Summer 2017 Courses

Summer 2017

SUMMER 2017 CORE-UA 204, Physical Science: Einstein's Universe
Prof. Budick (Physics)     
Session I: May 22 – July 2, 2017
Addresses the science and life of Einstein in the context of 20th-century physics, beginning with 19th-century ideas about light, space, and time in order to understand why Einstein's work was so innovative. Einstein's most influential ideas are contained in his theories of special relativity, which reformulated conceptions of space and time, and general relativity, which extended these ideas to gravitation. Both these theories are explored quantitatively, together with wide-ranging applications of these ideas, from the nuclear energy which powers the sun to black holes and the big bang theory of the birth of the universe.

SUMMER 2017 CORE-UA 510, Cultures and Contexts: Russia-Between East and West
Prof. Kotsonis (History)     
Session I: May 22 – July 2, 2017
Focuses on distinctive historical and geographical dichotomies and issues in Russian culture. Emphasis is on primary documents, including literary works, travel notes, works of art, and political statements from all periods, chosen to establish the particular matrix of competing positions that make up the Russian national and cultural identity. 

SUMMER 2017 CORE-UA 555, Cultures & Contexts: Brazil
Prof. Robbins (Spanish & Portuguese)    
Session I: May 22 – July 2, 2017
Brazilian culture in a global context:  For five centuries, Brazil has found itself at the crossroads of international commerce. Numerous indigenous groups, Portuguese, Africans of various ethnicities, Spaniards, French, Dutch, and British have all played central roles in the fashioning of Brazil—the only modern nation whose name derives from the commodity (Brazilwood) it would first export in great quantity. And while commerce provided the initial impetus to bring these groups—often violently—together, their prolonged contact shaped an exceptionally rich cultural history in Brazil. Through popular music, cinema, soccer, visual art, and literature, we revisit some of these encounters, in order to examine how they have shaped Brazilian culture, as well as how this culture has, in turn, engaged with the world around it.

SUMMER 2017 CORE-UA 740, Expressive Culture: Performance
Prof. Shimakawa (Performance Studies)     
Session I: May 22 – July 2, 2017
What “counts” as performance?  Does it have to be on a stage? (And what counts as a stage?) Why do performers perform? (And what difference does that performance make?)  We consider a wide range of performances—on the stage, page, screen, and street—in order to explore these questions, focusing on performance as a form of cultural expression, as a site of cultural change, and as a building block for “culture” itself.