Fall 2019

Fall 2019

Women in Islam and Confucianism

Yi Sun, Bahar Davary

Using an interdisciplinary approach, this course examines the historical and contemporary experiences of women in Islam and Confucianism from the perspectives of History and Religious Studies.   With a focus on the lives of Iranian women and Chinese women while also providing much broader coverage, the course is designed to dissect the intricate connections between the two pervasive religions and women’s experiences in Islamic and Confucian societies. Students will be expected to develop critical appreciation of women’s dynamic role in shaping the historical contours of Islam and Confucianism as well as in changing their own lives. 

HNRS 364

Yi Sun


HNRS 365

Bahar Davary


 *Approved Core: Advanced Integration, Global Diversity Level 1, Historical Inquiry (HNRS 364), Critical Thinking and Information Literacy (HNRS 364), Theological and Religious Inquiry (HNRS 365)

Integration and Innovation in Disability Studies

Jillian Tullis, Suzanne Stolz

Disability Studies is a broad, interdisciplinary field that approaches disability from historical, cultural, and social perspectives. In this course we will work to better understand disability experiences and issues impacting people with disabilities. We will explore the interpersonal, social, cultural, and mediated conceptions of disability, and consider various models with which disability is commonly understood. We will begin with the origins of disability studies, interrogate current issues and discourses, and finally imagine future possibilities. Some questions that guide the course include:How have our conceptions of disability been shaped? And by whom? What institutional and social structures disable people? What efforts have been made to integrate people with disabilities? What role do they play in change? How might we envision a more just future for those whose bodies are viewed as outside the norm? Assignments will ask students to integrate their knowledge to expand access and create social change. 

HNRS 350

Jillian Tullis


HNRS 351

Suzanne Stolz


Power and Politics

Craig Barkacs, Linda Barkacs

This course covers the analysis, explanation and evaluation of power and politics in organizations. It offers frameworks for assessing the sources of power in organizations, the conditions that lead to its attainment and its effective use from both a practical and an ethical perspective. Discussions will cover how people in organizations try to get what they want by influencing others, how their ability to do so is affected by power distributions and how people try to change power distributions in their favor. We will evaluate these behaviors and discuss how (if at all) we should participate in these behaviors. 

HNRS 308

Craig Barkacs


HNRS 309

Linda Barkacs


*This course satisfies upper-division elective credit in the Business Administration major/minor.

Plagues, Politics, and Preservation: The Environment in the Ancient World

Andrew Tirrell, Ryan Abrecht

Humanity’s fraught relationship with its natural environment is arguably the most important issue of our time. Many scientists agree that we are living at the beginning of a new era – the Anthropocene – in which human activities have an unprecedented impact on Earth’s ecosystems. Debate continues, however, about precisely when this “new” era began. While some scholars link the beginning of the Anthropocene to the later half of the twentieth century or the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, others assert that we should look further back. This course will examine the beginning of humanity’s efforts to mold the natural world to suit its needs, tracing a direct line from the environmental issues of our own time to the invention of agriculture and urbanism in the Neolithic Revolution. We will seek the beginnings of the Anthropocene, in other words, in the very foundations of human civilization as we know it. Using case studies from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, we will examine ancient peoples’ changing relationship with the natural world, focusing on issues such as the sacredness of nature; resource use, degradation, and scarcity; disease and other environmental health factors; and early conceptions of conservation and preservation.

HNRS 338

Andrew Tirrell


HNRS 339

Ryan Abrecht


*Approved Core: Advanced Integration, Historical Inquiry (HNRS 339)