Autumn 2013 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

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

BCUSP 104 A DISC CORE I: ARTS (VLPA) SLN: 10762
Monday / Wednesday 8:45 - 10:45 Bodle, Carolyn
BCUSP 107 A DISC CORE: IND SOC (I&S) SLN: 10770
Monday / Wednesday  11:00 - 1:00 Courtmanch, Randi

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.

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

BCUSP 104 B DISC CORE I: VLPA (VLPA) SLN: 10763
Monday / Wednesday 11:00-1:00  Atkinson, Jennifer
BCUSP 107 B DISC CORE: IND SOC (I&S) SLN: 10771
Monday / Wednesday 1:15-3:15  Shayne, Julie

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.

Stability and Change in Everyday Life (10 Credits) 

BCUSP 104 C DISC CORE I: ARTS (VLPA) SLN: 10764
Monday / Wednesday 11:00-1:00  Toft, Amoshaun
BCUSP 107 C DISC CORE I: IND SOC (I&S) SLN: 10772
Monday / Wednesday 1:15-3:15  Anderson, Christian

Students in this course will be introduced to key academic skills and socio-cultural concepts by critically analyzing how social structures are produced in and through ordinary activities. The course will be organized around a series of scaffolded project-based assignments that will provide students with the opportunity to ask interdisciplinary questions, explore multiple methods of inquiry and discovery, and build social consciousness about how the world works and our place in it.

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

BCUSP 104 D DISC CORE I: ARTS (VLPA) SLN: 10765
Monday / Wednesday 3:30 – 5:30  Nixon, David
BCUSP 107 D DISC CORE I: IND SOC (I&S) SLN: 10773
Monday / Wednesday 5:45 - 7:45  Leissle, Kristy

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.

Cultural Critique and Global Comics (10 Credits)

BCUSP 104 E DISC CORE I: ARTS (VLPA) SLN: 10766
Tuesday / Thursday 11:00 - :100  Kellejian, Kristine | Dean, Michael

In this course we will use comics and graphic novels from a variety of international cultures to critically think and write about visual representation, communication, storytelling and critique. We will explore the ways in which graphic novels and comic books promote cross-cultural communication and use these texts to develop visual literacy and a greater appreciation for narrative styles and themes. Not only will we explore a variety of texts but also invite class members to share their personal background and interests in comics, though experience is not necessary. All are welcome!
 

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

BCUSP 104 F DISC CORE I: ARTS (VLPA) SLN: 10767
Tuesday / Thursday 11:00 - 1:00  Berry, Michael
BCUSP 107 F DISC CORE I: IND SOC (I&S) SLN: 10775
Tuesday / Thursday 1:15 - 3:15  Roberts, Georgia

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?

The Arts in Healthcare (5 credits)

BCUSP 104 G DISC CORE I: IND SOC (VLPA) SLN: 10768
Tuesday / Thursday 11:00 - 1:00  Kovalesky, Andrea

This class will look at a variety of arts such as visual arts, sculpture, music, and movement to learn how these arts are being used to promote wellness and healing in today's healthcare settings. Assignments include weekly participation in an expressive art and visitng a hospital to assess its artistic qualities.

"Low" Cultures and Social Criticism (5 credits)

BCUSP 104 H DISC CORE I: ARTS SLN: 10769
Tuesday / Thursday 8:45 - 10:45  Sands, Travis

 How does Honey Boo Boo disrupt normative understandings of gender, age and class? What does The Waking Dead have to do with the sub-prime mortgage crisis? Why have South Park episodes been linked to geopolitical unrest? In this course, we will focus on cultural forms that are often regarded as beyond the pale of serious academic inquiry in order to consider the high stakes of “low” culture. Working from the premise that low culture is critically important precisely because it is “accessible,” this course will utilize silly, satirical, crass and otherwise debased popular texts as points of entry to critical conversations about such issues as nativism and state racism, sexual difference and social belonging, and debt and structural poverty.

The Future of the Earth (5 Credit)

BCUSP 107 G DISC CORE I: ARTS (VLPA) SLN: 10776
Tuesday / Thursday 11:00-1:00  Rivera, Rebeca

 There’s talk and disagreement all around us about environmental issues such as “sustainability,” “being green,” “climate change,” “global warming,” “carbon footprints,” “conservation,” “recycling,” and “fair trade.” What do they all mean? How can we separate fact from fiction? What are the connections between these terms? What do our environmental problems mean for your own future as well as the future of the earth? How are these topics approached in the University?

We will dig into environmental issues to understand how these terms are being used in both popular culture and by scientists. As a class we will explore what these issues mean for our future—will climate change lead to environmental collapse or to warmer weather? If everyone bought “green,” “recycled,” or “natural products,” would we be sustainable? Will there be any fish left in the ocean?

This course is an introduction to environmental science and environmental studies at UWB. Throughout the course you will explore interdisciplinary perspectives that combine economics, anthropology, geography, ecology, and climate science. Through this course you will gain academic skills as well as understand how these issues may impact your own choices and lifestyle.


Weighed and Measured: Human Bodies and Cultural Norms  (5 Credits)

BCUSP 107 H DISC CORE I: IND SOC (I&S) SLN: 10777
Tuesday / Thursday 3:30 - 5:30  Crowley, Sharon

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.

 Coffee and Media (5 Credits) 

BCUSP 104 I DISC CORE I: ARTS (VLPA) SLN: 10768
Friday  8:45 - 1:00  Oppenheimer, Robin

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, field trips, and student research culminating in a final paper.

Decision Management for Fun and Profit (5 Credits) 

BCUSP 107 I DISC CORE I: IND SOC (I&S) SLN: 10778
Friday  11:00 - 3:15  Godek, John

Why do some people continually make brilliant decisions while others commit one blunder after another? Do they understand their situation better? Are they just smarter? Is it just plain luck? The correct answer is none of the above. The real key is how decision makers manage their decision processes. Exploring scholarship from psychology, economics, statistics, strategy, medicine, and other fields, this course examines and explains the fundamental nature of decision problems, highlighting ten specific decision issues crucial to managing the decision-making process—and ultimately better decisions.

Introduction to Modern Social Thought: Darwin, Marx, and Freud (5 Credits) 

BCUSP 107 J DISC CORE I: IND SOC (I&S) SLN: 10779
Monday / Wednesday 11:00 - 1:00 Rucha, Ambikar

This course serves as an interdisciplinary introduction to modern social thought. Examining the theories of Charles Darwin, Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud we explore how human beings think of themselves and relate with each other.  The course touches upon elements in anthropology, biology, history, linguistics, political science, religion and sociology to understand important changes in modern secular thought. By the end of the class, students will be able to relate these abstract theories and their impact to their daily lives. The course also introduces students to the scientific method as it relates to the social sciences, and to college level research and writing.  Students will be able to use assignments for their e-learning portfolios.


Dinner Table: Social Justice and Food Production  (5 Credits)

BCUSP 107 K DISC CORE I: IND SOC (I&S) SLN: 10780
Tuesday / Thursday 11:00 - 1:00  Redwood, Loren

Increased globalization of economies and trade has fueled the need for a large workforce of low wage workers. The most easily exploitable and thereby highly prized labor force is comprised of immigrant workers, with undocumented immigrant laborers suffering the worst of these labor abuses. By employing the theme of a dinner table, participants in this course will examine impacts of the global economy on immigrant labor exploitation and the resultant need for social justice. This theme will be explored at the local, regional, and national level by using examples such as laborers in the Seattle area, the Olympic Peninsula, the Yakima Valley, and branching to the East Coast and South.

Habits, Addiction and The Brain (5 credits) 

BCUSP 110 A DISC CORE I: NAT WLD (NW) SLN: 10781
Monday / Wednesday 8:45 - 10:45  McNabb, Sue

Good habits help us keep moving in the right direction. Bad habits can be a distraction or even derail us from a positive lifestyle. How do habits form? How can we change them? When does a habit become an addiction? Addiction is a major feature of contemporary life. Easy access to addictive substances and habit-forming activities cause a range of problems for individuals, their families, and society. We now know that addiction is a behavior that results from a disease of the brain, caused by alterations in neural circuits of reward and feedback. We will approach the study of human habit from the neurobiological perspective. In this course, we will look at how the brain works, from the neuron to addictive behavior and recovery, including the role of positive habit formation.

Understanding Weather (5 Credits) 

BCUSP 110 B DISC CORE I: NAT WLD (NW) SLN: 10782
Tuesday / Thursday 5:45 - 7:45  Finley, Brandon

Students experience weather but do not have a solid grounding in the science. This course provides a scientific explanation of the how and why of weather. The course emphasizes conceptual and mathematical understanding of weather. It will cover energy, wind, pressure, clouds, precipitation, major storms, important weather patterns (ENSO, PDO, etc), and the differences between weather and climate. Qualitative and quantitative skills will be used to create and read weather maps, study patterns and trends, and collect and interpret local weather data.

Seeing is Believing: Photography and Capturing Light (5 Credits) 

BCUSP 104 J DISC CORE I: ARTS (VLPA) SLN: 22318
Monday / Wednesday 8:45 - 10:45  Hsu, Howard

The course introduces students to the concept of light and the capture of light (photography) as an art form. During the quarter, students will be introduced to photography as a means of communication and personal expression, the physical properties of light and its effect in the natural world, historical and contemporary photographers, the recording of light on film and digital sensors, and the history behind the photographic medium.

Did You Know?

Bjong "Wolf" Yeigh became UW Bothell's third chancellor on Sept. 3, 2013.