Spring 2016 Course Summary


The one sentence course summaries on this page are intended for initial guidance into the topics of seminars only. Students are expected to read the full course descriptions before applying for courses. Please click on the name of the course for a link to the full description.

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FSCS 150-100 Gusztav Demeter TuTh 4.30-5.45
FSCS 150-101 Gusztav Demeter TuTh 2.45-4.00
FSCS 150-102 Gusztav Demeter MW 3.00-4.15
FSCS 150-103 Ana Codita MW 3.00-4.15
FSCS 150-104 Ana Codita TuTh 2.45-4.00
FSCS 150-105 Ana Codita TuTh 4.30-5.45
FSCS 150-106 Susan Dominguez TuTh 4.30-5.45
FSCS 150-107 Mary Assad TuTh 4.30-5.45
FSCS 150-108 Mary Assad TuTh 8.30-9.45
FSCS 150-109 Annie Pecastaings MW 3.00-4.15
FSCS 150-110 Hee-Seung Kang TuTh 2.45-4.00
The Evolution of Scientific ideas Barbara Burgess-Van Aken TuTh 4.30-5.45 How do new scientific ideas supersede the old? How does the community of scientists within a discipline come to a consensus that it is time to adopt a new paradigm?
USNA 211 Einstein, Space and Time Jeff Kriessler TuTh 10.00-11.15 Explore the profound changes in our conception of space and time brought about by Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity.
Time Pete Kernan TuTh 1.15-2.30 Explore aspects of Time in Physics and other disciplines. What is “Time” telling us about who we are and what the world is?
USNA 247 Epidemics in Human History Michael Maguire MW 4.00-5.15 Epidemics have shaped and continue to shape human history, usually more than wars and politics. Ebola and HIV are but recent though minor examples.
USNA 249 Restoring the Great Lakes Glenn Odenbrett TuTh 6.00-7.15 This seminar will focus on the issues and methods of restoring the Great Lakes, with particular emphasis on public action and decision-making processes. 
USNA 260 Life in the Past Brad Ricca MW 2.00-3.15 Focus on how extinctions of megafauna in North and South America have affected both the land and its animals and, consequently, the course of human development.




How I Learned to Love the Bomb Amy Absher MW 9.00-10.15 Understand the work of the scientists who worked on the atomic bomb, as well as their motivations, travails, internal conflicts, and the consequences of their achievement.
USNA 265 Thinking National Parks Eric Chilton TuTh 11.30-12.45 Explore the history, mission, and controversies in U.S. national parks, and propose a solution to a present-day conservation problem.
USNA 272 London Erika Olbricht TBA Investigate the Thames watershed and its associated concerns, like urban development, watershed management, aquatic species conservation, and habitat engineering and restoration.
USNA 287J Transportation in America Howard Maier MW 4.00-5.15 How have individuals and groups used ego, power and wealth to shape the nation’s commerce, travel patterns and physical appearance?
USNA 287K Human Research Ethics Michael Householder MW 9.00-10.15 Debating the hard choices that medical researchers make when the quest for scientific truth intersects with cultural belief.
USNA 287U Energy: The Great Challenge Ahead Daniel Scherson MW 12.30-1.45 This course seeks to raise awareness of contemporary geopolitical issues that are bound to shape the world in the coming decades.
USNA 287W Dieting: Dogma, Facts, Fads Shannon Sterne TuTh 1.15-2.30 How have misinformation and mythology trumped evidence when identifying strategies for weight and health management? How can we separate hype from scientific fact?
USNA 287Y Large Scale Energy Storage Bob Savinell MW 5.00-6.15 In what ways do technology and the marketplace prevent us from storing large amounts of energy efficiently and conveniently?
Simple Harmonies, Complex Meaning Ryan Scherber MW 12.30-1.45 Examining neurological findings and case studies to explain why creating and enjoying music is a defining element of the human species.
USNA 288A Facts From Fictions Malcah Effron MWF 11.30-12.20 How do fictions (books, films, television, etc.) inspire and disseminate scientific discovery and technological advances?
USNA 288B Green Energy Transformation in Germany Peter Yang TuTh 2.45-4.00 The Energiewende policy started by the German Green movement has seen the German government develop renewable energy and conservation. What lessons can be learned?
USNA 288C Physics for Future Innovators & World Leaders Ed Caner MW 3.00-4.15 If our leaders understood basic scientific principles, it would improve their decision making. This course is designed to equip students with that knowledge.
USNA 288G-100 Sense and Sensibility: Sensing Information, and Control Richard Kolacinski TuTh 2.45-4.00
What is the role of feedback control in technology and the natural world and how have these roles evolved?
USNA 288G-101 Sense and Sensibility: Sensing Information, and Control Richard Kolacinski TuTh 4.30-5.45 What is the role of feedback control in technology and the natural world and how have these roles evolved?
USNA 288N Engineering Water Sunniva Collins MWF 2.00-2.50 This course will explore the history of water supply, developments in infrastructure, and emerging technologies to meet water needs.
USNA 288O Our Perplexing Universe Idit Zehavi TuTh 11.30-12.45 Consider many of the “big questions” about the cosmos, how our views of it have evolved, and speculate on some of the outstanding problems in modern cosmology.
USNA 288R Data Acquisition and the Internet of Things Craig Virnelson MWF 10.30-11.20 What is involved in creating an ‘Internet of Things’ device and what might the future of the IoT look like?
USNA 288S Sand to Smartphone Chung-Chiun Liu TuTh 8.30-9.45 Explore the use of silicon in everything from transistors to complex microprocessors to smartphones to solar cells and sensors, and learn what properties make this element so useful. 
USNA 288T Water in Science and Society Ken Adair MWF 9.30-10.20 Investigate the science behind assessing water quality, the effects of poor water quality and availability on communities, and explore the competing interests for water resources. 
USSO 201 Society and Technology Christine Hudak TuTh 1.15-2.30 Explore the design, use and cultural significance of technologies to assess their integration into all aspects of our society.
USSO 234 Questions of Identity Gail Arnoff MW 5.00-6.15 By looking at how writers, historians, and philosophers have dealt with the challenges of self and group identity, students will learn more about themselves and how their identity is being formed.
USSO 243 The Art of Fact Andrea Simakis TuTh 10.00-11.15 Dissect the work of journalists who’ve written stories about complex social problems using many of the conventions employed by writers of fiction.

Law in the Movies

Terri Mester MW 3.00-4.15 Explore themes in the study of law, lawyers, and legal institutions by examining their representations in movies.
USSO 271 Schoolhouse Rocked Kathy Ewing TuTh 4.30-5.45 Investigate progressive educational theory and connect it with contemporary alternative schools and homeschooling.
USSO 275 Psychology of Creativity Sandra Russ MW 3.00-4.15 What are the most important qualities, emotional and cognitive, and personality traits, that are related to creativity? What is the difference between artistic and scientific creativity?
USSO 285J Limits of Science Tony Jack TuTh 2.45-4.00 Can science provide answers to the deeper puzzles of human existence, or do some questions lie beyond the scope of the scientific world view?
USSO 286L-100 Exploring Non Profit Organizations Barbara Clemenson MW 9.00-10.15 This seminar enlightens students concerning the opportunities and challenges faced by non-profit organizations.
USSO 286L-101 Exploring Non Profit Organizations Barbara Clemenson MW 12.30-1.45 This seminar enlightens students concerning the opportunities and challenges faced by non-profit organizations.
USSO 286V-100 Management of chronic disease Amy Zhang MW 12.30-1.45 This course covers substance-based, mind-body, spiritual and social approaches used to manage chronic diseases and promote wellness in various cultural settings.
USSO 286V-101 Management of chronic disease Amy Zhang MW 2.00-3.15 This course covers substance-based, mind-body, spiritual and social approaches used to manage chronic diseases and promote wellness in various cultural settings.
USSO 287P Technology and Social Change Gary Deimling TuTh 11.30-12.45 Examine the reciprocal relationship between material culture (technology) and non-material culture (society and social structure) as they produce social change.
USSO 287T Gender, Visibility and Performance: The Courtesan Lisa Nielson TuTh 2.45-4.00
 Study real courtesans as well as examine the figure of the courtesan within the context of literature, religion, music history, and gender theory. 
USSO 287Z Concubines, Soldiers and Field Hands: World Slavery from Antiquity to Present Lisa Nielson TuTh 10.00-11.15
Examine the institution of slavery, uses for slaves, methodologies and sources for studying slavery and the slave trade in world history.
USSO 288B Doing Good: How Nonprofits Change Lives Christine Henry TuTh 11.30-12.45 How do nonprofits operate, influence everyday lives, and what is their role in advancing social change and a civil society?
USSO 288S The Second Amendment and Society Greg Graham MW 4.00-5.15 This course will attempt to unpack the sometimes dizzying array of information and misinformation surrounding the Second Amendment debate.
USSO 289C Ethics for the Real World Susan Case TuTh 1.15-2.30 Explore sources of personal values and standards of behavior using moral conversations, leading to developing an ethical code to guide decision-making in difficult contexts.
USSO 289J Theatrical Production and Criticism Jeff Ullom MWF 10.30-11.20 Explore critical awareness of ingredients of the theatrical experience – audience, playwriting, acting, directing, architecture, design and technology.
USSO 289K Struggles for Justice in Complex Globalizing Environments: Cleveland and Madagascar Paul Hanson MW 9.00-10.15 This course looks at globalization and justice in two sites – Madagascar and Cleveland, both places in which the professor has done research.
USSO 289M The Detective Novel William Marling MWF 11.30-12.20 You will not only learn the origins of one of the world’s most popular literary genres, but about theories of why you keep reading these stories.
USSO 289V To Everest and Back Annie Pecastaings MW 5.00-6.15 This course will chart the history of the “conquest” of Everest. Is mountaineering an ethical endeavor and how does its history overlap with that of colonialism?
USSO 289Y Orchestra in Today’s Culture Eric Charnofsky TuTh 10.00-11.15 Using the Cleveland Orchestra as an example, this seminar will ask what symphony orchestras will have to do to sustain their cultural importance.
USSO 290C Marginalization and Health Camille Warner TuTh 10.00-11.15 Why are some individuals and groups at risk of marginalization? How does marginalization produce health inequalities? What can be done about them?
USSO 290D Self Help: Informed Consumer Matthew Plow MWF 11.30-12.20 This course uses some basic theories and research of human personality and behavior to investigate whether and how self-help works
USSO 290F Journalists at War Jim Sheeler MW 12.30-1.45 Hundreds of reporters have been kidnapped, tortured and killed in the last decade. This course explores the experience of the modern day war reporter.
USSO 290G A History of Workers in the US John Flores TuTh 6.00-7.15 Examines the lives of the diverse women and men, skilled and unskilled, and rural and urban laborers that produce the goods and provide the services that society consumes.
USSO 290P Is the Audience Listening?: The Ethos of Experiencing Live Music Christopher Bagan TuTh 4.30-5.45 Make sense of the complex phenomenon of experiencing live music by incorporating perspectives drawn from scholarship, the media and personal experience.
Crime, Society and Culture in Early America Dan Cohen TuTh 1.15-2.30 Explore early American views of violent crime through accounts of witchcraft, infanticide, piracy, mass murder, and sexual homicide. 
USSO 290R Reformations in Early Modern Europe Elizabeth Todd TuTh 2.45-4.00 Examine the upheavals that the Western European social, religious, and political landscapes underwent in the Early Modern period, with an emphasis on religious change and conflict.
USSO 290S Cultural Ecology and Sustainability Richard Smith TuTh 4.30-5.45 Understand the relationship between culture and the natural world, and the ways in which a deeper understanding of cultural ecology can promote sustainability.
USSO 290T Making: Innovation, Work and Competition Susan Helper MW 9.00-10.15 Explore implications of US manufacturing’s decline and possible rebirth, including impact of maker spaces and China’s rise.
USSO 290U Fashion and Power: The Politics of Dress in American History Einav Rabinovitch-Fox MW 3.00-4.15 Examine the links between clothing, sartorial practices and political significance, particularly within the context of American culture.
USSO 290V Education and Inequality in America Mary Erdmans TuTh 10.00-11.15 Trace how inequalities in the US education system play an important role in the reproduction of class inequality, challenging the myth that education is a vehicle for socioeconomic mobility.
USSO 290W Understanding Body Image Hannah Barna TuTh 4.30-5.45 Through reading and discussion, students will gain a deeper understanding of healthy body image and strategies for applying that to their own lives.
USSO 290X Afro-Latin America Kaysha Corinealdi TuTh 1.15-2.30 In this course we will look at the vital role played by Afro-descendants in the history, culture, and politics of Latin America.
USSO 290Z Soccer: The Global Game Florin Berindeanu MW 4.00-5.15 Explore the many reasons for soccer’s popularity among people from every social and economic class, and seek to understand how its consequences can be so diverse when its rules and infrastructure are the same all over the world.
USSY 201
Mathematical Life and Death in the Ancient Greek World Colin McLarty MWF 2.00-2.50 What can we learn about religious freedom, or about the science of war from the earliest mathematicians?
USSY 233 Constructing the Self Jennifer Butler TuTh 2.45-4.00 Explore what we know of the self from historical, sociological, psychological, and philosophical perspectives.
USSY 241 Birth of the Modern Daniel Melnick TuTh 8.30-9.45 A study of what characterizes the new modes of thinking or “language” of modernity, developed in experimental work across the arts, the sciences, and the social sciences.
USSY 275 Colors, Capes and Characters Brad Ricca MW 9.00-10.15 Learn to approach comic books and graphic novels through critical thinking strategies; that is, questioning what they are, what they say, and where they come from.
USSY 280 Passport to Eastern Europe Narcisz Fejes MW 2.00-3.15 We see how media representation contributed to the invention of East Central Europe and the Balkans and continues to shape our understanding of the eastern parts of Europe.
USSY 285V Castaways and Cannibals: Stories of Empire Kristine Kelly TuTh 11.30-12.45 Study texts that exploit “new world” images like the castaway, the cannibal, the wild man, and the exotic woman to explore the ideologies that propelled 19th-century imperialism, particularly regarding the British in Australia and South Africa.
USSY 286S Shakesploitation Barbara Burgess-Van Aken TuTh 1.15-2.30 Why is Shakespeare’s work so frequently purloined? Why are out of context references to him so ubiquitous? Why do people tend to equate the name of Shakespeare with qualities of genius?
USSY 286U Puzzled Bernie Jim MWF 11.30-12.20 This course looks at the practice of puzzle making and puzzle-solving and explores the meaning of puzzles for different cultures throughout history.
USSY 286V Food Craze Nárcisz Fejes MWF 10.30-11.20
Television shows and food-related writing worship food and often promote ideas of multiculturalism. What explains such fascination with the viewing of and reading about food?
USSY 287M Literature of 9/11 Suhaan Mehta MW 5.00-6.15 Consider how novelists, poets, and other writers represent September 11th, investigating how American cultural values influence the choices artists make.
USSY 289J Beauty Myths Today Megan Jewell TuTh 11.30-12.45 Naomi Wolf’s “The Beauty Myth” has significantly influenced thinking about female body image for over 20 years. To what extent do Wolf’s claims hold true today?
USSY 289P Religious Landscapes and Pilgrimages Joy Bostic TuTh 2.45-4.00 Investigate how space is used by diverse religious traditions by looking at mapping, memory and movement related to these practices. 
USSY 289U Royal Rage, Love & Varieties of Heartbreak: Political/Family Conflict in Shakespeare’s Plays John Orlock TuTh 4.30-5.45 How does Shakespeare relate the struggles and interpersonal dynamics families, blur the line between the presentation of historical events and propaganda, and seek to influence public opinion on politics and social issues?
USSY 290C Out of Proportion Bernie Jim MWF 9.30-10.20 This seminar explores the meaning of things great and small, from the largest buildings and greatest distances, to nanotechnology and the smallest viruses.
USSY 290N-100 Django Chained Amy Absher MW 12.30-1.45 Join the historical narrative with the science fiction narratives of Octavia Butler to arrive at a deeper understanding of the human experience of subjugation and oppression.
USSY 290N-101 Django Chained Amy Absher MW 3.00-4.15 Join the historical narrative with the science fiction narratives of Octavia Butler to arrive at a deeper understanding of the human experience of subjugation and oppression.
USSY 290O Everyone’s a Critic! The Play Chris Bohan MWF 8.30-9.20 This course examines the role of ‘audience as critic’, professional critics, and the influence each has on the success of live theater.
USSY 290P The Heavens in Religion and Science Peter Haas TuTh 10.00-11.15 The course looks at how Western thinkers have thought about the human condition by observing the larger structure of the cosmos.
USSY 290U-100 Poetry for People who Hate Poetry David Lucas MW 12.30-1.45 What can our individual attitudes about poetry reveal about what and whom we value on a cultural scale?
USSY 290U-101 Poetry for People who Hate Poetry David Lucas MW 4.00-5.15 What can our individual attitudes about poetry reveal about what and whom we value on a cultural scale?
USSY 290V Experiencing Mathematics Joseph DeLong TuTh 6.00-7.15 Math has the reputation of being dry and inaccessible, but for some it is tantamount to love. How might we ‘experience mathematics’?
USSY 290Y Ecotopia: Imagining the Future Joshua Hoeynck TuTh 4.30-5.45 Examine possible futures as ways of thinking about the ethical obligation to leave behind a planet fit for future generations.
USSY 290Z Secularization and Belief Scott Dill MWF 11.30-12.20 Explore the events and ideas that have informed, and misinformed, what we mean when we talk about secularization and the experience of belief.
USSY 291A Latino Metropolis: Exploring Hispanic Culture in US Cities Matthew Feinberg MW 2.00-3.15 Consider how the Latino experience in the United States has both shaped and been shaped by urban culture in America. 
USSY 291B Science (Fiction) Dystopias Gabrielle Parkin TuTh 8.30-9.45 How do dystopian narratives complicate our notion of what it means to be a social animal? How have dystopian visions changed in the last fifty years?

Literary Arcadias: Idealized Landscapes and the Intrusion of Reality

Denna Iammarino TuTh 8.30-9.45 How has the pastoral genre evolved over time, how have depictions of Arcadia responded to various cultural, commercial, and political changes?
USSY 291J Lessons of Jazz Paul Ferguson TuTh 10.00-11.15 How might a deeper understanding of improvisation and specialization in jazz be applied to performances in other fields?
USSY 291K Risk and Decision Making Behnam Malakooti TuTh 2.45-4.00 How can a better understanding of risk help us improve our decision making, both at the individual and public policy levels?
USSY 291P Social Justice Literature Kaysha Corinealdi TuTh 4.30-5.45 Use selections of poetry, short stories and books by winners of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards as a framework to discuss diversity, social justice and identity.
USSY 291Q PR, Spin and Inventing Reality Bill Doll MW 4.00-5.15 Explore the origins and uses of P.R. today in business, politics, and popular culture to shape our values, democracy and even the ways we view reality. 
USSY 291T Demystifying the Guerrilla Fighter Kaysha Corinealdi TuTh 11.30-12.45 Examine some of our assumptions regarding what it means to be a guerrilla fighter, and investigate what this understanding can do for us as we tackle questions of change and possibility.
USSY 291V The Built Sublime Matt Burkhart MW 12.30-1.45 How do writers and filmmakers prompt audiences to think anew about nature and our relation to with their depiction of massive built landscapes?
USSY 291W “Never Such Innocence Again”: World War I in Literature and Culture Steve Pinkerton TuTh 2.45-4.00 Explore the relationship between the watershed moment of World War I and the varieties of literature and art it inspired.
USSY 291Y Metaphor Eric Earnhardt TuTh 1.15-2.30 Ask questions about the cognitive roots of metaphorical thinking in three contexts: science, literature, and religion.
USSY 291Z Marriage Plots John Wiehl MWF 10.30-11.20 Investigate the presence of the marriage plot across multiple literary genres: dramas, novels, film, and television.
USSY 292A Protest Drama: Producing Dissent On and Off Stage John Higgins MW 9.00-10.15 What role does theatricality play in the acts of persuasion, criticism, and direct action normally associated with political protest? 
USSY 292B Apocalypse: Race and Gender Jessica Birch TuTh 10.00-11.15 Analyze a selection of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic narratives to gain an understanding of how mainstream fears, paranoia, and nostalgia shape projections of the future.
USSY 292C The Moral Suspicion of Money Kevin Houser TuTh 1.15-2.30 Investigate the birth of both money and the idea of assigning monetary value to things as morally suspicious, the root of all evil.
USSY 292D Chance and Unpredictability Elizabeth Meckes MW 12.30-1.45 Focus on what the mathematical field of probability theory says about our everyday experiences of chance and randomness.
USSY 292E African American Women’s Social Thought Laura Hengehold MW 4.00-5.15 Read works of social theory and philosophy by African American women to gain deeper understanding of the complexity and variety of issues regarding identity and struggles for social justice.
USSY 292F Gothic – The Undying Genre Michelle Lyons-McFarland TuTh 10.00-11.15 Investigate the Gothic genre in film, literature, and culture as a way to talk about things we cannot say.
USSY 292G Interrogating Bullshit Justin Buchler MWF 11.30-12.20 Examine the role of specious and misleading claims, and the indifference to truth, in social, political and economic life.