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Fall 2022 Courses

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Boom to Zoom: Generation Gaps

Lecturer: Nick LoLordo

Section 001 TR 12:00-1:15 Bizzell Library 0102

Section 002 TR 3:00-4:15 Bizzell Library 0102

Mythologizing a “Lost Generation” after WW I, mining data to build the collective identity constructs of today, for more than a century the American media has imagined history in generational terms. Your cynical, flannel-clad Gen X professor will guide our tour of cultural forms from fiction to pop music, movies to memes, considering how they represent collective struggles over power, wealth and opportunity. What might the lens of generational analysis show us about the true nature of an increasingly unequal society—& what might it obscure?

Doppelgängers and Doubles

Lecturer:  CR Mintler

Section 003 TR 9:00-10:15 Synchronous online

Section 004 TR 10:30-11:45 Synchronous online

The mysterious, eerie, uncanny doppelgänger, or “double walker,” has haunted western culture in folklore, myth, philosophy, romanticism, science and science fiction for more than two centuries, most recently influencing fashion, science fiction, film, virtual reality, social media, and video gaming culture. In literature, the doppelgänger functions as a literary device representing either the experience of a living person’s self-division or the phenomenon of a ghostly double that appears as twin, shadow, or mirror image—often of evil or misfortune. In modern consumer capitalism, human doubling evolves from the automaton, an early type of robot that replicates human form and function, into a reproducible and, more importantly, ideal and commodifiable form of “self as other” in wax museums, in department store mannequins, and in cloning. Computer games and social media platforms provide virtual worlds for other possible selves we call avatars.

In this course, we will read, analyze, discuss, research, and write about the concept of doppelgängers and reproducible doubling in a variety of guises—as shadow, automaton, mannequin, replicant, clone, and avatar—in a attempt to understand the meaning and relational function that disturbs or confronts the wholeness of self identity, dividing, fracturing, or mirroring the self. In other words, the doubling function of the doppelgänger not only as a figure, but also and more importantly as a process in disciplines like painting, fiction, poetry, opera, cultural studies, fashion, TV and cinema, and virtual reality.

We will explore the creepy and uncanny figures of Doppelgängers & Doubles in Freud’s essay on “The Uncanny,” E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Grimm’s Fairy Tale-esque story “The Sandman” (and its sampling in a modern performance of Jacques Offenbach’s nineteenth-century opera The Tales of Hoffman), the divided self of “double consciousness” theorized by W.E.B. Dubois, and literary doubles in Gilman’s “Yellow Wall Paper,” Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray, and a short story by Langston Hughes titled “Passing.” Our attention will move to the commodification of gender in human doubling we see mirrored in the figure of the mannequin, in fashion models, and in clones. Recent developments in biotechnology and computer technology raise new questions and concerns about robots replacing human workers, and the psychological affects of social media/computer game avatars. Some of the video and film sources we will view include episodes from the original Twilight Zone series, and several films, which may include Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, Michael Crichton’s Looker, David Fincher’s Fight Club, Lana & Lilly Wachowski’s The Matrix & Jordan Peele’s Us. 

Truth to Power

Lecturer: Eric Bosse

Section 005 MWF 4:30-5:45 synchronous online

This course focuses on intersectional identity, representation in higher education, and contemporary justice issues through the work and writings of civil rights leaders and social justice activists. In particular, students will explore issues related to human rights, overlapping social identities and systems of oppression (intersectionality), the deconstruction of "toxic masculinity," the roles of allies in social movements, and the implications of protest and dissent for stakeholders within institutions and systems. Through a sequence of writing assignments, students will be challenged to move beyond initial thoughts toward more fully developed arguments, and to examine the power of taking a stance and making a stand for justice.

Real Utopias

Lecturer: Robert Scafe

Section 007 MW 3:00-4:15 Bizzell Library 0102

In this course we will examine literary utopias in speculative and science fiction as well as real social experiments from 19th-century communes to 21st- century online cooperatives. What motivates modern people to form alternative communities? Why do so many utopian communities fail? How have some succeeded? What can a world facing climate catastrophe learn from the history of intentional communities?

Humans, Nature: Fragile Future

Lecturer: Timothy Bradford

Section 012 MW 1030-1120 Bizzell Library 0102; F Web

Section 013 MW 1230-120 Bizzell Library 0102; F Web

Welcome to the Anthropocene, a relatively new term for this geological epoch marked by significant human impact on the Earth beginning, depending on your perspective, anywhere from 15,000 years ago to 1945. Regardless of its start, it’s clear the current human population of 7.8 billion, projected to be 9 billion by 2037, is profoundly changing our environment. For example, a football field’s worth of forest is lost every second around the clock, approximately twenty-four species go extinct per day, and atmospheric carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, is over 400 parts per million, the highest level in 800,000 years. How did we get here, what does this mean, and where are we headed? And what can be done to lessen our impact? Using The Fragile Earth anthology and related digital media to guide us, this course will ask these and related questions that we will attempt to answer while exploring our place in the conundrum of the Anthropocene.

Justice and Equality

 Lecturer: Eric Bosse

Section 014 TR 4:30-5:45 Synchronous online

Section 015 TR 1:30-2:45 Synchronous online

Description forthcoming

Black Girl Magic

Lecturer: Talisha Haltiwanger Morrison

Section 018 MWF 1130-1220 Bizzell Library 0102

Description forthcoming

Lessons Through Comedy

Lecturer: Mandi McRae

Section 019 MWF 1330-1420 Bizzell Library 0102

Description forthcoming