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Fall 2016 Courses


Fall 2016



2000-Level Non-Western Perspectives


HP 2151-01: Modern Japanese Society and Culture: 3cr; (CH) Cultural Humanities, (G) Global and A&S Non-Western/A&S Global Core, and (H) Humanities; CRN: 12531; TR 11:00-12:15, Instructor: Noah Miles

This course is designed to introduce Japanese society and culture.  The class will take a thematic approach to the study of Japan.  We will integrate history and literature from the Jomon to the Edo periods, covering a diverse range of topics including: language development, the introduction of Buddhism, poetry, classical and modern literature, traditional arts and holidays concluding with the development of popular culture.

HP 2151-02: Indian Short Story: 3 cr; (G) Global; CRN: 13600; TR 11:00-12:15PM, Instructor: Nina McConigley

In this class, we will focus on the form of the short story by writers of South Asian (Indian) descent. Using the lens of the short story, we will examine how these writers explore gender, class, religious, and other differences in India and beyond. Beginning with folktales and looking at writers from India (including works translated into English), we will examine a rich array of the Indian experience. Moving out from India, we will look at the experiences of the émigré, the Indian writer grappling with immigration and diaspora in countries like England, the United States, Trinidad and Tanzania.  We will also examine the historical contexts and cultural forces that shape Indian identity as it is represented in the form of the short story.

HP 2151-03: Whose Nature?: 3 cr; CRN: 13602; Time: TBA, Instructor: Courtney Carlson

Together we will initiate an inquiry into the relationship of humans to the non-human world and examine how "culture"—literature and the arts, politics, science and philosophy—informs modern environmental values around the world. We will juxtapose literary, religious, philosophical, visual, and cinematic texts with focused case studies to consider resource use and ecological attitudes in regions of Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Central and South America. Most broadly, this course will seek to further develop the thoughtfulness and habits of mind useful to you as a student and an engaged citizen of the world.

HP 2153-01: Basque Country: 3 cr; CRN: 14389; Time: TR 1:20-2:35pm, Instructor: Dr. David Romtvedt

This course is an introduction to Basque culture and language in Europe and in the American Basque diaspora.  On one day each week we’ll study the language—Euskara--using Linda White’s Aurrera! A Textbook for Studying Basque, Volume 1.  Our second weekly class session will be devoted to readings and discussion in English of Basque history, literature, and current life with lots of attention given to music, dance, food, and language.  We’ll learn to sing some Basque songs, do a few Basque dances, read a Basque and Basque American novel, and make some Basque foods that we’ll eat together.  We’ll also think about the place of language in defining and maintaining identity.  Finally, we’ll look at diversity—biological, cultural, linguistic--as a vehicle for increasing our resilience and adaptability when we face challenges.  My goal for the course is that we learn a lot and enjoy the time we spend together.  I’m grateful to be able to offer this course on a subject that means a lot to me.  Ongi etorri euskal mundura!


3000 Level: Modes of Understanding

HP 3151-01: Chaos, Fractals, and Complexity; 3 cr.; (QB) Quantitative B and (PN) Physical and Natural World; CRN: 13599;  MWF 8:00-8:50am;  HRH 114; Instructor: Dr. Peter Shive

Will it rain tomorrow?  How will the Wyoming elk population change with time?  What really happens during a heart attack?  Is there some way to predict the stock market and international currency fluctuations?  How long is the North Platte River?  Why would most of us rather look at a tree than the new engineering building?  How many people will die in the Sudan next year?  Is the origin of life truly as unlikely as statisticians like to tell us?

The new science of chaos and complexity is providing powerful ways to address questions like these.  The answers are often counterintuitive, even shocking.  Many issues once thought to be settled by classic scientific analysis are now seen to be magically elusive; systems that used to seem simple are often capable of behavior that is richly diverse.  We are finding surprising connections among the sciences, the humanities, and the arts.

This course provides an introduction to this new science and is specifically targeted toward students who hate math or think that they are not any good at it.     

HP 3151-02: Christians and Muslims: 3 cr; MWF 1:10-2:00pm; Instructor: Dr. Carolyn Anderson

This course is an introduction to some popular literature of the medieval West, focusing on texts by or about Christians and Muslims. We will trace some of the literary, political and religious ideas that made the European medieval world into part of the modern one. We will read a variety of texts, such as triumphalist crusader narratives, chronicles, medieval romances of the East, Arabic views of Christian crusaders, Arthurian romance, Hebrew travelogues, theological materials, novels, and films by writers and filmmakers from  Western and  non-Western perspectives. These texts will serve as a basis for historical and cultural discussion, and provide a starting point for a variety of writing assignments. By the end of the semester, you should be able to discuss the major literary genres and conventions authors employ, place these works within their social, historical, and cultural context, employ various research techniques, and write about literature clearly and analytically. Assignments will include class discussion, at least 1 class presentation, a paper, a midterm and final. All these literary materials will be in translation.

HP 3152-01: Race and Racism; 3 cr.; (CS) Social Sciences, (D) Diversity; CRN: 12816; T 1:20-4:00PM; Instructor: Dr. Steve Bialostok

This course is framed by a simple contradiction. Race is real, yet it is a myth. Racial categories are very real social and cultural phenomena. They are rooted in history and culturally constructed through laws, the media, and various institutions. These categories are reproduced, subverted, and sometimes changed by people through socialization, media consumption, interaction, dialogue, protest, and political participation.  Yet, what makes race real, animates it with so much power, and fosters its tenacious hold on much of the Western world’s collective psyche?  It is the fact that people largely believe that race has something to do with nature, biology, or rational science. Ironically, it is biology and so-called rational science that provides the best evidence that there is no valid basis to organize people by racial categories.

In this course, we will focus on the disciplines of anthropology and sociology and their role in shaping the cultural politics of race. We will explore both its historical construction and its contemporary manifestation as a crucial aspect of American culture and an integral component of people’s identity.

HP 3152-02: Children’s Film; 3 cr.; CRN: 12997;W 4:10-7:00PM; RH 24; Instructor: Dr. Tammy Mielke

This is a course in children’s literature and children’s film; although it would be more correct to say literature and film intended for a child audience. This class focuses on cinematic adaptation of literary works, exploring how theme, form, technique, and style manifest in both film and written text for a specific audience. We are also vested in exploring how the intended audience is both inside and outside both the literature and the film to determine– through authorship and directing, publishing and producing - the desires of adults have in the shaping of the generation after them. When we read, we have complete control over the pace at which we read: we linger over a sentence, reread a passage, skip to the end, start over. We read either in silence or surrounded by noise (or music), sometimes of our choosing, sometimes dictated by our environment: we lose ourselves while reading at the bus stop or in a noisy coffee shop or quietly at home. We read aloud or silently, or are read to by a teacher or friend.


4000 Level: Senior Seminar


HP 4151-01: Concepts of Holy War: 3cr; (CS) Cultural Social Sciences, (G) Global; CRN: 15475; MWF 2:10-3:00pm; Instructor: Dr. Erin Abraham

This course will examine the complexities of religious violence through investigations into how the relationship between Christianity and Islam has been – and continues to be – in large part defined in increasingly interchangeable terms of holy war. We will examine early concepts of holy war, including the modifications of early Christian formulations of just war and of jihad in early Islam.  We will evaluate the transmission and changing connotations of these concepts in comparative contexts, including popular perceptions and official definitions, through various media, including film, print, and electronic sources.     

HP 4152-01: Nanotechnology : 3 cr.; ; (CS) Social Science; CRN 13254; W 12:00-2:50pm; HRH 114; Instructor: Dr. Chris Rothfuss

Cancer cures, space elevators, quantum computers and stain resistant ties... nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is the control, manipulation and fabrication of matter at the molecular scale – about 1 to 100 nanometers – to take advantage of unique physical phenomena.   It is estimated that by the year 2015 nanotechnology will account for over $1 trillion in the global marketplace.  The US Government invests $1 billion per year on nanotechnology research and development.  Nanotechnology is seen by many as the next great technological revolution. So what does all that mean?  What will nanotechnology do for me?   How will it influence the world of the future?  What research is being done today? This course will take a broad look at the development of nanotechnology; including the history, the science, the applications, the social and political impacts, and its influence on the future. All majors and disciplines are welcome!

HP 4152-02: HIV/AIDS; 3 cr.; (CS) Social Sciences; CRN: 12347; F 2:10-5:00pm; CR 149; Instructor: Dr. Robert Kitchin

Since its description in 1981, half a million Americans have become infected with the HIV virus and died of AIDS.  HIV/AIDS is the most dramatic, pervasive, and tragic pandemic in recent history.  HIV/AIDS infection has provoked a reassessment of society’s approach to public health strategy, health care, resource allocation, medical research, and sexual behavior.  Fear and discrimination have affected virtually every aspect of our culture.  Both the medical challenge and, in particular, the social challenge will continue in the foreseeable future.  This course will explore the basic biology of the HIV virus and its effects upon the human body, the magnitude of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, prospects for treatment of those with the disease, and social, political, economic, and legal issues associated with HIV/AIDS disease.


Future Class Opportunities


J-Term Course Study Abroad Course,Winter Break 2017

HP 4152: A History of Science – Biomedical and Beyond, Donal C. Skinner PhD

Imagine a time where wine was your anesthetic, survival from surgery was determined by how much blood loss you could sustain before death from a probable infection. Imperfections made you a monster and madness was visited upon you by the devil. This course will explore biological science from Leonardo to Dolly, from the macabre to the sublime, that will leave you with a deeper understanding (and appreciation) of the world we inhabit today.

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