Science, Philosophy, Knowledge, Reality: The Scientific Enterprise (PHL 270)When: M/W/F 2:30 - 3:20 p.m.
Science is a part of your life every day. The ideas and effects of science pervade our society, yet few people stop to think about the nature of science. Does science reveal a hidden reality, or does it just give us ways to manipulate things we see and touch? Does it give us the truth, or is it a game played for social status? What does it mean to say that some things are "unscientific"? And what are the roles of experiments, theory, and creativity in scientific knowledge? Can the history of philosophy and science give us insight into the nature of reality?
We'll investigate philosophical questions about the nature of science by looking at the history of science, and by looking at some philosophical arguments that set the standard for all subsequent philosophy of science. We'll study deep ideas about the nature of scientific knowledge developed Karl Popper and by the philosophers known as "logical positivists," and we'll investigate Thomas Kuhn's concept of a scientific "paradigm shift." Kuhn responded to the logical positivists by arguing that scientific knowledge in any one area of science depends on other scientific knowledge, as well as on the culture within which scientists develop their ideas. The concepts and arguments that these philosophers of science developed provide the foundation for the deepest, most interesting debates about the nature of science today.
Read more about the course and preview the syllabus here.
Social Media Communication (CMST 493)Time: M/W/F 4:40 - 5:30 p.m.
(note: this is a blended class. Monday and Wednesday classes will be held in the classroom. Friday classes are held online.)
For many career paths, social media savvy is essential, and in today's job market, your online presence is an digital portfolio accessible to any potential employer.
You use social media every day, but are you using it effectively?
- social media best practices
- common pitfalls to avoid
- how to organize your social feeds to find better quality content
- how to tailor your communication for specific apps
- which platforms make the most sense for your field
- how to grow an audience
- how to stay connected with your audience and earn their respect
- ways to get more clicks, more likes, more comments, and more shares
- opportunities for turning negative situations into PR wins
- techniques for optimizing content for search engines
- methods to measure your success
- ways to build yourself as a brand
- and how to turn your passion into a career
The instructor, Matt Cuthbert, is the main voice for UAB Students social media accounts and advises various UAB departments in their own use of social media. He previously oversaw social media and search engine optimization for AL.com.
This class will benefit from several guest lecturers, including:
- Julie McKinney, community engagement specialist at AL.com, will speak about making a good situation out of negative comments, anonymous vs. public commenting, etc.
- Landon Howell, head of strategy and content at Fancred, will talk about developing a social media app as a startup and the role of social media in sports fan communities.
- Jen West, film writer/director/producer and author of The Jen West Quest Blog, will speak about the use of crowdfunding sites to raise money for projects and social media's role in drumming up support.
College of Arts and Sciences Students have Documentaries Accepted at the Upcoming Sidewalk Film Festival
Sidewalk Film Festival has accepted three films produced by six College of Arts and Sciences students in the documentary shorts category. In addition, one College alumnus, who produced a film as part of a summer environmental filmmaking fellowship, was accepted into the prestigious, Birmingham-based festival.
Introduction to African American Literature (EH 324)Time: T/TH 11:00 a.m.- 12:15 p.m.
Instructor: Jessie Dunbar
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.
Time: TH 7:30 - 10:00 p.m. The Literatures of Ireland (EH 427/592)
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.