Interdisciplinary Honors Seminars

Fall 2010 Interdisciplinary Honors Seminars


How Sex Changed: Biomedical Sex Research in the 20th Century

01:090:250 Index #09294
Professor James Reed - SAS - History
T 01:10-04:10P
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.

War, Literature and the Arts in the Twentieth Century

01:090:251 Index #09295
Professor Michael Adas - SAS - History
M 01:10-04:10P
35 College Avenue Rm 302
College Ave Campus

This seminar will focus on the critical and varied influences that modern, mechanized warfare has exerted on various modes of artistic expression over the course of the twentieth century. The early weeks of the seminar will be devoted to group discussions of readings on representation through various art forms, stressing those favored by actual combatants and other contemporary observers of wars that my research and writing over the past two or three decades suggests have had the greatest influence on the arts and often affected the broader course of twentieth-century history. In the early meetings of the seminar, for example, we will collectively consider First World War poetry, which was one of the one of the most powerful and resonate ways in which participants expressed the trauma and disillusionment brought on by the unprecedented slaughter in the trenches.  We will also consider novels that proved to be seminal modes of capturing the experience of World War II and the Vietnam conflict. Subsequent discussion sessions will be devoted to other artistic mediums, including trench art and its impact on key, twentieth-century artistic movements ranging from Expressionism, Futurism, Cubism, and Surrealism. We will also look at the art of propaganda during and after the war, with special emphasis on the grandiose productions of works linked to the Mexican and Russian revolutions as well as the rise of Fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany. We will also consider segments from classic films and theatrical productions dealing with war and the major contributions of war photographers, such as Robert Capa, which often extended beyond combat conditions to the devastation unleashed on the civilian population by modern warfare.

The second half of the seminar will be focused on individual research projects that students will design and undertake based on consultations through the early weeks of the semester. Each of these would be focused on major examples of artistic representation in media and relating to the conflicts. Students will both present their findings and write a major essay based on their research. Most of the readings for the early discussion sessions of common themes will be placed on electronic reserve.

MICHAEL ADAS is the Abraham E. Voorhees Professor and Board of Governor’s Chair at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. His early work focused on the comparative history of European colonialism, particularly patterns of economic and social change and peasant protest in South and Southeast Asia. Over the past two decades his teaching and research have been centered on the impact of Western science and technology on European and American colonization and post-colonial interventions in Asia and Africa.  His Machines as the Measure of Men:  Science, Technology, and Ideologies of Western Dominance (1989-1992) received the Dexter Prize from the Society for the History of Technology and the NJ-NEH Annual Book Award. In recent years, his research, writing and teaching have been increasingly concentrated on the history of America’s rise to global hegemony and its ambivalent participation in the process of globalization. In addition to several articles on these themes, Adas’s most recent book, Dominance by Design: Technological Imperatives and America’s Civilizing Mission, was published by the Harvard University Press in 2006 (pbk. ed, 2009). He is

currently researching and writing several books, including a comparative study of the combat experience of British soldiers on the Western Front in World War I and America GIs in Vietnam as well as a global history of the Great War.

No Permanent Waves; Recasting Histories of U.S. Feminism
01:090:252 Index #09296
Professor Nancy Hewitt - SAS - History
W 12:35-03:35P
Voorhees Chapel Rm 005
Douglass Campus

This seminar will analyze feminist movements in the United States from the 1830s to the present, exploring diverse participants, strategies, ideologies and agendas. The dominant narrative of U.S. feminism focuses on three distinct waves—1848-1920, 1960s-1970s, and 1980s to now—each one building on but also moving beyond its predecessor. Yet this concept of oceanic waves flattens both the differences and contestations within any one period of feminist activism and the connections and echoes across periods.  In this course we will explore diverse feminist campaigns and debates that challenge the three-wave model even as we examine the breadth and multiplicity of movements within these periods. We will focus particular attention on the ways that race, class, nationality, and sexuality shaped distinct feminist visions and priorities; the relation of U.S. movements to international and transnational feminist campaigns; and the importance of changing technologies (including media) to activist efforts. The readings for this course include primary sources as well as analyses by historians, sociologists, political scientists, literary and women’s and gender studies scholars. Students will be assigned weekly readings, primary document and web projects, two short response papers, and a final research paper.

NANCY A. HEWITT is Professor II of History and Women’s and Gender Studies. She has taught American history, women’s history and women’s studies at the University of South Florida, Duke University and the University of Cambridge as well as Rutgers. Her research focuses on myriad forms of women’s activism, including abolition, woman’s rights, religious reform, labor organizing, civil rights, feminism, peace, and contemporary social justice and human rights issues. She has generally focused on the ways that class, race and ethnicity shape competing organizations, movements and agendas in particular times and places. Her books include Women’s Activism and Social Change in Rochester, New York, 1822-1872; Southern Discomfort: Women’s Activism in Tampa, Florida, 1880s-1920s; and most recently, No Permanent Waves: Recasting Histories of U.S. Feminism, an edited collection ranging across the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. This last book inspired the current course. She is currently co-authoring an American History textbook and writing a biography of an early woman’s rights, abolitionist and spiritualist named Amy Post. She has won a variety of awards and fellowships related to her teaching as well as her scholarship.

American Culture in the 1930s
01:090:253 Index #09394
Professor Ann Fabian - SAS - American Studies
TH 04:30-07:30P
Brett Hall Seminar Room
College Ave Campus

Why study the culture of the United States in the 1930s—a depressing decade that gave us FDR and Mickey Mouse, Superman, Babe Ruth, Amelia Earhart, the Empire State Building, and Groucho Marx?  What part have memories of the 1930s played in the reporting on our most recent financial crisis?

This was the decade of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and the New Deal.  The shocking crash of the U.S. economy in 1929 triggered a series of related crises for many Americans – crises that made them question their values, their sense of community, their ideas about family life, and their sense of the social contract between citizens and their government.  Responding to these crises, Americans across the country used politics, strikes, movies, photography, art, music, radio, theater, jokes and all sorts of creative forms to express ideas about what had happened and to try to imagine a new “America” from the ruins of the old.

In this seminar we will explore the enormous cultural and political creativity of this period that meant economic ruin for so many.  We will begin with “The Crash” and end with a world pulled into war, but along the way we will read some great books, watch some wonderful movies, and listen to some fine music.

The Life and Times of Ida B. Wells: A Cultural History
01:090:254 Index #09297
Professor Evie Shockley - SAS - English
T 04:30-07:30P
Brett Hall Seminar Room
College Ave Campus

In 2008, historian Paula Giddings published Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching, the long-awaited biography of one of the most fascinating and important African American women of her time.  Ida B. Wells was born just before the system of slavery was abolished in the U.S., and went on to become: a teacher; a journalist; the co-owner of a newspaper; an anti-segregation activist; a wife; a mother; and a leading figure in—in many ways, an initiator of—the struggle to end the practice of lynching.  White supremacists used these brutal, typically unpunished murders to terrify the African American population and discourage them from exercising their hard-won civil rights (e.g., voting) or from taking advantage of opportunities for economic advancement, for example.  In newspaper editorials and on the speakers’ circuit, Wells battled against the forces that perpetuated this barbaric practice, which involved hundreds of lynchings every year during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  As an outspoken, independent woman making a name for herself in the public—and political—arena, she also had to contend with white and black men who saw her as overstepping the boundaries of feminine propriety.

We will read this rich, deeply contextualized biography together over the course of the semester.  As we move through Wells’ life, we will pause regularly to read other literary and historical texts that are from or about the period in which she lived, the people with whom she interacted, and the issues and events that shaped her experience.  The novels, poems, stories, and autobiographical narratives we engage will bring alive the culture of which Wells was a part; at the same time, the historical documents we explore will clarify what is at stake in the personal and imaginative narratives. 

EVIE SHOCKLEY, Assistant Professor of English, is the author of two collections of poetry: a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press, 2006) and the new black (Wesleyan University Press, forthcoming 2011).  Her current research focuses on poetry as well and has culminated in a manuscript titled “Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry.”  She has also published articles exploring the phenomenon she calls “gothic homelessness” in African American literature and culture.  She teaches courses in African American literature and creative writing.  Her interest in teaching this seminar comes from a few diverse sources: her graduate school research on the ideology of domesticity and its implications for African Americans; her engagement with Constitutional law and issues of civil rights during her years in law school; and her fascination with biographies of strong, unusual people.

Identity in Ancient Greece: Belonging and Otherness
01:090:255 Index #09298
Professor Thomas Figueira - SAS - Classics
W 09:50A-12:50P
Brett Hall Seminar Room
College Ave Campus

A naive and erroneous view of ancient Greek civilization would describe it as the work of “dead white European males”. This not only misstates the nature of diversity in ancient civilizations but also implies a false conception of the nature of socialization and acculturation in ancient western society. In our seminar, we are going to explore the interaction of ancient Greek political classes with others who have been rightly or wrongly considered to be marginal to such societies, including women, slaves, individuals from different ethnic or racial groups, and those who varied in their sexual behaviors.  It is my hope not only to impart a reasonable amount of information and interpretation about the nature of ancient Greek social institutions, but also to explore social identities in a cultural setting that is arguably ancestral to our own.

THOMAS J. FIGUEIRA was born on Broadway in Manhattan in 1948 and educated in the public schools of New York City and Poughkeepsie, New York. He received his B.A. in Liberal Arts from Bensalem College of Fordham University in 1970 and his Ph.D. in Ancient History from the University of Pennsylvania in 1977. He is a Professor (II) of Classics and of Ancient History at Rutgers, where he teaches courses in ancient history, Greek, Latin, and classical civilization in the departments of History and Classics and in interdisciplinary programs. He has taught over fifty different courses. He is the author of Aegina (1981), Athens and Aigina in the Age of Imperial Colonization (1991), Excursions in Epichoric History (1993), The Power of Money: Coinage and Politics in the Athenian Empire (1998), co-author of Wisdom from the Ancients (2001); editor of Spartan Society (2004) and co-editor of Theognis of Megara: Poetry and the Polis (1985). In his areas of interest in Greek history and literature, he has written numerous articles, chapters, contributions, and reviews, that number around one hundred in their totalality. In recent years, Figueira has begun to produce scholarship in Comparative Studies in collaboration with his sister, the noted Comparatist, D.M. Figueira. For details, see

Apocalypse Now?  Religious Movements and the End of Time
01:090:256 Index #15067
Professor Emma Wasserman - SAS - Religion
TTH 02:15–3:35P
Loree Hall Rm 131
Douglass Campus

From the book of Revelation to recent whispers about the year 2012, many leaders and texts speak about a coming time of apocalyptic violence, upheaval, and judgment. The seminar treats ancient, Medieval, and contemporary apocalyptic movements comparatively. Case studies will include the Jewish apocalyptic movement associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls and Pauline Christianity, Medieval apocalypticism surrounding Joachim of Fiore and the Crusades, and more contemporary movements such as Jonestown, Heaven’s gate, and the Left Behind series of Christian thrillers. One goal will be to test certain theories of apocalypticism and millenarianism in these different cases; another will be to situate these movement within relevant historical, social, and literary contexts. Peter Worsley’s classic study of Cargo Cults in Melanesia will serve as a foundational social-scientific approach to millenarianism but students will be encouraged to pursue a variety of methodological approaches including those critical of Worsley.

The first part of the seminar treats theories of millenarianism, focusing especially on Worsley’s The Trumpet Shall Sound and subsequent critiques of and alternatives to it, while also introducing contemporary examples drawn from films such as Hal Lindsey’s ‘The Late Great Planet Earth’. The course then turns to the ancient apocalyptic movements focusing on the Dead Sea Scrolls community and earliest Christianity where the focus will be on Pauline Christianity, the gospel of Mark, and Revelation. Part three turns to medieval apocalyptic or millenarian texts and movements, focusing especially on Joachim of Fiore and the relation between apocalyptic thought and violence in the Crusades. Part four turns back again to more contemporary movements such as Heavens Gate, Waco, and Jonestown with David Chidester’s study Salvation and Suicide, providing for a rich contextualization of Jonestown. Central aims of the final part of the course will be to consider new religious movements and millenarian thought, the relationship between millenarianism, violence, and terrorism, and the possibility of identifying apocalyptic thought in modern secular movements.

EMMA WASSERMAN is an assistant professor of religion whose work focuses on Christian origins. She is currently working on a book about apocalyptic beliefs and expectations in the earliest period of Christianity and has previously published on the Christian appropriation of Platonic philosophy. She received her BA from Brown University, her PhD from Yale University, and before coming to Rutgers in 2008 she taught at Brown University and Reed College.  

Financial Crises in Historical Perspective
01:090:257 Index #09299
Professor Michael Bordo - SAS - Economics
M 09:50-12:50A
Brett Hall Seminar Room
College Ave Campus

The world has just emerged from a financial crisis and a deep recession. This is not the first time.  Indeed financial crises can be traced back to early modern times.  This seminar will focus on the issue of financial crises from an historical perspective.  It will survey the history of banking and currency crises across the world for the past century and a half, but focus primarily on the experience in the US and UK.

It will also examine the empirical evidence on crisis incidences, crisis severity and international crisis transmissions.  Finally the seminar considers the issue of policy in dealing with crises, with focus on the lender of last resort.

Evolution of the Language Faculty
01:090:258 Index #09300
Professor Kenneth Safir - SAS - Linguistics
TTH 11:30A-12:50P
35 College Avenue Rm 102
College Ave Campus

It is often pointed out by linguists that human languages have properties and functions that no other animal communication systems seem to have in anything like the same range of complexity and flexibility. What is it that humans have in their head that permits them to have such complex linguistic interaction and how did humans come by it? In accounting for how such complexity could arise in humans, what sort of processes of evolution must be appealed to? How does the design of the mental objects we have evidence for (i.e., grammars) reflect the sorts of evolutionary processes that must have given rise to them?

It is no longer seriously controversial that human beings have an inborn linguistic ability that permits any normal child to acquire a human language as long as he or she is exposed to the language of the community in which he or she is raised. There is quite a bit of controversy, however, as to how much of this inborn linguistic ability arises from language-specific mental faculties, and how much of it arises simply from a more complex interaction of faculties of the sort that exist in other kinds of animals, primates particularly. However, if certain linguistic abilities are indeed peculiar to humans, what might be the role of evolutionary processes in shaping grammatical form?

The seminar will be designed to expose students to the reasoning and mechanisms that the theory of evolution has given rise to, on the one hand, and the special challenges that the application of these principles to human grammar poses, on the other. Very rudimentary formal training in phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics will be offered as general background. Readings will include works on evolutionary theory, human paleontology, genetics, non-linguistic human cognition, comparative animal cognition, brain anatomy, language acquisition, modern linguistic theory, as well as some of the new literature that has sought to explain the emergence of linguistic faculties in evolutionary terms.

KEN SAFIR received his Ph.D. in linguistics from MIT in 1982 after many detours from academic life. He has been teaching at Rutgers since 1984. He is best known for his work on language typology, syntactic theory, and the syntactician’s view of the syntax/semantics interface, but his work has also touched on questions of language acquisition and the philosophy of language. He has linguistic expertise in Romance, Germanic and African languages and he is currently the principal investigator for a research project and website dedicated to the study of African languages (supported a National Science Foundation grant). His most recent work touches on evolutionary questions with respect to the origin of the human language faculty and more specifically, to the origin of human syntax. He is also interested in exploring the relation between linguistic semantic distinctions embedded in grammar to the semantic distinctions more typically discussed in psychological and philosophical accounts of the theory of mind.

Globalization and Social Movements
01:090:259 Index #10408
Professor Zakia Salime - SAS - Sociology
M 12:35-03:35P
Hickman Rm 132
Douglass Campus

Globalization has shaped new patterns of collective behavior. This seminar explores the impact of globalizations on aspects of collective mobilization by transnational actors. The purpose of this seminar is first to help recognize how global trends have shaped contemporary social movements; second to understand how these movements have become globalizing forces in their own rights. We will explore these connections by looking at patterns of mobilization discourses and politics of major contemporary social movements. We will focus on three types of movements: social justice and human rights women’s rights peace movements and the religious right. We will see how they respond to the ‘opportunities’ and ‘threats’ brought by globalization to (1) global justice and human welfare (2) group identity (3) global security.

This seminar will draw on a broad and interdisciplinary theoretical framework in the social science in order to meet the various interests of students and enable them to connect these interests to academic debates in fields as diverse as media and cultural studies anthropology sociology political theory feminist economics and theory environmental and global studies.

ZAKIA SALIME is an Assistant Professor in Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies.  She teaches courses in comparative feminism(s), gender, globalization, social movements, international inequalities and postcoloniality. Her research interests include, race, empire, the political economy of the "war on terror", development policies, Islamic societies and movements, Middle East and US relations. She is currently working on a book manuscript on the interactions among the feminist and the Islamist women's movements in Morocco.

Medical Ethics and the Law
01:090:260 Index #11899
Professor 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.  

Anti Apartheid and Civil Rights Movements: King and Mandela - Lessons In Leadership
01:090:261 Index #09301
Professor Ronald Quincy - School of Social Work
TTH 04:30-05:50P
390 George Street Room 515
Downtown New Brunswick

This seminar will examine the strategic ways in which leaders have sought to institutionalize their activism and public dissent.  We 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.

Utilizing real world interactions with historical ANC and civil rights activists, the instructor will facilitate student led electronic interviews of selected leaders.  Students will form in class role-play debate teams. In lieu of a final examination, students may develop a comprehensive annotated leadership chronology and leadership decision analysis matrix for a selected historical figure.

Students will prepare mock contemporary conversations between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela as they reflect on one another’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.

* CANCELLED* Never Heard of Her: Women Writers, Artists and Intellectuals from the 11th to the 18th Centuries
01:090:262 Index #14754
Professor Joseph Consoli - Research & Instructional Svcs-Libraries
M 02:50-05:50P
Brett Hall Seminar Room
College Ave Campus

While many women accomplished in the arts have been recognized from the late twentieth century to the present, before that it was rare to find a woman included in the ranks of great minds.  They were usually the object rather than the creator of art. And, in fact, when they did appear, it was often because their accomplishments were just too difficult to deny or ignore. Still, there was always "a little something" which made one believe that she had obtained such notoriety by some special, unique, odd, even aberrant means.  Some cut their hair, suggesting they were modeling themselves after men, others took men's names, many were reported to have loose morals, still others only excelled because their fathers or husbands taught them their artistic trades. In this course we will look at women, many women, who have excelled in the humanistic fields from the medieval ages through the 18th centuries. Women whose names should be common place in their disciplines and in academe, but who still have not achieved the prominence they deserve.

American Regions and Regionalism: Growth and Decline
01:090:263 Index #15071  (cross- listed with 10:762:495:01 Index#12149)
Professor Frank Popper - Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
W 01:10-04:10P
Brett Hall Seminar Room
College Ave Campus

This seminar explores the American history, planning and prospects of large rural regions (e.g., the Upper Midwest) and large metropolitan areas that amount to urban regions (Philadelphia). The course analyzes the ideas of regions and regionalism in American life, explores the ideas' artistic, environmental and policy consequences, compares the regions' experiences and projects them into the future. The course will make cross-national comparisons, especially with Europe and East Asia. The course should draw students interested in American studies, economics, geography, history, literature, planning or politics. The instructor tries to make the course as interdisciplinary as possible.

FRANK J. POPPER, a professor at Rutgers' Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and Princeton's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, has degrees from Haverford and Harvard. His research has explored the Great Plains, Midwest and Lower Mississippi Delta, the politics of land-use planning, Locally Unwanted Land Uses (or LULUs, an idea he invented), the emergence of shrinking cities, the return of the American frontier and the effects of concentrated landownership. He works frequently with his wife, Deborah Popper, a geographer at the College of Staten Island/City University of New York and Princeton. He chairs the board of the Great Plains Restoration Council, is on the board of the National Center for Frontier Communities and helped found both.

Origin of Writing and Civilization
01:090:264 Index #09302
Professor Kuang Yu Chen - SAS - Chemistry & Chemical Biology
M 05:00-08:00P
Wright Rieman Building Rm A202
Busch Campus

This seminar will focus on two related topics: origin of writing and origin of civilization.  The four original writings, namely, Sumerian cuneiform, Egyptian hieroglyphics, Chinese oracle bone inscriptions, and Mayan hieroglyphics, will be introduced, including decipherment and epigraphy. Students will learn the basics on reading these inscriptions. We will then examine the culture landscape of these ancient lands and analyze the driving forces that led to the invention of these four writings. As the genesis of civilization was tightly coupled to writing, we will discuss the role of writing in this process. The key features of these four primordial civilizations will be examined and compared. Finally, the controversy of the Harappan writing and civilization will also be discussed. 

KUANG YU CHEN, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, is working  in the area of chemical biology and cancer biology, particularly on the biochemistry and function of polyamines,  eIF5A, and  hypusine formation in cancer cell growth and death.  He is also an Adjunct Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures at Rutgers. In the humanity area, his interest is on Early China (1600 -1000 BCE), particularly the Shang history and oracle bone inscriptions.  He is writing a book on the reading of oracle bone inscriptions.  He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science,  a member of Columbia University Early China Seminar and a Board Member of Confucius Institute at Rutgers.  He holds B.S. degree from National Taiwan University (1967) and Ph.D. from Yale University (1972).

Creating Art and Discovering Science Through Visualization in Polynomiography
01:090:265 Index #09303
Professor Bahman Kalantari - SAS - Computer Science
TH  03:20-06:20P
Lucy Stone Hall Rm A215
Livingston Campus

This seminar will introduce a novel and interdisciplinary field, polynomiography, the fine art and science of visualizing a polynomial equation through computer-generated images.  Students will learn the basics of the underlying mathematical and algorithmic foundation of polynomiography aimed at solving a polynomial equation, a task present in every branch of science and mathematics.  However, through polynomiography and its software students will also learn to create art and design by turning the polynomial root-finding problem upside down.  While polynomiography allows virtual painting using the computer screen as its canvas, it also inspires new artistic styles and actual paintings, whether originated directly from polynomiography software, or indirectly from its concepts.

In this seminar, students will be introduced to a range of possible course projects to be carried out either individually or in small groups. Sample projects consist of: 2D or 3D art- work using polynomiography software, e.g. as prints or video productions; visualizations or animations, as art or as means in conveying a mathematical property or concept; comparison of polynomioraphic images and traditional human art and design. Students may also propose their own creative projects.

The mathematical prerequisite for the course includes Calculus, and interest to explore.

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, a mathematically inspired medium for art, math, education, and science. 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 book, art-math conference proceedings, and in science magazines and high school math books. He has delivered numerous lectures, including invited presentations in USA, France, Austria, Italy, Canada, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Poland, Denmark, 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 different levels. He has also authored a book, ``Polynomial Root-Finding and Polynomiography,’’  December 2008.

Cosmology from Ancient Greece to the Modern Era
01:090:266 Index #10888
Professor Jeremy Sellwood - SAS - Physics & Astronomy
MW 03:20-04:40P
SEC 204
Busch Campus

For centuries, mankind has attempted to understand the universe in which we find ourselves. The motions of the Sun, Moon and planets have intrigued some of the most powerful minds throughout history. The astronomical foundations laid by Aristarchus, Aristotle, Ptolemy and

others contained both surprising insights and profound misconceptions. Most errors were dispelled in the Renaissance by Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton. The true scale of the universe was not grasped until the work of Einstein and Hubble in the early the 20th century and our understanding of the universe is still developing today.

The seminar will trace this history, focusing both on the scientific concepts and the characters behind them. We will review the observational data that demand explanation and the development of the scientific process. We will conclude with an assessment of our current picture and ask in what ways it may still be wrong. Students will not need any college level math or science, but competence in high school math, including geometry and science will be assumed.

JERRY SELLWOOD completed his PhD in Astronomy at Manchester University, England in 1977. He has held positions at the European Southern Observatory, Groningen University (The Netherlands), Cambridge University (England), and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. He has been on the Faculty at Rutgers University since 1991.

He is a member of the International Astronomical Union and of the American Astronomical Society. He is also a Life Member of Clare Hall Cambridge and recipient of the 1999 Graduate Teaching Award from Rutgers Graduate School.  His main interests are structure and evolution of galaxies, their formation and their dark matter content. He is an expert on disk dynamics, bars and spirals in galaxies, and uses state-of-the-art N-body simulations to learn about these systems. He has published over 100 papers, edited three volumes of conference proceedings, and delivered more than 40 invited lectures at international conferences.

Complementarity in Physics Biology and Philosophy
01:090:267 Index #11043
Professor Sungchul Ji - Pharm - Pharmacology & Toxicology
TTH 01:40-03:00P
ARC 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.

Science on the Nanoscale
01:090:268 Index #11142
Professor Frederic Cosandey - Engn - Materials Science and Engineering
W 08:40 – 11:40A
Busch Campus

The word “nano” has now entered our every-day life and has been used to describe small objects from electronic devices to very, very small entities like viruses or a small group of atoms forming clusters.  These nano-objects are all around us; they affect properties of materials such as color and are used in a large variety of technological applications like TV screens or phones as well as in biology and medicine for application like drug delivery or cancer treatments.  Such nano-objects are invisible to the naked eye but can be visualized using electron microscopes. 

What is an electron microscope? Is it just a scientific instrument or can it provide images with some aesthetic value? What is the 3D structure of viruses and carbon nanotubes? Can we see atoms and the atomic structure of materials?  How are material properties, processes and science affected by the nanoscale?  These are questions that will be addressed in this seminar.  Discussions will include the historical development of microscopes to the design of modern instruments with practical examples in materials science, physics and biology.  There will be laboratory visits where the students will experienced first-hand the operation of an electron microscope and yes, see directly the atomic structure of materials.

The goal of the seminar is to introduce students to various science topics which are controlled by the nanoscale and to show with examples and direct observation what our nano-world is made off.  There will be assignments where the students will review a particular topic describing the science and visualization of the nano-world as observed by electron microscopy. 

There are no pre-requisites for this seminar but some high school level background in physics, chemistry or biology will be helpful.

FREDERIC COSANDEY received his MS and PhD degree in Materials Science from Carnegie Mellon University.  He spent three years at Columbia University as a post-doctoral fellow before joining Rutgers University in 1982.  He is currently Professor of Materials Science in the School of Engineering and is head of the electron microscopy facility.   His teaching and research interests are centered on understanding structure –property relationship in materials and the determination of material chemistry and structure at the nanoscale.   He is currently studying new nano-materials for Li-Ion batteries.  

The Philosophy of Socrates
01:090:269 Index #17294
Professor Alan Code - SAS - Philosophy
W 04:30-07:30P
Brett Hall Seminar Room
College Ave Campus

Although he left no philosophical writings at all, Socrates was a pivotal thinker in ancient Greek culture in general and philosophy in particular.  Using a short question and answer method of dialectical inquiry he would examine the ethical beliefs of anybody who claimed to have knowledge, and typically would undermine such claims by showing how the internal inconsistency of his respondent's moral beliefs. 

Plato wrote a number of fairly short dialogues that represent Socrates carrying about his characteristic activity, and from them we can learn the key features of Socratic method. Socrates was the first to turn his attention to the problem of giving general definitions of moral concepts with an eye to using them as a basis for knowledge, and yet famously he professed ignorance.  In addition these dialogues introduce us to some of the fundamental themes of ancient Greek moral psychology, including the idea that virtue (or excellence of character) always contributes to happiness and the Socratic paradoxes that virtue is knowledge, that all wronging is involuntary, and that human virtue is so unified that it is impossible to possess one virtue with possessing them all. 

In this seminar we will read most of the so-called 'Socratic' dialogues of Plato (Apology, Crito, Euthyphro, Laches, Protagoras, Meno, Hippias Minor, Charmides and Lysis) as well as some of the current secondary literature on the above topics.  As new topics are introduced we will have short presentations by students followed by in depth examinations of the accompanying philosophy.  In consultation with the instructor each student will pick a seminar topic.  Towards the end of the seminar each student will give a brief presentation to the class on their topic, and will then write a final version to submit at the end of the course.  Possible seminar topics include: The unity of virtue, the possibility of knowing the better and doing the worse, no one errs willingly, Socratic dialectic (the unexamined life is not worth living), civil disobedience, the definition and moral knowledge, objective standards and moral relativism.

No previous knowledge of philosophy or ancient Greek culture will be presupposed.  This course should serve both as an introduction to ancient Greek ethics and to some of the perennial issues in moral philosophy. 

ALAN CODE received his Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and is a Board of Governors Professor of Philosophy.  He specializes on ancient Greek philosophy, and his recent research has concentrated on issues in Aristotle's metaphysics and logic, and related topics in his natural philosophy and biology. Most of his publications pertain to general issues about the role of logic in metaphysical inquiry, connections between epistemology and metaphysics, and various aspects of his philosophy of nature (including the definition of color and the explanation of weight).  Part of his current research is on the way in which Socrates, and Socratic method, played a key role in the development of ancient Greek dialectic and scientific method, and had a formative role in the origin of Plato and Aristotle's metaphysical doctrines.  

Bodies in Social Interaction
01:090:270 Index #14755
Professor Galina Bolden - SC&I - Communication
TH 01:10-04:10P
Course Meets in Records Hall Alcove
College Ave Campus

Our bodies play a central role in how we construct meaning and actions through social interaction with each other in the diverse settings that make up a society’s social worlds. In this seminar, we will analyze embodied behaviors not as an isolated, self-contained code but in relation to language, processes of human interaction, and the rich settings where people conduct their lives. We will examine the role of different kinds of embodied behaviors (i.e., body orientation and posture, eye gaze, gestures, laughter, prosody, etc.) in carrying out fundamental human activities in talk-in-interaction, including establishing joint foci of attention, coordinating turn-taking, repairing interactional problems, negotiating meaning, and constructing and negotiating interpersonal relationships. We will also consider embodied communicative behaviors in a variety of professional settings, such as courtrooms, archeological sites, doctors’ offices, and public speaking arenas. This seminar is interdisciplinary and will incorporate materials from the fields of communication, anthropology, linguistics, and sociology.

Videotapes of actual, everyday interactions will be used as a primary source of data, and ordinary face-to-face interactions will be treated as a prime site for studying embodied communicative conduct.  We will inspect videotaped recordings of interactions to discover how people assemble the actions that make up ordinary social life and will produce empirically-based analyses of some of those practices.

Students will be engaged in a guided semester-long research project that will involve video recording, transcribing, and analyzing a naturalistic face-to-face interaction. The goals of the project are to develop technical and analytic skills for conducting empirical research on social interaction and to produce a detailed, original analysis of an embodied interactional phenomenon.

GALINA BOLDEN received her BA in Linguistics from the University of Minnesota, and her MA and PhD in Applied Linguistics from University of California, Los Angeles. Her research examines naturally occurring, video/audio-recorded social interactions in a variety of settings: ordinary conversations between family and friends, doctor-patient interactions conducted with the help of language interpreters, and conversations among co-workers at workplaces. She has conducted research on talk in Russian and English languages, as well as bilingual Russian-English conversations. Her current project focuses on communication in Russian immigrant families in the US.

Communications and Human Values
01:090:271 Index #11155 (cross- listed with 04:189:441:01 Index#10537)
**Interview Required, By Special Permission.
Professor Richard Heffner - SC&I - Communication
T 09:50A-12:50P
Scott Hall Rm 201
College Ave Campus

**To setup an appointment, please contact Prof. Heffner at 212-799-7979 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Prof. Heffner will hold interviews with students on Wednesday, April 7, and Thursday, April 8, from 8:30am-12:30pm and 2:00-5:00pm 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 then 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 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; of such films as Hearts and Minds, JFK, and Fahrenheit 9/11; and of 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 The Open Mind, the prize winning television program which he began in 1956 and which he still produces and moderates each week on public broadcasting stations around the country.  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, live in New York City.  They have two sons -- Daniel, a filmmaker; and Andrew, an Assistant New York State Attorney General -- and four grandchildren.