COM: Digital Media Design Lab

This course is dedicated to providing space, time, resources, and encouragement to you and your efforts in crafting a Culminating Undergraduate Experience (C.U.E.) media-centric project of your own design. Starting from the question “what do you want to do?” we create together in a playful laboratory community using human-centered, iterative design methods. Build in a project and experience-diverse, flexible, and agile environment. Sharpen skills through constant, hands-on practice. Make of you for you - for your curricular curiosity, your professional future, and your personal passion.

COM 286 Special Topic: Mediamaking for Masses
Mediamaking tools are more accessible now than ever before. But in this fast-paced, content-driven world, mediamaking ethics, theories, and methods are frequently found missing. This course is devoted to introducing non-experts and non-majors to the multi-modal practice and principles of mediamaking. Students will experience introductory elements of web design, graphic arts, audio production, and video production in an exploratory setting.
LLC 281-01  Special Topic: Jews of the Medieval Mediterranean
 
The goal of this class is to introduce students to the history of the Jewish communities of the Medieval Muslim Mediterranean through the life and works of one of Judaism's greatest thinkers, Moses Maimonides (1138-1204). The biography of this sage, and his migration from Córdoba to Cairo, will be used as an axis for the study of Jewish history in the Muslim Mediterranean between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. Students will be introduced to the history of Jews under Islamic rule, their legal status and social lives; the history of Jews in the "Golden Age" of Muslim Spain; the Jewish communities of Egypt; and a variety of contemporary sources for the reconstruction of these histories, from Jewish documents in the Geniza (a repository of discarded writings from the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo) to poetry, personal letters, and Muslim writings. The biography of Maimonides will be at the center of this class, and thus, we will be studying his life and works in their Muslim and Jewish historical contexts.
 
LLC 282-82  Special Topic: Travel and Pilgrimage Across Cultures
 
This course surveys travel and pilgrimage from antiquity to the Age of Exploration. Travelers such as (the fictional) Odysseus and their voyages around the world have been captivating the minds of human beings since ancient times. Their records are a popular source of entertainment as well as a source of knowledge regarding faraway countries, the encounter with different cultures and civilizations—and the "Other" more broadly—and monstrous and fabulous beings. We will explore the writings of and about merchants, diplomats, pilgrims, scientists and artists across time, space, and religious tradition, with examples including Homer's Odyssey, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Marco Polo, Benjamin of Tudela, and Ibn Battuta. On some occasions, we will look into other materials, such as visual depictions of travel, maps, and archaeological evidence for travel and pilgrimage.
PHL 288 Special Topic: Philosophy of Dreams
This course will examine the history and contemporary applications of dreams in the field of Western philosophy from aesthetic, ethical, and epistemological perspectives. We will begin with Plato's dream of a second, perfect world in which he constructs a two-world metaphysical system of reality; move to Aristotle's scientific treatises on dreams and prophesying by dreams; and consider St. Augustine's moral questioning about dreams in his Confessions and its development of the Platonic dream of a better life beyond, which can impact our life here and now. The course will then analyze modern philosophical literature on dreams, including excerpts from Rene Descartes, Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche, and utopian and dystopian theorists who draw on the human function of dream consciousness. We will conclude with the 20th and 21st-century phenomenology of dreams in literature, philosophy, and the arts. The course will consider questions about the self that we are in dreams, moral accountability in and out of dreams and the role of aesthetic imagination in dreams regarding the construction of the mind, morality, and reality beyond ourselves.
 
PSY 383 Special Topic: The Psychology of Performance

Students enrolled in this course will explore performance from a psychological perspective. Performances will be applied broadly to include, not just athletic performance, but also the performing arts, expressive arts (creative writing, poetry, visual arts), academics, business, and leadership. Additionally, we will delve into common elements across these domains such as motivation (short and long term), the power of mission, burnout, sleep, performance nutrition, team dynamics, personality, and “game day” strategies. The course
serves as an introduction to the fundamental foundations of performance psychology theory and practice with a heavy focus on application. (Prerequisite PSY 101 or instructor permission).