Art of Understanding (Prof. Juan Mah y Busch, English & Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies)
MW 8:00-9:40am (CRN 48939) First to Go Only
MW 9:55-11:35am (CRN 46758) First to Go Only
To become familiar with the artistry of your understanding, in this course you learn to meditate. No prior experience is presumed or expected. Alongside regular meditation, you practice different forms of writing (such as simple description, contemplative writing, critical examination, research). Through the regular practice of meditation and writing, you settle into the interplay between words and wordlessness, drawing attention to the qualitative dimensions of lived experience, such as the wordless music of words or a spacious moment of time, the quiet release of an exhale or the cool breeze of an inhale. Grounded in meditation, writing, discussion and engaged participation, in the class you develop your own more artful understandings.
Meet the Professor:
Juan D. Mah y Busch is professor and chair of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies (CLST) and professor of English. In addition to his academic training, for over two decades he was formally trained in meditation. He uses meditation and literary analysis as research methods in order to examine a range of questions in critical race and ethnic studies, ethical and aesthetic epistemologies, and contemplative pedagogy. He coordinates the CLST Learning Community and has worked with the First-To-Go Program since its inception. He lives in Northeast Los Angeles with his partner Irene, their three children, and their boxer Brooklyn.
Bad Catholics (Prof. Layla Karst, Theological Studies)
MW 1:45-3:25pm (CRN 47720)
MW 3:40-5:20pm (CRN 48900)
The goal of this course is to explore contemporary voices of loyal dissent in the Catholic church. We will consider the role that dissent plays in the creative development of Catholic teaching/theology and the tensions that often arise between religious dissent and religious belonging. The course will begin by exploring questions of teaching and authority, belief and dissent, and belonging and “cancel culture” from theological and philosophical perspectives. We will then explore voices of dissent from Feminist theologians, Black and Latinx liberation theologians, Queer theologians, and Eco-theologians. These four areas of dissent demonstrate the plurality of discourse among contemporary Catholic theologians and the struggle over orthodox belief and right practice that take place under asymmetrical power relations. In doing so, this course explores various aspects of critical theory concerning gender, culture, race, sexuality, and environmental studies with which these theologians engage. The course will conclude by considering the relationship between religious belief and religious belonging.
Meet the Professor:
Layla A. Karst is Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University. She specializes in liturgical theology, practical theology, feminist theology, pilgrimage studies, and ritual studies. She approaches the study of theology through the lens of critical theory and by paying attention to how faith is expressed and celebrated by real communities and people in ways that follow and ways that deviate from dominant theologies, ideas, and teachings.
Black Los Angeles (Prof. Jennifer Williams, African American Studies)
MW 6:00-7:40PM (CRN 40860)
Honors Program Only
This course is an interdisciplinary examination of the presence and contributions of Africana people in Los Angeles from the founding of the city in 1781 to contemporary social movements. We will concentrate on the geography, history, and social norms that transformed Black life and made the basis for its popularized representations in music, film, and tv. We will approach the course both thematically and chronologically, by addressing how Los Angeles is a racialized space and how Black people contribute to its cosmopolitan identity.
Meet the Professor:
Jennifer Williams is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies; She is a Philadelphia native, and attended Temple University for her graduate work. Her research interests are Black women’s history, Afrofuturism, and Black introversion.
Body Genres (Prof. Mikki Kressbach, Film/TV Studies)
W 3:05-6:25pm (CRN 40870)
SFTV Living-Learning Community Only
Feminist film scholar, Linda Williams has argued that pornography, horror, and melodrama are not distinct generic categories. Instead, they all fit within the category she terms, “body genres,” or films that center on the feminine body as a site of excess and visual spectacle. They hinge on bodies caught up in intense expressions of emotions, spasming, shouting, and convulsing on screen. In viewing such displays of excess, the body of the spectator becomes caught up in the action, almost mimicking the expressions of characters on screen. For Williams, these “low-brow” films are not simply gratuitous displays of sex and violence, but essential resources for understanding the norms surrounding the feminine body, sexuality, and spectatorship. This course will focus on “body genres,” including horror and romantic melodramas and analyze how the “excessive” body is represented, controlled, punished, and “sanitized” in popular culture. Drawing on Feminist Film Theory, Philosophy, Critical Race Theory, Sociology, and Critical Health Studies, students will analyze the visual and narrative systems of body genres. Central questions will include, who and what is deemed “excessive” in our culture? How are excessive bodies controlled on screen? What does this say about what we consider to be a “normal” body? What do our reactions to these genres say about our own bodies? How might our reactions shape our perception of how bodies should look and behave?
Meet the Professor:
Mikki Kressbach is an Assistant Professor in Film, Television, and Media Studies. Her research explores the relationship between bodies, technology, and health. She teaches courses on the theory of film and media, the horror genre, romance, and new media.
Contemplative Practice (Prof. Jane Brucker, Studio Arts)
TR 8:00-9:40am (CRN 47717)
TR 9:55-11:35am (CRN 42252)
FYS Contemplative Practice provides a broad cultural, artistic and psychological/physiological understanding of the variety, creativity, process and power of the contemplative experience. A series of interdisciplinary readings and lectures are accompanied by weekly meditative experiences, allowing students to explore the numerous ways one can encounter the numinous or achieve a peaceful state.
The meditative exercises students engage include principles of mind/body coordination and philosophy including yoga and the Alexander Technique, movement, drawing and sound meditations and exposure to contemplation as part of a faith practice. The professor teaches drawing in the Department of Art and Art History and is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique and Vinyasa yoga.
Meet the Professor:
Jane Brucker is a Los Angeles artist using installation and performance to engage the viewer through contemplation, movement and ritual activity. By combining found objects and heirlooms with textiles, glass, and cast metals she examines memory, fragility, and death. Her work has been exhibited at venues throughout the United States and internationally in Nepal, Japan, Scotland, France, Germany and the Czech Republic.
Brucker is a professor at Loyola Marymount University where she is area head in drawing. She earned an MFA degree from The Claremont Graduate University, an MA in Religion and the Arts from Claremont School of Theology and attended Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting, where she was awarded a fellowship to study painting with Agnes Martin and traditional buon fresco with Lucienne Bloch. She is a certified teacher of the FM Alexander Technique and incorporates contemplative practice into her teaching.
Cultivating Empathy (Prof. Patrick Damon Rago, Dance)
MW 8:00am-9:40am (CRN 45728)
The course will engage students in connecting concepts about Empathy found in a variety of texts, rituals, and art works to the themes of the LMU Mission in order to learn and explore how we negotiate physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and psychological situations. Course activities will be experimental, experiential, reflective, analytical and creative. Over the course of the semester, we will engage with a variety of texts, videos, activities and interpersonal connections that explore and develop Empathy from multiple viewpoints.
Meet the Professor:
Patrick Damon Rago has been a Professor in the Dance Department at Loyola Marymount University since 2000. He has choreographed and performed modern dance around the country and internationally. His choreography uses humor, spoken word, theatricality, and hyper physicality to explore human connection and other emotional themes.
Children's Books with Life Lessons (Prof. Timothy Williamson, Psychology)
MWF 3:05-4:15pm (CRN 47002)
Identity, emotion, and relationships are fundamental aspects of human nature that are often captured in the stories and illustrations from children’s literature. In this course, we will engage with these topics critically and creatively by reading picture books from contemporary children’s literature, evaluating their connections with empirical research in psychological science, and applying analysis methods to their literary elements, art, and cultural implications. We will approach intellectually stimulating and emotionally provocative questions that inspire authors and scientists alike such as “What shapes our self-image?”, “Do we all feel the same emotions?”, and “How do we cope with grief?”
By reading creative works from children’s literature and scholarly works from scientific literature, we will assess whether the stories, themes, and lessons from picture books are aligned with psychological theories and research on identity, emotion, and relationships. Through this process, we will develop written and oral skills by engaging in critical and reflective thinking. By the end of the course, students will be familiar with core concepts of psychological science and will be able to critically evaluate portrayals of identity, emotion, and relationships in the stories and illustratios of children’s literature. Scaffolded by in-class workshops and feedback sessions, students will also complete a creative project of writing their own picture book, demonstrating a skillful ability to take a complex concept from psychological science and communicate it simply through an emotionally evocative story that can be appreciated and understood by children.
Meet the Professor:
Dr. Timothy Williamson is a clinical health psychologist with specialized training in public health and psychosocial oncology (the psychological care of people with cancer) and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Science. He completed his undergraduate education at Pitzer College, his MPH at Claremont Graduate University, his Ph.D. at UCLA, and a postdoctoral research fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. His research interests are focused on stress, stigma, and health, and he is the Director the Psychosocial Risk & Resilience In Stress & Medicine (PRRISM) Research Lab at LMU. In addition to this First Year Seminar, he teaches courses in statistics, psychopathology, and health psychology. He is firmly committed to undergraduate mentorship and providing students with learning experiences that promote self-reflection and deep understanding.
Culture, Art, and Society: The Shaping of Los Angeles (Prof. Kirstin Noreen, Art and Art History)
TR 9:55-11:35am (CRN 47887)
TR 11:50am-1:30pm (CRN 45729)
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 Kirstin Noreen is a professor of Art History and has been teaching classes at LMU in medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art since fall of 2006. She has also been particularly involved in teaching through the Study Abroad program and has accompanied LMU students to Italy, Greece, and France. Her research, focusing on medieval cult images in Italy, can be found in various publications. In her free time, she particularly enjoys the outdoors – hiking, biking, and running – as well as traveling. She looks forward to introducing her FYS students to different aspects of Los Angeles!
Data Innovations for the Global Economy (Prof. Zaki Eusufzai, Economics)
TR 9:55-11:35am (CRN 48898)
TR 11:50am-1:30pm (CRN 48899)
This is a case-study based course which examines current and potential use of data innovations in improving living standards in poor countries. The cases that form the backbone of the course will examine specific instances of how better data collection and analysis have been used to develop innovative projects, which in turn have enhanced the lives of millions of poor people in the developing world. Examples include using drones/AI to identify and then repair potholes, and using mobile phone technology for banking needs in remote areas. These cases will span a number of industries and sectors, as well as countries. They will be examined through a 3-way classification: data collection method(s), data analysis method(s) and the problem solved/function performed. Using this classification, the students will mix and match individual ingredients from each classification and devise their own data innovation as part of a (group) course project.
Meet the Professor:
Professor Zaki Eusufzai has always been fascinated by new inventions that combine technology and economic development. Since data is the "new oil"/technology, he has designed this course so that you can learn and then make your own contribution in using data based innovations to improve the lives of millions of people over the world. He has taught at LMU for over two decades and his own daughter is an LMU alumna.
East Asian Cinema (Prof. Yanjie Wang, Asian and Asian American Studies)
MWF 10:50am-12:00pm (CRN 40865)
MWF 12:15-1:25pm (CRN 48904)
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 (Prof. Bernadette Musetti, Liberal Studies)
TR 11:50am-1:05pm (CRN 40856)
This course is an examination of the role of education in the U.S. and the purposes and functions education serves in our society. We will explore major questions, such as: What are we here to learn? What are and what should be the purposes of education? What is the relationship between education and democracy? What obligation do we have as responsible local and global citizens to developing our own knowledge and proactively remaining informed about what is happening in the country and the world? What did Paulo Freire mean by reading the word and reading the world?
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. Or are schools, as some have suggested, places where the social tensions in the larger culture are played out? Is the so called “achievement gap” really an “opportunity to learn gap” caused by inequity in access to high quality education? We will explore issues of race, class, gender, language, and other issues related to schooling and society. We will examine issues of equity and literacy, including critical literacy and explore how a lack of access to critical and other literacies, as well as discipline policies and policing of schools often result in criminalizing students and contributing to the school to prison pipeline.
We will pay special attention to the language used in discourse about schools and the schooling process (e.g. teachers as being on the “front lines” and “in the trenches” and “fighting the good fight”). Students will be exposed to a diversity of educational conditions, philosophies/ideologies, and program models. We will explore current educational events and trends, including those involving the movement toward nature-based schooling and even “unschooling” or de-schooling approaches and what impact school closures have had on the most vulnerable students and families. We will explore what some have described as the limits and even dangers of formal education, including higher education in the U.S. The course encourages and indeed requires close and critical reading of texts and thoughtful reflection and discussion. The course is designed to promote communication skills and critical, scholarly engagement in a variety of formats. A key objective of the course is to promote the development of students’ information literacy, writing, and research skills.
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.
Einstein Goes to Hollywood: The Science and Fiction of Science Fiction (Prof. Jonas Mureika, Physics)
TR 11:50am-1:05pm (CRN 48336)
This course will explore depictions of future science in movies and television, and discuss how realistic (or unrealistic) these mechanisms actually are. In the process, students will learn the fundamental tenets of two revolutionary ideas in 20th century physics: the non-intuitive framework of quantum mechanics and Einstein's theory of relativity. These paradigm-shifting descriptions of Nature and some of their distinguishing characteristics arose from the breakdown of established physical laws previously believed to be immutable. An overarching aim of the course is to demonstrate how even the failures of the greatest ideas in science can lead to unparalleled advances in our understanding of the world in which we live.
Meet the Professor:
Prof. Jonas Mureika is a theoretical physicist who studies black holes, quantum gravity, and cosmology. He has been at LMU since 2004. Dr. Mureika spent much of his academic training at the University of Toronto, where he earned his B.Sc. and Ph.D. in physics. He also holds an M.Sc. from the University of Waterloo where he studied particle physics. His research interests lie in identifying the observational signatures of quantum gravity that might arise in future experiments such as gravitational wave detections and imaging of supermassive black holes through the Event Horizon Telescope.
Previously, Dr. Mureika engaged in several interdisciplinary projects, including modeling wind and altitude assistance in sprint races and studying hidden structure in abstract expressionist art. He also teaches the core course "Weapons of Mass Destruction," which provides an overview of the history and science of nuclear weapons.
Flourishing in College (Prof. Joseph LaBrie, Psychology)
W 6:00-9:20pm (CRN 47107)
Positive Psychology is the scientific field of study that focuses on optimal human functioning. In contrast with traditional psychology, Positive Psychology focuses on individual, organizational, and societal flourishing, on nurturing happiness, strengths, self-esteem, and optimism. This First Year Seminar allows students at the start of their college years to learn about contemporary psychological research on well-being/flourish and its applications, in order to reflect on what a flourishing college experience might look like in general, and for them particularly. The course will cover basic principles for living a happy and fulfilling life. Students will develop a personalized wellness/flourishing plan for themselves. At the completion of this course, students will have been exposed to the emerging, dynamic research on the psychology of personal well-being and its essential skills including understanding 1) how stress, anxiety and depression affect well-being; 2) the role of the mind in creating stress; 3) how mindfulness and equanimity increase concentration and enable inner calm; 4) the benefits of mindfulness practice, including growth in self-knowledge, inner peace, and compassion for self and others; 5) the process of cultivating resilience; 6) how gratitude enables transcendence of self-centered fears and preoccupations; and 7) how to develop a growth mindset.
Meet the Professor
Dr. Joseph LaBrie is a Professor of Psychology. He has a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Southern California, as well as masters degrees in Mathematics and Theology from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley respectively. Dr. LaBrie is a nationally recognized researcher/scholar on adolescent and emerging adult (college student) development. His research has focused on causes, prevention, and intervention of risk behaviors including alcohol abuse, drug use, risky sexual behavior, and violence. He has also studied the emerging role of social networking sites in risk behaviors with these populations. He has authored over 190 scholarly articles that have been cited nearly 10,000 times. Dr. LaBrie has received the APA Division on Addictions (Division 50) Early Career Award for scientific contributions to addictive behaviors research, LMU’s third-ever Annual Rains Award for Excellence in Research and its first-ever Annual Award for Excellence in Extramural Funding. Among the courses Dr. LaBrie teaches are psych disorders, introductory psychology, research methods, and positive psychology. Finally, Dr. LaBrie is a licensed clinical psychologist who maintains a small private practice.
Your Future Career in the Global Marketplace (Prof. Beth Hynes, Management)
MW 1:45-3:25pm (CRN 41890)
TR 9:55-11:35am (CRN 46749)
TR 11:50am-1:30pm (CRN 42294)
TR 3:40-5:20pm (CRN 47714)
"Who needs a corner office when you can have a passport full of stamps?" Join us to explore strategies for enjoying a thriving career in a borderless economy.
Get ready to go global and unlock the secrets to career success in the fast-paced world of international business! In this Course, we'll dive into the exciting drivers, trends, and innovations shaping the global economy in which your career will develop. You'll explore the world of global entrepreneurship, discover the ins and outs of international sustainability, and learn how to thrive in cross-cultural contexts. Plus, we'll help you uncover the unique opportunities and challenges of international career growth, including internships, study abroad programs, and expat assignments. Buckle up and get ready to conquer work in an international economy.
Meet the Professor:
Professor Beth Hynes serves an Instructor in Management in the College of Business Administration here at LMU. Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Hynes enjoyed a career as a global entrepreneur in a Fortune 500 firm. During her career in business, she led global business divisions in strategy, business affairs and legal operations. As well, Professor Hynes practiced law as an intellectual property and entertainment advisor in global law firms in Boston and New York City. A graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, Professor Hynes also holds a law degree from Northwestern University where she served an editor on the Northwestern University Law Review and a master’s degree in business administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business. A passion for educating the next generation of ethical business leaders led her to a teaching career at LMU where she brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her classroom. With a unique blend of achievement in academics, business and law, Professor Hynes is committed to igniting her students’ interest in international business.
Greek Stories: Identity and Storytelling (Prof. Christina Bogdanou, Modern Greek Studies)
TR 11:50am-1:30pm (CRN4 1910)
Fascinated by Greek mythology and history and intrigued by Modern Greece and its culture? A literature-based course, Greek Stories looks at Greek myth, history, literature, and culture as it has evolved from the past to the present. The relationship between myth and history, conflicting cultural identities, war and politics, urbanization and globalization, the changing geopolitical map of Europe will be some of the topics we will explore in our discussions.
Meet the Professor:
Professor Christina Bogdanou earned a Ph.D in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Los Angeles with an emphasis in 19th - 20th c. European literature, critical theory and gender studies. A native of Athens, Greece, she completed her B.A. in English literature and linguistics at the University of Athens. Upon graduation, she received the prestigious National Scholar Award (I.K.Y) to pursue an M.A. in Comparative Critical Theory Studies at Warwick University in the UK and then her doctorate degree at UCLA. Prior to her appointment at LMU, she taught at UCLA and Occidental College.
Professor Bogdanou joined LMU in 2001. She has taught courses in comparative literature, critical theory, and Modern Greek literature, culture and language. She is currently the Director of the Basil P. Caloyeras Center for Modern Greek Studies and the Odyssey Summer Study Abroad Program in Greece.
Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of identity politics, gender studies, cultural representations of women and women’s writing/voices.
History of Natural Disasters (Prof. Nigel Raab, History)
TR 8:00-9:40am (CRN 48891)
TR 9:55-11:35am (CRN 48892)
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)
R 3:05-5:55pm (CRN 46753)
This seminar will trace the history of television, chronicling the impact the medium has had on society. The coursework will cover: the formative years of television, the Golden Age of TV, Variety shows from early live TV to Comedy sketch shows, TV dramas from westerns to procedural (cop, doctor, lawyer) shows, Situation comedies from family shows to workplace shows, anthology series, miniseries and now limited series, Genres from fantasy to sci-fi to fairy tales and Pay TV, original cable, Internet TV (arguably The New Golden Age).
The course is also designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of college writing, including structure, syntax and style. Information Literacy will be emphasized, with research projects designed to teach how to find and evaluate sources. Coursework will entail papers, oral presentations and viewing blogs.
Meet the Professor:
Michael F.X. Daley is an experienced television writer whose five episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation have won him three awards: a Genesis Award, an S.E.T. Award and E! Television’s The Soup Award. Michael also served as a Staff Writer for the critical and fan favorite CW show Reaper, where he penned the series finale “The Devil and Sam Oliver.” He’s worked for HBO on The Leftovers, Resurrection for ABC, Murder In The First for TNT, Boss for STARZ, Big Love for HBO, Crossing Jordan for NBC, That’s My Bush! for Comedy Central, and The X-Files for FOX. In addition, he developed a TV pilot with Alloy Entertainment, and is currently shopping that and other TV pilots.
Michael also served as a Writing Producer for Blindlight, a video game company. His video game writing credits include Ninja Gaiden for Tecmo, Jet Li’s ‘Rise To Honor’ for Sony, Igor for Legacy Interactive, Shrek 2 for Dreamworks, and Dead2Rights: Redemption for Volatile Games.
Mike has a Masters Degree in Screenwriting from Loyola Marymount University, where he’s now teaching Television Writing as a Clinical Assistant Professor. He originally hails from Syracuse, New York, where he got his Bachelors in English Communication from another Jesuit school, Le Moyne College.
Stage Fright: Horror and Terror in the Theatre (Prof. Kevin Wetmore, Theatre Arts)
TR 1:45-3:00pm (CRN 40854)
In The Poetics, one of the seminal texts of theatre, Aristotle argues that one of the key elements of theatre is to cause fear in the audience. This seminar offers an examination of the history, theory and practice of putting things on stage designed to cause fear. “Monster” comes from monstare, Latin for “to warn,” suggesting that monsters serve as warnings - the things that threaten us individually and as a society. Ghosts, vampires and zombies are “the unquiet dead” - things thought buried that return to trouble us. Human history is also filled with horrors, or as Alice Sebold observes: “Murderers are not monsters, they're men. And that's the most frightening thing about them.” This course considers the history of placing fear on stage (and in the audience), how those plays are reflections of the things society is concerned about, and how the effects of horror and terror are achieved on stage. And we write. A lot.
Meet the Professor:
Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr. is a professor of Theatre Arts, actor, director, stage combat choreographer and the writer/director of LMU's The Haunting of Hannon, our annual Halloween performance in the library. He is also the author, editor or co-editor of over two dozen books including "Eaters of the Dead: A Cultural History of Cannibal Monsters," "Black Dionysus: Greek Tragedy and African-American Theatre," "Shakespearean Echoes," "Shakespeare and Youth Culture," "The Empire Triumphant: Race, Religion and Rebellion in the Star Wars Films," and "Theatre and the Macabre." He also is the artistic director of LMU's Shakespeare on the Bluff Festival. He writes a lot and does a lot of theatre and likes watching scary things.
Identity Crisis in Contemporary France (Prof. Véronique Flambard-Weisbart, Modern Languages and Literatures)
TR 8:00-9:40am (CRN 49276)
This course examines France’s identity crisis considering recent and current debates on 20th century French History and national identity. The troubled legacies of key events in modern French history, such as the Great War and its destructive effects on postwar French society; Vichy and French participation in the Holocaust; the Algerian War, decolonization, and postcolonial nostalgia, will be examined through the debates and controversies they have generated in France since the 1990s. Drawing on diverse forms of cultural expression, such as literature, film and other media, subjects to be explored include commemorative events and activities, trials for crimes against humanity, France’s controversial 'memory laws,' systemic racism, immigration, and their lasting and current impact on French culture and society.
Meet the Professor:
Born and raised in Paris, France, professor Véronique Flambard-Weisbart, completed her undergraduate education at the Université de Paris X-Nanterre, and earned her master's degree and Ph.D. in French from UCLA. Her research interests and scholarship include twentieth and twenty-first century French / francophone literature and film. U.S. correspondent for the Société d’études céliniennes (SEC), she has authored several essays on the work of Louis-Ferdinand Céline. She teaches in and chairs the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at LMU and directs the LMU Summer Study Abroad Program in Paris, France.
Islam and the Building of America (Prof. Amir Hussain, Theology)
MW 9:55-11:35am (CRN 48901)
Over the past 25 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 Chair and Professor of Theological Studies at LMU, where he teaches courses on religion. His own particular speciality is the study of Islam, focusing on contemporary Muslim societies in North America. He is President of the American Academy of Religion. Prof. Hussain was an advisor for the television series The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, and appears regularly on Ancient Aliens and The UnXplained with William Shatner.
Latino L.A. (Prof. Sylvia Zamora, Sociology)
TR 1:45-3:25pm (CRN 46754)
TR 3:40-5:20pm (CRN 40880)
Latinos now represent 50 percent of all residents in Los Angeles, making them the largest racial/ethnic group in the city. This course takes a sociological look at the social, economic, political, and cultural histories and contemporary experiences of Los Angeles’ diverse Latino population. Students will understand how the Latino presence has transformed from primarily Mexican-origin to one that now includes people from all over Latin America, and develop an appreciation of the important role Latino/as have played in the formation and development of Los Angeles and broader U.S. society. The course combines historical perspectives with current events of various topics such as Latino/a migration to Los Angeles, immigrant settlement, family, community social capital and gentrification, racial and ethnic identity, gender and sexuality, media representations, race relations and discrimination, labor organizing, schooling, policing, immigrant rights and political activism. This course makes use of documentary film, social media, student presentations and classroom discussions to achieve the learning outcomes.
Meet the Professor:
Born and raised in South East Los Angeles, Professor Sylvia Zamora received her Ph.D. in Sociology from UCLA and a B.A. in Sociology and Latin American Studies from Smith College. Her research and teaching are guided by questions concerning Latino immigration and how it is changing social, political and racial dynamics in American society; she is also exploring the ongoing manifestations of African American and Latino relations in the context of major demographic shifts. Her work has been recognized with awards from the American Sociological Association Sections on International Migration and Racial and Ethnic Minorities and appears in Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Latino Studies and the edited volume, “Just Neighbors?: Research on African American and Latino Relations in the United States.” She is currently working on a book manuscript based on a comparative, multi-site project in México and the U.S. examining how racial ideologies ‘travel’ with migrants across borders, and the implications of this for immigrant incorporation in U.S. society.
Markets, Institutions, and Well-Being (Prof. Konstantin Platonov, Economics)
TR 1:45-3:25pm (CRN 47718)
Markets allocate economic resources. Institutions shape human interaction. Well-being measures the quality of life. Based on data and academic research, this course will discuss how markets and institutions contribute to individual and national well-being. Students will learn how markets work, when free markets are desirable, and when free markets fail to deliver the best outcome. Students will also learn about economic, social, and political institutions and how they affect markets and well-being. In their final project, students will work on a social cause using market and institutional analysis and develop new ways to improve well-being.
Meet the Professor:
Dr. Konstantin Platonov is a professor of economics at LMU. He holds a PhD degree from UCLA. His research focuses on macroeconomics. His work connects the business cycle with volatile market psychology (so-called ‘animal spirits’). Professor Platonov has participated in numerous international conferences, including sessions organized by the Bank of England and the European Central Bank. Currently, he is studying the U.S. labor market after the covid-19 pandemic.
Multiracial Voices (Prof. Curtiss Takada Rooks, Asian and Asian American Studies)
TR 8:00-9:40am (CRN 48905)
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).
Muscle, Mind, and Meditation: What the Body Knows (Prof. Taryn Vander Hoop, Theater Arts & Dance)
TR 11:50am-1:05pm (CRN 40874)
This is an interdisciplinary course that asks students to make connections between the personal and the scientific in terms of movement and meditation. We will explore the intersection of movement, culture, science and indigenous knowledge through walking and nature, human anatomy, somatics and yoga, science and meditative practices. We will analyze scholarly, scientific and indigenous texts from various cultural traditions related to movement and mindfulness to understand the benefits to both body and mind. Students will develop skills to embody more holistic life practices.
Purchase of a yoga mat and yoga tune-up balls required.
Meet the Professor:
Prof. Taryn Vander Hoop (she/her) is a dancer, choreographer, educator, and producer. She is the co-founder of Summation Dance, an NYC/LA based modern contemporary dance company, called “full of energy and creativity” by The New York Times. Vander Hoop believes in the education of the whole person – body, mind and spirit. She trains her students to be open and receptive to new ways of moving, thinking and being, and integrates somatics, anatomy and yoga studies into her curriculum. She is an E-RYT 500 certified yoga instructor, and has led yoga teacher trainings in Costa Rica, New York, New Jersey, South Korea, and Vietnam. She wrote her own certification curriculum in 2017 and co-founded Lila Flow Yoga, which is recognized by the Yoga Alliance. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Dance with additional majors in English Literature and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography.
On Life Well-Lived (Prof. Vandana Thadani, Psychology)
TR 1:45-3:25pm (CRN 41955) Honors Only
This course’s theme is a “A Life Lived Well.” We will be exploring the topic of living well using various bodies of research in psychology—much of this from positive psychology. Positive Psychology is the scientific field of study that aims to understand how people, organizations, and society flourish, and how each can nurture happiness, strengths, self-esteem, and optimism. We are going to sample many areas of research to get varying perspectives on what it means to live well and how we might cultivate a life well lived. During this exploration, I’ll encourage you to reflect on and apply the work that most resonates with you: How can you flourish or live well in the future and in during your time in college over the next four years? Our work will involve critical thinking in that we will turn to empirical evidence to justify, uncover, and question our beliefs/assumptions/goals/desires. It will also be personal and reflective. Learning processes will include class discussions, experiential activities, lots of writing and peer editing/feedback, and (very rarely) short lectures.
Meet the Professor:
Professor Vandana Thadani is a professor in the Department of Psychological Science at LMU. She completed her Ph.D. in Developmental psychology at UCLA. Her research is in educational psychology and aims to understand what makes for powerful learning environments and how teachers can be supported to create these environments.
On the Technological Sublime (Prof. Sue Scheibler, Film/TV Studies)
TR 9:55-11:35am (CRN 43412)
Honors Program Only
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 (they/them) teaches courses such as Queer TV, Video Games, Science Fiction TV, Japanese Anime TV and time studies, in the School of Film and TV. Her scholarly interests include disability justice (with a focus on neuroqueer), video games, television studies, ethics, among others. She is currently working on a book, "Queering the Sublime: Penny Dreadful", "Glitching Academic Time: A Manifesto," "Queer Mercy", "Neuroqueer Pedagogy" and representations of Autism in TV.
Personal Growth and Spiritual Development (Prof. Eric Magnuson, Sociology)
TR 9:55-11:35am (CRN 47722)
This is a course about life! It will be based in personal experience and community involvement. It is intended for people who are interested in exploring both emotional growth and alternative spirituality. 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 exploring personal beliefs, experiences, and feelings. 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 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 masculinity and personal growth. He is currently working on a book about Burning Man, alternative spirituality, and personal development.
Politics of Race Relations (Prof. Claudia Sandoval, Political Science)
TR 11:50am-1:30pm (CRN 47721)
Projections shows that the United States is quickly becoming a minority-majority nation. U.S. Census data suggests that by 2044, over half of the population will be non-white. Given these projections, it is important that we understand how different racial groups interact with one another socially and politically. Academic research often focuses on white-minority relations, yet given future demographics, it is of growing importance to understand intra-minority relations. This course will focus primarily on Black-Latinx relations, while offering comparisons to their Asian and White counterparts. We will begin by focusing on the important issues and topics that Black and Latinx groups encounter in the US. After grounding the groups in their individual contexts, we will take various political issues to determine how Blacks and Latinx groups work together (or against each other). This course will also ground those arguments around theories of threat, contact, and group positioning, among others. At the end of the course, students will have a nuanced perspective on race-relations that is not easily explained by notions of complete solidarity or discrimination, but rather a complicated relationship that is operationalized through state actors and white supremacy.
Meet the Professor:
Claudia Sandoval is a professor in the Political Science department where she teaches courses on Race, Immigration, and Black/Latina/o relations. Professor Sandoval is a first-generation Mexican immigrant who grew up in Inglewood, California and graduated from Westchester High School. Professor Sandoval went on to receive a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA in 2006. During her time as an undergraduate, she participated in the McNair Research Scholars program and wrote a senior these on Black/Latina/o Relations in Inglewood. After graduating college, Sandoval left to the University of Chicago for her Ph.D. in political science. During her 9 year stay in the Midwest, Professor Sandoval taught Latina/o Politics at Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Principles of Scientific Reasoning
MWF 9:25-10:15am (CRN 43546) 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 course will also examine the role and purpose that scientists and scientific educators play in society, and how math and science inform movements for social justice and equity, as well as issues related to ethics and responsibility in the STEM profession. There will also be an emphasis on exploring the contributions to science and technology from diverse cultures and communities.
Meet the Professor
Dr. Robin Wilson is currently a Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Loyola Marymount University. The product of the public school system in Sacramento, CA, he attended UC Berkeley where he studied mathematics and developed a passion for teaching and supporting students of color in STEM. He earned his PhD in Mathematics at the University of California, Davis, and prior to LMU he was a Professor at Cal Poly Pomona and held Visiting positions at Georgetown University and Pomona College. His scholarship includes both mathematics and the scholarship of teaching and learning.
Protest and the Arts (Prof. Daphne Sicre, Theater Arts)
TR 3:40-4:55pm (CRN 47723)
Can the arts change the world? Can we use the arts to protest injustices? Protest art is defined as creative works created by activists and social movements. Art is used as a means of communication, to inform and hopefully persuade those participating in the art. Protest art acts as an important tool to form social consciousness, create networks, operate accessibly, and be cost-effective. It encompasses various acts, creations, and lenses that seek justice through creative means. It also transcends styles, techniques, and media, allowing anyone to partake in artistic protest. This course explores how artists, activists, practitioners, and educators use the arts to protest and address social and political conflict across diversity of contexts, issues, and locations.
This seminar will examine how the arts have challenged social and political structures through protests and how performance can be used in the community as a tool for social change. Through readings of plays, performance texts, historical documents & theory, viewing of art works, film, listening to song, and watching performances, students will discuss and challenge the role of the arts in society and protest.
Meet the Professor:
Daphnie Sicre, PhD. (she/ella) is a multi-hyphenated theatre artist. She is a director/dramaturg/scholar/educator who shares a deep passion for Black and Latinx perspectives in theatre, especially AfroLatinidad. Engaging in anti-racist and culturally competent theatre practices, she helps bring stories from the page to the stage. Her latest publication is a book chapter in Stages of Reckoning- Anti Racist and Decolonial Actor Training. Other publications include a peer review article in Theatre Symposium; Race & Theatre, "Being Black and Latinx in Theatre Today" and the co-published “Training theatre students of colour in the United States” in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training. Book chapters include The Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance, Black Acting Methods, and Shakespeare & Latinidad. Upcoming book chapters for 2023 will appear in Contemporary Black Theatre & Performance: Acts of Rebellion, Activism, & Solidarity.Currently she is working on two book chapters on AfroLatinidad for The Routledge Companion Latinx Theatre and Performance and Every Great Dream: Visioning African American Theatre for Young Audiences.
Rhetoric, Media, and Civic Responsibility (Prof. James Bunker, Communication Studies)
MW 9:55-11:35am (CRN 71794)
MW 11:50am-1:30pm (CRN 72258)
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 moral 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.
Meet the Professor
Dr. James Bunker currently teaches courses in rhetorical theory, rhetorical methods, political communication, communication theory, mediation, and civic engagement. He also has experience teaching business communication, interviewing, and small group decision-making. He is also a trained writing instructor having taught courses at the introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels.
Science and Engineering (Prof. Elham Ghashghai, Systems Engineering)
MW 1:45-3:00pm (CRN 40864)
An introductory course on the fundamentals of science and its impact on society.
What is science and scientific thinking? What qualifies as science? What is the philosophy of science? Does science answer everything? What are the social and ethical philosophical questions surrounding modern science? What is the scientific approach addressing today’s challenges such as climate change?
The students will be engaged in critical lively discussions, writing papers and present engaging presentations. The students will build a foundation to not only improve their understanding of science and engineering, but also will be guided to build a foundation for their future research, social and academic engagement.
Meet the Professor:
Dr. Elham Ghashghai joined Loyola Marymount University as full-time faculty in Spring of 2022 as part of the Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Systems Engineering department. Prior to joining LMU, she was a senior project leader at The Aerospace Corporation leading projects on future Communication and Global Positioning Satellites for fifteen years. Prior to that, Elham was with the RAND Corporation, leading and contributing to a variety of studies for future aerospace architecture, communication satellite design, operations research, Global Positioning System (GPS), information technology, and Middle East policy analysis. Dr.. Ghashghai has two M.S. degrees—one in mathematics and one in operations research—and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Purdue University. She was also an adjunct faculty at the University of Southern California.
Sense and Synderesis (Prof. Catherine Peters, Philosophy)
MW 9:55-11:35am (CRN 48896)
"Sense & Synderesis" explores the central characters and themes of the novels of Jane Austen. The seminar will consist of a careful reading of her works, class discussions, presentations, and reviewing some adaptations of her work. Austen is noted for her ironic observations of English society in the 18th century and her keen insights into human nature and behavior. Consequently, we will read her novels with an aim towards appreciating her depiction and assessment of human character, especially her view of virtue and vice. Despite a lack of recognition during her own lifetime, Austen is now regarded as one of the most popular and beloved novelists of the English language. In this seminar, we intend not only to realize why her novels have exerted literary influence and sparked extensive popular appreciation, but also to appreciate what insights her works offer us today.
Meet the Professor:
Catherine Peters is an assistant professor of philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. She specializes in medieval philosophy, with a particular focus on Latin and Arabic thought. Peters completed her PhD at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas in 2019. Her current research centers on the intersections of natural philosophy, metaphysics, and natural theology. An overarching theme in her work is the consideration of how medieval thought might inform and advance our attempts to answer fundamental questions such as “who am I?”, “what do we know?”, “what should we do?” and “is there a God?” She is passionate about translating the insights of medieval philosophy into modern terms. She regularly teaches PHIL 1800: Philosophical Inquiry and PHIL 3520: Medieval Philosophy and has also taught Honors Philosophical Inquiry and a Graduate Seminar on “Medieval Science.” When not in the philosophy department, Dr. Peters can usually be found in local coffee shops, at a dog park with her goldendoodle, or in a CrossFit box.
Sex, Science, and Society (Prof. Mairead Sullivan, Department of Women's and Gender Studies)
MW 3:40-5:20pm (CRN 43243)
Honors Program Only
This course will explore and interrogate the complex relationship between race, gender, sexuality, and science. Specifically, the course will utilize a feminist lens to understand how social differences are named, produced, and refuted through the use of scientific empiricism. The course is highly interdisciplinary, and is situated at the intersections of women’s and gender studies, critical race studies, the history of medicine, and science and technology studies.
This course fits the theme “Science, Nature, and Society.” In the course, students will explore the social, political, and historical context in which scientific knowledge regarding race, gender, and sexuality is produced. In doing so, students will begin to identify how science circulates as an epistemic authority. They will be required to identify and critically engage the ways in which scientific inquiry and scientific knowledge shape current cultural narratives. The goal of the course is not to reject scientific inquiry wholesale but rather, to understand its contexts and contingencies.
Course readings, discussions, and assignments will be motivated by the following questions: What is science? Who has been historically excluded from practicing or producing science? How does science engage questions of embodied difference, specifically race, gender, and sexuality? And, most importantly, what tools does feminism offer for answering the preceding questions? Students will use primary and secondary sources to investigate feminist interventions into the production of scientific knowledge, debate science’s role in shaping and defining social difference, as well as examine the critical resources that science offers for political responses to social inequality.
Meet the Professor:
Mairead Sullivan is Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Loyola Marymount University. Professor Sullivan’s research and teaching interests include feminist and queer theory, feminist methodologies, critical health studies, and identity based health politics.
Sleep: Your Hidden Superpower! (Prof. Carolyn Viviano, Biology)
MW 9:55-11:35am (CRN 48211)
Sleep impacts everything. Although good sleep habits are as important to academic success, health, and well-being as eating properly and being active, only 1 in 10 college students get the recommended 7-9 hours of healthy sleep per night, in comparison to 4/10 of all adults. During this seminar, we will consider the scientific advances in sleep research in the context of society, policy, health, and even fiction.
Meet your Professor:
Carolyn Viviano received a BA in Biology from Amherst College and a PhD in Genetics and Development from Columbia University. After several years in the US and UK researching the mechanisms of embryonic development and limb regeneration, she became increasingly interested in science and environmental literacy issues. The opportunity to work with future teachers at LMU motivated her to make the career change into science education. Dr. Viviano is a member of the Biology Department and the Director of the Secondary Science Education program. Her work at LMU is driven by the core belief that it is vital to instill in others an appreciation and respect for the world around them, regardless of their intended profession, and the goal of creating a challenging and stimulating atmosphere for students at all levels.
The Sounds of Resistance (Prof. Divine Kwasi Gbagbo, Music)
MW 9:55-11:10am (CRN 48103)
Many cultures use music to promote communal ethos and socio-cultural harmony. But sometimes music also serves as a tool of resistance and dissention to prevailing conventionality in the society. This course explores how music functions as a form of social and political resistance or protest, and the formal and aesthetic qualities that facilitate it to play this role. We discuss various ways by which groups and individuals have used music to push the boundaries of political, social, and religious power or interrogate the status quo. We draw on specific musical examples from different socio-cultural regions, including the civil rights and Black Lives Matter of the USA, the Anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa, Bob Marley’s songs on human rights and corrective-redemptive justice, the Anatolian-Pop music of Turkey, and Fela Kuti Afro-Rock of Nigeria, and study how music relates to modes of resistance tied to class, gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality. We ask how music can resist existing provisions of power and think about the type of futures that the music can imagine. Students engage selected sonic, historical, and theoretical materials to examine music from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Meet the Professor
Divine Kwasi Gbagbo is Assistant Professor of Music (Ethnomusicology) in the music department. He earned his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Arts (Fine Arts), with specialized focus in Ethnomusicology and Musicology, from Ohio University. His expertise in scholarship, research, teaching, and performance has given him more than two decades of teaching experience in world music cultures, African and African American music, music history, African studies, and interdisciplinary arts in different cultural contexts. In the music department at LMU, he teaches courses in ethnomusicology and directs the World Music ensemble. Dr. Gbagbo brings his multicultural background to bear on the classroom experience and ensemble's performances. He also writes choral art and instrumental music, which blends indigenous Ghanaian-Ewe compositional styles with techniques in western conventional harmony. He served as teaching associate at Ohio University and Kent State University before joining the music department at LMU.
Women Warriors- Who's Telling the Story? (Prof. Kennedy Wheatley, Production Film and Television)
TR 9:55-11:10am (CRN 40862)
TR 11:50am-1:05pm (CRN 40917)
This course explores stories of American 'women warriors' who refused to accept limitations on their lives as women -- changing the course of history. We will study artists and activists, farmworkers and businesswomen, judges, politicians and athletes from past and present. Using documentaries, essays, news articles, books, and fiction films, we will examine how each of these women changed our world, all through the FYS lens of Power and Privilege.
Together, we will ponder: How is the rebellion of these women warriors in 1848, or 1963, or 2019 still reverberating in our society today? Whose stories have been widely told and who has been ignored? Who do we believe when there are conflicting stories about the same woman, and why? What do these stories tell us about what it means to be female in the U.S., and how has that changed over time?
We will explore and practice different genres of storytelling: biographical storytelling, dramatic storytelling, stories framed by critical analysis, and the intriguing grey area in between.
This course may be particularly relevant for students whose majors involve storytelling, but all students are welcome, and a diverse group will create a richer, more engaging experience for all. Students of all genders and non-gendered students are invited to bring their perspectives to this course. All voices are equally honored, and everyone is respected for their own lived experience. My goal is to share some thought-provoking ideas with you and for our shared listening to help us all grow.
Meet the Professor:
Kennedy Wheatley is interested in how the power of media can be used for social change. She directs documentaries, fiction films and PSAs for non-profit organizations and international NGOs. She is currently working on a series of videos about reversing climate change. As an artist and activist, she strives to tell stories through innovative narratives, images and sound. She has taught in the School of Film & Television at LMU since 2000. She earned her M.F.A. in Cinematic Arts from the University of Southern California, and an B.A. in Ethnic Studies from the Michigan State University. She lives in the foothills of LA, and is an avid swimmer and gardener.