Introductory Special Topics Courses (190’s and 290’s) – Fall 2019

Fall 2019 Offerings

Courses numbered in the 190’s and 290’s focus on a particular topic and are offered only once or twice. These courses are taught at an introductory or intermediate level; specific prerequisites (if any) are noted in the course descriptions.

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

Professor Bywater
  What White Looks Like
4 credits
A survey of African-descended peoples’ views of white people in the United States. Beginning with David Walker in 1830, this discussion-based course examines the observations made by prominent black thinkers and authors from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries about what whites are like.
Professor Misener
  Social Media & Social Activism
4 credits
An examination of the social movements of our time, their origins, and the growing impact of digital media on organizing, mobilizing, and fundraising both in the United States and around the globe. Students examine tools both old and new and speak with virtual guests to learn from their groundbreaking work.  Coursework will include cooperative and collaborative learning.
Professor Dawson
  People & Poisons
4 credits
An introduction to the science of toxicology and its application to the study of human health. This course traces the biologic processes involved in the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of toxic substances within the human body. Toxicology is an essential component of a wide array of efforts to improve health, informing everything from environmental policy, to risk assessments for particular communities, to industry and legal guidelines for determining thresholds of exposure for hazardous substances–whether those substances are found in our food, water, construction materials, or even toys. Note: This course will count as a “Fundamental Science” course for GHS majors.
  Professors Searle-White & Hellwarth
  Sexuality, Relationships, & Consent
  2 credits
An in-depth exploration of consent and sexuality in the context of the #MeToo movement, feminism, and the current social climate in the U.S. and at Allegheny College. This course is designed for students who want to give substantial thought to clarifying their own sexual and relationship ethics. The format will be seminar discussion of selected readings to understand how public discourse around sexuality impacts individual choices. Students must complete all assignments and attend all sessions to receive credit. The course meets once per week for 2-1/2 hours during Module B. Must be taken Credit/No Credit.
Professor Perez-Johnston
  College Success as a Student of Color
1 credit
An investigation of how identity affects navigation through white spaces. Life at a predominantly white institution does not mean that students of color have to give up who they are. Topics include acculturation vs. cultural assimilation; stereotypes and their meanings; why the perception of “acting white” exists; explorations of identity and intersectionality; and shifts within identity and what that means throughout a student’s college career. This will be taught as a seven-week course. Must be taken Credit/No Credit.
Professor Perez-Johnston
  1st gen guide to thriving in the 1st year
1 credit
An investigation into the challenges faced by first-generation college students. Students engage in discussions focusing on navigating the first year of college and becoming “campus experts” to help build confidence in their academic, social, and emotional abilities, and to create their sense of belonging on a college campus. Discussion topics include imposter syndrome, college vocabulary, available resources, the challenges and promises of coming to college, family influence, personal choice, and what success means in higher education. This will be taught as a seven-week course. Must be taken Credit/No Credit.
Professor Kurtsal Steen
  Freedom, Addiction, and the Opioid Crisis-Philosophical Perspectives
4 credits
A study of what happens to human agency and choice in cases of addiction. This course explores philosophical and scientific models of addiction and how they frame agency and choice. Students investigate these models by reading personal narratives of addiction. Topics include the opioid epidemic, moral responsibility, the role of social policies, social stigma, and comparisons between the US and other cultures. Listening to guest speakers, including recovering addicts are among the learning tools.
Professor Caldwell
  Ingestive Behavior
4 credits
A study of factors that control eating and drinking behavior. Students will investigate how much of our eating and drinking is by free will and how much is influenced by our physiology. Among other topics, students will consider motivations to eat and drink, processes that maintain energy and fluid balance, key brain structures that ultimately control when we eat and/or drink, and disorders related to eating and drinking such as bulimia, anorexia nervosa, diabetes, and hypertension. Note: This course will count towards the “Basic Processes (PSYCH 150-PSYCH 159)” requirement for Psychology majors and minors and also will count as an elective in the “Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience” category for Neuroscience majors.