New or Changed Courses - Spring


New Courses (last updated, 10/21/16)

HUM 202 - Introduction to Art Museum Studies (1) (EV)

This course is designed to introduce students to the Art Museum as a distinctive, cultural institution, arising in the late 18th and early 19th century, which produces, organizes, and structures knowledge, and thereby shapes the ways we understand art, history, geography, cultural differences, social hierarchies, and individual identities. The course will cover the origins, history and typology of Art Museums and related institutions around the world; the mission and organization of different kinds of Art Museums; selected theories and methodologies of museology, and selected rhetorical and ethical issues related to accessibility, authenticity, censorship, colonialism, repatriation, nationalism, multiculturalism, diversity, and technology. The course will include several field trips and a final project.

HUM 250/350/495 Independent Study in Humanities (.5-1)

Directed reading and/or research in the Humanities.

PSYC 310 - Clinical Psychology (1) 

This course provides an overview of the science and profession of clinical psychology, highlighting the treatment of psychological disorders through psychotherapy. Methods of empirically evaluating the effectiveness of various therapeutic interventions (for example, through randomized controlled trials) is a key aspect of the course. Multiple theoretical frameworks will be covered, including psychoanalytic and humanistic therapies. Emphasis will be placed on modern evidence-based therapies, including cognitive behavioral and acceptance-based interventions. This course includes only minor coverage of specific diagnoses, which are covered in more depth in Psych 335 and Psych 337. 

REL 347 - The Meaning of Life: Muslim and Jewish Thought in Philosophy's Golden Age (1) (IT)

Is the world eternal or created? What is the soul? Can one arrive at truth through science and philosophy, or only through scripture? These were some of the questions that Muslim and Jewish philosophers asked in the medieval period, a golden age of philosophy for both religions. In this course we will study the developments of the concepts of creation, the soul and prophecy in the thought of prominent Muslim and Jewish philosophers such as Ibn Sina, Al-Ghazali, Ibn Rushd, Judah Halevi, Isaac Israeli and Maimonides. We will discuss what makes these philosophies Muslim or Jewish, and examine the interaction between the two faiths.


Course Changes (under construction)

Topic Courses (last updated, 11/18/16)

ARTS 399 - Topics in Studio Art

01 - Art and Public Engagement (1) (CA)

Art and Public Engagement will introduce students to art making processes and strategies that develop a dialogue with the greater public.  This course will ask students to plan and execute public projects in a variety of media including: producing and disseminating printed materials; orchestrating public interventions; and live performance.  Social Practice, activism, forms of resistance, community building, information gathering and sharing, and participatory art will be explored through lectures, demonstrations, fieldtrips, and assignments. Will be offered in future terms as ARTS 344. 

CLHI 497W: World Literature Senior Seminar

01: The Necessity of Evil?

Though the notion of Evil is not unique to any one culture, to any one time, Evil is usually understood through concepts of the forbidden (taboos), opprobrium, retribution, revenge, and punishment. In the West, since the advent of Christianity, Evil has been inseparable from the idea of original sin. Characterized by personal and particular notions of fidelity (to Jesus, saints, priests and, through feudalism, to kings), Christianity is incompatible with the notion of universalism, a characteristic of modern society (industrial, technological, bureaucratic, whether capitalist or socialist) which has replaced God with other absolutes such as the State, Race, Progress. Through this secularization of the notion of Evil, “sinning” against these absolutes constitutes an evil / criminal act in modern society. 

This course proposes to explore the following questions from a philosophical, sociological/psychological and literary point of view: What is the nature of evil? What constitutes an evil act? Is evil necessary? Were the necessity for absolutes to dissipate, would the concept of evil also disappear? Why are representations of evil so prevalent in culture and the arts? 

ECON 399: Topics in Economics

01: Discourse on Income Inequality (1)

Americans in the top 1 percent income group receive 38 times more income than the bottom 90 percent. The top 1 percent accounts for nearly 23% of all pre-tax income while leaving less than half to the bottom 90 percent. Rising income disparity has sparked heated public discourse on the nature, causes and impacts of income inequality. Some scholars maintain that inequality is a natural, healthy product of a capitalist market economy, and a stimulus for competition and progress. While others insist that vast income inequality produces debilitating impacts on the economy and society. Some attribute inequality to openness to trade while others blame government taxes and other polices. This course will explore these different perspectives and theories on income inequality. We will start by examining the various indicators of income inequality. We will then investigate the multidimensional causes of income inequality. Next, we will venture onto the debates on whether income inequality matters and what are the particular impacts of income inequality on individual welfare, economic stability and long term growth. We will end with policy discussions regarding what should be done to tackle with income inequality at the personal, national and global levels. Will be offered in future terms as ECON 320.

02: 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: Game Theory (1)

Many formal economic models fall apart when decisions are based on the response of the competition. This course explores various game theory models, introducing students to the tools, and methods used to model decisions made in close competition between few individuals or firms. Students will explore ways that price or quantity supplied is determined in duopolistic markets. Students will evaluate theories that seek to explain decisions made by the world’s super powers, by generals in war, by athletes in competition, and by politicians running for election. 

ENGL 116w: Topics in American Literature

02: American Dystopias

Globally and nationally, we live in an era Salman Rushdie has called “one of the great hinge periods of human history.” We face catastrophic climate change and resource scarcity, as well as massive and continuing violence by state and non-state agents. But the sense of political and cultural crisis is not new. In the past hundred years, North American writers have repeatedly envisioned a fascist America as developing in a possible future or an alternate past, sketching a time of social dissension and economic inequality, in which the country comes to be governed by big business, religious fundamentalism, and executive decree. In this course, we will examine five of these dystopian novels, considering their narrative structures, their political visions, their critiques of their own time, and their possible implications for readers today. 

ENVR 374: Special Topics in Environmental Science 

01: Biogeochemistry (1)
Biogeochemistry incorporates concepts from across the sciences and is appropriate for students who have completed an introductory course in ERTH, CHEM, or BIO. Biogeochemistry is the exploration the physical, chemical, and biological processes that govern the exchange of energy and elements between life and the environment. In this course, we will examine the global biogeochemical cycling of carbon, sulfur, phosphorus, and nitrogen. Drawing from the primary literature, we will investigate how biogeochemical cycling has changed over Earth’s history and as a result of human activities. Students will have the opportunity to do self- directed studies of biogeochemistry as it relates to agriculture, urban ecology, oceanography, archeology, paleontology and other systems.
Instructor: Dr. Katja Meyer, EES
Prerequisites: ERTH 121 or CHEM 115 or BIO 125
Counts toward: Upper level Natural Science Elective in EES major

02: Advanced Spatial Science (1)
Advanced Spatial Science course will help you expand your spatial science skills: quantitative assessment, spatial data interpolation, uncertainty tracking and analysis, spatial modeling, and ArcMap competency by building upon skills learned through the ERTH-333 course. This course is geared toward student thesis projects, though students with only spatial interest or personal spatial science projects will equally benefit. GIS programming, ArcModel Builder, advanced spatial data manipulation, and project management will all be the main focuses of the semester.
Instructor: Jonathan Halama, EES
Pre-Requisite: ERTH 333
Counts toward: Upper level Natural Science Elective in EES major

03: Hydrology at Zena Forest (.5)
After gaining a basic understanding of water properties, distribution and movement, students will design a hydrologic field station for Zena Forest and Farm. The course will include readings and class discussion on hydrologic theory and variables to consider when designing a hydrologic field station. Students will undertake field reconnaissance at Zena and possible excursions to established hydrologic field stations.
Instructor: Dr. Scott Pike, EES
Pre-requisites: ERTH 121
Counts toward: Upper Level Natural Science Elective in EES major

HIST 131: Historical Inquiry (1) (TH)

01: Hamilton: Hip Hop and History

This course will use Hamilton, the musical, as the jumping off point for a historical examination of late eighteenth century US.  We will discuss how Hamilton works as a historical interpretation, and as a cultural touchstone in our current political moment.  Why has Hamilton resonated with so many Americans?  Who in particular has it appealed to, and what is the nature of its appeal? On what basis have some commentators criticized the play?  What do we think of the politics of Hamilton, both the historical figure and the play? How does the play narrate the relationship between the American revolution and the multi-faceted, ongoing historical struggle for equality along lines of race, gender, and class?  What do American historians familiar with the Revolutionary era think about the play?  Lin-Manuel Miranda has encouraged his fellow citizens to produce their own versions of Hamilton and the nation's story, and one goal of the course will be to imagine (and perhaps even perform) alternative, musical histories in response to Miranda's play. Students will read many of the eighteenth century sources which inspired Miranda’s work, historical studies of the people and events depicted in the musical, and contemporary analyses of Hamilton in order to arrive at their own, critical understanding of Hamilton’s place in contemporary American culture, and American history more broadly.

02: The 1960s

The 1960s are remembered as a tumultuous decade, in which basic assumptions, relationships, and values were challenged. This decade profoundly shaped the ways in which Americans in the late 20th and early 21st centuries understand issues ranging from war and political leadership to gender relations and racial divisions. This course allows students to explore the 1960s through primary sources, and to debate historical interpretations of that era. Course materials cover a range of political, cultural and social developments of the 1960s, with a particular focus on social protest, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Vietnam War.

03: Postwar Japan, Feminism and Protest Movements

This class will explore how the Allied Occupation and the new constitution shaped modern Japan.  It was in this context that the economic recovery and the reconstruction of Japan occurred, giving rise to the "postwar economic miracle" and the remarkable period of "high- speed economic growth." Women were granted the right to vote in early postwar Japan and soon became active on a variety of political and economic stages. In 1960, some 16 million Japanese citizens engaged in a political protest movement against their government; one consequence of this movement was the introduction of second-wave feminism in 1970 with the appearance of the “women’s lib” movement.  Though many times smaller than the 1960 protest, the impact of women’s lib was deep and sustained.  And again in 2011-12 there were spontaneous eruptions of citizen protest against the resumption of the use of Nuclear Power in Japan in the wake of the Fukushima Triple Disaster.   We will examine these moments and  events through films, documentary and commercial, and in the narratives of several women’s lives which will deepen our understanding of this period, and some of the most powerful currents in modern Japan's cultural and social history.

04, 05: Race,Religion, and Ethnicity in the Middle East

This course examines concepts of citizenship and national identity in the Middle East with emphasis on Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan in the 19th and 20th centuries. Attention will be paid to racial, ethnic and religious minorities as well as social and legal reforms, and human rights violations. 
Race, ethnicity, and minority status are of crucial importance in the shaping of modern societies in the Middle East and Central Asia. Africans who were taken to the Middle East, primarily as slaves, have their own story to recount. Religious minorities, though often important agents of modernity, were subjects of discrimination and human rights violations. Ethnic groups were assimilated into a national narrative at the expense of their own identities. This course explores the evolution of these social groups in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan and asks to what extent they were recognized as citizens in the course of the past two centuries and how they found their voice and their place in their national community despite religious, traditional and nationalist barriers. Experiences of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, rise of the Baʻth in Iraq and the Taliban and other militant Islamic factions in Afghanistan since the late 1970s have brought to greater focus concerns for inequality and violation of civil rights of minorities and ethnic groups.

06: Muslims in Postwar Europe
Mass migrations that followed in the wake of the Second World War brought millions of people from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to the countries of central and western Europe.  One of the most significant effects of these postwar migrations was the development of Muslim communities in largely secular and culturally Christian Europe.  In this course, we will explore the history of these communities by analyzing the primary sources, creative narratives, and scholarly works that seek to tell their stories and make sense of their histories. 
Instructor: Vierra

HIST 211w - History Workshop

01: The Pacific War

The history workshop introduces the student to the methodologies employed in the discipline of history. Particular attention is given to the historical research process, the use of evidence, and the skills in historical writing. This iteration of the workshop focuses on the Pacific War (1931-1945) as a transnational event, encompassing Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas. In this course, we will begin by exploring the key issues that define current historical scholarship on the war, such as the relationship between constructions of race and constructions of empire, the social and ecological ramifications of dislocation and destruction, and the “history wars” that continue to rage in the post-Pacific war era. After a survey of relevant primary sources, students will be guided in the design and execution of independent research projects, culminating in a research essay.

HIST 306 - History through Biography

01: Feminist Activists in the 20th Century United States

This seminar explores the history of feminist activism in the 20th-century U.S., through biography.  The course considers how biography complicates histories of feminisms, as well as how feminisms influence the writing of biography.  Throughout, we will consider how individuals developed and deployed sexual, racial, gender, and political identities in relation to a range of social justice movements, as well as how biographers and movements themselves represent activists’ identities and life stories in search of social change.  In the course of reading a series of biographies of feminist (broadly defined) activists, students will compose short essays comparing individual histories and biographical approaches.  The course will culminate in a final research paper based on primary sources and analysis of a person (or movement) of students' choosing.

HIST 342 - Studies in American History

01: Hamilton Syllabus

Historians of the era of the American Revolution, such as the person teaching this course, feel conflicted about Hamilton, the musical. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s work has provoked a tremendous amount of public interest in early American history, especially amongst those under 30 who are not usually the target demographic for biographical studies of dead white men like Alexander Hamilton. More public interest in history would seem to be an unqualified good. But while the artistic brilliance of the play is largely unchallenged, many critics have raised questions about how successful it is as an interpretation of history. For many years to come, the public memory of Alexander Hamilton and the other characters and events featured in the play will be profoundly shaped by how they’ve been depicted in Hamilton, but even Miranda himself has insisted that the play should just be one voice in a chorus of historical interpretations. The goal of this course is to enrich that broader chorus through the creation of collaborative, online, #Hamiltonsyllabus projects. Because these projects will be student-generated, it is impossible to say ahead of time what form they will take, but some possibilities include alternate versions of the Hamilton story (written and, ideally, performed); original songs that could have been included in the play; annotated bibliographies of “further reading” for fans of the play who want to learn more; versions of Hamilton’s story expressed in other genres like a graphic novel or science fiction; extended critical analyses of the contemporary race, class, or gender politics of the play; and any other sort of digital, public project students can imagine. Students in the course can expect to learn about the era of the American Revolution, but also about the politics and ethics of historical interpretation and public storytelling. As they enter into the category of people “who tell [Hamilton’s] story,” students will grapple with the possibilities and challenges of doing history in a public, digital environment. Students in the class will be encouraged to bring their unique skills (artistic, musical, theatrical, analytical, humorous, etc.) to bear on these projects so as to make them as effective and engaging as possible.

HIST 343: Studies in European History (1)

01: Migration in 20th Century Europe
For the continent of Europe, the twentieth century was one of near-constant turmoil.  The massive upheaval caused by revolution, two world wars, and a “cold” war resulted in the displacement of millions, while postwar decolonization and temporary migrant worker programs brought millions more to central and western European states.  In this course, we will examine this tumultuous period of history through the perspective of migration, from displaced persons and refugees, to migrant workers and prisoners of war.  In the process, we will learn how migrants and migration, often considered only peripherally in European history, were both an important part of Europe’s twentieth century and also a significant shaper of it. 
Instructor: Vierra

HIST 379: Gender Trouble in the Middle East

This course examines concepts of gender and sexuality in the Middle East – with an emphasis on Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan - in the 19th and 20th centuries. Gender and sexuality in the Middle East are normally misconceptualized and miscontextualized in a way or another. Fantasies and fictions on harems, belly dancing on one side and exaggerated graphical daily violence on the other lead to misjudgments and biased analysis. This course goes beyond the surface of the society in order to deeply observe the question of gender in Middle Eastern countries. It revisits the cases of women in harems and the place of women in society and in politics in order to re- evaluate facts and fictions on the concepts of beauty, sexuality and power. It also analyzes homosexuality, transsexuality and feminism in the modern era. The course explores variety of ideological responses to gender trouble, ranging from extremist Islamist responses of non- tolerance and punishment to revolutionary feminist and reformist programs promoting inclusivity under civil and Islamic law.

POLI 315: Topics in Politics (1)

02: What's the Matter with American Politics
This course, which will be more like a book group than a conventional seminar, addresses two principal (and deeply interrelated) questions. First, why can’t Washington get anything done anymore—and what if anything can be done to make national politics more functional? Second, how can we explain—and what does it mean for the future of American politics--that Donald Trump became the nominee of a major political party? Each week we will read a recently published book that tackles these questions from different methodological and disciplinary perspectives and explores the role played by, among other factors, economic transformation and inequality, partisan polarization, racial backlash and identity, and the changing media environment. In our attempt to grapple with the Trump phenomenon and the changing landscape of American politics, we will read Marisa Abrajano and Zoltan Hajnal, White Backlash: Immigration, Race, and American Politics (2015); Arlie Russell Hochshild, Strangers in their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (2016); Justin Guest, The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality (2016); Katherine Cramer, The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker (2016); Marc Hetherington and Thomas Rudolph, Why Washington Won’t Work: Polarization, Political Trust, and the Governing Crisis (2015); Mark Thompson, Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics (2016); Yuval Levin, The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism (2016); Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led us to Forget What Made America Prosper (2016); and William Howell and Terry Moe, Relic: How our Constitution Undermines Effective Government and Why We Need a More Powerful Presidency (2016)

THTR 357: Design/Production Studio: Sound Design

Advanced course allowing individual in-depth exploration of various aspects of the theatrical design process. Incorporates through both theoretical and practical projects: text and performance analysis, development of scenic, costume and/or lighting concepts, problems of technical execution.


One Time Only Courses (last updated, 10/19/16)

IDS 214 - Food Justice Practicum (.5)

Introduction to issues of food justice and food sovereignty globally and locally with a practicum component to include farm work and service learning on campus and community settings and partnership with Marion Polk Foodshare's local food systems project.

IDS 330 - Bodies/Souls/Desire/Power: An Exploration of Embodiment
In a world where bodies experience injustice, inequality, suffering, violence, and a lack of control, how have humans responded with conceptions of grace, pleasure, identity, and beauty? How do bodies become sites for contested power relations, medical or legal regulation, or the justification of inequality? How do we experience desire, longing, violence, harm, sickness, death, limits, and borders in the body? This course explores conceptions of the body, the soul, desire, and power in key texts drawn from the fields of politics, history, religion, philosophy, art, and poetry from pre-modern and modern authors. Counts towards either Politics or History major/minor.

One Time Only Courses with MOI Designation (last updated, 10/19/16)

REL 325 - Race and Religion (1) (US) 

Race and religion are both important aspects of human identity construction, social formation and myth-making. But how do they relate to one another? In this course we will examine how race
has been used to define religion, how religion has been used to define race, and how these two socially constructed categories have often worked together in the complex social and political history of the Americas.To do this, we will focus on examples of religions from Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America, including Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Spiritualism, and Afro-Atlantic traditions, among others. Students will learn to think theoretically about key terms and concepts, such as diaspora, discursive tradition, ritualization, cultural continuity and change, creolization, and nationalism.

One Time Only Courses with Writing-Centered Designation

One Time Only Topics Courses