New or Changed Courses - Fall


New Course

ERTH 347 - Earth's Climate: Past, Present, and Future (1) (QA)

This course focuses on the fundamentals of Earth's climate system and how it has varied through time. Students will learn how Earth historians use the rock record to determine past climate states as well as explore modern anthropogenic climate change. Topics will include: geologic time, carbon cycle, Milankovitch cycles, climate models
and proxies, climate history.

HIST 369 - History of the Pacific Northwest (1)

In this course, students will engage with the environmental, political, social, and cultural history of the Pacific Northwest. We will explore both what makes this region distinctive and what traits we share with other regions. Using both
primary and secondary works, as well as theoretical approaches to the study of regions, we will seek to understand both the region in its historical context, as well as its relation to the nation and the world. We wil be asking: Where
is the "Pacific Northwest?" Who calls this region "home?" What draws people here? Why do we live as we do? How have people shaped and reshaped the environment within which we live? What does learning about this "place" teach us? What does our future portend?

MUSC 161 - Musicianship I (1)

Review of the rudiments of music, including clefs, notations, meters and their signatures, key signatures, scales, intervals, triads, and seventh chords. Two-voice composition; the basic phrase model; chorale harmonization and
figured bass; leading-tone, predominant, and 6/4 chords; tonic expansions, root progressions, and the median triad; the interaction of melody and harmony; and cadences. Laboratory.

MUSC 261 - Musicianship III (1)

Topics include: Modal mixture chromatic mediants and submediants, the Neapolitan and augmented sixths, popular song and art song, variation and rondo, sonata form, advanced chromaticism. Laboratory.

MUSE 160X - Rhythm Workshop (.25)

An exploration of the various components of the rhythmic language in western and world musics, culminating in a public performance featuring both pre-composed and improvised works. Meets two hours per week. Required of all music majors and minors.

Course Change

CHNSE 254 - Folklore and Identity (1) (4th Semester Language)

This course examines various issues of identity through folklore practices in East Asia with focus on China. Topics include: language, ethnicity, myth and ritual, rites of passage, festivals, popular culture, folk arts, and Chinese/Asian
American folklore and identity. Texts include those of Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist thoughts and of disciplinary studies. By surveying the topics, analyzing the key texts and contexts, the participants will not only gain the
knowledge of the topics, but also learn to apply some disciplinary methods to interpret text and practice. The course will include lectures, discussions, debates, presentations, and various projects.

FREN 336 - Introduction to French and Francophone Studies I (1) (TH)

This course will analyze the French (and in many ways, European) portrayal of Otherness from the discovery of the New World to the beginning of colonialism. Throughout this period, the Other was viewed as at once morally attractive and repulsive, held as a model of wisdom (Noble Savage) or feared for its “monstrous” customs. The presence of the Other is the undercurrent of cultural and philosophical discourses of a France whose participation in the geopolitical scene between the 16th and 19th centuries provided it with ideological justifications for its imperialistic endeavors.

IDS 201AW - Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies (1) (EV, W)

"Parthenon/Elgin Marbles Debate"

This course will also count as an elective in the Archaeology, Art History, and Classics majors/minors.

In conjunction with the forthcoming exhibition,"The Archaeologist's Eye: The Parthenon Drawings of Katherine A. Schwab" (at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, November 7, 2015 through January 31, 2016), Profs. Clark (Rhetoric) and Nicgorski (Art History/Archaeology) are offering this special interdisciplinary seminar on the Parthenon/Elgin Marbles Debate. This course will have two major foci: first, a study of the Parthenon in its original historical context, as a work of visual rhetoric, and as an expression of the Athenian worldview at a particular moment in time; second, a study of the Parthenon in post-classical times, with particular focus on the ongoing Elgin Marbles debate, an iconic and still unresolved cultural heritage dispute. The class will explore the complex historical, historiographic, aesthetic, rhetorical, political, economic, and ethical issues related to this topic. These issues are important and urgent ones that form a significant part of a broader public dialogue about cultural identities and institutions in an increasingly complex, and interconnected world. Through class readings, conversations, and debates, students will become more informed, critical, resourceful and creative in thinking about these issues; and better prepared to make meaningful contributions to this significant cultural dialogue in the world beyond Willamette.

Guest speakers will include Robert Edsel (author of The Monuments Men and Saving Italy), James Cuno (Willamette University alumnus and Board of Trustees member; President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, and author of Who Owns Antiquity?), Katherine Schwab (Artist and Professor of Art History at Fairfield University), and others.

JAPN 131 - Elementary Japanese (1)

The goal of this course is the development of fundamental communication skills in real-life settings. All four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) and culture will be emphasized. Class will be conducted based on
explanations of language structures and various activities. Approximately 30 kanji in addition to hiragana and katakana will be introduced.

JAPN 231 - Intermediate Japanese (1)

The goal of this course is the development of communication skills in a large range of everyday conversations. All four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) and culture will be emphasized in this course. Class will
be conducted based on explanations of language structures and various activities. Approximately 80 new kanji will be introduced.

"One Time Only" Courses

CS 131 - Lightning Java (.5)

Rapid introduction to Java for students with programming experience. Specific topics to be addressed: The Java programming language; classes, objects, control structure, Threads, Graphics, simple animation.

MATH 135 - Preparation for Calculus (1)

A study of the properties and graphs of elementary functions. Topics include: graphs of functions, conic sections, polynomial functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, trigonometry.

MATH 239 - Accelerated Statistics (1) (QA*)

The general linear model is a fundamental tool frequently implemented by statisticians to describe the relationship between a quantitative response variable and one or more qualitative and/or quantitative explanatory variables. In this course, we will explore the implementation of the general linear model which will ultimately lead us to common model fitting techniques, including simple/multiple linear regression, ANOVA, factorial ANOVA, and ANCOVA. While
theoretical results will occasionally be covered to provide necessary justification, the primary focus of the class will be on applying the aforementioned model fitting techniques to real data sets. Finally, the statistical software R will be used throughout the course to perform data analysis.

"One Time Only" Courses with MOI Designation

REL 228 - God's Enemies? The Problem of Religious Violence (1) (EV)

This seminar investigates the relationship between religion and violence, focusing primarily on Christianity. Approaching religion as a meaning making practice with material effects, we examine the central roles played by religion(s) in setting limits for which bodies are valued. We explore how religion is used both to justify and to resist violence. Topics will include lynching and abolition movements, liberation theologies, queer theory, ecofeminism, suicide bombers, martyrdom, torture, and drones (among others).

REL 229 - Point & Shoot: The Ethics of Looking at "Others" (1) (EV)

This seminar investigates how images are used to both construct and resist “otherness.” We explore the ethical dilemmas involved in looking at suffering, the aestheticization of violence, and the representation of bodies. Drawing on religious studies, visual studies, critical theory, performance theory, rhetorical analysis, and ethics, we attend to the responsibilities of image-makers and image consumers; the roles of artists and viewers in an image-saturated culture; the (mis)use of images to construct difference; and questions about how human beings engage language and images to make worlds.

Special Topics Courses

ARTH 121W - Art Historical Inquiry (1) (W)

"What is Art About?"

This course intends to provide an introductory set of concepts, paradigms, and methods of interpretation that will allow students to undertake an historical analysis of works of art. By examining the variable definitions of “art” over time –from ancient philosophical disquisitions, such as Plato’s and Aristotle’s, to Postmodern categories, such as “deconstruction” – the course aims to offer a stimulating frame of conceptual references, so students will be able to explore, and better understand, the multiple functions and roles played by art within different societies.

ARTS 342 - Topics in Sculpture (1) (CA)

"Responding to African Sculpture"

After a brief survey of both historical and contemporary sculpture from the African continent, students will respond to specific works by making sculptures in any appropriate medium that relates to the form, content, theme, cultural context, use of materials, or approach of the chosen work. The course acknowledges the debt of modernism to the art of Africa, and recognizes the fact that contemporary sculptors continue to be influenced by it.

BIOL 470 - Special Topics in Biology (.5-1) (QA)

"Vector-Borne Diseases - Investigating Factors Influencing Transmission & Control"

Throughout this course, students will learn about molecular and clinical aspects of globally important pathogens vectored by mosquitoes, ticks, sand-flies, etc. These so-called vector-borne pathogens impact the lives hundreds of millions of people annually worldwide. Some of the most important vector-borne diseases are malaria, filariasis, and dengue virus - all of which will be discussed in this course. In addition to learning about classic and endemic pathogens in the US, students will discuss and track emerging vector-borne diseases currently threatening our nation (Chikungunya virus and Bourbon virus are the most recent examples). Through interactive lectures, "journal club" style discussions and more, we will investigate current control strategies for vector-borne disease (e.g. vector control, use of vaccines, and available therapeutics) and investigate how societal and environmental factors (i.e. climate change) are impacting vector-borne diseases in our nation and worldwide.

CCM 242 - US Public Discourse in teh Broadcast Age (1) (EV)

"Early Protest Strategies of the Black Freedom Movement"

This course engages African American Public Discourse from the 1850s through the mid 1950s to better understand patterns of argument, stylistic artistry, and the multiple ways in which texts operate in context. This course surveys both the primary documents of African American rhetors and the secondary literature that explicates this discourse. By analyzing speeches, songs, poems, manifestoes, images and various protest strategies, this course cultivates an appreciation for the diversity of media produced by African Americans. Oral Traditions and Early Protest Strategies of the Black Freedom Movement also considers the range of opinions, perspectives, and rhetorical strategies expressed within these varied media. Through sustained consideration of a variety of primary and secondary texts, this course familiarizes students with the complexity of early African American public discourse, in particular, and with diverse approaches to rhetorical analysis, more generally.

CCM 343 - Controversies in the Northwas Public Discourse (1)

"Rhetorics of the Western Frontier"

This course examines the use of rhetoric across various forms while engaging the topic of the Western Frontier. As a Controversies in Northwest Public Discourse class, it takes seriously the relationship between communication and space and engages contested views of the frontier myth, frontier rhetoric’s implications for indigenous populations, constructions of whiteness, and gendered notions of individualism. The course broadens students’ skills in analyzing messages and understanding different written and visual genres. By exploring speeches, written texts, and visual rhetoric, critics will gain tools for understanding multiple forms of communication practices and for analyzing the technologies out of which they develop. The class is primarily connected to public memory studies, film theory, and feminist and postcolonial studies.

CCM 360 - Topics in Public Discourse (1)

"Freedom of Speech"

This course deals with the history of freedom of speech. Beginning with the roots of free speech in classical Greece, we will explore speech and expression as legal concepts (especially in US Supreme Court case law) as well as appeals to free speech and expression by a number of 19th, 20th and 21st-century social movements. Along the way, we will deal with questions of the relationship between free speech and democracy, the relationship between “speech” and non-linguistic forms of political expression (from visual rhetoric to protests to political violence), the ethics of free speech, the relationship between political speech and identity (especially gender, race and class identity) and the effects of corporate speech and digital media on contemporary freedoms of expression.

ENGL 116W - Topics in American Literature (1) (W, IT)

"Latina/o Literature and Performance: Latin@ Proximities"

This course will examine the ways Latina/o identity is performed across a selection of experimental, popular and canonical works of literature, drama, performance art, television, theory, film, and on the Internet, with special attention to the way Latina/o culture takes shape in proximity to other racial formations. Who is Latina/o? How is Latina/o identity created and how is it contested? Who claims latinidad and why? What possibilities for cultural expression and political contestation do different media offer? What are the racial, sexual, and class politics that emerge in the creative expression, or performance, of latinidad? We will examine narrative works in which Latina/o identity is constructed and contested, and in which the racial and ethnic coherence of Latina/o culture is articulated alongside or simultaneously with Asian American, African American, Native American and other proximal communities and cultures.

This is a writing- and discussion-based course that fulfills the Interpreting Texts and Writing-Centered Student Learning Outcome designations. It is designed as an introduction to literary, performance, and critical race studies through the analysis of Latin@ cultural production. Students are expected to read consistently and attend class ready to discuss the material. Through a number of short writing assignments, students will develop their questions about the texts into focused close readings and turn these close readings into a larger argument, around which they will develop a research plan for a final paper.

"21st Century Ethnic American Literature"

This course will consider how various poems, short stories, and novels by twenty-first century Native American, Latina/o, African American, and Asian American writers emerge from and respond to contemporary racial and socio-political contexts in the United States. As a class, we will explore how these texts engage through form, genre, and narrative a century marked by, for instance, “post-race” rhetoric; post-9/11 xenophobia and nativism; the democratization of representation via the Internet; and anti-Black and anti-Muslim responses to Barack Obama’s election and presidency. I will provide some historical and cultural materials to help place the readings in context. Students will practice reading closely and deeply with careful attention to textual evidence before articulating thoughtful, original arguments about texts and their contexts.

"Contemporary Voices in American Indian Literature"

This writing-centered course will examine cultural, historical, and literary forces that shape a writer's voice through the close study of contemporary American Indian literature. The silencing of Native voices through systematic eradication of tribal languages will act as teh lens through which we examine core questions about ethnic identitiy, oppression, culture, and the ways literature expresses these experiences. Along with theoretical texts, students will read two masterworks of the Native American Renaissance by Leslie Marmon Silko and James Welch. As a class, we will watch the 2014 adaptation of Welch's Winter in teh Blood, follow Sherman Alexie's Twitter feed, analyze a graphic collection of re-imagined Trickster tales, listen to "lyric matriarch" Luci Tapahonso's story-songs, and explore a diverse range of voices that express the present-day experience of indigenous people in North America. Coursework will focus on interpreting texts through analysis of literary techniques and the ways in which this "collective voice of nations" resists European literary tradition, reclaims identity and cultural symbols, resurrects Native languages, and redefines the image of what it means to be Native American in the 21st century.

ENGL 117W - Topics in British Literature (1) (W, IT)


This course will explore the representation of magic and the supernatural in British literature, concentrating on the medieval and early modern periods, and moving later in the semester to Victorian and contemporary fantasy. Texts will include Beowulf, Malory’s Morte Darthur, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. These and other works will lead us to consider questions related to power, knowledge, religion, gender, and the definition of the human. Also under consideration will be the “fantasy world.” How are magical spaces constructed and what is their relationship with factors like genre and historical context?

"King Arthur"

Few legends have remained vital as long as the story of King Arthur has. Beginning with brief references in Latin histories, Arthur has risen again and again in medieval adventure stories, Victorian lyrics, and contemporary cinema. To investigate this phenomenon, this writing-centered seminar will trace the development of the legend from its oldest written manifestations to the present day. We will discuss topics such as how Arthur’s story changes in different genres and media. Texts will include Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir Thomas Malory’s The Death of Arthur, and the indispensable Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

ENGL 119 - The Forms of Literature: The Art of Reading Poetry, Drama, Fiction (1) (IT)

"Latina/o Literature and Performance: Latin@ Proximities"

This course will examine the ways Latina/o identity is performed across a selection of experimental, popular and canonical works of literature, drama, performance art, television, theory, film, and on the Internet, with special attention to the way Latina/o culture takes shape in proximity to other racial formations. Who is Latina/o? How is Latina/o identity created and how is it contested? Who claims latinidad and why? What possibilities for cultural expression and political contestation do different media offer? What are the racial, sexual, and class politics that emerge in the creative expression, or performance, of latinidad? We will examine narrative works in which Latina/o identity is constructed and contested, and in which the racial and ethnic coherence of Latina/o culture is articulated alongside or simultaneously with Asian American, African American, Native American and other proximal communities and cultures.

This is a lecture-based course that fulfills the Interpreting Texts mode of inquiry. It is designed as an introduction to literary, performance, and critical race studies through the analysis of Latina/o cultural production. Students are expected to read consistently and attend class ready to discuss the material. Through a number of short writing assignments and three written exams, students will develop a critical understanding of literary production and learn to articulate a sustained interpretation of a text through effective use of literary and scholarly writing.

FREN 438 - Topics in Cinema (1) (TH)

" Colonialism and Post-Colonialism"

Through a prolonged engagement with French history from the French Revolution to today, this course focuses on the political, socio-economic, and cultural issues pertaining to French colonialism, decolonialization, and post-colonialism raised by French, Francophone, and African filmmakers. Examining the relationship between cinema and other forms of creative practice and expression, in particular history, literature, and the visual arts over the course of the semester, students will gain an in-depth understanding of how various aspects of the French colonial heritage continue to impact and influence life both in France and throughout the Francophone world. In addition to exploring the significance and use of cinema in juxtaposition with cultural and social development, this course seeks to answer, among others, the following questions: What aspects of France’s colonial past continue to hold sway over the Fifth Republic? How and why have identity and belonging shifted since the French Revolution? How is memory constructed and what role does it play in contemporary identity-formation? What is the postcolony and what is its relationship with the former colonizer? How do filmmakers engage their audience with such questions?

HIST 131: Historical Inquiry (1) (TH)

"Latin@'s and US History"

This course examines the myriad causes and experiences of Latin@ (im)migration in US history. Students will understand the complex power relationships embedded in the realms of geopolitics, territoriality, and culture that have shaped long-standing interconnectivity of peoples, culture, and ideas across the border. We will analyze and discuss the politicized and racialized meanings of the term “latino/a” throughout history and explore processes of identity formation. In addition to examining major economic and political phenomena that have impelled interactions across the border, students will analyze specific case studies focused on individuals, communities, and social movements in the past. Students will engage specifically with the history of Latin@s in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

"Utopias in History"

“Imagine” sang John Lennon, “all the people living life in peace…” Men and women have always envisioned societies that were better, more just, more equal than the one in which they lived. In this course, we will study a number of utopian visions of better pasts and futures. We will use our study of these imagined societies to discern what they can tell us about the time period in which they were produced, as well as how we, as later readers, understand them. We will ask, too, what role imagining a better life plays in the fulfillment of real change in society.

This course is an introduction to the nature of historical inquiry using works of utopian thought and fiction. Through the exploration of works of utopian writing, as well as secondary works by historians on utopias and utopian thought, primary documents, and other materials we will both learn about historical periods in which the literature appeared, as well as the approach of historians to the topic and to the discipline more generally.

HIST 131B -Historical Inquiry (1) (TH)

"French Revolution"

This course contributes to the general education program of the College as a part of the "Thinking Historically" Mode of Inquiry. We will seek to explore the nature of historical inquiry, that is, what historians do, and the means for this exploration will be the French Revolution which occurred at the end of the eighteenth century. Also among our objectives here, we will seek to grasp how human consciousness and agency are historically situated, how change and continuity are related in human experience, and how the human past shapes our present and our anticipations of the future.

As the reading schedule below indicates, pare of the course centers on historical doculments from the revolutionary period, and as we wrestle with those documents, we will attempt to construct an intelligible and meaningful narrative history of the revolution. A second part of the course will focus on aspects of the historiography of the revolution, that is, on interpretations of the revolution offered by receent, major historians, interpretations we will have to evaluate critically in light of our own understanding of the revolution as we develop it from the documents.

HIST 221AW - History Workshop (1) (W)

"Social History"

History Workshop introduces students to the methodologies employed in the discipline of history. Particular attention is given to historical research process, the use of evidence, and historical writing. The Social History section focuses on how historians have uncovered the experiences of women, working people, and people of color in the American West. Course readings allow students to engage with mongraphs that use a variety of approaches to studying western histpry "from the bottom up," with particular attention to their use of primary source materials. Students will closely engage a series of promary sources of their own choosing as they build individual projects.

HIST 221CW - History Workshop (1) (W)

"Oral History"

This course is an introduction to the theory, methods, and practice of oral history. Students will explore how scholars have used oral history to reconstruct the experience of individuals, groups, and communities that are not frequently represented in conventional archives. Most readings will draw on scholars who engage in writing "history from below," suce as the history workshop movement in Britain, or scholars committed to critical race and feminist approaches, as well as social and cultural history. Course themes include controversial debates and objectives of oral history; insider/outsider status and other methodological challenges; oral history as advocacy and empowerment; interpreting oral source material; historical memory and the politics of remembering; life histories; and oral narratives and performance. Students will also design and conduct a collaborative oral history project, and present findings at the end of the semester.

HIST 343 - Studies in European History (1)

"Michel Foucault and Critical History"

Michel Foucault was one of the most powerful and creative thinkers of the late 20th Century. This seminar will focus on his major books, Madness and Civilization,The Birth of the Clinic, Discipline and Punish, and The History of Sexuality, vols.1, 2 and 3. We will also read articles, interviews, essays and excerpts from other books as we seek to understand Foucault's notions of archaeology, genealogy, problematization and critical history.

HIST 379 - Studies in Comparative History (1)

"Transnational History"

HIST 379 is premised on the idea that people, things, and ideas in the past were mobile. Course topics include, migration and disporas, long-distance trade, international political and religious movements, imperialism and colonial encounters, and maritime studies. Special attention will be given to the lives of migrants, laborers, traders, artists, intellectuals, missionaries, and other people whose experiences and relationships link, and transcend, politically bounded territories. Various geographic areas will be covered.

POLI 315 - Topics in Politics (1)

"Comparative Courts and Politics"

Comparative Courts and Politics is designed for students who want to learn more about the role of courts in the modern state and to understand their growing importance as political actors. These are some of the questions that will guide us: What is the political logic that gives rise to judicial power? How do courts make decisions? What is judicial independence? Why are some judiciaries around the world more independent than others? Can courts bring about social and political change? We will constantly put the theories we engage with in dialogue with events and facts about judicial systems in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Africa. Over the course of the semester we will apply what we learn about courts and politics in a collective class project: the design and staffing of the highest court in a fictional country inspired by contemporary Egypt. The class will represent different political factions present in the Egyptian parliament and we will prepare for and hold debates to determine the characteristics of this supreme court.

RUSS 325 - Topics in Russian Literature (1) (IT)


This course provides an introduction to Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (1821-1881) and his prose fiction. To this end, we read works from different periods in Dostoevsky’s writing, works that reveal the variety and development of interests and approaches in his writing. In addition, we consider the views of Dostoevsky and others on his writing with the hope that we will gain a fuller sense of why Dostoevsky’s writing was important for his time and, perhaps, why it could be important for all time.

SOC 131 - Sociological Inquiry (1) (US)

"Sports Globalization"

This course will explore the sociology of sport on a global level. Exploring sport on a regional/national level and explaining the social and political context of sport by region. The political and social aspects of sport are very prevalent, particularly in the developing world. The culture of many nations among the global south is imbued in sport (most often, soccer), and this will be explored in our course. Sport is the social fabric of many developing nations, whereby opposing groups, religions, and tribes are united by a commonality of support of the national team, who usually are a diverse representative of the many factions and ethnic groups within a nation.

SOC 358 - Special Topics in Sociology (1)

"Race, Class, Gender in the Media"

The sociology of media is a growing field within the discipline, providing tools and perspectives for understanding the media, and the broader society they reflect and shape. Through the study of the media, sociologists ask significant questions about how to understand the content, consumption and production of cultural discourse, as well as the social context in which it emerges. As socializing agents, the mass media have a tremendous power to shape group relations and social identity, conditioning consumers into society’s dominant ideologies. Repeated exposure over time reinforces the systems of inequality centered around racism, classism, sexism & heterosexism.Sociological study of the media attends to the significance of this social institution, its relationship with other major societal systems, and the consequences of representation in the daily life of individuals and their interactions with one another. 

"Health and Society"

This course will examine fundamental and salient sociological concepts and topics concerning health and illness. Topics include the role of sociological theory in understanding health and illness; social meanings and experiences of illness; patient-professional relations in medicine; health inequalities across race, class, and gender; health and the life course; health care delivery systems and patient outcomes; the Affordable Care Act; and other key developments in the field such as medical technologies and the emergence of bio-ethnics.

"Gender, Queer Theory and Environment"

This course provides an overview of gender and queer theory as they pertain to the natural environment. We will focus on the historical and theoretical foundations of feminism, gender, queer theory, and socio-environmental theories. We will examine the relationship between gender and anthropogenic environmental change, specifically the ways in which access to resources and environmental harm are distributed along gendered lines. We will draw from queer theory to problematize heteronormativity and destabilize gender and other identities. In addition, we will delve into how queer theory unsettles views that equate "natural" with "straight" while "queer" is treated as against nature.