COLA 1500 Classes

What are COLA Classes?

COLA 1500 courses are one-credit, graded seminars open to all new first-year students. Approximately 80% of the content will be as described below with 20% of the course devoted to group advising issues. The instructors of the following courses will be the advisor for the students in the class until such time that they declare a major. Click here to read some COLA testimonials.

The Souder Family COLA Classes

With extreme gratitude to the Souder Family for funding the following COLA classes.

2016 Awakening Creative Potential Gweneth West
2016 The Culture of College and the Structure of UVA Richard Handler
2015 Slavery, Jefferson and UVA Kirt von Daacke and Maurie McInnis
2015 The 21st Century Labor Market President Teresa Sullivan
2014   Discovering Jefferson's Academical Village      Kirt von Daacke and Maurie McInnis
2013 Hidden Histories of UVA Phyllis Leffler

Fall 2016 COLA Class Descriptions

Silk Road Travelers: Merchants, Monks and Covert Operatives (Shawn Lyons)
Section 001 | 11516 | Monday | 02:00PM - 03:15PM
While a general introduction to the history of the silk road, our seminar is mainly concerned with today’s travelers who are following in the foot-steps of Marco Polo. Why would a modern biking enthusiast or a food writer travel nearly 3,000 miles through China, Central Asia, Afghanistan and Iran? Who are the new international merchants eager to wheel-and-deal in the ancient bazaars of Bukhara, Samarkand and Kashgar? Is the silk road, upon which Buddhist and Christian monks once conducted their pilgrimages, still important to the contemporary world’s religions? Does the silk road remain a land of intrigue, in which imperial powers compete for influence and domination, not unlike Britain and Russia who throughout the nineteenth century each deployed numerous spies to Afghanistan in what Rudyard Kipling called the "Great Game." We will discuss excerpts from a variety of these modern travel narratives.

Teachers and Schools in the 21st Century USA (Victor Luftig & Stephanie Van Hover)
Section 002 | 11517 | Wednesday | 09:30AM - 10:45AM
This course is intended for students who might be interested in teaching in elementary, middle, or high school at some stage or who are interested in the controversies surrounding American public education. The focus will be on the social and political challenges facing those who wish to improve such education. We will study test cases in the way policies affecting education are developed and implemented, in the way teaching is portrayed in various media, and in attempts to generate substantial improvement in American classrooms. The focus will be on the way issues relating to K-12 education relate to the way knowledge is organized at the university level: if you are interested in affecting public education in your time, what will you want to know, what skills will you want to have, and will you shape your undergraduate education to develop those capacities?

Understanding the Early Nineteenth Century through George Washington as Historical Figure and Symbol (William (Bill) M. Ferraro)
Section 003 | 11518 | Monday | 03:30PM - 04:45PM
The United States emerged as a nation on the global stage during the early nineteenth century while contending with social divisions, political antagonisms, technological advances, settlement shifts, economic upheavals, and identity uncertainties. To give coherence to the study of this period, this class will focus on George Washington as historical figure and symbol in the realms of memory and commemoration, political organization, antislavery protests, civil religion, and education. Besides contemporary books, primary sources considered in the class include eulogies, newspaper accounts, subscription lists, periodical literature, images, and ephemera. The goal is a more tangible and nuanced understanding of complexities during decades that appear rather plain or simple at first glance. Learning how to develop contexts, evaluate evidence, and craft arguments or analyses, both orally and in writing, are principal concerns over the course of this class. Such skills will enhance all aspects of your academic experience and transfer into the working world.

Big History (Matthew Davis)
Section 004 | 11519 | Monday | 02:00PM - 03:15PM (Also offered as Section 020)
Most history courses cover a few hundred years. This COLA course will cover 13.7 billion years. It will cover the history of the universe from the "Big Bang" to the present. Our goal will be to understand, in a very basic way, what science can tell us about the origins of the universe, the birth of stars, the formation of our solar system, the history of planet earth, the evolution of life on earth, and the rise of human beings; and what history and other social sciences can tell us about a few crucial events in the history of humanity; for example, the development of agriculture, the invention of writing systems, and the "industrial revolution." The course will serve as an introduction to "big history," but it will also serve as an introduction to the College of Arts and Sciences and its curricular riches. While studying the early history of the universe, we will learn a tiny bit of what is taught in physics, astronomy, and chemistry classes at UVA; while learning about the history of the earth and evolution, we will encounter some big ideas from geology and biology; and, in our study of human history, we will look at key concepts from history, anthropology, archaeology, religion, and environmental studies. The professor is not an expert on all of these subjects -- probably nobody is -- but he is fascinated by the topic and eager to learn more. Students who are intrigued and would like to learn more about "big history" as it will be treated in this course are encouraged to watch David Christian's Ted talk, "The History of World in 18 Minutes," available online.

Are We Alone in the Universe? (Edward Murphy)
Section 005 | 11520 | Tuesday | 09:30AM - 10:45AM
Our galaxy contains hundreds of billions of stars. If only a tiny fraction of those stars have intelligent life, there could be millions of intelligent civilizations in the galaxy. Given that our galaxy is 13 billion years old, some of these civilizations should have been able to fully colonize the galaxy long ago. And yet, we have no evidence that they are visiting, or have ever visited, Earth. In fact, we have no evidence of any extraterrestrial life. All the evidence points to the fact that we are the first, and possibly the only, intelligent civilization in the galaxy. In this course, we will address the Fermi paradox, the belief that intelligent life is common, that they should have colonized our solar system long ago, and yet we see no evidence that they exist. This topic is multidisciplinary and will include topics from astronomy, biology (evolution of intelligence), chemistry (origin of life), engineering (spaceflight and the difficulty of traveling between the stars), and sociology (do technological civilizations destroy themselves).

Central Virginia Revealed (Emil Frlez)
Section 006 | 11521 | Tuesday | Tu 11:00AM - 12:15PM
In this seminar we will approach the central Virginia area - UVa Grounds, Charlottesville, Albemarle and surrounding counties in multi-dimensional way. Moving past the recreational aspect of the land, we will talk about the area history, human habitation, culture, demographics, geology, weather, transportation and economy. These facets will be illustrated by specific locations, structures, events, personalities (local and national) and institutions that have shaped and define the central Virginia on the regional level and beyond. At the end of the class you will be well acquainted with books, multi-media and online resources as well as organizations that you can join to expand your knowledge. We will finish by designing together a field trip to one of the localities discussed in the class.

Myths of Adolescence & Literary Imagination (Lisa Spaar)
Section 007 | 11522 | Thursday | 11:00AM - 12:15PM
Human development across cultures and time inevitably involves some version or experience of adolescence, a liminal and archetypal territory between childhood and adulthood characterized by exploration, growth, intense feeling, conflict, becoming, power play, transgression, anxiety, and pain. No wonder, then, that writers have been drawn to this difficult, complex period, plundering its emotional dynamics and mythologizing its extremities in novels, short fiction, poems, and plays. In this course, we will survey cultural notions of adolescence, and explore versions of it in a variety of literary texts and genres. The crucial question will not be “What is adolescence?” but rather, “How has adolescence been perceived, remembered, imagined?” As we attempt to articulate the significance of such fictionalized accountings of adolescence, we may hope to confront ways in which the young embody our most profound vulnerabilities and possibilities. As we explore this period in a handful of literary texts, we will examine our own crucible of becoming, particularly as it relates to the adventure and journey of the University experience.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at an Ancient Text (Ashleigh Elser)
Section 008 | 11523 | Monday | 4:00PM - 5:15PM  (Also offered as Section 053)
In the book of Genesis, God promises Abraham a son, then commands that this child be killed. This near miss filicide has captivated the imaginations of artists, philosophers and theologians for centuries. This is due in part to its dramatic content, but also to what this haunting narrative leaves unsaid and unexplained. How much does Abraham's son Isaac understand about his fate as he ascends with his father up Mount Moriah? Does Abraham anticipate the plot twist, and know that he won't have to kill Isaac in the end? Or does his wordless assent suggest something more unsettling about Abraham's understanding of God, that faithfulness could require such horrific violence? Reading this story alongside ethicists, filmmakers, painters, novelists and historians, we will explore thirteen different approaches to close and careful reading, and the merits of sustained attention to a short and powerful story.

God and Nature in America (Heather Warren)
Section 009 | 11524 | Tuesday | 04:00PM - 05:15PM
This course examines how Americans have viewed the relation between God, nature, and themselves since the founding of the United States. We will examine what selected outdoorsmen and women considered to be "divine," "holy," or “sacred” and why they believed the way they did, among them John Muir and Annie Dillard. Our class will involve some outdoors time, a few short, two-page papers, discussion, and guests from such offices as Career Services, the Writing Center, and the Center for Undergraduate Excellence.

What Makes Us Tick? (Sandra Seidel)
Section 010 | 11529 | Tuesday | 03:30PM - 04:45PM
The cardiovascular system works to transport life-sustaining blood to and from the individual cells that compose the human body. Basic principles of transport will be emphasized as we explore the structure and function of blood, blood vessels and the heart. Students will write and speak about illness and disease that affects each component of the cardiovascular system. Advising topics, including career counseling resources, will also be discussed.

The Civil War in American Memory (Frank Cirillo)
Section 011 | 14465 | Thursday | 05:00PM - 06:15PM (Also offered as Section 089)
In the century and a half since it ended in 1865, the Civil War has cast a long shadow over American society. Battles over the meaning and legacies of the war rage still in 2016, as witnessed by debates over the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville and the Confederate battle flag throughout the American South. Why has Civil War memory persisted so long? How have Americans' varying interpretations of the war changed over time since 1865, and in the process impacted such developments as Jim Crow segregation and the Civil Rights movement? How as Civil War memory also shaped American culture, whether in the form of literature, films, or our monumental landscape? This course will answer such questions as it examines the evolution of Civil War memory in the 150-odd years since the end of the war. It may include optional film screenings and visits to Civil War memory sites around Charlottesville. Over the course of the semester, as students develop their critical reading skills, we will also discuss advising topics, including teaching and career resources.

Griots in West African Societies: History, Music, and Orature (Kandioura Drame')
Section 012 | 12871 | Thursday | 03:30PM - 04:45PM
This course proposes an exploration of West African societies through the study of griots. What does the word "griot" mean? What do griots do? Are griots members of a corporation? How did they become recognized as the keepers of the historical memory of their communities? What is the role of music in the cultural identities of griots? Why are griots tied closely to the art of oral performance? Why are they called Masters of the Word, of storytelling or Orature in many West African communities? We will explore these and other questions relative to the places and functions of the griots in the past and present, in Africa and abroad, in music and in words.

Learning From Data (Jeffrey Holt)
Section 013 | 13417 | Wednesday | 05:00PM - 06:15PM
Data are everywhere. It is incredibly cheap to collect and store large amounts of data. More and more devices are collecting data, including cell phones, web sites, customer loyalty cards, CCTV, and much more. As data continue to accumulate, so does the interest in extracting knowledge from data. This COLA will focus on a single data set made up of information about applicants for admission to an undergraduate program at a large university. (This data set is heavily modified to preserve confidentiality, but has elements typical of admission data.) We will explore different ways to learn about the applicant pool, using the program R as our computational tool. No prior knowledge of statistics or R is required.

Regulating Reproduction (Lynn Sanders)
Section 015 | 13419 | Monday | 02:00PM - 03:15PM
This seminar focuses on the case Buck v. Bell, where in 1927 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Virginia's law allowing forced sterilization of individuals deemed feeble-minded or otherwise unfit to reproduce. Carrie Buck, a young woman from a Charlottesville family, was targeted by government officials and eugenics advocates as an exemplary unfit mother whose situation would create legal support for state-sponsored sterilization. In writing the majority opinion upholding the law, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes infamously declared “three generations of imbeciles are enough.” What forces allowed Virginians in the 1920s to see some citizens as “sapping the strength” of the state and not worthy of “continuing their kind”? How did eugenics in Virginia inform laws in other countries? How did ideas about gender, race, class and disability influence the case? Do traces of eugenics thinking persist in public policy today?

Why Haven’t We Cured Cancer? (David Kittlesen)
Section 016 | 13470 | Tuesday | 12:30PM - 01:45PM
It has been nearly four decades since President Nixon declared a “war on cancer”, yet as everyone of us knows, the war is far from over. Is it “winnable”? What, if any, battles have we won? Which are we still fighting? What have we learned over the past four decades about the enemy? By focusing on the basic biology of cancer and cancer treatments (both routine and experimental), students will gain a much greater understanding of the complexity of this collection of diseases, as well as insight into answers to these questions. Neither a background nor a desire to major in biology is required – just an interest in this topic. Our usual class format will involve a group discussion of assigned readings. Active participation by every student is expected each week! We will also spend part of each class discussing a broad range of advising issues. This course has been designed to offer students a fairly in-depth understanding of cancer, to provide them with a greatly enhanced advising experience, and to promote critical thinking skills.

Fiction and Illness: Approaching Medical Ethics Through Film and Literature (Kendall Cox)
Section 017 | 13471 | Thursday |9:30AM - 10:45AM
With our increasingly technological and medicalized view of the human body, is something about the universal experience of illness missed? Might fiction help us more fully understand and communicate about realities like pain, disability, and dying? Can artistic construals of sickness teach us to identify with "the patient" and relate to others and ourselves more sympathetically? In this course, we will examine these dimensions of human life from the perspective of literature and film. The goal is to help students reflect critically upon and recognize the ethical content embedded in the way we engage illness in specific professions as well as in our culture more broadly.

How to Tell a Story—on the Radio (Roberto Armengol)
Section 018 | 14466 | Wednesday | 10:00AM - 11:15AM
If you’ve ever been a kid you’ve heard a story. Sharing stories is something we do like no other species— it's a fundamental part of the human experience. Stories order the world and make sense of it as a coherent narrative. They entertain, instruct, move. In this course, we’ll look at a particular form of storytelling—documentary audio—and ask why it works, and how. The recent popular success of shows like Serial, Invisibilia and Radiolab suggests that audio storytelling has entered a golden age. Together, we'll listen to and critique episodes from a range of documentary programs, whether it’s a pioneering show like This American Life or a boutique podcast produced in someone’s garage. We’ll go behind the scenes and hear about the basics of story research, production and editing from professional guests who work in radio production. And we’ll ask whether the anthropology of storytelling, and storytelling in anthropology, has anything to offer the business of radio documentary. You’ll also develop one short audio story or interview of your choice. You don't need to have any prior experience or interest in audio editing, podcasting or ethnography to take this course, just an eagerness to hear—and tell—great stories, and a willingness to ask probing questions about why they work, and how. At the end of the semester, we’ll share a selection of your audio-shorts in a mini-exhibit.

Aztec, Maya, and the Conquistadors: Rethinking the Conquest of the Americas (Abigail Holeman)
Section 019 | 13472 | Thursday | 12:30PM - 01:45PM
COLA classes provide an opportunity to bring together academic content and academic advising. In this class we will assess and reevaluate common myths about the conquest of the Americas. Using examples from central and South America, we will look at evidence from different fields of study (archaeology, history, ethnohistory) that paint a different picture than what is commonly told about one of the most fundamental moments in human history. We will discuss the implications of these commonly held narratives for the lives and perceptions of Native American communities today. While students work on critical thinking skills, we will also discuss advising topics such as advising, research, and career resources available to you. We will reflect on the college experience, both the perceptions and the realities.

Big History (Matthew Davis)
Section 020 | 13827 | Monday | 11:00AM - 12:15PM (Also offered as Section 004)
Most history courses cover a few hundred years. This COLA course will cover 13.7 billion years. It will cover the history of the universe from the "Big Bang" to the present. Our goal will be to understand, in a very basic way, what science can tell us about the origins of the universe, the birth of stars, the formation of our solar system, the history of planet earth, the evolution of life on earth, and the rise of human beings; and what history and other social sciences can tell us about a few crucial events in the history of humanity; for example the development of agriculture, the invention of writing systems, and the "industrial revolution." The course will serve as an introduction to "big history," but it will also serve as an introduction to the College of Arts and Sciences and its curricular riches. While studying the early history of the universe, we will learn a tiny bit of what is taught in physics, astronomy, and chemistry classes at UVA; while learning about the history of the earth and evolution, we will encounter some big ideas from geology and biology; and, in our study of human history, we will look at key concepts from history, anthropology, archaeology, religion, and environmental studies. The professor is not an expert on all of these subjects -- probably nobody is -- but he is fascinated by the topic and eager to learn more. Students who are intrigued and would like to learn more about "big history" as it will be treated in this course are encouraged to watch David Christian’s Ted talk, "The History of World in 18 Minutes," available online.

The Art of Adaptation (David Dalton)
Section 021 | 14467 | Friday | 01:00PM - 02:15PM
How do you successfully move a work of art from one medium to another? What does it mean to be faithful to the original source, and is faithfulness even something that should be valued in a successful adaptation? This course will grapple with these questions by examining theories of adaption and comparing adaptations in theatre, film, graphic novels, and other media with their source materials as well as with other adaptations.

Inside the Middle East (Nathalie Nahas)
Section 022 | 14468 | Friday | 1:00PM - 2:15PM (Also offered as Section 071)
War, conflict, terrorism, falafel, and hummus. Popular representations of the Middle East tend to oversimplify this rich and complex region of the world. But scholars have long researched, theorized, and written about the Middle East. Through a fine-grained observational lens, anthropologists, among other scholars, have tried to describe and make sense of the communities who inhabit the region. How they do that is the focus of this course. We will focus on representations of these peoples and places through the lens of anthropologists and those who use anthropological methods, critically examining the ways they frame their research, writing, and own position in the communities and texts. Through investigating how scholars have captured life in these communities, we ask two larger questions; how does one research "another culture"? How can representations of "the other" teach us something about ourselves? In addition to the class material, we will also discuss various aspects of UVA culture to help you make the most of your time at UVA.

How do we Learn? (Elizabeth Ozment)
Section 023 | 14469 | Monday | 09:30AM - 10:45AM
In this seminar we will explore theories, models, and approaches to learning across disciplines. In addition to questioning how people develop knowledge and skills, we will consider emotional, environmental, social, and societal dimensions of learning. We will question how the very concepts of knowledge and learning are defined and assessed in higher education. Students in this seminar will critically reflect upon their own educational experiences, analyze their current learning environments, and develop personal philosophies of learning that will frame broader discussions related to their educational and professional goals.

Mindfulness: Awareness and Habit (Sandra Seidel)
Section 024 | 20837  |  Thursday | 03:30PM - 04:45PM
Mindfulness practices have been demonstrated to help increase attention, reduce stress and develop self-awareness. Through formal and informal practices that bring curiosity to thoughts, feelings and emotions, students will develop the ability to pay attention to the present moment.   Mindful meditation, movement, walking and eating will be explored. Daily habits of mind and action will be cultivated that impact attitudes to foster academic success and personal happiness.

Smellscapes (Cheryl Krueger)
Section 025 | 13828 | Tuesday | 11:00AM - 12:15PM
This course focuses on the natural, fabricated, invasive, intimate, volatile, lingering, ephemeral and often ignored smellscapes that surround us. We will consider the depreciation of non-visual senses in Western culture, as well as the much-lamented scarcity of specific vocabulary for communicating about smell. Reading, viewing and discussion topics deal with representations of olfactory perception in words and images, and with how olfaction relates to emotion, cognition, and social interaction, gender and cultural. Students will examine their own relationship to the sense of smell via sensory mapping and journal writing on topics including smell-triggered memories.

Varieties of Religious Experience (Matthew Hedstrom)
Section 026 | 13829 | Tuesday | 12:30PM - 01:45PM
What is religion? What is spirituality? How do they relate to well-being, or to being a good person? What can science teach us about these human phenomena—and what are the limits of science in this regard? We'll explore these big questions through a semester- long reading of William James's great work The Varieties of Religious Experience (1903). James was one of the foremost thinkers of American history, a founder of the modern disciplines of psychology and religious studies, and of the pragmatist approach to philosophy. We’ll relate his thought and trace his influence to our own lives and moment, a moment when more than a third of young adults declare themselves "spiritual but not religious."

Embracing Your Liberal Arts Experience (Karlin Luedtke)
Section 027 | 13550 | Tuesday | 02:00PM - 03:15PM
This class will expose students to the value and opportunities of a liberal arts education in the College. We will learn about the historical relevance of the liberal arts in the U.S. and how and why it is critical in today’s society. We will engage in self-reflective activities that will prepare you for the myriad choices and decisions that you will make as an undergraduate student. Through readings and a series of activities centered around journaling and image-based exercises, you will have the tools you need for a strong and meaningful start at UVA.

Favorite Things (Jenny Geddes)
Section 028 | 13904 | Thursday | 11:00AM - 12:15PM
This course will look at the objects we love—things, possessions, prizes, collectibles, curios, icons, idols—and the ways we acquire them, make them, think about them, imagine them, value them, and ascribe meaning to them. Children often have a blanket or stuffed animal that provides comfort and security. Adults also have special objects—a favorite mug, a prized painting, an old photograph, a rare sports car, a green elf statue. What different kinds of relationships do we have with the objects around us? Why are some things considered disposable and others sacred? What role do our favorite objects play in our lives? To explore these questions, we will read a wide range of short texts to think about our relationship with the objects around us.

Memoirs of Jews from Arab Lands (Jessica Hope Andruss)
Section 029 | 13552 | Wednesday | 09:30AM - 10:45AM
At the turn of the twentieth century, one million Jews lived in the Middle East and North Africa. These “Jews of Arab Lands” spoke Arabic, practiced their trades and their religion in a Muslim-majority society, and navigated the forces of modernization, colonialism, nationalism, prosperity and poverty alongside their neighbors. By the last quarter of the century, these communities had dispersed through large-scale immigration to Israel, Europe, North America and beyond. In these new environments, some Jewish intellectuals wrote and published their memories, publicly reflecting on Arab-Jewish culture and identity through memoir and fictionalized biography. In this course, we will explore Jewish life in the Arab milieu through literary memoirs and historical documents. Together these sources invite us to consider questions about the culture, politics, and society of Middle Eastern Jewry, as well as the interplay between history, literature, and memory.

"Going Global" (Right Here on Grounds) (Janet Horne)
Section 030 | 13553 | Thursday | 02:00PM - 03:15PM
Although you may just have arrived in central Virginia, the next four years will also be about discovering the world and your place in it. It is largely a matter of how you choose to see things, engage with people, and how you think about yourself and your surroundings. In this seminar, we will discuss the buzz about “the global” and what it might mean for you as you plan your undergraduate education. Is the world getting flatter? Is English enough? We will explore how you can find the rich weave of the global world fabric embedded within your life right here in Charlottesville.

Transformative Storytelling: Sharing Stories of Social Justice (Theresa Davis)
Section 031 | 14470 | Monday | 12:30PM - 01:45PM
What are some of the most thought-provoking and powerful stories you've ever heard or read? When was the last time a story moved you to go out and make a difference in the world such as challenging the strongholds of injustice? This course explores the act of storytelling as it relates to issues of Social Justice and the role of storytellers as agents of change. The course incorporates a variety of intercultural communication styles and mediums of artistic expression, including creative writing, theatre, movement, music and digital media. All students will have the opportunity to craft and present stories for public performance. “I'm really interested in social justice, and if an artist has a certain power of being heard and voicing something important, it's right to do it. It could still be done in such a way that it's not aggressive or overly didactic. I'm trying to find that form.” ~Shirin Neshat

Why College? (Guy Aiken)
Section 032 | 13840 | Tuesday | 6:00PM - 7:15PM (Also offered as Section 079)
Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia on "the illimitable freedom of the human mind." Is that why you're here, to explore the illimitable freedom of your mind? Or are you here to develop the skills and amass the credentials you need to land a good job after graduation? Are the two mutually exclusive? In this course you'll get to hone your critical thinking and writing skills by reflecting on just what it is you hope to get out of your education here at UVa. And you'll do this in the context of learning what some of America's greatest minds, including Jefferson's, have considered the substance and purpose of a liberal education. This course's historical approach to higher education in America, from the Puritans to the present, will also give you the chance to "try on" a history course at the university level, to discover whether history or a related discipline--religious studies, English, philosophy, political science, or even education itself — might be the right major for you. You'll have ample opportunity to talk about these and other possible majors with your classmates and with the instructor, your first-year advisor. You'll also be treated to special guest appearances from the Writing Center, the library, and the Center for Undergraduate Excellence.

Buried Cities and Lost Towns: Great Sites and the Romantic Element in Archaeology (Phil Trella)
Section 034 | 14472 | Tuesday | 05:00PM - 06:15PM
Fueled by popular media, images of desolate ruins, elaborate tombs, and lost civilizations adorn our perceptions of the past, and those who have studied it. In this course we will examine the validity of these perceptions by exploring 'great sites" from around the world, examining as we go both the romantic elements and lore surrounding their purpose and ends, as well as the most recent interpretations advanced through scientific discovery. We will touch upon places and peoples such as ancient Egypt, Stonehenge, the Ancient Maya, and Easter Island, and will focus on the central question of what it is about such places that inspires us to connect with them through both myth, and the search for scientific fact.

Literature of London (Sarah Cole)
Section 036 | 13896 | Wednesday | 02:00PM - 03:15PM
Why has London been the setting of so many memorable stories, from Sherlock Holmes to Harry Potter and beyond? In British literature and films, London has appeared as a site of quaint nostalgia and gothic threat, of urban adventure and modern social alienation. This course will examine short literary works by major British authors, as well as films, historical documents, and pieces of journalism that seek to capture the life of this historic yet ever-changing city. Probable authors and filmmakers include Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Bowen, Samuel Selvon, David Lean, Stephen Frears, and Hanif Kureishi. Through the lens of their stories, we will examine key issues in London’s history during the past two centuries: urban expansion, technological innovation, social inequality, the changing role of women, the bombing of London in World War II, and the growth of immigration and multi-culturalism after the end of the British Empire.

Global Islam (Ahmed Al-Rahim)
Section 037 | 13898 | Thursday | 06:00PM - 07:15PM
This course traces the religious development of Islam from the 7th to 13th centuries C.E. Students are introduced to the (1) the biography of Muhammad, Islam’s prophet, and to the history of his successors, the caliphs, and of the major Islamic dynasties; (2) the themes of the Koran, Islam’s scripture, and their relationship to the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Gospels; (3) the Hadith, or sayings attributed to Muhammad, and the development of Islamic law; (4) the history of Islamic theology and philosophy; (5) Muslim sectarian history, the Sunnis and Shias, and Islamic mysticism; and (6) the daily life and rituals of Muslims and their relationship with the "People of the Book" (Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians).

Globalization and Higher Education (Yours) (Dudley Doane)
Section 038 | 13899 | Wednesday | 03:30PM - 04:45PM
The mobility of scholars and competition of universities for resources is not new. Scholars traveled long distances to study at Takshashila (South Asia) as early as the 5th century BCE; in his search for talented instructors, Jefferson looked to Europe. But globalization in the late 20th and early 21st centuries has yielded unprecedented levels of mobility and an intense competition for resources and status. Leaders from the public and private sectors regularly pronounce that higher education is not just a means to gain middle-class security but rather a requirement for survival in the global economy and that a "global education" is critical. What does this mean for you? We will consider the globalization of higher education, examine definitions of "global education" and consider global education at UVa. As we do this, we will also address advising, selection of courses and a major, academic and student life resources and navigating life at the University. Each week we will address advising-related concerns, and we will also meet one-on-one prior to spring semester course registration.

Knights and Ladies in Stories of the Middle Ages (William McDonald)
Section 039 | 13900 | Tuesday | 02:00PM - 03:15PM
Intended for students with little or no background in medieval literature in general, and tales of knights and ladies at the court of King Arthur, in particular, this class aims to expose readers to literary traditions and rhetorical conventions of the Middle Ages, while sharpening analytical and writing skills. The stories, all presented in English, are an exercise in comparative literature: Latin, French, and German. We rely heavily on online resources.

Study Abroad in the 19th Century: The Allure of Paris (Gladys Saunders)
Section 040 | 13901 | Tuesday | 05:00PM - 06:15
In this class we will explore together David McCullough's latest work, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris from 1830-1900. The book contains a wealth of interesting information about Americans of diverse backgrounds who sailed to Paris to work hard, learn the skills and expertise of the French and then return to America to make their professional lives better.

The Contemporary Short Story (Carol Guarnieri)
Section 041 | 13902 | Wednesday | 5:00PM - 6:15PM (Also offered as Section 050)
In this seminar we will read a selection of short fiction from the last 20 years. For most people in the class, this will mean that the stories we read will have been published within your lifetimes. We will ask what characterizes our present literary moment: what issues do authors take up, and how do they use the structure of the short story to explore these issues? How does contemporary fiction deal with the dynamics of race, sexuality, and gender, for example, or the intersections of technology and culture? As part of this class’s mission to be an introduction to the life and resources of the university, we will have the opportunity to learn from prominent creative writers here on grounds. We will read short fiction by acclaimed authors Lydia Davis and Junot Díaz, who will visit UVA this year as the 2016-17 Kapnick Foundation Distinguished Writers-in-Residence in the English Department’s Creative Writing Program. Students will leave the class with new tools for analyzing our contemporary moment as we use fiction to make us better readers of the world around us.

Religion and the 2016 Elections (Nichole Flores)
Section 042 | 13903 | Tuesday | 12:30PM - 01:45PM
What role will religious rhetoric, teaching, and practice play in the 2016 elections? Engaging commentary and teachings from diverse traditions, seminar participants will discuss local, national, and international political headlines related to the United States political contests this November. Seminar conversations will respond directly to events, discourses, and debates that emerge during the elections, but will be supplemented with texts on perennial political and ethical issues including war and peace, economics, migration, race, gender, and bioethics. In addition to spirited debates, seminar activities will include exchanging articles on religion and politics via social media and a returns watching party. Beyond the immediate concerns of the election, seminar participants will address the enduring intellectual and political difficulties of engaging diverse religious beliefs and practices in a pluralistic democratic context.

Modern Topics in Higher Education (Sean Jenkins)
Section 043 | 13907 | Monday | 03:30PM - 04:45PM
This course will explore major issues facing higher education such as, access, affordability, emerging technologies, etc. and how colleges and universities, especially the University of Virginia, are preparing to face them.

What makes creativity? (Kathryn Densberger)
Section 044 | 14464 | Tuesday | 12:30PM - 01:45PM
Bringing something into being that was not there before: Businesses do it to make money. Artists do it as their life’s work. Researchers have tried to measure creativity. Everybody seems to want to teach it. In this class, we’ll learn how people in different fields think about creativity and have attempted to create more of it. We’ll also focus on how you can create your college experience.

Justice, Love and Knowledge-The Dialogues of Plato (Karl Shuve)
Section 045 | 14476 | Monday | 02:00PM - 03:15PM
The ancient Greek philosopher Plato was not only a profound thinker, but also a talented writer who composed dialogues to explore philosophical problems. The aim of this course is to help students develop critical thinking and communication skills as well as to introduce them to key ideas and issues in the Western intellectual tradition, which they can explore in more depth by taking courses in disciplines such as Classics, English, Philosophy, Politics and Religious Studies. To achieve this, we will undertake close readings of selections from some of Plato’s most influential dialogues, including the Republic, Phaedo, Symposium and Meno. We will pay attention to both content (e.g., reflections on justice, love, virtue, knowledge and thesoul) and literary form.

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (Sonam Kachru)
Section 046 | 13919 | Thursday | 03:30PM - 04:45PM
How does one narrate our lives in any way that could allow us to make human meaning of huge time and space scales? We shall explore this question taking as our guide that modern masterpiece of droll understatement, perplexity and wonder, Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Competition Culture and the Media: Winning, Losing, and Equality in Popular Culture (Shilpa Dave')
Section 047 | 13930 | Tuesday | 11:00AM - 12:15PM
The word competition is rooted in the notion of rivalry and the striving for a particular goal, prize, or reward. How does the idea of competition manifest itself in our daily lives and our national culture? This course will engage with the ideas of how Americans are represented and engaged with “winning” and “losing” and the expectations and challenges that accompany a competitive mindset as a national value. Sports and competition have long been an integral part of American popular culture, intersecting with issues of race, class, citizenship and gender as well as national identity, global competition, and border crossings. We will examine how competitive values and tactics carry over from the sports arena to reality television shows, college admissions, Facebook friends, and national and global policies.

The Rise of the New Protest Song (Marvin Campbell)
Section 048 | 14478 | Thursday | 11:00AM - 12:15PM
It has often been assumed in recent years that American music—and African-American music, in particular—no longer engages with social and political concerns, retreating to the realm of the personal or the consumerist. This course will disrupt this prevailing view by examining how there has emerged in the past five years a string of popular songs that address incendiary topics such as sexual assault, police brutality, the political rights of the LGBTQ community, leading both The Guardian and Time to dub 2015 the "return of the protest song.' From Lady Gaga's "Till It Happens to You,' to Beyonce's "Formation," MIA’s "Paper Planes' to Macklemore’s 'Same Love,' Usher’s 'Chains' to Kendrick Lamar's "Alright,' Blood Orange's "Sandra’s Smile' to Macklemore's "White Privilege," Beyonce's Lemonade to J. Cole's "Be Free," we will explore how these songs, among others, have addressed our contemporary social and political moment, provoking discussions not only through the songs themselves but also through their live performances and music videos.

We will also look at these contemporary examples alongside classics of the genre by iconic musicians such as Bob Dylan, the Staples Singers, Pete Seeger, and Sam Cooke among others, to determine how the protest song has evolved over the course of American history. The course will include a visit to Library Special Collections to examine foundational documents of political protest, a Music library audio archives trip to engage with protest songs that motivated earlier generations, and a potential end of semester trip to the Digital Media Lab to create a group song that forges future forms of social awareness and political engagement. Since this is an advising group as well as a course, we will spend time on issues related to starting college and in particularly to starting here in the College. We will talk about the college’s curriculum and explore university resources like the University Library and the International Studies Office.

 Watching the Election (Paul Freedman)
Section 049 | 13946 | Tuesday | 11:00AM - 12:15PM
 In this seminar we will watch as the 2016 election unfolds, paying particular attention to Virginia and other battleground states. We will track public opinion data, campaign advertising, and media coverage, with an eye toward understanding how political scientists make sense of campaigns and elections. After the election we will analyze the results, asking what they mean for politics in 2016 and beyond.

The Contemporary Short Story (Carol Guarnieri)
Section 050 | 13969 | Wednesday | 11:00AM - 12:15PM (Also offered as Section 041)
In this seminar we will read a selection of short fiction from the last 20 years. For most people in the class, this will mean that the stories we read will have been published within your lifetimes. We will ask what characterizes our present literary moment: what issues do authors take up, and how do they use the structure of the short story to explore these issues? How does contemporary fiction deal with the dynamics of race, sexuality, and gender, for example, or the intersections of technology and culture? As part of this class’s mission to be an introduction to the life and resources of the university, we will have the opportunity to learn from prominent creative writers here on grounds. We will read short fiction by acclaimed authors Lydia Davis and Junot Díaz, who will visit UVA this year as the 2016-17 Kapnick Foundation Distinguished Writers-in-Residence in the English Department’s Creative Writing Program. Students will leave the class with new tools for analyzing our contemporary moment as we use fiction to make us better readers of the world around us.

Rigorous Forgiving: David Brooks, the New York Times, and the Call for a New "Moral Ecology" (Bo Odom)
Section 051 | 13988 | Monday | 04:00PM - 05:15PM
In an age where our civic fabric is knit with an insatiable appetite for scandal, and at a time when society is held captive by competition, success, and self-indulgence, the vast majority of “mainstream media” seemingly provides nothing more than continual affirmation of these base narcissistic tendencies. Yet paradoxically, the New York Times has for nearly a decade featured a particular set of countercultural commentary from one of the nation’s leading op-ed columnists David Brooks. In his weekly commentary (and bestselling books), Brooks regularly implies that our culture is in need of transformative reconciliation and restoration. Brooks’s titles such as “The Act of Rigorous Forgiving, “The Structure of Gratitude,” and “When Beauty Strikes” regularly grace the op-ed page of one of the nation’s leading newsprints and suggest that today’s journalism must consider a broader ethical and moral imperative. But is there an appetite for this type of journalism in modern society? To what end does Brooks hope for his audience, and for what purpose might the New York Times employ such a divergent voice in contemporary media today? In this course we will consider some of Brooks’s more countercultural opinions and discuss not only form but content. We will also take time to consider particular influences in Brooks’ life, including the writings of Hannah Arendt, Martin Luther King, Jr., and L. Gregory Jones."

Whiteness: A Racial Category (Jalane Schmidt)
Section 052 | 13989 | Tuesday | 06:00PM - 07:15PM
Race, it is often said, is a "biological fiction, but a social fact." This class examines the formation of an important, but "unmarked category" of peoples: those designated as white. Whiteness has often served as an unstable marker of racial and ethnic identity formation, and has been alternately reinforced or blurred over time and space to exclude or include different groups. We will examine the history of this racial category by studying how various European immigrant groups to the U.S. navigated the status initially assigned to them, until they came to be classified as "white".

Thirteen Ways of Looking at an Ancient Text (Ashleigh Elser)
Section 053 | 14200 | Monday | 11:00AM - 12:15PM (Also offered as Section 008)
In the book of Genesis, God promises Abraham a son, then commands that this child be killed. This near miss filicide has captivated the imaginations of artists, philosophers and theologians for centuries. This is due in part to its dramatic content, but also to what this haunting narrative leaves unsaid and unexplained. How much does Abraham's son Isaac understand about his fate as he ascends with his father up Mount Moriah? Does Abraham anticipate the plot twist, and know that he won't have to kill Isaac in the end? Or does his wordless assent suggest something more unsettling about Abraham's understanding of God, that faithfulness could require such horrific violence? Reading this story alongside ethicists, filmmakers, painters, novelists and historians, we will explore thirteen different approaches to close and careful reading, and the merits of sustained attention to a short and powerful story.

Dilemmas of Conscience and Politics (Michael Smith)
Section 054 | 14201 | Wednesday | 12:30PM - 01:45PM
Through the reading of works of literature, this seminar examines difficult issues of moral choice faced by young people. Throughout history, from the ancient Thebes of Antigone to modern South Africa, people coming of age confront ethical and political dilemmas that raise the most basic questions of what it means to be a moral human being. Authors will include selections from Sophocles, Albert Camus (The Plague), Nadine Gordimer (Burger’s Daughter), Heinrich Böll (The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum), David Leavitt (While England Sleeps).

Water: How We Use and Abuse It (Janet Herman)
Section 055 | 14209 | Thursday | 12:30PM - 01:45PM
We will explore a broad understanding of water resources within a societal context. The availability and the quality of drinking water will be examined, and the consequences for water of various human activities will be recognized. The intersection of modern lifestyles with the biological and chemical safety of this essential natural resource will be discussed. Perspectives will be developed from the natural and social sciences, and the scientific literacy of the water-consuming population will be questioned. Reflections upon our quality of life and its sustainability will rest upon an understanding of human impact on our environment.

Awakening Creative Potential (Gweneth West)
Section 056 | 14479 | Tuesday | 03:30PM - 04:45PM
This class explores the power of creative expression to open the mind, uncover new possibilities, and develop innovative solutions to the challenges of the future. Learn to step "outside the box' to create opportunities for growth and fulfillment!

Food Talk (Ashley Williams)
Section 057 | 14531 | Tuesday | 12:30PM - 01:45PM
You are what you eat. Honey, eat your vegetables. Fusion. Paleo. Locavore. How we talk about food has a surprising influence on how we eat, and reveals much about what we think. In this seminar, we adopt an interdisciplinary approach (including, but not limited to, linguistics, anthropology, history, sociology, and cognitive science) to examine this relationship between food and language. From celebrity chefs to food trucks, from potato chips to freedom fries, we turn our critical and analytic gaze to a cross-linguistic and cross-cultural sampling of menus, recipes, and cuisines. Questions we will consider include: How has the writing of recipes changed through history? What can so-called "ethnic" restaurants and menus tell us about how we view ethnicity in America? Does language influence the perception of taste? Why do we talk about 'healthy' foods and 'sinful" foods in such different ways? And why do we call our loved ones "honey" and "sugar"?

The Words We Eat (Ashley Williams)
Section 058 | 14532 | Thursday | 12:30PM - 01:45PM
You are what you eat. Honey, eat your vegetables. Fusion. Paleo. Locavore. How we talk about food has a surprising influence on how we eat, and reveals much about what we think. In this seminar, we adopt an interdisciplinary approach (including, but not limited to, linguistics, anthropology, history, sociology, and cognitive science) to examine this relationship between food and language. From celebrity chefs to food trucks, from potato chips to freedom fries, we turn our critical and analytic gaze to a cross-linguistic and cross-cultural sampling of menus, recipes, and cuisines. Questions we will consider include: How has the writing of recipes changed through history? What can so-called "ethnic" restaurants and menus tell us about how we view ethnicity in America? Does language influence the perception of taste? Why do we talk about "healthy" foods and "sinful" foods in such different ways? And why do we call our loved ones "honey" and "sugar"?

Finding Your Inner Compass (Anda Webb)
Section 060 | 14587 | 09:30AM - 10:45AM
College is a transitional period, one of learning and discovery. Incoming College students face overwhelming questions: Who do I want to be, and how am I motivated and inspired in life? What do I want to study and what should be my major? What do I want to do with the rest of my life (a question you shouldn’t feel the need to answer now!)? This course is one of self-exploration. We will examine the power of habits and how they drive our decision- making. We also will spend some time identifying our personal values and how those values factor into our decision-making. Through readings, journaling and writing exercises, classroom discussion, meditation practices, and other tools of discovery, students will examine the following questions: How can I make the most of my college experience? Who am I, what are my values, and how do they impact me? How do I want to live my life, and what is my own definition of success? What are my habits, and how are those habits driving (and sometimes, limiting) my decisions? Rather than “discovering my passion,” which is a limiting question, how do I craft a fulfilling life that I know will change over time?

Food and Culture (Lisa Shutt)
Section 061 | 14622 | Friday | 11:00AM - 12:15PM
Food is much more than a biological need for human beings. People are meaning-makers, inseparable from the cultural frameworks in which they find themselves enmeshed. What we eat, the way we eat, and whether or not we prepare or provide food for others is every bit as much symbolic as it is rooted in biological survival. We create self identity, claim ethnic and national affiliation and affirm our maleness and femaleness with the foods we purchase, prepare, select or order from a menu. This course will help students to investigate the way the foods people eat—or don’t eat—hold meaning for people within multiple cultural contexts. We will explore perspectives on food from a selection of disciplines represented in the College of Arts and Sciences, touching on the differences between the methodologies, research topics and histories of different disciplines. Finally, this course will also enter the practical arena, focusing on a number of topics related to advising and opportunities available to students in the College. These topics include advice on selecting and declaring a major, exploring the library system, critical thinking and writing, understanding undergraduate research opportunities, seeking out scholarships and grants, understanding the range of study abroad opportunities, and more.

 Nature and Nurture of the Senses (Greg Goering)
Section 062 | 14651 | Monday | 05:00PM - 06:15PM
We use our senses every second of our lives—to navigate our world, experience pleasure, avoid danger, and relate to others—in short, to be human. Yet much of our sensory experience happens without our conscious awareness. In this seminar, we will draw on disciplinary approaches from history, anthropology, psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy to reflect consciously and critically on sensation and its companion process perception. Considering the senses as cultural as well as physiological capacities, we will discuss questions such as: How many senses are there? What are they? Which senses are most important or most highly valued? Can we trust our senses? Do the senses have a history? How do new technologies and media shape our sensory experiences? Do differing conceptions of the senses result in varied understandings of the self? Material for our reflection will include not only a variety of readings about sensation and perception but also our own sensory experiences.

Prosecuting Genocide (Jeff Rossman)
Section 063 | 15158 | Tuesday | 02:00PM - 03:15PM
During the past two decades, the international community has made remarkable progress in bringing perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity to justice. In this seminar, we will examine important cases brought before three of the major ad hoc international tribunals – namely, the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court for Rwanda, and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. What bodies of international law have these courts relied upon to prosecute perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity? How have the decisions of the tribunals contributed to the law of genocide and international humanitarian law? How successful have the tribunals been in prosecuting gender-based crimes, such as the mass rape of civilian women? We will explore these questions, among others, with reference to primary sources (e.g., treaties, statutes, and judgments) and secondary sources (e.g., concise scholarly analyses). Each class meeting will also include discussion of topics of particular concern to first-year students, such as how to select courses and a major, sources of support for undergraduate research, and strategies for a successful college career.

Bible Conspiracy Theories (Janet Spittler)
Section 064 | 15159 | Tuesday | 09:30AM - 10:45AM
In this course, we’ll take a close look at a range of "bible conspiracy theories," ranging from “mythicism” (that is, the theory that Jesus never existed) to Da Vinci Code-style theories of plots and cover-ups. Our source material will include printed books (both scholarly and otherwise), websites and films. As we will see, the authors of these theories range from well-respected scholars to utter crack-pots—and it might be difficult for the non-specialist to tell the difference. We will attempt to identify and evaluate the evidence put forward by these theorists; but perhaps more importantly, we will attempt to discover their underlying assumptions about the nature of religion and the value of categories like "new" and "unique".

America Through Russian Eyes (Yuri Urbanovich)
Section 065 | 15160 | Tuesday | 02:00PM - 03:15PM
As someone who lived in several republics of the Former Soviet Union and who could literally feel the mood of the people in regard to America and Americans, I will offer in this seminar a list of discussion topics that reflect the evolution of Russian representations of the United States and American visions of Russia. We will employ the tools of the historian, political scientist, geographer, psychologist, and student of literature and culture to analyze factors that shaped perceptions and misperceptions between the two countries. At the same time, we will address advising-related concerns.

How to Read a Play (Marianne Kubik)
Section 066 | 15161 | Thursday | 09:30AM - 10:45AM
If a play is an artistic work performed for a live audience, how do we read a playscript for the source material it is? Like an orchestral score, a script is only the recipe, waiting for a creative team to combine its ingredients into a living, sensory experience. While traditional scripts clearly outline guides for production, guides by innovative storytellers might be buried, even elusive, on the page. We’ll compare some of these recent award-winning scripts to identify the textural complexities in language, action, rhythm and musicality for clues to understanding the playwright’s intentions, and we’ll set up our own creative teams to bring parts of these scripts to life. This course isn’t just for theatre geeks; it's for anyone interested in discovering how a play can be appreciated as literature but is more deeply experienced collectively in performance.

The Home and the City (Katya Makarova)
Section 067 | 15162 | Wednesday | 05:00PM - 06:15PM
The course explores the relations between urban culture and private life. Among the topics to be considered are: the evolution of the modern city and the place of the home within it; the changing boundaries of public and private life in the city; and recent developments in the nature of suburbia. The course lends itself to broad interdisciplinary approaches, and introduces students to a variety of perspectives from such disciplines as sociology, anthropology, history and politics.

Learning from Athletics (James Earl Seitz)
Section 068 | 15163 | Wednesday | 02:00PM - 03:15PM
This seminar will explore what we learn from participating in, observing, and reading about athletics. While athletics are commonly depicted as "extra-curricular," they often provide a curriculum of their own, one that many students take equally seriously. Unfortunately, much of the talk about athletics in the media tends to repeat clichés about trying one’s hardest and never giving up when in fact athletics provide an occasion for serious reflection on a range of complex experiences and social problems. In what ways do athletics positively or negatively contribute to identity, community, and culture? While athletics often get positioned in opposition to intellect, this seminar will explore the ways in which athletics can develop our understanding of ourselves and our relationship to the world around us.

The Culture of College and the Structure of UVA (Richard Handler)
Section 069 | 15164 | Monday | 11:00AM - 12:15PM
The College of Arts and Sciences is one school among 12 at the University of Virginia.  This seminar examines the structure of a large research university and then focuses on the culture of undergraduate student life, with attention to today’s students' curricular choices and career goals in relation to their changing understanding of the "American dream."  We will survey the options that interdisciplinary study, across College programs and departments and across the University’s schools, makes possible for students, and some of the possibilities and perils these options present.  We will also examine extra-curricular student life and its relationship to academic work and career goals.

The Resilient Leader (Timothy Davis)
Section 070 | 15165 | Monday | 03:30PM - 04:45PM
This class will examine leadership from a relational, psychological, and personal perspective. While we will review some of the scholarly literature on leadership styles and frameworks, this course will primarily be a personal-growth experience for emerging student leaders. The hoped-for outcomes for each student will be: (1) greater self-understanding of one's approach to personal influence and leadership, and (2) greater understanding of how to develop resilience in subsequent years as one develops into a student leader at U.Va. (and beyond). Self-reflection is central to the class experience. Active participation and sharing out of one’s reactions to class assignments/experiences is expected.

Inside the Middle East (Nathalie Nahas)
Section 071 | 15166 | Friday | 11:00AM - 12:15PM (Also offered as Section 022)
War, conflict, terrorism, falafel, and hummus. Popular representations of the Middle East tend to oversimplify this rich and complex region of the world. But scholars have long researched, theorized, and written about the Middle East. Through a fine-grained observational lens, anthropologists, among other scholars, have tried to describe and make sense of the communities who inhabit the region. How they do that is the focus of this course. We will focus on representations of these peoples and places through the lens of anthropologists and those who use anthropological methods, critically examining the ways they frame their research, writing, and own position in the communities and texts. Through investigating how scholars have captured life in these communities, we ask two larger questions; how does one research "another culture"? How can representations of "the other" teach us something about ourselves? In addition to the class material, we will also discuss various aspects of UVA culture to help you make the most of your time at UVA.

The World of Images: Visual Culture and the Everyday (Anastasia Dakouri-Hild)
Section 072 | 15167 | Friday | 03:00PM - 04:15PM
The course explores a variety of visual forms in their different historical, social and cultural contexts (ancient artifacts, art, crafted objects, everyday things/commodities, photography, architecture, media, advertising, film, the body, dress). It illuminates how the visual interacts with and is shaped by human cognition, considers the creation, reception and evaluation of the visual as socially and historically embedded processes, and demonstrates the complex and diverse ways in which visual culture has been/is utilized diachronically and cross-culturally to construct, propagate and contest meaning, from antiquity to today’s information societies.

You Are What You Buy? Consumer Responsibility in a Throw-Away Culture (Kendall Cox)
Section 073 | 15168 | Tuesday | 12:30PM - 1:45PM
We all consume. But how much thought do we give to our daily patterns of consumption? As Americans, it seems our primary identity as individuals can be reduced to that of consumers. We are bombarded with bids for our attention and money everywhere we go. In this course, we will consider the ethics of consumption, analyzing various dynamics of consumerism in America today as well as the dark underside of our own shopping habits. Drawing broadly from the tradition of Western moral philosophy and theology, we will explore a range of questions related to currency, wealth, labor, land, exchange, need, and desire. Then we will apply the resources of ethical theory to certain problems in our consumer culture today.

The Good Friend (Cliff Maxwell)
Section 074 | 15323 | Tuesday | 09:30AM - 10:45AM
In the context of college life and beyond, what does it mean to have and be a good friend? What is the nature of friendship, and how can it be integral to a successful and happy college experience? We will explore the qualities needed to be a good friend in Eastern and Western philosophical contexts, and how developing those qualities can lead to wisdom and compassion—skills that can assist us in our interactions with others, to all become “better” human beings.

Jewish Lives (Gabriel Finder)
Section 075 | 15324 | Thursday | 02:00PM - 03:15PM
Unlike any other genre biography offers readers a sense of intimacy with the past, a sense akin to a personal relationship with a human being who lived before us (and who might still live among us). The objective of this course is to examine Jewish lives, that is, the lives of Jews who have grappled with their Jewish identity while establishing their place in the world. Why study Jewish lives? Because Jews are a template for the modern outsider, with one foot in one world, the other foot in another, who has navigated the shoals of history often, but not always, with success. Many, if not most, contemporary readers, regardless of their origins or faith, should be able to draw larger lessons from Jewish experiences for the their own lives. In this course we shall first discuss the genre of biography and what makes a specific person – in this case a Jewish person – a worthy subject of biography. We shall then read and discuss the biographies of two prominent modern Jews – Albert Einstein and Barbara Streisand, asking how their Jewishness figured in their personal lives, careers, and outlooks and what we can learn from their experiences. We shall also critique their respective biographers’ approaches and methods. Finally, each student will select an additional biography of a Jewish person to read and examine. Written requirements for this course will include a short response paper after the completion of each assigned biography and a final book review of the biography selected by the student. This course is intended, moreover, to ease students’ adjustment to university life and acquaint them with some of the university’s services for students. We will visit Alderman Library for a tutorial on the library’s electronic resources and hear guest speakers from various student referral services.

Reading and Solitude (John D. Lyons)
Section 076 | 15325 | Thursday | 09:30AM - 10:45AM
Throughout history and in many cultures people have observed moments of quietness during which they have directed their thoughts away from the urgency of everyday life. Some writers and artists have given us a glimpse of this practice in poems, essays, paintings, photography, films, and music. This course, while considering many representations of quiet thinking or meditation, will concentrate on the relations among meditation, reading, and writing. We will discuss the relationship of reading and writing to time, place, and the development of independence and interiority. As students in the College, you have four years of unusual freedom to read, think, observe, and write. The texts we read in this course will give you examples of how others have used moments for thoughtful contemplation. The course will culminate with an essay on one of the representations of meditation that we encounter during the semester.

Ars Eligendi: The Art of Choosing (Sherif Abdelkarim)
Section 077 | 15326 | Tuesday | 05:00PM - 06:15PM (Also offered as Section 083)
An exploration into the art and science of choosing, this course unpacks the mechanics that make up our decisions, from the trivial ("What's for dinner?") to the less so ("Will *you* marry me?"). In concert with our in-class discussions and exercises intended for real-world choices, such as picking your major or the world's next president, our readings will tackle the matter of selection from scientific, philosophical, literary-poetic, and cultural lenses, among others. By the end of this course, we will have sharpened our critical thinking, reading, and short paper-writing skills, learned a thing or two about choice, and had fun in the process.

The American Dream, Higher Education and the University Experience (Pati Wattenmaker)
Section 078 | 15401 | Monday | 05:00PM - 06:15PM
This course explores key issues and controversies in higher education through the lens of American culture, ideals and realities. Some of the topics focused on include admissions and diversity issues, financial aid, the Greek system, College athletic programs, Title IX reforms and gender dynamics in the university setting. Looking at these topics through the lens of diversity and class, we will examine the ways that universities have wrestled with issues concerning difference. We will consider the ways that universities have served elite groups and reinforced social inequalities, as well as the ways that universities and their students have advanced social and political change.

Why College? (Guy Aiken)
Section 079 | 15409 | Tuesday | 11:00AM - 12:15PM (Also offered as Section 032)
Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia on "the illimitable freedom of the human mind." Is that why you're here, to explore the illimitable freedom of your mind? Or are you here to develop the skills and amass the credentials you need to land a good job after graduation? Are the two mutually exclusive? In this course you'll get to hone your critical thinking and writing skills by reflecting on just what it is you hope to get out of your education here at UVa. And you'll do this in the context of learning what some of America's greatest minds, including Jefferson's, have considered the substance and purpose of a liberal education. This course's historical approach to higher education in America, from the Puritans to the present, will also give you the chance to "try on" a history course at the university level, to discover whether history or a related discipline--religious studies, English, philosophy, political science, or even education itself — might be the right major for you. You'll have ample opportunity to talk about these and other possible majors with your classmates and with the instructor, your first-year advisor. You'll also be treated to special guest appearances from the Writing Center, the library, and the Center for Undergraduate Excellence.

Ordinary to Extraordinary: How the Arts Transform Life (Ari Blatt)
Section 080 | 15750 | Tuesday | 02:00PM - 03:15PM
Students in this comparative, interdisciplinary advising seminar will explore the myriad ways in which artists manage to find, and represent, beauty in the banal. While critical readings on the aesthetics of the everyday will inform our discussions of work from the modern and contemporary periods that testifies to the transformative power of art, a series of short assignments will encourage students to become more sensitive observers - and practitioners - of the quotidien. Topics may include, but are not limited to: urban poetics (Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Whitman, Beastie Boys); extraordinary edibles (Manet, Proust, asparagus); shocking Surrealist objects; how to make a good metaphor; photographers of everyday life (from Atget to Gursky); making something from "nothing" (Flaubert, Toussaint, Seinfeld).

What are you?: Philosophical Issues of Identity (Elizabeth Barnes and Ross Cameron)
Section 081 | 15751 | Tuesday | 3:00PM - 4:15PM
From Black Lives Matter to Artificial Lives Matter, from Trans bathroom rights to Transhumanism: this course will introduce you to philosophical questions concerning the ways in which we choose to identify ourselves and the kinds to which we belong. You are many things: an animal, a person, a human being, a thinker. You might be black or white, a woman or a man, disabled or non-disabled, gay or straight, etc. But what is it to have such an identity? And how ought our society accommodate such identities? Drawing from both contemporary philosophy and its history, we will explore both metaphysical questions concerning the nature of the self and what it is to be human, and social and ethical questions concerning how to create a society that justly accommodates people of various races, genders, sexuality and body-types.

Why Do I Hate This Song? (Victor Szabo)
Section 082 | 15752 | Tuesday | 03:30PM - 04:45PM
Music, it is often said, works directly on our feelings. Without much conscious thought, music moves us, lifts our spirits, and gives us chills—but it can also annoy us, make us cringe, and send us running for the hills (or our headphones). Music listeners often dislike songs, pieces, artists, or entire genres without really understanding why. So what is happening when we find certain kinds of music thrilling, pleasant, or simply bad? This course will investigate what is behind our instinctive musical responses and preferences. We will review key insights from sociology, music cognition, psychology, philosophy, and music criticism that shed light upon the subconscious processes that govern musical listening and appraisal. Students will explore their own preferences and backgrounds through short writing assignments, and share these writings with one another in class. We will also share music with one another, finding ways to articulate our reactions, tastes, and identities when listening together.

Ars Eligendi: The Art of Choosing (Sherif Abdelkarim)
Section 083 | 15723 | Tuesday | 03:30PM - 04:45PM (Also offered as Section 077)
An exploration into the art and science of choosing, this course unpacks the mechanics that make up our decisions, from the trivial ("What's for dinner?") to the less so ("Will *you* marry me?"). In concert with our in-class discussions and exercises intended for real-world choices, such as picking your major or the world's next president, our readings will tackle the matter of selection from scientific, philosophical, literary-poetic, and cultural lenses, among others. By the end of this course, we will have sharpened our critical thinking, reading, and short paper-writing skills, learned a thing or two about choice, and had fun in the process.

Reading Shonda Rhimes's Scandal: American Politics, Race, and Gender
Section 084 | 15803 | Tuesday | 11:00AM - 12:15PM
Although often dismissed as a 'guilty pleasure," in the hit political thriller Scandal, television producer and writer Shonda Rhimes has helmed a searching consideration of race, power, gender, and the social stigma meted out to figures in public life for "scandalous" behavior. The melodrama which defined her debut, Grey’s Anatomy, motivates in Scandal an account of life-inside-the Beltway politics and White House power dynamics that is rife with intrigue, sex, betrayal, and murder, has inspired legions of fans—self-identified “Gladiators”—to live-tweet the show from week to week, and alongside Rhimes’s other projects, has helped transform television into a more diverse space for people of color with its multiracial cast and Black female lead.

By watching several key episodes of its five season run, the course will examine how the show depicts intersections of identity (e.g. sexual orientation, gender, race, and class) in order to reflect the dynamics of coalition politics in a United States where Barack Obama was never elected president; reveals the unique pressures women and Black women, in particular, face in professional and public life; redefines standards of masculinity and femininity; openly engages with key aspects of feminism and the #BlackLivesMatter movement; and refashions the traditions, values, and images of African-American culture. We will seek, in short, to contemplate how the show uses the idea scandal to rethink what it means to be a citizen and wield political power in the United States today. In furtherance of these aim, the show will be considered alongside seminal political documents such as the Declaration of Independence and Jefferson’s stirring comments on citizens needing to read, think, and debate; Frederic Douglass' speech prior to the Civil War on the nature of a desired citizenship; Martin Luther King’s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" along with Thoreau's similar letter "On Disobedience," and a selection from Claudia Rankine's "Citizen," among other key literary and social texts. Since this is an advising group as well as a course, we will spend time on issues related to starting college and in particularly to starting here in the College. We will talk about the college’s curriculum and explore university resources like the University Library and the International Studies Office.

Intelligence Failures and Analytical Bias (Jeb Livingood)
Section 085 | 15804 | Wednesday | 12:00PM - 01:15PM
This course briefly examines some of the U.S. intelligence community's greatest failures—such as failing to adequately warn of the attacks on 9/11 and incorrectly assessing Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction program—as well as some of its successes, like locating Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011. Students will examine some of the common analytical biases and blind spots that have led to national intelligence failures, as well as learn some of the structured analytical techniques that help reduce bias. While this course cannot promise to train its students for the next “Mission Impossible,” it might help them understand how their thinking can become impaired—and be improved upon—no matter what major they eventually choose.

The Meaning of Life: Views from the World Religions (Shankar Nair)
Section 086 | 15805 | Monday | 12:30PM - 01:45PM
Why are we here? What is the purpose of existence? What constitutes the "good life"? This course explores some of the various answers to these fundamental questions offered by seminal texts and figures from across the world religions. We will explore a variety of both ancient and modern voices hailing from the Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Greek, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and Native American traditions.

Versions of the Good Life (Stephanie Bernhard)
Section 087 | 20838 | Tuesday | 9:30AM - 10:45AM (Also offered as Section 088)
What does it mean to live “the good life?” Does it take place in the city, the countryside, a suburb? How do you spend your time? Who produces your food, and what do you eat? Who produces your clothing, and how much of it do you own? Do you live alone, with immediate family, in a multigenerational household, in a commune? Do you have money, need money? In this course, we will consider historical and contemporary visions of “the good life,” focusing particularly on Thomas Jefferson’s fantasy of American agrarianism and the thought that has emerged from it. We will read short texts by American nature writers, poets, urban planners, environmental scientists, homesteaders, and others to consider various ways in which people have envisioned societies that ensure wellbeing for its inhabitants, especially in relation to their reliance on the land. We will develop illustrations of our own “good lives” and consider whether what works for us as individuals might also work for our society.

Versions of the Good Life (Stephanie Bernhard)
Section 088 | 20839 | Tuesday | 3:30PM - 4:45PM (Also offered as Section 087)
What does it mean to live "the good life?" Does it take place in the city, the countryside, a suburb? How do you spend your time? Who produces your food, and what do you eat? Who produces your clothing, and how much of it do you own? Do you live alone, with immediate family, in a multigenerational household, in a commune? Do you have money, need money? In this course, we will consider historical and contemporary visions of "the good life," focusing particularly on Thomas Jefferson’s fantasy of American agrarianism and the thought that has emerged from it. We will read short texts by American nature writers, poets, urban planners, environmental scientists, homesteaders, and others to consider various ways in which people have envisioned societies that ensure wellbeing for its inhabitants, especially in relation to their reliance on the land. We will develop illustrations of our own “good lives” and consider whether what works for us as individuals might also work for our society.

The Civil War in American Memory (Frank Cirillo)
Section 089 | 20840 | Thursday | 03:00PM - 04:15PM (Also offered as Section 011)
In the century and a half since it ended in 1865, the Civil War has cast a long shadow over American society. Battles over the meaning and legacies of the war rage still in 2016, as witnessed by debates over the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville and the Confederate battle flag throughout the American South. Why has Civil War memory persisted so long? How have Americans' varying interpretations of the war changed over time since 1865, and in the process impacted such developments as Jim Crow segregation and the Civil Rights movement? How as Civil War memory also shaped American culture, whether in the form of literature, films, or our monumental landscape? This course will answer such questions as it examines the evolution of Civil War memory in the 150-odd years since the end of the war. It may include optional film screenings and visits to Civil War memory sites around Charlottesville. Over the course of the semester, as students develop their critical reading skills, we will also discuss advising topics, including teaching and career resources.

Introduction to the Qurʾān (Samuel Stafford)
Section 090 | 20842 | Monday | 2:00PM - 3:15PM (Also offered as Section 091)
This seminar introduces students to how the Qurʾān serves as scripture in the Islamic tradition. The seminar is intended to acquant students with how Muslims have traditionally interpreted, employed, and revered their sacred scripture. Particular attention will be devoted to how Muslims have traditionally received and experienced the Qurʾān in the form of its melodic oral recitation, as well as how Muslims have understood and negotiated the Qurʾān’s relationship to the Bible. The seminar will provide students with an opportunity to critically reflect on the broader question of how scriptures operate within the communities for whom they serve as the authoritative record of divine revelation. We will also address how the Qurʾān is portrayed in contemporary political discourse in the United States. Readings are taken from Michael Sells, Approaching the Qurʾān: The Early Revelations (Ashland: White Cloud Press, 1999).

Introduction to the Qurʾān (Samuel Stafford)
Section 091 | 20866 | Tuesday | 12:30PM - 1:45PM (Also offered as Section 090)
This seminar introduces students to how the Qurʾān serves as scripture in the Islamic tradition. The seminar is intended to acquaint students with how Muslims have traditionally interpreted, employed, and revered their sacred scripture. Particular attention will be devoted to how Muslims have traditionally received and experienced the Qurʾān in the form of its melodic oral recitation, as well as how Muslims have understood and negotiated the Qurʾān’s relationship to the Bible. The seminar will provide students with an opportunity to critically reflect on the broader question of how scriptures operate within the communities for whom they serve as the authoritative record of divine revelation. We will also address how the Qurʾān is portrayed in contemporary political discourse in the United States. Readings are taken from Michael Sells, Approaching the Qurʾān: The Early Revelations (Ashland: White Cloud Press, 1999).