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.

2018 Hidden Histories of UVA Kirt von Daacke
2018 Early 19th Century & George Washington William Ferraro
2017 Hidden Histories of UVA Kirt von Daacke
2017 Early 19th Century & George Washington
William Ferraro
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 2018 COLA Class Descriptions

Silk Road Travelers: Merchants, Monks and Covert Operatives | Shawn Lyons
Section 001 | 10907 | Monday | 12:30PM-01:45PM
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 and Stephanie Van Hover
Section 002 | 10908 | 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 | 10909 | 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.

Twenty-first Century Women | Francesca Calamita
Section 004 | 10910 | Monday | 02:00PM-03:15PM
What does it mean to be a woman at UVa in the 21st century? How do the current socio-cultural progression and regression shape the female experience locally and globally? Through pop culture, cinematic and fictional examples from a variety of countries on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond, this COLA seminar explores women’s achievements and challenges in current times. Classes will focus on socio-cultural expectations placed on women today, on how such expectations affect their identities and influence them in their private lives and in their careers. Discussions will also be devoted to women’s control over their bodies and on the persistent promotion of unachievable standards of beauty. If cultures around the world have different understandings of womanhood and therefore socio-cultural expectations and women’s rights vary, are there enough similarities that allow us to talk of a global female experience? Over the course of your academic path at UVa, you will meet women from different countries, with diverse abilities, social backgrounds, ethnicities, heritages, races, sexualities, ages and believes, including classmates, professors and staff. Despite these differences, it is possible that you – or someone you know - will experience similar challenges set by expectations on gender roles. What will you do to empower women while studying in Charlottesville?

Are We Alone in the Universe? | Edward Murphy
Section 005 | 10911 | 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).

Your Heritage Language | Lise Dobrin
Section 007 | 10912 | Thursday | 11:00AM-12:15PM
This College advising seminar introduces students to social approaches to the study of language diversity and language attitudes through a focus on the traditional languages or heritage languages spoken more or less actively within students’ own families and home communities, either at present or in recent generations. While heritage languages may continue to be transmitted, they often do so in a partial and socially muted way that leads to their eventual loss: they may be used only privately in the home, or with a reduced expressive range and set of functions, or exclusively in an oral medium. The lack of visibility and public acceptance of the many heritage languages that surround us submerges the full range of linguistic practices beneath a powerful monolingual norm. This course shows how we can draw upon linguistic diversity as a positive resource in developing our own identities and interacting with others in our multicultural society.

The Name of the Rose | Greg (Bradford) Hays
Section 008 | 10913 | Thursday | 05:00PM-06:15PM
"I wanted to murder a monk ..." Since its first publication in 1980, Umberto Eco’s novel of murder and mayhem in a medieval Italian monastery has delighted scholars and ordinary readers alike. Over the semester we will explore this labyrinth of a book and look at some of its inspirations, including medieval manuscripts and art, the Sherlock Holmes stories, the parables of Jorge Luis Borges, and the politics of contemporary Europe.

God and Nature in America | Heather Warren
Section 009 | 10914 | Tuesday | 03:30PM-04:45PM
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 | 10915 | 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.

Ethics and the Environment | Corin Fox
Section 012 | 11667 | Thursday | 03:30PM-04:45PM
Do we have a duty to learn about and protect our natural environment? What is the role of environmental conservation in living a good life? Does protecting our environment require changes in our everyday practices and diets? In this class we will investigate ethical questions about the environment, including questions about the nature and scope of conservation efforts, our duties to other animals, and ethical demands on our lifestyles. Students will engage with philosophical readings on these topics, and create individualized environment narratives to document their reliance on and relationships with their environment.

America Through Russian Eyes | Yuri Urbanovich
Section 013 | 18522 | Tuesday | 12:30PM-01:45PM
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.

Ordinary to Extraordinary: How the Arts Transform Life | Ari Blatt
Section 014 | 18523 | Tuesday | 11:00AM-12:15PM
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).

Photography and Meaning | Keith Driver
Section 015 | 11827 | Monday | 02:00PM-03:15PM
From security cameras to smartphones, from Instagram to IDs, photography and its rhetoric seem impossible to escape. But what and how do photographs mean? How do they differ from other forms of representation? To what extent does the near omnipresence of photography influence how we choose to live? Are we more prone to seek out photogenic experiences? Do we enjoy experiences less if they resist photographic documentation? In this class we’ll wrestle with these questions in a few ways: we will read and discuss some important essays on photography; we’ll try our hand at “reading” some photographs; and, informed by our reading and discussions, we’ll attempt to document our own experiences of UVA and Charlottesville by taking pictures and writing about them.

Why Haven't We Cured Cancer? | David Kittlesen
Section 016 | 11853 | Tuesday | 12:30PM-01:45PM
Nearly half a century ago President Nixon signed the National Cancer Act of 1971 into law, an event generally considered a “declaration of war” on cancer. Yet, as every one of us knows, this 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 decades about the enemy? One objective of this course is for students to acquire a deeper understanding of the characteristics, the biology (cellular/molecular defects), the causes, the treatments, and the prevention of cancer. Crucially related are the human aspects of this disease, including ethical issues associated with clinical trials. Another objective of this course is to promote the development of critical thinking skills. Being a COLA seminar, a significant emphasis will also be placed on advising issues related to all four years of the college experience. Neither an advanced background in biology, nor an intent to major in biology, is required. An interest in the topic and the desire to learn more are the only prerequisites.

The Good Place | Karl Shuve
Section 017 | 11854 | Wednesday | 02:00PM-03:15PM
We will work our way through "The Good Place"—a sitcom about a woman who, having just died, finds herself in "the good place," only to discover that she is there due to a case of mistaken identity and that she really belongs in "the bad place." By watching episodes and reading supplemental texts, we will examine a number of concepts in both Religious Studies and Philosophy, such as the afterlife, moral agency, friendship, love, and justice.

Hidden History of UVA | Kirt von Daacke  
Section 018 | 12374 | Monday | 09:30AM-10:45AM
The University of Virginia has a nearly two hundred year history - today, it is not the same school it was in 1825 when the first students arrived. In this seminar, we will do some historical sleuthing into that past. This course represents an exciting opportunity to uncover fascinating deils about life at the University during its formative years. We will discuss Jefferson’s architectural designs, the role of slavery, and the relationship between faculty, students, and the community. We will make numerous visits to buildings and sites across the University and also delve into the library’s rich archival holdings as we explore the people, personalities, places, and events in and around Grounds before 1870.

Knights and Ladies in Stories of the Middle Ages | William McDonald
Section 019 | 11855 | Thursday | 12:30PM-01:45PM
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.

The Dramatic Monologue | Matt Davis
Section 020 | 12048 | Monday | 11:00AM - 12:15PM
In this COLA course we will read about a dozen and a half dramatic monologues–literary works in which we hear, or overhear, a single speaker speaking aloud to another person. We will ask not only what the speaker is saying, but also what the speaker might be revealing about himself/herself without intending to do so.

Memoirs of Jews from Arab Lands | Jessica Hope Andruss
Section 021 | 18524 | 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.

Water: How We Use and Abuse It | Janet Herman
Section 022 | 18525 | 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.

Not in the Bible | Janet Spittler
Section 023 | 18526 | Monday | 12:30PM-01:45PM
In this course we will read a series of "non-canonical" or "apocryphal" Christian texts—that is, texts that were not included in the canonical New Testament. Ranging from the Gospel of Thomas, the Proto-Gospel of James, and the Gospel of Mary to the Acts of Andrew and Matthias in the City of the Cannibals, these texts frequently include familiar figures—but often in very unfamiliar narrative scenarios. Some of these texts were briefly popular before falling out of favor; others were explicitly banned by church leaders; still others remained popular throughout antiquity and the middle ages, read alongside the canonical texts.
You do not need to know ANYTHING about Christianity or the New Testament to take this course. Whether you’ve never read a single Christian text or you’ve got the New Testament memorized, what you will gain is a much better understanding of the rich diversity of early Christian literature.

Mindfulness: Awareness and Habit | Sandra Seidel
Section 024 | 13168 | 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.

Varieties of Religious Experience | Matthew Hedstrom
Section 026 | 12050 | 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 will 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."

Learning From Data | Jeff Holt
Section 027 | 11900 | Tuesday | 02:00PM-03:15PM
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.

Brooklyn’s In the House – Rhetorical Criticism of Jay-Z and the Notorious B.I.G.
Section 028 | 12100 | Thursday | 11:00AM - 12:15PM
The course provides an examination of the rhetoric of two of the most celebrated Hip Hop artist who just happen to be from Brooklyn, NY. The musical work of Shawn Carter, aka Jay-Z, and the late Christopher Wallace, aka the Notorious B.I.G., will serve as the launching pad to discuss the messages in the music, the common themes in their music, and their perceptions of their beloved Brooklyn. Students participating in this course will learn (1) Hip Hop music's connection to the oral tradition in African American rhetoric and culture, and (2) how to employ various qualitative research methods used in rhetorical criticism to unearth deep-seated and often subconscious meanings.

Asian Religions and Spirituality in America | Erik Braun
Section 029 | 11902 | Tuesday | 02:00PM-03:15PM
This course will explore the varied roles in American culture of Asian religions, particularly forms of Buddhism and Hinduism. One goal will be to learn how these traditions have taken hold in the U.S. (at different times and places and in different ways). We will explore the originary links between Asia and America as Asian traditions arrive, and then explore different case studies (e.g., Japanese interment, yoga, and mindfulness meditation) that enable us to trace different traditions’ fortunes in the American scene. Such explorations will allow us to consider what the relative success of these traditions and movements, as well as the ways they change and evolve in American culture, can tell us about the nature of spirituality and religious change in the U.S. (and even abroad, as the two realms are enmeshed in our globalized world).

The Dramatic Monologue | Matt Davis
Section 031 | 12375 | Monday | 12:30PM - 1:45PM
In this COLA course we will read about a dozen and a half dramatic monologues–literary works in which we hear, or overhear, a single speaker speaking aloud to another person. We will ask not only what the speaker is saying, but also what the speaker might be revealing about himself/herself without intending to do so.

From Digital Typography to Blockchain and Cryptography: Transnational Aspects of Information Technology | Zvi Gilboa
Section 032 | 12060 | Tuesday | 6:30PM - 7:45PM
Since the early days of the web and with the advent of search engines, social media, data mining and deep learning, as well as hardware affordability and increasingly faster network connections, the notion of a "global village" had not only dominated contemporary discourse, but had also been widely considered a done deal and a fact, and thus a reality which should no longer be questioned. To that effect, the idea that "we all live in a global village" had been coupled by a view of the nation-state as an anachronistic entity of the past, and similarly the belief that at its very core and by its very nature, technology is not only culturally blind and culturally neutral, but also possesses egalitarian powers.

In this course, we will be looking at the intersection of technology, digital media, and information flow on the one hand, and nationhood, globalization, and cosmopolitanism on the other. Throughout the semester we will examine, as well as critically engage with the ways in which recent technological revolutions have been able to transform the world and how it is organized, the measures that individual nation-states have taken in order to manifest themselves at both the physical (hardware) and the more abstract (cyber) level, and finally the extent to which the nation-state as a whole had either succeeded, or failed, to remain a core element in people's identities, experiences in and of the world, and perception thereof.

Buried Cities and Lost Towns: Great Sites and the Romantic Element in Archaeology | Phil Trella
Section 034 | 12377 | 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.

Transformative Storytelling: Sharing Stories of Social Justice | Theresa Davis
Section 035 | 20579 | 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

Literature of London | Sarah Cole
Section 036 | 12094 | Monday | 03:30PM-04:45PM
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 multiculturalism after the end of the British Empire.

Global Islam | Ahmed Al-Rahim
Section 037 | 12095 | Wednesday | 07:00PM-08:15PM
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).

Does Education Work? | Chip Tucker
Section 038 | 12096 | Wednesday | 03:30PM-04:45PM
Guided readings from a few classics about education (including one Hard Great Book, The Education of Henry Adams) will furnish perspective on our main issues: How does learning occur? What, if anything, does teaching have to do with it? How do the acquisition of skills (knowing how) and the acquisition of content (knowing that) bear on each other? What are we doing when we study, anyway? What resources exist on and near Grounds—library, auditorium, performance venue—to help 21st-century students help themselves to an education?

Microaggressions: Why Are "They" So Sensitive? | Beverly Adams
Section 039 | 12097 | Wednesday | 12:30PM-01:45PM (also offered as Section 041)
The term, microaggression, refers to verbal or nonverbal language that is seemingly well-meaning but may be perceived as offensive. For example, when some people hear the following they may become upset and feel offended:

  • You are so articulate.
  • Those stripes really make you look thin.
  • You are a very pretty girl, even though you wear that head-wrap.
  • Your hair looks so pretty and straight—not like those other kids who have kinky hair.
  • I am so glad that I have an Asian lab partner for Chemistry—now I know that I’m going to get an A.

The degree to which the recipient may show annoyance or irritation may be very low, and thus the speaker may be unaware that the comments were negatively perceived. By and large, the speaker’s intention is to be complimentary when uttering such remarks. However, unconscious friction between/among individuals or groups may be created, and this tension is seldom addressed. According to Sue (2007, 2010), liberal whites (and sometimes nonwhites) use microaggressions as a way to show their concern and commitment for racial, cultural, and sexual egalitarianism, and are genuinely surprised when told that these kinds of comments may create a wider divide. In the class, we will examine and discuss these kinds of (real world) statements and behaviors with regard to linguistic ambiguity. Goals for this class include (1) a better understanding of cultural, ethnic, and gender sensitivities relative to language products and processing, and (2) a better understanding of the academic advising structure and resource systems, unique to the University of Virginia.

Study Abroad in the 19th Century: The Allure of Paris | Gladys Saunders
Section 040 | 12098 | Tuesday | 05:00PM-06:15PM
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.

Microaggressions: Why Are "They" So Sensitive? | Beverly Adams
Section 041 | 21966 | Wednesday | 5:00PM - 6:15PM (also offered as Section 039)
The term, microaggression, refers to verbal or nonverbal language that is seemingly well-meaning but may be perceived as offensive. For example, when some people hear the following they may become upset and feel offended:

  • You are so articulate.
  • Those stripes really make you look thin.
  • You are a very pretty girl, even though you wear that head-wrap.
  • Your hair looks so pretty and straight—not like those other kids who have kinky hair.
  • I am so glad that I have an Asian lab partner for Chemistry—now I know that I’m going to get an A.

The degree to which the recipient may show annoyance or irritation may be very low, and thus the speaker may be unaware that the comments were negatively perceived. By and large, the speaker’s intention is to be complimentary when uttering such remarks. However, unconscious friction between/among individuals or groups may be created, and this tension is seldom addressed. According to Sue (2007, 2010), liberal whites (and sometimes nonwhites) use microaggressions as a way to show their concern and commitment for racial, cultural, and sexual egalitarianism, and are genuinely surprised when told that these kinds of comments may create a wider divide. In the class, we will examine and discuss these kinds of (real world) statements and behaviors with regard to linguistic ambiguity. Goals for this class include (1) a better understanding of cultural, ethnic, and gender sensitivities relative to language products and processing, and (2) a better understanding of the academic advising structure and resource systems, unique to the University of Virginia.

Presidency at Crossroads: Leadership Lessons | William Antholis
Section 042 | 12099 | Monday | 04:00PM-05:15PM
American presidents all make choices. In navigating the hardest job on the planet, all presidents determine how to use their constitutional prerogatives; how to steer major foreign and domestic policy matters; and how to view and communicate with the American people. This course will review ten presidents in American history, and the choices they’ve made about the constitution, policy, and public affairs. It will have a particular focus on presidential first years, and how they set the tone for a presidency. Presidents have to assemble a team; establish processes; pick priorities; navigate politics; and begin to communicate with the public. Those initial choices are similar to those most people make in the first year of any new venture.

Life's a Stage: Performance Skills for Every Day | David Dalton
Section 043 | 12101 | Monday | 09:30AM-10:45AM
Was Shakespeare right when he wrote, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players?" This class explores the uses of acting skills in real world situations outside the fields of film and theatre. Students will learn performance techniques for collaboration, active listening, self-awareness, building empathy and speaking with confidence. Exploring basic skills in acting and improvisation, as well as meditation both in and out of the classroom, students will learn performance strategies to manage social and professional environments. No prior performance experience is required.

Olympia to Tokyo: The Olympic Games in History | Bonnie Hagerman
Section 047 | 12116 | Monday | 11:00AM-12:15PM
This class will use the Olympic Games to examine issues important not only in the history of American sport but in society as a whole. We will discuss the role of women in the Olympic Games, the Olympics as the site of civil rights activism, and the fight to control performance enhancing drugs. We will also examine how religion, ability, and sexual orientation have figured into the Olympic experience and how the media frames our view of the Olympic experience.

Griots in West African Societies: History, Music, and Orature | Kandioura Drame
Section 050 | 12128 | Wednesday | 11:00AM-12:15PM
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.

The New Sabermetrics: Baseball Analytics and Data Science Repurposed | Bo Odom
Section 051 | 12132 | Monday | 02:00PM-03:15PM
Have data analytics destroyed the Great American Pastime, or is Moneyball the new ethic of baseball today? Should we lament the empty stadiums of Miami, Milwaukee, and South-Side Chicago, or is the rise of the crosstown Cubbies and Boston Red Sox under Theo Epstein, the historic reversal of fortunes between the 2016 and 2017 Houston Astros, and the continued success of mid-market teams evidence that everyone will now have their day in the sun? On January 23, 2018 Scott Boras (look him up) argued the MLB must "get rid of the noncompetitive cancer… sell[ing] the promise of losing to win later." Presently, one could argue no less than seven of the 30 MLB franchises are fighting their way to the bottom in pursuit of the number one draft spot in 2019. Similarly, those teams with the highest payrolls are seeking to reset their "luxury tax" penalties to prepare for the 2019 free-agency market. The result in 2018? The least competitive free-agency market ever and the tightest odds on World Series Champions Vegas have ever offered. This course will introduce you to the emergent theory of sabermetrics as an allegory for data analytics and business intelligence. With an introduction to basic statistics and regression analyses, we will ask how data science can shape varied institutions, utilizing the 2018 MLB season and the 2018 mid-term elections as primary resources for our consideration. We will wonder about the ethics of data driven changes to our institutions as we collaboratively design new metrics for consideration.

Dilemmas of Conscience and Politics | Michael Smith
Section 054 | 12257 | 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).

Race and Identity in the USA and Latin America | Melissa Frost
Section 056 | 12382 | Thursday | 12:30PM-01:45PM
Representations of race within any given culture have the power to shape personal and collective experiences. However, the topic of race does not receive the same treatment across cultures. This course takes a comparative look at how the topic of race is treated in the United States and several countries of Latin America, to see how concepts of race have developed differently throughout history. Students will examine samples of marketing, media, and pop culture that exemplify present-day perceptions of race in the US and Latin America. Weekly discussions and reflections will culminate in a final project that includes a brief comparative analysis essay and a creative component.

Finding Your Inner Compass | Anda Webb
Section 060 | 12450 | Wednesday | 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 craft a fulfilling life that I know will change over time?

Food and Culture | Lisa Shutt
Section 061 | 12469 | 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.

Aztec, Maya, and the Conquistadors: Rethinking the Conquest of the Americas | Abigail Holeman
Section 065 | 12639 | Tuesday | 02:00PM-03:15PM
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.

Heroes Who Let us Down | Sarah Teets
Section 068 | 12640 | Wednesday | 02:00PM-03:15PM
This course explores the idea of heroism and its limits. What does it mean to admire someone as a hero when that person has also said or done things that we find ethically troubling? Is it ethical to admire a problematic person? What does “hero” mean anyway, and does the term imply ethical goodness, or wholesale endorsement of all aspects of a person? If not, what do we do when we find ourselves disturbed in our admiration of our heroes? Is it possible to hold our heroes to account for their errors and wrongs? Is heroism a desirable construct, or does it do more harm than good? Students will explore the tensions such questions raise, beginning with two case studies from ancient Greece: the mythical hero Achilles (widely regarded by ancient and modern readers as problematic), and the philosopher Socrates, admired from antiquity onward for his principled stand for what he believed was right. Next, students will examine the tensions between Thomas Jefferson’s work toward freedom and liberty for some, and his enslavement of fellow human beings. What does it mean to seek a true picture of who Jefferson was, what are the possibilities of pursuing justice for his wrongs, and what are the ethical implications of upholding Jefferson as a foundational figure? Finally, we will turn to contemporary examples of people who compel admiration yet are known to have acted or spoken unethically, particularly in the context of the #metoo movement. Students will consider what they believe public figures owe the public in terms of ethical actions, and also in terms of consequences or reparations for their wrongs. Students will also query their own responsibilities as engaged citizens regarding their contemporary heroes in terms of (but not limited to) social media presence, consumer habits, and political activity. In addition to exploring heroism, students will be introduced to important resources around the university.

The Culture of College and the Structure of UVA | Richard Handler
Section 069 | 12641 | 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 Good Friend | Cliff Maxwell
Section 074 | 12682 | Tuesday | 9:30AM - 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.

How to Read a Play | Marianne Kubik
Section 075 | 12683 | Tuesday | 11:00AM-12:15PM
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 is not just for theatre geeks; it is for anyone interested in discovering how a play can be appreciated as literature but is more deeply experienced collectively in performance.

Globalization of the Holocaust | Gabriel Finder
Section 076 | 12684 | Thursday | 09:30AM-10:45AM
The Holocaust--the persecution and genocide of Jews by Nazi Germany and its allies in 1933-1945—is traditionally regarded as limited to the European continent. This course questions this Eurocentric understanding of the Holocaust by exploring its global dimensions. We will discuss the global ambitions of Nazi antisemitic ideology, the Nazi regime’s efforts to persecute and kill Jews beyond Europe’s borders, and the dispersal of Jews fleeing Nazism to the four corners of the earth, with a focus on the Jewish refugee community in Shanghai. Requirements for this course include robust class participation and a research project. The research requirement may be satisfied in several ways, from the writing of a traditional research paper to, for example, the production of a video. The other goal of this course is to help facilitate incoming students' integration into life at UVa and introduce them to some key university services and programs.

Performing UVA | Elizabeth Ozment
Section 083 | 12814 | Tuesday | 03:30PM-04:45PM
What does it mean "to perform," "to present," "to stage"? This seminar will examine UVa from a performance perspective. When considering a wide range of practices and environments, we will discover that practically anything can be studied as performance.

Intelligence Analysis | Jeb Livingood
Section 085 | 12829 | Wednesday | 11:00AM-12:15PM
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.

Arts and Community | Deborah McGrady
Section 089 | 13169 | Tuesday | 05:00PM-06:15PM
Too often we think of the creative act as a private affair. Yet, artistic creation also has the power to create community. Shared culture and sharing culture have long been foundational to cultivating a sense of belonging, an appreciation for difference, and a means of bridging social divides. This class will explore the role of the Arts in the US from the governmental to local level. We will debate the role of government in the arts as well as the politics of multiculturalism, the purpose of public art, the university's role in promoting cultural activities, and the conceit that art can heal neighborhoods and bridge cultural divides. Our discussions will be informed by exploration of the presence of the Arts at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville. Students will be introduced to the vibrant artistic scene of their new community and will be made aware of the many avenues for supporting the arts in their own backyard.

Stories Beyond the Wall: The Southern Border through Music, Art, and Literature | Melissa Frost
Section 090 | 20355 | Friday | 09:30AM-10:45AM
This course considers the social, political, and cultural space of the southern border based on representations in art (including literature, fine art, performance, and music) and reflects on how media (both traditional and social) shapes our perspective of the border, the topic of immigration, and the many Spanish-speaking communities that live in the United States. Students will develop a more nuanced understanding of the many historical factors that have contributed to the current popular discourse surrounding these topics while they work towards a final project aimed at shedding light on a lesser-known cultural or social aspect of the southern border.

Stories Beyond the Wall: The Southern Border through Music, Art, and Literature | Melissa Frost
Section 091 | 20356 | Friday | 12:30PM-01:45PM
This course considers the social, political, and cultural space of the southern border based on representations in art (including literature, fine art, performance, and music) and reflects on how media (both traditional and social) shapes our perspective of the border, the topic of immigration, and the many Spanish-speaking communities that live in the United States. Students will develop a more nuanced understanding of the many historical factors that have contributed to the current popular discourse surrounding these topics while they work towards a final project aimed at shedding light on a lesser-known cultural or social aspect of the southern border.

A History of "Fake News" | Zachary Hoffman
Section 092 | 20362 | Tuesday | 02:00PM-03:15PM
The term "fake news" has permeated US society since the presidential election of 2016. Both political parties have accused certain news outlets and advertisers of intentionally spreading misleading or false information to the public. We will look at examples from the election of 2016, but also 17th century pamphlets on witchcraft, revolutionary libel against kings and queens, imperialist screeds, yellow press, wartime propaganda, and much more.

A History of "Fake News" | Zachary Hoffman
Section 093 | 20363 | Wednesday | 03:30PM - 04:45PM
The term "fake news" has permeated US society since the presidential election of 2016. Both political parties have accused certain news outlets and advertisers of intentionally spreading misleading or false information to the public. We will look at examples from the election of 2016, but also 17th century pamphlets on witchcraft, revolutionary libel against kings and queens, imperialist screeds, yellow press, wartime propaganda, and much more.

Revolutions: Past, Present, and Future | Zachary Hoffman
Section 094 | 20364 | Thursday | 02:00PM-03:15PM
What are revolutions? Why do they happen? Why do we talk about the American, Russian, and Arab Spring Revolutions, but also industrial, digital, and social media ones as well? What makes someone or something revolutionary? This course helps students begin to answer these questions by exploring the history, literature, artwork, and lived experience of revolutions of all types.

How to Music | David Flood
Section 095 | 20469 | Wednesday | 03:30PM-04:45PM
Music isn't a thing, it’s an activity. We all music in different ways: listening can be a tool to choreograph and enhance our emotions; songs can be a powerful reservoir for our most treasured or painful memories; background sound can be a distraction to get through a boring shift at work. For some, playing music is a guiding artistic passion and for others, it is simply labor. This course (which is open to everyone, and does not require any kind of performance background or musical training) will be a anthropological investigation into the insights we can gain into our own lives by focusing on how we music in everyday life, and what our own musicking practices reveal about life in modern capitalism and the contemporary U.S. We will focus in particular on cultivating an awareness of the many conflicting things we mean when we say the word "music," and on the different ways we could music. Students will learn about, and be encouraged to attend and participate in, jams, dances, performances, and other aspects of Charlottesville’s varied live music ecosystem. We will also devote significant time to familiarizing ourselves with academic life and resources at UVA.

How to Music | David Flood
Section 096 | 20470 | Thursday | 03:30PM-04:45PM
Music isn"t a thing, it’s an activity. We all music in different ways: listening can be a tool to choreograph and enhance our emotions; songs can be a powerful reservoir for our most treasured or painful memories; background sound can be a distraction to get through a boring shift at work. For some, playing music is a guiding artistic passion and for others, it is simply labor. This course (which is open to everyone, and does not require any kind of performance background or musical training) will be a anthropological investigation into the insights we can gain into our own lives by focusing on how we music in everyday life, and what our own musicking practices reveal about life in modern capitalism and the contemporary U.S. We will focus in particular on cultivating an awareness of the many conflicting things we mean when we say the word "music," and on the different ways we could music. Students will learn about, and be encouraged to attend and participate in, jams, dances, performances, and other aspects of Charlottesville’s varied live music ecosystem. We will also devote significant time to familiarizing ourselves with academic life and resources at UVA.

The Rustic Fantasy | Sarah Teets
Section 097 | 20472 | Wednesday | 11:00AM - 12:15PM
In this course, students will explore how city dwellers imagine rural farmers and their lives as a site of morality, simplicity, and escape from the woes and complexities of urban life. Ancient Greek and Roman poets imagined the lives of rural people in the pastoral genre not only as a form of escapism, but as a commentary on the problems they saw in their own societies. The themes explored by ancient poets such as Hesiod, Theocritus, Vergil, and Horace are mirrored in contemporary iterations of the back-to-the-land movement, whether expressed through homesteading, off-grid living, and communes in the rural landscape, and the surge in popularity of farm-to-table restaurants, urban agriculture, and farmers’ markets in cities. We will examine ancient and modern expressions of the rustic fantasy in order to explore questions and themes such as the tensions between the imagined ideal of the idyllic countryside and the realities of agricultural life. Why is urban life not only associated with the loss of connection to nature, but cast as morally tainted? Is there a connection between the environmental sustainability of "simple" farm life the spiritual/emotional sustainability of life on the farm (real or imagined)? What is the "good life," and where can we best live our values? In addition to exploring the rustic fantasy, students will be introduced to important resources around the university.

The Rustic Fantasy | Sarah Teets
Section 098 | 20474 | Thursday | 12:30PM-01:45PM
In this course, students will explore how city dwellers imagine rural farmers and their lives as a site of morality, simplicity, and escape from the woes and complexities of urban life. Ancient Greek and Roman poets imagined the lives of rural people in the pastoral genre not only as a form of escapism, but as a commentary on the problems they saw in their own societies. The themes explored by ancient poets such as Hesiod, Theocritus, Vergil, and Horace are mirrored in contemporary iterations of the back-to-the-land movement, whether expressed through homesteading, off-grid living, and communes in the rural landscape, and the surge in popularity of farm-to-table restaurants, urban agriculture, and farmers’ markets in cities. We will examine ancient and modern expressions of the rustic fantasy in order to explore questions and themes such as the tensions between the imagined ideal of the idyllic countryside and the realities of agricultural life. Why is urban life not only associated with the loss of connection to nature, but cast as morally tainted? Is there a connection between the environmental sustainability of "simple" farm life the spiritual/emotional sustainability of life on the farm (real or imagined)? What is the "good life," and where can we best live our values? In addition to exploring the rustic fantasy, students will be introduced to important resources around the university.

Globalization and Higher Education (Yours) | Dudley Doane
Section 099 | 20628 | 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; we will also meet one-on-one prior to spring semester course registration.