R 6:30-7:30 p.m. (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.
TR 1:30-2:45 p.m. – Professor Graber
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: MWF 12:40-1:30 pm – Professor Smith (Fulfills THEO 200 and WIC requirement)
Section B: TR 8:15-9:30 am – Professor Howard (Fulfills THEO 200 requirement only)
Section C: TR 1:30-2:45 pm – Professor Howard (Fulfills THEO 200 requirement only)
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).
Section A: TR 10:20-11:35 pm – Professor Jakelic
Section B: TR 11:55-1:10 pm – Professor Jakelic
Fulfills 3 credits 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
3 Credits – Cross-listed with PHIL 275 AX
MWF 11:30-12:20 pm – Professor Preston
Fulfills humanities philosophy component of general education requirements
An introduction to the most important philosophers and philosophies of the ancient and medieval worlds, from the Pre-Socratics through William of Occam. The course focuses on Plato and Aristotle, and the reception of their thought by Jewish, Islamic and especially Christian thinkers such as Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. To this end, we will explore the ways in which medieval thinkers used Greek philosophical ideas to articulate theological positions on such issues as the relationship between faith and reason, the existence and nature of God, the nature of morality, the problem of evil, God’s relationship to time, and attendant considerations about foreknowledge, providence, predestination, and free will.
3 Credits – Cross-listed with POLS 342 AX
MWF 11:30-12:20 pm – Professor Old
Fulfills 3 cr of social sciences (POLS) requirement.
What is the best form of government? Who should have power and how much? What are my responsibilities to the state? Who counts as a member of our community? Our answers to questions like these are determined by political ideologies, systems of thought that shape how we understand our political communities and our roles as citizens of them. We will begin with an introduction to the concept of political ideology and various approaches to the study of ideologies. This will allow us to consider questions such as what constitutes an ideology, what distinguishes ideologies from other systems of thought, and what roles ideologies can and should play within political communities. We also will analyse examples of ideological writings representing important twentieth century political movements, including liberalism, fascism, communism, and socialism, as well as several more recently emerging ideologies such as fundamentalism, feminism, environmentalism, and anarchism. Common texts will include non-fiction, fiction, film, and other media.
Readings may include:
Isaiah Berlin, “Two Concepts of Liberty.”
Hannah Arendt, “Ideology and Terror: A Novel Form of Government”
Michael Walzer. “Town Meetings and Workers Control.”
Noam Chomsky. “The Relevance of Anarcho-Syndicalism.”
Michael Oakeshott. “On Being Conservative.”
Benito Mussolini “The Doctrine of Fascism”.
3 Credits – Cross-listed with WLC 320 AX
MW 1:50-3:05 pm – Professor Schaefer
This class examines the connection between intergovernmental agencies and the nonprofit sector—humanitarian aid—in historical perspective. Its reach is global. Much criticism has been leveled against relief aid, development aid, missionary efforts, and, in certain circles, even human rights agencies. These criticisms along with endorsements for each effort will be examined. The format is to pull together four separate understandings of humanitarian aid into a holistic view of global engagement. Each section—religious motivated efforts, human rights modalities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and sustainable development endeavor. The intent of the seminar is to leave students aware of the pitfalls associated with the history of humanitarian aid, but resolute in their determination to improve the world wisely and considerately.
3 Credits – Cross-listed with FREN 300 AX
MWF 3:00-3:50 pm – Professor Tomasik
Fulfills cultural diversity requirement for general education.
How many times have we all 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? This course will survey masterpieces of French literature, coupled with analyses of film adaptations of these same works by both French and American filmmakers. We will begin by establishing a theoretical framework for concepts such as translation and adaptation (Benjamin, Barthes, Genette) 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 Dangerous Liaisons and Flaubert’s 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 conduct an independent project based on a third literary work and
corresponding film adaptations. We will certainly ask about what is lost in translation. But, perhaps surprisingly, we will also ask about what is gained
3 Credits – Cross-listed with THEO 349
TR 10:20-11:35 pm – Professor Holman
Fulfills upper level theology requirement.
A year of pandemic statistics shoves death in our face while forcing hyper-sanitized isolation that cuts us off from saying goodbye to those we love. How have religious traditions historically discussed what it means to live in the soon-but-not-yet awareness of real and impending loss? This course will get past the platitudes to read historical accounts written by those facing terminal illness, execution, or survivor grief. Topics will range from early Christian martyrs to the Salem witch trials, modern writers like C.S. Lewis and J. Todd Billings, and the health inequities that shape mortality narratives about women and children worldwide across history.
3 Credits – Cross-listed with THEO 339 AX
TR 1:30-2:45 pm – Professor Gary
Fulfills upper-level theology requirement.
This course explores the ways in which Christ—as a character in the gospel narratives, an object of Christian theological reflection, and a living presence in the life of the Church—might inform Christian visions of human life and practices (individual, communal, and cosmic) that promote human flourishing in today’s world.
M 6:30-9:15 pm – Professor Howard
What does it mean to be an adult in twenty-first century America? This course will consider how the milestones of adulthood have changed in the United States since the nineteenth century. We’ll examine how Americans in other eras traced paths to satisfying adult lives and explain why that transition has grown more problematic. Is there more to adulthood than paying one’s own taxes, doing one’s own laundry, and buying one’s own toilet paper, as popular guides to “adulting” imply? Seminar discussions will start with the historical survey by Steven Mintz, The Prime of Life. While historical method frames the course, students will write and present interdisciplinary research papers on a topic of their choosing. We will use materials from varied disciplines to study how education, relationships, marriage, childrearing, career choice, and citizenship have changed.
TR 3:05-4:20 pm – Professor Upton
In polite company, one is not supposed to discuss religion, sex, or politics. In this class we will discuss all three (through the lens of the first) while reading some spectacular speculative fiction. The recent past has seen a movement in science fiction and fantasy literature to radically re-examine the role of religion in a secular society, culminating over the past few years in Chicago author Ada Palmer’s Terra Ignota series. Palmer asks what happens when, in the midst of a society that has marginalized religion, the miraculous suddenly appears in the form of a boy with stunning powers. The resulting portrait presents the death of a secular utopian society from within, a spiral into a modern dystopia, with the ghost of religion lurking in the background as a witness. This course will read Palmer’s novels along with other recent works of science fiction and fantasy literature that provide a critical context for that series’ exploration of religion. These novels often present dystopias, fallen worlds for which religion provides either a partial cause of disintegration or the potential for reform and renewal. As such, they explore religion in all its complexity, as representing both the very worst and the very best of human experience. In addition to Palmer’s novels, texts may include N.K. Jemisin’s The Inheritance Trilogy and Gene Wolfe’s tetralogy, Book of the New Sun.
W 6:30-9:15 pm – Professor Prough
Fulfills cultural diversity requirement for general education.
Anime, Japanese animation, is an important form of media in Japan and one which has captured global attention in the past thirty years. In this film course we will watch a series of influential anime to learn about this medium, its contours, its strengths, and its limits. Moreover, anime is renowned for tackling complex social themes through a dynamic visual style of storytelling focused on crafting characters and worlds. Thus, beyond thinking about the medium itself, the anime we will examine all tell stories that are eco-centric—they think through issues of the tensions between nature and culture, and nature and technology. With the advent of climate change, the ways that our cultural structures and technological advancements affect the world around us is at the fore of our national and global conversations. While Western discourses tend towards a dichotomy between human creations and the natural world, questions about the relationship between nature, culture, and technology are often more complex in Japan. To contextualize our examination of these anime focused on the nature/human relationship we will learn about Japanese religion, philosophy, folklore, aesthetics, and history. Throughout the class we will train our close reading skills on this filmic medium grounded in contextual and analytical readings.
While I am still narrowing down the seven films that will comprise the core of this class, I know that we will start with the grandfather of this genre Godzilla (1954), even though it is a live-action film. This classic is a quintessential narrative about nature, technology, and culture. Other anime under consideration include: Nausicaa of the Valley of the wind (1984), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko (1994), Ghost in the Shell (1995), Princess Mononoke (1997), Wonderful Days (Sky Blue) (2003), Origins: Spirits of the Past (2006), Miyori no Mori (2007), and Shin Godzilla (2016).
In order to watch these films together we will meet for a 150 minute block once a week. Every week we will read articles and book chapters that provide cultural and historical context as well as examining fundamental features of anime as an aesthetic medium. Our in-class time will alternate between watching a feature film length anime together and discussing the film along with background and secondary sources.
Assignments will include discussion posts and reading annotations, a 5 page paper focusing on a close read of one film, and a 12-18 page interdisciplinary research paper on nature and culture in anime.
This class is open to anyone (sophomore and above)! It doesn’t matter if you have never seen an anime, or if you know nothing about Japan, or about ecology. Together we will examine what tales of nature, culture, technology from Japan can add to our understanding of the world we live in while finding the joys of this dynamic filmic medium.
Meeting Time TBA – Professor Puffer
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 Puffer 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.)
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