The College of Arts & Letters offers amazing classes. Many of them are variable content courses, which means professors organize them around a theme of their choosing, allowing them to share their particular research specialties with students.
Below is just a small sampling of the classes we're offering this Fall. Happy browsing! (View our Summer 2017 offerings.)
To view the university's full list of classes, visit the Registrar's Class Schedule Guide.
Science Fiction begins with the possible and imagines the probable. In doing so, SF envisions potential futures while reflecting upon the pressing issues of the present. “Science Fiction & Future Days” will read works by both classic and contemporary authors from around the world: from H.G. Wells and Ursula K. LeGuin to Stanislaw Lem to Liu Cixin. Along the way, we will uncover the ways works of Science Fiction, while imagining new worlds through time and space, explore the ways our society and consciousness are shaped by science and technology, and the world we create (and potentially risk) in the name of progress.
- H.G. Wells: The Time Machine (1895) – British
- Ray Bradbury: The Martian Chronicles (1945) – American
- Stanislaw Lem: Solaris (1961) – Polish
- Philip K. Dick: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (1968) – American
- Ursula K. Le Guin: The Left Hand of Darkness (1969) – American
- Arkady & Boris Strugatsky: Roadside Picnic (1972) – Russian
- China Miéville: Railsea (2012) – British
- Liu Cixin: The Three-body Problem (trans. 2014) – Chinese
- YOSS (José Miguel Sánchez Gómez): Super Extra Grande (trans. 2016) – Cuban
This course traces the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender identities in America and Europe. Together, we will explore the very different ways people in the past understood gender and sex in order to better understand how and why modern gender and sexual identities emerged.
Topics will include the sex-gender system of pre-industrial society, the formation of sexual subcultures in the nineteenth century, changing medical, psychological, and technological understandings of sexuality and gender identity, and the modern LGBTQIA rights movements.
This course is designed to provide an introduction to the field of Medical Anthropology in which we will examine issues related to health and illness from various perspectives within and outside of the Western biomedical perspective.
In this class we will follow an Anthropological perspective – using evolutionary and cross-cultural approaches to understand human health issues. This course will introduce students to the methods and theories medical anthropologists use and provide them with a greater appreciation for the importance of understanding cultural variation in the categorization, diagnosis and treatment of disease and illness. We will also explore how food and diet play key roles in determining health. Finally, through lecture, class discussion, and hands-on experience, students will consider the contribution an anthropological perspective can make in solving human health dilemmas.
Did Maya society actually collapse? Were the Aztecs truly a warlike culture?
Public perceptions of the area known as Mesoamerica are filled with romanticized notions of pyramid builders and timekeepers, sometimes wrapped up with imagery of human sacrifice. But what does the archaeological record really say about the prehistory of the modern-day countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras?
This course will explore the diversity of Mesoamerican cultures through lectures, research, and discussions. Students will challenge preconceptions of Mesoamerica through the examination of ancient politics, economies, subsistence, language, religion, and gender. Such topics are approached through a four-field approach to prehistory that includes not only archaeology, but linguistic, biological, and sociocultural anthropology.
Dystopia, apocalypse and utopia in the era of climate change.
This course is an introduction to the study of social class stratification in society. It will take a multidimensional approach to examine economic, cultural, and political aspects of class inequality in the United States. Students will be exposed to various theoretical explanations for the unequal distribution of wealth, status, and power.
Topics covered will include social mobility, income and wealth, education, occupations and careers, prestige, class socialization, public policy, the intersection of class with race and gender, and the relationship between U.S. inequality and global inequality.
American Indians surveys traditional cultures of Native Americans north of Mexico. Using ethnohistoric and early ethnographic information, it takes a region by region approach to explore variation in subsistence practices, social and political organization, and belief systems. The class serves as an elective in the anthropology major and minor as well as the American Indians Studies minor.
This course will explore the history of Muscovite and Imperial Russia from the reign of Ivan III to the death of Alexander III.
Through a close reading of a wide variety of primary and secondary sources, students will learn the basic outline of medieval and modern Russian history, be introduced to the period’s pivotal people, movements and ideas and develop an understanding of Russia’s diverse ethnic, religious and gender hierarchies.
Topics to be covered include Russia’s Byzantine and Mongol legacy; the triumph of Muscovy in Russia’s competitive city-state system; the development and abolition of serfdom in Russia; the empire’s encounter and exchange with the Islamic world and the rise of revolutionary radicalism and political terrorism.
Traditional techniques in the forming, firing, and glazing of clay.
This course will introduce skills of artistic expression in Ceramics. Through a variety of traditional and exploratory methods you will build a firm foundation and sound studio practice in clay. You will complete 6 major projects during the semester, preparing you to explore new ideas as you move into upper level studies.
May not be used toward the major or minor in art or art education. May be repeated.
Nearly 200 years after slavery and 60 years after the Civil Rights Movement.
Pundits and citizens alike often claim that race is no longer an issue, that we are a “colorblind” society full of “colorblind” people who claim to not “see” race or base treatment of people on it. But how can we claim to be colorblind when interracial couples make up a tiny fraction of the dating and marrying population, when black and Hispanic Americans have a fraction of the wealth of whites, or when the name on your résumé affects the likelihood of getting called back for a job?
Race is a fundamental axis of our social interactions and institutions, and this course will explore and how, why, and why it still matters.
Philosophy of Human Nature’ could be taken to mean a variety of things, given the many facets of human existence and our nature (if there is such a thing). However, in this class, we will focus on the nature of the self (if there is one), personal identity, the nature of mind and its relation to the body, and the nature of consciousness, all of which are central questions for our existence.