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TSEM 102 TOWSON SEMINAR (3 units)

Seminar Topics:

Accounting Counts: From Pacioli to the SEC
Introduces students to the history of accounting as a profession and its components from the days of Pacioli to present, including broader societal issues and contemporary topics such as ethics, federal tax policy, and Sarbanes Oxley.
African American Contributions to the Arts: 20th Century
Unpack the enormous, and often unsung, contributions by African Americans to various artistic disciplines in the 20th century.
Alternative Modernities: Indian Mediascapes
Focus on Indian modernity through an emphasis on India’s varied mediascapes.  Students will be introduced to a variety of themes and ideologies in Indian cinemas and popular visual culture. Through a series of readings, screenings, and lectures, students will explore topics such as nationalism, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and globalization in South Asia and in the South Asian diaspora as depicted within Indian films and visual media. We will go beyond Bollywood by looking at documentary and art-house (independent) films, as well as films produced in regional languages that have a strong impact on popular culture and contribute to the legacy of cinema in India. We will also explore the films of diasporic filmmakers to gain a perspective on the experiences of South Asians living outside of the nation and their connection to their homeland through the medium of film.

Alternative Modernities: Korean Dreams

Focus on Korea—both as a unified peninsula and in its present form as a nation divided into North and South. Developing across 5000 years of oftentimes tumultuous history--particularly during the 20th century--Korea is a highly globalized nation that is simultaneously, recognizably Korean, i.e., both global and local. Examining Korea in historical and contemporary contexts forces us to develop notions of modernity and globalization that are less rooted in Western experiences, less tied to single lines of "development." In this class, we will examine Korean life not as a singular set of characteristics, experiences, essences, but as a complex engagement with modernity and globalization, one rife with accommodation, resistance, ethnogenesis and emergence.

America in the 1960s: Decade of Conflict and Change

An introduction to the cultural, political, social conflicts of the 1960s in America, with emphasis on development of research and critical thinking skills. Through their study of major figures, movements and events of this period, as well as through guided study of research methodology, students will become acquainted with historical ways of thinking and writing.

America’s War on Drugs

Exploration of American drug policies. Emphasis on treatment and prevention options, debates regarding decriminalization and legalization, and the domestic and international drug trade. Attention to popular perceptions of addicts, the flaws in those perceptions, and how perceptions shape policies. The historical context of current drug policy.

Anarchism
Examines the history and philosophy of anarchist practice and theory. It is often claimed that humans need authority in order to permit a harmonious society; anarchism (meaning “without rule’) challenges this in various ways, at political, interpersonal, and individual levels. Examines the relationship between the individual and authority.

Bioethics

Addresses several of the ethical and legal issues associated with current trends in molecular biological, biochemical and bioinformatics research.  Expectations include active participation in class discussion.

Body Image Through History

A survey of attitudes toward the human body in different fields, eras, and cultures.

Brand Me 2.0
Provides an integrated view of “personal branding” within the context of business organizations and prepares students to critically analyze the gaps between their personal brand and their goals, and develop effective solutions. Includes study of the structure and organization of businesses at it relates to hiring and branding, understanding of what makes a personal brand, common business concepts such as positioning, branding, integrated communication; and the interrelationships among business goals and a personal brand.

“By Any Means Necessary”: African-American Literature and Social Activism in the 20th Century United States

Examines the ways in which authors, writers, and activists have conceptualized the meaning of race throughout the 20th century. Beginning with the work of Anna Julia Cooper and W.E.B. Du Bois, we will chart the evolution of the idea of race and explore the ways in which race—and particularly Black identity—have shaped the very definition of America(n)/the United States and its relationship to its own citizenry. Reading various genres of literature (creative non-fiction, novels, journalistic essays), we will document the converging and diverging social, political and aesthetic movements that helped define the 20th century.

The Cabinet of Wonders: Nature and Art before the Age of Science

Explores the Cabinet of Wonders as an important cultural phenomenon during the Early Modern Period (1500-1700). The major theme in these collections is the rivalry between nature and art in objects that excite wonder and astonishment. Focusing on exploration and discovery, this course introduces students to the academic expectations for college-level work and to the intellectual, communication, and collaborative skills needed for academic success. The double focus on nature and art introduces multiple perspectives and draws from many different disciplines, including natural history, the history of science, art history, aesthetics, philosophy, anthropology, and eco-criticism as an important branch of environmentalism.

Can We Talk? Communication, Gender, and the Family
Ways that verbal and nonverbal communication styles have an effect on the roles and status of women and men within the family and relationships. Emphasis on issues relating to power, language, sexism, authority, and interpersonal issues and how communication style impacts the ways we relate to one another around these and other issues.  The media’s impact, which includes social networking, cell phone and computer usage, and TV and movies, will also be highlighted. Observational and experiential exercises will be highlighted.

China Today: Challenges and Opportunities

China is now the second largest economy in the world, a growing military power, and an increasingly influential model for other countries. Students will discuss

China’s strengths and weaknesses in order to develop a balanced view of the challenge posed to the United States and the nations of East Asia. Students will

examine internal problems that threaten to destabilize China, as well as external pressures to limit Beijing’s international influence.
Consumption and Culture
Examines the relationship between culture and food consumption habits in various ways: exploring how American society influences food consumption and meal patterns; investigating the production, distribution and consumption of food products; noting food discrepancies between socioeconomic classes, race and gender; analyzing dietary consequences of the intersection of modern living and the standard American diet; considering how food choices and options are interconnected on the global level.
Cultural Identity Through Music:  Latino Music
Considers expressions of cultural identity through Latino music. Cultural resistance, hybridity, authenticity, and globalization are themes that will be discussed and that will serve as the point of departure for the analysis of particular musical genres, including flamenco, corrido (narrative ballad), salsa, regguetón, and Brazilian Popular Music (MPB).  The characteristics, historical roots, and commercialization of each genre will be examined as well as the genre’s place in both official and alternative views of nationhood.
Current Issues in Education: Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns
Explores current issues in education related to how students learn and the need for a customized learning approach to maximize each student’s ability to learn.  Technology’s role, in the process of individualizing learning for students will be explored. Students will examine reasons why technology has not been the panacea to improve academic achievement it was first touted to be by applying the theory of disruptive innovation to technology implementation in schools. Students will be introduced to effective strategies for gathering, evaluating and communicating information. Students will use critical thinking, team collaboration and problem solving to examine the most current scholarship surrounding their topics.
Current Issues in Education: Excitement and Challenge of Extreme Teaching
Explores teaching - a most exciting and challenging profession – through inspiring examples of excellent teaching practices in order to incorporate these best practices into every challenging teaching situation. Introduction to effective strategies for gathering, evaluating and communicating information. Students will use critical thinking, team collaboration and problem solving to examine the most current scholarship surrounding these topics.
Current Issues in Education: Living and Learning in a Digital Society
Current issues in education related to living and learning in a digital society. This course emphasizes that critical, self-reflective understanding of the contexts of our technology use is central to becoming digital practitioners and effective teachers in a participatory culture. Students will be introduced to effective strategies for gathering, evaluating and communicating information.
Death and Dying
Philosophical examination of death.  Topics include: (dis)value of death for the person who dies, abortion, euthanasia, and suicide.   Will consider both contemporary and classical arguments addressing these issues.
Down to The Wire: Examining Baltimore’s Political Economy Through Film
Examines significant political, economic, and cultural issues facing Baltimore City through the artistic work of David Simon. Topics include: race, class, gender, sexuality and representation; class inequality and post-industrial economies; addiction, policing, and the “war on drugs”; and urban crisis and neoliberal reform.
Earth’s Changing Climate – Past, Present, and Future
Understand the critical and often contentious issue of climate change, and to introduce students to scholarship. Scientific evidence and analysis, and an interdisciplinary perspective are needed to deal with the pressing issue of global climate change. This course will provide students with the critical thinking and analytical skills needed to weigh the evidence supporting or refuting claims of climate change or its consequences and to help students develop the research and writing skills required of college graduates.

Energy, Society, and Politics

A multidisciplinary examination of the role of energy in shaping societies, influencing policy choices, and affecting the global distribution of power.

The Ethics of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Concepts of ethics, ethical theory, and contemporary ethical issues as they pertain to student life. Investigation of the progression of personal ethics to the development of professional ethics.

Exploring Visual Representations of Mathematics

An introductory seminar class in mathematics, focusing on the use of visual representations of mathematics, including building blocks of written number systems, tessellations and the golden ratio in art, graphical representations, Venn diagrams, and contingency tables.  Special emphasis will be given to multiple representations of a mathematical problem or concept.

Facing the Inquisitor: Religious Persecution in Pre-modern Times

Based on translated documents from the archives of the Inquisition. The goal is to understand how religious and cultural differences were defined and repressed in pre-modern societies (13th to 18th centuries). Students will work throughout the semester in pairs by taking the perspective of either one specific inquisitor or one of his victims after they reconstruct, directly from the sources, each individual’s actions and reasons. Each team of two students will thus research one inquisitorial trial, and each individual student will present conclusions in a research paper and two aural reports to the class. Topics to be discussed: the origins of the medieval inquisitions in contrast with their later developments in Spain, Portugal and Italy; the debates surrounding the Inquisition since its origins and how its activities were perceived over time; the world view of the inquisitor and that of the heretic in European and non-European colonial pre-modern societies; ideas of collective security, religious enforcement and social discipline in pre-modern societies. Will draw upon tools and research methods from disciplines such as history, anthropology, religious studies, and art history.

Food for Thought: Examining the Ethics of Eating
Focuses on the nutritional, environmental, and ethical implications of food choices. Examines recent changes in nutrition and how the transition to factory farming has altered the scope of human eating behavior. Special attention will be paid to the relationship between humans and animals and how we make decisions about what we eat or do not eat.
Food Politics: Agriculture, Industry, Policy and Health
Explores various aspects of food politics, including issues surrounding how and where food is grown, sustainability, genetically modified food, the food industry, the obesity epidemic, food insecurity, food policy and national dietary guidelines.
Getting Down to Business
Provides an integrated view of business organizations and prepares students to critically analyze business problems and develop effective solutions. Includes study of the structure and organization of businesses, common business processes, and the interrelationships among business functions.
Green Eating on a Blue Planet
An examination of food: what we eat, where we eat, how we eat, and what are the industrial, economic, technological, social and political factors that shape the production of food, and what these mean for the planet. An introduction to student research and writing at the university level. Through readings, discussions, and assignments students will learn about food production and distribution in order to feed nearly seven billion people and about the nature of scholarship.

The Harlem Renaissance: A Modernist Collection of Literature, Art, Music, Film and Dance

An inter-disciplinary exploration of the Harlem Renaissance, a literary, artistic, cultural, and intellectual movement of the early 20th century.

The Hero-Villain in Renaissance Drama
Investigates the development of destructive, monstrous, and evil protagonists in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama.
How We Became Posthuman: An Introduction to the Concepts and Consequences of Cybernetics
Introduction to cybernetics, as well as disciplinary concepts and methods in history of science, cultural studies, and technology studies. Evaluates the portrayal of cybernetic concepts and the ways in which literary works are able to address "humanistic" questions and issues raised by cybernetics.
Immigrant Women’s Experiences
Topics include Immigrant women's experiences, primarily in the United States; how immigrant women's geographic and demographic origins shape their experiences; how America shapes and changes immigrant women; how immigrant women help transform U.S. communities and the nation.
Information Visualization: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Communicating Information
As the power and pervasiveness of computers increase, we are able to capture growing amounts of data about numerous aspects of our daily lives. Such data often remains useless until we are able to give it meaning by interpreting it correctly and transmitting its essence to others through simple yet effective visualizations. Survey multiple approaches to working with information, from the technical perspective of collecting and managing data to social and psychological aspects involved with the design of graphics and the different visualizations unique to various domains.

Innovation Through the Ages

An integrated / multi-disciplinary perspective of institutional structure, innovation, and the process of economic change intended to provide insight into basic principles of economic reasoning applied on a comprehensive span of human history. Incorporates theories and examples from a number of social sciences and will demonstrate the advantages of liberal arts based education.

Islam and the West
Exploration of differing perspectives on the relationship between the modern Muslim world and the West.

Journey of Self-Discovery

The theme of the journey as the most enduring and complex in the literature of Western civilization. The epistemological value of the journey as exploration of self and others’ identities, the notions of quest and epic hero, the issue of ancient and modern migrations as a crossing of geographical and cultural borders.

The Legacy of Colonialism in the Arts

Historical survey of and artistic representations of the conditions and repercussions of colonialism through readings, videos, and movement experiences.

Let’s Go to the Mall: The Culture and History of Shopping in America
Examination of the history and culture of shopping in America from 1600 to the present, primarily from the perspective of history, but also the disciplines of material culture studies, art history, sociology, anthropology, economics, and marketing.

The Limits of Reason

The role of reason throughout the history of Western philosophy, beginning with the Platonic formalism of the ancient era, continuing into the Renaissance and Age of Enlightenment with Rene Descartes’ rationalism, David Hume’s empiricism, and Immanuel Kant’s transcendentalism, and culminating in the contemporary perspectives of Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, Emmanuel Levinas, and Alphonso Lingis on the limits of reason.

Literacy for Life

Students will examine their own literacy, the literacy interactions of career paths they are interested in, and the role literacy plays in the world in which we live. Reading critically, writing effectively to different audiences, and sharing verbally supported views to both real and virtual audiences will be examined.

Literary Experiences and Philosophical Concepts

Literature is a discipline that presents experiences and conceptualizations to its readers. Philosophy is a discipline that questions, analyzes and reflects in order to discover the meaning of things. Use the power of literature to create a common reference fund to use for our philosophical reflections. These reflections will consider the thoughts of various philosophers as pathways for coming to our own insights and developing ways to articulate them. Among the themes to be considered are the meanings of: death, joy, freedom, fate, obsession, social relations, rationality, humanity, work, love, alienation, the absurd, justice, and pleasure.

Living a Meaningful Life: Well Being and Occupation
Introduces students to skills needed to function successfully at college, in the context of an exploration of the relationship of occupational engagement to well-being. Students will gain an understanding of the concept of occupation, and investigate the influence of various occupations on health, happiness, and well-being.
Love and Sex
Think about and assess attitudes and beliefs about love, sex, and sexuality.  Much of our attitudes and beliefs structure how we create meaningful intimate relationships. Examine categories of love and sex and how they are framed in questions of identity, responsibility and freedom. The first part of the course will cover broader ideas and philosophies of love and sex. The second part of the course will consider the moral and political implications associated with specific issues of pregnancy and childbirth, pornography and sex work, intersex and transgendered identities, rape and violence against women.
Ludwig van Beethoven: The Hero and the Heroic Style
Beethoven as a heroic figure who championed personal and political freedom and helped usher in the Romantic tradition in music.
The Machine that Changed the World: Automobility in a Time of Scarcity
A multidisciplinary examination of how the automobile has changed world cultures with an emphasis on economic, environmental, social and political factors.
Manage your Money and Beyond
The financial environment is continuously changing. This seminar provides you with an opportunity to learn how these changes affect your own life, the economy and other aspects of the society— career, family, health- through an active learning process.  You are exposed to many difficult financial challenges through this course and will be expected to explore and discover multiple ways to resolve the dilemmas, and come up with an informed and educated decision. You are expected to use various resources to do research on multiple perspectives so as to identify the optimal solution for issues relating to financial and economic situations.

Maryland Plantations: Then and Now

Focuses on the plantations of Maryland and the larger Chesapeake from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. It investigates complexes of planters’ houses and slave quarters to uncover the material reality of plantation life, for both men and women in the elite planter class as well as those who were enslaved. Its primary approach is historical, but it also employs perspectives and approaches drawn from the disciplines of material culture, art history, architectural history, gender studies, anthropology, and museum studies. A primary component of the course will be analysis of museums’ interpretation of plantations to the general public. A trip to Hampton Plantation will allow students to consider museums’ decisions about what to preserve and how to interpret the lives of masters, mistresses, and slaves. Students will be expected to read critically, participate in class discussions of readings, films, and historic sites, and be willing to work interactively and collaboratively. Topics covered include slavery, southern architecture, women’s history, rising levels of consumption, the making of historical memory, and public history.

Mass Media and Medicine
Through reflective writing, roundtable discussions, skills workshops, a research paper, and a group presentation, students will be introduced to the rigors of academic scholarship, explore collaborative learning, and engage in critically evaluating the content and impact of mediated messages on the practice and consumption of health care across cultures.
Media Literacy: The Active Media Consumer
Seminar emphasizing active learning, with a focus on examining and analyzing the mass media as tools of education, socialization, and indoctrination that influence our understanding of the world.

Middle East History Through Film and Literature

Examines the history of the region through the reading of literature and the viewing of films produced in or about the region. Topics include the rise of Islam, the Golden Age of Islam, the Crusades, the Ottoman Empire, European colonialism in the region, indigenous resistance and rise of nationalism, the creation of the state of Israel, and the Iranian Revolution.

Mozart: the Man, the Myth, and the Music

Consideration of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the greatest prodigy of western music and his growth as a maturing genius who helped to establish the Viennese classical style during his brief career. Seeks to separate the myths that have developed about this remarkable figure from the actual historical facts and place him in context of his peers and his role in the style of his time.

Nature in Literature
Studies the representation of nature and its relationship to contemporary issues including ecology, gender, cultural and identity constructions, art, and education.  Readings include an extensive novel as well as Eco-critical theory.
The Object is the Object
Focuses on ceremonial objects central to Judaism: shofar (ram’s horn), tsitsit (ritual fringes), tekhelet (blue thread), mezuzah, tefillin (phylacteries), Torah scrolls, kipah (skullcap), four species, Passover Seder plate and its contents, mikvah and possibly others. Starting with the Biblical origins of these objects, and moving through history to the present day, this class will trace the development of these ritual objects and how they are currently understood and manufactured. Study will include readings from Biblical and Rabbinic sources, secondary readings, films, hands-on demonstrations, and a field trip. The first week of the course will present an introduction to the importance of rituals and symbolic objects in general and for Judaism specifically.
Organizational Culture
Characteristics, functions, and dysfunctions of organizational culture; relationship between organizations' cultures and their members' identities; organizational cultures in national and global contexts.

The Origins of America’s War on Drugs

Exploration of American attitudes toward habitual drug use since 1800. Emphasis on the drug trade and drug addiction in different nations; addicts’ experiences; popular perceptions of addicts; various recommended approaches to addressing the problem of addiction; and reasons for the move toward legal bans in the U.S.

Paris 1900-1930: Music, Dance, and the Visual Arts

Paris 1900-1930: Crucible for the visual and performing arts. An introduction to the city, its major artistic movements and figures, Diaghilev’s Ballets russes and Borlin’s Ballets suédois.

Philosophy and the Sea

Exploration of the relationship between the human self and nature in the context of philosophical discussions utilizing metaphorical concepts of the sea. We will read “Sea Stories” from a variety of authors spanning multiple disciplines in literature, women’s studies, race and ethnic studies, environmental ethics, history, and critical maritime studies to supplement our understanding of the philosophical implications the sea has historically represented in human imagination.

Physics and Metaphysics
Seminar format emphasizing active learning, with content drawn from primarily from physics and astrophysics, along with current scientific controversies.  Introduces multiple perspectives (e.g. Aristotelian vs. Newtonian). Does not count toward a major in physics or astrophysics.
Play: It’s Not Just Fun and Games
Examination of the theory of play.  A review of the historical sources, values, and interests that influenced the development of various forms of play.

Politics and Literature

A multidisciplinary examination of how literature and politics influence each other in local, national, and global politics. The course will draw on materials from political science, history, and both fiction and non-fiction literature.

Popular Culture and Politics: Comedy, Entertainment, Celebrity, and Democracy
Writing-intensive seminar focusing on popular politics and the increasing role of entertainment, celebrity, and humor in the public sphere. Subtopics to include: celebrity politics, political comedy, television entertainment, and new media.

Population Issues in the 21st Century

As the 21st century dawned, the world’s population topped an unprecedented 6 billion.  Current population projections estimate that we will reach 9 billion by 2050.  Explore recent demographic change and a range of social issues related to population dynamics and distribution, including the demographic divide between wealthy and poor countries, population aging, national security, environmental degradation and concerns over resources, emerging and resurging diseases, and labor force concerns.

Psychology of Religion

Interdisciplinary seminar designed to explore the intersections of psychology and religion for a variety of important social issues such as social change, meaning of life, forgiveness, happiness, conformity and obedience.

Psychology of Scientific Thinking

The Scientific Method and the role it plays in society with emphasis on the psychological processes involved in decision making. Standards of evidence and critical thinking skills necessary to differentiate scientific from pseudoscientific claims regarding topics such as ESP, repressed memory, UFOs, etc.

Reality
How is it possible to know the ultimate nature of reality? Is there a difference between reality and appearance, or are appearances all that is ‘real’? What is the relation between reality and the mind, between reality and language? Do the mind and/or language ‘constitute’ reality in some way? Is the very idea of reality even coherent? This course will trace a history of philosophy as a history of attempts to think about this most slippery of concepts.
Reasoning, Problem Solving and Decision making
Examines various approaches and techniques for solving problems with a view to making productive decisions. Students will essay understanding problems in social and individual contexts, using technology and effectively deploying their intuitive powers. They will consider the role in problem solving of inventiveness, innovation, experimentation, and troubleshooting. To better decide, they will examine the elements of choice, judgment, valuing, and planning.

Re-Fighting the Civil War: History, Memory, and the Continuing Struggle over America's Past

Examination of the ways in which Americans have remembered the Civil War, their reasons for doing so, and the uses that memory has served. Historians’ interpretation of the war will be considered, but particular emphasis will be on the popular memory of the war, especially relating to issues of race and slavery.

Religion and Politics in America

An examination of how religion and politics influence each other in the United States, with attention given to civil religion, the First Amendment, and religious activism, among other issues. Draws on materials from political science, history, and religious studies.

Risky Business

Focuses on the ways in which families experience risk. Places emphasis on the diversity of risk both within the family unit as well as how risk is perceived by social forces outside the family. Introduces multiple perspectives on risk and resiliency using a multidisciplinary approach. Special attention will be paid to how individual differences have the potential to increase risk for individuals, families and communities.

Science of Healthy Habits
Students will explore, analyze, and critique the science behind public health recommendations from the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization. This includes developing an understanding of culturally diverse perspectives on lifestyle changes that promote wellbeing.  Student will learn to apply critical thinking and scientific rational to their personal wellness choices and the wellness of the Towson community.

Science, Technology, and Global Trends

An introductory, multidisciplinary examination of the influence of science and technology (S&T) on modern political, economic, and social life, and an analysis of the likely effects of current S&T trends on the future.

The Senses

This course asks students to think critically about the sense experiences – their cultural significance, political consequences, and representations in written texts and visual media. Students will observe how representations of sense experiences shift through stylistic choices in the descriptive writing of marketers, artists, filmmakers, and social critics.

Shattered: The Devastating Influence of Trauma
Provides an overview of the impact of trauma at the individual and global level including its potentially negative influence on psychological and physical health, social relationships, and academic and occupational functioning.

Sleep – Who Needs It and Why?

Effects of sleep and sleep deprivation on optimal functioning. Exploration of sleep, sleep disorders, long term effects of sleep deprivation and treatment options.

Social Media versus Dictators in the Middle East: The Arab Uprisings in Historical Perspective

Explores the Arab Uprisings, or the "Arab Spring," that erupted across the Arab world, including Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria, in early 2011. Also examines the historical background of these states since World War II period to provide context for understanding why citizens stood in the public squares and rebelled against entrenched dictators some receiving political and financial support from the United States.  Course is informed by the disciplines of history, Middle East studies, and media studies.

Social Media’s Appeal Social Media’s Appeal: An Inter-actionist and Cross Disciplinary Examination
Cultural patterns and meanings of social media use; techniques of self-representation on social media; benefits or liabilities potentially defining social media use: virtual privilege, competing uses, and social capital in online communications; social harm and inequality on-line.
Stem Cell Research: Evidence versus Hype
An investigation of the controversy involving stem cell research. Students will explore the scientific, religious, ethical, and political issues impacting decision-making regarding stem cell research.
There and Back Again: A Supply Chain Tale
Explores contemporary supply chains through in-class presentations, guest speakers, site visits, individual research, and group projects/presentations. The concept of a supply chain - the series of organizations which process and transform inputs from raw materials up to the end customer - is central to our economic processes. Each supply chain is unique in the number of organizations involved, the types of processes used, the transportation methods applied, the products and services produced, and the type of customer served.
To Hell and Back: Images of the Underworld in Pre-Modern Societies
A survey of literary and historical documents from several pre-modern civilizations in order to investigate the manners in which the ancients conceptualized the idea of the Underworld.
Understanding Globalization
Introduction to globalization and its interrelated dimensions; the effect of globalization on how people live and think; the creation of a new global world society; world-wide debates and controversies over globalization, its social processes, and its consequences.

Vampires: Blood, Lust and the American Dream

Emphasizes active learning with content focusing on representations of vampires in popular media from literary origins in the late 19th century through to recent incarnations on screen.

Vampires on Campus: Exploring the Roles of the Vampire in Social Issues of Western Culture
Examines contemporary society’s fascination with vampires, and explores how the lore of the vampire, from Count Dracula to Edward Cullen of the Twilight series, captivates our attention. The vampire, as a liminal figure, embodies or symbolizes a myriad of wide-ranging social themes including capitalism, human sexuality, life/death, illegal immigration, racism, HIV/AIDS, feminist ideologies, good vs. evil, identity, and adolescent angst. This reading- and writing-intensive course includes in-depth critical analysis and research projects.
Virtual Worlds and Society: Impacts of Online Interaction
Explores online interaction through virtual worlds and Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs). Emphasis will be placed on social, economical, technical and design aspects of these environments, both from a virtual and real life multidisciplinary perspective. Students will engage in activities within several online worlds in order to better recognize related issues and technologies, and to be able to analyze world specific tasks and goals. A historical perspective on the development of virtual worlds will be discussed as well as an examination of current and future trends, issues and impacts.

War in Literature

By studying evocative poems, plays, short stories, and novels, the seminar will examine the seeming paradox of war and literature, of violence and art, by understanding how battle is depicted in literature and how literature is often an aesthetic battleground of conflicting personal and national ideals.

Water - A Multi-Faucet Resource
An interdisciplinary examination of water: its nature, uses, and abuses, and an introduction to student research and writing at the university level. Through readings, discussions, and assignments students will learn about the nature, behavior, and uses of water and about scholarship.
Winning Entrepreneurship
Explores the distinctive knowledge, skills, strategies, and structures, required for winning entrepreneurial ventures, including analyses of business, societal, personal, and interpersonal issues. Students will gain insights of the entrepreneurial process through direct investigation of real-world entrepreneurs.

World Business Environment and the United States

World business environment affecting the United States including economic and financial integration, international competitiveness, energy, labor force adjustment, demographic diversity and immigration, educational differences, cultural and geographic challenges, climate change, national security, ethical adaptation. Research paper required.

The Worlds of a Play

Employs dramaturgical analysis and research as the focus of an interdisciplinary learning experience. Every play creates its own unique world that reflects both the society in which it is written and the way that the playwright wishes to respond to that society. Theatre artists employ particular analytical strategies in considering how to bring the world of a play to life in performance. They also conduct extensive research in order to inform their understanding of a play’s world and enrich the ways they may share it with an audience. Students in this course will actively engage in this research and analysis in order to make their study of plays the point of departure for learning about a range of topics. Communication skills will be developed through class discussion, writing assignments and a formal group presentation.

Writing Baltimore

Baltimore is a city of connections and contradictions. This class looks closely at texts written about the city from diverse perspectives: historical, sociological, environmental, journalistic, and literary. Approaches the city itself as a text to be explored; students will generate their own texts in response to their encounters with the city. Various themes will include the Chesapeake Bay, the sights and sounds of Baltimore, and urban history.

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