In Vogue: The World According to Fashion
Seminar led by Dr. Nicole Dular
Fashion is extremely powerful. According to Edith Head, “You can have anything you want, if you dress for it.” It can also feed you better than food, as Carrie Bradshaw famously testified when she said “When I first moved to New York and I was totally broke, sometimes I would buy Vogue instead of dinner. I felt it fed me more.” And, according to Rihanna, it can even defeat your enemies: “She can beat me, but she cannot beat my outfit.” In this course, we will explore the various powers and constructs of fashion, from the personal to the political to the aesthetic, from the closets of mainstream America, to the streets of Japan, to the couture shows in Paris. In doing so, we will consider fashion’s role in historical social-political movements like the Civil Rights Movement, fashion’s role in self-expression and social communication, fashion’s role in contemporary ethical dilemmas like environmental issues and workers’ rights, and fashion as an aspect of race and gender. We will analyze some of the most abstract questions about fashion (Is it art? What makes something fashionable?), and some of the most concrete case studies of fashion movements and designers (punk, the rise of streetwear, drag, Alexander McQueen) along the way.
Data Privacy and Cybersecurity
Seminar led by Dr. Kerry Smith
In this course, we will take a deep dive into how our personal data is retrieved, stored, and used by businesses both large and small. Through social media, smart phone apps, and online accounts, we are giving companies very sensitive personal data about ourselves, our family, and our friends. When a major company suffers a data breach, what happens to our personal data and how should we respond? What impacts do the data breaches have on the companies and on the customers who entrust these companies with their personal data? In this course, we will examine the most prevalent types of data breaches, the methods that are used, and the damage that they can do. Finally, we will discuss and explore several practical cybersecurity techniques that we can use in our daily lives to help protect our data from malicious attacks.
Fascinated by the French: Explore the Mystery
Seminar led by Dr. Kristin Wasielewski
Many Americans are fascinated by French culture: its fashion, cuisine, films, art, etc. This course will address the question, "what does it mean to be French?" We will read about many different aspects of French culture and explore a wide variety of topics ranging from French attitudes about history, politics, art, religion, and education to French perspectives on family, conversation, friendship, romance, and cuisine. (We will also take time to experience and enjoy French cinema and cuisine - two hallmarks of French culture). The course will compare and contract French and American culture, while keeping in mind the limits of stereotypes and the importance of breaking them down to get to any possible kernels of truth upon which they are based. In other words, exploring what it means to be French will encourage students to critically consider what it means to be American.