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Future Course Offerings

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A look ahead at upcoming semesters for your planning purposes

Spring 2020

February 10-May 18

East/West: Moving Beyond Our Cultural Differences

The primary theme of this course is to use narratives that explore how cross-cultural study can help us move beyond binary distinctions to consider more nuanced scholarly analysis. So while we will begin with a comparison of Aristotle's "excluded middle" to a Confucian conception of both/and and the inseparability of opposites (yin/yang), an aspiration of the course is to develop respect for multiple perspectives and the power of evidence-based reasoning in the presence of uncertain, ambiguous, incomplete, and conflicting information.  We will compare and contrast basic paradigms of Eastern and Western culture through studying philosophy, poetry, food, art, architecture, sex/gender, ecology, flower arrangements, binary versus multimodal logic, plagiarism/forgery/facsimile, beauty, time, and literature.

Click here for a draft syllabus: East/West: Moving Beyond Our Cultural Differences

Encountering 'the Other' in Tourism and Travel

International tourism is the fastest growing industry in the world, and has produced one of the largest population movements in the history of humanity.  In this course, we will discuss tourism and travel as cultural practices as well as globalization phenomena. We will pay particular attention to tourism as an encounter in search for authenticity and otherness. The course will examine topics such as tourism and modernity, sexual and romantic tourism, ecotourism and environmental tourism.

Punishment and Society

This course examines punishment as a social institution, understood through (1) social inequality and solidarity, (2) law and society and (3) culture and morality, including contemporary popular culture. We draw upon a rich theoretical toolkit which includes foundational readings in Western Sociology and penality, derived from Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Norbert Elias, Erving Goffman, Michel Foucault, and Pierre Bourdieu, as well as from critical, feminist and intersectional approaches. We use these conceptual resources to examine imprisonment as the preeminent form of punishment in modern society and to probe the social causes, functions, and consequences of the turn to hyperincarceration made by the United States and subsequently exported worldwide.  Students will compare and contrast how punishment works in Delaware with other contexts, tailored to their interests.

 Foundational questions include: what is the relationship between punishment and society?  What are its causes, consequences and future trends? What are the functions served by incarceration today?  What effects does incarceration have on penal workers, incarcerated people, their families, and on their communities?

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