Lincoln, Detroit sports, cryptanalysis among unusual fall course offerings

Most Detroit Mercy students have some flexibility in their schedules to take elective classes.

Every semester sees a variety of unusual classes being offered.

Here are nine scheduled for fall 2017 that sound intriguing. All are three credits unless otherwise noted.



As evident in the class title, this session of HIS 4670 focuses on the former president, Abraham Lincoln.

The class goes through an intensive examination of Lincoln through books, movies, television and historical records in order to fully grasp Lincoln’s impact and identity throughout history.

History professor Roy E. Finkenbine has long been a student of Lincoln.

“Arguably, he is our best president,” he said. “Most polls of ordinary folk, as well as historians, rank him at the top consistently, and he benefits from leading us through one of our greatest crisis. So it’s worth studying.”

Ultimately, it is this highly regarded reputation of Lincoln that uniquely shapes him through history and pop culture.

Lincoln, an OB5E-LAE core option, will meet on Mondays, 6:40-9:10 p.m.



This “special topics” section of ENL 4670 focuses on cryptanalysis – the art or process of deciphering coded messages without being told the key.

This class, though, focuses on examples in English literature.

If you are a fan of puzzles or riddles, this class may be interesting to you.

Taught by the English professor John. C. Freeman, this class, an OB5E-LAE option, will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-3:15 p.m.


Museum Studies

Professor Dan Kroupa, an historian and a former employee of several museums, teaches HIS 4960.

Kroupa finds enjoyment in museums, their ability to reflect communities and their values through their collections.

He believes that even students who don’t necessarily love museums can benefit from learning about them. Students in the class will go on several trips to museums.

“Museums are so important as far as giving a three-dimensional element in a living atmosphere in history rather than just reading about it in books,” said Kroupa. “Additionally, if you’re interested in the museum field, this class is great way to network as I’ve had students get jobs from the field trips we take.”

Introduction to Museum Studies, an OB5E-LAE option, is offered every fall. This fall the class will be on Thursdays, 6:40-9:10 p.m.


Geography of Michigan

GEO 2120, being taught by history professor Kathryn Ann Gross, is the only class listed under the subject of Geography.

It promises something for students who have lived in the state all their lives, as well as those who are from elsewhere.

If you are a lover of geography, history or Michigan, you might consider this class.

The class includes a service-learning attribute, and is being offered Thursdays, 6:40-9:10 p.m.



Philosophy professor Gail Presbey leads the fall session of PHL 3050, which examines the ways that beauty and value or aesthetic is conceptualized through what is seen in nature as well as art. It puts the emphasis of conceptualization on different cultures as well as the importance of art to all people.

If understanding beauty on a deeper level is something that intrigues you, consider this course.

Aesthetics satisfies various core requirements but carries a PHL 1000 prerequisite. It will meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 11-11:50 a.m.


Aramaic Culture

ARM 3990 is an advanced-level language course that focuses on cultural themes in various art forms like music, film and theatre.

Aramaic is a language that is a part of a group of languages in the Northwest Semitic group that includes the Canaanite languages of Hebrew and Phoenician.

Mahir Ilya Awrahem teaches the class.

This class will give insight into how these early languages influence the languages used today and add perspective to their foundation and relevance.

This class is a one- to three-credit course, an OB5C option. It will be taught Tuesdays, 8:40-9:30 p.m., in the Ishtar Cultural Center.


Detroit Sports History

Communications professor and New York Times best-selling sports author Tom Stanton will lead this class.

A lover of sports and author of five sports books, Stanton explores famous Detroit athletes and events that have impacted society in a variety of ways. The class also looks at the history of Detroit sports journalism.

“There’s a lot of great material,” he said. “We deal with legendary figures like Ty Cobb, Joe Louis and Hank Greenberg, and what they’ve meant to society.”

If you are a lover of sports, have in interest in journalism or an interest in Detroit, this class might be for you.

This class will be taught Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:20 a.m. to 12:35 p.m.


Psychology of Personality

Taught by psychology professor Cheryl C. Munday, PYC 3410 looks at various theories pertaining to personality, with an emphasis on origins, structures and dynamics.

Psychology of Personality is an IT4 and 3C option. It will be offered Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:55-11:10 a.m.


Race and Political Thought

African-American Studies professor Aleksandr Zamalin teaches POL 3020, which is described as “examining the dynamic between power and inequality when it comes to race and politics and various studies, arguments and solutions for the way race is defined in society.”

If the intersection of race and politics interests you, this might be worth exploring.

Race and Political Thought will be offered on Monday, 1-3 p.m.