Below are lists of all the LCs offered in Fall 2012.
- LC1: Encountering Others in the Old and New World
- HI 111: Global Encounters to 1600 (Dr. Alison Smith)
EN 111(I): World Literature (Dr. Anne Schotter)
RFT: Smith or Schotter
This Learning Community focuses on cultural encounters across the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It will look at conflict and trade between Christians, Muslims, and Jews during the Middle Ages and between Europeans and indigenous peoples of the “New World” as the former began to explore and colonize it. Readings will include literary and historical selections from Marco Polo, Dante, Boccaccio, and Shakespeare, Arab and Crusader chronicles, and the writings of Columbus, Bartolomé de las Casas, and John Smith. The Reflective Tutorial will bring the study of cultural encounter to New York City, from its beginnings as a colony to its current status as a magnet for global immigration. We will study the dynamic contributions of immigrants to the city’s culture and economy and discuss ongoing patterns of resistance to immigration. The 30-hour experiential component will involve field trips to the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as to immigrant neighborhoods in the outer boroughs.
- LC 2: Leashed and Unleashed: Animals in Art
- TH 103: Script Analysis (Dr. Felicia J. Ruff)
AR 103: Color and Design (Prof. Jennifer Toth)
This Learning Community requires that students encounter and analyze various forms of artistic texts, including performance art, scripts, paintings, sculptures, poetry, etc. Script Analysis involves extensive reading followed by in-class critical analysis of plays. Color and Design similarly involves the practical and theoretical study of vision, form, and compositional techniques. In the Reflective Tutorial we examine the intersection of these two artistic disciplines through critical and written, specifically comparing ways animals are represented and function in contemporary theater and art. Critical thinking and reading skills will be challenged by a demanding reading list. Our experiential component will involve attending live performances or art exhibits on a weekly basis; therefore, extensive travel to Manhattan (as well as other boroughs) is required. Because we consider animals in art, we also engage with issues of animal rights; we asks our students to engage in various activities- fundraising; aristocratic; social; or civic- to raise awareness around these issues.
- LC 3: Money Where Your Mouth Is: Debates on Love, Power, and Money in the Public Forum
- EC 101: Macroeconomics (Dr. Jayne Dean)
SPC 103: Public Speaking (Prof. David McDonald)
This Learning Community unites two courses that explore different and conflicting perspectives on the economy and economic policy, and on rhetoric and public speaking. The Macroeconomics course provides the tools for analyzing the current economic crisis, while Public Speaking encourages an internal inquiry into personal attitudes and values carried into the public arena. The Reflective Tutorial explores more fully the implications of diverse views in each field. The 30-hour experiential placement for this LC engages Wagner students in a Readers Theatre project in the Alice Austin School, a local New York City public elementary school.
- LC 4: Global Traditions and Material Expression
- HI 120: Global History and the Modern World: Who Owns the Past? (Dr. Ousman Traore)
AH 118: Intro to Art History: The Ancient World from a Global Perspective (Dr. Sarah Scott)
Expression and visualization of global traditions are found in works of architecture, painting, and sculpture from across the globe. Religion, geography, politics, economics, and society: all contribute to the development of bodies of history. How can we better understand our place in the world today though an examination of the various evidences of textual and material culture from other places and other periods? This Learning Community will examine global traditions of material expression through Art History and History. It will explore how a global perspective is relevant to young children in today’s world as they learn in an elementary school setting. How can adults better guide children through a global world? By understanding the material world of other cultures, we can better prepare children to interact and function within a global setting. By visiting museums, examining texts and objects, and working with elementary school groups, students will develop an understanding of world art and history.
- LC 5: Spanish at Work: Language and Business in the 21st Century
- SP 291: Spanish for Business (Dr. Marilyn Kiss)
MDS 103: Business and Society (Dr. Cathy Tully)
This Learning Community is designed primarily for those who are considering a possible major in business administration. One course Business and Society, (MDS 103) will cover a broad range of practical business issues, effective communication strategies, and the role of business practices on society at large. Interdisciplinary topics will include the history of advertising, the current power of branding and the principles of political persuasion and how they are used in contemporary America. The other course, Spanish for Business (Spanish 291) is a basic Spanish course with vocabulary and cultural activities designed for those in business situations. Because of the growing Hispanic population of the U.S., students in all areas of business will need to be able to use the Spanish language with clients. In the Reflective Writing Tutorial, students will see such films as The Social Network or Inside Job that deal with ethical issues relating to business, do oral presentations and group work on the topics presented, and writes essays about them, using insights from both classes. The experiential component will involve field trips to major Hispanic businesses and such places as the Financial Museum and Wall Street. (Open to those with 0-3 years of previous study of the language).
- LC 6: Emerging Global Health Concerns
- CH 111: General Chemistry 1 (Dr. Nicholas Richardson)
MDS 109(D): Health and Society (Prof. Annemarie Dowling-Castronovo)
An examination of the role of chemistry in issues affecting the health status of individuals and groups throughout the world with emphasis on the needs of vulnerable populations and equity of health care.
Experiential hours include two field trips: 1) Ellis Island; and 2) the Staten Island Health Care Expo. In addition, students will be assigned to a community agency to examine how determinants of health influence individuals and communities while, at the same time, providing service determined by the needs of the agency. Upon completion of the experiential and didactic components, students develop an understanding of how society influences health.
- LC 7: Human Rights and Human Wrongs
- GOV 104: Introduction to Political Theory (Dr. Patricia Moynagh)
EN 111(I): World Literature (Dr. Erica Johnson)
This Learning Community draws upon classical as well as contemporary works in the history of political thought and world literature to probe acts of dissidence in a changing world. We’ll examine various literary and political interventions that allow us to think through what socially responsible citizenship might entail. What does it mean to write and act with courage when one’s society or world is not hospitable to the one who writes or the one who acts? How does one make one’s dissident voice heard? How does the exile or the outsider introduce new ways of seeing and being in the world with others? We’ll address these kinds of questions through a rigorous reading of literary and political texts. We will integrate three key field trips (to museums, exhibits, and performances for example) that directly relate to our studies.
- LC 8: Remembering and Representing America
- AH 215: American Art History (Dr. Laura Morowitz)
EN 291(I): American Literature, World Identities (Dr. Steven Thomas)
Many of us have had our understanding of American history shaped by popular culture as much as by the classroom.This RFT explores the way American history has been represented in various museums, theme parks and films. We will look at the way that American events and values are portrayed, displayed and interpreted in these sites. What image of the United States emerges from these objects, settings and narratives? Whose America is being depicted? Whose voices have been empowered to tell these stories? Through readings, discussions, site visits and film screenings we will come to better understand the changing representations of U.S. history and culture and their broader context.
- LC 9: Minds, Machines, and Human Beings
- PH 202: Medical Ethics (Dr. John Danisi)
BI 209: Human Anatomy and Physiology (Prof. Linda Raths)
BI 209L: Lab for Human Anatomy and Physiology
We will examine various philosophical and biological approaches to our understanding of conscious life and their cultural impact. We will discuss the nature of the mind, the concept of a person, the relation of mind and body, the reduction of mind to brain, and whether a machine could think. Can robotic technology transform, or perhaps, replace human beings? A question of this sort will be explored in our LC. The experiential component of this LC involves volunteer work at a nursing home. Designed for physician assistant and nursing majors.
- LC 10: The Quest for Equality
- HI 236(D): History of the Civil Rights Movement (Dr. Rita Reynolds)
MDS 291: Childism in America (Dr. Stephen Preskill)
Throughout American history equality has been a distant hope, an unrealized dream, an unattained ideal that has nevertheless remained a key organizing principle in American life. This learning community will look at this quest through two lenses: the continuing struggle for equality for African Americans during the modern Civil Rights Movement and ongoing prejudice against children.
In the case of civil rights we are primarily focusing on what African Americans did to try to bring an end to oppression and to organize themselves against a long tradition of racial prejudice and discrimination. It is a story of community courage and leadership in the face of often violent resistance and it is a story of how change can happen despite tremendous obstacles.
In the case of childism, or prejudice against children, we direct our attention to the historic discrimination against children in families, schools, and communities. How children have been neglected, marginalized, silenced and abused is one focus, but so are efforts to overcome and counteract it. Part of this course is devoted to the challenge of childism, but another key part is devoted to efforts to recognize the irreducible needs of every child and to build institutions that affirm those needs.
This learning community is not just about individual prejudice, however. It is also about societal racism and institutionalized bias against children and what can be done to reverse them. Much of the oppression that both Blacks and children have endured has occurred not just at the hands of individuals, but as the result of institutions and societal norms that privilege and favor whites and adults. We will analyze the dynamics of race and age discrimination and explore the challenge of eradicating these institutionalized oppressions.
- LC 11: TBA
- LC 12: Health and Environment: Cultural and Economic Perspectives
- AN 101: Introduction to Anthropology (Dr. Alexa Dietrich)
EC 102: Microeconomics (Dr. Yanan Di)
In this Learning Community we will explore the complex relationships between human beings and their surrounding environments, with a particular emphasis on their consequences for human health outcomes. Using the diverse but complementary tools of anthropology and economics, we will confront important questions such as:
1) How has the environment created modern human beings who now create their own environments?
2) Are economic concerns the fundamental bases of all human cultures and cultural diversity (and if so, Why does that matter)?
3) What are the environmental and health costs of civilization as we know it?
4) What are the effects of health-related behaviors on health outcomes, and how does culture affect behavior?
5) If human beings are victims of our own success, what innovative economic, environmental, and social policies might save us from ourselves?
6) Finally, how do we assess the costs and benefits of these policies and interventions?
Students and the professors will combine foundational coursework with guided fieldtrips, hands-on environmental workshops, and other activities to immerse themselves in these timely issues. Students will learn to use theoretical ideas to critically and reflectively assess their own world and experiences through journaling and other written assignments. They will also have the opportunity to engage in problem-solving discussions and actions both in and outside of the classroom. We will apply our collective answers and ideas to local questions and concerns such as water pollution, waste management, and sustainable farming, all of which will help decide the health of humans in the 21st century.
- LC 13: Being Human: Biological and Anthropological Perspectives
BI 213: Genes, Cells and Evolution (Dr. Heather Cook)
AN 101: Introduction to Anthropology (Dr. Celeste Marie Gagnon)
Being Human is a complex interplay of our genetics and society, which becomes expressed in out biology and culture. In this Learning Community, we will examine the basic foundations of the fields of biology and anthropology by examining what makes us human. To this end, we explore the molecular and evolutionary bases of life. In addition, we will investigate how genetic and environment interact to create individuals and how individuals come together to form households, communities, and society. To explore these connections and see how humans are bio-cultural beings, we will complete a number of field and community based experiences focused on issues of diet and health.
- LC14: Society and the City
GOV 205: Urban Politics (Dr. Abraham Unger)
SO 103(D): American Society and It’s Social Problems (Dr. John Esser)
This Learning Community explores the historical development of urban politics within a broader American social context characterized by race, gender, class, religious, and ethnic distinctions. It emphasizes the political and economic development of American cities and the intersection of public and private interests in urban policy-making, with a special focus on New York City. Students will conduct fieldwork around economic development issues in the St. George and Port Richmond communities. Past projects have included simulated grant proposals and policy papers after time spent visiting these neighborhoods and interviewing community leaders.
- LC 15: The Politics of Metaphors
GOV 236: Politics in Literature and Film (Dr. Steve Snow)
EN 111(I): World Literature (Dr. Eloise Brezault)
Metaphors are not merely words, but actions. They saturate our language and influence how we behave, consciously and unconsciously. Through novels, films, and non-fiction, we investigate both directly and through metaphors several themes which frame our political beliefs and personal moralities: power and profit, illness and immigration, development and denigration.
- LC 16: TBA
- LC 17:Bacteria,Human Health and Survival
BI 221: Biostatistics and Experimental Design (Dr. Donald E. Stearns)
MI 200: Microbiology (Prof. Christopher Corbo)
MI 200L: Lab for Microbiology
From the food we eat, to the air we breathe, to the plagues that have altered human history, and the biogeochemical cycles that affect our global climate, bacteria have a profound impact on almost every aspect of the human experience. Despite the deep and inseparable interaction between microbe and mankind, most of us only recognize these organisms as disease-causing “germs” that should be detested and destroyed. How does one separate fact from fiction to achieve a real understanding of bacteria, or any natural phenomenon? Biostatistics and Experimental Design presents the scientific method as the only process that systematically approaches an ever clearer understanding of natural phenomena.
The course introduces students to hypothesis testing, experimental design and the statistical treatment of biological information. Students will learn the difference between a personal opinion and a conclusion based on measured evidence. Microbiology applies that scientific approach towards understanding the bacteria—helpful and harmful—that affects so many aspects of our existence. Students will have an opportunity to observe microbes in the natural environment and explore ways that they have been employed for industrial and applied applications. LC participants will also teach local grade school students about microbes and the role they play in our day-to-day lives. This Learning Community will provide students with a basic understanding of the most diverse and abundant organisms on Earth.
- LC 18: Scripts and Scores
MU 102: Introduction to Music (Dr. David Schulenberg)
TH 103: Script Analysis (Prof. Phil Hickox)
This Learning Community explores theatre and music history from early times to the present day. Students read plays and study music while attending performances and visiting museums in the New York area. This LC is open to all incoming students, regardless of their prospective major; no previous study of music or theater is necessary, although some familiarity with theater and music may be helpful.
- LC 19: The Art of Persuasion: Verbal, Written and Visual Communication in Business
MDS 103: Business and Society (Prof. Frank DeSimone)
AR 203: Advertising Art 1 Graphic Design (Prof. Andy Needle)
This Learning Community will cover a broad range of practical business communication that includes designing effective business meetings and discussions, negotiations, individual presentations, persuasive messages and digital visual communication. A group advertising campaign will expose students to the basic skills of graphic design. Interdisciplinary topics will include the history of advertising, the current power of branding and the principles of political persuasion and how they are used in America. This course will include 25-30 hours of civic engagement, which will expose the student to the business environment.
- LC 20: Beyond Bono and Bill Gates: Leadership for Change in the World of Today
HI 227: Leadership in the Face of Conflict (Dr. Lori Weintrob)
MDS 110: Educating for Democracy (Dr. Jason Fitzgerald)
Bono, the famous frontman for the band U2, has been leading global education, health, and peace efforts for decades, as have Bill Gates, Angelina Jolie, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, and others. Although they are all famous (and that helps), the same leadership skills that they exhibit are needed for your generation to tackle increasingly tougher issues. Our learning community will focus on how leaders use, abuse, experience, and challenge power and privilege, creating change at home and abroad. We will explore the specific skills that make leadership great and make democracy and business successful through historical and educational lenses. We will also explore how change at the local level can ultimately affect national and global change. Students will have the opportunity to polish their leadership skills, meet leaders, and mentor high school students to improve the quality of life in a local neighborhood with global connections.
- LC 21: The Education, Law and Politics of Disabilities
MDS 106: Ways of Knowing (Prof. David Gordon)
GOV 103: American Government (Dr. Cyril Ghosh)
This Learning Community is designed for students who are considering the field of Education, Law or Political Science as a career, but all undeclared students are welcome. In this course students will learn about societal system (with an emphasis on the Educational System) through the historical/political lens of exclusion and inclusion of individuals with disabilities. Students will have the opportunity to discover the implications of these societal decisions through hands-on teaching and learning with individuals from Lifestyles for the Disabled. Wagner students will explore access and equity issues past and present that these individuals with disabilities face every day. Towards the end of the course, students will work on a culminating project focused on creating a political solution that addresses a specific societal need for individuals with disabilities. Students will have the opportunity to discover New York City physically in our RFT through visits to historically significant places that relate to the ideas of access and equity in our society. Finally LC students will use these experiences and perspectives to better understand their own ways of knowing and learning and how to incorporate and collaborate with others who may learn differently.