All first-year students take an Ithaca Seminar (ICSM) in their first semester, a course specifically designed to welcome you to the world of ideas and opportunities that is life at Ithaca College. Each seminar is taught by a dedicated IC faculty member and focuses on a unique, interdisciplinary topic. Please check out our wide range of offerings below.

American Controversies
(Short Title: American Controversies)

Nick Kowalczyk

This ICSM allows students to research, discuss, and write about several of the controversies currently embroiling and dividing the United States of America. Examples include: 21st Century White Supremacy, Policing in America, Mass Incarceration and the U.S. Prison Industry, Heteronormativity and LGBTQ+ Rights, Intersectionality & Gender Equality, Guns in America, The Future of the Economy, Conspiracy Theories & Far-Right Extremism, and Income Inequality, among other topics. Students will complete individual and group assignments, including an annotated bibliography, a group presentation about a current controversy, and an academic paper, among other tasks. In addition, students will demonstrate the skills of college-level research, reading comprehension, source analysis, and clear writing. This course fulfills the ICC Academic Writing competency requirement.

Art and Activism
(Short Title: Art and Activism)

Jennifer Jolly

Artists have experimented with a range of strategies for transforming society, challenging the status quo, and promoting social justice. This course examines these traditions of activism in order to evaluate artistic projects for their effectiveness in challenging power and making change a reality. Thematic units will focus on art and war, gender and sexuality, and racial justice.

Benjamin Franklin and the American Dream: An Inquiry into Our Founding Values
(Short Title: American Dream)

Antonio DiRenzo

This course will explore the life, career, and legacy of Benjamin Franklin, the most popular of America’s founders and the original American success story. The youngest son of a poor candle maker, Franklin began his career as a printer and bookseller. By improvising a broad education and capitalizing on a gift for words, he became a successful editor, publisher, entrepreneur, inventor, scientist, legislator, and ambassador. His strategies for communicating intelligently and effectively in the academy, the marketplace, and the assembly remain fresh and instructive, and the problems and paradoxes of the intellectual, commercial, and political worlds that formed him still shape our capitalist democracy. But although his face is printed on the $100 bill, is his vision of the America Dream now bankrupt? Through reading, writing, and discussion, we will consider different answers. This course fulfills the ICC Academic Writing competency requirement.

Climates Changing: Confronting the Challenges of the 21st Century 
(Short Title: Climates Changing)

Michael Smith

Climates are changing. We all know that the earth's climate is changing faster than the science can keep track of. The political, social, and economic upheavals in both the United States and elsewhere have produced other kinds of change that are defining what it means to come of age at this moment in history. Through a mix of disciplinary perspectives (science, social science, literature) using a variety of sources (film, articles, a graphic novel, a book, a memoir), this seminar will explore the changing social and geophysical climates. We will also examine the ways an individual's standing in society has shaped and will continue to shape the possibilities for adapting to these changes.

Crime and Punishment in Europe, 1300–Present 
(Short Title: Crime and Punishment)

Karin Breuer

This is a class about criminal justice, trials, and punishment in Europe from the late Middle Ages to the twentieth century. Topics covered include trial by combat, the use of torture in witch hunts and inquisition trials, capital punishment of humans and animals, the growth of prisons, racialized depictions of criminals, and the rise of “true crime” in the media.

Democracy and Fairness in US Government: A Mathematical Perspective 
(Short Title: Democracy and Fairness)

Emilie Wiesner

What makes a democracy fair? Our first thoughts might be about how people--both regular citizens as well as our representatives--participate in the democratic system. But the structure of the system also plays an important, but more hidden role. In this class, we will use mathematics to study some of that structure, including election procedures, apportionment of seats, and districting. Along the way, we will have a chance to explore a variety of current events, ranging from NYC’s switch to a ranked choice voting system, to the US Census and the recent reapportionment of US congressional seats, to ongoing court cases on gerrymandering.

Exploring the Internet of Things 
(Short Title: Internet of Things)

Ari Kissiloff

In the past few years, automation systems have revolutionized the way devices can interact with the world around them. Everything is “smart” now: phones, homes, thermostats, cars, bikes, watches. While initially being targeted to personal use, much of this technology is now being leveraged by organizations to manage internal and external communications processes through infrastructure, repurposed smart home devices, and business specific IoT devices. This course will examine and reflect on the past, present, and future of the Internet of Things using a variety of scientific, social, cultural, and other perspectives as we locate these technological shifts in the wider world.

Exploring the World of Conspiracy Theories
(Short Title: Conspiracy Theories)

Joan Marcus

Conspiracy theories abound in our time as they have throughout history, from the claim among ancient Romans that the emperor Nero faked his own death, to the “birthers” who believe President Obama was born abroad, from Pizzagate and chemtrails to vaccine tracking chips. In this class, we will take a deep dive into some of the most provocative conspiracy theories to learn where they came from, why people believe them, and whether there is any truth to them. By examining phenomena such as the 9/11 controlled demolition theory, the flat Earth theory, and many others, and by exploring the psychological states that lead to logical gaps and faulty conclusions, you will hone your critical thinking skills and become a more informed citizen. This course fulfills the ICC Academic Writing competency requirement.

Fairy Tales: The Hero's Journey
(Short Title: Fairy Tales)

Katharyn Machan

Fairy tales are the maps of our psyches, the mirrors of our longings and fears. In them we find the questions and answers we need to continue the shaping of our own lives, through darkness and light, shadow and brilliant image. Our oldest fairy tales, from the oral culture, have been polished to the bone; they gleam with an intensity of truth free of specific history. Newer tales, too, their authors known and celebrated, reach to the place of magic and dream, and give us guides in delight and knowledge. This course will focus on the study of classic and contemporary fairy tales, with an emphasis on themes of self-discovery and transition/transformation. Readings will be drawn from the tales themselves, essays about them, and contemporary re-workings of them in fiction and poetry. NOTE: Writing assignments will be for new fiction and poetry inspired by the tales.

Fantasy, Fandom, and Fans
(Short Title: Fantasy, Fandom, Fans)

J. Warburton

In this class, we’ll explore and blog the texts that surround us, inspire us, and invite us to imagine our world more fully, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Star Trek; cultural markers that develop around love of sports and music; the cultural hierarchy of fandom based on religion, sports, and sci-fi/fantasy; technological, fiscal, and legal concerns; elements of participatory culture, specifically fan fiction; and the impact of fan-based communities, both online and IRL (in real life). Students will be expected to engage in analysis of such texts in a scholarly fashion led by Henry Jenkins’ definition of the “aca/fan,” a “hybrid creature which is part fan and part academic.” We’ll emphasize written forays into fandom along with writing in response to “original” texts as we explore what drives us to imagine ourselves in universes/lives other than our own, and define the ways fandom binds together disparate parts of our lives. Research projects can also include created fan film/art/writing. This course fulfills the ICC Academic Writing competency requirement.

Food, Identity, Culture 
(Short Title: Food, Identity, Culture)

Cory Young

What does it mean to be a “foodie”? Where does your food come from? What is the connection between food, identity and culture and how do we communicate this? These and other questions about the role of food in our lives will be explored in this course, including: How do communities and individuals form identities around food? How are these  identities expressed through food? How are people and groups with particular food related viewed and treated by others? What does it mean to live, eat, and produce food sustainably? How have different systems of philosophical, literary, religious, and historical thought shaped the values concerning food we live by? We will seek answers to these questions of food, culture and identity, and more, as we engage intellectually through foundational readings from food studies, participate in individual, team and group exercises, and reflect on our food choices and behaviors.

Future is Today: Embracing Sustainability 
(Short Title: Embracing Sustainability)

Alka Bramhandkar

This course examines what individuals, government agencies, and businesses can change to accelerate current progress towards a sustainable society. Issues such as the history of the movement towards recognizing climate change and how sustainability can be incorporated in development and growth, considering multiple stakeholder lenses will be discussed.

(Short Title: Girlstories)

Katharine Kittredge

This class looks at the way that young women’s identities emerge in response to varying social, economic, racial or cultural pressures. We will be analyzing works of fiction, autobiography, drama, and poetry, and we will also analyze visual images presented in film, television, and advertising. As students consider these stories of self-creation, they will also reflect on the ways in which they are growing and changing as a result of the opportunities and challenges of their first semester. The need to balance one's mental, physical, and spiritual needs will be an on-going theme of the course.

Gothic: The Hidden and the Grotesque in Music, Writing, and Media 
(Short Title: Gothic)

Alex Reed

This interdisciplinary course concerns the aesthetic of the gothic across media and throughout history, blending elements of media studies, philosophy, creative artistry, and sociology. From the Romantic symphony to Lana Del Rey, from Oscar Wilde to horror film, why do visual, literary, and musical media so return to the ideas of the hidden and the grotesque with such fascination and consistency? Students in this class will create works and engage with a wide range of both famous and lesser-known texts in pursuit of a variety of questions: How do music, art, and words create mood? Why do we like to be scared? Why do we sometimes conflate “dark” with “deep”? What do vampires have to do with our modern day-to-day lives, values, and politics? And what is behind that door?

Handbells: Performing in Community 
(Short Title: Handbells)

Crystal Peebles

What does it mean to be a musician? Is “professional” music-making somehow more valuable than “amateur” music-making? In this course we will explore what it means to create music in community by playing together in a handbell choir—an ensemble tradition that has traveled from the United Kingdom to Barnum and vaudeville to Christian religious services. We will explore Ithaca’s unique music festival Porchfest, interview musicians, and attend a performance by IC’s own percussion ensemble. No prior music experience required!

Hello China: Preparing for the Future 
(Short Title: Hello China)

Hongwei Guan

The primary goal of this seminar will be to develop student awareness and knowledge of the Chinese culture and people. This course will examine and discuss a variety of Chinese topics, such as China history, culture, health and medicine, sports, industrialization, US business relations, language, food, education and the literature and arts. Some guest speakers, group and individual student presenters and group discussions will present these topics as well as group excursions to various Chinese venues in the City of Ithaca. The goal of the seminar is also to help the student adjust to college life by developing interpersonal communication and writing skills, and gaining an understanding of various aspects of and interests in the campus community and surrounding community of Ithaca.

History and Philosophy of Science
(Short Title: History of Science)

Rebecca Brady

Science is much more than the slow accumulation of data or the clever conclusions of brilliant scientists. The data for our conclusions requires interpretation, and our current scientific worldview profoundly influences the way we interpret that evidence. In this course, we will take an interdisciplinary look at how scientific thought is benchmarked by philosophical notions of truth, facts, and evidence when new discoveries prompt a paradigm shift. Come and explore the surprising nature of scientific revolutions. This course welcomes science and non-science majors.

In the Heights 
(Short Title: In the Heights)

Radio Cremata

The course seeks to explore the musical In the Heights and its connections to cultural diversity in a pluralistic American contemporary society. The course will balance listening, analyzing, discussing and music making: both creation and recreation of samples within the musical. In the course, students will: (1) explore, listen, and analyze the lyrics, melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic structures of all of the songs within In The Heights, (2) explore, discuss, and reflect upon the similarities and differences across a diversity of musical genres, (3) create, collaborate, and share recreations and original works of music related to the musical. With a focus on listening, analyzing and making music, this course is designed to help students better understand cultural diversity and further develop students’ musicianships, creativities, and identities.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know 
(Short Title: Inquiring Minds)

Nandadevi Cortes Rodriguez

They started as questions, formed into hypotheses, molded into theories, and established as dogma. This course will examine how we know what we know. Scientific knowledge and discovery has transformed today’s society, changing how humans interact with their natural world and the people around them. Selected current topics in the natural sciences will be explored through the process of scientific discovery. We will also focus on certain events in scientific discoveries that deal with ethics and human rights. We will read cases about Nazi experiments, Tuskegee syphilis studies, AIDS trials outside the USA and more recently, designer babies. Students will develop their ability to think critically about the world around them by learning how to design, execute, and analyze scientific experiments. This course will help students make the transition to college-level science thinking and learning through “hands-on” activities, readings, class discussion and writing.

“It was all my design…”: The Business behind Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour
(Short Title: The Eras Tour)

Ryan Dickson

Rolling Stone heralded Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour as “a 3-Hour Career-Spanning Victory Lap.” This once-in-a-lifetime tour became a cultural phenomenon and cemented Swift as a force in the music industry. Through a mix of interdisciplinary perspectives, ranging from producing a live event to understanding Swift’s cultural impact as a singer/songwriter, this course will hypothesize and articulate how Swift’s tour captured the attention of millions of people and grossed $780 million in U.S. ticket sales alone. As she says on her record Midnights, “it was all my design ‘cause I’m a mastermind.”

Language in Cultural Context
(Short Title: Language in Context)

Megan Graham

This seminar will bring together disciplines like linguistics, literature, sociology, computer sciences, and writing to discuss how language operates in our lives. We'll look at language use in terms of political, social, economic, and cultural factors, from the large scale (how do people use language in this country, geographic region, or ethnic group?) to the small scale (how do we use language in our families, among our friends, on social media, or at Ithaca College?). We will put our new knowledge to work as we practice multiple modes of academic writing to prepare for success in the US college system. Designed primarily for international students who will be encouraged to bring their own cultural, linguistic, and writing knowledge to class to create a truly collaborative experience. For students enrolled in ICSM 10800, this course also fulfills the ICC Academic Writing competency requirement.

Life and Technology in the Year 2050
(Short Title: Technology in 2050)

Jim Stafford

The class will study cutting-edge technology in order to predict future advances and applications of that technology. Students will question the effects of emerging technology on medicine, ethics, space exploration, communication and communities. Topics also include Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Transhumanism, Social Media Advances, and Afrofuturism. This course fulfills the ICC Academic Writing competency requirement.

The Mathematics of Perspective
(Short Title: Art and Perspective)

Megan Martinez

Imbuing works of art with perspective is a practice that is inherently mathematical. In this course, we will discuss the systems that allow us to create drawings in perspective and analyze the different kinds of perspective that appear in art. We will learn to draw in 1- and 2-point perspective and will produce our own works of art. In addition, we will examine perspective as it appears in art around the world, learn to talk and write about art, and draw meaning from all aspects of a work of art.

Miami: The Making of a Global City
(Short Title: Miami)

Raul Palma

The subject of this course is Miami, FL, a rising global city on the edge of environmental crises. With the goal of exploring many disciplines, students will work together to try on different ways of knowing, evaluating, and creating as they explore the forces that shape Miami—the stories we tell or hear about Miami, the structures that make up the city’s material reality, and the people who encounter or move through the city. At times, students will be asked to wear the metaphorical hat of a historian or sociologist or artist or environmental scientist, not tasked with mastering any one discipline but, rather, considering how different disciplines can help us access a wide array of insights that each, uniquely, help us make sense of the places we inhabit. Although the course’s focus is on Miami (and South Florida by extension), students will work toward reflecting, researching, and exploring the places or cities that are important to them, whether their own hometowns or Ithaca, NY, itself, their home for the next four years. Intended for students in the School of Humanities and Sciences Pathways program.

Mindful Learning
(Short Title: Mindful Learning)

Alex Shuhan

Learning is something we all do each day. Whether formally or informally, we are constantly experiencing, reflecting, responding, and adjusting. This course explores learning through a framework of mindfulness, which encourages us to 1) stay in the present moment and 2) have self-compassion. Students will reflect on these concepts and how they might help them as learners. Through study of additional concepts such as learning theories, motivation and flow, and the neuroscientific concepts of brain functioning and neuroplasticity, students will develop a knowledge of themselves as learners and a repertoire of mindful learning strategies for college and beyond.

Mindfulness Across the Lifespan 
(Short Title: Mindfulness)

Mary Ann Erickson

Mindfulness practices seem to be offered everywhere – in schools, at major corporations, in all kinds of religious communities. But what do we mean by “mindfulness”? Where do these techniques come from, and how do they impact people of different ages? Through readings, discussion, and practice, we will take a close look at contemporary mindfulness to understand its origins and its impact. We will also inquire about our understanding of “aging” and how mindfulness and psychological development are related.

Multicultural Picture Books as Critical Analysis
(Short Title: Multicultural Picture Books)

Sayanti Mondal

Picture books have often been regarded as simple texts targeted at young children, and the course aims to argue against this notion and present the literary genre as capable of eliciting complex socially relevant dialogues and understandings within an undergraduate classroom setting. It particularly focuses on loosening the boundaries of age-based expectations when engaging with multicultural picture books. Connections will be made between the stories we read in class to contemporary events to realize this genre's literary potential and sociocultural (and, at times, political) impact. Themes of social injustices, gender, borders and (im)migration, and social and self-identity will be explored through select multicultural picture books authored/illustrated by People of Color. Students will complete a short analytical paper, a public-facing text, a short comics-making project, a short Annotated Bibliography, and a final research paper. The instructor will provide students with the reading materials on Canvas. This course fulfills the ICC Academic Writing competency requirement.

Navigating Play as College Students
(Short Title: Navigating Play)

Amie Germain

Dive into a course where play meets purpose. This course invites you to explore the transformative power of play. Unleash your inner explorer as we venture into the realm of play. We’ll laugh, learn, and leap outside our comfort zones. Discover how play can be a gateway to mindfulness, helping you find balance in your transition to college. Liberate your inner strategist by learning how play sharpens problem-solving skills through life’s twists and turns. Tap into your inner creator through art, music, and storytelling. Explore the science of play by understanding how play boosts our brains and enhances learning. Find stress relief, build friendships, and hone your skills of playing well with others (a great professional skill).

New Worlds and Explorations 
(Short Title: New Worlds)

Maria DiFrancesco

Through the prism of literature, students will closely examine how we understand and define the concept of “new worlds,” and what it means to “explore” or to be the “first” to do something. Though not exclusively, we will center most discussions on how exile and immigration have been portrayed by various writers. Some of the authors whose texts we will read include: Gloria Anzaldúa, Sandra Cisneros, Julia Álvarez, Junot Díaz, Laila Lalami, Edward Said, and Zadie Smith. Through class discussions, writing assignments, oral presentations, and projects that are consistent with a liberal arts seminar style, we will: broadly define the notions at play in the course; and we will analyze and critically evaluate how these terms intersect and dialogue with each other, paying close attention to the roles of social/political/cultural context in identity formation.

Phenomenology of Art 
(Short Title: Phenomenology of Art)

Tatiana Patrone

In what way do we experience works of art? What does it mean to perceive something as beautiful? Are our judgments of art-works based on taste alone, or do they have cognitive content? This course will acquaint you with some of the central concepts and issues in aesthetics – the branch of philosophy dedicated to the notion of the ‘beautiful.’ We will put special emphasis on aesthetic experience from our first-person point of view: our aim will be to describe and analyze our experiences and use what we learn from this in our arguments concerning the nature, the features, and the value of various works of art.

Politics and Comedy: United and Divided in Laughter 
(Short Title: Politics and Comedy)

Carlos Figueroa

What is the relationship between politics and comedy? Does politics shape comedy, or does comedy inform politics? Can these two “ways of knowing,” living and sharing, help or hinder democratic life? In what ways are these two genres, concepts, and practices uniting and dividing people simultaneously? This course will explore these questions, among others, as we examine the following themes: Politics and Comedy: a Historical Perspective; the Political Economy of Comedy; the Comedy of Politics; the Social-Cultural of Political Comedy; and Artificial Intelligence, Politics, and Comedy: The Future?

Popular Culture as Text
(Short Title: Popular Culture as Text)

Katie Marks

In this seminar, we will explore popular culture and its role in contemporary society. We will consider whether it reflects our thoughts and beliefs or whether it shapes them. We will also investigate how it might affect who we become as individuals. Students’ firsthand observations of, and critical thinking about, advertising, television, film, music, and social networking will play a central role in the class. This course fulfills the ICC Academic Writing competency requirement. Intended for students in the School of Humanities and Sciences Pathways program.

Rhetoric for Social Change: Systems of Anti-Capitalism
(Short Title: Rhetoric for Social Change)

Priya Sirohi

This course takes a novel approach to thinking about our economic world. Why does money work the way that it does? How did power get organized like this? More importantly: What are the arguments, communication strategies, and rhetoric that made it this way? Using systems thinking, this course will help students look beyond simple cause-effect thinking to see the bigger picture of how capitalism has shaped our world – and what we can do about it. In everything from social identities to climate change to government & media, capitalism has profoundly shaped our way of thought, often in disempowering ways. This course will not only give students critical thinking and academic writing skills, but it will also give them tools for empowering themselves and meaningfully making a social impact through argument and communication.

Science in the Media 
(Short Title: Sciences in the Media)

Colleen Countryman

This course investigates the way that society perceives science in the media. We will explore the ethical and cultural implications of scientific communication in the news, on social media, in the movies and more. We will use critical thinking techniques to analyze the portrayal of complex issues of science from a variety of perspectives, and we will aim to gain a deeper understanding of scientific literacy in the media and the perils of misinformation.

The Science of Fiction: Evolution, Cognitive Science, and Stories
(Short Title: Science of Fiction)

Jack Wang

Why are human beings the “storytelling animal”? How are we evolutionarily adapted to producing and consuming stories? What can brain science tell us about our passion for narrative, and what do narratives tell us about how the brain works? Through an exploration of neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, and other fields, especially as they apply to literature, television, and film, this course will explore fundamental questions about why we love stories. This course fulfills the ICC Academic Writing competency requirement.

Social Responsibility in Entertainment Media and the Legacy of Rod Serling 
(Short Title: Responsible Media)

William Ressler

Rod Serling, award-winning television writer and creator of The Twilight Zone, taught at Ithaca College from 1967 to 1975, a period that included the establishment of Roy H. Park School of Communications, currently celebrating its semicentennial. This seminar will draw from theories and research in social psychology, marketing, and the study of media industries while examining Rod Serling’s television productions, their approaches to issues of social responsibility and social justice, and their immediate and lasting influence on entertainment media and on the way we teach and learn about media content and creation.

Spoken Words
(Short Title: Spoken Words)

Amy Quan

From TED talks to spoken word, political speeches to scholarly presentations, this course will examine, research – and produce – writing intended to be heard as well as read. Our course material will be drawn from classic and current radio commentary, political and academic writing, videos, speeches, and even the occasional blog. Similarly, writing assignments will cross a range of genres and media. As this course also satisfies the Academic Writing requirement, students will be engaged in formal research on topics of their choosing. In addition, students will be asked to keep a notebook of informal writing. This course fulfills the ICC Academic Writing competency requirement.

Sport, Olympics, and Society
(Short Title: Sport, Olympics, Society)

Hongwei Guan

The ICSM seminars are designed to integrate topical subject areas with a focus on the academic and social transition from high school to higher education. The primary goal of this seminar is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the complex relationship between sports and society, while fostering critical thinking and analytical skills. This course will examine and discuss a variety of topics such as sport and society, how mega events such as Olympic and World University Games impact society, and issues and challenges related to sport. Through critical analysis and inquiry, students will gain a deep understanding of how sports intersect with various societal aspects, including identity, power dynamics, globalization, and social change. Some guest speakers, group and individual student presenters and group discussions will present these topics as well as group excursions to various sport venues in the City of Ithaca.

Taking on Environmental Change
(Short Title: Environmental Change)

Jake Brenner

Taking on environmental change has dual meaning. First it means acknowledging, understanding, and feeling the unprecedented environmental changes of today, like a ship taking on water. Second it means confronting and standing up to those changes through well-informed, thoughtful, and intentional action. The course focuses on the complex interactions of ecology and society, including the basic facts of the biophysical Earth system as well as politics, culture, capitalism, and justice. The course is informed by interdisciplinary environmental science but inspired by grassroots activities around the world. Most of the voices (authors, artists, activists) are people of color or members of “frontline” communities speaking from historically marginalized positions. The course takes a normative approach of optimism, favoring solutions over limitations whenever possible.

Thinking About Queer Wellness: What Is It and How Do We Get There? 
(Short Title: Queer Wellness)

Mary Bentley

This course explores sexual orientation/identity, as both declarative and formative as it intersects with the concept(s) of wellness/happiness. The unique challenges of being LGBTQAI in a predominantly heteronormative culture will be analyzed through, political and personal experiences. Historical and contemporary literature, film, social media, demographic data, and research will be balanced with critique, personal practice, and reflection. Multiple models/theories of wellness/behavior change, and new empirical studies will provide a more inclusive discussion of health, wellness, and happiness as they intersect with experiences of family, race, abilities, wealth, neighborhood, and gender. This is a deep dive into self, how to stay intact, safe and learn to be well and as your fabulous self.

[THIS TITLE HAS BEEN CENSORED]: Language and Hatred in a Postracial World 
(Short Title: Postracial World)

Derek Adams

This course offers a direct challenge to the popular public sentiment that we live in a post-racial society and that systematic structures of power and privilege have ceased to exist in our world. In this class, we will explore the persistent operation of systematic discrimination in the 21st century through a collection of materials – i.e. short stories, magazine covers, film, advertisements, critical essays, and websites. Our study begins from the position that certain code words and social practices have transformed overt types of discrimination into more subtle and deceiving forms of bigotry. Words like “nigger,” “bitch,” and “fag” may have fallen out of fashion, but their essence lives on in our daily interactions. We will devote a significant amount of time to assessing how our social interactions are influenced by the legacy. The nature of the material we will cover in this course is likely to cause you cognitive dissonance. This is intentional. Talking about issues of race, gender, and sexuality is rarely conducive to positive feelings. Too, the course requires your personal investment in its development, including sharing and discussing your own race, gender, and sexual orientation with your classmates. I will establish our classroom as a safe space for the respectful reception of your individual life experiences, but there will inevitably be moments when the ideas you express will challenge belief structures that your classmates invest in, and vice versa.

Vegan Studies: Past, Present, Future
(Short Title: Vegan Studies)

Eleanor Henderson

What do you think of when you hear the word “vegan”? Most people associate it with plant-based diets. But in the 1940s, the UK-based Vegan Society defined it as "the principle of the emancipation of animals from exploitation by man." This seminar explores that principle through the emerging academic field of vegan studies, examining it across a wide number of disciplines, including history, philosophy, biology, environmental studies, and business. While we will study the impacts of plant-based diets on human health—and even enjoy some meals together—we’ll also attempt to understand how veganism operates outside the kitchen. We’ll situate it within intersectional systems of power, connecting it to related fields of inquiry including animal ethics and ecofeminism. Because this is a writing class, we’ll do lots of writing and research ourselves, and analyze the rhetoric of food, animals, and health. We'll investigate, interrogate, and engage in experiential learning together, including a local field trip to an animal sanctuary and/or vegan restaurant. All students with a curiosity about veganism are welcome. This course fulfills the ICC Academic Writing competency requirement.

We'll Never Be Silent Again: Health Activism from the 1980s to Today 
(Short Title: Health Activism)

Jessye Cohen-Filipic

The radical AIDS activists of the 1980s can teach us much about current and future social movements. In this course we will explore the social, medical, political, and creative responses to the HIV/AIDS crisis, COVID-19, and other contemporary health topics. We will delve into news articles, personal accounts, documentaries, and fictional films and television depictions of the two pandemics. Students will analyze how race, class, gender, sexuality, and other factors affect health and health care. We will also discuss how health activism has played out in the context of other illnesses and health issues. Intended for students in the School of Humanities and Sciences Pathways program.

What is Latin America? Questions, Perspectives, Ideas
(Short Title: What is Latin America?)

Camilo Malagon

Half a billion people, over 30 countries and hundreds of different languages and cultures, Latin America is a diverse space of identities, histories and cultures. This course will provide students with an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the region, exposing students to ways of thinking about Latin America from historical, sociological, anthropological, geographical, economic and cultural points of view. We will explore Latin America thematically, while at the same time engaging with different historical periods and sub-regions. Students will gain an introductory understanding of Latin America at the same time that they will gain some insight into the ways that different disciplines ask questions, provide perspectives and create knowledge about the region. This course will emphasize a global perspective, connecting Latin America to the world, and will look at the influence of United States and other global actors in the history of the region.

Why Your Roommate's Favorite Band Sucks: An Introduction to Musical Aesthetics 
(Short Title: Musical Aesthetics)

Vadim Serebryany

In this course, students will be introduced to a variety of writings and ideas about aesthetics, generally, and musical aesthetics in particular. After engaging with each author, students will apply the aesthetic principles to specific pieces of music, drawn from various musical canons - including commercial and “classical” music, as well as non-Western musics - with the goal of engaging with those musical “texts” more deeply and starting to develop their own thoughtful aesthetics of music.

World War II and the American People
(Short Title: WWII and Americans)

Michael Trotti

Beyond the transition to college elements of this ICSM, we will be diving into a discrete five-year period of American history and the challenges faced by that generation. We will use sources from the era (historians call them primary sources), interviews with Americans from the time, and historians’ arguments about what is most important in the era to build an understanding of the complexity of this historical moment, the moment when the United States became the most powerful nation in the world and much of modern America was shaped.