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

    MW 2:20-3:50pm (CRN 74716)

    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.


    TR 9:40-11:10AM (CRN 71794)

    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, 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.

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

    TR 9:40-11:10am (CRN 72305)

    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.

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

    MW 12:40-2:10PM (CRN 74346)

    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.

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

    T 4:20-7:00pm (CRN 71621)

    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.

  • Contemporary Issues in African Economic Development (Prof. Nyema Guannu, Economics)

    TR 1:00pm-2:30pm (CRN 72894)

    This introductory seminar course will examine major contemporary issues in economic development and underdevelopment, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Topics discussed include the role of markets, inequality and poverty, international and regional economic processes, domestic macroeconomic policies, economic growth, the role of the state in economic development, civil war and conflict, debt crisis, and other central issues of economic development in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Dao & A Growth Mindset (Professor Robin Wang, Philosophy)

    TR 11:20-12:50pm (CRN 71799)

    Is success about learning or proving you are smart? What is the way to success? This course will focus on the classic Daoist teaching to answer these questions and to construct a Daoist mindset for success in class, college, and life. Success-making is usually believed something deliberate and rational—a planned activity. But Daoist teaching complicates this view with a tension between human calculation and the intervention of unexpected reality. We will identify the differences between fixed mindset and growth mindset and explore the interplay between ability, efforts, and characters to avoid what might be called “gap characters,” the space between our will and our success. A Daoist mindset will open a new horizon and unique mode of human understanding.

    Meet the Professor:

    Robin R. Wang is Professor of Philosophy and 2016-17 Berggruen Fellow at Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Science, Stanford University. Her teaching and research focus on Chinese and Comparative Philosophy, particularly Daoist Philosophy. She is the author of Yinyang:The Way of Heaven and Earth in Chinese Thought and Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and was a credited Cultural Consultant for the movie Karate Kid, 2010.

  • Drama of the Indian Diaspora (Prof. Arnab Banerji, Theatre Arts and Dance)

    TR 2:40-4:10pm (CRN 78649)

    Meet the Professor:

    Arnab Banerji received his B.A. and M.A. in English Literature from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. He received his Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Georgia in 2014 where he wrote a dissertation on the Bengali Group theatre in Kolkata. Arnab spent the 2014-2015 academic year as the ASIANetwork Luce Foundation Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at Muhlenberg College where he offered introductory and advanced courses on Asian Performance. Arnab’s research and reviews have appeared in Asian Theatre Journal, Theatre Journal, TDR, and South Eastern Review of Asian Studies.

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

    MW 2:20pm-3:50pm (CRN 74525)

    This course introduces major works, genres, and waves of East Asian cinema, including films from Mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. We will discuss issues ranging from aesthetics to historical representation, from local film industries to transnational audience reception. This course will help students develop aesthetic responsiveness and interpretive ability to moving images in an increasingly media-saturated world. While becoming acquainted with some analytical vocabulary and critical approaches to cinema, students will also gain insights into East Asian cultures and histories, aesthetic traditions and ethical values, as well as the politics and economics that went into the films’ production and reception.

    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. She is currently working on a book project which explores the discursive cultural politics of representing rural migrant workers in contemporary Chinese literature and cinema. Prof. Wang’s signature courses include Contemporary Chinese Cinema, Asian Cinema, Women in East Asia, Masterpieces of East Asian Literature, etc.  

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

    MW  2:20-3:50pm (CRN 72119)

    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. 

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

    MW 2:20-3:50pm (CRN 72474)

    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.


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

    MWF 8:00-9:00am (CRN 72171)

    MWF 9:10-10:10am (CRN 71621)

    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 responsibilities and opportunities in their future for asserting moral leadership and having a positive impact upon global society. In addition, students explore and begin to develop future strategies (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, where he teaches at executive, MBA, and undergraduate levels. He is co-author of Managing a Global Workforce, and has been very active at Loyola Marymount in designing and conducting customized training programs for managers, executives, and other professionals. He is a double Fulbrighter, and has had considerable experience as a lecturer and consultant in North and South America, Asia, and Europe.

  • Gender and Pop Culture (Prof. Stella Oh, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies)

    MWF 11:30am-12:30pm (CRN 71817)

    This course examines the relationship between gender and popular culture in the United States.  This course is highly interdisciplinary and is situated at the intersections of Women's Studies, media studies, cultural studies, and literary studies.  Cultural images help shape our view of the world and our values.  This course will investigate gender, race, and sexuality in advertising, film, television, video and music and focus on the ways that popular culture shapes our understanding of individual and collective identities.  We will also investigate how media and popular culture demonstrates who has power and who is powerless and how such power is legitimated and naturalized.  We will also look at how media and technology shapes cultural memory and multicultural representations. 


    Meet the Professor:

    Stella Oh, Ph.D. is Professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. Professor Oh’s research and teaching interests revolve around literary representations of race, gender, and war.  Professor Oh teaches courses on contemporary literature, graphic narratives, and representations of human trafficking.

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

    MW 9:40am-11:10am (CRN 74342)

    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).

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

    TR 1:00-2:30pm (CRN 74348)

    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)

    M 4:30-7:00PM (CRN 74664)

    R 4:30-7:00PM (CRN 74665) Szollosi, Thomas E. 

    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.

  • Hitting the Road: From the Odyssey to Battlestar Galactica (Prof. Sue Scheibler, Film/TV Studies)

    W 4:20-7:00PM (CRN 74663)

    What do The Walking Dead, the video game Skyrim, The Odyssey, The Lord of the Rings, and The Wizard of Oz have in common? They’re all stories about being on the road, and they all use the journey as a way to explore questions about personal identity, ethics and moral responsibility, and social values. In this first year seminar, you will read, watch, play, analyze, discuss, and write about these and similar road stories. While we may not be literally on the road, the class will be a journey of exploration and discovery: intellectual, creative and personal.

    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.


    MW 2:20-3:50PM (CRN 74349)


    The Holocaust has been positioned at the limits of representation -- as the indescribable, the incomprehensible. The impossibility of adequately expressing the atrocities of the Holocaust stands in contrast to the need to transmit knowledge about this event to later generations. Attempts to represent the Holocaust, to describe and understand this event and its implications, are numerous and have occurred across a wide range of media forms (literature, film, photography, art, music, monuments, etc.), and genres (as in documentary, drama, comedy, science fiction). As the Holocaust recedes in time and the numbers of living historical witnesses and survivors decline, these representations increasingly shape our perception and understanding of the event. This course will investigate literary, filmic, and artistic representations of the Holocaust, focusing in particular on questions of ethics, aesthetics and history. We will examine the various debates and controversies surrounding the issue of representation of the Shoah and discuss some of the theoretical texts that have shaped the area of Holocaust Studies. We will explore the ways in which these written, filmic, and artistic cultural artifacts have attempted to narrate the events of the Holocaust, and examine exemplary responses to the Shoah in a variety of media forms and genres. The course will deal with questions such as the meaning of art and the limits of historical representation.


    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 Holy Land and Jerusalem: Religious History (Prof. Gil Klein, Theological Studies)

    TR 11:20-12:50pm (CRN 71795)

    This course examines the territory that came to be known as the Holy Land, focusing in particular on the city of Jerusalem located at its center. In this land and city many of the foundational events in Judaism, Christianity and Islam have taken place. Their history has made them unique religious symbols, which are understood by many as embodying a special kind of sanctity. What makes the Holy Land and Jerusalem sacred? What led people in different periods to give their lives fighting for them? How did they become the objects of longing and the subjects of numerous works of religious art and literature? What is the secret of the persistent hold they still have on the minds of Jews, Christians and Muslims around the world? This course looks at central moments in the religious history of the Holy Land and Jerusalem from ancient times to the present day in an attempt to answer some of these questions. It does so through the critical analysis of religious text, art and architecture, as well as through the investigation of contemporary culture and politics.

    Meet the Professor:

    Gil P. Klein received his undergraduate degree from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He has been awarded research fellowships at the Getty Research Institute, the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University. His work, which explores the urban setting of Jews in Roman and Byzantine Palestine and the rabbinic spatial culture, has been published in a variety of academic journals and collected volumes. He is currently completing a book manuscript on rabbinic spatial politics in the late antique city.

  • Humans on the Move (Prof. Brett Hoover, Theology) 

    MWF 10:20am-11:20pm (CRN 71798)

    Why do people get up and go? How are they changed (or not) by what they encounter along the way? This First Year Seminar will engage the question of what has motivated people across history to become migrants, pilgrims, and missionaries, and explores whom they encounter along the way. A First Year Seminar is an opportunity to learn a greater appreciation for intellectual rigor, critical thinking, and effective writing skills. It is about habits for lifelong learning, in this case applied to this specific question of people leaving home in search of something they need or desire. So even as we explore what it means to do things like research and writing well, we will also try to move beyond easy answers or unrealistically romantic notions in trying to understand what motivates people decide to migrate, to go on the road as pilgrims (both religious and secular), or to travel to far-away places to share their own religious or spiritual perspectives with others.

    Meet the Professor:

    Prof. Brett C. Hoover, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Pastoral and Practical Theology and the faculty director of graduate programs in theology at LMU. Dr. Hoover researches immigration, and the culture clash and power asymmetries involved in Catholic parishes shared between immigrant and non-immigrant communities. A native of Southern California who has also lived in New York, Chicago, Berkeley, and Washington, DC. Dr. Hoover teaches courses at LMU on migration and the border, spirituality, ministry, and the intersection of culture and faith.


  • Liberal Education in the Age of Enlightenment (Prof. Jeffrey L. Wilson, Philosophy)

    TR 1:00Pm-2:30pm (CRN 72117)

    The “liberal” in “liberal education” expresses its liberating function, in the three intersecting dimensions of education for ethical freedom, religious freedom, and political freedom. Using texts from the18th century European Enlightenment philosophy of education by Locke, Rousseau, Kant, and Mendelssohn, this course prepares students to use the ideas that motivated the French Revolution and the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah) to reflect on the emancipatory purposes of their own college experience.


    Meet the Professor:

    Jeffrey L. Wilson is associate professor of philosophy. He holds a Ph.D. from Emory University and teaches courses in ethics, modern philosophy, and aesthetics. His research focuses on the relationships between ethics (especially moral education) and the philosophy of the arts and creativity in the work of 18th century Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant and the 20th century German-Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig. He has lectured on his research in Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Lebanon, Switzerland, and the United States.

  • Literature of Exile and Terror (Prof. Holli Levitsky, English and Jewish Studies)

    TR 11:20-12:50pm (CRN 78130)

    This course will examine the literature of writers who write from and about the position of “outsider,” exploring what such texts have to say about living in an unsettled, diasporic, modern world. In reading these stories, we will investigate how their authors have portrayed the journeys, hopes, and hardships of dislocation and alienation, as well as the role literature might play in creating a sense of community for immigrants, refugees, and people living in various forms of exile.

    Meet the Professor:

    Holli Levitsky is the founder and Director of the Jewish Studies Program and Professor of English at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Her research, scholarship and teaching focuses on Jewish American and Holocaust literatures. She is the author of Summer Haven: The Catskills, the Holocaust and the Literary Imagination, The Literature of Exile and Displacement: American Identity in a Time of Crisis, and numerous articles, book chapters and reviews. Since holding the 2001-2002 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Literature in Poland, Dr. Levitsky has participated in symposia, conferences, and study trips to Germany and to Poland to advance German-Jewish and Polish-Jewish understanding. She regularly leads workshops for secondary and college teachers in California and in Poland on teaching the Holocaust.


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

    MWF 11:30am-12:30pm (CRN 74345)

    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.

  • Passing and Slumming: Crossing Lines in Literature and Film (Prof. Dermot Ryan, English) 

    MW 2:20-3:50pm (CRN 72116) 

    "Passing and Slumming" will explore British and American literature and film that represents characters crossing racial, class, or gender lines by "passing" as a member of a social group other than their own or by "slumming" within a social group considered "beneath" them. What is the fascination in texts ranging from Great Expectations to The Great Gatsby and in films ranging from Imitation of Life to The Talented Mr. Ripley with those who transgress the policed boundaries of race, class, and gender? On the other hand, why do so many texts express a desire on the part of characters to live among social groups that are marginalized and stigmatized by mainstream society?  

    Meet the Professor: 

    Dermot Ryan's research focuses on British and Irish literature of the long eighteenth century with a particular emphasis on print culture and postcolonial theory. He is the current Director of the English Graduate Program. He is the author of Technologies of Empire: Writing, Imagination, and the Making of Imperial Networks, 1750-1820 (University of Delaware Press, 2013). He has published articles on literature and empire in Studies in Romanticism, Eighteenth-Century Studies, and Études irlandaises, as well as on the romantic lineages of Karl Marx in SubStance: A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism. In addition, he has co-authored (with Casey Shoop) an essay on David Mitchell’s novel, Cloud Atlas and has an article on Marx and translation forthcoming in Boundary 2.

  • Personal Growth & Spiritual Development (Prof. Eric Magnunson, Sociology) 

    TR 11:20am-12:50pm (CRN 74344)

    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 classis 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.

  • The Politics of the Veil (Prof. Najwa Al-Qattan)

    MWF 10:20-11:20am (CRN 74343)

    MWF 11:30am-12:30pm (CRN 72624)                            

    This course looks at the practices and debates surrounding the veil in the Middle East and the West in modern times. Veiling has historically represented a variety of things: state law (as in present day Saudi Arabia and Iran); an expression of personal piety; a badge of cultural authenticity; a fashion statement; a symbol of resistance to European imperialism as well as patriarchy and authoritarianism at home; in the west, the ultimate sign of Islam's degradation of women and, more recently, an issue of individual freedom against the secular state (as in France and Turkey). This diversity of attitudes to and perspectives on veiling offers an excellent opportunity for the historical analysis of society and culture.  


    Meet the Professor:

    Najwa al-Qattan is Associate Professor of Ottoman and modern Middle Eastern History. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the American University of Beirut, a M.A. in Philosophy from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University. She is the recipient of awards from the SSRC, the Middle East Studies Association, and the Turkish Studies Association, and grants from the SSRC and the NEH.  She has published on the Ottoman Muslim court in Damascus and Beirut, the Jews and Christians of the Ottoman Empire, and the Ottoman Great War in journals and books, including the International Journal of Middle East Studies and Comparative Studies in Society and History. She has also served on award committees for the Middle East Studies Association and the Turkish Studies Association.  

  • Political Shakespeare (Prof. Judy Park, English)

    TR 11:20am-12:50pm (CRN 71800)

    TR 1:00-2:30pm (CRN 74327)

    Literary observers and spectators of the theatre in Shakespeare’s time were concerned not simply with the meaning of literary works, but with the possibility of literature to affect its audiences. Monarchs and other figures of authority thought drama to wield such powers of influence that theatres and plays were at once censored and exploited so as to suppress as well as to harness their effects. Underlying the impulse of authority to regulate the theatre was the implicit belief in the political nature of drama and performance, in particular their capacity to subvert or to affirm existing hierarchies and social relations. The potential of drama to enact the opposing forces of repression and insurrection led to such contradictory claims that plays could, on the one hand, instruct subjects to obey their rulers by showing them the ultimate downfall of those that have ventured “tumults, commotions and insurrections” (Apology for Actors) and, on the other, inspire the contempt of subjects for their rulers by making the figure of monarchs appear ridiculous on the stage. How is drama political, and how do plays reveal the workings of power and authority? We will explore these questions and others through the study of Shakespeare’s plays.

    Meet the Professor:

    Judy Park received her Ph.D. at Cornell University before joining the English Department at Loyola Marymount University as assistant professor of Renaissance literature. She teaches courses in early modern literature, sixteenth and seventeenth century drama, and the history of British literature. Her research focuses primarily on English literature and drama of the seventeenth century, and her areas of interest include the relationship between dramatic and political forms, and the emergence of republican and imperialist thought in English and Dutch literary and political culture. She is currently at work on a book, Staging Republic and Empire: Politics of Drama, 1603-1660, a study of seventeenth-century Stuart and Interregnum drama that explores the contradictory forces of republicanism and empire in a range of dramatic forms, such as the masque, tragicomedy, and closet drama. She is a recipient of the Beinecke Scholarship and a Fulbright Grant, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

  • Rhetoric, Media, and Civic Responsibility (Prof. James Bunker, Communication Studies)

    TR 9:40-11:10am (CRN 72258)

    TR 11:20am-12:50pm (CRN 71804)

    TR 2:40pm-4:10pm (CRN 74738)

    This course introduces students to the rich history of civic engagement and the importance of becoming involved in their communities and nation.  It seeks to develop students' civic voices as well as an understanding of the values that guide them.  Democracy depends upon the willingness of learned citizens to engage in the public realm for the betterment of the larger good. Taking as its starting point the work of John Dewey who understood democracy as a way of relational living in which the decisions and actions of one citizen must be understood in terms of their influence on others, this course introduces students to the responsibilities associated with civic engagement.  Civic engagement is a rhetorical act and it is important to understand the persuasive nature of arguments in public discourse and the media. Students will   engage and examine how different spheres of influence (families, friends, school, professional environments, and the media) both contribute to and provide rhetorical barriers to active civic engagement.  Specific topics to be addressed in this course include:  (1) values such as ethics or virtue in relation to self, family, nation, and the public and how they shape the rhetorical foundation for political identities; (2) the public's responsibility to be informed and engaged in political processes; (3) problems associated with credibility and the evaluation of political information in media environments; (4) role of the library and new media in fostering civic knowledge; (5) how technology both contributes to and takes away from interest in public affairs; and (6) how to lead lives of civic engagement in a complex and interrelated world.

    Meet the Professor:

    Dr. James C. Bunker is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies. He earned his B.A at the University of San Diego, his M.A. at San Jose State University, and completed his doctorate degree at the University of Utah while simultaneously obtaining a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution.

    Dr. Bunker’s research explores the relationship between rhetoric, public advocacy, deliberative theories of civic engagement and how to facilitate democratic deliberation for the benefit of the public interest.  Dr. Bunker is concurrently working on several manuscripts that discuss the role of textual silences in political deliberation, the critic’s role in facilitating public deliberation, as well as how new media archival research can both contextualize and improve the credibility of civic discourse.  Central to both his research and teaching is an underlying commitment to civic engagement and the importance of establishing civic responsibility

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

    TR  1:00-2:30pm (CRN 71864)

    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.

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

    MWF 10:20-11:20am (CRN 71796) 

    What was the world like a millennium ago? This course will travel back to one point in time, the year 1000, old enough to be alien, yet sufficiently recent that we can spy some familiar traits of the modern. This seminar will take a global approach, exploring the emergence of an increasingly interconnected premodern world from China to southeast Asia and India, from the Middle East to Europe and on to North America. Along the way, we will examine a discrete set of chapter, including the transformation of China under the Song Dynasty under pressure from “barbarians” on its northern frontier, the Indonesian island empire of Srivijaya and its relations with Chola India, the impact of the Turks on the Muslim Near East and South India, the emergence of the Mediterranean as an emporium linking Islamic, Byzantine, and European civilization, and the Viking diaspora stretching from Russia to Greenland (and even Canada). Our themes will be various, ranging from migration to social change, religious dynamism and conversion, and war. For each chapter of world history we touch on, we will consider both the threads of change that brought about the unique contours of that society by the year 1000 and the web of interaction that joins these societies together in the late tenth and early eleventh c. 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.