Fall 2017 Seminars

  • Art of Understanding

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

    TR 8:00-9:30am (CRN 44843)

    TR 9:40-11:10am (CRN 46138) First to Go Program Only 


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


    Meet the Professor:

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

  • Baseball: American Values, Social Conflicts, and National Identity

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

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


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


    Meet the Professor:

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


  • Black Los Angeles

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

    TR 9:40-11:10am (CRN 44846)

    TR 11:20am-12:50pm (CRN 44854)


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


    Meet the Professor:

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

  • Childhood and International Cinema

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

    T 4:20-7:20pm (CRN 44863)

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


    Meet the Professor:

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

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

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

    TR 11:20am-12:50pm (CRN 44898)


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


    Meet the Professor:

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

  • Contemplative Practice

    Contemplative Practice (Prof. Jane Brucker, Studio Arts)

    W 4:10-7:00pm (CRN 44888)


    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.

  • Detecting the Mystery

    Detecting the Mystery (Prof. Paul Harris, English)  

    MWF 12:40-1:40pm  (CRN 44878)

    The course examines detection as a paradigm for discerning how the divine manifests itself in human, terrestrial life.  The thinkers and artists studied here investigate the world to discover what they perceive to be traces of the divine in material existence.  They create works that are purposely enigmatic, mysterious or mystical, in order to engage readers/viewers in a game of detection, where interpretation goes beyond solving a mystery at the level of plot.  The solution to the mystery initiates the real mystery, by inducing the reader/viewer to contemplate how the divine presence intersects our lives.  We will examine the detection paradigm as spiritual investigation in literature, theology, art, music, and film, exploring how each medium provides a specific means of linking the detective trope to the spiritual theme.  We will read fiction by Edgar Allan Poe, Thornton Wilder, Graham Greene, G.K. Chesterton and Shūsaku Endō; films by Robert Bresson, Philip Groening, Martin Scorsese; and art by Robert Irwin, Mark Rothko, among other materials.  


    Meet the Professor:

    Paul Harris, Professor of English, has taught at LMU since 1992.  His teaching and scholarship both emphasize interdisciplinary inquiry, challenging theoretical thinking, and connecting concepts to practice.  He has published in areas including chaos theory and philosophy, topology and fiction, French theory, and concrete poetry, and taught courses on Nothing, Wonder, and Chaos.  His scholarly expertise on The Watts Towers of Los Angeles, constraint-based writing, and contemporary author David Mitchell is reflected in course design and assignments.  He was President of the International Society for the Study of Time from 2004-2-13, and is co-editor of the renowned theory journal SubStance.  His current interest in slow time is evident in campus installations (The Garden of Slow Time, walking labyrinth on the bluff; The Displacement Garden, adjacent to Laband Art Gallery) and further explored through a rock garden and blog called The Petriverse of Pierre Jardin.

  • The Economics of Marriage and Dating

    The Games We Play: The Economics of Marriage and Dating (Prof. Sean D’Evelyn, Economics)

    MWF 10:20-11:20am (CRN 49203)

    This course will look at how we view close relationships in an economic framework. It will teach students the insights of game theory without delving deeply into the mathematical representations. Students will read academic literature that looks at the dynamics in the relationship between romantic couples and the pitfalls that are frequently encountered. Students will apply the vocabulary to write on relationship topics of their choosing.

    Meet the Professor:
    Sean D'Evelyn is an Assistant Professor (hopefully Associate Professor by the time I am teaching this) of Economics. His specialties include Environmental Economics, Experimental and Behavioral Economics, and Game Theory. His research areas include invasive species, green research and development, public goods provision, endogenous group formation, and community-based mental health initiatives.

  • Education and the Public Good

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

    MWF 10:20-11:20am (CRN 44850)

    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. 

  • Ethnic Los Angeles

    Ethnic Los Angeles (Prof. Edward Park, English)

    MWF 12:40-1:40pm (CRN 44876)

    This course examines ethnic communities in Los Angeles. From its humble beginnings as a Mexican outpost, Los Angeles became home to waves of migrants who transformed the city into one of the most important economic and cultural centers of the world. While every group found its place in the city, complex histories and contradictory impulses resulted in dramatic inequalities and differences in how various ethnic groups were received and incorporated. Contemporary Los Angeles bears the full brunt of this history as racial fault lines and ethnic boundaries organize public space and residential neighborhoods in dramatic topographies of economic and social inequality. While inequality and segregation shaped their formations, the ethnic communities in Los Angeles have always been the city’s source of cultural richness, economic dynamism, political change, and social progress. The first part of this course will study how scholars have documented and interpreted the history of ethnic Los Angeles from 1848 to the mid-1960s. The second part of the course will examine Los Angeles as the preeminent gateway city to post-1965 immigration and provide hands-on opportunities to engage in original research and document the current state of ethnic Los Angeles.  

    Meet the Professor:

    Edward J.W. Park is a professor of Asian Pacific American Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. He received his Ph.D. in ethnic studies at University of California, Berkeley in 1993. His current research topics include migration studies, race relations, urban studies, and economic sociology, and his work has been covered in major newspapers including New York Time and Los Angeles Times. He is the co-author of Probationary Americans: Contemporary Immigration Policies and the Shaping of Asian American Communities (Routledge 2005) and the co-editor of Asian Americans: An Encyclopedia of Social, Cultural, and Political History (Greenwood, 2014).

  • Faith and Media Creation

    Faith and Media Creation (Prof. Luis Proenca, Production Film and Television)

    TR 1:00-3:30pm (CRN 48551)

    The Faith and Media Creation course is strongly linked to LMU’s mission and identity. The Faith and Media course component offers a chance for students to explore faith issues and the role that media images play in shaping, reflecting, encountering, and articulating faith issues to a larger audience. The Faith and Media Creation First Year Seminar course allows students to explore critically and reflectively, their own faith experience as well as LMU’s identity as a Catholic and Jesuit institution. At the same time they will be exploring their own faith concerns and commitments and express them through oral, visual and writing presentations.


    Meet the Professor:

    Associate Professor Luis Proenca is a Portuguese Jesuit priest involved in directing documentaries and new media art. Pukiki - The Portuguese Americans of Hawaii is Proenca's most recent work in which he served as Producer, Director and Editor. Pukiki was internationally broadcast over five continents on RTPi (Rádio Televisão Portuguesa Internacional) and was an Official Selection of the Hawaiian International Film Festival (October 2003). After Pukiki, he finished the documentary Mo'olelo - Oral Histories of the Portuguese in Maui, Oahu and Hawai'i. He has just remastered one of his earliest works, Hopes and Struggles of Mozambican Refugees for RTPi broadcast.

    His documentary, Touchstone - The Rock Art of Côa Valley concerns rare forms of art produced 20,000 years ago and it has been distributed in Europe. He also produced Rhythms of Mozambique, an African music collection that features The Fonte Boa Choir, published in January of 2001 by Loyola Productions. Luis has directed live television programs for Portuguese National Television.

    Now, he is preparing for broadcast at RTPi (Rádio Televisão Portuguesa Internacional) two documentaries about the Portuguese community in California called Tradition - As Festas e Tradições dos Portugueses na Califórnia and Off the Boat- As Histórias de Imigração dos Portugueses na Califórnia. He is also in pre-production of a documentary about the Missions in California. Proenca is also an advisor for Loyola Productions - a Jesuit media production company. 

  • Your Future Career in the Global Workforce

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

    MWF 8:00-9:00am (CRN 48498)

    MWF 9:10-10:10am (CRN 44882)

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

    Meet the Professor:

    Dr. Charles M. Vance is a professor of management and human resources at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he teaches at executive, MBA, and undergraduate levels. He has been very active at Loyola Marymount in designing and conducting customized training programs for managers, executives, and other professionals. He has had considerable experience as a consultant in North and South America, Asia, and Europe in training design, management development and coaching, and broader human resource and organization development applications.

  • Gender and Pop Culture

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

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

    Honors Program Only

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


    Meet the Professor:

    Stella Oh’s research and teaching interests revolve around representations of race, gender and war. Her research has appeared in several journals and anthologies. She co-organized the World Conference on Japanese Military Sexual Slavery, a three-day international conference with scholars, NGO’s, and survivors of the comfort system. She is currently working on a manuscript that explores the relationship between gender, race, and affect in graphic novels. She teaches courses on contemporary literature by women of color, sex trafficking, and gender and popular culture. 

  • God in All Sounds

    God in All Sounds (Prof. Paul Humphreys, Music)

    MW 9:40-11:10am (CRN 48748)

    TR 8:00-9:30am (CRN 44842)

    This course invites students to investigate and compare the ways in which music has agency to mitigate boundaries within and across cultures. A practical framework for discussion emerges from foundational readings, chosen from the literatures of theology, ethnomusicology, and anthropology. Once these terms are established, students engage with representative case studies—through close reading and attentive listening—from which salient issues emerge. Studies might include: communal reconciliation through music in South Africa; resolution of interfaith tension through music in North India; and environmental poetics of music discourse in Oceania. Issues might include: At what level of importance does music contribute to the betterment of human societies? What are optimal modes of engagement for the reception of “other” musics? In what ways can music be seen and heard to establish what Martin Buber has called “the world of relation.”  


    Meet the Professor:

    Paul Humphreys has conducted field work in China, Indonesia, Ghana, Japan, and the Southwest Pueblo region of the United States.  Appearing in Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Proceedings of the International Musicological Society, Perspectives of New Music,  and Open Space Magazine, his publications address non-western compositional practice, music and religion, and comparative music theory.  Heard in China, Indonesia, Europe, Britain, the United States, and Canada, his compositions aspire to intercultural reception and reconciliation.  Large choral works include Not the Eternal Song for Women’s Chorus and Harp (2007) and Karuna Agung—A Buddhist Requiem (2005)  for Balinese gamelan angklung and Western SATB chorus.  More recent works include a trio for Chinese erhu, viola, and cello, presented by the Confucius Study Society at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland in May 2009 and a score for the Noh play Matsukaze (2012), presented at LMU in Fall 2012.   Humphreys’ efforts to integrate perspectives from world music within the music theory curriculum include work as an accreditation consultant for the Berlin-based Förderkreis Hochschule für Weltmusik (2010), as a principle presenter for the CMS-affiliated Institute for Pedagogies and Theories of World Music (2010, 2007, 2005), and as a member of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in Music (1999 – 2001).   Humphreys is a Past President of the Southern California Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology and an emeritus member of the Officers Council of the National Association of Composers U.S.A.  He is currently Professor and Director of World Music at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.   

  • History of Television

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

    R 4:30-7:00PM (CRN 49208)

    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.

  • Horror and Terror in the Theatre

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

    TR 2:40-4:10pm (CRN 48591) 

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

    Meet the Professor:

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

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

  • How People Learn

    How People Learn (Prof. Laura Massa, Institutional Assessment)

    TR 8:00-9:15am (CRN 49282)

    In ‘How People Learn’ students will explore what the sciences of cognitive psychology and educational psychology tell us about the process of learning, and consider how they can use that information to understand and improve their own learning. Topics will include the major theories of learning, memory, and motivation, what we know about how we learn various subjects, evidence-based principles for effective studying, and the role of metacognition in learning.

    Meet the Professor:

    Dr. Laura Massa is interested in understanding how learning works, and how we can use what we know about how learning works to become more successful learners.  As LMU’s Director of Assessment, Dr. Massa works with faculty and staff to understand and improve student achievement of learning outcomes across the university. Dr. Massa holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology, with an emphasis in statistics, from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

  • Imagining Lincoln

    Imagining Lincoln (Prof. Carla Bittel, History)

    TR 11:30am-12:50pm (CRN 44853)

    TR 1:00-2:30PM (CRN 44880) 

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

    Meet the Professor

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

  • Imagining the Resilient City

    Imagining the Resilient City: How Urban Ecology helps to shape Just, Verdant and Sustainable Urban Communities (Prof. Eric Strauss, Biology)

    TR 4:30-5:15pm (CRN 44887)

    Honors Program Only 

    The study of human-dominated landscapes, such as cities, is being transformed by a new theory called Ecological Resilience. The key features of this research approach include the recognition that healthy ecosystems are dynamic, adaptive and in constant flux. Using this lens, our course will explore the integrated nature of urbanized landscapes and the communities of people who live there. Working with the original literature, we will engage the research being conducted on the patterns and processes of urban ecosystems – ranging from biodiversity, trophic dynamics and urban forests, to public health, environmental justice and governance. Using an active inquiry approach to the curriculum, we will critically evaluate existing research, design research projects and present findings to the members of class.

    Meet the Professor:

    Dr. Eric Strauss serves as President’s Professor of Biology at Loyola Marymount University and Executive Director of the LMU Center for Urban Resilience (CURes). His collaborative research specialties in coupled human/natural systems include animal behavior, endangered species management, urban ecosystems and science education. In addition, Dr. Strauss is the Founding Editor of a web-based peer-reviewed journal, Cities and the Environment, which is funded in part by the USDA Forest Service. His research includes collaborative long term studies of coyotes, White tailed deer, crows, turtles and other vertebrates, with a specialty in understanding synanthropic wildlife in urban areas, animal-human relationships and the appropriate management responses to wildlife problems and zoonotic disease. His work also includes investigating the role of green space and urban forests in supporting of healthy neighborhoods and how those features can be used to improve science education and restorative justice. He has co-written multi-media textbooks in biology and urban ecology as well as hosting multiple video series on the life sciences and ecology.  Dr. Strauss received his BS in Mass Communication from Emerson College in Boston and Ph.D. in Biology from Tufts University in 1990. Prior to coming to Los Angeles, he has held teaching and faculty appointments at Tufts University, The University of Massachusetts Boston and Boston College.


  • Islam and the Building of America

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

    TR 9:40-11:10am (CRN 44930)

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

    Meet the Professor:

    Dr. Amir Hussain is Professor of Theological Studies and teaches courses on Islam and comparative religion. A Canadian from Toronto, Amir taught at Cal State Northridge for 8 years before coming to LMU in 2005. For 2011 to 2015, Amir is the editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the premier scholarly journal for the study of religion. The author or editor of 5 books, Amir has also published over 50 articles and book chapters about religion. In both 2008 and 2009, Amir was chosen by vote of LMU students as the Professor of the Year.

  • Latino L.A.

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

    TR 11:20am-12:50pm (CRN 49205)

    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.


    LEAPIN (Prof. Nicole Bouvier-Brown, Chemistry)

    MWF 10:20-11:20AM (CRN 49434)


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

    Meet the Professor:

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


  • Literature, Power and Race

    Literature, Power and Race (Prof. Michael Datcher, English)

    MWF 12:40-1:40pm (CRN 44879)

    Literature, Power and Race is a seminar designed to encourage students to consider the ways in which power and race intersect in literature.  The seminar seeks to interrogate the following questions: What can literature teach us about power? What are the visible and nonvisible ways in which race informs power dynamics in the real world and in literature?  What liberatory strategies can be found in literature that can be applied to the real world? 

    Meet the Professor:

    Dr. Michael Datcher did his undergraduate work at UC Berkeley, his Masters at UCLA and his Ph.D at the UC Riverside in English Literature. His academic training is in 20th/21st century American literature and literary theory. He is the author the East St. Louis historical novel AMERICUS and the critically-acclaimed New York Times Bestseller RAISING FENCES—a TODAY SHOW BOOK CLUB Book of the Month pick. Datcher is a faculty member in Loyola Marymount University’s English Department.

  • Minorities and Women in Science

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

    MWF 11:30am-12:20pm (CRN 49433) 

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


    Meet the Professor:

    Professor Martina G. Ramirez is a Professor of Biology at Loyola Marymount University. Her areas of research are conservation biology, population genetics and evolutionary biology of spiders.

  • Oceans and Empires

    Oceans and Empires (Prof. Kevin McDonald, History)

    TR 11:20-12:50pm (CRN 44855)

    TR 1:00-2:30pm (CRN 44865)

    What does history look like from an oceanic perspective? This seminar will engage students with the historical development of oceanic empires, with a primary focus on overseas European and American expansion, ca. 1450-1850. The course does not aim at comprehensive coverage but instead develops comparative analyses of maritime empires, including European, British, and American case studies, and the history of ocean basins (Indian, Atlantic, Pacific).

    Meet the Professor:

    Kevin P. McDonald is an Assistant Professor of Colonial America and Atlantic World History at Loyola Marymount University, with research interests in maritime history, pirates and piracy, colonialism/empire, and slavery. Dr. McDonald received his Ph.D. in History at the University of California, Santa Cruz (2008) and the M.A. in History from Rutgers University/NJIT. He was an A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Carnegie Mellon University (2011-12). His book, Pirates, Merchants, Settlers, and Slaves: Colonial America and the Indo-Atlantic World, (University of California Press, 2015), explores a global trade network located on the peripheries of world empires and shows the illicit ways American colonists met the consumer demand for slaves and East India goods.

  • On the Technological Sublime

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

    W 4:20-7:00 (CRN 44890)

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

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

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

  • Our Media, Ourselves

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

    TR 11:20am-12:50pm (CRN 44857)

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

    Meet the Professor:

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

  • Principles of Scientific Reasoning

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

    W 4:30-7:00pm (CRN 49435) 

    ACCESS Program Only 

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

    Meet the Professor:

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

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

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

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

  • Religious Identity: Philosophy, Literature, Rhetoric

    Religious Identity: Philosophy, Literature, Rhetoric (Prof. Steven Mailloux, English)

    TR 11:20am-12:50pm (CRN 44858) 

    Honors Program Only 

    This Honors course will explore the rhetorical aspects of religious identities represented in literary works with explicitly philosophical themes. Examining how individuals and institutions establish their identities, we will discuss a series of texts by and about Jesuits.  The course will introduce students to Jesuit spiritual and intellectual traditions through the rhetorical analysis of various genres: essays, narratives, poetry, oratory, drama, and spiritual exercises.  Assignments will include texts written by Jesuits (such as Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises, Gerard Manley Hopkins's poetry, and Bill Cain’s Equivocation) as well as narratives representing Jesuits as major or minor figures (such as Dostoevsky's “The Grand Inquisitor,” O’Connor’s “The Enduring Chill,” Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance). This course will also be part of the 2017 Bellarmine Forum on “The Idea of the Catholic University in the 21st Century,” and students will participate in events sponsored by the forum and the Academy for Catholic Thought and Imagination.

    Meet the Professor:

    Steven Mailloux, a graduate of Loyola University of Los Angeles, is currently President’s Professor of Rhetoric in the English Department at LMU.  Previously, he taught rhetoric, critical theory, and U.S. cultural studies as Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Chancellor’s Professor of Rhetoric at the University of California, Irvine.  He is the author of several books, including most recently

    Disciplinary Identities: Rhetorical Paths of English, Speech, and Composition and Rhetoric’s Pragmatism: Essays in Rhetorical Hermeneutics.

  • Representations of Women in Ancient Greece

    Representations of Women in Ancient Greece (Prof. Amanda Herring, Art History)

    TR 11:20am-12:50pm (CRN 44895)

    TR 1:00-2:30pm (CRN 49204)

    This course will examine how women were depicted ancient Greece in the period between the seventh and first centuries BC.  The course will be organized thematically, with each course unit examining a different female role in society.  Within the confines of ancient Greek culture, women fulfilled strictly defined roles.  In the course of the semester, we will examine each of these different roles, including that of wife and mother, prostitute or courtesan, goddess, and queen, and discuss how these women were represented in contemporary artworks.  The class will aim to discuss and answer such questions as: What criteria were used to define gender roles in Greece?  Who were the intended audiences for artworks that depicted women?  Did artworks intended for female patrons differ from those produced for male patrons?  How do corresponding male gender roles and their artistic depictions help to elucidate our understanding of female roles?  As Greek society changed and developed, did the roles of women change as well?  How do ancient Greek gender roles compare to those of our own society?  How does understanding the gender roles of ancient Greece help to further our knowledge of Greek art and culture?

    Meet the Professor:

    Amanda Herring is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Art History.  She received her B.A. in Art History & Classical Archaeology from Dartmouth College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Art History from UCLA. At LMU, she teaches courses on the art and architecture of the ancient world. With a specialization in Hellenistic Greece, her research explores how architecture and sculpture were used as expression of cultural and ideological identities in a period of rapid social and political change. Her current research project examines the superhero Wonder Woman and the manner in which her comics reinterpret and depict Greek myths, particularly their transformation of amazons from antagonists to heroes

  • Sacred and Medicinal Plant Use

    Sacred and Medicinal Plant Use (Prof. Philippa Drennan, Biology)

    MW 8:00-9:30AM (CRN 49432)

    Plants have a long history of use for both sacred and medicinal purposes. While some use is purely symbolic, most plants are used because of the chemical compounds they contain.  These chemicals have a physiological effect on our bodies.  Centuries of trial and error have resulted in some plants being used extensively by traditional cultures to produce an altered state of consciousness and/or for healing. Yet other plants have toxic effects, for example, the hemlock that killed Socrates. This course will consider the traditional use of plants (symbolic, sacred, and medicinal); the emergence of our modern pharmaceutical industry which is based on the traditional use of plants as herbal remedies; differences between holistic healing and a one symptom, one medicine approach;  and the likely health outcomes of remedies from plants sold at ‘health stores’ and via the internet, most of which are not subject to the same legislation as a drug synthesized by the pharmaceutical industry.

    Meet the Professor:

    Pippa Drennan is a Professor of Biology at LMU. She has a Ph.D. from the University of KwaZulu-Natal where she taught before moving to Los Angeles. Her research interests are in adaptations of plants to environmental stress in extreme environments such as deserts and wetlands. She teaches courses in Vegetation Ecology, Field Botany, Plant Physiology and General Biology.

  • Theatre Really Dead? Again!?

    Is Theatre Really Dead? Again!? Your Role as Audience and Critic in Its Vitality (Prof. Charles Erven, Theatre Arts and Dance)

    TR 9:40-11:10am (CRN 44847)

    The course seeks to provide freshmen students with opportunities and experiences to develop a sufficiently comprehensive view and understanding of theatre as an art form and its connection to culture, society, and the individual so they may (alone and collectively) become an informed and critical audience capable of engaging, shaping, and sustaining the emergence of relevant theatrical forms in the 21st Century.

    Meet the Professor:

    Charles E. Erven is a Professor of Theatre Arts. His B.A. and M.F.A. are from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Professor Erven teaches courses in theatre technology and design. He is a professional scenographer and member of the United Scenic Artists of America. His work has been seen at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre and First Stage Milwaukee as well as the Madison Repertory Theatre and Racine Theatre Guild in Wisconsin.

    He has also designed for theatres in Chicago, California, Colorado, the Virgin Islands, New York, Tblisi, Georgia, and Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Professor Erven has organized international student production tours to Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, the Czech Republic, Ireland and Wales. In 1997 and 2001, Professor Erven designed and/or directed productions that performed at Podium, a biennial international festival in Moscow. His design work has been included in exhibitions at the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Milwaukee Institute for Art and Design, the USITT Biennial Scenography Exposition and the Central States Exhibition of Scene Design.

    In March 2001, he presented a paper, “Collaboration on the Global Stage: A Scenographic Approach to Undergraduate Theatre Productions,” at the Mid America Theatre Conference in Chicago. Since 1990, his research has focused on the integration of American and Eastern European approaches to scenography. Professor Erven designed scenery for LMU’s productions of Grand Tarot, Dancing at Lughnasa, J.B., and The Seagull.

  • The Politics of the Veil

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

    MWF 10:20-11:20am (CRN 45071)

    MWF 11:30am-12:30pm (CRN 44873)                            

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


    Meet the Professor:

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