Course Offerings Summer 2017


01:050:259 Section B1
Popular Culture - 3 Credits

This class explores major themes and problems in American popular culture. We will analyze and discuss a wide array of movies, videos, songs, texts, and images in an effort to understand what makes popular culture popular, how it "works" (or does not work) in society, what kinds of meaning it generates, and how it is received by audiences. We will use a variety of scholarly models and theoretical literature to help make sense of cultural productions that seem all too familiar but bear careful scrutiny. In addition the course will take on a special theme: humanness and popular culture. In what ways does popular culture shape and reflect our understandings of ourselves as human in the present age of virtuality, layered reality, mechanized intelligence, and networked identities?
MW 10:00-2:25PM
HCK 201 (DC)

01:050:266 Section B6
Cult Films in American Culture - 3 Credits

This lecture-discussion course focuses on the “cult” film from its origins in the 1920s to its evolution in American culture. Close analyses of cult films will be paired with readings by J. Hoberman and Jonathan Rosenbaum, Sigmund Freud, and others. According to Freud, for example, social organization for the primordial horde came about as a result of the incest taboo and the law of exogamy. Several of the films to be screened depict scenes that violate this organization and break the taboo. This course will explore how and why these violations permeate cult films. In addition, many cult films are open-ended metaphors for contemporary social anxieties. We will examine how some of these counter-culture films are a reaction to late ‘60s and ‘70s American society. Finally, this course will include in-depth analyses of the structure of celebrated American cult films ("mise-en-scene," editing, narrative form, set design, sound, and special effects) including: The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Eraserhead, Night of the Living Dead, Cat People, and others. Warning: some films may contain nudity, sexual situations, violence, profanity, substance abuse, and disturbing images.
TTH 6:00-9:40PM
VH 105 (CAC)

01:050:300 Section E6 (02069) Topics:
Comedy and Happiness - 3 Credits

What is the relationship between laughter, comedy, wonder, and happiness? Often in this fast-paced, technological American society of the 21 st century we forget to be content with the subtle humor hidden in our daily lives, both at work and home. This course surveys recent psychological, anthropological, sociological, and motivational literature on happiness, especially groundbreaking studies of the last decade. Simultaneously we examine the history of comic theatre, from its roots in Ancient Greece to stand up routines found in today’s urban and suburban comedy clubs. Be prepared to take the subject seriously, and you will likely complete the course having found an “inner smile.”
MW 6:00-9:40PM
SC 101 (CAC)

01:050:300 Section A6 (04810) Topics:
Dancing with the Stars: Athletic Bodies - 3 Credits

What makes an athletic and agile body? Is it a football player or a ballet dancer? This course helps each student to find a new appreciation of the human body. We read the works of playwrights, painters, sculptors, dancers, choreographers, literary authors, and athletes of all types. Outings to performances, sports facilities, museums, galleries, indoor and outdoor athletic shows.
MW 6:00-10:00PM
AB 2250 (CAC)

01:050:301 Section C1 (02361) Topics:
Beaches, Lakes, and Rivers of New Jersey - 3 Credits

Writers and painters have become infatuated with the waters of New Jersey, so have swimmers, boaters, joggers, bicyclists, and recreation enthusiasts of all stripes. Through research and weekly trips to New Jersey beaches, lakes, and rivers, we will learn about their history and ecology as we contemplate the beauty, silence, and noise surrounding them.
S 10:30-6:30PM
SC 201 (CAC)

01:050:314 Section B1 Topics:
Technology and Culture in America: The Musical Matrix Before and After the Internet - 3 Credits

How do you listen to music? Is it through a streaming service on your phone? Do you buy vinyl? Or maybe you don’t think that much at all about how you get your music--you just listen! This course will examine advances in recording technology and the larger cultural impact of recorded sound before and after the internet age. We live in a time where music is more accessible, in more forms, and perhaps has more cultural, social, and political impact than even a mere 25 years ago. This course will examine the rise of popular music in the twentieth century. Moreover, we’ll ask whether or not music has the ability to change the course of our lives—of whole cultures even? To answer these questions we’ll listen to music across a wide array of genres. We’ll also use literature and film to juxtapose how music generates different meaning within culture(s).
T 10:00-2:25PM



01:050:301 Section B1 (02360) Topics:
Sex, Love, Romance, Dating - 3 Credits

First we explore love relationships and values representing various cultures and times beginning with ancient attitudes toward love in Aristophanes, Sappho, Plato, and The Greek Anthology. Contemporary dating practices and sexual expressivity will both be considered from the standpoint of sociology, psychology, healthcare, and humanistic studies. The arts will serve as a primary pedagogic tool for understanding dimensions of human love and dating. Alternative medicine will also be considered in relation to urban sexual practices. American culture of the last few decades has shown a heightened concern for sexual behavior, practices, and preferences. Other decades have prioritized love relations, love letters, romance, and reflection on courtship practices. This seminar will investigate why one approach often eclipses the other.
T 1:00-5:00PM
Lec H 0100 (WM)

01:050:302 Section B6 (02788) Topics:
Beach Culture - 3 Credits

How has beach culture become an integral urban and suburban experience? Each of the five Saturday meetings will provide a chance to enjoy the outside weather of various New Jersey beaches while we study the many experiential aspects of beach economy, anthropology, and sociology: labor, industry, tourism, recreation and hospitality, ecology, global warming, “beach reading,” beach poetry, architectural and historical sites, cultural venues, self-reflection, beach arts, yoga on the beach, and athletic beach life.
T 6:00-10:00PM
Lec H 0600 (WM)