Spring 2020 Courses

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40 YEARS of Transformational Learning


Welcome to the New College course list for Spring 2020. 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 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; and 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 contact 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 Spring 2020 semester, you must see Prof. John Miller ( prior to the start of any independent work. 2

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

Required Courses

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

Natalie Adams
R 3:30 – 5:20 pm, LY226
2 Hours

This course is required for all New College students, who are encouraged to 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)

Natalie Adams
R 3:30- 5:20 pm, LY226
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 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 in New 495. 3

New College Seminars

NEW 211-001: Perspectives in Humanities (HU) (CC)

Ted Trost
MW 10:00 am-12:00 pm, LY215
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.

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

  • 001: Holland Hopson MW 10:00-11:50 am LY306 4 Hours
  • 002: John Miller TR 9:30-11:20 am LY202 4 Hours
  • 003: John Miller TR 1:30-3:20 pm LY202 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/UH) (CC)

Amy Pirkle
MW 12:00-1:50 pm, LY 319
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 3:00-04:40 pm Location TBA; W 9:00-10:50 am LY131 4 Hours
  • 002: Rashmi Grace W 9:00-10:50 am LY131; R 3:00-4:50 pm Location 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, with an emphasis on healthy soil, composting, cover crops, seed starting and transplanting, pest control, etc. At the same time, we’ll address fundamental questions and issues behind the organic model: Why do it? What are the problems with industrial agriculture? And how does it shape the way we eat and think about food? How does it influence our relationship to the land and to our communities? How does our food production fit into an analysis of current environmental problems and solutions? What does organic even mean? Each week, students will spend one day in the classroom and one day in the “field” at Jeremiah’s Garden, a 1-acre farm site and community food organization across the street from Holy Spirit Catholic Church. 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 provide their own transportation to the field site and to engage in moderate physical activity.

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

  • 001: Margaret Purcell MW 2:00-3:50 pm LY306 4 hours
  • 002: Kimberly Colburn TR 2:00-4:20 pm GP206 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/UH) (SPSC)

Amanda Espy-Brown
MW 9:00-10:50 am, 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: Interdisciplinary Sciences (N) (ESC)

  • 001: Leah Connell M 1:00- 4:50 pm LY215 4 Hours
  • 002: Amanda Espy-Brown T 12:30-4:20 pm LY215 4 Hours
  • 002: Amanda Espy-Brown W 1:00 – 4:50 pm LY215 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)

Pamela Young
TR 9:30-11:20 am, LY306
4 Hours

Social scientists use a range of methodologies to examine and conduct research on social issues. Through this seminar students will learn about a range of research methodologies for conducting inquiries into and analyzing social issues in the modern world. There will be specific emphasis placed on the ethical and moral dilemmas and obligations that researchers confront. Students will explore the complexity of these dilemmas and societal responses to competing moral obligations focusing on four main topics – Socio-Economic and Racial Disparities, Immigration, Healthcare and the Environment.

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

Stanley Ford
M 3:00-5:50 pm, LY319
3 Hours

Everyday Wildlife in Alabama will cover management practices on how to maximize wildlife in woodlands or in a neighborhood. It will cover practices on how to improve the habitat to increase the wildlife population as well as practices on wildlife predator control for wildlife critters who have become invasive in various areas. Some topics that will be discussed will include backyard wildlife management, how to manage a recreational fishpond, wildlife identification, compass and pacing, the use of aerial photography in managing for wildlife, and how to prepare wildlife food plots. Much of this course will include “hands-on” outdoor field trips.

NEW 337-001 Sustainable Home Landscaping (ESC)

Leah Connell
R 2:00-4:50 pm, LY215
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, LY202
3 Hours

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? 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 cultures and histories. 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 processes and wildlife? How is music used to both soothe, entertain, and torture or control people? We will also discuss the “golden record,” an audio (and video) record sent into space 42 years ago on the Voyager probes. The record was intended as an introductory document of human culture for alien intelligences. We will consider what it means to represent the sounds of a planet. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.

NEW 411-001: Writing Workshop (CC)

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

Are you passionate about your writing? This New College seminar provides a supportive space for writers of all abilities to work on their own projects. The workshop provides friendly peer review and group study of the craft of writing with a professor who publishes novels and academic books and who has supervised student writing for twenty years. We’ll learn about the publishing industry from visiting authors and editors. Invited genres include: Science fiction and fantasy, Fanfiction, Children’s literature and Young Adult Poetry; song lyrics, Erotica and romance, Film and TV treatments and scripts, Memoir and creative nonfiction (travel writing, science writing, food writing, etc.), Devotional or inspirational writing, General fiction, in short story and novel form, Graphic novels; experimental form and fiction, And more . This class functions as an open and affirming safe space for discussion and learning about writing and the writing life. I encourage registration by a wide variety of students of all cultural backgrounds, all genders and sexual orientations, all levels of writing ability. My one requirement is that students must be independently motivated to write and already have their own writing projects to which they are committed. This seminar brings together such a group of students within the structure of a workshop. I seek to build community, to facilitate peer support, to develop wordcraft skills, and to create productive conversation on the deeply personal craft of writing.

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

Dale Wallace
M 6:00-9:50 pm, LY202
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. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.

NEW 442-001: Environmental Ethics (W) (ESC/SPSC)

Ellen Spears
TR 9:30-10:45 am, LY319
3 hours

This upper level writing-intensive seminar explores the ethical dimensions of ecological relationships, with particular attention to conceptions of nature, justice, and environmental health. We 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 is highly interactive, inviting critical thinking about changing ideas about the human place in the natural world. Exploring various case studies, we analyze the ethical debates surrounding such topics as population growth, 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 examine the ethics of sustainability from the campus to the transnational level. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.

NEW 472-001: Social Change (W) (SPSC)

Kimberly Colburn
TR 11:30 am-1:20 pm, LY202
4 Hours

This seminar is concerned with the process and analysis of social change. In this seminar, students study the Holocaust, and other genocides, attempting to understand it as an intense and unparalleled human experience. The causes, events, outcomes, and implications are researched through books, films, interviews, tapes, and discussions. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.

NEW 490-001: Special Topics: Community Arts (SPSC/ CC)

Marysia Galbraith
R 12:00-2:50 pm, LY306
3 Hours

What functions do arts serve in communities? How do creative activities affect cognitive and social learning? We will explore these questions as we develop and offer arts workshops in local public schools. Arts are broadly defined to include theatre, dance, creative media, language arts, engineering, painting, pottery, etc. This is a service learning course (SL). Roughly half of class time will be devoted to active involvement in community arts projects. 7

NEW 490-002: Special Topics: Girls Culture (CC/SPSC)

Barbara Brickman
MW 12:30-1:45 pm, LY306
3 Hours

This interdisciplinary seminar introduces students to the key debates, concepts, and questions raised by the emerging field of Girls’ Studies. The course will examine the history and social construction of girlhood in the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as draw on girls’ lived experiences, activism, and cultural productions, in order to challenge established definitions of “girls” and “girlhood.”

NEW 490-003: Special Topics: Fly Fishing (ESC)

Michael Steinberg
T 2:00- 5:50 pm, LY306
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, and environmental issues that impact all these “things” through the act of fly fishing, and fish.

NEW 490-004: Special Topics: Cinematic Time (CC)

Alan Lazer
W 6:00-8:30 pm, Tuomey Hall 103
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 won’t be a waste of your time, if only because we don’t know whether time is a thing you can waste, or if it exists (tardies still count, though).

NEW 490-011: Intermedia Arts (CC)

Andrew Dewar
MW 10:00 am-11:15 pm, LY319
3 Hours

This interdisciplinary course discusses intermedia intersections in 20th and 21st century art and music through lectures, discussions and interactions with visiting artists. We will examine the cultural and historical roots of intermedia art, the outpouring of experimentation in the 20th century avant-garde, and the postmodern pastiche of the digital realm in the 21st century. Spanning work created for galleries, to art and music from urban streets and rural villages, we will explore examples from the visual arts, dance, music, film and architecture to learn how and why artists work with and combine different media. In addition to engaging with a variety of artistic works, we will discuss the cultural, philosophical, theoretical, and compositional issues that meet at intermedia junctions. 8

NEW 490-012: Social Psychology of Yoga (SPSC)

Margaret Smith
M 4:00-6:30 pm, LY306
3 Hours

Twenty-first century US society sees “yoga” just about everywhere, as exercise and as adjective (e.g. yoga pants, yoga bodies, yoga culture, yoga diets, yoga therapy, yoga gear, yoga-inspired). Growing numbers of people identify themselves as “yogis” and/or as yoga practitioners. This course will explore how people make meaning of those identities and of this environment from a social psychological perspective. Our exploration will include engagement with the 8-limb path of yoga described in ancient yoga philosophy, and a social history of how yoga has come to occupy the space it has in contemporary popular culture. We will focus our attention on the social-psychological concept of self-concept – or, how social structures, culture, norms, and interactions with others shape understandings of identity (Collins, 2009) and the ways individuals make meaning of their own competence, autonomy, and relevance in their worlds (Deci and Ryan, 2000). We will use the example of yoga as a lens on how these concepts work in real life.

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, LY337
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: Holland Hopson TR 2:00-3:15 pm LY226 3 Hours
  • 002: Barbara Brickman MW 3:00-4:45 pm LY328 3 Hours
  • 900: Ana Schuber DAY/TIME TBA Online 3 Hours

An introduction to the fine arts, drawing especially on campus and community cultural events. This course is usually open to freshmen. 9

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

Marysia Galbraith
Independent Study
1 Hour (Pass/Fail) *May be repeated once.

Recreation for Life is an independent study for New College students interested in engaging in a new physical activity, and developing an exercise routine that they hope to continue on a regular basis for the rest of their lives (hence the name “Recreation for Life”). The course is usually for New College students, but non-majors who can demonstrate they are self-motivated and self-directed may also be permitted to enroll. Common activities for the course include running, swimming, biking, yoga, or karate. You should select an activity that you have not practiced before. In some cases, you might be able to pursue a new goal in an activity that you have some limited experience with.

NEW 310 to 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 ( to discuss particulars. Be sure to download and read instructions.

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

Amy Pirkle
W 3:00 – 4:50 pm, LY319
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.