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New General Education Courses in 2017

Second Year Seminar

 

History of Ideas about Language | HUM/SYS/SOC/JMC-220, ID 4197

Day/Time: Monday, Wednesday 12:45

Instructor: Loren Billings

Course Description:

The object of study in this course is not language itself (or even individual languages) but rather how human language has been studied philosophically or scientifically in the past by various human civilizations. There are essentially three approaches to this subject. In the first, the ideas of particular times and places are considered for their own sake. The next approach is to account for the development of a particular (usually current) view about language, in order to see how various traditions of thought have contributed to it. The last approach looks for universals in how language has been studied in all known traditions. This course will concentrate on the first of these approaches, focusing on four traditions: in Europe, Arabia, South Asia, and China.

 

Myth and History | HUM/SYS-206, ID 3983

Day/Time: Monday, Wednesday 10:50

Instructor: James Plumtree

Course Description:

‘Myth’ and ‘History’ are typically regarded as opposites: myth is false, and history true. This course shows such a view is restrictive. Examining the meaning, purpose, and use of myth in history, this course not only shows how the two are intertwined, but also reveals how myths can be deliberately constructed and manipulated. Students will scrutinize various historical materials from different contexts in terms of historical value, literary methods, and sociological and political intent. By practicing these different approaches and involving different disciplines, the ‘this is true’ and ‘this is false’ conclusion is surpassed and a more nuanced understanding is reached. The course is addressed to all students with an interest in history, literature, and sociology.

 

Topics in the Philosophy of Psychology | HUM/SYS/PHL-210, ID 3951

Day/Time: Tuesday, Thursday 10:50

Instructor: Elena Popa

Course Description:

This course provides an interdisciplinary perspective on philosophical, psychological, and intellectual history issues with the aim of encouraging the students to think critically and improve their analysis and argumentation skills. The topics covered throughout the course are organized around two main problems: the issue of innateness and the relation between psychology and philosophy of science questions, broadly construed. Concerning the former, the readings will trace the development of psychological questions regarding knowledge acquisition from the debate between Locke and Leibniz on innate knowledge and the intellect vs. the senses as main sources of knowledge. The discussion will subsequently move to psychological issues concerning learning and constructivism (Piaget) and the idea of a universal grammar (Chomsky). The unit ends with recent developments on the relation between innateness and core cognition explored by Susan Carey. Regarding the latter, the course will follow the development of psychology as a science throughout the beginning of 20th century – the status of psychoanalysis compared to the logical empiricist view on scientific explanation and Popper's demarcation criteria, the turn towards behaviorism and its subsequent decline. The final readings of the course explore a different angle of the relation between experimental data from psychology and philosophy of science: namely, how cognitive development data can help solve philosophical problems (in particular, the problems of explanation and causal reasoning).

 

Technology and Culture | HUM/ART/SYS-263, ID 4148

Day/Time: Monday, Wednesday 12:45

Instructor: Duane Lacey

Course Description:

What is technology? What is culture? Today we tend to think of technology as cell phones and computers, but technology has been around for far longer, including things like writing, language itself, and any use of tools. Culture, however, is viewed as ‘tradition’. In this course we will discuss the origins of both concepts and their historical development. We will ask questions such as ‘what is the difference, if any, between technology and nature’, and ‘what is the difference, if any, between nature and culture’? We will also look at ‘art’ because technology and art have the so-called ‘artificial’ in common. Finally, we will examine the future of technology, including Artificial Intelligence and what it means with respect to cultures and humanity in general. We will approach these questions from a variety of sources, including literature, philosophy and science.

 

Women’s Voices throughout History | HUM/ART/SYS-262 ID 4146

Day/Time: Tuesday, Thursday 14:10

Instructor: Tasneem Alsayyed

Course Description:

This course will trace the voice of women throughout history, beginning in Mesopotamia as early as 3100 BC and ending with contemporary work by examining those texts (philosophical, historical and literary) that have proven to be impactful and expressive of the female condition. The texts will fall into two main categories: Philosophy and literature. The philosophical texts will provide students with the following: (1) historical insight on the status of woman; (2) an understanding and theoretical analysis of woman as a concept; and (3) proposed solutions to address and highlight the female experience. The texts falling under literature include plays, poetry and short stories exclusively by female authors. This course aims to give students the tools to reconstruct the female voice and female perspective into their view of history. It also aims to provide sufficient, albeit introductory, exposure to the feminist perspective in literature and theory.

Natural Sciences 

Global Environmental Problems: drivers, mitigation and adaptation | NTR-200, ID 4195

Day/Time: Wednesdays and Fridays at 15:35

Instructor: Marina Kovaleva and Ekaterina Kombarova

This class will acquaint students with human-induced global environmental problems. To address these problems, we must urgently develop and apply mitigating and adaptive measures. This course offers a cutting-edge overview of pollution, changing land cover, decreasing biodiversity, habitat loss, land degradation, and climate change as the result of agricultural practices, energy consumption, and urbanization. We will be discussing and analyzing environmental issues in terms of policies and regulations, quality standards, financial and economic instruments, and technological innovations. At the end of the course, students will present their own ideas regarding alternatives to the future.

 

Art and Humanities 

Jazz History: Art, Diplomacy, Revolution and Revelry | HUM/ART-120, ID 3343

Day/Time: Tuesday, Thursday 10:50

Instructor: Clyde R. Forsberg Jr.

Course Description This course on jazz history will consist of a variety of modules and perspectives, drawing upon recent scholarship on the history of American jazz--an African-American art form that went on to define what it means to be American, both in the United States and around the world. For this, the Ken Burns PBS documentary, “Jazz: A History,” and Gordon Vernick’s radio series, “Jazz Insights,” will be the basis for discussion. These days, “jazz” per se is seen as an international art form and world music. How that happened and to what degree jazz can be seen as an American public relations campaign gone very wrong, or gone very right, will constitute the other half of the course. Here, Penny M. Von Eschen’s magisterial study of the U.S. State Department jazz tours of the Soviet Union and Africa, Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War, and Robin D.G. Kelley’s Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times, will be used. Students will come away with an understanding of jazz as a musical tradition, artistic tour de force, and social, economic, and political dynamism.

 

Picturing Women in Medieval and Renaissance Art | HUM/ART-266 ID 4145

Day/Time: Tuesday, Thursday 10:50

Instructor: Andrea-Bianka Znorovszky

Course description: 

Picturing Women in Medieval and Renaissance Art concentrates on the construction of the female body in European visual sources. Accordingly, esthetical, social, moral criteria (the beautiful, the ugly, the mother, the queen, the bad, the good) which are used for building idealized construction(s) will be brought into discussion. The class discusses and places women in contexts such as blurring of the boundaries of gender, construction(s) of femininity in private-public settings, shifting patterns, and distribution of power in relation to a variety of media (panel paintings, sculptures, embroideries, miniatures, frescoes, and so on).

 

Writing and Reading Poetry | ART-290, ID 4127

Day/Time: Monday, Wednesday 14:10

Instructor: Raphael Dagold

Course Description:

This is a course on the craft of writing poetry. You will get lots of practice, both in class and outside of class, with writing poems from a variety of angles and with a variety of craft focuses. About half of our class time will be spent reading and discussing each other's poems; about a quarter of class time will be devoted to lecture and discussion of craft issues and contemporary and canonical published poetry; and the remaining quarter will be spent on in-class writing exercises. Writing is an individual, a solitary act; it is also a group and a public act. Each of us writes from our idiosyncratic inner life, with our individual relationship to language, and by and large we write when by ourselves. But our inner lives, our selves, and our language use are also inextricably intertwined with the lives of others and with the historical and current growth of the language in which we write and think. In this course, we will create a writing community, one which meets twice a week and which lives in us as we write, read, and think about poems. Because writing well requires reading well, we will read a good deal of published poetry. We may also read essays on the craft of writing and on the genesis and growth of a writer’s consciousness. We will enlarge our vocabulary and ways of speaking and of writing about poems from a writer’s perspective.

Medieval Literature and Culture across Borders | HUM/ART-220 ID 4147

Day/Time: Monday, Wednesday 14:10

Instructor: James Plumtree

Course Description:

This course examines how stories are altered and adapted when crossing geographic and linguistic boundaries. Developing close and critical reading skills, the students will engage with a variety of carefully chosen texts, improving their ability to draw out and comprehend changes in focus, the use of motifs, narratological structure, themes, and intention. Texts will be taken from the pan-European Arthuriad tradition.

Visual Culture for Social Scientists | ART/SOC-310, ID 4130

Day/Time: Tuesday, Thursday 14:10

Instructor: Georgy Mamedov

Course Description:

‘Visual Culture’ as a term used to denote an aspect of culture, a set of visual practices, or a field of knowledge about visual images is relatively recent. Developing as a critique of traditional art history within the academic project of cultural studies visual culture has been concerned with questions such as what is visible, how it is produced and how it affects almost every aspect of social life. Visual culture as a field of knowledge approaches visual images not only as aesthetic artefacts, but also as objects tightly knitted into the fabric of social reality. What can a social scientist learn from looking at visual images? Is it possible to better understand social and historical conditions through visual images produced under these conditions? These are the questions this course will attempt to answer. The goal of the course is to familiarize students in social sciences with modern and contemporary visual culture of Central Asia. During the course we will explore paintings, films, public art, conceptual art, and politically engaged art from Central Asia in connection to the themes and issues discussed in contemporary social sciences. We will discuss varied visual images in the contexts of gender and ethnic identities, colonial and postcolonial representation, Soviet and post-Soviet imageries, and contradictions between modernization and traditions. By the end of the course students will acquire general understanding of modern and contemporary visual culture of Central Asia. They will be acquainted with the key authors (artists, filmmakers, etc.) and key themes, and will be able to contextualize visual artefacts in connection to the major historical developments of the 20th and 21st century in Central Asia and in the world.

Кыргызское Театральное искусство | KY/ART-212 ID 4128

Расписание: Вторник, Четверг 12:45, 14:10

Преподаватель: Самудинова Зарипа

Описание курса:

Театральное искусство в контексте игры и действия заключает в себе огромный потенциал для развития кыргызской речи студентов. Вместе с этим театр – это синтез искусств, вобравший в себя практически все, что помогает развиваться человеку. Лучшие произведения театрального искусства кыргызских драматургов Касымалы Жантошева, Токтоболота Абдымомунова, Бексултана Жакиева, Мара Байджиева, Жаныша Кулманбетова, Султана Раева вектором интереса которых были человеческие отношения, взаимодействие человека и мира, составят содержание курса. Посредством кыргызского языка студенты будут оценивать произведения театрального искусства, высказывать суждения о них, анализировать содержание, формулировать свое отношение к изучаемому произведению театрального искусства, подтверждая ее конкретными примерами, высказывать мнение о достоинствах произведений театрального искусства, размышлять о  произведениях (методом сравнения, сопоставления), высказывая суждения об основной идее, средствах ее воплощения, об особенностях, жанре и исполнителях. В связи с особенностью курса теоретические знания кыргызского языка будут представлены в виде системы (таблицы падежей, времен, частей речи, различных видов предложений, функциональных значений грамматических конструкций, особенностей кыргызской грамматики в сопоставлении с русской грамматикой). В настоящее время в Бишкеке осуществляют свою деятельность: Кыргызский национальный академический драматический театр имени Токтоболота Абдымомунова, Бишкекский городской драматический театр имени Арсена Умуралиева, Кыргызский театр молодежи и юного зрителя имени Б.Кыдыкеевой , театр «Тунгуч». Каждый из них феноменален по-своему. Просмотр студентами спектаклей перечисленных театров покажет многогранность театрального искусства и красоту кыргызской речи. Материалом курса будут драматические произведения, просмотренные спектакли, видеоматериалы, произведения о деятелях театрального искусства, критические статьи. Планирую следующие виды организации учебной деятельности: чтение драматических произведений, инсценирование, просмотр спектаклей, диспуты, творческие встречи с деятелями театрального искусства, письменные, контрольные работы, презентации, тесты.

Путешествие в мир кыргызских мелодий | KY/ART-125 ID 4129

Расписание: Вторник, четверг 9:25, 10:50

Преподаватель: Камбаралиева Уулкан

Описание курса:

Данный курс предназначен для студентов, начинающих изучать кыргызский язык и владеющих грамматической и лексической основой кыргызского языка на уровне А1 по системе оценивания уровня владения языком и языковых компетенций - CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference). Основной принцип обучения - коммуникативный принцип обучения. Все грамматические темы будут реализованы в рамках текста, который выступает единицей интеграции языка и литературы. Информационная цель курса «Путешествие в мир кыргызских мелодий» – ознакомление студентов с общими научными исследованиями, мнениями о музыкальном искусстве вообще, а также о национальном музыкальном искусстве кыргызского народа; - на основе материалов по курсу, соответствующих уровням А-1, А-2, дать возможность студентам подняться на уровень активной устной и письменной речи путем корректировки и систематизации полученных знаний по кыргызскому языку; креативная цель курса - ознакомить студентов с видами искусства (музыка, литература и живопись) на примере кыргызского искусства, которые, по мнению ученых, воздействуют на умственную деятельность, чувства и волю человека; - увеличить объем информации, способствующих формированию у студентов собственной позиции, взглядов на жизнь и, используя средства кыргызского языка, научить их аргументированно отстаивать; воспитательная цель курса - на основе национального музыкального искусства кыргызского народа и связанных с ним материалов развить у студентов чувства патриотизма, толерантности; - используя средства кыргызского языка, способствовать формированию у них общих критериев адекватной и критической оценки окружающего мира и своего места в обществе. Задачи курса: - путем расширения знаний по грамматике кыргызского языка научить студентов читать и понимать тексты об особенностях мирового, кыргызского национального музыкального искусства и музыкальной культуры; - путем формирования навыков устной и письменной речи в рамках указанного уровня владения, научить анализировать студентов особенности взаимосвязи музыкального искусства, литературы и живописи и их влияния на человека; - посредством аудиовосприятия национальных и мировых музыкальных произведений, а также изучения музыкальной культуры определить понятия: «национальная идентичность», «общечеловеческие ценности» и используя нужные лексические средства указанного уровня владения языком, научить выражать свое мнение по их содержанию в устной и письменной формах.

American University of Central Asia
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