Headshot of Amadou FofanaCourse taught by: Amadou FofanaColloquium Associate: Caleb Graham

This course examines major areas and issues in contemporary Africa. Using an
interdisciplinary approach, it examines in some detail the major political,
economic, cultural, and environmental realities that characterize contemporary
Africa. Among the topics to be explored are the impact of the spread of capitalism and
consumer culture, the dynamic involvement of international organizations, and the influential
power of the media. The course’s ultimate goal is to familiarize students with the
many challenges and opportunities facing Africa and its diaspora in the global
twenty-first century.

Headshot of Emily DrewCourse taught by: Emily DrewColloquium Associate: Lali Trejo

What does it mean for white people to “show up” against racism and white supremacy, particularly as they benefit from the same unjust power arrangements they wish to end? Because white participation is needed if we are to craft a racially just society, the identity, role and impact of white people is worth understanding. In this course, we will consider what emerges when white people participate in antiracist social movements and the organizing work led by communities of color. We will explore questions such as: Why are allies, accomplices and co-conspirators needed in everyday interactions and in movements for racial justice? What role does identity play in shaping whether and how white people participate in dismantling racism and white supremacy? What are behaviors and actions that demonstrate effective allyship and move beyond symbolic/performative commitments? What are the problems with and limits of allyship? What are the implications of allyship on and for people of color? What do alternative frameworks of solidarity, coalition, and conspiracy offer for building antiracist futures?

Headshot of Stephen PattersonCourse taught by: Stephen PattersonColloquium Associate: Arlo Craft

Cosmologists tell us that the universe began 13.8 billion years ago with a big bang, thus freeing us from the burden of reading the Bible as a primitive science book. If Genesis is not about how the world began, what is it about? Long before people had much to say about science, it seems they had a lot to say about human nature. In this colloquium we’ll explore the myths and legends of Genesis as they take us into the heart of human experience—of life, love, desire, murder, trust and betrayal. Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This colloquium is about what came next.

Headshot of Robert VaughnCourse taught by: Robert VaughnColloquium Associate: Kiera Atkinson

In this course, we will explore the many themes seen throughout the Star Wars canon as well as the extended universe. You will be encouraged to compare and contrast some of these themes as they appear in films, television, video games and books. We will also investigate the impact of Star Wars on the world as well as the early influences that shape it to discover why it is so appealing and draws so much interest through the generations.

Headshot of Nicole Iroz-ElardoCourse taught by: Nicole Iroz-ElardoColloquium Associate: Justin Greene

Cities are an integral part of all of our lives, but what benefits and costs accompany an increasingly urbanized world? In this class, we will engage urban studies and planning concepts to understand the history of urbanization, its role in our economic system, and the ways in which our urban form transformed over time into what we have today. We will define and critically interrogate ideas such as equity, sustainability, community, and population health. Finally, we experience these concepts through several curated walking tours of Salem and virtually exploring other places that show promising advances in creating just, resilient, and healthy spaces.

Headshot of Ana MonteroCourse taught by: Ana MonteroColloquium Associate: Ananya Gupta

This course will foster intercultural awareness through the study of modern and contemporary visual artists and poets from different continents. Many of these artists and authors developed friendships and cultural connections, thereby creating an intercontinental channel of cultural exchange. We will study the poetic work of Federico García Lorca (Spain), Gabriela Mistral (Chile), Aimé Césaire (Martinique) and Mahmoud Darwish (Palestine), among others. Along with these poets, we will explore the art of influential cultural icons around the world, such as Frida Kahlo (Mexico), Salvador Dalí (Spain), and Yayoi Kusama (Japan). We will delve into this intercultural dialogue between artists of words and images using an anthropological approach. This approach involves examining poems and artworks, as expressions of cultural identity-- within their social, historical, and political context, as well as analyzing their symbolism and themes alongside the relationships between artists, their audiences, and the power dynamics at play. With this perspective, we will appreciate visual art and poetry not just for their aesthetic value but as windows into the cultural psyche and social fabric of its time.

Headshot of Wendy Petersen-BoringCourse taught by: Wendy Petersen-BoringColloquium Associate: Kate West

Political corruption and betrayal, pilgrimage and exile, good and evil, justice and vengeance: Dante’s 700-year-old masterpiece, the Divine Comedy, takes readers on a journey that traverses the full range of human experience. This seminar will use a modern verse translation – featuring Sandow Birk’s illustrations which set the Comedy on the streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles – alongside a traditional one to explore how the Comedy engages our contemporary political and moral challenges. How does Dante create a work of poetic genius that draws on the Latin poets of classical antiquity and theological texts from throughout the Middle Ages that still speaks today? Our focus throughout will be on Dante the pilgrim and his personal journey of transformation, and what reflecting on that journey offers us today.

Headshot of Briana LindhCourse taught by: Briana LindhColloquium Associate: Lexie Burns

Darwin pioneered the modern study of evolution, but science classes rarely talk about the fact that he and his contemporaries were obsessed with race. European and American scientists could not stop thinking about race because they felt compelled to either justify or critique colonialism and slavery. We will read and discuss the words of Charles Darwin, Thomas Jefferson and other nineteenth century writers, as well as modern thinkers on the history of racism, including Audrey Smedley and Annette Gordon-Reed. We will also explore how these ideas influenced the attitudes of Euroamerican colonizers as they encountered the indigenous people of Oregon. Our goal will be to uncover and untwist the threads of both racist and anti-racist thought that are braided into the early history of science and into the history of the United States.

Headshot of Cindy RichardsCourse taught by: Cindy RichardsColloquium Associate: Miranda Merrill

What are we getting from the internet, and what do we give it in return? This colloquium will explore the role of digital technologies in our lives and society. Through experiential learning, creative work, reading and discussion, students will develop a deeper understanding of the benefits and harms of digital technologies we encounter everyday. Ultimately, we’ll consider how to strengthen our digital agency in order to thrive now — and to work toward the futures we want.

Headshot of Jeanne ClarkCourse taught by: Jeanne ClarkColloquium Associate: Ash Scott

Gandhi and Martin Luther King demonstrated the power and the perils of nonviolent resistance in promoting political and social change. This course will explore how varied nonviolent resistance strategies have been utilized in one of the world's most intractable conflicts, a conflict typically reported in the news as a "cycle of violence," i.e., Israel/Palestine. From slingshots to hip hop, tax resistance to tree planting, refusing military service to rebuilding homes, monitoring checkpoints to painting walls, milk production to cultural boycotts, Palestinian and Israeli activists have engaged a range of nonviolent methods to promote what they understand as a peaceful end. The methods are often controversial; their "nonviolence" is sometimes disputed; their potential for efficacy is uncertain. Together we will ponder what constitutes "nonviolence" and what may be required for such strategies to work. We will examine media coverage of the "cycle of violence" and consider what a "peace journalism" coverage of events might look like. We will review documentary accounts of nonviolent resistance groups. We will evaluate the use of the social media by Palestinian and Israeli nonviolent activist groups. In addition to analyzing the nonviolent strategies employed by others, you will develop messages and strategies to promote your own chosen cause through nonviolent resistance.

Headshot of Huike WenCourse taught by: Huike WenColloquium Associate: Hailey Nelson

Food gives us life and connects us to each other. It provokes strong feelings—we love some foods and hate others. What is food? What is cooking? How do we communicate about food? Together we will explore these questions through the study of food media. Every day we consume media that focus on food. Have you ever shared a photo of food with somebody in your life? Then you are also a producer of food media. In this course we will get a taste for the work of scholars, journalists, celebrity chefs, public intellectuals, food justice activists, business owners, and social workers who communicate about food. We will discuss, critique, and design food media of our own, sampling a variety of genres: articles, movies, social media posts, advertising messages, manga, cartoons, podcasts, and more. We will work in teams and share our food media critique, design, and production to become more conscious eaters who care about people, culture, and the environment and therefore about the system of food in our lives and in the world.

Headshot of Brandi Row LazzariniCourse taught by: Brandi Row LazzariniColloquium Associate: Adelaide Kemp

In this course, we will explore what the future holds for Generation Z (Gen Z), the cohort born between 1997-2012. What can our elders’ experience tell us about what makes for a good life? How has the experience of growing up and growing old differed in previous eras? Is it fair to characterize a whole generation of people as having a unique outlook, set of habits, and values. Together we will consider the experiences of recent American generations (e.g., the Greatest Generation, Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials) and work toward some projections for the generation that is coming of age: Gen Z. How is the world different for Gen Z, and how is Gen Z different from previous cohorts? How will these differences affect Gen Z's health and life satisfaction and guide their pursuit of achievement, contribution, and meaning?

Headshot of Seth CotlarCourse taught by: Seth CotlarColloquium Associate: Leo Schoenbrun

In 1935 Sinclair Lewis caused a stir with his satirical novel, It Can’t Happen Here. In an era of rising fascism in Germany, Italy, and around the world, Lewis’s novel invited readers to imagine what a homegrown, American variant of fascism might look like. Lewis’s title points to a widely-held belief in the US that fascism could not, did not, and never could “happen here,” that the US was somehow immune from the sort of right wing, hyper-nationalistic, and racially-exclusionary populism that dominated the politics of many nations in the 1930s. Recent historical scholarship, however, has revealed that assessment to be based more on wishful thinking than empirical analysis. From the 1920s when millions of Americans, spread across every state of the union, joined a resurgent Ku Klux Klan; to 1939 when 20,000 Americans gathered for a “pro-America” rally at Madison Square Garden where the audience gave Nazi salutes toward a stage festooned with images of George Washington, the American flag, and the Swastika; to the immense popularity of the isolationist and often antisemitic “America First” movement in 1940-41 that claimed Nazi atrocities were either being exaggerated by the liberal media or were just none of America’s business;  it’s clear that a significant number of Americans in the years before WWII found fascist organizations and messages compelling. America’s entry into WWII quickly undermined the fascist movements of the 1930s, and at war’s end most Americans came to assume that the nation had no fascist tradition to speak of. After all, we were part of the international alliance that defeated fascism, right? This class will explore the history of homegrown American fascism in the 20th century and the antifascist resistance to it, as well as the process through which the history of American fascism came to be largely forgotten in the years following WWII.

Headshot of Chuck WilliamsonCourse taught by: Chuck WilliamsonColloquium Associate: Nicholas Zimmerman

Many of today’s best comedic actors have training in improv: the creation of a theatrical scene by two or more actors who work together without a script or other pre-planning. Improv is often used as a method of idea generation for sketch comedy, such as the sketches seen on Saturday Night Live or Key & Peele. But improv itself can be an end product, either in the form of live productions or television shows like Whose Line is it Anyway? In this course we will explore the art of improv and learn how actors tell a story collaboratively through a process of mutual agreement often summarized as “Yes, and…”. We will consider questions such as: What are the different schools of thought on improv performance, and how does an actor “rehearse”? Where does the funny come from in an improv show? What does cognitive science have to say about the brain on improv? How have the techniques of improv been applied outside of the theater, to such diverse areas as business, politics, and mental health? Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we will all DO improv every week in two-hour-long workshops, and then put on a show at the end of the semester! No experience in improv or other theater is necessary to join this class – just a willingness to be bold, take a risk, and have fun supporting your fellow improvisers. Unlike most College Colloquium sections, this course will meet for four hours each week. We will have two hours of regular class time, and then the two-hour improv workshop. The extra fourth hour will be considered part of the work that students are expected to do outside of official class time.

Headshot of Jason DuncanCourse taught by: Jason DuncanColloquium Associate: Clara Kathman

What is life? What does it mean to be alive? Is there, or can there ever be, a universally accepted definition of life? In this course, we will explore and integrate both classical and contemporary perspectives on the nature of life. We will consider the thoughts of philosophers including Aristotle, Descartes, and Kant, as well as physicists, chemists and biologists including Haldane, Schrödinger, Sagan, and Dawkins. We will strive to understand how ideas of what defines life have changed over time, and what factors have motivated or contributed to these changes. We will also analyze case studies that include prions, viruses, and ‘extremophiles’ - life forms that exist in the most extreme environments on earth. We will challenge our preconceived assumptions and biases on what constitutes life, and what it means to be alive.

Headshot of David AltmanCourse taught by: David AltmanColloquium Associate: Grace Kline

The 21st century has seen a remarkable resurgence in the popularity of knitting, crocheting, and the fiber arts in general. In part, this is because activities such as knitting have the ability to play many roles and serve diverse functions. Knitting can be practiced as a craft, and it can also be a medium for art and fashion. Knitting can be used to express political views, and it can also simply be a way to relax. And these various facets are not mutually exclusive. For example, if I am knitting a sweater with an American flag on the front, I may be partaking in craft, political activism, and leisure all at the same time.

The goal of this class will be to examine the impact and value of knitting through a multidisciplinary approach, exploring its significance through the lenses of history, fashion, politics, and science. Questions that will be addressed include: What has driven the recent knitting revival? How is knitting perceived, and in what ways is it an effective method of expression? Does hand knitting present opportunities and experiences that machine knitting is incapable of providing? What is the relationship between knit products and social equality? During this exploration, you will also learn how to knit (if you do not already know how).

Headshot of Erin McNicholasCourse taught by: Erin McNicholasColloquium Associate: Pen Hanks

Since their arrival in 2007, escape rooms have taken the puzzling community by storm. They provide an ideal landscape in which to explore the interplay of logic, creativity, and teamwork. In this course, we will study mathematical topics including symbolic logic, graph theory and modular arithmetic, which underlie many mathematical puzzles, codes, and cryptosystems. We will put our knowledge into action, collaborating in teams to create, revise, and refine our own mathematical puzzles and on-line escape room experiences. From designing the narrative, to the logical flow of the hurdles, to the puzzles and artifacts involved, you will take control of the innovation, play testing, and implementation of an original escape room experience.

Headshot of Kathryn NymanCourse taught by: Kathryn NymanColloquium Associate: Rose Ceglia

Since their arrival in 2007, escape rooms have taken the puzzling community by storm. They provide an ideal landscape in which to explore the interplay of logic, creativity, and teamwork. In this course, we will study mathematical topics including symbolic logic, graph theory and modular arithmetic, which underlie many mathematical puzzles, codes, and cryptosystems. We will put our knowledge into action, collaborating in teams to create, revise, and refine our own mathematical puzzles and on-line escape room experiences. From designing the narrative, to the logical flow of the hurdles, to the puzzles and artifacts involved, you will take control of the innovation, play testing, and implementation of an original escape room experience.

Headshot of Mary R. BachvarovaCourse taught by: Mary R. BachvarovaColloquium Associate: Kate Snyder

…you have never heard of is the Ancient Greek romance novel Aithiopika (3rd cent. CE), by a certain Heliodorus from Syrian Emesa. The princess Chariklea, exposed at birth by the Ethiopian queen because she was ashamed her infant was born White, only learns of her identity as a young woman, which sets her on a perilous journey from Greece accompanied by her beautiful lover Theagenes to reclaim her patrimony. Not only can Aithiopika be considered the first “passing novel,” when it was translated into French in 1547 it inspired the invention of the modern European novel – a work of prose fiction. We trace its impact on Western literature through a series of firsts: Oroonoko: Or, the Royal Slave. A True History (1688) by Aphra Behn, one of the first English women novelists; Samuel Richardson’s Pamela; Or, Virtue Rewarded (1740), the first realistic novel; and Of One Blood: Or, the Hidden Self (1903) by Pauline Hopkins, editor of the first African American literary magazine. Along the way we ponder questions both literary and cultural about the relationship between the real world and the world of the novel. CONTENT ADVISORY: These texts describe sexualized violence.

Headshot of Anthony ColemanCourse taught by: Anthony ColemanColloquium Associate: Sal Chapell

Plato is one of the most important philosophers who has ever lived. His writings are thousands of years old, yet they still have the power to provoke and captivate. His influence is so great that some have said that Western philosophy "consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." This course will be a study of several major works by Plato, works that stand out not only as wonderful examples of philosophy but also as examples of great literature. Some of the questions we will address are: What is the nature of reality? Do we have souls, and is there life after death? What does a just society look like? Is it possible to teach virtue? And what is the nature of love?

Headshot of Susan CoromelCourse taught by: Susan CoromelColloquium Associate: Isis Coyle

Get ready to dive into the dynamic world of podcasting! This course provides students with practical skills to create compelling podcasts. Through group work, students will explore different podcast formats and styles, developing their unique voices. From conducting interviews to scripting episodic stories and crafting fictional narratives, students will gain hands-on experience in all aspects of podcast production.

Headshot of Richard WatkinsCourse taught by: Richard WatkinsColloquium Associate: Whitley Stepp

What area of solar panels would be required to provide all of the United States’ energy needs? This is the kind of question that sounds like it would take an expert to answer, but we can easily make a rough estimate using just a little information and a few educated guesses. Guesstimation of this type can give us an important quantitative context for understanding many of the big issues being talked about in the world today. In this course, students will get lots of practice guesstimating various interesting quantities both individually and collaboratively in groups. We will start simple and work our way up to more complex estimates driven by the interests of the students. Along the way we will develop a deeper understanding of how the world works and the challenges facing humanity. No particular math skills or science knowledge is required.

Headshot of Sarah BishopCourse taught by: Sarah BishopColloquium Associate: Aidan Sowder-Sinor

Russia's war on Ukraine will affect the world for generations. How did we get to this point? From the outset, twenty-first century Russia has been mired in violence, both physical and ideological. Putin's first action as Prime Minister in 1999 was to initiate the second Chechen war. He went on to use violence against the people of Georgia, Syria, and Ukraine. He has also waged war on the Russian constitution and the independent press, attacking nascent democratic institutions and individual human rights. Writers and artists across the region continue to push back. We will investigate their works, along with journalistic and historical texts, to better understand the context of these wars and their impact on ordinary citizens.

Headshot of Robert ChenaultCourse taught by: Robert ChenaultColloquium Associate: Inéz Nieves

Ancient Greek and Roman history, literature, and culture have long provided powerful ideas and images that have been used in later periods for both good and ill. What used to be taken for granted as the largely positive legacy and influence of the Greeks and Romans as the originators of foundational Western ideas has recently come in for severe criticism. This course provides an introduction to some of the key themes and texts from Greek and Roman antiquity as well as to some of the ways in which "the classics" have been used and misused in later eras, and why they continue to be both so relevant and so fraught. We will explore the enduring power of these classical legacies and why they have frequently been appropriated to legitimize far-right ideologies. Can the Greeks and Romans be redeemed? Should they be? Can we come to terms with them by using them to study some of the problems we are dealing with today?

Headshot of Meredy Goldberg EdelsonCourse taught by: Meredy Goldberg EdelsonColloquium Associate: Eva Floyd

What does it mean to be a good “sexual citizen?” What are “sexual projects” and “sexual geographies?” In their book, “Sexual Citizens,” Jennifer Hirsch and Shamus Khan argue it is a lack of sexual citizenship that leads to sexual violence on college campuses. Many college strategies for attempting to reduce or prevent sexual violence focus on victim control; that is, the message is aimed at changing the behavior of potential victims so that they do not become survivors of sexual violence. This approach may not only be harmful to survivors of sexual violence, but it also does not address the cause of sexual violence – the offenders who offend and the culture that allows that to happen. Using Hirsch and Khan's book as a framework, we will ask questions such as: What does sexual violence look like on college campuses? Who is most likely to be a victim of sexual violence on a college campus? How might sexual violence on college campuses manifest differently depending on the gender or ethnic identity or sexual orientation of the survivor and/or offender? What are the impacts of campus sexual violence on survivors and the campus community? How can the development of our own and others’ good sexual citizenship transform the way we conceptualize the causes of and prevention strategies regarding sexual violence on college campuses? The last third of the course will focus on specific strategies we can use at Willamette to help those in our community become better sexual citizens. Content Advisory: This CC is focused on sexual violence on college campuses; as part of our exploration of this topic, we will read a book detailing a firsthand account from a survivor of sexual violence.

Headshot of Saghar SadeghianCourse taught by: Saghar SadeghianColloquium Associate: Samantha Nesta-Arteaga

Have you ever wondered why magical stories often take place in dense forests or high up in the mountains? How did people come up with the idea of trees that can talk and walk? And why do impenetrable fortresses in the mountains always seem to have an abundance of gold and silver, and their inhabitants live forever? “Storytelling and Environment” is a course that delves into a vast collection of myths and tales from various cultures around the world, both ancient and modern. The course explores how humanity’s stories have always been intertwined with nature, and how these stories can help raise awareness about environmental conservation. Employing some theories on this topic, the course analyzes stories from different traditions, including Native American folklore, European tales, and Chinese and Persian mythology, to better understand the historical relationship between humanity and nature, and how storytelling can influence environmental consciousness and advocacy.

Headshot of Josh LaisonCourse taught by: Josh LaisonColloquium Associate: Naomi Cole

Like any creative medium, games combine technical and artistic processes in their design, and can be analyzed and critiqued from a variety of academic perspectives. Game designers use mathematical and computational tools to balance complex interconnected systems of abstract rules, and narrative and storytelling structures to give their designs meaning. Game critics think about games in the context of modern societies, and games succeed and fail in their relationships with player psychologies. In this course, students will design and iteratively redesign their own paper and cardstock games. We'll learn modern design principles, including mathematical tools to analyze game probabilities and game trees; best practices in graphic design; and technical rules writing. We'll work to translate between abstract systems and graphical visualizations in game components. Students will refine their designs through game critiques and workshops, iterative playtesting, and discussion of scholarly works on game design and criticism.

Headshot of Calvin DeutschbeinCourse taught by: Calvin DeutschbeinColloquium Associate: Shouvik Ahmed Antu

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, and large scale computing have captured the collective imaginations of millions people across a range of technical expertise. Yet each of these buzzwords is rooted in a central promise: that machines may think.

Guided by student inquiry, we will learn how to construct thinking - or the appearance thereof - from basic computation. Using the shared language of computer code, we use programming as a way to bridge the gap between thinking humans and thinking machines. With this shared experience, we will be able to reflect more thoughtfully on the implications of thinking machines on the self, culture, and society.

Headshot of Abigail SusikCourse taught by: Abigail SusikColloquium Associate: Spencer Chapin

Hard work, overwork, and workaholism are an expected part of our wired lives today, and yet who among us does not crave a day or two with nothing at all to do? A positive work ethic has been lauded in many cultures and societies throughout history, but starting in the mid-19th century, with the formation of formalized labor movements and anti-capitalistic economic and political theories in Europe and America, a new set of ideas began to emerge. Laziness, lassitude, the desire for a 10-hour, 8-hour, or even 3-hour workday, and even outright work refusal, rose to the fore as a way of battling exploitation in the face of capitalism's demands. Strike and sabotage emerged as tactics. Our seminar discussions will trace the beginnings of this war on work while constantly connecting back to present-day issues of work resistance. In this interdisciplinary exploration of work refusal, we will laze around with Samuel Johnson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Herman Melville, Arthur Rimbaud, Edward Bellamy, Karl Marx, Paul Lafargue, William Morris, Marcel Duchamp, the Dadaists, the surrealists, Jacques Tati, punk rockers, and many others.

Headshot of Tabitha KnightCourse taught by: Tabitha KnightColloquium Associate: Annabelle Pastori

“Irish is a part of our soul; without it we are without identity, we are empty,” declared Irene Coen of the Dingle peninsula. In fact, the Irish people’s deep love of their indigenous language, Gaelige, which was nearly exterminated by the English, has fueled one of the few successful language revitalization projects in Europe. In this course we examine the nexus of Irish language, culture, and identity in Eire after the island's 1922 partition into the English-occupied state of Northern Ireland and the independent country Ireland. We dip our toes into the complexities of the Irish language, then explore the Irish people’s own understanding of their Celtic identity in the realms of sports, politics, and economics, from Druidism to Catholicism to the rise of the Celtic Tiger.

Headshot of Greg FelkerCourse taught by: Greg FelkerColloquium Associate: Sean Olson

Work is more than a way to make a living; it’s also a big part of life. What makes for a good career or even just an adequate work-life? The answers have changed throughout history, differ across cultures and societies, and vary by individual perspective. Some people’s jobs define their personal identities while others work to support other life priorities. Some people pursue long-term career ambitions while others change jobs repeatedly. Social distinctions - gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, health status, and generation – condition the experience of work. Some jobs are prestigious or lucrative or both, while other work is less respected or low-paid, even when it is essential to society. What factors make-up working lives and cause them to differ? Do people craft good work-lives by choosing their endeavors thoughtfully and taking pride in their work, or does it depend much more on circumstances and luck? Do public policies and social conventions determine work-life’s patterns and value, or are jobs intrinsically better or worse? How have the basic features of work-life changed across history, and will current trends related to automation and artificial intelligence systems, job-hopping and the gig economy make the goal of a planned, coherent career obsolete? Our colloquium will explore these questions by reading, speaking, and writing about a variety of texts - social science studies, journalism, ethnographic interviews, and documentary films.

Headshot of Michael LockardCourse taught by: Michael LockardColloquium Associate: Sage Miller

Diet and fitness are multi-billion dollar industries in the United States that are aiming to profit from America’s increasingly common sedentary lifestyle. With the bombardment of advertisements, blogs, and “expert” testimonials, it can be difficult to discern fact from fiction, science from pseudo-science. In order to evaluate these fantastic claims, this course will explore the impact of America’s physical inactivity and growing waistline on people’s personal health and well-being as well as the broader impact on the healthcare system and the welfare of society as a whole. Students will then investigate the “science” and psychology of diet fads, popular workouts, and popular weight loss programs in order to critique and, in some cases, debunk the alleged scientific foundation of modern snake oil remedies.

Willamette University

College Colloquium

Office of the Associate Dean
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Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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