Fall 2019 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, an upperclass student paired with the class to offer academic and social support as you transition to campus. Fall 2019 Peer Mentors will be posted in May.
TIDES courses marked with an asterisk (*) are Service Learning courses. Students in these courses must also register for the corresponding Service Learning component.
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
What can scientific research tell us about practices and perspectives that lead to a happier life? What can psychology do to help ordinary people to thrive and flourish? Which practices lead to greater fulfillment and life satisfaction? Positive psychology engages such questions by utilizing scientific research methods to identify practices which lead to greater happiness and human flourishing -- a life rich in purpose, relationships, and enjoyment. Positive psychologists maintain that (1) flourishing requires more than curing pathology; (2) flourishing requires tapping human strengths and positive capacities; and (3) scientific research methods can help us to identify and refine strategies for flourishing. This course will provide a theoretical and practical introduction to applied positive psychology.
Topics will include positive emotions, hedonic misprediction and adaptation, character strengths (and their application in academia), purpose, gratitude, kindness, meditation, nurturing social relationships, and more. Students will learn about the foundational theories and research of positive psychology and will also engage in experiential homework in which they will apply strategies for enhancing their own health and happiness and for positively impacting their relationships and communities. This course will also expose students to local wellness resources at Tulane and New Orleans and will offer opportunities to explore a variety of life enhancing practices through homework assignments and a few group activities such as attending a yoga class (exercise), a meditation class (mindfulness), and a field trip to the French Quarter exploring New Orleans architecture and history on a walking tour (engagement) and enjoying some local cuisine (savoring).
Hans W. Gruenig, Visiting Assistant Professor, Philosophy | BIO
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.
**This course includes a service learning component**
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, Professor of Practice in Russian, Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies | BIO
How can architecture define a place? How do buildings support social constructs and cultural patterns? How do spatial relationships, proportions, and forms shape how we move through and experience places? How do the lines, curves, textures, and colors of walls, roofs, railings and other built elements impact our senses, emotions, and memories? All of these questions will be explored as students learn about the particular built environment that makes New Orleans so unmistakably New Orleans. Students will be encouraged to think critically about built environment and to communicate their ideas effectively through writing, visuals, and speech.
Laura Blokker, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Preservation Studies, School of Architecture | 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
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, Professor of Practice, Teacher Preparation and Certification Program | BIO
Focusing on selections from the seminal work “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” by Jane Jacobs, we will explore and discuss its relevance to the city of New Orleans. We will also look directly at what is currently happening in the city of New Orleans via field studies, guest presentations and movies. Selected neighborhoods of New Orleans will be explored as vehicles for looking at the social, political, and economic life of cities. By focusing on particular and local examples we will, in effect, also address urban issues that are both more general and global. You will be invited to learn ‘how to see’ (observe) the many aspects of the city, be introduced to tools for the analysis of city form and city behavior, and be asked to draw conclusions from what you read for this class as well as your experiences.
Marilyn Feldmeier, Adjunct Faculty, Architecture | BIO
From sex education for middle and high schoolers to nutrition assistance for impoverished new parents, the phrase “reproductive politics” encompasses far more than debates over abortion and contraception. This one-credit first-year course explores American studies scholar Laura Briggs’ claim that “all politics [are] reproductive politics,” with a particular focus on the political and legal realities of reproductive life in the city of New Orleans.
Clare Daniel, Administrative Assistant Professor of Women's Leadership, Newcomb College Institute | BIO
All sections: W 4:30-5:45p
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.
Jessica Podewell, Professor of Practice, Theatre and Dance | BIO
Joan Jensen, Professor of Practice, Music | BIO
Beverly Trask, Associate Professor, Theatre and Dance | BIO
James Markway, Director of Applied Music | BIO
This course explores the geography of New Orleans and coastal Louisiana, with a focus on forces that created and threaten the river delta on which the city sits. The course examines the levee system, climate change, sea level rise, industrial impacts to coastal wetlands, along with measures to promote a resilient city in the face of environmental and other threats. The course will also explore these issues in the context of social equity and environmental justice. Students will hear from a coastal specialist, learn about the city’s resiliency efforts, visit areas of the city that experienced the most devastation following hurricane Katrina, and tour a levee adjacent to a cypress swamp.
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 Professor, Jewish Studies | BIO
This course introduces you to college study and research through emulation of the Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). To coincide with the 500th anniversary of his death, you will be invited to keep notebooks just like he did. We will examine Leonardo’s artworks as a way to investigate Renaissance ideas of nature, its transformative potential, and the natural and built environment. Each week you will you be tasked with a theme to explore that relates to one of his fields of interest. After viewing his drawings and writings (in English!), you too will investigate subjects that interested Leonardo and his peers—such as botany, anatomy, machine design, and flight—and learn to articulate in your notebooks your own insights and approaches to studying these topics. You’ll have ample opportunity to get to know New Orleans through prompts that invite you to study in New Orleans like Leonardo might have done: you’ll be invited to visit the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Pharmacy Museum, and Audubon Park. Weekly discussions will discuss the artist’s approaches and your own. For your notebooks, you will not be assessed on artistic merit, but rather for the depth of your engagement with the assignment.
Leslie Geddes, Assistant Professor, Art History | BIO
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.
**For Altman Scholars Only**
The transition to university life can present challenges, as you juggle less structure, more demands, new roles, and increased pressures. The purpose of this TIDES course is to help you develop social and emotional skills; benefitting you in academic and work contexts, interpersonal relationships, and overall well-being. Explore the tranquil side of New Orleans and discover your best self through mindfulness and self awareness activities.This course is designed to help students develop strengths and assets that promote their social and emotional well-being as they transition to a higher education setting in New Orleans. Such settings typically present students with less structure, more demands, new roles, and increased pressures which may contribute to struggles with stress and adjustment difficulties. The purpose of this course is to help students develop social and emotional skills; benefiting them in academic and work contexts, interpersonal relationships, and overall well-being. Students will explore tranquil locations throughout the city of New Orleans. Along the way, they will be introduced to social and emotional competencies that can help promote their personal and interpersonal awareness and competence which will help students navigate new and challenging academic, social, and emotional terrain. These competencies include: self-awareness; self-management; social awareness; relationship skills; and responsible decision making.
This course is inspired by current events, including the rise of alt-right, populist, and authoritarian parties and governments across the globe. Its aim is to use the tools of media analysis and social and literary theory in order to deepen our understanding of where and how these movements arose, how neo-fascism appeals to voters in different places and contexts, and, crucially, how leaders have harnessed popular sentiments to their own end. Readings and discussions are based on contemporary media as well as classical historical sources.Important themes in the course will include roots and causes of fascism, fascism as imperialism and racism, fascist attitudes toward gender and class, theories of totalitarianism, the psychology of fascism.
Ari Ofengenden, Professor of Practice, Jewish Studies | BIO
This TIDES course explores the Pluto-Charon system, the public’s perception of Pluto, its history, and its science. Students will learn about the search for ‘Planet 9’, the discovery of Pluto and objects beyond, as well as the recent exploration of the Pluto-Charon system and Ultima Thule by the NASA New Horizon’s mission. In addition, students will explore and discuss the elusive questions: What is a planet? Is Pluto a planet? The course will include one field trip to Gretna Observatory one evening during the semester. This course is 1 credit and does not have pre-requisites.
Jennifer Whitten, Assistant Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences | 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
Welcome! As a member of the Tulane community, you are also now a part of the larger New Orleans community. In a city with such rich history, there is a vast divide of health and wellness options among the diverse cultural groups. Whether we are talking about access to nutritionally complete foods or more esoteric resources, such as mindfulness training, there is a long-standing disparity in our community. This course is designed to introduce students to overall health and wellness needs and availability among various communities in and around New Orleans.
Elizabeth Abboud, Professor of Practice, Cell and Molecular Biology | BIO
This class introduces different mindfulness techniques, application of mindfulness practices in understanding destructive emotions and cultivating positive emotions. Mindfulness techniques cover intentional cultivation of non-judgmental, non-reactive, present-moment awareness, bare attention and concentration. Concentration and mindfulness exercises will be practically studied and evaluated. Students will enhance their experience of awareness, clarity, and empathy. Students will also learn coping skills for emotional regulation, distress tolerance, depression, anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Students will be required to participate in daily mindfulness practices: self-awareness, identification of destructive emotions, logical and mindful responses, and compassionate living. The course will critically analyze mindfulness-based research articles and introduce to how to integrate different mindfulness techniques in research applications. Information will be based on recent scientific research and ancient Tibetan contemplative practices.
Ngawang Legshe, Adjunct Faculty, School of Social Work | 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
The central conceit of this course is that all participants build characters for, and participate in, a Dungeons and Dragons (styled) adventure that is based around collaborative storytelling, problem solving, the building and development of critical analytic skills, and the discovery of identity. This course will employ the city of New Orleans – and the Tulane Campus – as the “world” in which these new adventures discover themselves. The students will begin this course by building “character sheets” based on who and what they are (Identity location markers) and what they bring to the adventure. This part of the class will encourage students to articulate their own strengths and – areas of themselves upon which they are working. We will partner with The Office of Multicultural Affairs to engage these students in a discussion of identification (self-identification and how we identify others). The students will be sent on an adventure during which they will have to learn to use the resources available to them in the Tulane University Library System. The students will be asked to go through Audubon Park (and Audubon Zoo) to find creatures and treasures. The students will be asked to go to the French Quarter and have specific foods that are specific to New Orleans Culture and listen to music that was created here in New Orleans. The students will be asked to take pictures and sample sounds as “proof” that they have completed their quests. The students will be asked to “scribe” and reflect upon their adventures. The students are going to be asked to consider the relationship between “game” and “real-life” when we talk to local New Orleans Health and wellness programs (CrescentCare). This course will be rooted in the concepts of discovery, and gaming, and responsibility for choosing one’s own adventure. We will also read at least on “fantasy” novel and discuss the nature of the narrative itself. We will discuss how the idea of women and female characters function in the book. We’ll talk about how the book depicts the idea of the protagonists, as well as, the “traditional” trope of male as default in much of fantasy fiction – and what that means. We will discuss how the novel utilizes and incorporates the concept of “race.”
John Proctor, Assistant Professor, Theatre and Dance | 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.
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.
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
This course covers the challenges facing women pursuing degrees and careers in STEM. Many of these challenges are institutionalized barriers that still exist, creating a system in which it is harder for women to thrive in comparison with their male peers. Other minority groups in STEM face many of the same challenges as women, and the additional and different barriers for other underrepresented groups will also be discussed. The course will cover strategies for success in STEM and becoming an ally and advocate for other traditionally marginalized groups in STEM. One credit hour. No prerequisites.
Nicole Gasparini, Associate Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences | BIO
In this course, we will come to a better understanding of the articulation of public space in its relationship to history and memory. We will first discuss a number of paradigmatic cases in the battle for the public expression of national, regional, or group trauma in the form of monuments, memorials, or sites of commemoration: the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, the Vietnam memorial in DC, the “Parque de la memoria” in Buenos Aires, and the alternative ways of remembering the totalitarian period in Indonesia. Next, we will focus on these negotiations in the recent history of New Orleans: the marks of Katrina in the city today, the ways New Orleans chooses to remember it, and the controversy about the removal of confederate monuments in the city.
Antonio Gómez, Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese | 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
The TIDES course Sports Medicine, The Team Approach is a one credit course. This course will explore current topics of sports medicine and how the topics influence practice within the field. Through the guidance of a team physician, students will gain perspective on how sports medicine professionals care for athletes of all ages, with an additional emphasis on collegiate athletes. Students will learn through relevant readings, discussions, and guest lectures fromleaders in the field. Fieldtrips to the Professional Athlete Care Team Clinic, Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine, Tulane Athletic Facilities, and an inside look into a sports game will expose students to the interactions of healthcare professionals involved in the continuum of care for athletes.
Gregory Stewart, Associate Professor, Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery | BIO
This TIDES class was put together by a team of university art professionals with the intention of introducing students to the breadth of the visual arts scene in contemporary New Orleans. The course includes field trips to and visits from artists, curators, critics, collectors, private gallery owners, and public museum professionals, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the vibrant cultural life of the city. Ideally students will come away from the class with an appreciation of the richness of the visual arts in New Orleans, the ability to discuss and write about the visual arts, and some insights into the nuts-and-bolts activities of the individuals and institutions the define the visual arts in New Orleans.
Laura Richens, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Art | 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
“A Helluva Hullabaloo: Learning How to #BeExcellent at Tulane” introduces students to developing life skills that will be useful not only in college, but also will help prepare them for the “real-world.” The broad-reaching goal of this TIDES course is to offer students the opportunity to gain valuable skills and lessons that can be used to succeed during their career at Tulane.
Wendy LeBlanc, Learning Specialist, Athletics | BIO
Ever wondered about the distinction between art and craft, 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, paper and scissors or glitter and glue, you are involved in crafting. We’ll learn about crafting as a hobby and a profession, with an emphasis on local craft culture in New Orleans. We’ll explore assorted craft practices and communities through guest speakers, field trips to local craft centers or markets and hands-on workshops.
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.
Heide Winston, Director, Communications and Civic Engagement, 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.
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.
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 Lecturer, School of Professional Advancement | 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, Paul and Abram B. Barron Associate Professor, 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, 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
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.
**This course includes a service learning component**
Dennis Kehoe, Andrew W. Mellon Professor, Humanities | 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.
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, Guitar | 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
This course is a critical survey of cinematic works by and about women, with examples drawn from different modes of cinematic expression (mainstream fiction films as well as alternative film and video [including documentaries, experimental, & narrative]) and from different historical periods (from the 1930s to the present). The course deploys feminist approaches to film criticism and applies these approaches to cinematic representations of women. Films illustrating particular genres, as well as feminist and ''women's'' films, are discussed and critiqued. We will consider the role of film in our understandings of sex, gender, and sexuality, as well as race, class and disability. Through discussions and writing we will work to discern relevant social, political, ideological, and aesthetic concepts in the media we examine. We will look at contemporary Hollywood and independent cinema, US and some international films by both established and emerging filmmakers.
Aidan Smith, Director, Newcomb Scholars, Newcomb College Institute | BIO
How might gender influence the way women see themselves and tell their life stories? In this course, we will analyze works of "life writing" by women in the 20th and 21st centuries: memoirs, personal essays, self-portraits, and other forms of self-representation in literature and visual culture. We will analyze these works through the lens of gender, examining the social and historical contexts that influence how women perceive and represent themselves. In addition to textual self-portrayals, we will view self-portraits on another kind of page: print photography. While studying the visual alongside the verbal, we will discuss such themes as gender and sexuality, family and community, and the cultural standards of beauty and taboo.
Molly Pulda, Administrative Assistant Professor, Newcomb College Institute | BIO
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.
**This course includes a service learning component**
Nicole Ralston, Program Manager, Center for Public Service | BIO