Fall 2018 First Year Seminars

 

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AMERICAN STUDIES

AMST 055H.001 | Birth and Death in the United States

TR, 11:00AM – 12:15PM. Instructor(s): Tim Marr. Enrollment = 24.

This course explores birth and death as essential human rites of passage impacted by changing American historical and cultural contexts. Since both remain defining life events beyond experiential recall, studying them in interdisciplinary ways opens powerful insights into how culture mediates the construction of bodies and social identities. Readings and assignments are designed to study changing anthropological rituals, medical procedures, scientific technologies, and ethical quandaries. We will also explore a variety of representations of birth and death in literary expression, film, and material culture as well as in hospitals, funeral homes, and cemeteries.

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.

Timothy Marr is Associate Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of American Studies, where since 2000 he has taught courses on mating and marriage, captivity, cultural memory, Muslim American literature and cultures, and tobacco. His research interests include the life and works of Herman Melville and American approaches to Islam and Muslims.

ANTHROPOLOGY

ANTH 053H.037 | Darwin’s Dangerous Idea

TR, 9:30AM – 10:45AM. Instructor(s): Paul Leslie. Enrollment = 24.

Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is central to one of the most profound revolutions in the history of thought, generating stunning insights but also some misunderstanding and tragic abuse. This seminar aims to provide a clear understanding of how natural selection works, and how it doesn’t. We will examine objections to the theory; how the environmental and health problems we face today reflect processes of natural selection; and recent attempts to understand why we get sick, how we respond to disease, why we get old, why we choose mates the way we do, and more. Class sessions will feature a mix of lecture and discussion of concepts and issues. Students will also engage in small group projects—cooperative explorations of problems raised in class or in the readings and/or designing mini research projects.

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.

Paul Leslie’s professional interests focus on human ecology, and he has pursued this primarily through research among nomadic peoples in East Africa. His most recent project entails studying (while nursing an aged Land Rover across the African savanna) human-environment interactions in northern Tanzania, especially how the changing land use and livelihood patterns of the Maasai people living there affect and are affected by wildlife and conservation efforts. When not teaching or practicing anthropology, he enjoys bicycling, motorcycling, woodworking, and jazz.

 

ANTH 066H.001 | Saving the World? Humanitarianism in Action

MWF, 11:15AM – 12:05PM. Instructor(s): Peter Redfield. Enrollment = 24.

What happens when people try to “do good”, especially at a global scale? In this seminar we will explore international aid, with an emphasis on its medical end and the set of organizations and institutions that exist to offer assistance to people suffering from disaster, endemic poverty and health disparities. The current aid complex includes a wide variety of forms and activities, from large bureaucracies to tiny NGOs, massive health campaigns to lonely clinics. We will approach this phenomenon from the critical and comparative perspective of anthropology, focusing on actual human practice. Which forms of suffering receive international attention, and which do not? How do money and services flow and stop relative to inequality? What range of outcomes do different aid projects produce?

Over the semester we will engage in two collective endeavors. First, to better situate current problems, we will review the background history of humanitarianism and development, including colonial missions as well as state oriented projects of social welfare. Thus equipped, we will then examine a number of case studies. During this section of the course students will engage in research projects, exploring specific examples in greater depth.

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.

Peter Redfield is Professor of Anthropology. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his doctorate from U.C. Berkeley. His specialty concerns relations between science, technology and society, particularly in post-colonial settings. He also teaches courses on human rights and humanitarianism, and recently completed a book project on the organization Doctors Without Borders.


ART HISTORY

ARTH 052H.001 | Druid Cultures

TR, 8:00AM – 9:15AM. Instructor(s): Dorothy Hoogland Verkerk. Enrollment = 20.

The Druids have intrigued the non-Celtic world since Julius Caesar. They have also enjoyed a revival in the 18th century and, more recently, in the 20th century. There are no original documents written by the ancient Druids themselves, only texts written by outsiders who often had a specific agenda to fulfill. The lack of verifiable information about the Druids allows for them to be romanticized at different times and for different reasons. They are virtually a tabula rasa on which can be written any narrative. Thus, the study of how Druids are portrayed give a great deal of information and insight into how they are depicted. The seminar will explore the question of whether we can define an iconography of Druidry. Is there a definable iconography? What are its origins or inspirations? How has it evolved?

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.

Dorothy Hoogland Verkerk received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Her area of specialization is in early medieval art, and her research interests include the interplay between images and texts in early medieval manuscripts, particularly the ways in which images interpret the meanings of texts through visual references to extra-textual elements such as popular sermons, liturgical rites, political necessities, and catechisms. Also, she is interested in the fluid and diverse iconography found in early Christian catacombs and sarcophagi, with rich references to death rituals. She has also explored Irish high crosses as potential sculptural responses to pilgrimage to Rome.


CLASSICS

CLAS 073H.001 | Life in Ancient Pompeii

MWF, 10:10AM – 11:00AM. Instructor(s): Hérica Valladares. Enrollment = 24.

Ancient Pompeii, the city whose life was snuffed out by a volcanic eruption almost 2000 years ago, has captured the imagination of multitudes since its rediscovery in the late 18th century. In this seminar we will explore the history and archaeology of this ancient city with the goal of better understanding daily life in the early Roman empire. How did ancient Pompeians spend their days? What were their houses like? Who ran the city and how were they elected? How did Pompeians cope with the various challenges of city life, such as sanitation and traffic jams? The course proceeds topically, moving from an exploration of the city’s public spaces to an analysis of more private domains—Pompeian houses, gardens and tombs.  Although the city’s material remains will be the primary focus of our study, we will also consider evidence from literature, epigraphy and 18th and 19th-century publications.  The impact of the rediscovery of Pompeii in the 18th century on the development of archaeology as a discipline will be one of our final topics of discussion. We will also consider the reception of Pompeii in contemporary popular culture.

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.

Hérica Valladares is an art historian who specializes in the study of imperial Rome and ancient Campania. She has traveled extensively and conducted research in Italy, Turkey and North Africa. Prof. Valladares is the author of numerous articles on Roman wall painting. She is currently working on a book on the representation of love scenes in Roman art and literature.


COMPUTER SCIENCE

COMP 060H.001 | Robotics with LEGO

TR, 2:00PM – 3:15PM. Instructor(s): Henry Fuchs. Enrollment = 24.

This seminar explores the process of design and the nature of computers by designing, building, and programming LEGO® robots. Competitions to evaluate various robots are generally held at the middle and/or at the end of the semester. Previous programming experience is not required. Assignments will typically take one to two weeks, each building on previously constructed robot and making one that will perform a more complex task. Early robots will follow black race course routes or run through mazes constructed on the floor of the robotics laboratory. Later “robots” will play simple games with human users. Others robots will play simple soccer games, remotely controlled by human handlers. Most assignments will include a written report, as well as a demonstration of a working robot and a listing of its computer program.

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.

Henry Fuchs is the Federico Gil Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Fuchs is a co-director, with Nadia Thalmann of NTU Singapore and Markus Gross of ETH Zurich, of the NTU-ETH-UNC “BeingThere” International Research Centre for Tele-Presence and Tele-Collaboration. In 1975 he received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Utah. He has been active in computer graphics since the 1970s, with rendering algorithms (BSP Trees), hardware (Pixel-Planes and PixelFlow), virtual environments, tele-immersion systems and medical applications. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the ACM, recipient of the 1992 ACM-SIGGRAPH Achievement Award and recipient of the IEEE VGTC 2013 Virtual Reality Career Award.

 

COMP 089H.001 | Gerrymandering

TR, 9:30AM – 10:45AM. Instructor(s): Diane Pozefsky. Enrollment = 24.

The course will explore a topic that has become a political flashpoint in recent years. Defined as the manipulation of district boundaries to benefit a political party or demographic, there are pending court cases in numerous states, including North Carolina. One of the problems is in defining whether gerrymandering has occurred and there are a number of different technological approaches to defining it. The holy grail, however, is to find a way to prevent it. We will explore the problems introduced by gerrymandering and explore the technologies proposed to identify and prevent it. We will use real political maps to do these evaluations and will propose new approaches that we think should be explored.

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.

Diane Pozefsky received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from UNC and spent twenty-five years at IBM, where she was named an IBM Fellow. She has worked in technologies from networking and mobile computing to software engineering; she especially enjoyed working at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. She is heavily involved in encouraging students to consider careers in science and engineering. Her family includes her husband, a daughter who is an environmental specialist for the federal government ,and one remaining geriatric cat. One of her passions is travel; she has visited every continent and Madagascar and is now working her way through the national parks.


DRAMATIC ART

DRAM 081H.001 | Staging America: The American Drama

TR, 2:00PM – 3:15PM. Instructor(s): Greg Kable. Enrollment = 24.

This seminar examines our national drama from its colonial origins to the present. Participants read plays and criticism, screen videos, engage in critical writing, and consider performance as related means of exploring the visions and revisions constituting American dramatic history. We will approach American drama as both a literary and commercial art form, and look to its history to provide a context for current American theater practice. Readings are chosen for their intrinsic merit and historical importance, but also for their treatment of key issues and events in American life. Our focus throughout will be on the forces that shaped the American drama as well as, in turn, that drama’s ability to shed light on the national experience.

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.

Gregory Kable is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Dramatic Art, where he teaches dramatic literature, theatre history, and performance courses and serves as an Associate Dramaturg for PlayMakers Repertory Company. He also teaches seminars on Modern British Drama and American Musicals for the Honors program. He has directed dozens of productions at UNC and throughout the local community, and is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.

 

DRAM 087H.001 | Style: A Mode of Expression

TR, 12:30PM – 1:45PM. Instructor(s): McKay Coble. Enrollment = 24.

This seminar studies the elements of design in their pure form and in context, surveys a history of period styles and theatre, and identifies their causes.

Consider Oscar Wilde’s statement from The Decay of Living 1889:

“Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life. This results not merely from Life’s imitative instincts, but from the fact that the self conscious aim of Life is to find expression, and that Art offers it certain beautiful forms through which it may realize that energy…”

Do you agree or disagree? Art and design have frequently shown the inner life of humankind throughout history better than political, intellectual or social history. While a period’s style is seldom defined by the everyday choices of everyday people and is most often recorded in the works of artists, writers and intellectuals we must recognize the “times” as a major motivator for all stylistic choices. Even minor arts reflect major events.

We will study the elements of design as they exist in their pure form; a “tool box” of elements available to artists and practice the principles to which design is bound. We will survey a history of period styles, period theatre and identify their causes. We will explore one period’s style as a foundation for the next and dispel the Star Trek premise that future styles will only reflect the future.

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.

I teach design, both scenic and costume for the theatre and the history of material culture. I fell in love with the power of choice as far as visuals are concerned early in my career as a Carolina student and have never turned back. I am a professor in the Department of Dramatic Art and am a resident designer for PlayMakers Repertory Company. I use the many and varied artistic venues on campus as co-instructors and we will be visiting them together. You will likely join me on a design journey as I created the scenery for a production for PRC and you will have the opportunity to see the process and product.


ENGLISH

ENGL 055H.001 | Reading and Writing Women’s Lives

TR, 12:30PM – 1:45PM. Instructor(s): Jane Danielewicz. Enrollment = 20.

How do our lives become stories? This simple question provokes writers to produce autobiographies or memoirs or biographies. This honors seminar narrows the scope, focusing on contemporary stories that involve personal and lived experience by and about women. Not only will we be reading autobiographical stories and theories that describe women’s experience, but we will also try producing creative nonfiction ourselves. What stories will students—as women or as men—tell about their lives? Students will be challenged to investigate questions of self and identity by composing (using traditional written or new media formats) four genres of life writing during the course: autobiography, autoethnography, biography, and personal essay. Students will learn the research methods involved in life writing. The seminar will be conducted daily as a workshop to promote interactive, experiential learning. Students will be organized into working groups to facilitate community building. Published authors will visit the class. Students will publish their work through public readings and on-line venues.

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.

Although she is an English professor, Jane Danielewicz is curious about almost all fields, from plant biology and architecture, to American history and literature.  She can’t help but live the life of the mind and is a passionate reader, writer, and teacher.  At UC Berkeley, her graduate education focused on linguistics and literacy, writing and rhetoric. Professor Danielewicz’s work at UNC continues in this vein.  She investigates the nature of written language, the teaching of writing, and forms of creative non-fiction.  Her special interest is in life-writing, particularly the study of contemporary American memoir.  She is proud to have been named the Richard Grant Hiskey Distinguished Professor in Research and Undergraduate Teaching.  She has twice received the J. Carlyle Sitterson Freshman Teaching Award and has a particular affinity for working with first-year students. She enjoys creating assignments that tempt students to push the envelope and try something new, especially to conduct research in their fields.  An associate professor in the department of English and Comparative Literature, she also directs the Writing in the Disciplines Program. Professor Danielewicz has recently published a book, Contemporary American Memoir in Action (2017), which discusses how memoirs are not simply interesting narratives but are actions that solve social problems or produce new ways of understanding the world.

 

ENGL 085H.001 | Economic Saints & Villains: The Entrepreneurial Spirit in Early English Literature

TR, 9:30AM – 10:45AM. Instructor(s): Ritchie Kendall. Enrollment = 24.

The rise of new economic activities–whether the birth of international banking, trading in future commodities, or the marketing of junk bonds–bring with them both excitement and trepidation. Literature about how people, both ordinary and extraordinary, go about the business of getting and spending is one way that a culture comes to terms with emergent and potentially revolutionary economic formations. This course will explore how early modern England from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries imagined new economic orders through plays and novels. We will examine how Renaissance plays by Marlowe, Shakespeare, Dekker, and Heywood present economic scoundrels such as Barabas and Shylock as well as heroic entrepreneurs such as Simon Eyre and Thomas Gresham. In the eighteenth century we will sample the work of Daniel Defoe who crafted a guide for early tradesmen but also produced subversive novels with dubious heroines who use sex and business acumen to acquire and lose great fortunes. From the nineteenth century, we will read two works, a little known melodrama, “The Game of Speculation,” as well as the iconic “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. Both stories speculate on the compatibility of economic and spiritual success. We will conclude with a modern epilogue: three satiric films from the era of Reagonomics including Oliver Stone’s “Wall Steet,” Mike Nichols’ “Working Girl,” and Jon Landis’ “Trading Places.” Our objective throughout will be to analyze how literary art, itself a form of economic activity, simultaneously demonizes and celebrates the “miracle of the marketplace” and those financial pioneers that perform its magic.

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.

Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Ritchie Kendall joined the UNC faculty in 1980. He holds a BA in English from Yale University (1973) and an MA and PhD in English from Harvard University (1980). His specialty is in English Renaissance drama with an emphasis on the socio-economic dimensions of early modern theater. He has taught Honors courses in Shakespeare, Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, comedy and social class, epic and drama, and early modern ideas of entrepreneurship.


GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES

GEOL 072H.001 | Field Geology of Eastern California

TR, 2:00PM – 3:15PM. Instructor(s): Drew Coleman. Enrollment = 20.

Have you ever wanted to stand on a volcano, see a glacier, trace out an earthquake fault, or see the Earth’s oldest living things? This seminar is designed around a one-week field trip to eastern California, where students will study geologic features including active volcanoes, earthquake-producing faults, and evidence for recent glaciation and extreme climate change. Before the field trip (which will take place the week of Fall Break and be based at a research station near Bishop, California), the class will meet twice a week to learn basic geologic principles and to work on developing field research topics. During the field trip students will work on field exercises (e.g. mapping, measuring, and describing an active fault; observing and recording glacial features) and collect data for the research projects. After the field trip, students will obtain laboratory data from samples collected during the trip and test research hypotheses using field and laboratory data. Grading will be based on presentation of group research projects, and on a variety of small projects during the trip (notebook descriptions, mapping projects, etc.). Students will be required to pay some of the costs of the trip (estimated at about $900.) This course will require missing three days of classes. The course is designed to teach basic geology “on the rocks”, so there are no prerequisites. Link to Yosemite Nature Notes video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5RQp77uVPA

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.

Drew Coleman’s research focuses on understanding how the Earth works by determining the rates of processes (mountain building, extinction, volcanism, etc.) that occurred in the past. To accomplish this he and his students date rocks. His teaching is inquiry based and he is most happy when he is teaching “hands on” in the field or lab.


MATH

MATH 051H.001 | ‘Fish Gotta Swim, Birds Gotta Fly’: The Mathematics and the Mechanics of Moving

TR, 2:00PM – 3:15PM. Instructor(s): Roberto Camassa. Enrollment = 24.

The scientific method is arguably the single most important achievement of the modern era. Together with its technological implications, in the last four centuries it has shaped the world both physically and culturally, and continues to do so, like no other element in the history of mankind. The overall aim of the course is to learn the basic elements of the method through a combination of simple physical experiments (mostly at the \thought” level), rigorous mathematical training and elementary mathematical modeling. The focus will be on mechanics, which can arguably be considered the “birthplace” of the method. In particular, the mechanics of fluids will provide the main emphasis, both for its implications in any aspect of life on Earth and for its challenges to the physical intuition.
You should be ready to work with a non-standard class format, where concepts are developed through class discussions in which everybody is expected to join and share observations, insights as well as critiques. No question offered in earnest is too naive or irrelevant, and students are expected to share their doubts as well as their knowledge to achieve the outcome of understanding a certain issue. In-depth class discussion, \open ended” homework assignments with problems and essays, hands-on in-class, in-lab and in-silico (computational) experiments will be the basis for evaluation and final grade assignment.

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.

Dr. Camassa’s research interests include Nonlinear Evolution Equations, Mathematical Modeling, Fluid Mechanics, Optics.

 

MATH 062H.001 | Combinatorics

MWF, 1:25PM – 2:15PM. Instructor(s): Ivan Cherednik. Enrollment = 24.

A leading expert in Modern Combinatorics wants to share his vision of the subject with the students. The seminar is a perfect background for future specialists in mathematics, physics, computer science, biology, economics, for those who are curious what statistical physics is about, what is cryptography, and how stock market works, and for everyone who likes mathematics.

The course will be organized around the following topics:

  1. Puzzles: dimer covering, magic squares, 36 officers
  2. Combinations: from coin tossing to dice and poker
  3. Fibonacci numbers: rabbits, population growth, etc.
  4. Arithmetic: designs, cyphers, intro to finite fields
  5. Catalan numbers: from playing roulette to stock market

The students will learn about the history of Combinatorics, its connections with the theory of numbers, its fundamental role in the natural sciences and various applications.

It is an advanced research course; all students are expected to participate in projects under the supervision of I.Ch. and the Graduate Research Consultant (the GRC Program). This seminar is partially supported by Honors Carolina.

The grades will be based on the exam, bi-weekly home assignments and the participation in the projects. The course requires focus and effort, but, generally, the students are quite satisfied with the progress they make (and their grades too).

From the Course Evaluation: “A difficult but wholly worthwhile course: I feel more competent for having taken it”, “I would recommend this FYS to others ONLY if they have a VERY strong affinity for and ability in Algebra (I thought I did, but I was wrong)”.

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.

Professor Cherednik is Austin H. Carr Distinguished Professor of Mathematics. Trained at the Steklov Mathematics Institute of the Soviet Academy of Sciences and at Moscow State University, his areas of specialization are Representation Theory, Combinatorics, Number Theory, Harmonic Analysis, and Mathematical Physics. Cherednik’s particular affection for Combinatorics is well known: he proved the celebrated Constant term conjecture in Combinatorics.


PHILOSOPHY

PHIL 060H.001 | Plato’s Symposium and Its Influence on Western Art & Literature

TR, 9:30AM – 10:45AM. Instructor(s): James Lesher. Enrollment = 24.

The goal of PHIL 060H.001 is to gain a detailed understanding of Plato’s philosophical and literary masterpiece, The Symposium, and the nature of its influence on later artists and writers. The first part of the course will be devoted to gaining a detailed understanding of the Symposium. In the second part, we will explore the ways in which the Symposium influenced later European artists and writers through the publication of Plotinus’ Enneads and Marsilio Ficino’s Commentary on the Symposium on Love. In the third part of the course we will explore the importance of the Platonic view of love and beauty for modern artists and writers (such as Percy Bysshe Shelley, Sigmund Freud, Thomas Mann, Virginia Woolf, Leonard Bernstein, John Cameron Mitchell, and Alexei Ratmansky). In the third part of the course student presentations will provide the starting points for our discussions.

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.

J. H. Lesher has written four books and more than seventy articles on aspects of ancient Greek philosophy. He is especially interested in the group of early thinkers known as ‘the Presocratics’ (e.g. Pythagoras, Heraclitus, and Parmenides), and much of his research has focused on Presocratic accounts of the sources, nature, and limits of human knowledge.


PUBLIC POLICY

PLCY 076H.001 | Global Health Policy

TR, 12:30PM – 1:45PM. Instructor(s): Benjamin Meier. Enrollment = 24.

Global health policy impacts the health and well being of individuals and peoples throughout the world. Many determinants of health operate at a global level, and many national policies, social practices, and individual health behaviors are structured by global forces. Concern for the spread of infectious diseases, increasing rates of chronic diseases and the effectiveness of health systems to provide quality care are among the daunting challenges to health policy makers.

With profound social, political and economic changes rapidly challenging global health, the aim of this course in Global Health Policy is to provide students with a variety of opportunities to understand the epidemiologic trends in world health, the institutions of global health governance, and the effects of globalization on global and national health policy.

This course provides an introduction to the relationship between international relations, global health policy and public health outcomes. The focus of this course will be on public policy approaches to global health, employing interdisciplinary methodologies to understand selected public health policies, programs, and interventions. Providing a foundation for responding to global health harms, this course will teach students how to apply policy analysis to a wide range of critical issues in global health determinants, interventions, and impacts.

Professor Meier’s interdisciplinary research—at the intersection of international law, public policy, and global health—examines the ethical norms that underlie global health policy. In teaching UNC courses in Justice in Public Policy, Health & Human Rights, and Global Health Policy, Professor Meier has been awarded the 2011 William C. Friday Award for Excellence in Teaching, the 2013 Johnston Teaching Excellence Award, and the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Best Teaching Award in Public Policy. He received his Ph.D. in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University, his J.D. and LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from Cornell Law School, and his B.A. in Biochemistry from Cornell University.


RELIGIOUS STUDIES

RELI 073H.001 | From Dragons to Pokemon: Animals in Japanese Myth, Folklore and Religion

TR, 2:00PM – 3:15PM. Instructor(s): Barbara Ambros. Enrollment = 24.

This seminar examines the cultural construction of animals in Japanese myth, folklore, and religion. We will discuss various kinds of animals: those that occur in the natural world, those that are found in myths and folklore, and those that have appeared in popular media such as animation. We will explore how images of various animals were culturally constructed as tricksters, gods, monsters, or anthropomorphic companions; how animals were ritualized as divine, demonic, or sentient beings in Buddhism, Shinto, and folk religion; and how animals could serve as metaphors that embodied collective ideals or anxieties. Most of our readings will focus on primary and secondary texts from the Japanese tradition (in English), but we will also read theoretical texts on human-animal relationships and historical studies on animals in the larger Asian context. We will also view and analyze several Japanese films, both anime and documentaries, that deal with animals and environmental issues.

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY

Field of specialization: Religions of Asia Research interests: Religions in early modern through contemporary Japan; gender studies; critical animal studies; place and space; and pilgrimage.
Fun fact: she holds a third-degree black belt in Shotokan karate and serves as the faculty advisor for the UNC Shotokan Club.

 

RELI 089H.001 | Researching Religion in Women’s Lives

TR, 2:00PM – 3:15PM. Instructor(s): Lauren Leve / Lisa Pearce. Enrollment = 12.

How do religious beliefs and practices shape gender identities, values, and expectations in different religious cultures? How are these understandings reflected, contested, and/or creatively transformed by women within religious traditions, and at different times? How do we know what we think we know? This course examines the relations between women and religion across different traditions and in diverse global contexts, asking how religious modes of authority and ethical being-in-the-world shape women’s aspirations for self-actualization and position them in relation to both opportunities and constraints. The course also asks, how can we know and measure these relations? Arguments about women and religion are based on evidence that reflect different sets of assumptions and are collected in different ways. Throughout the semester, we’ll explore key methods for data collection and analysis in the Humanities and Social Sciences through a series of hands-on research assignments, culminating in a final research project. Practical experience generating and interpreting diverse types of data will reveal the ways that scientific and humanistic modes of inquiry can work together to pose and answer key questions about women, gender, and human social life.

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY. CROSSLISTED WITH SOCI 89H.

Lauren Leve received her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology. Now an associate professor of Religious Studies, she has been living and working in Nepal since 1990; sometimes for a few weeks at a time, sometimes for a few years. Her research has also brought her to Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, and Singapore. She has written on topics that include Buddhism, globalization, women’s empowerment, theories of rural revolution, human rights, and suffering. Her recent book is titled “The Buddhist Art of Living in Nepal: Ethical Practice and Religious Reform.” She is currently working on a project on gender, health, politics, and the rise of Christianity in Nepal. Professor Leve is grateful to the monks, nuns, householders, newly-literate women, NGO staff, Maoists, Christians and others who have opened their lives to her and taught her to (try to) see through their eyes. She reports that it’s a little disorienting at first, but that once you learn to learn from others’ perspectives, there’s no better way to live in the world!

Lisa Pearce, a Professor of Sociology and Faculty Fellow at the Carolina Population Center, is a sociologist of family, religion, and the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Her research is based in Kenya, Nepal, and the United States. She has written two books, A Faith of Their Own: Stability and Change in the Religiosity of American’s Adolescents (with Melinda Lundquist Denton) and Mixed Method Data Collection Strategies (with William G. Axinn). Professor Pearce enjoys working with students to collect different kinds of data, moving back and forth between open-ended exploration and the systematic testing of ideas that emerge. She has been on the faculty at Carolina for 16 years.


SOCIOLOGY

SOCI 057H.001 | Rationalization and the Changing Nature of Social Life in 21st-Century America

TR, 3:30PM – 4:45PM. Instructor(s): Howard Aldrich. Enrollment = 24.

Today, fast food restaurants have become a model for everyday life. Some scholars have even talked about the “McDonaldization” of the nation and the world. By that, scholars mean a drive toward greater efficiency, predictability, calculability, and control by non-human technologies in modern organizations. This drive has shaped many features of American life, including health care, law, and education. Such forces have even affected personal relationships. Sociologists have a term for this process: “rationalization.” In this course, we will explore that social process through a process called “active learning”: field trips, making things in a makerspace, presentations by visitors, videos, classroom simulations, and other activities. You will be assessed based on your monthly contributions to blog posts, class participation, four short (two page) papers, a major research project culminating in a term paper (15-20 pages), and a group presentation.

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.

Howard E. Aldrich is Kenan Professor of Sociology. He has won numerous awards for his teaching and mentoring: Favorite Professor Award from the senior class at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; graduate students’ Award for Best Teaching, Department of Sociology, several times; and the J Carlyle Sitterson Freshman Teaching Award from the University of Carolina Chapel Hill. His two sons and his daughters-in-law graduated from Carolina. His main research interests are entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial team formation, gender and entrepreneurship, and evolutionary theory. He writes a regular column, “Speaking from Experience,” for The National Teaching and Learning Forum. He fly fishes year-round in the mountains of Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee and wherever else his travels may take him. Photos of his catches may be seen on his homepage.

 

SOCI 089H.001 | Researching Religion in Women’s Lives

TR, 2:00PM – 3:15PM. Instructor(s): Lauren Leve / Lisa Pearce. Enrollment = 12.

How do religious beliefs and practices shape gender identities, values, and expectations in different religious cultures? How are these understandings reflected, contested, and/or creatively transformed by women within religious traditions, and at different times? How do we know what we think we know? This course examines the relations between women and religion across different traditions and in diverse global contexts, asking how religious modes of authority and ethical being-in-the-world shape women’s aspirations for self-actualization and position them in relation to both opportunities and constraints. The course also asks, how can we know and measure these relations? Arguments about women and religion are based on evidence that reflect different sets of assumptions and are collected in different ways. Throughout the semester, we’ll explore key methods for data collection and analysis in the Humanities and Social Sciences through a series of hands-on research assignments, culminating in a final research project. Practical experience generating and interpreting diverse types of data will reveal the ways that scientific and humanistic modes of inquiry can work together to pose and answer key questions about women, gender, and human social life.

FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY. CROSSLISTED WITH RELI 89H.

Lauren Leve received her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology. Now an associate professor of Religious Studies, she has been living and working in Nepal since 1990; sometimes for a few weeks at a time, sometimes for a few years. Her research has also brought her to Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, and Singapore. She has written on topics that include Buddhism, globalization, women’s empowerment, theories of rural revolution, human rights, and suffering. Her recent book is titled “The Buddhist Art of Living in Nepal: Ethical Practice and Religious Reform.” She is currently working on a project on gender, health, politics, and the rise of Christianity in Nepal. Professor Leve is grateful to the monks, nuns, householders, newly-literate women, NGO staff, Maoists, Christians and others who have opened their lives to her and taught her to (try to) see through their eyes. She reports that it’s a little disorienting at first, but that once you learn to learn from others’ perspectives, there’s no better way to live in the world!

Lisa Pearce, a Professor of Sociology and Faculty Fellow at the Carolina Population Center, is a sociologist of family, religion, and the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Her research is based in Kenya, Nepal, and the United States. She has written two books, A Faith of Their Own: Stability and Change in the Religiosity of American’s Adolescents (with Melinda Lundquist Denton) and Mixed Method Data Collection Strategies (with William G. Axinn). Professor Pearce enjoys working with students to collect different kinds of data, moving back and forth between open-ended exploration and the systematic testing of ideas that emerge. She has been on the faculty at Carolina for 16 years.