CLAC Offerings For 2022-2023

Fall 2022

CGST 218/SPAN 204/EDST204: Teaching Spanish K-12: Second Language Pedagogy (CLAC .50) [Spanish], Prof. Ana Perez-Girones

This is a service-learning course in which students learn basic principles of language pedagogy and language acquisition to inform their teaching of Spanish to children at one of the Middletown public schools. Readings in English and Spanish; class discussion and assignments in Spanish.

CGST 221/CEAS 211: Food in Japanese Media (CLAC.50)

This 0.50 CLAC section is conducted in Japanese and will feature Japanese-language media (documentaries, films, TV shows, anime, and some texts such as news articles and manga). It is designed to supplement CEAS 210: From Tea to Connecticut Rolls: Defining Japanese Culture Through Food. All materials and discussion will be in Japanese. There may be some writing assignments depending on ability. The section is open to students with Japanese-language ability, from intermediate level to native speakers. With the instructor's approval, this section may be taken independently of the parent course. Evaluation will be primarily based on participation, effort, and completion of assignments.

CGST 224/PHIL 151: Living a Good Life: Chinese Lab(CLAC .25) [Chinese], Prof. Stephen Angle

This optional "lab" class is intended for students (1) who have taken or are currently taking PHIL 210: Living a Good Life; and (2) who have little or no exposure to classical Chinese. Each weekly session will introduce students to aspects of the classical Chinese language--the written language of pre-20th-century China. Students will be able to read (in Chinese) and discuss (in English) key passages from the Confucian classics on which the Living a Good Life course is partly based. No previous knowledge of Chinese (classical or modern) is necessary.

CGST 225/ PHIL 152: Living a Good Life: Greek Lab (CLAC .25) [Greek], Prof. Tushar Irani

This optional "lab" class is intended for students (1) who have taken or are currently taking Phil 210: Living a Good Life; and (2) who have little or no exposure to Classical Greek. Each weekly session will introduce students to aspects of Attic Greek--the written language of most of the Greek texts we will be studying this semester. Students will be able to read (in Greek) and discuss (in English) key passages from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Epictetus' Encheiridion, on which the Living a Good Life course is partly based. No previous knowledge of Greek (classical or modern) is necessary.

CGST 266/ENVS 188: Neotropical Acuatic Ecosystems: Their Importance, Sustainable Use and Conservation (CLAC 1.0)

This course will examine why the Orinoco and Amazon basins in South America harbor a biological richness much larger than other river basins around the world. About 50% of all higher plant species of the world are included in these basins. Data on vertebrates showed that about 3,000 freshwater fish species, thousands of birds (migratory and local), and hundreds of amphibians, reptiles, and mammals have been found so far in those basins geographically included in six countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. We will examine the key factors that have affected their historical-geological development, the actual richness, and the threats to sustainable development and conservation. We will ask questions about the nature and interactions of the key factors and agents that harbor and transformed the high ichthyological and other aquatic biota diversity, reflected by the wide range of landscapes and aquatic ecosystems included in those basins. We will try to identify fragile aquatic ecosystems depending upon the biological richness, endemicity, importance for local communities, and potential threats. We will examine the current trends in the fisheries, forest exploitation, and agriculture for human consumption, noting that stocks of many species of fish are in steep decline, and that current fishing practices are not sustainable. Finally, the major impacts and threats faced by the fishes and aquatic ecosystems of the Orinoco River Basin are discussed with the purpose of studying potential plans for sustainable development. The course is presented in a reading/discussion format in which all readings, writings, and discussions will be in Spanish.

CGST 285/MUSC 285: Global Hip Hop of the Non-Anglophone World (CLAC.50) [multiple languages], Prof. Eric Charry

This optional lab class is intended for students who are currently taking MUSC295: Global Hip Hop. Proficiency in a language other than English is required. Each student will present to the class a single piece of their choice in a non-English language every other week (for a total of five presentations). Presenters will provide the class with written lyrics, both in the original language and in English translation. In lieu of analyzing recordings by others, students have the option to compose their own non-English rap songs and record (or perform) them for in-class discussion. The final paper will tie the five presentations together in a single format document (or website). Class discussion will be in English, but the topics will all be rap lyrics and hip hop/youth culture in the non_anglophone world.

CGST 320: La cultura y la historia de la España islámica (CLAC .50) [Spanish], Prof. Abderrahman Aissa

This course will be taught in Spanish, and spans a timeline between 711 and 1492, i.e., from the date of the conquest/invasion of Iberia by Muslim troops to the fall of Granada and the expulsion of Muslims and Jews from Spain. Before starting discussion of the course material, students will be introduced to Arabic sound and script, as well as some common vocabulary and lexical concepts shared between Spanish and Arabic. This makes sense because Muslim culture and the Arabic language were present in Iberia for the better part of 800 years.

We will discuss not only the main events that took place during the Muslim occupation of parts of Iberia but also the cultural legacy Muslims and Jews left behind in the peninsula after they were expelled in 1492, especially in the realms of art, science, language, architecture, and le savoir-vivre. We will look at the different theories put forth by scholars about the conquest/invasion of the peninsula, in regard to the ease and speed with which the peninsula was overrun by Muslims. We will examine the hereafter and the consequences of the expulsion of Muslims and Jews on the Iberian peninsula as well as the neighboring territories. Finally, we will make a jump to the 21st century and try to connect some dots by looking at the current situation in and around the Strait of Gibraltar, particularly the influx of illegal immigrants from North Africa and sub-Saharan countries, and the ensuing issues.

CGST 323/CJST 315: Hebrew in the Media: From National Literature to International Films and TV Shows (CLAC .50)

This new language course is offered as an enrichment opportunity to students with intermediate or advanced Hebrew skills who are interested in improving all their language skills and/or acquiring additional linguistic and cultural preparation for study abroad in Israel. Cultural activities including participating in the series Contemporary Israeli Voices and Lunch and Learn meetings with native speakers are part of the course. The course explores the changes in Israeli society as it moves from national ideological literature to the exploration of new multi-cultural media such as films and TV shows and thus gaining swift international fame.

CGST 331/LAT 330: Love and Suffering in Ancient Rome (CLAC .50)

In this CLAC course, students with some background in ancient Latin will read selections of the extant sources on love and suffering in Roman myth, history, and thought. The sources that we will cover will be drawn from diverse genres and periods: historiography, epic poetry, lyric poetry, and comedy. This diversity will offer a unique opportunity to students to identify and analyze the intersections of age, class, status, gender, and ethnicity and the way they shaped Roman ideology on "love." We will be looking at how cultural practice shapes language, how ideology shapes law, and how literature challenged cultural norms of love and marriage, all the while unpacking and interrogating the Roman belief that love had no place in the citizen life dedicated to serving the state: love produces suffering. In turn, we will reflect on the ideological shift in the last 150 years that has come to dominate "western" beliefs on love and marriage, that is, "all you need is love," over family, friends, and society, despite the obstacles: suffering produces love.

The selections of readings will be drawn primarily from what the students read in translation in the parent course. The final selection will be based on the level of the students. This CLAC is conceived as appropriate for students on the intermediate and advanced level of ancient Latin.

 Spring 2023

CGST 234/RUSS 234: Introduction to Russian and Soviet Cinema (CLAC.50) [Russian], Prof. Roman Utkin

This course provides an introduction to the history and poetics of Soviet and Russian cinema-in Russian. From the avant-garde experimentation of Lev Kuleshov, Sergei Eisenstein, and Dziga Vertov to the masterpieces of Andrei Tarkovsky, Sergei Parajanov, and Kira Muratova, the course will explore the development of Russian films as artistic medium and as national tradition. The discussion and comparative analyses of different forms and genres, including silent cinema, propaganda films, blockbusters, and auteur cinema, will be situated within the cultural, political, and aesthetic contexts of the Soviet Union and contemporary Russia. Students will learn the key works, names, events, and concepts of the Russian cinematic tradition. They will develop skills in analyzing and interpreting films and will acquire the basic critical terminology of film studies in Russian and English. They will also learn how film form and aesthetics are conditioned by technology, ideology, economics, theory, tradition, and culture. The overarching goal is to see how cinema in Russia and the Soviet Union has created and contested narratives of history and identity, how cinema has served the interest of the state, and how it has defied them. This class consists of lecture and focused discussion of films. It will be taught in Russian and is open to students who have successfully completed RUSS202, as well as to heritage and native speakers. Students can expect to practice speaking Russian and honing their writing skills.

CGST 252/CHIN 303Chinese Calligraphy (CLAC.25)

This 0.25 CLAC course will provide students with a brief understanding of the art of Chinese calligraphy through calligraphy practice. They will learn about the characteristics of Chinese calligraphy from the "Four Treasures of the Study," as the tools of calligraphy (writing brush, ink stick, ink stone, and paper). They will understand the development history of Chinese calligraphy from five basic scripts of Seal (zhuanshu), Clerical (lishu), Standard (kaishu), Semi-cursive (xingshu), and Cursive (caoshu). The course focuses on imitation and practice of the Standard script kaishu. Prerequisite: Current or future Chinese class students are preferred.

CGST 253/CHIN 305: East Asian Culture Through Mandopop (CLAC.50) [Chinese], Prof. Ying Jia Tan

Even after the meteoric rise of K-Pop in recent years, Mandarin Chinese language pop music, also known as Mandopop, remains a highly popular genre that influences East Asian popular culture. This course introduces students to the literary history and cultural forces that shaped Chinese popular music. The songs featured in the syllabus serve as a soundtrack to the "Introduction to History: Foundations of East Asian Cultures," as the themes largely mirror the contents of the parent course.

CGST 304/HIUR 303: Urdu Literature and Poetry (CLAC 1.0) [Hindi-Urdu], Prof. HM FazaleHaq

This course is specifically designed for students who have advanced skills in the Urdu language. The syllabus includes readings that range from classic to current traditions. You will read Mir Taqi Mir, Mirza Ghalib, Iqbal, Nasir Kazmi, Sadat Hassan Manto, Ishfaq Ahmad, Bano Qudsia, Abdullah Hussein, and many more. The main goal of the course is to familiarize you with Urdu literary traditions. You will also have opportunities to improve your expository and creative writing skills in Urdu by completing various projects and assignments. Course topics include the development of Urdu, Urdu poetry, and Urdu prose.

CGST 333/ITAL 333: The Cosmos of Dante's Comedy-Medieval Italian Lab (CLAC.50) [Italian], Prof. Marco Aresu

This optional lab class is dedicated to students who are taking or have taken RL&L 226 (The Cosmos of Dante's Comedy) and want to read and discuss sections of Dante's masterwork in Italian. The lab is designed for upper-intermediate and advanced learners of Italian, but students with reading knowledge of Italian should contact the instructor if they feel this course may be appropriate for them. 

CGST 380/ARAB 380: Arabic in Translation: Arabic-English & vice versa (CLAC .50) [Arabic], Prof. Abderrahman Aissa

This course is aimed at introducing students of Arabic, who are already advanced in the Arabic language and have a decent command of it, to the art of translation--namely, translation between Arabic and English. After an overview of translation concepts and techniques, we will study and tackle samples from news media, literature, publicity announcements, novels, and a wide range of actual translation assignments. The course will be conducted in Arabic, except for the parts where English has to be used as part of the translation processes.

CGST 414/CJST 414: Israeli Cinema (CLAC 1.0) [Hebrew], Prof. Dalit Katz

This Hebrew course will be linked to the a parent film course, taught in English. This course is targeted toward students with very advanced knowledge of the Hebrew language. Students will mostly view the same films as the parent class, with special attention to the Hebrew language. We will analyze, discuss, and write on each of the films. The focus of the course will be to map the cultural and social changes in Israeli society reflected in the transformation in format and themes of Israeli films. Scholar visits will be part of the course, and students will attend cultural enrichment activities as part of the course curriculum. This course may be repeated for credit.