Winter Session 2018 Courses

Course information subject to change without notice.

Winter Session classes will begin on Monday, January 8 and end on Sunday, January 21; there will be a one-day reading peried on Monday, January 22 and any exams will be scheduled for Tuesday, January 23. Courses typically meet 4 hours per day for 10 days. Students may only enroll in one Winter Session course. Courses may only be taken for credit; auditors are not permitted in Winter Session courses. 

Looking for information on Winter Session Study Abroad programs? Click here

Click "Course Description" under the title of each course for more information. Syllabi will be posted as they become available; students are encouraged to contact faculty directly with any questions about courses.

Division I Arts and Humanities

ENGL259: The Art of the Personal Essay
Elizabeth Bobrick

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    Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
    Prerequisites: None
    Grading Mode: Graded
    Syllabus: Click here

    Location: Downey 100
    Schedule: Jan. 8-12 and 15-19, 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm 

    The personal essay has a long and rich history, and is still a vibrant, flourishing, and culturally pertinent genre. Although the essay defies a fixed definition, its essence is creative inquiry, an exploration of the significance of ordinary and extraordinary events, from James Baldwin’s account of his father’s death during the Harlem riot of 1943, to Maggie Nelson’s reflections on the pain of giving birth.

    By studying narrative techniques and strategies, we become more sophisticated readers and writers. Our readings will be grouped loosely by themes that form the basis of many essays: how remembered and closely observed objects and places evoke memories and speculation, and how familial, ethnic, and cultural dynamics shape personal and political transformation. Each will be considered within historical and cultural contexts.

    Our reading list includes works by Michel Montaigne, John McFee, Roxane Gay, Jo Ann Beard, Jhumpa Lahiri, Richard Rodriguez, Aleksander Hemon, James Baldwin, Maggie Nelson, and many others, as well as essays by essayists on the craft of writing within this malleable form.

    In class discussion, we will focus on technique -- structure, voice, clarity, and the use of descriptive detail – and how they create meaning. You will write three essays, making use of techniques studied in class, and you will revise these essays after peer review and my comments. Ideally, you will see how the choices you make as a writer, particularly in the process of revision, lead you to new ideas and encourage you to question your own and others’ assumptions.

    Please note that the class is a seminar, i.e., more time will be devoted to discussion of assigned readings than to peer critique (aka ‘workshop’).

MUSC275/AFAM265/AMST267: Music and Downtown New York 1950-1970
Eric Charry

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    Gen Ed Area Dept: HA MUSC
    Prerequisites: None
    Grading Mode: Graded
    Syllabus: Click here

    Location: Music Studios 301
    Schedule: 10am-12pm and 1pm-4pm, every other day: Jan 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22

    This course will explore the history and simultaneous flourishing of four distinct music communities that inhabited and shaped downtown New York City during two especially rich decades (the 1950s and 60s): urban blues and folk revivalists; an African American jazz-based avant-garde; Euro-American experimentalists; and Lower East Side rock groups. These four vanguard musical movements--at the heart of dramatic cultural shifts at the time, with reverberations and legacies that remain relevant up to the present day--are an essential part of American history. Much of the course will be devoted to discovering their points of convergence and divergence, especially in conversation with broader contemporaneous currents, including the Civil Rights Movement and related notions of freedom, shifting youth cultures, music and politics, and avant-garde aesthetics.

    Drawing from primary sources, we will read about and listen to recordings of a wide variety of musicians, view a broad cross-section of film from the era, identify aesthetic and cultural trends, and study the local industry that supported them, including record labels, coffee houses, clubs, and concert spaces. Projects throughout the semester include written papers, individual and group presentations, and adding content to an interactive collaborative Google map of the neighborhood.

ARST190: Digital Art - FULLY ENROLLED
Christopher Chenier

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    Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ART
    Prerequisites: None
    Grading Mode: Graded
    Syllabus: Click here

    Location: Digital Design Studio
    Schedule: Jan 8-12, 10:00am-12:30-m, 1:30pm-4pm, then Jan 15-19, 10am-12:30pm, then Jan 23, 12:30pm-4pm

    This experience will introduce students to the digital arts, an area of creative practice encompassing computer-based art from GIFS and graphics to cutting edge digital fabrication tools. While developing the critical and methodological tools to engage problems in our digital culture, students will acquire the practical skills necessary to create and communicate digitally. Sessions will emphasize the ways software is used for project development, prototyping, and experimentation. Most of our time will be spend in Adobe Creative Cloud. The core elements of CC will be covered through workshops in image editing, graphics, layout, and type. Translating digital files into physical objects, students will work with a laser cutter, large format inket printers, and a CNC mill.

AMST241/ENGL235: Childhood in America - FULLY ENROLLED
Indira Karamcheti

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    Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
    Prerequisites: None
    Grading Mode: Student Option
    Syllabus: Click Here

    Locaton: Center for the Americas, Room 3
    Schedule: M-F, 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm

    Probably the first literature we fall in love with, children's literature shapes individuals and cultures in profound ways, investing us with important mythologies and guiding our identities and behaviors. This course will examine fairy tales, some works from the "golden age" of children's stories, and some contemporary works. We will enrich our reading of the fiction with some of the central theorists of this genre, including Bruno Bettelheim, Jack Zipes, and Maria Tatar. The course will examine how childhood has been defined, and the ways children have been taught and amused. The emphasis will be on children's literature, including among other readings, Little House on the Prairie, Little Women, The Wizard of Oz, The Phantom Tollbooth, and The Light in the Forest. The primary literature texts will be supplemented with secondary sources, including work by Maria Tatar, Jack Zipes, and others. In addition, the class will look at games, puzzles, and toys. This course contributes to the Theory & Literature forms concentration for the English major and offers a Research Option fo those pursuing the Honors in English major.

CCIV220/ENGL219: Homer and the Epic
Andrew Szegedy-Maszak

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    Gen Ed Area Dept: HA
    Prerequisites: None
    Grading Mode: Graded
    Syllabus: Click here

    Location: Downey 208
    Schedule: M-F, 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm

    In this course we will read both the Iliad and the Odyssey (in English translation). These two great epics are recognized as the first major texts of the Western literary tradition, and they have had an incalculable influence on everything from literature, to history, to the visual arts. Through a close reading of both epics, we will consider issues such as Homeric composition and poetic practice, heroes and the heroic code, the relations between humans and gods, the role of fate, and the structure of Homeric society (e.g., the status of women; clan and community). We will also read a number of contemporary critical essays to help us frame our discussions. 

Division II Social and Behavioral Sciences

MUSC275/AFAM265/AMST267: Music and Downtown New York 1950-1970
Eric Charry
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    Gen Ed Area Dept: HA MUSC
    Prerequisites: None
    Grading Mode: Graded
    SyllabusClick here

    Location: Music Studios 301
    Schedule: 10am-12pm and 1pm-4pm, every other day: Jan 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22

    This course will explore the history and simultaneous flourishing of four distinct music communities that inhabited and shaped downtown New York City during two especially rich decades (the 1950s and 60s): urban blues and folk revivalists; an African American jazz-based avant-garde; Euro-American experimentalists; and Lower East Side rock groups. These four vanguard musical movements--at the heart of dramatic cultural shifts at the time, with reverberations and legacies that remain relevant up to the present day--are an essential part of American history. Much of the course will be devoted to discovering their points of convergence and divergence, especially in conversation with broader contemporaneous currents, including the Civil Rights Movement and related notions of freedom, shifting youth cultures, music and politics, and avant-garde aesthetics.

    Drawing from primary sources, we will read about and listen to recordings of a wide variety of musicians, view a broad cross-section of film from the era, identify aesthetic and cultural trends, and study the local industry that supported them, including record labels, coffee houses, clubs, and concert spaces. Projects throughout the semester include written papers, individual and group presentations, and adding content to an interactive collaborative Google map of the neighborhood.

GOVT311: US Foreign Policy
Douglas Foyle
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    Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS GOVT
    Prerequisites: None
    Grading Mode: Graded
    Syllabus: Click here

    Location: Public Affairs Center 422
    Schedule: NOTE: Starts Jan 10! Schedule: Jan 10-12 and 15-19, 9-11:30am and 1-3:30pm 

    This course provides a survey of the content and formulation of American foreign policy with an emphasis on the period after World War II.  It evaluates the sources of American foreign policy including the international system, societal factors, government processes, and individual decision makers.  The course begins with a consideration of major trends in U.S. foreign policy after World War II. With a historical base established, the focus turns to the major institutions and actors in American foreign policy. The course concludes with an examination of the challenges and opportunities that face current U.S. decision makers. A significant component of the course is the intensive discussion of specific foreign policy decisions.

    No prior knowledge of U.S. foreign policy or international politics is assumed other than what might be gathered from keeping up with the current events.

AMST241/ENGL235: Childhood in America 
Indira Karamcheti
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    Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
    Prerequisites: None
    Grading Mode: Student Option
    Syllabus: Click Here

    Locaton: Center for the Americas, Room 3
    Schedule: M-F, 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm

    Probably the first literature we fall in love with, children's literature shapes individuals and cultures in profound ways, investing us with important mythologies and guiding our identities and behaviors. This course will examine fairy tales, some works from the "golden age" of children's stories, and some contemporary works. We will enrich our reading of the fiction with some of the central theorists of this genre, including Bruno Bettelheim, Jack Zipes, and Maria Tatar. The course will examine how childhood has been defined, and the ways children have been taught and amused. The emphasis will be on children's literature, including among other readings, Little House on the Prairie, Little Women, The Wizard of Oz, The Phantom Tollbooth, and The Light in the Forest. The primary literature texts will be supplemented with secondary sources, including work by Maria Tatar, Jack Zipes, and others. In addition, the class will look at games, puzzles, and toys. This course contributes to the Theory & Literature forms concentration for the English major and offers a Research Option fo those pursuing the Honors in English major.

QAC201/SOC257/GOVT201/PSYC280/NSB280: Applied Data Analysis
Valerie Nazzaro
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    Gen Ed Area Dept: NSM QAC
    Prerequisites: None
    Grading Mode: Graded
    Syllabus: Click here

    Location: Science Center 189
    Schedule: M-F 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm

    In this project-based course, you will have the opportunity to answer questions that you feel passionately about through independent research based on existing data. You will develop skills in generating testable hypotheses, conducting a literature review, preparing data for analysis, conducting descriptive and inferential statistical analyses, and presenting research findings. The course offers one-on-one support, ample opportunities to work with other students, and training in the skills required to complete a project of your own design. These skills will prepare you to work in many different research labs across the University that collect empirical data. It is also an opportunity to fulfill an important requirement in several different majors.

Division III Natural Sciences and Mathematics

PSYC/NS&B316: Schizophrenia and its Treatment
Matthew Kurtz
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    Gen Ed Area Dept: NSM PSYC
    Prerequisites: None
    Grading Mode: Graded
    SyllabusClick here

    Location: Judd 116
    Schedule: M-F, 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm

    The goal of the seminar will be to critically investigate the concept of schizophrenia as a unitary disease construct, from historical, neuroscientific, and phenomenological approaches, and the implications of these views for our understanding of treatment in the disorder. How are we to make sense of a psychiatric disorder that has changed so substantially in definition over time, with wide interindividual difference in symptom expression and functional outcome, a wide array of competing theories regarding etiology and biological mechanisms, and correspondingly diverse treatment interventions? We will engage these questions through three separate units that will evaluate the disorder from three different levels of analysis: (1) readings in the history of psychiatry and the perspective they cast on schizophrenia as a unitary disease concept; (2) an analysis of contemporary work in neuroimaging and experimental cognition in the disease and the current status of creating a coherent account of neurocognitive mechanisms of the disease, as well as a neurocognitive approach to novel interventions; (3) new work on understanding the experience of the disease from first-person accounts and the systematic analysis of these accounts as a window to understanding heterogeneity in the disease and novel approaches for therapy.

COMP112: Introduction to Programming (with Python)
James Lipton
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    Gen Ed Area Dept: NSM MATH
    Prerequisites: None
    Grading Mode: Student Option
    Syllabus: Click here

    Location: Art Workshop 112
    Schedule: M-F, 1pm-6pm

    In this course students will be introduced to programming, using the Python language, from scratch. No background at all is required. Students will acquire basic coding skills that will enable them to continue with more advanced programming courses, or to learn about more advanced applications in many fields. This would include data analysis applications or coding web and phone apps and games. In this course we will cover basic program construction techniques including the use of function definitions loops and classes. We will work towards a final graphical game project using a popular graphical user interface called TkInter. Students may propose alternative graphical project ideas. The choice of programming language, Python, is based on a number of considerations: it is one of the most widely used languages in the world today. Many resources (additional packages) are available for Python for web development, machine learning, data science, graphics, map and GPS applications, games, interfaces to Google, Facebook and Twitter. This is a "hands-on" course: students will spend close to half of class time writing or completing programs in class, with the instructor giving assistance and making comments one-on-one. There is no better way to learn how to code than by doing it.

ASTR111: The Dark Side of the Universe
Edward Moran
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    Gen Ed Area Dept: NSM ASTR
    Prerequisites: None
    Grading Mode: Graded
    SyllabusClick here

    Location: Van Vleck Observatory 110
    Schedule: Evenings 5:00 - 10:00 p.m., every other day (see syllabus)

    Note: Not eligible for credit if you have taken ASTR105 or ASTR107

    The physical world we experience is one of normal matter, energy, and -- if one looks up at night -- stars. But on larger scales, the universe has an exotic and much less well understood side dominated by thingswe call dark matter, dark energy, and black holes. What are these mysterious components, and what is the relationship between them and the world that is familiar to us? The answers lie at the frontier of modern astrophysics. In this course, we explore the evidence for the existence of these dark components and the current debates regarding their nature and origin. In different ways, each of them has a vital role in th evolution of the universe and its ultimate fate. 

    Please note: This is a general education course for students no intending to major in science. Although the majority of the course is qualitative, a good knowledge of high scool-level mathematics (algebra and trigonometry) is expected.

    Required Text:

    Your Cosmic Context, T. Duncan & C. Tyler (Pearson Addison-Wesley)
    Two copies are on 2-hour reserve at the Science Library

QAC201/SOC257/GOVT201/PSYC280/NSB280: Applied Data Analysis
Valerie Nazzaro
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    Gen Ed Area Dept: NSM QAC
    Prerequisites: None
    Grading Mode: Graded
    SyllabusClick here to view a previous syllabus for this course

    Location: Science Center 189
    Schedule: M-F 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm

    In this project-based course, you will have the opportunity to answer questions that you feel passionately about through independent research based on existing data. You will develop skills in generating testable hypotheses, conducting a literature review, preparing data for analysis, conducting descriptive and inferential statistical analyses, and presenting research findings. The course offers one-on-one support, ample opportunities to work with other students, and training in the skills required to complete a project of your own design. These skills will prepare you to work in many different research labs across the University that collect empirical data. It is also an opportunity to fulfill an important requirement in several different majors.

PSYC230: Developmental Psychology
Anna Shusterman
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    Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS PSYC
    Prerequisites: PSYC105
    Grading Mode: Graded 
    SyllabusClick here

    Location: Judd 113
    Schedule: Jan 8-12, Jan 16-20. (MLK off, Sat 1/20 on), 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm

    In this two-week, full-credit course, students will learn how children develop across different domains – physical, cognitive, language, social-emotional, identity, personality. We will emphasize the primary research literature in developmental science and expose students to the fundamental methods and theories used to study how children develop. In the process, we will learn to appreciate the beauty and detail of human development, as well as the ingenuity of research in the field over the last several decades.

Visit the Winter Session Course Archive to see a list of courses that have previously been offered.