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Northwestern University

Choosing a First-Year Seminar

Winter Quarter 2018 First-Year Seminars

The following seminars will be offered in Winter 2018.  Click on the ">" in front of a title to read the course description. When you have identified the ten seminars that interest you most, log in to your dossier and scroll down to First-Year Seminar Selections: Winter 2018. The Top 10 selection process will open Wednesday, November 1st at 8:00am, and close Friday, November 3rd at 8am. You will be placed in your Winter 2018 seminar on Friday, November 3rd.

TitleDayTime

Instructor(s): Nora Eltaway
English

Description:

From proto-feminist rebels like Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter to alienated loners like The Catcher in the Rye's Holden Caulfield to the indefinable Napoleon Dynamite, misfits have continually captured the imagination of the American public. In this course, we will seek to understand the source of this fascination by examining the representation of social outcasts in some of the most popular works of American literature and popular culture. What sets these characters apart from the larger societies in which they live? What challenges do they present to their societies and what roles do they play within them?  Using these questions to guide our analysis of a range of works from the 19th century to the present, we will interrogate the spoken and unspoken rules governing social interaction in the United States as well as the consequences (or rewards) of the failure to follow them.

American Misfits
MW2:00-3:20pm

Instructor(s): Caroline Bledose
Anthropology

Description:

This seminar for freshmen will stress critical thinking and writing. Its theme will be deriving and applying social and cultural frameworks for understanding the dynamics of time or, more generally, temporalities. Ideas about time pervade human experience. Time also provide templates for academic theory -- anthropological theory of the past, for example, depicted societies in an evolutionary continuum from primitive to modern. Among the domains in which temporal dimensions of experience loom large are bodily and farming cycles, memory, history, and ritual. The forms that time and temporalities can take, however, are immensely variant. The course will touch on these and other themes. Of particular interest will be society's views of the ordering and pacing of life events. The course will center on an ethnographic research project based on field notes, observations, and participant observation. Sessions and readings are designed to work toward this, focusing on ideas of time, plus skills in framing a research question, developing a bibliography of readings to accompany it, and establishing a point of view. Student projects will concern something close at hand involving time.

Anthropology of Time
TTH2:00-3:20pm

Instructor(s): Jeanne Herrick
Writing Program

Description:

One of the many benefits of attending Northwestern is its proximity to one of the greatest cities in the world: Chicago.  However, with classes and other commitments, it is often challenging for NU students to get beyond Chicago’s front doors: Millennium Park or Wrigley Field or Michigan Avenue. In this course, students will learn about Chicago’s history, politics, economy and art. Students will also get to know Chicago from an insider’s perspective by listening to and learning from some of its residents.  Students will be encouraged to continue their exploration of Chicago by focusing on an aspect that appeals to them, e.g. Chicago politics, theatre, business, education, safety, health, etc.—whatever interests the individual student.

Chicago Voices: Learning about Chicago
TTH9:30-10:50am

Instructor(s): Tracy Hodgson
Biological Sciences

Description:

Topics for discussion and exploration will include (but not necessarily be limited to): The history, ecology and sociopolitical impact of cacao cultivation and chocolate production; the biology and psychology of gustation and olfaction (taste and smell); the biochemistry of the components of chocolate, and their physiological and neurological effects; chocolate in fiction/literature.

Chocolate: From the Biochemical to GeoPolitical
TTH3:30-4:50pm

Instructor(s): Christine Bell
Art History

Description:

The American Civil War (1861-1865) was an event that was relentlessly photographed. What roles did photography play in waging the Civil War? What kinds of images did noncombatants actually have access to during the war years? How did viewers of the time respond to images that were sometimes highly disturbing, bringing the “mutilated remains” of combat to their doorsteps for the first time in history? And how did photographs participate in the revolutionary changes of emancipation? In this course, we’ll be looking primarily at two categories of Civil War photographs: portraits; and images of battlefield casualties. We will start from the position that Civil War-era photographs cannot be fully understood apart from the wartime context in which they circulated. The most numerous types of photographs dating from the 1860’s were portraits of common soldiers and of celebrities of the period (e.g. Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass). This course will expand this familiar archive to include photographic portraits of less well-known figures such as African-American soldiers, enslaved Americans, and even prisoners, examining the meanings of these images to contemporaries. Unlike portraiture, battlefield images constitute a small percentage of Civil War photographs, but they mark the first time that the aftermath of combat was made visible to a civilian audience while a war was underway. We will be considering the significance of the appearance of images of combat death at specific moments during the conflict. Civil War photographers, publishers, and even sitters themselves, exploited pose, props, caption, composition, framing, and point of view to create images that contributed to the political culture of civil conflict. Despite the camera’s perceived neutrality, we will learn in this course that the photograph is first and foremost a manipulated object.

Civil War Photography
TTH3:30-4:50pm

Instructor(s): Mark Alznauer
Philosophy

Description:

In this course, we will read some of most important essays in 20th and 21st Century right-wing thought. The goal is to understand the different philosophical and cultural tendencies represented by conservative, neoconservative, libertarian, and reactionary thinkers. Representative authors covered include Carl Schmitt, Friedrich Hayek, Michael Oakeshott, and Gertrude Himmelfarb.

Conservatives, Libertarians, and Reactionaries
TTH12:30-1:50pm

Instructor(s): Joseph Karbowski
Philosophy

Description:

Courage was widely viewed as a virtue in ancient Greece. Even today it remains a laudable quality to which people tend to aspire. But what does courage consist in? Is it a matter of overcoming fear? Or, instead, does it involve not feeling fear where most others do? Are there cases of courage which involve no fear whatsoever? Are there common personality traits exhibited by the courageous? If so, what are they? These and other questions related to the nature, acquisition, and psychological underpinnings of courage will be examined in this class. The readings will draw from a mix of ancient and contemporary sources, both philosophical and psychological. This is a writing intensive course, and so students' final grades will largely be determined by their performance on three paper assignments. The assignments are designed so that each paper is written following the stages of planning, prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing. In addition to becoming better writers I hope that students will walk away with a deeper appreciation of the nature and value of courage.

Courage
MW9:30-10:50am

Instructor(s): David Shyovitz
History

Description:

Beginning in the late eleventh century, European Christians launched numerous Crusades (religiously sanctioned military expeditions) against Muslims, Jews, Christian heretics, and others.  In this course, we will trace the complex history of the Crusades, and explore the ways in which historians have grappled with a number of interrelated questions: Why did Crusading achieve such prominence precisely when and where it did?  What were the intellectual and religious underpinnings of this newfound linkage between religious fervor and violent military conquest?  What impact did Crusading have on the cultural, economic, and political development of Europe?  In addition, we will examine the diverse ways in which the Crusades—and, by extension, the Middle Ages more broadly—have been appropriated by subsequent generations, from the 19th century Romantics, to 20th century political scientists, to 21st century filmmakers.  

Crusades
TTH3:30-4:50pm

Instructor(s): Casey Caldwell
English

Description:

This course will consider the relationship between debt and social power as it is developed in major cultural works from Shakespeare to the graphic novel. What kind of power should you have over someone that owes you a debt? Do friends, lovers, enemies incur different kinds of debt? How can a film make debt entertaining? We will grapple with the powerful issues of debt and power, starting with Hamlet and Polonius’ famous advice to “neither a lender nor a borrower be,” and moving onto Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice; Toni Morrison’s Beloved; the graphic novel, The Adventures of Unemployed Man; and the film, The Big Short. By analyzing the power of debt in these works from the sixteenth to twenty-first century, we will challenge our basic assumptions about the role of debt in our lives, and how it defines other bonds like love, friendship, slavery, and disenfranchisement. 

Debt and Power: Hamlet to Graphic Novels
TTH12:30-1:50pm

Instructor(s): Rachel Riedl
Political Science

Description:

The twentieth century witnessed dramatic swings in regime change: including the collapse of European democracies in the interwar period; the turn to military rule in Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s; and the subsequent wave of democratization in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s in many parts of the world, with the striking exception of the Middle East. The contemporary period marks new challenges to democracy around the world, including economic pressures and globalization, institutional design and voting practices, mobile and transnational populations.  We will begin by asking: what is democracy, what does it do, and what are the challenges it creates? We will analyze competing theoretical approaches to regime politics. Structural, agency, and cultural theories will be evaluated against processes of regime change in Western and Eastern Europe, Latin America, MENA, and Africa.

Democracies in the World-Opportunities and Challenges
W2:00-4:50pm

Instructor(s): Robert Gordon
Economics

Description:

World War II was clearly the most important single event of the twentieth century. However, the seeds for World War II were laid in World War I, making it necessary to study both wars. We will study both why these wars occurred and why they turned out the way they did. In asking why wars turned out the way they did, we will emphasize the size and performance of the economies involved, and such issues as why the U.S. and Soviet Union produced so much while Germany produced so little. In the last part of the course, students will have a chance to do independent research on any aspect of World War II which interests them, economic, political or military.

Did Economics Win Two World Wars?
MW3:30-4:50pm

Instructor(s): Michael Allen
History

Description:

In the 1950s and '60s most informed observers agreed that the nation's two major political parties were too similar and agreed on too much. Today the complaint is precisely the opposite--there is too much partisan polarization. This class will examine the causes and consequences of that shift by looking closely at the "extreme makeover" experienced by both leading parties in the long 1970s, a period that began in the mid-1960s and lasted into the early 1980s. In this era the rules and rituals of US politics underwent sweeping changes, as did political coalitions that had remained stable since the 1930s, as growing numbers of Americans pursued goals that seemed impossible to achieve through consensus. This course will examine the most important of those changes and the actors, ideas, and events that propelled them in order to explain how and why consensus gave way to polarity, making extensive use of leading political analysis from the period supplemented by historical interpretations. It will do so against the backdrop of the current moment, and will invite students to consider how past fights inform the debates of today

Extreme Makeover: The End of Consensus and Rise of Polarized Politics
MW3:30-4:50pm

Instructor(s): Deborah Sokolow
Art Theory & Practice

Description:

This seminar will examine the role of drawing within the context of our increasingly high-tech culture. We will discuss how drawing’s definition has evolved over time and look at the decisions contemporary artists make to continue with traditional pencil on paper or to expand the field of drawing by incorporating ever-evolving modes of technology. The course will include slide presentations, assigned readings, group discussions and writing assignments, including a final paper in which students will speculate on the trajectory of drawing by writing a future fictive scenario involving its survival, mutation or extinction. Students will also engage in a few short drawing experiments related to the topics discussed throughout the course. No experience with drawing is necessary to take this seminar.

The Future of Drawing
MW1:00-2:20pm

Instructor(s): Hellen Tilley
History

Description:

To what extent have international legal regimes arisen out of empires? And how does our understanding of empires and global history change when we foreground legal dynamics? This course considers both these questions by exploring the interplay between law and empire around the world over the last three centuries. We will consider how scholars have made sense of legal pluralism and explore its effects on key concepts such as sovereignty, territoriality, and citizenship. We will also examine the ways imperial cultures, and attendant changes in science and technology, have shaped legal definitions of race, indigeneity, witchcraft, and cultural property. Finally, we’ll explore the legal residue of imperial processes, from the codification of “customary law” to invocations of “states of emergency.” Students should be ready to learn about developments in Asia, the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Pacific Island

Global Legal History and Empires
TTH3:30-4:50pm

Instructor(s): Patricia Beddows
Earth & Planetary Sciences

Description:

Global warming represents a massive global experiment with unknown consequences. In this course we will discuss the scientific evidence for modern-day global warming including melting ice sheets, long-term temperature records from ice cores and extreme weather events such as hurricanes. Current trends and the role of human activities will be examined in the context of the geologic record of natural climate variability and the feedbacks inherent in the climate system. Anticipated future impacts include droughts, floods, spread of infectious diseases, drinking water shortages, habitat loss and extinctions. Given these forecasts, strategies for managing the effects of global warming will be assessed. This writing seminar specifically aims to develop effective scientific writing and visual communication for the natural and physical sciences.

Global Warming: Scientific Evidence
TTH11:00am-12:20pm

Instructor(s): Ipek Yosmaoglu
History

Description:

During WWI the Ottoman government was under the control of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). The leadership cadre of CUP enacted a number of measures ostensibly in order to prevent the empire’s Armenian population from collaborating with Russians in the eastern front. Most significant among these measures was the decision to deport the Armenian population of the “critical zones” to a location where they could not act against the Ottoman military. The result was the nearly complete annihilation of the empire’s Armenian population. The commonly accepted term used to describe this tragic event is “genocide.” Yet, this term has been, and continues to be, the source of a great controversy that has occupied Turkish diplomats and Armenian diaspora organizations as well as historians. This course will explore the roots of this controversy. We will read about, and discuss the developments leading up to the events of 1915, and question the role they play in different national narratives of Turks and Armenians

History and Politics of Armenian Genocide
TTH3:30-4:50pm

Instructor(s): Micaela di Leonardo
Anthropology

Description:

In this seminar, students will read about, discuss, write about, and thus gain the intellectual tools to begin to evaluate past and present American urban inequalities—including not only those of class, but also race/ethnicity, gender&sexuality, nationality. We will read across several different academic disciplines and journalism to become familiar with key analytic concepts, methods, and historical phenomena, such as the Great Compression, the War on Poverty, urban regimes, ethnography, political economy. Using them, we will explore arenas of inequality: employment; urban space, housing, migration, and neighborhoods; schooling, criminal justice, the public sphere. We will watch two highly relevant videos. And for one class session, we will host and read work written by noted crusading Chicago Reader journalist Ben Joravsky, an expert on many of these issues in Chicago.

How the 99% Live
T5:00-8:00pm

Instructor(s): Kathleen Carmichael
Writing Program

Description:

Ever since Pentheus’ fatal decision to spy on the revels of Dionysus, audiences have had a guilty fascination with the spectacle of addiction—a fascination which crosses not only centuries but disciplines, captivating scientists, policymakers, philosophers, artists, and laypeople alike. This class will trace the evolution of literary representations of addiction across several centuries, from classical depictions of god-induced madness, through the Gothic narratives of Poe and Stevenson, temperance classics such as Ten Nights in a Barroom (whose impact has often been compared to that of Uncle Tom’s Cabin), to the twentieth- and twenty-first century comedies and confessionals that make the bestseller lists today.  Through these readings and related critical texts, we will examine the ways that such literature provides a staging ground for public controversy and emerging theories about the artistic, cultural, ethical, and scientific significance and ramifications of addiction.

Literatures of Addiction
MW2:00-3:20pm

Instructor(s): Adia Benton
Anthropology

Description:

At the height of the 2013-2016 West African Ebola epidemic, it was often said that the fears of the disease globalized more quickly than the disease itself. These kinds of statements – and the proliferation of official efforts to control Ebola outbreak in West Africa and elsewhere – show the significance of cultural, social, political and economic dimensions of epidemics. This first-year seminar privileges a critical medical anthropology perspective on the dynamics of epidemics: from disease transmission to prevention and control. Together, we will investigate how complex interactions among social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental factors influence the natural history of infectious disease and public health efforts to understand and address them. The seminar focuses on contemporary problems and issues with the explicit purpose of addressing questions of equity and justice.

Modern Plagues
MW12:30-1:50pm

Instructor(s): Michelle McDonough
Biological Sciences

Description:

There are frequent health-related decisions that individuals must make despite not being an expert in the field. Most of us obtain our scientific knowledge about health risks from the internet and other media sources, but, in this wealth of information, it is not always easy to discern good science. Discussions in this course will use selected topics to develop skills to become critical information consumers. Specific topics will focus on modern health concerns and include, but will not be limited to: What are the causes of the current obesity rates?; Should individuals be concerned about consuming genetically modified foods?; Are there benefits to consuming organic foods?; Should antibiotic usage be restricted? At the end of the course, students should be better able to assess the validity or reliability of scientific claims.

Origins of Obesity
MWF2:00-2:50pm

Instructor(s): Gerald Gabrielse
Physics & Astronomy

Description:

Three types of big questions will be considered.  The first are the big questions about the limits and domain of physics. To start, what are the limits and domain of applicability of the classical physics studies studied in high school?  How do these relate to special relativity, quantum mechanics and quantum field theory?  Next, what are some of the big questions that physics seeks to answer.  For example, what is the "standard model" of particle physics and how is it tested?  Other important big questions relate to how physics informs some major challenges to our society.  For example, what does physics say about the options for powering our homes and cars given limited petroleum reserves and the need to reduce carbon dioxide production.  The final set of big questions are about the compatibility or incompatibility of physics and religious faith.  Here we will consider very divergent answers in a climate of respect for what will be big differences in opinion.   

Physics and Big Questions
MW12:30-1:50pm

Instructor(s): Stephen Nelson
Political Science

Description:

Debt and credit are central features of national and global capitalism. When debt and credit markets function well they can be engines of growth; when they malfunction, as in the 2008 financial implosion in the US and the ongoing Eurozone debt crisis, they generate severe crises. In this course we will explore the evolution of instruments, relations, and categories that underpin debt through a political lens. In this seminar we will read and discuss work that examines the politics of debt at three different levels: personal, national, and global.

Politics of Debt
TTH9:30-10:50am

Instructor(s): Paul CaraDonna
Biological Sciences

Description:

This course will focus on developing an understanding of the ecology of plants, pollinators, and their interactions. We will build on this ecological knowledge in order to think critically about the conservation challenges faced by plants and pollinators all across the globe today. Topics in this course will range from plant and pollinator life cycles, pollinator behavior, pollination ecology, pollination as an ecosystem services, and conservation. Emphasis in this course will be on the development of skills in critical reading, interpretation, discussion, and writing for the sciences.

Pollination ecology: from conservation to extinction
TTH3:30-4:50pm

Instructor(s): Nick Davis
English

Description:

Even while it unfolded, the year 1999 earned a reputation as a banner year for Hollywood, witnessing the debuts of several films that connected with audiences and critics while breaking conventional rules of style, theme, and structure. These included American Beauty, a ripely colorful parable about suburban and sexual dysfunction; Being John Malkovich, a surrealist comedy about slipping into a celebrity's body; Boys Don't Cry, an unlikely Oscar winner about a real-life transphobic hate crime; All About My Mother, a happy-sad Spanish melodrama about female friends sustaining each other through hardship and treating life as performance; and Fight Club, a polemical, effects-laden powder keg about masculinity, schizophrenia, and violent anarchism. As it happens, most of this year's freshman class also debuted to the world in 1999. This course seizes that happy coincidence to pursue three serious but rewarding scholarly goals: 1) practicing skills of formal film analysis, learning to “close read” a movie as we would a novel or poem, and to express those readings persuasively in writing and conversation; 2) reading reviews and journalism from 1999 as well as relevant humanities scholarship written earlier and later, to better grasp the themes and social contexts with which these films engaged; and 3) acquiring a credible intellectual perspective on a time period recent enough that we lived through it (barely, in your cases!) but distant enough that we cannot project current attitudes about gender, race, identity, capitalism, etc., onto this earlier and different moment. Students will undertake all these challenges through a menu of integrated writing assignments, short and long, research-based and opinion-driven. They will also contribute prose to a new website teaching public audiences how to write, research, and think about movies. We will resist at every turn the false stereotype that film courses are easy A’s while nonetheless taking deep pleasure in our filmgoing, reading, collaboration, and conversation.

Popular Cinema at the Turn of the 21st Century
MWF1:00-1:50pm

Instructor(s): Elizabeth Hurd
Political Science

Description:

This course will explore the politics of religion in the United States and in U.S. foreign policy both past and present. The terms “at home” and “abroad” in the course title are not taken in the usual sense as referring to inside versus outside U.S. territorial boundaries but rather are themselves subject to interrogation and reconsideration. What and who counts as “home” and what/who counts as “abroad,” how are those determinations made, and by whom? Related axes of discrimination such as domestic/foreign, inside/outside, and self/other will also be considered. This frame will be brought to bear on our understanding of dominant categories that shape discussion at the intersection of religion and politics such as secularism, religion, disestablishment, freedom, diversity, faith and interfaith, pluralism and equality. As a freshman seminar, the course also teaches critical research and writing skills to prepare students for college-level research and writing.

Religion and Politics at Home and Abroad
TTH12:30-1:50pm

Instructor(s): Robert Braun
Sociology

Description:

In this course we will examine one of the most destructive, evil and perplexing phenomena haunting society: genocide - i.e., the on a large scale organized exclusion and killing of populations defined by race, ethnicity, nationality or religion. In the first section of this course students will be introduced to ideational, rational and psychological explanations of genocide. Causes of genocide can be found at different levels of analysis. We will focus on theories at three different levels. First, we will look at how national and international processes such as modernization and political leadership cause genocide (macro level). Second, we will look at why individuals decide to participate in or condone mass killings (micro level). Third, we will look at what role subnational groups such as religious communities play (meso level). In the second part of this course, we will assess the validity of different explanations through the comparative study of three particular cases: the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide and Rwanda. Students will explore a fourth case on their own. We will end the course with a discussion on foreign intervention. Students will improve their analytical skills by drawing connections between social science theory, historical monographs, memoirs of genocide survivors, journalistic accounts, policy documents, documentaries and public debates on foreign intervention. Upon completing the course, students will not only be acquainted with the main types of explanations offered for genocide, but they will also be able to evaluate the evidence supporting the various explanations. In turn, this should help students to develop and evaluate proposals to end and prevent mass killing.

The Roots of Genocide
TTH3:30-4:50pm

Instructor(s): John Bushnell
History

Description:

The Seminar will grapple with the way in which Soviet citizens tried to make sense of what went on around them during the 1930s, a decade in which several million peasants died after their farms were collectivized, millions of innocent people wre sent to forced labor in the Gulag prison camps, and another million or so were executed for political crimes they did not actually commit. We will read documents, diaries, memoirs, and fiction written during the 1930s but not published until much later. 

Stalinism
TTH9:30-10:50am

Instructor(s): Kara Johnson
English

Description:

Many of our favorite childhood stories and tales feature someone’s body magically shrinking or growing in scale. For instance, Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland shrinks to the size of a mouse one moment, and in another literally outgrows the size of a house. Despite the apparent innocence of narratives such as Alice’s, many scholars have theorized these bodies in space, and their drastic changes in scale. In this course, we will place children’s tales alongside literature with an existential bent – such as Kafka’s “Metamorphosis,” in which the protagonist is transformed into a gigantic cockroach – in order to examine how the shrinking and growing body manifests in a range of literary genres. These texts, in turn, will allow us to explore different theoretical approaches that take tininess and giganticness to task—including psychoanalytic theory, feminist theory, disability studies, Marxist theory, and queer theory. We will test these frameworks against our readings, and ask: how, and why, is difference in scale so rife with theoretical interpretations? And, why are these narratives so important, to not only these theorists but also—potentially—to our everyday lives?

The Tiny, The Gigantic
TTH9:30-10:50am

Instructor(s): Michelle Molina
Religious Studies

Description:

In this course, we will explore the ways that global Christianity laid the groundwork for European ideas about diversity and tolerance. The aim of the course is to understand how the historically contingent confrontations with religious diversity were foundational to, and indeed, shaped the terms of the development of modern assumptions not only about religious tolerance, but also about tolerance of cultural diversity broadly speaking. One of the primary learning goals for students is to 1) gain the skills to interpret primary texts in order to 2) understand how the category of "religious" difference, while not disappearing, eventually ceded primacy of place to notions of "cultural" and "racial" differences by the end of the first era of globalization such that 3) all of these terms became foundational to understandings about the nature of human diversity, not only in the era of the European Enlightenment (18th century) but also today, as we continue to fight our own "culture wars" about difference and diversity. We will treat the European religious wars following the Reformation, but given that the primary aim of the course is to historicize the perceived possibilities and limits of "tolerance" in a global context, the bulk of the readings will demonstrate how ideas about human "sameness" and "difference" emerged from face-to-face encounters and conflicts in the first era of globalization. The course will foreground the entangled histories of early modern missionary encounters as the ground for working out ideas about how one ought to think about religious diversity in the global world and how modern ideas about tolerance emerged from early modern debates about what religious differences might be tolerated and which were "idolatrous." Accordingly, the course takes as its starting point the history of European expansion into the Americas and Asia under the Iberian Empires in the 15th century. Christian explorers and missionaries evaluated "difference" in terms of "idolatry" and "superstition." Idolatry was to be extirpated, but "superstition" led to the development of concepts about "cultural differences" that might be tolerated, laying the groundwork for what we think of today as "cultural relativism." 

Tolerance: A Global History
TTH3:30-4:50pm

Instructor(s): Emily Haynes
Anthropology

Description:

Professional wrestling is often disparaged as “fake” and its fans are seen as dim-witted, low-class rednecks. But in many ways professional wrestling reflects the society in which it is created and enjoyed. This class looks at wrestling in a variety of contexts, including the United States, Mexico, Japan, India, and Bolivia, to examine what we might learn about broader social contexts from this form of pop culture. Taking an anthropological eye to wrestling, we will examine issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and citizenship through ethnographic accounts of various forms of exhibition wrestling. The course will teach students basic anthropological concepts, critical observation and thinking, as well as research and writing techniques. 

Wrestling
TTH12:30-1:50pm
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