New or Changed Courses - Spring

THE FOLLOWING ARE DESCRIPTIONS FOR SPRING 2018 COURSES THAT ARE NEW OR CHANGED SINCE THE LATEST VERSION OF THE PRINTED CATALOG, OR THAT ARE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:


New Courses

ARTH 237: Modern and Contemporary Chinese and Chinese-American Art and Visual Culture (1, TH)

01: Modern Chinese Art, Vis Cultur

Surveys modern and contemporary art and visual culture in China and the Chinese diaspora from the fall of the Qing dynasty (1911) to the present within the context of political, economic, and cultural changes in modern Chinese history and society. Investigates the relationship between art and politics in emergence of Chinese modernism in the pre-modern period, the New Woodcut movement in the 1930s, revolutionary art for the masses under Mao Zedong, the avant-garde movement and opening to the west in the post-Mao period. Also examines the art and visual culture of the Chinese diaspora, particularly themes of identity in Chinese American art.

 CS 429: Introduction to Data Science

Data Science is the study of knowledge extraction from massive amounts of data. It requires an integrated skill set including aspects of mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Students will be introduced to concepts, techniques, and tools they need to solve practical problems arising in various fields. Specific topcs include: 1) ethical issues, 2) data collection, cleaning, and exploratory analysis, 3) machine learning algorithms (including: regression, classification and clustering), 4) predictive modeling, 5) data visualization, and, 6) effective communication. Will be offered in future semesters as CS 470. 

Do ideas about human rights matter? Can activists working across borders change the world? How can researchers and activists promote human rights in the face of government repression? This upper division seminar examines scholarship on human rights and transnational advocacy networks. We will study interconnected transnational struggles for women’s human rights, workers’ rights, immigrant rights, racial justice, and the rights of indigenous peoples. Students will pursue guided human rights research and advocacy projects. Students who enroll in this upper division class require a strong understanding of international relations theory. For this reason, students should have taken poli 214 International Politics and/or an advanced International Relations class (e.g. POLI 316 International Justice; POLI 373 International Security and Cooperation) before taking this class. Contact the instructor if you have questions about if you have the required academic background. This class counts towards Politics, IS, and WGS.

HIST 299: History of Modern Iran 

This course is an introduction to the history of the Modern Iran from the 17th century to the present. Primary documents and secondary readings will give students a broad understanding of some of the principal forces that have shaped the contemporary society of Iran and its relationship with other countries, providing a framework for further study. The main themes and problems that this course engages with include the power structure in different dynasties such as the Safavids, the Qajars, and the Pahlavis; The power and role of religion, especially Shi’a Islam, in Iranian society and politics; first contacts with the West; revolutions and constitutionalism; strategic geography of the Persian Gulf; and oil as the motor engine of economy and foreign affairs of the country. Will be offered in future catalogs as HIST 237.

PHIL 153: Self and Other

An examination of how various conceptions of the self, themselves arising from particular social contexts, are related to corresponding ethical, personal, and political ideals and values. Topics include egoism and altruism, reason and emotion, happiness and meaningful life, social and political justice, the possibility of free will. Readings will be drawn from Western philosophical and other traditions.


Course Changes 


Topic Courses

ANTH 258: Special Topics (1)

01: Psychological Anthropology

Who are you—no, I mean who ARE you?  How do you answer that question and what does it tell you about your sense of self and about your identity?  What does it mean to have a self? An identity?  How does your sense of self affect your emotions and how do emotions relate to mental health or illness?  Perhaps most important, how are these categories artifacts of the cultures in which we grew up and cultures in which we live and have lived? What implications does this have for the explosion of migrants throughout the world and the societies in which they settle or through which they pass? In this course, we explore these ideas and we examine psychological ideas in relation to cultures and societies—using ethnographic research to exemplify the ideas about selfhood and identity, emotion and mental health/illness in American and other cultures.

BIOL 470: Special Topics (1)

01: Environmental Teratogens: An investigation of the molecular mechanisms that induce developmental defects.

Organismal development and health are highly influenced by the environment. Numerous naturally occurring compounds are known to cause developmental anomalies. Furthermore, over 70,000 manmade chemicals have entered the environment without close examination of their developmental effects. This special topics course will focus on teratogens, substances that cause developmental abnormalities during embryogenesis. We will learn where teratogens come from, the specific phenotypes induced by certain teratogens, how normal development is subverted. We will also explore how these findings have influenced public health policy, medicine and legislation. We will use topic specific websites, published research articles, selected readings, and relevant videos to explore these issues. Students will participate in active classroom discussion and group projects. Each student will select a particular aspect of teratogenesis to investigate through the literature.  This will culminate in an oral presentation and written research proposal.

 

CCM 360: Topics in Public Discourse (1)

01: Making Lives Matter

Contemporary advances in information technology enable a broad range of communities, even as these advances perpetuate the insulation of ideologies. This course will illuminate how social media has exacerbated contemporary cultural and political polarization and will also consider what can be done to ameliorate the effects of insulation. More specifically, Making Lives Matter engages contemporary race relations’ discourse--including hashtags, tweets, Facebook and blog posts, memes, interviews, documentaries, and speeches--placing into conversation the often-insulated ideologies represented under the banner of Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter hashtags. In this course, we will explore how rhetoric makes matter, both in the sense of how rhetoric gives form to ideas as well as how rhetoric establishes significance for issues and movements. In so doing, we’ll move beyond the headlines declaring “Black Lives Matter Incites Violence,” “All Lives Matter is Racist,” and “Blue Lives Matter is Redundant,” to theorize the substance of these positions and to account for the limitations, the value, and the potential these hashtags hold for enriching our nation’s public dialogue about race. 

ECON 470W: Advanced Topics in Economics (1)

01: Economics of Sustainability

 The course is designed to prepare students for the independent research required in the economics senior seminar (Econ 496W) by engaging them in an in-depth exploration of the economics of sustainability.  Students will also research and write a prospectus for their proposed senior seminar topic.  

ENVR 374: Special Topics in Environmental Science (1)

01: Hydrology

Hydrology is the science that studies the occurrence, distribution, movement and properties of the Earth’s waters and their relationship with the environment. This course will focus on learning the concepts, physical principles and methods to describe and measure water flow above and beneath the Earth’s surface. You will not only learn the conceptual aspects of water flow, but also techniques to model water dynamics quantitatively. The aim of the course is to provide a balanced perspective of the water cycle that will give you skills and insight into how to manage this fundamental resource.

Instructor: Dr. Scott Pike, EES
Prerequisites: ERTH 121
Counts toward: Upper level Natural Science Critical Inquiry Elective in EES major

02: Dendrochonology
 
Dendrochronology, or the science of tree rings, is a fascinating and easily accessible form of proxy data used to interpret physical, biological and cultural events in the past. By dating tree rings to their exact year of formation you can discern temporal and spatial patterns of a variety of processes impacting trees including, vegetation dynamics, climate, air pollution, landslides, glacial advance, lake level change, fire, and insect outbreaks. In this field and lab based course you will learn to collect, process, analyze and interpret the ecological information contained in tree rings.  

Instructor: Karen Arabas, EES
Pre-Requisite: ERTH 121
Counts toward: Upper level Natural Science Research Intensive Elective in EES major

03: Political Ecology

Political ecology explores the interrelationships between political, social, economic factors and the environment. This class draws on critical scholarship to examine key themes of political ecology such as environmental degradation and marginalization, environmental conservation, environmental conflict, environmental subject formation, non-human actors, and more recent engagements in the field with concerns of climate change, and the political ecology of health.  The course will challenge students to think critically about the connections between humans and the environment, learn about social science methods, and to envision more socially and environmentally just futures.

Instructor: Dr. Mindy Butterworth, EES
Pre-requisites: ENVR 105
Counts toward: Upper Level Social Science Critical Inquiry Elective in EES major

04: Advanced Spatial Science
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 Research Intensive Elective in EES major

HIST 221AW: American History Workshop (1)

01: American History Workshop

This is a new, experimental History Workshop team taught by a historian and an archivist. In this course we will explore the process of archive construction by producing a digital archive for Willamette University. This course will force us to grapple directly with the ethical and political questions posed by historic preservation and collecting through three five-week modules. The final product will be a communally produced digital archive of topics relating to the history of Willamette. Students will engage directly with the questions that archivists wrestle with: what to save and make accessible to the public when we cannot save everything? How is what we know shaped by the decisions of others? Students will, likewise, face the questions that historians must ask: What is a researchable question? How do we make history relevant in an age when so much information appears to be available to anyone with access to a computer? Among the learning goals for the course are: educating students about the related but distinct fields of Archival Studies and History; teaching students to design researchable questions; and teaching students new digital technologies and addressing the ethical questions that accompany their use. The digital archive produced by the students in the course will form the core of an ongoing digital repository that may be built upon by subsequent iterations of this course or the students in courses across the College of Liberal Arts.

HIST 306: History through Biography (1)

01: Karl Marx and His World

This course examines the life of Karl Marx, one of the most influential thinkers and revolutionaries of the modern age. Drawing on a variety of secondary and primary sources, it aims to understand the factors that shaped Marx into one of the foremost leaders of European socialism, the ways in which Marx attempted to change his world, and the most important elements of his intellectual and political legacy.

MATH 376: Topics in Mathematics (1)

01: Combinatorics

Combinatorics is a branch of mathematics with broad applications to areas including computer science, operations research, probability, statistical experimental design, and error correcting codes (which ensure, for example, that your DVD player plays smoothly even if you scratch your DVD). Combinatorial questions often begin with ``How many ways are there to..." and may end with ``...be dealt a flush in poker?", or ``...tile a checkerboard with dominoes?". Combinations and permutations prove useful tools in counting such arrangements.

PHIL 388: Special Topics

01: Logic and Philosophy

This course examines the application of symbolic logic to traditional philosophy. Topics include: being and nothingness, the nature of truth, the logic of science, the nature of necessity, the existence of different possible worlds, inductive and modal logic, among others. The goal is to utilize symbolic logic to shed light on (and in some cases perhaps even solve) long-standing philosophical problems. 

POLI 315: Topics in Politics (1)

01: Human Rights Research & Advocacy

Do ideas about human rights matter? Can activists working across borders change the world? How can researchers and activists promote human rights in the face of government repression? This upper division seminar examines scholarship on human rights and transnational advocacy networks. We will study interconnected transnational struggles for women’s human rights, workers’ rights, immigrant rights, racial justice, and the rights of indigenous peoples. Students will pursue guided human rights research and advocacy projects. Students who enroll in this upper division class require a strong understanding of international relations theory. For this reason, students should have taken poli 214 International Politics and/or an advanced International Relations class (e.g. POLI 316 International Justice; POLI 373 International Security and Cooperation) before taking this class. Contact the instructor if you have questions about if you have the required academic background. This class counts towards Politics, IS, and WGS.

REL 358: Topics in Western Religious Tradition

01: Christian Encounters with the Other

This course will introduce the students to the ways in which, throughout its history, the Christian church has related to three significant "others:" Jews, women and LGBTQ individuals and communities.  Through readings, lectures and discussion, students will examine the texts and traditions which have served to marginalize these groups, and will consider the role that recent dialogue and reexamination of texts and traditions have played in creating a more positive understanding of the "other."

RUSS 325: Topics in Russian Literature (1, IT)

01: Dostoevsky

If God does not exist, is everything permitted? Will two plus two yield four every time, and why should you be uneasy if it does? Why should the author have the final say, when surely the character knows his or her own mind that much better? And how do we say a final word about a human being, anyway?

Explore these and other of the author’s iconic questions through this course on the novels of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky. In his day a journalist, polemicist, political prisoner, and prophet, Dostoevsky exerted lasting influence on the course of Western literature and thought through his investigations of human psychology and culpability, the social and moral circumstances surrounding crime, the extremes of human virtue and vice, the limits of rationality, and the capabilities of literature to inscribe our most dynamic and irreducible ideas and experiences. Through our reading of his major novels, we will engage Dostoevsky's most provocative and influential ideas in the historical, aesthetic, and cultural contexts of nineteenth-century Russia. 

No prior knowledge of Russian language or literature required. Taught in English.


One Time Only Courses

ECON 399: Topics in Economics

01: Gender and Economic Development (1)

In this course,  students will be introduced to the foundational role gender plays in the development process and the gender dimensions of economic development models and growth strategies. Throughout the semester, students will engage with data capturing the current status of women in many different developing countries and will regularly delve into country-specific studies, mostly student-led. They will also evaluate the gendered effects of multiple development strategies. Finally, we will discuss policy options, both development and gender-equality related, and the role of international institutions in the development process.


One Time Only Courses with MOI Designation 

IDS 330: What is Embodiment (1, CA)

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, health, 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, modern, and contemporary authors. 

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