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Fall 2015 Seminars

Transfer 129 is a new course being offered as a pilot (in partnership with the Humanities Center) opportunity for transfer students. Similar to our FYS 129 seminar, students will immerse themselves into the academic culture of UT by engaging with top professors through their own research and interests.  This seminar is listed as a 1-credit course and carries a grading scale of P (Pass) or NC (No Credit).

Fall 2015 seminars

Sacred Biographies of the Buddha

CRN: 51027
Section: 201

Rachelle Scott
Associate Professor in Religious Studies

Seminar Meeting Time: Wednesdays 10:10—11:00am
Email: rscott@utk.edu

Description
Faculty Bio

The stories of gods and goddesses, sages and prophets, saints and renouncers are central to the religious traditions of the world because they contain essential truths about how a particular religion views the world and its inhabitants. In this class, we will examine the figure of the Buddha as a symbol of and for perfection in the Buddhist tradition – from an analysis of his sacred biography, to the consecration of Buddha images, the power of Buddha amulets, and the philosophical analysis of Buddha-nature itself. In so doing, we will explore differing interpretations of Buddha-ness within various historical and cultural contexts.

I am an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies. I teach courses on a variety of topics related to the religions of Asia, including Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia, Theravada Buddhism, and Religion, Culture, and Power in Contemporary Asia. My research focuses on religious practice in contemporary Thailand, and I am currently working on my second book, which examines sacred stories about prosperity goddesses in the popular literature of Thailand.

Maus and Interpretation

CRN: 51028
Section: 202
Amy Elias
Professor in English

Seminar Meeting Time: Mondays 12:20—1:10pm
Email: aelias2@utk.edu

Description
Faculty Bio

Why should we read comic books in college? We will read Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer prize-winning graphic novel Maus to answer this question. Together we will read the text and grapple with its many meanings by looking at it through different interpretative lenses that students will use in other college classes: psychoanalytic criticism, memory and trauma studies, historical and archival criticism, ethics, and formalist theory addressing the relation between text and image.

I am a professor in the UT English Department and teach contemporary literatures and narrative theory, and I teach science fiction, graphic novel, and historical fiction as sidelines. My own research focuses on theories of interpretation in literature and the other contemporary arts.

The Critical Toolkit

CRN: 51029
Section: 203
Misty Anderson
Professor in English

Seminar Meeting Time: Wednesdays 1:25—2:15pm
Email: manderson@utk.edu

Description
Faculty Bio

This once-a-week course will give you an overview of major schools of critical thought in most humanities and many social science courses. We will use examples from the courses you are currently taking and talk about how critical concepts from gender studies, Marxist/materialist thought, psychoanalysis, linguistics, post-colonial studies, performance theory, and critical race theory can help you find ways to think and talk about the material in advanced courses. We will also discuss intersectional approaches to identity that look at how the overlapping categories of class, gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality shape human experience.

Misty Anderson is a professor of English and an adjunct professor of Theatre. She works on British literature and culture from 1660-1800, with additional interests in theatre history, performance studies, gender studies, and religious studies.