Inquiring Minds Want To Know--Now Case Study

“Well, I didn’t expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition,” the mild-mannered Englishman grumbles at a woman’s questioning—and then the door opens and in rush Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, and Terry Jones, wearing blood-red cardinal’s robes and waxed mustaches and golden crosses. “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!” Palin announces with ominous self-satisfaction, eyes bright beneath a broad-brimmed hat, as the Monty Python sketch continues, only to get caught up in the difficulties of enumerating the things one does expect from the Spanish Inquisition. (“Our chief weapon is surprise—surprise and fear. Fear and surprise. Our two weapons are fear and surprise. And ruthless efficiency. Our three weapons are fear and surprise and ruthless efficiency, and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope. Our four—no! Amongst our weaponry are such elements as fear and—I’ll come in again.”) The joke, of course, is that the Spanish Inquisition as a byword for cruel tyranny looks absurd in a modern setting.

In “God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Cullen Murphy tries to find out why people once did expect the Spanish Inquisition, and if the inquisitors have vanished or merely changed clothes. He believes that the Inquisition, far from being a “medieval” relic, is an institution as deeply rooted in modernity as the scientific tradition that it opposed. Its fanaticism, its implicit totalitarianism (with inquisitors investigating every crevice of its victims’ lives, from how they cooked chicken to how they made love), its sheer bureaucratic brutality—in short, its surprise, fear, ruthless efficiency, and fanatical devotion to the Pope—make it central to who we are and what we do. Its thumbprint is everywhere: the Gestapo, the K.G.B., the Stasi. Even our own Guantánamo-making apparatus—more than twelve hundred government organizations focus on national-security concerns, Murphy tells us—has a forebear in Torquemada and the men in the red hats.

Is the Inquisition still alive? Murphy, as in his book “Are We Rome?,” asks a question that is, in a way, too large to be answered. Yet this roominess is also the book’s virtue. The-little-thing-that-did-that-big-thing pop history usually tries to squeeze enough juice from a tiny subject to make a book. Murphy, by contrast, takes a great big subject and tries to walk right around it. If you’re worn out or confused by the end, at least you’ve seen a lot. Murphy’s tone is calm, even good-humored, but he can vibrate to the victims’ preserved cries for mercy, which he reproduces from transcripts that the Inquisition kept. The good ghost of Garry Wills’s historical writing haunts his pages—the same kind of open-ended, casually erudite inquiry scrutinized at length and from a liberal-Catholic point of view. He makes a grand and scary tour of inquisitorial moments, racing back and forth in history from Torquemada to Dick Cheney, and from Guantánamo to Rome; we are there when Giordano Bruno is burned to death, on the orders of Cardinal Bellarmine, and then are asked to compare our own readiness to torture when what we fear threatens us.

Murphy’s point, entirely convincing, is that Cheney’s “one per cent doctrine”—if there’s any chance that terrorists might get their hands on weapons of mass destruction, we have an obligation to do what-ever we have to do to make sure that they haven’t—is ancient and all too easily universalized. Torturers always do their work with regret, and out of last-ditch necessity, certain that the existence of their country or their church or their values depends on it. No one burns people alive by halves. If you believe that you know the truth of the cosmos or of history, then the crime of causing pain to one person does seem trivial compared with the risk of permitting the death or damnation of thousands. We had no choice is what the Grand Inquisitor announces in Dostoyevsky. We know the cruellest of fanatics by their exceptionally clear consciences.

Generations of students were taught that the Spanish Inquisition was a permanent office of the Church in the Iberian peninsula, particularly active in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Using torture and fear, inquisitors forced confessions from suspected heretics and hidden Jews—conversos who continued the clandestine practice of their former faith. Once discovered, they were marched through autos-da-fé: grand penitential parades, which often culminated in a public burning. The archetypal inquisitor was, supposedly, Tomás de Torquemada, the fifteenth-century “hammer of heretics,” who looked for crypto-Jews and crypto-Muslims under every paella pan and helped push forward the decree that expelled all the Jews from Spain, in 1492. (He’s the guy the Python people are pretending to be like when they come rushing in.) The Inquisition’s omnipresence created a climate of fear so acute that it helped paralyze Spanish thought on the brink of the modern age, and led to the breakdown of Spanish intellectual life. While the Inquisition was most notorious and most effective in Spain, it spread throughout Europe, taking hold in Italy, for instance, long enough to burn up Bruno and shut up Galileo.

As Murphy learns, however, professional scholars now tell the story very differently. By consensus, historians have come to reject the idea of a more or less unitary Inquisition, as it was traced by the Philadelphia historian Henry Charles Lea, a century ago: rather, there were many inquisitions, started and stopped in various places under independent authority and without any single program or control. Murphy goes to visit the two most important revisionists. The first is a memorable figure by any standard: the elder Netanyahu, Bibi’s now hundred-and-one-year-old father, Benzion, who, over years of research, has established, at least to his own satisfaction, that the idea of a flourishing clandestine community of Iberian Marranos, who paid lip service to Christian rites and rituals while secretly remaining Jews, is a myth, invented by the Inquisition for its own evil ends and taken up, much later, by the Jews, in the hope that it would make their ancestors seem less fearful and more resistant.

Netanyahu’s revisionism is, in certain ways, limited: his mordant point is not so much that the Inquisition doesn’t deserve its reputation for cruelty as that its victims don’t deserve theirs for moral courage. In reality, he argues, the fifteenth-century Jews who converted tried to stay that way, and to practice the new faith of their neighbors as best they could. The myth was invented by the persecutors out of frustration with their inability to dispossess the Jews as a class. If they sneakily made themselves over into Christians in order to keep money and position, then they must have been cheating all along, being Jews. [cartoon id="a16283"]

Netanyahu denies that he has any end in mind save disinterested historical inquiry—“I write only as a historian, to find out how it really was,” he says to Murphy—but this seems like the Freudian case where what the patient denies is the place to dig. The lesson Netanyahu obviously takes, and teaches, from his study can be summed up in three words: assimilation is impossible. Anti-Semitism is too deeply implanted in Gentile cultures to be assuaged by softening or even renouncing your identity as a Jew. The acquiescent Jewish hope that if you stop eating kosher they will stop eating you is an illusion. There were no “hidden Jews,” any more than there were secrets of the Elders of Zion. It didn’t matter. The Spanish Catholics didn’t have any real interest in saving the Jews’ souls; they just wanted their houses and their money. The implicit contemporary corollary is that Arabs have no real interest in peace or accommodation with the Jews in Israel, except as strictly controlled and fearful second-class citizens. (The truth of Netanyahu’s view of the Inquisition is much debated. There does seem to be evidence that Marrano practices persisted: the Inquisition, after all, went so far as to look for recipes from suspected crypto-Jews and seems to have found them.)

The revisionism that Murphy finds in the work of another leading historian of the Inquisition, Henry Kamen, a Brit now resident in Barcelona, is at once more academically orthodox and more unsettling. In a much praised 1997 study, Kamen meticulously takes apart the acts of the inquisitors in Spain, turn by turn and torture by torture. And yet he concludes by saying, basically, Well, sure, they burned people alive and tortured people and organized nightmarish parades where people were forced to wear degrading uniforms—but they did it differently and less often than you might think. The sequential inquisitions had different degrees of severity, authority, and bureaucratic power. The inquisitors themselves, even at their worst, didn’t burn people alive: they handed them over to the civil executioners to do it. Though they tortured people, they didn’t do it any more than the secular guys did, and there was usually a doctor around. The full-scale autos-da-fé that Voltaire satirizes and Goya draws were expensive and therefore relatively rare, and, in any case, were essentially over by the time Goya and Voltaire were describing them.

What’s more, Kamen argues, the Spain of the Inquisition was essentially pre-modern: the Holy Office, as the Inquisition was properly called, depended less on an omnipresent police than on a pervasive system of informers. This meant that pretty much everyone was implicated—that the Spanish Inquisition was more Spanish than Inquisition. Nor could the Inquisition alone have condemned Spain to centuries of backwardness in science and education; after all, Cervantes thrived while the Inquisition did. Besides, the anti-Catholic inquisition, in seemingly “progressive” England, was just as violent, though it preferred to tear Jesuits alive on a scaffold rather than burn them to bits. There were a lot of other reasons, economic and linguistic, that Spain became a backwater for so long. Where, for obvious reasons, most twentieth-century accounts of the Inquisition focus on the persecution of the Jews, older accounts make more, for equally obvious reasons, of the persecution of Protestants. (It’s certainly true that you can’t see the Inquisition outside the context of the Reformation, which really did present an existential threat to the Roman Catholic Church. The inquisitors weren’t crazy to think that they had mortal enemies out there.)

Kamen’s book represents the academic orthodoxy on the subject now. Indeed, the British historian Helen Rawlings, in her 2006 study “The Spanish Inquisition,” meets Kamen’s work and raises him. She doesn’t whitewash her subject. She explains that Spain in the early sixteenth century was an especially thriving spot for Erasmians, followers of the great humanist Erasmus; the Holy Office made sure that all the prominent humanists “chose to leave Spain rather than fall victims to the campaign to discredit their tolerant tradition,” such that “by the mid-1530s, the Inquisition, under heavy Dominican influence, had effectively enforced silence on humanist scholarship as part of its campaign to turn Spain into a fortress against heresy.” Yet she ends with this chillingly condescending sentence: “While the Inquisition will never be totally divorced from the dark image that surrounds its activities nor its excesses condoned, recent research has enabled us to draw a more balanced picture of the nature and ambit of the authority it exercised.” It sounds a bit like the self-congratulation of a cancer-ward patient for best tumor. Like a lot of modern academic historians, Kamen and Rawlings risk turning history into all nuance and no news.

The pursuit of scholarly rigor too easily leads historians to erase any signs of the historical imagination from their work. What is the historical imagination? It’s simply the ability to see small and think big. Just thinking big leads you to Spenglerian melodrama and fantasy; just seeing small makes you miss history altogether while seeming to study it. After all, any significant change in human consciousness can be dissolved if you break it down into its individual parts, which are bound to seem contradictory or many-sided—you can dissolve anything by dissolving it. The Italian Renaissance can be argued out of existence as easily as the Spanish Inquisition. (In fact, Europeans had constant contact with Greek and Roman styles right through the Middle Ages, and the fifteenth-century Italian way of seeing antiquity was more Catholic-minded and anachronistic than its predecessors had been.)

History helps us to understand reality by disassembling the big nouns into the small acts that make them up. But if history ignores its responsibility to the big nouns it isn’t doing its job. That there were not weekly autos-da-fé in sixteenth-century Spain does not alter our horror that there were any at all, much less that they were so effectively institutionalized. Their purpose was to frighten and terrorize; the mark of their success is that they did not need to happen every day. That the Inquisition did not often burn men alive for thinking the wrong thoughts does not alter the truth that it burned men alive for thinking the wrong thoughts—that it raised the casual cruelty of previous intolerance to a theatricalized black Mass.

And then history written without sufficient imagination risks a failure of basic human empathy. We sometimes think that the historical imagination is the gift of seeing past—seeing past the surface squalors of an era to the larger truths. Really, history is all about seeing in, looking hard at things to bring them back to life as they were, while still making them part of life as it is. If you can’t imagine the horror of being burned alive, then you haven’t, so to speak, lived. Murphy, to his credit, makes us feel not just what it was to see the Inquisition at work but what it was to suffer from it. We learn, for instance, that it was considered a special favor and mercy to supply a heretic, about to be set alight, with a bag of gunpowder to tie around his neck so that he would die from the explosion before he died from the flames.

Reading the revisionist histories, one is often startled by the introduction of shocking material that fails sufficiently to shock the author. Rawlings remarks blandly that, before the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, “there were obvious anomalies between the position of Jews and of Jewish converts in Spanish society that had to be resolved,” and then reproduces a “test of purity of blood,” right out of the Nuremberg laws. (Applicants are to swear that they are “without any stain or taint of Jewish, Moorish, or Converso origins.”) Is it anachronistic, in the sense of imputing modern feelings to ancient acts, to be sickened by such things? Well, not if one imagines asking the threatened conversos how they felt about it. Pain is pain in any period. [cartoon id="a16411"]

Murphy quotes another historian of the period, Eamon Duffy, of Cambridge, announcing that he doesn’t find the cruelties of the inquisitions particularly shocking: “That was then, and this is now. Of course, these things are outrageous if they’re considered in the abstract. But human beings don’t live in the abstract. They live in the particular.” Well, they do. Murphy reproduces the transcript of a “heretic” under torture, made by the recording secretary:

On being given these [turns of the rack] he said first, “Oh, God!” and then, “There’s no mercy”: after the turns he was admonished, and said, “I don’t know what to say, Oh dear God!” Then three more turns of the cord were ordered to be given, and after two of them he said, “Oh God, oh God, there’s no mercy, oh God help me, help me!”

The point of an inquisition is to reduce its victims to abstractions, and abandoning the effort to call their pain back to particular life is a true trahison des clercs.

A historical imagination, of the kind that can bring such suffering back to life, is essential to Goya’s genius. The painter knew that, even if the Inquisition and its hideous rituals were becoming archaic, their presence had maimed the imagination of his civilization and his country: the knowledge that a man could be forced into a tall cap and robe and reduced to an object to be mocked, that he could be tortured in the name of the God he importuned for help, was now part of the inexpugnable bad conscience of his civilization. Spain, as Kamen argues, made the Inquisition—and then the Inquisition unmade Spain. The national iconography isn’t what you’re proud to look at but what you can’t help seeing, even if you close your eyes. (Especially if you close your eyes.) Goya could not have seen or made those images without knowing his nation’s historical nightmare, any more than an American can look at lynching photographs—or, for that matter, at pictures of the hooded man on the box at Abu Ghraib, a found Goya if ever there was one—without understanding that he is implicated in it. We did that are the words we hear inside, even if we didn’t do it recently, or personally. The historical imagination, like Giordano Bruno’s cosmology, includes a plurality of worlds, but it sees that what happens in each of them has weight.

Recognizing that the Inquisition is really a set of inquisitions complicates but doesn’t curb Murphy’s indignation. He presses on with his search for the Inquisition’s contemporary heirs, even after the experts tell him that there’s no specific essence to inherit. He visits Guantánamo, travels to museums of torture in Spain, and broods on Cardinal Ratzinger’s ambiguous repudiations of the Holy Inquisition. (He quotes the great Italian historian of the Inquisition Carlo Ginzburg crying out at a Vatican meeting, “Not sorry. Sorry is easy. . . . I want to hear the Catholic Church—I want to hear the pope—say he is ashamed. ”) In the end, you come to feel that the real continuity is so pervasive that it needs no tradition to feed it; people torture other people everywhere for any reason at hand. The real issue is why and when they ever stop.

And here a little bit of self-congratulation seems in order. Murphy nears his conclusion with a glance at our own Torquemada, J. Edgar Hoover, who was as scary an inquisitorial type as could exist, and who would surely have tortured and executed the Communists he imagined besieging America (and for the same good reason the Inquisitor always has: Dr. King did have suspected Communists near him), if he had had the chance. But he didn’t have the chance. Mostly, Hoover lost, and what made him lose was the persistence of traditions and laws of civil liberties. That those liberties can be diminished at a remote terrorist threat does not alter the reality that they are well enough established so that people at least notice when they’re threatened. Not a few of us feel that Ginzburgian shame when we find out what we’ve done from fear.

What makes a civilization lose the inquisitional tendency? The truth seems to be that abundance helps—the more goods there are, the more purely symbolic the struggles over them tend to become—but the idea of decency matters most. The values of tolerance are one of the most difficult lessons to impart, not because people are naturally cruel but because power is naturally fearful. We’re slow learners. The Inquisition has become a byword for cruelty combined with state power and superstition because it was. Monty Python could take it as a figure of fun because Enlightenment ideals of tolerance and decency make us feel safe from it.

After Monty Python ended, Terry Jones (who not only appeared as one of the inquisitors but directed the Python films) went back to his original work as a medievalist, and co-wrote a book about the mysterious death of Geoffrey Chaucer. One can debate its conspiratorial point—that Richard II was, despite Shakespeare, a very good king and Henry IV a very bad one, who may have had Chaucer murdered. But it’s wonderfully eloquent in its ability to make the ideological battlefield of fourteenth-century England come alive in modern terms. Jones and his collaborators posit not a war between faith and doubt but a kind of permanent war between the common-sense humanism represented by Chaucer and, later, Erasmus, both of whom worked within an entirely Catholic context, and the intolerant fanaticism of their enemies: when Chaucer’s patron Richard II fell and Chaucer was silenced, the evil Archbishop Arundel instantly returned to burning heretics. After reading Murphy’s accounts of so many bodies tortured and so many lives ended, one ought, I suppose, to feel guilty about laughing at the old Python sketch, but it’s hard not to feel a little giddy watching it. How did we become this free to laugh at fanaticism? That for a moment or two the humanists seem to have it—that we don’t really expect the Inquisition to barge into our living rooms—is a fragile triumph of a painful, difficult, ongoing education in Enlightenment values. Bloody miracle, really. ♦

Fall 2017 Ithaca Seminars

Ithaca Seminars are listed alphabetically below:

(Please check HomerConnect for the most up to date information.)

The African Press: In A Globalized World
Matt Mogekwu
CRN 23525 - ICSM 10500 - 59
10:50 am - 12:05 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

This seminar focuses on the nature of the press in Africa especially as it operates within the global information and communication environment, examining, in particular, the complex issues  of power,  technology and the economy and their connectivity and interrelatedness in  the continuing attempt at fashioning a new world information order. Students will be expected and encouraged to examine/analyze selected press systems and interrogate the enduring notion of the press as a crucial tool in effective governance. What social, economic and political factors make the press effective in some parts of the world and not in others? Students should begin to see the world beyond their own national perspective, and an appreciation of how the press functions in other parts of the world will contribute to this broadened perspective. It is hoped that at the end of the seminar, students will be able to understand and explain the place of the press in global politics and international understanding and cooperation.

Amazon Drones and Google Glass: Life and Technology in the Year 2050
James Stafford
CRN 23526 - ICSM 10800 - 13
9:00 am - 9:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M

Students will study current technology in order to predict future advances and applications of that technology. Students will question the effects of emerging technology on medicine, ethics, space exploration, communication and communities. This course fulfills the First Year Composition requirement of the ICC and is equivalent to WRTG 10600.

Art and the Contemporary Sublime
Sarah Sutton
CRN 22948 - ICSM 10500 - 09
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M, 1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR

How do we maintain a balance of mind, body and spirit in the constant face of the unknown? This is one of life’s most unavoidable challenges. Notions of the sublime, as expressed through art, is one way that both individuals and societies attempt to experience and understand the unknown. This class will explore how the experience of the ‘unknown’ has changed in the digital age, and how that has influenced artists. We will use the language of drawing, painting and collage to explore what seems un-representable, evasive and unknowable in our contemporary world.

The Art of Learning
Jacqueline Winslow
CRN 23285 - ICSM 10500 - 67
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

Do you know how to learn? What does it take to learn well? Imagine life in Divergent’s Erudite Faction –a realm dedicated to knowledge, intelligence, and astuteness (sans Jeanine Matthews). In this seminar, we will blend theories of learning with practices of meta-learning & metacognition. Investigate your learning preferences and areas of expert performance.  Explore and practice adaptive strategies for learning and systematic inquiry. Consider methods for critically consuming information. Study the benefits of failing well. Ponder the power of others’ stories and their potential for influencing your worldview. Embrace your curiosity and learn to ask excellent questions.

Astounding Sights and Smells: Chemistry of the Senses
Mike Haaf
CRN 22996 - ICSM 10500 - 60
1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

This course is designed primarily for students that have chosen to major in areas other than science and will serve as an introduction to the basic concepts of chemistry. The course will be a theme-based approach to the subject, using topics such as color, medicine, warfare, food and drink as backdrops for the material. There will be an emphasis on problem-solving, and the tools and methods that scientists use to study chemistry will be discussed in a variety of contexts. Students will be encouraged to make connections between chemistry and their everyday lives, and to make educated decisions based on the availability of reliable data.  There will also be a significant integrated lab component, shaped around the course material. The first several weeks of the course will include coverage of the “fundamentals” in chemistry and organic chemistry.  Students will need these basic tools to understand material covered in the subsequent topic-based units.

Brains, Besties, and Bodies: Being a Woman in College
Joslyn Brenton
CRN 22974 - ICSM 10500 - 35
1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

What is it like to be a woman in college? In this course we will share, discuss, and analyze the patterned experiences of women in U.S. society, particularly during the college years. While no one woman experiences the world in exactly the same way, social scientists and cultural commentators have long identified patterns in the challenges, and successes, female-identifying college students experience. In this course we will explore three dimensions of being a college woman: Brains (intellectual development and classroom experiences); Besties (social relationships, including romantic relationships and developing friendships with men and women); and Bodies (how women relate to their own bodies and those of others). While it is valuable to understand and examine how different groups of people experience life in college, in this course we will focus on the experiences of women.

Captivate and Connect-Storytelling for Social Justice
Michele Lenhart
CRN 23286 - ICSM 10500 - 68
5:25 pm - 6:40 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

In this course we will explore storytelling in various formats by examining stories about social justice issues and the ways we learn from them. Students will develop their own oral storytelling skills, as well as strategies for critically understanding how “isms” (racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, and more) operate culturally and institutionally in our society. Students will learn to create and tell their own stories that can effectively connect with audiences, inspire more thoughtful dialogue about social issues, and promote ideas for acting on injustices.

Communicating like The Simpsons: Understanding Springfield, Ithaca and the World
Christopher House
CRN 23501 - ICSM 10500 - 07
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W 

This course investigates the rhetorical dimensions of the longest-running sitcom in America, The Simpsons. Specifically, in this course students learn the ways in which signs and symbols influence us through a process called rhetoric. To this end, students or ‘Simpsonologists’ examine various episodes of the show to better understand the rhetorical processes by which the writers of the show seek to shape human thought and behavior. Consequently, the writers of The Simpsons aim to create alternative communicative practices in our society. Moreover, we pay special attention to the rhetoric of Simpsonology, that is, the way the Simpsons functions as both rhetoric and satire i.e., how it serves as corrective comedy to issues such as consumerism, nationality, sexuality, inequality, difference and political dysfunction.

Contemporary European Cinema: National and Transnational Perspectives
Andrew Utterson
CRN 23497 - ICSM 10500 - 03
1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

This course will explore contemporary European films and filmmakers, with a particular emphasis on national and transnational perspectives, with a view to considering but also complicating notions of nationhood and national cinemas. It will explore questions of cultural identity and the political and other systems that define today’s Europe, a collective union (geographical, political, economic, etc.) of diverse nations. Films and filmmakers will be considered in national, transnational, and other contexts, mapping the cultural and other boundaries of an evolving Europe and related conceptions of European, Europeanness, and in turn European cinema.

Cryptology: A History of Secrets
David Brown
CRN 22986 - ICSM 10500 - 49
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

For thousands of years, people have tried to keep information secret. Sophisticated techniques have been created in order to hide messages from unwanted eyes. We investigate the history of writing secret messages; this is the study of cryptography. We learn how mathematics is the basis of secret message writing and uncover the espionage history of intelligence gathering. We focus on key moments when cryptography changed history, including the breaking of the Enigma machine in World War II, continuing through the Cold War, and on to Internet commerce.

Cultivating Well-Being through Leisure
Linda Heyne
CRN 22950 - ICSM 10500 - 11
2:35 pm - 3:50 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

How can meaningful leisure experiences influence well-being within the individual and society? Through experiential goal-oriented activities and an understanding of relevant psycho-social theory, this course examines how leisure can be used intentionally to cultivate individual well-being. The issue of time poverty and its impact on U.S. society is also explored from diverse disciplines and cultural perspectives.

Cultural Cues
Louise Cannon

Seminar course designed for international students. Registration for this course is allowed only through special permission.

The Dialogical Self
Scott Thomson
CRN 23503 - ICSM 10500 - 14
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm MW , 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

You are a multiplicity, a society of the mind.  Dialogical Self Theory posits the self as emergent from dialogue and debate between relatively autonomous internal I-positions, a dynamic manifestation from internal communication situated in social and historical contexts.  This seminar will examine the roots of Dialogical Self Theory and will consider contemporary applications. Students will examine and conduct research in the seminar.  The course begins with an in depth examination of the film Inside Out (2015).

Dialogue on Design
Kurt Komaromi
CRN 22956 - ICSM 10500 - 15
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

Explores how design informs the environment we live in, the products we buy, and the dialogue we create with other human beings. Focuses on an appreciation of modern design in the fields of architecture, industrial design, and graphic design. Students gain an understanding of the creative process by examining the work of iconic figures such as Louis Kahn, Richard Neutra, Dieter Rams, Jonathan Ives, Steve Jobs, Paul Rand, and Milton Glaser. We learn that design encompasses both the aesthetic and the functional, connecting art and commerce, and elevating the human spirit along with the bottom line. We discuss principles of design, reflecting on how design thinking can be applied in our lives to achieve our creative potential and succeed in our chosen academic discipline.

Disability: Identity and Policy
Jennifer Tennant
CRN 23502 - ICSM 10500 - 10
11:00 am - 11:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

Students in this course will look at the importance of data collection and how perception of one’s own identity affects how one is measured in data sets. Some question that will be discussed: What is disability?  How is it influenced by the environment? How is disability measured in socio-economic datasets, and how has that measurement changed over time? What does the data tell us about employment, program participation (SSDI, SSI, Veteran’s disability program etc.), housing etc? What has been the effect of the Americans with Disabilities Act? How do accommodations affect disability status and various outcomes?

Entrepreneurship and Capitalism: On Innovation, Enterprise and Democracy
Alah Cohen
CRN 22957 - ICSM 10500 - 16
8:00 am - 9:15 am TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F
CRN 22958 - ICSM 10500 - 18
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm  M , 10:50 am - 12:05 TR

This first-year seminar will explore the evolution of entrepreneurial capitalism, from the early modern period to today, and analyze its impact on Western culture, politics, and society, particularly in the United States.

Extraordinary Bodies: Freaks, Normals, and Everyone In Between
Rachel Kaufman
CRN 23003 - ICSM 10800 - 02
1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F
CRN 23013 - ICSM 10800 - 12
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

This course will investigate the ways in which institutional power structures become inscribed in our very bodies. Students will pay particular attention to how intersecting identity categories such as race, gender, and disability play into shared ideas about what -- and who -- is ‘normal.’ Investigations will reveal the historical and colonial underpinnings of contemporary movements such as feminism, disability rights, anti-racism, and LGBTQI rights. Students will explore the ways in which bodies get displayed and looked at via various visual media (tv, film, social media, advertising, etc). Students will also consider the ethical implications of writing about and bearing witness to communities to which one does or doesn’t belong. Topics include: beauty and ugliness, the medicalization of bodies, and experiences of alienation and empowerment. This course fulfills the First Year Composition requirement of the ICC and is equivalent to WRTG 10600. This course is designated ICC-Diversity and will fulfill the ICC-Diversity requirement.

The Faces of Identity and Silkscreen Printing
Susan Weisend
CRN 23515 - ICSM 10500 - 42
10:00 am - 11:15 am MW, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M

Visual art has been used as a means of exploring the concept of identity throughout human history. The silkscreen print packs a punch as a visual statement in contemporary culture, particularly as a means of expressing themes of identity. Students in this course will study the historical and cultural context of screen printed images while engaging in the hands-on printing of a series of silkscreen projects. We will concentrate on three aspects of identity exploration: the narrative image, the portrait, creating a sense of place.

Fairy Tales: The Hero's Journey
Katharyn Howd Machan
CRN 22960 - ICSM 10500 - 20
10:00 am - 10:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W
CRN 22961 - ICSM 10500 - 21
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

Fairy tales are the maps of our psyches, the mirrors of our longings and fears. In them we find the questions and answers we need to continue the shaping of our own lives, through darkness and light, shadow and brilliant image. Our oldest fairy tales, from the oral culture, have been polished to the bone; they gleam with an intensity of truth free of specific history. Newer tales, too, their authors known and celebrated, reach to the place of magic and dream, and give us guides in delight and knowledge. This course will focus on the study of classic and contemporary fairy tales, with an emphasis on themes of self-discovery and transition/transformation. Readings will be drawn from the tales themselves, essays about them, and contemporary re-workings of them in fiction and poetry. NOTE: Writing assignments will be for new fiction and poetry inspired by the tales; this course does NOT fulfill the Academic Writing I requirement.

Fantasy, Fandom, and Fans: Exceeding Our Own Lives
Jaime Warburton
CRN 23004 - ICSM 10800 - 03
11:00 am - 11:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M

In this class, we’ll explore and blog the texts that surround us, inspire us, and invite us to imagine our world more fully, such as Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Star Trek; cultural markers that develop around love of sports and music; the cultural hierarchy of fandom based on religion, sports, and sci-fi/fantasy; elements of participatory culture, specifically fan fiction; and the impact of fan-based communities, both online and IRL (in real life). Students will be expected to engage in analysis of such texts in a scholarly fashion led by Henry Jenkins’ definition of the “aca/fan,” a “hybrid creature which is part fan and part academic.” We’ll emphasize written forays into fandom along with writing in response to “original” texts as we explore what drives us to imagine ourselves in universes/lives other than our own, and define the ways fandom binds together disparate parts of our lives. This course fulfills the First Year Composition requirement of the ICC and is equivalent to WRTG 10600.

Farm to Table: Conscious Cuisine for the 21st Century
Jill Loop, Carl Penziul
CRN 23505 - ICSM 10500 - 22
9:00 am - 11:50 am F, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

In this hands-on seminar students will actively explore food sources from their local farm origins to the tables of local restaurants and bistros. Students will have opportunities to harvest, cook, display and serve food in this course.

The Field of Management and Exploring Your Career
Jae Eun Lee
CRN 23520 - ICSM 10500 - 55
8:00 am - 8:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M
CRN 23521 - ICSM 10500 - 56
9:00 am - 9:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M

This course focuses on two areas of study: a brief overview of the management field (e.g., the history of management, the theories and disciplines incorporated in the management studies, the current issues in the management field), and the exploration of one’s own career options. The objective of this course is two-fold. First, this course introduces the field of management to first-year students by learning about (1) the history of management, (2) the core disciplines of management (such as psychology and sociology), (3) the application of theories and concepts in real business environment, (4) current issues/topics in the management, such as the pay gap between CEO and employee. This course will expose students to a variety of different perspectives and approaches and help them develop a critical eye on the issues they may read from a newspaper or on the situation that they may face throughout their life. Second this course will help students explore careers and develop skills necessary to plan their own professional career. This course will assist students in assessing their strengths and weaknesses, so that they can make an informed career choice. The students will learn about resources on-campus and off-campus that will help them learn about different career options. Students will be encouraged to seek out advice and recommendation from peers, advisers, counselors, parents, relatives, and/or other network of their own. They need to develop a detailed career developmental plan as well as career documents, such as resume and cover letter, by the end of the semester.

Global Warming, It's a Hot Topic
Nancy Jacobson
CRN 22966 - ICSM 10500 - 26
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M, 1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR

Global warming is a hot topic in the partisan politics we see today.  We will look at what science tells us about the causes and impacts of global warming as well as what technologies are available to move us to a low-carbon world.  But we will also look at cultural, economic, political, psychological, and ethical factors that inhibit or enhance this transition. And what about you? Come find out what you can do to help. 

The Golden City: Rhetoric and Performance in Classical Athens (Honors Course)
Bob Sullivan
CRN 23018 - ICSM 11000 - 02
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

Classical Athens has been famously described as having been “drunk on language.” The Athenian democracy placed an extraordinarily high value on the ability of its citizens to speak, argue, entertain, and instruct by means of direct oral discourse. This seminar will engage the concept of rhetorical performance in the democratic polis. We will immerse in rhapsodic interpretation, political debate, criminal litigation, philosophical dispute and theatrical performance. We will also take part in a corresponding variety of performative experiences – in debates, mock trials, poetic recitations, and theatrical performances. The seminar will not simply work through a set of cultural masterpieces, though many of our texts are central to the Western canon. We will embody, and experience again, many of the persisting problems of democratic citizenship.

Gothic: the Hidden and the Grotesque in Music, Writing, and Media
Alex Reed
CRN 23256 - ICSM 11000 - 06
11:00 am - 11:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

This interdisciplinary course concerns the aesthetic of the gothic across media and throughout history, blending elements of media studies, philosophy, creative artistry, and sociology.  From the Romantic symphony to Lana Del Rey, from Oscar Wilde to horror film, why do visual, literary, and musical media so return to the ideas of the hidden and the grotesque with such fascination and consistency?  Students in this class will create works and engage with a wide range of both famous and lesser-known texts in pursuit of a variety of questions: How do music, art, and words create mood?  Why do we like to be scared?  Why do we sometimes conflate “dark” with “deep”?  What do vampires have to do with our modern day-to-day lives, values, and politics?  And what is behind that door?

GUN: American Object, Ugly Freedom
Chris Holmes
CRN 23498 - ICSM 10500 - 04
9:25 am - 10:40 am TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

Is there any single American object more demanding of our attention than the gun? Whether we ever hold or fire one, the gun fundamentally affects the ways in which we understand our rights and liberties, privacy and community, and the very sovereignty of the physical body. Over the course of the semester we will seek to examine this most fundamental and overdetermined cultural object by treating it as just that, an object. The proliferating forms of the gun that enter American life as toys, ghosts, laws, and stories will offer us a way to understand precisely how the gun came to be attached to our national identity. The aim of this class, while not polemical will not be even-handed in its treatment of the gun. Nor should it be. We begin with the understanding that the cultural history of the gun is inseparable from development of weapons designed kill people with increasing efficiency and lethality. The American obsession with firearms too often seeks to eclipse this fact, but our exploration will always return to the cost in lives of the proliferation of guns in the country. Indeed, as we are a first-year seminar, we will take stock of what it means to be a student in the age of school shootings and open-carry laws. The historical and cultural sensitivity of this course will give us the opportunity to both explore the outlandishness of allowing guns to pervade every space in our contemporary life, while making it clear that the many manifestations of the gun in our lives, very often packaged in non-lethal forms, have extraordinary, and sometimes hidden histories. This course will teach you to read academic and popular texts with a rigorous critical eye. As we discuss the evolution of the Colt as the so-called “Indian Killer” of the frontier, the haunting of the Winchester family house, the legal life of the gun in the 2nd amendment and other precedents, the gun in works of literature, how the water pistol became the Nerf assault weapon, the AR15 and the marketing of military weapons as home defense, “cop-killer bullets”, gun safety and the transformation of the NRA into a lobbying corporation, and the gun as ornamental/ugly freedom, you will be called upon to pursue independent research and to become experts in certain facets of this object’s history. 

Heads or Tails: The Art and Science of Decision-Making
Barbara Belyea and John Sigg
CRN 23511 - ICSM 10500 - 31
8:00 am - 9:15 am TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

This course will provide students with research based strategies as well as common sense practical approaches to mindful, responsible decision making. Using real life situations, this course will explore the art and science of decision making through a variety of lens, including self-awareness of biases, tolerance of others’ opinions and the impact of personal values and mindsets on choices. Students will build confidence and accountability as they improve their understanding of how different perspectives affect the process of decision-making.

Health Advocacy: You be the Change
Jill Mayer and Tina Caswell
CRN 23838 ICSM 10500 - 01

9:25 am - 10:40 am TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F
What is important to you? How do we help others receive the care or services they may need whether they be near or far? This course is focused on exploring various aspects of health and how one can advocate for the well-being of others. We will explore the topic of advocacy from a broad range of health perspectives including disability, accessibility, awareness, global change, and more. This course is designed to identify and understand the many facets of advocacy, become more self-aware of one’s own passion, and realize the power of that passion in creating change. Through interactions and experiences in and outside of the classroom this course will help students become a successful advocate for promoting and achieving change in the lives of others.

Health Narratives: Gender, Race, Life, and Death (Honors Course)
Stewart Auyash
CRN 23522 - ICSM 11000 - 01
1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

Using a multidisciplinary approach, this course builds a case for considering health through the lens of the architectonic function of the humanities and rhetoric. In this way, our concepts of communication inform how we live and think about health. We also consider the importance of narrative – stories that offer the depth, emotion, and humanity that are fundamental, but often overlooked, to decisions in medical care and public health policy. Course topics include feminist history and health, immunity, race and health, mental health, inequality, and end of life.

Hello China: Preparing for the Future
Hongwei Guan
CRN 23874 - ICSM 10500-30
TR 8:00 AM-9:15 AM, F 12:00 PM-12:50 PM

The primary goal of this seminar will be to develop student awareness and knowledge of the Chinese culture and people. This course will examine and discuss a variety of Chinese topics, such China history, culture, health and medicine, sports, industrialization, US business relations, language, food, education and the literature and arts. Some guest speakers, group and individual student presenters and group discussions will present these topics as well as group excursions to various Chinese venues in the City of Ithaca. The goal of the seminar is also to help the student adjust to college life by developing interpersonal communication and writing skills, and gaining an understanding of various aspects of and interests in the campus community and surrounding community of Ithaca.

Hindu Goddesses
Angela Rudert
CRN 22947 - ICSM 10500 - 08
11:00 am - 11:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M
CRN 22952 - ICSM 10500 - 13
9:00 am - 9:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M

Divine feminine power (shakti) has stood the test of time in the Indian subcontinent. Theology of the Goddess has thrived, transformed and expanded over the course of known history. We will study mythological conceptions of Shakti through a variety of human-created media: literary, oral, and other artistic expression. Narratives of goddesses, taken from classical Sanskrit hymns, folkloric traditions, iconography as well as film and other contemporary media, will be our primary source material in this introduction to the divine feminine power in Hindu Goddess traditions.

Homesick: Searching for Home in Multi-Ethnic American Literature
Christine Kitano
CRN 23005 - ICSM 10800 - 04
10:00 am - 10:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M
CRN 23006 - ICSM 10800 - 05
9:00 am - 9:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M

The landscape of the United States provides ample backdrop for the multitude of writing produced in the 20th-21st centuries. But for writers who attend to characters from particular ethnic backgrounds, the United States as “home” often becomes antagonist. From mild inconvenience to outright violence, characters of color often find themselves alienated in the only “home” they’ve ever known. In this class, we’ll read a range of texts (fiction, poetry, and nonfiction) to examine how non-white characters deal with alienation and displacement. This course fulfills the First Year Composition requirement of the ICC and is equivalent to WRTG 10600.

The Human Genome: The Promise and the Perils
Maki Inada
CRN 22973 - ICSM 10500 - 34
1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

In 2001, the sequence of the Human Genome was completed. However, in many ways this was just the beginning. If the genome represents the words in a dictionary, the scientific community is now trying to understand the prose that is spoken to make us who we are. Based on genetic tests, we can learn our identity and diagnose disease as well as make predictions about our future health and well-being. In this course we will examine the information the human genome promises to provide and the immense impacts it carries to both you as an individual and society. We will cover topics such as gene therapy, reproductive technologies, genetic engineering, forensics, personalized genomics and cancer, stem cells and cloning. Following a general introduction of the science underlying DNA sequencing and genetic engineering, we will discuss the ethical, political and sociological impact of advances in biotechnology on society today. This course is designed to help make the transition to college level learning through readings, class discussion and writing.

Inquiring minds want to know
Nandadevi Cortes-Rodriguez
CRN 23507 - ICSM 10500 - 24
1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

They started as questions, formed into hypothesis, molded into theories, and established as dogma.  This course will examine how we know what we know.  Scientific knowledge and discovery has transformed today’s society, changing how humans interact with their natural world and people around them.  Selected current topics in the natural sciences will be explored through the process of scientific discovery.  Students will develop their ability to think critically about the world around them by learning how to design, execute, and analyze scientific experiments.  This course will help students make the transition to college level science thinking and learning through “hands on” activities, readings, class discussion and writing.

Inquiring minds want to know
David Gondek
CRN 22976 - ICSM 10500 - 37
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

They started as questions, formed into hypothesis, molded into theories, and established as dogma.  This course will examine how we know what we know.  Scientific knowledge and discovery has transformed today’s society, changing how humans interact with their natural world and people around them.  Selected current topics in the natural sciences will be explored through the process of scientific discovery.  Students will develop their ability to think critically about the world around them by learning how to design, execute, and analyze scientific experiments.  This course will help students make the transition to college level science thinking and learning through “hands on” activities, readings, class discussion and writing.

Island Life: Biological Consequences of Human Arrival
Susan Witherup
CRN 22977 - ICSM 10500 - 38
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M, 1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR

For their size, oceanic islands harbor a large amount of the Earth’s biological diversity. Islands and their coastline habitats represent unique ecosystems with many plant and animal species found nowhere else on Earth.  How and why did such biodiversity arise?  What factors threaten the survival of these species and ecosystems? This course describes how island species have evolved and considers the role that humans have played in altering island ecosystems. By studying a variety of case studies, students will analyze the impacts of non-native species introductions to islands, conservation of island ecosystems and species, and the impact of tourism on islands.

Ithaca Is Gorges: An Exploration of Our Public Lands
Christopher Klinger
CRN 22978 - ICSM 10500 - 39
1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

With over 150 water falls in the area and many gorges, Ithaca is a prime example of natural beauty for all to enjoy.  This course focuses on the value of public lands and includes an overview of the benefits of recreation, the history and philosophy of the National Park Service, a survey of our Finger Lakes State Parks, and current issues on public lands.  Students will visit local public lands such as Buttermilk Falls State Park.

Jerusalem: City of Faith, City of Struggle
Rebecca Lesses
CRN 22979 - ICSM 10500 - 40
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M, 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm TR

What does it mean to live in a divided city? This course focuses on contemporary Jerusalem, using films, short stories, memoirs, poetry, and analytical articles to explore the experiences of the city’s people today. The course will investigate what it means to live in a city divided along religious, ethnic, and national lines: between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs, and between and among the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religious communities. The course will address how the wars of the twentieth century have affected the lives of all who live in the city, especially the 1948 war, which divided the city between Israeli and Jordanian control, and the 1967 war, which united the city under Israeli rule. The course will also address the political issues of occupation, annexation, and settlement from both the Palestinian and Israeli perspectives.

Justice, Power, Inequality
Evgenia Ilieva
CRN 23512 - ICSM 10500 - 32
11:00 am - 11:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

In this course we will critically engage three concepts that play a central role in how we think about and organize our individual and collective existence: justice, power, and inequality. Through close reading of texts, class discussions, and film screenings we will analyze and critically evaluate how the notions of justice, power, and inequality intersect and relate to one another. In the first part of the course we raise and attempt to answer the following questions: what is justice and how is it achieved? Is justice for some bought at the expense of doing injustice to others? What is the relationship between justice and civil disobedience, and can justice be used to restrain the exercise of power? The second part of the course will be devoted to examining the processes through which inequalities come to be seen as legitimate, natural and even desirable. We also explore alternative perspectives that challenge this view. Finally, in the third part of the course we focus on understanding the relationship between power, domination, and violence. Focusing on violent and non-violent methods of resistance, we examine historical struggles for liberation from relations of oppression and subjugation.

Life before Birth
Tatiana Patrone
CRN 23513 - ICSM 10500 - 33
11:00 am - 11:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

The range of our reproductive freedoms and choices has been growing. Conception and gestation today can look vastly different than they used to, due to IVF, surrogate motherhood, creation of artificial wombs, uterine transplantation, and postmenopausal pregnancy. Also, children be modified genetically to have certain features, and embryos can be selected (or deselected) based on the characteristics that they have. On the horizon, we can discern the possibilities of reproductive human cloning and even male pregnancy! With the promise of technology, comes the ethical question: Should we engage in these practices? In this course, we will look at ethical permissibility of various reproductive technologies through the lens of the key concepts in today’s medical ethics: ‘autonomy’, ‘consent’, ‘benefit’, ‘harm’, and ‘justice’.

The Limits of Lying: Artifice and Forgery in Memoir and Beyond
Joan Marcus
CRN 23007 - ICSM 10800 - 06
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

In this course we will examine a variety of forged or compromised memoirs — from James Frey’s infamous addiction and recovery memoir A Million Little Pieces to Margaret Seltzer’s Los Angeles gang memoir Love and Consequences. We will ask ourselves why authors change their lives, take on false personas, or create alternate identities, and why these deceptions generate such strong reactions from the reading public. We will investigate the sociopolitical context in which public personas are created, examining memoir as well as online identities and social media, celebrity personas, self-fashioning, and cosmetic surgery. In addition to writing academic papers on these subjects, students will create their own short memoirs and reflect on the challenging experience of shaping the truth for an audience. This course fulfills the First Year Composition requirement of the ICC and is equivalent to WRTG 10600.

Love, Science and Magic in the Middle Ages
Silvia Abbiati
CRN 23517 - ICSM 10500 - 48
11:00 am - 11:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M

Medieval writers attempted to define love by drawing on knowledge from all spheres, including science and magic. In this course we will read works that reflect medieval views on such topics as love, desire, cosmology, astronomy, and the relationship between medicine and magic, including the magical properties of crystals. We will also look at some modern comedic portrayals of the middle ages, and compare them to what we have learned in class.

Media, Math & Manipulation (M and Ms): The medium is NOT necessarily the message!
Jill Loop/Carl Penziul
CRN 22981 - ICSM 10500 - 43
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M, 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm TR

The media has historically skewed viewpoints related to basic facts surrounding an event or outcome. In this seminar, we will introduce you to common polling techniques; how data are reported; how data are interpreted; and how you, as a student, should be able to understand and communicate effectively about that data. This course is designated ICC-Quantitative Literacy and will fulfill the ICC-QL requirement.

Mindful Learning
Laura Amoriello
CRN 23514 - ICSM 10500 - 36
1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

Learning is something we all do each day. Whether formally or informally, we are constantly experiencing, reflecting, responding, and adjusting. This course explores learning through a framework of mindfulness, which encourages us to 1) stay in the present moment through mindfulness meditation and 2) have self-compassion. Students will reflect on these concepts and how they might help them as learners. Through study of mindfulness, self-compassion, and additional concepts such as motivation, flow, and self-directed learning, students will develop a knowledge of themselves as learners and a repertoire of mindful learning strategies for college and beyond.

Mindful Learning
Alexander Shuhan
CRN 22968 - ICSM 10500 - 28
1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

Learning is something we all do each day. Whether formally or informally, we are constantly experiencing, reflecting, responding, and adjusting. This course explores learning through a framework of mindfulness, which encourages us to 1) stay in the present moment through mindfulness meditation and 2) have self-compassion. Students will reflect on these concepts and how they might help them as learners. Through study of mindfulness, self-compassion, and additional concepts such as motivation, flow, and self-directed learning, students will develop a knowledge of themselves as learners and a repertoire of mindful learning strategies for college and beyond.

Molecules, Cells, and Galaxies: The Nature of Science
Luke Keller and Vince DeTuri
CRN 22982 - ICSM 10500 - 44
1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

An introductory survey of contemporary natural science–primarily biology, chemistry, geology, and physics though others may creep into our discussions–focusing on the methods that scientists use to learn about nature, the relationships between science and technological advances, the nature of scientific work and knowledge, and a summary of the basic results and conclusions of scientific investigations past and present. Students in this course will develop and enrich their understanding of the physical basis of the natural sciences and associated technology, as well as the methods that scientists use to study physical and natural phenomena. Students will develop an understanding of some basic scientific principles and an appreciation for the relevance of science to society and will also develop an understanding of the methods the natural sciences use to study the physical world through observation, experimentation, evaluation of data, and development and testing of hypotheses. There is no formal laboratory component to this course, but we will be conducting simple observations and experiments periodically during class meetings to demonstrate concepts and/or initiate discussions. This is an introductory course that does not assume a lot of science and mathematics background.

The Musical Mind
Crystal Peebles
CRN 22983 - ICSM 10500 - 45
11:00 am - 11:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M

In this course, students will learn about the basic elements of music: melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, timbre, and form. After an overview of the elements of music, students will then embark on a study of the psychology of music, in which we will discover how music shapes our memory, emotions, identify formation, and connections with others.

The Nature of the Self
Craig Duncan
CRN 23506 - ICSM 10500 - 23
1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

Human beings have selves – or at least, that is the common view – and so YOU have a self.  But what kind of thing is a self?  Perhaps a self is a soul.  Or perhaps it is a mind, or a body, or some part of a body (for instance, the brain).  Maybe, as Buddhists have maintained, the self is an illusion, and thus unreal.  Or maybe the self is real, but is not genuinely distinct from other selves or even from the universe at large, as some forms of Hinduism have maintained.  This course will examine rival views of the self that have been defended by prominent thinkers (religious, philosophical, scientific), both past and present, and both West and East.

Palestine in Literature and Film
Harriet Malinowitz
CRN 23009 - ICSM 10800 - 08
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm MW, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

his course will introduce you to Palestinian life via literature and film – and these creative works will hopefully be a gateway to understanding Palestine’s history and ongoing social/political struggles. What is “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” that we hear about in the news, why has it gone on for so long, and why hasn’t it been resolved? Why do the people involved feel as strongly as they do?  Why does U.S. media give us such scant information from the perspectives of Palestinians? Through reading, watching, discussing, and writing about various sorts of literary, cinematic, and documentary narratives, we will attempt to make sense of it. Historical context will be provided – no prior knowledge of the subject is required or assumed -  but the principal ways we will learn about Palestinian realities will be through works depicting personal, subjective experience.  This course fulfills the First Year Composition requirement of the ICC and is equivalent to WRTG 10600.

Park Communication: Interpreting and Navigating our Nation’s Natural and Cultural Resources
Ari Kissiloff
CRN 22984 - ICSM 10500 - 46
11:00 am - 11:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

The National Park Service encompasses 417 units across all 50 states and several US territories. They include recreational parks, museums, historical sites, protected lands; and celebrate the cultural, historical, and natural resources and their connections to U.S. history. Common to all of these are systematic signage, maps, graphic information systems, standards of video, and other multimedia presentations, as well as systems for interpretation of the resources either in the field or in a visitor center or other structures.  This course will explore the history, present and future of communication & interpretation in the parks.

The Politics of House of Cards
Thomas Shevory
CRN 23516 - ICSM 10500 - 47
1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

House of Cards, an Emmy Award winning television series, which tracks the political career of the ruthlessly ambitious politician, Frank Underwood, raises many questions about the state of current American politics, along with perennial issues regarding the ethics of political action.  The course will draw upon the series as a starting point for considering the institutional contexts of American politics: the legislative, executive, judicial branches, and the policy-making process.  We will also discuss the influence of money in politics, the role of the press, the political party system, voting, and the meaning and obligations of citizenship.  We will draw upon political biography, comparing characters in House of Cards to actual political leaders, such as former Presidents Richard Nixon and Barack Obama, and, of course, current President Donald J. Trump.  Finally, we will consider the impact of House of Cards on how audiences think about American politics. The series is, for example, widely popular in China.

Pop Culture as Text
Katie Marks
CRN 23527 - ICSM 10800 - 16
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M, 10:50 am - 12:05 pm TR

In this seminar, we will explore popular culture and its role in contemporary society. We will consider whether it reflects our thoughts and beliefs or whether it shapes them. We will also investigate how it might affect who we become as individuals. Students’ firsthand observations of, and critical thinking about, advertising, television, film, music, and social networking will play a central role in the class. This course fulfills the First Year Composition requirement of the ICC and is equivalent to WRTG 10600.

Power and Justice in Classical Athens (Honors Course)
David Flanagan
CRN 23022 - ICSM 11800 - 01
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

Our high school courses taught us that fifth-century Athens was "the cradle of democracy," and the birthplace of Western drama. Male Athenian citizens used persuasive language to exercise power in the law courts and the Assembly. But what about those other Athenians, like women, whose voices weren't heard in those public institutions? We'll explore the Athenian discourse about justice and power by reading about the trial of Socrates and the Assembly debates over the Peloponnesian War. And we'll investigate what Greek drama might reveal about the otherwise hidden lives of Athenian women. This course fulfills the First Year Composition requirement of the ICC and is equivalent to WRTG 10600.

Racism, Sexism, and Lies: (Un)learning Elementary School Social Studies
Ellie Fulmer
CRN 22988 - ICSM 10500 - 51
8:00 am - 9:15 am TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M

This course explores the role of history textbooks and dominant American schooling practices in propagating false, Eurocentric, patriarchal, mythologized views of US history. In many ways, the course is about the “hidden curriculum” of the American Dream, or the obscured ways in which schools teach ideals of hard work and social mobility rooted in the notions that “all men are created equal.” This course will explore a number of historical themes that are ignored or mistreated by history textbooks and elementary school classrooms. As such, students in the course will apply the concept of hidden curriculum to the study of US history and history of US schools, in order to understand some truths behind the lies. Learning lies about our nation detrimentally impacts not only students from underrepresented groups, but all students. Specifically, students will explore their own knowledge, memories, and beliefs related to elementary social studies by reflecting on their own schooling experiences and by engaging with course materials, including theoretical works and research studies, National Council of Social Studies standards, primary historical resources, multimedia depictions, popular texts, and young adult novels. This course is geared towards incoming students with an interest in education and/or US history, and includes supports for transitioning to college as well as a social exploration of campus and the town of Ithaca.

Reading Popular Romance
Jennifer Wofford
CRN 23757 - ICSM 10800 - 17
1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W
CRN 23758 - ICSM 10800 - 18
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

U.S. Representative Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) introduced a bill in 2014 proposing to prohibit the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) from funding any project relating to the research of love or romance (H.R.5155). Yet, popular romance is the highest selling book genre in the world today, representing the largest share of sales revenue in the industry. Moreover, 84% of romance readership are women. Popular romance is a women’s industry, perhaps the largest in the US. Yet a US legislator made a point of crafting a law against it. Why? This courses uses popular romance as both a cultural subject and as a vehicle of inquiry into readers and reading. It asks questions like: What is romance? Who are our heroines? What is a reader? Why are women reading and writing these stories? How have archetypes and plot lines changed since the 1960s, when mass market romance novels emerged, and what does that say about fans of the genre? What’s the relationship between literature and commerce? Should popular romance be studied? If so, for what purpose? This course fulfills the First Year Composition requirement of the ICC and is equivalent to WRTG 10600.

The Right Brain Revolution
Radio Cremata
CRN 22990 - ICSM 10500 - 53
9:25 am - 10:40 am TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

This course explores current trends and emerging research in aesthetics, sociology, economics and neuroscience as it relates to the marketability and success of 21st century citizens in a new economy driven by creativity and innovation. Students will explore cognitive possibilities that help shape perspective regarding their future in the workplace. The era of left brain directed thinking that once dominated schooling and the workplace in the agricultural, industrial and information ages is becoming obsolete. The future needs right brainers with new skills/talents for a conceptual age centered on ingenuity, creativity and empathy. With a focus on right brain thinking, this course is designed to help students discover more about themselves and their creative potential.

Rights of the Accused: A Critical Analysis of Serial
Veronica Fox
CRN 22980 - ICSM 10500 - 41
8:00 am - 9:15 am TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

Where were you on January 13, 1999? If you can’t remember, you aren’t the only one.  But what happens when your memory of that day becomes key in a criminal investigation?  This is what happened with Adnan Syed, the key suspect in a murder investigation.  This course involves an analysis of the auditory text and podcast, Serial, a spinoff of This American Life, that tells one true story of the murder of a high school senior who disappeared on January 13, 1999 and was found one month later strangled and buried in a park.  From alibis, to witnesses, to testimony, to forensic evidence, we will explore this story and those involved.  We will ponder how to determine a person’s character and how you can know what people are capable of. The auditory text will be coupled with readings related to the U.S. Justice System, applicable law, legal theory and the socioeconomic and cultural underpinnings of the legal system.  Throughout this course, students will use the podcast, Serial, to explore, analyze and understand sources of power and players in the context of the legal system as well as the influences and tensions placed on the justice system. This course will focus on the use of a highly publicized true story to facilitate meaningful discussion and transition for first semester students to learn critical analysis, critical thinking, effective writing and oral presentation skills.

The Sixth Mass Extinction: Human Impacts on the Earth
Lisa Corewyn
CRN 23508 - ICSM 10500 - 25
11:00 am - 11:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W
CRN 23509 - ICSM 10500 - 27
9:00 am - 9:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

Scientists predict that we are currently facing a sixth mass extinction, the first to be a direct result from human activity. Humans now dominate the planet, and are impacting the planet in unprecedented ways, and at unprecedented rates. This course will review historic models of mass extinctions, and examine both the causes and consequences of human impacts that drive current predictions, including human population growth, global climate change, habitat loss, overexploitation, pollution, and invasive species. We will also explore how current principles of conservation science can be employed to address the challenges of balancing the needs of humans and other biodiversity.

Slow and Sudden Passages: Rites and Transitions from Childhood through College
Jerry Mirskin
CRN 23002 - ICSM 10800 - 01
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

This seminar is meant to support students’ transition to college, including the development of their critical and academic writing skills.  The course is meant to be a bridge, both thematically and functionally, between personal (and home culture) experiences and individuals’ public presence and participation as adults and in academia. The course explores the character of life students have lived and are living, with specific emphasis on studying significant life stages and transitions.  As a writing course, it is explicit in terms of identifying and supporting the development of those skills that will contribute to writing success across the disciplines. This course fulfills the First Year Composition requirement of the ICC and is equivalent to WRTG 10600.

Social Media and You
Kyle Woody
CRN 22993 - ICSM 10500 - 57
1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

This course explores how individuals navigate and participate the world of social media. Through literature, poetry, songs, documentaries and films, students analyze their respective role within our social systems. The primary objective is recognizing that individuals belong to a many "systems," but also acknowledging the downfalls, frustrations and abuse that may occur by completing "giving into a system." The creation of "identity" and "self-reliance" are two themes that emerge from the course. The course, also, attempts to define "social media" and [indirectly] debunk the notion that "social media" is a novel creation spurred by advances in technology.

Stories for a Change (Honors Course)
Alicia Swords
CRN 23832 - ICSM 11000 - 07
2:35 pm - 3:50 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

Stories make us who we are.  Some stories are so powerful that telling them (or not telling them) can change how people treat each other.  In this course, we examine a range of stories, from those embedded in advertisements for cars or toothpaste to the testimonies of human rights violations.  We then ask how people use stories to change the world. To answer this question, we analyze dominant and alternative narratives that shape our society and influence our lives. We study narrative structure and theory, practice written and oral techniques for telling our own stories, and gather stories via interviews, and media content analysis.  A final project examines a public issue to see how stories can change via shaping public opinion, cultural understandings or government policies.

Suburban Landscapes: The Art and Architecture of the American Dream
David Salomon
CRN 23504 - ICSM 10500 - 17
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M, 5:25 pm - 6:40 pm TR

This course will examine the history of the buildings, people and spaces found in suburbia; from its first manifestations in the United States in the1860s, through the New Urbanist and x-urban environments being built today. The analysis of historical materials and data will be supplemented by the study of suburban art, film and literature. In addition to class presentations and discussions, a series of site visits will not only expose students to the changing goals and look of suburbia, but that of Ithaca as well. In short, this maligned, much studied and still popular place will be used to better locate students in the everyday but often unnoticed worlds they inhabit.

Technology, Art and Society
Jennifer Williams
CRN 23915 - ICSM 10800 - 19
8:00 am - 8:50 am MWF, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm R

This interdisciplinary writing course explores the consequences of mediating an original work of art through technology; the relationship between originality, technology and the virtual; and the perspectives on power and unrest in society that come to light through these conversations. Discussions and assignments will engage with music, films, plays, art installations, operas, and philosophy. Works considered may include Fritz Lang’s seminal film, Metropolis; a “factory play” by the controversial dramatist Heiner Müller; and the 20th-century American opera recently seen at the Met, Doctor Atomic. Writing assignments will focus on close, critical readings of literary and creative elements of the artistic works and will include research and creative writing opportunities.

Think YOU have good taste in Music?!
Christin Schillinger

This course uncovers pre-conceived notions of musical taste. In addition to exploring social conventions and assumptions surrounding musical preference, we will discover the structural differences and similarities between disparate genres. Learn to hear with a critical ear and embrace your friends’ music with tolerance … if not appreciation. What is bad? What is good? Challenge your ears and your mind through sharing your own tastes as they unfold through this class. Basic music notation abilities required.

[THIS TITLE HAS BEEN CENSORED]: Language and Hatred in a Postracial World
Derek Adams
CRN 22942 - ICSM 10500 - 02
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M, 1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR

This course offers a direct challenge to the popular public sentiment that we live in a post-racial society and that systematic structures of power and privilege have ceased to exist in our world. In this class, we will explore the persistent operation of systematic discrimination in the 21st century through a collection of materials – i.e. short stories, magazine covers, film, advertisements, critical essays, and websites. Our study begins from the position that certain code words and social practices have transformed overt types of discrimination into more subtle and deceiving forms of bigotry. Words like “nigger,” “bitch,” and “fag” may have fallen out of fashion, but their essence lives on in our daily interactions. We will devote a significant amount of time to assessing how our social interactions are influenced by the legacy. The nature of the material we will cover in this course is likely to cause you cognitive dissonance. This is intentional. Talking about issues of race, gender, and sexuality is rarely conducive to positive feelings. Too, the course requires your personal investment in its development, including sharing and discussing your own race, gender, and sexual orientation with your classmates. I will establish our classroom as a safe space for the respectful reception of your individual life experiences, but there will inevitably be moments when the ideas you express will challenge belief structures that your classmates invest in, and vice versa.

Together or Alone? Group Dynamics in the Transition from Highschool to College
Sebastian Harenberg
CRN 23968 - ICSM 10500 - 50
9:25 am - 10:40 am TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

In our everyday life, we are part of many groups in a social, professional or recreational setting. For example, we may be part of a sport team, music band, or book club. But what makes those groups work together? How do they change over time? In this course, we will explore the dynamics underlying groups, examining practical examples from the world around us. In particular, we will learn about how groups form, norm, and perform effectively.

Tribes and Scribes: From Colimbus to Standing Rock
Ron Denson
CRN 23015 - ICSM 10800 - 14
8:00 am - 9:15 am TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W
CRN 23016 - ICSM 10800 - 15
1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

This course aims to introduce students to significant issues in the lives of American Indians in the contemporary United States, issues that illustrate the complex dynamics of the struggle for a vital American Indian future at the beginning of the second 500 years of European presence in the so-called New World. We will examine the variety and complexity of experiences comprehended under the conventional Columbian label of “Indian,” as we focus on the experiences and concerns of individual nations while also looking at expressions of a recent pan-Indian identity. The case studies that we will pursue will illuminate how enduring questions of justice, freedom, and equality grounded in our national creed are played out in the lives of the First Peoples at the beginning of the 21st century, particularly with regard to questions of sovereignty and self-determination, goals the pursuit of which set American Indians apart from other American “minorities.” This course fulfills the First Year Composition requirement of the ICC and is equivalent to WRTG 10600.

Understanding a Visual Language in Film and other Media
Changhee Chun
CRN 22999 - ICSM 10500 - 64
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm M, 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm TR

In this class, we will examine different visual languages using significant films and other media representative of important historic and contemporary ideas and movements. Screenings and readings guide discussions and analysis geared toward providing familiarity with a broad range of visual language and styles and connecting them to larger questions of culture production and artistic expression.

US-China Relations in Global Perspective
Kelly Dietz
CRN 23500 - ICSM 10500 - 06
10:50 am - 12:05 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

This course introduces students to some of the key issues animating relations between the United States and China today. While hot topics in the news (e.g. “China’s Rise,” climate change, cyber security, and labor conditions in iPhone factories) will be among our topics of focus, we will also focus on the news, as well as movies, tv ads and other media, to consider where our perceptions about China and the US-China relationship come from. Rather than exploring course topics from a seemingly distant position, throughout the semester we will endeavor to locate ourselves within our analysis. Thus a central question animating the course is: In what ways do our own lives intertwine with the relations between the United States and China? A related premise of the course is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to understand US-China relations without developing a global perspective on these relations. But what does it mean to have a global perspective on relations between two countries? To the extent that we are involved in US-China relations, moreover, how do we view our own lives from a global perspective? As an Ithaca College Seminar, the course extends the analysis of how our lives intertwine with broader structures and relationships to the question of what it means to transition to college. We will challenge the idea that there is a best way to succeed in college. Through sharing of personal experiences and taking advantage of opportunities on and off campus, we will work toward understanding the many ways you can create your college experience.

Why Are We Here? Student Culture and the Problem of College (Honors Course)
Elizabeth Bleicher
CRN 23019 - ICSM 11000 - 03
9:25 am - 10:40 am TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W
CRN 23020 - ICSM 11000 - 04
8:00 am - 9:15 am TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

What does it mean to be educated? Are you here to get a job or to get a life? To answer these questions, we will explore competing rationales behind collegiate study and engage in advanced literary and cultural analyses. We will study historical precedents, scholarly and journalistic articles, social critiques, and fictional collegians. We will conduct primary research into youth culture, access to education, and attitudes toward education, develop rhetorical skills by sharing our findings, and write extensively across a variety of genres. Individually, you will articulate your personal philosophy of education and develop your own personal goals. Collaboratively, we will analyze the extent to which our readings and writings fit with our evolving understanding of the goals for collegiate study.

Wonder Women - Feminist History and Feminist Icons (Honors Course)
Katharine Kittredge
CRN 23021 - ICSM 11000 - 05
9:25 am - 10:40 am TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

Since science fiction's early days, women have used it to critique their current lives and to imagine new ways of being female. This class places the roles of women writers and female characters in fantasy and science fiction within the larger context of the United States’ concurrent waves of feminist thought and activism.  We will be considering everything from the suffragette utopia of Herland, through pulp science fiction's women warriors, second wave feminist stories, eco feminist works, and post-feminist texts including Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

World War II and America
Michael Trotti
CRN 23000 - ICSM 10500 - 65
1:10 pm - 2:25 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm W

Nothing has shaped the place of the United States in the contemporary world more than the largest war ever fought: World War II.  We will orient ourselves to our contemporary place in the world by tracing several key elements of the experience of what some have called the greatest generation.  Some of those experiences were amazing: pulling out of the Great Depression, winning a war on two different sides of the world, and ending as the most powerful nation on earth.  Some have haunted us ever since: nuclear arms, for example, or what Japanese internment said about us as a diverse nation. Not every element of this generation -- or any generation -- was great, and this course will celebrate and critique this huge turning point in world history and the role of the U.S. in it. 

Writing to Dance and Dancing to Write
Mary Lourdes Silva
CRN 23008 - ICSM 10800 - 07
10:50 am - 12:05 pm TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F
CRN 23012 - ICSM 10800 - 11
9:25 am - 10:40 am TR, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm F

In this course, students will learn about current and ongoing research on the relationship between the modality of writing and learning to write, as well as the modality of dance/movement and learning to dance Argentine tango. Researchers have recently explored the healing power of writing in patient care, and writers have long journaled their experiences as dancers or shared their multi-sensory experiences within a given time and space. Moreover, writing studies scholars have theorized that writing is not only a skill to master, but it is a modality, a type of tool, that can facilitate acquisition of knowledge of different domains. For instance, journaling about science facilitates student understanding of scientific concepts. If we take this to be true about writing as a tool for learning, can writing about dance or movement improve student knowledge of dance. Is it possible to invert this idea? Can learning to dance Argentine tango help students better understand rhetorical concepts and strategies for writing? This innovative course will allow students to experience for themselves the intellectual and physical relationships between the modalities of writing and dance. This course fulfills the First Year Composition requirement of the ICC and is equivalent to WRTG 10600. Section 11 is only available to Musical Theatre Majors.

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