Adult Community Exploration Series offering free summer courses

GRINNELL, IA—Grinnell College will offer the Adult Community Exploration Series (ACES) throughout the summer with courses taught by faculty in political science, English, and chemistry. The courses are free, and registration is requested to assist instructors in preparing for class needs. All ACES classes will be held on Wednesday mornings from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Pioneer Room of the college's Old Glove Factory, located at 733 Broad Street in Grinnell, unless otherwise noted. To register, send email to calendar[at]grinnell[dot]edu; for questions, call 641-269-3178.

Courses for summer 2010 include:

“Can Technology Save Democracy?”

June 16, 23

Taught by Barbara Trish, associate professor of political science

The Internet age has created politics marked by abundant information and new paths and techniques for political actors to compete. Citizens, journalists, campaigns, and government also jockey to capitalize on Internet opportunities, seen by some as the key to political success and by others as the key to effective democracy. This course will explore the new Internet-based politics and consider the extent to which these developments are fundamentally new or the high-tech version of politics-as-usual, and whether technology can save democracy.

Barbara Trish teaches courses on U.S. politics, research design, and quantitative reasoning. Her scholarship focuses on political parties and campaigns, and she has most recently examined Organizing for America, the governing-era iteration of President Obama’s campaign organization. Trish is an administrator of the college's Program in Practical Political Education (PPPE) and is actively involved in Grinnell's long-standing relationship with Nanjing University.

“What’s Love Got to Do With It?”: Studies in the African American Sonnet Tradition"

June 30, July 7

Taught by Shanna Benjamin, assistant professor of English

Literary critics and historians have argued that prosody, the rhythm and intonation received from America’s colonial masters, faced a powerful insurgency in the 19th century with Whitman’s sweeping “Song of Myself” and Emerson’s declaration of artistic independence from “the courtly muses of Europe.” African American poets sought ways to imbue so-called “white” forms with the rhythm and imagery of black life. This course will examine representative poems by Claude McKay, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Wanda Coleman to understand how they adapt the sonnet to express the vibrancy and vulnerability of African American life.

Shanna Greene Benjamin teaches African American and American literature and culture and seminars on neo-slave narratives, black women writers, and black literature beyond race. A graduate of Johnson C. Smith University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Benjamin serves as faculty coordinator of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) program for students of color interested in college teaching.

“Mass Spectrometry and Magnetic Resonance: From CSI to MRI, the science behind ‘popular’ spectroscopy”

July 14, 21

Taught by Andrew Mobley, associate professor of chemistry

Please note: this course will be held in the Robert N. Noyce ‘49 Science Center, Room 2022

This course will cover the basics of the science behind the mass spectrometry seen on popular TV shows that feature forensic science such as “CSI,” “Law and Order,” or Mobley’s personal favorite “Bones.” The modern imaging technique called Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) will be covered from the standpoint of its chemistry equivalent, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). By the end of the course, participants should have a basic understanding of what these techniques can and cannot do, by analyzing data from Grinnell College instrumentation.

Andrew Mobley has taught organic chemistry at Grinnell since 1999. He received a B.A. from Carleton College and then worked with Professor Robert Bergman at the University of California at Berkeley where he received his doctorate. He became interested in his specialty, NMR spectroscopy of organometallic compounds, during a post-doctoral fellowship in Germany.

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Date: 
Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 06:30
Additional Contact Information: 
To register, send email to calendar@grinnell.edu; for questions, call 641-269-3178.
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Adult Community Exploration Series offering free summer courses
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