Spring 2019 Courses

Download course descriptions as a printable PDF.


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 Spring 2019

Required Couses

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

John Miller
R 3:30 – 5:20 pm, LY 227
2 Hours

This course is required for all New College students, 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 interdisciplinarity 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)

John Miller
R 3:30 – 5:20 pm, LY 227
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 211-002: Perspectives in the Humanities (HU) (ESC/CC/SPSC)

Ellen Spears
MW 3:00 – 4:50 pm, LY 319
4 Hours

This introductory course in the humanities (art, literature, music, etc.) focuses on problem-solving, risk-taking and communication. Human behavior and writing skills are stressed. This section of NEW 211 focuses on conceptions of human-environment interactions as portrayed in documentaries and popular film. The course meets a New College lower-level seminar requirement and holds a New College designation for Environment, Sustainability, and Conservation (ESC).

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

001 Amy Pirkle MW 11:00 – 12:50 pm, LY 202 4 Hours
003 Jennifer Caputo TR 9:30 – 11:20 am, 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 212-002: Creativity and Computers (FA/HU) (CC)

Matthew Bryant
MW 10:00 – 11:50 am, GP 152
4 Hours

This interdisciplinary seminar explores the role of computing in creativity and challenges students to work with computers as creative partners. We will consider computing as an artistic medium through reading, writing, the arts, studios, discussion and hands-on projects. Students from computer science, engineering, arts, and humanities are all welcome.

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

John Miller
TR 12:30 – 2:20 pm, LY 306
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 226- Organic Farming (ESC)

001: Rashmi Grace T 3:00 – 4:50 pm, TBA; W 9:00 – 10:50 am, LY 215 4 Hours
002: Rashmi Grace W 9:00 – 10:50 am, LY 215; R 3:00 – 4:50 pm, TBA 4 Hours

In this course, we will study and practice organic farming. Students will learn and enact the basics of how to grow food organically, including principles of healthy soil, composting, cover crops, seed starting and transplanting, pest control, etc. At the same time, we will address the fundamental questions and issues behind the organic model; Why do it? What are the problems with industrial agriculture? Each week, students will spend one day in the classroom and another day in the “field” –the field location will be at Jeremiah’s Garden, a 1 acre farm site across the street from Holy Spirit Catholic School. Students will be evaluated on their active participation, weekly writing assignments, and a semester-long research and/or community-based project. This course requires students to complete Child Protection Training, a background check, provide their own transportation to the field site, and to engage in moderate physical activity.

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

001: Kim Colburn MW 11:00 – 12:50 pm LY 215 4 Hours
002: Emma Bertolaet TR 11:30 – 1:20 pm LY 202 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)

Natalie Adams
TR 1:30 -3:20 pm, LY 202
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: Leah Connell M 1:00 – 4:50 pm LY 202 4 Hours
002: Amanda Espy-Brown T 12:30 – 4:20 pm LY 319 4 Hours
003: Amanda Espy-Brown W 1:00 – 4:50 pm LY 202 4 Hours

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 215
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 335-001: Everyday Wildlife in Alabama (ESC)

Wayne Ford
M 3:00 – 5:50 pm, BC 246
3 Hours

The goal for this course is to prepare students to understand creative uses of managing wildlife species according to management objectives. This course is intended for any student interested in basic wildlife management techniques and should serve future home and landowners, individuals interested in conservation issues, and as an introduction to a broader field for students with professional interest in environmental studies or natural resources. This course does not presuppose any previous knowledge and no prerequisite is required.

NEW 337-001 Sustainable Home Landscaping (ESC)

Leah Connell
R 3:00- 5:50 pm, LY 215
3 Hours

The purpose of this course is to prepare and encourage students to incorporate the principles of sustainability and the ethics of permaculture into their home or apartment landscape. This course is intended for any student interested in learning the basics of sustainable gardening, water management, pest management, and the use of native plants to provide a backyard habitat for birds and wildlife.

NEW 360-001: Sound Studies (W) (CC)

Andrew Dewar
W 2:00 – 4:50 pm, LY 215

How do we experience, define, use and abuse sound? What elements of a sound determine their meaning to us, and why? What can we learn about the world by focusing on its sounds? An emerging interdisciplinary field of research, sound studies asks these questions and more, in an attempt to uncover the important role of sound in our lives. Why do shopping malls sound like they do? What do cellphone ringtones tell you about a person? How has the changing soundscape of the ocean affected natural process of and wildlife? How is music used to both soothe, entertain, and torture or control people? This interdisciplinary course explores sound in a variety of current and historical global contexts-of which music is only one small part-examining the many ways sound signifies and defines our culture and histories.

NEW 412-001: Songwriting Workshop (W) (CC)

Ted Trost
MW 12:00–1:50 pm, LY 306
4 Hours

Songcraft: songwriting workshop focuses on how songs are made with particular emphasis on lyrics. After a study of various genres (blues, folk, popular) students will produce their own songs. Writing proficiency within this discipline 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, LY 306
3 Hours

What constitutes “femininity” and “masculinity” in 21st century America? How have gender roles changes? 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 435-001: Documenting Justice II (BY PERMISSION ONLY) (SPSC/CC)

Andrew Grace
M 3:00–5:50 pm, TBA
3 Hours

This is an interdisciplinary course in documentary filmmaking, focusing particularly on analyzing the many dimensions of culture and social experience. Students produce a short documentary film on a story of justice or injustice in Alabama.

NEW 436-320: Public Leadership (W) (SPSC)

Dale Wallace
M 6:00–9:50 pm, LY 202
4 Hours

This is a general public leadership course dealing with the skills necessary to lead any organization, group or community. The primary text is The Leadership Challenge by Posner and Kouzes. The secondary text is Good to Great by Jim Collins. The course requires a weekly one page response. There are two papers, including the final. The syllabus reserves the right to administer test if students do not demonstrate sufficient familiarity with assigned reading material.

NEW 439–001: Urban Spaces (W) (ESC/SPSC)

Ellen Spears
TR 11:00am–12:15 pm, GP 234
3 Hours

This interdisciplinary social science course provides an introduction to the cultural and physical ecology of cities. Course readings include scholars in urbanism and urban design. Contemporary urban environmental histories explore population shifts and land use along the urban gradient from the suburbs to urban centers, with attention to housing, transit, air quality, water and sewer infrastructure, pollution, and urban sprawl. While the primary focus is on urbanization in the United States from the late 19th century to the present, comparative examples include metropolitan areas around the globe.

Field visits explore the geophysical and built environments of Tuscaloosa and aid students in observing and assessing key environmental challenges facing urban areas, including reconstruction after ecological disaster. Environmental public health and the role of the ecology of disease (geospatial distribution of asthma, infectious disease, and vector borne illnesses) in shaping cities will be considered. Urban environmental inequalities as well as “green” strategies for the future of sustainable cities will be explored. This course meets a University Core Writing Requirement and New College designations for Environment, Sustainability, and Conservation (ESC) and Social Problems and Social Change (SPSC).

NEW 474-001: Survival (SPSC)

Jennifer Collins
TR 3:30 – 5:20 pm, LY 306
4 Hours

In this seminar, students study the nature of human and societal survival under extreme conditions. Topics range from issues of a global nature to violent crime, prejudice, and disease. Causes, effects, and possible solutions are all considered. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.

NEW 490-001: Ancestry and Heritage (SPSC)

Marysia Galbraith
TR 12:30 – 1:45 pm, LY 215
3 Hours

Who are we and how did we get here? The course explores this question from a variety of directions: socially, in terms of kinship and ethnic and national identity, biologically, in terms of DNA and population movements, and historically, in terms of museums and heritage. Students will learn how to trace family trees using, and do archival research.

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

Amanda Espy-Brown
MW 8:00 – 9:50 am, LY 202
4 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 490-003: Making Music in Digital Age (CC)

Holland Hopson
MW 9:00 – 10:50 am, LY 306
4 Hours

This class explores the impact of digital technology on the production, performance and business of music. We will explore how digital technology is changing the ways we make, experience, buy, sell and market music. We’ll consider the rise of new musical forms and genres along with the evolving roles of musicians and the music industry. The class will alternate between readings/discussions and hands-on, creative work which provide opportunities for students to create their own digital music projects such as recordings, mash-ups, websites, and more.

NEW 490-004: Local Food Economy (SPSC)

Margaret Purcell
TR 9:30 – 10:45 am, LY 202
3 Hours

This seminar explores the elements of, evolution of, and components of a local food economy. Emphasis is placed on exploring sustainable agriculture in contrast to the mainstream industrial economy currently present in the US. The course is interdisciplinary and includes content from these fields: natural science, social science, economics, sociology, and politics.

NEW 490-005: Fly Fishing (ESC) (Instructor Permission Required)

Michael Steinberg
T 2:00 – 5:50 pm, LY 215
4 Hours

This course provides a broad introduction to the “arts and science” of fly fishing. By arts, I mean we will explore the field of fly fishing literature. Sporting literature is a well-established and widely read genera, and fly fishing specifically is one of the more popular subfields within outdoor writing. By science, I mean we will study watersheds, streams, insects, environmental issues that impact all these “things” through the act of fly fishing, and fish.

NEW 490-006: Reacting to the Past (CC)

Billy Field
TR 12:30 – 1:45 pm, TBD
3 Hours

Role-playing game seminar. Students play characters from specific episodes of history. The class promotes engagement with big ideas and improves skills in speaking, writing, critical thinking, problem solving, leadership and team work. Students learn these skills in order to win the game. This course offers active and collaborative learning at its best.

NEW 490-007: Jazz History (CC)

Andrew Dewar
M 2:00 – 4:50 pm, LY 215
3 Hours

This course is an introduction to the historical development and cultural context of jazz. The music known as ‘jazz’ is a revolutionary and influential artistic movement that has captured the imagination of people worldwide. By engaging both musicians and audiences in the magical moment of spontaneous creation, jazz has deeply influenced global music and culture over its century of existence. This course examines the development and continuing story of the jazz tradition through critical listening, readings, and the voices of the artists themselves. We will look at the music as a unique product of American culture and explore its broad swath of inspiration throughout the arts, from poetry to painting. By combining writings from historians with autobiographical and theoretical essays authored by a wide range of musicians, we will learn about the music’s aesthetics and changing meanings throughout its rich and colorful history. This history and theory is put into practice through close listening to recordings, attendance at live performances, and an interview project with a practicing musician.

NEW 490-008: Youth Media Makers (CC)

Barbara Brickman
MW 12:30 – 1:45 pm, LY 319
3 Hours

The interdisciplinary seminar will investigate the goals, methods, and challenges for creating a media camp for girls in our local community. During the first part of the semester, we will explore the aims for this form of community engagement focused on artistic expression, political voice, and identity political voice, and identity politics and then consider the applicability of previous models (such as “Cinemakids” in Austin, TX) for our local community and university partnerships. Then, the second half of the semester we will get down to the designing and creation of a proposed program in Tuscaloosa-from structure, partnerships, and staffing to equipment, marketing and implementation. In other words, by the end of this class, students will have created the basic infrastructure for a weekend girl’s film school that could take place in Tuscaloosa, in the following year. This seminar meets the New College designation for “Creativity and Culture” and “Social Problem/Social Change.” New College seminars are highly interactive courses that enable students to critically engage content in responsible ways. Each seminar is designed to explore interdisciplinary approaches to a particular issue, theme, or problem.

NEW 490-320: Teaching Rock (SPSC/CC)

Jonathan Berry
T 5:00 – 7:50 pm, LY 202
3 Hours

Little Steven Van Zandt’s history of Rock and Roll curriculum is up and running, and this course will be an immersion in that curriculum, which is interdisciplinary and meets the standards of the Common Core, National Council for the Social Studies, and National Association for Music Education. We will investigate ways in which the curriculum can be used for various age groups and various learning styles. We will, by default, take the curriculum ourselves, learning the rich and complex history of Rock and Roll and all its roots and offshoots. We will supply feedback to the curriculum director of, which will make our work part of the curriculum development. This course will be of interest to future teachers and anyone wanting to trace the history of Rock and Roll. There will be weekly journal entries and a final formal paper.

NEW 490-321: Cinematic Time (CC)

Alan Lazer
W 6:00 – 8:50 pm, BR 105
3 Hours

What is time? We use it, we measure it, we never seem to have enough of it. But what is it? Does it flow, does it run in a certain direction, does it even exist? We will attempt to tackle these questions and more by delving into the medium of film, a medium perhaps uniquely equipped to answer these questions. Film captures moments gone by, making them both acutely defined and nebulous at the same time. So join me, and help me see what Christopher Nolan and Andrei Tarkovsky (among others) can teach us about time. I promise it wont be a waste of your time, if only because we dont know whether time is a thing you can waste, or if it exists (tardies still count, though).

Non-Seminar Courses

The following courses do not fulfill New College seminar requirements

NEW 120-001: Sustained Dialogue (does not count as NC seminar)

Paige D. Bolden
R 3:30 – 4:45 pm, TBA
1 hour

In an increasingly globalized world, leaders need the skills to resolve conflict across lines of difference. Sustained Dialogue is a five-stage dialogue-to-action model that builds transformative relationships in order to address controversial issues. This course will explore the theory behind this powerful social action model and ultimately consider how Sustained Dialogue applies to visions for positive change at the University of Alabama. Students will first receive an introduction to Sustained Dialogue principles and then meet in dialogue groups weekly to work through the five stages to address specific issues of diversity and social identity on campus. For more information, contact Lane McLelland,

NEW 140-001: Sexuality and Society (SB) (does not count as NC seminar)

Catherine Roach
TR 11:00 – 12:15 pm, LY 222
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 Freshmen Only MW 2:00 – 3:15 pm LY 226 3 Hours
900: Ana Schuber Online N/A 3 Hours
901: Jennifer Caputo Online N/A 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 (BY PERMISSION ONLY)

Marysia Galbraith
1 hour

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 319: 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 ( to discuss particulars. Be sure to download and read instructions.

NEW 321 – 001: Independent Study Community Engagement: Walker County Internship (BY PERMISSION ONLY)

Mary Givens
F 12:00–2:00pm
2 Hours

The goal of this course is to teach students participating in the Walker County Jean O’Connor Snyder Internship Program experience a mix of hard skills and key concepts in Civic Engagement to prepare for the experience of living and working in Walker County as an intern in the following Summer. Class sessions will be a mix of classroom meetings, visits from community or subject-matter experts, and may include trips to Walker County.

NEW 339-001: New College Review II (does not count as NC seminar)

Amy Pirkle
W 3:00–4:50 pm, LY 306
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.