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.

2019 Hidden Histories of UVA Kirt von Daacke
2019 Early 19th Century & George Washington William Ferraro
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 2020 COLA Class Descriptions

Silk Road Travelers: Merchants, Monks and Covert Operatives | Shawn Lyons
Section 001 | 13790 | 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 footsteps 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.

Twenty-first Century Women | Francesca Calamita
Section 004 | 13793 | Monday | 05:00PM-06:15PM

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 | 13794 | 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 multi-disciplinary 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).

God and Nature in America | Heather Warren
Section 009 | 13795 | 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 Research.

What Makes Us Tick? | Sandra Seidel
Section 010 | 13796 | Tuesday | 02:00PM-03:15PM

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 Good Place | Karl Shuve
Section 011 | 15890 | Tuesday | 11:00AM-12:15PM

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.

U.S. Politics and Religion in 2020 | Nichole Flores
Section 013 | 15891 | Tuesday | 09:30AM-10:45AM

What role does religion play in US political life in 2020? Framing our conversations with commentary and teachings from diverse religious traditions, seminar participants will discuss rhetoric, teaching, and practice as they relate to the United States political context. In addition to a retrospective on the 2016 elections, seminar conversations will respond directly to issues and debates emerging from that event. Class activities include discussion, exchanging articles on religion and politics via social media, and developing rhetorical skills through preparation and delivery of speeches. Beyond the immediate concerns of contemporary political discourse, seminar participants will address the enduring intellectual and political difficulties of engaging diverse religious beliefs and practices in a pluralistic democratic context.

Ordinary to Extraordinary: How the Arts Transform Life | Ari Blatt
Section 014 | 15892 | Wednesday | 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).

Why Haven't We Cured Cancer? | David Kittlesen
Section 016 | 14494 | Thursday | 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.

Hidden History of UVA | Kirt von Daacke
Section 018 | 14853 | 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 details 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.

How to Music | David Flood
Section 019 | 14495 | Thursday | 12:30PM-01:45PM

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 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 Dramatic Monologue | Matt Davis (also offered as Section 31)
Section 020 | 14634 | 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.

Stories Beyond the Wall: The Southern Border through Music, Art, and Literature | Melissa Frost
Section 021 | 15893 | Wednesday | 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.

Mindfulness: Awareness and Habit | Sandra Seidel
Section 023 | 15895 | Wednesday | 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.

The Founding of the U.S. as a Peace Project | Armin Mattes
Section 024 | 15307 | Thursday | 03:30PM-04:45PM

This course offers an unusual view on the founding of the United States by looking at the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of 1787/88 as experiments in international cooperation.  The creation of the United States will thus be examined as both a theoretical contribution to the long tradition of European peace projects from Dante to Kant and an attempt to put such a plan into practice.  The class will approach the issue from two sides.  The first is textual.  We will look at earlier examples of European peace projects to explore in what ways the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution fit into the discourse of "peace projects."  Were the American founders concerned with the same problems as the authors of the earlier plans?  What are the similarities and differences between the plans?  The second approach is contextual.  Questions in this regard will be: how did Americans perceive their situation in the larger world?  How did this affect their view on the creation of the union?

Politics of Jewish Histories | Daniel Lefkowitz
Section 026 | 14635 | Tuesday | 12:30PM-01:45PM

This course provides an understanding of our contemporary world through a comparative and historical look at an earlier, and less well-known, global society – the Jewish Diaspora. The centerpiece of the course will be a reading of Israeli author A.B. Yehoshua’s novel, Mr. Mani, which takes the reader on a fascinating reverse-historical tour of the Jewish Diaspora in many of its important locations – Israel, Greece, Palestine, Turkey, etc. – and raises very general questions about the nature of identity, community, history, and nation. Additional readings on the history of Jews, Europeans, and Middle Easterners will be assigned to enrich our reading of Yehoshua’s novel.

Learning From Data | Jeff Holt
Section 027 | 14537 | 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 | Connie Smith
Section 028 | 14669 | 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: 
•     Hip Hop music's connection to the oral tradition in African American rhetoric and culture
•     How to employ various qualitative research methods used in rhetorical criticism to unearth deep-seated and often subconscious meanings

The Dramatic Monologue | Matt Davis (also offered as Section 20)
Section 031 | 14854 | Monday | 09:30AM-10:45AM

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.

Literature of London | Sarah Cole
Section 036 | 14666 | Wednesday | 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.

Edgar Allan Poe | Greg (Bradford) Hays
Section 038 | 14667 | Wednesday | 03:30PM-04:45PM

"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'll 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.

Camera Culture | Keith Driver
Section 042 | 14668 | Monday | 02:00PM-03:15PM

Whether it’s an instrument of surveillance or an extension of social media, the camera’s eye is nearly impossible to avoid. But how do cameras see? Why do we grant their representations of experience such authority? Does the near omnipresence of cameras 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’ll read and discuss some important essays on cameras and 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 through writing and photography.

Olympia to Tokyo: The Olympic Games in History | Bonnie Hagerman
Section 047 | 14682 | 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.

Be Here Now: New Age Spirituality in America | Erik Braun
Section 050 | 14691 | Monday | 09:30AM-10:45AM

This class explores spiritual innovations and movements in the post-WWII period, beginning with the Beats in the 1950s, moving on the “long decade” of the 1960s that stretched into the 70s, and then considering later developments in recent decades.  The goal is to understand important changes that took place in religious attitudes and practices among Americans that would shape religious sensibilities in the United States up to the present day.  The goal, as well, is to understand the exploratory spirit of the college experience in light of a period when youth culture was formed in the broad parameters that still apply today.

Life's a Stage: Performance Skills for Every Day | David Dalton
Section 054 | 14777 | Wednesday | 12:30PM-01:45PM

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.

Food and Culture | Lisa Shutt
Section 061 | 14913 | 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.

You Got This! Life and Study Skills for College | Karlin Luedtke
Section 065 | 15030 | Tuesday | 02:00PM-03:15PM

The transition from high school to college is exhilarating—you will encounter new experiences, expectations, and challenges.  This course outlines how college differs from high school and offers you tools for approaching your new context with a growth mindset and effective metacognitive learning strategies.  While your experience of being a first year student may at times feel overwhelming, this seminar offers a supportive environment in which to discuss these challenges as well as life and study skills that provide a strong foundation for your academic success.

Photography in the Age of Instagram | John Mason
Section 068 | 15031 | Wednesday | 02:00PM-03:15PM

Photographs are everywhere. Each of us sees thousands of them every day -- in books, newspapers, and magazines, in stores and on the street, and, especially, on our phones and computer screens. Yet we rarely think much about them: Who made the photos and why? How do they shape our understanding of the world? How have the kinds of photographs that are made changed time?
Photography in the Age of Instagram examines questions like these in important contexts: first, the revolutionary changes in image-making brought on by smart phones, the web, and social media, and, second, the surprisingly complex history of documentary photography. (Many types of photography fall within the broad category of "documentary" -- photojournalism, reportage, even portraits and travel photography. We'll look at all of these.)
Like every COLA course, this class blends advising with academic work. We'll spend part of almost every class discussing advising and academic issues, as well as photography. You'll discover that the things you learn in this course will prepare you for the challenges you'll encounter in the classroom throughout your time at UVA.

Global Islam | Ahmed Al-Rahim
Section 069 | 15032 | Monday | 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).

Performing UVA | Elizabeth Ozment
Section 070 | 15033 | Monday | 03:30PM-04:45PM

What do music videos teach us about American culture? This course will challenge you to critically engage with the history of popular music videos and their role in American culture. We will explore the creation and disruption of cultural narratives through the interplay of sight and sound and discuss how music videos shape our perception of musicians, our own identities, and the world around us. Our study of music videos will intersect with broader discussions about the value of a liberal arts education and being an undergraduate student at this cultural moment.

The Good Friend | Cliff Maxwell
Section 074 | 15057 | 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.

Not in the Bible  | Janet Spittler
Section 076 | 15058 | Thursday | 09:30AM-10:45AM

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’ll gain is a much better understanding of the rich diversity of early Christian literature.

Ethics and the Environment | Corin Fox
Section 083 | 15145 | 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.

Intelligence Analysis | Jeb Livingood
Section 085 | 15155
| 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.

From Digital Typography to Blockchain and Cryptography: Transnational Aspects of Information Technology | Zvi Gilboa
Section 089 | 15308 | Tuesday | 05:00PM-06:15PM

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.

Let’s Commence | Bo Odom
Section 096 | 16043 | Thursday | 03:30PM-04:45PM

“We might have the right intentions, but instead of acting, we decide to wait.. We keep waiting until we run out of ‘untils.’ Then it is too late.” Given at Wellesley College, Madeline Albright’s graduation speech of 2007 underscores the purpose of this course – why wait? Why should we wait until your final exercises four years from now to hear words of wisdom from a laudatory (yet still undecided) commencement speaker? Rather than wait, we will consider a number of the greatest commencement and graduation speeches of all time, and we will begin to ask how we might prepare during our four years at UVA to heed the challenge of our future commencement – one that will undoubtedly ask us to challenge the status quo, seek good over evil, or right the wrongs we see around us. We will consider commencement messages from the likes of Barak Obama, C.S. Lewis, Conan O’Brien, Hillary Rodham (Clinton), Salman Rushdie, and many others. What we may find, should we have ears to hear, are threads of wisdom that may help us better understand how we might milk every last moment out of our time at UVA, and in the process discover who we are, both as individuals and a commonwealth.

Watching the Election | Paul Freedman
Section 099 | 20381 | Monday | 03:30PM-04:45PM

In this seminar we will watch as the 2020 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 2020 and beyond.