4 credits (HU)
Professor Annabella Pitkin
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. This course is interdisciplinary and is recommended for students with interest in Asian Studies, Health, Medicine, and Society (HMS) and Religion Studies. It may be used for credit in the Religion, HMS or Asian Studies programs.
Annabella Pitkin is Assistant Professor of Buddhism and East Asian Religions in Lehigh’s Religion Studies Department, and Director of Lehigh’s Asian Studies Program. She researches and writes about Tibetan Buddhism, modernity, miracle stories, and Buddhist biographies. She teaches courses on Buddhism and East Asian religions, environmental ethics, sexuality and gender, and new technologies. She is the author of Renunciation and Longing: The Life of a 20th Century Himalayan Buddhist Saint.
4 credits (HU)
Professor Lloyd Steffen
Love is sometimes thought to be the most important value in life, all that is needed for happiness. Love is identified with beauty, healing, completeness and is for many the highest of human aspirations, even defining, for some, God. But love is also associated with false hopes, illusions and self-deception, as well as with such unromantic material processes as neurological excitations, instincts and adrenaline rushes. This first-year seminar will investigate the many sides of love, examining the ways philosophers, religious thinkers and all manner of students of the human condition have thought about love and the various forms of love, including affection, friendship, erotic love and democratized, impersonal divine love (agape). Seminar participants will ask why love stories fail in so many cases to have happy endings, and why the greatest love stories seem to end in death. They will ask, "What is this thing called love?" Is it a biological drive, an emotion, a passion? Is it a cognitive-perception process whereby objects (persons) are singled out for special attention, so that love is not so much a feeling as a way of reasoning? Of special interest in the seminar will be issues pertaining to the ethics of love, such as the relation of love to happiness, and whether love is something passive one falls into or whether it is, rather, a way of valuing and choosing. No field work will be assigned.
Lloyd Steffen is Professor of Religion Studies and University Chaplain. He also directs the Center for Dialogue, Ethics and Spirituality (the Dialogue Center) and the Lehigh Prison Project. His academic writing and research have been mainly in ethics, and he has addressed such topics as abortion, the death penalty, the ethics of war, religion and violence, and end-of-life issues. Before Covid, he was named a Fulbright specialist and taught seminars at two Brazilian universities on the topic of just punishment.
4 credits (SS)
Professor Danielle Lindemann
SOCIOLOGY OF 'THE OFFICE'
This class is an introduction to sociology, by way of the television show “The Office.” Michael, Dwight, Pam, and the rest of the gang at Dunder Mifflin may seem like simply silly characters, but they shed light on a variety of areas of sociology, including norms and deviance, small group interactions, gender, the economy, families, and of course the modern workplace. By watching episodes of the show, paired with key sociological texts, we will arrive at a better understanding of the major social forces that govern our own lives.
Danielle Lindemann is an Associate Professor of Sociology and core faculty member in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. She studies gender, sexuality, the family, and culture. Specifically, she looks at non-normative (“deviant”) behaviors and how they can shed light on core features of social life. She’s recently published a book about the sociology of reality TV.
4 credits (SS)
Professor LaToya Council
SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THE SOCIOLOGY OF EMOTIONS
This course introduces students to questions or emotion (or imtimacy) at the intersection of race, gender, and place; and how everyday experiences are connected to systems broader than us as individuals. For example, how we 'feel' our race walking down the street is connected to experiences we often have with social institutions like police. As students gain a deeper understanding of sociology as emotions (intimacy), they will also learn how to put sociology into action known as social justice. This course challenges students to develop a sociological imagination which can help them understand current events within society, and the ways in which individuals engage social justice to respond to and resist social inequality.
LaToya Council... bio coming soon!
LAS 090-013; CRN 45208
4 credits (SS)
Professor Hugo Ceron Anaya
THE LATIN@X EXPERIENCE
This freshmen seminar analyzes the Latin@x experience in the United States. The course draws from sociology, anthropology, gender studies, history, and critical race theory to examine several topics and themes that are key to understanding contemporary Latin@x communities. The class will study issues pertinent to ethnicity and identity formation, citizenship, immigration, imperialism, settler/colonialism, borderlands, mass incarceration, policing, language, cultural manifestations, and media representations.
Hugo Ceron-Anaya is an Associate Professor of Sociology and core faculty member in the Latin American and Latino Studies Program. His work analyzes how class structures, racialized dynamics, and gender relations influence the organization of the material and symbolic borders of the upper-middle and upper classes in Latin America. He recently published about wealthy golf clubs in México, which won the “2020 Outstanding Book Award” offered by the North American Society for the Sociology of Sports.
4 credits (HU)
Professor Lyam Gabel
INTRODUCTION TO ACTING
We might assume that our favorite actors perform in ways that we like because of innate ability, but acting is a craft and a discipline that is acquired through thoughtful exploration and diligent play. Throughout the course, we will explore the craft of acting, both individually and collaboratively, as interpreters and as creators of text. We will cover psychological and physical approaches to the form.
Acting has evolved over centuries to include a number of styles--the actors in very old melodramas look nothing like actors in modern TV shows. The more that we come to understand ourselves, what we like, how we interact with people and what we would like to do in the world the more effectively we can perform. Alongside our study of the craft of acting we will explore how context shapes our taste, the value of storytelling as culture building, and the responsibility that we have as creators of culture.
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.
Professor Lyam B. Gabel (they/he) is a trans* and queer artist, archivist, and organizer. Their current work is a multi-media performance called the dance floor, the hospital room, and the kitchen table. Prior to arrival at Lehigh Lyam taught and studied theater at Carnegie Mellon University, and taught as a guest artist at Boston University, Hollins University, and Keene State College. He also worked as an artist for eight years in New Orleans where they founded LAST CALL, a collective that documents and interprets neglected queer history, creating connections between those who lived this history and those who have much at stake if it is forgotten. They regularly collaborate on work by playwrights and solo performers and have developed work at Ars Nova, The Drama League, Judson Church, Pipeline, Ashland New Plays Festival, The Theater Offensive, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, and The New Orleans CAC among others. He holds a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. www.lyambgabel.com
4 credits (HU)
Professor William Lowry
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 a scenographer and an Assistant Professor of Theatre. He has created over one hundred designs for theatres along the East Coast and beyond, including productions at Playhouse on Park (CT), the Palace Theatre (SC), Mill Mountain Theatre (VA), Curtain Call Theatre (NY), Birmingham Children’s Theatre (AL), the California Theatre Center (CA), and as far as the Sydney Opera House in Australia. He worked for five years as studio assistant for Tony Award-winning costume designer William Ivey Long, contributing to various Broadway productions including Leap of Faith, 9 to 5, and Catch Me If You Can. He also worked as assistant to the costume designer for Emilio Sosa on Motown: The Musical and Isabel Toledo on After Midnight. He recently completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at Furman University, and he is a Creative Partner with Flux Theatre Ensemble, which produced the New York City premieres of three of the plays in the Geek Theatre anthology. He holds an MFA in Design from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA in Theatre Arts and Computer Science from Furman University.
HIST 090-013; CRN 45353
4 credits (HU)
Professor Monica Najar
WOMEN, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY IN 20TH CENTURY MEDIA
Visual and print media have reflected important changes in gender norms and sexuality in American culture, and they themselves have also been engines of change. This seminar explores the history of gender and sexuality in the 20th century in and through such popular media (including film, television, magazines, and advertising). By using the sources of popular culture, we will seek to understand changing gender ideals, expectations of marriage, sexual identities, and the role of media in American culture and politics.
Monica Najar is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. Her research is on gender and religion in early America. She teaches courses in the history of sexuality, the history of women and gender, and U.S. history.