of ethnic and national politics. After WWI and the dissolution of the Empire, we will consider the mandate system, the emergence of the modern system of states, the impact of WWII, independence movements, the Cold War, and finally collapse of Soviet power. We will conclude with the Gulf Wars and the Arab Spring.

Memories, Memorials, and Representationals of World War I (HIST B218)

Professor Anita Kurimay

The first World War was a cataclysmic event that took millions of lives, shifted national boundaries, established new nations, and negatively-impacted others. After its conclusion, the events of the War became personally and nationally memorialized across Europe -- a process that continues to this day. The course explores the various social, cultural, and historical factors that influence how (and when) the events and impacts of the war are remembered in modern Europe.

Underworlds in Virgil and After (CSTS B237)

Professor Benjamin Stevens

What is a 'literary tradition', and what sense may we make of one? In this course we focus on an influential episode in the Western literary tradition: the hero's journey into the underworld in Virgil's epic poem, the Aeneid. Keeping in mind a master metaphor by which 'underworld' stands for 'afterlife', we consider that perilous 'journey below' on its own, in context of the complete poem, and in contexts provided by other authors' visions of 'what lies beneath', including Homer (Odyssey), Ovid (Metamorphoses), Dante (Inferno), Milton (Paradise Lost), Shakespeare (The Tempest), Jules Verne (Journey to the Center of the Earth), Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness), J. R. R. Tolkien (The Hobbit), and the nameless author of the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Computational Geometry (CMSC B310)

Professor Dianna Xu

A study of algorithms and mathematical theories that focus on solving geometric problems in computing, which arise naturally from a variety of disciplines such as Computer Graphics, Computer Aided Geometric Design, Computer Vision, Robotics and Visualization. The materials covered sit at the intersection of pure Mathematics and application-driven Computer Science and efforts will be made to accommodate Math majors and Computer Science majors of varying math/computational backgrounds. Topics include: graph theory, triangulation, convex hulls, geometric structures such as Voronoi diagrams and Delaunay triangulations, as well as curves and polyhedra surface topology. Prerequisite: CMSC B231/ MATH B231.

Topics in Chinese Art: Art and Propoganda in Modern China (HART B274)

Professor Michelle Wang

This is a topics course. Course content varies.  Current topic description: Focuses on 20th to 21st century Chinese visual culture, and it will be organized around four phases of art production during the past hundred or so years: 1) the major transition from the imperial Qing dynasty to the tumultuous Republican period in 1911, 2) art production after Mao Zedong's famous Talks on Literature and Art in 1942, 3) visual objects produced during and shortly after the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), and 4) contemporary art in China in the last three decades.

Topics in Chinese Film: The Films of Wong Kar-wai (EAST B240)

Professor Shiamin Kwa

This is a topics course. Course content varies. Prerequisite: At least one course approved as an EAST core course or permission of instructor.  Current topic description: Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige - This semester we will be examining films and related literature of two directors from the Peoples' Republic of China. We will consider representative works that extend from the 1980's to the present day.

Archaeology of Early Farmers, Agriculture, and Social Change (ANTH B244)

Professor Casey Barrier

Throughout most of human history our ancestors practiced lifestyles focused upon the gathering and hunting of wild plants and animals. Today, however, a globalized agricultural economy supports a population of over seven billion individuals. This course utilizes information produced by archaeologists to examine this major historical transition while asking big questions like: What impact did the adoption of agriculture have on communities in the past, and how does the current farming system influence our own society? How does farming still affects our lives today, and how the history of agricultural change continues into the future. Prerequisite: ANTH B101, or permission of instructor.

China and the World: Implications of China's Rise (POLS B367)

Professor Seung-Youn Oh

In the 20th Century, China’s rise has been one of the most distinctive political affairs changing the landscape of regional and world politics. Especially, China’s breathtaking growth has challenged the foundations and limits of the market economy and political liberalization theoretically and empirically. This course examines the Chinese economic and political development and its implications for other Asian countries and the world. This course has three aims: 1) to facilitate an in-depth understanding of the Chinese Economic development model in comparison to other development models, 2) to conduct a comprehensive analysis of political and socio-economic exchanges of China and its relations with other major countries in East Asia, and 3) to construct a thorough understanding of challenges and opportunities for China from its extraordinary economic growth. Prerequisite: junior or senior.

Focus: Les vies de Boris Vian (FREN B242)

Professor: Pim Higginson

This half semester course focus course. This course will introduce students to the extraordinary writer, thinker, musician, poet, literary and musical critic, party host, and prankster, Boris Vian (1920-1959). Though largely ignored as an author during his lifetime, the student movement of the 1960s made of Boris Vian a household name. A generation tired of the stiffness and snobbery of its parents found in Vian an irreverent antidote to everything they were fighting against. His highly creative use of language, his anti-militarism, his appreciation for the energy and enthusiasm of youth and its music, all earned him a broad and enthusiastic readership which persists in France to this day. Through selected readings across the various genres in which he worked we will get a better sense of Vian's contradictions, his striking linguistic creativity, and the ways in which he inaugurated a new playful modality of writing. Further, though largely unread in the United States, Boris Vian not only merits attention in his own right, but also opens up a larger window to the Saint-Germain-des-Près scene that immediately followed the end of the German occupation and that centered around philosophers and authors Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoire--both Vian's close friends--at least for a while.

 


Spring 2015

Chinese Culture and Society (ANTH B238)

Professor Casey Miller

This course encourages students to think critically about major developments in Chinese culture and society that have occurred during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with an emphasis on understanding both cultural change and continuity in China. Drawing on ethnographic material and case studies from rural and urban China over the traditional, revolutionary, and reform periods, this course examines a variety of topics including family and kinship; marriage, reproduction, and death; popular religion; women and gender; the Cultural Revolution; social and economic reforms and development; gift exchange and guanxi networks; changing perceptions of space and place; as well as globalization and modernity. Prerequisite: ANTH102 or permission of instructor

Medievalisms (ENGL B347/ HIST B347)

Professors Elly Truitt & Jamie Taylor

This course assesses how the "Middle Ages" has been and continues to be constructed as a period of history, an object of inquiry, and a category of analysis. It considers how the past is formulated and called upon to conduct the ideological and cultural work of the present, and it reads historical documents and literary texts in dialogue with one another. Prerequisites: At least one 200-level course in any area of medieval studies (although more than one course is preferred), or by permission of the instructors. Additionally, this course is not open to students who took ENG/HIST 246 in 2013.

Multiculturalism in Medieval Italy (ITAL B219)

Professor Alexander Harper

This course examines cross-cultural interactions in medieval Italy played out through the patronage, production, and reception of works of art and architecture. Sites of patronage and production include the cities of Venice, Palermo, and Pisa. Media examined include buildings, mosaics, ivories, and textiles.

Creative Nonfiction II (ARTW B365)

Professor Dan Torday

An exploration of approaches to writing personal essays and lyric essays designed to strengthen skills of experienced student essayists as practitioners and critics. Requires writing at least five pages each week, workshopping student essays, and reading texts ranging from long personal essays to book-length essays, to explore how writers can work within the broader parameters of the long essay. Suggested Preparation: ARTW B265 or work demonstrating equivalent expertise in writing personal and lyric essays. Students without the ARTW B265, must submit a writing sample of 10-15 pages in length (nonfiction prose) to the Creative Writing Program during the preregistration period to be considered for this course.

Classical Traditionals & Science Fictions (CSTS B238)

Professor Benjamin Stevens

What might ancient classics say about the modern world? In this course we explore intersections between ancient, Greco-Roman texts and the genre that is most characteristic of the modern, technoscientific world, science fiction. Raising questions about genres and traditions; the role of the 'humanities' in relation to 'technology'; and ways of discovering and evaluating 'knowledge', we consider the possibility that, although antiquity and the present day differ, at base ancient literature has given science fiction its profound sense of wonder about the world. Texts from authors such as Sappho, Sophocles, and Plato; Lucretius, Ovid, and Apuleius; Shelley, Borges, Dick, and Eco; Le Guin, Morrison, Atwood, and Edson; Cameron, Cronenberg, and Demme; and Benjamin, Baudrillard, Haraway, and Hayles.

Power and Resistance (POLS B290)

Professor Joel Schlosser

What more is there to politics than power? What is the force of the “political” for specifying power as a practice or institutional form? What distinguishes power from authority, violence, coercion, and domination? How is power embedded in and generated by cultural practices, institutional arrangements, and processes of normalization? This course seeks to address questions of power and politics in the context of domination, oppression, and the arts of resistance. Our general topics will include authority, the moralization of politics, the dimensions of power, the politics of violence (and the violence of politics), language, sovereignty, emancipation, revolution, domination, normalization, governmentality, genealogy, and democratic power. Writing projects will seek to integrate analytical and reflective analyses as we pursue these questions in common.

Topics in East Asian Culture: Everything but the table, food and culture in East Asia (EAST B345)

Professor Shiamin Kwa

This is a topics course. Course contents vary. Prerequisite: At least one course approved as an EAST core course and sophomore standing.  This advanced-level seminar explores how East Asian culture has been defined at home and abroad through the medium of food. We will think about food and food practices from different and interdisciplinary perspectives.

José Mari y el equilibrio mundial (SPAN B242)

Professor Enrique Sacerio-Gari

An introductory course to the work of José Martín. Starting with his texts in La Edad de Oro, a magazine for children the course will study his essays on the arts, the U.S., indigenous America, political struggle, independence and mutual respect. Prerequisite: SPAN 120 or 110.

Pirates in the Popular Imagination (ENGL B232)

Professor Raymond Ricketts

This course will explore popular representations of pirates from the seventeenth century to the present, in memoirs, first-hand and fictional accounts (including children's literature), and films. The context will be global, with an emphasis on the transatlantic world. Topics will include slavery, gender/sexuality, captivity, class, race, and imperialism/colonialism.