Every year, the United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA) pursues an ambitious annual campaign, and every year, area companies share their employees, or "loaned executives," with the organization to help it reach its funding goals. (For some sense of the scale of this undertaking, the United Way’s 2014 goal is $38,250,000.)
Published in Announcements
June 24, 2014

English Classes


Introduction to African American Literature (EH 324)

Time: T/TH 11:00 a.m.- 12:15 p.m.
Instructor: Jessie Dunbar

Langston Hughes. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. Langston Hughes. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. This course will examine the significance of the African American literary tradition in shaping both the identities and the histories of people of African descent in the United States. The fiction of the writers featured in this course spans such periods as the New Negro Movement or the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s; the fiction of post WWII or the "indignant generation"; The Black Arts Movement of the 1960s; and contemporary African American fiction which is defined by what some scholars term a Renaissance in fiction by African American women. Throughout the course we will focus upon the historical and cultural contexts that shape the artistic development of African American writers as well as the manner in which they experiment with forms of fiction. The purpose of the course is not only to serve as an introduction to the fiction of major writers within the African American literary tradition and the eras which in part defined them, but, equally as important, to provide the skills and background that will enable you to identify and examine the most salient themes, forms and patterns that define their fiction. Together these themes, forms and patterns constitute a shared symbolic geography from which emerges the dynamic and evolving tradition of African American literature.

Gender, Literature, and Medicine (EH 327)

Time: T/TH 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Instructor: Margaret Jay Jessee

In this course, we will read both fictional literature about and memoirs by women working in western medicine. We will begin this course discussing women's entry into "legitimate" medical practice through school training and entering the American Medical Association. Not surprisingly, as women gained more influence in the medical community, they faced opposition to their attempt to regain what had once been theirs: social authority in the area of care giving and health. The AMA deemed their role parasitic in nature, and the resentment toward these women led the Boston Gynecological Society to call them "the third sex." We will analyze representations of women healers in literature, tracking the development of the initial "third sex" figure through more contemporary, multi-national literary representations of women in medicine. Our class discussions will primarily focus on how the figure of the woman healer changes with time and place, how cultural representations of women relate to literary representations of women in medicine, and how cultural differences between women affect those representations.

Our assignments for this course will be various contributions to a course homepage where we will hold discussions about readings, curate research, and write reviews of the texts we read.

Black Cinema (EH 425/545)

Time: TH 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Instructor: Melissa Asher Daniels

The collective African American experience, as it is depicted in mainstream movies, is really nothing more than a constellation of racist stereotypes. Beginning with D.W. Griffith's silent drama, The Birth of a Nation (1915), which portrayed blacks as savage monsters, modern film has consistently and predominately framed blackness in destructive and marginalizing ways. Pimp, prostitute, drug kingpin — these are just a few of the pathological tropes that most frequently define the black image in film. Independent black cinema emerged in response to these visual discourses. As a creative, expressive, and critical formation, independent black cinema debunks and deconstructs these filmic representations by providing alternative visions of blackness that are self-directed.

This class traces the development of independent black cinema, from its origins in the Blaxploitation era to its flowering in the 1990s, ending with recent additions to the canon. Central to our study will be an ongoing engagement with the aesthetic and cultural politics involved in film production, spectatorship, and representation. We will discuss the critical roles that questions of ancestry, migration, urban warfare, sexuality, class, and race regularly play in depicting the complexity and diversity of African American life. Our goal is to arrive at a deeper understanding of the power and function of the cinema. Classes will consist of lectures, discussions, and screenings of specific scenes. Students are responsible for viewing films outside of class. Films include: Melvin Van Peebles, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971); Charles Burnett, Killer of Sheep (1979); Spike Lee, Do The Right Thing (1989); Jenny Livingston, Paris is Burning (1990); Julie Dash, Daughters of the Dust (1991); Leslie Harris, Just Another Girl on the IRT (1992); Cheryl Dunye, The Watermelon Woman (1996); Barry Jenkins, Medicine for Melancholy (2008); Tina Mabrey, Mississippi Damned (2009); and Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station (2013). Readings will consist of scholarly essays on film and popular culture.

William Butler Yeats. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. William Butler Yeats. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. The Literatures of Ireland (EH 427/592)

Time: TH 7:30 - 10:00 p.m.
Instructor: Kieran Quinlan

The Literatures of Ireland examines writing from that country from the heroic period of the Celtic heroes, through the monastic poetry of the early Christian centuries, to the Gaelic and Anglo-Irish texts of later times, the Irish Literary Renaissance of the 20th century, ending in modern times. Emphasis on the complexity, variety, and contradictory nature of what all-too-often is seen as a unified tradition.

Flash Fiction (EH 429/592)

Time: T 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Instructor: Adam Vines

In this course, we will read flash fiction, will write critically about flash fiction, will discuss approaches, techniques, and vehicles for flash fiction, will write flash fiction, and will workshop flash fiction. You will write flashes of various lengths from 250 words to 500 words to 750 words — some following my draconian prompts, some following your own dictates.
Published in Cool Classes
June 13, 2014

History Classes


Ruins of the Temple of Minerva, Tebessa. Ruins of the Temple of Minerva, Tebessa. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.History of the Roman Empire (HY 218/318)

Time: M/W/F 11:15 a.m. - 12:05 p.m.
Instructor: Walter Ward

Survey of Roman history, society, and culture from the death of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE to the reign of Constantine in the early fourth century CE, with an emphasis on how the Roman empire ruled.

Social History of Crime (HY 259/359)

Time: T/TH 12:30 - 1:45 p.m.
Instructor: Carolyn Conley

This course examines the various approaches historians have made to the social and cultural history of criminal violence. While the topic is one that applies to every human society, most of the material deals with Europe and the United States.

George Wallace: Hero or Pariah? (HY 291/391)

George Wallace resisting the integration of the University of Alabama. George Wallace resisting the integration of the University of Alabama. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.Time: T/TH 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Instructor: Pamela Sterne King

To some he was a hero, to others he was an outcast and stain on the United States. Find out why this man so provoked Americans and why his legacy remains controversial to American politics even today.

Spain and the Spanish Inquisition (HY 459)

Time: M/W/F/ 12:20 - 1:10 p.m.
Instructor: Andrew Keitt

Spain and the Spanish Inquisition explores Spain's fraught history with the Other, from the medieval period during which the Spain experienced an uneasy coexistence, or "convivencia" among Christians, Muslims, and Jews, to the encounter between Spaniards and the indigenous peoples of the New World.

1492 marked both the end of the medieval convivencia, with the fall of Granada, the last Muslim stronghold in southern Spain, and the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian peninsula. It also marked the beginning of the Spanish global empire, with Columbus's chance discovery of a new (to Europeans) continent. At about the same time, the Spanish Inquisition was established to protect a newly purified Spain from what were perceived as the corrupting influences of crypto-Jews and Muslims who were thought to be practicing their ancestral faiths in secret. By the middle of the sixteenth century, the Inquisition had been transplanted to the Americas where it adjudicated cases of idolatry among the newly converted Indians.

During the second half of the semester we will play and develop a Reacting to the Past game. Reacting to the Past consists of elaborate games, set in the past, in which students are assigned roles informed by classic texts in the history of ideas. Teams pursue a series of "victory objectives" which are attained by persuading fellow students via written work and oral presentations. This game pits defenders of the indigenous peoples of the New World against conquistadors eager to secure their territorial claims and crown officials and churchmen struggling to administer a far-flung empire.

Ancient and Medieval Britain (HY 460)

Time: T/TH 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Carolyn Conley

Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Roman, and Viking influences and evolution of kingdom from Norman Conquest to reign of Edward III.

Terrorism in Modern History (HY 472)

Time: M/W/F 10:10 - 11:00 a.m.
Instructor: Stephen Miller

The history of terrorism from its advent during the French Revolution of 1789 to the global war of present time reviewing three main instances of terrorism in history — the French Revolution, 1793-1794; Russia in the 1870s and 1880s and their civil war between 1918 and 1921; and the present-day conflicts involving the United States and the Middle East.
Published in Cool Classes
Can making movies make you a better chemist? UAB chemistry professor Joe March and graduate student Mitzy Erdmann have proven that it does. Their research-tested approach is now implemented across UAB's introductory General Chemistry curriculum.
Published in Announcements
What's the fastest thing you can imagine? How about the smallest?

Well never mind, because there really is no way to wrap your head around what's going on in David Hilton's laser lab in the UAB Department of Physics.
Published in Announcements
Two advanced students in The College, Nicole Watkins in History and Kyle Besing in Mathematics, won second and first place, respectively, in this year’s Graduate Student Research Days, hosted by UAB Graduate School.

Selected by peer review, rather than faculty (as had been done in the past), the two winners were scored on content, delivery, visual aid and preparation.
Published in Announcements
For most of us, Antarctica is a story of ice.

Huge, craggy mountains laced with jagged icy edges. Penguins perched on frozen knolls and ridges, fur seals, crabeater seals, and others fishing amongst the floes. And massive chunks of glaciers breaking off into the sea as the warming global temperature melts away the edges of our southernmost continent.
Published in Announcements
The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Art and Art History will host the Art History Master of Arts Symposium, an annual daylong symposium shared with the University of Alabama, on Friday, March 7, at the UAB Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts.
Published in Announcements
Two graduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences have received 2014 CAS Graduate Entrepreneurship Awards. The program promotes student innovation and entrepreneurship across all graduate programs in CAS.
Published in Announcements

The UAB College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) announces a FY2013 competition for graduate student entrepreneurship awards. CAS plans to award six such graduate student projects of up to $10,000 each. The goal is to promote student innovation and entrepreneurship across graduate programs in CAS.

Published in Announcements
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