What are COLA Classes?
COLA 1500 courses are one-credit, graded seminars open to all new first-year students in the College of A&S; they are taught in the fall term only. 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.
UVA has been awarded a three-year, $5 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to build equity-minded, anti-racist, place-based educational and post-doctoral programs. One component includes eight COLA classes for incoming undergraduate students. The COLA classes marked as RPE below are part if this initiative and meet the goal of introducing places, their histories, and their legacies that have shaped Charlottesville and central Virginia while also teaching the fundamentals of place-based and community-based learning.
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||
|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 2021 COLA Class Descriptions
[RPE COLA] Supporting Our Community around 10th and Page: Social Equity and Early Childhood Education | Angeline Lillard
Section 001 | 10976 | Monday | 12:30PM-01:45PM
This COLA centers around a partnership between the Psychology Department, the Equity Center, and two community organizations to provide Montessori childcare in an area called 10th and Page. We will explore Charlottesville, the University, how culture shapes us, the processes of Science, and alternatives to our standard Education. The course will journey through Charlottesville places towards a reconceptualization of how we educate children in a way that corresponds to natural human learning. The Black and White experience will be woven throughout, with an eye to how these invented “races” may one day return to the fact that we are really one humanity, temporarily and historically separated by myths and policies made to support them. You will be introduced to basic Child Psychology in the context of place and community-engaged research.
Twenty-first Century Women | Francesca Calamita
Section 003 | 10977 | Monday | 03:30PM-04:45PM
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 | 10979 | 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).
God and Nature in America Heather Warren
Section 009 | 10980 | 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 “"ivine," "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.
[RPE COLA] Walking Charlottesville: Exploring Race and Place through Writing | Kate Stephenson
Section 010 | 10981 | Tuesday | 02:00PM-03:15PM
This seminar will explore the connections between walking, writing, social justice, and activism. By walking together, we will learn about the places and histories around us. The course will be structured around biweekly walks themed around race and social justice. Walks will include a tour of Vinegar Hill (arranged with The Jefferson School), a housing walk (in partnership with Map Cville and The Haven), an African-American history tour of Grounds, as well as walks to particular places on Grounds, including The Memorial to Enslaved Laborers, the Kitty Foster Memorial, and The University Cemetery. A trip to the Monacan Indian Nation Ancestral Museum is also possible. All walks and place-based visits will include time for reflective writing. Readings will include, but are not limited to, selections from The Color of Law (Richard Rothstein), The New Jim Crow (Michelle Alexander), Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria (Beverley Tatum), Eloquent Rage (Brittney Cooper), Between the World and Me (Ta-Nehisi Coates), Charlottesville 2017 (Louis Nelson and Claudrena Harold, eds.), and The Monacan Indian Nation of Virginia: The Drums of Life (Rosemary Whitlock). Literary texts will include selected poems and short stories by local authors.
[RPE COLA] Feeling Race in Space | Rose Buckelew
Section 011 | 12790 | Tuesday | 11:00AM-12:15PM
How do we “feel” race? How are "feelings" of race shared collectively and shaped by our social settings and physical environments? Through a sociological perspective, this course will explore collective feelings of race within and beyond the space of UVA. We will spend time learning the histories of our physical environment, paying special attention to how the environment shapes differentiated racialized emotions. We will learn how students make space on Grounds to foster racialized emotions of attachment, affiliation, and community. This course will offer you an opportunity to practice self-reflective writing and explore our shared environment.
[RPE COLA] Religion, Tradition, and Social Justice in Charlottesville | Nichole Flores
Section 013 | 12791 | Tuesday | 09:30AM-10:45AM
In August 2017, religious leaders were on the frontlines of the counterprotest against the white supremacist violence of the Unite the Right rally that rocked the very stability of democracy in the US. Long before those hot summer days, however, religious institutions had figured prominently in shaping Charlottesville's politics, culture, and even cityscape. Religious communities—theologically progressive, centrist, and conservative alike—have often been a force for social justice—including racial justice, immigration justice, and most recently public health justice—in Charlottesville. Even so, religious institutions have also been integral in advancing themes of tradition, heritage, and respectability that shape the city’s culture. While these themes have often been invoked in support of social justice advocacy, they have also been leveraged at times as a force in support of segregation, white supremacy, and acquiescence to pervasive systems of social injustice such as gentrification, violence, and poverty. A comprehensive view of Charlottesville’s past, present, and future requires attention to the role of religious communities—their beliefs, practices, communities, advocacy, and sacred spaces—in shaping democratic practices, culture, and even the cityscape in Charlottesville. Anchored by readings on religious and democracy and the history of religion in Charlottesville and at UVA, this seminar will curate conversations between students and various clergy, religious activists, and institutions in Charlottesville about their work for justice in the city with a particular eye toward racial justice and equity before, during, and after the events of August 11 & 12. From religious leaders who were on the frontlines of non-violent counterprotest to pastors who organized prayer services but discouraged their members from directly protesting the white supremacist rioters to Jewish leaders who had to revise their understanding of religious freedom and physical safety after their synagogue became a target of violence, these conversations will allow students to probe enduring questions about the role of race, place, and equity in a pluralistic democracy by examining them in the particular religious history and context of Charlottesville. The seminar will also allow students to develop a more nuanced accounts of religion, justice, and tradition and how these concepts operate in our local, national, and global common life.
Why Haven’t We Cured Cancer? | David Kittlesen
Section 016 | 11634 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.
From Reaction to Action: A Mindful Introduction to Antiracism | Jennifer LaFleur
Section 019 | 11635 | Thursday | 12:30PM-01:45PM
If you sympathize with calls for racial justice but aren’t sure where to start or what to say or whether you can make a difference, this class is for you. Through readings, resources, and visits from members of marginalized communities, and supported by the simple yet powerful contemplative practices offered by Rhonda Magee in The Inner Work of Racial Justice, we will increase our capacity to see, name, talk about, and act to dismantle racism and other forms of identity-based oppression.
How to Read a Play | Marianne Kubik
Section 020| 11760 | Monday | 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 isn’t just for theatre geeks; it's for anyone interested in discovering how a play can be appreciated as literature but is more deeply experienced collectively in performance.
Stories Beyond the Wall: The Southern Border through Music, Art, and Literature | Melissa Frost
Section 021 | 12793 | 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.
The Good Friend | Cliff Maxwell
Section 022 | 12794 | Thursday |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.
Mindfulness: Awareness and Habit | Sandra Seidel
Section 023 | 12795 | 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 US as a Peace Project | Armin Mattes
Section 024 | 12350 | 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.
Globalization, Diaspora, and the Politics of History | Daniel Lefkowitz
Section 026 | 11761 | 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.
Brooklyn’s In the House—Rhetorical Criticism of Jay-Z and the Notorious B.I.G. | Connie Chic Smith
Section 028 | 11791 | Thursday | 11:00AM-12:15PM
This 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.
Ordinary to Extraordinary: How the Arts Transform Life | Ari Blatt
Section 029 | 11676 | Tuesday | 02:00PM-03:15PM
Students in this comparative, interdisciplinary advising seminar will explore the myriad ways in which artists manage to find, and represent, beauty in the banal. While critical readings on the aesthetics of the everyday will inform our discussions of work from the modern and contemporary periods that testifies to the transformative power of art, a series of short assignments will encourage students to become more sensitive observers - and practitioners - of the quotidien. Topics may include, but are not limited to: urban poetics (Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Whitman, Beastie Boys); extraordinary edibles (Manet, Proust, asparagus); shocking Surrealist objects; how to make a good metaphor; photographers of everyday life (from Atget to Gursky); making something from “nothing” (Flaubert, Toussaint, Seinfeld).
[RPE COLA] All the President’s Children: Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings’s Enslaved Offspring | Lilian Feitosa
Section 031 | 11958 | Monday | 03:30PM-04:45PM
How could the man who wrote “all men are created equal” own enslaved persons? How were some of his own enslaved children later able to pass as white? What can we know today about Sally Hemings and her children? How is their story told in Monticello? Why do such issues about this university’s founder matter in 2021? In this course, we will collaborate with the Monticello Getting Word Project to learn about Thomas Jefferson’s enslaved children with Sally Hemings through readings, guest speakers, and a visit to Monticello. We will start with books that introduce this subject to younger readers, such as the picture book My Name Is James Madison Hemings (Jonah Winter and Terry Widener), and sections of several other books about Jefferson’s children. We will use Monticello’s Jefferson-Hemings plentiful Digital Humanities resources and read academic articles. In addition to the field trip to Monticello, we will also have a guided visit to UVA’s Memorial to Enslaved Laborers.
[RPE COLA] Home Away from Home: The narratives of African Refugees | Anne Rotich
Section 035 | 12930 | Wednesday | 03:30PM-04:45PM
This course examines the experiences of African refugees through the lens of race, ethnicity, and migration. We discuss notions of displacement, genocide, ethnic and racial formation among other factors. Through an engagement with the International Rescue Committee in Charlottesville students will engage African refugees and immigrants in area as we address some key issues they face as they create new homes such as, cultural barriers, language barriers, racism, and other societal issues. Utilizing literary texts, we will examine the historical roots of ethnic and racial conflicts, causes of displacement, and what it means to be a ‘refugee’. It is expected that this experiential learning will help students understand notions of being an immigrant and a refugee away from home and develop mutually beneficial ways of engaging refugees. 3.Criteria: This course is intended to engage the African refugees in Charlottesville area. Because of my previous experience with the teaching a Community Engagement Course(CCE), I plan to introduce a similar experience to COLA students. I will bring in speakers from the community to the classroom in case of virtual learning and I will work with International Rescue Committee in Charlottesville to discuss opportunities that can be available for the COLA students to interact and engage our African community members. Some opportunities that am thinking of can be; students meeting the community members in the community gardens or local markets around Charlottesville organized by IRC; or spending a day volunteering at the IRC. Such meetings are intended to be interactive for the students while supporting local activities.
Literature of London | Sarah Cole
Section 036 | 11788 | 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 Hays
Section 038 | 11789 | Wednesday | 03:30PM-04:45PM
This course will focus on Poe’s major tales, with additional readings from his poetry and journalism. We’ll consider his role as the inventor of the detective story and as a pioneer of horror and science fiction, as well as his relationship to larger cultural issues (e.g., race in America; the Enlightenment and its dark side). We’ll also look at problems in Poe’s biography (centering on his brief career at UVA), and at Poe in film.
Camera Culture | Keith Driver
Section 042 | 11790 | Friday | 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’ll 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.
Olympia to Tokyo: The Olympic Games in History | Bonnie Hagerman
Section 047 | 11804 | 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.
Asian Religions and Spirituality in America | Erik Braun
Section 050 | 11813 | Tuesday | 09:30AM-10:45AM
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).
Life’s a Stage: Performance Skills for Every Day | David Dalton
Section 054 | 11893 | 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 | 12014 | 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.
Embracing Your Liberal Arts Experience | Karlin Luedtke
Section 065 | 12108 | Tuesday | 02:00PM-03:15PM
This class will expose students to the value and opportunities of a liberal arts education in the College. We will learn about the historical relevance of the liberal arts in the U.S. and how and why it is critical in today’s society. We will engage in self-reflective activities that will prepare you for the myriad choices and decisions that you will make as an undergraduate student. Through readings and a series of activities centered around journaling and image-based exercises, you will have the tools you need for a strong and meaningful start at UVA.
[RPE COLA] Charlottesville and UVA in Black and White | John Mason
Section 068 | 12109 | Wednesday | 02:00PM-03:15PM
Charlottesville and UVA in Black and White blends local history with the history of photography. Through the study of century-old photographs, students will develop an understanding of the intersecting histories of the city's Black and White communities and of the relationship between the university and the city. They will come to see how the past lives on in the present and shapes their experiences as college students and citizens. They will also gain experience working with primary sources, the raw material of history. The course revolves around the Holsinger Collection, an online archive of 10,000 photographs that were made by Charlottesville photographer R.W. Holsinger at the height of the Jim Crow era. These images depict a great array of subjects, shedding light on how the racial hierarchy was constructed and contested, in the city and at the university. Like all COLA classes, Charlottesville and UVA in Black and White will devote a significant amount of time to academic and advising issues.
Global Islam | Ahmed Al-Rahim
Section 069 | 12110 | 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 | 12111 | Monday | 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.
The Good Friend | Cliff Maxwell
Section 074 | 12134 | 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 | 12135 | 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.
Aztec, Maya, and the Conquistadors: Rethinking the Conquest of the Americas | Abigail Holeman
Section 083 | 12217 | Thursday | 03:30PM-04:45PM
COLA classes provide an opportunity to bring together academic content and academic advising. In this class we will assess and reevaluate common myths about the conquest of the Americas. Using examples from central and South America, we will look at evidence from different fields of study (archaeology, history, ethnohistory) that paint a different picture than what is commonly told about one of the most fundamental moments in human history. We will discuss the implications of these commonly held narratives for the lives and perceptions of Native American communities today. While students work on critical thinking skills, we will also discuss advising topics such as advising, research, and career resources available to you. We will reflect on the college experience, both the perceptions and the realities.
Intelligence Analysis | Jeb Livingood
Section 085 | 12225 | 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 | 12351 | 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.
Ethics and the Environment Corin Fox
Section 094 | 12907 | Thursday | 02:00PM-03:15PM
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.
[RPE COLA] Marked & Unmarked: Remembering the Dead in Charlottesville | Natasha Heller
Section 095 | 12909 | Wednesday | 03:30PM-04:45PM
Thomas Jefferson stood on the banks of the Rivanna River and decided to excavate Monacan burial mounds, wishing to understand their burial customs. His home at Monticello is the site of his own obelisk and the graves of his family; the people he enslaved received no such commemoration when they passed away. How the dead were treated was a matter of concern for the University of Virginia’s founder, and is equally important today. This COLA will consider how individuals are commemorated after their death, and how these acts of remembrance—or their impossibility—shape communities. We will consider cemeteries and burial sites in Charlottesville and Albermarle county (including the Daughters of Zion Cemetery and the University Cemetery), looking both at how individuals are memorialized and how cemeteries are maintained as sites for community history. We will contextualize these sites within the movement to recover and preserve African American cemeteries in the South.
COLLEGE! | Bo Odom
Section 096 | 12910 | Thursday | 03:30PM-04:45PM
What is College? Is it a system? A people? A network? A tribe? It’s certainly an institution, but is it an effective one? An efficient one? What happens in College? What is it supposed to do? What are you supposed to do? Will it change you? Will it form you? Will you be different at all after College? How? Why? This class will consider the contemporary university through a number of lenses based primarily in the social sciences. We will study various “student impact models” to gauge the influence of an undergraduate degree on economic, psychological, and sociological outcomes ranging from the pecuniary benefits of a degree to the cognitive and non-cognitive benefits of four years at a residential research university like UVA. We will ask if higher education plays a meaningful role in our futures after controlling for sociocultural factors such as gender, race, and class (among others). We’ll learn both through quantitative (statistical) inquiry and qualitative experience. At the heart of our inquiry will lie a seemingly simple yet complex question: will your next four years be consequential?
30-Second Democracy | Paul Freedman
Section 099 | 14495 | Monday | 02:00PM-03:15PM
This course will explore the role of political advertising in American democracy. We will look at ad messages as strategic political communications, analyzing both classic and contemporary ads as we investigate ad content and the strategic decisions behind ad creation and dissemination. We will explore the effects (if any) of political advertising on citizens' attitudes and behavior. We will pay careful attention to different approaches to studying political ads, and consider the implications of alternative research methods.