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Liberal Arts Divisional Studies (LA)

LA 141
Introduction to Film
3 credits; 2 Lecture and 2 LABORATORY hours per week
This course provides students with the tools to analyze moving image presentations in an academic setting or as a filmmaker. Students examine the uses of camera, editing, sound and elements of the production design as they create meaning in film images and narratives. Examples are drawn from a full range of feature films, documentaries, other forms of entertainment and advertising, whether delivered theatrically, through television or over the Internet. (G7: Humanities)

LA 211
Dance as Art
3 credits
This course surveys Western dance styles from the perspective of the creative process and cultural history. Students study ballet, modern dance, American dances of the African Diaspora, and world dances. The course uses film, lecture, performance, discussion, selected readings and guest lecturers to expose students to a wide range of dance traditions. No prior dance training is necessary. (G6: Arts)

LA 221
U.S. History: Civil War to Present
3 credits
Prerequisite: EN 121 or EN 362
An introduction to American history, this course moves from a brief view of American geography, economics, and government to a more focused examination of the social, political, and economic experience from the Civil War through the Cold War and to the present. Students are introduced to basic historical methodology and learn to apply these techniques through critical reading, analytical writing, and verbal presentations. (G10: American History)

LA 223
Survey of Latin American Music
3 credits
A survey of Latin American music with an emphasis on the process of music composition and instrumentation that led to its creation. Students explore the creative process through in-class performances of musical excerpts and demonstrations of Latin American musical instruments. The class also focuses on the indigenous, cultivated, and vernacular traditions within Latin American music and their relation to regional histories. No previous musical background is required. (G6: Arts)

LA 224
Distant Neighbors: A History of Latin America and the United States
3 credits
Prerequisite: EN 121 or EN 362
This course compares the histories of Latin America and the United States from pre-Columbian times to the 20th century. Students learn about the deep influence of the United States in Latin American economies, politics, and culture, especially after the United States' independence, when American democracy became a political model for the former Spanish American colonies. (G10: American History)

LA 225
Leisure in America
3 credits
Prerequisite: EN 121
This course examines the emergence and changing role of leisure and its relation to work in the United States from the late 19th century to the present. Situating leisure within its specific social, economic and political contexts, students explore the complex intersection of factors and forces that have shaped conceptions and practices of leisure in American life through primary and secondary texts, both written and visual. (G10: American History)


LA 231
Latin American Fiction: From the 1960s to the Present
3 credits
Prerequisite: EN 121 or equivalent, and one semester of college-level English
Students examine selected texts of Latin American fiction (in English translation) from the 1960s to the present. The course focuses on the literary themes and writing techniques of the authors and on the sociopolitical and historical conditions of Latin America where the texts are set. (G7: Humanities)

LA 241
Film Theory and Criticism, An Introduction
3 credits
Prerequisite: LA 141
Students are introduced to the major issues and movements in film theory and criticism. Examining key issues such as the relationship between film representation and reality and the roles of image, narrative and the industrial infrastructure, students learn to place critical statements about film into a theoretical discussion that has flourished since the early days of silent film. (G7: Humanities)

LA 242
Hollywood: A History
3 credits
Students learn the history of the United States from the Civil War to the present through the lens of the American film industry. The course focuses on the economic structure of the film industry and the evolving depictions of violence in movies as a factor in American History. (G10: American History)

LA 243
Introduction to Television Studies
3 credits; 2 Lecture and 2 LABORATORY hours per week
Prerequisite: EN 121
This course analyzes the medium of television in terms of its history, narrative, style, technique, editing, sound, and representation. Students view programs from the 1950s to the present, marking and investigating T.V.’s transformations as it moves with and creates cultural history. Students acquire and use skills for reading television in terms of its production and signification. (G7: Humanities)

LA 244
Documentary Film
Prerequisite:  LA 141 or EN 255
This course provides an historical overview of the documentary form and a critique of ethnographic and propaganda films, social documentaries, cinema verite, and travelogues. Students investigate the issue of truth and/or objectivity, and critique films from the perspective of feminist theory, cultural anthropology and general film history and theory.

LA 246
The Science Fiction Film
3 credits; 2 Lecture and 2 LABORATORY hours per week
This course examines the science fiction film from its beginnings. Students analyze the genre’s merits and flaws, conventional narrative themes and iconography, relevance, and fundamental departures from science fiction literature. They explore how science fiction films mirror the social and political environment of their time.

LA 251
Contemporary Korean Cinema
3 credits; 2 Lecture and 2 LABORATORY hours per week
This course is an introduction to South Korean cinema from the late 1980s to the present. Students study the concept of New Korean Cinema, the rise of the domestic film industry and auteurs, and the emergence of blockbusters and their growing regional and international recognition. (G7: Humanities; G9: Other World Civilizations)

LA 299
Independent Study
Variable Credits (3 Credits Maximum);
Prerequisite: a minimum 3.5 GPA and approval of instructor, chairperson, and dean for Liberal Arts

LA 321
Survey of American Music
3 credits
A study of the major styles, trends, and significant composers in American music. Through lecture and demonstration, students explore various types of music, including blues, current trends, folk, jazz, rock, show, and symphonic, focusing on their relation to the American experience. No musical background is necessary. (G6: Arts)

LA 342
Film Genres: Crime Stories
3 credits; 2 Lecture and 2 LABORATORY hours per week
This course examines interrelationships in film and literature, focusing on “Crime Stories” – novels and cinematic adaptations that tell stories of crimes from differing points of view, beginning with the detective, moving toward the criminal and ending with the victims.  Students study a variety of crime genres: the whodunit, the film noir, the docu-drama, the neo-noir and the meta-fiction. (G7: Humanities)

LA 391
Issues in the Humanities and Technology (Honors)
3 credits
Prerequisite: qualification for Presidential Scholars Program, or 3.5 GPA with approval of dean for Liberal Arts
Examines the relationship between cultural traditions and the technological present and future. Current issues in medicine, science, the arts, and artificial intelligence provide the platform to study the impact of technology on human society and the world. Major philosophical positions, definitions of terms, and their social and historical contexts are discussed. (G7: Humanities)

LA 392
United States History and Culture, 1860 to Present (Honors)
3 credits
Prerequisite: qualification for Presidential Scholars Program, or 3.5 GPA with approval of dean for Liberal Arts
Major historic events and developments in United States history from 1860 to the present are examined in the context of their impact on the country's government, politics, and culture. Works by painters, photographers, sculptors, advertisers, dancers, musicians, novelists, filmmakers, and dramatists are used to broaden the study of U.S. history. (G10: American History)

LA 394
The Old and New Testaments in the History of Ideas (Honors)
3 credits
Prerequisite: qualification for Presidential Scholars Program, or 3.5 GPA with approval of dean for Liberal Arts
Students examine the influence of selected books, chapters, and verses from the Old and New Testaments on the literature, philosophy, theology, and politics of western civilization. Emphasis is given to ideas located in scripture as they have been developed by religious thinkers, systematic theorists, and creative artists. (G5: Western Civilization; G7: Humanities)

LA 395
Masterpieces of Music in the European Classical Tradition (1500 to Present) (Honors)
3 credits
Prerequisite: qualification for Presidential Scholars Program, or 3.5 GPA with approval of dean for Liberal Arts
This course is a survey of the major masterpieces of music in the European Classical tradition, with an emphasis on the compositional approaches that led to their creation. Through lectures and demonstrations, the course covers the main musical developments associated with the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern periods. No previous musical background is required. (G6: Arts)

LA 396
Religion and Religious Dissent in American History to the Civil War (Honors)
3 credits
Students examine the ways in which religious controversies have figured, directly and indirectly, in many of the major events in the early history of the United States, up to and including the Civil War. (G7: Humanities; G10: American History)

LA 397
New York City and the Invention of America (Honors)
3 credits
Prerequisite: qualification for Presidential Scholars Program, or 3.5 GPA with approval of dean for Liberal Arts
Students learn the history of America from the Civil War to the present, through the lens of its greatest metropolis. Readings stress the roles that New York has played as innovator, counterpoint, and despised exception in the culture, economics, politics, and technology of the U.S. Students develop skills in basic primary research, public speaking, reading comprehension, and writing and revising. (G10: American History)

LA 398
Rebellion and Resistance in America (Honors)

3 credits
Prerequisites: qualification for Presidential Scholars Program, or 3.5 GPA with approval of dean for Liberal Arts
This course examines the social, cultural and political types of rebellion and resistance from their historical roots in Colonial and Revolutionary America to their modern and contemporary forms in the 20th and 21st centuries. Students analyze the tactics, strategies and objectives of individual and collective action from across the political spectrum. (G10: American History)

LA 443
Major Directors: Alfred Hitchcock

3 Credits, 2 Lecture and 2 LABORATORY hours per week
This course provides an in-depth study of the films of Alfred Hitchcock, which are examined within the context of his life and the Hollywood system. Students learn the concepts of auteur theory by focusing on Hitchcock’s story-boarding method, his stylistic and cinematic technique, and his innovative use of editing and sound.

LA 499
Independent Study
Variable Credits (3 Credits Maximum);
Prerequisite: a minimum 3.5 GPA and approval of instructor, chairperson, and dean

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