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Course Guide

Term: Fall Term 2021-2022
CRN: 14400
Section: FOUN 098 58
Title: Love and Sex on the Silk Road
Instructor: Shields, James M.
Enrollment Restrictions: Open to class: First-year
Open to colleges: Arts & Sciences/Engineering, College of Arts & Sciences, Management/Engineering, College of Management
Applies to level: Undergraduate
General Course Objectives: The objective of the seminar is to have students engage critically with cultural products—both foreign and familiar—in a way that recognizes the reality of cultural diversity as well as the long history of cultural interaction and hybridization. Students will develop writing, reading, speaking, listening, and information literacy skills necessary for collegiate-level academic work. Students will develop capacities for independent academic work and become self-regulated learners.
Description of Subject Matter: The seminar is constructed around the theme of the social and cultural construction of sex, love, gender and the body across diverse cultures, times and places. The seminar provides an intimate look at a few of the “highlights” in the global history of love and sex, as manifested in artifacts (philosophy, poetry, novels, paintings, sculpture), from various cultures, times and places, using the historical Silk Road bridging Asia and the West as a geographical frame and metaphor for our studies.
Method of Instruction and Study: Students will be exposed to a number of historically significant cultural artifacts related to this theme, including texts, sculpture, painting, and so on, to which they will be required to engage on a critical and interpretive level. This will be accomplished via a number of short writing assignments (response papers) as well as in the context of regular class and online discussion / presentations. In addition to the material covered in class and via assigned readings, students will be required to engage in library / internet research as part of their in-class presentation on a topic of their own choosing (from a list of possibilities). On-line discussion questions, as well, will occasionally require some outside research.
Instructional Materials and Sources: No required text; weekly readings available as printed coursepack. Multimedia sources may be employed.

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