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Core Curriculum

Core Curriculum

Core Capstone Courses:
SPRING 2016

ABEC 419A: Anthrozoology
TR 1:00-2:15pm

Instructor: Paul Waldau
Prerequisites: Seniors only

ABEC 419 focuses on humankind’s relationships with other animal species. It takes a multidisciplinary approach as students examine our relationships with both domesticated species and wildlife in various nations, regions, communities, and cultures. Through this material, students focus not only on historical trends, scientific investigations and cultural differences, but also on religious perspectives, ethical issues and gender differences. The overarching goal of the course is to help students read, think, discuss and write about their role in our increasingly interconnected world.

CLL 400A: Humanitas
MWF TBA

Instructor: Kathryn Williams
Prerequisites: Seniors only; see description below

The range of meaning of the Latin work Humanitas encompasses our notions of education, culture, and literature. The course will be devoted to the study of a particular ancient Latin author—for example, Virgil, Cicero, or Suetonius—, group of authors—for example, Plautus and Terence or Caesar and Sallust—, or genre—for example, philosophy, poetry, or history. Whatever the authors or texts, most of them will be read in the original Latin.

As a result, though the course is not limited to Classics majors, students will be required to have had at least three semesters of ancient Latin. To ensure that this is the case and that those who wish to register have completed or are in the process of completing their core requirements, the permission of the instructor will be required for all who wish to take CLL 400. CLL 400 may count toward the completion of the major or minor in Classics.

COM 414A: Issues in Advertising
TR 1-2:15pm

Instructor: S. Catherine Foster
Prerequisites: Seniors only; COM Majors or Professor’s Signature

This course is an exploration of contemporary marketing communication through the social scientific lens of Communication Studies. Students are asked to read Advertising Age, an important weekly magazine published for advertising/ marketing industry professionals. From those readings (as well as supplementary video, other reading, outside speakers and advertising artifacts) they are required to outline and explain current industry news (e.g. new branding initiative from JK Rowling, a hard look at what Facebook knows and tells about us, how Komen is trying to restore its tarnished brand, a reconstitution of agencies at WPP for Colgate-Palmolive.). Each week, each student presents information from assigned readings to the class. Each is also responsible to interpret the potential impact of that story on the industry, the economy, consumers and our popular culture. He/she must critically analyze that behavior in the context of marketing communication and applicable theoretical communication frameworks such as Elaboration Likelihood Model, information theory, commitment and consistency, uses and gratifications, etc. At the same time, students are expected to explore the various core attributes that attach to each of the readings. Beyond that weekly work, every student must select a contemporary advertising topic to explore, research, and subsequently present to the class. This culminates in a research paper that follows APA style. 

CSC 320: The Social Impact of Computing
TR 11:30-12:45pm

Instructor: Jeffrey McConnell
Prerequisites:  CS/BIF Seniors only; CSC 212/L

There are many social issues involved in the development of software that students often overlook in their study of computing technology. This course will discuss the issues of diversity, ethics, global awareness, and justice in the context of computing technologies and their impact. Students will explore these issues in class discussions, research, writing, and presentation. The course will use a mini-conference format that will have students write a draft paper that will be reviewed by their peers and then revise that paper into a final form. The course will conclude with student presentation of their final papers.   Due to the advanced computing technological content of the course, CSC 212/L is a prerequisite for the course.

DMA 399A: Social Documentary
M 1:00-3:45pm

Instructor: James O’Neil
Prerequisites: Seniors only

This capstone course combines viewership of famous social documentaries, with an art survey of documentary photographers and culminates in a written documentary proposal, along with a detailed, oral presentation of the project or, screening of a completed segment of a video or photo documentary. This course will be open to any student who has fulfilled the prerequisite, DMA201: Intro to Digital Media. Below is a description of how certain films viewed as part of the course relate to attributes. Documentary photography will be covered with the help of a textbook (yet to be chosen) that familiarizes students with famous war photographers such as Timothy O’Sullivan, John Heartfield and Eddie Adams, as well as pop documentarians such as Annie Leibovitz

ENG 365E: Nazi Germany in Contemporary
World Fiction
MWF 10:00 – 10:50am

Instructor: Johanna Fischer
Prerequisites: Seniors only

This course explores various representations of Nazi Germany in contemporary fiction. Students will read four contemporary novels and reflect on their relationship to history, how they are shaped by it, and how they represent it. The focus is not so much on the actual historical event itself, but rather the focus will be on the human experience reflected in the novels themselves. As part of our thinking about this literature we will consider literary phenomena such as reference and self-reflexibilty as a way into both the study and the discussion of the important human questions that the novels ask. Furthermore, we will consider the problems and possibilities of historical representation in contemporary fiction.

FAM 481 A: The Art of the Selfie
TR 11:30-12:45pm

Instructor: Yvonne Widenor
Prerequisites: Seniors only

This course presents an overview of the artistic expressions of portraiture limited to those identified as self-portraits. In an age when one is overwhelmed by images of individuals presenting themselves artfully, we are accustomed to these expressions, but the history of self-portraits brings to bear cultural concerns of identity, social standing, and artistic ability. Beginning with the earliest known self-portraits onward, we will discuss the roles ascribed to self-portraits by artists, their patrons, and the 21st century connoisseur.

While works by the most famous self-portraitists Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh, and Cindy Sherman will be discussed, we will also explore the use of selfies in contemporary art exhibits at major museums, such as MOMA and lesser known galleries, the Moving Image Contemporary Art Fair in London in 2013, for example.

FAM 390: Sounding Society
MWF 1:00-1:50pm

Instructor: Richard Falkenstein
Prerequisites: Seniors only

The premise that music is one of the richest cultural expressions of a community forms the basis for this course, which explores how music represents, instills, and challenges the values of ethics, justice, diversity, and global awareness in different societies. In addition to art music (Western and otherwise) the course also encompasses popular and indigenous music. The course is flexible enough to accommodate students without music reading skills. 

HIS 421A: Nature and the Arts of Angling, Rest,
and Contemplation
TR 11:30-12:45

Instructor: Richard Bailey
Prerequisites: Seniors only

As an exercise in the genre of cultural history, HIS 421 is an introduction to the history, literary and cultural significance, and practice of fly fishing in America, as well as around the world. In “Nature & the Arts of Angling, Restoration, & Contemplation,” students will also examine the religious themes and the “spiritualization” often attached to fly fishing, which have been expressed in some of the most loved writings in the English language. Students will additionally gain a basic knowledge of fly fishing and an understanding of the ecological, ethical, and justice-related issues surrounding the sport.

HIS 470A: American Women in History
and Literature
TR 10:00-11:15am

Instructor: Nancy Rosenbloom
Prerequisites: Seniors only

This capstone explores the place of women in American society from 1850 to the present through an examination of a variety of literary texts including fiction, autobiography, memoir, letters and speeches. We will look at two central questions: how women struggled – and continue to struggle – to secure their full participation in American society and, how the conflict between social conformity and the search for self is expressed in literature.

HIS 470B: American Women in History
and Literature
TR 1:00-2:15pm

Instructor: Nancy Rosenbloom
Prerequisites: Seniors only

This capstone explores the place of women in American society from 1850 to the present through an examination of a variety of literary texts including fiction, autobiography, memoir, letters and speeches. We will look at two central questions: how women struggled – and continue to struggle – to secure their full participation in American society and, how the conflict between social conformity and the search for self is expressed in literature.

HSV 480 Core Capstone: Be All You Can Be
TR 1:00-2:15pm

Instructor: Betsy DelleBovi
Prerequisites: Seniors only

This Core Capstone course provides students the opportunity to reflect and practice the knowledge and skills they have acquired through the Canisius College Core Curriculum. Open to all students from all majors, the course explores the many issues related to personal well-being and wellness. Wellness is regarded as a healthy balance between mind, body, and spirit. Approaches to wellness exist in most fields involving human services such as medicine, counseling, education and management. Students will explore important components of environmental safety, healthy food, regular exercise, among other topics.

KIN 494HYB: Capstone in Kinesiology
T 2:30-4:30pm

Instructor: Clancy Seymour
Prerequisites: Seniors only

This seminar is a reflective course that amalgamates topics in Kinesiology with the core curriculum. Students reflect on their practice, review readings, debate issues, engage in classroom discussions, and participate in service excursions that highlight the diversity, ethical, global awareness, and social justice themes present in their own professional development.

MAT 345: Mathematics of Climate and Sustainability
MWF 10:00-10:50am

Instructor: Terrence Bisson
Prerequisites: Seniors only;
Other prerequisite: MAT111 - Calculus for Sciences, or comparable course.

This course, for majors from all the sciences, develops the use of conceptual models in understanding complicated situations, while illustrating the role of scientific arguments in societal debates about climate change and sustainability. Topics include: the Earth's energy balance, historical data for ocean and atmosphere and temperature and their circulation and oscillation patterns, the carbon cycle and biological systems, and handling ``large data''. The increasingly sophisticated examples explored in the course will introduce the use of various areas of mathematics:  linear models and networks, calculus-based dynamical systems, statistics and data assessment, and analysis of periodic phenomena. Students will learn about these topics by seeing simple examples of their use. The last part of the course will center on sustainability issues, and connections to global awareness, diversity, ethics, and justice. 

PHI 399A: Ethics, Justice and the Problem
of Poverty
MWF 10:00-10:50am

Instructor: Sean J.M. Johnston
Prerequisites: Seniors only

This course synthesizes the learning experiences from having completed the components of the Core Curriculum. The course has two parts. The first part takes up consideration of two texts that provide a strong yet accessible background in ethics, justice, and diversity: (1) Kwame Anthony Appiah: Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers; and (2) Michael Sandel: Justice. The second part of the course examines the controversy between two development economists; here the texts are: (3) Jeffrey Sachs The End of Poverty; and (4) William Easterly: The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. The emphasis then is on global awareness. Examining the controversy between Sachs and Easterly raises concern about how good will and a commitment to justice by themselves seem not to entail clear and easy solutions to the problem of world poverty.

This course was open to all students from all majors. We will consider several rival versions of our moral self-understanding and several rival versions of how to address contemporary moral problems. Our goal is to apply these different approaches to the problem of world poverty. Since by current estimates, over 1.7 billion people live in absolute poverty [less than $1.25 per day], how do different economic approaches to these problems entail different conceptions of justice and of the living well? The course considers our position as moral beings in a poverty stricken world.

PHI 399B: Ethics, Justice and the Problem
of Poverty
R 6:00-8:45pm

Instructor: Heron Simmonds-Price
Prerequisites: Seniors only

This course synthesizes the learning experiences from having completed the components of the Core Curriculum. The course has two parts. The first part takes up consideration of two texts that provide a strong yet accessible background in ethics, justice, and diversity: (1) Kwame Anthony Appiah: Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers; and (2) Michael Sandel: Justice. The second part of the course examines the controversy between two development economists; here the texts are: (3) Jeffrey Sachs The End of Poverty; and (4) William Easterly: The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. The emphasis then is on global awareness. Examining the controversy between Sachs and Easterly raises concern about how good will and a commitment to justice by themselves seem not to entail clear and easy solutions to the problem of world poverty.

This course was open to all students from all majors. We will consider several rival versions of our moral self-understanding and several rival versions of how to address contemporary moral problems. Our goal is to apply these different approaches to the problem of world poverty. Since by current estimates, over 1.7 billion people live in absolute poverty [less than $1.25 per day], how do different economic approaches to these problems entail different conceptions of justice and of the living well? The course considers our position as moral beings in a poverty stricken world.

PSC 442A Seminar in International Relations
W 2:00-4:45pm

Instructor: Jonathan DiCicco
Prerequisites: Senior IR Majors or Professor's Signature

The seminar focuses on leaders and leadership in international politics. We work together to identify models of leadership that we might strive to emulate, as well as examples of errant behavior and poor leadership that we can try to avoid. In so doing, we repeatedly raise the question, by what criteria -- practical, ethical, and moral -- should we judge “good” and “bad” international leaders? We do not limit our focus to larger-than-life figures like Mahatma Gandhi, Dag Hammarskjöld, Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela, or Pope John Paul II; we also consider and discuss different ways of conceptualizing international leadership and international leaders, including leading states in the international system, regional leaders, and transnational advocacy groups, and we analyze the political structures, motives, and incentives that encourage poor leadership. The seminar requires a solid base of knowledge in international and national politics and is best suited for majors in International Relations and Political Science.

PSC 452A: Politics of Identity in Europe
TR 1:00-2:15pm

Instructor: John Occhipinti
Prerequisites: Seniors only

Nationalism, separatism and European identities. Immigrant communities and responses by Europe’s governments and political parties. Islam in Europe and challenges for identity and security. Lessons for US public policy.  

PSY 320BLE: Cultural Psychology
TR 8:30-9:45am

Instructor: Dewey Bayer
Other: In-class and online experiences
Prerequisites: Seniors only

Cultural psychology is the comparative study of cultural effects on human psychology (socialization, learning, perceptions, emotions, and motivations). It examines psychological diversity and the links between cultural norms and behavior. It also examines the ways in which particular human activities are influenced by social and cultural forces. Furthermore, cultural psychology primarily uses the comparative method to establish psychological concepts, principles, and hypotheses. The purpose of the seminar is to introduce the field of cultural psychology and its contemporary applications. Through discussions and readings students can expect to develop a broader, global perception of contemporary psychology. Additionally, the course will assist in developing a useful set of critical-thinking tools with which to analyze and evaluate psychology from various, ethnic, national, and religious groups, thereby applying the attributes of the college core. Information literacy and advanced writing are required.

RST 399B: Religious Diversity in Buffalo
T 6:00-8:45pm

Jonathan Lawrence
Prerequisites: Seniors only

This course will explore the nature of religious diversity in Buffalo through visits to congregations from different religious traditions and discussions of larger themes concerning religious diversity in America and around the world.  During visits to these congregations and other sites, students will videotape worship services (when permitted) and interview clergy and members about their religious beliefs, practices, and experiences of interactions with other religious communities.  Students will conduct background research into the congregations and other sites they are visiting and compose reflections on those visits which will be shared on the website for an on-going project the instructor is conducting.

RST 399C ONL: Liberation Theologies
TBA

Instructor: Patrick Lynch, S.J.
Other: Online Course

This course will study the origins and development of Liberation Theology in Latin America before investigating the ways in which this theology developed among other racial, ethnic, and gender groups in the United States and elsewhere in the world. In particular, the course will study aspects of African American, Latino/Latina, GLBTQ, and feminist theologies in the U.S. and liberation theologies in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Within these theologies special attention will be given to issues of social justice. Ethical issues will also be addressed when considering liberation in the context of feminism, health care, and criminal punishment.