Autumn 2012 Discovery Core

Choosing Your Autumn Quarter Courses

If you are undecided about what major to choose, don't worry! The first year curriculum provides the perfect opportunity to explore and there will be many opportunities for you to discuss your options for a major. So, for now, choose what most excites you.

We are assuming that you will be a full-time student taking 15 hours of credit, 5 or 10 of those in the Discovery Core I and one or two 5 credit elective courses. As you consider what to register for, think about what most interests you, and - if you already know what you'd like to focus on - think about what courses will best prepare you for your chosen major.   Our CUSP Advisors are ready to help you through this process when you attend an Orientation session and register for your first quarter courses.

Discovery Core I Options for Autumn

I. Art and Performance: Video, Place and Technology (10 Credits)

This course introduces students to performance, video, and site-based art. Through an interdisciplinary studio setting students will learn to use digital video equipment, video editing software, and performance concepts as means for investigation and experimentation. Students will be introduced to a variety of readings, screenings, experiential activities, and discussions on art and performance in which they will engage with a range of art practices. They will further reflect and experiment with these practices through writing, dialogue, and the creation of individual and group projects.

BCUSP 104 DISC CORE I: ARTS (VLPA)
10795 A Monday / Wednesday 8:45 - 10:45 Bodle, Carolyn
BCUSP 107 DISC CORE: IND SOC (I&S)
10804 A Monday / Wednesday  11:00 - 1:00 Courtmanch, Randi

II. Place and Displacement in the Americas: Human Rights, Culture and Ethnicity (10 Credits)

This course explores four main topics: human rights, social class & race, cultural productions, and physical & social environments. Our analysis will span across South, Central, and North America and use a combination of film, fiction & poetry, social science, journalism, and testimony. Some of our questions will include: What are human rights, social justice and environmental justice? How does the violation of human rights lead to the relocation of peoples and recreation of their communities? How does the meaning of place vary among social, ethnic and economic groups, and how do problems like homelessness, pollution, displacement, and discrimination affect the way places are imagined and experienced? Case studies include: Urban homelessness, Native American reservation life, Central American refugees, and Mexican/Chicano communities, among others.

BCUSP 104 DISC CORE I: VLPA (VLPA)
10796 B Monday / Wednesday 11:00-1:00  Atkinson, Jennifer
BCUSP 107 DISC CORE: IND SOC (I&S)
10805 B Monday / Wednesday 1:15-3:15  Shayne, Julie

III. Tattoos, Scars, and the Damaged Body (5 Credits)

A Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2006 study found that 24% of Americans between 18 and 50 are tattooed. What do body modifications whether voluntary or involuntary tell us about the corporal and the cultural and social meanings we attach to them? This class will use tattooing and scaring as a vehicle to get at the cultural and social power of the physical body in order to explore and challenge conceptions of “normal”. We will also investigate how body modifications intersect with ideas of impairments to delve deeply into how race, class, gender, and sexuality get constructed and reproduced by notions of “damaged bodies.” Using ideas of physical impairments we will examine social, cultural and political projects like eugenics that with an agenda of better breeding influenced racialization in the United States and abroad in profound and long lasting ways. Drawing on analytical performance practice shaped by performance theory, critical race theory and ethnography, we will examine the facts and fictions in the work of performance artists, scholars and documentary filmmakers who take up questions of the body and its politics. The course constitutes an introduction to critical race theory and performance theory and practice. At the end of this course, students will begin to understand racialization and how it is articulated in the physical body. They will also become knowledgeable and conformable with performance art and practice.

BCUSP 107 DISC CORE I: IND SOC (I&S)
21905 N  Tuesday / Thursday 8:45-10:45  Barrera, Veronica and Sanchez, Janette

IV. Cars, Houses, and Jobs: An Introduction to the Economy (10 Credits)

Taught jointly by an economist and an anthropologist, this course will explore the economies of cars, houses, and work (with a focus on the United States in its global context). This class will help you understand the economy you are entering and give you a greater understanding of how work connects us together, how the objects we create circulate among us, and us among them. By examining the history of economic institutions and thought across the last century how today’s economy is organized, how it came into existence, and where it might be heading will all be explored. The class readings and other materials will introduce you to the basics of economics, organizational theory, and anthropology, giving you a chance to explore the intersections of economy and culture. Methods used in class will include lecture, discussion, field trips, guest speakers, basic quantitative analysis, ethnography, and presentations.

BCUSP 104 DISC CORE I: ARTS (VLPA)
10798 D  Monday / Wednesday 1:15-3:15  Richardson, John Peter
BCUSP 107 DISC CORE I: IND SOC (I&S)
10807 D  Monday / Wednesday 3:30-5:30  Hall, Keith

V. Coffee and Media: Representations, Histories, Activism (10 Credits)

This course will look at coffee, and its expanding global culture, as a commodity connected to cultural histories, systems of media representations (e.g., news stories, advertising, and documentaries), and socioeconomic activism. Seattle is known internationally as a center of coffee culture. We will explore some of our city's most interesting coffee-centric issues, people, and places through guest lecturers, a field trip, and student research culminating in a final paper.

BCUSP 104 DISC CORE I: ARTS (VLPA)
10799 E Tuesday / Thursday 8:45 - 10:45  Oppenheimer, Robin
BCUSP 107 DISC CORE I: IND SOC (I&S)
10808 E  Tuesday / Thursday 11:00 - 1:00   Gustafson, Kristin

VI. Interactive Media & Entrepreneurship (10 Credits)

The “Interactive Media & Entrepreneurship” Discovery Core explores the key elements necessary to create a compelling business proposal around interactive media technologies. We'll begin with exposure to social networking applications, iPhone and smart phone utilities, videoconferencing add-ons, and games. Students will then learn, at an appropriate level of complexity, about all the facets of creating a business, including product/service design and development, marketing, sales, finance, accounting, operations, and human resources. The end result will be a written business case and presentation.

BCUSP 104 DISC CORE I: ARTS (VLPA)
10800 F  Tuesday / Thursday  8:45 – 1045  Gregory, Wanda
BCUSP 107 DISC CORE I: IND SOC (I&S)
10809 F  Tuesday / Thursday 11:00 - 1:00  Schildkraut, Laura

VII. Thinking Beyond Borders: Philosophical Explorations of Science Fiction (10 Credits)

This course explores philosophical and ethical questions of humanity through science fiction film and text. We are interested in the thresholds between humans and machines, emotions and logic, bodies and minds, and disrupting the binary divisions that govern social relations among Earthlings. We will also consider how the narratives and technologies of science fiction (or should we say “science fact”?) already pervade our lives and shape our identity and everyday interactions—from iPhones to Facebook, we are already blurring the boundaries of our humanity.

BCUSP 104 DISC CORE I: ARTS (VLPA)
10801 G  Tuesday / Thursday 11:00 – 1:00  Nixon, David
BCUSP 107 DISC CORE I: IND SOC (I&S)
10810 G Tuesday / Thursday 1:15 - 3:15  Leissle, Kristy

VIII. Universal Magnetic: Globalization and the Aesthetics of hip-hop(10 Credits)

Over the past two decades, hip hop culture, and particularly rap music, has become one of the most popular modes of youth expression on the planet. As we acknowledge both the globalization and commodification of the culture, this class also looks at hip hop as the always localized, even neighborhood-based response to the multiple and damaging effects of globalization, including but not limited to, forced migration, economic exploitation, systemic poverty, racial profiling, mass incarceration, etc. So what exactly do we mean when we talk about the cultural aesthetic of hip hop culture, and what, if anything, can we generalize about hip hop's political imagination? How have these forces shaped the musical and lyrical content of the art form?

BCUSP 104 DISC CORE I: ARTS (VLPA)
10802 H Tuesday / Thursday 3:30-5:30  Roberts, Georgia
BCUSP 107 DISC CORE I: IND SOC (I&S)
10811 H Tuesday / Thursday 5:45-7:45  Berry, Michael

IX. The Environment and the Universe (10 credits)

This DC-I class has two tightly linked objectives: 1. To introduce students to college-level academic work, and the nuts and bolts of doing that work. 2. To orient students to the interdisciplinary curriculum and learning environment here at UWB, which includes getting started on the CUSP Portfolio.

To accomplish both of these goals, this course takes the physical human body as its specific object of study. U.S. culture is saturated with media that subjects physical bodies to heavy scrutiny: images in advertisements and fashion/health magazines, the news, TV shows, movies, etc. We see this same scrutiny in other areas such as science and medicine, literature, and the law. At every turn, we are urged to be fitter, healthier, prettier, safer, and on guard for those who do not conform to these narrowly defined norms. This course will challenge students to think critically about how these norms have been shaped by history, social narratives, and politics. As the quarter progresses, we’ll cover two separate but overlapping units, each focused on a main topic or theme. The first unit is called “Smart Bodies,” where we’ll read a “case study” in interdisciplinary scholarship: Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man. This book critically examines 18th, 19th, and early 20th-Century scientific attempts to link human intelligence with social “identity” categories. One of Gould’s main achievements in this book is to show how scientific investigation and knowledge are deeply shaped by unexamined cultural assumptions. He also explores the social consequences that result from leaving such assumptions unexamined. Alongside this book, we’ll also look at some legal, political, and cultural texts from the same time period. Reading and discussing these texts will help us to assemble a set of key concepts and questions concerning how our physical bodies are shaped by interwoven constructions of race, gender, sexuality, and class. In the second unit, “Beautiful Bodies,” we’ll turn our attention to our own time, and the so-called “obesity epidemic.” We’ll begin to adapt the concepts and questions developed in the first unit toward understanding how we think about personal and public “health” and “beauty.” This work will be supported with readings in cultural criticism, literature, and film.

BCUSP 107 DISC CORE I: IND SOC (I&S)
10812 I  Monday / Wednesday 8:45 - 10:45  Freeman, Peter
BCUSP 110 DISC CORE I: NAT WLD (NW)
10817 A Monday / Wednesday 11:00 - 1:00  Spayde, Robin

X. Calculus: Global Perspectives (10 credits) (CANCELLED)

What is the relationship between the Black Death, Sir Isaac Newton, and a British war over Chinese opium? This course invites students to consider how calculus has contributed to shape the destiny of the globe. Born in international contention, from its first applications in more accurate weaponry, calculus has played a role in war and imperial conquest. Today it offers nations a competitive edge in the global economy and a profound way of both understanding and predicting the challenges to sustaining the world's 7 billion human beings. This 10-credit Discovery Core course offers first-quarter, first-year UWB students the opportunity to simultaneously study calculus (B CUSP 124) and earn writing (W) credits. Students will also gain valuable practice in the forms of college writing; all writing assignments will be focused on calculus, its history, and its applications.

 

XI. Climate Change and Consumer Society (10 Credit)  (CANCELLED)

Climate change has the potential to increase environmental problems and social inequalities on a global scale, yet few of us understand how our daily choices play a role. This course will survey the science of climate change and the contribution of consumer culture. We will address the causes and consequences of climate change drawing on knowledge from both the physical and social sciences. Understanding our patterns of energy consumption and their underlying motivations are imperative to explaining why political solutions for climate change have been so difficult to achieve. We will examine possibilities for changing patterns of consumption to reduce the impacts of climate change. In addition, we will explore the impacts of recent climate change and consider how best to plan for future climates. Students will practice making decisions through the synthesis of complex and sometimes conflicting information from multiple sources.

 

XII. Visualize This: Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and Cultural Critique (5 Credits)

In this course, we will examine and analyze comic books and graphic novels as cultural artifacts and genres within a long tradition of graphic storytelling. These sophisticated artifacts will be viewed from multiple theoretical perspectives, including critical theory, cultural theory, rhetorical theory and image studies. We will cover the history and relationships between these graphic artifacts and popular culture, art, politics, and social issues. Moreover, we will focus on the ways in which language, difference, resistance, knowledge and power are graphically depicted and represent important contributions to contemporary thinking and inquiry. Finally, we will compose a written analysis of graphic novels or comic books and will create our own graphic novels and comic books as forms of cultural critiques for distribution and response. Primary graphic texts will include Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen, V for Vendetta, From Hell, Judge Dredd, Maus, Fun Home, DMZ, Marvels, Sandman, The Walking Dead, and Y: The Last Man, and Love and Rockets. We will also be viewing movies and clips based on some of these works.

BCUSP 104 DISC CORE I: ARTS (VLPA)
10803 I Monday / Wednesday 11:00-1:00  Kellejian, Kristine

XIII. Digitial Thinking: Animation, Video Games and the Social Web (5 Credits)

Through the creation of popular digital artifacts such as Web pages, animations, and video games like programs, this class introduces the fundamental concepts behind computing and computational thinking including logical reasoning, problem solving, data representation, abstraction, complexity management, computers and network operations, effective Web searches, ethics, legal and social aspects of information technology.

BCUSP 110 DISC CORE I: NAT WLD (NW)
10819 C  Tuesday / Thursday 1:15-3:15  Sung, Kelvin

XIV. Weighed and Measured: Bodies, Norms, and Social Identity (5 Credits)

This course uses the human body as its specific object of study. U.S. culture is saturated with media that subjects physical bodies to heavy scrutiny: images in advertisements and fashion/health magazines, the news, TV shows, movies, etc. We see this same scrutiny in other areas such as science and medicine, literature, and the law. At every turn, we are urged to be fitter, healthier, prettier, safer, and on guard for those who do not conform to these narrowly defined norms. This course will challenge students to think critically about how these norms have been shaped by history, social narratives, and politics.

BCUSP 107 DISC CORE I: IND SOC (I&S)
10815 L  Monday / Wednesday 1:15-3:15  Crowley, Sharon

XV. A World Without Borders: The Globalization of Business and Society (5 credits)

This course will focus on the major challenges, opportunities and trends faced by businesses, governments, societies and individuals that need to co-exist in an increasingly globalized and interdependent environment. It will emphasize topics such as the history and future of globalization, the drivers, trends and implications of globalization for all sectors of modern societies, and the geo-political, trading and cross- cultural dimensions of globalization. Special emphasis will be placed on the awareness, empathy and communication skills necessary for effective cross-cultural communication and interaction in the increasingly diverse environments of UWB, Seattle, the USA, and beyond its borders.

BCUSP 107 DISC CORE I: IND SOC (I&S)
10816  M Tuesday / Thursday 1:15-3:15  Reinnolt, James

XVI. Chemistry and Cooking (5 credits)

This course is built around the theme of chemistry and its application to cooking. We will cover how chemistry is observed in the kitchen as well as how you can use chemistry to improve your cooking. We will cover the chemistry of different cooking techniques and tools. In addition, we will discuss the chemistry of different ingredients and how they interact with each other to form a complete dish. Although the main topic will be chemistry and cooking, we will also examine broader food issues including nutrition and health, social uses of food, and food safety.

This course is the first in a 3-course sequence that introduces students to the university environment. You will be introduced to university standards of quality, grading, and the time commitment involved in education. You will also have an opportunity to use the resources available on campus (the writing center, the QSC, the library, etc). The course is designed to provide you with a set of tools that you will use in all of your courses here- critical thinking, reading comprehension, research, evaluating information, logic, and evidence-based writing.

BCUSP 110 DISC CORE I: NAT WLD (NW)
10820 D Tuesday / Thursday 5:45-7:45 Finley, Brandon

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