Courses: Current Courses

Fall 2014 Courses

Registration for Fall 2014 ExCollege courses is now open on iSIS.

Registration will still be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please check back here for additions and/or changes. All changes to courses will be highlighted in red.

Please check iSIS frequently in the days prior to registration for call numbers, locations, and other updates.

This page was last updated on 07/18/2014.


EXP-0003-F: Storytelling: Narrative and the Oral Tradition
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Thursday, 6:30-9:00PM

Just as the slam scene infused life into poetry, such new forms as the widely heard Moth Radio Hour, the proliferation of podcasts, and the emergence of story slams have moved the timeless art of storytelling from a cultural backwater into the strong currents of the 21st century.

This course will engage students in various genres of the art of storytelling. We will examine and learn to tell stories while exploring our memory's life experience for material. Short reading on the neurology and social significance of oral narrative support our understanding of our innate human trait. We will focus on the skills, process, and practice of oral story. Students will learn to create and tell their own personal stories as well as their original versions of a fable, tall tales, myths or legends as they engage in the living art of storytelling. This course offers an enjoyable way to improve public speaking skills, learn powerful prewriting strategies, and begin to practice the art of live performance.

This course has been approved by the Academic Review Board to count toward Arts distribution credit.

Norah Dooley (A '76) is a master teacher and children's author. Norah has been a featured storyteller at conferences, festivals, elementary schools, and libraries throughout the country. She is the co-founder of massmouth.org and the Greater Boston story slam series, now in its fourth year. Her StoriesLive curriculum developed from her 20 years as a performing artist and educator has been embraced by a dozen high schools in the past 3 years. Norah has successfully adapted her engaging, interactive lessons for business, therapeutic uses, and entertainment purposes for storytellers of all ages.

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EXP-0005-F: Demystifying the Hipster
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Tuesday, 6:00-8:30PM

The hipster is a devisive cultural figure that elicits both envy and outrage, and some argue that it has run its course—but what exactly is (or was) the hipster? Are hipsters part of a counter-culture, or are they just another marketing niche in the mainstream? How can we tell the difference?

In this course, students will interrogate contemporary writing—both academic and popular—that claims to define the hipster, examining these arguments alongside exemplary cultural texts that have warranted the hipster label. We will focus on film, fiction, fashion, and music (among other genres and media) produced in the last twenty years, connecting these contemporary examples to a longer history of the hipster that dates back to Norman Mailer's seminal 1957 essay, "The White Negro: Superficial Reflections on the Hipster." Over the course of the semester, students will develop their own canon of hipster art. Students will become critics and sociologists of today's hipster culture as they explore how hipster identity reflects larger cultural anxiety.

Jacqueline O'Dell has taught English 1 and English 2 at Tufts for the past four years. Her current work focuses on the relationship between critical and popular discourse surrounding what many have called the "post-postmodern" novel, particularly how it has both adapted to and resisted the emerging technologies of social media. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Tufts.

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EXP-0006-F: Social Justice through Young Adult Fiction
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Wednesday, 6:30-9:00PM

What social justice lessons do we learn from Katniss, Harry, Meg, and Tris? Why is some of our most cherished social justice fiction written for adolescents? Why do these stories captivate us in the ways that they do?

This is a course about the intersections in social justice education and Young Adult (YA) fiction. Students will be introduced (or re-introduced) to the genre through reading notable and culturally relevant YA texts through a social justice lens. Students will apply critical race theory, feminist theory, literary theory, and theories of social justice to the texts and will examine the pedagogical strategies of teaching social justice through YA fiction. This course invites students to examine the pedagogy of social justice while creating opportunities to think, read, and write critically about YA fiction.

Jessamine Beal has worked as an activist and educator on queer identities, social justice, and diversity for the past decade. She recently joined the Office of Diversity Services as the Assistant Director at Suffolk University. Jessamine holds a Master's degree in gender studies from Brandeis University with a focus on intersectionality, critical race theory, feminism, pop culture, and queer theory.

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EXP-0007-F: Writing Fellowship Seminar
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Wednesday, 6:00-8:30PM

This course has been the required training for all new undergraduate Writing Fellows since 1999. Most universities of a comparable size and caliber of Tufts require a training course for peer writing tutors, but this ExCollege course is unique in that new tutors take the course during their first semester as tutors.

After an initial orientation held before the semester begins, the course provides a theoretical framework, practical skills, and a support group for new tutors while they are learning how to become good tutors. The purpose of holding the class during the first semester of tutoring is to reinforce the importance of self-reflection as a necessary part of any teaching practice, especially peer tutoring. The class, then, becomes a community of writers: peers supporting peers as writers and novice writing tutors. Hence, the title of "writing fellow" emphasizes the "fellowship" that is an essential and unique aspect of Tufts' Writing Fellows Program.

Kristina Aikens is an Assistant Director for Writing Resources at the Tufts University Academic Resource Center. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Tufts.

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EXP-0013-F: Introduction to Comics and the Graphic Novel
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Monday, 6:00-8:30PM

What is this popular visual medium that is referred to as the "graphic novel"? While the term graphic novel has floated around since the '60s, the influential Will Eisner popularized the term with his publication in 1978 of A Contract with God, which did NOT pertain to superheroes.

This course is an introductory study of comics and graphic novels, one that emphasizes visual narrative storytelling as well as the political, social, and visual trends that have shaped the powerful creative industry of comics. This class reinforces the fact that sequential art describes a sophisticated and complex medium that bears close affinities with art, film, and literature.

Students will crtitically evaluate how literary value is defined and accorded to artistic works and what unique poetic attributes are incorporated into comic books and graphic novels.

Nhora Serrano is a Visiting Scholar of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. Nhora is a Comparative Literature Medievalist by training and is a recent recipient of a Smithsonian fellowship. Nhora's most recent work includes two monographs entitled Medieval Iberian Visuality: The Alfonsine Scriptorium's Wartime Critique and Configuring Mimesis Graphically: Comics and Fine Arts.

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EXP-0018-AF: Personal Career Development
0.5 credits, Pass/Fail Grading
Tuesday, 4:30-6:00PM

Based on an examination of several major career development theories, student will apply key concepts to their own career development process, focusing on thoughtful self-reflection, major and career exploration, and the value of internships as a tool in the exploration and decision-making process. Through reading assignments, analysis, and writing, students will discover more about themselves and the world of work. This course is ideally suited to sophomores who are beginning the career planning and decision-making process.

Donna Esposito is the Senior Associate Director of the Tufts Career Center, overseeing all career counseling and programming for undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering. With more than 25 years of experience in career development, she has worked for Tufts for 18 years and previously held positions at Harvard and Stonehill Colleges. She has a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology, with a specialization in College Student Personnel Services/College Student Development from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Nicole Anderson is the Assistant Director of the Tufts Career Center. She specializes in programming for first years, sophomores, and international students, as well as provides career counseling across all class years, majors, and degrees. She is a highly skilled career counselor and student development professional with more than 19 years of experience in higher education. Nicole has worked at Tufts for the past 13 years, and at Boston College prior to that. She has a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from Boston College.

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EXP-0018-BF: Personal Career Development
0.5 credits, Pass/Fail Grading
Tuesday, 4:30-6:00PM


Based on an examination of several major career development theories, student will apply key concepts to their own career development process, focusing on thoughtful self-reflection, major and career exploration, and the value of internships as a tool in the exploration and decision-making process. Through reading assignments, analysis, and writing, students will discover more about themselves and the world of work. This course is ideally suited to sophomores who are beginning the career planning and decision-making process.

Betsy McDowell is a seasoned career development professional with significant experience and skill in career counseling, presentation, and classroom instruction. Recently retired from Suffolk University, Betsy served as Associate Director of Career Services for over 20 years. There she counseled undergraduate students and alumni on a wide range of career assessment and job search issues, and presented workshops on a variety of career development topics. She also served on the President's Commission for Diversity Affairs. Betsy currently holds an Adjunct Faculty appointment at the Suffolk University Sawyer Business School, where she has been teaching undergraduate courses on career development, strategy and management for the past 17 years. She has an MS in Counseling from Suffolk University, and an MBA from Northeastern University.

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EXP-0019-F: Research for Success
0.5 credits, Pass/Fail Grading
Wednesday, 5:00-7:30PM

Want to improve your research skills as you plan for a senior thesis or other capstone project? Need a head start understanding the research process? This course will introduce you to the major research tools at an intermediate-to-advanced level specific to your subject area. You'll learn smart techniques for searching databases, web resources and primary sources, and effective methods to evaluate the literature you find. You'll also develop a working bibliography of resources, as well as a plan for continuing your research.

Note: This is an 8-week course. The first meeting will be on 9/10/14.

Regina Raboin is the Science Reference Librarian and Reference Microforms/Current Periodicals Coordinator at Tisch Library.

Laurie Sabol is the Social Science Reference Librarian and Coordinator of Library Instruction at Tisch Library.

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EXP-0020-F: Health Policy and the Open Data Revolution
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Monday, 6:00-8:30PM

In 2014, an unprecedented amount of data will be made available for public analysis from governments, non-profit organizations, corporations, and even individuals. In fact, Andrew Gelman, a statistician and political scientist at Columbia University, anticipates that society is moving "from an era of private data and public analyses to one of public data and private analyses."

This course will propose and explore the feasibility of a third possibility: an era of public data and public analyses. Healthcare data has been a relative latecomer to the open data revolution, but now because of the Affordable Care Act, state policy, and changing industry conditions, a huge new wave of data is being made available. This creates a critical opportunity to both better understand the effects of current healthcare policies and to help direct new policy. Students will use these tools to acquire, download, and organize open data on their own. You will be introduced to the context in which health policy is made and evaluated; and as part of your final project, encouraged to find ways to communicate and discuss your results with relevant policy makers and the general public.

Brent Cohn works at GNS Healthcare leading a data intensive evaluation of health care quality measures for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Previously, he worked on the evaluations of several large Affordable Care Act-Created programs at RTI International. Brent received his Master's degree in economics from the University of Calgary.

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EXP-0021-F: Entrepreneurship and Healthcare
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Wednesday, 6:00-8:30PM

Why has progress in the field of global health fallen short of the Millennium Development Objectives for 2015?

This course generates a landscape review of how to identify and create sustainable solutions through product development partnerships, support from NGOs and philanthropic organizations, and collaboration with commercial entities. We will explore such concerns as how can we incentivize innovation geared toward alleviating ailments of the developing world, and is it possible to identify and develop opportunities where global health objectives can be satisfied while still generating a commercial return for the innovators?

Spyridon Tsakas works with the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on developing and commercializing his technology that simplifies and optimizes pharmaceutical delivery on a global level. Spyridon is a Ph.D. candidate in Global Health and Innovation at the University of Edinburgh, where he specializes in improving access to medicines within developing countries.

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EXP-0023-F: Kids and Computers: Exploring Educational Technology, Apps, and Games
Monday, 6:00-8:30pm
1.0 credit, Letter Grading

The impacts of computing and our networked culture on children and adolescents are profound and potentially very valuable.

This course will allow students to focus on one key aspect of this phenomenon: to be designers, players, educators, and critics of all things T.A.G. – Technology, Applications, and Games. Throughout the semester, we will explore innovative T.A.G.s, and through a child development lens, we will critically evaluate commercially available forms of T.A.G. and discuss trends in the rising educational technology movement. Students will experience T.A.G.s in museum and lab settings, meet with industry professionals and teachers, and enjoy the "hard fun" of playing and learning with T.A.G.s.

The semester will culminate in a long-term workshop-oriented project, in which students will create an evaluation rubric or a playable T.A.G prototype of their own design.

Amanda Strawhacker (G '13) currently works with the DevTech Research Group where she has collaborated and coordinated for various National Science Foundation-funded projects. She is a research analyst focusing on designing, implementing, and evaluating developmentally-appropriate technology for young children. Amanda earned her M.A. in Child Development at Tufts University, concentrating in Children and New Technologies.

Amanda Sullivan (G '12) is a researcher examining the role of new technologies in the lives of children. She has been a Graduate Research Assistant with the DevTech Research Group for the past three years where she has collaborated on multiple National Science Foundation-funded projects related to EdTech. Amanda also holds an M.A. in Child Development and is pursuing her Ph.D. in Child Development at Tufts University

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EXP-0027-F: Human/Animal Studies
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Thursday, 6:30-9:00PM

How do humans and animals interact? How do we define and identify the ranges of complex human and animal relationships?

In this class we will examine the consistent presence and use of animals by humans throughout history, the advantages and disadvantages that these connections provide for both humans and animals, and many of the ethical dilemmas surrounding these dynamics. A survey of these connections throughout history, literature, entertainment, medicine, and religion reveals that humans and animals have been interacting with each other for thousands of years. We hunt them, eat them, wear them, conduct tests on them, idolize them, work them, and study them. Some species appear as lovable characters in books, team mascots, cultural idols, and as children's toys while others we fear and even demonize. Included on the animal-human relationship spectrum is the presence of domesticated animals in our homes. Cats, dogs, and other species have joined our human families and are cared for with the same love and financial support that many people provide for their children.

This course has been approved by the Academic Review Board to count toward Natural Sciences distribution credit.

Laura Cummings (A '00 and DVM '05) is an emergency veterinarian in a twenty-four hour critical care hospital. Laura has been intrigued with the ethical issues in veterinary medicine and surrounding topics for over a decade, and she has researched the topic thoroughly. Laura has worked in a zoo, a primate research facility, a kill-shelter, and a wildlife refuge to make an effort to understand the ethical controversies in these widely diverse environments.

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EXP-0030-F: Neuroscience and Criminal Justice
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Tuesday, 6:30-9:00PM

What did the "eyewitness" really see? Is the defendant lying? Was he/she legally insane? Will he/she pose a danger to the community if released?

Every day, in courtrooms across the country, lawyers, judges, and juries confront these important questions. Exciting new developments in neuroscience and cognitive psychology offer the tantalizing possibility of scientifically-based answers. But they also create a risk of misleading juries and judges.

This course is a cross-disciplinary inquiry into the intersection of neuroscience and the criminal justice system. For each topic, we'll cover core concepts in molecular and cognitive neuroscience. We'll use that knowledge to inform our interpretation of relevant case law. Through this unique perspective, we will look at the uses and abuses of neuroscience in the courtroom and debate the complex policy choices that courts and legislatures will have to make in the years ahead.

Megan Krench is a researcher using Drosophila (fruit flies); she conducts molecular genetic research into a fatal neurogenerative disorder called Huntington's disease. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Joel Fleming is an associate at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. His practice primarily involves securities litigation on behalf of public companies and life insurers. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

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EXP-0031-F: American Wilderness
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Monday, 6:00-8:30PM

What is wilderness? Is the presence of wilderness essential for the many millions who will never venture into the mountains or plunge into canyons beyond where pavement ends and backcountry begins? How have American attitudes toward nature shifted during the course of our nation's history and how have these attitudes shaped both public policy and the landscape itself?

In this class we will examine (through literature, scholarship, and art) the relationship that early settlers established with the landscape they so desperately aimed to cultivate. We will then look at how explorers, fortune seekers, philosophers, industrialists, writers, and mountain walkers qualify the American wilderness in a variety of ways: to some it is acres of harvestable timber and agricultural land, to others, the manifestation of the sublime and "the preservation of the world." In addition, we will be tracing the evolution of environmental politics in the United States, against the backdrop of conservation and environmentalism. Our work in this regard will culminate with an in-depth study of the Wilderness Act of 1964 and its implications for land management policy over the last five decades.

The Environmental Studies program has approved this course to count toward Track III-Environment and Society.

Andrew Turchon (G '09) has worked in conservation and management for the Appalachian Mountain Club as a backcountry caretaker and educator in the White Mountain National Forest, and he is a certified Wilderness First Responder and former hiking guide for Eastern Mountain Sports. He teaches in the Revere Public School system and holds an M.A.T. from Tufts.

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EXP-0032-F: Renewable Energy: The Ecological Impacts
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Tuesday, 6:00-8:30PM

Fossil fuels supply most of the world's energy needs, but they also generate considerable political, economic, public health, and environmental consequences. Doesn't this suggest that renewable energy sources would be a marked improvement? Perhaps.

In this course we will learn about different renewable energy sources and their relative impacts on the local and global ecosystem. We will explore such issues as: How "clean" is renewable energy? What can be done to mitigate its impacts? What roles can design and planning play?

Jeffrey DaCosta has studied the ecology, behavior, and evolution of birds in the United States, Venezuela, Mexico, Panama, United Kingdon, and Tanzania. He is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biology at Boston University.

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EXP-0033-F: Tufts Community Emergency Response Team
0.5 credits, Pass/Fail Grading
Tuesdays, 4:30-5:45

The T-CERT course provides students with the skills required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to serve as a Community Emergency Response Team member within their campus community. Completion of this training will provide the student with the basic skills they may need in the aftermath of a disaster or other emergency and the opportunity to assist the Tufts Community and the Department of Public Safety by joining T-CERT. By working together, T-CERT members can assist in saving lives and protecting property using the skills gained in this course. This course meets FEMA and Emergency Management Institute (EMI) requirements for CERT training.

Matthew Hart is a Continuity Planning Specialist in the Department of Public & Environmental Safety. In this role he assists departments across the university in developing their own plans to cope with emergencies and disasters. He received a B.S. in emergency management from Massachusetts Maritime Academy and has earned the Associate Emergency Manager credential through the International Association of Emergency Managers.

Mark Roche is a member of the Tufts University Police Department and a certified CERT Instructor. He also serves as a CERT Team Leader and Operations Captain with a local Emergency Management agency. He is currently an instructor for the Experimental College teaching the Rape Aggression Defense for Women and Advanced Rape Aggression Defense courses.

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EXP-0034-F: RAD for Men
0.5 credits, Pass/Fail Grading
Tuesday, 5:00-7:00PM

Providing "responsible information" about self defense training to men may not be what they are in fact looking for. Some attendees will be seeking a program that will teach them how to fight, bully, or exact revenge on previously committed wrongs. However, this could not be farther from our program's focus of self-defense. In addition, "tactical options" of avoidance and disengagement are in fact responsible and successful the vast majority of the time, because men are generally not assaulted simply because they are men, as women often are. Most men (not all) "find themselves in confrontational situations" often as a result of their own choices and removing themselves from these situations is usually very easy when pride, anger, and ego are not factors.

Luis Santamaria is a member of the Tufts University Police Department. He has been teaching RAD for women over the last four years and RAD for men over the last two years. He has attended the certification for both programs and successfully completed the requirements. He holds a M.A. in Criminal Justice Administration from Western New England University.

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EXP-0035-AF: Rape Aggression Defense
Monday, 4:30-6:30pm
0.5 credits, Pass/Fail Grading

The Rape Aggression Defense System (R.A.D.) is based on the philosophy of choices: "to develop and enhance the OPTIONS of self-defense, so that they become more viable considerations for the woman who is attacked." While it is completely natural to resist, unless a woman is trained to do so the resistance she attempts may be futile. This course will try to strengthen innate survival techniques by making more options available. Preparation through education and training is usually the best way to survive an assault situation. Issues that will be addressed include awareness and prevention, sexual assault definitions, patterns of encounter, the decision to resist, basic principles of self-defense, and the defensive mindset. This course will end with realistic simulation training.

Mark Roche and Kerri Dervishian are members of the Tufts University Police Department and certified R.A.D. instructors.

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EXP-0035-BF: Rape Aggression Defense
Thursday, 4:30-6:30pm
0.5 credits, Pass/Fail Grading

The Rape Aggression Defense System (R.A.D.) is based on the philosophy of choices: "to develop and enhance the OPTIONS of self-defense, so that they become more viable considerations for the woman who is attacked." While it is completely natural to resist, unless a woman is trained to do so the resistance she attempts may be futile. This course will try to strengthen innate survival techniques by making more options available. Preparation through education and training is usually the best way to survive an assault situation. Issues that will be addressed include awareness and prevention, sexual assault definitions, patterns of encounter, the decision to resist, basic principles of self-defense, and the defensive mindset. This course will end with realistic simulation training.

Darren Weisse is a member of the Tufts University Police Department and a certified R.A.D. instructor.

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EXP-0037-F: Dopefiends, Addicts, Junkies: Marginalized Identities and Lived Experiences
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Wednesday, 6:00-8:30PM

Who becomes addicted to heroin and why?

Taking the position that languages helps shape reality and that addiction is not only a physical, but also a social and emotional experience, this class hopes to assist students in developing their own sense of what it means to view identities as ongoing social accomplishments.

Integrating research methods from sociology, anthropology, and applied linguistics, this class will introduce students to various approaches with which to investigate the lived experience of marginalization. With a focus on heroin and substance abuse, this class will present various ways to study the discursive construction of marginalized identities. This class seeks to call attention to the human dimension of addiction and illustrate how the social sciences can be beneficially applied to social and public health issues.

Kristen Lindblom is a rearcher focusing on identity, margnizalization, and masculinity. She also works with recovering heroin and opiate addicts in Massachusetts. She is is a Ph.D candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Applied Linguistics Department.

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EXP-0038-F: The Psychological and Spiritual Dimensions of Grief
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Thursday, 6:30-9:00PM

Can the manner in which we grieve affect the way we live after the loss of a loved one?

In this course, we will consider grief as a complex emotional process: one that is not just about mourning a death but also about recognizing that loss, change, and transition are an inescapable part of life. We will examine the psychology of grief from historical and contemporary perspectives, and explore how spiritual struggles can affect grief, including our images of God. Using songs, movies, and TV shows we investigate the many ways grief impacts our life, paying special attention to childhood grief. Finally, we'll explore modern ways of dealing with death including green funerals and death cafés.

Cheryl Amari is the founder of GriefTeach, a grief education and consulting services. As a grief educator, Cheryl creates and facilitates programs for all types of loss. Previously, she worked as an instructor at a mortuary college teaching The Psychology of Grief. Her educational background includes a Master's degree in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College, and Cheryl is also certified in thanatology from the Association for Death Education and Counseling.

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EXP-0040-F: Theory and Practice of Nonviolent Resistance
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Monday, 6:00-8:30PM

From colonial India to the Berlin Wall to Tahrir Square, nonviolent resistance movements have proven capable of toppling regimes and recasting the geopolitical landscape. In other cases they have sparked brutal repression or even civil wars. But what exactly constitutes "nonviolence"? Why do some groups employ it while others turn to arms? Why and when is it effective? Can the international community help promote adherence to nonviolent techniques?

This seminar is intended to provide a broad, interdisciplinary overview of the study of what has been interchangeably called civil resistance, nonviolent direct actions, and strategic nonviolence. It will explore questions surrounding the ethics of nonviolent action, when and where it is used, the conditions under which it is more or less effective, and its consequences for local communities, state politics, and the international system. The course will draw from seminal philosophical texts and historical accounts as well as cutting-edge social science research. Students will gain an understanding of both the normative and empirical debates surrounding the practice of civil resistance as well as familiarity with key cases in which it has been used.

Benjamin Naimark-Rowse spent three years co-directing Darfurian Voices, the first public opinion survey of Darfurian refugees on issues of peace, justice, and reconciliation. Prior to that he worked as a Program Officer with the Open Society Justice Initiative. He is a Ph.D. candidate in international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Benjamin's dissertation research examines how and why nonviolent opposition campaigns correlate with different types of and degrees of repression.

Richard Thurber worked as a foreign and defense policy aide in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a Ph.D. candidate in international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. His disseration, Between Mao and Gandhi: Strategies of Violence and Nonviolence in Revolutionary Movements, examines how and why some groups seeking to overthrow the state adopt a strategy of civil resistance while others choose armed insurgency.

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EXP-0042-F: Life Behind the Walls: The Prison Experience
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Monday, 6:00-8:30PM

Why are over two million Americans incarcerated? When a man or woman is sentenced to prison, what experiences will that citizen have?

This course explores why people become incarcerated and what actually becomes of them in our prison system. Focal content will include history, structure of prisons, the world of the prisoner and prison staff, and the vast challenges prisons face (most notably, rehabilitation). Students will also examine current laws, prison policy, and current research. A prison visit will expose students to the system first-hand, allowing them to further understand the complex issues faced by prisoners, corrections staff, rehabilitation advocates, reformers, and policy makers.

Carl Boen was a School Principle with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections for thirty-four years. Carl has worked as a veteran supervisor in Massachusetts prisons ranging from the maximum security MCI Walpole to the Bridgewater State Hospital for the Criminally Insane to the Massachusetts Treatment Center for the Sexually Dangerous. Currently, Carl works with incoming students at Massasoit Community College, and he coaches at Stonehill College.

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EXP-0046-F: Philanthropy, Nonprofits, and Community
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Wednesday, 6:00-8:30PM

Want to be an agent for community change? Wish you had money to give away to your favorite organization?

Philanthropy plays many roles in our communities, from alleviating crisis situations to encouraging strategic, systemic change. Nonprofit organizations are the intermediaries connecting donors to community needs. Students have the opportunity to practice philanthropy by serving as a young adult grant-making board to award $25,000 to local nonprofits in the cities of Medford, Somerville, Cambridge, and Boston.

Students will learn about different styles of philanthropy and effective nonprofit management; how to think about and evaluate impact as a philanthropist; how to run a community project; how to read nonprofit financials and assess nonprofit organizational health and potential; sources of philanthropic news, and thinking; and trends in philanthropy and nonprofit management. Students will design their own process for requesting grant proposals and evaluating applications. The process of selecting grant recipients will bring students very close to the local community. A number of community philanthropists and nonprofit leaders will join our class discussions, offering the opportunity to learn directly from those in the field.

This course is supported by a generous gift from Alice and Nathan Gantcher.

Nancy Lippe is the Associate Director of Civic Schools, a local Boston effort to reconnect schools with their civic mission, and she has led youth programs in schools and communities for the last fifteen years. Prior to moving to Boston, she worked as a program officer for a small community foundation in the San Francisco Bay Area, promoting youth programs, local philanthropy and connecting donors with local programs. Her work has involved being both a grant seeker and a grant maker, resulting in a great appreciation for the opportunities and challenges of both sides. She holds a doctorate in education from the Fielding Graduate University. She has taught this course previously in the Experimental College.

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EXP-0048-F: Community and Commitment: Local Organizing in Boston Neighborhoods
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Tuesday, 6:00-8:30

Community organizing starts with the sense of connection residents of urban neighborhoods feel with one another, with the local culture, and with the community as a whole. Under certain conditions, local residents can act to preserve or enhance their local neighborhood. In order to do so, they must believe, even in the face of often daunting obstacles, that it is possible for ordinary citizens acting together to create change.

In this course, we will look at the social, economic, and political structure of urban neighborhoods. We will use Boston as a model and case example, focusing on Roxbury and Dorchester. We will consider not only the problems of community life, but also the strengths, local cultures, and institutions that sustain neighborhoods. We will ask how local people utilize these strengths to organize groups, organizations, and informal social structures to defend and advance their neighborhoods.

Terry Haywoode is retired from the School of Education at Northeastern University, where she was the Coordinator of Community Partnership and worked with community organizations in Boston. Terry's interest as a scholar and an activist lies in understanding how people in urban neighborhoods create community, and in how they use their sense of community to create both formal associations and informal groups to defend and enhanace their neighborhoods.

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EXP-0050-F: Civic Engagement in the Digital Age
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Tuesday, 6:00-8:30PM

In this course, we will explore the role of digital technology in modern civic engagement. We will anchor the course in core civic engagement and social movement theory (including theories of resource mobilization and tactical innovation), and explore how digital communications have rewritten the script for individuals and movements to engaging in the civic sphere, examining "legacy" social movements like the environmental movement, but also "digital native" movements like the Arab Spring and the DREAMers. We will apply our theoretical frameworks of how citizens connect with each other and connect to civil issues to analyze how citizens can most effectively engage with, and shape, their civil society.

Jesse Littlewood is the Senior Strategist with EchoDitto, a Somerville-based firm that consults with non-profits, government agencies and socially responsible businesses on digital strategy. Jesse graduated from Haverford College with a degree in Political Science.

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EXP-0051-F: Narrative and Documentary Practice
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Wednesday, 4:00-6:30PM and Friday, 4:30-7:00PM

As we venture into an era where digitally delivered media and 24-hour news cycles bombard us with a deluge of facts, minutiae, perspective, and hyperbole, the role of narrative storytelling is increasingly useful as a means to present information that is immersive, substantive and accessible. Narrative storytelling elaborates beyond the reporting of facts; it can take something specific – an experience, a voice, a place – and use it to illuminate a larger societal issue.

This course serves as a foundation for preparing students, first, to seek out and understand important global, national and local issues and, then, to explain them in a compelling way using visual, written, and oral narrative techniques. It will equip students with a broad practical and theoretical understanding of how to tell stories about the world in which we live – doing so through a variety of immersive exercises, technical workshops, class discussions, guest lectures, and group and individual critiques.

NOTE: This course is High Demand. You must attend the first class meeting to be considered for enrollment.

NOTE: Each student enrolled in this course is responsible for a materials fee of $100 (paid to the Experimental College before your third class). This fee helps defray such costs associated with making prints as ink, paper, and upkeep. If any individual accepted into the course feels that this fee represents a hardship, he or she should immediately contact Howard Woolf at howard.woolf@tufts.edu, x73384.

This course will count toward the Mass Communications and Media Studies Minor as a Media Practice elective and toward the Film Studies Minor as a Film Practice elective.

Samuel James (A '10) is the Program Coordinator for the Program for Narrative and Documentary Practice, housed in the Tufts University Institute for Global Leadership. He is the 2014 recipient of the International Center of Photography's Infinity Award for Young Photographer of the Year.

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EXP-0052-CF: PR and Marketing: Unraveling the Spin
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Wednesday, 6:00-8:30

What is the formula for mind control? Take a little psychology, a pinch of sociology, a smidge of anthropology, some cognitive analysis, and add a healthy dash of strategic media manipulation. Give a good stir. It's all the ingredients you need to decide a Presidential election, repair the reputation of BP after the Gulf oil spill, make more people buy Hondas than Kias, or choose Coke over Pepsi.

Primarily using case studies, this course will look at the history of public relations and marketing in the US and how it evolved in parallel with our media environment. We will explore how the mechanics of this global mega-industry create strategies that influence complex world affairs or simply the toothpaste we use.

Guest speakers from the industry will share their thoughts. Students will work in teams on a final project to solve a PR/marketing challenge by creating their own ads, messages, and strategic plan.

This course will count toward the Mass Communications and Media Studies minor as a Social Sciences elective.

Gail Bambrick is Senior Marketing Communications Writer at Tufts. She uses the written word and strategic planning to focus Tufts' identity and messaging in online, print, and web communications. She has also been Director of Publications and Associate Director of Communications and Public Relations for the university as well as the News Media and Public Relations Manager for the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She holds a Ph.D. from Tufts University in American Literature.

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EXP-0053-F: Producing Films for Social Change
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Tuesday and Thursday, 6:00-9:00PM

In this course, students will develop critical viewing and "hands-on" production skills, as they learn the language of documentaries geared toward social change. We will discuss the evolution of documentary filmmaking and explore how these films comment on society. We will examine the varied forms of documentary filmmaking, including historical films, advocacy videos, political satire, propaganda, cinema verité, and other depictions of "reality." Students will engage in production and post-production workshops to develop their own skills as directors, producers, and editors. Small groups will create a complete documentary film by the end of the semester. This class should be of equal significance to students with interests in journalism, documentary history, active community leadership, and filmmaking of any kind. Class enrollment will be limited to sixteen students.

This course represents a partnership between the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service and the Communications and Media Studies program.

It will count toward the Mass Communications and Media Studies Minor as a Media Practice elective and toward the Film Studies Minor as a Film Practice elective.

Khary Jones is a filmmaker and a member of the Drama and Dance department at Tufts. He holds an MFA in Screenwriting/Directing from Columbia University.

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EXP-0055-F: Flickering Fears: The Horror Movie and Cultural Anxiety
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Wednesday, 6:00-8:30

Can a vilified genre like the horror movie have a valuable place in our society as a way of capturing our "projected fears" and commenting on our contemporary times?

This course offers students the opportunity to engage and explore the nuanced connections between what we fear as a society and how we represent that fear in art—or more significantly, film. Students will also consider how the violence (and gore effects) in these movies has transformed the ways we watch film and how we see ourselves and society as a whole. They will also question how contemporary social and political trends have influenced censorship policies, shaped our media, and transformed our ideas about what constitutes entertainment. This class will tackle the subject from multiple perspectives, allowing students to consider not only the cultural and social issues, but also the cognitive, racial, and gender-related questions as well.

This course will count as a Humanities and the Arts elective under either the Mass Communications and Media Studies Minor or the Film Studies Minor.

Garvan Giltinan has written material for graphic novels, including the Eagle Award-nominated Sancho: Carnivale of Curiosities and Sancho Twisted Tales of Terror. He is the author of two novellas , one novel, and has published over forty-five film reviews in the online-edited journals Nights and Weekends, Exploitation Retrospect, and The Harrow.

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EXP-0059-F: On the Record: Communicating with the Government
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Thursday, 6:00-8:30

"What the President really meant by those remarks..."

This course will explore the making of public policy through government press and communications operations and the dissemination of an administration's message. We will also examine the history behind official briefings and the mechanics of government press operations in an ever-changing media environment that now includes citizen journalists and social media.

In addition, students will learn how to prepare for a briefing, handle crisis communications, and deliver technical information in a compelling way. Students will also learn about serving clients and constituencies and how to balance competing interests. Finally, students will learn best practices and lessons learned in public communication. Students will be required to write communications strategy plans and prepare an overall memorandum for an incoming administration.

This course counts as a Humanities and the Arts elective for the Mass Communications and Media Studies minor.

Nanda Chitre (J '85) has served in the Clinton and Obama Administrations as an on-the-record spokesperson. She was Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Press Secretary to President Clinton. Nanda has also worked on the NBC series The West Wing. Most recently, Nanda served as Acting Director for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Justice and as a Senior Advisor at the U.S. State Department.

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EXP-0074-F: Rethinking Justice: Alternatives to the Traditional Court and Corrections System
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Monday, 6:00-8:30PM

How do our ideals of justice compare with the reality of U.S. criminal and juvenile justice systems? Can the justice system look different? Do we want it to?

Through this course, students will be introduced to the philosophical and historical backgrounds of alternative systems of justice, including restorative justice programs, community corrections, and therapeutic or problem-solving courts. Assumptions about crime and justice will be examined by comparing and contrasting retributive and restorative paradigms. Students will also begin to explore ways of effective policy-making through analyzing outcome effectiveness of different programs.

Erika Rickard is a researcher at Harvard Business School, former Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and a former judicial clerk for the Massachusetts Appeals Court. She graduated in 2010 from Harvard Law School, where she studied juvenile justice, LGBT, and empirical analysis of New York's Integrated Domestic Violence Courts. Before law school, Erika worked in the California court system as a policy analyst, studying adult and juvenile drug courts in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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EXP-0076-F: Accused: The Gap Between Law and Justice
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Tuesday, 6:00-8:30PM

The law is all around us, but what about justice? What is justice? What kind of justice are we entitled to?

Together we will explore the concepts, framework, systems and practices which comprise what justice is, with an emphasis on the perspective of the wrongfully accused. Through the use of drama, film, case studies, media analysis, and other sources, we will consider the factors which shape our personal views of what justice is, decide how much these views really matter, and examine the many factors that determine how systems of justice impact society on various levels.

Sonja Spears (J '86) is a retired elected judge with 12 years of service in the New Orleans judiciary. Despite her unblemished legal career, Sonja recently endured two years of intense scrutiny as the target of a federal criminal investigation. She was ultimately cleared without any charges being filed, and the office in charge of her prosecution is currently facing questions of prosecutorial misconduct. Sonja received her J.D. from Tulane Law School.

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EXP-0084-F: The Business of Sports: A Study of the NBA
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Monday, 6:00-8:30PM

Professional sports has evolved from the "mom and pop" environment of 30 years ago, to that of a sophisticated, high risk, high profile, "big business." Current events in pro-sports are documented in virtually every major newspaper and periodical in the country. In our daily lives it's hard to avoid exposure to sports in some form or another, yet many off-field issues are confusing to the casual (and maybe not so casual) fan.

This course is intended to make sense out of the confusion by providing an overview of the pro-sports industry as a business. Subjects for inquiry will include the development of the National Basketball Association from the late 1960s through the present. Assigned readings will be principally from original N.B.A. operational documents, and will provide a fundamental understanding of the concepts, theories, and terms related to general sports business/legal issues, and the N.B.A. in particular.

Jan Volk currently serves as a consultant to a number of N.B.A. teams. After earning a J.D. from Columbia in 1971, he went to work for the Boston Celtics and, in 1984, was named General Manager, a position he held until May 1997. As G.M., he was responsible for the acquisition, contractual negotiation, re-negotiation, and ultimate signing of all Celtics players.

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EXP-0090-AF: Teaching Explorations
1.5 credits, Pass/Fail Grading
Monday, 12:00-1:00

This course is designed to facilitate undergraduate team-teaching for those leading first-semester seminars for incoming first-year students. Weekly group meetings will be held, in which student teachers will be exposed to a range of teaching techniques and theories, asked to articulate their course goals, and given a forum for discussing the unique problems that new teachers often encounter. Students will be required to keep journals, and reflect upon the concerns and questions that arise over the course of the semester.

Robyn Gittleman is Director of the Experimental College and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education.

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EXP-0090-BF: Teaching Perspectives
1.5 credits, Pass/Fail Grading
Monday, 12:00-1:15PM

Similar to the Explorations Seminar, this course supports students teaching a Perspectives course, all of whom will work under the umbrella topic of movies as both art and industry.

Howard Woolf, Associate Director of the Experimental College, coordinates the Perspectives program.

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EXP-0090-F: Teaching Assistant Workshop

1.0 credit, Letter Grading
ARR

This course is designed to assist the undergraduates who are teaching assistants for courses in the Experimental College.

Robyn Gittleman is Director of the Experimental College and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education.

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EXP-0091-F: EPIIC: Russian Redux: Power, Statecraft, and the Global Order
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Tuesday and Thursday, 3:00-5:30

This two-semester effort will attempt to carefully understand Russian society, and probe its strategic culture, and foreign policy. It will frame this investigation within the broader implications of Russian statecraft for global politics in the 21st century.

This course will study the persistent character of the Tsarist multiethnic imperial state, which at its greatest has covered one sixth of the globe, from the northern Barents Sea to the southern Central Asian steppe, St. Petersburg and the Carpathians in the West to the Pacific Ocean in the east. We will examine the implications of the fact that Russia sits atop the world's largest proven natural gas reserves and second largest pool of oil, and is the only non-democratic regime abutting the resource-rich and rapidly melting Arctic.

This course is High Demand. Interested students MUST attend the first class meeting.

Sherman Teichman is Director of the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts, and the founding director of EPIIC (Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship). He holds an M.A. from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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EXP-0096-F: Auditing for Breadth
0.5-1.0 credits, Pass/Fail Grading
ARR

This program is intended to provide students with an opportunity to broaden their education by attending courses in which they might not otherwise enroll. With the approval of the instructors in question, students may elect to audit any three full-credit university courses (or the equivalent) during their four years as an undergraduate. (One course credit is awarded upon completion of the three audits.) Please note: graduating seniors may audit two courses and receive one-half credit.

Robyn Gittleman is the Director of the Experimental College.

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EXP-0099-F: Media Internships
1.0 credit, Pass/Fail Grading
ARR

Supervised internship in communications and mass media. Student can intern at a newspaper, magazine, book publishing company, film production company, television or radio station, advertising or public relations firm, or other media outlet approved by instructor. Students must intern a minimum of 150 hours during the semester (usually 12-16 hours a week), fulfill written assignments, and meet regularly with the instructor. Registration by consent of instructor. Student should consult with instructor prior to researching and applying for internships, and must submit an Internship Agreement signed by the internship site supervisor prior to being allowed to register.

Leslie Goldberg (J '84) is the founder of Blue Sun Communications, a corporate communications consulting firm. She holds an M.S. in Mass Communication from Boston University.

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EXP-101-CF: Advanced Filmmaking
0.5-1.0 credits, Letter Grading
ARR

Based on a directed study model, this course provides the means by which students who have completed EXP-0056-CS: Making Movies – or who are able to demonstrate equivalent competence – can continue their training as filmmakers. Students who initially qualify will present a business plan for their project and, if accepted, will receive credit, access to TuftsFilmWorks' production and editing equipment, and a supervised context within which to work. In return, they agree to watch a negotiated number of source films, keep a Producer's Log, and write a final assessment, taking into account both the process they went through to produce their film and their reaction to the film once it is done.

This course will count toward the Mass Communications and Media Studies Minor as a Media Practice elective and toward the Film Studies Minor as a Film Practice elective.

Please note: Enrollment is by consent only. For information on eligibility and registration, contact Howard Woolf, howard.woolf@tufts.edu, x73384.

Advanced Filmmaking is supported by the generosity of Lisa and Bruce Cohen (J'86 and A'83, respectively).

Howard Woolf is Associate Director of the Experimental College, as well as Director of Media Technology. He is the founder of TuftsFilmWorks (the ExCollege's filmmaking center), co-chairs the Multimedia Arts interdisciplinary minor, and is advisor to TUTV.

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EXP-102-CF: Advanced Electronic and Digital Media
0.5-1.0 credits, Letter Grading
ARR

Based on a directed study model, this course provides the means by which students who are able to demonstrate an appropriate degree of competence can continue their training in the multimedia arts.

Please note: Enrollment is by consent only. For information on eligibility and registration, contact Howard Woolf, howard.woolf@tufts.edu, x73384.

This course will count toward the Mass Communications and Media Studies Minor as a Media Practice elective and toward the Film Studies Minor as a Film Practice elective.

Howard Woolf is Associate Director of the Experimental College, as well as Director of Media Technology. He is the founder of TuftsFilmWorks (the ExCollege's filmmaking center), co-chairs the Multimedia Arts interdisciplinary minor, and is advisor to TUTV.

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EXP-190-AF: CMS Senior Colloquium

0.5 credits, Pass/Fail Grading
Wednesday, 12:00pm-12:50

All C.M.S. seniors thinking about completing a Senior Project must register for one of the two sections of the C.M.S. Senior Colloquium. The colloquium aims to help seniors develop their ideas, provides them with a forum for sharing resources and work strategies, and trains them in the scheduling and time management procedures necessary for successful completion of projects.

Please note: Registration for this course will be done in person with CMS Director Julie Dobrow. Come to her office at 95 Talbot Ave on Tuesday, Sept. 2, between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm.

Leslie Goldberg (J '84) is the founder of Blue Sun Communications, a corporate communications consulting firm. She holds a M.S. in Mass Communication from Boston University.

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EXP-190-BF: CMS Senior Colloquium
0.5 credits, Pass/Fail Grading
Thursday, 9:30am-10:20am

All C.M.S. seniors thinking about completing a Senior Project must register for one of the two sections of the C.M.S. Senior Colloquium. The colloquium aims to help seniors develop their ideas, provides them with a forum for sharing resources and work strategies, and trains them in the scheduling and time management procedures necessary for successful completion of projects.

Please note: Registration for this course will be done in person with CMS Director Julie Dobrow. Come to her office at 95 Talbot Ave on Tuesday, Sept. 2, between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm.

Julie Dobrow is Director of the Communications and Media Studies and the Media and Public Service programs at Tufts. She holds a PhD in Communications from the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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EXP-0192-F: Independent Study
0.5-1.0 credits, Letter Grading
ARR

By arrangement only.

Topics must fall within the range of courses taught by the Experimental College. For more information, come by the Experimental College office, 95 Talbot Avenue, or call 617-627-3384.

Robyn Gittleman is Director of the Experimental College and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education.

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EXP-0192-PF: Independent Study
0.5-1.0 credits, Pass/Fail Grading
ARR

By arrangement only.

Topics must fall within the range of courses taught by the Experimental College. For more information, come by the Experimental College office, 95 Talbot Avenue, or call 617-627-3384.

Robyn Gittleman is Director of the Experimental College and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education.

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95 Talbot Ave., Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155  | Tel: 617-627-3384  | Fax: 617-627-3449  |  Email