Spring 2023 Seminars

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

    TR 1:45-3:25pm (CRN 76546)

    TR 3:40-5:20pm (CRN 76547)

    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.

  • Am I Who I Say I Am? (Prof. Deanna Cooke, Psychology) 

    MW 3:40-5:20pm (CRN 76538)

    Identity, identity development and how social context impacts identities has been a focus in psychology for many years.  Students will explore how one develops their identity, particularly social identities, and how social context defines and redefines how one understands themselves, their role in society, the meaning of their identities, and the importance of those identities.  We will review general identity theories, and then specific social identities that have great significance in today’s societies.  We will explore how race, class, gender, sexual orientation and communities help shape how we see ourselves.

    Meet the Professor:

    Deanna Cooke, Ph.D. serves as BCLA’s Director of Engaged Learning and is trained as a community psychologist.  Her work includes research on racial identity as well as community-based participatory research and evaluation. 

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

    MW 8:00-9:40am (CRN 75557)

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

    Meet the Professor:

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


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

    MWF 10:50am-12:00pm (CRN 71811)

    MWF 12:15pm-1:25pm (CRN 71793)

    This course focuses on the social role of art and culture in both upholding and destabilizing power relationships in modern Europe and European colonies, part of the broad First Year Seminar theme “Culture, Art and Society.” Art and culture have been used as tools to support the powerful (for example, the palace of Versailles or war propaganda), but art also has the enormous potential to speak truth to power and play a unique role in modern society, as a socially acceptable form of criticism of existing power structures (for example, the works of many novelists protesting industrial capitalism). We will consider the leisure necessary for making and appreciating art; questions about “primitive” art, race, and evolution; and the question of “progress,” “revolution,” and the “avant-garde.” This course questions multiple, overlapping power structures of race, class, and gender, and uses an explicitly anti-racist lens to understand visual culture in relation to European imperialism.  

    Meet the Professor:

    I’m a professor of British and Irish history and past chair of the Department of History here at LMU, and I’ve been here for an amazing (to me) almost 19 years. My work concentrates on cultural reactions to industrialization, particularly the history of museums, the social role of art, and the changing status and meaning of art and nature in modern society. I’ve published articles, book chapters, and a monograph (solo-authored scholarly book), Transformative Beauty: Art Museums in Industrial Britain (Stanford, 2012). I also co-edited a volume of essays with Minsoo Kang, Visions of the Industrial Age, 1830–1914: Modernity and the Anxiety of Representation (Routledge, 2008). I’m now working on a book-length study of nineteenth-century anthropology and the idea of "primitive art." I teach courses on British, Irish, modern European, imperial, and global history, with a focus on museum studies and cultural, public, and environmental history. I look forward to meeting you!


  • The Art & Science of Teaching (Prof. Lauren Casella, Educational Leadership) 

    MWF 12:15-1:25pm (CRN 77915)

    This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the field of P-12 education and aims to provide an overview of the teaching profession.  Students will explore the art and science of teaching through topics such as course design, instructional strategies, lesson planning, and assessment strategies. Notably, students will learn to apply teaching skills across multiple disciplines and contexts. Students will assess their own beliefs, values and assumptions about teaching and learning and explore the purpose of schooling. As a final project students research an educational problem of practice in an area of their choice and present a curricular or organizational solution to this problem in a real world setting. 

    Meet the Professor: 

    Professor Lauren Casella, Ed.D. serves LMU as an assistant clinical professor in the department of educational leadership and administration in the School of Education. Professor Casella enjoys working with students to explore their own educational journey and consider ways to rethink and reimagine traditional educational experiences in PK - graduate school settings. She is happiest when in the classroom working with students on projects that impact current educational settings. Before entering higher education, Dr. Casella served as a teacher, administrator, and elementary school principal in Chicago. Professor Casella holds a bachelor of arts degree in liberal studies from LMU (Go Lions!), a master’s degree in leadership and supervision from Loyola University Chicago, and a doctor of education degree in educational leadership and teacher education from the University of Southern California. Professor Casella and her husband Matt have four children who love sports, the arts, and all things outdoors.



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

    MW 3:40-5:20pm (CRN 71796)

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

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

    Meet the Professor:

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

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

  • Books About Beasts: Animal Narrative, Human Readers (Prof. Molly Youngkin, English)

    TR 11:50am-1:30pm (CRN 71625)

    TR 1:45-3:25pm (CRN 72257)

    This course focuses on literary representations of animals, or animal narratives, to show how humans understand their own place in the world and responsibilities to the world.  The central questions of the course will be:  How are animals represented by humans?  According to these representations, what is the relationship between humans and animals?  Do animals have rights?  What obligations do we have to them?  We will contextualize these questions by discussing contemporary debates about the animal/human relationship, including the use of animals in scientific research, the role of zoos and wildlife parks in animal preservation, the role of pets in our lives, the ethics of vegetarianism, and other topics of interest to students enrolled in the class. 

    By reading animal narratives in conjunction with discussion of contemporary debates about related topics, we will better understand the complicated relationship between humans and animals and the ethical issues involved in this relationship.

    Meet the Professor:

    Dr. Molly Youngkin teaches in the English department and specializes in nineteenth-century British literature. She teaches courses in Romantic and Victorian literature, as well as gender studies, periodical studies, narrative theory, and animal studies.


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

    M 4:00-7:20pm (CRN 75530)

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


    Meet the Professor:

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

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

    TR 9:55-11:10am (CRN 71798)

    TR 11:50am-1:05pm (CRN 71799)

    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.

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

    TR 9:55-11:35am (CRN 76543)

    TR 11:50am-1:30pm (CRN 77613)


    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.

  • Disneyland: Immersive Storytelling and Popular Culture (Prof. Christopher Murillo, Theater Arts and Dance)

    MW 3:40-4:45pm (CRN 71792)

    Disneyland serves as symbol of American pop culture that resonates across generations signifying nostalgia, optimism, and exceptionalism. For many, Disneyland provides a form of escape--very similar to the escape an audience experiences at a live performance event. This seminar will examine the use of immersive storytelling and narrative in the creation and reinvention of Disney’s original theme park, Disneyland. Through the innovation and creativity used to create Disneyland, it has come to be recognized as a significant symbol across culture, art and society, extending across the globe. Students will be able to understand the cultural, economic, and societal circumstances that lead to the initial success of Disneyland. They will gain an in-depth understanding of immersive storytelling and how it is used to center the theme park patron at the heart of the story and experience.   

    Meet the Professor:

    Prof. Christopher Scott Murillo (he/him/his) is a scenic designer, artist, and educator based in Los Angeles, CA. Most recently, his work has been seen at Rubicon Theatre Company, Sierra Rep, Native Voices at the Autry, New Village Arts Theatre, and the Getty Villa. Christopher is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829. As a production designer, his work can be seen on Paramount+ on Halo the Series: Declassified, Peak of the Week, and The Ready Room with Wil Wheaton.

    Christopher is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at Loyola Marymount where he teaches courses in stagecraft, set design, and the collaborative process. He holds a MFA from the UCSD Department of Theatre and Dance, and a BA from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. He is a 2016 recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation Theater Fellowship- Pierre Cardin Award.


  • Drama and Culture of South-Eastern Culture (Prof. Nenad Pervan, Theater Arts and Dance)

    TR 3:40-4:55PM (CRN 74343)

    The emphasis of this class is to introduce students to the history of drama, theatre and culture of the Southeastern European region, also known as the Balkans. The course actively and comprehensively addresses culture, arts and society of this region to students. Students make connection through similarities with this culture and learn and broaden their global understanding of arts and culture through the differences.

    The majority of time will be dedicated to reading, writing, and play analysis. The plays presented in this class cover the span of about 500 years (from the mid 16th to the beginning of 21st century). They are all of different periods and genres, as well as various national origins from the region. Certain time the entire class sessions will also be dedicated to the region’s broader culture (film, music, arts, television), as well as to its gastronomy. A small portion of the class time will be dedicated to short and very simple and fun performance assignments. THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT of previous experience in theatre or acting.

    Meet the Professor:

    Nenad “Neno” Pervan, Clinical Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts, was born and raised in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Balkans). Since 1993, he has lived and worked in the United States as an actor, director, producer and educator. As an actor, Neno appeared in more than 50 stage productions, films, and TV and new-media shows. He acted opposite many great actors, including Academy Award winners Benicio Del Toro and Tommy Lee Jones.

    Neno has directed more that 20 productions in professional and academic theatre in the US as well as internationally. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA, Global Arts Corps, as well as Artistic Director of Il Dolce Theatre Company.

    Neno directs, acts, and writes for theatre, film, TV, and the new media. He has taught at LMU since 2007. In 2015, Neno was awarded LMU’s Part Time Faculty Outstanding Teaching Award. For his work as fight choreographer on Philip Ridley’s drama Tender Napalm, Neno won the 2013 LA Weekly Theatre Award.


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

    TR 9:55-11:35am (CRN 74349)

    TR 11:50am-1:30pm (CRN 71817)

    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. 

  • Effective Personal Ethics (Prof. Mark Bandsuch, Marketing and Business Law)

    T 6:00-9:20pm (CRN 71621)

    W 6:00-9:90pm (CRN 71864)

    A highly interactive, creative and exciting course dealing with issues of ethics, conflict resolution, core values, decision models, personal and environmental sustainability.  Aspects of spirituality, business and law will be intersected along the way to provide a full integration of one’s personal ethics to complex situations.  You will learn tools to help you make hard decisions, work with difficult people, deal with unpleasant situations and even how to meditate. If you are up for a class that will make you think, provide you with proven tools that will help you throughout your life, no matter what major or profession you choose, then please join us.

  • The Global Great War (Prof. Elizabeth Drummond, History)

    MWF 9:25-10:35am (CRN 75532)

    MWF 10:50am-12:00pm (CRN 75533)

    The First World War – or the Great War, as it was known at the time – was a catastrophic global conflict: it left over 8.5 million soldiers and 10 million civilians dead, saw empires fall, and established new international power dynamics. Occupation and border changes during and after the war uprooted millions, creating a lasting refugee crisis. One hundred years after the conflict, its legacy still haunts societies across the globe. While many histories of the First World War focus on European experiences, especially of the Western Front, the war must be understood in the context of empire.

    In this First-Year Seminar, we will explore the causes and consequences of a war that radically transformed the war and shaped the history of the twentieth century – not just in Europe, but also in Africa, India, and Asia. We will also consider war strategies and technologies, life in the trenches, mass casualties and the development of new ideas about war wounds and disabilities, the mobilization of the home front (including women and children), and the development of war cultures, as well as the rituals of commemoration and the revolutionary developments that emerged out of the war.

    Using a variety of primary sources, including letters, novels, art, and propaganda, we will study the lived experiences of the war, on the frontlines and the home front, of both Europeans and peoples from the colonies – and we will seek to reconstruct the everyday lives of soldiers, women, medics, artists, captives, conscientious objectors, and peace activists through the avatar project, in which each of you will develop an avatar, a fictional historical person, and will track their experiences through the war, using evidence from the primary and secondary sources.

    Meet the Professor

    Elizabeth Drummond was educated at Georgetown University and is associate professor of history in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. She is a social and cultural historian of modern Central Europe: one aspect of her research explores national identity, nationalist mobilization, and the experience of national conflict in the German-Polish borderlands; another project is focused on the artist Max Thalmann. She is also a member of the team that founded and maintains the interdisciplinary digital project the German Studies Collaboratory. She teaches broadly in European and global history, including introductory surveys in world history, environmental history, and European history and upper-division courses about modern Germany, European imperialism, gender history, and and popular culture.


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

    TR 9:55-11:35am (CRN 76692)

    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, 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: 

    Bonjour! I am Prof. Véronique Flambard-Weisbart of Modern Languages and Literatures (French) at LMU, where I have taught for over 30 years after receiving my Ph.D. from UCLA.  I am currently the Coordinator of the French major and minor programs which I will happily discuss with you should you be interested in pursuing French studies. My scholarly and research interests and publications include contemporary French / Francophone written and visual texts, translation and stylistics studies, creative writing, and interpretive dramatic readings.  I am the Director of the LMU Summer Study Abroad Program in Paris, France.


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

    TR 11:50am-1:30pm (CRN 76544)

    TR 1:45-3:25pm (CRN 76545)

    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.

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

    TR 3:40-5:20pm (CRN 74346)

    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.


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

    MW 11:50-1:30pm (CRN 77619)

    MW 1:45-3:25pm (CRN 77620)

    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.  

  • Political Shakespeare (Prof. Judy Park, English)

    MW 11:50am-1:30pm (CRN 77616)

    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.

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

    MW 9:55-11:35am (CRN 75531)

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

    Meet the Professor:

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

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

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

  • Religion, Big History, and Ecology (Prof. Christopher Chapple, Theological Systems)

    TR 9:55-11:35am (CRN 77615) 

    We will explore four major religious traditions plus the insights of science as we think and talk and write about ecological prospects for the future. We will read the novel Ministry for the Future; the professors' books Living Landscapes: Meditations on the Elements in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain Yogas and Black Indian; Journey of the Universe; and Laudato Si' by Pope Francis. Students will affiliate into elemental research groups and make presentations on films that interrogate environmental issues. We will have field trip experiences on and off campus that focus on recognizing the Tongva community that settled and thrived on what is now the LMU campus for a thousand years. Students will write frequently and self-reflectively, including a final research paper on a topic of their own interest. 

    Meet the Professor:

    Prof. Christopher Key Chapple (PhD Fordham 1980) joined the LMU faculty in 1985 and serves as Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and Director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies. He has published more than 20 books and holds advisory board and leadership positions for the Forum on Religion and Ecology (Yale), the International School for Jain Studies (Pune), the Centre for Jain Studies (SOAS, U London), the South Asian Studies Association, the Uberoi Foundation, and the Dharma Academy of North America.


  • Religion and Pop Culture (Prof. Corrina Laughlin, Communication Studies) 

    TR 1:45-3:45pm (CRN 72305)  

    This course will use the porous and often mutually informing categories of “religion” and “popular culture” to introduce students to essential critical thinking and writing skills as well as critical media literacy. The objectives of this course fit within the first year seminar theme of “Culture, Art and Society.” Our analysis will take seriously the Critical Cultural Studies notion that “popular culture”, once considered “low” or trashy is a worthy site for understanding ideology and politics. Students will read scholarly articles and theoretical texts alongside excerpts from novels, films, television series, podcasts, and memes. We will consider and discuss definitions of religion that will help students imagine the role of religion and religiosity in the construction of media, marketing, fashion, globalization, and digital culture.

    By the end of the course students will have familiarity with common religious discourses embedded in American popular culture and civic life and they will be able to recognize stereotyped, tokenized, and biased media portrayals of religion and religious people. Students will also demonstrate media arts practice by designing and executing a podcast project and will be prepared for this with in-class workshops and peer-review sessions.

    Meet the Professor

    Prof. Corrina Laughlin teaches Media Studies in the Communication Department at LMU. Her work focuses on digital culture, especially the interplay between religion and the digital and on digital feminism. She is the author of Redeem All: How Digital Life is Changing Evangelical Culture (University of California Press, 2021) and her scholarly work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals in Communication and Media Studies. She has also written for outlets such as The Atlantic and VICE, and has participated in ethnographic and documentary filmmaking and audio projects that have debuted at various festivals and conferences. Professor Laughlin is a Southern California native, a mom of two boys, and an avid (though terrible) skier. 

  • 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.

  • Sense & Synderesis (Prof. Catherine Peters, Philosophy) 

    TR 3:40-5:20pm (CRN 76549)

    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.



  • Sleep: Your Hidden Superpower! (Prof. Kam Dahlquist, Biology) 

    TR 9:55-11:10am (CRN 72171)

    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. The semester will begin with a short sleep tutorial that asks you to reflect on your sleep habits. Over the course of the semester, you will begin to explore the science of sleep and answer fundamental questions such as: Why do we sleep? How do caffeine and alcohol affect sleep? What are circadian rhythms and why is jet lag so debilitating and long-lasting? What is happening during REM sleep? How does sleep affect our immunity? What is the role of sleep in learning and memory? After a short introduction to sleep you will define a sleep-related research question to pursue and will ultimately share the results of your research in a written paper and through an oral presentation. All active participants in this course will begin developing the research, communication and collaborative skills that lead to academic success. In addition, each student will have a better understanding of their own sleep habits and how to improve them in order to reach their full potential.

    Meet your Professor:

    Dr. Kam Dahlquist is Professor & Chair of Biology at Loyola Marymount University. Dr. Dahlquist earned a B.A. in Biology from Pomona College and a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr. Dahlquist performed postdoctoral research at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease at the University of California, San Francisco, and taught for two years at Vassar College before joining the LMU faculty in 2005.

    In her research, Dr. Dahlquist follows an interdisciplinary approach to understanding gene regulatory networks that involves cutting-edge techniques in genomics, mathematical, and computational biology. This research crosses over into her teaching in such courses as Molecular Biology of the Genome, Biomathematical Modeling, Biological Databases, and Bioinformatics Laboratory. She believes that her research and teaching must be informed by and contribute to a broader social context. She has worked with various groups such as the UCSF Science and Health Education partnership, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), and the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium to improve science education for all and to increase the numbers of women and other members of underrepresented groups in science. She believes strongly in training her students to apply ethical standards to the conduct of scientific research. 



  • The Sounds of Resistance (Prof. Divine Gbagbo, Music) 

    TR 8:00-9:15am (CRN 77913)

    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 your 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.



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

    TR 1:45-3:25pm (CRN 77617)

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

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

    Meet the Professor:

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

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

    MW  3:40-5:20pm (CRN 77618)

    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.

  • Your Future Career in the Global Marketplace (Prof. Anatoly Zhuplev, Management)

    MW 11:50am-1:30pm (CRN 76540)

    MW 1:45-3:25pm (CRN 76541)

    This course addresses issues and priorities of personal growth and professional careers in the context of increasing globalization. Students will examine drivers, trends, and dynamics of globalization in a cross-country/cultural context, global entrepreneurship, international trade, investment, and innovations. They also will discover opportunities and challenges of international business venturing and international career growth via study abroad, international internships, or expatriate assignments.

    Meet the Professor:

    Prof. Anatoly Zhuplev is a professor of management at Loyola Marymount University and past chair of the Department of Management. He is a Fulbright Scholar. Prior to joining the College of Business Administration faculty in 1990, Zhuplev taught at Northeastern University, the University of Maryland and Moscow Management Institute. He also worked for several non-profit organizations in Russia. He is the recipient of numerous academic awards during his 15-year tenure in Russian education; he has also received the Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Loyola Marymount University MBA Program. Zhuplev is a member of the International Management Development Association, on the Editorial Board of the Journal of East-West Business and a member of the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Transnational Management.


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

    MW 11:50am-1:30pm (CRN 72624) 

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

    Meet the Professor:

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