Interdisciplinary Honors Seminars

Fall 2011 Interdisciplinary Honors Seminars




How Sex Changed: Biomedical Sex Research in the Twentieth Century
01:090:250 Index#28695
James Reed- SAS - History
W 2:50-5:50P
Brett Hall Seminar Room
College Ave Campus

This is a seminar about the relationship between scientists and human sexuality.  We will examine some of the most important efforts to understand and to control sexual behavior.  Who studied sex?  How did they define it? What methods did they use? Why did they do it?  Who paid for the work? What is the relationship between this science, gender systems, and other salient aspects of U.S. society? What can we learn from the immense discourse constructed by sex researchers?

We will begin with the "crisis in civilized sexual morality" and Freud's visit to the U.S. in 1909, and end with the emergence of the intersexed and transsexuals as self-conscious minorities successfully struggling for civil rights. We will have an Alfred Kinsey film festival, and will devote several weeks to the career of John Money, the Johns Hopkins University clinical psychologist who championed the cause of surgical sex reassignment.  Assigned readings will include: Susan Stryker, Transgender History; Anne Fausto-Sterling, Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality; Deborah Rudacille, The Riddle of Gender; John Coalpinto, As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl; and other materials provided by the instructor.  All participants in the class will be expected to make a presentation (15 minutes maximum) about a researcher, novel, autobiography, journal, or website that is relevant to our story.  There will be two short written assignments (5 pages) and a longer essay (minimum 10 pages) that will serve as a final exam.

JAMES REED has professed History at Rutgers since 1975.  He got his B.A. at Louisiana State University and his A.M. and Ph.D. at Harvard.  Among historians he is best known for From Private Vice to Public Virtue, a history of birth control in the United States  He has also written on intelligence tests, penitentiaries, and biomedical sex research.  His current writing project is a history of biomedical sex research, with the working title Sex Research in America: From Social Hygiene to Sexology.  Among Rutgers students he is best known as the instructor in Development of the U.S. I & II, as well as more specialized courses such as Health and the Environment in the U.S., Sport in History, and The IQ Controversy.”  He served as Dean of Rutgers College from 1985 to 1994.


The United States and the Middle East in Revolution, 1945 to 2011 and Beyond
01:090:251 Index#28696
Lloyd Gardner- SAS - History
T 01:10-04:10P
35 College Avenue Rm 302
College Ave Campus

From the end of World War II, when the old empires began to crumble and the American "Century" began, the Middle East has been an area on the edge of revolution.  At the end of World War I, the victors parceled out the Ottoman Empire between them, seeking oil and strategic positions in Egypt and elsewhere.  World War II saw the end of that patched-together system of protectorates, and a series of dramatic upheavals, first in Egypt in 1952, then in Iran during the oil crisis 1951-53.  The creation of the state of Israel added yet another ingredient to the mix of alliances and Cold War rivalries that dominated the area until 1991, the year the Soviet Union collapsed, and the year Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, triggering Gulf War I.  But a revolution in Iran had already taken place, and the events there and elsewhere gained momentum.  From the time of the first Egyptian revolution in 1952, the United States had sought to find a way to contain this ferment of nationalism and unmet expectations into safe channels.  What began in Tunisia has quickly spread across the region -- and the end is not yet in sight.  Secretary of Defense Robert Gates summed it up very well during a press conference in Cairo on March 23, 2011.  "I think each country has its own particular reasons that gave rise to the demonstrations and to the manifestations of popular discontent.  But, on the whole, in general terms I would say, it derives from a number of things.  It derives from political rights b\long denied, it derives from economic grievances, from demographics, from a larger number of young people who are educated, between the ages of 20 and 35 or so who can't find jobs and can't find fulfillment in their lives, and therefore, expressing their frustrations."  We will probe Secretary Gates' suggestions with readings that help to explain the American role in stimulating these events, and in attempting to control them as well.

LLOYD GARDNER received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, and has taught at Rutgers since 1963.  He is the recipient of both the Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Board of Governors' Award for Excellence in Research.  He also has received the American Historical Association's Award for a Lifetime of Historical Writing.  Most recently he is the author of a trilogy of books  on American relations with the Middle East, "Three Kings: The Rise of an American Empire in the Middle East After World War II,"  "The Road to Baghdad: American Foreign Relations Since 1970," "The Road to Tahrir Square: Back Drop to Revolution From the Rise of Nasser to Mubarak.'


What is Sophistication?
01:090:252 Index#28697
Rebecca Walkowitz- SAS - English
MW 01:10-02:30P
35 College Avenue Rm 302
College Ave Campus

What is the difference between knowing and being “in the know”?  Is sophistication at odds with democracy?  Or, is it the capacity to participate in a diverse social environment?  Is sophistication a strategy of the strong?  Or, is it a tactic of the weak?  This course introduces students to historical and contemporary debates about “sophistication,” “civilization,” and “culture” through intensive analysis of exemplary literary texts alongside significant works of psychology, anthropology, history, sociology, philosophy, literary criticism, and literary theory.  Topics will include: genealogies of “sophistication,” “culture,” and “civilization”; psychoanalysis and the critique of civilization; “race,” writing, and cultural difference; Orientalism and the invention of the West; sophistication, uselessness, and literary style; cosmopolitanism and the transnational novel; popular culture, advertising, and postmodern knowing.  Principal texts will include works of drama, fiction, and film by William Shakespeare, Aphra Behn, Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, Joseph Conrad, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Kazuo Ishiguro, Michael Cunningham, and Michael Almereyda.  Critical and theoretical reading will include essays by Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche, Virginia Woolf, Raymond Williams, James Clifford, Anthony Appiah, Michel de Certeau, Michel Foucault, Theodor Adorno, Barbara Johnson, D. A. Miller, and others.

REBECCA L. WALKOWITZ is associate professor of English and affiliate faculty in the Comparative Literature Program.  Before joining the Rutgers faculty in 2007, Professor Walkowitz taught for seven years the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was the recipient of three teaching awards, including an award from the Honors Student Organization Outstanding Professor award.  She teaches courses on modernism, the global Anglophone novel, contemporary British fiction, critical and uncritical reading, and theories of world literature.  She is the author of Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism beyond the Nation (2006) and the editor or coeditor of seven books, including Immigrant Fictions: Contemporary Literature in an Age of Globalization (2007) and Bad Modernisms (with Douglas Mao, 2006).  She is currently at work on a book entitled Born Translated, which traces the emergence of a new genre of world literature: novels that do not simply appear in translation but have been written for translation from the start.


Visible Writings: Cultures Forms Reading

01:090:253 Index#28784 (cross-listed with 04:547:474:01)
Mary Shaw- SAS - French
Marija Dalbello- SCI- ITI
TTH 9:50-11:10A
Zimmerli Art Museum MPR
College Ave Campus

The aim of this interdisciplinary Honors course will be to enable students to think critically about relationships between writing and image in a wide range of cultural and historical contexts, and to explore how interactions between the visible and the legible affect our experiences of both reading and seeing. All writing is “visible,” but its visual dimension reveals itself in many different ways and can often be erased or forgotten. The “visible writings” that constitute the focus of this course are cases in which the material aspect of the graphic is visually compelling, so that what we read is aesthetically and conceptually enhanced by its attachment to an image. We will study and draw connections between image-text forms ranging from writings on ancient Greek vases and mesoamerican scripts, to comics, contemporary artists’ books, and the spontaneous street writings of September 11.

Students in our course will be exposed to original artworks from the Zimmerli Art Museum collections, as well as to multiple modern and ancient, western and non-western written languages in which these artworks are represented. This on-going exercise will help us to experience the importance of gaining access to the various cultures represented through the studied works. But it will also help us to obtain a richer, fuller grasp of the nature and construction of culture itself, of language itself, and thus, a better sense of what we call “the world.”

Team-taught by Marija Dalbello from the SC&I, and Mary Shaw from the Department of French, this seminar will be highly interdisciplinary by nature. Guest lecturers (wherever possible authors of essays within the Visible Writings collection co-edited by Professors Dalbello and Shaw) will enhance the students’ understanding of the reader and expose them to the many different kinds of scholarly and artistic approaches relevant to our topic. The course will be offered in the Zimmerli Art Museum.

MARY SHAW is a Professor of French, specializing in 19th- and 20th-Century literature and aesthetics. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University. Much of her research explores poetry's relations with other genres (theater  and various types of fictional and non-fictional prose) and with disparate art forms (music, dance, and the visual arts). She often works across centuries as well. She has taught several courses revolving around the the Zimmerli Art Museum's fin-de-siècle illustrated book and journal collection. Her scholarly publications include /Performance in the Texts of Mallarmé: The Passage from Art to Ritual / (Penn State Press, 1993), /The Spirit of Montmartre: Cabarets, Humor and the Avant-Garde/ (co-edited with Phillip Dennis Cate, Zimmerli Art Museum, 1996) The Cambridge Introduction to French Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 2003), and most recently, /Visible Writings: Cultures, Forms, Readings/ (co-edited with Marija Dalbello, Rutgers University Press, 2011). She has also published a collection of poetry and two bilingual children's books.

MARIJA DALBELLO is an Associate Professor of Information Studies. Her research, teaching and publications focus on visual genres and visual epistemologies, the history of knowledge, documents, and collections, and history of the book. She published numerous articles in theoretical journals in information science, and has co-edited Print Culture in Croatia: The Canon and the Borderlands (2006) with Tinka Kati, and Visible Writings: Cultures, Forms, Readings (2011) with Mary Shaw. She is currently editing Constructing the Heritage of Cultures: A World History of Librarianship with Wayne Wiegand, and working on a book-length study on the ceremonies of information in the Habsburg sphere. After receiving her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto she taught a year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and since 2000 at Rutgers.

Civilization and Its Discontents
01:090:254 Index#28698
Martha Helfer- SAS - Germanic Russian & E. European Lang & Lit
MW 02:50-04:10P
35 College Avenue Rm 302
College Ave Campus

The search for self-definition – what it means to be “me,” and what it means to be “me” in a society often hostile to the individual – is one of the basic drives that characterizes the human being, and is an enduring theme of world literature. This course examines the search for self-definition in mainstream literature of the Western Enlightenment tradition, in conjunction with selections from philosophy, aesthetic theory, cultural criticism, psychoanalysis, and feminism. Emphasis will be placed on developing critical reading and writing skills.

Readings include:

Goethe, Faust, Part One
Kant, “An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?”
Schiller, On the Aesthetic Education of the Human Race
Hegel, “master-slave dialectic”
Shelley, Frankenstein
Nietzsche, “On Truth and Lie in an Extramoral Sense”
Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground
Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents
Orwell, 1984
Spiegelman, Maus
Celan “Death Fugue”
Carter, “The Company of Wolves”
Wolf, Cassandra

MARTHA HELFER is Associate Professor of German, and an affiliate member of Comparative Literature, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Jewish Studies, at Rutgers University. Her research interests include philosophical approaches to literature, aesthetic theory, and intellectual history. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University, and is the author of The Retreat of Representation and The Word Unheard: Legacies of Anti-Semitism in German Literature and Culture. The recipient of the Graduate School-New Brunswick Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award, she’s pretty good at teaching undergraduates, too.

Jewish Museums

01:090:255 Index#28699
Jeffrey Shandler- SAS - Jewish Studies
T 02:50-05:50P
Miller Hall Rm 210
College Ave Campus

Though they have only been around for a little more than a century, Jewish museums have come to play a leading role in Jewish life, and they have become strategic sites for Jews to present their history and culture to a larger public.  The seminar will begin with background on the advent of Jewish museums in relation to the history of collecting and exhibition and will then examine different kinds of Jewish museums found around the world.  Museums that we will study include regional museums, Holocaust museums, and multicultural museums in which Jews figure alongside others. The seminar will also explore how museums are making use of new media, including video, interactive installations, and the Internet.  Studying Jewish museums engages a lively intersection of interests:  public history, art, architecture, media, urban studies, ethnic studies, modern culture, memory, as well as Jewish studies.  Through our examination of Jewish museums, we will consider what these institutions reveal about modern public culture and its role in engaging issues of aesthetics, history, religion, ethnicity, and politics.

As part of the seminar, students will visit several museums in the region and will meet with people involved in the creation and running of Jewish museums. Over the course of the semester, students will each prepare a research project on a topic related to Jewish museums and will present their work to their classmates at the conclusion of the seminar. 

Note:  This seminar does not require any prior experience in Jewish studies.  Students should plan on being available for two or three Sunday visits to local museums (in New Jersey, New York City, or Philadelphia) over the course of the semester. These visits will be scheduled in lieu of regular class sessions; dates to be determined.

PROF. JEFFREY SHANDLER has taught in the Department of Jewish Studies for ten years and is affiliated with several other departments and programs at Rutgers, including American Studies, Comparative Literature, German, and Journalism and Media Studies.  He studies modern and contemporary Jewish life, focusing on several topics, including visual culture, media, Holocaust remembrance, and Yiddish culture. Prof. Shandler has also curated a number of exhibitions for Jewish museums in New York and Philadelphia on topics ranging from the dynamic relationship of Jews to American film and broadcasting to how Americans formed their understanding of the Holy Land in the century before Israeli statehood was declared.  

Extraterrestrial Life
01:090:256 Index#32643
Andrew Baker- SAS - Physics & Astronomy
TTH 4:30-05:50P
Brett Hall Seminar Room
College Ave Campus

Click here to check out the course website!

For centuries, humans have looked at the night sky and wondered whether we are alone or whether we share the universe with advanced extraterrestrial civilizations.  In recent years, this question has begun to move from the realm of speculation to the arena of scientific inquiry, thanks to new discoveries about planets orbiting stars other than our Sun, about potential habitats for life in our solar system, and about the possible development of life in extreme environments on Earth.  This seminar, intended for students from all academic majors, will examine the prospects for the emergence of extraterrestrial life (intelligent or otherwise) and our detection of it from a scientific perspective.  A familiarity with basic mathematical and scientific concepts will be assumed; moderately sophisticated mathematics (e.g., calculus and Fourier analysis) will be discussed but not required for homework.  Course meetings will be principally devoted to discussions -- led by students (selected at random at the beginning of each class) and guided by the instructor -- of weekly reading assignments.  Background material from a single textbook will be supplemented by popular books and articles, as well as selected papers from the research literature.  Grades will be based on leadership of and participation in discussions, short weekly writing assignments, a mid-term research mini-project, and an end-of-term paper.

ANDREW BAKER is an observational astrophysicist working in several areas of extragalactic astronomy at optical, infrared, and radio wavelengths. His principal interests center on the formation and evolution of galaxies in the nearby and distant universe: how they form stars, how they grow in mass, and how they interact and merge with each other.  Professor Baker expects to make extensive use of the new South African Large Telescope, in which Rutgers is a major participant.  Before coming to Rutgers, he was a Jansky Fellow at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the University of Maryland, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics outside Munich, and a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology.


Religion in a Secular Society
Tao Jiang- SAS – Religion
TH 09:15A-12:15P
Loree Hall Rm 131
Douglass Campus

Amongst the Western developed countries, America stands out as being deeply religious. The vast majority of Americans believe in God or some all-powerful divine being.  Is, then, America a religious country the way Iran is? Clearly this is not the case.  People point to the separation of church and state and the constitutional protection of people’s religious beliefs or non-beliefs as examples of the vast difference between America and a country like Iran. In other words, the American political system is secular, whereas Iran is theocratic. Secularism is usually understood as the withdrawal of religion from public life, the privatization of religious belief and practice, or simply the decrease of religious belief and practice.  It lays the foundation for religious pluralism and liberal democracy that characterizes Western modernity.

However, where did the idea of secularism come from? How did it become the governing ideology in the modern West? What is the role of religion in a secular society other than personal beliefs?  What does it mean to have a religious belief in a secular society and how is it different from holding a religious belief in a religious society? Given the resurgence of religion into public life and political discourse in the US, it is imperative that we reexamine the very conception of secularism so that we can better understand the nature of secularization and the role of religion in that process. We will trace the history of secularism in the West, its motivating religious, philosophical, political and ethical forces, and its possible future trajectories.

TAO JIANG is the chair of Department of Religion. He is a specialist in Buddhism and comparative studies of religion and philosophy.


Victorian Popular Culture: As Seen Through Musical Theater
01:090:258 Index#28701
Carolyn Williams- SAS - English
M 01:10- 4:10P
Brett Hall Seminar Room
College Ave Campus

This seminar would be a good fit for anyone who would like to learn about the history and culture of nineteenth-century England – or anyone who would like to learn about the history of musical theater.   We will study nineteenth-century Victorian history and culture through the lens of the musical-theater works of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.

Some of you may already be familiar with their zany sense of humor.  They were the Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert of the late Victorian era – making fun of the culture and politics of their day, using parody as a critical tool.  Their most famous works are H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado.  But they wrote 14 works together from 1871-1896, in one of the most famous (and lucrative) partnerships in all musical-theater history.  We won’t have time to study them all, but we will study 7 of them – and will also look at some works in other genres of Victorian literature and culture that will help us to understand what they were making fun of.  So, the course will be focused through the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, but it will also include:  one melodrama, a small selection of poetry, some readings in the historical and cultural contexts of the works.  We will watch a great many video clips, two or three entire films, and, of course, we will listen (on CD) to our central “texts,” as well as read them.  If productions are available in New York, we will certainly attend one. 

By the end of our semester together, you will know a lot about the nineteenth century:  its laws (some of them bizarre, like breach of promise law, which required a man to pay damages if he didn’t go through with a promised marriage), the structure of government (how was Parliament structured, and why?  who is the Lord Chancellor?), folk beliefs in fairies and pirates, the role of the British navy in the Napoleonic Wars (and the huge effect those Wars had on the home culture),  the late-Victorian fascination with Japanese artifacts, minstrel shows and music hall (where cross-dressing abounded), and the history of British colonization (how could you make fun of that?  well, Gilbert and Sullivan did – but in a way that also severely criticized the British Empire).

Parody was a powerful weapon in the culture wars of the late nineteenth century.  With defiantly in-your-face sophistication, Gilbert and Sullivan proved that popular culture can be intellectually as well as politically and culturally challenging.   These works have had a huge influence on our own popular culture, for Gilbert and Sullivan are the direct precursors of “the musical,” as melodrama is the direct precursor of cinema (first invented in the late nineteenth century).  Allusions to Gilbert and Sullivan appear everywhere – from the musicals of Stephen Sondheim, to the films of Mike Leigh to The Simpsons.

CAROLYN WILLIAMS specializes in Victorian poetry, autobiography, theater, and visual culture. She serves as the Chair of the Department of English.  She is also the Director of the Writers at Rutgers Reading Series, the Writers from Rutgers Reading Series, and the Writers House. She is a member of the Executive Committee at the Center for Cultural Analysis and leads the Center's Symposium for Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies. Outside of Rutgers, she serves on the Supervisory Board for the English Institute and the Executive Board for the Dickens Project.

Medical Ethics and the Law
01:090:260 Index#30826
Stanley Vitello- GSE- Education Psychology
TH 09:50A-12:50P
Brett Hall Seminar Room
College Ave Campus

This seminar will consider the justifications for overriding the individual choice of mentally competent people who want physician assistance in terminating their lives; or who want access to drugs that have not been approved by federal agencies as the Food and Drug Administration; or who want treatment notwithstanding their physicians' data-based judgment that such treatment would be "futile"; or who want to participate in medical experiments deemed "excessively risky" by state and federal regulators; or who want to donate or sell their organs for transplantation.

The seminar will also evaluate the ways that the individual choice norm has been extended to or withheld form individuals who have lost competence or who (because of mental impairment) had never been or (because they were infants or fetuses) had not yet become competent to decide for themselves.

STANLEY VITELLO teaches courses on disability law and policy in the Graduate School of Education. He is affiliated with the Center on Bio-ethics at Yale University where he received a law degree. Professor Vitello's scholarship address quality of life issues confronting persons with intellectual disabilities across the life span.  

Climate Change Impacts Vulnerability and Adaptation
01:090:261 Index#28702
Ming Xu- SEBS - Ecology Evolution and Natural Resources
T 10:55A-01:55P
Hickman Rm 131
Douglass Campus

Human-induced climate change has drawn tremendous attentions over the world and the trends will continue in the foreseeable future due to the rapid increasing in energy consumption, human population growth, and the long life-span of the greenhouse gas molecules. Climate change has brought severe impacts on human welfares and ecosystems on the Earth, which include sea level rising; more frequent wildfires, flooding and droughts; reduction in agricultural production, water yield and biodiversity; and higher risks of vector diseases. Meanwhile, climate change also has a positive side, such as increasing water use efficiency, extending growing season, and reducing risks of frost bites to crops in mid and high latitudes.  Adaptation to climate change is critical to sustainable management of our economy and ecosystems by reducing the negative impacts and, meanwhile, taking the benefits.

This proposed course will focus on introducing the basics of greenhouse effects and climate systems; observed and predicted global and regional climate change features; climate change impacts on different sectors and ecosystems, such as agriculture, water resources, oceans and coastal regions, biodiversity and natural ecosystems, diseases and human health, and socioeconomic components; identifying most vulnerable sectors and areas; and adaptation strategies and measures taken at various sectors and scales.  Experiences and lessons on adapting to climate change from different regions of the world will also be introduced in the course through case studies. The course will briefly discuss the global and regional efforts on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and the progress of international negotiations on climate change. The course will feature lectures, discussions, and student presentations of term projects.

MING XU is a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.  Professor Xu has a doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley and advanced degrees from Beijing Forestry University and Henan Agricultural University, China.  Professor Xu is an expert on ecosystem and climate interaction, especially energy, water, and carbon and nitrogen exchanges, and a researcher in responses/feedbacks to global climate change and historical climate change.  Professor Xu’s research projects have covered studies of climate and vegetation change that range from  China over the last decades and centuries to contemporary studies of carbon and water dynamics in New Jersey and the Pinelands.

Anti Apartheid and Civil Rights Movements: King and Mandela - Lessons In Leadership
01:090:262 Index#
Ronald Quincy- School of Social Work
TTH 04:30-05:50P
390 George Street Room 515
College Ave Campus

This seminar will examine the strategic ways in which leaders have sought to institutionalize their activism and public dissent. The class will utilize an interactive discussion format. On a macro-level, the focus will include founders of civil and human rights organizations and other social change pressure groups. On a micro-level, we will contrast leadership roles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his co-founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Nelson Mandela and his leadership role in the African National Congress (ANC).

Students will explore a combination of readings of great social movement thinkers such as David Thoreau and draw from original case studies to provide comparative and contrasting ideas of King and Mandela, along with other influencers. The important role of interracial and interfaith groups during these time periods will be explored along with issues pertaining to self-sacrifice and the ethics of movement leadership will also be addressed. Students will conduct as a group an original social scientific research project on aspects of leadership, consisting of on-line survey research, interviews or focus groups.

Utilizing real world interactions with former ANC and civil rights activists, the instructor will facilitate student-led interactions with selected leaders. Students will form in-class role-play debate teams.  The Students will develop a comprehensive annotated leadership chronology; and leadership decision analysis matrix for a selected historical figure, or of the students.  Students will prepare mock contemporary conversations between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela as they reflect on their historical figure’s political and social change best practices and leadership lessons learned.

RONALD L. QUINCY, PhD (Michigan State University) is currently Director, Center for Nonprofit Management and Governance, and Lecturer (Professor), School of Social Work, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Dr. Quincy teaches courses in the nonprofit and management concentration. His research interests are organizational leadership, governance, community empowerment, and diversity in the human services sector. Dr. Quincy is formerly an associate vice president at Harvard University, where he also served as assistant to the president of Harvard. Dr. Quincy has served two governors as a state cabinet officer in Michigan, Special Assistant to the Secretary, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Executive Director, Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, President of the White House Fellows Foundation, Executive Director/President Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Foreign Affairs Advisor, US State Department, and Director of the Office of Human Resource Policy, State of Michigan. Ron has served on special advisory boards for a number of institutions including MIT, Harvard, and Michigan State. He also served on the governing board of Egleston Children's Hospital (Emory University), Michigan Criminal Justice Commission, Governor's Task Force on School Violence and Vandalism, among others public service agencies. Earlier in his career, Dr. Quincy served as a White House Fellow.

Polynomials are Too Beautiful to be Limited to Math
(The Fine Art and Science of Polynomiography)
01:090:265 Index#28704
Bahman Kalantari- SAS - Computer Science
TH  03:20-06:20P
Allison Road Classroom Rm 118
Busch Campus

How many professors do you know who have created an entirely new art form? Join Dr Bahman Kalantari as he explains and helps you explore his creation, Polynomiography.  Dr Kalantari welcomes artists and students from ALL fields. Through Dr Kalantari's unique software, students will be introduced to a fantastic and very powerful medium, easy to use, where polynomials turn into objects that can be used to create artwork of diverse types, invent games,and discover many new concepts and creative ideas. Working with Polynomiography software is similar to learning to work with a sophisticated camera: one needs to learn the basics, the rest is up to the photographer. If you ever wanted to learn and do art and science together, now is your chance! The goal of this particular course is NOT to teach mathematics or algorithms. Through the ease of software students will be able to experiment with polynomials and root-finding algorithms as the basis for creating intricate designs and patterns, even animations. Polynomiography allows virtual painting using the computer screen as its canvas. It could also inspire new artistic styles and actual paintings, originated directly from polynomiography software, or indirectly from its concepts.  The seminar introduces the students to a range of possible course projects to be carried out either individually or in small groups. Sample projects consist of: Creating quality and novel 2D or 3D artwork using polynomiography software, e.g. as prints or video productions.

BAHMAN KALANTARI is a professor of computer science and the inventor of the U.S. patented technology of Polynomiography. His research interests lie in theory, algorithms, and applications in a wide range of topics that include mathematical programming; discrete and combinatorial optimization; polynomial root-finding and approximation theory; and Polynomiography and its applications in art and eduction. Kalantari's Polynomiography has received national and international media recognition that include the Star-Ledger, New Jersey Savvy Living Magazine, Science News, DISCOVER Magazine, Tiede (popular science magazine of Finland), Muy Interesante (popular science magazine of Spain) and more. His artworks have been exhibited in such venues as a traveling art-math exhibition in France, SIGGRAPH Art Gallery in LA, as well as at Rutgers and around New Jersey. His artworks have also appeared on the cover of publications such as Computer Graphics Quarterly, Princeton University Press, art-math conference proceedings, and in science magazines. He has delivered numerous lectures on Polynomiography and to various audiences, including invited presentations in France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Japan, Belgium Vienna, as well as in middle and high schools in New Jersey, and K-12 teacher conferences. He hopes to internationalize Polynomiography as a medium for art, math, science, and education, and at many di®erent levels. He is the author of, “Polynomial Root-Finding and Polynomiography."  For more information on Polynomiography visit .

Complementarity in Physics Biology and Philosophy

01:090:267 Index#30180
Sungchul Ji- Pharm - Pharmacology & Toxicology
TTH 01:40-03:00P
Allison Road Classroom Rm 207
Busch Campus

Recent developments in molecular and cell biology indicate that Bohr’s  principle of complementarity originally derived from quantum physics may play a fundamental role in living processes in the form of information-energy complementarity.  Complementarity-like concepts also occur in psychology, philosophy, semiotics (the study of signs), and world religions.  The universality of Bohr’s complementarity may be traced to the complementary neuro-electrophysiological functions of the human brain, including the dichotomy of the left and right hemispheres.  These findings motivated the formulation of a new philosophical framework known as complementarism in the early 1990’s, the essential content of which being that the ultimate reality perceived and communicated by the human brain is a complementary union of irreconcilable opposites [S. Ji, “Complementarism: A Biology-Based Philosophical Framework to Integrate Western Science and Eastern Tao,” in Psychotherapy East and West: Integration of Psychotherapies, The Korean Academy of Psychotherapists, Seoul, Korea, 1995, pp. 518-548].

In the latter half of the 1990’s, it was found that living cells use a language (called cell language) whose design principles are very similar to those of human language [S. Ji, BioSystems 44: 17-39 (1997)].  This finding further strengthens the link between biology and philosophy, in agreement with the philosophies of Aristotle (384-322 BC), Spinoza (1632-1677), and Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1907-1961). Thus, complementarism, which is rooted in both modern biological sciences and classical and modern philosophical systems, may provide a powerful new philosophical framework for integrating not only science and philosophy on the one hand, but also apparently irreconcilable philosophies and religions of the world on the other.

During the first half of the semester, students will be introduced to the essentials of complementarism, and their physical and metaphysical supports derived from physics, chemistry, biology, linguistics, philosophy, and semiotics.  The second half of the semester will be devoted to students’ presentations consisting of short talks (10-minute long) and final seminars (30-minute long) on topics related to some aspects of complementarism or to its application to solving practical problems in contemporary life.  The final grade will be based on classroom participation, including short talks (30%, two short talks per student), final seminar (30%), and a written version of the final seminar (10–15 pages, single spaced, including figures, tables, and references; 40%) due one week after the oral presentation.

Pre-requisite:  A college-level introductory course (or equivalents) in biology, chemistry, or physics.  

DR. SUNGCHUL JI received a BA degree in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Minnesota in 1965 and a Ph.D. degree in physical organic chemistry in 1970 from the State University of New York at Albany. After a series of postdoctoral research and teaching experiences in enzymology (University of Wisconsin, Madison), biophysics (University of Pennsylvania), systems physiology (Max Planck Institute, Dortmund, West Germany), and toxicology (University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill), Dr. Ji has been teaching pharmacology, toxicology, and computational/theoretical cell biology at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University since 1982.  Dr. Ji founded the Theoretical Aspects of Pharmacology course in 2000 at Rutgers and is the author of Molecular Theory of the Living Cell: Conceptual Foundations, Molecular Mechanisms and Applications, to be published by Springer, New York, in 2010.

Media and Participatory Culture

01:090:270 Index#32456
Jack Bratich- SC&I - Journalism & Media Studies
T 01:10-04:10P
Brett Hall Seminar Room
College Ave Campus

This course takes a critical approach to understanding new media environments, especially with regard to what has been called “social media” “participatory culture,” “digital media,” “convergence,” “Web 2.0,” “social web,” and “interactive media” among other things.   The course provides a perspective on these recent media developments by situating them in broader social, political, and historical contexts. Rather than focus on these emerging media practices as purely technological phenomena, the course examines how these social media are infused with social protocols, political forms, and cultural values.  We will examine key dimensions of cultural life that make up our selves, including friendship, intimacy/affection, labor, power, reality, gender, and privacy. 

JACK ZELJKO BRATICH is Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University. His research takes a critical approach to the intersection of popular culture and political culture. He is author of Conspiracy Panics: Political Rationality and Popular Culture (2008) and coeditor, along with Jeremy Packer and Cameron McCarthy, Foucault, Cultural Studies, and Governmentality (2003).  

Communications and Human Values
01:090:271 Index#30268 (cross-listed with 04:189:441:01)
Richard Heffner- SC&I - Communication
T 09:50A-12:50P
Scott Hall Rm 201
College Ave Campus

**Interview Required, By Special Permission of the Instructor Richard D. Heffner, University Professor of Communications and Public Policy.  **To setup an appointment, please contact Prof. Heffner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Prof. Heffner will hold interviews with students on Tuesday, April 12th and Wednesday, April 13th at pre-arranged times from 8:30 am-12:30 pm and 2:00-5:00 pm in Room 236 Scott Hall, College Avenue Campus.

This seminar is an intellectual inquiry into the development of American public policy as it relates to mass communications.  It is not a practicum, not a "how-to" seminar about film and television, or not about the media generally.

The seminar's purpose is to analyze how much of our sense of what it means to be an American early in the 21st century has been molded by the media -- first print and now increasingly electronic -- with particular reference to their socializing and value-legitimating content.  To learn to deal appropriately and reasonably with such media power, students are asked first to identify their own respective approaches to the role of the state and its proper relationship to the individual through class discussion of: 1) such readings as Walter Lippmann's "Public Opinion", Robert Merton's "Mass Persuasion" J. S. Mill's "On Liberty", Herman Melville's "Billy Budd", and Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death"; 2) such films as "Hearts and Minds", "JFK", and "Fahrenheit 9/11"; and 3) the increasingly unfair and unbalanced rants and raves of America's newer communications outlets.

Finally, class emphasis is placed on analyzing and resolving such contemporary media issues as a Fairness Doctrine (the real or imagined "chilling effect" of a requirement for media fairness and balance); cameras in the courts (do televised trials enhance justice, or instead create a "mobocracy", with trial by a new jury of public opinion?); the importance of journalistic "privilege"; and media self-regulation (can there in fact be meaningful voluntary self-discipline in a free market, free speech, mass media-driven society?).

RICHARD D. HEFFNER is University Professor of Communications and Public Policy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, where he began to teach in 1948.  Trained as an American historian, Mr. Heffner is the author of "A Documentary History of the United States" and the editor of Alexis de Tocqueville's classic "Democracy In America".  His most recent book, a collaboration entitled Conversations With Elie Wiesel, derives from Richard Heffner's Open  Mind, the prize winning television program which he began in 1956 and still produces and moderates each week on public broadcasting stations around the country and which is electronically archived at  In 1961, after serving on-the-air and as an executive at CBS, ABC and NBC, Professor Heffner played a leading role in the acquisition and activation of Channel 13 in New York, becoming its Founding General Manager.  For twenty years (1974 to 1994), he also commuted to Hollywood, serving as Chairman of the Board of the motion picture industry's voluntary film classification and rating system.  Professor Heffner and his wife, Dr. Elaine Heffner, a psychotherapist, live in New York City.  They have two sons -- Daniel, a filmmaker; and Andrew, an attorney -- and four grandchildren.