Sophomore Research Seminar: 2009-2010

Fall 2009

SRS 200-01

MWF 10:30-11:35

Lewis, B.

The Automobile and American Culture

SRS 200-02

TTH 9:00-10:45

Cramsie, J.

The Radical Bible

SRS 200-03

TTH 9:00-10:45

Feffer, A.

1963: Betty Friedan and the Rebirth of Feminism

SRS 200-04

TTH 9:00-10:45

Foroughi, A.

"A People's Contest": Gender and Race in the American Civil War

SRS 200-05

MWF 10:30-11:35

Madancy, J.

Opium, East and West

SRS 200-06

TTH 9:00-10:45

Motahar, E.

Rethinking Iran: Images and Realities

SRS 200-07

TTH 9:00-10:45

Spinelli, J.

 Can you hear me now? The Social and Technical Aspects of Electrical Communication

SRS 200-08

MWF 10:30-11:35

Gentile,K.

Research in Ancient Cultures

SRS 200-09

MWF 10:30-11:35

Walker, M.

The French Revolution

SRS 200-10

TTH 9:00-10:45

Wells, R.

Salem Witchcraft: 1692

SRS 200-11

MWF 10:30-11:35

Wicks, F.

The Oil Age

SRS 200-12

TTH 9:00-10:45

Pease, A.

Time: Changer of Seasons

Winter 2010

SRS 200-01

MWF 10:30-11:35

Aslakson, K.

Slavery in the Antebellum South

SRS 200-02

MWF 10:30-11:35

Brennan, D.

19th Century Blogs: The Partisan Press and the Shaping of American Democracy

SRS 200-03

MWF 10:30-11:35

Clark, C.

Ethical Issues in Biomedical Research

SRS 200-04

TTH 9:00-10:45

Clark, C.

Ethical Issues in Biomedical Research

SRS 200-05

TTH 9:00-10:45

Cotter, D.

Balancing Acts: Gender, Work and Family

SRS 200-06

TTH 9:00-10:45

Dvorak, T.

Promoting 2010 Census

SRS 200-07

TTH 9:00-10:45

Meade, T.

Cuba and the Cuban Revolution

SRS 200-08

TTH 9:00-10:45

Morris, A.

Japanese Internment Camps

SRS 200-09

TTH 9:00-10:45

Shever, E.

Environmental Justice

SRS 200-10

MWF 10:30-11:35

Gentile, K.

Research in Ancient Cultures

Spring 2010

SRS 200-01

TTH 9:00-10:45

Brennan, D.

Sport and American Identity

SRS 200-02

MWF 10:30-11:35

Brennan, D.

Sports ’N Spires: Bringing Games and God Together

SRS 200-03

MWF 10:30-11:35

LaBrake, S.

Energy and the Environment

SRS 200-04

MWF 10:30-11:35

Paik, S.

Caste and Gender in South Asia

SRS 200-05

TTH 9:00-10:45

Sargent, S.

Scottish Witchcraft Trials, 1590-1660

SRS 200-06

TTH 9:00-10:45

Shever, E.

Environmental Justice

SRS 200-07

MWF 10:30-11:35

Tadros, M.

The History of Rock and Roll Music

SRS 200-08

MWF 10:30-11:35

Triplette, S.

Chivalry is Dead; Long Live Chivalry

SRS 200-09

TTH 9:00-10:45

Walker, M.

National Socialism, World War II, and the Holocaust

Course Descriptions

Fall 2009

SRS 200-01

Lewis, B.

The Automobile and American Culture

Arguably no people in the world are more in love with their cars than Americans. Certainly no country’s real estate, livelihood, and life have been more reshaped by the automobile than those of the United States, in the course of little more than a century. Our seminar will explore when, how, and why the automobile came to so dominate our society and how that dominance in American transportation affects our entire culture. Accordingly, our common readings, other course material, and class discussions will cover varied topics, including the changing science and engineering of cars, the economics of the industry, the rise of mass production and later niche marketing, design and aesthetics, the reshaping of urban and rural landscapes and life (with a focus on Schenectady), the changing politics of transportation, the rise of General Motors and other large companies, the youth culture of the 1950s and 1960s including “car songs” and movies, and views of the auto by its critics and by mainstream media. Each student will start from these readings and his or her own interests and work with the instructor to find a topic for which a 12-18 page research paper is feasible and relevant. Each student will write and sometimes share “microthemes” centered on the course readings; make a brief report on his or her topic to the class around the middle of the term; and lead a discussion in class based on the first complete draft of the paper sometime during the last three weeks of the term.

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SRS 200-02

Cramsie, J.

The Radical Bible

The Bible is one of the most radical texts ever created: ruling elites have always understood that and have stopped at little to control and contain its messages throughout history. This seminar will study the radicalism of the early-modern English Bible, especially the King James Bible (c. 1611). We will analyze King James I’s attempt to neutralize Reformation Biblical radicalism in Britain by creating an official “authorized” version for his subjects. We will then consider how, despite this attempt by King James, the Bible played a central role in the revolutionary conflicts in Britain between 1637 and 1660, including the execution of James’s own son, King Charles I, as a godless “man of blood”.

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SRS 200-03

Feffer, A.

1963: Betty Friedan and the Rebirth of Feminism

This class begins with what some consider the most politically important book published in the U.S. after the Second World War, Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique. After reading and discussing the text in its entirety, the class will work historically through Friedan's sources, in the vast "archive" of popular magazines, TV shows, films and advertising of the late 1940s through early 1960s. The class will then read some of the literature that responded to and elaborated on Friedan's argument and comprised the "Second Wave" of American feminism. We will also look at some of the literature from the era critical of Friedan's approach. Research projects will use Life, Time, Ladies Home Journal, House Beautiful and other magazines in Schaffer and Schenectady public library, as well as other cultural artifacts to reassess Freidan's conclusions about the effects, extent and nature of the "feminine mystique." Work will be evaluated in stages -- research design and proposal, outline of paper, first draft and final draft. Assigned texts for the class will include (besides Friedan's) a collection of selections from magazines and women's literature (as preparatory to the process of archival investigation), a book of oral history and memoire on the early years of second wave feminism and a book of feminist writing of the next generation of feminists.

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SRS 200-04

Foroughi, A.

"A People's Contest": Gender and Race in the American Civil War

On the Fourth of July 1861, President Abraham Lincoln characterized the conflict dividing the North and South as "a people's contest" to determine whether the U.S. would have a government "whose leading object is, to elevate the condition of men." In the ensuing 140+ years, historians have studied not only how the Civil War tested the country's political principles but also how people on and off of the battlefield -- women and men, enslaved and free, native and foreign born, northern and southern -- experienced and understood their roles in the war. Students in this SRS will pursue research in printed and on-line Civil War diaries, letters, newspapers, and speeches to explore how gender and race were integral to the "people's contest" and its outcome.

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SRS 200-05

Madancy, J.

Opium, East and West

At the beginning of the 19th century, opium was consumed in China, India, Great Britain, and the United States for just about every purpose one could imagine. Virtually everyone took the drug at some point to alleviate medical conditions ranging in severity from unsteady nerves to debilitating pain. Parents regularly gave opium to babies for teething pain, colic, and to get a good night's rest. And yet, within a few decades, attitudes changed dramatically. Even before the 20th century, opium had become the subject of intense concern on the international level, and legal restrictions had severely curtailed its availability and ruined its benign reputation. In this seminar, students will analyze how opium went from panacea to problem in China, England, India, and the United States, and they will explore several rich primary source collections as they compile evidence for their research papers.

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SRS 200-06

Motahar, E.

Rethinking Iran: Images and Realities

The 1979-80 Iran hostage crisis, in which Iranian university students held U.S. citizens in captivity for 444 days inside the American embassy in Tehran, has left an indelible mark on U.S.-Iranian relations. In this course we will study the economic, political, cultural, historical, and other factors that have shaped today's Iran. We will take, as our point of departure, one of the most important events in modern Iranian history: The CIA-sponsored coup that overthrew the democratically-elected government of Iran in 1953. We will study this event, and the subsequent 25 years of repression and de-democratization, in the context of Iran's anti-colonial struggles and modernization efforts of the previous 150 years or so. This approach will illuminate the genesis of the 1979 revolution, and the hostage crisis, and the evolution of the Islamic Republic since then.

The goal is to enable students to contextualize, and thus better understand, current issues such as the role of petroleum and nuclear energy in Iran's political economy and in its relationship with the rest of the world, the role of Islam in Iran, the position of women in society, and related issues. In this journey, students will develop an appreciation of Iran as a complex, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, modern, vibrant society with an ancient history and a rich cultural heritage.

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SRS 200-07

Spinelli, J.

Can you hear me now? The Social and Technical Aspects of Electrical Communication

Until the mid-1800s, the speed of communication was the about same as the speed of the transport of goods; sending someone a message involved moving a letter or a messenger from one place to another. Beginning with the telegraph, and continuing with telephones, radio, email, cell phones and instant messaging, we have developed and become accustomed to the ability to contact each other almost instantaneously, anywhere, and at any time. This course will explore both how this technology works as well as how it has affected our lives and the organization of our society. The technology will be studied in order to understand issues such as why some types of communication are easy or cheap while others are hard or expensive, and why privacy is more of a concern with some types of communication than with others.

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SRS 200-08

Gentile, K.

Research in Ancient Cultures

This Sophomore Research Seminar will focus on primary sources for the study of ancient Greek and Roman culture, history, and society. How do we know what we know about the past? Should we believe ancient historians who wrote thousands of years ago? What other kinds of sources do we have? How do we assess these documents? Where do we go to access what modern scholars think? How do we formulate our own questions about the past, and how do we make our own arguments in a scholarly fashion about what it is that may really have happened? Our researches will help us answer these and other questions, and we just may learn some new things about ancient Greece and Rome as well!

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SRS 200-09

Walker, M.

The French Revolution

This seminar will examine one of the most important events in modern history, the revolution in France at the end of the eighteenth century that toppled and guillotined a King, unleashed war throughout Europe, experienced a radical democratic government that culminated in a Reign of Terror, and ended with Napoleon. Along with political developments, this seminar will also cover examples from economic, intellectual and gender history.

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SRS 200-10

Wells, R.

Salem Witchcraft: 1692

In 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts, 19 people were hung and one man was pressed to death under a pile of stones, all accused, and some convicted, of practicing witchcraft. We will examine a number of interpretations offered by scholars in the past about what happened at Salem and why. Research projects will make use of a variety of sources either to test these explanations or to offer some new approach to the complexities of the topic.

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SRS 200-11

Wicks, F.

The Oil Age

The “Oil Age” which includes natural gas is only 150 years old. Prior to 1859 no one anticipated that large amounts of recoverable liquid and gaseous fuel that existed below the surface of the earth.

The original benefit of the newly discovered oil was saving the whales. They were being hunted to extinction for lantern fuel. The crude oil from the ground that could be distilled into kerosene for lighting was much better and cheaper than whale oil.

Uses of oil have dramatically expanded. Oil allowed for internal combustion engines that would power new generations of magnificent land vehicles, ships and airplanes. Oil also provided a better material for paving roads, plastics and clothing, a better fuel to heat and cool buildings and more food production via better fertilizers. New industries were created. Personal fortunes were made and sometimes lost.

Armed forces had relied upon human power, horses and wind. New oil powered war machines were developed for land, sea and air. Wars were fought for oil. The lack of oil and other resources led to the aggression of Japan and Germany that became WWII.

Oil in each well, region and country goes through a pattern of discovery, peak production and decline. US oil production peaked in 1970. Global oil production is peaking now. About half of the estimated 2 trillion barrels of oil have been recovered. Society must soon confront the magnitude of the declining “Oil Age” challenges. There will be great challenges and hardships. There may also be new opportunities.

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SRS 200-12

Pease, A.

Time: Changer of Seasons

What do we talk about when we talk about time? From ancient calendars to the theory of relativity, the idea of time has changed through the ages. Time has been conceived of as linear or cyclical, perceived as a flow or as another dimension of the universe. What is the "space-time continuum"? How did our species learn to measure time? From sundials to hourglasses to modern-day watches, how were our timepieces invented and perfected? How were they used? These and many other questions will be explored in this section of the SRS. Students will be encouraged to research related topics of particular interest to them. The SRS will encompass Physics, Astronomy, Sociology, History, Theology, Philosophy, and Literature.

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Winter 2010

SRS 200-01

Aslakson, K.

Slavery in the Antebellum South

This course will examine slavery in the United States with a focus on the 19th century. In the first half of the course students will read some of the classic works on slavery in order to familiarize themselves with how historians have talked about slavery to this point. They will then spend the second half of the course researching and writing a term paper based on primary sources (newspapers, slave narratives, etc.). Specifically, students will be asked to develop a thesis based on this primary research addressing the topic of slave resistance. They are to not only develop an original argument, but also situate this argument within the existing literature on the topic.

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SRS 200-02

Brennan, D.

19th Century Blogs: The Partisan Press and the Shaping of American Democracy

By the beginning of the 19th century, the partisanship of the first political party system undermined 18th century support for newspaper impartiality and neutrality. Editors and publishers increasingly saw themselves and their newspapers as more than auxiliaries to the political leadership of the "natural aristocracy" and successfully redefined the meaning of the "free press" guarantee of the First Amendment. By the election of Andrew Jackson, these editors had re-defined the meaning of democracy and contributed significantly to the creation of the United States' modern political party system.

Not unlike the way in which the energy and technology of today has created a variety of "blogs" reflecting the broad spectrum of political debate, early 19th century energy and technology employed a strident and partisan political press to re-shape American democracy. In addition, this modern phenomenon may once again shift our understanding of "freedom of the press" a consequence which could have serious long-term implications for democracy.

In this course, students will examine these changes through course readings on the origins of the modern understanding of "free press" concepts and the democratization generally associated with the Age of Jackson. Using primary sources available both physically and electronically (especially newspapers, collections of letters, and diaries), each student will construct a research project that will examine a particular personality or aspect of this definitive period of American democratic transformation.

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SRS 200-03

Clark, C.

Ethical Issues in Biomedical Research

This SRS will explore many issues surrounding the history and practice of ethics in biomedical research. Topics and cases include: Nuremberg to Jesse Gelsinger; ethical theory and the ethical dimensions of biomedical research; the physician’s role in research; the Belmont Report, informed consent; altruism as motive to enroll in research; the therapeutic misconception; the stages of research clinical trials, the problem of RCTs (Randomized Clinical Trials); trust in medicine and trust in biomedical research; performing research in developing countries. Readings will be drawn from a textbook on biomedical ethics, from online sources (e.g. the American Medical Association), as well as academic journals and books.

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SRS 200-04

Clark, C.

Ethical Issues in Biomedical Research

This SRS will explore many issues surrounding the history and practice of ethics in biomedical research. Topics and cases include: Nuremberg to Jesse Gelsinger; ethical theory and the ethical dimensions of biomedical research; the physician’s role in research; the Belmont Report, informed consent; altruism as motive to enroll in research; the therapeutic misconception; the stages of research clinical trials, the problem of RCTs (Randomized Clinical Trials); trust in medicine and trust in biomedical research; performing research in developing countries. Readings will be drawn from a textbook on biomedical ethics, from online sources (e.g. the American Medical Association), as well as academic journals and books.

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SRS 200-05

Cotter, D.

Balancing Acts: Gender, Work and Family

The shifts in gender roles, and their repercussions for family life and in the workplace are among the most important changes of recent decades. This course will apply the skills and tools of social science to the investigation of change in gender, work and family. The social sciences in general, and sociology in particular, seek to answer questions about the causes and consequences of social change. They deploy a set of skills and tools (methods) that seek to link ideas (theories) with evidence (data) to investigate those changes. We will examine a series of recent articles by social scientists on the issues of gender, work and family and a short book on research methods in the social sciences.

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SRS 200-06

Dvorak, T.

Promoting 2010 Census

The goal of this seminar is to learn about the U.S. Census and then apply that knowledge in promoting the 2010 Census. We will learn about the data in the U.S. Census, how to extract this data, how to create maps and graphs using the data, and how such data can be used when formulating public policy. An important component of the seminar will be the promotion of the 2010 Census in campus and off-campus communities. We will work with local schools, governments and community organizations to promote a complete count in the 2010 Census.

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SRS 200-07

Meade, T.

Cuba and the Cuban Revolution

The focus of the course is the history of Cuba from the 1959 triumph of a revolution led by Fidel Castro and the 26th of July Movement, through the several decade-long period in which Cuba was the site of tension between the Soviet Union and the United States, and into the current decades since the end of the Cold War and emergence of Cuba as an influential, non-aligned socialist state. The course will examine changes within Cuba in revolutionary ideology, problems of scarcity and tensions among different sectors of Cuban society, gender and race relations, economic and political relations with the US, Latin America, and the rest of the world.

Seminar participants will present at least one oral report in class, based on an assigned reading, will write a research paper based on both primary and secondary sources, and will be expected to participate actively in evaluating the work of their classmates and in revising their own work based on suggestions from others in the class.

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SRS 200-08

Morris, A.

Japanese Internment Camps

This research seminar will focus on the internment of Japanese-Americans and Japanese citizens in the United States during World War II. This topic offers the chance to explore a variety of important historical issues with contemporary resonance: the tension between national security and civil liberties during wartime, the impact of racism on the shaping of American wartime policy, ethnic identity and assimilation in the United States, resistance and accommodation by minorities facing discrimination, and the evolution of American attitudes toward past injustices. We will address these issues by examining a wide range of types of primary sources, including government documents, newspapers, legal documents, photographs, camp newsletters, oral histories, and memoirs.

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SRS 200-09

Shever, E.

Environmental Justice

From organic food at the White House to oil drilling in Alaska, from Everglades restoration to carbon trading, from New Orleans reconstruction to the war in Iraq, the environment is at the center of many current political issues. All these cases raise important questions about who can speak for nature, and who benefits and who suffers from “saving the environment.” In this course, we will examine how some people disproportionately experience exposure to environmental hazards, while others disproportionately gain unrestricted access to natural resources. We will focus on how environmental issues intersect with race, gender, class and other differences, and how people respond to these intersections. While investigating historical and contemporary environmental conflicts and environmental justice campaigns, students will be asked to think critically about what “nature” means in a wide variety of contexts in the United States and abroad. Each student will write a research paper that analyzes a current environmental justice campaign using textual and visual evidence to support an incisive and innovative argument.

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SRS 200-10

Gentile, K.

Research in Ancient Cultures

This Sophomore Research Seminar will focus on primary sources for the study of ancient Greek and Roman culture, history, and society. How do we know what we know about the past? Should we believe ancient historians who wrote thousands of years ago? What other kinds of sources do we have? How do we assess these documents? Where do we go to access what modern scholars think? How do we formulate our own questions about the past, and how do we make our own arguments in a scholarly fashion about what it is that may really have happened? Our researches will help us answer these and other questions, and we just may learn some new things about ancient Greece and Rome as well!

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Spring 2010

SRS 200-01

Brennan, D.

Sport and American Identity

Three years after the US Census Department announced that a fixed line demarcating the American frontier could no longer be drawn, Frederick Jackson Turner delivered his famous address, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History." For Turner, the existence of the frontier had defined the rugged independence of the American individual, i.e., self-reliant, optimistic, adaptable, and ingenious. Furthermore, he warned that with the loss of the frontier the nation required a new means of defining American character.

Concurrent with this development, the last decades of the 19th century witnessed an explosion of interest in sports. Long disdained, especially by those who held Victorian values, athletic activity and sports developed during this period into an important institution with a vital social purpose in American life. In particular urban, middle-class men and women envisioned sport as an activity that taught the values fundamental to American identity, the values of a frontier society, the values of the rugged individual, of free enterprise, of community, of adaptability, of creativity, and of success. The intertwining of sport and American identity (whether by class, gender, ethnicity, or race) only deepened during the whole of the 20th century.

The linkage of sport to the development of the distinctive traits often associated with American identity can be researched from a variety of perspectives. In addition to the expansion and acceptance of particular sports (perhaps especially professional baseball and college football) as well as the lives of late 19th and 20th century sports heroes and personalities, social reformers, business executives, and political leaders embraced and popularized this relationship.

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SRS 200-02

Brennan, D.

Sports ’N Spires: Bringing Games and God Together

“Touchdown Jesus” in South Bend, Indiana may be the best known and most visible representation of the bond between religion and sports in America, but it is hardly unique. In fact, some suggest that sports itself has become a religion in today’s United States. An exaggeration perhaps, but nonetheless, it is hard to ignore the fact that religion has played a major role in the development of sports throughout history, beginning at the very least with the Greek athletes of the ancient Olympic Games. In America, from the Puritan enmity for wasteful leisure activities, to the association of sports and games with a corrupt British society at the time of our Revolution, to the “rational recreation” supported by Second Great Awakening reformers, to “Muscular Christianity” and the growth of the YMCA in the early Progressive Era, to the alliance of God, sport, and country in World War I, to the adoption of sports by orthodox religious colleges and universities in the Post World War II era, to the ubiquitous images of modern athletes pointing heavenward after a home run or touchdown, to the fan shown in quiet and intense prayer for a miracle which will save his or her team from almost certain defeat, the symbiotic relationship between sports and religion is difficult to avoid or deny. The parallels cannot be ignored; both have a variety of teams (or denominations); devoted followers across a spectrum of belief (from fundamental to ecumenical); architectural wonders where devotions (or games) take place; rituals; and, the promise of redemption( in the next game or the next season or somewhere beyond today).

The connections between sport and religion can be researched from many diverse viewpoints. In addition to a direct historical approach, students can examine the ways in which sports and religion have been used in tandem to support, define, and justify a variety of values, including nationalism, sexism, racism, and war. Sports heroes have been deified for their advocacy of religious or moral principles (and demonized for failure to maintain those principles), while social, business, and political leaders have defined themselves and been defined by the moral and ethical values learned in athletic competition. Sport inspires faith, passion, and devotion that mimic, at the very least, the outward elements of religious conviction. The investigation and scrutiny of the akin relationship between sport and religion offers great potential for a variety of research perspectives.

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SRS 200-03

LaBrake, S.

Energy and the Environment

This seminar will focus on understanding the role that energy plays in our environment and the effects that energy production and consumption have on the environment. Topics will include energy consumption, fossil fuels, heat engines, nuclear energy, renewable energy sources, energy conservation, pollution, climate change, and environmental spectroscopy. Readings will include Energy and the Environment by Ristinen and Kraushaar, and current articles on environmental science issues. Students will also perform particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) spectroscopy experiments using the Union College Pelletron particle accelerator to do elemental analyzes of soil, water, and air samples.

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SRS 200-04

Paik, S.

Caste and Gender in South Asia

This course examines caste and gender as an important lens for understanding the transformations of intimate life and political culture in colonial and post-colonial India. Topics include: conjugality; popular culture; violence; sex and the state; and the politics of untouchability. This course draws on the experiences of life and thought of caste subalterns to explore the challenges to cast exploitation and inequality in modern India. Students will read about physical, social, religious, and political limitations on female freedom and also analyze personal accounts to determine subaltern women's triumph.

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SRS 200-05

Sargent, S.

Scottish Witchcraft Trials, 1590-1660

This seminar will examine the phenomenon of witch hunting in Early Modern Europe through a detailed study of several Scottish Witch Trials between 1590 and 1660. Scotland had no medieval witch trials. Only after the Reformation, when witchcraft became a secular as well as religious crime, did the trials begin. Course readings will include a general history of early modern witchcraft, two early treatises on witch hunting (the infamous Hammer of Witches [1486] and James VI’s Demonology), a collection of original documents concerning the so-called North Berwick Witches (1590-93), and trial records from several seventeenth-century cases. Using these resources, the course will reconstruct the political, social, economic, intellectual, religious, and gender context of the witch trials with the goal of understanding why people were willing to burn their neighbors for crimes they not only did not commit, but could not have committed.

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SRS 200-06

Shever, E.

Environmental Justice

From organic food at the White House to oil drilling in Alaska, from Everglades restoration to carbon trading, from New Orleans reconstruction to the war in Iraq, the environment is at the center of many current political issues. All these cases raise important questions about who can speak for nature, and who benefits and who suffers from “saving the environment.” In this course, we will examine how some people disproportionately experience exposure to environmental hazards, while others disproportionately gain unrestricted access to natural resources. We will focus on how environmental issues intersect with race, gender, class and other differences, and how people respond to these intersections. While investigating historical and contemporary environmental conflicts and environmental justice campaigns, students will be asked to think critically about what “nature” means in a wide variety of contexts in the United States and abroad. Each student will write a research paper that analyzes a current environmental justice campaign using textual and visual evidence to support an incisive and innovative argument.

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SRS 200-07

Tadros, M.

The History of Rock and Roll Music

Students will have the opportunity to investigate Rock and Roll as an intermediary for social and cultural commentary and expression. Utilizing various primary and secondary sources, as well as lyrical analysis, students will research how this medium articulated the relevant historical issues of race, gender, social values, and social control; and, the contributions made by various artists to environmental and political activism. Students will be exposed to three texts on the history of Rock and Roll that identify the dominant bands and individual artists from the 1950s to the present. Students will also read various articles relating to writing and research processes. During class sessions, students will view documentaries and movies produced by bands such as Pink Floyd. There will be plenty of time spent on listening to various artists as part of the study of their respective histories and of course, for lyrical analysis.

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SRS 200-08

Triplette, S.

Chivalry is Dead; Long Live Chivalry

The word “chivalry” has taken on many different meanings throughout its use in Western culture. When we use the word today, we mostly misuse it. For instance, when people cite the refrain, “chivalry is dead,” they are usually referring to changes in the dynamics of relationships between men and women. However, even our modern misuses of the word highlight the key feature of the chivalric code: it serves as a set of rules for behavior. Chivalry existed to teach people the rules for love, for leadership, for class identity, for personal conduct, and even for the treatment of foreign people and cultures. In this class we will explore the ideology of chivalry from the Middle Ages to the present. Readings will include stories of the Holy Grail, Chrétien de Troyes’ The Knight of the Cart, selections from Cervantes’ Don Quijote, and Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. We will also take a look at representations of chivalry in contemporary film, from the parodic, as exemplified by Monty Python and the Holy Grail, to the serious, as seen in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, to the political, as represented in Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven. Each of these texts, whether filmic or literary, puts chivalry to some didactic use, and each author or director reinterprets the code of chivalry for his own time. You may notice that all these works are by men. We will also explore the gender implications of the ideology of chivalry. Through an examination of all of these texts, we will learn why chivalric fiction becomes, at certain moments, the masculine genre par excellence.

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SRS 200-09

Walker, M.

National Socialism, World War II, and the Holocaust

This seminar will focus on the National Socialist (NS) movement in Germany during the first half of the 20th century. Topics will include: the rise of the NS movement during the Weimar Republic; the establishment of a dictatorship; the NS goal of a "People's Community", the NS policies of "racial hygiene" and autarky (national self-sufficiency) and their consequences; military expansion and war; genocide; and the postwar "denazification" of Germans. Reading will include primary sources -- letters, speeches, reports, film and images from the NS period -- and selections from secondary accounts--articles and books written by historians. Students will both interpret the primary sources for themselves, and compare and contrast how various historians have written the history of NS.

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