AMST 100 (GH) Introduction to American Studies
ANTH 45N (GH) (GS) (INTER-D) Cultural Diversity: A Global Perspective
APLNG 200 (GH) Introduction to Language, Culture, and Social Interaction 3 Credits
CIVIC & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
CIVCM 211N (GH) (GS) (INTER-D) Foundations: Civic & Community Engagement
COMMUNICATION ARTS AND SCIENCES
CAS 101N (GH) (GS) (INTER-D) Introduction to Human Communication
COMM 100N (GH) (GS) (INTER-D) The Mass Media and Society
COMM 150N (GA) (GH) (INTER-D) The Art of the Cinema
CMLIT 153 (GH) Introduction to Western Literatures Through the Renaissance
CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION
CI 280 (GH) Introduction to Teaching English Language Learners
ENGL 191 (GH) Science Fiction
ENGL 231 (GH) American Literature to 1865
GAME 160N (GA) (GH) (INTER-D) Introduction to Video Game Culture
HIST 144 (GH) The World At War: 1939 – 1945
PHIL 7 (GH) Asian Philosophy
RLST 1 (GH) Introduction to World Religions
SOC 103 (GH) Racism and Sexism
WMNST 106N (GA) (GH) (INTER-D) Representing Women & Gender in Literature, Art & Popular Cultures
This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of American history, culture, and identity. It is designed to present some of the major themes and ideas in American culture, as well as to familiarize you with some of the research and interpretations of the themes, traditions, and patterns that characterize America as a nation, an experience and a people. In addition, as a way of raising the question of what it means to be “American,” the course explores the disparity between America as it imagines itself and America as it is. This course will begin with a brief introduction to American Studies, its history and themes. The remainder of the course will focus on the social and economic times of America from the Colonial period (1607–1776), through the nineteenth and twentieth century. This course will create a link between local and national economic and social times.
Anth 45N is designed to introduce students to the concepts and evidence used in understanding the cultural diversity of our planet. "Culture" can be defined as a socially transmitted system of shared conventions, beliefs, practices, and behavior. Cultural systems vary across time and space, and dynamic cultural processes are involved in how humans interact with each other, other organisms, and the environment. This class provides students with the tools to approach questions about the diversity of human cultures, how they vary across different societies, how different people experience and represent social worlds, why they change, and the importance of understanding such variability for the global challenges we face in an ever-changing world.
This course is an introduction to the study of language as a communication system and to contemporary thought on the interrelationships among language, culture, and social interaction and their fundamental links to social identities and discourse communities in today's culturally diverse and technology driven environments. It investigates the fundamental links of language, culture, and social interaction to social identities, social role relationships, and discourse communities. Students will develop an awareness of their interpersonal and intercultural skills and who they are as communicators, an appreciation for variations and dialects of languages, and an understanding of issues related to bilingualism, language learning, and identity.
CIVIC & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Through readings, discussion, deliberation, listening, and individual as well as collaborative action, this course gives students the opportunity to learn about and practice theories and habits of civic and community engagement and public scholarship with the goal of helping to build democratic capacity and sustain participatory democracy. This course emphasizes concepts and case studies that focus on the people’s role in shared governance. The course also provides a foundation for understanding how a wide range of other individual and collective practices have an equally important role to play in building and sustaining community. The course draws from studies in demography, political science, sociology, psychology of racial identity formation and education to help students communicate better about and in shared governance. Among the core concepts are the role of students and other citizens in sustaining and transforming their communities, the historical and contemporary mission of Land Grant universities, the centrality of rhetoric and communication to collaborative judgment, and the relationship among media, cultures, and politics as they affect civic and community engagement. Students also learn together about the range of ways that citizens do, can, and might participate in democratic decision-making and will observe and practice these forms in several communication media and across a range of differences. Finally, learn about models of and opportunities for engaging other citizens across and beyond Penn State, including in global environments.
COMMUNICATION ARTS AND SCIENCES
CAS 101 introduces students to the field of communication studies and to the most important concepts, questions, and ideas that surround the study of communication today. This class is essential for any student who wishes to consider a major or minor in Communication Arts and Sciences. The course is also an important elective for students who want to understand processes of communication in a variety of social forms or settings, including: interpersonal, small group, organizational, intercultural, public, and technological. The main objectives of the course are: 1) to expose students to the concepts and best practices that cut across every aspect of modern communication, 2) to prepare students to excel in advanced classes within the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, and 3) to help non-CAS majors incorporate essential communication principles into their own fields of study and future professions. Students from every major or college are welcome. Student grades may be determined by a variety of assignments, including quizzes, exams, in-class discussions, and major individual or group projects. This course invites students not only to learn about major concepts or ideas in the study of communication, but to explore their practical implications.
When is the last time you checked social media? How much TV did you watch over the weekend? What is the last song you streamed? Odds are, if you are like most Americans today, you are constantly connected to some type of media device. After all, media are everywhere today. We browse the web. We watch TV. We read books. We listen to music. Yet, where did these media that we take for granted come from? This class explores the backgrounds of various media, and explains how they have come together in a modern world of media convergence.
COMM 150 (The Art of Cinema): COMM 150 is an introduction to cinema studies which aims to provide students with media literacy for a world in which communication is increasingly visual and cinematic in its form. The course assumes that films tell stories and make arguments as communicative forms by drawing on a visual language that can be learned. As such, films can be interpreted and analyzed to reveal something about the cultural conditions that produced them. The course seeks to familiarize students with examples of films that speak to both the forms that they follow and the cultural context in which they were produced. Movies, from early silent films to contemporary blockbusters, are examined as formal constructs, market commodities, and cultural artifacts that aim to represent a world for the viewer. Topics include the emergence of the cinema as a communications technology, business industry and cultural institution; the global dominance of classical Hollywood cinema; American film industry organization (production, distribution, exhibition, vertical integration, the studio system, the star system); analysis of film styles (national cinemas, historical movements); analysis of film genres (e.g., silent film melodrama, film noir, comedy, the war film, the western); consideration of film audiences (reception, spectatorship, criticism); introduction to film aesthetics (film art and appreciation); and alternative cinemas (independent, documentary and experimental cinemas). COMM 150 emphasizes media literacy and seeks to help students develop critical thinking, reading and viewing skills while providing them with a historical context for the media that they consume on a regular basis. All sections integrate lectures and readings with viewing feature films during the weekly practicum period. Many sections also incorporate slides and film or video clips during the lecture periods to allow students to exercise their critical viewing skills regarding certain teaching points. Students prepare for film screenings by reading, listening to lectures, and analyzing examples of relevant works. Introductory lectures seek to provide a critical and historical context for each week's screening; follow-up lectures offer critical analysis and examinations reward close viewing. The core purpose of the course, therefore, is to make film viewing a conscious, critical and analytic activity.
CMLIT 1 provides a survey of Western literary tradition and considers a variety of genres -- such as epic, drama, sonnet, essay, saga, chronicle, folktale, and novel -- with attention to the literary and historical contexts which these works reflect in the Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance (Early Modern) periods. Universal themes and cultural values, along with individual differences, will be discussed and compared in works from such authors as Homer, Dante, Chaucer, Cervantes, and Marguerite de Navarre. Comparative study focuses on the understanding and appreciation not only of the individual works, but also of their influence on other literary works and artistic forms and the ways in which they relate to their cultures. You will articulate and compare interpretations of texts spanning 2500 years of Western literary history. The variety of the Western tradition will lead you to an understanding and critical discussion of the process by which certain works become regarded as "great." This course will also allow you the pleasure of encountering a wide variety of creative literary expressions from three distinct periods. Along with CMLIT 2, this course forms a 6-credit overall Western literature series -- but either half may be taken separately. CMLIT 1 may be selected to fulfill one of the course requirements for the CMLIT major or the World Literature Minor. This course also fulfills the General Education Humanities requirement, the Bachelor of Arts Humanities requirement, and International Cultures requirement.
CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION
Introduction to language, culture, instruction, assessment, and professionalism as they relate to teaching English Language Learners in U.S. schools. CI 280 focuses on the development of foundational knowledge to successfully assist English language learners in U.S. school contexts. The basic premise of the course is that teachers play an important role in creating a positive classroom learning environment and bringing school success for English language learners. This course is designed to develop essential dispositions, skills, and knowledge for teacher education students to fulfill their important role. Course objectives are to understand culture, language, learning contexts, and pedagogy. Culture focuses on a) sociocultural characteristics of English language learners, b) how English language learners' cultural communication and learning styles affect the learning process, c) how English language learners' cultural values affect their academic achievement and language development, d) negative effect of cultural bias in instruction, materials and assessments, and e) the importance of developing cross-cultural competence in interactions with colleagues, administrators, school and community specialists, students and their families.
As a genre of literature, science fiction enables human beings to model themselves as a cosmic species, a life form that imagines and inhabits an entirely new scale of being. No longer confined to a tribe, nation or tradition, science fiction narrates and explores the galactic magnitudes of both the external world of astronomical exploration (billions and billions of stars) and the inner world of subjective reality and imagination (billions and billions of neurons). This course introduces students to the surprisingly long history of science fiction as a way of exploring both the microcosm and the macrocosm, mapping a species imagining themselves into the future.
This course offers students a broad introduction to key moments and authors in the literary traditions that shaped US literature up to 1865. While individual authors and works discussed in class will vary, the course addresses the overall development of literatures in the United States by time periods and genres that may range from pre-Columbian oral traditions to American fiction and poetry published until the end of the Civil War. The class may feature the study of representative examples of both oral traditions and written works. In addition to highlighting enduring literary voices, the class may also highlight the development of specific genres (such as slave narratives), literary movements (such as Transcendentalism), periods of literary production (such as the American Renaissance) or other groupings of authors (such as the Fireside Poets) over the course of US literary history. Likewise, the class may include works both by authors who were popular at the time when they published their works (and thus able to impact American literature and culture during their lifetime) and those whose contributions to literary history were recognized only later. While it should be expected that no version of this course will be able to cover all authors whose works emerged before 1865, selected authors and works might include the following: examples of Native American, African American, and other oral traditions; excerpts from works by authors such as Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, Cotton Mather, Phillis Wheatley, Samson Occom, Benjamin Franklin, Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Cullen Bryant, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, James Russell Lowell, Oliver Wendel Holmes, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, or Emily Dickinson.
This course is a comparative introduction to the nature and history of video games as cultural artifacts, from Pong to online role-playing. It introduces students to academic discussion on and creative work in new digital forms including hypertexts, video games, cell phone novels, machinima, and more. Students will survey major debates over the meaning and value of video games, and study some of the major theoretical terms and perspectives developed to elaborate the cultural and sociological value of video games. The course extends students' skills in literary interpretation to a variety of new objects, and makes them aware of the role medium plays in aesthetic development and production. Students will leave with a far sharper understanding of how the interpretive tools used in the humanities can be extended to include new media, and with a sense of the historical role video games have played and will continue to play in global cultural production. Because the course is historically focused, it will spend significant time looking at the differential development of video games in three major regions: the United States, Europe, and East Asia (especially Japan).
In-depth study of the origins and conduct of World War II. Political and economic aspects as well as military. HIST 144 The World At War: 1939-1945 (3) (GH;US;IL)(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. This course offers a wide-ranging description and analysis of the second world war, combining military history with political, social and cultural approaches. One major goal is to describe how large-scale war serves as a revolutionary social and cultural force in its own right, massively accelerating social change. In the case of the second world war, the course will describe how the conflict did much to create what we think of as the modern world, not only in political terms (the roots of the cold war, the collapse of European imperialism) but also in radically changing attitudes towards such basic matters as gender relations and generational conflict. Also viral were the new scientific advances of the war years, in nuclear energy, radar, aviation, and perhaps most critical of all, the computer. Particularly important to the educational justification for the course is the stress on the construction of historical memory, a theme with implications far beyond the specific instance of World War II. The course will assess and challenge many of the myths surrounding the war, and to show how subsequent accounts of the conflict were shaped by political and cultural needs. For example, the course will stress the critical importance of the Eastern Front throughout the phenomenon understated in the West because of the patriotic Anglo-American emphasis on D-Day. It will also explore the "Resistance Myth", and suggest the moral compromises necessary to survive in occupied societies of Europe and Asia. Throughout, the course will stress the impacts of war on the home front and civilian society. The course will be offered once every two years, with fifty seats on each occasion. Typically, students will be evaluated on essay exams, written book reviews, and research papers, and are expected to participate fully in class discussions of assigned readings. History 144 is an important complement to several existing courses within the History department, including 120, Europe Since 1848; 121, The History of the Holocaust; 142, History of Communism; 143, Fascism and Nazism; and 160, American Naval History. It also provides an excellent foundation for 400-level courses including 420, Recent European History; 447, Recent American History, and 454, American Military History 144 satisfies general credit requirements for the history major or minor. Majors and non-majors would both be able to use the course to satisfy their general education humanities selection.
This class is an introduction to the major intellectual philosophical traditions of Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism and Zen Buddhism, Jainism, Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism, and Taoism. It proceeds through careful study of major, representative texts and authors of each of these traditions, and may range from foundational works to modern and contemporary developments.
The course introduces students to the academic study of religion as well as to some of the major religious traditions of the world. Beginning with an introduction to polytheism, the course primarily focuses on the five major religions of the modern world--that is Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism
This survey course examines racism and sexism as cultural, political and economic processes that shape contemporary social life in the United States. It provides an historical overview of the roots of modern racism and sexism and will explore these structural inequalities continue to matter in a "post-racial" and "post-feminist" era. Students will engage a broad range of texts that discuss these forms of inequality as intersecting, mutually constituted forms of marginalization. Students will develop a deeper understanding of how race, gender, sexuality, and class conditions identity formation; racism as a structural process that shapes and limits the life chances of non-white communities; and the long tradition of resistance that women and communities of color have developed to combat these social inequalities. The course is divided into two sections. The first introduces a range of terms: race, gender, class, sexual politics, intersectionality and neoliberalism. The second half considers various case studies: mass incarceration, toxic waste, (un)natural disasters, reproductive justice, and Islamophobia in the war on terror. Students will leave with both an understanding of key theoretical terms in the study of racism and sexism and be able to apply these concepts to contemporary social issues.
Interdisciplinary consideration of primary works and scholarship pertaining to women in the humanities and the arts. WMNST 106N Representing Women and Gender in Literature, Art and Popular Cultures (3) (GA;GH;US;IL)(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. This is an introductory survey course that fulfills General Education Integrative Studies requirements in humanities and arts, and also fulfills United States and International Cultures requirements. The course is a prerequisite for upper level women's studies courses. WMNST 106N is an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, with an emphasis on the experiences, achievements, and status of women in the arts and humanities in the U.S. and global context. While providing a broad overview of scholarly research and theory pertaining to women and gender, students will also see many examples of contemporary women's creative practice through the visual arts, media, and popular culture. Students will learn about the challenges women artists have faced in making their way in a male-dominated arts and media industry; they will learn how these artists sought and continue to seek new languages and forms, whether in paint, words, film, music, crafts, to reassess and re-imagine notions of sex and sexuality, gender, race and ethnicity that underlie many forms of social injustice. Depending on the location where the course is taught, class meetings may be a mixture of lectures, group discussions, individual and group exercises, films, and guest speakers. Assigned readings and class meetings may be designed to help students reassess predominant modes of thought and to give students tools to appreciate the creative work of highly diverse women. Depending again upon location, evaluation methods will include a balanced selection from among short papers, longer research papers, journals, book reviews, quizzes, exams, group assignments and other creative activities.