Spring 2023 Courses
Fields – TR 12:30-1:45
This course examines the medical-legal classification and societal treatment of the insane. Topics include how insanity has been historically perceived, the development and current use of insanity defenses, variations in confinement/treatment/punishment, and the relationships among mental illness, legal competence, and insanity. Topics are paired with case studies of notorious criminal trials, their media portrayals, and popular reactions.
Abbott – F 12:00-2:50 PM
This course is intended to show you how to use a digital camera to photograph everything from insects to elephants. The techniques from this class will equip you to extend beyond nature to product photography and other print quality images. By the end of this course, students will be able to make publishable quality photographs for use in biological research, communications, and creative/artistic applications. This course will focus on using digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, DSLR-related equipment, field and studio techniques, post-processing, and photographic workflow. Equipment can be rented from the library if you do not already own a camera or can borrow a camera from a friend or family member.
West African Music and Culture
Caputo – TR 9:30-10:45 AM
Imagining Heaven and Hell
Cruz-Uribe – MW 3-4:15 PM BUI 301
Intermedia Intersection in Art
Dewar- MW 4:30-5:45 PM
This interdisciplinary course discusses intermedia intersections in 20th and 21st century art and music. We will examine the cultural and historical roots of intermedia art, the outpouring of experimentation in the 20th century avant-garde, and the postmodern pastiche of the digital realm in the 21st century. Spanning work created for galleries, to art and music from urban streets and rural villages, we will explore examples from the visual arts, dance, music, film and architecture to learn how and why artists work with and combine different media. In addition to engaging with a variety of artistic works, we will discuss the cultural, philosophical, theoretical, and compositional issues that meet at intermedia junctions.
Paleontology & Society
Klompmaker – F 2:00-4:50 PM
In this course, we will explore the relationship between paleontology and our civilization. In addition to gaining a basic understanding of paleontological principles and its interdisciplinary nature, we will discuss how the ever-growing knowledge of ancient life is used in our society today, why paleontology is important, how it is communicated, how paleontology has influenced society and vice versa, ethical considerations involving fossils, the role of movies, and how paleontology in the media compares and contrasts with paleontological research. An emphasis will be placed on the roles amateur/avocational paleontologists and museums have. Activities outside the classroom or in an online learning environment will include a trip the exhibits of the Alabama Museum of Natural History, a trip to the extensive fossil collections of the UA Museums, and field trips to two fossil sites, including the famous Harrell Station Paleontological Site.
Sustainability as Relationship
McLelland– TR 11-12:15 PM
This seminar will introduce students to the breadth of Sustainability as a subject and will serve as a vehicle for further student research into specific topics within the context of Sustainability. Students will become acutely aware of the presence of connections, systems, interrelationships, and flows at all levels, from the very smallest to the very largest scales.
This course is about exploring the meaning of our humanity. Fundamentally, the course will present and explore the idea that humanity, as species and as idea, emerges from and exists within relationship. Embracing that understanding means coming to grips with a paradigmatic shift that recognizes humanity’s place within the earth system. It means recognizing both that we belong and that we bear enormous responsibilities to all the communities — human and non-human — of which we are a part.
Like every other species on the planet, we are biological creatures. Alone among all our kin, however, we have evolved the kind of consciousness from which civilization emerges. The power of that emergent phenomenon, and the suddenness, in evolutionary terms, with which it developed has allowed us to see ourselves for nearly all of our history as a species apart, masters of a world we live on, not in. The challenges we now face — both the existential threat of climate change and the unprecedented opportunities for transformation that that threat offers — flow directly from the urgent need to understand what it means to be responsibly human.=
The nature of these questions and concerns are fundamental to all of us and cut across all disciplines and all courses of study. This seminar will strengthen students’ ability, regardless of their majors, to recognize and appreciate the power of connection, and will encourage them to be empowered by complexity, rather than overwhelmed by it.
African American Women’s Fiction, Film & Art
Manora –MW 3-4:15 PM
Parker– TR 3:30-4:45 PM
The heart of this course will be the study of the archetype of the hero’s quest in the mythology and literature of adventure. We will read classic adventure novels such as J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, as well as stories that challenge the very idea of ‘adventure’, such as Samuel Beckett’s “The Expelled.” We will examine the defining aspects of how a Here-to-There story arc shapes our cultural understandings of current society. Through a historical and philosophical lens, we will analyze representations of identity, class, and belief in these novels, as well as in contemporary films such as Katherine Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker and Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom.
Defining Children’s Literature
Sasser – MW 6-7:15 PM
This course aims to complicate several canonical American and British texts for children essentially by addressing the following questions: 1) What counts as children’s literature? 2) Who gets to decide? and 3) How does power function within it? In other words, unlike other bodies of literature (such as African-American Literature or Women’s Writing), children’s literature is named after the presumed reader, as opposed to the ones who write or publish it. Such issues will guide us as we defamiliarize our understanding of popular children’s books and better explore how they are used to enfranchise and/or subjugate their presumed young readers. Anglophone texts likely to be discussed include Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Dr. Dolittle, Henry Huggins, The Snowy Day, Plain City, Black Folktales, Brown Girl Dreaming, and Where the Wild Things Are, as well as brief critical work by Hunt, Nodelman, Butler, Said, and Foucault.
Free Speech and Hate Speech
Webb– TR 11-12:15PM
A brief history of free speech in the US, an analysis of major court cases, and an intensive study of cases involving the question of whether state or federal officials may punish groups or individuals who have verbally or in print attacked racial, ethnic, or religious groups or have attacked particular people because of their racial, religious or ethnic identity. Among the groups involved in many of the cases were the American Nazi Party, the Ku Klux Klan, and other white supremacist or anti-Semitic groups.
The Novel in America
Whiting – TR 3:30-4:45 PM
What are novels and why do we read them? In this course we’ll read a selection of novels as well as a variety of theoretical accounts of what novels are, what they do, and how they do it. Our inquiry will be historical in that it understands genre as a conceptual construct that changes with time and place. Our historical focus will be the United States from the inception of the Republic to the present. Among the questions we will pursue are: what are the shifting features of the American novel, what cultural work has it been understood to do, and how has it been understood to operate upon readers. Particular attention will be paid to the relation between literary form and ideology.
Internship – Natural History Museum
Contact Dr. Keene if you are interested in this course
Interested in museums and collections? The UA Museums is home to more than 5 million objects and specimens from numerous disciplines including paleontology, entomology, history, ethnography, archaeology and more. In addition to curatorial work, active research is being conducted on many of these specimens and objects. The collections offer a wide variety of opportunities to gain experience across multiple disciplines. We will work with the student to design an internship that is interesting, fun and rewarding.
Internship – DEI
Contact Dr. Keene if you are interested in this course
The diversity, equity and inclusion Internship (DEI) experience is designed to deliver professional development, work experience, career advisement and networking opportunities for undergraduate students with diverse academic interests. This co-curricular experience will address social justice issues within diversity, equity and inclusion grounded in race, ethnicity, nationality, gender identities and, class etc. Students will have an opportunity to be a part of transformational change in the field of DEI through the construction and implementation of projects, policies and procedures.