Spring 2011

  First-Year Seminars

ANTH0066B-S01    Mythscapes
Primary Meeting: M 03:00 pm - 05:20 pm

An experimental seminar that will combine classroom discussion with visits to field sites within walking distance of the Brown campus. The aim will be to acquaint students with some fundamentals of symbolic analysis and to apply these fundamentals to interpreting the moral and historical messages suffused in the landscapes around us. Readings will include sources on the anthropological interpretation of myth combined with historical sources on Brown and its neighboring communities and institutions. Students will acquire a deeper sense of the mythic qualities of this place and some analytical tools for understanding mythscapes elsewhere. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS
Professor William S. Simmons

EDUC0410D-S01       Brown v. Board of Education
Primary Meeting: M 03:00 pm - 05:20 pm

Using sources in history, education, and law this course will explore the landmark Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education which found school segregation unconstitutional and challenged the entire foundation of legal segregation. We will explore the legal, political, and social issues that culminated in Brown and examine the development and deployment of remedies, with particular emphasis on school integration and educational equity. We will consider the legacy of Brown and analyze its impact on the civil rights movement, schooling, law, and politics in the late twentieth century and consider its implications for the future. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS DVPS WRIT

ENGN0120A-S01     Crossing the Consumer Chasm by Design
Primary Meeting: M W F 11:00 am - 11:50 am

Technologies have shaped human life since tools were sticks and flints to today's hydrocarbon powered, silicon managed era. Some spread throughout society; bread, cell phones, airlines, but most never do; personal jet packs, Apple Newton, freeze dried ice cream.  Space Tourism, the Segway, electric cars: Can we predict which ones will cross the chasm to broad application? Can we help them to by combining design, engineering, marketing, communications, education, art, and business strategies? Student teams identify potential new products, conceptualize, package, and define their business mode. By plotting their course across the chasm, we confront the cross-disciplinary barriers to realizing benefits from technology. Enrollment limited to 24 first year students. FYS
Professor Richard D. Fleeter

ENGN0120B-S01    Crossing the Space Chasm Through Engineering Design
Primary Meeting: M W F 02:00 pm - 02:50 pm

Five decades of human activity in space has provided the world community with benefits including instant global communications and positioning, human and robotic exploration of the moon, planets and sun, and a perspective of earth which continues to inform and influence our relationship with our environment.
Unlike other technical revolutions of the 20th century space has not transitioned to a commercial, consumer market commodity. Rather its users and applications remain primarily large and institutional.  To experience the challenges of engineering design and of changing an industrial paradigm, we will work in one or several groups to identify a use of space, and a plan for its implementation, that could help transition space from its status as a niche technology. Through the process of design, we will confront the technical, economic, societal and political barriers to obtaining increased benefits from technologies in general, and space in particular, and to making new technologies beneficial to a wider range of users.
Professor Rick Fleeter

PHP0030-S01          Health of Hispaniola
Primary Meeting: T R 06:30 pm - 07:50 pm

Two developing countries, Dominican Republic and Haiti, have widely differing health outcomes despite centuries of shared experience on the Caribbean Island of Hispaniola. This course will examine the history, politics, economics, culture, international relations, demography, and geography, as well as epidemiology and health services, to demonstrate that multiple factors, both recent and long-standing, determine the present health of these populations. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS
Professor Timothy M. Empkie

SOC0300G-S01      Populations in Danger
Primary Meeting: W 03:00 pm - 05:20 pm

Examines populations confronted with dangerous social, economic, political, or health crises. These include small Amazon farmers in situations of environmental degradation, Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland in economic and social conflict and under peace agreement, Israelis under threat of random attack with neighbors who demand Israel's extinction, Palestinians under Israeli occupation with a largely powerless and corrupt Palestinian Authority, South Africans under HIV/AIDS pandemic, and undocumented Dominican immigrants in Providence. The seminar will include readings on these populations in danger, lectures by internationally known experts, student presentations and class discussion, and three short essays. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS WRIT
Professor Dennis Hogan

SOC0300H-S01      Organizations and Disasters: Living With the Reality of Really Big Mistakes
Primary Meeting: M 03:00 pm - 05:20 pm

Enrollment limited to 20 first-year students. FYS WRIT
Professor Mary L. Fennell

Courses Open to All Students

AFRI0710A-S01     Racial and Gender Politics in Contemporary Brazil
Primary Meeting: T R 09:00 am - 10:20 am

Brazil is commonly understood as an example of a "racially democratic" nation, but as scholars have recently shown, racism permeates all aspects of Brazilian society. This course traces the development of the theorization of race, racial identity and race relations in contemporary Brazil. The approach of the course will be interdisciplinary, drawing upon works from anthropology, literature, history, music, and film. Topics will include colonialism and enslavement, nationalism, social activism and popular culture. We will also consider how Brazilian social relations differ from or conform to other racialized patterns in other nation-states in the Americas. Particular attention will be placed on the interrelationship between race, gender, class, and nation. WRIT
Professor Keisha-Khan Y. Perry

ARCH0600-S01      Introduction to Islamic Archaeology
Primary Meeting: M W F 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm

Muslim societies are built upon a rich archaeological heritage of architecture, artifacts, and sites that stretches more than a millennium and spans a region from Spain to China. This course explores that heritage across time and space for what it can tell us about the various societies that make up the Muslim world of the past. Through examination of various sites as well as hands-on work with a collection of artifacts, this course examines the social worlds of this important religious and cultural tradition.
Professor Ian B. Straughn

EDUC1050-S01       History of African-American Education
Primary Meeting: M W F 10:00 am - 10:50 am

This course will examine the history of African-American education with particular emphasis on the twentieth century. We will explore African-Americans' experiences with schooling under slavery and segregation, the struggle for desegregation and equity North and South, and the place of education in African-Americans' quest for equal rights. We will also consider how the African-American experience with public schooling makes us rethink major narratives of American education, democracy, and equality of opportunity and how an historical understanding of these issues may help us engage contemporary debates.
Professor Diana C. D'Amico

EDUC1580-S01      Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Child Development
Primary Meeting: T R 10:30 am - 11:50 am

Focus on role of culture in child development, infancy to young adulthood. Reviews contemporary theories and empirical research to examine various age periods and domains of development. Major topics: infant care, parenting, socialization, gender roles, cognition, moral development, affect, adolescence, and education and schooling in formal and informal settings. Enrollment limited to 50.
Professor Jin Li

EDUC1860-S01       Social Context of Learning and Development
Primary Meeting: R 04:00 pm - 06:20 pm

Focuses on the social environment that contributes to the development of children's minds, language, self-understanding, relations with others, affect, and attitudes toward learning. Examines the period from birth through young adulthood. Topics include children's social interactions, parental expectations and socialization practices, and the influences of family, peers, school, and media. Prerequisites: EDUC 0800, EDUC 1270, EDUC 1430, EDUC 1580, EDUC 1710, CLPS 0610 (COGS 0630), or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 30. Instructor permission required. WRIT
Professor Jin Li

ENGN2160-S01       Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization II
Primary Meeting: M 03:00 pm - 05:50 pm

ENGN 2160 and the prerequisite fall course 2150 form a course sequence that develops the knowledge of, and embeds the skills for, technology-based entrepreneurship. While 2150 has helped you to examine science and technology sources, and create a portfolio of opportunities from these, this course continues by developing selected opportunities into a compelling business case for the creation of a high growth potential new venture. Once again, learning is by a combination of lectures and "experiential learning", with work undertaken as a guided two-semester project. Prerequisite: ENGN 2150. Enrollment limited to 30 graduate students in the IMEE program.
Professor Danny Warshay

GEOL0240-S01       Earth: Evolution of a Habitable Planet
Primary Meeting: M W F 10:00 am - 10:50 am

Introduces Earth's surface environment evolution - climate, chemistry, and physical makeup. Uses Earth's carbon cycle to understand solar, tectonic, and biological cycles' interactions. Examines the origin of the sedimentary record, dating of the geological record, chemistry and life on early Earth, and the nature of feedbacks that maintain the "habitable" range on Earth. Two field trips; five laboratories arranged. Prerequisite: GEOL 0220 or instructor permission. WRIT
Professor Timothy D. Herbert

GRMN1450A-S01    German-Jewish Literature
Primary Meeting: M W F 11:00 am - 11:50 am

From emancipation to anti-Semitism and from the "Golden Age" to the Shoah, Jewish life in Germany has experienced extremes comparable to no other cultural exchange. In this class, we will explore the German-Jewish encounter by reading literary texts written by German-Jewish authors. Readings by Lessing, Mendelssohn, Heine, Kafka, Jurek Becker, and others. In English. LILE
Professor Thomas W. Kniesche

HIST1230-S01         European Intellectual History: Exploding the Modern
Primary Meeting: M W F 01:00 pm - 01:50 pm

The overarching theme of the course is the relationship between modernity and the primitive as manifested in major cultural, aesthetic and political movements in the 20th century. Films are an integral part of the course. WRIT M
Professor Mary Gluck

ITAL1360-S01         Renaissance Italy
Primary Meeting: M W F 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm

Italian society and culture from the second half of the thirteenth to the middle of the sixteenth century. Special attention devoted to the contexts (demographic, social, economic, political) within which political ideas and theories were developed from the generation before Dante to that following Machiavelli.
Professor Caroline Castiglione

RUSS1200-S01        Russian Fantasy and Science Fiction
Primary Meeting: T R 10:30 am - 11:50 am

Survey of Russian literature, from fairy tales, utopias, and dream sequences to science fiction, which depict altered states of reality. Readings in English, supplemented with films in March and April. Seminar with emphasis on discussion. Russian concentrators and graduate students expected to cover most of the readings in Russian. Familiarity with Russian literary history is not required.
Professor Alexander Levitsky

SOC1950-S01            Senior Seminar
Primary Meeting: T R 02:30 pm - 03:50 pm

Advanced research seminar for sociology concentrators in the second semester of work on an honors thesis. Participants examine methods for analyzing, writing, and presenting thesis material and apply peer review techniques in assessing each other's work. Culminates in presentation of thesis to the department. Students doing independent study research may also participate with the instructor's permission. Required for "honors" in sociology. WRIT
Professor Gregory C. Elliott