Fall 2021 Seminars

  • Ancient Epics (Prof. Matthew Dillon, Classics and Archaeology)

    TR 12:50-2:20pm (CRN 40854)

    This course examines three of the most important genres of tradition tale from various points of view: historical, literary and theoretical. The focus will be on the myths of Ancient Greece and Rome, with at least one other different culture (e.g., Egypt) for the sake of comparison. We will explore the importance of varying sources, different theories of interpretation, and the lasting influence of ancient stories on the modern world.

    Meet the Professor:

    Matthew Dillon is a professor of Classics and Archaeology in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. He received his BA in Classics from Wesleyan University in Connecticut in 1974, and his Ph.D. from Yale in 1984. After three years at Smith College, he joined the LMU faculty in 1987. His research interests have grown from early publications on Greek tragedy and comedy to include connections between eastern and western traditions, the pronunciation of ancient Greek and Latin, and, most recently, survey archaeology in Rough Cilicia (southern Turkey). He received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Philological Association in 2007. He has also worked in the film and television industry as an advisor and dialogue translator for the Da Vinci Code and the television series Caprica.

  • Animated Spirituality: Japanese Religion in Anime, Manga, and Film (Prof. Eric Swanson, Theological Studies)

    MW 12:40-2:10pm (CRN 42253)

    MW 2:20-3:50pm (CRN 4677)

    This course addresses religion and spirituality as seen through the lens of Japanese popular culture, including anime, manga, and live-action film. It examines how popular culture productions have represented and engaged with religious themes and human dilemmas, and asks students to critically assess the place of religion in the recent history of Japan. After covering the major religious traditions of Japan (Shinto, Buddhism, and Christianity), the course follows a historical approach, ranging from the WWII era to the present, that will introduce students to the religious, social, and cultural issues that have preoccupied the creators of manga, anime, and film, and the creative ways in which these historically specific issues were expressed in their work.

    Meet the Professor:

    Eric Haruki Swanson is an Assistant Professor in the Theological Studies Department at Loyola Marymount University. He is a native of Japan and received a BA in Religious Studies from Indiana University Bloomington, a MA in Esoteric Buddhist Studies from Koyasan University, and PhD in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Harvard University. As a cultural historian who studies the religious traditions of Japan, he takes an interdisciplinary approach that involves analysis of Buddhist scripture, doctrinal treatises, ritual manuals, narrative picture scrolls, and artistic performances. His research focuses on exploring the various ways Buddhist institutions responded to waves of political change and social uncertainty and how historical figures constructed religious identities through the production of texts and ritual practices.

  • Art and Power (Prof. Amy Woodson-Boulton, History)

    MWF 10:20-11:20am (CRN 42252)

    MWF 11:30am-12:30pm (CRN 42295)

    This course focuses on the social role of art and culture in both upholding and destabilizing power relationships in the modern West, part of the broad First Year Seminar theme “Culture, Art and Society.” The visual arts, architecture, advertising, propaganda, fashion, universities, and museums, for instance, include and exclude people in various ways, some obvious and some subtle. All of these forms of art have been used as tools to uphold the powerful (for example, the palace of Versailles or war propaganda), but art also has the enormous potential to speak truth to power and play a unique role in modern society, as a socially acceptable form of criticism of existing power structures (for example, the works of many novelists protesting industrial capitalism). You will think through the political uses of art and culture, the commercialization of art in the modern period, and how culture continues to differentiate socio-economic classes. (This last point is particularly important as you consider the meaning of, and privilege bestowed by, a university education.) We will consider the social history of art, art disciplines, and art institutions in relation to the leisure necessary for making and appreciating art; in relation to questions about “primitive” art, race, and evolution; and in relation to the question of “progress,” “revolution,” and the “avant-garde.” In addition, we will consider individual works of visual art and literature, as well as the changing nature of time and space in new genres such as photography and film.


    Meet the Professor:

    Amy Woodson-Boulton is associate professor of British and Irish history and recent past Chair of the Department of History. She has published on cultural reactions to industrialization and on the social role of art, including her monograph Transformative Beauty: Art Museums in Industrial Britain (Stanford, 2012). She is currently studying the relationships between anthropology and art in the age of Empire.

  • The Art & Science of Teaching (Prof. Annette Pijuan-Hernandez, Elementary and Secondary Education) 

    MWF 11:00-11:50am (CRN 47003)

    This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the field of P-12 education and aims to provide an overview of the teaching profession.  Students will explore the art and science of teaching.  They will understand how the teaching profession is relevant across multiple disciplines and how the knowledge and skills necessary for effective teaching are applied in everyday experiences.  Students will assess and determine their own beliefs, values and assumptions about teaching and learning.  They will identify their individual learning style and apply those findings to the students they are and the teachers they may become.

    Meet the Professor: 

    Annette Hernandez is a Clinical Associate Professor within the School of Education.  She also serves as the Senior Director for the Center for Undergraduate Teacher Preparation.  Dr. Hernandez earned her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration from the University of Southern California.  An LMU alumna, she graduated with her Master of Arts in Secondary Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration.  She holds both a Preliminary Administrative Services Credential as well as a Professional Clear Secondary Teaching Credential.  Dr. Hernandez has taught several courses within the School of Education, including Educational Psychology and the Secondary Directed Seminar for candidates completing their secondary teacher preparation program.


  • Art in the Age of AIDS (Prof. Leon Wiebers, Theatre Arts and Dance)

    T 4:10-6:40pm (CRN 43404)

    This seminar will examine the AIDS epidemic through theatre, film, art and literature. Using texts such as "The Normal Heart", "Angels in America", "And the Band Played On", and several others, the class will study the artists and their response to AIDS during the first wave period from the early 1980s-90s. Comparing the historical information, the protests of ACT-UP, governmental legislation and popular culture with the artistic work of David Wojnarowicz, Robert Mapplethorpe, Bill T. Jones, Keith Haring and others, the course will focus this investigation of the disease on the often violent personal cum political struggles that forcefully opened the closet door; fuelling massive social change in America and the modern gay movement.

    Meet the Professor:

    Leon Wiebers teaches Costume Design in the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance. He has designed costumes throughout the US and internationally. He conducts research in various areas of dress, the history of dress and gender studies.  

  • Art of Understanding (Prof. Juan Mah y Busch, English)

    TR 8:00-9:30am (CRN 40855) First to Go Only

    TR 10:00-11:30am (CRN 46758) 

    In this course, to become familiar with and to develop the artistry of your understanding, you learn to meditate. No prior experience is presumed or expected. The artistry of understanding is not found in answers or accuracy. It is in a person’s ability to observe various dimensions of experience, such as the wordless aspect of words, the spatial elements of time, or the quiet spaciousness found in an exhale. In addition to regular meditation, you practice different forms of writing (such as simple description, contemplative writing, critical examination, and library-based research), and you read fiction and philosophical essays that facilitate class discussion. Meditation, writing, and discussion are the foundation of the course, as well as of more artful understandings.

    Meet the Professor:

    With a specialization in literary and cultural studies and formal training in meditation, Juan D. Mah y Busch teaches and writes about the interplay between awareness and agency. Using meditation and literary analysis as a research method, Mah y Busch publishes on the ethics of aesthetic knowledge (aisthesis) and contemplative pedagogy. He lives in Northeast Los Angeles with Irene, their children, Iza, Josué and Serén, and their boxer Brooklyn.

  • Attraction, Desire, and Pleasure (Prof. Mikki Kressbach, Film, Television, and Media Studies)

    TR 11:50am-1:20pm (CRN 40870)

    Nearly every major academic discipline has sought to understand the source and meaning of attraction, desire, and pleasure. Are attraction, desire, and pleasure “natural” expressions of human biology and psychology? Are they products of society and culture? Over the course of the semester, we will explore the theories of desire, attraction and pleasure from Philosophy, Psychology, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Science and Technology studies in order to examine how these feelings—affects and embodied experiences—shape our understanding of romantic love, friendship, and sex. Written assignments will ground these theoretical discussions by analyzing how popular media--e.g. romantic comedies, popular fiction, self-help books, and lifestyle magazines--translate the unseen feelings and experiences of desire, attraction and pleasure to the masses. In exploring how these cultural objects serve to regulate our understanding of these feelings, we will not only interrogate the norms and expectations for love, sex and friendship, but also non-normative expressions of desire, attraction, and pleasure, including kink, asexuality, and queer desire.


    Meet the Professor:

    Mikki Kressbach is an Assistant Professor in the Film, Television, and Media Studies Department. She received her B.A. in Comparative Literature: Cinema Studies from the University of Washington, and her Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago. Her research and teaching broadly explores how media provoke and interpret bodily sensations, which she has led her to classes on topics ranging from the horror genre, health and technology, and new media. She is currently at work on a book project titled, “Sensing Health: Bodies, Data and Digital Health Technologies,” which examines how popular digital health technologies shape what it means to “feel healthy” in the twenty-first century.



    TR 1:00-2:30pm (CRN 40873)

    This course looks at the intersection of autobiography and literature—from personal essays and lyric poetry to autobiographical novels and slave narratives. What are the lines between fact and fiction? How do we shape the narratives of our own lives? Who is allowed to write autobiographically and who is judged for doing so? Among the writers, we will read are Charlotte Bronte, Harriet Jacobs, Jamaica Kincaid, Junot Diaz, Roxane Gay, Seamus Heaney, and Alexander Chee.

    Meet the Professor:

    Julia Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English. A native of Los Angeles, she received her undergraduate degree from Princeton and her Ph.D. in English from Harvard. She has taught at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Southern California, where she was a Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Humanities. She is the author of Our Gang: A Racial History of “The Little Rascals” (University of Minnesota Press, 2015) and The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel (Oxford UP, 2010), as well as a novel, By The Book (Gallery, 2018).

  • Baseball: American Values, Social Conflicts, and National Identity (Prof. David Sapp, School of Education)

    TR 11:20am-12:50pm (CRN 49283)


    In this first-year seminar, we will read, reflect, and respond to what researchers, critics, scholars, and intellectuals have to say about the role of baseball in American society, particularly in light of relationships among its workers, management, executives, owners of industry, the press, and fans. To understand the role of baseball in our society in all its fascinating complexities, we will critically examine our culture's engagement with "our nation’s pastime." To inform our perspective, we will read and discuss others’ points of view, including Studs Terkel’s oral histories and Ring Lardner’s accounts of professional athletes, Curt Flood’s arguments about workers’ rights, sportswriter Sam Walker's autobiographical introduction to the ultra-competitive world of fantasy sports, as well as readings about Sandy Koufax, Roberto Clemente, Satchel Paige, and Henry Aaron to help us understand the impact of the Negro Leagues, race relations in the sport, and the rise of baseball in Latin America. Drawing from these and other readings, from students' personal interviews, and from their own experiences and ideas, we will write and revise several essays exploring the history, nature, and meaning of baseball in our culture. Opportunities will be presented for students to explore intersecting themes of race, nation of origin, class, gender, disability, power, and privilege, as they relate to professional sports. Attention will be given to the following themes: idealism and the American dream; democracy and free enterprise; hero worship and patriotism; ethics, corruption, and disillusionment; and narratives of masculine identity. The professor expects students to possess basic knowledge about and interest in the sport of baseball prior to enrolling in this course and be willing to engage enthusiastically with the baseball-themed readings, assignments, and activities.


    Meet the Professor:

    David Sapp is a professor in the School of Education at LMU, where he teaches in the doctoral program in educational leadership for social justice and sports-themed courses in LMU’s university core curriculum. Dr. Sapp’s research includes projects on teacher credibility, student motivation, and conflict resolution; his co-authored book on teaching students who speak English as a second language was published by Bedford/St. Martin’s Press in 2015. Dr. Sapp earned his Ph.D. in rhetoric from New Mexico State University and is a graduate of the Institute for Educational Management in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.


  • Bicycle: Art, Ecology, and Culture (Prof. Michael Brodsky, Studio Arts)

    M 4:30-7:00pm (CRN 43546)

    This course will take a critical look at the past, present and future of the bicycle. It will look back at the history of the bicycle which liberated individual mobility and did much to help emancipate women while making mechanical transportation available to a wide range of society. We will explore how the bicycle ultimately gave way to a dependency on the gas-powered automobile which is now the cause of such enormous impacts on livability of our cities, the environment and the earth’s climate.

    This class will also look forward towards how the humble bicycle has such an enormous potential to once again liberate us from the domination of fossil fuel powered transportation, provide health benefits and allow for a closer connection to our urban society. We will examine how planning for people centered and equitable transportation can positively impact our health and wellbeing while lowering the impact on our planet. Along the way we will explore how the representation of the bicycle in literature, art, music and film both reflects and contributes to a myriad of diverse bicycle cultures in the city.

    Meet the Professor:

    Michael Brodsky is an artist, educator and environmental activist. He is a Studio Arts Professor and Multimedia Arts Area Head in the Department of Art and Art History at LMU. He received a BA in Environmental Studies and a BA in Photographic Fine Arts from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He earned an MFA in Art and Design from CalArts. He is a former Fulbright Scholar to India. His digital art has been exhibited and published internationally.

    Michael Brodsky is a League of American Bicyclists Licensed Cycling Instructor and Ride Leader/Ride Marshall with the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition. He is a founding board member of Santa Monica Spoke. He is a Climate Reality Project Leader.

  • Black Los Angeles (Prof. Marne Campbell, African American Studies)

    MW 2:00-3:30pm (CRN 43244)

    This course will explore the history of Los Angeles by considering the contributions of African Americans in the region from the founding of the city in 1781. We will first consider the Afro-Latino heritage in the making of Los Angeles, and then examine the contributions of other groups of Black Angelenos through the turn of the twenty-first century. The objective of this course is to provide students with a detailed understanding the crucial role that African Americans have played in the history of Los Angeles by examining both secondary and primary texts.

    Meet the Professor:

    Marne Campbell is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies at LMU. She has a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

  • Black Los Angeles (Prof. Jennifer Williams, African American Studies)

    MW 2:00-3:30PM (CRN 41955) 

    This course is an interdisciplinary examination of the presence and contributions of Africana people in Los Angeles from the founding of the city in 1781 to contemporary social movements. We will concentrate on the geography, history, and social norms that transformed Black life and made the basis for its popularized representations in music, film, and tv. We will approach the course both thematically and chronologically, by addressing how Los Angeles is a racialized space and how Black people contribute to its cosmopolitan identity.

    Meet the Professor:

    Jennifer Williams is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies; She is a Philadelphia native, and attended Temple University for her graduate work. Her research interests are Black women’s history, Afrofuturism, and Black introversion.

  • The Blues, Rock, and Authenticity (Prof. David Carter, Music)

    TR 12:00-1:15pm (CRN 40856)

    Outsiders to mainstream rock ‘n’ roll have repeatedly drawn on the blues in an attempt to reinvigorate and redefine the music of their time. Numerous British bands in the 1960s looked back to American blues music as more authentic than the commercial rock ‘n’ roll of their era, and decades later 1990s female rock artists critiqued and paid tribute to the tropes of these two earlier groups in their own outsider attempts to recapture authenticity in rock. This course will examine popular music and the quest for authenticity in it through the examination of these three groups of artists: Black American blues artists of the 1920s through the 1950s, blues-influenced British rock artists of the 1960s, and female rock artists of the 1990s. Students will see how questions of race, gender, authenticity, and appropriation play out in each of these periods and trace connections between these groups of musicians. In addition to engaging in close musical observation, students will consider broader cultural and social perspectives on the music. Particular artists that will be studied include Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, the Rolling Stones, Cream, the Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, P.J. Harvey, Hole, Liz Phair, L7, and Meshell Ndegeocello.

    Meet the Professor:

    David S. Carter is a composer, theorist, and teacher based in Los Angeles, where he is an Assistant Professor of Music (Theory/Composition) at Loyola Marymount University. He earned his doctorate in music composition at Northwestern University, where his principal teacher was Lee Hyla. Prior to his graduate music studies, he completed a J.D. at the University of Southern California and a B.A. in English Literature at Yale University. He previously taught at Northwestern and North Park University. His music theory research focuses on the analysis of form in popular music, and he has presented scholarly papers at the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (U.S.) conference, the College Music Society National Conference, and the Nief-Norf Summer Festival. His compositions have been performed or recorded by the JACK Quartet, the International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble Court-Circuit, and Ensemble Signal, among others. He won the Iron Composer competition at Baldwin Wallace University, Northwestern University’s William T. Faricy Award, and second prize in the Rhenen International Carillon Composition Competition. He has had works performed at the Northwestern University New Music Conference (NUNC! 3), June in Buffalo (2014 and 2011), the 2008 Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice at New England Conservatory, Music07 at the University of Cincinnati, and the 2007 Bowdoin International Music Festival. Examples of his work can be found at davidcartercomposer.com and soundcloud.com/davidscarter.

  • Capitalism and its Discontents (Prof. Thomas Herndon, Economics) 

    MWF 3:30-4:30pm (CRN 43277)

    This course will study capitalism from the perspective of both its critics and defenders. Our study will engage with longstanding historical critiques of capitalism including inequality, instability, imperialism, racism, sexism, and environmental destruction. Throughout the course we will focus on how engaging with these critiques changes the theories we use to understand capitalism. We will engage the question, how do these critiques require us to change the definitions and categories on which we base our understanding of capitalism, in order to better organize the often difficult facts? This line of inquiry will also require us to study the historical periods these problems were embedded in, and the social movements who worked to change them. In doing so, we will further our understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of capitalism as an economic system, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the ideas we use to understand it.

    Meet the Professor:

    Thomas Herndon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2016. His research has contributed to the fields of political economy, macroeconomics, and econometrics, and has focused on the topics of public debt and growth, financial regulation, mortgage fraud, and consumer financial protection violations. This research has also contributed to economic policy debates, and has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, The Economist, Rolling Stone, and the Colbert Report.


  • Contemplative Practice (Prof. Jane Brucker, Studio Arts)

    W 3:45-6:15pm (CRN 42252)

    FYS Contemplative Practice provides a broad cultural, artistic and psychological/physiological understanding of the variety, creativity, process and power of the contemplative experience. A series of interdisciplinary readings and lectures are accompanied by weekly meditative experiences, allowing students to explore the numerous ways one can encounter the numinous or achieve a peaceful state.

    The meditative exercises students engage include principles of mind/body coordination and philosophy including yoga and the Alexander Technique, movement, drawing and sound meditations and exposure to contemplation as part of a faith practice. The professor teaches drawing in the Department of Art and Art History and is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique and Vinyasa yoga.

    Meet the Professor:

    Jane Brucker is a Los Angeles artist using installation and performance to engage the viewer through contemplation, movement and ritual activity. By combining found objects and heirlooms with textiles, glass, and cast metals she examines memory, fragility, and death. Her work has been exhibited at venues throughout the United States and internationally in Nepal, Japan, Scotland, France, Germany and the Czech Republic.

    Brucker is a professor at Loyola Marymount University where she is area head in drawing. She earned an MFA degree from The Claremont Graduate University, an MA in Religion and the Arts from Claremont School of Theology and attended Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting, where she was awarded a fellowship to study painting with Agnes Martin and traditional buon fresco with Lucienne Bloch. She is a certified teacher of the FM Alexander Technique and incorporates contemplative practice into her teaching.

  • Cultivating Empathy (Prof. Patrick Damon Rago, Dance)

    TR  12:00-1:15pm (CRN 47002)

    The course will engage students in connecting concepts about Empathy found in a variety of texts, rituals, and art works to the themes of the LMU Mission in order to learn and explore how we negotiate physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and psychological situations.  Course activities will be experimental, experiential, reflective, analytical and creative.  Over the course of the semester, we will engage with a variety of texts, videos, activities and interpersonal connections that explore and develop Empathy from multiple viewpoints.

    Meet the Professor:

    Patrick Damon Rago has been a Professor in the Dance Department at Loyola Marymount University since 2000.  He has choreographed and performed modern dance around the country and internationally.  His choreography uses humor, spoken word, theatricality, and hyper physicality to explore human connection and other emotional themes.

  • East Asian Cinema (Prof. Yanjie Wang, Asian and Asian American Studies) 

    TR 12:00-1:30pm (CRN 40868)

    TR 4:00-5:30pm (CRN 40865)

    This course introduces major works, genres, and waves of East Asian cinema, including films from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.  East Asian cinema has never been more popular than it is today. Films such as Spirited Away, Hero, Kungfu Hustle and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon have made surprising inroads into the American box office. On the world festival circuit, East Asian films regularly win prestigious awards.  We will discuss issues ranging from aesthetics to historical representation, from local film industries to transnational audience reception. The course will acquaint students with analytical vocabulary and critical approaches to cinema. It will also help students gain insights into East Asian cultures, histories, and aesthetic traditions.

    Meet the Professor:

    Yanjie Wang is Associate Professor in Asian and Asian American Studies at Loyola Marymount University. She received her Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Prior to her Ph.D. studies in the US, Prof. Wang received her M.A. from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and her B.A. from Peking University. Prof. Wang’s areas of research include modern Chinese literature and Chinese cinema. She specializes in the issues of displacement, internal migration, trauma, violence, gender and sexuality, and ecocriticism. Prof. Wang’s essays have appeared in Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Asian Cinema, American Journal of Chinese Studies, Modern Chinese literature and Culture, Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies, Situations: Cultural Studies in the Asian Context, Routledge Handbook of Modern Chinese Literature, among others.

  • The Economics of Everyday Life: What We Eat (Prof. Erin Kaplan, Economics)

    MWF 12:30-1:30pm (CRN 42255)

    MWF 2:00-3:00pm (CRN 43276)

    Everyone eats. What and how we eat depend on a variety of social and economic influences. In this seminar we will learn a bit of food history, explore contemporary food trends, and study the complex global economic systems that shape what’s on our plates. Topics will include international trade, food labeling, US agricultural policy, food insecurity, the environmental impact of industrial agriculture, and trends in consumer tastes. If you’re fascinated by food and want to learn more, this is the class for you. 

    Meet the Professor:

    Erin Kaplan is a foodie and former food blogger, who also happens to be an economist. Dr. Kaplan received her PhD in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2011. Her research focuses mainly on the impacts of US health, labor, and education policy; however, she also has a publication in the Journal of Wine Research. Dr. Kaplan joined the faculty at LMU in 2018, having previously taught at Rhodes College and the University of Pittsburgh.

  • Your Future Career in the Global Marketplace (Prof. Charles Vance, Management)

    MWF 9:30-10:30am (CRN 45728)

    MWF 11:00am-12:00pm (CRN 45729)

    This course addresses personal, professional, and societal imperatives surrounding global career competence and related ongoing developments associated with the dynamic and pervasive process of globalization. In optimizing their preparation for future career success within the context of increasing globalization, students examine current forces contributing to globalization and developing worldwide trends, including increasing global entrepreneurship, more porous national borders supporting increased global trade and migration, and innovations in technology and telecommunications. The dark side of globalization also is examined, and students discuss their important responsibilities and opportunities for asserting moral leadership in influencing how their future organizations contribute to sustainability and exert a positive impact upon global society. In addition, through online research and field interviews with local and international contacts, students explore and begin to develop personal career strategies while at college and beyond (e.g., study abroad, international internships, international humanitarian service, expatriate assignments) for building critical global career competencies.

    Meet the Professor:

    Dr. Charles M. Vance is a professor of management and human resources at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he teaches at executive, MBA, and undergraduate levels. He is the author/coauthor of numerous journal publications, as well as current books Managing a Global Workforce and Smart Talent Management. His current research examines career dynamics of “expat-preneurs” (expatriate entrepreneurs). He has had considerable experience as a consultant in North and South America, Asia, and Europe in training design, management development and coaching, and broader human resource and organization development applications.

  • God in All Sounds— World Musics and Local Knowledge (Prof. Paul Humphreys, Music)

    TR 10:00-11:15am (CRN 40874)

    This course is a survey-by-topic of world music inspired by the Jesuit practice of “finding God in all things.” After a preliminary consideration of music and its relation to language, our attention turns to representative practices and texts selected from Abrahamic (Christian, Judaic and Islamic), South and East Asian faith traditions. The focus of inquiry then turns to consider the methods and case studies of anthropologists who can be said to be seeking “God in all cultures.” Finally, and for a majority of the course, our attention focuses on the methods and findings of ethnomusicology, a discipline that can be said to seek out “God in all sounds.” The choice of topics follows from my own study and practice of ethnomusicology, music composition & performance as well as my study and practice of contemplative spiritualities (please see also bio statement below). Integrated within, and integral to this course is the exercise and cultivating of writing skills and oral expression, known in the Jesuit rhetorical tradition as eloquentia perfecta. Writing and discussion are grounded in assigned readings and listening as well as contemplative exercises in composition, and group performance.


    Meet the Professor:

    Paul W. Humphreys is a Professor in the Department of Music and Director of World Music at LMU. Student ensembles that he directs regularly feature internationally-known artist-teachers from Indonesia and West Africa. As an ethnomusicologist, Humphreys has conducted field work in China, Indonesia, Ghana, Japan, and the Pueblo Indian region of the Southwest United States. His published research addresses non-western compositional practice, music and religion, and comparative music theory. Live performances of Humphreys’ compositions have been featured during the 2008, 2005, and 2002 World Festivals of Sacred Music Los Angeles, with invited screenings in years since at Boston University, the University of New Mexico, and in Wudangshan, China. He has appeared as a pianist in numerous LMU Music Faculty Recitals, NACUSA (National Association of Composers, U.S.A.) concerts in Southern California, and most recently in a solo recital of original works at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Humphreys approaches his calling as a teacher in the spirit of what Parker Palmer calls a “circle of truth.” In the classroom, he integrates presentation and discussion with an intentionality that also holds open to new directions. Experiential learning, another touchstone of his teaching philosophy, includes active participation in performance, composition and occasional instrument making projects. His approach to teaching is shaped, additionally, by longstanding commitments to contemplative inquiry and Jesuit discernment. Humphreys currently serves at LMU as member of the Academic Planning and Review Committee, as well as Advisory Boards of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality and Asian and Pacific Studies Program. Previous University service includes CFA Associate Dean (2013 – 2015), President’s Committee for Mission and Identity (2009 – 2013), and Core Curriculum (Chair of Working Group for First Year Seminar, Fall 2010). Previous to joining the LMU faculty in 1997, Humphreys’ teaching affiliations have included UCLA, California Institute for the Arts, CSU (Northridge), and Kunitachi College of Music (Tokyo, Japan).

  • Greek Stories: Identity and Storytelling (Prof. Christina Bogdanou, Modern Greek Studies)

    MW 12:00-1:30pm (CRN 41910)

    Fascinated by Greek mythology and history and intrigued by Modern Greece and its culture? A literature-based course, Greek Stories looks at Greek myth, history, literature, and culture as it has evolved from the past to the present. The relationship between myth and history, conflicting cultural identities, war and politics, urbanization and globalization, the changing geopolitical map of Europe will be some of the topics we will explore in our discussions.

    Meet the Professor:

    Professor Christina Bogdanou earned a Ph.D in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Los Angeles with an emphasis in 19th - 20th c. European literature, critical theory and gender studies. A native of Athens, Greece, she completed her B.A. in English literature and linguistics at the University of Athens. Upon graduation, she received the prestigious National Scholar Award (I.K.Y) to pursue an M.A. in Comparative Critical Theory Studies at Warwick University in the UK and then her doctorate degree at UCLA. Prior to her appointment at LMU, she taught at UCLA and Occidental College.

    Professor Bogdanou joined LMU in 2001. She has taught courses in comparative literature, critical theory, and Modern Greek literature, culture and language. She is currently the Director of the Basil P. Caloyeras Center for Modern Greek Studies and the Odyssey Summer Study Abroad Program in Greece.

    Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of identity politics, gender studies, cultural representations of women and women’s writing/voices.

  • History of Natural Disasters (Prof. Nigel Raab, History)

    TR 8:00-9:30am (CRN 46750)

    TR 10:00-11:30am (CRN 46751)

    From the flooding after Katrina in 2005, to the Haitian Earthquake in 2010, to the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in 2011, natural disasters have become regular news items. This course, drawing on the instructor's own research in Soviet disasters, examines natural and man-made disasters from the eighteenth century to the present. Students will explore how the relationship of human beings to the natural world has changed dramatically. From religious explanations of the Lisbon earthquake in the eighteenth century to Soviet confidence about controlling nature in the twentieth-century, students will see how natural disasters, so much more than scientific phenomena, were categorized according to the mores of specific societies. In all these situations, political and economic interest groups tried to steer disasters and the rescue operations to their best advantage. Since the aftermath of disasters encouraged artistic production, such as the artworks that helped Haitian residents heal in 2010, the course shows humans use their creative impulses to confront the often overwhelming power of nature. In addition, since disasters are not confined to a single part of the world, the class has a global dimension as examples will be taken from many continents. Students will be able to critically analyze these competing interests with respect to specific historical disasters and then compare this analysis with their understanding of contemporary natural disasters.

    Meet the Professor:

    Nigel A. Raab is Associate Professor of History at Loyola Marymount University. He is the author of Democracy Burning? Urban Fire Departments and the Limits of Civil Society in Late Imperial Russia, 1850–1914(2011), and The Crisis from Within: Historians, Theory, and the Humanities(2015).


  • History of Television (Prof. Michael Daley, Film and Television)

    Collaboration in Media Learning Community Only

    R 4:30-7:00PM (CRN 40880) 

    This seminar will trace the history of television, chronicling the impact the medium has had on society. The coursework will cover: the formative years of television, the Golden Age of TV, Variety shows from early live TV to Comedy sketch shows, TV dramas from westerns to procedural (cop, doctor, lawyer) shows, Situation comedies from family shows to workplace shows, anthology series, miniseries and now limited series, Genres from fantasy to sci-fi to fairy tales and Pay TV, original cable, Internet TV (arguably The New Golden Age).

    The course is also designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of college writing, including structure, syntax and style.  Information Literacy will be emphasized, with research projects designed to teach how to find and evaluate sources.  Coursework will entail papers, oral presentations and viewing blogs.

    Meet the Professor: 

    Michael F.X. Daley is an experienced television writer whose five episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation have won him three awards: a Genesis Award, an S.E.T. Award and E! Television’s The Soup Award.  Michael also served as a Staff Writer for the critical and fan favorite CW show Reaper, where he penned the series finale “The Devil and Sam Oliver.”  He’s worked for HBO on The Leftovers, Resurrection for ABC, Murder In The First for TNT, Boss for STARZ, Big Love for HBO, Crossing Jordan for NBC, That’s My Bush! for Comedy Central, and The X-Files for FOX. In addition, he developed a TV pilot with Alloy Entertainment, and is currently shopping that and other TV pilots.

    Michael also served as a Writing Producer for Blindlight, a video game company.  His video game writing credits include Ninja Gaiden for Tecmo, Jet Li’s ‘Rise To Honor’ for Sony, Igor for Legacy Interactive, Shrek 2 for Dreamworks, and Dead2Rights: Redemption for Volatile Games.

    Mike has a Masters Degree in Screenwriting from Loyola Marymount University, where he’s now teaching Television Writing as a Clinical Assistant Professor. He originally hails from Syracuse, New York, where he got his Bachelors in English Communication from another Jesuit school, Le Moyne College.


  • Stage Fright: Horror and Terror in the Theatre (Prof. Kevin Wetmore, Theatre Arts)

    MW 1:50-3:10pm (CRN 41890) 

    An examination of the history, theory and practice of putting things that frighten the audience on stage. Monster comes from the Latin monstare, "to warn."  Ghosts, vampires and zombies and the other unquiet dead are the things we think we have buried now come back to us. Exploring these metaphors, this course looks at how the scary things put on stage are a reflection of the things society at large fears ans is concerned about. From Greek tragedy to contemporary musicals, we look at monsters and the unquiet dead and what they mean.

    Meet the Professor:

    Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr. is Professor and Chair of Theatre Arts with areas of expertise in Japanese theatre, African theatre, Shakespeare, Asian cinema, horror cinema, Greek tragedy, stage combat and comedy. He has degrees from Bates College, the University of Leeds and the University of Pittsburgh, where he completed his doctorate in Theatre and Performance Studies.  He also received an M.A. in Theology from LMU in 2010.

    He is the author of Athenian Sun in an African Sky: Modern African Adaptation of Classical Greek Tragedy (McFarland, 2001), Black Dionysus: Greek Tragedy and African American Theatre (McFarland, 2003), The Empire Triumphant: Race, Religion, and Rebellion in the Star Wars Films (McFarland, 2005), Shakespeare and Youth Culture (Palgrave 2006), Back from the Dead: Reading Remakes of Romero’s Zombie Films as Markers of Their Times (McFarland 2011), Post-9/11 Horror in American Cinema (Continuum, 2012), The Theology of Battlestar Galactica (McFarland 2012), and Modern Asian Theatre and Performance 1900 – 2000 (with Siyuan Liu and Erin B. Mee, Methuen/Bloomsbury, 2014) as well as the editor or co-editor of eleven more volumes, including Modern Japanese Theatre and Performance (Lexington, 2006), Suzan-Lori Parks: A Casebook (Routledge 2007) Revenge: East and West (Palgrave, 2008), Portrayals of Americans on the World Stage (McFarland, 2009), Catholic Theatre and Drama (McFarland 2010), Black Medea: Adaptations for Modern Plays (Cambria, 2013), and the Methuen Drama Anthology of Modern Asian Plays (with Siyuan Liu, Methuen, 2014), among others. He is also the author of numerous articles on theatre, cinema, Japanese culture, popular culture, horror, and performance.

  • Identity Crisis in Contemporary France (Prof. Véronique Flambard-Weisbart, Modern Languages and Literatures)

    MW 2:00-3:30pm (CRN 46757)

    This course examines France’s identity crisis considering recent and current debates on 20th century French History and national identity.  The troubled legacies of key events in modern French history, such as the Great War and its destructive effects on postwar French society; Vichy and French participation in the Holocaust; the Algerian War, decolonization, and postcolonial nostalgia, will be examined through the debates and controversies they have generated in France since the 1990s. Drawing on diverse forms of cultural expression, such as literature, film and other media, subjects to be explored include commemorative events and activities, trials for crimes against humanity, France’s controversial 'memory laws,' systemic racism, immigration, and their lasting and current impact on French culture and society.

    Meet the Professor: 

    Born and raised in Paris, France, professor Véronique Flambard-Weisbart, completed her undergraduate education at the Université de Paris X-Nanterre, and earned her master's degree and Ph.D. in French from UCLA.  Her research interests and scholarship include twentieth and twenty-first century French / francophone literature and film. U.S. correspondent for the Société d’études céliniennes (SEC), she has authored several essays on the work of Louis-Ferdinand Céline. She teaches in and chairs the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at LMU and directs the LMU Summer Study Abroad Program in Paris, France.

  • Latino L.A. (Prof. Sylvia Zamora, Sociology)

    TR 2:00-3:30pm (CRN 46754)

    TR 4:00-5:30pm (CRN 46755)

    Latinos now represent 50 percent of all residents in Los Angeles, making them the largest racial/ethnic group in the city. This course takes a sociological look at the social, economic, political, and cultural histories and contemporary experiences of Los Angeles’ diverse Latino population. Students will understand how the Latino presence has transformed from primarily Mexican-origin to one that now includes people from all over Latin America, and develop an appreciation of the important role Latino/as have played in the formation and development of Los Angeles and broader U.S. society. The course combines historical perspectives with current events of various topics such as Latino/a migration to Los Angeles, immigrant settlement, family, community social capital and gentrification, racial and ethnic identity, gender and sexuality, media representations, race relations and discrimination, labor organizing, schooling, policing, immigrant rights and political activism. This course makes use of documentary film, social media, student presentations and classroom discussions to achieve the learning outcomes.

    Meet the Professor:

    Born and raised in South East Los Angeles, Professor Sylvia Zamora received her Ph.D. in Sociology from UCLA and a B.A. in Sociology and Latin American Studies from Smith College. Her research and teaching are guided by questions concerning Latino immigration and how it is changing social, political and racial dynamics in American society; she is also exploring the ongoing manifestations of African American and Latino relations in the context of major demographic shifts. Her work has been recognized with awards from the American Sociological Association Sections on International Migration and Racial and Ethnic Minorities and appears in Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Latino Studies and the edited volume, “Just Neighbors?: Research on African American and Latino Relations in the United States.” She is currently working on a book manuscript based on a comparative, multi-site project in México and the U.S. examining how racial ideologies ‘travel’ with migrants across borders, and the implications of this for immigrant incorporation in U.S. society.

  • Minorities and Women in Science (Prof. Martina Ramirez, Biology)

    MWF 9:30-10:20pm (CRN 40879) 

    For the lay public, the image which first comes to mind when they hear the word ‘scientist’ is almost always a white middle-aged male in a lab coat, with thick eyeglasses, wild hair, and a slightly rumpled look.  While the scientific workforce is more diverse now than in the 1950's when this stereotype was first documented, and while noted minority and women scientists are among the ranks of contemporary public intellectuals, this stereotype is alive and well in the 21st century.  This course will try to get at the source of this stereotype and determine how and why science as an enterprise has often seemed so remote and inaccessible, especially for minorities and women.  Specifically, students will focus on the discouragements and obstacles facing those traditionally underrepresented in scientific careers, while highlighting the accomplishments and achievements of pioneers/trailblazers (minorities and women) in science.  Students will delve into their lives exploring the personal, professional and psychological dimensions of attainment and achievement.  Such understanding will provide a context for discussing the variety of contemporary programs designed to attract minorities and women to careers in science.  The course will conclude by exploring the relationship between self and community for minority and women scientists who have "made it".  Minority and women students in science must learn to formulate a career/life path that addresses these issues, while meeting such practical needs as earning a living, having time for a personal life, and maintaining a sense of self-confidence and esteem.  Hopefully, this course will aid in their efforts to do so.


    Meet the Professor:

    Martina Giselle Ramirez is Professor of Biology at Loyola Marymount UniversityDr. Ramirez received her B.S. in biology from LMU and her Ph.D. in biology from U.C. Santa Cruz.  Prior to LMU, Dr. Ramirez was a professor at Pomona College, Bucknell University, Denison University, and East Stroudsburg University.  Dr. Ramirez received the Rudinica Award for Student-Faculty Research from LMU’s Seaver College of Science & Engineering (2012); a Biology Mentor Award from the Council on Undergraduate Research (2013); and an LGBTQ+ Mentor Award from LMU’s LGBT Student Services Office (2016).  Along with having published 19 scientific papers, including 13 with undergraduate student co-authors, Dr. Ramirez is also co-author of a book, Happier as a Woman: Transforming Friendships, Transforming Lives (Cleis Press, 2019).

  • On the Technological Sublime (Prof. Sue Scheibler, Film/TV Studies)

    TR 4:00-5:30pm (CRN 43412)


    This course looks at the notion of the sublime as it was articulated in the 17th and 18th centuries and extends it into the digital age of the 21st century. It takes as its starting point the understanding of the sublime as an aesthetic concept that extolls beauty that is grand and dangerous then asks where and in what form can we say the sublime exists in the technological and digital age. To answer the question, students will study a variety of literary, visual, musical, philosophical, and cinematic texts from the 17th through the early 21st centuries.

    Meet the Professor:

    Sue Scheibler has graduate degrees in New Testament Studies and Philosophy of Religion and a PhD in Critical Studies (Film and Television) from the University of Southern California. She has published in Theorizing Documentary, Alternative Media Handbook, War: Interdisciplinary Investigations, Signs and assorted journals. Her research and teaching interests include film theory, television studies, documentary, Asian film, science fiction, technologies of war, memory, video games and Asian philosophy.

    Scheibler has spoken at such engagements as the War, Virtual War and Human Security Conference where she presented on the topic of “Experiencing War the Video Game Way: Call of Duty 2” and the American Cultural Studies Association where she spoke about avatars, war and the documentary image.

    She is currently working on two projects: Windows, Frames, Screens: Understanding Media and The Meditative Gaze: Media and Eastern Philosophy.

  • Politics of Race Relations (Prof. Claudia Sandoval, Political Science)

    TR 12:00-1:30pm (CRN 46753)

    Projections shows that the United States is quickly becoming a minority-majority nation. U.S. Census data suggests that by 2044, over half of the population will be non-white. Given these projections, it is important that we understand how different racial groups interact with one another socially and politically. Academic research often focuses on white-minority relations, yet given future demographics, it is of growing importance to understand intra-minority relations. This course will focus primarily on Black-Latinx relations, while offering comparisons to their Asian and White counterparts. We will begin by focusing on the important issues and topics that Black and Latinx groups encounter in the US. After grounding the groups in their individual contexts, we will take various political issues to determine how Blacks and Latinx groups work together (or against each other). This course will also ground those arguments around theories of threat, contact, and group positioning, among others. At the end of the course, students will have a nuanced perspective on race-relations that is not easily explained by notions of complete solidarity or discrimination, but rather a complicated relationship that is operationalized through state actors and white supremacy.

    Meet the Professor:

    Claudia Sandoval is a professor in the Political Science department where she teaches courses on Race, Immigration, and Black/Latina/o relations. Professor Sandoval is a first-generation Mexican immigrant who grew up in Inglewood, California and graduated from Westchester High School.  Professor Sandoval went on to receive a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA in 2006. During her time as an undergraduate, she participated in the McNair Research Scholars program and wrote a senior these on Black/Latina/o Relations in Inglewood. After graduating college, Sandoval left to the University of Chicago for her Ph.D. in political science. During her 9 year stay in the Midwest, Professor Sandoval taught Latina/o Politics at Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  

  • Principles of Scientific Reasoning 

    TR 10:00-11:30am (CRN 40857) 

    ACCESS Program Only 

    Communication and critical thinking skills are developed with an emphasis on science, nature, technology, and mathematics in multiple contexts. Mathematical and scientific reasoning are investigated through inductive and deductive arguments, the scientific method, and the notions of definition, classification and conjecture. The role and purpose that scientists and scientific educators play in society will be explored.

    Meet the Professor:

  • Protest and the Arts (Prof. Daphne Sicre, Theater Arts)

    MW 2:00-3:15pm (CRN 42253)

    Can the arts change the world? This course explores how artists, practitioners and educators use the arts to protests and address social and political conflict across diversity of contexts, issues and locations. Students will explore how the arts have challenged social and political structures through protests and how performance can be used in the community as a tool for social change. Through readings of plays, performance texts, historical documents and theory, viewing of art works, film and performances, students will discuss and challenge the role of the arts in society and protest. In addition to critical and practical writing assignments, students will have the opportunity to design a short arts performance project that addresses a topical issue and fosters protest.   

    Meet the Professor:

    Daphnie Sicre is an assistant professor of Theatre Arts, with areas of expertise in Directing, Dramaturgy, Black and Latinx theatre, and Theatre for Social Change. She shares a deep passion for discovering multiple Latinx and African-American perspectives in theatre. Focusing on Afro-Latinx performance, she completed her Ph.D. at NYU. Before that, she received her M.A. in Educational Theatre also from NYU, an M.A. in The Teaching of Social Studies from Columbia University, and holds a B.A. from Lehigh University. Her latest publication is a co-authored article entitled “Training Theatre Students of Color in the United States” in the ​Theatre, Dance, and Performance Training journal and a chapter in The Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance (ed. Kathy A. Perkins et al.), titled ‘Afro-Latinx Themes in Theatre Today’. Other publications include ‘#UnyieldingTruth: Employing the Culturally Responsive Pedagogy’, from the book Black Acting Methods (ed. Sharrell D. Luckett with Tia M. Shaffer), and the forthcoming book chapters, ‘A Time of Protest; Exploring Activism through Newspaper Theatre and Hip Hop Pedagogy’, in Dynamic Bodies, Emerging Voices: Racializing and Decolonizing Actor Pedagogy (ed. Amy Mihyang Ginther) as well as ‘Reflecting on “the work” of We Are The Canon: Antiracist Theatre Pedagogy Workshops’ in Contemporary Black Theatre & Performance: Acts of Rebellion, Activism, & Solidarity (ed. DeRon Williams et al.), She also has an article coming out this summer in Theatre Symposium entitled “Afro-Latinidad: Being Black and Latinx in Theatre Today”. Engaging in anti-racist and culturally competent theatre practices, she facilitates Theatre of the Oppressed workshops remixed with Hip Hop Pedagogy. When she is not teaching, writing, or conducting workshops, she can be found directing or serving as a dramaturge or culture consultant for several professional companies and organizations. 

  • Psychology in Everyday Life (Prof. Ricardo Machon, Psychology)

    TR 2:00-3:30PM (CRN 42294)

    This course explores the science of psychology and its applications in everyday life experience. By critically examining and meaningfully integrating its historical roots— Philosophy and Natural Science— the course will introduce students to the intersection of psychological science, transcendence and contemporary social issues. Students will be introduced to the Biological – Psychological - Social/Cultural model, a predominant lens through which human behavior and mental processes are examined. Students will gain a holistic understanding of what it means to be a thinking, feeling, acting, reflecting, and questioning human being in everyday life.

    Meet the Professor:

    Ricardo Arturo Machón is a professor of psychology and holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Southern California. As a first-generation college student and immigrant, he is also a graduate of Loyola High School of Los Angeles.

    He has over 30 professional publications primarily in psychopathology and neurodevelopment of mental disorders. His most recent area of scholarship, some of which he has co-authored with his students, includes integration of pedagogy, psychological science, first-generation college experience, and social and developmental issues among emerging adults. He is a recipient of the Daum Professorship 2010-2011, an endowed chair awarded to senior faculty by the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts for excellence in teaching and advising; scholarship.

     Machón serves as Co-Director and Principal Investigator of the LMU McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement program for highly promising, first-generation college and underrepresented students in order to prepare them for graduate studies in STEM and social sciences. He is deeply committed to undergraduate student research, and since 1993 has directed and mentored well over 45 research projects and theses, typically presented at national professional and undergraduate psychological conferences.

  • Science and the Jesuit Tradition (Prof. Nicole Bouvier-Brown, Chemistry and Biochemistry)

    MWF 9:30-10:20am (CRN 40878)

    The Jesuit contribution to the scientific revolution in the late 16th and 17th centuries is unrivaled when compared to any other groups in the Church. Today Jesuits play an active role in the sciences across many disciplines. So, what does it mean to be trained as a scientist at a Jesuit University? What role does LMU’s Jesuit tradition play in science and in our personal lives? This seminar course uses discussions about Jesuit values and scientific principles to not only inform students and develop them as modern citizens, but also as a framework to help students build a personal foundation for their time at LMU and beyond.

    This course introduces students to the ideas of reflection and discernment that are fundamental to the Jesuit tradition, and in structured ways, will encourage students to reflect those values in their daily life.  We will also discuss the purpose and use of science, including scientific communication; this will involve an extensive discussion of information literacy. We will explore questions such as: how do we make decisions using the scientific method that reflect Jesuit values of justice and human dignity? What is it about the Jesuit tradition that builds an interest in science? How are these themes, as part of a broader Catholic Intellectual Tradition, reflected in LMU’s mission? The course will culminate in a project wherein each student will advocate for a strategy to combat climate change considering scientific practicality, the impact on environmental justice, and the human dignity of various stakeholders

    Meet the Professor:

    Dr. Nicole C. Bouvier-Brown, Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Loyola Marymount University, teaches in both the Chemistry and Environmental Science programs. She received her Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from U.C. Berkeley. Since starting at LMU in 2009, her teaching has focused on General Chemistry (lecture and lab), Environmental Chemistry, Earth System Science, Analytical Chemistry, Air Pollution, and Chemical Ecology. Her research lab has been focused on developing methodology for measuring and analyzing air pollution exacerbated by human activity. Recent teaching and research interests have included incorporating environmental justice examples into science courses, integrating LMU’s mission into course content, and assessing students’ climate change literacy.

  • Sex, Science, and Society (Prof. Mairead Sullivan, Department of Women's and Gender Studies)

    M 6:30-9:30pm (CRN 43243)


    This course will explore and interrogate the complex relationship between race, gender, sexuality, and science. Specifically, the course will utilize a feminist lens to understand how social differences are named, produced, and refuted through the use of scientific empiricism. The course is highly interdisciplinary, and is situated at the intersections of women’s and gender studies, critical race studies, the history of medicine, and science and technology studies.

    This course fits the theme “Science, Nature, and Society.” In the course, students will explore the social, political, and historical context in which scientific knowledge regarding race, gender, and sexuality is produced. In doing so, students will begin to identify how science circulates as an epistemic authority. They will be required to identify and critically engage the ways in which scientific inquiry and scientific knowledge shape current cultural narratives. The goal of the course is not to reject scientific inquiry wholesale but rather, to understand its contexts and contingencies.

    Course readings, discussions, and assignments will be motivated by the following questions: What is science? Who has been historically excluded from practicing or producing science?  How does science engage questions of embodied difference, specifically race, gender, and sexuality? And, most importantly, what tools does feminism offer for answering the preceding questions?  Students will use primary and secondary sources to investigate feminist interventions into the production of scientific knowledge, debate science’s role in shaping and defining social difference, as well as examine the critical resources that science offers for political responses to social inequality.

    Meet the Professor:

    Mairead Sullivan is Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Loyola Marymount University. Professor Sullivan’s research and teaching interests include feminist and queer theory, feminist methodologies, critical health studies, and identity based health politics.

  • Sleep: Your Hidden Superpower! (Prof. Carolyn Viviano, Biology) 

    MW 11:00am-12:30pm (CRN 40864)

    Sleep impacts everything. Although good sleep habits are as important to academic success, health, and well-being as eating properly and being active, only 1 in 10 college students get the recommended 7-9 hours of healthy sleep per night, in comparison to 4/10 of all adults.  During this seminar, we will consider the scientific advances in sleep research in the context of society, policy, health, and even fiction.

    Meet your Professor:

    Carolyn Viviano received a BA in Biology from Amherst College and a PhD in Genetics and Development from Columbia University. After several years in the US and UK researching the mechanisms of embryonic development and limb regeneration, she became increasingly interested in science and environmental literacy issues. The opportunity to work with future teachers at LMU motivated her to make the career change into science education. Dr. Viviano is a member of the Biology Department and the Director of the Secondary Science Education program. Her work at LMU is driven by the core belief that it is vital to instill in others an appreciation and respect for the world around them, regardless of their intended profession, and the goal of creating a challenging and stimulating atmosphere for students at all levels. 


  • The Sociology of US Immigration (Prof. Nadia Kim, Sociology)

    TR 12:00-1:30pm (CRN 46982)

    America is and has always been a country of immigrants. Indeed, it was the mass immigration waves at the turn of the twentieth century that captured the attention of the founders of American sociology. Currently, one in ten residents of the U.S. was born outside the country, a fact that raises not just eyebrows but sparks heated debate and violent conflicts, as history reminds us. Such social dynamics include the place of ethnicity in a country that has long foregrounded “race”; anti-immigrant propositions that deny “illegal aliens” education and social services; beefed up borders and everyday people’s anti-immigrant vigilantism; political shifts whereby the immigrant vote matters; and the Trump era of anti-immigrant White nationalism. While this course focuses largely on the United States, we will spend some time on other nations in comparative perspective, asking the following: What causes people to migrate across national borders? How do receiving societies react and how does this relate to immigrants’ own racialized/ethnic, gendered, and classed experiences? In what ways do immigrants maintain ties, allegiances, and identities that span borders and belie notions of “assimilation” and, in turn, alter both receiving and sending societies? What are the divergent and convergent experiences of women and men, of parents and children, of various immigrant groups? This course is designed to encourage you to use your “sociological imagination” to understand how everyday lives are connected to particular macro-level forces.

    Meet the Professor:

    Nadia Y. Kim is Professor of Sociology at Loyola Marymount University. Her research focuses on US race and citizenship inequalities regarding Korean/Asian Americans and South Koreans, race and nativist racism in Los Angeles (e.g., 1992 LA Unrest), immigrant women’s politics of the body and emotions in fights against environmental racism and classism, and comparative racialization of Latinxs, Asian Americans, and Black Americans. Throughout her work, Kim’s approach centers (neo)imperialism, transnationality, and the intersectionality of race, gender, class, and citizenship. Kim is author of the multi-award-winning Imperial Citizens: Koreans and Race from Seoul to LA (Stanford, 2008); of Refusing Death: Immigrant Women Fight for Environmental Justice in LA, which chronicles the embodied, emotive, and citizenship politics of Asian and Latin@ immigrant women’s fight for cleaner air in LA (Stanford, forthcoming Spring 2021), and of award-winning journal articles on race and assimilation and on racial attitudes.

  • The Year 1000 (Prof. Anthony Perron, History) 

    MWF 9:30-10:30am (CRN 46749) 

    This course will travel back to a distant era of tremendous change, the world at the turn of the first millennium. Ranging from Manchuria to West Africa, we will look at how a new world order emerged in the tenth century out of a time of crisis and chaos, anchored by three regimes in particular: the Song Dynasty in China, the Fatimid Caliphate in the lands of Islam, and the Holy Roman Empire in central Europe. Our journey will take us through a series of case studies looking at similar developments in different parts of the Old World. Learn how new regimes sought authority by reviving the legacies of antiquity. Wander the crowded yet vibrant streets of cities like Cairo and Kaifeng. Follow the trade networks of Arabs and Venetians across the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean. And listen as Muslim and Christian missionaries tried to persuade converts to join their cause. Throughout the course we will pay attention to how “barbarian” frontiers and imperial rivalries shaped the world of the year 1000. The course will also be explicitly interdisciplinary, showing how distinct approaches are necessary to understand the varied societies in different parts of the world; each of our case studies will demand that we draw on different types of evidence, ask different questions, and apply different methods to analyze our subject.

    Meet the Professor: 

    Dr. Perron received his BA and PhD in History from the University of Chicago. He teaches introductory courses on world and medieval European history, along with upper-division courses on the Crusades and the Vikings and a seminar in medieval law. His research interests include medieval Scandinavia and the history of medieval church law. He is currently working on a project involving the legal history of cemeteries and changing conceptions of the community of the dead from the eleventh to the thirteenth century.

  • War and Peace in German Literature and Film (Prof. Pauline Ebert, Modern Language and Literature)

    MW 2:00-3:30pm (CRN 46756)

    Combat, killing, suffering, death, and trauma have affected German culture and society in drastic ways throughout its history, and in particularly extreme proportions since early in the 20th century. In this course we will study major works of literature, art, and film that deal with war, violence, and trauma. We will mostly focus on material from the 1900s: moving from World War I, through the interwar period (where PTSD was first discovered), across the Nazi period and World War II, including the Holocaust. We will look at novels, plays, essays, and films that treat these themes, along with supporting historical material.

    Meet the Professor:

    Pauline Ebert earned her Magister Artium in German Literature from the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, and her M.A. in Modern Languages from the University of Alabama. She received her Ph.D. in German Studies from Wayne State University. Her research interests are in the areas of German collective memory of the Holocaust and the Third Reich, and the literature of the Holocaust. She is trained in the teaching of German as a second language and has a strong interest in language acquisition, current methodologies and media. She also received special training in Holocaust pedagogy.

  • Who Owns Art? (Prof. Melody Rod-ari, Art History)

    MWF 2:00-3:00pm (CRN 41086)

    MWF 3:30-4:30pm (CRN 40917)

    Who Owns Art? examines the history of collecting in Europe and America during late 19th and early 20th centuries. The course will examine specific cultural patrimony cases such as the ongoing debate over the return of the Parthenon sculptures currently in the collection of the British Museum. Specifically, the class will explore questions such as: should the sculptures be returned to Greece where they once adorned the Parthenon temple, or should they remain in the British Museum where greater numbers of visitors have access to them? This seminar is for students who are interested in learning about cultural patrimony, art law, and the world of collecting and museums. Students will have opportunities to visit local museum collections such as the Norton Simon Museum and the Getty Villa. 

    Meet the Professor:

    Melody Rod-ari is a professor of Art History at LMU and is also the Southeast Asian Content Editor for Smarthistory. Prior to coming to LMU, Dr. Rod-ari was the curator of Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum. She continues to be an active curator and recently redesigned the South and Southeast Asian galleries at the USC, Pacific Asia Museum. Her research investigates Buddhist visual culture in Thailand, and the history of collecting South and Southeast Asian art. Her work has been published by various journals and university presses including Amerasia Journal and the National University of Singapore Press. She has received fellowships from the Henry Luce Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

  • Women Warriors- Who's Telling the Story? (Prof. Kennedy Wheatley, Production Film and Television)

    TR 9:50-11:10am (CRN 40862)

    This course explores stories of American 'women warriors' who refused to accept limitations on their lives as women -- changing the course of history.     We will study artists and activists, farmworkers and businesswomen, judges, politicians and athletes from past and present. Using documentaries, essays, news articles, books, and fiction films, we will examine how each of these women changed our world, all through the FYS lens of Power and Privilege.

    Together, we will ponder: How is the rebellion of these women warriors in 1848, or 1963, or 2019 still reverberating in our society today? Whose stories have been widely told and who has been ignored?  Who do we believe when there are conflicting stories about the same woman, and why? What do these stories tell us about what it means to be female in the U.S., and how has that changed over time? 

    We will explore and practice different genres of storytelling: biographical storytelling, dramatic storytelling, stories framed by critical analysis, and the intriguing grey area in between.  

    This course may be particularly relevant for students whose majors involve storytelling, but all students are welcome, and a diverse group will create a richer, more engaging experience for all.   Students of all genders and non-gendered students are invited to bring their perspectives to this course.  All voices are equally honored, and everyone is respected for their own lived experience.  My goal is to share some thought-provoking ideas with you and for our shared listening to help us all grow.

    Meet the Professor: 

    Kennedy Wheatley is interested in how the power of media can be used for social change.  She directs documentaries, fiction films and PSAs for non-profit organizations and international NGOs.  She is currently working on a series of videos about reversing climate change.  As an artist and activist, she strives to tell stories through innovative narratives, images and sound.  She has taught in the School of Film & Television at LMU since 2000.  She earned her M.F.A. in Cinematic Arts from the University of Southern California, and an B.A. in Ethnic Studies from the Michigan State University. She lives in the foothills of LA, and is an avid swimmer and gardener.

  • Zombies, God, and Empire (Prof. Tracy TiemeierTheological Studies)

    TR 10:00-11:30am (CRN 40854) 

    TR 4:00-5:30pm (CRN 41851) 

    Whether it is the dread of eternal slavery in Haitian Vodou or the terror of the “foreign other” in White Christian imagination, the zombie is a figure that both reflects and reinforces complex socio-religious dynamics. Situating the zombie within the history and legacy of Western colonialism, this course examines the realities, problems, and possibilities of zombies for a more just world. We first explore the zombie’s origins in Western and Central Africa. We then examine the emergence of Haitian Vodou, attending to the folklore, theology, and practice of Haitian zombification. After that, we look at the development of the cinematic zombie. The zombie was an object of fascination during the American occupation of Haiti (1915-1934), leading to its appropriation in Western cinema. The cinematic zombie no longer reflects the anxieties of enslaved and colonized peoples, but instead props up the racial and religious fears of the colonizers. Underlying racial and religious claims of superiority persist, even after zombies are no longer associated with Vodou in American popular culture. At the same time, cinematic zombies have also served as profound indictments of the status quo and undermined unjust structures of domination. Thus, the final piece of our course assesses the theologically and socially liberative potential of zombie narratives.

    Meet the Professor:

    Tracy Sayuki Tiemeier is Associate Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. She specializes in Asian/Asian American theology, comparative theology, feminist theology, Hindu-Christian studies, and interreligious dialogue. A mixed Japanese-German American Catholic background full of saints and ancestors, a Midwest upbringing, and an abiding love of science fiction/fantasy/horror/dystopian worlds make her particularly interested to integrate critical theory, feminist theory, multiracial theory, and popular culture studies into her Catholic theological work.