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 Topic Pending
Professor Gilbert; TTh 3-4:15

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 490 Case Studies in Occupational and Environmental Exposure Assessments
Professor Adkins; TTh 11-12:15

A study of exposures to chemical toxicants in the modern workplace. Using case studies, students examine the range and types of exposures, pharmacokinetics of specific contaminants (how a toxicant impacts human health), the assessment of risk, and the management and control of exposures. Our focus is on workers involved in the extraction of raw materials, and in the manufacture and disposal of consumer goods, with special attention to plastics. Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing, and at least one introductory course in Biology or Chemistry.

GHS 491 Topic pending
TTh 11-12:15; see Professor Waggett for more information.

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.