FIRST-YEAR SEMINARS HOPR 1953
HOPR 1953: How to Change The World: Social Entrepreneurship
Tuesday, 3 pm - 4:15pm, fall 2013
Jeff Snell, Special Advisor to the President, Office of the President
Course Description: This seminar helps students discover the power of innovation and entrepreneurship in the world of building social enterprises. Through a combination of case discussions, readings, and field work, we explore the underlying concepts that make some social enterprises succeed at higher than expected rates. We explore the opportunity to engage in some field work to see successful social enterprises in action.
HOPR 1953: The Beatles and the British Invasion
Monday, 4 pm - 5:15pm, fall 2013
Bruce Cole, Collection Development Librarian for The Jean Cujé Milwaukee Music Collection, Raynor Memorial Libraries
Course Description: The course explores musical and cultural change shortly before and for a period of roughly three years after the arrival of the Beatles and their highly anticipated initial appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. We look at how the British Invasion bands came, established a new order in popular music, and changed forever not only rock and roll music, but the business of popular music and popular culture here in America and internationally. They came, they conquered—and they never left.
HOPR 1953: Sexuality on the Margins
Wednesday, 5 pm - 6:15pm, fall 2013
Shaun Miller, Lecturer - Philosophy
Course Description: This class will study different modes of sexuality in terms of identity, biology, practices, behaviors, values, and philosophies. We will look at sexuality through both a biological/natural lens and a cultural/social one, focusing on six broad themes: sexual desire, the gender spectrum, the sexual orientation spectrum, sex work, monogamy and non-monogamy, and sexuality and well-being. The goal of the class is to broaden awareness of human sexuality’s complexity and to complicate rigid and binary conceptions of sexuality.
HOPR 1953: Real Fine Art: An In-Depth Look at Milwaukee Visual Arts
Thursday, 9:30 - 10:45 am, fall 2013
Deirdre Dempsey, Associate Professor, Theology
Lynne Shumow, Curator of Education and Community Outreach
Course Description: When people are asked to give their immediate reaction to the word “Milwaukee,” of course what frequently pops out is “beer,” “brats,” or “fish fry.” It isn’t often that someone comes out with the spontaneous reaction “art.” But Milwaukee is home to a vibrant, talented, and diverse community of artists, many of whom show their work on the national and international stage. This seminar will give you the opportunity to meet several of these artists, observe their creative process, and view, firsthand, some of the most interesting art work being made in Milwaukee. Students will also see and learn about works from the Haggerty Museum’s permanent collection.
HORP 1953: Exploring Social Justice through Dialogue
Thursday, 11:00 am - 12:15pm, fall 2013
Carla Cadet, Assistant Dean for Multicultural Affairs and Office of Student Development
John Janulis, Coordinator for Multicultural Affairs, Office of Student Development
Course Description: Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) is a nationally recognized model for social justice education in many higher education settings. By using some components of IGD practice and theory, this seminar offers students an opportunity to increase their intercultural competence by exploring how their social identities impact their interactions with others, their worldviews, and their experiences related to diversity and social justice. IGDs incorporate a critical–dialogic model that “aims to integrate a critical analysis of structural inequality with communication processes that foster meaningful connections across difference for diverse peers” (Sorenson et al. 2009). By exploring social justice theory, social identity theory, student development theory and topics of social inequality and allyship, students will gain the foundational knowledge to intellectually understand and analyze historical and structural inequalities. Students will participate in class dialogues and guided interactive activities that aim to deepen their understanding of the literature, examining multiple worldviews, and promote collaboration. Interactive and experiential activities also help with developing and practicing necessary skills to act on strategies to be men and women for and with others who promote more inclusive environments.
Feminism at Home and in the World
Wednesday, 12:00pm - 1:15pm, fall 2013
Amelia Zurcher, Associate Professor, English; Director, University Honors Program
Course Description: What is it about the f-word that generates so much controversy? Are we really “post-feminist” now? What does feminism have to teach us about gender and the ways it organizes our experience and shapes our ideas – men and women, straight and not-straight, mainstream and “other”? And, how do people in other parts of the world understand and use feminism? How does feminism build bridges across spaces and cultures? In this seminar we will engage with a variety of voices, from college students to performance artists to international activists, to begin to become familiar with the extraordinary diversity and richness of feminist movements and the changes they seek to bring to the world.
HOPR 1953: Animal Ethics
Thursday 5:00pm - 6:15pm, fall 2013
Cheryl Abbate, Philosophy Department
Course Description: Proposed seminar description: An inquiry into our relationship with nonhuman animals, while attending thoughtfully to the question of what, if any, moral duties are owed to these beings. The first four weeks of class will be spent surveying the mainstream approaches to animal ethics in philosophy including rights based, feminist, theological, and utilitarian approaches. The remainder of the course will focus on the specific issues concerning nonhuman animal use in agriculture, science, and entertainment. Throughout the course, we will continually ask which practices that involve the use of animals are we required to modify, or perhaps even renounce, if our aim is to treat these beings with moral respect. In pursuing the particular subject matter of animal ethics intensively, first year students will be furnished with the opportunity to think critically, challenge contemporary tendencies to overlook the animal, and freely express and develop moral judgments which apply directly to their everyday life choices and experiences.
HOPR 1953: Thinking Philosophically with Joss Whedon
Tuesday, 4:00pm - 5:15pm, fall 2013
James South, Associate Professor and Chair, Philosophy
Course Description: Popular culture surrounds our lives, but how should we think about popular culture and what resources for thinking does popular culture provide? By examining various examples of the work of Joss Whedon—movies, TV shows, music, comic books, etc.—, we try to answer these two questions. Such topics as self-knowledge, authenticity, appearance and reality, the uses and abuses of technology and the role of power in society will figure prominently in our discussions.
HOPR 1953: Literary Failures
Tuesday, 9:30 am - 10:45 am, fall 2013
Leah Flack, Assistant Professor, English
Course Description: “To be an artist,” Samuel Beckett once noted, “is to fail, as no other dare fail…failure is his world and to shrink from it desertion, art and craft, good housekeeping, living.” This seminar will read plays, novellas, stories, poems, and novels from the past two centuries that are preoccupied with aesthetic, practical, psychological, political, personal, and existential failures of various kinds. In our work together, we will discuss how these art works respond to different dominant cultural discourses that champion success. We will seek to understand how these paradoxically ambitious artists, who dare to fail boldly, might help us to see with fresh insight the inner logic of various success-obsessed cultures, including our own. Seminar participants will work with the instructor to create a collaborative, lively environment in which all are encouraged to develop and clarify their own independent responses to the course texts and themes.
HOPR 1953: Global Health as Part of Your Future
Monday, 2:00pm - 3:15pm, fall 2013
Terry Tobin, Retired Associate Professor, College of Nursing
Course Description: The seminar commences with the students developing a dynamic definition of health and how it impacts their own lives. Introducing the Healthy People 2020 document of the U.S. Government we explore the broad range of issues involved in the health of the nation and how they are being addressed on national, state, community and personal levels. Current events in varied media introduce the role of health in politics, economics, religion, and culture throughout the world. Major health issues in developing countries require the student to focus on the plight of poor, disenfranchised peoples. Issues include malnutrition, diarrhea, malaria, HIV/AIDS, immunization, TB, and maternal child health. The status of women in other cultures impacts the state of their health. Poverty, sanitation, water supply, and food sources are all part of the equation that dictates the quality of life for people wherever they live. While this is broad and encompassing content, the objective is for the students to begin to think on an elevated plane and share ideas of world issues as they work toward their professional and life goals.
HOPR 2953: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Blaxploitation Films
Tuesday 11 am – 12:40 pm, fall 2013
Angelique Harris, Assistant Professor, Sociology, Department of Social and Cultural Sciences
Course Description: This course will examine representations of race, gender, and sexuality in the blaxploitation film genre – a series of films made between the late 1960s to mid-1970s that highlighted the challenges facing urban African American communities. Blaxploitation films captured a particularly tumultuous time in American history. Soon after the civil rights movement, and during the nascent Black power, women’s, and gay rights movements, young African American audiences applauded these controversial films while others within African American communities blamed them for being both exploitative and stereotypical. Sociological, cultural, feminist, film, critical race, and queer theories will be used to explore the social issues and community concerns presented in these films as well as how they have influenced modern film and cultural representations of race, gender, and sexuality. Through the analysis of these films, this course will prepare students to critically observe and analyze how these films, as well as more modern films, influence the portrayal of minorities within American culture.
HOPR 2953: Mindful Knitting
Tuesday 9:30-11:10 am, fall 2013
Susanne Foster, Associate Professor, Philosophy
Course Description: We all know, too well, the ways in which our world divides us between a multitude of things we must remember and do; how it dissociates us from the here and the now, the present task, those we are currently with, ourselves. Mindfulness is a contemplative practice designed to bring the practitioner into the present moment. By stilling the mind, and unifying our energies on one task, it creates a healing calm. Simple repetitious tasks like knitting lend themselves to mindful meditation. And unlike breathing or stepping, knitting creates a record of the meditation. By repeating the same simple stitch over and over, the knitter creates a fabric, whether a scarf or a wash cloth or a sweater. Manning’s book takes advantage of this fact to focus the mindfulness onto the warmth and comfort of the scarf that is the first project, the gratitude and generosity toward the recipient of the three wash cloths that are crafted as a gift for the second project, and so on. This course is open to those with no prior knitting experience as well as those with advanced knitting skills.
HOPR 2953: Sex, Faith and Culture
Monday 4 – 5:40 pm, fall 2013
Kathy Coffey-Guenther, Associate Vice President of Mission and Ministry
Course Description: The purpose of this seminar is to invite students to think critically about the integration of faith and culture as affects norms regarding healthy sexuality in general, and as concerns their own healthy decision making apropos healthy sexuality in their own lives. This seminar will use several tools to assist students in this learning endeavor. Students will be exposed to speakers from several different religious and faith traditions, including Roman Catholicism, regarding perceptions of the human person, the human body, sexuality, sexual mores and values, gender roles and faith-based cultural expectations.
HOPR 2953: Peace: A Dream Unfolding
Wed. 10 – 11:40 am, fall 2013
Patrick Kennelly, Associate Director, Center for Peacemaking
Course Description: Dr. King and Gandhi are credited with mainstreaming nonviolence as an effective strategy for social change. Over the past 100 years, nonviolence has gained popularity as individuals such as Gene Sharp, Thich Nhat Han, Desmond Tutu, Caesar Chavez, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the Dali Lama have highlighted and popularized the transformative power of nonviolence to overcome seemingly intractable conflicts. These nonviolent leaders have inspired a new generation of nonviolent practitioners who continue to advance nonviolence as a philosophy, lifestyle, and method of social change. Those who use nonviolent methods have worked to create political change, oppose foreign occupations, resist colonialism, secure civil, women’s, laborers and human rights, reduce community violence and militarism, while simultaneously promoting good governance and drawing media attention to the issue. With a particular focus on the leaders of nonviolent movements in Milwaukee and Afghanistan, this seminar will introduce students to the practice of nonviolence and leaders of nonviolent movements. Through discussion, guest speakers, and Skype conversations students will connect with nonviolent peacemakers in Milwaukee, across the nation, and around the globe. Students will be challenged to examine the following: How and why these leaders are using nonviolence to create peaceful communities; how people are organizing nonviolent movements to create social change; how nonviolence can be used in community organizing and conflict transformation; what skills are necessary for practicing and disseminating nonviolence; what motivates and sustains nonviolent leaders; how students can develop as nonviolent leaders and how students can use nonviolence to engage their communities.
HOPR 2953: Lights, Camera, Activism
Tuesday 4 – 5:40 pm, fall 2013
Eric Kowalik, Instructional Designer, Libraries/Research and Instructional Services
Course Description: Kony 2012 is one example of how video can empower people and effect social change. This course will provide an introduction to the history, practice, and application of video as a tool of social expression, advocacy, and activism. By understanding the basic history of the video medium as a tool for social change, expression and examining various examples of activist filmmaking, students will develop the needed skill set to produce and screen a 5-minute issue-based video in hopes of fostering community engagement regarding the subject matter of the video.
**HOPR 2953: Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Research
Wed 4 – 5:40 pm, fall 2013
Jeanne Hossenlopp, Vice Provost for Research/Dean, Graduate School
Course Description: The course, developed especially for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) students and others interested in undergraduate research at Marquette, will introduce students to research across disciplinary boundaries and to research partnerships between university and other community entities. Part of its purpose is to equip Honors students to begin research early in their academic careers at Marquette. Participants have priority for the 3-credit, graded Honors research seminar taught in the spring, HOPR 3955, regardless of their academic year. We will reserve places in this seminar for 10 incoming first-years and 10 first-semester sophomores.
HOPR 2953: Explorations in Buddhist Meditation
Thursday 5:45 - 7:25 pm
Alice Gormley, Serials Librarian, Raynor Memorial Libraries
Course Description: The aim of this course is to introduce students to meditation practices and to explore what these practices can mean in our lives. Buddhism has developed meditation techniques through many traditions in its 2500-year history. Emphasis will be on learning to practice mindfulness/calm-abiding meditations common to all paths of Buddhism and exploring how meditation fits into the main themes of Buddhist teachings, as well as how it might fit into other religions or spiritual traditions, seeing where meditation might fit into a full life of learning, professional activity, and service.
HOPR 2953: Linking Reflection to Leadership
Wed. 3 - 4:40 pm
Felisa J. Parris, Academic Advisor, College of Professional Studies
Course Description: This contemplative practice seminar will be devoted to an intellectual exploration of leadership and reflection. This seminar is designed to link the concept of leadership to reflection practices in order to teach students ways in which their individual leadership practices can be improved and maximized. Students will explore the meaning of leadership through current literature and identify their individual leadership philosophy. Mindfulness meditation will be used to guide students to reflect on their leadership skills. Mindfulness medication will be used to encourage students to bring different aspects of one’s focus to awaken an awareness of the interconnectedness of leadership and reflection.
HOPR 2953: Miksang Contemplative Photography
Thursday 2 - 3:40 pm
Miriam Hall, Contemplative Arts teacher based out of Madison, Wisconsin
Course Description: “Miksang” is Tibetan for “good eye.” It is a contemplative photography course that has been developed in Shambhala (Tibetan-American) Buddhist centers over the last 20 years and is making its premiere appearance in a University setting. Miksang is a perception course that uses the camera as a tool for witnessing our minds in action. In Miksang, we will learn rubrics for shooting and seeing clearly, then do shoots on our own. The “good eye” of Miksang is a non-judgmental, impartial, to do with the clarity, the truth of our perceptions, rather than our preferences. In the discussions, we bring in readings to compare how Buddhist philosophy discusses the nature of perception, as compared to our experience of it (documented through our cameras).
HOPR 2953: Explorations of the Narrative Self
Wed 12 - 1:40 pm
Ed de St. Aubin, Associate Professor and Assistant Chair, Psychology
Course Description: Narrative Psychologists suggest that contemporary adults define themselves through an identity life story – one’s reconstructed past, perceived present, and anticipated future. We tell ourselves and others stories about who we were and who we want to be. Such stories are core to self-understanding and to social interactions. Participants in this seminar will explore different methods for creating, collecting, and analyzing these narratives of self. We will learn how to interpret stories for psychological meaning. We will practice five interrelated modes of inquiry: 1) Writing the Self. 2) Presenting an Analyzed Self. 3) Group Analysis of a Life Story. 4) Exemplars Approach. 5) Presenting and Analyzed Other. Each student will present an analysis of the life story written by another student in the class. Students not wishing to share their personal material have other options.
HOPR 2953: Yoga
Tuesday 4 - 5:40 pm
John Su, Professor, English
Course Description: In this course, students will study the fundamental practices of yoga. Yoga represents a blanket term to describe a wide variety of practices that are both very old and relatively recent. In the process of studying, the goal is to open up to pedagogical styles that might be less familiar to students in the American educational system. By the end of the semester, depending on the level of commitment to and engagement with the course, students should be able to: 1) practice yoga asanas as part of a daily discipline, and to describe your personal experiences with these practices; 2) articulate how yoga resembles and differs from other contemplative practices that have emerged from other traditions, both Christian and otherwise; 3) critically examine personal experiences in light of an ongoing contemplative practice.
HOPR 3953: Design in Nature and Society
Tues/Th 5 – 6:15 pm, fall 2013
Jack Winters, Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Course Description: This seminar develops and explores design strategies at work in nature and in technology innovation within a changing society. Includes physics as nature’s playing field, design of form and function in plants and animals within their natural ecosystems, small and effective “bio-widgets” that provide bio-inspiration, comparative designs of muscles and motors including history of human- and fossil fuel-empowered machines, infrastructure supporting human creativity and design innovation, strategies behind designing human communities, relation of universal design principles to social justice, and possible futuristic products in service of humans (e.g., service co-robots) and of the planet (e.g., sustainable technologies). Includes a final project on a topic of interest.
HOPR 3953: Art, Identity and Meaning
Thurs. 4- 6:30 pm, fall 2013
Ingvild Torsen, Visiting Assistant Professor, Philosophy
Course Description: What is an artwork? Can an art be truthful? What is the purpose of art? Can art help us understand who we are? Is the freedom of contemporary art a mark of its ability to capture our contemporary identity or is it rather a sign of its lack of importance? These questions are particularly hard to answer at the beginning of the 21st Century, when it is difficult to define art since it seems anything can be an artwork, when the importance of art seems to be limited to the institutions of the art world, and when artists seem most concerned with partaking in a discourse with other artists, critics and curators. We will try to approach these questions philosophically, with the help of important texts of philosophy of art from the 20th Century. We will also try to raise these questions by engaging the art of the last century, from early modernism, via abstract expressionism, pop art and minimalism, to the plurality characteristic of our present. The goal is to be able to make sense of quite difficult philosophical texts through the sustained interpretation of works, hence moving between the abstract and the concrete all through the semester. The course will have three main components: students will have to 1. read philosophical texts, 2. visit art galleries and study art works, and 3. write interpretative essays about art works and eventually philosophically inspired art criticism.
HOPR 3953: Representing Race from Othello to Native Son
Tues/Th 12:30 – 1:45 pm, fall 2013
Albert Rivero, Professor, English
Course Description: Upon returning to England from travels in Venice in 1608, Thomas Coryat remarked on the ‘Barbarous Ethnickes’ who populated what was then Europe’s most cosmopolitan and ethnically diverse city. A hub of mercantile trade, poised on the cusp between East and West, Venice offered the English visitor a giddy and perhaps disturbing vision of a bustling, vibrant world in which native Venetians and other white Europeans mingled with Jews, Turks, and Moors—the latter being the then-current term for ‘black’ Africans. It is no wonder that Shakespeare makes Venice the setting of two of his plays in which non-European characters feature prominently: The Merchant of Venice, also known as The Jew of Venice, and The Tragedy of Othello the Moor of Venice. Beginning with Othello (1604) and focusing on six other works written between the seventeenth and twentieth century, this course examines how race is represented by authors writing at different historical moments, from different historical perspectives, circumstances, and locations. Written by both men and women, of different nationalities and ethnicities, set in Europe, Africa, and the so-called new world of the Americas, these works will help students understand how their own attitudes and beliefs about race have been shaped by a long and complex historical process. Whatever their ethnic and racial backgrounds, twenty-first century Marquette students inhabit a historical moment in which diversity is not only an ineluctable fact but also appears to be a good thing. It has not always been so, as the readings in both primary and secondary texts in this course will remind them.
HOPR 3953: Three Faiths in Medieval Spain
Spring 2014, T/Th 11 - 12:15 pm
Laura Matthew, Associate Professor of History
Course Description: This course asks whether Muslims, Christians, and Jews have ever lived side by side peacefully, by focusing on relations between them in medieval Iberia. The period is often characterized as a golden age of religious tolerance, in which Muslims, Christians and Jews found inspiration in each other’s traditions. Peaceful coexistence, or convivencia, is said to have ended with the Christian reconquest of the peninsula beginning in the thirteenth century and culminating in the expulsion and/or conversion of all Jews from the kingdom in 1492 and of all Muslims in 1609. We will revisit this historical narrative, looking at the latest research and drawing some of our own conclusions from poetry, architecture, music, royal edicts, and other writings from the time period.
HOPR 3953: New Religious Movements in the 20th Century
Spring 2014 Mon/Wed 3:30 - 4:45 pm
Christopher (Shaun) Longstreet, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning
Course Description: This course is an opportunity for participants to do some critical inquiry into one of the more powerful cultural phenomenon in society, religion. As we explore, we will observe the instability of religion as a concept and as an expression of human understanding of reality. We are going to explore UFO traditions, apocalyptic Buddhism, American charismatic traditions, and different Wiccan communities. As a community and on our own, we will explore a broad range of religions that began in the 20th Century to cultivate a deeper understanding of religion and human cultures. Reading about and engaging each other in our inquiry, we will grow in our ability and sophistication in working with people who share different worldviews.
HOPR 3955: Undergraduate Research Opportunity
Spring 2014, Tues/Thur 11 - 12:15 pm
Astrida Kaugars, Associate Professor, Psychology
Course Description: This seminar provides students with the opportunity to participate in, conduct, write up and disseminate original research projects with individual faculty mentors and in the context of a community of fellow honors students engaged in research projects. At the end of the seminar, each student will have developed a research proposal, which may be submitted to the Honors Program for a summer research stipend of $2500. Students who are awarded and accept this funding are expected to present their research at a campus event the following fall semester. Students from all disciplines and students already working in research labs are welcome in this seminar and eligible for summer funding. The seminar is especially appropriate for students who have taken HOPR 2953: Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Research the preceding fall.
HOPR 4953: Post Mortem: Death & Disease from Antiquity to the Middle Ages
Mon/Wed 1 – 2:15 pm, fall 2013
Sarah Bond, Assistant Professor, History
Course Description: This seminar investigates the religious, cultural, economic, and political role that death and disease played within ancient Mediterranean civilizations (e.g., Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Judeo-Christianity) for the first half of the semester, and then transitions into the medieval period, in order to investigate these themes in the societies that flourished in the Middle Ages (Byzantium, Islam, and Western Europe). The class focuses on key topics relevant not only to antiquity, but to today, and integrates numerous areas of study: anthropology, theology, history, archaeology, and health sciences. In regard to the topic of death, the class will investigate religious and social rituals for the burial of the dead, beliefs in an afterlife, the commemoration of the dead, the economic burden of death and the history of healthcare services, and attitudes toward the human body. The theme of disease is similarly pertinent and interwoven into these intensive studies. Students will be introduced to the extensive medical literature from antiquity and the middle ages, and undertake a research projects that tracks the spread and impact of epidemics: the plague of Athens during the Peloponnesian War, the Plague of Justinian, and the Black Death, in particular. Death and disease are themselves an inescapable reality, but present a unique opportunity to understand the mores, struggles, and medical approaches of past societies.
HOPR 4953: Autism Spectrum Disorder’s Impact on Families and Society
Mon/Wed 2 – 3:15 pm, fall 2013
Norah Johnson, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing
Course Description: This course offers an introduction to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a neurodevelopmental disorder that expresses itself with great variability in social, communication, and behavioral symptoms. The course focuses on the impact of the growing prevalence of autism spectrum disorder on families (parents, siblings, grandparents) and society (health care providers, teachers, law enforcement officers, and others). The course begins with the history and present day aspects of ASD’s prevalence, etiology (genetics, genomics), diagnosis process (DSM-IV and DSM-5, assessment tools, biomarkers, cultural disparities in assessment), treatment (behavioral, psychopharmacological, complementary and alternative medicines, communication assistance, occupational therapy, education, cultural disparities in treatment). It continues with present day advances from research in health care, and education. This multidisciplinary focused seminar is suited for majors in psychology, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work, pre-law, pre-med and education. It encourages students to think beyond the provider perspective to include the parent and family perspective related to treatment selection decision-making, law and policy development (private insurance covering autism, mandated education of children with autism over age 3 years), family coping (family self-management theory), supports (societies, Internet, insurance waivers) and interventions to foster family resilience. The explicit goal of this course is to help students begin to recognize how diagnostic criteria, education policy, family support interventions, and insurance impact families of children with ASD as well as society as a whole.
HOPR 4953: Truth and Memory as a Work of Justice
Tues/Th 2 – 3:15 pm, fall 2013
Margaret Urban Walker, Donald J. Schuenke Chair in Philosophy
Course Description: In 2006, a United Nations Study affirmed and explained that both individual victims of human rights abuses and their societies possess an inalienable and autonomous “right to the truth.” Official truth telling about a past history of oppression, repression, and violence has been institutionalized in recent decades with the surprising growth in officially sponsored “truth commissions,” implemented in over thirty countries to investigate and reveal the truth about abuses that occurred within their societies. The truth commission phenomenon (and its rapid global spread is truly that – a phenomenon) reflects a wider set of questions about the difficulties societies have in facing some shocking and shameful parts of their pasts. These struggles are also revealed in conflicts over history curricula in public schools; memorials and sites of memory to victimized populations and survivors of atrocity; and public acknowledgment of injustice in the forms of archives, museums, commemorations, and memorials. These struggles involve truth telling and truthfulness as an individual, interpersonal, and societal value or imperative. This seminar will involve students in a variety of reflections on, and methodologically different ways of approaching, the value and imperative of truth telling in connection with histories of violence, injustice, or oppression. Required reading will cover the moral significance and complexities of acknowledgment, accountability, history, remembrance, testimony and epistemic justice.
HOPR 4953: Pop Art & Philosophy
Spring 2014, Mondays 2 - 4:30 pm
Curtis Carter, Professor of Philosophy
Course Description: An examination of the philosophical, artistic, and cultural aspects of foundations of Pop art. The course will consider the role of American artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, as well as British and Chinese Pop artists. Following the inward looking art movements (Surrealism (Salvador Dali)and Abstract Expressionism (Jackson Pollock), Pop art reintroduced realism into art focused on everyday objects such as soup cans, brillo boxes, flags, and superstar figures in the entertainment world. The aim of the course will be to consider Pop art as a critical lens to view mid-twentieth century consumer based culture and the life style issues of mid-twentieth century life as reflected in the works and ideas of Pop artists. Philosophers such as Arthur Danto have examined the role of Pop art as a central turning point in the history of art, calling for a rethinking of our understanding of art and leading to postmodern art. Class will provide visits to cultural events: symphony, ballet, repertory theory with a discount. Site visits and the use of images will augment readings and class discussions.
HOPR 4953: Origin and Nature of the Universe
Spring 2014, Tues/Th 2 - 3:15 pm
Jame Schaefer, Associate Professor, Theology and Dr. John Karkheck, Professor, Physics
Course Description: topic that defies strict departmentalization--the origin and nature of the universe. While faculty recognize the contributions their individual disciplines make to this topic, they acknowledge the limitations inherent in any one discipline to address the beginning and nature of the universe comprehensively. Furthermore, they discern one discipline’s opening to the other for a more complete understanding of the world, the human place within it, and God in relation to all constituents of the physical world. Students enrolled in the course will join this quest. We will begin with an historical overview of the development of cosmological ideas among the Greeks, Muslims, and Copernicans, noting any religious influence on their endeavors. We will proceed to identify the data, methods, scopes, limitations, and other distinguishing characteristics of Theology and Physics today. Emphasis will be placed on discerning each discipline’s contribution to understanding the origin and nature of the universe. Discussion of the characteristics of these two disciplines will be enhanced by guest lectures delivered by Dr. Anthony Peressini, a philosopher of science. By mid-semester, each student will commence research on the approach that Theology or Physics takes when addressing an approved topic (e.g., self-organizing universe, the anthropic principle/fine-tuned universe, purposeful universe, law-governed universe), and, toward the end of the semester, will present with another student the two disciplines’ findings on the topic. Each student will generate a seminar paper in which the views of the disciplines are integrated to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the topic.
HOPR 4953: Religion and Film
Spring 2014, Mon/Wed 12 - 1:15 pm
Michel Barnes, Associate Professor, Theology
Course Description: Films are a kind of text: they express ideas or tell stories using a language and grammar. Most films are texts of fiction: they tell stories that never happened (and perhaps could not have happened). The fact that the stories are “fictional” -- or even trivial -- does not prevent them from taking on a reality and provoking feelings in us. In a film we see the story as if it were real, as opposed to the stories of drama or literature, in which one sees stories in ways other than how we see the real world. When we watch a film we enter into the world of the film’s story, a world that has its own rules and degrees of reality. The subject of this course is the way in which religion provides the content and style (“aesthetic”) for films and film-making. The most conspicuous way in which religion provides the content of a film is the case of a “religious” film, i.e., a film explicitly devoted to treating a religious subject (usually the life of a religious figure). The content of a film can be religious is other ways, however, as when, e.g., subject matter typically or originally associated with religion is the subject of a film. For example, the topic of the end of the world is a subject originally belonging to religion, but it has become the subject of many films that have no explicit religious perspective: the theme of the “apocalypse” or “armageddon” floats free now of any religion in “Apocalypse Now” or “Armageddon” or any of the “Terminator” movies. Films can borrow religious genres of stories: “Pale Rider” is an apocalyptic film; “Outlaw Josey Wales” and “The World According to Garp” (and “Happy Gilmore”?) are gospels. Another way religion can provide the content of a film is when the film offers a perspective or content that aspires to have a quasi-religious content: “Avatar” is a substantial and clear example of such a film; some viewers understand “Aliens” to express a doctrine of a matriarchal Earth Mother. There are other ways in which film imitates religion: by being a ritual, in its evocation of a kind of worship, as a source of myth (e.g., “2001: A Space Odyssey”). Less well known and less obvious is the scholarly judgment that the medium of film represents in itself a religious impulse -- the desire to be immortal, to be “preserved” on film as a mummy preserved a body.