Advanced Special Topics Courses (390’s and 490’s) – Spring 2018

Spring 2018 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.

Please consult WebAdvisor for the days, times, and locations of these sections.

Course Faculty Short Title Description
BLST*390 adkins, justin ASSATA: In her own words A study of the life and times of Assata Shakur, a political refugee currently living in asylum in Cuba. Students explore, in her own words, Shakur’s role in the Black Panther Party and US-Cuban relations through her autobiography, Assata: An Autobiography, published by Zed Books. This course explores COINTELPRO, the FBI’s counterintelligence program that targeted groups like the Black Panther Party and will also explore current proposed laws and policy targeting black revolutionary groups and the legal framework designed to criminalize black life in the United States. Using an interdisciplinary approach, students learn about liberation movements that Shakur was involved in such as the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army. Through writings and film, students will explore how Shakur has become a key figure in the US attempts to normalize relations with Cuba.
ENVSC*390 Bethurem, Elvin M. US Government & Environment A survey of environmental policy (e.g. Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act) in the US, and the role of different scales and branches of government in implementing and enforcing environmental regulations. Students examine both the mechanisms of specific environmental policies and the policy approaches that govern large sectors of environment, economy, and life in the US (e.g. Energy, Water, and Climate policy). Students explore the political, socio-economic, and historical aspects of environmental regulation, and the impacts of policies over time. Students learn how to use policy analysis to select one policy solution over another when dealing with tough environmental problems. Pre-requisites: ENVSC 110
ENVSC*395 Bradshaw-Wilson, Casey Applied Conservation GIS An exploration of conversation GIS techniques and applications. This course is designed to leverage GIS and mapping approaches as a tool to solve conservation problems, support decisions and better understand ecosystems around us. While habitats and biodiversity are decreasing rapidly, new approaches to solving conservation issues is are becoming more important. Geographic information systems (GIS) provides a method for integrating a wide variety of data for analysis and display using maps. Students will have the opportunity to design, execute and present research projects based on topics related to wildlife and natural resource management to resolve conservation problems. Prerequisites: ENVSC 305.
GEO*390 Tamulonis, Kathryn L. Field Geology Seminar A study of modern and ancient geologic systems from a variety of sub-disciplinary perspectives. Students read and discuss the primary literature around a central theme and participate in a multi-day field trip linked to the theme. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.
GHS*493 Waggett, Caryl E. Global Health Fieldwork A preparatory course for experiences at approved domestic and international sites that offer global health internships, practica, or cultural immersion opportunities. Students examine challenges of cultural competency across a variety of work sectors that serve global health; become familiar with relevant political, religious, and cultural practices; and explore existing data and narratives of the lives of those living both in and outside of the mainstream. Within their specific research areas, students identify the data sources and evidence-based practices for the geographic focal area. Students evaluate strengths and gaps of the practice broadly and of their current understanding and experience. Prerequisites: GHS 130, FSGHS 201, and permission of the instructor.
HIST*390 Wu, Guo Mao and the Cultural Revolution A critical study of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) as a sociopolitical movement, historical trauma and collective memory. Students understand the Cultural Revolution in the context of modern Chinese history and analyze the origin, process, and legacies of the CR. Subjects considered include the thought and concern of Mao Zedong, the rise of the cult of personality, student violence, revolutionary art, as well as the social policies during the CR. Students may not earn credit for both HIST 390 and HIST 573. Pre-requisites: Permission of the instructor
INTDS*390 Shaw, Barbara L., Dawson, Rebecca S. Sex and Health An interdisciplinary examination of sexuality, contemporary cultural practices of sex, and the attending health issues. The course explores the topic through sex education and its production of knowledge; controlling/reproduction; disease and empowerment; and violence, consent and pleasure using perspectives and drawing on methods in public health, sociology, psychology, and feminist and queer theory. Broadly, the course will model interdisciplinary approaches to research and scholarship.
MATH*390 Lakins, Tamara J. Introduction to Computability Theory The study of sets and functions that an idealized computer (without restrictions on time or memory) can compute, and the theoretical limits of computation. Also studied are several approaches that formalize the notion of computability, and their equivalence, leading to the Church-Turing Thesis that these formalizations capture the intuitive notion of computability. Other topics include the halting problem and other undecidable problems, relative computability, and degrees of unsolvability. Prerequisite: Math 205
PSYCH*490 Chowdhury, Monali Intercultural Mental Health A study of issues related to mental health through the lens of different cultural practices and standards around the globe. We investigate the usefulness of the cross-cultural value paradigm of ‘individualism-collectivism’ as an explanatory model for perception of mental illness and societal stigma associated with mental illness on a cultural level. We also explore culture-specific forms of mental illness which are unique only in certain cultural groups around the world. Lastly, we delineate the notion of ethnocentric bias in conducting research and interpreting findings and build knowledge that enhances our cultural competency. Pre-requisites: Psych 206 and one of Psych 160, 162, 170, or 172.
RELST*390 Boynton, Eric Enigma of Evil and Suffering An investigation of one of the oldest conundrums of human thought, unde malum or from where does evil come? Students engage the challenge of evil that tends to shape, like few other issues, the character of human experience. The course emphasizes our contemporary context that arguably contains suffering unsurpassed by that of previous historical epochs. Students read the writings of past and contemporary philosophers, theologians, and other thinkers who have struggled with the question of evil and suffering.
  Notes: The course is linked to an optional 2-credit Experiential Learning Seminar to Poland and Germany over Spring Break, March 17 through March 25, 2018. Students may not earn credit for both RELST 390 and RELST 580.