Arts and Literature

56:606:608:01 World Literature: Production and Reception of Text Between East and West
Cross Listed: 56:350:529:01
T 6-8:40 pm
Location: BSB-133
Instructor: Professor Habib

Description: What does the Qur’an say about women? What do Islamic feminists say about the Qur’an? Why did Azar Nafisi’s novel Reading Lolita in Tehran engender such bitter controversy? How do texts change in translation? What determines how they are received in various cultures? Is modernism the same everywhere? What was the role of digital media in the recent Arab revolutions? Do the voices of Palestinian, Iranian, and Israeli poets echo or subvert the asseverations of their politicians? These are some of the questions we will address as we study twentieth-century literatures from various parts the world, focusing on the Middle East, Iran, and the Indian subcontinent. These texts will be examined in their historical contexts, with due emphasis upon their interrelations and their status as “world literature.” What furnishes the unity of this course is a sustained focus on an internal dynamic — the interplay between Western and Eastern visions as shaped by imperial and post-colonial history – which is refracted through diverging and layered narratives of empire, gender, religion, literature, aesthetics, and media.

56:606:609:01 Chinese Art
Advanced Undergraduate Course
Cross Listed: 50:082:363:01
T 11-12:20 pm, TH 11-12:20 pm
Location: FA-225
Instructor: Professor Wu

Description: Course description will be updated as they become available.

Cultural & Criticism

56:606:631:01 Material Culture in America
Cross Listed: 56:512:588:01
TH 5-7:40 pm
Instructor: Professor Woloson

Description: We are surrounded by stuff, and this stuff – whether a favorite pair of jeans, an ancestor’s locket, a new iPhone, or an autographed baseball – is extremely meaningful to us. Our things work as status symbols, memory objects, security blankets, items of self-identification and group affiliation, useful tools, and valuable commodities.

This course will introduce students to material culture from a variety of perspectives, spanning the colonial era to the present. We will talk about theoretical and methodological approaches to studying the physical world in addition to reading case studies exploring specific types of artifacts from the prosaic to the complex. Readings will include theories about consumer culture, commodities, and connoisseurship. We will also talk about the goods themselves, from axes, quilts, and beer cans to fashions, interiors, and machines. In addition, readings will cover more elusive but equally important aspects of the material world, such as gift cultures, recycling and reuse, collecting, aberrant relationships with things (such as hoarding), and the new minimalism.

A major goal is to expose students to a range of theories and methods for interpreting material artifacts. Another is to have students explore the relative importance of various kinds of material culture over time and the ways that goods reflected (and influenced) the economic, social, and cultural conditions of their time. A third goal is to have students better understand and use material artifacts as primary source material. And finally, students will come away with a better appreciation for the strengths and weaknesses of using objects as historical evidence to interpret the past.

Early Modern Era

56:606:511:01 Early American History to 1763
Cross Listed: 56:512:504:01
W 5:00 pm – 7:40 pm
Location: 429 Cooper Street, Room 104
Instructor: Professor Shankman

Description: Course description will be updated as they become available.

General and Sexuality

56:606:662:01 Women and Religion
MALS seminar
T 5:00-7:40 pm
Instructor: Professor Charmé

Description: This class looks at the ways that women have been regarded in the myths, symbols and rituals of the major Western Religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). We will examine how these traditions’ views of the body, nature, sexuality, the sacred, and the divine affected each other. We’ll look at the tradition of Goddess worship that was supplanted by Western religion and recent efforts to revive it. We will confront the question of whether the values of these major world religions are undermined by elements of sexism that oppress women. Finally, we will look at suggestions from contemporary women about how to make religious stories and rituals more welcoming of women, including the question of women (and lesbian) rabbis, ministers, and priests.

Studies of the 20th Century

56:606:531:01 Art in the Age of the New Deal
Advanced Undergraduate Course
Cross Listed: 50:082:368:01
Prerequisite: 50:082:101 or 102 or 103 or permission of instructor
T 3-5:50 pm
Location: FA-225 Camden
Instructor: Professor Reade

Description: Study of major art movements in the United States, from academic classicism to contemporary styles and theories. Topics may vary.

Cultural Diversity

Twentieth-Century African-American Drama
Cross Listed: 56:352:594:01
W 6- 8:40 pm
Location: SOC-B05
Instructor: Professor Green

Description: According to the most famous first-person account of slavery in the eighteenth century, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself (1789), many Africans’ first encounter with Europeans may have went something like this: “The first object which saluted my eyes when I arrived on the coast was the sea, and a slave ship. … I was now persuaded that I gotten into a world of bad spirits, and that they were going to kill me. Their complexions too differing so much from ours, their long hair, and the language they spoke, which was very different from any I had ever heard, united to confirm me in this belief” (55). As suggested by Equiano, alien environments, technology, language, and body forms are nothing new to black experience and writing. Far from the exception to the rule, an encounter with the fantastic might be one of the foundational tropes of black expression in the New World.

Mindful of such important historical precedents, this course is an exploration of science fiction (broadly conceived) produced by people of African descent in the twentieth and twenty first centuries. Organized around units that derive from fairly established sci-fi concerns – time travel, dystopia, and space adventure, for example – it surveys how a speculative aesthetic has animated black cultural production. Though the course’s main archive will be written texts, it will also gesture towards the wider impact of the fanciful in such mediums as film, music, and clothing. Representative authors include Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, Nalo Hopkinson, and Tananarive Due.

International Study Abroad

56:606:631:I1 Responding to One’s Nature: Mapping Typography
Cross Listed: 50:080:393:I1
Instructor: Professor Amdur

Description: This course will offer students a unique opportunity to explore and directly engage the Icelandic landscape. With only three meetings on campus, most of the course will take place in the Icelandic countryside. While no artistic experience is required or necessary, students will look to the landscape and within themselves to be creative in various forms. Each day students will keep an active log of their travels and take time for active contemplation. We will learn about Icelandic history, including Icelandic sagas and artists, as well as watching videos of contemporary American artists and their artistic practices. Students will create their own personal “Fairy Tale,” as well as create visual works of art based on direct and indirect processes: that is, how do artists control their art materials, and how do artists permit external forces to impact their work? This course which will be a “creative retreat” that will function on many levels. Students from the 2014 trip to Iceland expressed that their trip was “a unique journey of a lifetime”!

Learning abroad courses may require additional course fees and special class meeting schedules. More details may be posted here as they are received.

Note: International studies course with required trip to Iceland 5/29/14-6/10/15

56:606:613:I2 Music Learning Abroad/Music, Cultural and Service
Cross Listed: 50:700:374:I1
Instructor: Professor Schiavo

Description: This Learning Abroad course provides interested students with a thorough understanding of every-day music in South African culture. Students will explore the following topics, among others: the history of South Africa starting with the influence of the Dutch colonizers in the 17th century; the influence of missionaries and choirs on early African composers; the appearance of traveling minstrel shows in the mid-1800s on carnival singers and troupes in the Cape; the increasing urbanization of black South Africans in mining centers, where new forms of hybrid music began to arise; and the development in the 1900s of the distinctive marabi keyboard style. Students will study the works of performers like Abdullah Ibrahim, Hugh Masekela, the Blue Notes, Four Jacks and a Jill, and the Radio Rats. Among other classroom-based activities students will see Triomf, a film adaptation of the award-winning novel by Marlene van Niekerk, and read the prize-winning Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane.

A key component of the program is a Service Learning experience, organized by Amanda Holloway of the Office of Student Affairs on campus. Students will visit schools and key cultural sites and meet with NGOs, teachers, students, and community leaders in South Africa to participate in community service and engage in dialogue and shared experience on topics of racism and poverty, while engaging with South African music and culture. Community Service projects will include the following:

  • Amy Beihl Foundation: Literacy, Creative Arts, Music (i.e. violin, guitar, recorder, marimba, choral singing and brass), and Greening and Environment.
  • Ons Plek Shelter for Street Children: painting and volunteering with children
  • Various primary school visits: after school program activities

Course details:

  • Classes will meet Saturdays from 10am-1pm (1/31, 2/7, 2/14, 2/21, 2/28, 3/7)
  • Travel Dates: March 12, 2015 – March 24, 2015
  • Class Meeting Times: January 31, 2015, February 7, 2015, February 28, 2015, March 7, 2015, April 18, 2015
  • Course Number: 50:700:374 (Music Learning Abroad)
  • Program Cost: $3699

56:606:613:I3 Botanical Biodiversity Research
Cross Listed: 50:120:360:01
Monday & Wednesday – 1:20 pm – 2:40 pm – Location SCI-B20
Instructor: Professor Kotchoni

Description: This program will introduce students to innovative research on whole systems of botanical biodiversity. The focal point of the course will involve an interdisciplinary research collaboration between students at Rutgers-Camden and the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin, West Africa.

Biodiversity is under assault on a global basis. About ten percent of the world’s bird species and twenty-five percent of mammals are currently under threat of extinction. One percent of the world’s tropical forests is lost each year. In Benin, many beneficial interactions between the people and their environment–including the use of plants as drought indicators, in traditional medicine (ethnobotany), and in ritual and religious practices–are rapidly disappearing.

This program will introduce students to basic research in botanical biodiversity, with a wide range of beneficial applications in seasonal weather prediction, agricultural sustainability, and plant-based pharmacology. Students will have a rare opportunity to engage in cutting-edge research in a field where very little previous work has been done. During the travel portion of the program, students will participate in tours and social activities that will introduce them to the cultural life of tropical, sub-Saharan Benin.

56:606:613:I4 Studies in Journalism: South Africa
Cross Listed: 50:350:389:I1/56:350:505:I1
Location: CS-202
Instructor: Professor Capuzzo
Description: This course will explore a vast array of issues facing South Africa and give Rutgers students the chance to research and report on current subjects during our 12-day trip to South Africa, operating in a manner typically limited to journalists in highly coveted foreign bureaus. Leading up to our trip, we will immerse ourselves in South Africa, sampling the arts and culture of the country and discussing topics specific to South Africa, as well as related journalism issues including: the portrayal of South Africa in modern literature, film and television; international news coverage of South Africa; working as a foreign correspondent in a politically or militarily war-torn country; ethical matters and media censorship in information-controlled systems such as the former South Africa; and the role of social media in breaking through some of those previously impervious barriers. These topics will be brought to life when we visit South Africa in the middle of the semester.

Joining in with students from RUC’s law, business, nursing and community service programs, we will tour all the sites visited by the well-established South Africa Learning Abroad program, which this year marks its 20th anniversary. In addition, the journalism group will have the chance to tour media outlets in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and partake in newsworthy activities, such as coverage of a court trial, visiting houses of government, meeting the warden of the jail where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, and exploring the neighborhoods where South Africans live. Students will be writing about their daily experiences while traveling, as well as gathering thread for a longer magazine-type article they will produce by the end of the semester, by which time all will have gained an in-depth knowledge of this fascinating, news rich country. Class will meet six times, on alternating Wednesday evenings from 6pm-8:30pm (1/28, 2/11, 2/25, 3/4, 4/1, 4/29), and the trip will take place during Spring Break, from March 12 through March 24. Students will earn three credits for completion of the course.

Course details:

  • Travel Dates: March 12, 2015 – March 24, 2015
  • Class Meeting Times: January 28, 2015, February 11, 2015, February 25, 2015, March 4, 2015, April 1, 2015, April 29, 2015
  • Course Number: 50:570:396:01 (Special Studies in Journalism: Reporting South Africa), 50:350:505:01 (Learning Abroad: Reporting South Africa)
  • Program Cost: $3699

56:606:613:I5 The Duende in America
Cross Listed: 50:350:390:I1/56:350:506:I1
Monday – 2:50 pm – 5:30 pm
Location: BSB-108
Instructor: Professor Rosal

Description: This Program will examine the Spanish poet Federíco Garcîa Lorca’s celebrated notion of “duende”–the confrontation with death–and how it has influenced contemporary American poetry, including the revived poetics of oral traditions, call and response, and performance in general.

Lorca lived in the United States for a short time and wrote a book inspired by his stay in New York. A few years later, he wrote his famous lecture “Theory and Play of Duende,” an essay that outlines various forms of artistic inspiration, the highest of which, according to him, is duende. Though the essay is almost eighty years old and written by a poet from Spain, it continues to be widely read among contemporary American poets. We will examine Lorca’s idea of duende through his own poems and the poems of a few very different contemporary American poets.

While in Spain, we will visit key sites in Lorca’s life and career, including Granada and Madrid, where we will spend the better part of the trip. In Madrid we will visit La Residencia, where Lorca studied and met many of his fellow writers and artists. We will also attend a performance of gypsy music and dance, important forms in the study of Lorca’s concept of duende. While in Spain, we will also meet with Dr. Curtis Bauer, a translator of contemporary Spanish poets, who will discuss the poetic conversation between the United States and the Iberian peninsula.

56:606:613:I6 Patagonia: The End of the World/Cultural Experience
Cross Listed: 50:590:291:I1
Instructor: Professor Giaudrone

Description: This travel experience and seminar will map the shifting constructions of the space of the South in Argentine discourses of identity, nationhood, and self-fashioning. Through critical readings and films, followed by site visits in the extreme south of Argentina, the course will examine how representations of “el fin del mundo” (the end of the world)–as primitive, empty, violent, or as a place of potential–inform both countries’ liberal ideology. The seminar will focus on crucial moments in Argentine cultural history, such as the 1871 Conquest of the Desert and the military dictatorships of the 1970s, as well as the latest debates on the effects of environmental capitalism (ecotourism and adventure tourism) on local cultures.

Course details:

  • Travel Dates: March 12, 2015 – March 23, 2015
  • Class Meeting Times: Thursdays from 6pm-9pm (January 22, 2015, February 5, 2015, February 26, 2015, March 5, 2015, April 16, 2015)
  • Course Numbers: 50:590:291, 50:940:387
  • Program Cost: TBD

56:606:613:17 Urban Change & Housing in Germany
Cross Listed: 50:975:489:I1/56:834:609:I1
Location: BSM-109
Instructor: Professor Tursi

Description: This course will teach students about the characteristics of urban Germany such as housing, infrastructure, arts and culture, and urban issues. Students will explore 3 major cities in Germany on foot, by train, trolley, subway and boat to gain insight into the social-, economical-, and political culture of urban Germany. After 4 pre-departure class meetings (1/21, 2/4, 2/18, 3/4 – 6-9pm) at Rutgers-Camden where students will learn about urban Germany (through selected readings, discussions, assignments, and instruction), they will have knowledge of: the history of German urbanization; topics such as gentrification, homelessness, environmentally sustainable housing development, community development, the role of urban planning, regional development; the role of arts and culture in urban areas, etc.; complex issues relating to population/demographic change; the role of government in achieving stable and affordable housing in spite of the global recession and global economic pressure.

The intellectual preparation coupled with useful information about the German culture and customs prepares students for the 9-day journey through Germany where we will explore the topics discussed in class “hands-on” through site visits, lectures, and city tours. We will spend three days in each city, beginning with Berlin in the Northeast, then traveling by train to Hamburg in the North, and finally K?ln in the Midwest. Highlights of the trip include visits to the (former) wall in Berlin, the Brandenburg gate, the Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg neighborhoods in Berlin, the K?ln cathedral (the “Church of Germany”, a UNESCO world-heritage site, gothic cathedral built in the middle-ages, house to the reliquary of the Three Kings), a boat tour on the Rhine, a visit to the Port of Hamburg and the Blankenese neighborhood, various museum visits, good food, interaction with locals, and much more. The class will meet for a 3-hour post-departure debriefing meeting at a date TBD.

Course details:

  • Travel Dates: March 12, 2015 – March 22, 2015
  • Class Meeting Times: January 21, 2015, February 4, 2015, February 18, 2015, March 4, 2015
  • Course number: 50:975:489 (Special Topics in Urban Studies), cross-listed with MPA & Liberal Studies
  • Program Cost: TBD

Politics and Society

56:606:622:01 International Conflict and Conflict Resolution
Cross Listed: 56:834:670:01/50:790:489:01
T 3-5:40 pm
Location: ATG-224
Instructor: Professor Chevrier

Description: The purpose of this course it to better understand, the cause and conduct of international conflict, particularly war, in the modern world. To do this we will analyze emerging trends and patterns in global conflict, as well as consider the prospects for peace in an evolving world order. We will explore issues of security, identity and equity with the objective of gaining an integrated understanding of the interplay of these critical dimensions of conflict. A large portion of the course will examine just war theory, and the ethics and rules of war. The course will also examine alternatives to ware to pursue changes in government and to oppose tyranny.

56:606:622:02 Urban Education
Cross Listed: 56:163:630:01
W 6-8:40 pm
Location: SOC-309
Instructor: Professor Silver

Description: Study of the role and treatment of victims in the criminal justice systems with a particular focus on the victimizations that disproportionately affect women and children. Emphasis on risk factors and impact of crime on victims.

56:606:623:01 Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict
Advanced Undergraduate Course
Cross Listed: 50:790:496
T & TH 1:30 – 2:50 pm
Instructor: Professor Rabinowitz

Description: National, ethnic and religious identities continue to be the basis for political conflict. Why are these identities so strong? What are their basis? How do they become political relevant? In this course, we will exam different theories of nationalism: what it is, how it emerges, and what is consequences are. To do so, we will begin by studying the creation of the international system of nation-states, and how it led tot eh creation of minorities within states. We will look at how different societies have used notions of bloodlines, culture, and geography to define citizenship and political membership. From there, we will examine different types of ethnic and religious conflicts as well as separatist movements.

Studies in Psychology

56:606:651:01 Child Growth and Development
Cross Listed: 56:163:515:01
TH 6-8:40 pm
Location: SOC-309
Instructor: Professor Hart

Description: Development in infancy and childhood is both regulated by biological constrains and shaped by cultural practices. This course examines the genetic underpinnings of development, the biological changes which characterize development from birth through early adolescence, and the environmental and social influences which affect, and are affected by, biological changes.


56:606:689:01 Capstone Research
Instructor: Professor Charmé

Description: Independent study of special interest to the student, under supervision of an advisor chosen by the student in consultation with the program director.

Research in Liberal Studies

Instructor: Professor Charmé

See Professor Charme for details

Matriculation Continued

56:606:800:01 Matriculation Continued

Instructor: Professor CharméDescription: Continuous registration may be accomplished by enrolling for at least three credits in standard course offerings, including research courses, or by enrolling in this course for 0 credits. Students actively engaged in study toward their degree who are using university facilities and faculty time are expected to enroll for the appropriate credits.