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?