Crime and Violence in Chicago in Historical Perspective (522)
Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, 9 a.m.-noon
In the 2016 presidential debates, Donald Trump touted Chicago’s gun violence as evidence of the failure of Democratic Party rule. Indeed, 3,010 people had been wounded or killed by gunfire in Chicago at that point. From 2001 to September 2016, murders in Chicago (7,916) exceeded Americans deaths in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (6,888). Parts of Chicago were war zones—and that was nothing new. Chicago has a long and dreadful history of crime and violence, reaching back to the 1850s when German and Irish immigrants rioted over lager beer, to the reign of Al Capone in the 1920s, and to the formation of modern street gangs like the Latin Kings and the Blackstone Rangers. This seminar will explore why crime and violence has long plagued Chicago and why its political leaders cannot seem to stop the killing. Finally, it suggests how teachers can use the terrible example of crime and violence in Chicago to help students think about larger issues of race, immigration, politics, and economic opportunity in America.
Joshua Salzmann, History Department

From Drama to Melodrama: Latin American and U.S. Latinx Television in the Classroom(523)
Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, 9 a.m.-noon
Many students watch tons of TV. Daily. In fact, they go beyond watching. They binge-watch. These shows speak to them and often shape their worldviews in profound ways that can rival or eclipse the values we hope to instill the classroom. As educators, we should not only be aware of the influence of television, we should actively engage with student consumption of it in order to promote critical thinking and content mastery. This seminar explores ways to welcome U.S. Latinx TV shows and telenovelas from Latin America into the classroom in order to analyze narrative strategies and discuss content related to contemporary social issues in an age-appropriate manner. In particular, we will consider different ways of using this type of cultural production to engage with students about questions of identity, including gender, sexuality, race, social class and religion. Educators teaching advanced levels of Spanish and/or AP courses, as well as Social Studies or History, are encouraged to participate in this seminar. Taught in English. No knowledge of Spanish required.
Dr. Catalina Rincon-Bisbey, Department of World Languages Roycemore School

Teaching Mindfulness in the Classroom (524)
Friday, March 6, 2020, 9 a.m.-noon
On a daily basis as teachers, we are faced with situations of feeling overwhelmed and stressed with students and/or colleagues. Students also need to be exposed to positive role models of mindfulness to help with their learning outcomes, by teaching content and promoting human potential through mindfulness techniques. In addition to working with students to systematically learn content (scaffolding) and associated opportunities for self-growth, your role can also be to create “teachable moments” for students to develop their own effective coping strategies. In this workshop we will review different mindfulness principles, have group discussions on topical ideas in the classroom/workplace, and actively engage in effective mindfulness strategies using group exercises. Classroom activities (i.e., jigsaw classroom) that foster an inclusive and compassionate “mindful” classroom will be shared. These learning outcomes will then be discussed regarding proactive stress management models for classroom students and workplace colleagues. Finally, we will share ways to teach students about positive mindfulness techniques.
Lisa Hollis-Sawyer and Amanda Dykema-Engblade, Psychology Department

Active Learning: What, Why, and How (525)
Friday, March 13, 2020, 9 a.m.-noon
Active Learning is on the minds of educators everywhere. Clearly, students who are engaged do better than those who aren’t. And active learning strategies are one way of improving engagement and learning. Research reveals that after 24 hours, students who learn the traditional way—via reading and listening to lectures—retain less than ten percent of the material. Students who “practice by doing” and teaching others retain 70 and 90 percent, respectively. But educators are busy and flooded with teaching tips and a plethora of best practices. Who has the time to figure it all out? Learn about active learning, why it should be on our minds, and how to do it. In this workshop, we will cover strategies from “activating” lectures to setting up and facilitating successful peer learning.
Maureen W. Erber, Psychology Department

Teaching Star Wars: Culture, Politics, and Economics (526)
Friday, March 27, 2020, 9 a.m.-noon
"Star Wars" is a multi-billion-dollar franchise that spans multiple generations, nation-states, media forms, and social platforms. The ever-expanding, multi-media empire includes movies, novels, toys, comic books, video games, television shows, theme parks, fan fiction, podcasts, and cosplay. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, this seminar studies how multiple media, modes, and genres contribute to the  narrative world-building of "Star Wars," and how this fictional galaxy is informed by wider historical, political, and economic processes from the late 1970s to the present.  
Ryan Poll, English Department  

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: New Perspectives on Old Debates (527)
Friday, April 17, 2020, 9 a.m.-noon
This seminar will focus on a phenomenon that bound together four continents, brutally affected millions of lives, and ultimately created pathways of globalization. The trans-Atlantic slave trade has been studied intensively for decades, but new perspectives—and perhaps more important, new sources of information—have led scholars to question much of what we thought we knew. From the numbers of the enslaved, to the patterns of trade, to the large scale of African resistance, recent research has changed much of what we thought we knew. We will examine what the trade meant for Europe, Africa, and the Americas, how it came about, operated, and finally ended. It will also touch briefly on slave systems in the Americas, and the effects of the slave trade around the Atlantic.
Michael Tuck, History Department

Caravans and Crisis: How U.S. Interventions in Central America Contribute to the 'Crisis' on Our Southern Border (528)
Friday, April 24, 2020, 9 a.m.-noon
Chants of “Build the Wall” echo across the United States in response to the so-called crisis on the U.S./Mexico border. A flood of people from Central America seek refuge in the U.S. But why? We must look at the history of Central America and how U.S. interventions contributed to the current refugee crisis. This seminar will give you the background necessary to discuss the current situation. First we’ll examine the various U.S. interventions in the region during the first years of the 20th century, including the overt U.S. Marines’ occupation of Nicaragua and the covert CIA coup in Guatemala. Next we’ll look at the revolutionary movements in the region during the 1970s and 1980s, and U.S. responses to them. Lastly, we’ll discuss the current “crisis” and its connections to U.S. actions and policies of the last decade. There will be time for questions and discussion in each section. I will conclude by presenting some options for curriculum development.
Richard Grossman, History Department

How to be a Macho or a Vieja in Latin America (529)
Friday, May 1, 2020, 9 a.m.-noon
When exposed to authentic cultural products from Latin America, students often ask about stereotyped and/or exaggerated portrayals of masculinities and femininities. This seminar will analyze portrayals of male and female characters in social media, recent TV shows, and soap operas from Latin America. It aims to help teachers to explore strategies for use incorporating recent Latin American cultural production into the high school curriculum in an age-appropriate way that can be useful for opening classroom conversations, to approach them in an age-appropriate way, and to open conversations about issues of gender equity and ethnic stereotypes. Educators teaching advanced levels of Spanish and/or AP courses, as well as Social Studies or History, are encouraged to participate. No knowledge of Spanish required.
Dr. Catalina Rincon Bisbey, Department of World Languages Roycemore School

Re-claiming Work in American Literature and Life (530)
Friday, May 8, 2020, 9 a.m.-noon
Work, like sex, is a central element of the human experience. But while we reflect on sex obsessively, we don’t reflect much on the meaning and role of work in our lives. Mostly, it isn’t a central category we use for analyzing literature and culture, although studying work inevitably leads us to thinking about more prominent categories of race, class, gender, and sexuality in more complex ways. What if we began our analysis of our society and economy, our literature and culture through the lens of work—how we organize it, what it means to us, how we relate to it, how it puts us in relation to others? How might reading the works of Hawthorne, Henry James, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Tomas Rivera, and others through the lens of work generate fresh insights into our social and human conditions? This seminar will take us in these directions, reflecting on contemporary literary and cultural productions as well, such as "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," "Orange is the New Black," "Dexter," and "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." Since we all work and our students work, this seminar hopes to offer exciting possibilities for getting students to engage material in the classroom.
Tim Libretti, English Department