“... the best education in upstate New York.”
– Warren Roberts, U. at Albany

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H.I.L.L. Spring 2014 Courses

MONDAY A.M.
Contemporary Ethical Issues in Science and Medicine

Starts:
March 3
Time:
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Place:
Delmar Reformed Church

INSTRUCTOR:
Michael J. Murphy, Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, SUNY Cobleskill

This course will examine recent advances in science and medicine that may pose ethical dilemmas. Topics will be gleaned from current literature and include: -Is dying from chemical/biological weapons worse than dying from guns? -Curing HIV: Will a cure encourage a return to sexual practices of the 1970s? -Honeybee Collapse Disorder: How it fits in with the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) debate; -The morality of scientific openness; and -Religious criticism of science and technology. We will consider the underlying science & approaches to analyzing the ethical dilemmas posed by the science.

MONDAY P.M.
The American Revolution: Causes & Consequences

Starts:
March 3
Time:
1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Place:
Delmar Reformed Church

INSTRUCTOR:
Bob Wells, Chauncy H. Winters Professor of History, Union College

Revolutions are complex events, and the American Revolution is no exception. Because it started as an anti-colonial rebellion, we will begin in the late 17th century with the nature of the British Empire and why the colonists came to resent it. As with other revolutions, the Americans knew more what they opposed than what they wanted in its place. We will examine not only the rebellion, but also efforts to form a new government under the Constitution down to the end of the War of 1812. While the emphasis will be on political and constitutional matters, the course will also consider the Revolution as a social movement.

TUESDAY A.M.
Reflections on Opera

Starts:
March 4
Time:
10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
Place:
Delmar Reformed Church

INSTRUCTOR:
Josef Schmee, Kenneth Sharpe Professor of Management, Emeritus, Union College

What can we expect from opera--great singing, beautiful staging, or dramatic insight? Great composers surely would mention drama first. The masterpieces of opera tell us a lot about society and art at the time of their creations, but they also provide insights into our own time. With this in mind we will review 6 different operas, two of which will be offered by Glimmerglass in the 2014 summer: Puccini’s MADAMA BUTTERFLY & Richard Strauss’ ARIADNE AUF NAXOS. We will examine one opera by Mozart & two by Verdi, one in Italian, the other in French. We will complete the half dozen with another Johann Strauss opera--DIE FLEDERMAUS.

TUESDAY P.M.
Law in (and as) Literature

Starts: March 4
Time: 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Place: Delmar Reformed Church

INSTRUCTOR: Randall Craig, Professor of English, SUNY Albany

This course surveys the representation of law across classic texts of Western literature. It raises themes such as justice, revenge, punishment, and mercy, on the one hand, and topics such as interpretation, language, ethics, and theories of law, on the other hand. The parenthesis in the title indicates an effort to conceive of laws as narrative acts, albeit as stories with a particular bite. Literature & law have in common the ability to do things solely with words. Throughout our discussions of the texts, we will focus on the uncanny power and inevitable limitations of language and of the stories we craft with it.

Readings include (parenthetical titles are recommended only):
Week 1, Aeschylus, The Oresteia
Week 2, Sophocles, Antigone
Week 3, Measure for Measure (The Merchant of Venice)
Week 4, Melville, “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” (Benito Cereno)
 Week 5, Shelley, Frankenstein
Week 6, Kafka, The Trial (In the Penal Colony)


WEDNESDAY P.M.
Spring Sampler

Starts: March 5
Time: 1-3 p.m.
Place: Delmar Reformed Church

March 5:
Beyond the Sacred Cow: The Life, Death & Significance of Cattle and Buffalo in India
INSTRUCTOR:
Ray Bromley, Vice Provost for International Education & Professor of Geography & Planning, SUNY Albany

March 12:
Science & Religion: The Contemporary Debates
INSTRUCTOR:
Kirk M. Wegter-McNelly, World Visiting Professor of Religious Studies, Union College

March 20: (Note: This class ONLY meets on Thursday, 1-3 p.m.)
New England Ablaze: A History of a Place in a Single Document
INSTRUCTOR:
Eric Morser, Associate Professor of History, Skidmore College

March 26:
What's Behind the Curtain: Decision Making at the Federal Reserve
INSTRUCTOR:
Mitchel Y. Abolafia, Professor of Public Administration and Policy, Rockefeller College, SUNY Albany

April 2:
Freedom of Speech on the Street
INSTRUCTOR:
Richard Hamm, Chair and Professor of History and Public Policy, SUNY Albany

April 9:
After the Arab Spring: Charting a Course for the US in the New Middle East
INSTRUCTOR:
James Ketterer, Director of International Academic Initiatives, The Center for Civic Engagement and Senior Fellow at the Institute of International Liberal Education, Bard College