Byrne Courses

Semester: Fall 2020

Humanities

American Roots Music
American roots music encompasses blues, country and western, gospel, Cajun, and Tejano genres. This kind of music originated in and was nurtured by small communities and spread across the nation. Eventually, in a new era of radio and recordings, these home-grown music traditions contributed to an explosion of American popular music. In this seminar, student participants will follow the remarkable story of this creative outpouring. Readings and… Continue Reading – American Roots Music
Dance Improvisation: Learning Tools for Choreography and Performance
This seminar will provide students with an introductory experience of dance improvisation as a skill for developing choreography and performance. Students will explore a range of physical exercises yet no previous training in dance nor special attire is required; sweatpants and t-shirts are acceptable. Students will learn how to develop multidisciplinary approaches to dance improvisation that can be deployed when creating choreography for the… Continue Reading – Dance Improvisation: Learning Tools for Choreography and Performance
Examining Archives Through the Lens of Popular Culture
In this course, students will learn about what archives and special collections are and how they can be used for research. We will be examining popular culture collections in Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives that document a wide range of topics such as the New Brunswick music scene, cookbooks from around the Garden State, magazines representing a wide variety of subcultures, protest movements posters, and Jersey Shore… Continue Reading – Examining Archives Through the Lens of Popular Culture
Looking East: A Different Way of Learning Dance, Language, Traditional Arts and Cultures through Movement
This seminar will investigate various dances and traditional arts and culture of Taiwan, the Philippines, and neighboring countries. Through the language of dance, students will learn traditional arts and cultures using practices and modality that are fun, interactive and informative. This seminar is designed for students who want to expand their understanding of dance as an emblem of cultural identity and an expression of social order. Along… Continue Reading – Looking East: A Different Way of Learning Dance, Language, Traditional Arts and Cultures through Movement
Music, Sound, and Landscape
The natural world has always been a primary source of inspiration for musicians. In recent years, composers have continued this tradition by creating powerful works in response to contemporary environmental issues such as global warming, carbon emissions, and wilderness conservation, among others. In this seminar, students will listen to and discuss classical and contemporary vocal and instrumental works that address and celebrate humanity’s… Continue Reading – Music, Sound, and Landscape
Somatic Studies: Practicing Mindfulness in our Daily and Creative Lives
As yoga, meditation, and other somatic techniques become popularized, the word “mindful” gets tossed around in our culture without truly considering its significance. What does it mean? This seminar works toward understanding and experiencing mindfulness via an introduction to general somatic principles such as self-reflection, sensory awareness, and body/mind integration. Through guided movement explorations and other opportunities for… Continue Reading – Somatic Studies: Practicing Mindfulness in our Daily and Creative Lives
The Books That Make Us
In this seminar, we will examine the life-stories of select monuments of writing, such as the Sumerian clay tablets, the original (Hokusai) manga, the Gutenberg Bible (the first major book printed with the printing press), and Carl Jung's notebooks. We will consider their material life, the technologies necessary to produce them, and the meanings that they had for their contemporaries. How did people make these seminal works, and why? How do… Continue Reading – The Books That Make Us
The Music of Language: An Introduction to Prosody and Intonation
When you learn to speak another language, the problem is sometimes not simply about knowing individual sounds, words, and grammar, but how to use the specific intonation, stress patterns and the rhythm of that language in order to sound like a native and be understood. For instance wow come that when you ask a question in Italian or another foreign language that might sound awkward to natives’ ears? How come that French speakers have a hard time… Continue Reading – The Music of Language: An Introduction to Prosody and Intonation
The Problem of Evil in Philosophy and Popular Culture
The problem of evil, as Susan Neiman has described it, is the perniciously difficult to satisfy “need to find order within those appearances so unbearable that they threaten reason’s ability to go on,” as when (at times incomprehensibly) bad things happen to (at least relatively) good people, and (at least relatively) good things to (at times incomprehensibly) bad people. Central to her watershed perspective on the problem are two related… Continue Reading – The Problem of Evil in Philosophy and Popular Culture
The Same Old Song: Influence and Allusion in Popular Music
Is all pop music really the same? Are rock musicians more original than their pop counterparts? And what about hip hop—is sampling theft, or does it have artistic merit? These and other questions will guide us as we focus our attention on musical and lyrical details that raise issues of influence and allusion between songs from all over the popular-music repertory. We will listen to artists such as Ray Charles, Elvis, The Beatles, Aretha… Continue Reading – The Same Old Song: Influence and Allusion in Popular Music
Up and Down the Streets of the Metropolis
The seminar addresses the representation of walking in Western cultures. Rooted in the everyday, in ordinary gestures, the experience of walking is pivotal to the shaping of our experience of place. Strolling relates to our most immediate way of staying in the world, examining and describing it. In the wake of modernity, the new urban subjects have fashioned walking as a style of apprehension and appropriation of their surroundings. Through… Continue Reading – Up and Down the Streets of the Metropolis
Who Needs Music?
Is music an essential part of life? Is it really necessary? History, both ancient and modern, suggests that humans can’t live without it, and that it has been with us since the earliest days of our existence. The present seminar will explore the role of music in modern life—from ritual to rap, from ballet to Broadway, from concert to commercial, from movie to muzak—to weigh just how important it is, and why humans are so affected by it. The… Continue Reading – Who Needs Music?
Yoga: Finding Calm in Chaos
This seminar will help you focus on finding calm in your life while joining the ranks of busy college students. Through the study and practice of yoga, we will explore how to build a stronger mind-body connection. This course will assist you in learning how the practice of yoga can support a happy and healthy life. Through centering and breathing techniques, strengthening and stretching yoga postures, and simple meditations, students will begin… Continue Reading – Yoga: Finding Calm in Chaos

Sciences

"You Don't Eat Meat?!" A Cultural Investigation of Meat Consumption
In this seminar we will explore the question: If eating meat is cruel to animals, bad for your health and bad for the environment - why do we continue to do it?  Student will read writings by ethicists, environmental scientists, historians, anthropologists and others to explore the roots of and implications of meat eating in the US and other societies.  Students will write short paragraph reflections on these readings to relate them to their own… Continue Reading – "You Don't Eat Meat?!" A Cultural Investigation of Meat Consumption
Beyond the Big Bang Theory*
Ever wondered what the life of an astro/physicist is really like? It's not what you see on "The Big Bang Theory," and it rarely involves white lab coats. Real scientific research is a highly creative, interactive process that requires scientists to constantly collaborate in order to problem solve and develop new ideas (and frequently involves travel to accomplish this). Come experience it for yourself! In this seminar, students will experience… Continue Reading – Beyond the Big Bang Theory*
Clean Energy: Batteries and Solar Cells
What is needed to improve the sustainable energy technologies we already have? What is needed to make new technologies practical and clean in the area of energy generation? We will explore energy storage in devices such as batteries and energy conversion in devices such as solar cells and fuel cells. We will talk about active research at Rutgers on alternative energy materials and systems. In the lab, we will assemble and test our own dye-… Continue Reading – Clean Energy: Batteries and Solar Cells
Closing the Gap: Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Women have been historically underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Although women today are in leadership positions in STEM professions around the world, a gender gap still persists. This seminar will discuss the various reasons for the existence of this ongoing gender gap, and look at the sometimes little known contributions to STEM made by women in the past and present. We will hear from female… Continue Reading – Closing the Gap: Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Discovering the Raritan Watershed
The Raritan River is interwoven with the history and development of this region. The River creates a boundary between our campuses. But the watershed of the river gives form to our local history and settlement patterns. This course will begin to disentangle the interactions between land use, human settlement patterns, and the Raritan River. We will use tools such as field trips, maps, and historic documents to understand the synergies of the… Continue Reading – Discovering the Raritan Watershed
Earthquake Resistant Structures
Are you intrigued by earthquakes? Are you curious about learning why some buildings collapse during an earthquake while others don’t? In this seminar we will learn about earthquakes and earthquake engineering, their history, their effect on buildings and bridges and on human life. We will explore the basics of structural engineering; structural materials that can best to resist earthquake shaking, and what factors contribute to a safe design of… Continue Reading – Earthquake Resistant Structures
Eliminating Cancer: Novel Targets and Therapeutic Approaches
In this seminar learn how the most recent discoveries through cancer research are being translated into cutting-edge treatments for cancer patients. New approaches utilizing computer-assisted diagnostics, medical imaging and statistical pattern recognition allow for a more accurate diagnosis of a range of malignancies. Comprehensive genomic profiling of tumors through next-generation sequencing technologies offers the promise of personalized… Continue Reading – Eliminating Cancer: Novel Targets and Therapeutic Approaches
Experiencing National Parks and Parklands
From Yellowstone to Yosemite, National Parks and Parklands are designed to send all sorts of messages to their visitors. This class will explore ways that National Parks (focusing primarily on those in the US) communicate messages to visitors. Designers have also employed precisely aligned roads and buildings rich in symbolism to communicate with visitors at an experiential level. Published materials, such as the impressively consistent NPS… Continue Reading – Experiencing National Parks and Parklands
Exploring the Raritan River Basin
This seminar will explore the physical geography of the Raritan Basin. The landscape of this basin, in which Rutgers is situated, will be investigated from geological, meteorological, and hydrological perspectives. Human impacts on the landscape from pre-Colonial to Modern times, and a look into the basin’s future will be addressed. Utilizing problem-based learning methods, students will investigate, for example, water quantity and quality,… Continue Reading – Exploring the Raritan River Basin
Food Insecurity: Drivers and Effects
Food insecurity is defined as the state of being without access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. This term replaced the word “hunger” several years ago in an attempt to describe the persistent issue that 35 million Americans face every day of not being able to put food on the table.  Hunger and food insecurity are related, and both are large and complex problems. Government and other programs have taken steps to alleviate… Continue Reading – Food Insecurity: Drivers and Effects
Food Microbes: What and Where Are They?
This course provides a window into the world of food microbiology and food science. We will explore popular trends and myths related to food microbes. Discussions will center on topics including probiotics, double-dipping, food safety myths (e.g., the five-second rule), and how to avoid foodborne illness when traveling and in your residence. Finally, we will address the issue of food additives/antimicrobials in the context of food safety.
Food: What do we eat? Where does it come from? How do we grow it?
This five-week seminar will discuss what we eat and the origin of foods and how we grow and prepare them.  We will look at the two ends of the food supply, the one billion people who suffer from lack of calories and food insecurity and the one billion people who are now clinically obese and suffer from a series of non-communicable diseases.  We will talk about how food is grown, shipped, and marketed.  We will discuss personal choices and better… Continue Reading – Food: What do we eat? Where does it come from? How do we grow it?
Function of Love, Work, and Knowledge in Organic Food and Farming
Nurturing the linkage between healthy soils, plants, animals, and people was the original motivation for organic agriculture. While its modern market share and organic certification is celebrated as the result of a phenomenally successful movement, others bemoan the discontents of industrialization. As a mechanical attitude towards life infects all of culture, organic agriculture risks becoming a machine to be similarly manipulated and exploited… Continue Reading – Function of Love, Work, and Knowledge in Organic Food and Farming
Global Environmental Health
There are almost eight billion people in the world today and the population will grow to close to ten billion by 2050.  Almost eighty five percent of the population live in developing countries.  One of the challenges for this ever-growing population is providing a secure food supply.  We will discuss the trends in global food production and the technology used to increase global food supply. We will also explore the ever-growing global obesity… Continue Reading – Global Environmental Health
High-Tech Sustainability: Food for Thought
We all need (and love) to eat. But do you ever stop and think: how is your food produced and where does it come from? How can we maintain a safe and year-round supply? In this course, we will look at ways in which we can use technology to create more sustainable systems of agriculture. In particular, we will investigate the challenges and opportunities associated with greenhouse production. Students will be exposed to greenhouse crop production… Continue Reading – High-Tech Sustainability: Food for Thought
Hollywood Biotechnology, Fact or Fiction?
Biotechnology has been perceived and portrayed in various ways by Hollywood and filmmakers around the world. In this course, we will explore the occasionally wide gap between public perception and the way science really “works.” Students will view and discuss the portrayal of bio- and nanotechnologies in popular movies. Misconceptions and accurate portrayals will be analyzed to introduce students to a basic understanding of the latest exciting… Continue Reading – Hollywood Biotechnology, Fact or Fiction?
How to Win a Nobel Prize and the Ethics of Winning a Nobel
The professor teaching this course worked with all the pioneering Nobel laureates of Molecular Biology. He published with Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, and Crick can trace his scholarly lineage back to Sir Lawrence Bragg, Nobel Prize winner for Physics (1915), who is responsible for the Bragg law of X-ray diffraction. He published with Sir Aaron Klug, who received the Nobel for optical diffraction and the structure of TMV… Continue Reading – How to Win a Nobel Prize and the Ethics of Winning a Nobel
Huntington's Disease: Pathogenesis and Therapeutics Development
Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a horrific familial neurodegenerative disease controlled by a single mutant gene called the mutant Huntington’s (mHtt) gene that is transmitted in an autosomal-dominant mode. The mutation that causes HD is the expansion of a DNA sequence (CAG repeats) within the 1st exon of the Htt gene which codes of an extended stretch of glutamine residues (Q) in the mHtt protein. The pathogenic mechanism of mHtt is not clear. The… Continue Reading – Huntington's Disease: Pathogenesis and Therapeutics Development
Opportunities and Challenges in Nanomedicine
This seminar will introduce students to opportunities and progress to date in nanomedicine, the application of nanotechnology to human health. Both technical methodologies and economic/social/regulatory considerations will be discussed. A number of the class meetings will feature instructor-guided discussions based on readings from both the scientific literature and popular press. Students will also be introduced to nanomedicine research at… Continue Reading – Opportunities and Challenges in Nanomedicine
Paperbotics and Art
Pulp-based paper has conveyed information with printed lettering, diagrams, and illustrations for hundreds of years. In these conventional formats, the flipping or turning of pages has required human manipulation. Recent research efforts are beginning to add life and active functionality to paper-based structures in the form of mechanical grippers, manipulators, and locomotors. In this hands-on seminar, students will review state-of-the-art… Continue Reading – Paperbotics and Art
Privacy in the Digital World: from Netflix to the Census
The digital world we live in produces an explosive amount of personal data on a daily basis. From demographic surveys to biomedical studies, and to user information from massive online platforms such as Facebook and Netflix, large-scale collections of human data are translated into open-source databases or formats accessible for scientific research, as they play a crucial part in informing our collective biological and social functioning. While… Continue Reading – Privacy in the Digital World: from Netflix to the Census
RU3D? 3D Printing and the Future of How We Make Things
Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a manufacturing technique in which a 3D physical object is created by directly joining constituent materials. 3D printing has received significant attention in recent years due to its potential impact in industry, defense, healthcare, and even for hobbyists. This seminar series will introduce the principles of various 3D printing technologies, their capabilities and limitations, and emerging applications of 3D… Continue Reading – RU3D? 3D Printing and the Future of How We Make Things
Science and Governance of Climate Intervention (also called Geoengineering)
Global warming is real, caused by humans, and will be bad for most people—not to mention other living beings. How should society react? To stop global warming, mitigation (using energy more efficiently and green sources of energy) as well as adaptation will be necessary. But if those measures are not sufficient, is there a technological solution to global warming to buy society time to find a permanent fix? Can we actually control the climate… Continue Reading – Science and Governance of Climate Intervention (also called Geoengineering)
Stem Cells and Bioengineering
Bioengineering and regenerative medicine seek to develop new therapies for patients with injuries and degenerative diseases. The source of cells for these therapies remains a hot topic of interest. The unlimited potential of stem cells has ignited the creativity and imagination of scientists across multiple disciplines. Future development of this technology depends on increased understanding and effective utilization of stem cells. This seminar… Continue Reading – Stem Cells and Bioengineering
The Arrow of Time: Studies of Decay, Entropy, and Timekeeping
In this seminar, we will investigate the concept of The Arrow Of Time by first understanding entropy. We will learn to use the Python programming language to calculate probabilities, and from that develop an understanding of entropy and the second law of thermodynamics. We will discuss the ideas of entropy and decay as they appear in literature and culture, including the hold they have in the collective imagination that leads to the rejection of… Continue Reading – The Arrow of Time: Studies of Decay, Entropy, and Timekeeping
The Doctor Is In: Malevolent and Magnificent Microbes
Microbes are organisms too small to be seen by the naked eye. The best known cause diseases but most microbial species are an essential and beneficial part of the living world. The course will discuss the role of selected microbial 1) diseases in human history (e.g., plague, syphilis, tuberculosis); 2) foods (e.g. bread, miso, yogurt) and beverages (e.g., beer, wine) fermentations; 3) sources of biologically active chemical compounds (e.g.… Continue Reading – The Doctor Is In: Malevolent and Magnificent Microbes
The History and Culture of Microbiology in New Jersey and Beyond
The scientific misconception that all microbes are “bad germs” is not lost as students enter college. In general, most people do not understand that microbiology plays a positive role in their everyday lives and it is ingrained in their personal history; socially, as well as biologically. My goals for the course are to excite incoming students about microbiology, inform them about how important microbiology is to their everyday lives and… Continue Reading – The History and Culture of Microbiology in New Jersey and Beyond
The History and Future of High Speed Passenger Trains
Over the past fifty years, high speed passenger trains have emerged as a critical transportation resource throughout the world.  The era began with the Japanese Bullet Train (Tōkaidō Shinkansen) first service on 1 October 1964.  The Japanese high speed train system now provides over 400 million passenger trips per year, and travels at a top speed exceeding 300 km/hr.  Similar high speed passenger trains have been developed in Europe, China and… Continue Reading – The History and Future of High Speed Passenger Trains
The New Theory of Human Memory
Ask me to tell you the story of my life, and I will weave an answer based on what I best remember of my experiences. But are all of my memories true? Did they really happen? Thirty years ago human memory was believed to be the result of some sort of recording device in the brain. We now know that autobiographical memory is a narrative that is constantly being rewritten. So, some of our memories of past experiences are in fact false. In this… Continue Reading – The New Theory of Human Memory
Trees, Your Campus and the Environment
Each week we meet on one of the Rutgers New Brunswick campus locations by a bus stop and walk around to explore the natural spaces and specific trees as individuals and as varied species of specific function. We use each campus as a thematic setting to discuss tree biology, design/cultural symbolism in tree use, the linkage between tree species and environment or products developed from specific trees. We'll collectively "meet" and learn about… Continue Reading – Trees, Your Campus and the Environment
Water Resources Engineering: A Close-up Look at the Raritan River
Water quality science and engineering practices are based on measurement data and geospatial information systems and analysis. Water resources management, itself, depends on data, models, analysis of results and optimization of known or estimated system parameters. Understanding watersheds, and specifically the Raritan River watershed, requires integration of field observations, data, models, and critical evaluations of the combined field and… Continue Reading – Water Resources Engineering: A Close-up Look at the Raritan River
Where’s My Bus? Everyday Impacts of Models and Algorithms
How many times have you waited for an H bus only to see three LX’s roll by? And when the H finally arrives, it’s so packed that you can’t get on? Have you ever wondered how the university decides how many buses to run, and when? The answer is by building models of student bus travel. Models, and algorithms based on them, actually permeate our lives, from weather forecasts to political predictions to online shopping and streaming. In this seminar… Continue Reading – Where’s My Bus? Everyday Impacts of Models and Algorithms

Social Sciences

9/11 and American Religion
This seminar will explore the events of September 11th, 2001, and their aftermath from the perspective of American religious history. That is, the ways in which America’s responses to 9/11 are in dialogue with religious themes and motifs. Some of the themes to be discussed include: A. The sanctification of urban space. Focusing on the ways in which Ground Zero is understood as a sacred pilgrimage site. B. Contested Space. The controversy over… Continue Reading – 9/11 and American Religion
Collaboration for Learning and Performance
This course will introduce you to collaborative and cooperative learning. We will explore ways to create successful learning and work teams. The content of the course is intended to provide some practical help to people who wish to use cooperative and collaborative learning in their classrooms or in other situations. We will explore what it means to be collaborative or cooperative and what impediments there might be. The primary focus of the… Continue Reading – Collaboration for Learning and Performance
Criminal Court War Stories: Trials and Tribulations
We begin with reading a journalistic account of criminal justice in Chicago. This is followed by a more general discussion of criminal justice across many cities. Next a prosecutor, defense attorney , and judge speak to the seminar and share their experiences with particular emphasis on their most memorable cases and with their most poignant insights from their careers working in the courts. Students have the opportunity to carefully question… Continue Reading – Criminal Court War Stories: Trials and Tribulations
Culture Games: What Do Major Sporting Events Tell Us About Society and Culture?
American spectacles surrounding sports, athletes, fans and their hero(in)es have articulated an exhilarating and complex narrative of American culture. What role does athletics play in a college education? What do major sporting events tell us about our American identities, communities, culture and society? A variety of sport controversies will be examined such as steroid use, body fascism, violence, power, and the role of media and the NCAA in… Continue Reading – Culture Games: What Do Major Sporting Events Tell Us About Society and Culture?
Eat Your Words: Communication and Relationships at Mealtimes
It is taken for granted that mealtimes are an important domain for our relationships with family members and friends, both for socializing and for social development.  What exactly happens at mealtimes though?  This Byrne seminar draws on field video recordings of families (at home) and friends (in dorms, off-campus housing, and other locations) to explore the workings of communication and relationships at mealtimes.  We will investigate the… Continue Reading – Eat Your Words: Communication and Relationships at Mealtimes
Fundraising Principles: Raising Money for Good Causes
How do nonprofit organizations raise money? In this seminar, you will gain knowledge and skills to help lead student-sponsored fundraising events on campus, in your community, and beyond. Building on fundraising experiences you may have already had in community, school, or faith-based organizations, this seminar will introduce you to the basics of fundraising theory and practice, including special-event planning, individual solicitations, and… Continue Reading – Fundraising Principles: Raising Money for Good Causes
Getting It Done: Managing Information for Better Performance
With emerging information and communication technologies, the plethora of information constantly generated is overwhelming. Such an information environment directly affects the way you discover, keep, use, or re-use information for your research. How do you manage your bazillion files? What organizing schemes or strategies for managing information are out there? What works, what doesn’t, and why? This course will focus on understanding what… Continue Reading – Getting It Done: Managing Information for Better Performance
Global Islamophobia in an Era of Populism
Western nations are experiencing a wave of populism eroding the liberal values these nations boast as setting them apart from illiberal regimes in the Global South and East.  Animated by a sense of victimhood, an increasing number of citizens from majority groups are attracted to populist rhetoric by right wing ideologues who condemn immigrants, Muslims, and racial minorities as threats to liberal democracy.  The stronger the populists become,… Continue Reading – Global Islamophobia in an Era of Populism
Governors 2020: The Most Overlooked Powerful People in Politics
In 2020, 11 states will hold gubernatorial elections, contests nearly as crucial to our nation’s future as the more “popular” one taking place at the federal level. In this seminar, we will study and track these gubernatorial elections, answering a number of key questions about the races and the office in general: Which races are the most closely contested (and why)? What national trends can we find across multiple state races? How are the races… Continue Reading – Governors 2020: The Most Overlooked Powerful People in Politics
Information Inequality
In this course, we will develop an understanding of information as a commodity, with a richly contested value for both individuals and societies. This course will engage with different types of information inequalities, such as those between economically rich/poor societies, as well as situations where information is restricted or censored. From the level of societies, information is politically and economically charged. The ubiquity of… Continue Reading – Information Inequality
Media in the Digital Age
Understanding the nature and impact of digital technology on media and society is the focus of this seminar. Students examine the changing nature of media in the digital environment, including social media, and their consequences, especially implications for civility, democracy, journalism and beyond.
Play to Learn in Higher Education
Play can create a dynamic narrative that promotes engagement and community, as well as fosters creativity and problem solving which are crucial to innovation. Play also builds strong communication and social skills, and these skills can be helpful when creating knowledge, performing scholarly research, or engaging with one’s peers. Play can mean anything and be all-inclusive, encourages exploration, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and the… Continue Reading – Play to Learn in Higher Education
Prosecution: Practice, Ethics and Justice
This course focuses on the role of the prosecutor both as a protector of the community and as an agent of social justice. At every step of the criminal justice process—from investigation to arrest to bail to charging to plea negotiations to trial to sentencing—the prosecutor must make critical choices. Every one of these choices impacts not only the criminal justice system but also the citizens who face incarceration and the families and… Continue Reading – Prosecution: Practice, Ethics and Justice
Selfies and Digital Culture*
“Selfies,” or photographs that an individual (or a group) takes of themselves that can be privately held, transferred to others, or displayed via social networks, are becoming a popular and culturally significant way that knowledge is produced and shared in modern digital cultures. In this seminar, we focus on three questions drawn from the instructor’s research and that of others who study selfies and digital culture: How do selfies “speak” as… Continue Reading – Selfies and Digital Culture*
Social Engagement in XR (Extended Reality)
Cities face challenges when it comes to messaging about available social services, historical curiosities, and creative culture. Community access isn’t necessarily limited by financial or bureaucratic barriers, but through wayfinding and navigation due to poor signage or a dearth of public information. Through web-based tools in XR (extended reality, inclusive of augmented and virtual reality), our smartphones can give us the ability to… Continue Reading – Social Engagement in XR (Extended Reality)
Talking Politics: Disagreeing without Being Disagreeable
In order for democracy to work, citizens need to be able to talk to each other. Addressing public policy challenges, such as stable economic growth, health care, and college affordability, requires reasoned deliberation, critical thinking, and open and civil discourse. Unfortunately, such models of political discussion can be few and far between in contemporary American politics. This seminar considers why engaging in honest but civil political… Continue Reading – Talking Politics: Disagreeing without Being Disagreeable
The Art and Science of Positive Leadership
Throughout history, and certainly during the history of the United States and Rutgers University, progress has been synonymous with leadership. The revolutionary understanding of leadership is that it is everywhere and in everyone’s capacity. While some may be born with a number of the attributes needed for outstanding leadership, it is well accepted, that leadership is something that can be learned and that can be studied. This seminar explores… Continue Reading – The Art and Science of Positive Leadership
The History, Architecture, and Historic Preservation of New Brunswick and Rutgers University
New Brunswick and Rutgers is your community for the next four years—so it is important that you know more about both the “town” and “gown.” This seminar first presents the long and proud history of both New Brunswick and Rutgers University. Next it overviews American architectural history and its historic, social, cultural and economic influences. Following that background, the important buildings (current and past) and their architecture in… Continue Reading – The History, Architecture, and Historic Preservation of New Brunswick and Rutgers University
The Politics of Identity and the Common Good: To the Left, to the Right?
This Byrne seminar will focus on the politics of identity and different kinds of claims for social justice.  Some, for example, argue for redistribution of resources and others for recognition of cultural difference.  Many have argued that these kinds of claims lead to polarization (e.g., choosing between class politics and identity politics).   The seminar will consider how the problem of “identity” emerges with modernity.   We will explore the… Continue Reading – The Politics of Identity and the Common Good: To the Left, to the Right?
The Presidential Election of 2020
Every four years, the ongoing presidential election is often described as the most important of our lifetime and perhaps in the nation's history. Virtually all other international and domestic events are interpreted in terms of their impact on the eventual outcome of the race. When it is over, historians look back, analyze what happened, and debate about why it happened and whether or not the results were inevitable. The year 2020 - before it… Continue Reading – The Presidential Election of 2020
Visualizing Data to Tell a Story
Students will learn about the principles and techniques necessary to tell a story using data visualization tools. They will analyze examples of successful visual data stories and learn to create effective visualizations using tools such as Google Motion Charts and Tableau. Students will work in teams to collect and prepare a rich data set that can be visualized as an interactive and engaging data story.
“Inner Engineering” for Wellbeing and Thriving in College, Work, and Life
“Inner Engineer” is a comprehensive science-based yoga and meditation program designed by Sadhguru (2016). The program equips one with effective tools to build competence on self-mastery of mind, body, emotion, and energy. With this self-transformation, students will be energetic, joyful, mindful, healthy, and fully functioning and realize their highest potential in college, work, and life. Students will learn the Inner Engineering tools and… Continue Reading – “Inner Engineering” for Wellbeing and Thriving in College, Work, and Life