Introductory Special Topics Courses (190’s and 290’s) – Spring 2019

Spring 2019 Offerings

Courses numbered in the 190’s and 290’s focus on a particular topic and are offered only once or twice. These courses are taught at an introductory or intermediate level; specific prerequisites (if any) are noted in the course descriptions.

Please consult WebAdvisor for the days, times, and locations of these sections.

Professor Hilal
Introduction to Arab Cultures
4 credits
A general survey of the historical, social, political, religious, linguistic, and cultural aspects of the modern Arab world. Students explore the richness of the Arab cultural heritage. The course focuses on issues that include family structure, gender politics, social change and the role of tradition, Arab art and music. Students interested in taking the Arabic language are encouraged to begin their study here.
Professor Burleigh
Contemporary Strategies in Art
4 credits
An introductory overview of contemporary art, with a focus on major artists, artworks, and art movements since 1980 and a significant consideration of global developments. The course begins with a review of art in the US and Europe after 1945 including Abstract Expressionism, Neo-Dada, Fluxus, Happenings, Situationism, Pop, Minimalism, and Conceptualism and then proceeds thematically, reflecting the development of contemporary art as a series of non-linear political, social, and cultural conversations dismantling dominant paradigms. Exploring topics such as appropriation, identity politics and the body, students develop tools for understanding the art and visual culture being produced now.
Professor Chen
Intro Chinese Lang & Culture
2 credits
An introduction to Chinese language and culture. The course emphasizes both introductory, ready-to-use phrases and sentences in casual and professional settings and the culture behind the language to cultivate intercultural competence. It also presents Chinese folklore, art and music for students to experience Chinese culture. Specific settings are geared toward students’ interest such as in business or government. Students interested in taking the Chinese language are encouraged to begin their study here. This will be taught as a seven-week course.
Professors Watkins & Bulman
Shakespeare – Script/Perform
4 credits
A team-taught course which examines performance as a mode of interpreting Shakespeare’s plays. Students develop methods for analyzing a Shakespearean text, then realize that text in performance by experimenting with a variety of acting, movement, and verse-speaking exercises. By doing so, they discover how meaning is contingent upon performance choices, venues, casting, audience, and reception. Classroom presentation of memorized scenes is required.
Professor Humphreys
2 credits
An introduction to the practice of Aikido with focus on the fundamentals of physical movements and postures within the framework of a modern Japanese martial art. Study includes physical practice plus the viewing of training movies and discussion of content. The course culminates with the United States Aikido Federation (USAF) 6th Kyu test. Course requires a $10 student fee for t-shirt (uniform).
Professor Hart
Professional Communication
4 credits
A study of practical communication in professional settings. Student produce individual and collaborative written and oral texts, analyze the conventions of several genres of professional communication (e.g., memos, letters, emails, executive summaries, proposals, reports, job application materials, etc.), consider the principles of document design (including written and visual representations of quantitative information), and reflect upon the ethical implications of a text’s content, design, and mode of delivery. All assignments include the discussion and application of the rhetorical concepts of audience, occasion, and purpose as well as the composing concepts of writing and researching in stages.
Professors K. Carter & O’Brien
PA Oil & Gas Geology
2 credits
An introduction to Pennsylvania’s oil and gas geology. We explore the development of the commonwealth’s petroleum industry in both historical and geologic contexts. Students learn common reservoir characterization methods used to assess the potential of an oil or gas reservoir. Students examine the past, present, and future economic impacts of petroleum hydrocarbons on the state , national, and global economies. This will be taught as a seven-week course. Prerequisites: One of GEO 110, ENERG 105, or ENVSC 110. Note: A version of this course was offered as a “short course” during Spring 2018. Students who took that course may not repeat this one for credit.
Professor Dawson
People & Poisons
4 credits
An introduction to the science of toxicology and its application to the study of human health. This course traces the biologic processes involved in the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of toxic substances within the human body. Toxicology is an essential component of a wide array of efforts to improve health, informing everything from environmental policy, to risk assessments for particular communities, to industry and legal guidelines for determining thresholds of exposure for hazardous substances–whether those substances are found in our food, water, construction materials, or even toys. Note: This course will count as a “Fundamental Science” course for GHS majors.
Professor Sheffield
4 credits
An introduction to the culture and history of the Norse peoples popularly known as “Vikings.” Infamous for their brutal raids on western Europe, Norse men and women were also farmers, merchants, poets, and explorers. Using a range of primary and secondary sources along with insights from archaeological studies, students will investigate the history of the Norse peoples at home and abroad during the Viking Age (750-1050 CE). Students also consider the lasting legacy of the Norse incursions in Europe and the continuing influence of “Vikings” on popular culture. Note: May be counted as a course in European history for the History major with permission of the student’s academic advisor. May be counted toward the History minor or the minor in Medieval and Renaissance Studies with permission of the appropriate department or program Chair.
Professors Hellwarth and Searle-White
Sexuality, Relationships, and Consent
2 credits
An exploration of consent and sexuality in the context of the #MeToo movement, feminism, and the current social climate in the U.S. and at Allegheny College. This course is designed for students who want to give substantial thought to clarifying their own sexual and relationship ethics, and how public discourse around sexuality impacts individual choices. May only be taken on a Credit/No Credit basis. This will be taught as a seven-week course.
Professor Bywater
Democracy as a Way of Life
2 credits
An examination of John Dewey’s idea that democracy is a way of life. After examining Dewey’s idea, the course uses contemporary race relations in the U.S. as a case study of how to apply it. Students will study some basic principles of Dewey’s pragmatism in order to be able to use it for a specific social problem. This will be taught as a seven-week course.
Professor Williams
Gender in American Politics
4 credits
A study of women’s participation in American politics as activists, citizens, and elites. We examine the suffrage movement as well as modern women’s liberation movements. We explore how gender shapes public opinion and voting behavior. We study the experiences and challenges faced by women running for or holding political office. Throughout the course, we consider the meaning and nature of gender equality and analyze the ways that gender intersects with other categories such as race, sexuality, and class.
Professors Reeck and Giovengo
The Practice of Diplomacy
2 credits
An examination of the practice of diplomacy to help address and solve major disputes in today’s world. The course asks students to think about what diplomacy is, who practices diplomacy, and what practical aspects of diplomacy make up our routine interaction with foreign states. It focuses on how day-to-day U.S. diplomacy is conducted by U.S. Foreign Service Officers from the Department of State and other entities. This will be taught as a seven-week course. Note: This course will be offered as BOTH a Module A and Module B in the same semester, and may not be repeated.