DWC Spring 2014 Colloquia
DWC 202-C01: The Ideology of Crisis
Dr. Christine Earley, Accountancy
Fr. Gabriel Pivarnik, O.P., Theology
This colloquium is an interdisciplinary course that seeks to investigate the way in which crises naturally lead to some sort of coping response. Response to crises vary, but often crises lead people to turn to beliefs or embrace ideologies that have lasting structural and institutional impacts on society, and often end up exacerbating the effects of the crisis. In the 1970’s people turned to recycling after the energy crisis; after September 11th, cell phone ownership skyrocketed so that people could always be reached. In the first three semesters of DWC, students will have investigated how various “isms” and ideologies come to the foreground in the modern area (rationalism, liberalism, nationalism, socialism, etc.). This course will draw on what students have already learned in these areas and will also look to the disciplines of economics and finance, women’s studies and black studies, psychology, global studies, and political science to enhance the traditional DWC disciplines. Moreover, it seeks to reexamine fundamental questions of the DWC program, like “What does it mean to be human?” by now placing them within the context of “crisis ideology.”
DWC 202-C02: Music, Beauty, Eros and God (repeat of Spring 2013 colloquium)
Dr. Robert Barry, Theology
Dr. Catherine Gordon-Seifert, Music
Can music and art express and communicate something eternal and divine? This seminar will explore how philosophy, theology and literature in the Western world have reflected upon “The Beautiful” in music and art, from the ancient world through the modern era, with a special focus on the flowering of the theory and practice of music and art in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. This class will culminate in the question today of whether the art and music of our contemporary world can be strive to be anything more than individual self-expression, and what cultural resources the world has available for recapturing and communicating the transcendent and sublime.
DWC 202-C03: The Myth of the Warrior (East and West) (repeat of Spring 2013 colloquium)
Dr. Colin Jaundrill, History
Dr. Robert Stretter, English
By the end of your third semester in DWC, you will have encountered warriors in a number of different contexts, ranging from their celebration in Homeric epics to the gritty, anti-war stories of the twentieth century. This colloquium invites you to bring these encounters together by thinking critically about the “myth of the warrior,” both in the West and in Asia. In other words, we’ll explore how the ideals associated with warriors were understood in different times and places, as well as how those ideals shape our understanding of war. Some of our subjects — like Greek heroes, medieval knights, holy warriors, and modern American soldiers — might recall topics you’ve dealt with previously in DWC. Other topics — such as women warriors (including the real Chinese story of "Mulan"), the Japanese “way of the samurai,” and warriors in WWII propaganda — will be new territory. Join us for a spirited march through history, literature, philosophy, theology, and art!
(Note: This is not a military history class. We will deal primarily with issues of social and cultural significance.)
DWC 202-C04: Race, Marginality and Theologies of Liberation
Dr. Dana Dillon, Theology
Dr. Jennifer Illuzzi, History
When diverse cultures and people come together, some persons and groups rise to power and find their concerns and interests central, while others are marginalized and oppressed. Both Jewish and Christian scriptures demand attention to the needs and concerns of the poor, the oppressed, and the vulnerable — in other words, those on the margins. This witness echoes through the Christian tradition and has been expressed both in liberation theologies and official Catholic social doctrine as “the preferential option for the poor.” The colloquium will explore both the concept and the reality of marginality in theology and history, with attention to philosophical and literary resources as well. The course will specifically address two case studies of racial marginality: anti-Semitism and African-Americans in the United States. Students will also have the opportunity for research into other cases of racial marginalization.
DWC 202-C05: Capitalism: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
(repeat of Spring 2013 colloquium)
Dr. Elizabeth Bridgham, English
Dr. Sharon Murphy, History
Think you understand capitalism? Think again! Capitalism has improved the lives and living conditions of millions of people, while millions of others have suffered enormously as a result of its triumphant grasp. Yet for many Americans, capitalism is both mythical and misunderstood. This course will study the reality of capitalism in its historical and social context: what capitalism is; how it developed; the positives and negatives of the system in different times and places and for different groups; and responses to the system from literature, theology, philosophy, economics, art, film, and music. Starting with the roots of capitalism in the 17th and 18th centuries, the course continues to the present day, ending with discussions of current issues in capitalism.
DWC 202-C06: Leadership Through Civilizations
Dr. John Abbruzzese, Philosophy
Dr. Francine Newth, Management
This seminar focuses on the study and practice of transformational leadership through a survey of great leaders of seven civilizations. The purpose of the seminar is to give students the opportunity to enhance their understanding of transformational leadership theories, concepts, and contexts, as well as to put their understanding into practice through engagement with the lives of great leaders and reflection upon the advancement of their civilizations. Through such engagement and reflection, students will gain an understanding of their own leadership capabilities as they associate and connect with specific characteristics of leaders of civilizations. This seminar intends to help students look at transformational leadership, its relationship to values, morality, and ethics, and how it is associated with vision, empathy, reflection, metaphorical thinking, and synthesizing from multiple points of view. Overall, the essence of transformational leadership is to inspire people to transcend their own interests for a higher collective purpose, which this seminar will attempt to instill in students. Interactive tools or certain practical leadership exercises will be developed to help put the students better into the minds of the great leaders.
The rationale for this seminar is based on the premise that leaders of civilizations are highly relevant to the study of leadership particularly in a school which emphasizes the importance of the liberal arts and of multidisciplinary teaching and learning. Too often, scholars and practitioners accept the assumption that the study of leadership is solely rooted in the social sciences/business schools, therefore limiting the field of leadership studies to a narrow frame of reference and depriving it from the potential enlightenment that other areas can offer. This seminar is based on the fundamental belief that there is much to learn about management and leadership from all civilizations. It is not enough for our graduates to be competent in the specialized skills of managing. Rather, research clearly shows that what separates leaders from managers has more to do with vision, communication ability, understanding interpersonal behavior, creativity, and a sense of humility. As such, students will be better prepared to exercise leadership in service to society and the greater world community.
DWC 202-C07: The History and Science of Food
Dr. Kathleen Cornely, Chemistry
Dr. Colin Jaundrill, History
“The History and Science of Food” brings together the humanities and natural sciences in an effort to understand the ways in which the production and consumption of food has shaped — and continues to shape — the world around us. The colloquium will be an interdisciplinary exploration of the major components of a good meal: protein, complex carbohydrates, sugars, fats, and intoxicating substances. The history of industrialized meat production will inform our study of proteins. Complex carbohydrates will be represented by corn, which is not only a crucial staple grain in the history of the Americas, but has also been recently cast as one of the main villains in contemporary discourses of nutrition. Our discussion of simple sugars will touch on both their chemical properties and the historical connections between cane sugar production and the slave trade. Fats will be represented by olive oil, which has documented health benefits, but what does the term “extra virgin” really mean? The meal concludes with a digestif: intoxicating substances, which may include alcohol, caffeine, chocolate and opium.
DWC 202-C08: “Love Never Fails”: Grace, Truth, and Freedom in the Nazi Era
Dr. Vance G. Morgan, Philosophy
Dr. Raymond Sickinger, History and Public and Community Service Studies
A Polish Franciscan priest. A Lutheran pastor and theologian. A French, Jewish social activist attracted to Marxism. A French novelist and philosopher. A group of young German college students. The citizens of an isolated rural town in France. What do the above persons have in common? In unique and profound ways, Maximillian Kolbe, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Simone Weil, Albert Camus, the members of the White Rose, and the people of Le Chambon were witnesses to the power of the hu-man spirit and the dignity of the human person in the face of unimaginable horror and atrocity. This colloquium will focus on one of the most inhumane periods of Western History -- the Era of the Nazi Movement (1930-1945). Yet it will look to voices that spoke to truth and valued authentic freedom in response to the evil and repression of the Nazis. In the voices of the people we will examine in this colloquium the power of love in the face of hatred will be profoundly evident. In exploring the meaning of human existence they will question the easy assumptions and the ideological certainties of the Nazi movement, offering a vision of the human person and the meaning of life not based on the mindless collectivism of the Nazis but rather on the human capacity to love and to suffer for authentic community.
DWC 202-C09: Contemporary New Orleans and the Arts of Resistance
Dr. Eric Hirsch, Sociology
Dr. John Scanlan, English
As the staggering news of Hurricane Katrina reminded us, poverty and racism, adversity and heartbreak, are longstanding problems for the people of New Orleans. The causes of these troubles are deeply imbedded in New Orleans’ unique relation to major themes in Western and American history. As the Industrial Revolution expanded in the United States in the nineteenth century, New Orleans, formerly a prosperous center of shipping and trade, began to lose ground to the emerging industrial cities. The complex legacy of slavery is perhaps felt especially keenly in New Orleans. And of course the location of New Orleans has forever made the city vulnerable to hurricanes. In short, the sheer scale of poverty, adversity, and racial inequality has taken a special toll on the residents of New Orleans.
How have the people of New Orleans reacted to all this? How do they fight back? How do they transform these hardships into lasting works of art, literature, and social capital? In our view, they have responded by creating distinctive “arts of resistance.”
This course will explore three principal themes where these “arts of resistance” are most conspicuous: (1) race relations in New Orleans, and particularly matters relating to segregation, desegregation, and re-segregation; (2) the power and persistence of New Orleans music, especially jazz, one of America’s permanent contributions to the arts; and (3) the history and legacy of Hurricane Katrina. Inevitably, our course will depend on the methods of history, music, sociology, literary studies, and religion, as well as environmental studies and meteorology.
We envision this colloquium as an “immersion” course. Accordingly, we hope to be able to set up a research trip to New Orleans during Spring Break.
DWC 202-C10: The Newness Game: Art & Literature in an Era of Endless Invention (repeat of Spring 2013 colloquium)
Dr. Eric Bennett, English
Dr. Heather McPherson, Art/Art History
From the books you read to the art you look at to the television shows you watch to the music you listen to, people in the world around you tend to care about what’s new. Innovation in the arts matters as much or more than technique. What’s surprising? What’s exciting? What’s different? What’s happening NOW? Yet for most of the course of history, the arts preserved and refined the old, cultivating a tradition that always renewed itself in the distant inspirations of the past. What happened?
This colloquium explores newness in fine art and literature since the French Revolution. Students will read texts and analyze images from mid-19 century French realism and impressionism, the modernist movements before and after World War I, and the shift to postmodernism since World War II. The course will place recent developments — the art and literature of today — in this broader context. How did it come about that innovation trumped tradition? And, has the concept of innovation itself changed over time?
DWC 202-C11: The Sacred and the Secular in the Struggle for Human Rights and Dignity
Dr. Dana Dillon, Theology
Dr. Eric Hartman, Global Studies
Secular approaches to human rights are often understood distinctly from theologically grounded accounts of human dignity. However, religious communities and particularly the Catholic Church have been crucial in working for human rights. This course will investigate state, Church, and unchurched efforts to promote the integral development of persons and peoples. It will examine the foundational as-sumptions of each approach, and trace the intertwined histories of these approaches in the promotion of rights in the 20th century. The course will offer sustained interrogation of assumptions and central concepts in order to identify what is common and what is distinct in these overlapping avenues to development and human rights. Crucial to this process will be the question of whether religious approaches that assume the supernatural and transcendent good of the person are ultimately incom-patible with approaches that limit their understanding of the person to merely worldly goods.
DWC 202-C12: The Science and Politics of Energy: Past, Present, Future (repeat of Spring 2013 colloquium)
Dr. Joe Cammarano, Political Science and Public & Community Service
Dr. Lynne Lawson, Engineering-Physics-Systems
Have you ever wondered why our core requires students to take courses outside of their major? Why do science majors need to take courses in the social sciences? Why do majors in Humanities or Social Sciences have to take science courses? Why does everyone enroll in DWC? This colloquium seeks to answer these questions, finding the connection between seemingly unconnected fields of study by focusing on the following question: “How are we going to cope with the increasing demand for energy resources while also trying to prevent the environmental crises that come with increased consumption of carbon-based energy?”
We will examine the origins of energy science and politics, the current state of important energy debates, and the future of energy policy. We do so through use of the “Wedges Game,” which requires teams of students to develop a plan to mitigate the increasing level of hydrocarbons in the atmosphere that comes with global development. Books, readings, and activities from a variety of scientific, journalistic, political, and philosophical sources will be used to study the science of energy, the politics of science, and how the development of a wide array of western and non-western intellectual traditions inform and constrain energy solutions.
DWC 202-C13: Evolution, Human Nature, and Society
Dr. Maia Bailey, Biology
Dr. Jeffery Nicholas, Philosophy
This course looks at human nature, the nature of science, especially biology, and the history of thought on the evolution of human beings. We will focus specifically on current debates about the relationship of the individual to society, the possibility of free will, the claims of science and what makes science legitimate, and what evolution tells us about the human relationship to the non-human world. The course will be team-taught by a biologist and a philosopher. We will encourage discussion as well as engagement with the historical texts and current controversies.
Dr. Margaret Manchester, History
Dr. Tuire Valkeakari, English
This course will consider various ethnic diasporas in the West, approaching them from a range of theoretical angles to gain understanding of the social and cultural dynamics characterizing diaspora experiences. We will study the ways in which individual and collective identities are shaped by participating in a diaspora. More specifically, we will examine the concepts of family, home, return, and biculturation; the dialogue between diasporic subjectivity and faith, politics, culture, and remembrance in diasporic contexts; and the ways in which the intersectionality of race, class, and gender affects diasporic identity formation. Course materials will include primary and secondary historical sources, film, novels, memoirs, and art as renditions of diaspora experiences.
DWC 202-C15: Good Citizenship and Public Policy: Responsibility and Reform
Dr. Julia Camp, Accountancy
Dr. Todd Olszewski, Health and Policy Management
This DWC Colloquium is an interdisciplinary exploration of citizenship and public policy. We will first examine what it means to be a good citizen and how this defini-tion has changed over time. How do history, religion, and government define a good citizen? What are the rights, responsibilities, and privileges that come with citizenship? Second, the colloquium will examine how government policies align with being a good citizen. How have moral values and political ideologies guided debates and steered the policymaking process? Specifically, we will examine the ways in which current tax policy and health policy address notions of responsibility, equity, and liberty. The final segment of the course will examine reform proposals in both taxation and healthcare; students will discuss how citizenship, responsibility, and reform align. The course will culminate in projects in which students develop their own policy reform proposals to align with the concept of good citizenship.
DWC 202-C16: The Ethics of Architecture and Design
Dr. Raymond Hain, Philosophy
Dr. Ann Norton, Art History
Will you be happier if you do not need a car or an elevator? Will you have more friends if your home has a front porch? Must a Christian church be in the shape of a cross? This course will introduce you to fundamental texts in architectural theory, from Vitruvius to the present day, with an emphasis on their implications for well lived human lives. We will then think through some controversial contemporary is-sues including New Urbanism, architecture and the environment, religious buildings, public spaces, and the design of homes and individual rooms. We will supplement our in-class activities with field trips, and students will be required to produce a final design project focusing on one of the central themes of the course.
DWC 202-C17: Humor, Humanities, and the Status Quo
Dr. Robin Greene, History
Dr. Anthony Jensen, Philosophy
Our colloquium concerns the intersection of humor and the humanities, and how both operate within, are necessitated by, and resist the status quo. There are two thematic questions that will guide our construction. First, why do humor and the humanities seem to have always been so closely connected over history? In exploring this question, our rigorous course of readings will represent a survey of satire, parody, cynicism, and wit that covers ancient and contemporary humanities literature and performance in order to ground historically the various instantiations of each in contemporary discourse. Second, what are the socio-political conditions necessary for the possibility of humor? In exploring this question, we will trace the basic outlines of the social and political situations in which the respective texts were written in order to locate the common conditions that allow for the emergence of both humanities and humor.
DWC 202-C18: The Outsider
Dr. William Bonney, Theology
Dr. Margaret Reid, English
This colloquium will be an interdisciplinary exploration of the idea of the “outsider” in theological, historical, literary and anthropological texts, primarily of the 20th and 21st centuries. Attention to the “outsider’s” perspective throughout these disciplines ranges from reverence to paranoia, as one who stands outside of the mainstream, whether by choice or fate, may be presumed to be a source of particular wisdom or dangerous madness—occasionally both. The roots of this tradition are rich and varied: Aristotle deems the person without a state to be “either a god or a beast”; both Socrates and historical Jesus clearly generate similar anxieties in their communities. Drawing upon western and non-western fiction, autobiography, cultural studies and critical scholarship, we will pursue the ways in which contemporary “Outsiderhood” stands in dialogue with foundational texts in the Development of Western Civilization.
DWC 202-C19: Stickin’ it to ‘The Man’: Struggles Among Capital, Labor, and Government
Dr. Angela Dills, Economics
Dr. Jeffrey A. Johnson, History & American Studies
This colloquium overviews exploitation and the exploited within the economic sphere (and the societal and cultural consequences). We will consider such issues as who is ‘the man,’ how does ‘the man’ keep you down, how to stick it to ‘the man’, and how you can be ‘the man’. We will explore relationships among capital, labor, and government including such issues as monopolists’ relationships with labor during the Industrial Revolution, the disparate impact of the criminal justice system, and how crony capitalism affects “the little guy.” We will study ways the oppressed and potentially oppressed have responded to these relationships including such topics as labor unionization, trade union feminism, and civil disobedience. We will discuss broader economic trends that empowered workers including how the high school expansion movement and its embodiment of capital in workers improved workers’ lives. An examination of personal technology’s role in decentralization and democratization will bring the discussion to modern times.
DWC 202-C20: Eros, Sex, and the Body: The Catholic Approach in Historical Perspective
Dr. Matthew Cuddeback, Philosophy
Dr. Paul Gondreau, Theology
This course will examine the Catholic approach to eros, human sexuality, and the human body in the midst of a contemporary cultural setting that presents significant challenges and opportunities for that approach. While there will be steady stress on philosophical and theological foundations and their bearing on contemporary culture and debates, the course will also emphasize the place of the poetic image and of beauty in a consideration of the body, eros, and sex. In addition to the study of documents of the twentieth and twenty-first century papacy, and responses thereto, the course will draw from philosophical, theological, literary, pictorial, and musical sources from the first three semesters of DWC so as to offer ample historical perspective.
DWC 202-C21: From Childhood to Community (repeat of Spring 2013 colloquium)
Fr. John Allard, Theology
Dr. Peter Costello, Philosophy
How does a person develop and grow from childhood to participation in a healthy and effective adult community? In order to understand this development, the course will explore two questions -- What is a child? What is a community? -- in their philosophical and theological dimensions, with the assistance of appropriate resources in literature, psychology, sociology, public service, women’s studies and global studies. Our students, already familiar with the reality of childhood and now actively engaged in the process of establishing communities, will use their experience and their knowledge to respond to the books of the course. They will also integrate and synthesize their learning from this course with the study of the human person that they have encountered in earlier semesters of the Western civilization program.
DWC 202-C22: The Character of Business: The Ethical Nature of Business and Business Leadership in Their Contemporary Settings
Dr. Patrick Kelly, Accountancy
Dr. Timothy Mahoney, Philosophy
This colloquium aims at showing that genuine business success is best achieved when technical competencies are wedded to fundamental virtues and to an understanding of business in the larger context of society. We will revisit the virtue tradition the students encountered in DWC in Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas and others. We will explore this tradition, especially as it pertains to leadership through both philosophical writing and literature. We will add contributions on virtue and business using the rich material from Catholic Social Thought. We will continue the historical narrative of DWC, but with a special emphasis on developments in business in the context of politics, the economy, and technology. These works will be our touch-stones as we then turn to recent issues and case in business leadership, both successes and failures (of which there are all too many, we know).
DWC 202-C23: Global Marketing, Religion, and Culture
Dr. Deirdre Bird, Marketing
Dr. Terence McGoldrick, Theology
It is undeniable: American culture has spread around the world. The impact of this has been felt, for good or for ill, in developed countries of Europe and in the emerging markets of China, India, South America, Southeast Asia and Africa. During the last several years, dissatisfaction towards American encroachment on global cultures has been manifested in various ways; from the destruction of McDonald’s restaurants in France to Muslim outrage at what is perceived as blasphemy against Islam in depictions of the prophet by the media.
This colloquium will attempt to trace the origins of this modern antipathy, looking back at the role missionaries have played in commerce in the past, at how evangelicals are marketing the Protestant faith in Latin America today, and how products are being marketed across the globe using a symbolism that was once reserved for religion. We will consider the global impact of what has been described as cultural imperialism, and of US “rights” such as freedom of speech and the reasons that other peoples become angered by a transgression of what they hold sacred by US marketing and business practices. We will study the conflict between what Thomas Freidman called the Lexus and the Olive tree, the traditional religious values and institutions with the new, modern and commercial as it is played out today in different parts of the world.
DWC 202-C24: No One Can Serve Two Masters: Catholic Social Thought and Finance
Dr. Jeffery Nicholas, Philosophy
Dr. David Zalewski, Finance
Future historians undoubtedly will focus on the structure and function of the financial system over the last 20 years or so when they consider factors that explain recent economic, political, and social conditions. For example, the impact of the U.S., Irish, and Spanish mortgage crises on economic performance, the social disintegration accompanying sovereign debt woes in Greece and Portugal, and the legacy of the “lost decade” of the 1990s in Japan will be considered epochal events in the history of these countries. On the other hand, the effects of microfinance on economic development, financial innovations supporting entrepreneurship, and the “democratization of credit” have improved the lives of millions. Perhaps recognizing the increasing importance of finance in global affairs, Catholic leaders, who had been largely silent about financial issues in the development of Catholic Social Thought (CST), have recently published documents that directly address this topic. Consistent with these developments, this colloquium will help students understand the role finance plays in society, and guided by the teachings of the Church, to develop their reasoning ability to make sound moral judgments and decisions about financial and economic issues.
DWC 202-C25: Workplace Culture and Womanhood
Dr. Jennifer Illuzzi, History
Dr. Margaret Ruggieri, Accountancy
When paying attention to contemporary discourse about women and the workplace, we hear of women’s empowerment in the workplace. However, much to the contrary, there is evidence that married women with children still face considerable barriers in the workplace, and that the glass ceiling has morphed into a “glass cliff” -- women can rise to a certain level, but at a certain point in their lives, they are set up by institutional barriers to fail -- to fall off the cliff. How can understanding a fuller picture of women’s’ lives in the workplace help us resolve the contradictions?
This colloquium draws on the prior knowledge gained in the first three semesters of DWC on the changing role and status of women and seeks to place it in a contemporary context. Common stereotypes about women and work will be examined in a global context through thematic case studies that can help students to understand the dynamics of women’s involvement in work, historically and in today’s society.