Curriculum Spring 2007

College of Arts and Sciences

Department: Art (Classics Program)
Instructor: Michael Werner
Course: (A CLA 250H)

Description: Imperialism and the Defense of the Roman Empire: The Archaeological Context of Ancient History. Description:  The central theme of the course will be Roman imperialism as it was manifested in the acquisition, maintenance and defense of a geographically extensive, multi-ethnic Mediterranean empire which endured for more than 500 years. Although background materials in Roman studies will be provided, the development of the thematic study will be accomplished through a specific regional examination of the historical data and archaeological remains pertaining to the Roman provincial capital and legionary base at Viminacium on the northern frontier of the Roman empire. The course is intended to provide an introduction to the study of ancient history and Roman civilization through the analysis of ancient texts and archaeological evidence. Interpretations of primary evidence will be presented through the works of modern scholars in the discipline. Students will engage in research during the semester in three areas: analysis and interpretation of translated ancient opinions on imperialism, warfare and colonialism; response to modern authors on the same Roman subjects; presentation of a research project on some aspect of Roman archaeology which can inform on the spread of Roman culture (acculturation and ethnic identification as part of the Romanization process). Students will also be able to directly explore the use of GIS systems in organizing and presenting archaeological and historical data. Disciplinary methodologies in both historical and archaeological research will be emphasized. Included among the subfields of the disciplines of history and archaeology will be critical evaluation of textual sources, epigraphy, numismatics, ceramic analysis.

General Education: Humanities, Europe

East Asian Studies
Charles Hartmann
Course: Traditional China and Its Modern Fate (A EAS 105H)

Description: The goal of this course is to introduce the major social, intellectual, and political components of pre-modern China and to describe the changes to those components that have occurred in China since the beginning of the 20th century. This course will require a significant amount of reading, concentrating on primary sources. Learning methodologies will be 50% lecture and 50% guided discussion of assigned reading material.

General Education: Humanities, Regions Beyond Europe

Instructor: Carolyn Yalkut
Course: Introduction to Creative Writing (A ENG 102H)

Description:  In this workshop, which introduces students to the techniques of dramatic writing, each student functions primarily as a dramatist, but also as audience and actor. Students write in various styles and techniques, give onstage readings of and discuss each other's work, revise scenes and, for the final project, finish a one-act play.

General Education: Arts, Writing Intensive

Rachel Jean-Baptiste
Course: The World in the Twentieth Century (A HIS 158H)

Description:  The course explores the tremendous social, political, cultural and economic changes of the twentieth century from a global perspective. The course draws upon four themes—nationalism and the state, colonization and decolonization, science and technology, war and conflict—that have been points of connection and contention in the modern world. The course cannot cover the entire world, but will focus on select case studies from the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Nevertheless, the course aims to introduce students to a broad variety of peoples, nations, ideologies, and political systems. Each week focuses on a particular date in the twentieth century and how the events on this date signify historical transformations.

The course not only explores the who, what, when, and where of history, but the question of how societies remember and interpret history. Course readings will include varied primary and secondary source materials— newspapers, political speeches, memoirs, novels, and films. Students will develop critical thinking skills by analyzing and interpreting these sources. Through classroom discussions and writing assignments, students will also develop oral and written communications skills. In addition to a textbook, course readings will include texts from varied world historical perspectives. The first class meeting of each week will consist of a lecture that provides a broad historical outline. In the second class meeting of each week, course participants will discuss and analyze assigned texts. Active participation in class discussion will be expected of all students.

General Education: Global

Latin American, Caribbean, and US Latino Studies Instructor: Patricia Pinho
Course: Afro-Latin America (A LCS 203H)

Description:  The objective of this course is to conduct an in-depth study of blackness in Latin America by examining aspects of its history and contemporary dynamics. Employing theories from Anthropology, Sociology, and Cultural Studies, we will analyze the inclusion of peoples of African descent in national identities and discourses. We will examine both those countries, such as Brazil and Cuba, which highlight the presence of blacks in their narratives of the nation, as well as such countries as Argentina and Mexico, which overlook the participation of Afro-descendants in the construction of their national discourses. We will study the "myths of foundation" of Latin American nations, such as "racial democracy" in Brazil, "transculturation" in Cuba, and the 'cosmic race' in Mexico, and how these myths are connected to ideas of gender, race, mestizaje (race and cultural mixing), blackness and whiteness. We will also assess the relationship blacks and other ethnic groups within Latin American nations.

General Education: Regions Beyond Europe, Oral Discourse

Instructor: TBA
Course: Honors Calculus II (A MAT 119H)

Description:  Honors version of second semester calculus. Same topics as A Mat 113, but topics are covered in greater depth. This course is for students with more than average ability and more than average interest in mathematics. Presidential Scholars with a strong interest in mathematics or the physical sciences should consider taking A Mat 119 instead of A Mat 113. A Mat 119 substitutes for A Mat 113 toward the prerequisite in any course. Only one of A Mat 113 & 119 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): A Mat 118, a grade of A in A Mat 112, or permission of the instructor.

General Education: Mathematics and Statistics

Music and Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Instructor: Max Lifchitz
Course: Latin American Music and Society (A LCS/MUS 216H)

Description: Today's Latin America is home to rich and varied musical manifestations. Some are clearly connected to ancient Pre-Hispanic traditions. Others are newer, syncretic products which evidence autochthonous thinking and also combine to some degree European, African and even North-American influences. The course will deal with examples of native music; musical genres that are clearly based on European forms; dance music that exhibits strong African ties; and mestizo music that is an amalgam of the above mentioned elements. It will also examine the definitive Latin American elements in the nationalistic works of such 20th century composers as Carlos Chvez, Alberto Ginastera, Silvestre Revueltas and Heitor Villa-Lobos.

Learning activities are built around writing and research projects involving music and other disciplines including anthropology, economics, and political science. Furthermore, students enrolled in the writing intensive section are required to complete an extensive research paper.

General Education: Arts or Humanities, Regions Beyond Europe, Writing Intensive

Instructor: Robert Rosellini
Course: Advanced Introduction to Psychology (A PSY 102H)

Description:  The course explores in greater detail than in A PSY 101 the basic methods and points of view in the scientific study of human behavior. Topics include biological bases of behavior, personality organization, intelligence, motivation, emotions, learning, and social relations. This course is intended for students who have more than average interest in psychology and who are considering becoming psychology majors. Only one of A Psy 101 or 102 may be taken for credit.

General Education: Social Sciences

School of Computing and Information

Department: Information Studies
Instructors: Tom Mackey and Terry Maxwell
Course: Social and Community Informatics (IIST 250H)

Description:  This course examines information technology from a social and community informatics perspective. According to Rob Kling (1999) social informatics is "the interdisciplinary study of the design, uses and consequences of information technologies that takes into account their interaction with institutional and cultural contexts." Through appropriate readings in the field of information science, as well as in-class discussions, a field study observation, and community service project, we will explore a range of technologies that have implications on individual identity, society, and policy development. Students will analyze such current topics as Social Software (web logs, wikis, and online communities), Information Ethics, Internet Security, Copyright and Intellectual Property, and the Digital Divide.

Students will be required to maintain a weekly blog, utilize RSS feeds for research, develop and maintain a collaborative online community (through an online wiki or other software application), conduct a field study observation, write a research paper, develop two presentations, and produce a final digital media project based on a semester-length community service experience.

At the start of the semester students will conduct a field study to observe the way technology is used in a real world setting and to determine a specific need for additional support at the institution. As a follow-up to the field study, students will volunteer their time at this site to provide technical assistance or community service based on this pre-defined need. Students may choose to work as tutors at a local community center or library, researchers at a state agency, docents at a local museum, or instructors at an on-campus or off-campus organization providing basic information technology and/or information literacy training. The field study observation and community service project will be developed by students in association with the course instructor and community partners.

Although interdisciplinary in nature this course will fulfill the University at Albany's General Education disciplinary perspective for the Social Sciences. In addition, the writing, research, and presentation requirements will fulfill the University at Albany General Education Requirements for Communication/Reasoning, specifically Information Literacy and Oral Discourse.

General Education: Social Sciences, Information Literacy, Oral Discourse