Williams in Class

Glendening Hall 230


Transfer Students (those students transferring in with more than 24 credits) will take CORE301 (not CORE101) as their Liberal Arts Seminar. CORE 301 (Inquiry in the Liberal Arts) is designed for students transferring to St. Marys College of Maryland and will focus on the four fundamental liberal arts skills, and emphasize their importance for a broad grounding in the liberal arts. These 4-credit courses are offered both spring and fall.

Students transferring to St. Mary's with an AA or an AS degree from a Maryland State Community college have fulfilled all of their Core Curriculum requirements except CORE 301 and CORE 350 (Experiencing the Liberal Arts in the World). 


Transfer Seminars for FALL 2014

Big Brother, Big Data, and the End of Privacy:  If You Don’t Pick This Course, I Know How to Find You (with Prof. Andrew Cognard-Black)

Tuesday/Thursday 10:00-11:50 am and Tuesday/Thursday 12:00-1:50 pm

In 1985, we laid Big Brother to rest.  We had made it to 1984 and beyond, and by most people’s reckoning we had managed to avoid the Orwellian vision described in the famous novel with the temporal title.  Yet references to Big Brother in popular culture have been on the rise in recent years, and revelations by Edward Snowden have seemed to magnify the amplitude of the allusion.  At the same time, warnings about the coming of a superstate built upon a foundation of surveillance coexist uncomfortably with trivial incarnations of Big Brother such as the eponymous television “reality” show that most viewers consume with little recognition of the dark narrative that gave rise to its name.  While the Fourth Amendment promises Americans the right to be secure in their persons, it seems that many of us have come to accept as normal a variety of intrusions into our private affairs, and the dominance of “social media” means that we must also ask ourselves who is doing the watching.  In this course, we will use George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four as a literary point of reference from which to launch into larger discussions about control, privacy, bureaucracy, democracy, and the very notion of free thought itself.

Email: ajcognardblack@smcm.edu




Entrepreneurship: Business and Social (with Prof. Elizabeth Osborn)

Tuesday/Thursday 12:00-1:50 pm

In this course we will examine factors that lead people to undertake entrepreneurial activities. We will test our own entrepreneurial spirits through the development of both business and social enterprises. Business entrepreneurs typically measure performance in profit and return, but social entrepreneurs also take into account a positive return to society. Social entrepreneurship typically furthers broad social, cultural, and environmental goals. 

Email: eosborn@smcm.edu




From Jupiter to Jesus (with Prof. Linda Hall)

Monday/Wednesday/Friday 12:00-1:10pm

Roman religion focused on the proper procedures for pleasing the ancient gods to ensure positive outcomes in warfare, agriculture, health, and romance. Chief of the Roman gods was Jupiter or Zeus, the “father of gods and men.” We will examine not only Roman beliefs about the power of the pagan gods and goddesses but also focus on the role of priests and priestesses in performing correct rituals. We will examine the rise of Christianity with its focus on Jesus as the son of God and study how the new religion gradually replaced the old practices and beliefs. Close study of ancient evidence will enable you to examine these issues in depth from an historical vantage point.

Email: ljhall@smcm.edu



The Play's the Thing (with Prof. Mark Rhoda)

Tuesday/Thursday 12:00-1:50 pm

This course is designed to acquaint students with a range of dramatic forms from diverse cultural traditions and to introduce ways of reading them. We shall study select play and performance texts, films, and a novel in order better to understand the following: the distinctions between theatrical language and its structures and language of other media; the historical, cultural, philosophical, and ideological contexts that help shape the different ways we read and spectate; and the underlying, signifying relationship among writing, reading, and reception as specific cultural constructions. Plays we will read/discuss during the semester include: Oedipus Rex (Sophocles), The Cherry Orchard (Chekhov), Mother Courage and Her Children (Brecht), Death and the King’s Horseman (Soyinka), and The Universal Wolf (Schenkar). We shall also consider the adaptations of the King Lear story in three different media: Shakespeare’s play, King Lear; novelist Jane Smiley’s feminist revision of the Lear story, A Thousand Acres; and Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa’s medieval samurai version, Ran (meaning “Chaos”). John Duigan/Naomi Wallace’s film, Lawn Dogs, starring a very young Misha Barton and Sam Rockwell, and Matthew Bright’s Freeway, starring an equally young Reese Witherspoon, cap off the semester in conjunction with our reading of Joan Schenkar’s “vicious new version” of the Little Red Riding Hood tale, The Universal Wolf.

Email: marhoda@smcm.edu



Science and Technology - Because we can, should we?  (with Prof. April Wynn)

Tuesday/Thursday 12:00-1:50 pm

Science is a discipline about discovery and pushing the boundaries of our understanding. With science and technology come great advances - cloning, nuclear power, and chemotherapeutics, as well as a large price to pay - eugenics, climate change, and drug resistant pathogens. During the 20th century scientists operated under the mantra "We can herefore we do" but is that appropriate? Is science going too far? Is it pushing the boundaries of what should be done by what can be done? This CORE301 course (targeted for natural science majors) will examine the science of some of the greatest scientific advances in the last 50 years, the impact they had on society, and the cost of these advancements. Our analysis will incorporate the four fundamental liberal arts skills.  We will think critically about the impact of these advances, examine multiple sources of information to fully understand the ramifications of each advancement, and utilize both written and oral expression to communicate our findings within and
beyond the scientific community.

Email: anwynn@smcm.edu