Fall 2019 Seminars

  • The Art & Science of Teaching

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

    TR 9:40-11:10am (CRN 44849)

    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 of Understanding

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

    TR 8:00-9:30am (CRN 42294) First to Go Only

    TR 9:40-11:10am (CRN 40857) First to Go Only

    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.

  • Becoming a Multi-planetary Species


    TR 9:40-11:10AM (CRN 40917)

    There is a growing movement of thinkers and technologists who are advocating for a multi-planetary civilization. Their concern is that our existence on Earth is precarious, and to ensure the continuation of humanity, it is necessary to become a multi-planetary and eventually an interstellar or even intergalactic species.  This course will explore the past, present and future aspects of space exploration, and the challenges involved to become a multi-planetary species.  The social, cultural, political, and engineering topics will be discussed, as well as the ongoing development of private industry entering space, and the future focus on Mars expeditions.

    Meet the Professor:

    Claire Leon is the Graduate Program Director for the Loyola Marymount University’s Systems Engineering and Engineering Management Program, and she has also taught in the program since 2006.  Prior to joining LMU, Dr. Leon held a variety of leadership positions in industry and the government.  She retired from Boeing, in 2013, as the Vice President of National Programs after 34 years in the aerospace industry.  After retiring from industry, she worked for the Air Force as a member of the Senior Executive Service, as the Director of the Launch Enterprise Directorate at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California.  She was responsible for leading the procurement of launch services and the investment in future launch systems for the Department of Defense.  Since joining LMU full time, she has become the faculty advisor for the Loyola Marymount Aerospace Research Society, and taught graduate and undergraduate classes, including “Occupy Mars”, Becoming a Multi-Planetary Species (Freshman writing seminar), and Lean Engineering and Management, and Rocket Technology. 

  • Black Los Angeles- Prof. Marne Campbell

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

    TR 9:40-11:10am (CRN 41086)

    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. Adilifu Nama

    Black Los Angeles (Prof. Adilifu Nama, African American Studies)

    TR 11:20AM-12:50PM (CRN 40872) 

    This course examines the growth and evolution of African American communities in Los Angeles, as well as the "representation" of Black Los Angelenos.  This course will provide students with an overview of central theoretical and substantive issues that have driven research and debate regarding African American communities both past and present.  We start with a focus on the Great Migration, and how that shapes the social and cultural characteristics of the African American communities in Los Angeles.  This course uses an interdisciplinary and multi-media approach to examine the vibrant urban culture of Los Angeles' Black community. We explore representations of this community in film and literature, and review historical and social scientific data on African American communities in Los Angeles.  In doing so, students will reflect on the continuous ways in which race and space combine to create urban communities. Students are introduced to tools and methodologies used in the study of communities.


  • The Brain's Mind's Future

    The Brain’s Mind’s Future (Prof. Joseph Hellige, Department of Psychology)

    MWF 10:20-11:20AM (CRN 40862)

    Why do we make the decisions we make, feel the way we do about them, and then behave the way we do?  These questions are as old as our species, Homo sapiens, and as fresh as tomorrow.  Speculations and explanations have changed dramatically over time, even over the relatively short period of our recorded history.  Added to this in modern times are visions both serious and fanciful about what all of this portends for the future of our communities, civilizations, and even of Homo sapiens itself.  This seminar addresses these questions from the perspective of the many disciplines that shed light on possible answers and offer insights about brain, mind, and possible futures: biology and its many facets, cognitive and social psychology, cultural studies, computer science, philosophy, technology and artificial intelligence and more.  Through readings, video lectures delivered by prominent thinkers, class discussion, empirical exercises, and critical reflection (both written and oral) students will develop a deeper understanding of the best contemporary answers to the questions posed above, the practical relevance for their own lives, their own sense of the alternative futures that humanity might anticipate and how they wish to shape that future.

    Meet the Professor:

    Joseph Hellige is Professor of Psychology at LMU.  He has published research on a number of topics in cognitive neuroscience, including processing asymmetries of the human cerebral hemispheres, interaction of the left and right sides of the brain, and individual differences in cognitive processing (including handedness, age-related changes and differences related to clinical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia).  Current interests also include changes in the way people view experts and expertise, educating people to be more sophisticated consumers of research, and the role of technology in shaping our future.  Dr. Hellige earned his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and served as LMU’s Provost and Executive Vice President from 2010 to 2017.

  • Childhood in International Cinema

    Childhood in International Cinema (Prof. Aine O’Healy, Modern Languages and Literatures)

    M 4:20-7:20pm (CRN 44533)

    This seminar introduces students to critical writing through the exploration of international cinema. Our focus is on the representation of childhood in several films produced around the world since the 1940s. In order to engage with these films, drawn from different national contexts and historical periods, students apply the tools of audiovisual analysis to discern the symbolic functions fulfilled by the figure of the child. We will examine how the construction of children in cinema intersects with discourses of nation formation and with the representation of gender, sexuality, ethnicity and social class. The assigned readings, mainly drawn from cinema studies, will guide our explorations and will allow us to place the filmic analyses in a broader context, encompassing issues of globalization, discourses of the border, and discussions about multiculturalism and diversity.


    Meet the Professor:

    Professor Áine O'Healy is Professor of Italian and Director of the Humanities Program at Loyola Marymount University.

  • Community-Based Learning with Non-Profits for Social Change

    Community-Based Learning with Non-Profits for Social Change (Prof. Nina Lozano-Reich, Communication Studies)

    TR 11:20am-12:50pm (CRN 40871)

    This course focuses on how hands-on community-based learning experiences and skills can act as a vehicle for just social change. Students will choose a social justice issue of their choice, as their class project focus. Students will then be placed with a local not-for-profit community partner and will work between 20 and 40 semester hours alongside members of marginalized communities.  The entire course is focused on how to engage in service for just social change in three components:  literature on social justice, theories of community-based learning, and case studies of civic engagement.

    Meet the Professor:

    Dr. Nina M. Lozano-Reich is a political consultant and Associate Professor of Communication Studies. Her areas of expertise include rhetoric, social movements, gender and politics. Dr. Reich earned her doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a former Carnegie fellow, and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and other political websites. Her current book project examines the rhetoric, surrounding femicide, in Ciudad Juárez. 

  • Contemplative Practice

    Contemplative Practice (Prof. Jane Brucker, Studio Arts)

    W 4:10-7:00pm (CRN 44534)

    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.

  • Culture, Art, and Society--Shaping LA

    Culture, Art, and Society: The Shaping of Los Angeles (Prof. Kirstin Noreen, Art and Art History)

    TR  9:40-11:10am (CRN 40855)

    TR  11:20am-12:50pm (CRN 40879)

    Perhaps recognized more for its sun, surf, and stars, Los Angeles is often not immediately identified with culture and art. This course will challenge students to examine the meaning of culture and art in Los Angeles using various themes, such as the role of art collecting, the notion of destination architecture, the manipulation of artistic copies, and the expression of religion in the urban landscape. Students should be aware that this course is not intended as a survey of contemporary Los Angeles art; rather, class discussion will connect sites or objects in Los Angeles to a broader historical continuum to demonstrate cultural, artistic and architectural precedents that have helped to shape Southern California. There will be some mandatory Saturday field trips.

    Meet the Professor:

    Kirstin Noreen is Professor of Art History and teaches classes at LMU that specialize in medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art.  Her recent research examines the visualization and replication of sanctity during the period of the Counter-Reformation as expressed in the popular resurgence of medieval cult images.  She has received various grants to support her research, including an American Council of Learned Societies, Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship; a National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipend; and a Fulbright Grant for Graduate Study Abroad.

  • Drama and Culture of Southeast Europe


    TR 1:00-2:30PM (CRN 43244)

    This is a Theatre History class that covers about 500 years of playwriting in the specific geographic and cultural parts of Europe – the Balkans. This part of Europe covers several countries in the southeastern part of the continent and is known for its exciting, often traumatic history, as well as for its wonderful nature, food, and environment. That being said, the Balkans also offer a tremendous cultural richness in all of the artistic fields, including theatre arts and dramatic literature. Throughout the semester students will read four (4) plays by different playwrights from different time periods and of different genres. After analyzing and discussing plays in the class, the students will be required to write a 5-page-long critical essay/paper about each of the plays. The students will also be exposed to various other elements of the Balkan culture including history, geography, lm, music, arts and food. For their final project, students will be required to write a “free style” paper that answers the open question “To me, Balkan Spirit In Drama Is...?”

    Meet the Professor:

    Nenad “Neno” Pervan was born and raised in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He earned his BFA in Acting from the Academy of Arts, Yugoslavia. In 1993, he moved to the United States, where in 1997 he earned an MFA in Performance from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. As an actor, Neno was honored to collaborate with Oscar winning director Mr. William Friedkin, and Nobel Prize winning poet and playwright, professor Wole Soyinka, as well as to act opposite many great actors, including Academy Award winners Benicio Del Toro, and Tommy Lee Jones. Neno directs, acts, and writes for theatre, lm, TV, and the new media.

  • East Asian Cinema

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

    TR 2:40-4:10pm (CRN 43546)

    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.

  • Education and the Public Good

    Education and the Public Good (Prof. Bernadette Musetti, Liberal Studies)

    MW  2:20-3:50pm (CRN 43412)

    This course is an examination of the role of education in the U.S. and the purposes and functions education serves in our society. Students will be asked to consider whether education in the U.S. is the "great equalizer" or if it is more likely to serve as a primary means by which our social, economic, and political systems are reproduced. Students will examine a variety of schools and will be exposed to a diversity of material conditions, educational ideologies, and program models.

    Meet the Professor:

    Bernadette Musetti is a K-12 teacher and teacher educator. She currently directs the Liberal Studies program at LMU--the teacher preparation program for students wanting to earn a BA in Liberal Studies and a multiple subjects teaching credential as undergraduates. She has taught in Mexico and worked in international education for many years--with students of all ages and backgrounds from around the world. She teaches undergraduates and graduate students and finds a great deal of fulfillment and inspiration in teaching. She is interested in the ways in which the institutions of education can better serve individuals, communities, and the collective, which is the focus of the freshman seminar on 'Education & the Public Good'. Dr. Musetti earned her PhD at the University of California Davis in Language, Literacy & Culture. 

  • Ethics of Citizenship

    Ethics of Citizenship, Patriotism, and Globalization: Citizens of the Polis or the World? (Prof. Carissa Phillips-Garrett, Philosophy)

    TR 11:20am-12:50pm (CRN 40870)

    The political events of the last few years in both Europe and North American have shown more clearly than ever that there is a deep divide between those who see themselves as citizens of where they live first and those who see themselves as citizens of the broader world first. Although the particular identities in question have varied over time, this debate between global cosmopolitans and nationalist communitarians is not new. Two millenia ago, Aristotle’s locus for political concern was the local polis, while the Stoics saw themselves as members of a worldwide community. In this course, we will explore the philosophical questions and central ethical challenges posed by our increasingly globalized world for both types of approaches to political identity.

    We begin by examining what it means to be a citizen and what the ethical implications are of identifying ourselves as patriotic or nationalistic. The philosophical questions we will address include whether we have special duties of justice to our fellow citizens and what it means to be a citizen of the world. Is it even coherent to think of ourselves in this way, and even if it is, is Aristotle correct to think that functional communities require a type of civic friendship that is simply impossible at the global level?

    In the final section of the course, we will look at what ethical implications our view of citizenship might have for how we think about a host of political issues, including intervention in cases of genocide and oppression, duties to the poor in far-away countries, immigration, and trade agreements.

    Meet the Professor:

    Carissa Phillips-Garrett is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University. Professor Phillips-Garrett’s research and teaching interests include virtue ethics, moral psychology, feminist philosophy, ancient ethics, and social philosophy. Questions that her scholarship has recently addresses include when and why we should blame or forgive, what virtues we ought to develop in social relationships, what the virtues of intimate relationships consist in, and whether being forgiving can be defended on feminist grounds.


  • Empathy: An Antidote to Bullying the Self, Others, and the Planet

    Empathy: An Antidote to Bullying the Self, Others, and the Planet (Prof. Damon Rago, Theatre Arts and Dance)

    W 4:20-7:20pm (CRN 40880)

    This 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 humankind maps paths negotiating social issues that affect the body, mind, and spirit of humankind and the planet. Course activities will be experiential, reflective, analytical, and creative. Over the course of the semester, students will read a variety of texts that explore authors’ understanding of Empathy from the viewpoints of the Encouragement of Learning; Education of the Whole Person: body, intellect, and emotions; and Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice in relation to the self, other, and the planet.

    Meet the Professor:

    Damon Rago began his formal dance training at California State University, Fullerton in 1988.  Upon graduation, he accepted a full scholarship to the University of Utah to pursue an MFA in Modern Dance.  While there, Damon was the 1996 winner of the Dee R. Winterton Award for Outstanding Gradate Student and walked straight from graduation to the dance studio and began a two-year stretch with the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company.

    As a member of RWDC, Damon worked with Murray Louis, David Rousseve, Douglas Neilson, Della Davidson, Keith Johnson, Janis Brenner, and Ming Lung Lang.  He also performed in works by Doug Varone, Laura Dean, Ann Carlson, and Creach & Koester.

    In 1998, Damon returned to Los Angeles and spent four years a member of the groundbreaking dance company TONGUE, under the direction of Stephanie Gilliland.  Since then, he has worked as a freelance performer, with Joe Goode, Loretta Livingston, Maria Gillespie, and as a performer in his own choreography.

    In 2002, Damon formed Palindrome Performance Group to begin to develop his own choreographic voice using physicality, humor, emotion, and theatre to tell human stories through dance.

    He is a three time Lester Horton Award winner for Outstanding Achievement in Performance, in 2002 for Joe Goode’s Native Son, in 2003 for Loretta Livingston’s Leaving Evidence, and in 2007 for his own Manifold.  He was also a winner in 2003 for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography for Four Inches to the Left.  His choreography has been presented at the Dumbo Dance Festival in Brooklyn, New York, Dance Spectrum LA, the Sola Dance Festival, Highways Performance Space, Loyola Marymount University, California State University, Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, Orange Coast College, Citrus College, Scottsdale Community College, and Utah Valley University as well as being presented by the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. 

    Damon and Ann, his wife since 1993, live in Anaheim Hills.  They enjoy a life without children of their own, but are proud to be favorite Aunt and Uncle to Christopher, Owen, Noah, Gracee, Hannah, Sienna, Olivia, Dre, Liam. 

  • Exploring Human Decision Making

    Exploring Human Decision Making (Prof. Cathleen McGrath, Management)

    MW 9:40-10:55am (CRN 41851)

    MW 12:40-1:55pm (CRN 40853)

    Everyday, people engage in decision making about matters large and small.  We are taught to make decisions through our interactions with family, friends, teachers, co-workers, and employers.  But, often the decisions we make seem to differ from the one that might be “the best.”  In this seminar we will explore the processes that explain how people actually make decisions and we will compare that to the way people think they should make decision.  We will learn about the field of behavioral decision theory.  We will focus on issues around utility (what we want), time (when we want it), and emotions (how we react to it).  We will read about contemporary researchers who help us to understand decision making from the perspective of fast and slow thinking and rules of thumb that people use to make decisions.  We will explore how understanding decision making processes can help individuals make better decisions at work, home, and in everyday life.

    Meet the Professor:

    Cathleen McGrath is currently an associate professor in the Department of Management in the College of Business Administration at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, USA. She has taught organizational behavior in the graduate and undergraduate business programs for 20 years. Her research focuses on the role of interpersonal networks within and among organizations. She has published research in the area of social network analysis and management in Social Networks, the Journal of Social Structure, and MIT Sloan Management Review.  She has served on several university committees and she has been a part of multiple National Science Foundation projects.   Dr. McGrath received her Ph.D. degree in Public Policy and Management from the H.J. Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Gender, Race, and Environmental Health

    Gender, Race, and Environmental Health (Prof. Traci Voyles, Women's and Gender Studies) 

    MWF 11:30am-12:30pm (CRN 40866)

    This course examines the relationship between gender, race, environmental health and environmental justice in a global context. This course is highly interdisciplinary and is situated at the intersections of environmental studies, history, health sciences, and Women’s and Gender Studies. In this class, we will use primary and scholarly sources to investigate themes of gender and environmental health in US history and culture. We look specifically to the ways in which gender shapes how we imagine environmental problems, how women and men are affected differently by environmental disasters, and how environmentalism has differentially constructed gender roles. Students will conduct individual research and writing projects investigating key course themes, and learning to apply a gendered analysis to the history of environmental politics in the US and in the world. In the end, students will develop strong analytical skills in investigating the material and ideological ways in which gender, race, and environmental health intersect.

    Meet the Professor:

    Traci Brynne Voyles is an associate professor and chair of Women’s and Gender Studies at Loyola Marymount University. She is an award-winning teacher and researcher in the fields of environmental history, indigenous history, feminist theory, and critical race studies. Her 2015 book, Wastelanding: Legacies of Uranium Mining in Navajo Country, won the Southwest Book Award from the Border Regional Libraries Association. Her forthcoming monograph, Bound for the Sky: California’s Salton Sea and the Impossibilities of American Environmentalism, has won the support of multiple prestigious fellowships, including the Graves Award in Humanities. She is the author of several journal articles and essays, and the co-editor of the forthcoming collection Not Just Green, Not Just White: Race, Justice, and Environmental History. Voyles specializes in working across disciplinary boundaries and has been a featured speaker in a range of multidisciplinary venues and research initiatives. Her current research explores the environmental history of childbirth.

  • God in All Sounds

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

    TR 9:40-11:10am (CRN 40856)

    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

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

    TR 1:00-2:30pm (CRN 43404)

    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 Race and Gender

    History of Race and Gender (Prof. Margarita R. Ochoa, History)

    TR 11:20am-12:50pm (CRN 40864)

    TR 1:00pm-2:30pm (CRN 40865)                 

    What is race? What is gender? Are these categories of identity purely biological, social, or cultural constructs? Also, what is their relationship to economic status, politics and national identity, and environment? This seminar will introduce you to questions of race and gender for Latin America. The course begins with the invention of the “Indian,” which lies in Columbus’ infamous crossing of the Atlantic in 1492, followed by Spanish and Portuguese conquests in the Americas and the rise of mixed-race (i.e. mestizo or casta) populations. The course then explores the African and Asian diasporas in Latin America, who arrived via the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Trans-Pacific trade routes, respectively. The course will then move into the period of state formations, to examine the racial and gendered politics of national identity creation, and end with an overview of contemporary race and gender problems in Latin America today. Overall, this seminar will challenge you to examine how ruling powers (Crown, Church, Democracies, Military regimes, etc.) and individual men and women created, imposed, and manipulated categories of race and gender in the history of America, from 1492 to the present day. Your work for this seminar will expose you to a field of study characterized by vibrant (read: heated!) scholarly debate on questions of identity, power, and social justice.

    Meet the Professor:

    Margarita R. Ochoa is Associate Professor of history at Loyola Marymount University. She is a researcher of Latin American history and politics. Her current book manuscript, Indigenous Mexico City, examines native communities, family relations, gender, and race in eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Mexico City. She is also co-editing The Cacicas of Spanish America, 1492-1825, under contract with University of Oklahoma Press, and is co-editor of City Indians in Spain's American Empire.

  • History of Television

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

    R 4:30-7:00PM (Daley, CRN 44678) 

    M 4:30-7:00PM (Szollosi, CRN 44641)

    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.


  • Imagining Lincoln

    Imagining Lincoln (Prof. Carla Bittel, History)

    TR 11:20am-12:50pm (CRN 40868)

    TR 1:00-2:30pm (CRN 40875) 

    Who was Abraham Lincoln? Thousands of books, countless articles, and several generations of historians have explored this question. Today, we are still looking for answers. Why? This First Year Seminar course explores history’s many versions of Lincoln as a case study in historical interpretation and investigation of historical memory. It unpacks the fascination with Lincoln, as Americans search for authentic leaders, construct mythologies, and create meaning about the Civil War. The objectives of the course are twofold. First, students will learn about Lincoln and his times through reading, analyzing and critiquing primary and secondary sources. We will pay special attention to Lincoln’s views on race and slavery, and his handling of southern secession, the Civil War, and emancipation, in order to elucidate broader issues of race, power and privilege. We will also examine Lincoln’s assassination and his legacy in American politics to understand how his memory has been constructed and reshaped over time.  Second, students will use Lincoln to contend with different modes of historical analysis and interpretation. They will engage with the problems and potential of biographical writing, in addition to methods in social and cultural history, gender and family history, political and military history, discourse and cultural studies, psychological history and history of sexuality. Finally, we will also examine the visual and material representations of Lincoln, from portraits to photos, from documentaries to Hollywood films, from postage stamps to action figures, to understand how his image has changed over time.

    Meet the Professor

    Carla Bittel specializes in nineteenth-century U.S. history. Her research focuses on gender issues in the history of medicine and science; she has examined the history of women’s health, women physicians, and the role of science in medicine. Her new research explores gender and phrenology in antebellum America. 

  • Islam and the Building of America

    Islam and the Building of America (Prof. Amir Hussain, Theology)

    MW 9:40-11:10am (CRN 41955)

    Over the past 15 years my research has examined how American Muslims have lived out their religion in a society in which they are: 1) a minority community, 2) have internal differences in terms of degree of observance, sectarianism (Sunni and Shi‘a), ethnicity (25% are African American, 35% are South Asian, 33% are Middle Eastern), political affiliation, socio-economic status, etc., and 3) have to deal with issues of western modernity (e.g., same-sex marriage). This course turns that research question on its head, and asks not how America has transformed the practices of American Muslims, but how American Muslims have transformed America.

    Meet the Professor:

    Dr. Amir Hussain is Professor of Theological Studies at LMU, where he teaches courses on world religions. His own particular specialty is the study of Islam, focusing on contemporary Muslim societies in North America. From 2011 to 2015, Amir was the editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the premier scholarly journal for the study of religion. He is on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Religion. He is an advisor for the television series The Story of God with Morgan Freeman. In 2008, he was appointed a fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities. In both 2008 and 2009, Amir was chosen by vote of LMU students as the Professor of the Year. 

  • Jesuit Education: Learning to Change the World- Honors Program Only

    Jesuit Education: Learning to Change the World  (Prof. John T. Sebastian, English)

    TR 9:40-11:10am (CRN 42252)


    What do you, Denzel Washington, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Vince Lombardi, Allen Iverson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Bill Clinton, three current Supreme Court Justices, twelve sitting U.S. Senators, 42 members of U.S. House of Representatives, and Pope Francis all have in common? You are all Jesuit-educated! From Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles to Loyola College in Chennai, India, Jesuit schools have been educating men and (more recently) women for nearly 500 years. But what does it mean to be “Jesuit-educated”? This course examines ideas about Jesuit education and their evolution from the time of the founding of the first Jesuit school in Messina, Sicily, in 1548 until today. We will learn about the origins of education as a ministry within the Society of Jesus (Saint Ignatius did not envision founding schools!); the history and meaning of concepts like cura personalis and magis (they may not mean what you think!); and how Jesuit education has evolved in recent decades (the Jesuits were not always advocates of social justice!). Students will be encouraged in their discussion and their writing to reflect on the implication of what they are learning for their own experience as students at Loyola Marymount University and to analyze what it means (and does not mean) to be Jesuit-educated at LMU.

    Meet the Professor:

    Dr. John T. Sebastian is Vice President for Mission and Ministry and Professor of English. He earned the M.A. and Ph.D. in medieval studies from Cornell University and is also Jesuit-educated: he has a master’s and bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and holds a post-graduate certificate in Jesuit Studies from the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College.  Dr. Sebastian an expert in Middle English literature, especially religious drama, devotional poetry, and mystical writing. He has published essays on dramatic texts, the poets Chaucer and Lydgate, and medievalism and video games and is the General Editor of The Broadview Anthology of Medieval Literature. He has taught courses on the languages, literatures, and cultures of the medieval world from Viking Age Iceland to Heian Japan and on Ignatian pedagogy and Jesuit education.

  • LEAPIN- LEAP Program Only

    LEAPIN (Prof. Nicole Bouvier-Brown, Chemistry)

    MWF 11:30am-12:30pm (CRN 44614)


    In this course, the focus will be on integrating material from the disciplines of biology, chemistry and mathematics as well as from other disciplines outside of the sciences. This will be done by looking at the science of climate change and efforts to address global warming.  An important academic goal for the LEAP program is to develop language skills for reading, writing, and speaking about scientific content with other members of the scientific community as well as non-technical audiences.

    Meet the Professor:

    Dr. Nicole Bouvier- Brown received her Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from U.C. Berkeley in 2008 and her B.S. in Biology/Chemistry (Environmental) from St. Mary’s College of California in 2003.

  • Making Sense of Global Politics

    Making Sense of Global Politics (Prof. Mariano Bertucci, Political Science) 

    MWF 8:00-9:00am (CRN 40860)

    MWF 11:30am-12:30pm (CRN 42253)

    This course is an introduction to the main issues, actors, processes and outcomes shaping global politics at the turn of the 21st century. It covers issues such as nuclear proliferation, global terrorism, food security, the environment, the global economy, global inequality and poverty, financial crises, population and migration, global health, global crime, and the role of some of the most important international organizations in trying to effectively deal with such challenges. This course is designed to jump-start (or reinforce) your curiosity about some of the most pressing issues shaping the world we all live in. The course is discussion-based; descriptive in nature (i.e. based on facts, data and research, the course answers what some of the most pressing global issues are actually about); and, it helps build healthy work habits and gain writing and oral communication skills that you will find useful no matter what profession you choose to enter.

    Students are required to do—and think about—all assigned readings before class and read newspapers and follow the news on a daily basis. (If you know you are not going to be able to do this, then you should not take this class.) Upon completion of this course, you will: a) be a much more informed global citizen; b) know how to present effective arguments—both in writing and orally—on virtually any global topic; and, c) have work habits that most future employers will likely find worth investing in (vs. the profile and experiences of other people).

    This course answers what type of questions: “What is nuclear proliferation about?”, “What are financial crises about?”, and so on. If you’d like to gain some analytical tools to help you explain why nuclear proliferation and financial crises (to name just two examples) take place, this course is the perfect complement to more advanced courses on, for instance, International Relations, Politics of the Global Economy, International Security and Comparative politics (which you can also take at the Political Science Department at LMU). Before trying to explain anything, it is key to understand very well what is that we want to explain.

    Meet the Professor:

    Mariano Bertucci earned his B.A. in International Relations from the Universidad de San Andres in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and his M.A. in International Studies from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Southern California. Drawing on Political Psychology and Political Sociology, Professor Bertucci’s research helps better understand the domestic determinants of some of the most pressing issues in international security and the international political economy. A second strand of his research focuses on how to effectively bridge the theory-policy gap in international affairs. His work has been published in International Studies Perspectives, PS: Political Science & Politics, Latin American Politics and Society, and featured in mass media outlets such as The Huffington Post and Inside Higher Ed. He has lived, worked and researched in places such as Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Brasilia, Santiago, New Orleans and Washington, DC, and volunteered in non-profit organizations helping veterans overcome the traumas of war in Los Angeles, collecting and distributing medical supplies to developing countries in Denver, and facilitating aid work with indigenous people in the region of the Triple Frontier in South America.

  • Multiracial Voices

    Multiracial Voices (Prof. Curtiss Takada Rooks, Asian and Asian American Studies)

    MWF 12:40-1:40pm (CRN 41890)

    For the first time in modern U.S. history, the 2000 U.S. Census allowed persons of multiracial ancestry to not only fully identify themselves but also be counted present in United States.  Confined and restrained by the troupe of the tragic mulatto persons of multiracial ancestry often struggled to find their voice in the weight of monoracial hegemony.  Passing provided one strategy for survival and identification.  Such was the case from our country's birth to the late 1960s when the Loving v. Virginia (1968) Supreme Court case legally and constitutionally legitimized interracial marriage and with it multiracial offspring throughout the U.S.  Thus, contemporary U.S. society ushered in a new trope of "Hybrid Vigor" celebrating, defining multiracial persons as the hope for America's post-racial or race-less future.  Yet, through it all multiracial persons continued to be defined by others -- their voices muffled in the service of power, privilege and the struggle for dominance.  Persons of multiracial ancestry then and now became the symbol of all that is bad and all that is good in U.S. race relations.

    Grounded in relevant critical race, social and identity theory, students through the use novels, poetry, film, song and video to examine the lives and articulation of self by multiracial persons as they claim their own voices, their own definitions, tell their own stories -- and, in the process they unmask the continued use of race as a means to power and privilege.

    Meet the Professor:

    Curtiss Takada Rooks is an assistant professor in Asian and Asian American Studies. He received his Ph.D. in comparative culture, with an emphasis in cultural anthropology at the University of California, Irvine in 1996. He teaches courses on Asian Pacific American ethnic communities, mixed race and ethnic identity, and qualitative research methods.  His scholarship encompasses multiracial & ethnic identity, multicultural/diversity issues and engaged community based evaluation addressing community wellness & chronic health issues.  He has lectured widely on mixed race identity and diversity including the 2017 UCLA Mixed Student Union Conference keynote address, entitled “Musings on A Life Lived Double, Or More”, and guest lectured at Sophia University (Tokyo, Japan) Center for Global Discovery entitled, “From the Margins to the Center: The Role(s) of Japanese Americans of Mixed Race Ancestry in US-Japan Relations: Case Studies in Transnational Identity” (2016).

  • On the Technological Sublime- Honors Program Only

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

    R 4:20-7:00 (CRN 44535)


    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.

  • Our Media, Ourselves

    Our Media, Ourselves (Prof. Christopher Finlay, Communication Studies)

    TR 2:40-4:10pm (CRN 43731)

    This course examines the role of the media in constructing representations of our individual and group identities including, race, gender, sexuality, religion, and class.  We will ask how the altered media landscape of today, where the barriers between media producers and media consumers have been challenged if not yet broken, creates opportunities for all of us to challenge existing societal characterizations.

    Meet the Professor:

    Christopher Finlay earned his B.A. in Political Science from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has two M.A.’s, one in Political Science from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario and one in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He received his Ph.D. in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011. Professor Finlay spent the 2011-2012 academic year as a lecturer at Cal State San Bernardino. He is the author of several articles and book chapters on new media and global communication. In 2009, he was a research fellow at the Reuters Institute at Oxford University, where he conducted dissertation research exploring the influence of new media protest campaigns on the construction of global media events such as the Olympic Games. Chris’ Olympics research has also brought him to China. Chris also taught two summer global communication course at Tsinghua University and Peking University while in China.

  • Personal Growth and Spiritual Development

    Personal Growth and Spiritual Development (Prof. Eric Magnuson, Sociology)

    TR 1:00-2:30pm (CRN 43243)  

    This is a course based in direct experience and community involvement. It is intended for people who are interested in exploring both alternative spirituality and emotional growth. The class is a blend of religious studies, psychology, and sociology. It is a good course for people who are open to new ideas and practices of unconventional and Eastern spirituality. Students should also be interested in emotional exploration and be open to discussing personal beliefs, experiences, and feelings during class discussion. The course will involve meditation and other mindfulness practices. (Note: The class is open to any and all spiritual and religious beliefs and backgrounds and does not require belief in any particular religious ideas.)

    Meet the Professor:

    Eric Magnuson is a tenured associate professor in Sociology. His research interests include social psychology, gender and masculinity, spirituality, social justice, and countercultures. His first book was on the topic of men’s movements, masculinity, and personal growth. He is currently working on a book about Burning Man, alternative spirituality, and personal development.

  • Principles of Scientific Reasoning- ACCESS Program Only

    Principles of Scientific Reasoning (Prof. David Berube, Physics)

    T 4:30-7:00pm (CRN 44615) 

    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:

    Dr. Berube received his B.S. in physics in 2000 from Loyola Marymount University. While a student at LMU, he had the opportunity to conduct research in space physics with Dr. Jeff Sanny. He liked it so much that he decided to pursue a Ph.D. in geophysics and space physics. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2007, Dr. Berube returned to LMU to teach and conduct research in the physics department, where he has been ever since.

    Dave’s main research interest is the investigation of the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth’s magnetosphere. Specifically, he studies properties of ultra-low-frequency (ULF) waves in Earth’s magnetic field. These waves are important because they may play a crucial role in the acceleration of electrons in space to extremely high energies. These “killer electrons” have been responsible for many spacecraft failures. Dr. Berube loves having undergraduate students participate in research; he and Dr. Sanny hire several students each summer.

    Dr. Berube is also the program coordinator for ACCESS (A Community Committed to Excellence in Scientific Scholarship). ACCESS prepares incoming freshmen in the Seaver College of Science and Engineering for academic excellence through collaborative engagement in scientific scholarship.

    In his spare time, Dr. Berube enjoys hiking, making his own beer, and exploring Los Angeles.

  • Tolkien in Context

    Tolkien in Context (Prof. Aimee Ross-Kilroy, English)

    MWF 3:00-4:00pm (CRN 40859)

    In The Defense of Poesie, Sir Philip Sidney argued that while the world reality delivers is "brazen, the poets only deliver a golden" world.  In this course, we will explore the creation of fully realized, imaginative worlds through the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams.  The Inklings, as they called themselves, formed a loose literary society and encouraged each other in the writing of work that was often greeted with some skepticism by the academic communities in which they also participated.  Nonetheless, their works have been enormously influential on fantasy, children's literature, and science fiction.  Additionally, each of these writers was influential in shaping thought about literature, history and theology.

    In this course, students will read representative works of fiction and non-fiction by each of these authors.  We will explore their literary collaborations, and the questions and concerns of the mid-twentieth century that informed their writing.  We will also explore interpretations of their work, their impact on popular culture in the past and today, and the cultural uses to which their work is put in the present.  At the heart of inquiry is the question of the role of the imagination and fictional world-making in a real world that increasingly reveres technology and science.

    Meet the Professor:

    Aimee Ross-Kilroy teaches courses in British literature, Renaissance literature including Shakespeare, composition, fiction and children’s literature. She also serves as the Associate Director of the Freshman English Program. Her research interests include early modern revenge tragedies, and she has an article forthcoming in the journal Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Reforme entitled “‘The Very Ragged Bone’: Dismantling Masculinity in Thomas Middleton’s The Revenger’s Tragedy,” and is at work researching purgatory and its absence in the English Renaissance. In her spare time, she finds herself watching a great deal of youth soccer and entertaining the notion of someday writing children’s literature of her own.

  • Saints and Sinners: 20th Century Catholic Novels

    Saints and Sinners: 20th Century Catholic Novels  (Prof. Scott J. Roniger, Philosophy)

    MW 9:40-11:10am (CRN 40874)

    This course will be a close reading of some of the greatest works of fiction in the 20th Century, including the very best of Catholic literature in the modern period. The themes explored in these classics, which will be unpacked in the course, are perennial and include the following: the restlessness of the human soul, human life understood as exile and pilgrimage, the paradoxes of human freedom, the nature of love and sacrifice, the human person’s flight from and encounter with God, and the mystery of supernatural grace and mercy.

    The course provides an ideal introduction to humanistic studies at the university level by allowing these perennial issues to be raised by classic works of fiction. Using literature as a springboard to philosophical and theological questions is an excellent way for first-year students to see how such questions can arise in the course of human life and why these questions are central to the human search for happiness. Such a method engages the heart, mind, and imagination of students. While this course fits best within the “Faith and Reason” theme, it also deals with aspects of ethics, virtue, justice, culture, and society.  

    The learning objectives are: (1) To learn how to read classic works of literature at a proper level of detail and complexity, which includes developing a sense for the importance of the connections between structure, theme, and symbolism embedded in a novel. (2) To learn how to articulate orally perennial issues as they are manifest and developed in such literature. (3) To learn how to write papers that are grammatically correct, accurate in their descriptions of the novels, and insightful in their discussion of the themes in the novel. (4) To think imaginatively, philosophically, and theologically about how these works of literature can enrich their own lives.

    Meet the Professor:


    Dr. Scott J. Roniger is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He earned a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (STB), summa cum laude, and a Masters of Sacred Theology, magna cum laude, from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He then earned a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and a Licentiate in Philosophy (PhL), summa cum laude, from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. He earned his doctorate in philosophy, with distinction, from The Catholic University of America. He has published scholarly articles on Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Husserlian phenomenology.  



  • Strange Loops- Honors Program Only

    Strange Loops (Prof. Brad Stone, Philosophy)

    MWF 9:10-10:10AM (CRN 40854)


    Hofstadter’s book Gödel, Escher, Bach offers a marvelous interdisciplinary fugue that brings together music, visual art, mathematics, computer science, and cognitive science in wonderful harmony.  As honors students, you will often be invited to create fugues, bringing into harmony a variety of perspectives and expertise.  By focusing on the notion of recursion and other concepts associated with circularity, we will begin to see the beauty of thinking in different ways.  To Hofstadter’s mix I add literature and drama (although these are not completely absent from GEB) as well as American fugues from the first American shape-note hymnbook, The Sacred Harp.  

  • Thinking, Feeling, and Being- Honors Program Only

    Thinking, Feeling, and Being (Prof. Brett Marroquin, Psychology)

    TR 1:00-2:30pm (CRN 43277)


    This course examines two fundamental aspects of human experience: cognition (thinking) and emotion (feeling).  How do our rational and emotional capacities affect how we perceive and make sense of our experiences and the world around us?  Where do these capacities come from, and what do they do for us?  Do thinking and feeling act in opposition, or in concert?  How do emotions like anger, fear, and joy influence cognitive processes like perception, attention, memory, and language?  And how do cognitive phenomena like stereotypes and decision-making factor into emotional expression, romantic relationships, aggression, and altruism?  This seminar will approach these questions primarily from the perspective of psychological science, with attention to other disciplinary approaches including philosophy, biology, and the arts.  By considering links and tensions between thinking and feeling, we will also critically examine the scientific method as a way of knowing, enter timeless debates over innate versus learned behavior (“nature versus nurture”), and appreciate the social and historical contexts of science and scholarship.  Students will engage in critical discussion of scholarship on cognition and emotion in a seminar setting, and will apply course content to contemporary social issues in written and oral work. 

  • War and Peace in German Literature and Film


    MWF 3:00-4:00pm (CRN 43410)

    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.

  • The West and American Imagination

    The West and the American Imagination (Prof. K.J. Peters, English)

    MWF  12:40-1:40pm (CRN 41910)

    The Westward Imagination examines American westward expansion driven by the entwined concepts of continentalism and Manifest Destiny. These two concepts provided justification for massive land acquisitions, war, the decimation of first nations peoples, the importation of foreign labor forces, and the expansion of slavery. Symbolically, westward expansion relocated American energies, social identity, and the American imagination from the eastern seaboard, across the mid-west, to the west coast. Using westward expansion as a lens, this course examines the human expression of the evolving American imagination in novels, short stories, poems, and Film. The horizon of this course will begin with the founding of these concepts (1818-1823) and will be focused by three critical questions: (1) What impelled continentalism and the westward pursuit of destiny? (2) How were American sensibilities, ambitions, and institutions changed in the movement west? (3) Are contemporary manifestations of westward expansion and manifest destiny still discoverable in the American imagination?

    Meet the Professor:

    K. J. Peters was born and raised on a cattle ranch in Hamilton county Nebraska. He took is Doctorate at the University of Nebraska specializing in critical theory and interrogative rhetorics. Prior to his current position at LMU, Dr. Peters was a professor at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. Among his publications are articles addressing the thematics of Hemingway, the rhetoric of privacy, Levinasian phenomenology, and academic freedom. His current research includes the rhetorical tradition of Jesuit education and a re-imagining classical rhetorical concepts for the contemporary, multi-media classroom. He is completing a textbook entitled The Argument Handbook forthcoming from McGraw-Hill. Dr. Peters directed the Freshman English Program for 12 years and has twice served as the president of the LMU faculty senate. He served as the chair of the Bellarmine Forum focused upon the traditions and charism of LMU’s founding and designed as a guide for LMU’s next 100 years. He is currently the faculty representative for the trustees’ facilities and IT committee and the faculty athletics representative. In addition, he has served as the President of the Board of Directors for St. Marks School, Venice, CA.

  • Women Warriors- Who's Telling the Story?

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

    TR 11:20am-12:50pm (CRN 44677)

    This course explores the stories of 'women warriors' throughout history who challenged social conventions of their day. We will study artists and activists, farmers and factory workers, scientists, politicians and athletes.  Through the FYS lens of Power and Privilege, we will examine historical accounts, biographies, films and television shows and ponder these questions: What do these stories tell us about what it means to be female?  Whose stories have been told and who has been ignored?  How does does the reader differentiate between fact and fiction?  We will explore and practice different genres of storytelling:  factual storytelling, dramatic storytelling, and the intriguing grey area in between.  We will discuss our ethical responsibilities as biographical storytellers, when we convince another human being to open up and share their life. 

    This course has been designed for students whose majors involve storytelling: writers, artists, filmmakers, poets, historians, and communicators of all stripes.  However, all students are welcome, and a diverse group will create a richer, more engaging experience for all.   All voices are equally honored, and everyone is respected for their own lived experience.    We will closely examine the intersection of 'story' and female identity, both through the lens of critical thinking and also through the lens of self-reflection.  As your instructor, my goal is to share some thought-provoking ideas with you and for our shared listening to help us all grow a little bit as human beings.

    Meet the Professor: 

    Kennedy Wheatley is interested in using the power of media for personal and social change.  Her creative interests are in directing documentaries, fiction films and PSAs for non-profit organizations and international NGOs.  As an artist and activist, she is interested in telling 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.

  • Writing Los Angeles

    Writing Los Angeles: Journalism in the City of Angels (Prof. Evelyn McDonnell, English)

    TR 11:20am-12:50pm (CRN 40878)

    This seminar, which may be counted toward the journalism major, examines Los Angeles as community through the journalism produced about the city and its environs. By consuming historical and contemporary print, web, audio and video stories about Los Angeles, students will explore the power structures in story-telling and learn about how the city’s own story has been shaped and perceived by the journalists who have covered it. There will be a heavy emphasis on the distinct and melded cultures that comprise the city’s fabric, waves of immigration that have shaped its populace and the urban planning that produced its blueprint. The reading list will include works by native Angelenos and journalists from other places who tried to explain the city to readers back home. Students will also be introduced to the act of producing local journalism, traveling off campus to explore and write about the city that surrounds them.

    Meet the Professor:

    Associate Professor of Journalism Evelyn McDonnell is an expert on music, gender, and politics. She has written or coedited six books, from Rock She Wrote: Women Write about Rock, Pop and Rap to Women Who Rock: Bessie to Beyonce. Girl Groups to Riot Grrrl. She is also series editor for Music Matters, a collection of short books about musicians.  A longtime journalist, she has been a pop culture writer at The Miami Herald and a senior editor at The Village Voice. Her writing on music, poetry, theater, and culture has appeared in publications and anthologies including The New York Times, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Ms., Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Review of Books, Travel & Leisure, Billboard, Interview, and Option. She teaches students how to write and make noise at Loyola Marymount University, where she directs the journalism program.

  • Zombies, God, and Empire

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

    TR 1:00-2:30pm (CRN 43276) 

    his course examines the relationship between zombies, theology, and power. The representation of zombies in popular culture often legitimizes racial and religious claims of superiority. However, zombies have also served as profound indictments of the status quo and undermined unjust structures of domination. The course situates zombies in West African, South African, and Haitian religious thought and practice; assesses the representation of zombies and Voodoo in Western literature, film, and scholarship through the lenses of postcolonial theory, critical race theory, and liberation theology; and highlights contemporary zombie narratives that use the themes of zombie infection to make social and theological claims about building an authentic human community in a “fallen” world. 

    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.