Fall 2016
Brock Scholars Seminars


UHON 3520 (47276) – Topics in Literature (3 credit hours)
UHON 3530 (47277) – Topics in Thought, Values, and Beliefs (3 credit hours)
(course may be registered under either number, not both; credit awarded for only one)
The Idea of Love in Italian and English Renaissance Literature
TR 10:50–12:05

Dr. Bryan Hampton

This interdisciplinary course will explore the thorny relationship between lover and beloved in medieval and Renaissance literature, principally through the work of two figures, one Italian and the other English: Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) and John Donne (1572-1631). Students will consider how Michelangelo and Donne depict the struggle and negotiate the differences between rival forms of love—youthful infatuation and dangerous obsession, promiscuous conquest and abiding love, and earthly desire and divine devotion—as they inherit and transform the tradition from its medieval roots.


UHON 3540 (47278) – Topics in Visual and Performing Arts (3 credit hours)
Post-War British Masculinities
MW 5:30–7:30 

Dr. James Arnett

What makes Colin Firth so foppishly charming? How did David Bowie manage to turn all of us on? How do we read the body of David Beckham? From teddy boys to dreads, from angry young men to punks, the wide range of post-WWII British masculinities and masculine styles and personas will be investigated and discussed in this class. We will be reading a dense mixture of films, plays, television shows, novels, albums and images in order to get to the bottom of what forces shape, influence, alter and proscribe cultural expressions of British masculinity. The class will be shaped by threads and methodologies from feminism, queer theory, psychoanalysis, and Marxism. Should you stay or should you go? Put on those red shoes and dance the blues, or just paint it black; it’ll be a long day’s night, but never mind those bollocks – everything’s gonna be alright! 

UHON 3550 (47279) – Topics in Behavioral and Social Sciences (3 credit hours)
UHON 3590 (47282) – Topics in Non-Western Cultures (3 credit hours)
(course may be registered under either number, not both; credit awarded for only only one)
Global Humanitarianism
TR 1:40-2:55

Dr. Jessica Auchter

Work with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and global forms of volunteerism are key career choices for many students contemplating their futures, and questions of global social justice motivate individuals’ economic, social, cultural, and political choices. This seminar will explore how institutions, governments, and individuals identify humanitarian issues. If an individual is concerned about global justice, and the plight of those suffering from poverty, hunger, displacement, and violence, what can be done at the individual level, and what can and is being done by various organizations? What are the obstacles to various forms of global aid? How can we evaluate their effectiveness? How do we make decisions surrounding the best type of humanitarian intervention? Our readings will explore the role and politics of charitable, philanthropic, and religious organizations, and international peacekeeping and aid efforts. We will examine decisions surrounding significant military humanitarian interventions and quieter interventions that often receive less media attention. The course ultimately surveys how humanitarian work has become a strong political force in today’s world.

UHON 3560 (47280) – Topics in the Natural Sciences (Non-Lab):
Biology, Medicine, and Public Health
MW 3:25–4:40

Dr. Clifton Cleaveland

The secular practice of medicine, freed of magic and superstition, began in Ancient Greece and proceeded for centuries with little scientific basis. Much later, discoveries in anatomy and biology provided vital insights into the mechanisms of disease in individuals. The study of epidemics in the 19th century extended medicine's concerns to entire populations. This seminar will link biology with individual and population health and illness. Topics to be studied will include infectious diseases from plague to Zika virus, violence, malignant diseases, environmental, nurtional and occupational health, and psychiatric disorders. This seminar should be especially useful for students planning careers in medicine, nursing, public health, physical therapy, and pharmacology. Any student curious about mechanisms and prevention of illness should find the course helpful.

UHON 3570 (48067) – Topics in Mathematics
Logic, Graph Theory, and Social Networks
MWF 12:00–12:50

Dr. Lucas van der Merwe

A study of graph theory that attempts to explain some of the complexities of physical and social 
networks. In this setting, a graph is simply a collection of points called vertices, together with
some or all of the connections between these vertices, called edges. An edge between two vertices
indicates some well­defined relationship between these vertices; for example, in the Facebook
graph, vertices represent people, and an edge between two vertices indicates that they are friends.
We will study graph parameters such as, connectivity, edge density, degree sequence, and others.
We will also look at different types of graphs including trees, cycles, complete graphs, and
subgraphs. To better facilitate understanding of these ideas, introductory concepts of logic and set
theory are presented early in this course.

Spring 2016

UHON 3510 – Topics in Historical Understanding:
La Dolce Vita: A Socio-Cultural History of Food in Italy and the United States

TR 10:50–12:05
Dr. Salvatore Musumeci

This course will examine the relationship between food and culture in Italy and the United States. Topics include: the commutation of different foods and culinary traditions in antiquity as instances of cultural and economic exchange; medieval and early modern beliefs about intellectual, spiritual, and physical aptitudes associated with diet and consumption rituals; and regional cuisine as a mark of cultural identity. We will also discuss Italian and Italian-American cuisine as the reflection of related, yet very different, cultures. 


UHON 3540 – Topics in Visual and Performing Arts:
Collaborative Creation: Theatre Offstage

MWF 11:00-11:50
Professor Gaye Jeffers

A seminar offering an alternative approach to creating theatre that focuses on fact-finding interviews and community-based research as a means of examining global concerns and political issues. The creation of an original performance piece, relying on the participants as the central impetus of ideas, will utilize methods that encourage storytelling in collaboration, while exploring process,form and theory. Previous experience in theatre is not required.


UHON 3550 – Topics in Behavioral and Social Sciences:
Terrorism and the Media

MW 2:00–3:15
Dr. Michael McClusky

This interdisciplinary course investigates the interplay between terrorism around the world and communication about terrorism. Modern terrorism can be seen as a form of strategic communication in which media, especially news media, amplify messages about terrorism to a world-wide audience, influencing audience perceptions about the world. The course will focus on how news and entertainment media portray terrorism and terrorists, and the effects of terrorism and media portrayal of terrorism on the public and public policy.


UHON 3565 – Topics in Natural Sciences (Lab):
The History of Evolutionary Thought

TR 9:25–10:40 (lecture); T 1:40–4:30 (lab)
Dr. Timothy Gaudin

A study of the historical and scientific origin of the Theory of Evolution and Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection, along with their important conceptual precursors, including the significance of fossils, the reality of Extinction, and the discovery of “Deep Time,” through an analysis of historical and scientific texts, among them Darwin’s The Origin of Species. Additional topics to be considered will include Human Evolution and the modern Creationism/Evolution controversy.  Course includes a required laboratory, which will provide hands-on exercises related to the course content, along with several required field trips.


UHON 3590 – Topics in Non-Western Cultures:
African Women Writers and Feminist Discourse

TR 3:05–4:20
Dr. Immaculate Kizza

What exactly is African Feminism? How is it similar and different from mainstream Feminism? Why do African women distance themselves from mainstream Feminism? What is its agenda and how is that agenda advocated? What is its effect and influence on African cultural traditions and women's lives? Is it a viable, relevant, sustainable ideology in the 21st.C and beyond? In this seminar, we will explore those issues and many more, first by immersing ourselves in the pertinent theoretical scholarship, and second by actively participating in the discourse on African women writers' texts presumed to be pivotal to this ideology.