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
Read More


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
Read More

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
Read More

Criminal Justice. Justice Sciences

Classes include:
• Introduction to Crime Scene Analysis
• Investigating Fires and Explosions
Read More

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
Read More
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
Read More

Art and Art HistoryArt and Art History

Classes include:
• Interlude: Space and Body
• Silkscreen
Read More

Biology. Biology

Classes include:
• Plant Pathology
Read More

Political Science. English

Classes include:
• Early American Gothic
Read More

Political Science. Government

Classes include:
• Politics, Race & Film
• Human Rights
Read More

History. History

Classes include:
• History of College Football
• Historic Preservation and Public Policy
Read More

Philosophy. Philosophy

Classes include:
• Philosophy of Religion
• Philosophy and Psychology: Theories of Human Nature
Read More

Physics. Physics

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

Social Work. Social Work

Classes include:
• Disaster Preparedness and Response
• Social Work in Perinatal Settings
Read More

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
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
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 15:44

English Classes


American Detective/Crime Literature (EH 214)

Time: M/W/F 10:10 a.m.- 11:00 a.m.
Instructor: Victor Camp

We’ll survey this very American genre from Edgar Allan Poe to the present, linking its development with the dime-novel era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the hard-boiled ethos in Black Mask magazine in the 1920s, the golden years of pulp from the 30s to the 50s, and the more recent renderings that have expanded the genre’s ranges of ethnicity, gender, class, and subject matter. Besides Poe, we’ll read stories by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Patricia Highsmith, and Sara Paretsky, as well as some by the lesser known. We’ll also read some influential critical essays to help us explore questions like:
  • What explains the continued fascination with this genre over the last two hundred years or so?
  • What representative techniques are involved, and how might they be connected to its popularity?
  • How much reality should we attribute these works?
  • Are any of them worthy of the designation of literary fiction, or are they indeed a lower art form deserving of their inferior status as genre fiction?
Edgar Allan Poe. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.Edgar Allan Poe. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.One could say, then, that we’ll be following the conventional critical (and detective) route of looking beneath the surface of these texts for a more sophisticated understanding of their characteristics and effects, and there may be some truth in that. Yet, if we heed the unconventional advice of Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin, it is the obvious that we’ll need to pay more attention to.

Walking the Line: The Role of Comedy in Eradicating and Exacerbating Racism (EH 324)

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

This course explores the origins and applications of comedy to opening discourses concerning of race relations in the United States. We will grapple with the implications of this approach including its effectiveness in creating dialogs (useful and harmful), debunking or supporting stereotypes, and shaming or emboldening practitioners of racism. The question that we, as a community, will seek to answer is this: Does race-based comedy advance our understanding of cultural difference or does it merely inure the American population to politically incorrect utterances? We will analyze a variety of tradition and nontraditional texts, such as:
  • James Weldon Johnnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man
  • Alice Randall’s Wind Done Gone
  • Damali Ayo’s How to Rent a Negro
  • “race sketches” performed by comedians Dave Chappell, and Key and Peele

Nature Writing (EH 327-2C)

Time: T/TH 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Instructor: Kyle Grimes

Global warming, urban sprawl, shrinking biodiversity, pollution, sustainable agriculture ... the relationship between humankind and the environment is one of the abiding issues of the modern world. And, at least since the days of Genesis, nature has also been one of the great and recurrent themes of both creative literature and non-fiction prose. In this course we will explore the many expressions of Nature in writing. Through such classic writers as Wordsworth and Thoreau and even Grimm's Fairy Tales, through more modern writers like Rachel Carson, Loren Eisley, Gary Snyder, Wendell Berry, and others, and even through national park brochures, nature magazines, and conservation and industry websites, we will consider some of the questions about Nature that have been significant in our history and that have bearing on current environmental discussion:
  • Are natural resources here for human use, or do we damage Nature by using natural resources?
  • Is Nature simply an uncivilized and perhaps violent chaos that we need to "tame," or is Nature a beautiful, perhaps even spiritual essence with which we should strive to live in harmony?
  • Does natural beauty express some genuine moral or ethical values?
  • Is there some deeply spiritual quality in Nature that we need to protect, or is Nature just our name for a set of mechanical processes that are indifferent to human desires?
  • Why do people spend energy and time working to buy things like cars and houses...and then spend their weekends fishing, or camping, or hunting, or "getting back to Nature"?

View of frog pond looking from southwest - Briarwood: The Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve, 216 Caroline Dormon Road, Saline, Bienville Parish, L. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. View of frog pond; Briarwood: The Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve, Louisiana. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. There are as many questions about Nature as there are nature writers fascinated by its marvelous, terrible, necessary beauty. This course will consider writing about nature from a very wide perspective — everything from reverent celebrations of natural beauty to hard-headed scientific essays that "explain" nature. We will read and discuss these works in class, we may have a field trip or two, and we will write a couple of papers — one short critical essay about the readings and a longer paper/project at the end of the course which can be, optionally, an original essay in a nature writing genre.

Women’s Literature and Theory: Women’s Bodies of/and Literature (EH 444/544)

Time: T/TH 2:00 - 3:15 p.m.
Instructor: Margaret Jay Jessee

Unlike a course titled American Literature or Shakespeare, when we name a course Women’s Literature, we are invoking two bodies: a body of literature and the writer’s gendered body. This course will focus on those two bodies. We will read various theories of the body, and we will explore how notions of the body inform a body of literature by women. We will grapple with questions like:
  • How does our literature shape bodies and how do bodies shape literature?
  • What happens to human bodies and to bodies of literature that do not conform to dominant cultural norms?
  • What makes a body gendered, and do bodies of scientific literature have the potential to change our conceptions of the gendered body?
While our goal is not to fully answer all of these questions, I hope that we will come away from the course with intriguing ideas concerning the complex relationship between gender and literature.

Faulkner & Southern Writers (EH 427/592-2B)

Time: T/TH 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Instructor: Kieran Quinlan

William Faulkner, the contemporary of James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, and Marcel Proust, invented a South called Yoknapatawpha County. In iconic novels — The Sound and the Fury, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom! — and short stories, he populated it with a wide assortment of characters that have defined the region ever since. But earlier Southern writers also grappling with region, race, and gender provide Faulkner’s templates, while his contemporaries — Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty — both complement and subvert his marvelous creation. Finally, new Southern writers — Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Bobbie Ann Mason, Alice Walker — redefine Faulkner’s imaginative space revealing complexities previously unnoticed.

Modern British and Irish Comedy, or, “What’s So Funny about THAT?” (EH 492/592-8N)

Time: 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Instructor: William Hutchings

Oscar Wilde. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. Oscar Wilde. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. This course will assess the remarkable variety and vitality of 20th century British and Irish comedy, in both drama and fiction. Authors and works to be studied are:
  • Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
  • George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion
  • Sir Henry Bashford, Augustus Carp, Esq.
  • J. M. Synge, The Playboy of the Western World and The Well of the Saints
  • Evelyn Waugh, The Loved One
  • Stella Gibbons, Cold Comfort Farm
  • Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
  • Harold Pinter, The Homecoming
  • Joe Orton, Loot and What the Butler Saw
  • Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
  • Martin Amis, Money
Specifications: Midterm; fully documented research paper (8-10 pp. undergraduates, 12-15 pp. graduate students) and/or final exam (choices to be explained in class). In lieu of quizzes, students will write a 1-page single-spaced “initial response” paper for each work assigned. Active participation in discussion is expected from all who enroll.
Published in Cool Classes
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 09:59

The Write Stuff

High school students spend three weeks at the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop

More than two dozen area high school students recently participated in The Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop, hosted by the Department of English. Students competed for the spots and were chosen by application in the spring; their recognition ceremony will be held on Friday, June 20 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Spencer Honors House.
Published in Announcements
Friday, 13 June 2014 10:50

History Classes


American Environmental History (HY 290/390)

Time: T/TH 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Instructor: Jordan Bauer

This course examines the relationship between humans and nature in the United States. We will explore how natural forces shape history, how humankind affects physical environment, and how those ecological changes in turn affect human life. Students will be introduced to the major themes in environmental history, including:

  • ecological changes brought by interactions of diverse peoples, animals, and disease
  • how technological change allowed greater environmental modification
  • industrialization and urban growth
  • science and medicine
  • conservationism
  • energy consumption
  • the rise of the modern environmental movement
  • environmental inequality
  • sustainability
  • the emergence of global ecological concerns

Students will gain environmental perspectives of large issues in American history like slavery, the Civil War, and the rise of mass suburbia and topics less well known like bison, population control, sewers, DDT, fast food, and oil, among others. By the end of the course, students will have a broader understanding of the historical roots of today’s environmental issues and problems, and the extent of humans’ impact on the environment over time.

Cartoon: The World's Constable. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. Cartoon: The World's Constable. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. The US and Latin America (HY 341-2B)

Time: T/TH 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Instructor:Pamela S. Murray

How have cultural differences and geopolitical realities affected the US’s relations with other nations of the Western hemisphere, those of Latin America in particular? What, for example, has been the impact of the 2,000-mile border shared between the US & Mexico, our closest southern neighbor? Of the growth of US power and influence since the nineteenth century? To what extent have Latin American “Davids“ stood up to the US “Goliath”? Cooperated with it? Explore these questions as we survey the rich, complicated history of us and the Latin Americans — a vital chapter in the larger history of modern world affairs, international relations, and transnationalism. The course involves readings (4-5 books), lectures, and films along with regular classroom discussion and activities. For more info contact Prof. Pamela S. Murray, History Department, at or (205) 934-8695.

American Urban History (HY 435)

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

Randolph Street East, LaSalle, Chicago. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. Randolph Street East, LaSalle, Chicago. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. This course examines the historical evolution of urban areas in the United States from the colonial era to the present-day sprawling suburban nation. We will explore major transformative forces of urban change, such as immigration, industrialization, technological revolutions, and suburbanization. We will consider a wide range of topics including: the place of the horse in the city, municipal reformers, freeways, housing segregation, environmentalism, Disneyland, (un)natural disasters, gated communities, among many others.

Cities were not only places where people pursued their American Dream — the rowhouse and ranch house, flush toilets and the American lawn, and better jobs and the two-car garage. More profoundly, the metropolis represented an avenue through which social control and conflict created a spatial landscape divided by wealth and power and poverty and inequality. Thus, the rise and outward spread of cities were inextricably connected to the formation of class, racial, gender, and sexual identities and distinctions. A principal theme of the course will be studying how cities have functioned as crucibles for American culture and politics. This historical perspective will provide students with a better understanding of the major issues facing metropolitan areas today.

America and the World (HY 490-9H)

Time: T 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Instructor: Tennant McWilliams

Focusing on the span of US history, the course probes cultural influences behind foreign policy as well as foreign-policy influences on home-front culture. It addresses questions such as these:
  • How did Americans get addicted to “free security”?
  • How did they come to view themselves as exceptional?
  • How do American film, TV, and sports influence foreign views of the US?
  • How have individualism and community competed in US foreign relations?
  • How does America’s current polarization on home-front issues — blue state, red state, etc. — influence global perceptions of America? And is this really new?
  • On the world scene what do the following have in common? “Sweet Home, Alabama.” The Terminator. Chase-Manhattan Bank. Harvard. Silicon Valley. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The Golden Mile.
  • What’s the historical significance of Doctors Without Borders, missionary aid workers, and other NGOs engaging US citizens?

For over 20 years Tennant McWilliams taught this course at UAB, changing it with changing times. Then he retired. Then he moved overseas. Then he flunked retirement, big-time. And now he offers “Americans and the World” this coming spring term. He will draw on different books and articles he has written, his early studies with former US Secretary of State Dean Rusk, and a PBS “American Experience” film he helped produce. Equally, he will bring lessons he has personally learned from foreign work as well as just plain daily life abroad. And he will incorporate experiences of people who know far more than he does about certain elements of America and the world.
Published in Cool Classes
Tuesday, 10 June 2014 10:47

Cool Classes for Spring 2015

A dragon thinking about cool subjects. Looking for a cool class to take this spring? 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 Spring 2015.

African American Studies. African American Studies

• Psychology of Hip Hop
Read More


• The Power of Nonviolence
Read More

Art and Art HistoryArt and Art History

• Arts of Death in the Middle Ages
Read More

Biology. Biology

• Phage Genomics II
Read More

Communications. Communication Studies

• Social Media Communications
Read More


• American Detective/Crime Literature
• Walking the Line: The Role of Comedy in Eradicating and Exacerbating Racism
• Nature Writing
• Women's Literature and Theory: Women's Bodies of/and Literature
• Faulkner & Southern Writers
• Modern British and Irish Comedy, or, "What's So Funny about THAT?"
Read More

Foreign Languages and Literatures. Foreign Languages and Literatures

• Foreign Cultures
• Spanish Conversation and Culture
• African Hispanophone Writers
Read More

History. History

• American Environmental History
• The US and Latin America
• American Urban History
Read More

Criminal Justice. Justice Sciences

• Intelligence Oversight and Legal Controls
• Drugs in Society
Read More

Philosophy. Philosophy

• Knowing in a Social World: Sex, Lies, and Irrationality
• Neuroethics
• Minds and Machines
Read More

Sociology. Sociology

• Global & International Sociology
Read More
Published in Cool Classes
Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:22

African American Studies Classes

African American Studies Program.

Psychology of Hip Hop (AAS 250)

Time: M/W/F 12:20 - 1:10 p.m.
Instructor: DeReef Jamison

Psychology of Hip Hop uses hip hop music and culture as conceptual lenses for analyzing and interpreting the life experiences of people of African descent throughout the African diaspora. Drawing mainly on psychology as well as other social sciences, this course is intended to provide students with an understanding of the psycho-historical and psycho-social development of African Americans relative to hip hop culture. This course explores and examines the thesis that African American music is an expression of African American life. Thus hip hop music and culture serve as soundtracks that allow the opportunity to listen to and learn from this particular manifestation of what Du Bois labelled the souls/psychology of Black folk.
Published in Cool Classes
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 14:32

Proposal Submission Protocols

With the implementation of the new Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) submission guidelines, the college Grants Office has created an email address for all grant submissions: Please submit your proposals to us at least one day prior to the deadlines that OSP has stated in their review plan. As all submissions will now be submitted electronically through email, you will need to work with your chairs on their review prior to it being sent to The chairs will still sign off on the checklist before submitting to the Grants Office.

If the timeframes are not met, the office reserves the right to inform the principal investigator (PI) that there is not adequate time for proposal review and thus the proposal may not be submitted. All submissions to OSP will now flow through and each PI and chair will be copied on the submission.

Summary of CAS Grants Office Guidelines

OSP guidelines state that a full proposal (to include all required documents for submission) in DRAFT format is due seven full business days prior to the submission due date. A FINAL proposal is due two business days prior to the submission due date. The OSP's review plan can be read in PDF format, and many resources are available on the OSP website.


All College of Arts and Sciences research proposals are required to be routed to and reviewed by the Grant Office prior to submission to the Office of Sponsored Programs.
In addition to the OSP guidelines, CAS Grants Office guidelines must also be met. Full draft proposals should be emailed to eight full business days prior to the sponsor deadline. Draft proposals submitted less than eight full business days will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

If a PI decides not to submit a draft proposal, the full final proposal should be emailed three full business days prior to the sponsor deadline. Final proposals submitted to the CAS Grants Office less than three full business days before the sponsor deadline will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

All CAS proposals submitted to OSP must come from OSP will not review proposals if emailed directly from the department or the PI. Proposals should not be submitted to the OSP dropbox nor should access to proposals (SRO access) be given to OSP until the CAS Grants Office has emailed proposal to OSP. The PI, award manager, and department contact will be copied on the email from the Grants Office to OSP.

If the above time frames are not met, CAS Grants Office reserves the right to inform the PI that there is not adequate time for proposal review and thus the proposal cannot be submitted, or will be submitted without CAS Grants Office review.

Full draft proposals must include the following:

  • extramural checklist
  • responsible personnel list (RPL)
  • budget
  • budget justification
  • statement of work (project summary/project abstract)
  • biosketches
  • letters/statements of intent
  • institutional commitment letters
  • cost sharing forms (if applicable)
  • subaward information (budget, budget justification, statement of work)
  • any other sponsor/UAB required forms

CAS Grants Office reviews include:

  • Reading and interpreting application announcements/guidelines to ensure all application requirements have been met.
  • Verifying budgets to ensure funds requested are adequate and correct and meet project needs.
  • Ensuring all required internal UAB administrative documents have been completed accurately.
  • CAS Research will email PI and/or award manager with any comments/corrections/questions concerning the proposal within 24 hours of receipt of proposal.

Available Services

The Grants Office offers many services to help CAS faculty put together a complete grant proposal. Visit the List of Services Provided page to learn how the office can help you.
Published in Research & Centers
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