Studies in Cultural Diversity

56:606:541:91 Ethnic Fiction
T 6 pm – 8:40 pm
2nd seven weeks – Hybrid Class, 50% online
Professor: Professor Drucker

This course examines the representation of ethnicity in contemporary American literature. We will analyze critical essays, short stories, and novels, covering topics which include the relationship between literature, culture, and ethnicity. We will discuss the experiences of gender, race, and class within the dynamic of ethnicity as presented in contemporary (after 1960) ethnic American writing, and analyze and critique the relationship between narrative technique and representations of ethnicity in African American, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American writing. Contemporary literature is extremely broad and varied; however, we will become acquainted with several major trends in, and with a representative group of contemporary novelists who have written works that engage their readers in constructions of ethnicity: Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, Amy Bloom, Charles Johnson, Fae Ng, Julia Alvarez, and Gloria Naylor. Students will develop close reading skills, and analytical research and response strategies throughout the course.

Studies of Ideas


56:606:601:91 How to Know Everything
Joint Base McGuire
M 6 pm – 8:40 pm
Instructor: Professor Muller
Second- seven weeks, Hybrid Section – Some Meeting online, 50% in class 50% online

The idea that “knowledge is power” is one of the motivating factors behind humanity’s development of many different technologies. In this course, we will examine the history of various information technologies including writing, libraries, movable type, encyclopedias, telegraphy, classrooms, computers, and the internet through readings from classics such as Plato through contemporary scholars such as Ann Blair, James Gleick, and Edward Tufte. These histories of the underlying technologies of scholarship will give us the opportunity to critically examine what lies behind the impulse to “know everything” and the great civilizations and problems that are built on this drive to know and therefore control more of our world.

Politics and Society

56:606:621:91 Democracy
Joint Base McGuire
First seven weeks, Hybrid Section – Some Meeting online, 50% in class 50% online
Instructor: Professor Lantzas

People cite it, refute it, debate it, fight and die for it, but what is democracy? This seminar ventures an interdisciplinary investigation of democracy, both ancient and modern, its origins, history and evolution, and legacy. This course will draw on a variety of evidence, from the archaeology of Classical Athens to modern political thought. Students will then lead discussions that focus on detailed examination of democracy. Topics will include an analysis of democracy’s diagnostic features, diachronic changes in democratic values and processes, an evaluation of the influence of ancient democracy on the earliest modern democratic systems (USA 1776, France 1789-93, Greece 1821-1830), and the variant forms of its modern revival.