Seminars 2016 Spring
SPRING 2016 FRESHMAN SEMINARS
This quarter we are offering 15 different Freshman Seminars. The table below lists all of them as they are listed in the schedule of classes under University Studies 3. Clicking on the abbreviated title of the seminar that interests you in the table will take you to a full description, including the full course title, instructor’s department and biography. For some seminars, this table is the only place you will find the room location, so please make a note of it if you enroll.
Please note that students may take a maximum of THREE
All sections are open to students of all majors
The word “globalization” is familiar to anyone tuned into global media, and is rapidly emerging as the favorite mantras of political leaders, business executives and news reporters all around the world. It is clearly one of those faddish buzzwords that is frequently used but rarely defined (and heavily laden with ideological implications). In this seminar, we will explore what “globalization” means. We will try to examine the long-term historical origins of a modern world-system, as well as grapple with more recent worldwide political and economic changes that occurred in the last two or three decades. Finally, we will analyze and discuss whether a world beset with myriad problems (grinding poverty and inequality, international tension and terrorism, severe ecological threats, etc.) is better or worse off given the current level of “globalization.”
David Smith is a Professor in the Department of Sociology.
This seminar will follow the journey of a main stage play from the script to the full production. The seminar will include conversations with actors, designers and led by the director of the play, The Enemy of the People. What does it take to lift a play to the stage! This will be a hands-on seminar.
Jane Page is a Professor in the Department of Drama.
This course will introduce students to fundamental concepts of chemistry in the context of food and cooking: heat capacity, solubility, precipitation, concentration, desiccation, dose-response curves, and acidity.
David Van Vranken is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry.
We study classical dance styles from different regions of India. They share distinctive footwork and abhinaya, i.e. gesture language used to tell stories and express emotions. Contemporary Indian dance, multi-layered, and hybrid, unfolds at the intersection of Indian classical dance styles along with modern dance, ballet, martial arts, theater techniques, multi-media and various movement vocabularies. Our study also includes the vastly popular Bollywood dance style that expresses a contemporary sensibility in free dance expression ranging from use of Indian dance mudras (hand-gestures) to hip-hop, and Michael Jackson style. Throughout our study we engage with gender issues and how male and female artists represent traditional and modern themes.
Ketu Katrak is a Professor in the Department of Drama.
What does The Second City, the legendary comedy theater where talents like Tina Fey and Keegan-Michael Key started, and Fortune 500 companies have in common? Both use improvisational training and techniques as a tool to build keys for success. This course will use improv to help the participants build skills and achieve their goals.
Joel Veenstra is a Lecturer in the Department of Drama.
In a small and interactive classroom environment, students will be introduced to key concepts in organic chemistry. This freshman seminar is designed to help you prepare for Chem 51A and understand the relevance of organic chemistry beyond the classroom.
Vy Dong is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry.
Velcro, flying and walking robots, and self-cleaning surfaces are just a few examples of devices that draw on the amazing properties of biological organisms to inform novel technological advances.
Catherine Loudon is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
What do you see when you look at a photograph? How can photography allow you to see in new ways? Do photographs mainly provide documentary evidence of a specific time and place? Or should we think of them as works of art? Can a photograph convey a political message? Can photographs capture what it means to be American? In the midst of the Great Depression of the 1930s, photographers asked these questions as they stood, according to one commentator, “on the brink of a revolution as staggering as any photography…had experienced.” Photography had come of age, and photographers were using it as a weapon to attack America’s social ills. We all look at many, many photos (well, digital images) every day—on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. But what do we see? And what meanings do photos seek to convey? This seminar helps us to see better by studying the work of some of the most important American photographers of the 1930s. Students need no background in photography or the history of photography.
Robert Moeller is a Professor in the Department of History.
In the U.S., much of the knowledge people have about Nazi Germany comes from movies depicting World War II, in which Germans are most often depicted as uniformly evil, simplistic beings whose main purpose is to be gunned down by U.S. G.I.s. Or else we see Nazis in films about the Holocaust, usually in the role of sadistic murderers of innocent civilians. Of course the reality is more complex, and ultimately much more interesting. This seminar is for students who want to learn about that troubled period of European history, and gain a more nuanced and complex understanding of the country and the people who brought such destruction on the world and themselves.
Glenn Levine is a Professor of German in the School of Humanities.
Zines (short for “fanzines”) are DIY “do-it-yourself” small, handmade, underground publications. Some zines are expressions of music fandom, others are more like confessional diaries, or manifestos filled with poetry, home-made comics, quotes, clippings, and photographs. They might be exchanged at music shows or by word of mouth.
They are often associated with underground or alternative music scenes such as the punk scene in the 1970s, the Riot Grrrl movement of the 1990s, Afropunk scenes, or grassroots community organizing like the Undocuqueer movement. As the third issue of Riot Grrrl Zine put it, people started making zines, because they were ‘‘tired of being written out – out of history, out of the ‘scene,’ out of our bodies . . . for this reason we have created our zine and scene.” Many of the qualities we associate with blogs, tumblr, Instagram, or Facebook share aspects of zines such as self-making, self-publishing, and community building across time and space. Are there qualities of zine making that don’t get captured on-line? If you made a zine, what would it look like, what would it be about?
Jeanne Scheper is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies.
The goal of the seminar is to learn how to think healthy and increase the level of health literacy. Students will enjoy reading and discussing health topics that address many issues in which they are interested in or are involved with. This seminar will transition students from passive, memorization type learning, to an active, analytical and critical learning style with practical application for personal and public health.
Zuzana Bic is a lecturer in the Program in Public Health.
Animals are cool, but plants are cool, too! With field trips and hands-on activities, we will learn about plants and their pollinators, the ecology of our local natural area, the foods we eat, the impacts of climate change, and what ecologists and botanists do for a living.
Ann Sakai is a Professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology.
Identify what success means to you and develop your critical thinking skills. Create strategies and action plans to achieve your goals and examine what stops you. Explore a research process on how to find a mentor. Learn the art of how to become unstoppable in going for what you really want in life. Develop greater self-esteem by getting in touch with your personal power and achieve a higher level of self-love and acceptance.
Donald Hill is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Drama.
This course takes seriously the relationship between popular music, media, and performance and the “naturalization” of race and gender in the U.S. By focusing on concepts such as listening, voice, phonographies (“writing sound”), musical genre, and recording technologies, this class investigates how “racial common sense” has been constituted at various points in U.S. cultural history (including our contemporary moment).
Christine Balance is a Professor in the Department of Asian American Studies.
Uber and ZipCar; fuel cell, electric, and hybrid vehicles; self-driving, connected, and autonomous vehicles; magnetic levitation and hyperloop transit. And, whatever happened to flying cars and telecommuting? What is the future of transportation? Despite the promise of these technologies, it might just be biking and walking in dense communities.
Michael McNally is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
This seminar is an application-oriented, hands-on introduction to engineering mathematics. Students will gain an understanding of abstract mathematical concepts through hands on, concrete exercises and investigations. Students outside of Engineering are welcome though basic concepts of calculus would be helpful.
Amelia Regan is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science.