Sponsored Courses

SPRING 2015

Garden as Metaphor and Practice

Barbara Bernstein

Creating a garden offers the solace and attention sorely needed in times of transition and healing. In addition, planting, nurturing and cultivating are also metaphors of how ideas are generated and distributed. This course offers students the rewards of experiencing both: the physical manifestation of transformation by sowing plants along with its symbolic representations through culture: language, images, music, etc.

How to Survive an Apocalypse

Brandon Walsh and Eliza Fox

This course examines post-apocalyptic scenarios from film, texts, and graphic narratives around the turn of the twenty-first century. Discussions of how alternative futures shape and elaborate concerns of the present will form the crux of our discussions, which will include such topics as zombie apocalypse juvenile delinquency, nuclear war and superhero mythology, and technological terror.

FALL 2014

Viewing the Global South

Audrey Golden

What can film and television teach us about violence and resistance in other parts of the world? Do these popular mediums have something to say about how we understand recent moments in history? In the 1980s, the region commonly known as the “Global South” experienced an unprecedented level of localized violence. Each week we’ll focus on a place and a work of cinema, watching the films while reading excerpts from literature and history.

SUMMER 2014

Science, Religion and Politics

Seung-Hun Lee

More often than not, Science is intertwined with Religion and Politics. This course will provide students with an opportunity to study the entanglement of Science, Religion, and Politics, and how they have driven national and international policies. Examples will include the Galileo affair and the Manhattan project. Truth, reality, ethics and the anthropology of those involved will be examined in several exemplary cases. Offered Spring 2012, Spring 2013, and Spring 2014 as a Pavilion Seminar.

SPRING 2014

American Youth and Film

Brandon Walsh and Eliza Fox

This seminar focuses on post-WWII American film made about or for teenagers and adolescents. The changing conceptions of aging, maturity, and American identity on screen form the crux of our discussion, and the course explores these topics in relation to race and rituals of belonging, sexuality and body horror, and the commodification of youth and American identity.

Humanities in Place: Academic Space in Theory

Bill Sherman and Michael Levenson

This seminar involves the design, fabrication and erection of a portable fabric structure to provide a venue for readings, conversations and performances sponsored by the Institute of the Humanities and Global Culture. Alongside the work of planning and construction, the seminar will address questions of sustainable ethics, the theory of shelter, and the symbolic spaces of humanistic learning. The completed structure will stand as both a metaphor for academic aspiration and the central space of events in the humanities. Students will work with a group of faculty members to research historical precedents, contemporary lightweight materials, develop design proposals, fabricate the structure and deploy it in multiple sites on the university grounds during Humanities Week, the second week of April.

FALL 2013

Humanities in Place: The Moral Ecology of Food

Willis Jenkins

This seminar treats the ethics of food as a way into questions about humanity's changing role within ecological systems. It explores the practical controversies arising within contemporary food practices -- including obligations to the hungry, response to obesity, labor fairness, and treatment of animals. It connects those controversies to broader inquiries about the meaning of food and the human presence in nature.

SPRING 2013

The Global Short Story

Ann Mazur

The short story as literary form presents distinctive interpretative possibilities. This similarly “short” course will capitalize upon the short story’s conciseness, wit, moment of impact, and playfulness to investigate our increasingly global community of writers. Beginning with the University of Virginia’s own Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories (and his famous definition of the genre), our course will then emphasize the contemporary short story’s multiplicity of forms, effects, and manipulations from around the globe. Course readings will include modern fairy tales, other retellings, horror, detective stories, but also include stories adapted into films—in effect, we will cover a broad literary and analytical geography across language and form barriers though contained to the (deceptively) short story.

Humanities in Place: Academic Space in Theory

Bill Sherman and Michael Levenson

This seminar involves the design, fabrication and erection of a portable fabric structure to provide a venue for readings, conversations and performances sponsored by the Institute of the Humanities and Global Culture. Alongside the work of planning and construction, the seminar will address questions of sustainable ethics, the theory of shelter, and the symbolic spaces of humanistic learning. The completed structure will stand as both a metaphor for academic aspiration and the central space of events in the humanities. Students will work with a group of faculty members to research historical precedents, contemporary lightweight materials, develop design proposals, fabricate the structure and deploy it in multiple sites on the university grounds during Humanities Week, the second week of April.