WINTER 2017 DISCOVERY CORE 5-CREDIT OPTIONS
Individual and Societies (I&S) Options:
Data Worlds and Quantified Selves
(B CORE 115A, I&S)
Instructor: Ian Porter
We live in a technological world. We live in a digital age. These ideas are so commonplace that it is annoying to read them as written sentences. And yet, we have a strangely narrow view of technology, based on how we talk about it in public discourse. 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. And these are just some of the many common and 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.
Tourism: Constructions of the Authentic
(B CORE 115B, I&S)
Instructor: Loren Redwood
Monday/Wednesday 11:00AM - 1:00PM
Tourism, both domestic and foreign can be examined as sites in which colonization, globalization, and political economy intersect to form multiple and divergent narratives that range from romantic stories of the fantasy vacation to disgraceful depictions of the arrogant, greedy and entitled travelers. This course will examine the multifaceted impacts and experiences of tourist/tourism as well as the effects of tourism on the lives and cultures of people who historically and currently engage in performative acts that fuel the travelers’ imagination. It will further investigates the narratives of the fantasy of authentic and “going native” experiences. Assigned texts provide foundational theoretical frameworks and examples for application.
Sustainability and Management of Urban Landscapes
(B CORE 115C, I&S)
Instructor: Maura Shelton
This course introduces students to university research using the UWB wetlands as a laboratory. Students will be engaged in low stakes, long-term research projects that relate to urban sustainability utilizing the UWB wetlands and natural environment. Basic theoretical foundations and fundamental research skills will be taught. Students will learn research methodologies, data analysis, and effective research communication skills. Students will be involved in all stages of the research process, including establishing data collecting protocols and systems, recording these protocols (video, photography), gathering data, analyzing results, and writing/reporting data and writing research proposals based on research findings.
Speaking for the Living: Memorializing the Present
(B CORE 115D, I&S, W)
Instructor: Gavin Doyle
This course tackles public speaking, storytelling, and journalism, though, at its heart, the course lets students reflect on the meaning and value of life.
After studying biographical writing and interviewing skills, students interview family members (or someone who has had a profound impact on their life) in order to write well-researched mock-autobiographies from the perspective of that person.
For the final exam, faculty and staff participate as interview subjects and are invited to the local funeral home to hear students deliver mock-eulogies highlighting their impact on the community & world.
Through both spoken and written word, students will learn to convey the life stories of others clearly, vividly, and with empathy.
Nutritional Choices for an Earth-conscious Cuisine on a Budget
(B CORE 115E, I&S)
Instructor: Tasha Buttler
Monday/Wednesday 11:00AM - 1:00PM
Students will learn basic nutrition science, controversies surrounding industrial farming, marketing, lobbying, and animal rights. We begin with the end in mind: what do we want out of our food choices and how is that influenced by advertising? Half of the course will be research based, and half will be hands-on experience shopping for, and preparing, low-budget, nutritional meals. The course is intended to teach us to reduce food costs, improve nutrition, prepare basic meals, and reflect on consumer choices. Their reflection about how their choices have changed based on research and exposure will be archived in their e-portfolios.
Taking it Global: Skill Development for Today’s Business World
(B CORE 115F, I&S)
Instructor: Greg Tuke
This international collaboration course with students in India will develop skills employers in the globally-engaged world of today need; well-developed problem-solving/ time management skills, and experience collaborating across diverse cultures and in virtual teams. We will be collaborating with peers at Central University of Tibetan Studies using online tools; Skype, student-produced videos and Facebook. Students will work in small global teams to understand social problems from multiple perspectives, design and take public action that will contribute to addressing a shared social issue. Students will practice finding alternative solutions to awkward cultural moments and technical challenges, improving problem-solving skills.
Leadership Communications in Social Enterprise
(B CORE 115G, I&S)
Instructor: Carol Shaw
Want to turn dreams into action? Great thought leaders use the power of language to generate change in our world. This class will survey the evolving corporate landscape, highlighting the rise of social enterprise. We will examine essential roles played by communications, from mission statements to marketing, and explore new media innovations. We will study ways to integrate business goals with aspirations for the environment, arts, health, education, and social justice. Incorporate your own passion for societal change into academic and career planning, your final reflective essay, and oral presentations for our class Leadership Forum—our capstone event. This is an opportunity to champion your favorite cause and show us why it matters.
Natural World (NW) Options:
Water in the West
(B CORE 116A, NW, QSR)
Instructor: Avery Shinneman
Ensuring sustainable use of water resources requires a firm understanding of the physical characteristics of water and its social and economic importance. This course covers the intersections among our scientific understanding of water, climate and drought, technological developments in controlling water, and cultural attitudes toward this elemental resource. Using case studies of environmental and human health impacts on water resources we will research their physical underpinnings and overarching societal causes. Field studies, analysis of data and maps, individual research projects and group discussion and debate will introduce the importance of evaluating quantitative data in understanding socially important natural resource issues.
My Body’s Ecosystem
(B CORE 116B, NW, QSR, W)
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 can’t answer these questions yet, but we will address how the study of our microbiota is changing our understanding of disease, wellness and evolution.
(B CORE 116B, NW, QSR)
Instructor: Grace Lasker
Tuesday/Thursday 11:00AM - 1:00PM
This course introduces key concepts of nutritional science: biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, diet analysis, and scientific principles of investigation. Students will explore components of a healthy diet in the context of health and wellness, self-discovery, research analysis, and current issues.
Weaving Rights: The Culture & Ecology of Native Americans in the Pacific
(B CORE 116C, NW, QSR)
Instructor: Caren Crandell
“Saving the culture begins with saving the environment,” writes Steve Pavlik of the NW 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 NW. 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.
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA) Options:
A Thousand Words: Contemporary Photography and its Influences
(B CORE 117A, 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.
The Functions of Sex: Race and Gender in America
(B CORE 117B, VLPA)
Instructor: Jason Morse
Sex is had, used, and exchanged for many reasons - reproduction, pleasure, intimacy, and currency. It is also a form of control/manipulation, shaming, & violence. Sexuality is also part of our socialization, identity, normalization, rationality, and evaluation of others. Sexuality is also the way race and gender are (re)produced and lived. This class will think about the function of sex, primarily in the gendered production of race in America, through a varied archive pairing multidisciplinary theories of sex, race, and gender (Foucault, Butler, Davis, Bederman, Ferguson) with a novel (Baldwin), short fiction (Chopin, Hemingway, Stein, Wright, and Linmark,) poetry (Brooks, Eliot), drama (Hwang), and graphic novel (Black Hole).
The Time Traveling Bard: Shakespeare
(B CORE 117C, VLPA, W)
Instructor: Louise Speigler
In this course we will examine the real stories behind the greatest poetic dramas ever written in the English language. How do Shakespeare’s plays connect to the world of early modern Europe, Africa, Asia and even the Caribbean? This interdisciplinary study will put the plays in historical context, revealing how they emerged from the world-view of the early modern world. We will look at questions such as: What traditions governed gender relations 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 relations between Europe, Africa and the Islamic world influence Othello? How did the people of the newly discovered Americas inform The Tempest? Did Richard III get a raw deal? And finally, why are there witches in Macbeth?
Having studied how Shakespeare was embedded in, yet transcended his times, students will investigate how his works have been transformed in later times. As a capstone, students will do some of the transforming themselves.
Creativity and Innovation in a Climate of Possibility
(B CORE 117E, VLPA)
Instructor: Gary Carpenter
Monday/Wednesday 11:00AM - 1:00PM
In our technological world where information is so readily available and rapid change has become the norm, there is a pressing need across all disciplines and industries for people who think creatively. Through this course we will examine the growing and urgent need for imagination, creativity and innovation and will explore our personal approaches to creativity, its applications as a research tool and a means of creating personal and social change. Contemplation, constructive play, readings and thinking beyond the confines of the norm will be the platform to launch written and visual arts projects designed to broaden creative resourcefulness and challenge our own limitations.
Taking it Global: Social Movements through an International Lens
(B CORE 117F, VLPA)
Instructor: Greg Tuke
This international collaboration, hybrid course works with our partner university in India, The Central University for Tibetan Studies. Using primary sources at CUTS with first-hand experience and knowledge of the “Tibet Independence Movement”, and primary source activists engaged in contemporary Social Justice Movements locally, we will compare and contrast these two social movements, examining organizing strategies and tactics. Students meet local activists and attend social action events in the community to better understand how to be an agent of change. Student teams will research various causes and individuals, and ultimately produce a three minute video that conveys the lives of selected activists and their causes.
Disability Representation in Society
(B CORE 117G, VLPA)
Instructor: Mo West
This course provides students with introductory knowledge of Critical Disability Studies (CDS), a growing multi-disciplinary field that investigates, critiques, and enhances Western society’s understanding of disability. We will apply core concepts of CDS to examine bioethical, social, cultural, political and economic determinants in the social construction (framing) of disability. CDS questions and connects established disciplines and draws on links between disability and other social categories such as gender, class, & race and suggests new ways of thinking about difference, identity, justice, power, privilege, the body, and society. Utilizing a CDS framework we will collectively design an on-campus disability justice research project.
Individuality and Individualism
(B CORE 117H, VLPA)
Instructor: Jason Lambacher
College is an incredibly powerful time when students explore who they are and create experiences of what it means to be an individual. This course helps to put these experiences in perspective by drawing on a range of literatures and texts – from philosophy, sociology, and political science, to art, poetry, film, and popular culture. We will attend to different ways of understanding the value of individuality and explore the unique challenges of becoming individuals. At the same time, we will critically examine some of individualism’s excesses and deficiencies as we investigate how these problems relate to community life, social cohesion, and politics. The class provides ample opportunity for both self-reflection and intellectual engagement on the theme of individuality and individualism. The course will be conducted through a mix of lecture, discussion, short reflective essays, an analytic paper, and a final exam.
Music and Philosophy
(B CORE 117I, VLPA)
Instructor: David Nixon
In this class, we will 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, including: 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, mostly in the form of music reviews. We will learn how to play music and make philosophy by creating them as we go. One needn't have any particular musical or philosophical talent, just the willingness to give music, thinking, and writing a try.