Advanced Special Topics Courses (390’s and 490’s)

Fall, 2105, Offerings

Courses numbered in the 390’s and 490’s are offered only once or twice and focus on a specialized topic. These courses are rarely appropriate for first-year students.

BIO 390 Avian Evolution and Ecology
Professor Jacobs; MWF 9-9:50, lab Th 9-12

A study of the evolution, ecology, and natural history of North American birds. We will explore basic avian biology as well as the ways in which birds are used as model systems in ecology, evolutionary biology, animal behavior, and conservation biology. Students will also learn bird identification skills and behaviors by observation of local birds in Crawford County. Three lectures and one lab per week. Prerequisites: BIO 220, BIO 221, and FSBIO 201.

BLKST/WGSS 390 Explorations in U.S. Black Feminisms CANCELLED

COMRT 490 Advanced Documentary Workshop
Professor Keeley; TTh 3-4:15

An intensive production class that explores the process of producing a documentary film. Students engage in every phase of the construction of a film, from research through shooting and editing. Our exploration of issues of nonfiction storytelling—including structure, point of view, balance, and style—culminates in the making of a film on the town of Meadville, to be screened as part of the college’s annual theme. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

ECON 490 The Economic Analysis of Politics
Professor Bilo; TTh 9:30-10:45

A study of the political arena through the lens of economic analysis. Economics studies purposeful behavior, and its tools apply not only to market participants but also to participants of the political process. Politicians, bureaucrats, and voters could be viewed therefore as self-interested individuals who do not necessarily desire to promote public good. The lectures and discussions include applications of this economic theory of politics to voting, corruption, revolutions, dictatorship, and macroeconomic policies. Prerequisites: ECON 100 and ECON 101. Not open to first-year students.

GHS 491 Global Health Case Studies and Nutrition
Professor Darrouzet-Nardi; TTh 11-12:15

An evaluation of selected global health challenges in the area of nutrition, with particular focus on maternal and child health. Students explore the bio-social origins of various nutritional concerns, including macro- and micro-nutrient deficiencies, food insecurity, food safety, and disparities in heights and weights. Students analyze how nutritional status develops within specific ecological and cultural contexts and examine the ethical and health implications of nutritional disparities. Critical thinking about nutrition science and policy is a key component, as students examine the evidence for nutrition interventions and evaluate the effectiveness of various policies to improve nutrition and health outcomes globally. Prerequisites: GHS 130 and junior or senior standing.

Note: This course can serve as a capstone course for GHS minors OR can fulfill an Area 4 (Policy, Resources, and Economics) course for GHS majors or minors.

GHS 492 Culture and Health: Critical and Theoretical Approaches
Professor Silva; MW 11-12:15

An advanced level seminar-style class that explores the role of cultural and social factors in health and medicine. Using both theoretical texts and specific case studies, students learn to analyze health practices within specific historical, cultural, institutional, and political contexts. Students examine the ways in which health, disease, and medicine function as contested terms that privilege certain visions of individuals and institutions over others with real-world consequences. Prerequisites: GHS 130 and permission of the instructor. Not open to first-year students..

Note: This class can be substituted for GHS 370 for GHS majors.

HIST 390 Islam and Secularism: Citizenship and Belonging in the Modern Middle East
Professor B. Miller; MWF 10-10:50

An introduction to the competing and overlapping concepts of religious and secular-structured notions of national belonging in the lands of the former Ottoman Empire. Structured through a series of case studies, our examination explores the independence, modernization, and development movements within nation-states born from settlements following the First World War. Special attention is paid to how concepts of ethnicity, religious difference, competing languages, and remembered histories underwrote national belonging (and exclusion) in the modern Middle East.

Interdisciplinary Studies (INTDS) 490: Cognitive Humanities: Interdisciplinary Explorations of Passion and Affect.
Professors Caballero and Knupsky; TTh 1:30-2:45

An interdisciplinary approach to research and scholarship that examines the humanistic and empirical concepts of affect, emotion, and “the passions” using the newly developed lens of the cognitive humanities. Beginning in the 18th century with philosophers and writers of the Enlightenment and moving into psychological studies, we explore the methods and models of various perspectives on how we interpret and perceive feeling. Literary examples such as Charlotte Dacre, Edmund Burke, and William Wordsworth and psychological models of emotion from a cognitive-social perspective are the foundational works we study. These texts are juxtaposed with and inform interpretations of one another.

POLSC 390 Imagining New Political Futures
Professor Wesoky; MW 11-12:15

An examination of “alternative” political, social, and cultural theories with an emphasis on Marxist and feminist thought. Through the work of thinkers such as Antonio Gramsci, the Frankfurt School, Louis Althusser, Slavoj Žižek, Jodi Dean, and Nancy Fraser, we focus on “keywords” such as labor and value, individualism and community, democracy and the state, and consumerism and culture, in order to assess theorists’ critiques of contemporary society and comprehend visions of alternative futures. We also pay attention to contemporary issues such as various forms of inequality, political representation, environmental degradation, social media, and globalization, with a mind to establishing a theoretical understanding of these issues and applying theory to contemporary political practice through a research-activism project. Previous coursework in political science or a related area is recommended but not required.