Spring

Deserts, Plants, and People

Professor: 

Associate Professor Steve Smith Schools of Renewable Natural Resources and the Environment, and Plant Sciences

Professor Smith brings his popular June 2016 course to Oro Valley!

Environments commonly known as “deserts” occupy nearly one-third of the earth’s land surface and are home to about a billion people. We will first discuss the geographical features of deserts, answering seemingly simple questions: What is a desert, and why do they occur where they do? Humans are particularly maladapted to life in deserts, but many organisms exhibit remarkable adaptations to aridity. We will investigate examples of these within plants from different deserts. Here the key questions will be: How do these plants grow and develop in these environments? Deserts are also associated with significant events in human history and many issues in contemporary international relations. Throughout the course we will consider humans and their influences on desert environments. We will also explore challenging questions here such as how societies perceive and steward deserts, and how are these actions connected?

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FRIDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. February 2, 9, 16, 23, 2018
Oro Valley Council Chamber | 11000 N La Cañada Dr

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Resistance and Revolution

Professor: 

Professor; Department Head and Program Director Malcolm Compitello Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Humanities Seminars Program

This course brings together six distinguished scholars from the College of Humanities to explore movements of social resistance and revolution. Malcolm Alan Compitello, Professor and Head of Spanish and Portuguese, examines the Spanish Civil War as a crucial moment whose social and cultural impact is still felt today. Alain-Philippe Durand, Dean of the College, explores how wars and revolutions shape Jean Renoir’s 1930s films. Albert Welter, Professor and Head of East Asian Studies, focuses on the role that revolution has played in China’s 4,000-year history. Praise Zenenga, Associate Professor and Director of Africana Studies, addresses the important and multifaceted antiapartheid revolution in South Africa. Denis M. Provencher, Professor and Head of French and Italian, explores how North African immigrants to France resist and ultimately reshape narratives of national identity. Finally, Karen K. Seat, Associate Professor and Head of Religious Studies and Classics, will examine the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the rise of the religious right’s counterrevolution in the United States.

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WEDNESDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. January 24, 31, February 7, 14, 21, 28, 2018
Dorothy Rubel Room

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The Meaning of Freedom in Africa

Professor: 

Associate Professor Phyllis Taoua Department of French and Italian

This course explores the emergence of freedom as an ideal in Africa during and after the movements for national liberation. We will examine the people’s ongoing struggle to achieve social justice after colonial independence as a quest for meaningful freedom. To understand the emergence of this ideal and the nature of the people’s struggle, we will consider complex narratives (film, fiction) of major importance and read social theory (history, economics, sociology). The seminar’s scope is pan-African and covers the historical period of the 1950s to the present day. Areas of particular narrative interest include introspective gaze and intimate self, gender dynamics, national experience, globalization, and spirituality.

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WEDNESDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. January 24 through April 4, 2018 (no class March 7)
Dorothy Rubel Room

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Modern China and Its Literary Reflections

Professor: 

Associate Professor Dian Li Department of East Asian Studies

In order to understand modern China, we must understand the changes that have shaken its cultural foundations and profoundly transformed the country with a speed unrivaled in recent world history. The term “modern” in this sense is more than a chronological marker but a new conceptualization of the self and the world. This seminar will explore the rationalization and execution of these changes and resistance to them in modern China. The course will focus on significant moments of rupture in 20th-century history and explore their political and social implications, particularly the context of revolution and utopia. We will then examine literary reflections of this context that center on the construction of modernity and the narrative of its discontent. 

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TUESDAYS 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. January 30, February 6, 13, 20, 27, 2018
Dorothy Rubel Room

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Technological Wonders of Classical Antiquity II

Professor: 

Associate Professor Eleni Hasaki School of Anthropology and Department of Classics

This class continues the discussion of Technological Wonders of Classical Antiquity from 2016. While the 2016 course focused on pyrotechnology (pottery and bronze-casting), this course will emphasize stone working (sculpture and temple architecture). The 2016 course is NOT a prerequisite to this class:

What were the key technologies and major technical advancements of classical Greek antiquity? This course examines the interrelated achievements of ancient sculpture making and temple construction. From the colossal nude males of the Archaic period to the stunning nude females of Hellenistic times, sculptors continued refining their craft to challenge both material limitations and cultural norms. The construction of such wonders as the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis required sculptors to work closely with stonemasons, gilders, and woodworkers for over a decade — a great accomplishment of architectural expertise, artistic inspiration, and managerial skill. The coordination of such a diverse group of technical specialists spanned the social strata of Athens and produced monuments that are as iconic today as they were in antiquity.

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THURSDAYS 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. February 1, 8, 15, 22, 2018
Dorothy Rubel Room

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Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron and Bawdy Medieval Literature

Professor: 

Professor; Department of French and Italian Fabian Alfie Department of French and Italian

Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron (ca. 1348-1351) is a masterpiece of world literature. Boccaccio is one of the Three Crowns, the three founding authors of Italian literature (along with Dante and Petrarch). Yet his Decameron is a conundrum. Composed in the wake of the Black Plague of 1348, the Decameron presents a world populated with flesh-and-blood individuals motivated by personal desires. Often its characters are women, and their desires are sexual; Boccaccio’s female characters use their intellect to achieve personal gratification. Yet to his contemporary readership, Boccaccio did not appear revolutionary. Although he was an innovative author in many ways, Boccaccio grounded his text in the tradition of bawdy literature already well established in the Middle Ages. In this seminar we will discuss the Decameron closely, examining its links to the works that preceded it, and its impact on subsequent literary developments throughout the world.  

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TUESDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. January 23 through April 3, 2018 ( no class on March 6)
Dorothy Rubel Room

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1968

Professor: 

Professor; Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Thomas P. Miller Department of English

This seminar will examine the social movements that came to the fore in the year that began with the Tet Offensive and ended with the launch around the moon. The first three classes will examine the antiwar, civil rights, and women’s movements using images and texts to consider what the ‘60s came to represent. In our last class we will consider how the divisions between the counterculture and “moral majority” led to the election of Richard Nixon—and to the antigovernment sentiments that have spread from left to right in recent decades. In the last class we will also examine the environmental movement as a final case to reflect upon how our political consciousness has evolved over the last half-century as guerilla wars have continued to rage on the evening news, minorities and women have struggled to claim their rights, and our sense of self has become ever more mediated.    

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THURSDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. February 1, 8, 15, 22, 2018
Dorothy Rubel Room

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Sense of Wonder: Stories of Fantasy and Science Fiction

Professor: 

Associate Professor Richard Poss Department of Astronomy

Science fiction is a modern art form closely tied to advances in science and technology. It generates an imaginary space where a new development in science can be imaginatively tested for its possible effects on humanity. Some scenarios are cautionary, while others are hopeful and exhilarating. When combined with the fantasy genre, these stories set the imagination free to soar. This seminar will examine a series of great science fiction and fantasy narratives, including novels, short stories, movies, and TV shows. Whether the topic is robotics, artificial intelligence, space exploration, alien languages, enhanced intelligence, surveillance, time travel, or the future of gender, each of the works we consider will have a particular take on an alternate reality that humans may inhabit. 

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FRIDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. January 19 through April 6, 2018 (no classes on March 2 & 9)
Dorothy Rubel Room

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Between World Wars: Germany's Roaring Twenties

Professor: 

Professor; Head, Department of German Studies Barbara Kosta Department of German Studies

Professor Kosta repeats her popular course from 2015 with a few variations:

Germany’s Weimar Republic (1919-1933) rose out of the ashes of World War I to become both an immensely creative and fraught period of the twentieth century. The exciting capital Berlin, a laboratory of modernity, was the center of radical experimentation in the visual and performing arts, in mass entertainment and theater, and in literature and architecture. While the cultural stage was vibrant and intoxicating, the shell shock of World War I, the demands of the Versailles Treaty, economic instability, social upheaval, and political turmoil also haunted the celebrated roaring twenties. To explore the rich landscape of the 1920s, this seminar examines the avant-garde movements Expressionism and Dada along with the vast social changes and technological developments exemplified in Lang’s film Metropolis and Brecht’s theater. Still relevant today, this period continues to fascinate us.

The movie The Blue Angel will be screened in the classroom on February 12, 2018.

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MONDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. January 29, February 5, 12, 19, 26, 2018
Dorothy Rubel Room

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Architecture: The Idea of Materials, the Material of Ideas

Professor: 

Professor Emeritus Alvaro Malo School of Architecture

This seminar aims to elicit students’ participation in a free-spirited conversation and regain a sense of wonder and intimacy with architecture.  The discussion topics will be based on five readings, which are accessible, practical, and poetic. They will offer a generous survey of philosophical and architectural thinking from classical to modern, examining the motives and reasons for the making of architecture and the concurrent material consciousness.

The five sessions address Mortimer Adler’s Aristotle for Everybody, which examines man the maker; Paul Valéry’s essay “Eupalinos, or The Architect”; Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman, pointing toward material consciousness; Peter Zumthor’s Thinking Architecture; and Louis I. Kahn’s Light Is the Theme, which focuses on the design and building of the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas.

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WEDNESDAYS 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. February 22 - March 29, 2017 (no class on March 15)
Dorothy Rubel Room

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