The following is a preliminary list of courses for Themester 2019. The College is still accepting course proposals for inclusion.
AMST202: Hoosier Heartland
Instructor: Lessie Jo Frazier
“Born in Small Town”? Whether your origin be Big-City or Small-Town, explore the Hoosier Heartland and beyond as memorialized in music, comedy, sports, and political culture: Mellencamp, Woodie Guthrie, Red Skelton, Mark Twain, Music Man, Hoosiers, and so much more. Heartland ideals –including the importance of common people, small towns, and local ideals of justice-- have been expressed in American popular culture and political debate. Does America still have a “heartland”? What role has Indiana-as-heartland played in American Culture?
AMST-A201: U.S. Social Movements & Institutions: The Legacy of Lynching: Landscapes of Race and Place
Instructor: Rasul Mowatt
Pulling from a range fields and disciplines that includes: history, criminal justice, sociology, literature, visual arts, gender studies, geography, and theater and drama; the course is properly situated as a challenging exploration to learn the difficult, the ugly, and the profane of lynching history in order to better understand the complexities of United States history and the calls for a democratic and just society.
CMLT C-216: Science-Fiction and Fantasy in the Western Tradition
Instructor: Izabela Potapowicz
How much of our past selves do we preserve and carry into our futures? What happens if we can no longer trust our memories? Do we have control over what we forget and what we remember? Through the study of iconic literary works, television, and film, we will explore the ways in which questions of amnesia, memory manipulation, blurring, or partial suppression, and memory swaps have been dealt with in Science Fiction and Fantasy in the Western Tradition.
ENG 295: Introduction to Film – Visual Memory: Trauma and Memorial in Film
Instructor: Owen R. Horton
What does memory look like? In this class, we will consider the concepts of “remembering” and “forgetting” through the compulsion to revisit both important and traumatic moments for characters in films. In doing so, we will consider what causes us to return to the past as well as what makes us want to forget. Beyond narratives, we will consider the way directors attempt to show memory on screen through formal experimentation. Students will engage with theories of film through short essays and demonstrate understandings of film form through a short film final project.
FOLK- F30X: Memory, Art, and Aging: Life Stories and the Expressive Lives of Elders
Instructor: Jon Kay
Much attention is given to memory loss in later life, but old age is also a time for remembering. Life review, a universal human process, helps older adults make sense of their lives and connect with others, but acts of remembrance are also an exercise in forgetting. We purge unnecessary data and unpleasant elements from our stories, distilling them to their meaningful components. This class explores the creative ways that elders recall, organize, revise, and share their life stories.
FOLK-F 225: Forms of Commemoration: Shrines, Altars, and Dark Tourism Instructor: Robert Dobler
Visiting sites of violent death--from Ground Zero and Columbine to roadside collisions--and leaving flowers, candles, crosses, teddy bears, or cards has become a popular practice. These spontaneous responses to tragedy are culturally, spiritually, and politically meaningful. They transform spaces of death into statements that demand action. Situating these behaviors and practices at the intersections of folk and popular culture, and of pilgrimage and dark tourism, this course explores community traditions related to commemorative forms and rituals including shrines, roadside crosses, commemorative tattoos, virtual memorials, and other informal modes of remembrance.
HIST A-300: Civil Rights & Freedom Summer
Instructor: Alex Lichtenstein
Using a Reacting to the Past role-playing game, this interactive class involves students taking historical roles to meet, negotiate, deliberate, debate, and lead real-life scenarios, set in the summer of 1964.
This role-playing game, set at the height of the US civil rights movement, exposes students to the dynamics of historical change and democratic decision-making. Who will travel to Mississippi to engage in the risky work of civil rights organizing? What will they do there—educate children or register people to vote? How will the locals respond to them? Can the civil rights movement compel national leaders to respond to their demands for justice? You get to decide.
HIST-W 335: History of Genocide
Instructor: Mark Roseman
Genocide is the ultimate effort to excise memory. Its aim is to eliminate everything that recalls the presence of a particular community or a people. No other human policy so brutally seeks to remove the traces of memory. But the effort at elimination is seldom completely successful. For survivors the imperative is doubly to remember – the world that was lost, and those who destroyed it. They often find themselves in a memory war with the perpetrators or their descendants – over what should be remembered, and what should be denied or forgotten. The History of Genocide explores the remembering and forgetting that is at the heart of genocide, and the memory politics that have become indelibly linked to struggles to define events as genocidal.
INTL-I 300: Topics in International Studies: War, Genocide, and Literature
Instructor: Peter Nemes
Human history is the history of conflict; times of peace and war alternate and produce literary expressions of both a shared, lived experience and of memories, of shared remembrance. The moral obligation of the witness to report and to preserve the memory of often unspeakable horror has lead to masterpieces of literature and cinema. This course will examine examples of such artistic engagements with war, genocide, and gulag from the 20th century in a variety of formats and different modalities.
MSCH-V 334: Current Topics in Media
Topic: Remembering and Forgetting Political Media Messages
Instructor: Julia Fox
This class addresses factors that impact memory for political information in the media (e.g. selective attention to political media messages, processing and remembering schema consistent v. inconsistent and attitude-congruent v. incongruent messages, how humor in political media messages may enhance or inhibit memory for factual information in the messages) as well as memory for the source of political information (e.g. news, ads, or social media) and how fake news and ads can have real impact on memories of political information.
NELC N-233: The Golden Age of Islamic Civilization
Instructor: Asma Afsaruddin
This course will focus on the early Abbasid period which began in 750 CE, regarded as the "golden age" of Islamic civilization. The term “golden age” was born out of the intense nostalgia that developed after the tenth century in the Islamic world that idealized this period as one characterized by the greatest flowering of religious, philosophical, and scientific knowledge the world had seen to date. Some attention will be paid to how historical memory was used to create this concept of a golden age and ensure its enduring legacy.
SOAD-N 100: Introduction to Studio Art: Exploring Remembering/ Forgetting through Art and Design
Instructor: Martha MacLeish
What happens when we attempt to memorialize aspects of our personal or collective histories? Can objects stand in for memory? What can be achieved though the act of forgetting? How do technologies that augment memory also change what and how we remember?
With these questions as a starting point, students in this course will create two and three-dimensional works of art and design that explore the topic Remembering/ Forgetting.
Students will make drawings that consider the symbolic representation, or that integrate multiple moments of time in order to consider the non-linearity and instability of personal narratives. Students will use color and the abstract elements of design to directly link sensations with memories of part experiences. Working collaboratively, students will design works that reflect on the problems of memorializing, and that attempt to invent new ways of developing collective memories. Students will build forms out of discarded objects with embedded histories, and will consider the role of new and old technologies in how we remember events that we experience only indirectly.
THTR-T 462: Performance and Memory
Instructor: Eleanor Owicki
This class will examine the ways artists have used live performance, particularly theatre, to explore the functions and inconsistencies of memory (as both an individual and a collective experience). We will read plays by playwrights including Lynn Nottage, August Wilson, and Tennessee Williams, and attend many Themester events. Accessible to students from a range of majors, this course encourages students to think broadly and make connections to other forms of performance including music, dance, and religious and secular ceremonies. This course counts for the College’s intensive writing requirement.