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Summer courses run gamut from murder mysteries to Michael Jackson

Marlene Tromp & Kim Kobojek
April 09, 2014

Students looking for interesting intellectual challenges this summer have dozens of choices from ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. New College, the core college on ASU’s West campus, offers courses covering a range of topics, from solving a 19th-century murder mystery to Michael Jackson’s impact on American popular music.

The class Murder Most Foul: Blood Evidence, Forensics, and Critical Analysis (course number FOR 394 or ENG 394) enables students to follow the blood spatters from 19th-century Scotland to Phoenix in 2008 to understand how historical practices of forensic science have brought us to the CSI practices of today.

“Applying forensic analysis to crime takes good observation, good critical thinking skills and good science,” said Marlene Tromp, a cultural studies expert and New College’s dean, who will co-teach Murder Most Foul with Kim Kobojek, a practicing forensic scientist turned New College faculty member. “Looking at two real murder cases – both of which had a series of unresolvable questions – we will explore the power of using the full body of knowledge, from social and cultural analysis to sophisticated forensic techniques, to unravel the mysteries of crime.”

Tromp and Kobojek promise to lead students through the labyrinth of sex, lies, and murder to the “facts.”

For students with an interest in popular music and popular culture, the course Michael Jackson (MUS 354) might be an appropriate summer choice. Students will engage in in-depth study of Jackson in the history of popular music. The course emphasizes aural analysis and synthesis of historical data with musical phenomena to create new perspectives on Jackson’s career and impact on contemporary music.

The concept of the “wild, wild West” will be explored in The American West(ern) in Pop Culture: Gender, Race and Identity (AMS 394). This course will examine popular film and short fiction that shape and challenge concepts of gender, race and identity as influenced by notions of the American West, past and present.

Political junkies will be fascinated by the course Media and Politics (POS 434). Students will probe the relationship between mass media and politics in the United States, focusing on topics including media and elections, and media and government.

These are just a few of the more than 100 online, hybrid and in-person classes offered this summer by New College.

Three convenient summer school sessions will be offered for 2014, with most classes offered during two six-week sessions. Session A meets from May 19 through June 27; Session B meets from July 2 through Aug. 12; Session C meets May 19 through July 11.

In-person courses and hybrid courses (mix of in-person and online) offered by New College are taught on ASU’s West campus in northwest Phoenix. Most of the offerings are online courses that may be taken by students across metropolitan Phoenix and beyond.

New College’s summer courses are taught by full-time faculty or experienced faculty associates who are specialists in their field.

Registration is now under way. New College academic advisers may be reached at (602) 543-7000.