Skip to content

If you're a student in your first 60 credit hours at the University of Utah, our new seminar course, MUSE 1850, might be right for you. Some details: 

  1. MANY UNIQUE SECTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM, EACH TAUGHT BY A SEASONED PROFESSOR WHO IS INVESTED IN YOUR SUCCESS 🗂💫
  2. SMALL-GROUP LEARNING 🧐🧐🧐  (15 STUDENTS PER SECTION)
  3. CREDIT/NO CREDIT 🎓📚 
  4. EMPHASIS ON PARTICIPATION 🙋
  5. FIND COMMUNITY AND MEET NEW FRIENDS 👋 🏘
  6. INCREASE YOUR SENSE OF BELONGING ON CAMPUS 🤜🤍🤛
  7. EXPLORE AN INTERESTING SUBJECT ✍️🔎

MARK MATHESON"MUSE Seminars offer you a great educational experience.  These courses provide small-group learning, seasoned professors, and the efficacy of an education that unfolds in the context of human relationships.  The course number “1850” is important: it’s the date of the U’s founding, and MUSE Seminars are an exciting new development in the U’s educational history.  Participating in one will introduce you to the richness of academic life, and you’ll build your sense of belonging with fellow students, professors, and the university as a whole."   

--Prof. Mark Matheson

 
Check out each unique section below. Registration is closed for Fall 2022, but new offerings will be available Fall 2023!

kim

In this seminar we will explore what it means to belong as queer people. What does it mean for us to belong in our bodies, in our communities, in our families, and in our friend groups? What about in institutions such as history, media, healthcare, and schools? But more than that, what does it even mean to belong, and how might we queer (the verb) belonging in ways that just might open up more interesting, affirming, dare I say euphoric, possibilities for belonging? We will spend our time together intentionally building and nurturing space(s) for our own queer belonging and interrogating what this means for us. We will draw from various queer "texts" ranging from young adult fiction, to film, to art, to music, to historical accounts, to academic research to critically analyze the ways the possibilities for belonging have been structured and presented to us, so that we can make more informed choices about our own attempts at queer belonging. Finally, it is essential to know that this won't work unless we are attentive to the multiplicities of our identities so an emphasis on race, class, gender, ability, age, citizenship, and religion will run through the entire semester.


MUSE 1850–001
Tuesdays 
10:4511:35 AM
SILL Large Conference Room
register

margaretIn this course we will examine how and why the ancient Greek myths are still alive in popular media today. We will analyze the characters of Hades, the god of the underworld, and Persephone, the goddess of spring and the queen of the underworld, to better understand their sudden popularity in contemporary culture. We will explore the following questions: Why do we like “dark” heroes?  Why are we intrigued by pictures of the underworld? What is appealing about the love story of Persephone and Hades? Why is it important to examine popular culture to understand the concerns of our contemporary world? What does popular culture reveal about modern American society—our hopes and our fears? How can an understanding of the ancient world also help us understand the present world in a deeper way?                                
The “old” Greek texts we will examine: The Homeric Hymn to Demeter; Ovid’s stories of these gods and the underworld from his Metamorphoses; ancient visual art of the gods and the underworld. The “new” texts we will examine: Hades, the video game; music from the Broadway show, Hadestown; Hades and Persephone in the comics; a graphic novel; and a romance novel.

MUSE 1850–002
Wednesdays
12:551:45 PM
SILL Large Conference Room

register

markIn this seminar we’ll read and discuss a representative selection of American poems. These works will provide historical and cultural context for much of the pain, division, and potential joy in American society today. There will also be poems about the inner life, about the rough and tumble of personal and group relationships, and about love.
Poetry evokes the potential inherent in language to clarify and inspire—to open up what Walt Whitman points us toward, “landscapes of continents, and a plain public road.” He adds, with visionary conviction, that “not any one else can travel that road for you,/ You must travel it for yourself.”
I look forward to our personal and collective journeys of discovery into the language of American poetry.

MUSE 1850–003
Thursdays
2:002:50 PM
SILL Large Conference Room

register

seethaThis course is all about failure; understanding how we fail, why we fail, and how often we fail, in order to succeed.  We do this through getting to know ourselves. Reflection—more significantly, self-reflection—is the map to our methods of learning; if we know how learn, we can fail successfully. 
In this course we will anchor our learning through fiction. We will follow our protagonist’s journey, identify their choices, and reflect on their transformation(s). Through our protagonist, we will reflect on our own selves. There is no one right way or wrong way to do this. So, I hope you will join me this fall, so we can journey together to find our ways of failing successfully.

MUSE 1850–004
Thursdays
10:4511:35 AM
SILL Large Conference Room

register

steveThis seminar will study "petro" or "oil culture" through a focus on selected fiction and nonfiction and visual culture (cinema; photography) texts that illustrate how—in the 150 years since the advent of the petroleum industry—petrocapitalism is as much a cultural phenomenon as it is an economic necessity, political force, and environmental concern. 
Broadly conceived, petroculture encompasses or indexes: the emergence of corporate capitalism on both national and transnational scales; the triumph of automobile or car culture and, as a consequence, the transformation of the nation's transportation system and urban design (think freeways and commercial/residential sprawl); the predominance of “plastic” and “vinyl” products in everyday life; and apocalyptic anxieties associated with both ecological disasters/toxic environments and a dystopian post-petrocapitalism futures.
Key texts for this course will be Richard Misrach and Kate Orff’s Petrochemical America and such movies as The Wages of Fear (1953), Safe (1995), Blue Vinyl (2005), Dark Waters (2019).

MUSE 1850–005
Tuesdays
2:002:50 PM
SILL Large Conference Room

register

karenMany authors—including Carnegie, Harragan, and Gladwell to name a few—have written guidebooks and manuals on how to “get it done.” Perhaps only loosely rooted in science, they offer practical tactics for creating and navigating change and working effectively with people. Let’s dissect their work, merge and transform ideas, add our own… and reimagine the art of making things happen in a post(?)-pandemic world. 

MUSE 1850–008
Wednesdays
2:002:50 PM
SILL Large Conference Room

register

 

Last Updated: 9/23/22