2014 Courses

January 6 – 17, 2014

COLL 209.  Hartford Then and Now: Time-Traveling Our Neighborhood

Students will visit historical and cultural sites in and around Hartford, and talk to museum staff, non-profit directors, cemetery superintendents (lots of history in a cemetery!), librarians and other caretakers of our city. We will also interview civic leaders and everyday citizens, collecting observations, memories, predictions, and more. And that’s only the first week! The second week will be collating all this information and developing photographic, video, and written presentations.  Professor Robert Peltier.  Enrollment Limit: 12 students.

Week One:  Monday-Friday, 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m
Week Two:  Monday-Tuesday, 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. and Thursday, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.


COLL 216.  Culture, Conflict, and Competition: Sports in American Society

This course addresses the issues and controversies surrounding sports in American society. We will study the history of sport in an effort to better understand contemporary sports.  Students will be asked to consider the social context of sport in relation to gender, race, ethnicity, and class.  We’ll analyze current data claiming that a divide between academics and athletics threatens the traditional values of college sports.  We will establish an understanding of why sport is a major force in shaping the quality and character of American culture and how we might enhance this framework.  Professor Robin Sheppard.  Enrollment Limit: 15 students.

Week One: Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Week Two: Monday-Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


COLL 301.  Health Care Access and Inequalities in the Americas

This course will explore issues surrounding access to health care comparing two different settings—Hartford and Nicaragua. Looking at the historical contexts of health care delivery systems, we will explore issues of changing political realities and their impact on health care delivery. In Nicaragua, we will meet with policy makers, providers and stakeholders to better understand obstacles to access and equity and attempts at impacting health care. While in Nicaragua we will observe health care services provided in maternal child health and we will meet with key members of the health care community and the government who deal with infant and maternal mortality. Students will prepare a report of their experiences with suggestions for change informed by their studies of both countries.  Professor Sarah Raskin. Enrollment limit: 15 students.  Additional fees associated with travel to Nicaragua not included; please contact Prof. Raskin for details. 

Exact schedule to be determined after students enroll:
January 9-17 (approximate dates of travel to Nicaragua)


HIST 203.  Soccer, Race & Nationalism

In the summer of 2014 Brazil will host a new edition of FIFA’s World Cup of soccer, a month-long tournament involving 32 nations from across the globe that will draw a cumulative television audience exceeding 25 billion. Therefore, the moment is very opportune to examine the historical and contemporary interplay between national identities and nationalism in soccer at the national, regional and international levels. Special attention will be paid to issues of race, ethnicity, globalization, migration and transnationalism, topics that have become more salient in recent decades as growing migration flows, particularly from Africa and Latin America to Europe and the United States, have transformed the racial and ethnic profile of both professional and national teams in Western countries.  Professor Luis Figueroa. Enrollment limit: 15 students.

Schedule:  M-F, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.


LACS 233.  The Godfather: The Art of Hard Choices

The Godfather films (I and II) are narrative masterpieces that provide many insights into the interplay of character and culture in decision-making in high-stakes situations outside the law.  We will interpret the films as illustrations of strategic interaction in stylized mafia settings.  Specific topics are the relationship between narrative fiction and reality; motivations and behavior; the mafia’s code of honor; private protection and extortion; vice markets; corruption; and the prisoner’s dilemma.  The course has an experimental hybrid format: 8 seminar classes (50 minutes each) and 12 online class units.  Assessment is based on three assignments: 1) a paper (1,500 words) on a topic to be chosen in consultation with the instructor; 2) a seminar report; and 3) seminar participation.  The paper and the report require analysis of film clips in the spirit of the syllabus. Professor John Alcorn.  Enrollment limit: 14 students. 

Schedule:  Regular meetings times, MW 10:00-11:50.  Plus four 30-minute synchronous online classes via WebEx, schedule to be determined according to overall schedules of students who enroll.


MUSC 183.  Music in the 1960s

This is a survey course that explores the kaleidoscope of music in the 1960s. We will consider the following music and performers: the Beatles, Motown, Bob Dylan, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and music in the protest movements of the period. Students will listen to a lot of music, both in and outside the classroom, read a range of articles that situate the music in its social and political contexts, and write short responses to the assigned reading and listening.  Professor Gail Woldu.  Enrollment limit: 19 students.

Schedule:  M-F 1:15-3:15


MUSC 184.  Atlanta, 1913, and Parade

In 1913, Leo Frank, a Jewish northerner recently moved to Atlanta, was falsely convicted of killing a girl who worked in the factory where he was superintendent. The death sentence was subsequently reduced to life imprisonment, but an angry mob tore Frank from his cell and lynched him. The story is recounted in the musical Parade, as well as in various books, articles, movies, and TV shows that we will examine, with a eye to the many political, religious, sociological, and racial issues (Frank was convicted largely on the basis of a black man’s testimony, an anomaly in the South) raised by the case. As a result of the lynching, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith was founded, and the Ku Klux Klan was reborn.  Professor Gerald Moshell.  Enrollment limit: 19 students.  

Schedule:  Week Two only: M-F, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.


RHET 126.  Writing about Place

This is a writing workshop.  Students will write and extensively revise two formal, creative-nonfiction essays incorporating serious reflection as well as description of places.  They will keep an intensive daily journal recording their past and present experiences of places, and will develop an appreciation of the craft and perspectives involved in place writing by reading a series of essays by Annie Dillard, Alain de Botton, and others.  Professor Irene Papoulis.  Enrollment Limit:  15 students. 

Schedule:  M-F, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.


SOCL 215.  Reproductive Justice in America

Women of color, poor women, and young women routinely lack choices in reproductive health because of inequalities built into the structure of society. We will read academic literature on the reproductive justice movement and press coverage of cases that highlight the restriction of women’s reproductive health choices. For example, we will study cases of women arrested for using drugs during pregnancy, denied access to contraception and/or abortion, having parental rights terminated because they chose to give birth at home, or imprisoned for attempting suicide while pregnant. We will also examine organizations that focus on solutions to these problems. The course will end with a field trip to the New York City office of National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW), one such organization.  Professor Theresa Morris.  Enrollment limit: 15 students.  Additional Fee:  $100.


Week Two only:  M-R, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; and F (NYC trip), 7:45 a.m.-5:30 p.m.