2012

The following UTeach classes were taught during Spring 2012. Please click on one of the links below to be redirected to the course description of each section. Following webreg.uci.edu, you may also find the follow courses listed in Spring Quarter 2012 under the University Studies Department, course number 7, some of which listings may link to class websites.

Writing the South: Labor, Race, and Gender in the Southern Short Story
Chemistry of Counterterrorism
Chinese Popular Music and Society
Gender in Japanese Manga
Cut Your Own Movie
Science Controversies
Defining Cult
Improving Visual-Spatial Ability
Gender and Photography
Cuba: Myths and Realities

Writing the South:
Labor, Race, and Gender in the Southern Short Story

Course Description:
In his book Writing the South, scholar Richard Gray asserts: “Generations of Southerners have, I believe, been engaged not so much as writing about the South as in writing the South; they have, whether they have known it or not (and, as a matter of fact, many have known it) been busy reimagining and remaking their place in the act of seeing and describing it.” Hence, the best method we can use to map and understand the South as a concept is to read the region’s writing. As students of this seminar, you will be transported to Jim Crow South, where African Americans and whites are legally and socially segregated, racial violence and economic repression take shape in lynchings, and miscegenation is taboo. We will cover five issues that run predominantly throughout Southern writing: labor, lynching, women, incest/miscegenation, and passing. Each issue will be addressed by way of two stories, one by an African American writer and the other by a white. Be prepared to discuss Sartoris Snopes’s critical decision in Faulkner’s “Barn Burning,” close-read Jean Toomer’s lyrical and haunting stories of failed interracial relationships, decipher the layers of truth in Katherine Anne Porter’s Old Mortality, and more. You will leave the seminar with an appreciation for Southern writing, practice in close-reading stories and analyzing secondary material, and perhaps even gain a new favorite author. Disclaimer: The seminar will show lynching photography and some stories feature prominent use of the “n-word.” If you are easily offended by the graphic nature of this material, please do not consider enrolling in the seminar.

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Chemistry of Counterterrorism

Course Description:
The battle against terrorism is far from over, especially in the United States of America. New technologies in counterterrorism and defense have been able to successfully thwart several terrorist plots in the last decade. However, the methodologies of initiating and executing terrorist plots have shifted to a more chemical approach. Due to the high potential of these terrorist plots to be carried out against the U.S., chemical research in terrorism prevention and detection has been greatly funded by the government in order to ensure the safety and security of American citizens. In this course, students will have the opportunity to learn and understand current chemical research, techniques, and equipment being utilized in satisfying the goals necessary to establish viable national security. Topics include: classifications of chemical weaponry, risk assessment, countermeasures, response tactics, sensors, and detection.

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Chinese Popular Music and Society

Course Description:
Jay Chou. Wang Lee Hom. Wong Faye. These are only a few of the many Chinese pop singers who have recently gained worldwide popularity. This seminar will explore the relatively recent development and globalization of Chinese popular music. In particular, Mandopop and Chinese rock music in both the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan will be analyzed along with Cantopop. The seminar aims to examine how Chinese popular music is significant in shaping sociopolitical, cultural, and economic developments in contemporary Chinese society. One of the important questions being addressed in the seminar is ‘How does Chinese popular music retain a sense of being “local” while adopting “global” elements?’ In addition, we will discuss how Chinese popular music can be used as a form of soft power. Ultimately, the goal of the seminar is for the students to gain from another culture. No knowledge of the Chinese language is required.

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Gender in Japanese Manga

Course Description:
Japanese manga, or commonly known as graphic novels, is usually viewed to have little intellectual substance since it is often classified as a “comic book.” Although manga does not impress with the written literary form, it offers a different sense of beauty, artistry, and connection for the audience. This course will explore the construction of gender in various samples of manga both narratively and visually. How do characters accomplish their goals through the absorbance of masculine and feminine traits? What is the difference in the portrayals of heroes and heroines? How do visual cues accentuate narrative gender developments? These are a few of the questions which this seminar will address. To pass this class, participation is mandatory as well as two short group presentations. By analyzing the intellectual fruit of manga, students will learn how gender and visual analysis intercept in the entertainment field.

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Cut Your Own Movie

Course Description:
Students will learn how to use Final Cut Pro in order to cut their films. In order to cut their films, the students will first film a short video covering different camera shots and angles. In addition, the class will go over editing concepts and theories, editing to a genre, and cutting to music. With these topics, the students will have a basic understanding and wide variety of ways to edit a film. The main goal of the class is for the student to expand their creativity.

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Science Controversies

Course Description:
This course will be exploring a variety of topics that have become areas of hot debates in the science field. Introduction to many topics will be discussed, and the relationship between science, society, and government will be reviewed. Topics include: Human Genome Project, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, medical marijuana, research on homosexuality, and FDA approval for Flibanserin-a pill for the female sex drive. Students will be able to understand different points of views, and further make decisions based off of evidence and research. This course is designed to engage students in the material and provide an open form of discussion. Be ready to learn with an open mind, and be excited!

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Defining Cult

Course Description:
The term “cult” often denotes odd, unusual or satanic images; however, very few people actually know, or understand what a cult is. This seminar aims to create a definition through comparing several current connotations of the term, as well as focusing on eight different religious groups, that will allow students to create a well-rounded definition by the end of the course. Classes between week two through nine will each focus on different American groups that have been deemed as “cults” in one aspect or another: discussed movements include Scientology, People’s Temple and Heaven’s Gate. At the end of the course, students will be expected to understand a popularly misconstrued term, as well as be well-versed in eight American groups that had/have cult-like tendencies. This seminar requires only participation and attendance for a passing grade.

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Improving Visual-Spatial Ability

Course Description:
“Spatial ability” is the ability to create, maintain, and manipulate non-verbal information. Cognitive science has been studying spatial ability as an aspect of intelligence since the 1920s, and more recently courses have appeared which support the theory that spatial intelligence can be increased through direct instruction. This class will focus on exposing students to current theories regarding spatial-ability theory, and give students experience applying their own spatial skills to solve problems, both scholastic and mundane. Students from all backgrounds are invited to explore this course – no prior knowledge required!

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Gender and Photography

Course Description:
This seminar will cover general history of photography with concentration on topics involving female photographers. It will also cover various critical and discursive approaches to photography with examples by women photographers. Starting with the invention of photography and its significance in the 19th century, the course will then move to the 20th century and contemporary developments. Photography will be related to the major art movements such as modernism and postmodernism. Topics such as documentary photography, subjective journalism, social photography, originality, appropriation, and simulacra will be discussed during this seminar.

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Cuba: Myths and Realities

Course Description:
Cuba, for those familiar with its history and present course, often divides people into two extremes. On one hand, those who sympathize with the Cuban Revolution often cite examples of its successes. Examples may include its commitment to free education that has led to one of the highest literacy rates in the world and its free healthcare system that has resulted in the average life expectancy of Cubans to come close to those living in “first world countries.” On the other hand, those who disagree with Cuba’s trajectory often bring up examples of its failures, such as its human rights violations of free speech and the lack of economic opportunities. Overall, each side promulgates certain myths in order to portray Cuba as either a haven or hell. In this seminar, students will critically analyze and dispel Cuba’s myths and in turn discover its many realities.
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