Fall 2023

0 Credits
TBA (S/U grade)

The Christ College Symposium is a premier co-curricular program of presentations featuring distinguished guests from all fields of scholarship, including religion, the arts, public affairs, and science, and other arenas who present their work and engage in lively exchange with the audience. Christ College sophomores, juniors and seniors must register for CC 201 EV: Symposium each semester they are on campus. Every CC sophomore, junior or senior must attend a minimum of two events per semester.  Students have multiple options from the Speaker Series and Firesides, which feature presentations by faculty members.  Failure to do so will result in a “U” on your transcript and may jeopardize your standing in CC.

3 Credits
Section A: TR 8:40-9:55 – Professor Danger
Fulfills humanities: fine arts component of the general education requirements.

Human beings are image makers. We represent and communicate what we see, imagine, and understand in words and pictures. This course introduces students to certain problems in the history of visual and literary representation from Plato to the present. The course is divided into three sections. The first focuses on questions regarding the truth and authority of representations. The second section explores aesthetics, especially the rise of modern ways of seeing in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Europe and America. Finally, we will consider the ethical or moral duty of makers of images and texts in the modern world. Among the variety of questions that we will consider this semester are: What is this human practice of representation, and how do words and images operate? Can words claim legitimacy that images may not and vice-versa? What do makers of representations owe their viewers/readers? 

Section A:  The Christian Tradition: Art & Architecture (See below for Section B & C)
Credits 3
Section A: MWF 10:45-11:35 am – Professor Buggeln
Fulfills theology 200 requirement only.

This new section will consider the history and culture of Christianity through the lens of its diverse artistic and architectural traditions. We will be reading written accounts of material practices, doctrines, and historical background, but our central “texts” will be the material evidence of two thousand years of Christian belief and global practice. This terrain is vast, from cathedrals to camp meetings, and from catacomb paintings to comic books. The course will flow chronologically, and students will gain a working knowledge of key buildings and works of art, with the opportunity to follow their own interests as well. No prior knowledge of Christianity or art/architecture is required.

Sections B & C: The Christian Tradition – WIC
Credits 3
Section B: TR 8:40-9:55 am – Professor Howard (WIC)
Section C: TR 10:45 am –12:00 pm – Professor Howard (WIC)
Fulfills theology 200 requirement and writing intensive course (WIC) requirement.

This course introduces students to central developments in the history of Christianity and to diverse forms of Christianity today. It also explores the nature and purpose of Christian theology and encourages students to reflect more deeply on their own religious convictions and questions. The course focuses on the close reading and discussion of primary texts in the Christian intellectual and spiritual tradition. Readings include selections from the Bible and the writings of various classical theologians, such as St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as well as contemporary theologians from a variety of Christian traditions and perspectives.

The course aims to strengthen the student’s: (1) knowledge of Christian theology and practice; (2) ability to read theological texts closely and to think critically about them; and (3) communication and research skills.

Requirements include active participation in class discussions and three papers (5-6 pages each).

Credits 3
Section A: MW 2:40-3:55 pm – Professor Jakelic
Section B: MW 4:10-5:35 pm – Professor Jakelic
Fulfills 3 cr of social sciences requirement.

Continuing the important questions addressed in the First-Year Program–what it means to be human–this course examines the ways that human beings are deeply social creatures that both make and are made by their communities. The class points to the questions of good life and good society–questions that people share regardless of their cultural background and context–but also looks at various ways in which specific cultures answer those questions. The course will draw its theoretical emphases from major figures in the human sciences including Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Max Weber, Clifford Geertz, and Michel Foucault. The social thinkers that we study in this course each posit theories and methods for examining the relationship between individuals and their society. We start with the assumption that we are not isolated individuals; our opportunities and even our very identities are shaped by a social environment that we help create. Thus, we shape our society and in turn our society shapes us. We end the course by being social theorists ourselves, applying the tools of social analysis that we have honed all semester to contemporary issues of importance in the 21st century–this year, new media and technology. Thus, this class helps students learn how to move from the kinds of big ideas we discuss in our CC classes to critical analysis of the contemporary social events they read about in the news; it is a process of translation for engagement in the contemporary world.

In addition to weekly discussion, and small preparatory assignments, major assignments will include short (5 page papers) and one longer (10 page) paper.

Credits 3
TR 12:15-1:30 – Professor Prough
Cross-listed with ASIA 290 XX
Fulfills cultural diversity requirement for general education.

Over the past three decades Japanese popular culture has become a global phenomenon; from Power Rangers to Pokémon, Sailormoon to Spirited Away a generation of children/young adults/adults have been shaped by images and narratives from Japan. This seminar aims at developing a visual literacy and historical understanding of several key elements of Japanese visual culture past and present. Throughout the semester we will examine moments in Japanese history, literature, and popular culture through texts as well as scroll paintings, woodblock prints, manga and anime, contemporary art, and video games. The class is divided into four units: Heian court romance, Edo period samurai culture, the visual narratives of manga and anime, and the immersive experience of JRPG (Japanese video games). In each of the thematic units we will think about the ways that literature and art shape each other, reflect and affect their cultural contexts, and evolve over time. Along the way, we will ask questions about the international reception of Japanese popular culture and the ways in which cultural styles, norms, and ideas are reconfigured and reinterpreted at sites of reception. Thus, this course addresses fundamental issues of how we take popular culture seriously through examples from Japan. Students will learn, not only about these particular artistic and cultural forms, but also about how to analyze visual media. 

Credits 3
TR 1:45-3:00 pm – Professor Graber
America has always had a love/hate relationship to crime. After all, the United States arose through a violent revolution that surely would have been condemned as criminal if it had not succeeded. Nearly two hundred and fifty years later, the same citizens who list “crime” as their top social concern in surveys will spend hours online surreptitiously spiraling down true crime rabbit holes, will reward con men’s tall tales at the box office (and sometimes the voting booth), and will fall asleep binge-watching old episodes of The Sopranos at night. So why does this country fixate on crime? This class assumes that the reasons are neither merely personal nor universal. Rather it will ask students to examine the crime stories that Americans love, and the practices through which they love them, as indicators of patterns, shifts, and movements within the broader culture. With a primary focus on cinematic and literary forms, we’ll explore feature films, long-form television, novels, memoirs, graphic novels, songs, poems, and essays. Students will draw on what they learned in previous CC coursework to analyze the crime stories that embody and engage our common passions, anxieties, and beliefs. 

Credits 3
MWF 10:45-11:35 – Professor Tomasik
Cross-listed with FREN 300 AX
Fulfills cultural diversity requirement for general education.

How many times have you watched a film based on a beloved book and then said, “The book was so much better!”? Why do we react this way? What happens when a book becomes a movie? What gets lost in translation? This course will focus on masterpieces of French literature adapted by both French and American filmmakers. We will begin by exploring the theoretical frameworks of concepts such as translation and adaptation in order to evaluate changes that occur in the movement from a literary text to a cinematic one. At the same time, we will also explore transformations that are enacted in the movement from French culture to Anglophone culture. A comparative approach to these two cultures will thus be at the heart of everything that we do. In class, we will read two major novels—Laclos’s spicy, revolutionary, banned novel Dangerous Liaisons and Flaubert’s equally scandalous death-blow to romanticism, Madame Bovary—and then view at least two film adaptations of each. Based on the methodology that we establish for analyzing these works, students will then work on a final project based on a literary work of their own choosing and corresponding film adaptations. Together, we will examine what is lost in translation. But, perhaps surprisingly, we may also discover what can be gained. This course fulfills a Cultural Diversity requirement and can be counted towards a minor in Cinema and Media Studies.

Credits 3
MW 2:40-3:55 pm – Professor Holman
Cross-listed with THEO 369 AX
Fulfills upper-level theology requirement for general education.

Across history food, eating, and hunger are central themes in how cultures understand health, healing, and religious identities. Religions use food to celebrate, define social boundaries, express theological doctrines about the material world, and in practices of human rights and humanitarian aid. This course will focus on the history of these dynamics in Christianity and in at least two other world religions. Students will be encouraged to develop a global and historical perspective on religious uses of food. The class will draw on texts, images, and material culture (including real food!) to explore and discuss religious beliefs and practices in terms of celebrations, fasting, cooking, eating, taste, “incarnational” theology, and food substances in the history of medicine.

This is a synchronous hybrid course, meeting 9 weeks online and 5 weeks in person on campus. Prerequisite: Theo 200.

Credits 3
TR 10:45 am-12:00 pm – Professor Pati
Cross-listed with THEO 367 AX
May fulfill upper level theology or cultural diversity requirement for general education.

What is “the body”? This course will examine the body in various contexts that depict and critique the dichotomies of mind/body and physical/spiritual. The biological body has an undeniable physicality, yet at the same time, our experiences of our bodies and the ways in which we make sense of those experiences are inevitably embedded in and defined by the social and religious. Taking an anthropological perspective and paying attention to discursive and phenomenological approaches, this course will investigate how the body has been observed, classified, experienced, and modified in different cultural contexts and disciplines, making it relevant to health sciences, religious studies, and social sciences.

Credits 3
MWF 2:00-2:50 pm – Professor Zygmunt
Cross-listed with PHYS 490 AX

The course objective is to help us better understand the character, scope, and limitations of the scientific endeavor. Readings, discussions, and writing assignments will help us move beyond simplistic notions of the “scientific method” which often do not resemble the way science actually works.

The course will present various philosophical schools of thought along with historical examples. By examining scientific case histories, we will better understand how and why scientific choices are made. We will try to better understand how competing ideas, models, and theories rise to acceptance in the scientific community, as well as what factors lead to their demise. These studies will illustrate that science is a very human endeavor, strongly influenced by human abilities and limitations.

Many assume that science is an honest endeavor seeking to discover the truth about the natural world. Yet since we are human participants who compete for research funding and results, how do we maintain objectivity and integrity? And how does the scientific community deal with cases of carelessness, mistakes, and misconduct? These and other ethical issues will be considered.

It is natural to explore connections between the scientific endeavor and our own lives. What are our motives for learning more about the natural world? How does science influence and interact with our faith commitments? What moral issues arise due to our involvement in and benefit from scientific developments? We will discuss these issues and attempt to develop as persons whose lives have increasing coherence and unity.

Texts for the course will include Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Del Ratzsch’s Science and Its Limits, James Watson’s The Double Helix, and John Polkinghorne’s One World: The Interaction of Science and Theology, as well as selected chapters and journal articles relating to historical episodes in science.

Credits 3
MWF 9:05-9:55 am – Professor Ban
Cross-listed with SOCW 410

This course provides an overview of the contextual forces that shape social policy and human welfare in the United States, and moves students from knowing about policy to engaging in the political process. This class gives students practical hands-on experience in advocacy to improve the lives of people. Students focus on learning about the state legislature as a microcosm for understanding federal policy making, and particular attention is given to interpreting and applying ethical principles to social policy, analyzing competing vested interests and their influence, and understanding power structures and the policy implementation process. Gaining an understanding of social causes and effects will be of central importance. Students will analyze the relationships between national, state, and local governmental decisions, agencies and individuals. As an entire class, students will directly participate in the policy-making process, by jointly preparing research and testimony for an interim state committee. The course involves travel to the Indiana Statehouse involving one overnight stay and students will have a chance to work in small groups with the goal of having policy-makers introduce new legislation on a particular topic. Particular attention will be given to issues that affect the lives of groups who are disproportionately impacted by social policy decisions. Thus, this course will emphasize the political and organizational processes used to influence policy, the process of policy formulation, and a framework for analyzing social policies in light of the principles of social and economic justice.

Credits 3
MWF 9:05-9:55 am – Professor Puffer

In the second half of the 20th century appeals to human dignity became ubiquitous in daily speech as well as ethical, legal, political, and philosophical discourse. And yet, when people invoke human dignity in different contexts—from the United Nations and Martin Luther King Jr., to Presidents and Popes, to codes of ethics in business, engineering, and medicine—it is clear that we are not all talking about the same thing. That is, the valence of the term varies depending upon who appeals to it and the ends to which they put it. This seminar will explore the fascinating emergence of human dignity as a key term in our modern vocabulary, and the future of human dignity if it is to prove useful for addressing the pressing moral and political challenges we face today—from climate change, animal ethics, and human engineering to humanitarian intervention and intergenerational justice. Together we will pursue an understanding of human dignity for our vocations and as a condition of possibility for human and non-human flourishing in our modern integral ecology.

Credits 3
W 6:30-9:00 pm – Professor Howard

First comes love, then comes marriage, as the children’s rhyme goes: in the United States marriage has figured not only as a private good but as a public institution and social norm. Questions about the meaning of love and marriage have come from many directions. Experience, moral tradition, science, religion, and culture have shaped attitudes. By the twenty-first century, autonomy, consent, pleasure, health, and risk assumed higher priority. With focus on social and cultural history, this course examines some of these questions. How are people encouraged to express affection or discouraged from choosing partners? What rules govern relationships? How do relationships get formalized in marriage, or not? How do legal and institutional practices respond? With changes in urban life, technology, and manners, Americans in nineteenth and twentieth centuries moved—to use loosely the words of one historian–from front porch to back seat to Tinder. Change is borne out in different dating habits, marriage and divorce laws, and family formations. In addition to scholarly treatments we will examine film, advertising, and other elements of popular culture in order to trace and analyze these changes. Students taking the course will write a research paper and give a formal presentation on some aspect of this history.

Credits 3
TR 3:15-4:30 pm – Professor Upton

The French philosopher Simone Weil observes that the experience of beauty is a human need at every level of social existence. When such beauty is taken away from human beings, Weil calls it a crime, an “affliction” that targets the humanity of those who need that beauty for daily sustenance. In fact, Weil argues that the experience of the beautiful provides solace and peace in a world too often directed towards ever faster modes of production and consumption.

But what is beauty? What role does it play in human life? What is the relation of natural beauty with the beauty of human creativity? What is the relationship of beauty and justice, and can standards of beauty be implicated in great injustice? How might the experience of beauty differ from our participation in contemporary modes of technology and production? What might it tell us about our relation to the natural world and the life of the planet?

This course seeks to explore these issues in dialogue with historically important philosophers, theologians, and literary critics. It begins by examining the foundational role played by beauty in early Greek philosophy and patristic Christian theology. It then traces the transformation of “the beautiful” in the modern period, by examining such figures as Immanuel Kant, Simone Weil, Elaine Scarry, and Makoto Fujimura. The course will ground its discussion, however, in works of beautiful literature: Dante’s Purgatorio, the work of the English Romantic poets, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, and the work of contemporary poets Ada Limón and Ross Gay. Throughout, we will ask how these beautiful texts direct our attention, opening us to deeper perceptions of nature and one another.

Credits 3
Professor Smith
Meeting time TBA

The “TA Course” provides selected CC seniors a unique opportunity for both teaching and learning. As more advanced and mature students, the Tutorial Assistants are well equipped to introduce first year students to foundational liberal arts texts as well as to the general atmosphere and expectations of Christ College. As students about to complete their undergraduate careers, seniors have an opportunity to return to some texts they read as first-year students, as well as some new texts, and reconsider them in light of their acquired skills and knowledge. Through the preparation for teaching FYP course materials, TAs engage more deeply with these fundamental liberal arts texts and think more deeply about the overall CC experience.

Each TA works with a small group of first-year students on Monday mornings introducing them to the text under consideration. The TAs meet with Professor Puffer as a group for discussion of the texts and pedagogical strategies the previous Thursday. Each TA is responsible for weekly written assignments (discussion paragraphs, lesson plans, etc.), and for a self-evaluation of the semester. TAs also comment on and grade first-year paragraphs each week. TAs will receive evaluations from their first-year students at mid-term and at the end of the semester.

Texts will include all First-Year Program Fall Semester texts.

Senior standing required. Consent of the Dean and Instructor are required; Professor Smith will interview prospective seniors. (For approved seniors, this course may count as a CC 300 level seminar toward Scholar designation or the major and minor in the humanities.)

Credit 1
Assistant Dean Stewart

Christ College Senior Colloquium provides a capstone, integrative experience for Christ College Scholars. CC students will gather to reflect upon their college years; integrate academic, practical, social, and spiritual experiences; consider their transition from college; and plan for closure on their undergraduate careers.

Spring 2023

0 Credits

Christ College sophomores, juniors and seniors must register for CC 201 A: Symposium each semester they are on campus. Every CC sophomore, junior or senior must attend two Symposia per semester. Failure to do so will result in a “U” on the transcript and may jeopardize standing in CC.

3 Credits 

Section A: MWF 12:30-1:20 pm    Professor Buggeln
Section B: MWF 11:30-12:20 pm    Professor Gomulkiewicz
Fulfills humanities fine arts requirement.

What is representation and how do words and images communicate?

What makes a representation “true”?

Can words claim legitimacy that images may not, or vice-versa?

What do makers of representations owe their viewers/readers?

Word & Image introduces students to problems and questions associated with the nature, form, and circulation of images from Plato to the present. The course is divided into four sections. The first questions the ability of images and text to convey truth and justice, with a special focus on what we call “documentary” images. The second considers historical and contemporary problems in the representation of the sacred and the use of images and objects in worship and devotion. The third section explores the rise of modern ways of subjective seeing and representing, with a particular emphasis on the traveler. Finally, we will turn our attention to comics and film, considering contemporary representation in light of course questions about truth telling and subjectivity.

3 Credits 

Section A: TR 8:30-9:45 am – Professor Howard – Fulfills theology 200 requirement only.
Section B-WIC: MWF 11:30-12:20pm – Professor Torbeck – Fulfills theology 200 and WIC (writing intensive course) requirement.
Section C-WIC: MWF 1:30-2:20pm – Professor Torbeck – Fulfills theology 200 and WIC (writing intensive course) requirement.

This course introduces students to central developments in the history of Christianity and to diverse forms of Christianity today. It also explores the nature and purpose of Christian theology and encourages students to reflect more deeply on their own religious convictions and questions. The course focuses on the close reading and discussion of primary texts in the Christian intellectual and spiritual tradition. Readings include selections from the Bible and the writings of various classical theologians, such as St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as well as contemporary theologians from a variety of Christian traditions and perspectives.

3 Credits 
Cross-listed with THEO 339 AX – Mixed Hybrid
MWF     2:30-3:20 pm     Professor Denysenko
May fulfill upper-level theology

This course examines the complicated dynamics of religion and politics in Eastern Europe. Problematic issues such as nationalism, antisemitism, persecution of religious minorities, state-sanctioned violence in the name of religion and/or political ideology, controversial legislation, and violations of human rights are among the central topics for discussion and analysis. Regionally, the course surveys case studies in countries and regions such as Russia, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, and Central Asia among others. A survey of significant historical antecedents foregrounds the course schedule. Students are introduced to transhistorical issues such as Byzantine symphonia, Russian ideological conceptualizations of autocracy and Orthodoxy, the Ottoman millet system, and the legacy of significant historical events in shaping religious polices. The schedule continues by analyzing the intersection of religion and politics through case studies during the period of imperial collapse, the rise of the nation-state, the Soviet interlude, and the search for identity in the post-Soviet era. Information literacy is a unique learning objective of this course, especially with regards to some of the most recent controversial cases involving accusations of state interference in religious policy, and the assignment of ownership of community properties. The course is conducted as a seminar discussion. Assessments include exams, and a research paper and presentation.

3 Credits 
Cross-listed with THEO 346 – Mixed Hybrid
TR     8:30-9:45 am     Professor Holman
May fulfill upper-level theology

What role does religion or spirituality (R/S) play in global health—the health of the world as we know it? This course explores stories that illustrate and invite creative, scientific, cultural and religious action, honesty, courage, and hope to solve and cure. This intensive reading course will highlight voices that engage R/S to identify and address racial and ethnic health disparities and global health problems from the mid 19th century to the present in religious traditions, with some discussion of global and public health in the ancient world. Issues will include: infectious disease, environment and climate (including water and sanitation); community health care; humanitarian aid ethics in war and disaster; race-, class-, and gender-based health disparities; faith-based missions and health systems; and the role of R/S in health initiatives on human flourishing. This is a history and theology course with a focus on cross-disciplinary learning. Students in the study of the health sciences might find it especially useful, but your evaluations and course grades will be based on your understanding of historical and religious sources.

This is a “mixed hybrid” course; Most classes meet synchronous online, with defined, occasional required face-to-face in-the-classroom sessions throughout the semester.

3 Credits 
Cross-listed with MUS 350 WIC
MWF     9:00-9:50 am     Professor Bognar
May be used to fulfill humanities-performing arts and WIC (writing intensive course requirement).

A seminar which explores the modes in which students listen to music and the manner in which they understand and derive meaning from it. Students will evaluate music from a variety of perspectives, including literary, social, political, neuroscientific, and philosophical. Students will be expected to critically respond to their own musical tastes and listening habits, to examine modern assumptions about the value and place of music, and to consider the ways in which music, especially music devoid of text, might have meaningful significance.

3 Credits 
Cross-listed with ENGL 490
M    6:30-9:00 pm     Professor Ruud

In The Empty Space, Shakespeare director Peter Brook warns audiences and would-be practitioners about the dangers of theatre that he calls “deadly.” Deadly theatre, Brook writes approaches “the classics” as if “someone has found out and defined how the play should be done.” Lively theatre, on the other hand, approaches each reading and each rehearsal as a new opportunity for discovery and encounter.

In this course, we will aim to bring Shakespeare’s works to life both in the classroom and onstage. Our semester will begin in the classroom with lively, exploratory discussion of Shakespearean genres and a few selected works of performance theory. The course will culminate in a full production of a Shakespeare play, designed and performed by you.

Students should expect some additional meetings for role auditions early in the semester and rehearsal and performance in the last weeks of the semester.


3 Credits
Cross-listed with THEO 367 AX 
W    6:30-9:00 pm     Professor Pati
May fulfill upper-level theology or cultural diversity requirement.

Construction of meaning and identity is a vital aspect of understanding a culture. Employing theoretical lenses from Religion and Anthropology, students will understand how the spaces of media and literature reflect the construction of meanings and identities in religious and social spaces. Students will explore aspects of religion and body in Bollywood films and narratives from South Asia. This course will also fulfill the cultural diversity requirement of general education.


3 Credits
Cross-listed with THTR 390 SA3
Spring Break 2023     Professor Orchard

The 3-credit seminar is CC 300 SBX The London Stage–and it will include excursions to Buckingham Palace, The National Gallery, The British Museum, and Stratford-Upon-Avon; tours of the National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, and Westminster Abbey; and tickets to 10 plays and musicals performing at a wide variety of theatres throughout Greater London.

3 Credits
Cross-listed with THEO 368 SBX
Spring Break 2023     Professor Brobst-Renaud and Professor Wetzstein
May fulfill upper-level theology or cultural diversity requirement.

Theology 368-SBX, “Learning from the Living Stones,” will invite students to journey to Israel, Palestine, and Jerusalem and the religiously- and politically-contested space the land represents. In this course, students will engage the complexity on a theoretical level through the region through weekly pre-trip class meetings and assigned readings. Students will engage this same information on a physical, emotional, and personal level in traveling to the “Holy Land” from March 6-17, 2023. Finally, the course will culminate in at least three debriefing sessions, where the students will reflect and assess what they have learned through their experiences.

NOTE: Students may contact Prof. Brobst-Renaud or Pastor Jim directly if they have questions about the program (amanda.brobstrenaud@valpo.edu.; james.wetzstein@valpo.edu). There is more information about the trip, including the description and the cost worksheets at this website: valpoglobaled.via-trm.com/program_brochure/14038. If students want to express formal interest in the trip, they can go to the portal through the Global Studies website, located at https://valpoglobaled.via-trm.com/authV2/welcome. (The deadline for spring break study abroad course applications is October 15, 2022.)

3 Credits
TR   3:00-4:15 pm     Professor Upton

“Mastered economics ‘cause you took yourself from squalor (slave) / Mastered academics ‘cause your grades say you a scholar (slave) / Mastered Instagram ‘cause you can instigate a follow (shit) / Look at all these slave masters posin’ on yo’ dollar (get it? Yeah).” In the first verse of “Ju$t,” Run the Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P, joined on this song by Pharrell Williams and Zach de la Rocha) evoke the tragic ambiguities of America’s founding, reminding us that some of the nation’s most influential founding fathers (including some of those on our currency) were slave holders. In these verses Run the Jewels certainly aim to condemn the unique legacy of slavery whose history of effects continues to disadvantage Black Americans to this day. However, they also mean to suggest that this experience casts light on broader questions of labor, economics, and desire in modern America. This becomes clear in Zach de la Rocha’s concluding verse to the song, where the slave masters on America’s currency, and those who wield it, become the masters of all of us: “So I’m questioning this quest for things / As a recipe for early death threatening / But the breath in me is weaponry / For you, it’s just money.”

Run the Jewels suggest that there is something about contemporary labor practices and technologies of desire that challenge the human dignity of those implicated in them. This course will ask how those labor practices either enhance or estrange us from our dignity as human beings. It will explore how what we do in life expresses that dignity, how contemporary labor practices and technology shape our human loves, and how we can cultivate solidarity with those whose labor is often hidden or who struggle to find meaningful, fulfilling work. Finally, we will ask how aesthetics, the study of beauty, might suggest a role for the arts in validating human making, enlivening our work, and forging those bonds of solidarity and community. Beginning with Run the Jewels 4 and passages from Thoreau’s Walden, we will examine works by Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, Mother Maria Skobtsova, Simone Weil, Makoto Fujimura, Elaine Scarry, and Virginia Woolf.

The questions with which this class will engage should concern literally every single CC student who wishes to maintain their humanity amid the economy that awaits them after graduation. See you in the Spring.


3 Credits
TR   1:30-2:45 pm     Professor Graber
May fulfill cultural diversity requirement or humanities-literature requirement.

African American literature includes some of the richest and most innovative writing in the English language. Black writers have produced works that bent and reinvented literary genres to express the truths of black experience in the United States—from spirituals to hip hop, from essays to epic poems, from slave narratives to surrealist novels. Writers as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, W.E.B. Du Bois, Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Colson Whitehead and Ta-Nehisi Coates have exposed the glaring absurdity of Thomas Jefferson’s white supremacist declaration of 1781: “Never yet could I find that a black had uttered a thought above the level of plain narration.”

In this course we will explore together how black writers have been transcending “the level of plain narration” since before the nation’s founding. We will examine a body of literature remarkable for its ingenuity, emotional depth, and multi-layered complexity, crafted in spite of monstrous impediments—mandatory illiteracy, terrorist violence, slavery, and bigotry. We will discover how, in the face of a deeply racist ideology, African American writing has carved out a space for liberty with the tools of literature.

In addition to engaging in a lively and enlightening semester-long conversation, you will also each have the opportunity to design and carry out a major interdisciplinary research project, which will culminate in a 15-page paper on a topic related to African American literature.

3 Credits
MWF   10:30-11:20 am     Professor Buggeln

Museums reveal what cultures value most. In their architecture, collections, and public programs museums demonstrate how people organize knowledge, think about the past, and see themselves in relation to others. This seminar will examine the history of museums in Europe and America from the Renaissance to the present, tracing the development of a wide variety of institutions, including art museums, natural history museums, history museums, and science and technology museums. Topics will include the nature of collecting as a human activity, history and memory, museums and nationalism, culture as entertainment, and the politics of taste. We will pay close attention to challenges facing museums today, such as Native Americans’ demand for the return of human remains and artifacts, the politics of the representation of racial, ethnic, and religious difference, and the proper response to tragedies such as the Holocaust or 9/11.

Students will take a midterm exam and complete a term project analyzing one museum of their choice, requiring both a fifteen-page paper and a final PowerPoint presentation. They will attend three Saturday or Sunday field trips to Chicago and Indianapolis. Major readings will include: Edward P. Alexander, Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Function of Museums (2017 edition), James Cuno, Museums Matter: In Praise of the Encyclopedic

Museum (2011), and Lawrence Weschler, Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast and Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology (1996).

1 Credit
Assistant Dean Stewart

Christ College Senior Colloquium provides a capstone, integrative experience for Christ College Scholars. Through conversations, readings, and written work, students will be led to give shape to the substance of their lives through autobiographical narrative, and they will be led to reflect upon the character and meaning of their future work. The practical dimensions of these reflections will include attention to the transition from college.  [For seniors who were unable to take this in the fall.]