Feb 06, 2023  
Undergraduate Record 2017-2018 
    
Undergraduate Record 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Course Descriptions


 

Interdisciplinary Studies-Humanities

  
  •  

    ISHU 4142 - Marriage and Maturity


    Presents the two dominant narrative forms in the nineteenth century, domestic fiction and the novel of development. Analyzes how these two genres shape the protagonist in Emma, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, and Portrait of a Lady.



    Credits: 3
  
  •  

    ISHU 4150 - Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman


    This course compares the work of America’s two 19th-century poetic giants. Reading substantial selections from the work of each poet, students will examine their visions of the nature of consciousness and the individual’s changing relationship to God, death, nature, society, love, and art. The course also examines the influence of the Enlightenment, Puritanism, Romanticism, and Transcendentalism, and considers each poet’s work in the context of an America transformed by the Civil War, increasing commercialism, the influx of immigrants, the decline of Calvinism, and ascendancy of science.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4160 - American Film Studies: Early Horror


    Explores the roots of early American horror films to answer such questions as: Why do we fear desire? What does it mean to be male or female, or are the two interchangeable? Is there something a little monstrous in all of us? What role does shame play in our lives? Analyzes essays to guide responses and fine-tune academic writing through argument, style, and clarity.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4161 - Art Historical Fictions: Historical Art in Recent Film and Fiction


    Explores recent movies and novels with art historical themes and references. Questions the boundaries between history, criticism, and fiction. Examines the necessity of narrative frameworks for understanding visual art and attempts to gain new perspective on today’s culture by characterizing its distinctive attitude toward historical art.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4162 - The Hero’s Journey: Batman and Spider-Man, A Closer Look at Current-Day Ci


    Studies films which feature heroic myths to see how they all tell the same story. Explores the Hero’s Journey through films like Batman and Spiderman. Examines Joseph Campbell’s and Carl Jung’s views on archetypes, the constantly repeating characters or energies which occur in the dreams of people, and the myths of all cultures, i.e., the “collective unconscious.”



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4165 - American Directors


    Investigates the work of contemporary filmmakers, each with a unique style and an approach to film that combines stylistic innovation with a particular cultural vision.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4170 - African-American Novels


    Focuses on African American novels from 19th century through the present. Examines topics such as literary realism and naturalism, protest fiction, and magical realism. Considers race and gender relations, communal and individual identity, and the modern legacy of slavery.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4171 - African-American Literature: 1845-Present


    Explores African American Literature beginning with Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845) and concluding with Edward P. Jones’ Lost in the City (2004). Surveys works of fiction, poetry, and plays by well-know authors. Examines portrayals of race and gender relations, families and communities, and individual quests for justice and acceptance.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4175 - Great Works of Appalachian Literature


    Examines 20th Century Appalachian literature and attempt to define this culturally diverse mountainous region. Readings will serve as links to the past and help us comprehend the continued evolution of a people and a place. Explores how oral storytelling, folklore, displacement, and isolation have been and are still portrayed in writing from, and outside of, Appalachia.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4176 - The Civil War Novel


    Studies how 150 years later, the American Civil War remains ingrained in the American psyche. Examines novels and explores how and why writers portrayed the causes, characters, and consequences of a war that carried America toward modernity, created and remodeled national myths, and redefined the idea of freedom. Seeks to define the roles and obligation of historical fiction.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4180 - The Hero in Literature


    Focuses on plot, point of view, discovery of theme, recognition and reversal, and writing in scene in the Hero’s Journey. Creates an understanding of how stories are shaped and told. Explores Joseph Campbell’s work, which distills the stories told in every culture into a framework for one’s own story.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4190 - Writing Strategies


    Explores non-fiction writing. Develops and hones skills needed to write stories and essays that readers are compelled to read. Learn the power of personal narrative and begin to grasp how that power affects a reader by understanding the difference between ‘telling’ and ‘showing’.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4200 - Homer and the Old Testament


    This course covers all of Homer’s two epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey, and generous selections from the 5 Books of Moses and the historical books of the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible). These works can be read in many ways: as history, as legend, as entertainment, as links to the unknown, unremembered and invisible, as models for imitation in art and/or life, as maps of reality. The goals of the class are: to understand the difference between the Classical and the Hebraic accounts of human origins, motives, actions, authority and meaning; to practice steering by the text, rather than by pre-conception; and to articulate thought, aloud and in writing.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4210 - Shakespeare


    In this course explores the plays of Shakespeare and his non-dramatic poetry. The course considers key philosophical, religious, political, and literary milieus.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4220 - Blake and Milton


    Students will read most of the poetry and some of the prose written by the two great, impolite, English poet-prophets, beginning with Blake. William Blake has many sides. Poet, painter, printer, seer, Blake regarded Isaiah, Ezekiel and company as the first poets. He also waged mental war upon the Classical tradition, from Homer on down. John Milton, the subject of one of Blake’s visionary poems, was a hero of the imagination and an opponent of tyranny. The most learned man of his age, Milton wrote as a Hebrew prophet in the guise of an English poet. Poetry has roots in song as well as prophecy, so students will read many of these musical works aloud. 



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4230 - Masterpieces of Russian Short Fiction


    Explores the shorter translated works of Russian literary giants of the nineteenth century whose writings firmly established Russia in the first ranks of world. Examines the works of twentieth century writers who articulated the existential dilemmas of the “new Soviet man.” Provides a broad philosophical and cultural perspective on Russian short stories.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4240 - The Romantics - Poets of the Late 18th and Early 19th Centuries


    The Romantics - Poets of the Late 18th and Early 19th Centuries



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4245 - The Meditative Lyric


    Explores the tradition of the meditative lyric with an emphasis on contemporary poetry. Includes central critical essays and readings from contemporary poets such as Charles Wright, Lisa Russ Spaar, and Mary Ann Samyn, as well as poets in the tradition such as Gerard Manley Hopkins and George Herbert. Examines the intersections between spirituality and the lyric poem through both creative and critical lenses.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4250 - Script Analysis


    Students will survey classical to contemporary plays with a focus on developing the ability to read dramatic texts intended for performance. Students will investigate structure, plot, character and imagery, and scrutinize playwrights’ methods of making meaning as distinct from other forms of literature. This analysis will enrich the student’s appreciation of the play text as a blueprint for production.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4260 - Apocalyptic Tradition


    This course explores early Jewish and Christian apocalyptic texts and their interpretation.  The seminar will focus chiefly upon the ancient texts themselves, from ‘proto-apocalyptic’ texts to full-blown apocalypses, as well as some works which contain apocalyptic elements or are said to betray an apocalyptic worldview.  In addition to ancient material, the seminar will more briefly treat what happens with these texts and the beliefs found therein after their period of origin.  The approach will be both historical and rhetorical, examining carefully the context for apocalyptic writing as well as the way that writing attempts to form its readers. 



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4270 - Imagining the City: An Interdisciplinary Approach


    Explores the idea of the city from an interdisciplinary perspective that begins with Plato’s influential rendering of an imaginary city ruled by philosopher-kings and continues through the urban core of modern Charlottesville. Allows students to examine the physical world by sharing ideas, observing, writing, and thinking critically.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4280 - The Other Elizabethans: Shakespeare’s Contemporaries


    Presents selected works of Shakespeare along with those of his peers and rivals to enable students to grasp the English Renaissance theater as well as Shakespeare’s remarkable contributions.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4300 - Framing Modern America


    This course studies the evolution of American society in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries by exploring the creation and reception of art. Students analyze selected paintings, sculptures, photographs, films, architecture, and music to understand how these art works and the artists who created them shaped and reflected some of the central political, social, cultural and intellectual developments in modern America. This course helps students deepen their awareness of key artistic developments and improve their ability to analyze various art forms critically and creatively.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4311 - History of Art Controversies in the United States


    Explores the most significant art controversies in the history of the United States and places them in their appropriate cultural and historical contexts. Prerequisites: Restricted to BIS Students.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4312 - The Judgment of Paris (Impressionism)


    Focuses on the revolutionary decade that gave the world Impressionism. Examines the contrasting careers of Ernest Meissonier and Edouard Manet against the backdrop of the Franco Prussian War and the Paris Commune and how their success was measured differently in time. Explores the works of several other artists including Monet, Degas, and Cezanne.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4313 - Varying Contexts of Love and Relationships


    Utilizes philosophical, religious, literary, and historical texts to examines the relationship between romantic love, both heterosexual and non-heterosexual, and the love of family, country, and God.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4314 - The World of Theodore Roosevelt


    Explores Theodore Roosevelt’s life. Investigates key political, economic, social, and cultural developments of the late 19th and early 20th centuries that Roosevelt experienced and, in some cases, influenced.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4315 - The World of Jane Austen: Exploring the Novels in Historical Context


    Analyzes the major works of Jane Austen. Explores the social, cultural, economic, and political themes of the novels in their original contexts through a combination of class discussion and written assignments. Considers the resurgence in popularity of Austen’s works in recent years, especially film and television portrayals of her novels.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4320 - Italian Renaissance Drawing


    Examines the role of drawing in 15th & 16th century Florence, with an emphasis on the works of Leonardo, Michelangelo, and the artistic milieu from which they emerged. Considers when drawings ceased to be practical and attain a level of autonomy from painting and sculpture; what these works say about imagination and the creative process; and how conceptions of drawing change.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4325 - Florentine Painting of the 1470s & 1480s


    Examines the works of Pollaiuolo, Verrocchio, Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, Leonardo, and others with an emphasis on relationships between these artists’ works. Looks at their respective creative processes and the circulation of ideas among works.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4350 - The Films of Stanley Kubrick


    Explores the films of Stanley Kubrick and the times in which they were made. Investigates Kubrick as a means to understanding film. Examines how films are to be read, how they tell their stories, how they fit into their historical and cultural moment.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4351 - Seminar in Medieval Studies


    Examines the political history, economic structures and conditions, religion, philosophy, literature, art, and music of the Medieval period.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4641 - Advanced Public Speaking


    Utilizes several active learning activities when considering classical rhetorical elements, audience analysis, speech organization, and strategies for improvement in the structure and delivery of extemporaneous and impromptu speeches. Work with conceptual methods, observe exemplary models of good speech making, explore personal communication apprehension, and hone individual rhetorical style.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4651 - Bioethics in Healthcare


    Introduces the applied ethical subspecialty of bioethics, particularly as related to healthcare and human services. Each day brings advancements in healthcare: multi-organ transplants, “Octo Moms” and expanded viability on both ends of the life continuum. Society applauds these miraculous manipulations of the human essence, yet opposes healthcare agents ‘playing God’. Examines the complexity of society’s response to bioethical dilemmas.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4810 - Religion and Technology


    This course examines how technology and religion encounter each other, clash with each other, enable each other, and co-create each other. Students will take a broad view to discuss some topics: historical perspectives on religion and technology, how they function as interpretive structures, virtual communities, etc., but will also take a narrower view, examining particular issues such as genetic manipulation, or global warming and Christianity.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4820 - Readings in Religion and American Culture


    Examines the ways in which the distinctively American context has shaped religious life, and also considers how religion has shaped American culture. Explores both historical and current approaches to the topic. Considers the relationship between religion and politics, religion and family life, and religion and science.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4830 - A Philosophic History of American Environmentalism


    The course gives a philosophic history of American environmentalism by examining some of the ‘classic’ works within this tradition which have had world-wide influence, such as Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac, and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. It will also look at how some contemporary American environmental thinkers have critically appropriated the ideas defended in these ‘classics’. Finally, we shall see how these ‘classic’ ideas connect to current American cultural values and to such current social issues as consumerism, global warming, preserving endangered species, animal liberation and achieving sustainable food production.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4831 - Four Women Activists for Sustaining Food, Water and Biodiversity in India


    Examines the ethical values and interpretations of political engagement of three Indian and one American female activist (Vandana Shiva, Arundhati Roy, Medha Patkar, and Martha Nussbaum).



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4840 - God and Darwin: Friends or Foes?


    Studies scientists and philosophers rigorous arguments that God and Darwin are logically irreconcilable, that the idea of a world-creating monotheistic god is mutually exclusive with the idea of evolution by natural selection. Discusses the fact that other scientists and philosophers have argued God and Darwin are complementary, that they in no real sense conflict at all.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4850 - The Ethics of Sustainability


    The idea of sustainable development first gained currency with the release of the 1987 UN report on the environment and economic development, Our Common Future. Today many writers speak of a 21st century ‘sustainability revolution’ which aims at: 1) ‘correcting’ the negative environmental consequences of the industrial revolution, 2) continuing with but redefining ‘economic growth’, and 3) moving beyond the relatively narrow concerns of late 20th century ‘environmentalism’ by integrating environmental issues into issues of social and economic justice. All this means addressing not only such traditional ‘environmental’ problems as preserving biodiversity, upgrading air and water quality, and countering global warming, but also addressing such ‘non-environmental’ questions as how best to defend human rights, create an alternative to ‘consumerism’, restructure the contemporary corporation, combat pandemics like HIV/AIDS, alleviate ‘world hunger’, reform energy policies, and assess the welcome and unwelcome consequences of both globalization and nationalism. Indeed, some type of long term ‘social revolution’ is being contemplated under the banner of ‘Sustainability’. What would be the ethical justification for such dramatic change? Is it really necessary for human survival or the quality of human life? Is it politically feasible even in the long term? Such broad questions will be examined.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4860 - Jefferson, Lincoln, Darwin, God, and the Idea of a Human Right


    Examines the idea of a human right by reading central historical documents about where the idea of a right came from and what such people as Jefferson, Lincoln, Darwin, and God thought a right to be.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4870 - Modern American Culture War


    Examines the phenomenon of American culture wars, those clashes of viewpoints that occur in several areas including education, politics, morality, religion, gender, race, science and society. Studies how these wars arose, who are involved, and how they affect American life both historically and in the present. Involves high-level thinking and discussion about social movements and upheavals, revolts and societal evolution.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4890 - America and the Ethics of Food and Energy in the 21st Century


    Examines deep and complex ethical issues within the United States regarding the production of food and energy, corporate social responsibility, duties to future generations, and national interest versus obligations to other peoples.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISHU 4993 - Independent Study


    Independent Study for students working on Capstone Proposals and Proseminar work.



    Credits: 1 to 3

Interdisciplinary Studies-Invidualized Education

  
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    ISED 4450 - Methods of Teaching Reading and Reading Comprehension


    Methods of Teaching Reading and Reading Comprehension



    Credits: 3

Interdisciplinary Studies-Liberal Studies Seminar

  
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    ISLS 3000 - Transformations: Reading, Thinking, and Communicating in the Liberal Arts


    Develops reading, writing, critical thinking, technology and research proficiencies necessary for success at college level and beyond; orients students to the culture of the University and the community of the BIS program. Introduces the breadth of campus resources and addresses academic advising; utilizes the theme of transformation as subject matter for reading, writing and discussion to provide opportunities for multi-disciplinary exploration.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3010 - Nationalism and National Identity


    This seminar examines the role of nationalism and national identity in two regions of particular interest, the British Isles and the Balkans. Two key questions examined are: How can national traditions peacefully be expressed and preserved in an age of increasing supranational identities such as the European Union and the global economy? Do human rights broadly defined and enforced by international organizations supersede the right of peoples to be governed with, and ruled by, those of common language and culture?



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3020 - Critical Thinking: Why Do We Believe the Things We Do?


    This course focuses on a central question: ‘Why do we believe the things we do?’ This question will drive all of the individual writing and reading assignments. In this context students consider, from a multi-disciplinary perspective, topics such as: mental models, hidden assumptions and the place of implicit beliefs in reasoning; ‘thin slicing’ and the role of the ‘adaptive unconscious’ in decision making; propaganda, public relations and the role of the media in belief formation; the identification and evaluation of arguments and the difference between persuasive and cogent reasoning.



    Credits: 3
  
  •  

    ISLS 3030 - Critical Thinking and Creativity II


    This seminar develops the ability to critically and creatively evaluate complex issues and to increase ones sensitivity to the pervasive character of deceptive reasoning in our culture. The focus is on evaluating the reasoning of others, and manufacturing consent.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3035 - Forms of Reasoning


    How do we distinguish good from merely persuasive reasoning? This question will drive all of the individual writing assignments and open discussions. Offers a practical introduction to identifying and evaluating arguments. Considers and develops the ability to recognize the difference between cogent versus merely persuasive arguments by focusing on techniques frequently used to mislead and deceive.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3040 - Decision Making in Public Organizations


    Examines the question of how public organizations make decisions and the techniques organizations use to arrive at the chosen options; considers major initiatives to day-to-day activities; examines public agencies at various levels of government, and the need to make far-reaching decisions which address a complex array of competing goals; presents theories of decision making and discusses recent decisions at various levels of government.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3070 - Honor, Honor Codes, and Civil Society


    Explores the meaning of honor and why it is both a morally necessary and a potentially dangerous concept; the Christian west and the Knight’s Code of Chivalry, and the Japanese Samurai; and whether Americans can fashion a society with a renewed sense of honor.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3090 - The Enlightenment Era


    Explores the Enlightenment Era from different perspectives, including the morality, politics, music, and education of this period. Examines the consequences of this movement during the American Revolution and the French Revolution.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3100 - Age of Discovery: Europe and the Wider World, 1500-1700


    Examines intellectual and social/political upheavals of the early modern period in Europe including the opening of the wider world to European explorers and traders. Considers the mutual impact of Western and non-Western civilizations through the analysis of primary sources including literature, maps, and works of art.



    Credits: 3
  
  •  

    ISLS 3130 - Issues in Foundations of Education


    The purpose of this course is to identify and discuss some of education’s defining issues. We will consider teaching and learning from multiple perspectives, analyze and discuss key issues in education based on professional and personal knowledge, and speculate about possible consequences of educational policy decisions.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3150 - Genocide: Origins, Prevention, and Punishment


    Students address serious questions about mass violence; human rights; psychological, sociological, cultural and economic sources of human cruelty; and the responsibility of bystanders. Students also consider what genocide is, why it happens, where it has happened, how best to prevent it, and how to deal with perpetrators.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3160 - Research Problems in Social Science


    Research Problems in Social Science



    Credits: 10
  
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    ISLS 3170 - Development, Dynamics, and Diagnosis


    This course will consider what makes groups effective, using theory, practice, and reflection to explore how they develop, how they operate on both conscious and unconscious levels, and how their members can get them back on track when they stray into ineffectiveness and non-productivity. 



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3180 - Possessing the Past


    This course explores various ways in which we seek to experience the past as if firsthand: through the treasuring of its relics, both private and public (souvenirs, heirlooms, exhibited artifacts); through the restoration and replication of structures and environments from the past (as at Williamsburg, Disneyland–or the U. Va. grounds); and through the fictional experiences offered by stories, novels, and movies set in the past.  Students will explore historical, psychological, and cultural contexts for these efforts, studying their similarities and differences, attempting to determine the sources and implications of this desire to re-live the past, and engaging some of the complex issues raised by that endeavor.  Throughout, the course will focus on sharpening the skills of analytical thinking and writing.  



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3190 - Good Cop/Bad Cop


    This course examines the current use of the police power in a variety of situations, informed by the past and motivated by the future. Particular emphasis is on contemporary real-life examples to inform the discussion on the proper use of the police power. Those examples are subjected to a variety of perspectives, societal and individual, to gain a fuller understanding of the delicate balance of competing values. 



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3200 - Rhetorical Theory, Criticism, and Speaking


    This course focuses on classical rhetorical theory, the analysis of modern public discourse, and public speaking. Rhetorical proofs and foundational works of classic rhetoricians, such as Corax, Plato, Isocrates, Aristotle, and Cicero, will be covered. Modern theorists and critics, such as Kenneth Burke, Jacques Derrida, Lloyd Bitzer, Michael McGee, and Richard Lanham are explored. The course also challenges more recent constructs of human communication. Finally, theory and criticism extends to practice through public speaking.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3210 - The Frost is Hard-Edged and Quick: Metaphor - Making a Final Unity


    What is a metaphor? What role does it play in the way we see the world, ourselves and others? What metaphors guide our own thinking - as a society and a culture about politics, crime, illness, ourselves, love and life? If we take metaphor seriously, is it possible to draw a hard line between fact and fiction, between arts and sciences, between the objective and subjective? Does metaphor refute reason? In this course students investigate these and related questions using a variety of media. Texts will be drawn from a spectrum of disciplines including poetry, cognitive psychology, linguistics, philosophy, literature and literary criticism.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3211 - Russian Politics


    Explores Russia’s political themes of the 20th century, especially events since the fall of the Soviet Union. Includes Russia’s tentative steps towards capitalism and democracy in the last two decades. Employs different analytical tools to craft an interdisciplinary portrait of Russia. Provides an opportunity to substantially improve critical thinking and basic academic writing.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3212 - From Beowulf to the Incredibles: Changing Heroes, Changing Culture


    Explores heroic figures who play a critical part of understanding Western culture, literature, and wisdom. Analyzes literature and film to examine how heroic individuality has shaped western society, why we need heroes, and how our heroes are changing. Studies heroic tales compared to European and American history with an emphasis on critical thinking and analytical writing.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3220 - Thinking About Cosmic Questions


    Thinking About Cosmic Questions



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3221 - Exploring the Arrows of Time


    Explores some of the different ideologies behind the arrow of time at a non-scientist level, including the idea that time flows from the past, to the present, and into the future. Examines debates between philosophers and scientists that the impression of time is an illusion.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3222 - Visions of the Future Through the Lens of Science Fiction


    Explores the possibility of what life will be like in the future as seen through the eyes of six classic science fiction writers. Develops writing and crtical thinking skills by studying and analyzing the structure and impact of sociological and technological innovations.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3240 - In Their Own Words: America


    Culture is made of the shared beliefs and experience of individuals, and the stories of the lives of those individuals both describe the culture and prescribe the direction in which it must move. The United States of America has a long series of disparate cultural histories; the purpose of this course is to use first-person narratives to unravel them.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3250 - The Notion and the Heft of Home


    Explores the myriad meanings of home through such questions as: is home a preposterous notion? Considers and analyzes personal definitions of home. Explores readings from sermons of Puritan New England to personal narrative of Native Americans to testimonials of the homeless.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3260 - Reconstructing our Early Years: Childhood in Memoir, Literature and Society


    The childhood memoir has become one of the most popular genres, outdistancing fictional accounts as the place readers come to for an understanding of their own formative years and those of others. This course explores classic memoirs of growing up in the U.S. in the 20th century by Russell Baker, Maya Angelou, Gregory Orr, Mary Karr, and Jeanette Walls. Students will write childhood memoirs of their own.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3270 - Cultural and Religious Diversity and Assimilation in American Life


    Explores the links and conflicts between American culture and religious life. Examines the nature of religious diversity and pluralism in America and the specific challenges the major religious groups have experienced.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3280 - Science as a Cultural System: Challenging Our Presuppositions


    Focuses on the production of the scientific method from its eighteenth-century roots in natural philosophy, which demonstrates that the methodology which produces science is the same which produces natural philosophy.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3290 - The Bill of Rights in the 21st Century


    Examines the origins of the Bill of Rights and the specific rights listed, as well as the contours of those rights as they have been interpreted by the Supreme Court. Discusses the issue of what prominence should be accorded to the original intent of the Framers.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3291 - A Seminar for Discussion of Current Issues in Public Policy


    Explores current issues involving public policy at the Federal, state, and local levels. Following a preliminary discussion of an issue, the class will identify information needed for a deeper discussion, assign responsibilities for acquiring the needed information by the next class period, disseminate the new information, and discuss the issue and sub-issues.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3295 - U.S. History through the Virginia Experience


    Utilizes popular culture, archaeology, material culture, and traditional sources and methods to examine issues in American history as experienced by Virginians. Explores early contact, roots and development of American institutions and culture, the American Revolution, nation building, sectionalism, Civil War, Reconstruction, segregation, Civil Rights, and contemporary controversies.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3300 - The Poet in Society


    Explores the complex, historically-conditioned role of the poet in society as it has played out within two very different cultural traditions: the Western democratic tradition of free expression, as practiced in the U.S. and Western Europe, and the Russian/Soviet/East European tradition of the past century, in which censorship and repression of free speech has been the rule.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3310 - Archaeology in Today’s Society


    Examines the interpretation and presentation of archaeological data with attention to the interaction between the practitioner of anthropological archaeology and today’s society. Examines the public presentation of archaeological research, the science of archaeology in public writing, and the selection of writer’s voice in the presentation of archaeological interpretations.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3320 - Based on a True Story


    Examines a number of films “based on a true story”. Researches the real story behind the films and discussing them in the context of traditional theories of epistemology, mass media, and social change.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3330 - The Function of Memory


    Includes types of memory systems, the reliability of memory, the relation of memory to narrative, and the relation of memory to knowledge and justification.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3340 - Writing About the Road


    Examines the literature of the road and what it tells us about maturation, mobility and the modes and models of a changing American family that, however defined, seems to be increasingly in crisis.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3350 - Heroes and Anti-Heroes in Literature


    Examines the hero and anti-hero in major works such as Catcher in the Rye, Othello, Doctor Faustus, and Huckleberry Finn. Provides an understanding of character development in literature of various cultures and genres.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3360 - The Role of Memory and The Human Condition


    Focuses on the the human condition and uses literature to examine the role of memory.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3370 - An Analysis of Mental Illness in American Society


    Examines and studies mental illness in society. Analyzes the connection and relationship of mental illness with societal issues such as substance abuse, criminal behavior, homelessness, unemployment, violence, family problems, education, and suicide.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3610 - Italian Renaissance Art 1470-1530: Artists, Workshop, and Patrons


    Explores the Renaissance art of Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and their workshops from 1470-1530. Through period texts, considers materials, techniques, the aims of art-making, the relation of painting to sculpture, and of the art works to their original locations and patrons while sharpening analytical and critical thinking and writing.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3620 - Ritual and Becoming in the Arts of Africa


    Examines the traditional arts produced on the African continent such as painting, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, metalwork, architecture, and body modification as they are incorporated into age-grade initiation, fertility ceremonies and curative rituals.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 3780 - An Examination of the Criminal Justice System


    Provides students with an overview and understanding of the criminal justice system as a social institution inside of the American institution. Enables students to gain an understanding of the various components of the criminal justice system and its responsibilities to include courts, corrections, and law enforcements.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 4030 - Religion and the Quest for Meaning


    This course examines the religions of the world as ways of finding patterns of meaning and value for our personal and social existence.  Students will survey the major religions of the world, using both primary and secondary sources. As a Liberal Studies Seminar the course will focus on developing the skills of writing, analytical thinking, and presenting arguments. 



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 4120 - Determining Community Needs in an Individualistic Society


    Focuses on the tension evident today between the dynamism of a consumer-driven individualistic society and the necessity in the modern interrelated world for good definitions of community needs. Encourages and enables students to think both critically and analytically about social and political issues while building upon communication skills, especially writing.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 4130 - Foundations of Education: Issues and Challenges


    This course focuses on further developing writing and critical and analytical thinking skills, as well as fundamentals of research. Regarding content, the purpose of this course is to identify and discuss some of education’s defining issues and challenges. Students will consider teaching and learning from multiple perspectives, analyze and discuss key issues in education based on professional and personal knowledge, and speculate about possible consequences of educational policy decisions. Topics will include: definitions of curriculum, philosophies of educational practice, separation of church & state, school attendance, character education, multicultural education, role of the federal government in education, high-stakes assessment & education, the role of public schools in society, vouchers, charter schools, inclusion of students with disabilities, school size, bilingual education, school violence, technology, teacher retention, and alternative certification programs. Students will demonstrate skill in research by completing a longer research essay.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 4140 - Foundations in American Education


    Examines selected issues and trends related to the education of K-16 students and the educational profession. Learn and demonstrate research skills to investigate current educational policies and practices.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 4170 - Research Problems in Social Science


    This course provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts one needs to understand the basic process of social research: designing a study, qualitative and quantitative research methods, analyzing and reporting results. Using monographs from social science and history, students will explore the various ways scholars use research tools. 



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 4180 - Experiences of the Great War: Life and Literature


    This course begins with an overview of the history of the Great War (World War I) and an exploration of some of the vast literature it generated. Students will consider the political, social, economic, and cultural aspects of the war as it was experienced by soldiers and civilians. Emphasis is placed on development of critical reading and writing skills, as well as the elements of research, and students will pursue a research project pertaining to some aspect of the Great War.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 4200 - Ideas of Travel: Pilgrim, Explorer, Tourist


    Examining accounts of travel whose motives include religious pilgrimage, scientific discovery, and adventure, students will explore the extent to which these motives overlap, the extent to which journeys follow patterns that are universal or unique to their cultural moment, and the relationship of who we are to what we see. Primary readings will be drawn from Homer and the Bible, medieval pilgrimage accounts, early American captivity and slave narratives, and travel accounts and ethnographies from the 18th through 20th centuries by writers such as Defoe, Wollstonecraft, Melville, Darwin, Robert Louis Stevenson, Margaret Mead, Levi-Strauss. The focus throughout will be on developing the skills of analysis and research.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 4251 - Exploring Modern United States History: A Research Methods Course


    Investigates late nineteenth and twentieth century United States history. Teaches students how to do research using a variety of library resouces, how to interpret primary and secondary sources, and how to present their findings.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 4260 - The World Turned Upside-Down: English Society in the 17th Century


    Examines the history and historiography of 17th century England under the Stuart Monarchs and the Cromwellian Protectorates. Teaches skills in research, composition of an in-depth research project, analytical thinking, and research methodology.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 4270 - Concepts and Constructions of the Self


    Develops a context for understanding some of the more vexing questions surrounding the concept of self in contemporary society. Provides an opportunity to substantially improve some basic academic writing and research skills.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISLS 4280 - Archaeological Research


    Introduces students to the skills and knowledge that are the basis of inquiry in the discipline of archaeology. Emphasizes the development of research questions from an established body of literature. Conducts archaeological fieldwork throughout the semester. Builds research skills that are broadly applicable across the social sciences.



    Credits: 3

Interdisciplinary Studies-Social Sciences

  
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    ISSS 3020 - Women’s Studies: Theories and Practices


    Explores critical methods and vocabulary used to analyze gender while focusing on American women’s movements as well as contemporary notions of global feminism. Examines commonalities and differences among women, gender norms, sexual mores, the representation of women in the media, gender gaps in education and employment, and changing notions of family.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISSS 3030 - Sociology of Morality


    Explores how forms of morality emerge or decline under different social conditions. Students examine historical and contemporary forms of morality directly and through institutions which often express moral understandings and perceptions, such as religion and politics.



    Credits: 3
  
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    ISSS 3040 - American Religious Behavior


    Perhaps no subject is subject to more debate and discussion than the nature of religion in American life. This class will be an interdisciplinary exploration of current themes in the sociology of American religion: the ongoing interplay between secularization and religious vitality, the connection between religion and politics, new religious movements, and research strategies for studying religious behavior.  Beginning with a look at classical theories of religious life and organization (Weber, Durkheim, and others), the course will incorporate readings that illustrate interesting aspects of American religious behavior, drawn from scholarly work in theology, sociology, and history. 



    Credits: 3
 

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