Fall 2018 Course Descriptions
By definition, TIDES is an interdisciplinary experience, driven by intellectual curiosity, active learning, and experiential education. Discover the exciting topics of this year’s TIDES below. Each class also has an accompanying peer mentor. Meet yours.
TIDES courses marked with an asterisk (*) are Service Learning courses.
Students in these courses must also register for the corresponding Service Learning component.
Living in a Residential Learning Community? Check out our RLC-affiliated TIDES.
Students will be introduced to the history and cultural folkways of New Orleans through the study of historic figures, cemetery architecture, monument construction and funerary symbolism reflected in stone and iron. Why are above-ground tombs more prevalent in New Orleans? What are the different tomb types and their architectural styles? Why do families in Louisiana visit cemeteries on All Saints Day? What symbolism does funerary art in stone and iron reveal? This TIDES course will provide several informative field sessions to local cemeteries combined with class lectures.
Heather Knight, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Newcomb-Tulane College | BIO
This fun inviting course will bring us to meet the most colorful personalities that help to create our unique New Orleans landscape. We¹ll read texts and also interact with the people and religious leaders who bring these various spiritual beliefs to life—New Orleans style. This journey will prove to be a unique glimpse into a side of New Orleans that is often only felt but never known. Through this course we will gain a better insight in to the various spiritual and mystical traditions and have the opportunity to discuss their applicability to our modern times.
Yonah Schiller, Executive Director, Tulane Hillel | BIO
M 5:00-6:15p **This section includes a service learning component**
Are leaders born or bred? How do leaders and their leadership styles impact change? How does one develop the courage and wisdom to lead and promote change effectively? This TIDES class provides an opportunity to examine the nature of leadership, its impact on the change process, and the underlying dynamics of power, politics, and conflict.
Over the course of the academic year, this course focuses on developing an interdisciplinary understanding of the theories and practices of organizational and community leadership. As a TIDES member, you will actively study the theories that emerge from a variety of fields and reflect on their practical, political, and ethical assumptions as well as on their implications in a variety of settings. Through readings, classroom discussions, interviews with local leaders, and a group initiative, you will gain a greater appreciation for the issues that affect leaders and the components of successful leadership.
Smita S. Ruzicka, Assistant Vice President for Campus Life, Division of Student Affairs | BIO
Carla Coury, Interim Director, Tulane Career Center | BIO
The seminar will introduce students to various aspects of Russian culture, history and life, including food, music and visual arts. In an informal and relaxed atmosphere, students will get a “taste” of a little bit of everything that Russia is famous for: from icon paintings to onion domes; from the times of Ivan the Terrible to Putin’s Russia. A variety of readings (mostly short articles), film screenings, musical videos, and guest lectures will be part of the class. No knowledge of Russian is needed or required.
Lidia Zhigunova, Visiting Assistant Professor, Germanic and Slavic Studies | BIO
Resilience is recognized as an important factor in sustained health and performance in academics. This course will introduce students to emerging tools to support resilience, including an exploration of cultivating one’s own self-care practices. Through weekly goal setting, discussions, and in-class activities, students will get to explore offerings on campus and in New Orleans that can support them during their time at Tulane.
Lindsay Greeson, Class Officer, Advancement | BIO
This one-credit course is designed for those interested in social innovation and social entrepreneurship. In addition to exploring design thinking, social and emotional learning, and health and wellness, students will explore the innovative initiatives currently shaping the landscape of education in New Orleans.
Shannon Blady, Director and Professor, Teacher Preparation | BIO
The Music and Culture of New Orleans introduces the newcomer to New Orleans to the diversity of culture in the city and region. The 11-week course explores the music, literature, art, dance, architecture, and food that are unique to Southern Louisiana so that during your student years here you can fully enjoy them. This TIDES course includes general lectures by experts in the various aspects of the culture of New Orleans. Interspersed and alternating are small sections where these experts converse directly with the freshmen, helping each individual explore the city. Students are directed to the most important music venues in the city, as well as to the best Creole and Cajun restaurants. In addition to the class meetings, each student is expected to join in at least two field trips to witness the culture first hand.
Joan Jensen, Senior Professor of Practice, Music | BIO
James Markway, Director of Applied Music | BIO
Jessica Podewell, Professor of Practice, Theatre and Dance | BIO
Beverly Trask, Associate Professor & Artistic Director, Theatre and Dance | BIO
This course explores the geography of New Orleans and coastal Louisiana, with a focus on forces that threaten the landscape and measures to promote resiliency. Students will hear from a coastal specialist, learn about the city’s resiliency efforts, and tour sustainability initiatives in the 9th Ward—the area of the city that experienced the most devastation following hurricane Katrina.
Corinne Van Dalen, Clinical Instructor, Environmental Law Clinic | BIO
Yoga is a practice that offers many tools for living skillfully. This class will arm first year students with tools to help ground, calm, and focus them. The best part is that these lessons come from sweating, moving, going upside down, chanting, breathing, talking, listening, and having fun. The Sanskrit work Kula means a community, and we will create a Kula in our class, as well as connect with the New Orleans yoga community. This course is for anyone who loves yoga, or is just interested in learning more about it.
Michaela Cannon, Senior Professor of Practice, Theatre and Dance | BIO
From the influence of the religious right to the impact of gay marriage on the social fabric, religion is moving front and center in our culture. But so is food. Religion and food are often thought as distinct, separate. But in fact religion, cuisine, sexual orientation, the media, and way of life issues strongly impact politics. In this class we will discuss the relationships of these factors on present-day consciousness. This will be a student-centered class, so come ready to share your thoughts.
Brian Horowitz, Sizeler Family Endowed Professor, Jewish Studies | BIO
T 2:00-3:15p **For Altman Scholars Only**
Open only to Altman Scholars, this TIDES experience plays an important role in the 4-year curriculum of the Altman Program in International Studies and Business. The students that make up each Altman “cohort” will take one class together each semester that they are on campus during their studies. Altman TIDES will kick off these courses during the Fall of their Freshman year. With an eye towards producing exceptional global citizens, Altman TIDES introduces students to the rich cultural fabric of New Orleans by examining past and present contributions made by peoples of different ethnicity and race. The cultures of French, Spanish, Italian, Creole, African, Latino, Jewish and Vietnamese residents, both past and present, have shaped New Orleans into the vibrant city that it is today.
Specifically, we will discuss each group’s impact on New Orleans’ history, culture, economy and business and the challenges each faced in the process of social and cultural integration. Along the way, students will be exposed to some of the finest food representative of each group that makes New Orleans one of the greatest cities in the world – and an interesting place to directly study international influences at a local level.
M. Casey Love, Senior Professor of Practice, Political Science | BIO
Myke Yest, Professor of Practice, Finance | BIO
Get to know New Orleans through an exploration of its museums, from art museums to contemporary galleries to house museums and beyond. Students will seek to understand how museums in New Orleans serve diverse communities in the city. To understand museum practice more generally, we will also explore past and current methods in museum curation and education, ethical issues museums face, and how museums respond in times of war and natural disasters. Ideal for students considering majors in art history or history.
Holly Flora, Associate Professor, Art | BIO
Students will become familiar with humanitarian principles, codes of conduct, and gender-sensitive programming, as well as compassion fatigue and the importance of self-care when aiding crises and conflict-affected groups. The experience of aid workers, shifting landscape of emergency preparedness, and difficult politics of humanitarian intervention will be discussed. The course will illustrate how cultural systems are central to a community’s disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
Meredith Feike, Adjunct Faculty, School of Professional Advancement | BIO
There will be two primary goals in this course. The first will involve introducing students to New Orleans’s history, culture, and literature. The second will entail an interdisciplinary introduction to a wide array of influences with the effort of showing how New Orleans’s turbulent history of changing possession, immigration, and migration have contributed to a “performance” of various versions of “New Orleansness.” The course will focus specifically on the presence of French, Spanish, African, and a brief overview of the various immigrant communities in the city’s history and the various ways in which these groups have performed their own version of New Orleans for the city itself, the United States, and the world. In addition, the students will use the maps found in Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas to look at how maps are constructions of authenticity.
Danielle Klein, Associate Director for Residential Education, Housing and Residence Life | BIO
In 2016, Tulane University President Mike Fitts established the Race Commission composed of students, staff, faculty, and board members to address issues related to campus diversity. Join this TIDES course as an early step in becoming a student leader committed to this and other diversity initiatives at Tulane. You will learn about the array of programs offered by the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Activities will include academic and social events that bring together TIDES students and members of various student organizations involved in promoting intercultural exchange and understanding. We invite you to become a part of this group of change-makers.
Richard Mihans, Professor of Practice, Teacher Preparation and Certification | BIO
Monique Hodges, Assistant Director, Teacher Preparation and Certification | BIO
This course will introduce students to the modern approaches chemical engineers employ to solve real-world problems. Topics will emphasize engineering design and innovation. Students will learn through relevant readings, discussions, and guest lectures from leaders in the field. Fieldtrips to the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility, Aquarium of the Americans, a local brewery, and the Tulane Maker Space will expose students to real-world applications.
Julie Albert, Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering | BIO
Katie Russell, Professor of Practice, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering | BIO
Art (in its broadest sense, including visual arts, literature, and various types of performance) is meeting science all around us. These interactions go well beyond the use of science as raw material by artists. The advancements in science lead to dramatic changes in our perception of the world clearly reflected in artists’ creations. Just as religious and mythological sources had influenced art before and during the Renaissance, artists are now being moved by the need to capture the complexities and mysteries of the physical universe. In many ways, science and art are profoundly similar. The best of each rises up from the depths of human creativity, in both the arts and science there’s the need for inspiration and hard work, the willingness to experiment and be brave, and the conviction that you are searching for or creating work that says something meaningful about the world or nature. In this course, we will discuss the mutual influence of arts and science (particularly physics) using examples from different art forms and historic periods. The course includes trips to New Orleans Museum of Arts and Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO-Livingston).
Jerry Shakov, Senior Professor of Practice, Physics and Engineering Physics | BIO
What do you think of when you hear “Latin America”? What does it mean to be “Latin American”? This class aims to touch on these questions by exploring and expanding your perceptions about the region and its peoples. Using representations of popular culture this class will delve into the cultural stereotypes and expressions of the region established within historical, societal, and political frameworks. Drawing on literature, film, music, art, and performance this class will examine diverse aspects of culture, society and identity in the region known as “Latin America.” At the end of the course, students should be able to identify what and where is Latin America, who are Latin Americans, how Latin America has influenced local New Orleans community life and culture, and why knowing about Latin America is important.
Jimmy Huck, Administrative Assistant Professor, Latin American Studies | BIO
Over the course of the next year students will develop an understanding of why young adults engage in high-risk health behaviors. During the first semester attention will focus on the social processes thought to underlie young adults' uptake of behavior patterns which expose them to unnecessary health risks. Among the wide range of high risk behaviors to be covered over the course of the year will be drinking, drugging, smoking, eating, speeding, unsafe sex, and other risky choices.
Participants will develop an understanding of how one's family, friends and peers come to shape high-risk health behavior patterns. New Orleans provides an excellent vantage point from which to scientifically explore a culture in which exhibiting high risk health behavior patterns is almost normative. Students will work up epidemiological comparisons between their hometowns and New Orleans based on a wide range of available Internet databases. Students do no direct observations or participation in any high-risk behavior patterns as part of the course.
Reginald Parquet, Clinical Assistant Professor, Social Work | BIO
In this course, students will explore a wide range of literature written in and about New Orleans, “the last frontier of Bohemia,” according to Mark Twain. Readings of literary works associated with the city will form the basis of group discussions about how literature can illuminate a sense of place, along with other themes such as race, gender, and existentialism. Works covered will range from the late 19th century stories of George Washington Cable to the 20th century works of Walker Percy, Tennessee Williams, and John Kennedy Toole. We will also read some of the most recent literature published by contemporary New Orleans authors. Students will keep weekly journals, in which they will compose either (1) a literary analysis of the reading assignment, (2) an autobiographical response to it in essay form, or (3) a related piece of creative writing. They will also write one short paper analyzing a local literary work of their own choosing. A field trip to the French Quarter to visit literary sites, and guest lectures by local authors will provide students with first-hand knowledge of the city and the literary imagination inspired by it. This course will help students to begin experiencing their new city as, “a little piece of eternity dropped into your hands” (Tennessee Williams).
Lyle Colombo, Adjunct Lecturer, Newcomb-Tulane College | BIO
Ever wondered about the distinction between arts and crafts, why crafting is popular, or how many beads are in a Mardi Gras Indian costume? Whether you do crafts, buy them, use needle and thread, hammer and nails, or scissors and glue, you are involved in crafting. We’ll learn about crafting as a hobby and a profession and look at local craft culture in New Orleans. We’ll explore assorted craft practices and communities, through creative workshops, guest speakers, and fieldtrips to local craft centers or markets. No experience necessary – but if you’ve ever wanted to learn a craft, this is your opportunity!
Penny Wyatt, Director of Parent Programs and External Relations, Student Affairs | BIO
Voices questioning the value of a college education and proclaiming that American higher education is in crisis have been getting louder amid ever-increasing tuition, common mission creep, and an arms race for resources and prestige that works against efforts to make college more accessible and inclusive. Organized around Tulane President Emeritus Scott Cowen’s new book, Winnebagos on Wednesdays: How Visionary Leadership Can Transform Higher Education, this course will explore the most puzzling conundrums facing the higher education sector and how the right leadership and mission can provide solutions. Students will learn what works and what doesn't in higher education and examine cases of remarkable leaders (and those who failed). A discussion-based format with guest speakers and personal accounts by Dr. Cowen will help students gain a comprehensive understanding of our country’s diverse higher education landscape—whose top colleges and universities are still the envy of the world—and the power of leadership.
Scott Cowen, President Emeritus and Distinguished University Professor, Tulane University | BIO
Heide Winston, Director, Communications and Civic Engagement, Office of the President Emeritus | BIO
This TIDES course we will address the question, "What constitutes the heart and soul of New Orleans?" The most common answers are, great restaurants, Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, French Quarter Festival, Voodoo, Ghosts, the Blue Dog, and of course, the Saints.
Throughout the semester, we will study and discuss the city's cultural fabric from a folkloric, historical, artistic, literary, and cinematographic point of view. Students will assess the different facets and components that build our great city and contribute to its unique culture through the analysis of assigned text and film material, the participation in class discussions, team presentations, and field trips, as well as in the format of a reflective final paper.
Alexandra Reuber, Senior Professor of Practice, French | BIO
Since Hurricane Katrina and the Great Recession of 2008-09, the Big Easy has made a big comeback. This economic growth has been fueled in part by a booming real estate economy driven by substantial investment from both the public and private sectors. Many of the projects under construction today will dramatically affect the future landscape of New Orleans and also provide lessons in revitalization for cities across the U.S. and globally. Co-Taught by instructors from the Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development and undergraduate Real Estate Minor programs, this 1 credit, interdisciplinary TIDES course will introduce students to the ways in which real estate development is shaping the future of New Orleans. Students will hear from industry leaders, including local real estate developers, bankers, community advocates, and politicians, and will visit a number of impactful and innovative development projects around the City.
Casius Pealer, Director of Sustainable Real Estate Development, Professor of Practice, Architecture | BIO
John Huppi, Director of Real Estate Minor Summer Institute, Architecture | BIO
Interested in working with children and adolescents? Want to learn more about K-12 education in New Orleans? This TIDES course provides opportunities to meet and discuss career choices with local educators and experts from a variety of other fields that impact the lives of children and adolescents in New Orleans. Note that this course does not provide service learning credit, although it may alert you to some other opportunities that do provide service learning.
Shannon Blady, Professor of Practice, Teacher Preparation and Certification Program | BIO
Jerome White, Teacher, Lusher High School | BIO
T 5:00-6:15p **This course includes a service learning component**
Running may have begun as an evolutionary adaptation (Saber Tooth Tigers were fast), but what is the point of running today? This TIDES course, conducted on the run, explores running from a variety of perspectives. In each class session, instructors and students will cover three to eight miles at a conversational pace. Guest speakers/runners will join the class occasionally, to share their expertise and experience on a variety of aspects of running—from physiological adaptations and the mythical (or not) “runner’s high,” to the philosophy and history of running. Students will learn about the local off-campus running community and be required to volunteer at local races. All classes will start off campus, in locations such as Audubon Park, City Park (end of the streetcar line), and the French Quarter (end of the streetcar line in the other direction). So, lace up and run to this TIDES.
In the interest of full disclosure, this class frequently runs (ha) longer than 90 min, mostly because we have to take buses and streetcars to get to interesting neighborhoods. We will not always take that long, but it's important that you not have classes or other obligations scheduled too close after the run. Ideally nothing before 7:30 pm. Bear in mind also that the runs get longer as the semester goes (starting at 3 mi and getting to 8 or so) and sometimes in hot weather. It's a physically demanding experience, and learning about endurance is part of the course.
Samuel Landry, Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology | BIO
Silver Screen Shakespeare offers an introduction to Shakespeare’s life and works through film. Utilizing class viewings, discussion, and outside readings, students will gain familiarity with Shakespearean dramaturgy and history, as well as be introduced to theatrical production concepts. Students will also take a field trip to see a local theatre production here in New Orleans. No prior knowledge of Shakespeare, theatre, or film production is required.
Victor Holtcamp, Assistant Professor, Theatre and Dance | BIO
A student adopts and inhabits a new city, becoming native. Keep a journal of New Orleans. Write it down! Take moments, ideas to reflect the experience among peers living in the Crescent City. Write letters, poems, and lyrics, discussed during workshops in class and on excursions in the city. Become thoughtful...listen, read, write, converse through language. A journal may recollect moments in tranquility (Wordsworth) or may take the form of day-to-day experience (Bosworth).
During particular classes the student will be asked to write while on a streetcar, in Audubon Park, and on the levee by the Mississippi river. Students will keep a journal, participate in a writer’s workshop, give a class presentation, and write a research paper. Participation is a must. There are no examinations.
Beau Boudreaux, Adjunct Faculty, School of Professional Advancement | BIO
This TIDES explores the diverse folk traditions—behaviors practiced and passed along informally within distinct groups—that have historically defined and continue to profoundly shape New Orleans’ cultural landscape. Drawing from field trips, class presentations by local tradition bearers, and documentary films, the class examines the dynamic cultural processes that are a viable, evolving part of the city. Topics to be covered include parade and costume traditions, Mardi Gras material culture, foodways, voodoo, and architectural trades, among others.
Teresa Parker Farris, Adjunct Professor, Folklife | BIO
With the technologies now available for rapid-prototyping, from 3d-printers and CNC cutters to the Arduino electronics systems, it is now possible for everyday people to design and build (almost) anything that can be imagined. These low-cost, fast solutions have a new world of “makers” who produce their own custom designs ranging from light-up clothing and costumes to complicated machinery and sculptures. This course will introduce students to these technologies and show them how to take their best (or silliest) ideas and turn them into an actual, physical reality through the use of modern tools and basic computer modeling.
Timothy Schuler, Senior Professor of Practice, Physics | BIO
This course will explore the authority of commissioners in the major professional sports leagues to discipline players, owners, coaches, and others for conduct deemed injurious to the interests of the league or the sport. Students will explore the origin and evolution of the office of the commissioner, tracing the development of the position from Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis to Bud Selig, Paul Tagliabue, and David Stern. Students will focus on and discuss actions taken by commissioners in specific cases involving gambling, performance enhancing and recreational drug use, brawling during games, mistreating game officials and opposing players, and other types of misconduct both on and off the playing field. Students will be asked to think critically about the scope of the commissioner’s power to act in these situations and the propriety of the actions taken by the commissioner. The course will also analyze the commissioner’s regulatory authority to take action “in the best interests of the game,” and will look at notable cases where this authority was challenged by players and owners.
Gabe Feldman, Associate Professor and Associate Provost, Sports Law | BIO
As the concept of local foodways becomes entrenched in the growing “foodie” culture of the United States, local food and local dishes become an ever more important marker of place. Whether justified or not, Creole and Cajun food and, of course, the ubiquitous Cocktail, are perceived by many as synonymous with New Orleans. In this course, we will explore the myths and realities of these three key concepts as they apply to food and drink in New Orleans.
Amy George-Hirons, Senior Professor of Practice, Spanish and Portuguese | BIO
Mardi Gras floats, blues songs, Romeo-catchers, Falstaff brewery . . . . In this course we will explore the traces of Shakespeare in New Orleans through reading and performing. Building on a local performance of a Shakespeare play, this course seeks to use Shakespeare as a way for students to get to know one another and some of their surrounds. Students will view a play, meet people involved in the production, view film clips, act, read, write, and get to know one another, the campus and its surrounds while examining one of Shakespeare’s plays. Activities include attending the performance of a Shakespeare, watching the film Zombie Hamlet (set in Louisiana), and beguiling ourselves into learning something while having a good time.
Scott Oldenburg, Associate Professor, English | BIO
T 4:00-5:15p **This course includes a service learning component**
In this course, we will come to a better understanding of the role that non-profit organizations play in combating the effects of poverty in the US. We will focus primarily on New Orleans, and examine the contributions of non- profits to such efforts as building houses, providing health care, and supporting education. We will also examine the interactions of non-profits and state and local governments. Although we will be considering the broad role that non-profits and community engagement play in the US, we will focus on New Orleans' long-term recovery from hurricane Katrina as well as on the roles that non-profits play in New Orleans outside the context of recovering from Katrina.
Dennis Kehoe, Andrew W Mellon Professor in the Humanities, Classical Studies | BIO
Successful fight scenes have always played a role in many theater, film and dance performances. Through this course Tulane students will have the opportunity to be exposed to martial-art techniques that can be used for staging combat. They will practice drills, read selected passages and watch film clips that will aid them to stage small fight performance along with their classmates by the end of the semester.
Kyriakos Papadopolous, Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering | BIO
Antony Sandoval, Associate Professor, Theatre and Dance | BIO
The Italian Culture in New Orleans" will focus on different facets and components of the Italians in the Crescent city. Special consideration will be given to the discussion of the following topics: New Orleans and the culture of the Italian emigrants, traditions, cuisine, music, fiction and movie rendering of the Italian emigration.
Roberto Nicosa, Professor of Practice, Italian | BIO
This course examines the origin and evolution of Louisiana’s ecosystems. Students will learn about living and prehistoric plants and animals and their physical surroundings while exploring Louisiana’s coastal marshes, bottomland hardwood forests, longleaf pine savannahs, and tallgrass prairies. Course includes multiple field trips.
Jeff Agnew, Professor of Practice, Earth and Environmental Sciences | BIO
To many it comes as a surprise that Salsa music was born in New York, but its emphasis on the rhythm of the music, its introduction of electronic instruments and other musical genres fundamentally changed the Cuban Son and Mambo on which it was based. In addition, early salsa was a product of the late 1960’s and 1970’s revolutionary politics and many of classic salsa from this period has complex and interesting critiques of Latin America and the United States. Salsa’s introduction into an international media market was not the first: the Mambo and Cha cha cha’s entry into American culture is portrayed in films like “Dirty Dancing,” and it has been integrated into international ball room dance, like in the Japanese film “Shall We Dance.”
¡Salsa! is comprised of two main approaches to understanding this complex and exciting musical genre. First students read critical texts about the evolution of the genre, some of its many polemics, and the themes that its songs express. The methodology of this course will focus on historical and cultural studies readings discussions, class presentations and short writing assignments. These are designed so that students will gain an understanding of the evolution of the respective genres and of the complexity of the themes that they address.
Salsa music frequently has a hidden beat that many anglo listeners miss. Students will also be treated to music presentations by award winning Cuban music band AsheSon in an attempt to engage their ears in active listening. Finally, salsa can only be understood through dancing it.
Through four workshops with Cervantes instructor Aurelio and Linda of the Cervantes Organization students will learn the basic steps, some turns, and then will begin putting them together in an introduction to the Cuban Rueda, a circle dance where couples periodically change partners. The goal of these workshops is a bodily immersion into the cultures that they are studying, and to give students an opportunity to discuss their readings with master practitioners.
Javier Olondo, Adjunct Professor in Guitar, Music | BIO
Are you a songwriter, or someone who is interested in songwriting? In this course students will read articles on songwriting by the songwriters themselves, listen to and analyze successful songs, use techniques that the pros use, and collaborate with each other. There will also be guest lectures by professional songwriters and artist. By the end of the course students will have written original songs and have them critiqued by the other students and the Instructor. Musical ability will be welcome, but will not be required.
Mark Carson, Adjunct Professor, Newcomb-Tulane College | BIO
T 5:00-6:15p **For Community Service Fellows Only**
**This course includes a service learning component**
Identity and power are often interwoven with community social issues, but may not be openly apparent to the average individual engaging in community service. This course encourages students to first understand their social identities, then the broad range of social issues in New Orleans, to contribute in a meaningful way to the body of work already being done in the New Orleans community. Students will reflect on their own social identities and connect to local non-profits, community organizers, and a broad survey of current issues in New Orleans. By creating a space for meaningful discussions about community involvement, students will examine how social identities and power affect community engagement in New Orleans. This is also a tier 1 service learning course and students will be required to complete at least 20 hours with the selected community partners.
Nicole Caridad Ralston, Program Manager, Center for Public Service | BIO
While many have enjoyed J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings as an epic novel, few readers are aware of the fundamentally linguistic and anthropological nature of Tolkien’s writing. As Oxford Professor of Anglo-Saxon, Tolkien was intimately familiar with the Germanic languages, their history, and their epic literatures. Because of his background, he went far beyond the invention of a few strange-sounding names for the characters and places of his world, instead developing a detailed proto-language (Common Eldarin) and following its development into two distinct but related Elvish tongues, Quenya and Sindarin. He also invented Khuzdul (Dwarvish), the Black Speech, Adûnaic (Númenórean) and Sôval Phârë (The Common Speech). Importantly, he assumed a role of translator of The Lord of the Rings, employing English archaisms and dialects to reflect the varying speech styles of his characters, their relative social status, and their complex interrelationships. Old English, Old Norse, and Gothic were all employed to accurately reflect the degree of kinship characters, places and languages had to the ‘Common Speech’.
In this course, we study the role of language in The Lord of the Rings, applying concepts and perspectives from linguistic anthropology to shed light on Tolkien’s methods and purpose as the ‘translator’ of Middle-earth. Students are introduced to Tolkien's invented languages (and their real-world inspirations) and two of his invented alphabets. An appreciation of the linguistic foundations of Middle-earth greatly increases one's understanding of Tolkien’s achievement, and provides insights into one linguist’s view of the intricate and interdependent relationships of language, culture, and society.
Marc Zender, Assistant Professor, Anthropology | BIO