Pop culture is something students know and can get passionate about. As such, this course will focus on examining the relationship students have with pop culture and how this relationship can help them become more engaged thinkers and critical writers. Students will learn how to analyze, respond to, and criticize a range of cultural texts like films, television, comics, music, social media, and more. Popular culture is the bridge between first-year college students and a foundation of knowledge and life skills that will prepare them for academic success and their development into creative and critical thinkers.
This course focuses on female dystopias and their emergence in our social discourse during times of angst. Specifically, we will read, view, and analyze The Hunger Games, and explore how this and other female dystopias reflect arguments in the public sphere.
In 1557 a Calvinist pastor embarked on a journey to Brazil with a group of fellow Huguenots in order to join a newly founded French colony. While in Brazil, Léry spent time with the Tupinamba Indians. He observed their way of life, learned their language and witnessed cannibalism. He also encountered plants and animals never seen before by Europeans. Upon his return to Europe, after a harrowing crossing of the ocean, Léry published an account of his sojourn in the New World, which is hailed today as a masterpiece of cross-cultural writing. Incidentally, it had a strong influence on Shakespeare’s Tempest. This class, based on Léry’s book, will explore notions such as moral relativity, linguistic boundaries, early geography, alterity, compassion, modernity, and religious diversity.
Forbidden love, heroic destiny, good vs evil. These themes are rampant in what we read, and medieval French literature is no exception. Chrétien de Troyes gives what was, at the time, a new twist to these timeless themes in his Knight of the Cart. Loyalty and love are put on the line as the mysterious knight reveals his heroic side, of course, but also his human side capable of emotions that we are still trying to describe in the 21st century. Reading Chrétien's work, comparing it to other tales with similar themes, we will explore the ideas of true love, the predestined hero, and the victory of good over evil in Medieval literature and see just how far (or not) we have come since then.
Visual artists of the Enlightenment played a key role in the development of life sciences as the emergence of modern disciplines hinged on the production of reliable images. From the discovery of butterfly metamorphosis by a fierce Dutch draftswoman to experiments on a marine plant that walks, this course examines fascinating episodes in the history of science where collaborations between artists and naturalists led to groundbreaking discoveries. Emulating eighteenth-century artists, students will use direct observation and visual arts to explore the natural world around them.
Prosopon is the Greek word for face, or person—or perhaps, for the face-to-face encounter through which one person becomes present, or a presence, to another. Being there, of course, shouldn’t be taken for granted. Distractions abound, and today, attention-deﬁcit disorders have become the ‘order of the day’. Social media-platforms, although helpful, only simulate that for which we were born to do: to engage in dialogue, and if necessary, to use words of sincerity and compassion. As an introductory course, Prosopon will enhance the communication skills of every student within the contexts of classrooms, board rooms, court rooms and living rooms. We’ll discover the interpersonal dynamics that impede genuine conversation, and we’ll construct the scaﬀolding for an authentic ‘self’ who lives and loves within a diversity of other selves—each, with a particular world-view. Welcome! Your ﬁrst experience is face-to-face!
The concept of remix is key to both the analysis of culture and the design of products in early 21st century. This two-course FYE sequence will be organized around studying (and remixing!) the website and film “Everything’s A Remix.” In fall quarter, you will learn about how the theory and practice of remix is central to a range of cultural forms from jazz to hip-hop, from film to Youtube, and more. In winter quarter, you will learn how to design and produce a range of textual products using the principles of remix.
We live in a global society, where countless people are forced into refugee status every day. Stateless, homeless, and frequently targeted by violence, these forced migrants find temporary sanctuary far from their homelands; 500-600 per year arrive in Spokane County, alone. The media focus on the refugees as victims, but they contribute cultural richness, experience, and knowledge to their new societies, as well. This course explores “the voices of refugees” through literature, culture, history, and international relations. Students will learn about issues faced by refugees at the local and global levels, including visiting with local refugees and refugee agencies. “Voices of Refugees, 1” will emphasize close critical reading and textual analysis, and several writing projects, including reading journals (summary, analysis, and response) to each assigned text and a personal narrative on the reality of being a global citizen.
Einstein's prophetic insight reveals more now than ever the quintessential need for education to rethink its mission and begin to incorporate means of embracing and honoring our students' essential being nature. Ignoring this has essentially created a society of mostly disconnected, stressed, depressed and dissatisfied citizens. The time has come for this university to pursue a quantum shift in addressing ways to bring teaching into alignment with what is quite clear and that is by perpetuating learned logic and information as the way to get the "good life" we disallow and ignore the "sacred gift" that holds the truth and reality of a full life. By experiencing a reconnection with the "sacred gift of their 'Intuitive Mind,'" students will develop a deep awareness of as well as practical means and knowledge about how to make their university experiences become deeper and more personal. It will give continual access to their heart space where the intuitive answers reside, ready to help guide and give clear choices, choices that percolate from deep reservoirs of creative potential. Students will learn to trust their true self when it comes to "following their bliss." This course will address the quintessential ingredient that appears with our first breath, our intuitive nature which science is proving is a continuous flow of moment to moment energetic "knowing" that occurs before the "rational mind' fabricates language based on knowledge.
Through engagement with media-rich resources, students interactively explore global examples of individuals or groups speaking out, taking a stand, and actively seeking solutions towards meaningful change. Self-reflection leads to empowerment through the cultivation of critical perspectives on issues and the successful presentation thereof within theoretical frameworks. Students identify “crisis” topics relevant to their unique field(s) of interest and conduct short background investigations in preparation for presenting their views to the group. In a safe environment with guided feedback, students learn to develop practical skills in effective oral and written articulation of their own voice.
We naturally make comparisons among situations from our daily lives and events described in the news. Using the book, How not to be wrong: The power of mathematical thinking, by Jordan Ellenberg, we will use the tools of social science and literature to examine and critique both useful and deceiving comparisons, and learn to create comparisons that can be powerful ways of thinking and persuading. In the math course, we explore what appear to be very different situations to find underlying similarities, and use those to better understand the situations. We develop ways to critically read arguments containing statistics and better understand the importance of uncertainty, especially in issues related to equity and the environment.
All students, “bros” and “non-bros,” are invited to examine how various cultures use stories to make sense of masculinity. We’ll use current theories of gender to examine masculine character(istic)s, images and other symbols in film, television, literature, music, and other popular media from several time periods and places, including a 1600s Spanish nun-turned-soldier, and boy scouts in Chile and the US in the 20th and 21st centuries. While the course is a critical approach to this provocative topic, it’s also a good-natured recognition of multiple ways to understand ourselves and/or others. As a result of this study and discussion, we’ll become more articulate in joining our society’s urgent debates about healthy and unhealthy models of masculinity. In addition to becoming more astute interpreters of cultures, we may also become more equitable participants in our community.
From Cain to O.J., folks keep murdering each other. This is a course for the history-curious. We’ll use the topic to learn how history works--including archival research, interpretation, and writing. We’ll use podcasts, documentaries, and primary sources. And along the way learn not only the craft (of history, not murder) but how you could pursue a career in history. Or just come for the murders.
|Description for students|
|The city has been an important organizing unit on this planet for at least five millennia, and has been the most important for the past two. Large, densely population places grew up in all of humanity's early civilizations: in Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China, Rome, Mali, and in the Americas, among other places, and in every case the city has been the political, economic, cultural, and educational center of the society that founded it. This course studies the history of urban places of the urban history of Latin America from the pre-Colombian period to the present day, emphasizing how factors of power, class, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, the environment, and wealth/poverty shaped how cities were conceived, how they grew, and how they currently function.
This course will require students to read the equivalent of one book per week and prepare discussion question sets for weekly seminar discussions. Students are also required to compose two response essays) and prepare a larger research essay on a topic not directly addressed in the class
Between the temperatures and the oceans rising, glaciers melting, weather getting more extreme, and wildfires burning, we all feel the impacts of climate change already in our lives. In this class, we will explore what you can expect in your lifetime in terms of climate and its impacts, and what you can do to mitigate and adapt to this changing reality. We will do lots of readings, but also conduct experiments, hear from guests, watch movies and go on field trips to explore these topics in a global context. You will complete this class knowing a lot more about the future, and the impact you can make to change that, all the while learning how to be a successful college student. This course will likely have a $10 course fee for lab supplies and field trips.
In this course, we will examine information sources that you’ll encounter both as a college student (aka academic sources), but also as a consumer and citizen (aka mass media and others that commonly appear in your Google results). By exploring a variety of sources with a critical eye, we will develop the skill set to sort the reliable from the biased amongst the contradictory information surrounding us.
This class will trace the utility of tools, techniques, and materials, from stone to silicon. Class components will include readings from Alexander Langlands’ text, Craeft, and the field of material science; demonstrations from builders, craftsmen, and artists; as well as building a final project based on techniques and ideas presented in class.
Starting with Michael Lewis’s bestseller, “Moneyball” and the major motion picture starring Brad Pitt that followed, students will use the tools of economic analysis to learn how to think like an economist, rather than simply as a fan, about baseball and other professional sports. The course will examine baseball (and other professional sports) by the numbers—as big business and as an industry concerned with profits and losses. Additionally, students will learn that although sports data can inform economic decision-making, there are pitfalls to avoid and various sports myths will be de-bunked.
Religion, Economics, Law, and Human Rights intersect when communities choose to shelter or turn away refugees. This course explores historical precedents including the Underground Railroad and the flight of Jews from Nazi Europe and the causes of current refugee crises around the globe.
This course will introduce students to the history of human rights, its current applications, and its future. Students will learn about some of the greatest achievements in human history in the past three hundred years, some of its greatest failures, as well as the current challenges human rights advocates face. The course will investigate long-dead men and women who sought to better the world as well as current practitioners working to change the future for the better. They will examine far away places as well as current human rights practices here in Spokane and in nearby Coeur D'Alene.
What skills are most important for success in life, college, and career? Are we born with these skills or can they be explicitly taught? Can we disagree without being disagreeable? In this class, you'll explore research that has emerged from theories of Emotional Intelligence and Growth Mindset. You'll learn and practice skills from the five core competencies of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL): self-awareness, social awareness, self-regulation, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. The class also introduces beginning concepts related to brain development and skills for interrupting negative-thinking habits, managing emotions, and thinking rationally in challenging and confusing situations.
The term social justice has become a buzzword to mean inclusion of diverse groups, however what does it actually mean to work toward a socially just world? This course explores social justice as a concept in your life and asks you to consider what social change looks like and your role in achieving it. Using Critical Race Theory you will have the opportunity to analyze contemporary issues such as institutional racism, heterosexism, ableism, sexism, and the many intersecting identities that make these issues complex. This course will likely have a $5 course fee for an EPIC adventure.
This class examines the futuristic worlds portrayed in movies, books, and games to question how present day issues are understood, developed and, potentially, resolved. We also look at the sorts of worlds it takes to address the problems we have today. For instance, do the replicants of Blade Runner really solve labor problems? Would Star Trek’s transporter lead to massive unemployment? Does Westworld diminish the sanctity of life? Most importantly, can you do better? Students enrolled in this class will learn to synthesize their own ideas by connecting questions and solutions in novel ways. Further, students will engage in innovative thinking to develop novel ideas and unique products.
This course will examine the process of campaigns in the United States – including the selection of candidates, campaign finance, and advertisements. It will also explore the strategic nature of campaigns and the framework they operate in.