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.)

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 icons. Learn:
  • 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

This class will benefit from several guest lecturers, including:

  • Julie McKinney, community engagement specialist at, 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.
Published in Cool Classes
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 18, 2014

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
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
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. Our departments offer special topics courses only occasionally, and the selection is different every semester — which means if you don't take it when it is offered, you probably won't get the chance to take it later.

Unless otherwise noted, all courses are 3 credit hours and will be offered in Fall 2014.

African American Studies. African American Studies

  • Social Justice & Identity
  • History of Gospel Music
Read More

Department of Communications. Communications Studies

  • Social Media Communication
Read More



  • Introduction to African American Literature
  • Gender, Literature, and Medicine
  • Black Cinema
  • The Literatures of Ireland
  • Flash Fiction
Read More


  • History of the Roman Empire
  • Social History of Crime
  • George Wallace: Hero of Pariah?
  • Spain and the Spanish Inquisition
  • Ancient and Medieval Britain
  • Terrorism in Modern History
Read More

Department of Philosophy. Philosophy

  • Science, Philosophy, Knowledge, and Reality: The Scientific Enterprise

Read More

Published in Cool Classes
African American Studies Program.

Social Justice and Identy (click for PDF). Social Justice & Identity (AAS 250)

Time: M 5:30 - 8:00 p.m.

This course will examine anti-racist and anti-oppression social movements, practices and concepts throughout the world that promote racial equality and social justice. Students will participate in self-reflective conversations and inquiry that relate to their personal and social identities and those that are represented across social issues. Supplemental learning activities will enable students to better understand and analyze the processes by which their identities are constructed and understood and social change happens.

History of Gospel Music (AAS 301-2C)

Time: T/Th 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Instructor: Kevin Turner

Turner is teaching a brand new course at UAB through African American Studies entitled the History of Gospel Music. Only one more student is needed in order for the class to meet the minimum requirement. The class meets in Humanities Building 429 on Tuesday and Thursday. It is open to all students at UAB.
Published in Cool Classes
May 01, 2014


AEIVA at night. The UAB College of Arts and Sciences opened its new Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts to the public January 16.

The votes are in, and “stunning,” “sparkling,” and “dynamic” are the terms most used by the news media to describe UAB’s new Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts with its “soaring, glassed-in atrium.”

The Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts is located across from the Alys Stephens Center on 10th Avenue South. The art and art education facility houses three galleries, faculty offices, art and design studios, a sculpture garden, and state-of-the-art classrooms with Apple computers and projection capabilities—as well as a new home for UAB’s own art collection, which includes Rauschenberg, Rosenquist, Picasso, and Warhol as well as student works. A series of rotating exhibits from the permanent collection will change every few months.

Visitors in one of AEIVA's art galleries. “One of the really nice things that Randall [Stout, the building’s architect] has done is to supply visual continuity to Birmingham and the rest of the campus,” says Robert Palazzo, dean of UAB’s College of Arts and Sciences. “The new institute shows just how vast the attention to art is, in this community, in terms of personal treasures and stewardship of art. There’s a culture of people who are really serious about art, and I haven’t seen that in a lot of other cities.”

The third gallery features selections from the UAB Permanent Art Collection. Both shows will be on exhibition January 16 to March 6. The AEIVA, located at 1221 10th Ave. South, is open to the public 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12 to 6 p.m. Saturday. The institute is closed Sundays and holidays.

Visit the AEIVA online at or call (205) 975-6436. A complete schedule of events presented by the UAB Department of Art and Art History at the AEIVA in 2014 is available.
Published in CAS Magazine Articles
UAB's Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) guidelines state that a DRAFT proposal is due 7 business days prior to the submission due date. A FINAL proposal is due 3 business days prior to the submission due date.

In addition to the OSP guidelines, the College's Research Office guidelines must also be met.

For review-only proposals, we require 24 hours (or 1 full business day) for a DRAFT proposal and 24 hours (or 1 full business day) for a FINAL proposal. This gives us ample time to review the proposal and acquire Dean's Office signature, if required, while still meeting OSP deadlines above. Research Office reviews include:

  • Verifying budgets to ensure funds requested are adequate and correct and meet project needs.
  • Ensuring all proposal guidelines/instructions have been met.
  • CAS Research will email the proposal submitter and/or award manager with any comments/questions concerning the proposal within 24 hours of its receipt. All proposals are date and time stamped.

After questions have been addressed and the review process is complete, the proposal will be forwarded to OSP for processing.

If the above time frames are not met, the Research Office reserves the right to determine that the notification time given is not adequate for proposal review and thus that the proposal cannot be submitted.


All College of Arts and Sciences research proposals are required to be routed to and reviewed by the Research Office prior to submission.
Published in Research & Centers
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
You won’t see Kevin Peek in UAB’s new student recruitment ad, but the senior music technology major plays a prominent role. Peek’s rippling, piano-driven score propels the fast-moving commercial, which launched the second phase in the university’s new brand campaign, “Knowledge that will change your world.” (Learn more about the faces behind these commercials in this related story.)
Published in Announcements
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