New or Changed Courses - Fall

(under construction, last updated 3/24/17)

THE FOLLOWING ARE DESCRIPTIONS FOR FALL 2017 COURSES THAT ARE NEW OR CHANGED SINCE THE LATEST VERSION OF THE PRINTED CATALOG, INCLUDING:

New Course

CS 389: Junior Seminar (1)

Junior Seminar will include group studies of contemporary computer science problems and research. Topics include networking and communications, data science, high performance computing. Students will research and present theoretical background of these topics, implement projects and report their project outcome.

Course Change

CCM 260SW: Media and the Environment (1)

NOTE: New Service Learning component is part of some, but not all, sections of CCM 260SW. 

IDS 214: Food Justice Practicum (1)

Where does our food come from and how does the study of food systems help us understand issues of justice and race?  How can we change food systems to address issues of equity, justice, and health?  This course serves as an introduction to issues of food justice and food sovereignty globally and locally.  Topics will include historical, political, and ethical context of food systems and sustainable agriculture; problems with the current industrial food system; critical assessment of alternative agriculture movements; how race, culture, and economics shape notions of food justice and food sovereignty; and challenges and opportunities for creating a more just and local food system in the mid-Willamette Valley.  The practicum component will include farm work on campus, at Zena, and in community settings and partnership with Marion Polk Food Share's food justice programs.  Special for Fall 2017: Guest Artist Betty LaDuke (http://www.bettyladuke.com/) will work with our class to create aesthetic and artistic responses to the issues of food justice. 

RHET 362w: Telling News: Framing Reality (1)

This course examines news accounts as they construct the meaning of the events they report. Students explore how reality is shaped when the media privileges a particular frame for the events; sketches familiar plotlines, characters, or ideologies; or gives authority to some voices and silences others. Finally, the course addresses the effect of media conventionalizing, in the symbolic complexes addressed and the formulaic stories they spawn, on both the range of interpretationS and the range of topics that are publicly addressed.

"One Time Only" Courses

ECON 399: Topics in Economics

01: Labor Economics (1)

This course examines competing views concerning the fundamental determinants of labor market outcomes. The course explores the role of the labor market and other institutional factors in determining wages, employment and the distribution of income. Special consideration will be devoted to topics of poverty, underemployment and labor market discrimination.

ECON 429: Topics in Economics

01: The Next System (1)

This course examines alternatives to capitalism. In Introduction to Economic Inquiry and Microeconomic theory students engage arguments from the production/conflict/labor theory of value tradition.  Many of these arguments highlight the problematic nature of capitalism and beg the question:  If not capitalism, then what?   In this class, students will review arguments against capitalism, analyze historical attempts to establish a socialist alternative, and explore theoretical proposals for the design of the next system.

MATH 399: Topics in Mathematics

01: History of Mathematics (1) IT

This course is designed to give students an appreciation for mathematics as a human endeavor, created by a diverse group of individuals whose life experiences and insights are integrally tied to the discoveries they made.  Students will examine the development of various conceptual threads in mathematics over time, seeing the ways in which they evolved and contrasting this to the ways in which they are commonly presented.  Connections between various branches of mathematics will be explored; as well as the ways in which these connections enlighten, inform, and extend the boundaries of what is known.  Students will study primary sources, as well as more modern treatments of the subject.  Applying an historical perspective and the insights gained from close reading of texts, students will analyze the conventions and norms of communication adopted by mathematicians, the messages these norms convey, and their implications for the role of mathematics in society. 

"One Time Only" Courses with MOI Designation

MATH 399: Topics in Mathematics

01: History of Mathematics (1) IT

This course is designed to give students an appreciation for mathematics as a human endeavor, created by a diverse group of individuals whose life experiences and insights are integrally tied to the discoveries they made.  Students will examine the development of various conceptual threads in mathematics over time, seeing the ways in which they evolved and contrasting this to the ways in which they are commonly presented.  Connections between various branches of mathematics will be explored; as well as the ways in which these connections enlighten, inform, and extend the boundaries of what is known.  Students will study primary sources, as well as more modern treatments of the subject.  Applying an historical perspective and the insights gained from close reading of texts, students will analyze the conventions and norms of communication adopted by mathematicians, the messages these norms convey, and their implications for the role of mathematics in society. 

"One Time Only" Courses with Writing-Centered Designation

Special Topics Courses

HIST 131B 01: Popular Culture in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

The late medieval and early modern centuries saw significant developments in popular culture in Europe amidst great economic, religious, political, and social upheaval. This course introduces students to the lives of ordinary people in Europe before the industrial revolution, during the centuries between 1150 and 1650.  The course will consider a diverse range of sources such as letters, diaries, socio-economic data, fables, stories, Inquisition records, and court documents to explore how urban and rural Europeans experienced societal change and how culture and power were related prior to the eighteenth century. Among the topics included will be the interactions between elite and popular culture; urbanization; cultural and social responses to economic change, plague, and religious reformation; rural life and heresy; gender and social ritual; carnival, manners, and protest; the impact of printing; witchcraft and alchemy; law, village life, and the formation of identity. 

HIST 131B 02: The Holocaust

This course is an introductory seminar that studies the origins and implementation of the Nazi effort to exterminate Europe’s Jewish and Gypsy populations during the Second World War.  Drawing on recent historical texts, primary sources, and films, the course examines the emergence of racial anti-Semitism in modern Europe, its transformation into genocidal policy under the Nazis, and the ways in which Jews and others responded to the German onslaught.
The design of this course will allow seminar participants the opportunity to understand ways of “thinking historically.” By analyzing historical documents and arguments, we will think carefully about various theories of causation.  Critical thinking about evidence and about how historians have interpreted the Holocaust is the central goal of the course.

POLI 358: The Puzzle of American Exceptionalism 

Why did the United States never develop a robust socialist tradition comparable to say France or Germany? Why is economic inequality so much greater in the U.S. than in almost every other advanced industrial democracy? Why, too, does the U.S. stand virtually alone among western democracies in continuing to use capital punishment, and why does the U. S. have incarceration rates that are far higher than other industrial democracies? These and other related questions (e.g., why no national health insurance in the U.S., why is the U.S. a welfare state “laggard”, why no vacation time in the U.S) are at the core of what social scientists term “American exceptionalism.”  In this course, we will explore the concept ofAmerican exceptionalism, not as a normative claim (is America the best—or worst—in the world?) but as a sociological or empirical phenomenon. We will interrogate whether it is in fact true that the United States differs fundamentally from other western democracies. We will also probe whether the emergence of Donald Trump and the spread of right wing populism in Europe complicates or undercuts the usual narrative about American exceptionalism? To the extent that the United States is distinctive, what explains the differences between the United States and other advanced industrial societies? Is it the nation’s political institutions, and if so, which ones: the separation of powers, federalism, the judiciary? Alternatively, does the key to the puzzle lie in the nation’s political culture and political ideology, particularly its liberal, anti-statist tradition? Or should we seek the answers instead in “path-dependent” patterns ofpolitical development? Or do the answers lie in America’s distinctive racial past or perhaps in its extraordinary religiosity? The ultimate aim of this course is not only to place the study of American politics in a broader, comparative and historical perspective but to prepare you to think about political research in terms of puzzles to be posed and explained.