Introduction to East Asian international relations, with emphasis on post-1945 period: historical background of Asian international system; Cold War conflicts; China's rise and regional responses; Japan's changing international role; the two Koreas; ASEAN and Asian regionalism; U.S. and Russian policies; current and future issues.
Journalism is storytelling. It’s reporting. It’s data. It’s audio and video and design. It’s audience. It’s community. It’s investigation and it’s explanatory. Journalism is more than an article. In this course, we will discuss and explore the many facets and forms of the Fourth Estate. We will talk to people who do journalism on a daily basis. And we will discuss the future of the field and learn how we can all help shape it.
Professor Steven Weintraub
Suppose we have an infinite row of dominoes labelled 1, 2, 3, ... The first domino falls, and the dominoes are arranged so that if any domino falls, it knocks down the next one. What will happen? They will all fall! This is the principle of mathematical induction, a powerful and almost ubiquitous proof technique in mathematics. We will develop this principle and use it to prove a wide variety of mathematical results.
Steven H. Weintraub is a Professor of Mathematics at Lehigh. He has interests in a wide variety of fields of mathematics, including number theory.
4 credits (HU)
Professor Mary Nicholas
IMAGINING RUSSIA TODAY
Russia is the largest country in the world, one of few bridging Europe and Asia where it rests uneasily as the biggest nation in both continents. Yet despite its size, shared borders, and perennial efforts to “rebrand,” Russia seems to remain the “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” that Winston Churchill first described in 1939. We'll investigate that continued conundrum by looking at highlights of Russian culture from the twentieth and twenty-first century with a focus on literature, film, art, and music for answers they give to dilemmas in modern life, science, medicine, business, and the humanities. In this period of strained relations, it is vital to understand the people and politics behind what used to be the “Iron Curtain.” Assignments include written responses to short stories and novellas, movies (drama, science fiction, comedy, and documentary), contemporary art, and music.
An award-winning teacher, Mary Nicholas is Professor of Russian in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Lehigh University. She is the author of Writers at Work: Russian Production Novels and the Construction of Soviet Culture (Bucknell University Press, 2010) and the forthcoming monograph Moscow Conceptualism: Words and Deeds of a Radical Art Movement, as well as numerous articles on Soviet and post-Soviet art, prose, and poetry.
3 credits (HU)
Professor Michael Jorgensen
CHRONICLES OF AMERICAN POPULAR MUSIC
Popular music has always been intertwined with social, cultural and historical changes. This course examines pop music from the emergence of record labels in the early twentieth century to the present, which reflects the complicated history of race in the United States, while celebrating our shared triumphs and grieving our national tragedies. Students will read source materials, engage in active listening and discussion, and lead presentations on twenty-first century pop music.
Described as an exceptional musician by Maestro Lorin Maazel, violinist Michael Jorgensen is the Professor of Practice in Orchestral Strings at Lehigh University, where he serves as the concertmaster of the Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also taught violin at Middle Tennessee State University, Covenant College, and the Wyoming Center for the Arts in their Touchstone program for at-risk youth. He has given masterclasses across the country at colleges including Austin Peay State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, University of South Dakota, and the College of Wooster.
3 credits (HU)
Professor Paul Salerni
THEN AND NOW: THE STRING QUARTET
The String Quartet course examines the history of the string quartet until the late twentieth century and then focuses on how the string quartet has crossed over into multiple genres in the recent past.
Paul Salerni is the NEH Distinguished Chair in the Humanities and Professor of Music at Lehigh University. His chamber music appears on the Albany, Bridge, and New Focus labels, and his award-winning one-act opera (Tony Caruso’s Final Broadcast) on Naxos. He loves writing for string quartet either alone or with other elements. Among those compositions are Quartet 1.5, Turns, The Animal Struck with the Plague, and a one-act dance opera entitled Haunted. You can find some of his music on YouTube or Spotify.
3 credits (HU)
Professor David Diggs
BAND MUSIC OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR
This course examines the history of the American Civil War as seen through the eyes of the musicians and explores the cultural and political causes, and effects of the War. There are seven complete sets of band books from seven bands that exist from the War, and we will study the music and lives of those musicians who played in these bands.
David Diggs joined the Lehigh University faculty in 1998, following a distinguished career as an oboist and woodwind specialist in New York City. Mr. Diggs performed regularly with the NYC Ballet Orchestra, and has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the NYC Opera Orchestra, and in numerous Broadway shows. He was also active as in the commercial recording business, with over 1000 recordings for TV, films and commercials. He earned degrees in music from Oklahoma City University and SUNY at Stony Brook.
As Director of Bands, he oversees the three bands at Lehigh, including The Marching 97, and serves as the director of The Wind Ensemble and the Symphonic Band. Under his direction The Wind Ensemble at Lehigh University has received several grants to record American wind music, and the ensemble has also been recognized by Downbeat Magazine with its award for the “Most Outstanding College Classical Symphonic Ensemble” in its 22nd Student Music Awards. In addition to his conducting, Mr. Diggs teaches harmony classes and oboe, and also performs with the East Winds Quintet.
Mr. Diggs has been internationally recognized for his research of the band music of the American Civil War era and the music to the English Foot Guards band of the late eighteenth century. He is credited with numerous premiere performances and recordings, and is included in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World. He was recently presented to H.M. Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle and elected to honorary membership in the Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain.
ART 090-013; CRN 45186
THTR 090-013; CRN 45242
WGSS 090-013; CRN 45188
3 credits (HU)
Professors Sun Min Lee, Tong Soon Lee, and Linda Ganus
WOMEN, CREATIVEITY, AND THE ARTS
In this seminar, students will explore historical and contemporary ways in which women engage with music, visual art, and other performing and creative arts. Through lectures, listening/viewing examples, readings, live concert attendance, gallery visits, and other activities, students will explore a global spectrum of women's creativity.
A member of the Lehigh University Music Department since Fall 2000, Linda Ganus Albulescu serves as Adjunct Faculty and Visual Communications/Orchestra Manager. Linda holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and received her M.A. in History from Lehigh University. She earned her Bachelor of Music Magna cum Laude in Flute Performance from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. and is currently a PhD student in the History Department at Lehigh. Having enjoyed an active professional career as both a musician and a visual artist in the Lehigh Valley and New York metro areas, Linda’s teaching and research concentrates on intersectionality and the cross-disciplinary history of music and the visual arts in Western culture. She has received grants from the Getty Research Institute and the Lawrence Henry Gipson Institute for Eighteenth-Century Studies at Lehigh. For much of her performing career, Linda toured nationally as a full-time member of the New York City Opera National Company, and was also a longtime member of the Lake George/Saratoga Opera Company. She also enjoyed life as an enthusiastic orchestral freelance player during years living in New York City and currently enjoys performing as a member of the Bach Choir Orchestra in Bethlehem, PA. She particularly loves teaching the next generations of performers, having taught flute and chamber music on the faculties of Lehigh University and Moravian College in Pennsylvania, the Spence School and the Bloomingdale House of Music in New York, and the Köniz Musikschule in Bern, Switzerland. As a visual artist, Linda has received numerous Best-in-Show and First Prize awards, including solo exhibits held at Lehigh University, Moravian College, and the Nurture Nature Center. Ms. Ganus has also studied painting and drawing at the New York Studio School and the New York Academy of Art, and has exhibited widely across the United States. Her work has been commissioned by organizations such as the New York Philharmonic, David Sarnoff Research Center, Musical America, G. Schirmer, Inc., and the Kinhaven Music Institute, as well as numerous private collectors.
Professor Tong Soon Lee teaches musicology and ethnomusicology in the Department of Music, and is also the Department Chair. His primary area of research and teaching is East Asian and Southeast Asian music, and he is currently the General Editor of the Yearbook for Traditional Music, the flagship journal of the UNESCO-affiliated scholarly association, International Council for Traditional Music.
4 credits (HU)
Professor Mark Bickhard
BRAINS AND MINDS
How do brains work that they realize minds? Or do they? We will look at how the nervous system functions; at contemporary models of how these functions might realize mental phenomena; at some problems with these contemporary models; and briefly at an alternative approach to modeling how psychological phenomena might be realized in the nervous system.
Mark Bickhard is the Henry R. Luce Professor in Cognitive Robotics and the Philosophy of Knowledge at Lehigh University, and is affiliated with the Departments of Philosophy and Psychology. His work ranges from process metaphysics and emergence to consciousness, cognition, language, and functional models of brain processes, to persons and social ontologies. Bickhard’s work on cognition features a model of cognition as emergent in agent processes for interacting with the world.
4 credits (HU)
Professor Patrick Connolly
NATIVE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY
This course examines the philosophical views of various American Indian communities on topics such as truth, knowledge, identity and the self, causation, and ethics. Indigenous approaches to these issues are compared with one another and with Euro-American approaches. These comparisons provide a framework in which to ask whether a distinctive and unified American Indian philosophy exists amidst the views of various culturally and linguistically distinct indigenous communities. We will also explore contemporary American Indian thought as it relates to colonialism and anti-colonialism, sovereignty, and resistance.
Patrick Connolly is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy. Much of his research focuses on the history of philosophy during the Scientific Revolution, but he also has longstanding interests in practical ethics and other philosophical topics. He has recently been exploring ways in which philosophers can expand the traditional canon and rethink received narratives about the history of philosophy. He holds a BA from Georgetown University and an MA and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When not on campus, he enjoys running, watching soccer, cooking, reading novels, and travel.
3 credits (NS)
Professor Timm Wrase
TR 3:00 - 4:15pm
FROM BLACK HOLES TO STRINGS:
THE EARLY UNIVERSE AND THE NATURE OF SPACE-TIME
In the early 20th century Einstein's theory of relativity drastically changed our understanding of gravity and the fabric of space-time. Despite its great successes, the theory of general relativity is incomplete. It does not take into account quantum mechanics and fails to describe fundamental properties of black holes and the very beginning of the universe.
In this seminar we will explore the key developments in modern physics and the challenges of unifying all the fundamental forces. We will introduce the main ingredients of string theory, the most promising framework for a quantum description of gravity, and discuss its consequences for space-time at the smallest scales. As we will see, string theory has given us crucial insights into the structure of black holes and the early evolution of the universe. The format of the course will be discussion of weekly reading assignments, and a final paper.
Professor Timm Wrase earned his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining the Lehigh Physics Department, Wrase held postdoc positions in Germany, at Cornell University and at Stanford University. He also was an assistant professor at the Technical University of Vienna, Austria. He works on various aspects of string theory, quantum gravity and early universe cosmology. His research currently focuses on the consistency conditions that are being imposed on a universe by the very existence of a theory of quantum gravity like string theory.
ES 090-010; CRN 43742
4 credits (SS)
Professor Albert Wurth
CAN THE U.S. MEET THE CHALLENGES OF CLIMATE CHANGE?
Students in the course will examine the established science and potential impacts of climate change and investigate the range of possible responses that U.S. citizens can adopt through their political, social, institutional, and economic efforts. Special attention will be paid to the possibility of "win-win" initiatives, the impacts of the many decision-making entities in the United States (including institutions of higher education), and the economic and political obstacles to a viable transition to a stable climate future.
Al Wurth is Associate Professor of Political Science at Lehigh University. He joined the department in 1985. He earned a doctorate in political science at the University of North Carolina, a master’s degree in behavioral science from Southern Illinois University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Northwestern University. Professor Wurth’s research has appeared in numerous outlets including The Social Science Journal, Society and Natural Resources, Political Studies, Social Science Information, Knowledge and Policy, Technology in Society, and the Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society. He has also engaged in a variety of community service projects, including being a board member for Clean Water Action; Sierra Club (Lehigh Valley Group); and the Coalition for Alternative Transportation. He has also served on a number of Lehigh University committees.
4 credits (SS)
Professor Devin Finn
POLITICS, VIOLENCE, AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN LATIN AMERICA
How do efforts to achieve power and political representation interact in the countries of Latin America? How do we understand the relationship between violent politics and institutions, elections, and destruction patterns such as corruption and femicide? How do indigenous groups, women, and minority groups act and organize politically when their rights are left undefended or are violated? By examining archival materials, film, memoir, and academic research, this course interrogates everyday practices of politics - their cultural roots and consequences for governance and human rights - in distinct societies of the region.
Professor bio coming soon!
AAS 090-010; CRN 44786
4 credits (SS)
Professor Valerie Taylor
THE SCIENCE OF VIRTUAL REALITY: EMPATHY, ETHICS, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
This course will provide students with an understanding of how virtual reality (VR) is being used to create a more empathic and socially just world. This course draws primarily upon social psychology theoretical frameworks and spans research in Africana studies, communications, ethics, and computer science. From these lenses, the seminar will encourage students to examine how VR technological innovations can improve humanity while also grappling with the ethical and social justice dilemmas they may pose.
Dr. Valerie Jones Taylor is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Africana Studies at Lehigh University. She earned a doctorate in social psychology at Stanford University and a B.A. in psychology and ethnic studies, with a concentration in African & African American Studies, at the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining Lehigh’s faculty, Taylor served as an assistant professor at Spelman College and was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University. Her research areas include intergroup relations, social identity threat, stereotyping and discrimination, and cultural psychology. Specifically, she investigates how stereotyping and prejudice affect underrepresented groups' academic performance, interracial interactions, and the treatment of racialized physical spaces. Her work also examines ways to improve interracial encounters in educational and social contexts using virtual reality. She has published and presented her work widely and has been awarded grants from the Ford Foundation and the National Science Foundation, including a recent NSF CAREER award (2021 – 2026) for her research on improving interracial interactions using VR.
4 credits (HU)
Professor Christopher Driscoll
UFO RELIGION IN THE AMERICAS
This First-Year-Seminar introduces students to the interdisciplinary academic study of religion through an exploration of UFO and alien phenomena in the Americas. Students will learn research strategies, methods, and best practices for exploring both mundane and extraordinary experiences, as well as the philosophical underpinnings of knowledge production. The class also introduces students to the contemporary disclosure movement, using it (and its potential implications) to consider how recognition of intelligent alien life will impact understandings of religion and who we are as humans.
Christopher M. Driscoll, Ph.D. is assistant professor of Religion Studies, American Studies, and Africana Studies at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA (beginning Fall 2018). Driscoll is a scholar of race, religion, and culture, and historical and contemporary white U.S. and European religious, philosophical, and theological thought and traditions, hip hop culture, and existentialisms/ humanisms, and has lectured across the U.S. and Europe on these themes. His interdisciplinary work combines social, critical, philosophical, and hermeneutical theories and methods within the academic study of religion. Driscoll is author of White Lies: Race & Uncertainty in the Twilight of American Religion (Routledge, 2015), co-author (with Monica R. Miller) of the forthcoming Method as Identity in the Academic Study of Religion (under contract with Lexington Books); invited guest editor of a 2011 special issue of the Bulletin for the Study of Religion on the topic of hip hop and religion, co-editor (with Monica R. Miller and Anthony B. Pinn) of Kendrick Lamar and the Making of Black Meaning (under contract with Routledge), and co-editor (with The CERCL Writing Collective) of Breaking Bread, Breaking Beats: Churches and Hip Hop – A Guide to Key Issues (Fortress Press, 2014).
JST 090-011; CRN 44759
4 credits (HU)
Professor Jodi Eichler-Levine
TR 1:35 - 2:50pm
BEYOND BAGELS: JEWS AND FOOD
What does Crisco have to do with Jewish history? What is eco-kashrut? And why do so many Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas? This course explores Jewish life through the diverse history of Jewish foods. From New York deli to matzah ball gumbo, we will dig into a rich stew of diverse Jewish practices, regions, genders, ethics, and rituals.
Jodi Eichler-Levine is Berman Professor of Jewish Civilization and a professor of Religion Studies. Her most recent book, Painted Pomegranates and Needlepoint Rabbis: How Jews Craft Resilience and Create Community, was published in fall 2020, and her work at the intersection of religious studies, popular culture, and gender studies has appeared in The Washington Post, Newsweek, Salon, and many other popular and academic venues. She loves teaching courses in Jewish studies, religion, and a host of interdisciplinary programs, which she has done at Lehigh since 2015. Her current research project is a book on religion and the Walt Disney Company. In her spare time, she loves to knit, hike, and run (very slowly).
JST 090-012; CRN 44954
4 credits (HU)
Professor Hartley Lachter
JEWISH HERETICS: A SECRET HISTORY
Radical thinkers have played an important role in Jewish life. Sometimes loved, other times feared, these renegades have shaped Jewish thought and history in important ways. In this class we will explore examples of such "heretics" ranging from false messiahs to modern Jewish rebels in order to better understand the complicated relationship between human creativity and the charge of religious deviance.
Professor Hartley Lachter holds the Philip and Muriel Berman Chair in Jewish Studies, and serves as the director of the Berman Center for Jewish Studies and the Chair of the department of Religion Studies at Lehigh University. His scholarship focuses on medieval Kabbalah, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between Jewish historical experiences and the development of kabbalistic discourses. He is the author of, Kabbalistic Revolution: Reimagining Judaism in Medieval Spain, published by Rutgers University Press is 2014, and he is currently working on a book that explores how medieval Kabbalah imagines Jewish history.
Prof. Lachter’s teaching interests include courses on Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah, survey courses on Judaism and Jewish thought, theory and method in the study of religion, world religions, messianism, and explorations of contemporary religious extremism and violence. In all of his courses he explores with his students how religious identities are negotiated through the production of public discourses that shape, and are shaped by, the interactions across identity boundaries.
Hartley Lachter lives in Allentown, PA, with his wife, Dr. Jessica Cooperman, who is a Religion Studies professor at Muhlenberg College, where she directs the program in Jewish Studies. They have two daughters, Zoe (age 16) and Mollie (age 12), and a dog named Timmy.
ASIA 090-014; CRN 43736
ETH 090-014: CRN 43738
HMS 090-014; CRN 43737
4 credits (HU)
Professor Annabella Pitkin
TR 12:10 - 1:25pm
BUDDHISM, PSYCHOLOGY, AND MEDICINE
How have neuroscientists, Buddhists, and medical practitioners described what meditation does to the brain, mind and emotions? How have Buddhists described what enlightenment does to the mind and body? What are the historical relationships between Buddhism, medical practice, and psychology, in the US and in Asia? Students in this course explore these questions, by examining Buddhist philosophy, psychology, memoir, and art, together with recent research on how meditation and other practices affect brain function, emotional response, and other mental and physical processes.
Professor Annabella Pitkin is Assistant Professor of Buddhism and East Asian Religions at Lehigh. She researches and writes about Tibetan Buddhism, modernity, miracle stories, and Buddhist biographies. Her teaching includes courses on Buddhism and East Asian religions, environmental ethics, sexuality and gender, and new technologies. She has lived and traveled extensively in the Himalayan region, China, India, and Nepal, and is obsessed with Tibetan pop music trends. Professor Pitkin is completing a book manuscript titled “Beggar Modern: Renunciation and Longing in the Life of a 20th Century Tibetan Buddhist Saint."
4 credits (HU)
Professor Benjamin Wright
RELIGION AND CONTEMPORARY FICTION
Religion has always been a fascination of fiction writers. One can look at the history of modern literature and find that religion has been something of a preoccupation. In this course, students look at religion through the lens of several contemporary novels. How do these books picture religion? What kinds of religious issues do these books take up? We will encounter visionary experiences, gender construction, the need to fill in the blanks, together with a bit of insanity and inscrutability.
Professor Benjamin Wright is University Distinguished Professor in Religion Studies. His researches and writes about Judaism in the Second Temple Period and has published widely on early Jewish and Christian literature. He works on three areas in particular: (1) ancient Jewish Wisdom literature; (2) ancient translations and (3) the Dead Sea Scrolls.
4 credits (SS)
Professor Ziad Munson
SOCIAL THEORY AND SCIENCE FICTION
"Science fiction, at its best, engenders the sort of flexible thinking that not only inspires us, but compels us to consider the myriad potential consequences of our actions." - Eileen Gunn, Smithsonian Magazine
Science fiction can offer exciting, fascinating stories. But science fiction-- by imagining worlds so different from our own-- also offers a kind of mirror that can help us both understand and evaluate the real world. The overall goal of this course is to give students the opportunity to think widely, deeply, and collaboratively about the society in which we all live.
Together, we will think widely by engaging with some of the most influential and engaging texts on how society works. We will think deeply by reading a lot, taking our time, and pushing each other to see past our first impressions to consider underlying patterns and relationships that form the basis of our social order. And we will think collaboratively by giving everyone in the seminar a responsibility for contributing to the conversation, supporting, and questioning one another.
Substantively, we will pursue these goals through two very different kinds of texts: classical social theory (written by social scientists) and science fiction novels (written by, well, novelists). Why bring these two together? First is simply the intellectual challenge of it. What better way to push ourselves to think widely, deeply, and collaboratively about society than to try and get our heads around such completely different kinds of writing. But on another level, science fiction stories and non-fiction theories of society have a lot in common. Mae Jemison, a physician, NASA astronaut, and the first African-American woman in space, put it this way: “Science fiction helps us think about possibilities, to speculate - it helps us look at our society from a different perspective.” We will explore science fiction and social theory in their own terms, as well as how they speak to each other in interesting and important ways.
Check out go.lehigh.edu/lasers
for even more information about this seminar, including feedback from past students who have taken it.
Ziad Munson (PhD 2002, Harvard University) is an Associate Professor of Sociology. His research and teaching focus on collective behavior in popular mobilization, civic engagement, and religion. He is the author of The Making of Pro-Life Activists, a study of recruitment and mobilization in the American pro-life movement (University of Chicago Press, 2009), and Abortion Politics (Polity, 2018), on the history of the abortion conflict. He has also authored articles and chapters on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, religion and politics in the U.S., and the role of civil society in wartime, and international terrorism. More information on Dr. Munson’s teaching and research can be found at https://www.lehigh.edu/~zim2. Beyond Lehigh, Ziad enjoys cooking, hiking, playing soccer, and-- yes-- reading science fiction novels.
4 credits (SS)
Professor Dustin Stoltz
WHO RULES THE WORLD?
THE SOCIOLOGY OF THE POWER ELITE
This class is an introduction to the sociological study of power and influence. It will cover a variety of questions such as: Are there "elites"? Is there a difference between being rich or famous, and being powerful? Is there a small group of powerful individuals making decisions for us all "behind the scenes" or are the powerful out in the open? Do they operate as one collective body or are they at war among each other? Do they commune at secretive meetings to coordinate their efforts? Are the elites benevolent, working hard for their vision of the broader good, or simply to consolidate and maintain their power? To tackle these questions we will learn about the concept of "social structure," compare theories of power, dabble in network analysis, discuss the banality of evil, and consider the difference between conspiracy theory and social scientific research.
Dustin Stoltz is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and core faculty member in the Cognitive Science program. He studies the relationship between stratification and ideas and the big question of when, how, and why does "culture" change. His work spans methods, using interviews, qualitative content analysis, social network analysis, and computational text analysis. He is currently working on a book on text analysis.
4 credits (HU)
Professor Augustine Ripa
INTRODUCTION TO ACTING
On stage, our natural wholeness dissolves. While in real life we can be spontaneous and physically expressive, in the spotlight we tend to lose the communicative connectedness we naturally possess in social situations. In this course we will examine the building blocks of realistic acting, and attempt to re integrate ourselves on stage. We'll study sense memory, emotional recall and production, text analysis, and scene study and characterization. All theory will be based in experience—what we learn ABOUT we will come to know by DOING. The goal of the course will be to present believable monologue and scene work. No prior stage experience is necessary or expected, although those with prior experience can benefit greatly from a fundamental analysis of the acting process. This is a performance course—an acting class. Potential theatre students may substitute this course for the required beginning-level acting class.
Augustine Ripa is professor of theatre at Lehigh where he teaches acting, directing and play analysis. He is the founding chairperson of Lehigh’s department of theatre and has served as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. He recently completed a term as director of the Arts & Sciences honors program, the Eckardt Scholars Program. Recent productions directed at Lehigh include Blithe Spirit, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Waiting for Godot, Tartuffe, Romeo and Juliet, The Pillowman, Oleanna, and Top Girls. Outside of Lehigh, Gus recently co-created an original production at Touchstone Theatre, Ulysses Dreams, and has directed numerous Touchstone and Kingfisher Theatre productions. Professor Ripa has served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Schools of Theatre and for the United States Department of Education as a Jacob Javits Fellowship field reader.
4 credits (HU)
Professor William Lowry
GEEK THEATRE: ROBOTS, MONSTERS, AND SUPERHEROES
This seminar introduces the basics of theatrical production and performance of contemporary "geek theatre." "Geek theatre" uses narrative devices like post-apocalyptic scavengers, robot overlords, and hungering vampires to recontextualize human aspirations and struggles. In this class, students will examine the structure and content of several scripts that incorporate tropes from sci-fi, fantasy, and dystopian genres. Potential storylines include a brilliant inventor creating robots stronger and smarter than herself, challenging humanity's position of power in the world; a team of superheroes pursuing a villain revenge-killing couples in love, while a doctor races to build an artificial heart strong enough to survive heartbreak; and a group of survivors creating art in the American wastelands after the apocalypse, as their storytelling develops into a force larger than themselves. Through research, interpretation, analysis, and hands-on projects of creative expression, students will assess the potential of speculative drama to connect to the concrete here and now.
Will Lowry is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and a scenographer with an MFA in Design from UNC Greensboro. He has created over 130 scenic, lighting, projection, and costume designs for theaters along the East Coast and beyond, including productions at The Warehouse Theatre (SC), Playhouse on Park (CT), the Dupont Underground (DC), Mill Mountain Theatre (VA), Curtain Call Theatre (NY), Birmingham Children’s Theatre (AL), California Theatre Center (CA), and the Sydney Opera House (AUS). In addition to his own design scholarship, he contributed to multiple Broadway and off-Broadway productions as a studio assistant, assistant to the costume designer, and graphic designer. Will is a Creative Partner and a resident designer with Flux Theatre Ensemble in NYC.
4 credits (HU)
Professor Rita Jones
MW 10:45am - 12:00pm
GENDER, LEADERSHIP, AND ACTIVISM
2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave a particular group of women in the United States the right to vote. Women were largely behind the movement to adopt the Amendment, and what have they and other underrepresented genders been doing lately? This course explores the role of gender in leadership and activism movements. We will look at the early 20th century, the mid-20th century, and the early 21st century, investigating what “gender” and “leadership” meant in those periods, and then apply that information to activist movements of the period. Who were leaders in the movement? What roles did gender play in mobilization and success? Topics may include the suffrage movement, the Temperance Movement, the Equal Rights Amendment, the American Indian Movement, the Civil Rights movement, #BlackLivesMatter, and #MeToo.
Dr. Rita Jones is the Director of the Center for Gender Equity and affiliate faculty in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies. She earned her Ph. D. in English from Washington State University and previously directed the Women's Studies Program at the University of Northern Colorado. She also teaches courses at Lehigh in English and Health, Medicine & Society. Using a praxis model, Dr. Jones approaches the classroom and the Center for Gender Equity as cycles of action and learning, giving participants opportunities to do and learn in a research-informed and active manner. Working with first year students during the Fall semester provides endless opportunities to imagine the future at Lehigh.