New Courses For Winter

September 24, 2013 — Looking for new courses this winter? Examine urban sociology in a community-based course, study non-democratic policing and the rise of the Nazi police system, or explore how race and racism shape American law in these new courses!

Culture & Communication


This seminar-style, community-based learning course begins with an introduction to urban sociology and examines problems unique to cities. The majority of the instructional time will take place at LIFT, an organization dedicated to combating poverty in our nation's communities. Students will volunteer at the LIFT office a minimum of three hours per week, working one-on-one with low-income community members to connect them to housing, employment, social services, and/or educational opportunities. Class topics will include urban economies, access to education and health care, digital divides and crime.

This course, taught by Cyndi Rickards, will meet on campus Tuesdays, 10:00am – 11:15am, location TBD. Students are responsible for arranging their own volunteer hours.


This course examines the economic, social and political circumstances that allowed the SA, and later the SS (and Gestapo), to take power in Germany during the era of the Third Reich.  The course relies on multiple presentation methods (e.g. film, radio, historical texts, lecture, photographic documentation) to tell the story of how the parliamentary branch of the Nazi political party created a police state to foster an Aryan nation as Hitler moved to invade Poland in August 1939.  Throughout the course, students will ask the ever-looming question: could such a gross example of non-democratic policing ever occur in the United States?

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Robert Kane, PhD, will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00am – 12:20pm.  Location TBD.

*As a companion to this course, Kane is hosting an eight-day trip to Germany over the 2014 spring break for students who wish to experience in person the legacy of policing during the Third Reich.  The tour will begin in Berlin and finish in Munich with visits to: The Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, SS Stasi Police Museum, Documentation Center, Nazi Rally Grounds, The Jewish Museum, Nuremberg (Nazi War Crimes Tribunal), and Dachau.  This tour will run as a 3.0 credit, criminal justice special topics course for spring 2014. Students must pay additional course fee to cover the cost of the trip.



This course will cultivate students' awareness of the ways in which race and racism shape American law and literature's relationship to the law. Students will study how African-American, Latin-American, Asian-American, and Native American authors have responded to legal structures such as Constitutional rights, criminal justice and citizenship. Students will adapt their existing understanding of rhetoric and argumentation to the concerns of the texts addressed in the course; specifically, students' interpretation of literary and legal texts in this course will help them engage in nuanced discussion about past and present developments in race relations in the United States.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by André Carrington, PhD, is open to all students who have passed ENGL 103 (or ENGL 105) and will meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9:00am – 9:50am. Location TBD.


This course offers an in-depth look at the philosophical ideas of the European Enlightenment as influenced by the science and politics of the 17th and 18th centuries.  Special attention will be given to ideas concerning the rise of the modern state as represented in the social contract theories of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and David Hume, and the relevance of these ideas for our time.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Carol Mele, PhD, is open to students with at least two 200-level philosophy courses, and will meet Wednesdays and Fridays from 3:30 to 4:50pm, Location TBD. Prerequisites may be waived for interested students. Contact Peter Amato, PhD for more information at


This course will begin with Hannah Arendt’s controversial report on Israel’s trial of Eichmann, a member of the Nazi SS who was responsible for the mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and concentrations camps throughout Europe. The course will be supplemented by essays from Arendt’s later writings in which she reflects upon the philosophical issues raised by the Eichmann trial; excerpts from some of her earlier writings, as means to understanding the philosophical concerns that informed her report of the Eichmann trial; and various movies about the trial and Nazi Germany.

Some of the questions the course will address include: What is evil; is it banal, and what does that mean? What is thinking, and how does it affect doing or avoiding evil? Is there a “right to have rights;” what might that mean? Students may apply these questions to any genocides, dirty wars or “refugee problems” of the 20th or 21st century; and they may do further research into what role international courts should play in trying those who commit “crimes against humanity.”

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Amy Bush, PhD, is open to students above the pre-junior level with at least two 200-level philosophy courses, and will meet Mondays from 2:00pm to 4:50, Location TBD. Prerequisites may be waived for interested students. Contact Peter Amato, PhD for more information at



The course utilizes the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program to explore inequality in the United States as it relates to the American Dream. It will be held at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility on State Road (transportation provided). The Inside-Out Exchange Program creates opportunities for dialogue between those on the outside and those on the inside of the nation’s prisons and correctional facilities. Through this unique exchange, Inside-Out and this course seek to deepen the conversation and transform ways of thinking about life trajectories in the U.S.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Doug Porpora, PhD, will meet Thursdays, 1:00pm – 3:50pm. Location TBD.