Fall 2019 Courses

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40 YEARS of Transformational Learning


Welcome to the New College course list for Fall 2019. All students are invited to take New College courses to satisfy University of Alabama core requirements or pursue subjects they are passionate about. We believe that a diverse classroom environment is imperative to learning, and we welcome students from other departments and disciplines to register for New College classes. Unless specifically noted, there are no prerequisites for these courses.

This list is divided into two sections: (1) courses that fulfill New College seminar requirements, and (2) other courses connected to New College. To the right of course titles, students will find two types of information in parentheses: UA core designations (if applicable: FA, HU, L, N, SB, W) and New College seminar designations (if applicable: CC, ESC, SPSC). This second group of designations is for the use of New College students only. New College students should pay special attention to the section on seminar requirements that follows.

Seminar Requirements

New College students must take one seminar in each of the areas listed below and at least five New College seminars. Students are required to complete at least two lower-division seminars (from different thematic designations) and two upper-division seminars (from any designation, provided that all three themes are represented in students’ coursework).

New College Seminar Thematic Designations

Creativity and Culture (CC)

These seminars explore the world of the mind, specifically the realms of human thought and expressive practice. They interrogate the beliefs, values, and dispositions that comprise culture, and focus on essential questions about what it means to be human. Seminars focus the following on such issues as the urge to create and to appreciate creativity and perspectives on class, gender, race, and place.

Environment, Sustainability, and Conservation (ESC)

These seminars explore the physical world, especially relations among elements of the natural world, and focus on relationships between humans and their environment. Of special interest is the impact humans have had on the environment, including issues of climate change, resource depletion, and pollution. Besides identifying problems, seminars also interrogate pathways that avoid environmental destruction by promoting sustainability and conservation.

Social Problems and Social Change (SPSC)

These seminars explore the social world, the problems societies confront and the ways human groups cause and respond to social change. Specific areas of interest include the basis for cooperation and conflict within and between societies; extremes of human destructiveness such as genocide and ethnic conflict; historical dimensions or antecedents of contemporary problems; civic engagement, social responsibility, and other means of promoting healthy communities.

Other Opportunities in New College


In addition to serving students who wish to self-design a major or “depth study,” New College also houses various minors. If you are interested in a self-designed minor or applying for a minor in “Civic Engagement and Leadership,” please see Dr. Julia Cherry ( For information on the Natural Resources Management Minor, contact Dr. Carl Williams ( For information on the Environmental Studies Minor, contact Dr. Michael Steinberg (

Independent Study

If you would like to design and receive credit for an independent study during the Fall 2019 semester, you must see Prof. John Miller (

Reminders for New College Students

Pre-Advising Checklist

All New College students should go to the “Resources” section of the New College webpage to download and complete the Pre-Advising Checklist before advising each semester

Third Year Review

All juniors are responsible for initiating conversation with their advisor about the Third Year Review. Completion of the Third Year Review is mandatory for graduation in Interdisciplinary Studies and must be completed before enrolling in NEW 495 Capstone Seminar and Senior Project.

Course Listings for Fall 2019

Required Courses

NEW 100-001: Introduction to Interdisciplinary and Integrative Studies (does not count as NC Seminar)

Julia Cherry
R 3:30 – 5:20 pm, LY324
2 Hours

This course is required for all New College student, who usually take it within their first two semesters in New College. It aims to help students better understand the opportunities provided by New College, as well as expose them to ideas behind interdisciplinary study and themes New College classes will cover. There will be required readings on the idea of interdisciplinary as well as projects and presentations. Although non-New College students are welcome, this course’s intent is specifically geared toward those interested in, or entering into, New College.

Appropriate to its academic subject matter, this course seeks to perform multiple tasks. We want to bring you fully into New College, get you up to speed on rules and requirements, and give you the support you need to succeed on your academic journey. We want to introduce you to innovative college programs like New College and hopefully make you feel part of an extended American educational tradition. We want to begin the task of making you into critical, engaged, and skillful interdisciplinary thinkers. And, finally, we want to give you the opportunity to come together as a community of learners.

NEW495-001: Capstone Seminar & Senior Project (BY PERMISSION ONLY) (does not count as NC seminar)

Julia Cherry
M 3:30- 5:20 pm, LY324
2 Hours

The senior project is required of all New College students in their senior year. It gives students the opportunity to put into practice interdisciplinary and integrative methods of scholarship while refining their knowledge of their depth study area. Projects must result in a piece of interdisciplinary writing and a twenty-minute oral presentation at our New College Senior Research Symposium.


  • Students planning to attend graduate or professional schools (e.g., Master’s, Law School, Medical School) are strongly encouraged to take NEW 495 in the Fall semester. This will allow you to use the senior project as part of your applications.
  • ONLY students who have completed the Third Year Review may enroll NEW 495.

New College Seminars

NEW 212: Creativity (FA/HU) (CC)

001: Amy Pirkle, MW 12:00 – 1:50 pm, LY 202
002: Chris Davenport, TR 11:30-1:20 pm, LY 319
003: John Miller, MW 10:00 -11:50 am, LY 202
004: TBA, MW 11:00 – 12:50 pm, LY 306
4 hours

This interdisciplinary seminar uses creativity as an organizing principle. Human culture and consciousness are explored through reading, writing, the arts, projects, studios, and discussion.

NEW 213-001: Honors Creativity (FA/HU) (CC)

Holland Hopson
TR 11:00-12:50 pm, LY 202
4 Hours

Registration requires enrollment in UA Honors College.

This interdisciplinary seminar uses creativity as an organizing principle. Human culture and consciousness are explored through reading, writing, the arts, project, studios, and discussion. As an Honors College approved New College seminar, this course can be counted both toward New College seminar requirements and Honors College course hour requirements.

NEW 215: Perspective on Environmental Literature (HU) (ESC)

Michael Steinberg
T 3:00pm – 06:50 pm, LY215
4 Hours

This course surveys the ways in which nature is expressed by media forms, including literature, documentary, newspapers, and journal articles. It also examines the evolution of empirical, scientific awareness of nature. In other words, how have our views, awareness, and uses of nature changed through time? Through close readings and viewing of a wide variety of environmental media, we will explore the theory and practice of about nature-especially the description of landscapes, wildlife, plant life and a variety of ecosystems where human nature has integrated itself or set itself apart from nature as the literal and figurative ground of human being. We will study nature media as it has been used by philosophers, politicos, literary writers, naturalists and scientists. And we will give ourselves a strong intellectual and creative background in thinking about contemporary issues related to nature and the environment.

NEW 230: Environmental Studies (ESC)

Michael Steinberg
TR 9:00am – 10:50pm, LY215
4 Hours

This course engages students in the study of environmental problems and solutions. It includes an examination of fundamental assumptions about the ethical human-nature relation and of how to value nature. The approach is interdisciplinary, drawing on the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences

NEW 237: Cooperation and Conflict (SB) (SPSC)

001: Vincent Willis TR 9:30-11:20 am, LY 319
002: Natalie Adams TR 1:30- 3:20 pm, LY 202
003: Emma Bertolaet MW12:00 – 1:50 pm, LY 215
4 Hours

This seminar will explore the role of cooperation and conflict in society through class dialog and examining historical conflicts as well as social movements and how the conflict has been resolved. Students will identify sources of conflict and learn to communicate within the midst of conflict. Students will explore ways that conflict can be approached in a productive manner. This course carries a Service Learning (SL) component. Students are required to volunteer for at least 12 hours in a project approved by the course instructor.

NEW 238-001 Honors: Cooperation and Conflict (SB) (SPSC)

Marysia Galbraith
MW 10:00-11:50 am, LY 215
4 Hours

Registration requires enrollment in UA Honors College.

This seminar will explore the role of cooperation and conflict in society through class dialog and examining historical conflicts as well as social movements and how the conflict has been resolved. Students will identify sources of conflict and learn to communicate within the midst of conflict. Students will explore ways that conflict can be approached in a productive manner. As an Honors College approved New College seminar, this course can be counted both toward New College seminar requirements and Honors College course hour requirements.

This course carries a Service Learning (SL) component. Students are required to volunteer for at least 12 hours in a project approved by the course instructor.

NEW 243: Natural Science I: Interdisciplinary Sciences (N) (ESC)

001: Amanda Espy-Brown, M 1:00-4:50pm, LY 306
002: Amanda Espy-Brown, W 1:00-4:50pm, LY 306
003: Leah Connell, T 1:00-4:50pm, LY 306
004: Leah Connell, R 1:00-4:50pm, LY 306

This seminar demonstrates how laboratory and field research play an essential role in the understanding and advancement of science. Several multidisciplinary experiments and exercises are performed in an effort to increase scientific literacy and to provide knowledge for addressing the scientific basis of real-world problems. Examples of assignments include laboratory write-ups, student presentations, and discussions of scientific topics. Readings are taken from a variety of sources providing fundamental scientific knowledge on topics related to laboratory exercises, as well as books about the history and practice of science. Students participate in several outdoor field trips and labs that require moderate physical activity (e.g., canoeing, hiking, wading in streams).

NEW 273-001: Social Issues and Ethics (SB) (SPSC)

Natalie Adams
TR 9:30-11:20 am, LY 306
4 Hours

This seminar is designed to develop an awareness of the methodologies and concerns of the social sciences as they relate to ethical inquiry. The primary focus is on the nature of inquiry and models for the analysis of ethical issues confronting the modern world. Students will explore the complexity of moral dilemmas and effective societal responses to competing moral obligations in the areas of health care, socio-economic disparities, affirmative action, immigration, and racism.

NEW 300-001: Outdoor Leadership (ESC)

Stephen Middleton
R 1:30 – 4:20 pm, Witt Center
3 Hours

The goal of this course is to prepare students to successfully and safely plan and lead small group excursions into wilderness, backcountry, and front-country outdoor areas using various outdoor recreational activities as a medium. There will also be an emphasis placed on teaching techniques and presentation skills as students will be required to present information to the class.

NEW 332-001: Experimental Music (W) (CC)

Andrew Dewar
W 2:00- 4:50 pm, LY202
3 Hours

This course will introduce you to a variety of theories and practices of musical experimentalism in a global context. We’ll begin by defining what experimental music is -what is the impulse that drives some artists to push outside the realms of their traditions, or even outside what is normally called music? Rather than limiting our view to experimentalism in Western art music, as has largely been the case in surveys of this subject, we will also listen to and study experiments in jazz, rock, hip hop, reggae and other global music to put the experimentalist aesthetic in a broad historical and cultural context. In addition to critical reading, discussion and listening we will perform experimental music compositions to encourage a “hands-on” engagement with the subject. Writing proficiency is required for a passing grade in this course.

NEW 334-001: Everyday Forestry in Alabama (ESC)

Stanley Ford
M 2:00- 4:50 pm, LY319
3 Hours

This course will prepare students to understand natural resource practices to better manage one’s woodlands in a rural or urban situation. This course is for any student interested in basic forestry management techniques and should serve future home and land owners, individuals interested in conservation issues, and as an introduction to a broader field for students with professional interest in forestry or environmental studies. This course will discuss basic forest management concepts in order to improve the woodland’s habitat according to the objectives of a landowner. Students will learn how to identify all major tree species in Alabama as well as all major forest insects and diseases. Other topics that-will be discussed will include compass and pacing, forest site evaluation, timber estimation, topographic map interpretation, and invasive woodland species. This course does not presuppose any previous knowledge and no prerequisite is required. Much of this course will include “hands-on” outdoor field trips.

NEW 365-001 Environmental Policy (SPSC/ESC)

Ellen Spears
TR 2:00-3:15 pm, LY319
3 Hours

This seminar explores the ethical dimensions of ecological relationships, with particular attention to conceptions of nature, justice, and environmental health. We will consider classical ethical concepts, such as utilitarianism and natural law theories, and contemporary environmental approaches, including biocentrism, deep ecology, environmental justice, eco-feminism, and sustainability. This course will be highly interactive, inviting critical thinking about changing ideas about the human place in the natural world. Examining various case studies, we will explore the ethical debates surrounding such topics as genetically altered crops, global climate change, biodiversity, and emerging crises in global environmental public health. Readings also address corporate responsibility, science ethics, and public policy. We will consider the ethics of sustainability from the campus to the transnational level. Students write regular short commentaries, one short and one long research essay, and will be evaluated on seminar participation.

NEW 407-001: Landscapes of the South (W) (ESC/CC)

Ellen Spears
TR 9:30 – 10:45 am, LY202
3 Hours

After a brief overview of major themes in environmental history in various regions of the U.S. South, we concentrate on the cultural, social, and natural ecology of the Mississippi watershed from St. Louis to the Gulf Coast. This interdisciplinary American Studies course examines the river dubbed “the Body of the Nation,” its history, cultural geography, and natural ecology. Through course readings and contemporary film and photography, we explore human interventions into the riverine and coastal plain ecology. We consider the river’s hydrology, including flooding, from the Great Flood of 1927 to the impact of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Environmental justice concerns are highlighted, along with environmental public health concerns on “Cancer Alley,” and the racial history of the Mississippi Delta. This course meets a college core writing requirement; a demonstration of writing proficiency is required for a passing grade in this course.

NEW 415-001: Gender, Sexuality & Pop Culture (W) (SPSC\CC)

Catherine Roach
M 2:00- 4:50 pm, LY202

What constitutes “femininity” and “masculinity” in 21st century America? How have gender roles changed? Is gender performance? What are the cultural expectations around sexuality, and how is it influenced and policed in society? Includes professor’s current case research in this field. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.

NEW 438-001: Overview of American Law (W) (SPSC)

John Miller
TR 12:30-2:20 pm, LY215
4 Hours

This course will teach students about key components of the American legal system using movies, fiction, current events, and academic readings. Through written assignments, presentations, and discussion, students will gain basic knowledge about various bodies of law, conceptions of law/ justice, and the implications of law and society on one another. This course would be beneficial for students who plan to attend law school, students making up their minds about law school, and those who just want to know more about law. Students will learn introductory concepts relevant to criminal law, torts, contracts, wills/ trusts, constitutional law, and procedure/ evidence.

NEW 445-001: Technology and Humans (W) (CC/SPSC)

Barbara Brickman
MW 12:30-1:45 pm, LY319
3 hours

This interdisciplinary seminar provides an introduction to the key debates and questions raised by the increasingly close relationship between humans and advanced technologies. The course will draw on critical works, as well as narrative fiction and popular culture texts, to examine how a dependence on technology might change the very definition of “human” and what subsequent ethical, psychological, and philosophical dilemmas result from this close relationship “Emigrants to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from the Earth. But when androids didn’t want to be identified, they just blended in.” While many readers might quickly recognize the preceding quotation as a typical sci-fi plot (it’s actually describing Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), few comprehend how close we are, at the start of the 21st century, to the world described by writers like Dick. How many of us text with a network of friends every day or depend on social networks, text, and e-mail for basic communication? How often have we allowed the playing of a video game or a search on the internet to consume not minutes, but hours? Some might go so far as to say not that we will someday merge with our technologies, but that we are already cyborgs. This course begins with the presumption in the last sentence and extends it to ask: if we are irrevocably joined with technology, so what? What are the consequences of such a union? We will use popular and critical essays and some literature and film to examine how the union with technology might change the very definition of “human,” and, hopefully, you will learn for yourselves the issues that arise from these ethical and philosophical dilemmas by spending time throughout the course in an immersive on-line environment. This course meets the New College designation for Creativity and Culture.

NEW 490-002: Special Topics: Global Health (ESC/SPSC)

Amanda Espy-Brown
MW 9:00-10:50 am, LY319
3 Hours

This course explores contemporary global health issues and challenges through an interdisciplinary perspective using frameworks of both the natural and social sciences. Key concepts in current and emerging global health such as disease burden, health determinants and disparities, health programs, interventions and policies will be covered. The social, economic, political and environmental factors that affect health and help shape health initiatives will be examined on a variety of scales ranging from the local to the global. Students will explore global health topics through independent reading, lectures, class discussion and service learning experiences.

NEW 490-004: Special Topics: Snake & Frog Hunting (ESC)

Scott Jones
M 9:00 – 9:50 am, LY306
W 8:00 – 10:50 am, LY306
4 Hours

This seminar explores the relationship between reptiles, amphibians, and people. Students will explore topics relating to the natural history, cultural references, and myths about these organisms. There will also be laboratory time to examine preserved specimens and field trips to look for animals in their habitats. Examples of assignments include research papers, student presentations, and discussions of scientific topics. Readings are taken from a variety of sources providing fundamental scientific knowledge on topics related to laboratory exercises. This is a field-based class that involves frequent outdoor excursions and hands-on activities. For New College students, this seminar counts as an Environment, Sustainability, and Conservation (ESC) seminar. There are no prerequisites.

NEW 490-005: Special Topics: Museum Studies (SPSC)

William Bomar
W 2:00- 4:50 pm, LY215
3 Hours

This course utilizes case studies, analysis of timely typical issues, and problem based learning exercises to explore many facets of museum studies relevant to administration and management in notforprofit museum types (art, history, natural history, or science/technology). Intended for students considering a career in arts administration, or museums specifically, this course provides and inter-disciplinary introduction to museum work. Students will gain an understanding of the history and philosophy of museums, the role of museums in society, collection policies, governance, strategic planning, budgeting, grant-writing, museum ethics, multicultural issues, and legal issues in museums. Behind-the-scenes visits to museums and guest speakers will be included.

NEW 490-006: Special Topics: Zen Meditation, Experimental Arts, and Time (CC)

Henry Lazer
M 2:00- 4:50 pm, LY215
3 Hours

The course will involve an introduction to Zen Buddhism, relying on Shunryu Suzuki’s classic Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, as well as an additional text or two, with attention to Zen perspectives on time, including Dogen’s “Uji” and Heschel’s book Sabbath. We’ll learn and practice zazen (sitting meditation). Through the lens of Zen practice, we will explore a range of experimental arts/artists, with particular emphasis on works that involve our relationship to time, perhaps including contemporary music, performance art, environmental art, film, and dance. Artists we might consider include John Cage, Marina Abramovic, Andy Goldsworthy, Linda Montano, Richard Linklater, Eiko and Koma, Bill Viola, and Kazuaki Tanahashi. Students will both discuss the art we examine and make some related art works of their own.

Non-Seminar Courses

The following courses do not fulfill New College seminar requirements

NEW 140: Sexuality & Society (SB) (does not count as NC seminar)

Catherine Roach
TR 11:00 – 12:15 pm, RH355
3 Hours

American society today features more cultural acceptance and legal protection than ever before for sexual and gender diversity, but we don’t always know how to live out these changing norms and how to talk about controversial sexual material in the public sphere. This course engages debates around sexuality as central to human behavior and to social structures, in both America and the world. It provides an overview of the “new sexual revolution” and the growing interdisciplinary field of sexuality studies. The course adopts a consent-based model of sexual wellbeing. Its approach is sex-positive-aiming toward sexual justice, responsibility, and pleasure-within a classroom that functions as an open and affirming space for discussion and learning. Students gain the knowledge, critical thinking skills, and cultural competence to evaluate for themselves issues of sexuality in society.

FA 200: Introduction to Fine Arts (FA) (does not count as NC seminar)

001: Barbara Brickman MW 3:00- 4:15 pm LY226, 3 hours
002: Jennifer Caputo TR 11:00 – 12:15 pm LY226, 3 hours

An introduction to the fine arts, drawing especially on campus and community cultural events. This course is usually open to incoming freshmen.

NEW 201-001: Recreation for Life (does not count as NC seminar)

Marysia Galbraith
Independent Study
1 Hour (pass/fail)

Interested in taking up a new physical or health-related activity? Want to run a 5K? Take up karate? Walk a section of the Appalachian Trail? NEW 201 is an opportunity to motivate you to take that first step. Grading is “Pass/Fail” only. For information, contact Marysia Galbraith

NEW 310 – NEW 321: Independent Study (does not count as NC seminar)

1 to 15 credit hours

Go to for more information and schedule an appointment with John Miller (mille03 l@ to discuss particulars. Be sure to download and read instructions.

NEW 338-001: New College Review I (does not count as NC seminar)

Amy Pirkle
W 3:00 – 4:50 pm, LY216A
2 Hours

This workshop provides students with practical experience in writing and publishing a special interest publication, the New College Review. Students gain experience in thematic approaches to a publication, conceptual formation for an audience, socially responsible publishing, and writing and editing persuasive essays. Students are strongly encouraged to take both NEW 338 and NEW 339 in sequence.

NEW 490-001: Sound Art (does not count as a NC seminar)

Holland Hopson
MW 3:00 – 5:45 pm, WO207
3 Hours

This studio art course explores the use of sound in creative work, pushing the boundaries of fine art, design and media production. Topics will cover practices and techniques related to sound art and time-based art including sound sculpture and installation, sound design for digital media, performance and more. Students will develop their own creative projects using sound as a primary element.