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California State University, Long Beach

Special Topic Course Descriptions

The courses described below are offered under "Selected Topics" course numbers. Departments offer Selected Topics only occasionally and the selection is different every semester. Selected Topics courses do not repeat material presented by regular semester courses.

Spring 2008

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AH 497/597 Section 1 Animal Images

This course examines representations of animals and animality in 18th and 19th century Europe. Topics will include natural history, evolution, animal welfare, and physiognomy.

AH 497/597 Section 2 Orientation

This course explores Western printmakers in Japan from 1900-1950, investigating the impact of gender, sexual orientation and Orientalism in their work. The course lays the groundwork for a possible exhibition.

ART 490 Section 1 New York Onsite

This course is a six day guided tour of galleries, museums, foundations, artist’s studios, and historical architectural sites.

ART 490/590 Section 2 Advanced Typography

This course introduces students to advanced elements of typographic layout and typeface construction. Students further investigate systems, models and mechanics of the past before they are introduced to modern typeface design software. Intensive research will culminate in the design of a simple typeface.

AIS 490 Section 1 Aztec Healing, Language and Culture

This course is an introduction to Aztec healing, language and traditions from 1000AD to present. Students will examine classic Aztec texts and rituals and their descendent traditions among today’s indigenous peoples, Mexicans and Chicanas/os.

ANTH 490/600 Section 1 Ethnographic Film

After exploring some of the classics of anthropological cinema, students will form film crews to complete their own brief ethnographic films over the course of the semester. Students will combine the conceptual and theoretical aspects of anthropological cinema with basic training in the technical aspects of documentary video.

CHLS 490 Section 1 Inequality and Latino Education

This course will focus on the way U.S. society responds to race, ethnicity, gender, and class and how its outcome is unequal access to education for Latinos.

C/LA 490 Section 1 Civic Engagement in the Learning Community

This course is designed to develop organizational, human resource, and leadership skills. It will help students foster their communication, facilitation, and interpersonal abilities through leadership in the community.

CLSC 490 Section 1 Archaeology of Pre-Roman Italy

This course investigates the peoples and culture of pre-Roman Italy, focusing on the archaeological record of the Italian peninsula. The course will include the study of the Villanovan and Etruscan cultures.

CWL 402/502 Section 1 Studies in Middle Eastern Literature and Culture

This is an interdisciplinary course in cultural studies focusing on masterpieces of Middle Eastern literature throughout the ages. Special emphasis will be placed on the 20th century. Readings include Rumi’s poetry and extracts from “The Thousand and One Nights”.

CWL 404/504 Section 1 Women in World Literature

This course will examine a number of influential women writers and film makers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Authors include Isabel Allende, Margaret Atwood, and Kate Chopin.

CWL 448/548 Section 1 Technological and Dystopic Worlds of Science Fiction

This course will examine how science fiction reflects and debates society’s actions and fears of the future concerning science and technology. Particular emphasis will be placed on the notion of dystopia and how technology is crucial for its simultaneous creation/destruction.

CWL 449/549 Section 1 Literature of the Avant-Garde

This course is an intensive study of major avant-garde writers in recent times. These authors are unique, existentialist, and strongly critique contemporary political structure. Authors and works will be considered in relation to social, political, and historical contexts.

CWL 461/561 Section 1 Displacement: Theory and Narrative

This course will consider the interrelationship of various uses of “displacement” by looking at literature and theory regarding exile, diaspora and homelessness by such writers as Freud, Lacan, and Rushdie.

ENGL 469 Section 1 Milton

This course is an intensive study of Milton’s works and the 17th century social, theological, and cultural contexts to which he responded. Students learn to find and use the wealth of secondary works relevant to Milton and his age.

ENGL 469 Section 2 Wilde

This course is an intensive study of plays, prose fiction, poetry, and essays of Oscar Wilde. Primary readings will be supplemented by readings from biographies, Wilde’s literary influences, and 21st century Wilde criticism.

ENGL 479 Section 1 Hawthorne and Melville

This senior seminar provides an indepth study of the literacy art of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville. The work consists of reading novels, a selection of short stories, and poems.

ENGL 488 Section 1 Advanced Argumentation

This course is an intense study and practice of written argumentation.

ENGL 489 Section 1 The Beats

This course is an intensive study of Beat literature and related post-WWII avant-garde movements, focusing on primary texts of the Beat movement.

ENGL 681 Section 1 Keats

This course will offer in-depth study of the youngest of the major English Romantic poets, John Keats. Students will read Keats’ poems, letters, a biography, and critical essays from a variety of theoretical approaches.

ENGL 681 Section 2 Shakespeare

Selected plays by Shakespeare will be situated in the context of the historical transformations and cultural concerns of the early modern period and the plays and non-dramatic writings of Shakespeare’s contemporaries.

ENGL 683 Section 1 History of Composition Instruction

This course will study how writing has been taught, especially development of writing instruction in secondary schools, colleges, and universities. Students will investigate academic theories, political forces, and social issues connected to the teaching of writing.

ENGL 683 Section 2 West Coast Writing After WWII

This course is an intensive study of West Coast poets, novelists, and playwrights active 1946-2006. Students will investigate writers who responded to the Cold war’s “culture of containment” through the small press movement’s social resistance.

ESP 490 Section 1 Water Policies in California

Water policies on pricing and conservation specific to California will be examined, along with recent court decisions that limit the flow of water to Southern California.

FREN 490 Section 1 Introduction to French Critical Theory

This course examines the techniques and terminology of critical theory in the French tradition. Topics include theoretical issues such as the “production” of meaning in texts and its relation to power, politics, ethics, and pleasure.

GEOG 494 Section 1 Austria in the Class and Field

This course will focus on applied geospacial techniques.

HIST 495 Section 1 Celtic Britain to 1611

This course examines the region and peoples of the Irish Sea in comparative perspective. Special attention will be paid to origin of “Celticity” and descriptors for non-English indigenous peoples as well as for modern national movements.

HIST 495 Section 2 Eugenics, Racialism, and Anti-Semitism in American History

This course examines theories of ethnic and racial differences in American society. Topics include the rise of physiognomy, social Darwinism, and racial hygiene movements.

JAPN 490 Section 1 Japan: Its Land, Culture, and People

Students will study the topography, climate, population distribution, natural resources of Japan and learn how they have influenced Japan’s culture, including history, ways of life and language. This course is taught in Japanese with some English reading assignments.

MAE 590/690 Section 1 Linear Matrix Inequalities in Control Systems

This course examines theory and application of linear matrix inequalities (LMI) to optimization and control. Topics include fundamentals of convex optimization and principles of formulation a control problem in the form of LMIs.

PHIL 690 Section 1 Metaphysics

This course will explore central issues in metaphysics concerning identity, ontology, and ontological commitment.

PHIL 690 Section 2 The Nature of Language

This course concerns theories of the nature of language. Students will try to answer the most general philosophical question about language: What is a language?

POSC 493 Section 1 Hurricane Katrina

This course will examine Hurricane Katrina, with an emphasis on New Orleans. Students will not only learn about Katrina in the classroom, they will travel to New Orleans to engage in service learning work to help in the rebuilding effort.

PSY 390 Section 1 Psychology of Stress

This course is an introduction to the scientific study of stress and its relationship to health. Course content will focus on understanding the nature of psychological stress and specific strategies used to help in understanding and managing our own experience of stress.

PSY 390 Section 2 Autism Awareness

This course will introduce students to Autism Spectrum Disorders. Students will examine current understandings and controversies of the disorder, including incidence rates, symptoms and diagnosis.

PSY 390 Section 3 Domestic Violence

This course will take an in-depth look at the problem of domestic violence. Students will learn about different types of violence, prevalence rates, and the etiology of domestic violence. The course will conclude with a preview of prevention programs and public policy interventions to address this national epidemic.

PSY 390 Section 4 Behavioral and Emotional Problems of Children

This course covers research on psychiatric disorders of children from a developmental perspective. The symptoms, causes, course, and prevention of the most important childhood disorders are discussed, including depression, conduct disorder and mental retardation.

SOC 490 Section 1 Sociology of Religion

This course will analyze religion as a social institution (its internal workings as a formal organization and relationship to other institutions and society). Themes emphasized are religion and stratification and the role of religion in enforcing the status quo.

SOC 493 Section 2 Sociology and Pop Culture

This course will apply sociological analysis and methods to studying popular culture in America. Topics include film, music sports, and toys, and include explorations of historical developments, marketing trends, and identity formation.

SPAN 490/590 Section 3 Peruvian Literature

This course is a panorama of the literature of Peru, from the precolonial era to the present,with special attention given to the concept of Otherness and/in the construction of Peruvian identity. Complementing the class will be a variety of cultural elements that will enhance the understanding of the dynamic country.

W/ST 490 Section 1 Contemporary Issues and Masculinities

This course focuses on understanding contemporary social and political issues in relation to masculinity. Thematic areas include: the social construction of masculinity, militarism, men and violence, media and masculinity, men and feminism, and possibilities for change.

UNIV 301I All Sections Restoration, Reinhabitation, and Sustainability

Through a series of guest lectures and small-group discussions, this course will explore ecological restoration as it relates to the disciplines of science, ethics, and activism. It will also analyze and interpret the practices, ethics, and beliefs that underline restoration; and investigate the concept and practice of ecological restoration and its potential as a form of local change intended to address the global crisis of sustainablilty.