WINTER 2018 DISCOVERY CORE OPTIONS, 5-CREDITS EACH
Individual and Societies (I&S) Options:
The Science and Medicine of Harry Potter
(B CORE 115A, I&S)
Instructor: Laura Harkewicz
Have you ever wished for a wand that could make an enemy disappear? Have you dreamed of flying across the sky on your Nimbus Two Thousand seeking the golden Snitch? Have you longed for an Invisibility Cloak so you could eavesdrop on a conversation or get the answers to a final exam? This course analyzes how the magical world of Harry Potter aligns (or does not) with the rational laws of science and medicine. We will examine how culture and science are both ways to make sense of the world. We will learn how many components of science - from the experimental method to the theory of gravitation to the ethics of modern science and medicine - originated in magical philosophies. In addition, we will discover how studying the fantastic world of Harry Potter can illuminate the ways modern researchers conjure astounding revelations about the natural world. We will investigate topics as diverse as the possibility of flying cars and time travel, the responsibilities of knowledge production, the effects of prejudice on science and society, and how magic became science. In the process, we will explore questions such as: How do the prejudices faced by wizards, mudbloods, and muggles compare to those faced by other groups (past and present)? What are the connections between potions, plants, and power? And, does magic exist in today’s world?
The Economics & Business of Health
(B CORE 115B, I&S)
Instructor: Nelson LaPlant
In the age of the Affordable Care Act and the political discussions associated with the ACA this course will discuss and investigate the economics of the Health Insurance and Health Care markets as well as a variety of health related industries. It intends to provide an interdisciplinary approach to the fields of Economics, Health Sciences and Business introducing students to their seen and unseen intersections and seeking to understand how they work alone and together in society. In doing so students will be introduced to ideas in business and economics from the UW Bothell School of Business. This would make it a great course for those considering a degree in nursing, sports, fitness or other health related fields. As part of the course students will be introduced to and incentivized to get involved in the various health related activities available on the UWB campus and in the Bothell-Woodinville community that may include the UWB Health Fair, local farmers markets, local running events such as the Kirkland Shamrock 5K in March, local gyms as well as the UWB Fitness Center. This course will conclude with tips and a training plan to prepare to run the UWB 5K in May.
Energy, Economics and the Environment
(B CORE 115C, I&S)
Instructor: Maura Shelton
The available supply of conventional energy and the need for alternative, sustainable energy is a source of controversy. What are the costs and benefits of conventional and renewable energy? How do you decide that an energy source is preferable? In this course we will examine and research energy production and utilization from the science , economics, climate science, and social science perspectives. The course includes lectures, guest speakers, case studies, field trips, and hands-on exploration of energy sources designed to engage students in research and active learning. Students will learn quantitative tools such as life cycle analysis to compare and contrast the economic and environmental impacts of energy sources. A final energy project will showcase their research, creative, and collaborative skills.
Data Worlds and Quantified Selves *50% Hybrid*
(B CORE 115D, I&S)
Instructor: Ian Porter
Technology is ubiquitous, both in word and deed. "Anything that wasn't around when you were born" in Alan Kay's pithy definition, technology is normally thought of as whatever is new. Technology's chief representatives today are the glowing, glassy interfaces in our pockets. Given the ubiquity of something we call 'technology,' you might think we have a pretty good understanding of what technology is and what it does. Unfortunately, we don't. Whether we are speaking of social media or video games or mobile devices or smart cities, we often talk about technologies as mere tools with no moral significance in and of themselves, or as exemplars of innovation and human progress, or as harbingers of a sci-fi dystopian future of human misery. These are just some of the many common and potentially misguided ways of talking about technology and the role it plays in our lives. This course will explore emerging technologies (of the past and present) in order to more fully consider what technology is and what it does, as well as to introduce the process of research and scholarly inquiry that is the primary focus of Discovery Core II classes. Students will complete such assignments as a self-tracking project that includes an embodied engagement with data measurement, analysis, and visualization, and an essay project on the politics, economics, and/or cultures of emerging technologies.
Today’s Sustainable Business: Research and Presentation *50% Hybrid*
(B CORE 115E, I&S)
Instructor: Debra Hildebrand
Businesses today need to develop and maintain social, economic, and environmental sustainability strategies in order to stay competitive. We will work in teams to research specific case studies, collect data, perform critical analysis and present our results. In business, we need to be able to communicate and present our arguments in a compelling and professional manner. We will partner with a local Toastmasters group to engage and learn public speaking while mimicking the Toastmasters methodology each week in class. Students will learn public speaking, research methodologies, quantitative analysis of data and presentation skills. Additionally, students will practice “selling” their theories and conclusions during a presentation and experiment with tools for presenting the analysis and data to support their conclusions.
The Great Rivers of the World-An International Collaboration
(B CORE 115F, I&S)
Instructors: Greg Tuke and Ursula Valdez
This internationally-focused course brings together students, for the first time, from countries that include Great Rivers of the World; The Nile in Egypt, The Amazon in Peru, and the Columbia in the USA. UWB students will work remotely in small global teams with students from the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (UNALM) in Peru and the Future University in Egypt. This is a project-based learning course, which will involve, developing solutions to the social and environmental problems shared by these bioregions. Led by the instructors, students will learn together and develop skills on researching, discussing, comparing, and reflecting on the social and environmental challenges facing by ecosystems and people who leave on each of these river basins.
For this course, instructors will guide the students into using collaboration tools online, to work on small tri-national teams to research different topics associated to these waterways, share findings and insights, elaborate proposals for potential solutions and build strong interpersonal, intercultural teams in the process. It is anticipated that pressing issues such as water pollution, depleted salmon/fish populations on the Columbia, deforestation, gold mining and mercury pollution in the Amazon, as well as climate change and biodiversity loss on the Nile will be researched and discussed.
The course is designed to get students actively engaged in the international learning community, and utilizing both the library and their “international brain trust” for their research, as they hone their skills in analyzing and utilizing credible research sources and verifying those sources. Through this interdisciplinary course, students will be encouraged to explore new disciplines, including social justice work, environmental and STEM studies, and International Studies, while learning core research, writing and communication skills.
The Ideology of White Supremacy and the Construction of Race
(B CORE 115G, I&S)
Instructor: Loren Redwood
In this course, students examine how contested discourses of racial, ethnicity, and national difference have shaped ideas about racial identities and “whiteness” in the U.S. The course will focus on the relationship between the discourses of the social, economic, and political practices/policies which have had a role in how race is imagined and constructed in the U.S. How do race and ethnicity come into play in discourses of “whiteness” over time? This course will examine how concepts of race, ethnicity, and “whiteness” have been socially constructed, scientifically charted, and institutionally created in the United States from European colonization to the present, in the context of contemporary discourses and research learning primary.
Individuality & Individualism
(B CORE 115H, I&S)
Instructor: Jason Lambacher
A major part of life is discovering a sense of individuality. We struggle to understand our unique identities and strive to leave a lasting legacy on the world through self-realization and self-creation. This process is especially intense and exhilarating in during one’s college years, where many of us become independent for the first time and begin thinking seriously about our life plans and goals. Individualism refers to the moral, political, and ideological positioning of the individual in society, both as a locus of inherent rights and as an object of emancipation. While individualism is undoubtedly important, excessive individualism can have pernicious effects that lead to narcissism, social inequality, weak communities, thin moral obligations to others, and an inability to perceive public goods. This class will explore tensions inherent in becoming an individual, and provide an extended meditation on the beneficial and harmful aspects of individualism as a social and political standpoint.
Natural World (NW) Options:
My Body’s Ecosystem *50% Hybrid*
(B CORE 116A, NW, QSR)
Instructor: Susan McNabb
We live and interact with different species around, on and inside of us. Those interactions impact the ecology of our bodies, most obviously through diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. We will examine how different biological forms impact us socially, psychologically, nutritionally and related to disease. We will address a new frontier--the microbiome--and examine the latest findings. DNA sequencing has recently revealed that thousands of microbes, hundreds of which are novel, live on or in our bodies. What are they? What do are they doing? Are they bad or good? We are beginning to answer these questions, and we will address how the study of our microbiota is changing our understanding of disease, wellness and evolution.
Weaving Rights: The Culture & Ecology of Native Americans in the Pacific
(B CORE 116B, NW, QSR)
Instructor: Caren Crandell
“Saving the culture begins with saving the environment,” writes Steve Pavlik of the Northwest Indian College. The connection between culture and environment has meant survival and is ultimately a matter of human rights for the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest. We look at this connection through the lens of woven objects, especially basketry, ceremonial robes, and fishing gear. Each student conducts independent research on the cultural and ecological contexts of an item from the Burke Museum’s collection and investigates the ways that change in ecology can affect culture and vice versa. Ample library time is scheduled as we progress through 5 research components that culminate in original syntheses presented in final papers and a poster session.
Water in the West
(B CORE 116C, NW, QSR)
Instructor: Avery Shinneman
This course explores the physical and social dimensions of Earth’s water resources, focusing on the role of water in the modern economy and historic growth of the western United States. We discuss the importance of water for human life, ecosystem function, and a robust economy. Using examination of real-time and historic data, we explore the impact of drought, climate change, and water quality degradation on water availability. Using historic case studies and recent news, we explore and debate how legal and cultural constraints on water interact with natural cycles of water availability and the ramifications of each on the region's growth.
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA) Options:
The Time Traveling Bard: Shakespeare *33% Hybrid*
(B CORE 117A, VLPA)
Instructor: Louise Speigler
This course examines the early modern history and cultural outlook behind the greatest poetic dramas written in the English language. What traditions governed gender relations in Elizabethan England and how did Shakespeare shake them up in his comedies? Had Shakespeare ever met a Jew when he wrote The Merchant of Venice? How did race relations in the Americas inform The Tempest? Did Richard III get a raw deal? How did Africa and the Islamic world influence Othello? And finally: why are there witches in Macbeth?
Students examine how Shakespeare was embedded in, yet transcended his times and how directors and performers transform his work to address modern concerns. As a capstone, students engage in creative transformation of Shakespeare's work themselves.
Race, Gender, and Trauma: Translating Literature into Film
(B CORE 117B, VLPA)
Instructor: Katrina Harack
What is lost or gained when a work of literature is translated into film? On the one hand, audiences often enjoy seeing their favorite works brought to life and given a visual medium. However, a frequent observation by film viewers is that the book “loses something” in the translation into this form, or they may disagree with the director’s or screenplay writer’s interpretation of the literary work and its characters. It is entirely possible for the editing of a film to produce interpretations of the literary work that are not entirely supported by the work itself. In this course we will examine some iconic adaptations of contemporary literature into film, exploring their theoretical and ethical implications with an interdisciplinary approach. In particular, we will examine literature and films that highlight aspects of race, gender, and trauma, and question their “proper” representation in our society. The literature/films to be examined might include Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now, Dispatches and Full Metal Jacket, The English Patient, Beloved, and The Color Purple. Theoretical readings will be selected from Film and Literature: An Introduction and Reader and The Cambridge Companion to Literature on Screen. In addition to learning more about interpreting literature and film, students will also engage with scholarly analyses of how race, gender, and trauma are discussed in our society, and how such discussions influence the appearance of these issues in cultural artifacts like film and literature.
The Legal Case: Making Evidence Persuasive *50% Hybrid*
(B CORE 117C, VLPA)
Instructor: Gavin Doyle
A persuasive public speaking class encompassing an intro to trial advocacy. Students must organize arguments and effectively communicate their position. Students learn general legal concepts of evidence, trials, and criminal procedure. The course begins with student legal teams which gather facts from provided documents, assemble arguments, and make a case before a jury of peers. Students write/perform direct- and cross-examinations, and opening and closing statements. Focusing on presentation skills (including oral, visual, and interactive elements), students present an organized, tailored message during a final mock trial that must respond to feedback and questions from the “judge and jury.”
Front and Center: Images of Women in Theatre and Film
(B CORE 117D, VLPA)
Instructor: Deborah Hathaway
How are women’s stories told? To investigate this question, we will begin with Ancient Greek theatre and continue on to contemporary examples that explore images of women in theatre and film. Using a feminist theory lens, we will look at plays, watch film and television clips, and research the female experience both on and off the stage. We will have the opportunity to identify and discuss your observations of today’s women on the stage and in the media. This course will include active in-class discussions, theatre and movement exercises, and presentation skills. Students will also participate in a community-based learning project in order to further their research process and connect them as a partner to the Seattle theatre community.
Afro-Cultures of the Americas *50% Hybrid*
(B CORE 117E, VLPA)
Instructor: Tasha Buttler
This course focuses on the diversity and richness of Afro-cultures in the Americas. It provides a forum to discuss historical and contemporary issues of race and prepares students to contribute to a complex, multicultural society, fostering tolerance, respect for cultural diversity, and a capacity for critical thinking. It is a second quarter course so we introduce students to research methods. In particular, this course will investigate how historical legacies such as colonialism and slavery have shaped contemporary global realities such as health, housing, educational opportunity, and employment access. Students will be working with texts and cultural activities across a wide range of interdisciplinary fields, including history, anthropology, sociology, political economy, cultural and media studies, and the scholarship of human rights. The regions of primary study will be Brazil, Haiti, Cuba, and the United States. Readings and film will expose students to cultural mélanges of the New World evident in the religion, cuisine, dance, clothing, martial arts, and the rich musical traditions. Learning from the experiences, creative expressions, and relationships between power, knowledge, and difference. They develop the confidence and skills needed to transform unequal relations of power ethically and self-reflexively in order to foster greater equity. In addition to exposure to Afro cultures in Brazil, Haiti, and Cuba, our students will investigate and reflect on contributions of black and mixed-race people in the United States to gain more complex and developed perspectives on current discussions of race. This DCII course is structured to teach some very basic research and reflection skills that will be archived in the e-portfolio.
Creative Activism: Inspiring Social Change through the Arts
(B CORE 117F, VLPA)
Instructor: Gary Carpenter
The arts have been used for centuries to control and oppress populations and in the service of movements that inspire and free them. The arts engage us in ways that the written or spoken word can’t and often create a unique space for re-thinking beliefs, considering new perspectives and navigating difficult, often polarizing issues. Art activism, social justice art, and socially engaged art are a few labels describing contemporary forms of creative activism and can be an indispensable part of creating social change in communities and in society at large. This community based interdisciplinary art course explores the history and contemporary practice of creative activism and asks students to take an active role in understanding local social issues through engagement with the campus and the larger local community and how they contribute to global conversations. Creative exchanges through low stakes group projects accelerate learning and equip students with the confidence to arrive at innovative solutions in their final, individually guided projects. These projects will require both academic and visual research and lead to art projects designed to elicit social change as part of a larger social or environmental movement. No previous art experience is necessary but this course will require independent research and time outside of class both on and off campus working with selected community partners exploring local social issues.
Discovering U.S. Folklore
(B CORE 117G, VLPA)
Instructor: Linda Watts
From the way we observe holidays to the way we tell jokes, we shape and inform our daily lives through a rich, yet often tacit, sense of cultural tradition(s). This course introduces students to folklore as an expressive domain and as a field of study. In this iteration of the course, particular emphasis will be accorded to the study of foodways, childlore, and material culture. Throughout, class members will be encouraged to relate course materials, assignments, and activities to their own experiences with practices, beliefs, and customs—especially those related to food, youth, and the world of objects. We will participate in a series of active learning strategies and activities designed explore the power of folklore within our lives, both individually and collectively.
A Thousand Words: Contemporary Photography and its Influences
(B CORE 117H, VLPA)
Instructor: Howard Hsu
This Discovery Core II course examines photography as a contemporary art form and its influences from other mediums. During the quarter, students will study photography and photographic concepts, learn about contemporary photographers, and research both photography and art history. Students will undertake a project identifying artwork throughout history and establishing connections to contemporary photography (20th Century–Present). For example, the 15th Century works of Bosch’s influence of Joel Peter Witkin or Edward Hopper’s influence on Nan Goldin. Through the project, students will write a research paper arguing an influence. Concurrently, students will create a photographic series to add to their e-portfolio started in DC I.
Music and Philosophy
(B CORE 117I, VLPA)
Instructor: David Nixon
The point of this class is to get better at thinking about, talking about, writing about, and playing music. We will take some time to focus on some particularly philosophical issues connected to music, such as: What is music? What is the connection between music and emotion? What is the value of music? We will primarily learn by doing: We will learn how to be more sophisticated and articulate in our thinking and writing about music by doing a lot of writing about it. We will learn how to play music by creating it. One needn’t have any particular musical talent, just the willingness to make music regardless. In this class every student is a music critic, a musician, and a philosopher of music.
Another World is Possible: Community Building through Socially Engaged Art
(B CORE 117J, VLPA)
Instructor: Ani Ali and Thea Tagle
Can art change the world, our world, your world? How can artists make an impact on problems such as environmental racism, mass incarceration, gender justice, and representation? This course introduces students to artists, ideas and strategies of socially engaged art, defined as an artistic practice that focuses on social engagement, inviting collaboration with individuals, communities, and institutions in the creation of participatory art. Together, we will learn about the history of socially engaged art practices in Seattle, the US and globally. We will meet and collaborate with local community-based organizations and practicing artists and create our own socially engaged art projects. Ultimately, we will collectively discover how art practice can impact our society’s ideas and ideals of democracy, justice, equality, and freedom. With imagination and action, we dare to dream that another world is possible.
Disability Representation in Society
(B CORE 117K, VLPA)
Instructor: Mo West
This course provides students with introductory knowledge of disability studies (DS), a growing multi-disciplinary field that investigates, critiques, and enhances Western society’s understanding of disability. Students will be introduced to a critical framework for recognizing how people with disabilities have experienced disadvantages and exclusion because of personal and societal responses to their impairments. We will explore how disability activists and scholars have re-conceptualized disability from a more empowering social-political and human rights perspective, as an element of human diversity/variation and a source of community.