New Courses for Spring

February 3, 2014 —  


Archaeology of the Aegean (ANTH 380.001)

Many of the core social and political influences that make life in the United States what it is today originated 5000 years ago in Egypt and Mesopotamia. In ancient times, a totally new way of life traversed from the “Cradle of Civilization,” through the islands of the Eastern Mediterranean, into the region of Europe that would become Classical Greece, and from there to Macedonia and Rome.

This course begins its archaeological exploration in prehistoric Egypt and Mesopotamia before “the birth of civilization.” With the stage set, students will witness the formations of the first “states,” and then track the movement of the phenomenon of the state through the Eastern Mediterranean, where it is “mixed” with proto-European culture on the Aegean island of Crete. From there, it’s on to Europe.

Throughout, students will explore a line of thought that questions whether this was the advantage for humankind that most of us see as a given.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Robert Powell, PhD, will meet on campus Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 3 – 3:50 p.m., location TBD.

Criminal Justice

Race and Justice (CJ 380.002)

It is virtually impossible to adequately understand a racialized institution such as the criminal justice system without understanding the significance of race. This course explores major and current themes of race and justice such as: 1) What is the extent of race- and ethnicity-based discrimination in the criminal justice system? 2) What accounts for race differentials in criminal offending? 3) What’s so “racial” about intra-racial crime? 4) What is the current evidence regarding the effectiveness of tactics such as Stop and Frisk? and 5) How do colorblind ideologies shape the execution of justice? Through a series of interactive discussions, guest speakers and lectures, students will gain an understanding of the social dynamics that explain why justice must viewed through a race-based paradigm.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Lallen Johnson-Hart, PhD, will meet on campus Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 3 – 3:50 p.m., location TBD.

Prison, Society and You (CJ 380.001)

This course utilizes the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program to explore the relationship between individuals and the prison system. The Inside-Out Exchange Program is an evolving set of projects that creates opportunities for dialogue between those on the outside and those on the inside of the nation’s correctional facilities. The program demonstrates the potential for dynamic collaborations between institutions of higher education and correctional institutions. Most importantly, through this unique exchange, Inside-Out an this course seeks to deepen the conversation- and transform ways of thinking about crime and justice (Crabbe, Pompa, 2004).

Information Sessions to be held in the PSA building, room 202B:

  • Feb 4, 2014: 12:30 p.m.
  • Feb 5, 2014: 9:30 a.m.
  • Feb 6, 2014: 2:00 p.m.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Cherri Brooks, will meet Thursdays, 1 – 4 p.m. in the CF-CF Correctional Institution on State Road. For more information, contact


Business Journalism (COM 380.002)

Who doesn’t like money? Like it or not, the old cliché “money makes the world go round” is a fact. Everyone’s life is affected by money but few people really understand how pervasive its influence is in their lives. That’s where business and financial journalists come in: their job is to tell us how money affects every part of daily life, from sports to courts and education too. This course will introduce students to the basic concepts of reporting and writing about money including personal finance, corporate and economic news, as well as the movement of markets. Whether you are planning a career as a journalist or simply want to increase your personal finance savvy, learning to write about business and money is more fun than you might think!

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Richard Forney, will meet on campus Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 – 3:20 p.m., location TBD.

Promoting Health and Wellbeing (COM 380.003/ SOC 380.001)

Don’t drink soda. Eat more vegetables. Exercise more. Cut your salt intake. Low-fat, non-fat, sugar-free. Super foods. Reduces the risk of cancer by 30%. These are all probably messages that you hear in your daily life, in your supermarkets and on the subway but what do they mean? Even if the message is clear—who should be paying attention to these messages anyway? Do people make meaningful changes to their lives from a message they read on a billboard?

This class will explore health promotion campaigns: what the messages are, who they are aimed at and whether or not they work. By the end of this class, students will create their own health message aimed at a variety of target audiences. So whether you are a communication major, a graphic designer or just want to learn more about health promotion, this class will be an informative, exploratory experience.

Part of the side-by-side model at Drexel, this class will take place off-campus with members of the West Philadelphia community. Students will learn alongside members of LIFT—an organization that works to combat poverty by pairing rigorously trained advocates with committed community members to build the strong personal, social and financial foundations they need to get ahead. (This is not volunteer work, though students are welcome to volunteer at LIFT at any time.) Together, the class will create a meaningful group project and share it to the broader community, whether digitally or at a health fair.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Danie Greenwell, will meet off campus, Wednesdays 2 – 5 p.m., at the LIFT Office West, 5548 Chestnut Street.

For more information, contact Danie Greenwell, By signing up for this class, you commit to traveling to the LIFT offices every Wednesday from 2-5 p.m. during the Spring Term.

A Rhetoric of Style (COM 400.001)

Both rhetoric and style are often contrasted with substance, especially in the contexts of politics, public relations and advertising. Such was not always the case, however. The venerable tradition of rhetoric, which goes back to the ancient Greeks, includes not only the use of style as embellishment, but also the acknowledgment of important parallels between style and substance. According to many ancient and contemporary rhetoricians, styles of speech can both reflect and inform styles of thought. This course will try to rehabilitate our commonly misunderstood notions of style by examining the relationship between figures of speech and figures of thought.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Lawrence Souder, PhD, will meet on campus Thursdays, 6:30 – 9:20 p.m., location TBD.

Gender and Media (COM 400.002)

Advertisers and consumers alike often claim “sex sells!” What else are we buying into when we’re sold “sex” in the media? COM 400 Gender and Media will engage in a wide range of media content— film, television, advertising, as well as YouTube and tumblr—to analyze the representations of gender, race and sexuality that saturate the American media landscape. This class is highly interactive, discussion based and includes a lot of media viewing!

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Nora Madison, will meet on campus Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 – 10:50 a.m., location TBD.


This Must Be the Place (ENGL 103.140)

In this course, students will explore the concept of home as a place/destination as well as an idea/feeling. Through reading and writing, students will examine their own shifting sense of home. Texts will include essays from “Open House,” the Graywolf Forum Five anthology edited by Mark Doty, as well as recorded music and podcasts.

This 3.0 credit lecture/online hybrid course, taught by Rachel Wenrick, will meet Wednesdays, 11 a.m. – 12:20 p.m., location TBD.

Global Black Literature and Activism (ENGL 360.003)

This course deals with fiction, memoir, poetry, essays, performance, film and visual texts inspired by the American Civil Rights Movement and other liberation struggles among people of African descent. Students will examine writing by black American, Caribbean and African intellectuals in order to better understand how they have taken part in the political mobilizations that have shaped the modern world. Topics include black nationalism/internationalism, feminism/womanism, Marxism, Négritude, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender liberation. Students will read works from authors including Langston Hughes, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Toni Morrison and Frantz Fanon.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by André Carrington, PhD, will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30 – 4:50 p.m., location TBD. Students may also register for this course through International Area Studies (IAS 390.002) and Africana Studies (AFAS 395.001).

Seminar in English/American Literature: James Joyce’s “Ulysses” (ENGL 490.130)

Joyce's “Ulysses” is a landmark work in English literature. Students will read the whole of this monumental novel over the course of the term and explicate it in the context of Joyce's life and with respect to Irish and English history, and literary and philosophical tradition.

This 4.0 credit course, taught by Paula Marantz Cohen, PhD, will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30 – 1:50 p.m., location TBD. Open to English majors only. Students must be a junior or senior to enroll.

Iphigenia to Arta (ENGL 323.130)

This class revolves around the Greek folk song “The Bridge of Arta," which focuses on the establishment of a bridge via human sacrifice (the so called motif of the "walled-up" wife). It examines the ideology of an ancient Greek theatrical play, a classical opera, a film and a choreodrama, touching on the similarities and differences between each, especially because of the various means in use.

Students will consider the roles' conflict, the embodiment of the folk myth elements and the ancient "Euripidean" tragedy. Is the emphasis, after all, on the tragic Nietzschean “superhero,” on the Christian self-sacrifice or on the female heroine? Is it a variation of Iphigenia, of Smaragda, of Greece, or of the "homo erectus" being?

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Maria Hnaraki, PhD, will meet Mondays and Wednesdays, 12 – 12:50 p.m., location TBD. The course is offered entirely in English. No knowledge of the Greek language is necessary, but provision may be made for those wishing to read certain texts in Greek.

Paris in the 1920s (ENGL 310.001)

"The world in general needs a different imagination at different times and so there is the Paris France from 1900-1939, where everybody had to be free." –Gertrude Stein

In Paris, the first years of the 20th century were marked by the development of a variety of avant-garde movements, fueled by the radicalism of French Impressionism, the Fauves, Dada and Surrealism, and the contributions of such exiled or expatriate artists and writers as Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Sherwood Anderson and Ezra Pound, among others. This course will focus specifically on the 1920s, when the literary and artistic life of Paris reflected an emerging Modernism, shaped and influenced in part by: the integration of African art and culture into the then dominant (European) discourses; the cataclysmic effects of World War I on the modern psyche; the flourishing of African American music, jazz; and the reciprocal influence of French and American cultures on artistic and literary production. Students will read representative works by, among others, André Breton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein. Format: lectures; class discussions; films.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Gabriela Ibieta, PhD, will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00-3:20pm, location TBD.

Environmental Science

Systems Ecology (ENVS 480.001)

This course teaches students how to approach complicated problems such as economics, ecosystem dynamics, or energy and society using a systems approach. Students will learn how to diagram systems, theories that explain system dynamics, and how to synthesize our knowledge using computer simulation. Students will also learn how to measure ecosystem metabolism by measuring gas exchange in the environment. Systems Ecology gives students the tools to find solutions to problems relevant to society and explain the dynamics of ecosystems.

This course, taught by Jerry Mead, PhD, will meet on campus Mondays, 6 – 8:50 p.m., location TBD.


The Great War, 1914-1918 (HIST 235.001)*

This course examines the global causes, conduct and consequences of World War I, which fundamentally altered our century's political, social, economic and cultural institutions.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Eric Brose, PhD, will meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10 – 10:50 a.m., location TBD.

*As a companion to this course, Brose will host an 11-day seminar tour to England, France and Belgium over the 2014 fall break for students to experience the First World War centenary.  This travel course weaves together visits to many war museums, several battlefield tours, battle reenactments, a WWI stage play, three classic WWI films, as well as traditional lectures about the soldiers who fought in these battles.  This 3.0 - 4.0 credit travel course is also open to students who have taken HIST 235, HIST 259, HIST 267 in past terms.  Students who choose to participate in the travel component must pay additional fees to cover the cost of the trip.  Applications are available at the Study Abroad website.

History of Disability (HIST 298.002)

Normal. Healthy. Fit. These are words we use every day to describe our bodies and minds without a second thought. But each of these words carries a powerful message about its opposite, defining who is abnormal, sick or incapable.  The history of "disability" is a history of perceived differences, of judgments about ourselves and others, and this class asks how those notions of difference have emerged in American society and how they have shaped all of our lives. Students will explore: How have wheelchairs, hearing aids, cosmetics, prosthetic limbs and definitions of schizophrenia developed over time? What societal priorities lie behind the origins of Ritalin and the phrasing of the Americans With Disabilities Act?  What is a beautiful body, a dangerous personality disorder or an inclusive society and, crucially, who decides? Using original sources (including texts, images, objects and visits to buildings and streetscapes) along with historical analyses, students will study 19th century medical ideologies, 20th century laws, and 21st century fashion trends as each reflects American ideas about ability and disability. Students will also study their own standards of health, beauty, competence and fairness, and their own beliefs about difference.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Amy Slaton, PhD, will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30 – 4:50 p.m., location TBD.


Philosophy of Religion (PHIL 391.001)

The modern worldview reduces human experience to mechanistic terms, leaving little room for religion or spirituality more generally. This has led many to reject the modern worldview in favor of older and, in many instances, simplistic worldviews, prompting what some have referred to as the spiritual crisis of modernity. Fortunately, religion is far more complex than its various fundamentalist instantiations would lead one to believe. Students will explore some of these more promising and challenging interpretations in order to gain a better and richer understanding of religion and the spiritual dimensions of human experience. This course will expose students to the wealth of sophisticated and challenging versions of religion and spirituality that have preoccupied philosophers and theologians throughout history. For more information about this course contact the instructor at

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Marilyn Piety, PhD, is open to students above the sophomore level who have taken PHIL 101 Introduction to Western Philosophy, and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30 – 4:50 p.m., location TBD. Prerequisites and restrictions may be waived for interested students. Contact the director of the Philosophy Program at for more information.

Seminar: The Philosophy of Immanuel Kant (PHIL 485.001)

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is one of the most important philosophers in the Western Philosophical tradition. This course will involve a study of Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” (1781/1787), which is central to his philosophy, preceded by a review of the historical influences (Bacon, Hume, Leibniz and Wolff) and philosophical problems informing its composition. For more information about this course contact the instructor at

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Jacques Catudal, PhD, is open to students with at least two 200-level philosophy courses, and will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 – 10:50 a.m., location TBD. Prerequisites may be waived for interested students. Contact the director of the Philosophy Program at for more information.

Seminar: Feminist Philosophy (PHIL 481.001, cross-listed with WMST 280.002)

This course is an introduction to contemporary debates in feminist philosophy with a special emphasis on questions in metaphysics, ethics and political philosophy. What is the nature of gender, sexuality, power and oppression? What values and visions should guide feminist resistance and struggle in the 21st century? Discussions will explore how racism, classism and globalization shape these questions. Readings include work by Judith Butler, Linda Martin Alcoff, Dean Spade, Chandra Mohanty, Uma Narayan, Angela Davis, Sandra Harding and many others. For a final project, students may choose to write an argumentative paper or produce a substantial creative work (e.g. video, poster, photo series, comic book, website, zine). For more information about this course contact the instructor at

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Sarah Hansen, PhD, is open to students with at least two 200-level philosophy courses, and will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. –12:20 p.m., location TBD. Prerequisites may be waived for interested students. This course fulfills the PHIL461 contemporary philosophy requirement for philosophy minors and majors. Contact the director of the Philosophy Program at for more information.


The Standard Model (PHYS 750.001)

This course will develop the formalism of Classical Fields toward an understanding of the Standard Model of particle physics.  Beginning with internal symmetries, students will discuss the fundamental interactions of electromagnetism, the weak and strong force (in that order), along with the properties of their mediating particle.  Students will also explore the Higgs mechanism, handedness in physical laws and more.  No knowledge of group theory or special relativity will be assumed, as the basics will be developed as needed. At the end of the course, students will have a deep knowledge which, combined with relativistic quantum mechanics, would provide the necessary foundation for quantum field theory.

This 3.0 credit course is open to graduate students and will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 – 10:50 a.m., location TBD.

Political Science

Special Topic: Latin America's Left Turn (PSCI 472.001)

Beginning with the 1998 election of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Latin America has undergone a radical leftward shift, of which a string of elected leaders in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Paraguay, Honduras and Ecuador is only the most obvious indicator. This course will approach this leftward turn as a response to neoliberal reform efforts in the 1980s, and through the lens of the popular social movements that made such elections possible in the first place.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by George Ciccariello-Maher, PhD, will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30 – 1:50 p.m., location TBD.


The Lyric Essay (WRIT 304.001)

“The lyric essay sets off on an uncharted course through interlocking webs of idea, circumstance, and language—a pursuit with no foreknown conclusion, an arrival that might still leave the writer questioning.” —Deborah Tall and John D’Agata, Seneca Review

Part prose, part poem, the lyric essay combines memoir with research and often samples the techniques of other genres and art forms: fiction, journalism, photography and film. In this creative nonfiction-writing workshop, students will read and examine contemporary models of this hybrid form, including works by Ander Monson and Eula Biss. After identifying a topic of exploration, students will, through an extended process of drafting and revision, write their own lyric essays.

This 3.0 credit writing-intensive course, taught by Rachel Wenrick,is open to students above the sophomore level and will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 12:20 p.m., location TBD.