Thursday, 05 March 2015 09:23

Cool Classes for Fall 2015

A dragon thinking about cool subjects. Looking for a cool class to take this fall? Then look here! You'll find special topics courses from across the College, spanning liberal arts and sciences and sometimes combining both. 

Unless otherwise noted, all courses are 3 credit hours and will be offered in Fall 2015.

African American StudiesAfrican American Studies

Classes include:
• Africa in the Americas
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Art and Art HistoryArt and Art History

Classes include:
• Survey of Animation
• Archiving Birmingham Art and Artists
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Communication Studies. Communication Studies

Classes include:
• Cyborg Communication
• Communication & Relationships
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Computer and Information Sciences. Computer and Information Sciences

Classes include:
• Cryptocurrency
• 3D Printing
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Classes include:
• Seminar in Whiteness Studies
• Tolkien
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Foreign Languages and Literatures. Foreign Languages and Literatures

Classes include:
• The Road to Santiago and Pilgrimage
• Medicine and Literature in the Hispanic World
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Political Science. Government

Classes include:
• Diamonds, Drugs and Guns: The Illicit Global Economy
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Classes include:
• Reacting to the Past: The Politics of Virtue in Western Civilization
• Afro-Latin America
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Criminal Justice. Justice Sciences

Classes include:
• Introduction to Crime Scene Analysis
• Investigating Fires and Explosions
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Philosophy. Philosophy

Classes include:
• Meaning of Life: Perspectives
• Evolution and Human Life
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Psychology. Psychology

Classes include:
• Autism: Brain and Cognition
• Positive Psychology
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Published in Cool Classes
Monday, 02 March 2015 17:52

Cool Classes for Summer 2015

A dragon thinking about cool subjects. Looking for a cool class to take this summer? Then look here! You'll find special topics courses from across the College, spanning liberal arts and sciences and sometimes combining both.

Unless otherwise noted, all courses are 3 credit hours and will be offered in Summer 2015.

African American StudiesAfrican American Studies

Classes include:
• Scandal and the Political Representation of Black Women
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Art and Art HistoryArt and Art History

Classes include:
• Interlude: Space and Body
• Silkscreen
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Biology. Biology

Classes include:
• Plant Pathology
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Political Science. English

Classes include:
• Early American Gothic
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Political Science. Government

Classes include:
• Politics, Race & Film
• Human Rights
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History. History

Classes include:
• History of College Football
• Historic Preservation and Public Policy
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Philosophy. Philosophy

Classes include:
• Philosophy of Religion
• Philosophy and Psychology: Theories of Human Nature
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Physics. Physics

Classes include:
• How Things Work: The Physics of Everyday Life (Physical Science)
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Social Work. Social Work

Classes include:
• Disaster Preparedness and Response
• Social Work in Perinatal Settings
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Published in Cool Classes
Thursday, 04 December 2014 16:40

Justice Sciences Classes

Criminal JusticeIntelligence Oversight and Legal Controls (JS 338)

Time: TH 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Instructor: John Grimes

Taught by retired intelligence community (IC) professional and attorney Professor John Grimes, the course strips back many of the layers of perceived mystery and black art surrounding legal checks and balances under which the IC must operate on a daily basis. Issues to be explored include:
  • What legal sanctions may the US Government pursue against fugitive former IC contractor Edward Snowden?
  • What behaviors that he uncovered through his unauthorized disclosures have the potential for prosecution, both criminally and civilly, against decision makers and agencies of the IC?
Throughout the semester, prominent guest lecturers will make presentations, including several retired IC General Counsels, members of Congress, as well as officers of the IC itself. Students will also work on a class project where advances in social media might be leveraged to significantly enhance the government’s search and rescue capabilities relating to mass disasters such as plane crashes or shipwrecks.

Drugs in Society (JS 400/500)

Time: T/TH 12:30 - 1:45 p.m.
Instructor: Hayden Griffin

Taught by lawyer and criminologist Professor Hayden Griffin, the course examines various definitions of drugs, their pharmacological affects and classifications, the historical development of drug laws, and the various methods of drug regulation, including prohibition, prescription, decriminalization, and legalization. Theories regarding substance abuse will be discussed, including the social and individual characteristics of those most likely to engage in drug use. The course will also examine the direct and indirect harms of drug use and methods of drug treatment. Finally, students will examine the future of drug regulation and treatment in the United States.
Published in Cool Classes
Monday, 24 November 2014 09:39

Sociology Classes

Sociology. Global & International Sociology (SOC 278-2B)

Time: T/TH 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Instructor: Magdalena Szaflarski

Global Society, Global You
Globalization is a pervasive feature of contemporary social life. A world economy, a world polity, and a world culture (from McDonald’s to Hard Rock Café) are all undergoing rapid expansion. This course considers globalization’s aspects and impacts, in an effort to develop some understandings of its causes, effects, and implications for your own life.
Published in Cool Classes
Monday, 10 November 2014 10:02

Foreign Languages and Literatures Classes

Foreign Languages and Literatures.

Foreign Cultures (FLL 120 1F)

Time: M/W/F 1:25 - 2:15 p.m.
Instructor: Erika Hille Rinker

Do you seek enhanced global awareness? Enroll in Foreign Cultures and gain greater competence in understanding your own culture and the cultures of others.

The goal of FLL 120 is to encourage students to reflect upon the various ways through which cultural and linguistic identities are constructed around the globe. Excerpts from literature and selected films will be used to illustrate introductory concepts in cultural studies, and students will be encouraged to add the perspectives of their own academic areas of interest. In the unique service-learning section of the course, students will learn first-hand about diversity in their own university environment and how others view American culture(s), in exchange for the help they will provide international students with conversational English through a partnership with the English Language Institute.

Spanish Conversation and Culture (SPA 210)

Time: T/TH 12:30 - 1:45 p.m.
Instructor: John Maddox

Do you like to speak Spanish? Then this intermediate Spanish class, designed for students who have completed Spanish 202, is for you! Discussions of history, culture, and everyday life will be complemented with the latest in sports, entertainment, and world events. Students will have the unique opportunity to talk via Skype with students at the world-famous National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

African Hispanophone Writers (SPA 414)

Time: T 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Instructor: John Maddox

The vast majority of the twelve million enslaved Africans brought to the Americas were not taken to the United States. They were sent to the sugar plantations, mines, and cities of what is now Latin America. Black, mulatto, and mestizo people — as well as African traditions in food, music, dance, religion, and celebrations — have helped to make Latin America what it is today.

This class uses works of literature and film to trace the simultaneously painful, heroic, and joyous history of Afro-Hispanic and Afro-Brazilian peoples from the Conquest to the present, providing an innovative interpretation of Latin America, Spain, and Africa’s only Spanish-speaking nation, Equatorial Guinea. Students will build their Spanish skills through lots of conversation and group work, and they can opt to present their research at the 2015 Birmingham Southern Undergraduate Research Symposium. Graduate students will hone their teaching skills by helping professor Maddox lead class discussions. Come discover the African roots of salsa, the tango, and hip-hop!
Published in Cool Classes
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 15:22

Art and Art History Classes

art-historyArts of Death in the Middle Ages (ARH 419)

Time: T 5:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Instructor: Noa Turel

Death was ever present in medieval Europe. It struck precipitously and frequently, often within the home environment, and was a core theme of Christian dogma and liturgy. In this course we will explore how the visual arts shaped and reflected ideas about death and the afterlife in pre-Modern Europe. Journeying from third-century Rome to fifteenth-century London, we will examine images ranging from catacomb murals to cadaver-shaped tombs and explore their connection to major historic events such as the crusades and the Black Death.

Death and the Bishop. c. 1500, stained glass, Church of St. Andrew, Norwich, England.Death and the Bishop. c. 1500, stained glass, Church of St. Andrew, Norwich, England.Artifacts and source readings by such authors as St. Augustine and Dante will guide us as we trace medieval ideas about the nature of dying, the connection between the body and the soul, and the shape of the afterlife. These ideas will help us understand such seemingly bizarre phenomena as the veneration of human remains, the obsession with gory images of hell, and the use of wax “prayer machines.”

Students of all majors are welcome. To request an override email

Introduction to Time-Based Media (ARS 260)

Time: T/TH 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Instructor: Elisabeth Pellathy

This fundamental course will introduce the practice principles of new media, including sound, animation and video capturing. Experimental projection techniques for the fine arts will also be taught. Students will work with dedicated audio video equipment and learn the basics of sound editing, capturing video footage, and editing that footage. Dedicated projects such as in camera editing, montage, and stop motion animation will allow students to build upon video editing skills. Historical context of media arts is given through screenings, readings, and response papers. Technical workshops are given throughout the semester. Students will engage in individual work and collaboration experiences.

Digital Fabrication (ARS 395)

Time: T/TH 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Instructor: Elisabeth Pellathy

An introduction to software and production tools used for designing and fabricating objects. This technology will be used in conjunction with sound, animation, and video installations. Fabrication tools may include but are not limited to laser etching and 3D printing.

Time-Based Media Seminar — Animation (ARS 395)

Time: T/TH 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Instructor: Elisabeth Pellathy

This course will expand upon creative ability and depth of expression using digital imaging tools. Students will learn the fundamental vocabulary of animation, such as spacing and timing, motion cycles, exaggeration, and staging. Students will apply technical and aesthetic knowledge in the completion of a series of animation projects, culminating in a creative student-directed final project. Historical context of animation history and its role in the art world will be given, providing emphasis on experimental and underground animation. In-class video screenings and readings will accompany each animation project. One-on-one tutorials will be provided as necessary.
Published in Cool Classes
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 15:13

Biology Classes

BiologyPhage Genomics II

Time: M/W 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Instructor: Denise Monti

Are you interested in hands-on research? Want to learn more about genomics and viruses? Phage Genomics II is a 4-credit, one-semester research course for undergraduate students. Didn't take Phage Genomic I? No problem. We will teach you everything you need to know to work in the lab and annotate a newly discovered virus.

If you are hard-working, enthusiastic, and want to be part of a research team, come join us every Monday and Wednesday from 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. Have questions? Please contact the course instructor, Dr. Denise Monti, at
Published in Cool Classes
The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce that Dr. Timothy Levine has accepted the position as Chair of the Department of Communication Studies.
Published in Announcements
Friday, 08 August 2014 10:05

Philosophy Classes

Department of Philosphy.

Knowing in a Social World: Sex, Lies, and Irrationality (PHL 290/490)

Time: T/TH 3:30 - 4:35 p.m.
Instructor: Kevin McCain

A key function of society is the attainment and transmission of knowledge. This benefits not just those who have the knowledge in question, but also the society as a whole. After all, “knowledge that will change your world” may be knowledge that you possess, but it might instead be knowledge that is possessed by others. Regardless, “knowledge that will change your world” is knowledge that arises and is shared amongst a community of scholars.

Consideration of how knowledge arises and is shared in a society raises a number of interesting philosophical questions:
  • How is it that we can come to have knowledge from others?
  • What should we do when we discover there is disagreement about a particular subject?
  • Are we naturally irrational creatures?
  • How do our natural biases affect the attainment and sharing of knowledge?
  • How does the scientific community generate and disseminate knowledge?
This course explores answers to these and related questions.

Neuroethics (PHL 292/492)

Time: M 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Instructor: Josh May

Neuroethics studies moral issues arising in connection with neuroscience, particularly research on the brain. The seminar will cover several topics in each area, likely to include:

  • Does subconscious neural activity determine our behavior prior to conscious awareness?
  • Is a criminal morally responsible if the behavior is the result of a brain tumor?
  • Is addiction a neurologically real phenomenon?
  • Which areas of the brain are responsible for moral thought and action? (Emotional areas? Rational/cognitive areas?)
  • Can the results of a brain scan constitute self-incrimination, thus violating the 5th amendment?
  • Is there something wrong with making oneself a better person (e.g. more caring and generous) by altering one’s brain directly (e.g. via pills or deep brain stimulation)?

Students will learn about such topics and evaluate arguments on different sides of the issues. (Note: the 492 version of this course fulfills the Philosophy Capstone Requirement.)

Minds and Machines (PHL 372-7P)

Time: W 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Instructor: Marshall Abrams

  • Can computers think? And how do we think?
  • Is the mind just the brain's software?
  • Are computers capable of understanding?
  • Could a machine be creative?
  • Does intelligence consist in following complex rules?
  • Would a computer be smarter with emotions?
We'll explore these questions from perspectives of philosophy of mind, artificial intelligence, and cognitive psychology. For more information (including a tentative syllabus) visit Dr. Abram's website. (Note: this course also satisfies the Computer Science elective requirement.)
Published in Cool Classes
Friday, 08 August 2014 09:34

Communications Studies Classes

communicationsSocial 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.)
Instructor: Matt Cuthbert

Social media logos. 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

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

Last semester this class benefited from several guest lecturers, including:

  • Jen West, filmmaker and author of the Jen West Quest.
  • Landon Howell, head of strategy and content at Fancred.
  • Joshua Mull, director of content at PVP Live.
  • Julie McKinney, community engagement specialist at
Published in Cool Classes
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