Art, Culture, & Society

Constructing Masculinities

Section: 1091/76949
Meeting Time: Mondays, 2:30-4:20 pm
Semester Length: Class meets on alternating weeks

Gender plays a highly important, but often hidden role in men’s lives. Being a man in the ways that society prescribes is a constructed and changing concept. Talking about masculinities allows us to investigate behaviors and cultures associated with men, and the different ways of being a man. In this course, we will discuss men and masculinities in the context of societal and media images of men in college.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Develop knowledge of strategies to recognize healthy masculinities.
  2. Understand gender difference across and within masculine identities and how gender stereotypes affect men in college.
  3. Apply concepts on gender and healthy masculinities to reflect on your experiences as a man in college and create space for other students and college faculty and staff to do the same.

These learning outcomes will be achieved not only by course readings, discussions, and assignments, but also connecting and engaging with campus and local gender related programming at BGSU including participating in service-learning with Ohio Consortium for Men and Masculinities Conference.


Jamie Wlosowicz

Position: Student Engagement Coordinator - Center for Women and Gender Equity
Address: 279 Hayes Hall

Jamie Wlosowicz is the Student Engagement Coordinator for the Center for Women and Gender Equity and the Violence Prevention Center at BGSU. Jamie received a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Bowling Green State University in 2016 and graduated with her Masters in Higher Education and Administration from The University of Toledo. She enjoys volunteering and giving back to the community whenever able. Jamie is currently a victim’s advocate for the YWCA Rape Crisis Center and is a big sister with the Big Brother Big Sisters Program of Northwestern Ohio. Jamie greatly appreciates the time she gets to spend time with her growing family as she recently became an Aunt!

“Green Criminology” ⎯ Catching Environmental Crooks


Section: 1025/77138
Meeting Time: Wednesdays, 11:30-12:20 PM
Session Length: Regular Session

Green criminology is a new field in Sociology involving detective work to expose environmental crimes in the U.S. and around the world. We will study illegal resource extraction and poisoning (water, mining, timber, fishing); harmful toxic & drug waste disposal; animal or wild plant poaching, or outlawed traffic in body parts for trophies/medicines.  This topic is perfect for students in business, pre-law, criminal justice, forensics, media communication, international studies, or nature & wildlife, or even fans of detective stories! Each week we will profile a different country and “green crime,” and students will work in pairs or small groups on a final hands-on project.

1910 Learning Outcomes

The hands-on pair or group final projects will seek to engage and involve students in research that may be either presented or explored further in CURS grants, the campus TED talk program, the Africana Studies conference, or in BGSU’s International Studies Student online Journal, or to pursue in study abroad, the Givens Memorial Fellowship, or January term study/travel opportunities. It will also feature activist strategies and publicity campaigns that are relevant to work in local community and engagement work.


Madeline Duntley

Position: Associate Professor - Sociology Department
Address: 216 Williams Hall

Madeline Duntley is Associate Professor of Sociology and she teaches and publishes in the areas of anthropology/sociology, spirituality, ecology and theory. She is currently researching grassroots water and agricultural sustainability campaigns in Oregon & California grassroots involving Monsanto and Crystal Geyser.

Batman and American Culture


Section: 1008/73082
Meeting Time: Thursdays, 2:30-3:20PM
Session Length: Regular

Batman has been around for over 75 years and is still one of the most popular and influential fictional characters worldwide. Batman has achieved enormous success no matter what medium he has appeared in: comic books, movies, live-action television, cartoons, toys, clothing, etc. By focusing on various versions of Batman, this course will explore how a single character can reveal and shape our cultural beliefs about such important issues as crime, morality, racial relations, gender and sexuality. The course will involve critical readings about Batman, as well as a range of primary texts including key comic book collections, films and television episodes, and a few forays into fan activities.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will learn how political and social issues and reproduced and interpreted through popular entertainments.
  • Students will learn how to critically analyze cultural texts.
  • Students will learn how to read academic materials and distinguish core arguments.
  • Students will develop scholarly writing and collaborative skills as they work on individual and group projects.
  • Students will learn how even the apparently simplest forms of popular culture affect the way they view the world.

Jeffrey A. Brown

Position: Professor, Department of Popular Culture
Address: 250 Shatzel Hall

Dr. Brown is a Professor in the Department of Popular Culture and the School of Critical and Cultural Studies at Bowling Green State University. Dr. Brown is the author of numerous academic articles about gender, ethnicity and sexuality as expressed in superhero narratives, as well as three books: Black Superheroes: Milestone Comics and Their Fans (2000), Dangerous Curves: Gender, Fetishism and the Modern Action Heroine (2011), and Beyond Bombshells: The New Action Heroine in Popular Culture (2015). Dr. Brown has also contributed chapters to several scholarly anthologies about comic books and superheroes. He is currently completing a book about live action superheroes in post-9/11 American culture, The Modern Superhero in Film and Television, for Routledge Press.

Social Justice and Conflict Transformation through Art

Section: 1015/77926
Meeting Time: Mondays, 1:30-3:20 PM
Session Length: First Seven Week Session

This course aims to introduce the multifaceted nature of peace, social justice and conflict transformation and how various art forms across the world are created to promote the ideals of peace, social justice and transformation. Students will apply some of these theories to create an art-based social justice or conflict transformation project of their choice. Art forms include a variety of media such as paintings, collage, photography, video, graphics etc. The course will conclude with an exhibition of their art-based projects. No prior experience in the arts is needed

Learning Outcomes

  1. Engage: Students will learn basic concepts of peace, social justice and conflict transformation and critically engage with social issues in their immediate community or other contexts of interest to them. Students will learn about art works from different cultures across the world that aim to promote peace, social justice and conflict transformation. In particular, they will learn from global examples and apply them locally. 
  2. Connect: Students will connect with peers to critically and collectively analyze social issues of concern to them. Students will engage in constructive critique and peer evaluation of works and learn competencies for effective team-work. 
  3. Involve: Students will be involved in undergraduate research and examine issues of social justice, peace and conflict, especially those that are relevant to their immediate community. They will apply their creative and critical thinking skills to use art aimed at promoting social justice or conflict transformation. As part of co-curricular activities, students will set up an exhibition of their art-based projects and reach out to the community as audience of the exhibition. 

Mousumi De

Position: Instructor - School of Art
Address: 1000 Fine Arts Building

Mousumi De, Ph.D. (Curriculum and Instruction, Indiana University, Bloomington) is a researcher and art educator working with visual arts, media and new media for peace education, global citizenship education and education for sustainable development. She has published and presented in national and international conferences on these subjects. She has over twelve years of experience working with K-12 and college students on these subject areas. Previously, she has taught an advanced level of this course to undergraduate students, as a 3-credit hour General Education Arts and Humanities course at Indiana University, and a basic level of this course to high school students from underserved communities as part of Indiana university’s community outreach program. In addition, variations of this course have been offered to middle-school and high school students internationally. Student outcomes from these courses provide a rich resource for learning about how K-12 and college students use art to address issues of social justice and conflict transformation.

Aunt Jemima, Rich Uncle Pennybags, and the Kool-Aid Man: Gender & Race in Advertising

Section: 1069/76764
Meeting Time: Thursdays, 4:00-4:50 PM
Semester Length: Regular Session

This course focuses on identifying and deconstructing stereotypes of race and gender in advertising to help students gain a better understanding of how a media form (that almost everyone disregards) acts to support and perpetuate real-world racial and gender inequality. By examining how advertising icons and brand mascots have (and have not) changed over the years, students will be able to see when and how brands respond to societal changes. These responses are an indirect statement about what really matters—and to whom.

Interested in joining the Finding Your Voice in Social Justice Learning Community ??

Apply Now!

The course will use a problem-posing pedagogical approach to help students hone their critical thinking abilities by learning to listen to (and hear) diverse viewpoints and perspectives; dialoguing to become better able to understand how their own social positions connect to larger structures and institutions; and using the knowledge and understanding gained to be more responsible citizens with insight into cultural rules and biases. Course content will primarily consist of short video clips, print advertising (historic and contemporary), and news articles from mainstream news organizations. Students will also engage with and do research in social media, including YouTube videos, Twitter, and Instagram. There is no textbook for the class.

Assignments and activities will help students engage in academic analysis of popular culture, demonstrating the relevance of intellectual engagement to real-world day-to-day issues. Informal interviewing of a faculty member about race and gender representation in their field will provide opportunities for students to become acquainted with the kind of critical thinking skills that higher education helps hone. Students will be encouraged to attend campus events related to race and gender, and at least one out of class activity will be a trip to the grocery store to identify and analyze brand mascots. The final project asks students to construct a visual argument about a particular advertising approach and/or mascot, which they will present to their class and the campus community.

Jessica Birch

Jessica Birch

Position: Instructor - Department of Ethnic Studies and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program
Address: 239 Shatzel Hall

Jessica Birch is originally from Pittsburgh, PA, and is an instructor in the Department of Ethnic Studies and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies: Theory and Cultural Studies, as well as a graduate certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, from Purdue University in 2014. Her teaching and research focus on black feminist theory, critical race theory, contemporary popular culture/cultural studies, critical pedagogy, and the intersections among these areas. She has published research on gender, sexuality, race, nationalism, and neoliberalism in contemporary popular culture.

¡Si Se Puede! (Yes We Can)

Section: 1099/76972
Meeting Time: Thursdays, 4:00-4:50 PM
Semester Length: Regular Session

In the late 1960s under the banner of ¡Si Se Puede! (Yes We Can), Mexican and Mexican American farmworkers fought for better wages in California. Those events influenced generations of Latino/a/x, as they struggled for social justice on campuses throughout the United States. This seminar focuses on those struggles by educating students about the historical and contemporary histories of Latino/a/x activism in Northwest Ohio by exploring counter-narratives and archives.

Interested in joining the Finding Your Voice in Social Justice Learning Community ??

Apply Now!

Students will read, discuss, analyze selected material on Latino/a/x activism, which focuses on the past, present, and future histories of student activism. Also, students will conduct research through the university archives on the histories of social justice activism at Bowling Green State University and in Northwest Ohio. And finally, this seminar is part of the Finding Your Voice in Social Justice Learning Community.


Louis Moreno

Position: Lecturer - Ethnic Studies
Address: 228 Shatzel Hall

Dr. Moreno is a lecturer in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies, Department of Ethnic Studies teaching Latina/o Studies. Dr. Moreno's research focuses on the intersections of labor, migration, and activism among the Mexican working-class communities in the United States, especially the Southwest & Midwest.

The Politics of Sex

Section: 1042/76763
Meeting Time: Thursdays, 4:00-4:50 PM
Semester Length: Regular Session

Although some aspects of sex may be “natural,” sex is largely socially constructed. What counts as sex, how it is practiced, and even how it is experienced changes over time and across cultures. This course explores some of the contemporary politics that shape sex and sexuality at the present moment. Students will write and curate a course blog about sexual politics at BGSU and our Northwest Ohio community, participate in a service-learning project, and have opportunities to attend field trips and other cultural events. 

Interested in joining the Finding Your Voice in Social Justice Learning Community ??

Apply Now!

Course goals:

  1. Students will be able to compare sexuality cross-culturally and historically.
  2. Students will be able to describe how sexuality intersects with race, gender, class, disability and other aspects of identity.
  3. Students will be able to engage with debates and conversations about contemporary events and popular texts, explaining the sexual politics at play in the text/event.
  4. Students will apply course content through involvement with community and/or university sexuality-related organizations and/or special events through a service-learning activity and field trips.
  5. Students will connect with faculty and peers through a series of guest speakers and interview assignments (which they can publish on their class blog, see goal #).
  6. Students will develop writing and teamwork skills as they work together on a class blog.

Sarah Rainey-Smithback

Position: Associate Professor - School of Cultural and Critical Studies
Address: 231 Shatzel Hall

Dr. Rainey-Smithback is an Associate Professor in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. Dr. Rainey-Smithback received her PhD from The Ohio State University in Women’s Studies, with a specialization in Sexuality Studies and Disability Studies. Her first book, Love, Sex, and Disability: The Pleasure of Care examined intimate relationships between people with disabilities and their nondisabled partners. She has also published on topics related to HIV/AIDS disclosure, lesbian sexuality and families, sexual representation in film, BDSM identity, and is currently working on a book project analyzing the politics of sexual orientation and gender identity in the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the USA. 

J.K. Rowling’s Grindelwald Tales as Social Critique


Section: 1005/73080
Meeting Time: Tuesdays, 1:00-1:50 PM
Semester Length: Regular Session

For students who grew up with Harry Potter, the Grindelwald series (beginning with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) continues J.K. Rowling’s account of social engineering in the wizarding world in a way that is both whimsical and serious. It is hard to miss some of the references to social problems both historical and contemporary: the obsession of Grindelwald and his ilk with “pureblooded” magicians (as opposed to muggles and mud bloods) is reminiscent of Hitler’s so-called Aryan “master race,” but also speaks to contemporary racism and other prejudices. Newt Scamander’s quest to understand his “beasts” on their own terms, and to preserve them from both harm and exploitation, echoes both Darwin’s voyage on the Beagle and current struggles over species extinction and habitat. The films also address psychological issues of abuse and repression.

In this class, we will look at both the historical precedents for these themes and their current incarnations. In the process the course will introduce students to various fields of study, from history and German studies to biology, environmental studies, and psychology; this will give us an opportunity to look at modes of inquiry in each of these fields and introduce classes that may interest students. Guest lectures as appropriate. Because Rowling’s works have inspired a generation of readers, our community engagement will be volunteering as reading tutors at the Wood County District Public Library.

Kristie Foell

Dr. Kristie Foell

Position: Associate Professor

Dr. Kristie Foell is associate professor of German at BGSU and a former director of International Studies, the AYA Salzburg Program, and the Global Village. For the past 30 years (25 at BGSU), she has taught not only German language, literature, and culture, but also international/global studies and film classes (genre-, period-, and topic-based). Her previous 1910 class on Grimms’ Fairytales was quite popular; with this seminar, she is turning to a more contemporary form of fantasy, hoping to help students look “behind the scenes” of these popular films.

TRIO and the War on Poverty

Section: 1002/73079
Meeting Time: Thursdays, 6:00-6:50 PM
Semester Length: Regular Session

Reserved for students in the TRIO Program 

The first three TRIO programs, Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search, and Student Support Services, were a part of War on Poverty campaign. We will learn how these programs came to exist, the purposes and objectives of the programs, and how they connect to current day expectations of people that work for TRIO programs and students they serve. We will connect that to how you decide to go about being a college student today.

Students will research topics regarding TRIO and the War on Poverty. They will search for and assess information regarding the history of TRIO programs. Students will interview faculty, staff, and/or other students about how to afford college. They will assess their experiences using TRIO program services, learning from survey assessments, using the BGSU Learning Commons, engaging in community service activities relevant to the War on Poverty, and attending an event or field trip relevant to TRIO and/or the War on Poverty. These opportunities may include, but are not limited to in-class guest speakers, networking event(s), events and activities sponsored by the BGSU TRIO Programs department, and events open to the BGSU community. For example, the Presidents United to Stop Hunger initiative may provide multiple opportunities to volunteer and/or participate in educational co-curricular programming.


Ian Lee

Position: Program Advisor

Ian Lee has over 15 years of experience teaching classes designed to foster leadership, successful navigation of resources and university life, and academic success at both BGSU and the Ohio State University. Ian trained in interdisciplinary social sciences research methods through the Western College Program at Miami University. Ian’s research continued at the Ohio State University with how perceptions of Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator results may be culturally constructed and how low-income students afford the process of completing college degrees. When Ian started working with BGSU TRIO Programs as a program advisor in 2005, he developed an interest in the history of TRIO programs. It was at this time that Ian learned that his father, Douglas Lee, started working for one of the first Upward Bound programs in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1965.

Words Change Worlds: How English Studies Prepares Us for Meaningful, Impactful Lives

Section: 1037/78365 (Lee Nickoson)
Meeting Time: Mondays, 3:30-5:20PM
Semester Length: Classes will meet on alternating weeks throughout the semester

Section: 1034/78366 (Chad van Buskirk)
Meeting Time: Mondays, 3:30-5:20PM
Semester Length: Classes will meet on alternating weeks throughout the semester

Why do we write? How do reading and writing interconnect? What motivates writers? Creative Writing. Linguistics. Literary and Textual Studies. Teaching Writing to Speakers of Other Languages. Technical Writing. Rhetoric. Each of these English Studies subfields has as its focus a sustained curiosity about the written word as an affect on another. Whether on paper or screen, in pencil or pixels, English Studies invites us to grow our curiosity and understanding about the world(s) in which we live. English Studies is expansive and interdisciplinary in its approach to inquiry: understanding the history of a particular question or experience, how and why the question lives in various cultures, and what promise or challenges are involved in joining conversation on that question with the goal of developing connection with another through text. At BGSU, English Studies lives as a community of curious, engaged, and passionate students, staff, and faculty. This course is designed to welcome new majors and minors to that community as we explore together and for ourselves the relationship between text and culture.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Engage with other new Creative Writing and English majors and minors through a semester-long introduction to English Studies as both a discipline and also a BGSU community
  • Build meaningful relationships with other new students, experienced (mentor) students, and faculty from across English Department majors and minors
  • Participate in a series of one-on-one, small-group, and all-cort field experiences including, but not limited too, attending student and faculty presentations, Departmental social gatherings, and on- and off-campus events of interest to BGSU students and, in particular, Creative Writing and English majors or minors
  • Discover new intellectual passions, questions, and commitments
  • Explore connections between intellectual passions and our civic, interpersonal, and personal lives
  • Synthesize academic, co-curricular, civic, and personal interests in a developing an impact plan
Lee Nickoson

Lee Nickoson

Position: Associate Professor

We have each enjoyed a meaningful career studying, teaching, and now administering English Studies. A deep commitment to understanding how writing shapes and gets shaped by our histories and lived experiences continues to drive our passion for reading and writing as impactful intellectual, professional, civic, and interpersonal acts. Our goal for our time together in 1910 is to learn about and with each other--growing our curiosity and passion for texts.


Chad Van Buskirk