Jun 23, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Course Descriptions


 

Theatre

  
  • THE 396 - Independent Study - Playwriting


    Instructor
    Staff

    Topics normally involve writing exercises and a fully-developed original play script.

    Prerequisites & Notes
    Permission of the instructor required.

  
  • THE 397 - Independent Study - Production Management and Advanced Design


    Instructor
    Henderson

  
  • THE 410 - Collaboration in Theatre


    Instructor

    Costa, Tripathi

     

    Rotating special topics course focusing on a team-taught exploration of theoretical and practical approaches to issues of artistic collaboration in theatre production, through readings, guest lectures, paper-exercises, studio experiments, and production practice.  The course features both cross-disciplinary investigations into models of collaboration and leadership, and advanced training in the student’s chosen area of specialization.  Depending on student interest and the expertise of the assigned faculty, areas of specialization in a given semester may include directing, scenic, lighting, costume, properties, projection, or sound design, playwriting, stage management, or production dramaturgy.  Culminates each spring in a fully-produced series of one-act plays or other short-form theatrical works.  Course may be repeated for credit, with a different area of specialization, pending permission of the instructors.

      

    Prerequisites & Notes
    Prerequisite -  Either THE 235 or THE 355

  
  • THE 435 - Advanced Scene Design


     

    Instructor
    Tripathi

    Advanced study of the design and implementation of scenic design for the stage.  Continuation of principles covered in THE 335, with special emphasis on practical solutions for specific plays. Process work, including research, play analysis, and drafting will be emphasized. The course concludes in the student designing a one-act play in the Barber Theatre with a student director.

    Prerequisites & Notes
    THE 335 (Additional lab hours required.) (Offered every other Spring.)

  
  • THE 436 - Lighting Design and Technical Production


    Instructors
    Tripathi

    Advanced study, through exercises and projects, of the tools, principles and techniques of designing and executing stage lighting, with parallel study of related technical areas.

    Prerequisites & Notes
    Theatre 335 (Offered every other Spring.)

  
  • THE 445 - Acting III


    Instructors
    Sutch

    Advanced study of one or more production styles involving in-depth research and resulting in class performance. An effort will be made to tailor course content to promote the individual actor’s development.

    Prerequisites & Notes
    Theatre 245 and 345

  
  • THE 455 - Directing II


    Instructors
    Costa, Sutch

    Advance study of directing principles and their implementation for the stage. Continuation of developing the director’s aesthetic that began in THE 355, with special emphasis on directing rhythmic, comedic and contemporary non-realism scenes. The course concludes in the student directing a one-act play in The Barber Theatre with a design team.

    Prerequisites & Notes
    Theatre 355  (Spring)

  
  • THE 486 - Voice and Movement for the Actor II


    Instructor
    Sutch

    Advanced study of vocal technique and movement analysis for the actor. Provides an in-depth analysis of individual habits and fosters healthy expansion of movement vocabulary and vocal production.

    Prerequisites & Notes
    Theatre 245 and 386 (Meets for extra hours; please consult with the instructor.) 

  
  • THE 499 - Honors Tutorial and Thesis


    Instructor
    Green

    Required for graduation with honors in Theatre. For Theatre majors only with a 3.5 GPA in the theatre major and an overall GPA of 3.2.

    Prerequisites & Notes
    Approval of thesis proposal by May 1st of the previous academic year.


Writing

  
  • WRI 101 - Course list for Writing in the Liberal Arts


    Spring 2024 Sections

    WRI 101 [A]: Writings American Citizenship
    MW 8:05 - 9:20

    Nguyen
    This course is designed to offer an in-depth investigation on how ideas of U.S. citizenship have changed over time. In interrogating ideas of U.S. citizenship, students are asked to think about who gets to be a citizen of the United States, what it means to be a non-citizen of the United States, and how and why rights and privileges associated with U.S. citizenship have been granted to some groups while being withheld from others. As a class we will explore shifting U.S. policies and laws concerning citizenship from the colonial period to the present day, while also exploring the lived experiences and historical accounts of peoples in the United States.

    WRI 101 [B]: Religion in the Public Square
    MWF 8:30 - 9:20 
    Blum

    The ideal of democracy is a society in which well-informed citizens who disagree with each other engage in free and reasoned debate, guided by the shared aim of cultivating a flourishing society. The role of religion in this ideal has always been a contentious topic, and in recent years it has reemerged as a matter of dispute. This class poses the question: what role should religion play in public discourse? The class will draw on a variety of perspectives that speak to fundamental questions about the rights, freedoms, and responsibilities that citizens have, and the role that religion plays in those challenging questions. Students will write three major papers, in addition to a number of smaller, lower-stakes writing assignments.  

    WRI 101 [C]: AI: Its Nature and Significance
    MWF 9:30 - 10:20
    Copic
    In this course, we will explore the nature of artificial intelligence from a philosophical and practical perspective. Most of the questions we will engage with are cutting edge in the sense that they are unsettled by domain experts including philosophers, computer scientists, linguists, and lawmakers. Many of these unsettled questions, however, are also very old questions-they are about the nature of computing, the nature of intelligence, the conditions for conscious experience, the limits of our knowledge about entities alien to us, and the nature of language. Therefore, this course will expose you to foundational literature from the mid twentieth century all the way up to the present state of inquiry into AI. Here is a sampling of questions we will attempt to answer:

    • What is the nature of consciousness? Do AI systems in their current states exemplify consciousness, and how could we know this?
    • How do our words get to refer to things beyond the mind-to be about things out there in the world? When large language models (LLMs) generate sentences, do their sentences get to be about the world in the same ways that ours do? Do their sentences encode thoughts?
    • To what extent are artificially intelligent systems fundamentally different from other technologies and why? 
    • How should we relate to AI as persons, students, citizens, or legislators? What questions do we need to settle before we can confidently decide how to relate to AI systems?

    We will be reading key text from the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and from contemporary computer science literature in order to grapple with these questions. In taking this course, you will learn how to ask important questions about new problems, how to critically evaluate arguments, how to make your own arguments for or against a position, and a variety of ways to communicate these arguments. You’ll do these things individually, in community, verbally, and in writing. Expect class time to actively engage the following skillset: active and empathic listening, thoughtful speaking, deliberation, presenting, and writing.

    Since this is a writing course, we will spend significant time in and out of class working on writing projects and providing peer-to-peer feedback. By the end of this course, you will be able to use writing as a tool for organizing your own thinking and as a tool for effective communication. There will be three major writing projects, each focused on a different topic of the course, and most of your work in this course will be focused on honing your reasoning and your writing skills.

    WRI 101 [D]: Myths and Bones
    TR 9:40 - 10:55
    Cormier

    Hephaestus, son of Hera, was born with a “shriveled foot” and cast out from Mount Olympus; the assistants to the Aztec rain god Tlaloc were “dwarfs” who smashed jars to create thunder; Blind Surdas, from the 16th century, was one of the great saint-poets from India. This course will explore how human variation and bodily differences are depicted in myths, folklore, and legends from around the world. While these stories frequently inhabit the space of mythical, magical, and religious, they remain a potent force in the construction of lived experiences. Thus, we will consult archaeological research and the study of ancient skeletal human remains to examine identity formation and the perceptions of people with bodily differences in the past. The stories of today- reality tv and blockbuster movies- influence how we treat those who are different, but could it be the same in the past? We will analyze readings that range from archaeological reports to ancient mythical stories to critical disability studies. This course will include informal writing as well as three major writing projects.

    WRI 101 [E]: Bad Art
    MWF 10:30 - 11:20

    Rippeon
    This writing course examines ‘bad art’: cultural productions that raise questions about censorship and freedom of expression, kitsch and camp, the ethics of representation, and good art made by bad people. We will consider a variety of cultural forms, including literary texts (poems, fiction); music, television and film; and the visual arts. We will work to develop criteria for engaging with these forms; to develop these criteria, we will read critical theory, popular journalism, and literary and art criticism. Student writing will include shorter, low-stakes assignments, informal presentations, and three essays, executed through a sequence of individual and group-oriented activities (e.g. conferences, peer-review, drafting and revision).

    WRI 101 [F]: Who Killed Jesus?
    MWF 10:30 - 11:20

    Krentz

    Who killed Jesus? For many centuries, the words of Matthew 27:25 (“His blood be upon us and upon our children!”) were used to justify the characterization of the Jews as Christ-killers. After the Holocaust, the Second Vatican Council rejected the idea that the Jewish people can be held responsible for Jesus’s death. Yet anti-Semitism persists. Perhaps each of us bears some responsibility for exploring why Jesus was executed.

    This course will have four major scaffolded writing projects, as well as shorter writing opportunities. As with any skill, you get better at writing by practicing. I love the line attributed to a professional golfer (usually Ben Hogan or Gary Player), “Golf is a game of luck. The harder I practice, the luckier I get.”

    WRI 101 [G]: Race on Film
    MWF 1:30 - 2:20
    McCarthy

    Oscar-related controversies and 2020’s cultural reckonings have underscored the stakes in representing racial difference on film. “Race on Film” will provide students with analytic tools for approaching this topic from various angles, including analysis of familiar tropes and challenges to them. We will also think about the racial assumptions underpinning films that seem, on the surface, to tell stories from a universal perspective, as well as how facets of our own identities filter our perceptions. Films include Do the Right Thing, Black Panther, The Farewell, Crazy Rich Asians, and Zola. This course will hone writing skills, foster critical thinking, and encourage collegial discussion of a perennially controversial subject. Assignments consist of three short essays and one final research paper.

    WRI 101 [H]: Imagining Africa
    TR 9:30-10:55
    Wiemers

    How has the idea of Africa been produced, contested, and used as a political tool? In this introduction to writing in the liberal arts, we will engage with a series of historical actors-politicians, scholars, and activists-who have used the idea of Africa to build and destroy empires, to create and contest community, and to imagine a world that was different from the one they inhabited. In the late nineteenth century, the concept of Africa emerged as an instrument of imperial power. At the same time, it became the basis for a wide variety of projects for solidarity and liberation by people of African decent in and beyond the continent. Both of these imaginings of Africa have continued, in various forms, to the present. The course centers on a central set of questions: What are the implications of how we imagine and describe the world? How have the categories that governments, activists, and scholars used to describe “Africa” helped them shape and reshape the world? What kinds of politics, interactions, and knowledge were made possible by particular visions? What possibilities were foreclosed? As we work to develop facility with argumentative writing, we will also use these questions to become more critical about the terms of our own analysis.
    In the class, you will produce four major writing assignments, each of which will be drafted, peer-reviewed, and revised. You will also complete a number of low-stakes, unrevised, analytical pieces, including reading reflections and brief film and media reviews. Students will spend significant time reading, commenting, and offering suggestions on each other’s writing.
    Over the course of the first three essays, you will learn to engage critically with a wide variety of texts, including critiques of the category of African from V.Y. Mudimbe’s 1988 The Invention of Africa to Binyavanga Wainaina’s popular 2006 satire “How to Write About Africa,” as well as the works of scholars and activists who have used the idea of Africa as a platform for critique, community, and social change (including Amy Jacques Garvey, Julius Nyerere, W.E.B. DuBois, and others). We will put these texts in conversation with one another, and use them to analyze primary sources ranging from turn-of-the-twentieth-century West African newspapers to contemporary movies and music videos. In the final project, you will analyze a contemporary imagining of Africa from a popular media source of your choosing. 

    WRI 101 [I]: Exploring Voice in Writing
    TR 9:40 - 10:55
    He

    In today’s digital age, where Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, such as ChatGPT, are easily accessible, it is more important than ever to develop a unique voice to communicate effectively with readers. This course will help you explore what it means to have a unique voice in writing and how to develop it. For example, how can our cultural and linguistic backgrounds affect the way we express our voice in writing? How do our self-perceptions impact our discursive choices? How can we use rhetorical devices to develop our unique voice and make it heard in writing? How can we strengthen our voice by incorporating reliable sources?

    In this course, we will seek answers to these questions by reading a variety of texts, watching podcasts and YouTube videos, and writing texts of different genres. The major assignments include literacy native, critical commentary, and digital portfolio. These assignments will showcase your writing development and how you have improved your writerly voice over the semester. By the end of this course, you will have a better understanding of what makes a unique voice, how to develop your own, and how to make your writing stand out.

    WRI 101 [J]: Argument and Deliberation in Democratic Life
    TR 8:15 - 9:30
    Hogan

    Debate and deliberation are the chief mechanisms of collective inquiry and decision-making in a democratic society. Robust and productive civic deliberation requires that we have shared principles, norms, and expectations for what constitutes a “good argument,” and that we abide by certain rules and ethical standards for deliberating “in good faith.”  This vision of a healthy, robust deliberative democracy makes demands upon all of us. It calls upon us to think critically about politics and current events, and it requires that we learn the differences between sound, reasoned argument-what we’re calling “good argument”-and the disinformation, distractions, and subversions of demagoguery and propaganda. Unfortunately, there is growing evidence that many of us have shirked these responsibilities. Our deliberative democracy is now threatened by a variety of forces, ranging from new communicative technologies to outright assaults on the traditional norms of ethical public debate and deliberation. Reflecting on the character and quality of our public discourse, some scholars worry about the civic health of our nation, warning that we are living in a “diminished democracy,” even a “democracy at risk.”  

    In this this section of Writing 101, we will reflect on what makes for a “good argument” in the civic realm, and we will consider ways to encourage more reasoned, robust public deliberation. Studying the tools and techniques of rhetoric first taught in the ancient world, we will learn how to become more effective and ethical public advocates, as well as more critical consumers of public discourse in the “marketplace of ideas.”

    WRI 101 [K]: Wasting and Wanting
    MW 2:30 - 3:45

    Worl
    This course is designed to introduce students to the lives of informal waste workers through the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, and critical geography. In the popular media, informal waste workers-their lives and the nature of their work-are often dehumanized and pathologized, despite the fact that their labor is often central to the efficient functioning of formal waste systems. Through films, podcasts, ethnographies, and careful journalistic accounts, we will explore the worlds of informal waste workers.

    This course will have three major writing assignments and short reflection pieces designed to develop the existing written and verbal skills of students.

    WRI 101 [L]: Talking to Strangers
    TR 12:15 - 1:30

    Hillard
    Parents admonish their young children not to talk to strangers, but adult life in our contemporary world requires us to do just that. As citizens, either virtually or in person, we engage with people more or less unknown to us nearly every day.  The potentials of engaging with strangers whose life experiences, ideologic preferences, points of view, and identities may remain opaque is often embraced as a key quality of cosmopolitan living. As some have argued, talking to strangers is also a requirement for democratic life, which envisions equality and diversity as complementary ideals. “Talking to strangers” is also a fitting description for intellectual writing of the sort practiced in college and published for wide audiences across the public sphere. Here, writers may wish to persuade readers through reasoned argument, to foster an identification between writer and reader, to catalyze debate, or delineate an important disagreement without knowing the exact dimensions of those readers’ lives. In the arena of intellectual writing, writers and readers are neither intimates nor familiars, but that should not diminish the possibility of their mutual regard. In three major writing projects, each taken through a month-long process of drafting and revising prior to evaluation, students will respond to political theorists, creative non-fiction writers, activists, and other public intellectuals who care about how strangers live together in a democracy. We will cultivate the art of talking to strangers as a vital part of adult life. 
     

    WRI 101 [M]: Trauma Literature
    R 1:40 - 4:20
    Denham

    How do authors write about trauma? How do we read about trauma? What is empathy when mediated through literary texts? How do scholars read and understand and debate about the literature of trauma and what this literature does to and for readers? Can readers experience trauma vicariously? What is the role of an author’s personal experience in writing about trauma? Questions like these will lead us through stories about trauma and help us take part in a scholarly conversation about trauma literature. We will pay close attention to narrators as we learn about narrative theory; about the roles of historical context, biographical experience, and the archive for authors framing stories and narrators telling those stories; about the genres of historical fiction, fictional autobiography, memoir, and life writing. We will learn how to discover scholarly and public intellectual discourse about literary texts and how to take part in those conversations.

    WRI 101 [N]: Religion in the Public Square
    MWF 9:30 - 10:20
    Blum

    The ideal of democracy is a society in which well-informed citizens who disagree with each other engage in free and reasoned debate, guided by the shared aim of cultivating a flourishing society. The role of religion in this ideal has always been a contentious topic, and in recent years it has reemerged as a matter of dispute. This class poses the question: what role should religion play in public discourse? The class will draw on a variety of perspectives that speak to fundamental questions about the rights, freedoms, and responsibilities that citizens have, and the role that religion plays in those challenging questions. Students will write three major papers, in addition to a number of smaller, lower-stakes writing assignments.  

    WRI 101 [P]:  Mindful Writing
    TR 8:15 - 9:30
    Bhandari
    This course approaches writing from a contemplative pedagogy perspective. Integrating tools from mindfulness and meditation practices into in-class and take-home writing assignments, students will learn to write for a variety of contexts and audiences. The goals of the writing strategy are to foster intrinsic motivation for the writing process, derive creative inspiration, and discover the joy in the creative process of writing.

     Mindfulness and contemplative exercises help to bring us fully into the present moment, from where we can communicate with clarity and passion. The same underlying skills that help us engage in dialogue with other scholars can also aid us in writing captivating blogposts that communicate scholarly ideas to a general audience. Mindfulness teaches us that being present in the moment fundamentally transforms our experiential reality and transmutes the quality of our focus. In this course, we will try to channel the qualities of mindful presence and focus to the process of writing. The three major assignments in this course will engage contemplative practices and mindfulness research; these assignments include writing scholarly analysis, writing for public engagement, and writing with a creative component. Readings in this course will present perspectives on mindfulness from multiple disciplinary approaches including (but not limited to) Sociology, Religious Studies and Literature.

     As a part of the class, we will take a fieldtrip to the Kadampa Meditation Center in Charlotte. The “Davidson Mindfulness” student group on campus will also be invited to visit our class, so you can learn about ways you can engage contemplative practices outside of class within the Davidson community. 

    WRI 101 [Q]: Demystifying Davidson
    TR 9:40 - 10:55 

    Baugh
    WebTree. Steph Curry. Eating Houses.  What do you wish you’d known about Davidson College before you arrived here? What’s one piece of advice you’d give to future first year Wildcats? In this class, we will focus on critical thinking, self-reflexivity, scholarly and archival research, rhetorical analysis, and practical application to interrogate the inner workings of Davidson College. In the process of this interrogation, we will move from writing projects which range from vulnerable narratives to public dissemination of our research in self-produced podcasts. Building from your own experiences, our goal is to better understand the resources, history, traditions, challenges, and secret knowledge of Davidson College as we build a media repository of all the things we learn.

    WRI 101 [R]: Are Prisons Obsolete?
    MW 2:30 - 3:45

    Vincent
    With 1.8 million Americans currently behind bars, the United States imprisons its citizens at one of the highest rates in the world. But social movements and policymakers are now posing urgent questions about our country’s carceral system: why are Black Americans imprisoned at five times the rate of white Americans? Should there be for-profit prisons? What crimes merit confinement? What is the purpose of prisons? And do we even need them? We will grapple with these questions by reading first-hand accounts of prisons and examining a variety of scholarly perspectives on the United States prison system. Over the course of the semester, we will draft, workshop, and revise three major writing projects, including a comparative essay, a research essay, and a community-based capstone project.

    WRI 101 [S]: The Linguist’s Dilemma
    TR 12:15 - 1:30
    Fernandez

    Since Aristotle, philosophers, theologians, and scientists alike have assumed that language is a uniquely human trait. When Descartes famously declared je pense, don je suis (I think, therefore I am), he suggested that only humans applied, as only they were believed to possess the tool through which humans demonstrate their ability to think-language. Centuries later, in the 1960s, the father of modern linguistics, Noam Chomsky, advanced this assumption by centering his research on the notion of Universal Grammar (UG), which holds that only humans are genetically endowed with the cognitive capacity for language. Animals, in contrast, were thought to possess neither the physiological nor the cognitive capacity for language.

    In recent decades, this linguistic orthodoxy has been challenged by the bourgeoning field of animal studies. Research on creatures as different as bees to whales have offered evidence of rich communicative repertoires, complicating assumptions about the nature of language and prompting some not only to reconsider what it means to be human but also to consider new ways of engaging with non-human species. As it considers this central problem of contemporary linguistics-the nature of language, its evolution, and whether it is unique to humans-this first-year writing course will give students an opportunity to hone their skills as intellectual writers: to become yet more practiced at close and critical reading of others’ public and scholarly arguments, to fashion independent positions in response to those arguments, and to craft prose that both evokes their own signature style and reaches powerfully to interested readers. 

    WRI 101 [T]: Mindfulness, Yoga, Qi
    TR 3:05 - 4:20 p.m.

    Pang
    Mindfulness, yoga, and qi practices have become a ubiquitous part of wellness culture in a globalized world. Mindfulness is practiced in elementary schools, corporate settings, and hospitals. Yoga studios and yoga attire have become seamlessly intertwined with capitalism. Qi practices are integrated into a variety of alternative healthcare options. And yet, each of these traditions have ancient roots in the religious cultures of India and China. To what extent are these modern usages of mindfulness, yoga, and qi practices an adaptation of these ancient Indian and Chinese religious practices? At what point do iterations of mindfulness, yoga, and qi practices constitute cultural appropriation? In this course we will attempt to answer this main question through deliberations on a variety of primary and secondary sources, including classic Hindu, Buddhist, and Daoist texts; secondary scholarship on the topic; articles written in popular magazines and websites; and contemporary advertising. Writers will have the chance to hone their argumentative writing skills in three writing projects. 

    WRI 101 [U]: News as the First Draft of History
    TR 12:15 - 1:30 p.m.
    Drew
    News is sometimes called the first draft of history, and journalists are often primary witnesses to historic events, like elections, natural disasters, war, and great moments in art. But how does the speed and pressure of today’s news distort that first draft of history, and who gets to create news, how do they create it, and who gets to consume it and critique it? Drawing on a variety of journalistic and scholarly readings, this course will explore the news craft, narratives being drafted by journalists now, and the privilege of engaging in public discourse. The course features three major projects, each with drafting, peer critique, and strong revision.

     

    Fall 2023 Sections

    WRI 101 [A]: Scrapbooks to Statues
    MWF 8:30 - 9:20

    S. Campbell
    We celebrate the past in many ways, in baby books that document first teeth, steps and words, in yearbooks that commemorate school years, in eulogies that memorialize loved ones, and in statues that signify historical importance.  Scrapbooking or creating a digital photo album about a recent trip may seem straightforward. Yet, actions of remembrance also generate controversy.  For example, a recent obituary published about a family pet in a local newspaper inspired an irate letter to the editor.  Meanwhile, countries have enacted memory laws, which mandate state-approved interpretations of crucial historical events and promote certain narratives about the past, and debates rage about how the past should be remembered, which we have witnessed through struggles over historical monuments.

    In this WRI course, we will reflect on the past and explore key questions: how do we record our own pasts?  What is at stake when we engage in these activities, as individuals and as cultures?  Through several major projects, we will reflect on examples of personal commemoration, conduct archival research on college scrapbooking, explore historical monuments in the town of Davidson, and research current debates on historical control and commemoration.

    WRI 101 [B]: Design and Build
    MWF 9:30 - 10:20 
    Churchill

    Architecture is not a passive structure we occupy; rather, it shapes our minds and imaginations, influencing what we do and how we do it. In this course, we will explore physical and virtual spaces, ranging from classrooms, homes, refugee camps, and prisons, to websites and Davidson Domains. We will approach writing as a form of architecture, breaking out of the predictable 5-paragraph essay blueprint in order to reimagine essays as more enticing dwelling spaces for your readers to inhabit. The course itself will inhabit the digital realm: the course hub will be a website; you will learn to write for web publication; and you will design a WordPress site on your own Davidson subdomain to showcase your work. No previous technological training needed, but creativity, critical thinking, and a collaborative spirit are required.

    WRI 101 [C]: American Dream
    MWF 9:30 - 10:20

    Roberts
    Whether you consider the American Dream to be a promise or a goal, the term is used frequently; one assumes the concept means the same thing to everyone. Today Americans perceive many challenges to this “American Dream,” a belief that upward mobility can result from hard work and determination. Beginning in the 1930s, the phrase “The American Dream” found its way into our political, cultural, and popular discussion. Without a doubt, America’s economic crisis has compromised our “American Dream of Success.”  Many scholars are skeptical about the accessibility of this dream to all Americans. What are consequences of this loss as a centerpiece of our national culture? As sociologist Barry Glassner explains, “You want to hold to your dream when times are hard. For the vast majority of Americans at every point in history, the prospect of achieving the American Dream has been slim, but the promise has been huge.” An analysis of the American Dream allows us to explore a number of different disciplines so as to unpack what political scientist Carl Jilson has called “one of the most evocative phrases in our national lexicon.” Through looking at legislation and political discourse, we will come to understand how the concept has become embedded in our collective psyche.   

    WRI 101 [D]: Bad Art
    MWF 10:30 - 11:20
    Rippeon

    This writing course examines “bad art”: cultural productions that raise questions about censorship and freedom of expression, the ethics of representation, kitsch and camp, and good art made by bad people.  We will consider a variety of cultural forms, including literary texts (poems, fiction); music, television and film; and the visual arts.  We will work to develop criteria for engaging with these forms; to develop these criteria, we will read critical theory, popular journalism, and literary and art criticism.  We will also occasionally make use of the College’s art collection, and our own practices of cultural consumption.  Student writing will include shorter, low-stakes assignments, informal presentations, and a series of essays (four) executed through a sequence of individual and group-oriented activities (e.g. conferences, peer-review, drafting and revision). 

    WRI 101 [E]: From Scroll to Screen
    MWF 10:30 - 11:20

    G. Snyder
    Where do “sacred books” come from? How do they grow and change over time? How does their form-handwritten, then printed, and now digital-affect their meaning? These questions lie at the heart of the course, and we’ll explore them by looking at the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Bible, and the Qur’an. Along the way, we’ll create our own handwritten manuscript with papyrus and reed pens; we’ll set type and print documents in the letterpress shop in order to understand the printing revolution, and work with artifacts in the Rare Book Room. In the course of exploring the use of images in scripture, we’ll go to the Visual Arts Center and make woodblock prints.  Finally, we’ll consider what happens when scriptures are digitized and move into “the cloud.” How do these new digital forms influence the meaning, interpretation and authority of scripture?

    The course features four writing projects, each of which passes through distinct stages that will prepare you for every paper you’ll write in college: finding and assimilating reliable sources, citing them; capturing your ideas, drafting, revising, and revising again. Along the way, we’ll form a collaborative community of writers and editors, learning how to comment helpfully on the work of others and to benefit from the comments of our fellow writers.

    WRI 101 [F]: Scrapbooks to Statues
    MWF 10:30 - 11:20

    S. Campbell
    We celebrate the past in many ways, in baby books that document first teeth, steps and words, in yearbooks that commemorate school years, in eulogies that memorialize loved ones, and in statues that signify historical importance.  Scrapbooking or creating a digital photo album about a recent trip may seem straightforward. Yet, actions of remembrance also generate controversy.  For example, a recent obituary published about a family pet in a local newspaper inspired an irate letter to the editor.  Meanwhile, countries have enacted memory laws, which mandate state-approved interpretations of crucial historical events and promote certain narratives about the past, and debates rage about how the past should be remembered, which we have witnessed through struggles over historical monuments.

    In this WRI course, we will reflect on the past and explore key questions: how do we record our own pasts?  What is at stake when we engage in these activities, as individuals and as cultures?  Through several major projects, we will reflect on examples of personal commemoration, conduct archival research on college scrapbooking, explore historical monuments in the town of Davidson, and research current debates on historical control and commemoration.

    WRI 101 [G]: Exploring Voice in Writing
    MWF 11:30 - 12:20
    He

    In today’s digital age, where Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, such as ChatGPT, are easily accessible, it is more important than ever to develop a unique voice to communicate effectively with readers. This course will help you explore what it means to have a unique voice in writing and how to develop it. For example, how can our cultural and linguistic backgrounds affect the way we express our voice in writing? How do our self-perceptions impact our discursive choices? How can we use rhetorical devices to develop our unique voice and make it heard in writing? How can we strengthen our voice by incorporating reliable sources?

    In this course, we will seek answers to these questions by reading a variety of texts, watching podcasts and YouTube videos, and writing texts of different genres. The major assignments include literacy native, critical commentary, and digital portfolio. These assignments will showcase your writing development and how you have improved your writerly voice over the semester. By the end of this course, you will have a better understanding of what makes a unique voice, how to develop your own, and how to make your writing stand out.

    WRI 101 [H]: Bad Art
    MWF 11:30 - 12:20
    Rippeon

    This writing course examines “bad art”: cultural productions that raise questions about censorship and freedom of expression, the ethics of representation, kitsch and camp, and good art made by bad people.  We will consider a variety of cultural forms, including literary texts (poems, fiction); music, television and film; and the visual arts.  We will work to develop criteria for engaging with these forms; to develop these criteria, we will read critical theory, popular journalism, and literary and art criticism.  We will also occasionally make use of the College’s art collection, and our own practices of cultural consumption.  Student writing will include shorter, low-stakes assignments, informal presentations, and a series of essays (four) executed through a sequence of individual and group-oriented activities (e.g. conferences, peer-review, drafting and revision). 

    WRI 101 [I]: Love, Grief, and Art
    TR 8:15 - 9:30
    Kuzmanovich

    I read and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand.” This sentence, often attributed to Confucius, or Xun Kuang, or Maria Montessori, is usually understood to  promote a life of experiential learning over a life of reading.  But look again, and this time don’t assume that the “I” of the last clause is necessarily identical to the “I” of the first. After all, what we read and see, remember and forget changes us.  Resist also the stylistic invitation to confuse the elegant clausal parallelism for causal connection. Finally, notice also that the sentence never identifies what “I” reads/forgets/sees/remembers/does in order to understand.

    You should not take this course if you think that writing is just a set of separable skills. You should take it if you like playing with  sentence structures in order to convert networks of conceptual relationships into stylish and memorable linear strings of words as you begin answering the question “How do I do (see, read, understand, remember, and forget) myself while in the grasp of Love, Grief, and Art?” The full answers may take you a lifetime, but even those you give now will rely on your understanding of stories and essays written by others and filtered through your own experience of desires, joys, fears, pain, small and large injustices, moments of insight, flights of imagination, and flashes of beauty. And the answers you give will also depend on your answer to a different question: “Who wants to know?”  Your answers to “How do I do me?” and “Who wants to know?” ought to be interesting to you and to others. That means you need to write confidently and candidly all the while knowing that writing is a kind of pretend conversation.  And that, in turn, means that you need  to make the materials of your life and your understanding of the lives of others vividly available to your readers through clear, well-organized, reflective, persuasive, and evocative prose.  Only such prose can render meaningful, painful,  or beautiful moments in your life as both uniquely your own, and  also universal. The only reason such overlap is possible is that (1) great writing is made out of other great writing and that (2) your individual style is a matter of something other than mere verbal choices. Getting to a point where the unique and the universal overlap requires that you align your language with your notions of truth that needs to be told, your motives for telling it and doing so now, and your sense of the audience’s role and needs in that telling.  That alignment is your style.

    My plan for getting you to that alignment of the private and the universal includes thematically connected readings of essays and short stories, classroom discussions and workshops, start-up exercises and revisions,  and four papers.  An of course office chats.

    I grade using the portfolio method.

    WRI 101 [J]: Philosophy of Sex
    MWF 12:30 - 1:20
    Studtmann

    There is significant and politically charged disagreement over many important questions concerning sex and its consequences. For instance, some have thought that homosexuality is morally impermissible, while others have thought that homosexuality is no more and no less morally problematic than heterosexuality.  Some think that abortions are morally permissible under any conditions, while others think that abortion is never morally permissible.  In this course, we approach several topics concerning sex and its consequences by reading essays written about them by prominent philosophers as well as important Supreme Court cases.  In addition to reading and discussing the assigned essays, we also discuss the many facets of writing.  This will include special attention to sentence structure, argument construction, essay structure the principles of good rhetoric and good reasoning.

    WRI 101 [K]: World-building
    TR 8:15 - 9:30

    Ingram
    “World-building” refers to the construction of imaginary worlds, each with their own maps, languages, and histories. Think of worlds such as Tatooine and Wakanda and Panem; think creators such as J.R.R. Tolkien and Octavia Butler and Hayao Miyazaki.

    In writing assignments and class discussions, the students of this section will analyze masterpieces of world-building, such as Thomas More’s Utopia, published in 1516, and the recipient of the 2022 Academy Award for Best Picture Everything Everywhere All at Once; they will examine the ever-evolving media for world-building (prose fiction, graphic novels, films, videogames); and they will reflect on the enduring desire to create alternatives to this imperfect world.  Finally and most importantly for WRI 101, new students will be introduced to the expectations of and possibilities for college-level writing, so that they may navigate-and even shape-the world where they have recently arrived, the world of higher education.

    WRI 101 [L]: #MeToo
    TR 9:40 - 10:55

    Horowitz
    This course examines the rhetoric of #MeToo, the most recent iteration of the movement against gender-based violence, in the context of earlier representations of sexual harassment and assault. We will begin by studying recent historical flashpoints in the national dialogue about sexual abuse, including the Anita Hill hearings (1991); David Mamet’s controversial play Oleana (1992); President Bill Clinton’s impeachment (1998); and the Boston Globe’s exposé on the Catholic Church (2002). Approaching #MeToo as a genre of storytelling still taking shape , we will uncover emerging tropes and patterns in the narration of experiences of sexual abuse, in media portrayals thereof, and in the critical backlash. Based on our investigations, we will attempt to answer the questions, “Whose and what kinds of stories of sexual violence are likeliest to capture a national audience? Whose and what kinds are likeliest to be silenced or ignored, and why” Our rhetorical analyses will follow the method advanced in David Rosenwasser’s and Jill Stephens’ Writing Analytically. The first assignment asks students to analyze the organizing themes and contrasts of a popularly circulated #MeToo story of their own choosing. In the second, we will uncover assumptions about who and what constitutes an “ideal victim” in our class readings. The third assignment asks students to use a theoretical text on narratives of sexual abuse as a lens through which to interpret characters’ actions and motivations in a fictional work on the topic. For their final project, students will perform close textual analysis of interviews with women faculty about their experiences of workplace sexual harassment and situate them with respect to the narrative priorities, possibilities, and limitations we have identified as shaping the broader movement. 

    WRI 101 [N]: Claiming Disability
    TR 12:15 - 1:30
    Fox

    In the United States today, amazing forces are being marshalled for social change. Yet disability too often remains an afterthought at best–or meets outright hostility at worst–when we speak about diversity, equity, and inclusion. There are many reasons for this: the long history of disability being regarded only as the province of doctors and other medical practitioners; resistance to understanding disability as a lived identity intersecting with race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class; the fact that disability has been used by majority communities against minority communities in order to justify oppression; and the ableism, both casual and overt, that generally pervades our society. COVID-19 has made thinking about disability all the more urgent: at pandemic’s start, all bodies were suddenly vulnerable and needed accommodations; the immunocompromised and unvaccinated remain vulnerable; and “long COVID” has brought a new community of disabled people into being. But of course, all bodies were always contingent, and the global pandemic simply made that more visible. And because all our bodies can be oppressed by ableist ideas, claiming disability as an identity, a creative force, and a social justice movement matters for everyone.

    More specifically, our course will be premised on exploring the following four big questions. Each will serve as the opportunity for you to write an intellectual argument of your own.

    What does it mean to think about disability as an identity in 21st century America? Here, we’ll consider the history of disability as a community and activist movement.

    How has disability representation shaped reality? We’ll consider how language and popular culture influence our ideas about disability.

    How is disability a force for artistic creation and innovation? We will consider how disability as an embodied, relational, and social experience has creative potential for art and design.

    How is the disability justice movement an essential part of social justice work? We examine how the principles of disability justice teach us the ways ableism snarls into and mutually constitutes other kinds of oppression.

    The four essays you craft will all follow the same workflow: A week for discussing readings, a week for preparing a draft, a week of commenting on drafts, and a week for revision. By the end of this course, you will have learned multiple strategies for writing at the College level, regardless of discipline.

    WRI 101 [O]: Medicine and Otherness
    TR 8:15 - 9:30
    Vaz

    In this course, we will explore how cultural perceptions of otherness and difference emanate from or infiltrate medical conceptualizations of illness and disease. We will use fictional and nonfictional texts to explore a variety of questions like:  

    ·       What is “otherness”? What does it mean to be different?   

    ·       What is the normative?  

    ·       What is the function of difference or otherness in society?

    ·       What are the socio-political ramifications of such binaries? 

    ·       What assumptions of otherness inform our treatment of “others”?  

    ·       How does the medical gaze inform our treatment of difference?  

    WRI 101 [P]: Monsters in Pre-Modern World 
    MW 3:05 - 4:20
    T. Martinez
    Strange beasts and monstrous forms populated the oral stories, artworks, and literature of cultures spanning the globe, from the ancient world through the early modern period. Deceptive and deadly sirens - hybrid creatures bearing female heads and torsos fused with bird bodies - using their voices to lure sailors to their death were metaphors for woman’s seductive and cunning nature. Meanwhile, centaurs - hybrid beasts that are half human and half equine - were metaphors for a human’s irrational, uncivilized, and base instincts. In this course, we will consider what scholar Jeffrey Jerome Cohen identifies as “Monster Theory” by examining specific artworks, literature, and critical studies that address the role and meaning of monstrous forms. Course requirements include three major essays with a focus on revisions, as well as low-stakes writing assignments, peer-review, and short, informal student presentations.  

    WRI 101 [Q]: Music and Technology
    MWF 9:30 - 10:20 a.m.

    Lerner
    The oldest known musical instrument, from probably 35,000 years ago, is a flute made out of a vulture’s wing bone. It could lead us to marvel at the idea that even in a time when evading predators and finding basic shelter and sustenance were essential for human existence, so too was a human preoccupation with making music. That bone flute is remarkable as the earliest evidence we have of humans and music technology. Music technology is usually understood to include mechanical and digital affordances that facilitate the creation of music, but if one includes the human body within this definition, then all music occurs as a result of some kind of music technology.

    This course will consider these two keywords (“music” and “technology”) as we encounter examples from various parts of history and culture, from early modes of music technology like musical notation to pivotal breakthroughs like the nineteenth-century invention of audio recording to even more recent tools like contemporary digital audio manipulation. By focusing on the systems and tools used to create music, this course will lead into questions of music’s value as commodity and as a component of individual and group identities. Our study of music technology will also therefore be a study of people. There will be three major writing projects that will emphasize drafting, critique, and revision, along with briefer exercises related to assigned readings and topics. No previous musical training necessary, just curiosity and a desire to learn more about how we create and consume music.

    WRI 101 [R]: The American West
    TR 8:15 - 9:30 a.m.

    Garcia Peacock
    What is the American West? Where is the American West? And why does discussion of the ways in which its diverse people, places, and spaces have changes over time ignite passionate debate among historians and the public alike? In this writing seminar, we will pursue answers to questions about this region raised since the nineteenth century. A series of writing projects will help students gain broader and more nuanced understandings of the West by pursuing three key themes: race, environment, and representation. Each of these writing projects will take the form of a multi-week sequence of activities aimed at encouraging critical and close engagement with a wide range of texts, including: journalistic writing, creative non-fiction, scholarly articles, historical monographs, and visual material such as painting, photography, public art, and the landscape itself. By the end of the course, students will emerge with a portfolio of five essays that should, as a set, offer a unique perspective on how and why the American West remains a relevant topic and site of debate in the early twenty-first century. 

    WRI 101 [S]: The Linguist’s Dilemma
    TR 12:15 - 1:30
    Fernandez

    Since Aristotle, philosophers, theologians, and scientists alike have assumed that language is a uniquely human trait. When Descartes famously declared je pense, don je suis (I think, therefore I am), he suggested that only humans applied, as only they were believed to possess the tool through which humans demonstrate their ability to think-language. Centuries later, in the 1960s, the father of modern linguistics, Noam Chomsky, advanced this assumption by centering his research on the notion of Universal Grammar (UG), which holds that only humans are genetically endowed with the cognitive capacity for language. Animals, in contrast, were thought to possess neither the physiological nor the cognitive capacity for language.

    In recent decades, this linguistic orthodoxy has been challenged by the bourgeoning field of animal studies. Research on creatures as different as bees to whales have offered evidence of rich communicative repertoires, complicating assumptions about the nature of language and prompting some not only to reconsider what it means to be human but also to consider new ways of engaging with non-human species. As it considers this central problem of contemporary linguistics-the nature of language, its evolution, and whether it is unique to humans-this first-year writing course will give students an opportunity to hone their skills as intellectual writers: to become yet more practiced at close and critical reading of others’ public and scholarly arguments, to fashion independent positions in response to those arguments, and to craft prose that both evokes their own signature style and reaches powerfully to interested readers. 

    WRI 101 [T]: Violence and Abrahamic Religions
    TR 3:05 - 4:20 p.m.

    Swenson-Lengyel
    This class will explore ethical, theological, and historical/sociological questions regarding violence and peace in Abrahamic religious traditions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). Over the course of the semester, we will read writings by theologians, ethicists, poets and novelists, historians, and sociologists of religion. The class will be organized into three main sections, aligned with these three approaches to the questions of peace and violence in religions. In the first section, we will ask: is violence ever justified ethically? Here we will examine religious ethical debates around pacifism and just war. In the second section, we will ask the theological question: how are we to understand the goodness of God in the face of worldly violence? In this section, we will engage post-holocaust theology, along with other work on evil, both literary and theological. And in the final section, we will ask: how should we understand the historical and contemporary phenomenon of ‘religious violence’? Here, we will examine case studies such as the rise of American Christian nationalism and the phenomenon of Islamic extra- and intra-state political violence to consider the historical and sociological linkages between religious commitments and violent political action. The three sections will each be accompanied by a writing project, all three of which will proceed through lower-stakes, scaffolded writing assignments, as well as peer discussion and revision. By the end of the course, you will have developed your skills as a careful reader, as an analyzer of diverse kinds of scholarship, and as an academic writer and communicator.

    WRI 101 [U]: Facebook Friends
    MW 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.

    Heggestad
    The short-lived app Somebody allowed users to act as remote surrogates, offering hugs to long-distance partners by means of a stranger. Emerging AI social media influencers are followed by millions. Our phones accompany us everywhere we go, and when we return home, we’re often greeted by Alexas, Roombas, and other smart appliances. Worth noting, however, is that these digital companions aren’t entirely new. Before we had algorithms that learned our preferences, we were entertained by Neopets, Tamagotchis, Sims, and their kin. Sometimes, we form bonds through these technologies. At other times, we form bonds with them.  

    Some, like Clifford Stoll, view these trends antagonistically. According to him, “It’s sad when people’s lives are so sterile that they search for real human companionship in digital entities.” Many others have entered the chat; politicians, activists, psychologists, educators, and parents have all weighed in on the role that technology should play in our lives and in our relationships. Then again, finding companionship with the non-human is nothing new-as we’ll explore in this course. Over the semester, we will examine a wide array of virtual companions, the roles they play in our lives, and the rhetoric surrounding their existence. Assignments will include three primary pieces of writing: a personal narrative, a research paper, and a multimodal project. 

    WRI 101 [V]: World- building
    TR 1:40 - 2:55 p.m.

    Ingram
    “World-building” refers to the construction of imaginary worlds, each with their own maps, languages, and histories. Think of worlds such as Tatooine and Wakanda and Panem; think creators such as J.R.R. Tolkien and Octavia Butler and Hayao Miyazaki.

    In writing assignments and class discussions, the students of this section will analyze masterpieces of world-building, such as Thomas More’s Utopia, published in 1516, and the recipient of the 2022 Academy Award for Best Picture Everything Everywhere All at Once; they will examine the ever-evolving media for world-building (prose fiction, graphic novels, films, videogames); and they will reflect on the enduring desire to create alternatives to this imperfect world.  Finally and most importantly for WRI 101, new students will be introduced to the expectations of and possibilities for college-level writing, so that they may navigate-and even shape-the world where they have recently arrived, the world of higher education.

  
  • WRI 210 - Rhetorics of Gender and Sexuality


    Instructor
    Horowitz

    “I’m gay.” “She’s straight.” “My roommate identifies as trans.” Today it is common practice to think of our gender and sexual identities as an integral part of who we are. But only two hundred years ago this would have been unthinkable. So how have our sexual desires and practices become a defining feature of our identities? Most contemporary scholars agree that gender and sexuality are constituted through rhetorical acts, that is, through the coalescence of penal codes, psychiatric diagnoses, church dictums, media representations, activist slogans, and community-based naming practices that deem some gender expressions and sexual act(or)s normal and others deviant. Indeed, the eminent historian Michel Foucault argued that modern Western society is distinguished by its painstaking efforts to control human sexual desire by transforming it into words rather than deeds.

                In this course, we will explore the many oral, written, and visual genres of discourse that have contributed to our understanding of “acceptable” and “aberrant” genders and sexualities over the past three centuries. Students will maintain a course blog for reflecting upon readings and responding to each other’s thoughts. They will write a short rhetorical analysis of the use and/or production of gender and/or sexuality through a specific law, advertisement, speech, television episode, etc. Then they will create an update version of the same law, ad, speech, etc. that produces gender and/or sexuality differently. Finally, students will work together throughout the semester to do participant-observation, create an interview guide, recruit participants, conduct interviews, and analyze responses for an ethnographic study of how Davidson students talk about gender and sexuality.

    Satisfies the Methods requirement for the Gender and Sexuality Studies major in the Society and Politics and Literary and Cultural Representations tracks.
    Satisfies Literary Studies, Creative Writing and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
    Satisfies Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.

  
  • WRI 250 - Smart Writing in the Public Sphere


    Instructor
    Blum, Hillard

    Though the term “public intellectual” may sound remote (or even elitist), it perhaps best describes the kind of non-specialist writing found in long-form journalism, essays in top-tier monthlies, book-length non-fiction published for a general, educated audience, and extended blog posts, where writers address complex social, political, scientific, and cultural issues in critical but accessible fashion, expectant of their readers’ equally critical engagement. Such writing differentiates itself from “the news” by way of its participation in deliberative fora, often engaging the ideas of experts, academics, artists, and other public figures in relevant, exigent questions or ideologic critique. Public intellectual writing enjoys a long tradition as a genre necessary to maintaining a skeptical and curious citizenry of the sort anticipated for democratic living. Extending from John Winthrop to Angela Davis and from Thomas Jefferson to Edward Said, the public intellectual writer stimulates deliberation about thorny issues. Reading extensively in the genre, students will ponder its viability, will attempt to define its constituent rhetorical aspects, and try their own hand at publishing smart public writing in various forms.

     

    Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric requirement

     

  
  • WRI 270 - A Bit About Me


    Instructor
    Kaliski

    In a society that increasingly values the person as the brand, we often encounter high stakes rhetorical moments in which we must write and speak about ourselves. The task can be daunting. We should come across as confident yet humble, professional yet personable, knowledgeable yet not jargon-y, and distinct yet recognizable. When considering these paradoxical expectations, it’s no wonder that we start to waver when we turn to the subject of who we are.

    This course, offered in collaboration with the Hurt Hub, will feature extensive practice in professional scenarios that ask us to craft a compelling story about our identity. Units will explore expansive applications of writing and speaking across multiple types of media and situations, including relatable visual aid decks, personal anecdotes in public speaking engagements, “about me” sections on websites and social media feeds, and narratives within emails, grant applications, and annual reports. Students will consider how to tailor the story of themselves to cohere with the norms and expectations of varying audiences and organizations. Real world case studies will illustrate positive and negative examples of the intersection between self and business.

    In addition to peer and instructor feedback within the course, students will be paired with a professional mentor through the Hurt Hub. This person will coach students on how to adapt materials created within the course for real world application, highlighting the Hub’s emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship.

    Satisfies Literary Studies, Creative Writing and Rhetoric.
     

  
  • WRI 280 - Print Culture and Book Arts


    Instructor
    Rippeon

    As the book has undergone a rapid century of changes, how have writers, theorists, and cultural critics imagined and come to terms with the complimentary ideas of “the book” and “the library”? This course implements experiential approaches to the production, distribution, and reception of the book as a cultural object in order to focus attention on our own status as readers and writers in the twenty-first century. Students will examine books in various contexts, including special collections and archives (at Davidson and elsewhere), museums and galleries, in the general public, and in theoretical and critical contexts, and students will explore and experiment with book-making technologies (from moveable type to digital design). In the process, students will become familiar with the material aspects of books and book collections, and will consider how materiality and content overlap and intersect in relation to textual meaning. While students will write throughout the course, a final capstone may include a group proposal aimed at the development of holding in the E. H. Little Library’s Special Collections .

    Satisfies Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric requirement.


Public Health

  
  • PBH 110 - Introduction to Public Health


    Instructor
    S. Bullock

    This course will introduce the fundamentals and core concepts of public health research and practice. As we explore the history, philosophy and different disciplines of public health, we will evaluate contemporary health issues in ongoing individual assignments as well as in group activities. This course will focus on introducing the principles and basic disciplines of public health: epidemiology and biostatistics; environmental health sciences; social and behavioral health; and health policy, law and regulation.

    Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in Public Health.
    Satisfies a requirement in the Communication Studies interdisciplinary major and minor.

  
  • PBH 120 - Introduction to Clinical Ethics


    Instructor
    Staff

    This course will introduce students to the history, evolution and current topics relevant in clinical ethics. Topics will include issues around birth, reproduction, organ donation, refusal of vaccinations and blood transfusions, experimental treatments, alternative medicine, euthanasia, physician assisted suicide, and issues around death. Students will navigate ethical principles from a theoretical perspective, such as autonomy (self-determination), beneficence, non-maleficence and justice. At the same time they will discuss these principles in practical applications through case analysis and they will examine the tension between theory and practice. The course seeks to create awareness of the health care setting as an enterprise with different stakeholders and tensions, and to develop methods and analytical reasoning skills to discuss value-based conflicts in the health care setting.

    Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in Public Health.
    Satisfies Philosophical and Religious Perspectives requirement.

  
  • PBH 130 - Sociobiology of Health and Illness


    Instructor
    Mamoon

    This course provides an exploration of biological mechanisms that underlie the effects of the psychosocial environment on chronic disease susceptibility in humans. In this course, students will learn about the biological and chemical bases of disease manifestation, diagnosis and treatment, psychosocial and cultural factors that impact health and wellness, and disparities in health status and access to healthcare amongst various populations in the US. However, emphasis will be given to the fundamental concepts in biology; this course has been specifically designed for students who are interested in future careers in health and seek to refresh the knowledge they acquired in a high school biology course.  Faced with the new realities of aging and associated increase in the prevalence of chronic disease, how do we as individuals, families and communities manage our health?  We need a vision of health care which allows effective and efficient management of chronic disease in order to reduce the burden of illness and disability on society. In this course, you will integrate your knowledge of the natural, clinical, and social sciences to understand select chronic illnesses and consider primary care as an effective, equitable and sustainable chronic care management model.  The goal of the course is to provide you with the knowledge and skills you will need to be a thoughtful advocate for quality healthcare for yourself, your family and your community. 

    Community-based learning is an important component of this course.  As such, it will require a field experience at a local hospital or clinic.

    Satisfies major and minor requirement in Public Health.
    Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.


    Prerequisites & Notes
    Not open to students who have credit for BIO 111/113 except by permission of the instructor.

  
  • PBH 232 - Introduction to Environmental Health with Community-Based Learning (=ENV 232)


    Instructors
    Staff

    Students will apply biological, chemical and epidemiological content to environmental health case studies and community-based learning projects. This is an introductory course designed to expose students to different scientific disciplines within the context of environmental health.

    Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in Public Health.
    Satisfies depth or breadth course requirement in Natural Science Track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor. 

     

    Prerequisites & Notes
    ENV 232 may not be taken for credit after ENV 233.

  
  • PBH 233 - Introduction to Environmental Health with Laboratory-Based Learning (= ENV 233)


    Instructors
    Staff

    Students will apply biological, chemical and epidemiological content to environmental health case studies and laboratory projects. This is an introductory course designed to expose students to different scientific disciplines within the context of environmental health.

    Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in Public Health.
    Satisfies the Natural Science requirement.
    Satisfies depth or breadth course requirement in Natural Science Track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor.

    Prerequisites & Notes
    ENV 233 may not be taken for credit after ENV 232.

  
  • PBH 234 - Genes, Environment and Health


    Instructor
    Mamoon

    Scientific literature suggests that a person’s zip code, and not genetic code,  is a better predictor of their health. Thus, to understand and predict chronic disease susceptibility in humans, we must examine an individual’s social and physical environment. How does the environment interact with our bodies to impact our long-term health? Epigenetic/epigenomic mechanisms are thought to underlie such gene-environment interactions.  This course provides an introduction to epigenetic mechanisms - mechanisms that regulate gene expression by altering chromosome structure and function.  Topics covered in the course include molecular mechanisms in epigenetics, experimental methods that are used to study epigenetic phenomena, and early clues from biological, environmental, epidemiological, behavioral and clinical studies that implicate epigenetics as a plausible mechanism in the pathogenesis of chronic disease such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes, cancer and mental illness.  In this course, students will learn to assess the validity of reports on epigenomic phenomena in popular press by identifying relevant primary literature, evaluating experimental design, and interpreting scientific data. Students will also hone their ability to communicate science with a broad audience.

    Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in Public Health.
    Satisfies an interdisciplinary major requirement in Public Health.
    Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.

    Prerequisites & Notes
    Bio 111/113 is a prerequisite for this course as it builds on content covered in Bio 111/113.

  
  • PBH 244 - Child Psychopathology (=EDU 234 and PSY 234)


    Instructor 
    Stutts

    An overview of the psychological disorders of childhood, including their description, classification, etiology, assessment and treatment.  Emphasis will be placed on the theoretical and empirical bases of these disorders, focusing on relevant research methods and findings as well as case history material. 


    Social-Scientific Thought requirement.
    Educational Studies minor credit.
    Public Health interdisciplinary minor credit.
    Psychology Major credit (Clinical column)

    Prerequisites & Notes
    PSY 101

  
  • PBH 250 - Public Health Methods


    Instructor
    S. Bullock

    This course will focus on introducing fundamentals of methods used in modern public health research and practice. Through a variety of approaches to formal and experiential learning, you will develop your skills and knowledge in several core concept areas of public health methods: quantitative health data analysis, health surveys, policy analysis, environmental health risk assessment, qualitative data analysis, and health communications. One class per week (on average) will be a “workshop class”, in which you and your classmates will break out into groups to evaluate current topics and issues in public health using different methodological approaches.

    Satisfies an interdisci[plinary minor reuqirement in Public Health.
    Satisfies a requirement in the Communication Studies interdisciplinary major and minor.

    Prerequisites & Notes
    PBH 110 “Introduction to Public Health” or PBH 292 “Introduction to Epidemiology”

  
  • PBH 251 - Health Disparities in the U.S. and Beyond


    Instructor
    Seide

    This course will explore connections between race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and U.S.  social policy with the historical and current trends in health disparities in the USA. This course will offer a foundation in both core concepts and theoretical frameworks for understanding health disparities in the US. Additionally, this course will introduce theory and strategies for developing health interventions and policies to address the crisis of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic health disparities in the USA.

    Satisfies a major requirement in Sociology.
    Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in Public Health.
    Satisfies a requirement in the Communication Studies interdisciplinary major and minor.
    Satisfies Social-Scientific Thought requirement.
    Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.

    Prerequisites & Notes
    PBH 110 “Introduction to Public Health” or PBH 392 “Introduction to Epidemiology”

  
  • PBH 262 - Antiracist Physiology and Medicine (=BIO 262)


    Instructor
    Barsoum

    Readings and discussion of historical and current racist practices in healthcare and biomedical research. The focus will be on dispelling myths of biological race and recognizing their insidious consequences, including deliberate biomedical exploitation of racialized groups, systematized practice of racialized medicine, and misconceptions about racialized bodies widely held among medical students, researchers, and practitioners today. Attention will be given to biological and physiological truths as a counterforce to the unfounded beliefs that lead to racist clinical and research practices, inequities in healthcare and medical treatment, and disparities in health outcomes. Relevant physiology and pathophysiology will be addressed.

    Satisfies the requirement in Justice, Equality, and Community.
    Satisfies an elective requirement in the Biology major.
    Satisfies an elective requirement (Structural Inequalities or Natural Sciences) in the Public Health interdisciplinary minor.

     

    Prerequisites & Notes
    Successful completion of Bio 111/113 and 112/114 is required.

  
  • PBH 280 - Introduction to Global Health (=SOC 280)


    Instructor
    Chillag

    Global health is an emerging interdisciplinary field that approaches health issues as transnational challenges requiring multi-level, community-based solutions. This course introduces its major concepts, tools, and debates. Topics include global health inequities, historical and ongoing strategies for control of communicable diseases from smallpox to HIV/AIDS, the global rise in prominence of non-communicable disease, connections between social structures and the global distribution of disease, and debates over health as a human right. Students will learn to interpret and evaluate population health indicators, interact with WHO datasets, and analyze health interventions and policies from both solutions-oriented and critical perspectives.

    Satisfies Public Health major and minor requirement.
    Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.

  
  • PBH 292 - Introduction to Epidemiology


    Instructor
    Bullock

    Epidemiology is the systematic and rigorous study of health and disease in a population. According to the Institute of Medicine, epidemiology is the basic science of public health. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to core concepts in epidemiology, including history, philosophy, and uses of epidemiology; descriptive epidemiology, such as patterns of disease and injury; association and causation of disease, including concepts of inference, bias, and confounding; analytical epidemiology, including experimental and non-experimental design; and applications to basic and clinical science and policy. The course is designed to require problem-based learning of epidemiological concepts and methods, so that students can use epidemiology as a scientific tool for addressing the health needs of the community.

    Satisfies the Social-Scientific Thought requirement.
    Satisfies a requirement in the Public Health interdisciplinary minor.

    Prerequisites & Notes
    PBH 110 or PBH 280

     

  
  • PBH 305 - Public Health and Film


    Instructor
    Chillag

    The course will explore the history of and contemporary public health, using film to grapple with questions including: why do we pay attention to some public health problems and not others? From whose perspectives are the stories of public health told? How do those representations affect public perceptions and public health practice and policy? The course will require students to engage with public health and documentary ethics as well as critical analysis of how they and others produce and evaluate information about public health. We will engage with a variety of complex topics in public health, including the nature of public health as a profession and a range of public health issues including HIV/AIDS, emerging pathogens, opioid use, and environmental disasters.

    Satisfies Public Health major and minor requirement.

  
  • PBH 306 - Public Health Ethics


    Instructor
    Chillag

    Those engaged in public health -whether as professionals or persons and communities affected by public health problems -will encounter challenging ethical issues. Beginning with that premise, this course will address ethical issues in public health practice and policy, providing conceptual frameworks and practical tools. It will grapple with challenging questions about what public health issues we pay attention to and why, the use of limited resources, restrictive public health measures like quarantine, vulnerable and marginalized persons, health disparities, and globalization. This course addresses a range of issues in public health ethics. Case studies will be an important component of the course.

    Satisfies Public Health minor requirement.

  
  • PBH 309 - Water and Health


    Instructor
    Chillag

    Access to clean water is essential to human health. Yet, millions of people globally lack access to clean water. Water insecurity is increasing as a result of climate change. From the impact of diarrheal diseases on young children to increasing water-related migration and conflict, this course explores the biological, sociocultural, and political dimensions of water and human health. We will examine a range of topics including global approaches to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and several key case studies including the Flint water crisis, the reintroduction of cholera into Haiti, plumbing poverty in the United States, and the Clean India campaign.

    Satisfies Public Health minor requirement.
    Satisfies Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.

    Prerequisites & Notes
    PBH 110 or PBH 280

  
  • PBH 354 - Medical Rehabilitation and Disability (=PSY 354)


    Instructor
    Stutts

    This course addresses the conceptualization, assessment, and treatment of chronic health conditions, traumatic injuries, and disabilities.  The readings will include an evidenced-based handbook on psychosocial adjustment to illness; peer-reviewed articles; and memoirs from the vantage point of the patient, caregiver, and healthcare provider.  This course is community-based; therefore, it will also include a field experience at a local rehabilitation hospital

    Fulfills a credit in the Psychology major.
    Fulfills a credit in the Public Health interdisciplinary minor.
     

    Prerequisites & Notes
    PSY 101
     

  
  • PBH 370 - Nutrition, Bodies, and Health


    Instructor
    Stutts

    This seminar explores the connections between nutrition, bodies, and health from a biopsychosocial perspective and an interdisciplinary lens drawing from biology, psychology, and public health. In the first half of the course, we will discuss the assessment and research of nutritional diseases, contributors and causes of them, and the consequences and stigma related to them. In the second half of the course, we will evaluate interventions for nutritional diseases in the following categories: pharmacological, surgical, dietary, physical activity, body image, community-based, underserved population-focused, and Health at Every Size® interventions. We will approach this topic with an appreciation of body diversity and a social justice framework of size and weight equality. In addition, this course will include a community-based project where students will create an intervention with a group to improve an area of nutrition, bodies, and health in our society.

    Satisifies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.
    Satisfies a Public Health minor elective requirement.

    Prerequisites & Notes
    Open to juniors, and seniors only.

  
  • PBH 371 - Topics in Public Health


    Instructor
    Staff

    New Course. Information coming soon.

  
  • PBH 373 - Food and Nutrition Policy


    Instructor
    S. Bullock

    This seminar will provide a broad introduction to food and nutrition policies in the United States and across the globe.  We will explore an array of regulatory options available to promote healthy eating and prevent obesity, including taxation, marketing bans, front-of-package labeling, portion size bans, among others.  We will address how to evaluate policy options and how policy is made.  The seminar will draw upon readings from epidemiology, public health, health policy, ethics, economics, political science, and sociology to address key elements of food and nutrition policies.

    Satisfies Public Health major and minor requirement.

  
  • PBH 380 - Issues in Medicine


    Instructor
    Staff

    The purpose of Issues in Medicine is to critically evaluate the external influence of social values, culture, political climate, technological development, population characteristics, and global concerns on shaping health care systems and delivery.  Implications for the patient and health care provider will be discussed.  By participating in clinical rotations, students are expected to apply concepts learned in class to real world experiences.


  
  • PBH 381 - Health Regulations and Public Policy


    Instructor
    Staff

    Topics in health care law including: HIPPA, EMTALA, ADA, CLIA.


  
  • PBH 395 - Special Topics


    Instructor
    Chillag

    Spring 2022

    Public Health Ethics

    Those engaged in public health -­whether as professionals or persons and communities affected by public health problems -will encounter challenging ethical issues. Beginning with that premise, this course will address ethical issues in public health practice, research, and policy, providing conceptual frameworks and practical tools. It will grapple with challenging questions about the use of limited resources, restrictive public health measures like quarantine, vulnerable and marginalized persons, health disparities, and globalization. The course will focus on a range of issues affecting public health, including HIV/AIDS, Ebola, COVID-19, climate change, migration, malnutrition, and others, often drawn from case studies based on real-world public health practice.

     

    Prerequisites & Notes
    The course is designed for students with prior exposure to public health issues and concepts. Enrollment in the course requires taking one or more of the following as a prerequisite, or obtaining the permission of the course instructor: Introduction to Public Health; Health Disparities in the US and Beyond; Introduction to Epidemiology; Genes, Environment and Health.

    PBH 395 is repeatable for credit.

 

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