Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Thursday, December 13, 2018, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.
This catalog was created on Thursday, December 13, 2018.
December term (D-term) is an optional two-week session of academic enrichment during the break between fall and winter terms.
In the first two weeks of December, Lawrence offers brief, intensive courses that can be taken for 3 units of credit toward a Lawrence degree. These courses are not accelerated versions of courses normally offered during the academic year and are not required of any student. On-campus courses include workshops, fieldwork, or travel to sites or activities within a day’s drive of Lawrence. Travel courses take students to locations around the world for hands-on learning in an immersive setting. All offer focused, experiential learning in a small class of interested students led by a Lawrence faculty member.
D-term enrichment courses have separate tuition and fees for room and board. For December 2016, tuition is $1,485, and room and board for on-campus courses is approximately $400. On-campus courses may charge additional fees for travel or supplies. Travel courses charge a program fee for lodging, meals, museums/tours, and insurance, and students are responsible for their own airfare to the course location. Tuition is significantly discounted to make the courses affordable, so no additional financial aid is available.
D-term courses are listed in the course schedule with a DECM prefix, and registration is through the Voyager system in the late spring or early fall. Students may register for one D-term course. Any course that does not have five students will be canceled, and students will be given the opportunity to enroll in another course. Registration for D-term courses closes at fall midterm reading period.
Academic performance in December Term will not change a student’s academic standing, though the December Term course grade will be included in a student’s grade point average, which could affect academic standing in subsequent terms.
December term does not count as a term of residency in meeting degree requirements.
Courses - December Term
DECM 111: Culture, Biology, and Human NutritionHuman nutrition is both biological and cultural. This course will explore ways in which biological heritage, population history, culture, genetics, trade, media, and other forces interact to shape variation in human nutritional outcomes. Students will be invited to suggest topics for focused study.
DECM 112: Ancient and Byzantine Coins: A Student-Designed ExhibitionThis course will examine themes in Greek, Roman, and Byzantine coins, using the University's well-known Ottilia Buerger Coin Collection as a resource. Students will research the coins and design and mount an exhibition of some of the coins.
DECM 113: Living Research and Exploration -- Devised Theatre ProjectAn interdisciplinary, non-traditional approach to exploring subject matter through the act of writing as a group, in time and space, using the language of theater. Students will create short pieces for the stage by putting together raw resource material through cooperation and quick, intuitive/improvised decisions.
DECM 114: Exploring the Creative Self Through Deep ListeningWhat does it mean to actively and deeply listen? How can expansive listening encourage one's creative impulse? Drawing on the works of Pauline Oliveros, John Cage, John Muir and others, we will explore the expansive yet nuanced world of sound, deep listening, and the creative act. Open to all explorers.
DECM 115: Beyond the Pin Factory: Real Firms, Local and GlobalAdam Smith famously used the example of a pin factory to illustrate some of his theories. Where did he learn about pin making? As it turns out, from a French encyclopedia. We will step outside the usual economics curriculum and study real firms, right in the Fox Valley. Through site visits at eight local (yet in some cases global) firms, and background readings on each firm and industry, we will gain a solid understanding of economic activity in the area, and learn economics through real-world, real-time case studies.
DECM 116: Los Angeles: A Modern BiographyThis course offers an introduction to America's defining modern city. Using a variety of historical and literary texts. It explores the making of 20th (and 21st) century Los Angeles, as explosive growth, burgeoning power, and deep conflict framed a race and class-centered debate over its direction, identity, and future.
DECM 117: Printed Books to 1900An introduction to the physical aspects of books from the hand-press period through the machine-press period. The course will cover identification and description of paper, typography, illustration processes, binding materials and styles, and the use of physical evidence in bibliographical analysis.
DECM 118: Philosophy and LiteratureExplores interesting overlaps between literature and philosophy. Examines philosophical accounts of literature, and literary texts that invoke philosophical problems or theories. How are the aims of literature and philosophy similar? How can literature shape one's moral sense? Can literature provide insight to abstract philosophical debates? Should philosophy matter to authors?
DECM 119: Soviet History through the Kitchen Door: Soviet Cooking CultureFor Russians, food has always been a prickly subject, especially in the Soviet period. This course examines the monumental and the prosaic in the history of culinary culture in the Soviet Union. Each day we address a decade's key moments in private life, and learn to prepare a signature dish. Additional course fee of $50 plus purchase of book.
DECM 120: The Shakespeare IntensiveAs we closely examine the First Folio texts, we will build a common vocabulary of performance practice, historical context, and literary exploration. Our showcase performance will feature scenes, songs and sonnets, dramaturgical posters, and at least one example of performance in the mode of the "Original Shakespeare Project." You don't need to be an actor to thrive in this course, just curious and a bit brave.
DECM 121: A Peek at Animal Behavior: Worms and WhalesStudents will explore how neurobiology, genetics, physiology, and ecology direct animal behavior, focusing on two example animals (C. elegans and whales). Students will learn using direct observation, student-directed lab experiments, lecture, and discussion of readings. There will be a field trip to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago with an optional Beluga Encounter. Additional material, field trip, or lab fees may be charged for this class. Additional course fee of $40. The optional Beluga Encounter is approximately $250.
DECM 122: Food Politics and CultureThis course examines political and cultural forces that shape what we eat as well as implications for public health and the environment. Course material includes academic writing, food writing, and popular commentary, and students will undertake cooking projects based on course themes. Additional course fee: $20
DECM 123: Music Theory Fundamentals through CompositionA project-based introduction to music theory fundamentals, including scales, intervals, key signatures, triads, rhythm, and meter. Intended for majors and non-majors seeking to improve their grasp of theory fundamentals through guided composition and other creative activities.
DECM 124: 300 Galleries in 3 Days: Art Basel—Miami BeachThis mode of exhibition is the new center of power in the art world and this course will examine the phenomenon through readings, discussions, research, and experiential learning by visiting ART BASEL—MIAMI with over 300 galleries from across the globe showing works of contemporary art of the highest quality. This class includes a trip to Miami on December 4-6. An additional fee will be charged to cover the cost of the trip.
DECM 125: The Chemistry of CookingThis course will investigate the oldest and most widespread application in chemistry—cooking. We will discuss the chemistry behind basic cooking methods, then apply this knowledge in the kitchen to understand how variations in our methods affect the final products. Additional course fee of $30.
DECM 126: Digital Curatorial PracticeThis course will introduce students to the intellectual and practical elements of curatorial work and incorporate tools drawn from the digital liberal arts. Participants will research and curate their own online exhibition drawn from the university’s interdisciplinary digital collections on the Omeka open-access platform. Course work will include readings on contemporary curatorial practice, research into digital collections, and the production of metadata for their exhibition.
DECM 127: Scientific VisualizationConstructing figures, diagrams, and infographics for use in publications, websites, and presentations relies heavily on the use of digital technologies. This course will focus on approaches and techniques used to distill scientific information into effective visual representations using a variety of computer software packages, including Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator®.
DECM 128: Urban Cultures - Buenos AiresAn introduction to Buenos Aires urban culture, this travel course will provide students with an experiential learning opportunity through a series of itineraries related to the city’s historical, political, literary, artistic, and musical scenes. The course will emphasize cultural exchange, engagement with the space, and personal transformation. Knowledge of Spanish helpful but not required.
Additional fees apply to this course: approximately $2,500 plus airfare.
Deadline for registration is September 22, 2017.
DECM 129: The History of Video Games: 1977-1996This course will explore the history of video games, with an emphasis on games and gaming systems from 1977 to 1996. Games will be explored as technology, entertainment and a product of culture. Students will play games on the original consoles and write about developments in visual design, evolution of sound and music, representations of gender and race and other topics.
DECM 130: Topological Data Analysis Through Structural Dance ImprovisationInterdisciplinary exploration of topological data analysis—the mathematical study of "the shape of data"—and its interpretations in movement and physical metaphor. Includes in-class and in-studio components, culminating in a performance. Intended for open-minded students seeking to augment their mathematical/dance training and process with new modalities and vocabularies.
DECM 131: Children's Stories in Communities: Going Beyond "And they lived happily ever after"This service-learning course will consider how fairy tales, myths and folktales reflect and inflect cultural and community practices. Drawing on pedagogical and literary approaches, the course will examine how ideas of childhood, gender, race, ethnicity and class are constructed and sustained through children's stories. Participants will work with non-profit organizations in the Fox Valley community doing creative projects with children's stories. Additional fees will apply: estimated $50 for performance attendance.
DECM 132: Serious Gaming and LearningThis course will explore learning, motivation and self-regulation involved in serious digital game play. Participants will explore current educational games being developed to capitalize on the popularity of gaming by playing and analyzing the game structure and components. Special attention will be paid to skill and content knowledge development through game play and the transfer of this knowledge outside of games.
DECM 133: Shakespeare in PerformanceStudents will study the text and production history of a specific Shakespeare play in detail, then apply that knowledge to a major production of the play, usually in Chicago, Milwaukee or Madison. The major assignment will be an analysis of that production. In 2016, the course will study Georges Bigot's Macbeth at Theater Y in Chicago. Additional fees will apply: tickets for the performance ($30-$60), specific performance-oriented edition of play ($20-$50), and travel.
DECM 134: Witchcraft in ArtEngage the art of Europe's fascination with witchcraft and the supernatural from 1100 to 1800 using materials from the university's rare book and art collections. We will examine depictions of magicians, sorcerers, and witches, along with their rituals and politico-religious prosecution. Methods include historical contextualization, chronological comparison, slow looking, and analysis of the iconography and semiotics of witchcraft. Students will complete short, detail-oriented projects.
DECM 135: Archival DiscoveryAn in-depth exploration of archives and archival research. The course will address the theory and practice of locating, contextualizing, interpreting, and using archival primary sources. Students will work directly with collections in the University Archives and produce a digital project based on their research.
DECM 136: Contemporary Apocalypse NarrativesPandemics, environmental disasters, zombie invasions: stories about catastrophes are more popular than ever. We will consider several examples of the genre in literature and film and ask: What cultural and political anxieties do these works explore? How do representations of apocalypse draw on science and religion? Can these stories spur change, or do they falsely reassure us? Students will also complete short creative projects.
DECM 137: Writing Your LifeAn intensive writing seminar for those seeking to write memoir, creative non-fiction, or other self-reflective prose. We will be writing, reading, and editing shorter daily pieces while developing a major theme or idea.
DECM 138: Loving Literature: Fiction, Fan Fiction, and Fans of FictionThis course explores the hows and whys of literary affection: what do we mean when we say we "love" a book or writer? Why are authors like Jane Austen still beloved centuries after their deaths? We'll focus on a couple of historical examples of literary love, and students also will investigate their own affections as part of a final project on a writer or book of their choice.
DECM 139: Color, Lighting, and IllusionThis course explores the human perception of color and light with practical projects using flat paper, painting, simple sculptures, lighting, and our daily environment. In the studio we will make three colors look like four, four colors look like three, and flat objects look plastic. New skills and understanding will culminate in creating visual art pieces. The final class will be a showing and discussion of the work with the public.
DECM 140: Happiness: Meditation and ScienceWhat is happiness and how is it achieved? This course will examine some core ideas of Buddhist philosophy of mind and investigate the ways in which they are being studied and employed by psychologists, neuroscientists, and cognitive scientists. In addition to course readings, students will be instructed in basic meditation practices and expected to keep a meditation practice for the duration of the course.
DECM 142: Presidential Power in Trump's AmericaThe course focuses on U.S. public policy, specifically presidential control (or lack thereof) of administrative agencies such as the EPA, FDA, and others that some consider to be the "deep state." Readings and class discussion will provide an overview of the basic workings of relevant U.S. political institutions, followed by focus on policy making (and unmaking) within the Trump Administration. Content quizzes and a regulation project based on policy formation in a student's area of interest.
DECM 211: The Artist BookAn introduction to bookmaking as an art form with special emphasis on craft and conceptual development as a form of visual expression. Traditional and contemporary approaches to creating artist books are explored in detail to compliment a variety of binding methods. Additional $30 course fee plus book.
DECM 213: Educational InnovationThis course engages students in the design of innovative educational programs or structures to promote integrative learning, personal development, and creative accomplishment. Students will work from core principles to produce a charter school design, after-school program, or multidisciplinary unit of instructions (as selected by the class).
DECM 214: Fun Home's Intro to LGBTQ+ StudiesAlison Bechdel's Fun Home provides a literary and cultural history of the modern LGBTQ+ movement. Topics will include Stonewall, the Anita Bryant affair, the first gay civil rights groups (Mattachine Society, Daughters of Bilitis), the AIDS crisis, crossdressing laws, and the influence of Wilde and Proust on modern gay identity.
DECM 215: 9/11 in Context: Terrorism as a Lived ExperienceThis course approaches September 11, 2001 through the perspective of those who experienced the terrorist attacks directly. We will explore the lived experience of 9/11 through news clips, photography, interviews and memoirs, culminating with a walking tour of lower Manhattan and visit to the new 9/11 memorial and museum. Cost for four-day trip to New York is approximately $1,000. Please contact the instructor for more information.
DECM 216: Renaissance Madrigal DinnerFascinated by English Renaissance court entertainments? Want to learn more and apply it to a performance? This course will engage the era and its entertainment aesthetics while producing a madrigal dinner complete with music, and theatrical scenes and improvisation. All interested students should speak to Mr. Swan or Ms. Privatt.
DECM 217: IstanbulThis course will involve an 8-day trip to Istanbul, Turkey. Students will be introduced to central sites of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, as well as of modern Turkey. The choice of sites will emphasize cultural exchange and transformation. We will visit Rumi's shrine and burial place in Konya, Turkey. An additional fee will be charged to cover the cost of the trip.
DECM 218: Disrupted CommunitiesThis course explores African writers' representations of the unsettling effects of colonialism on the structures, praxis and values of African communities. Through a close analysis of novels from various regions of the continent, the course will explore the role of literature in the articulation of the discourse of African nationhood.
DECM 219: Start-Up TheatreOpen to students from theatre, economics, and other students interested in entrepreneurship in the performing arts. May be repeated when the topic is different. Additional fees may be charged to cover materials.
DECM 220: Wheel Throwing IntensiveThis course serves as a "boot camp" for those interested in developing skills on the potters wheel. We will place emphasis on process rather than product, and will approach the wheel as a tool appropriate for creating functional pottery as well as sculpture.
DECM 221: Greece Then, Greece NowIn this course we will visit prehistoric Mycenae, Classical sanctuaries at Epidauros, Olympia and Delphi, Byzantine monasteries at Meteora, and the major archaeological sites and museums of Athens. Students will learn how to read an archaeological site, do first-hand visual analysis of works of art, contextualize ancient literature and history, and at the same time begin to understand the complexities of modern Greece, including its economy fueled by tourism but also beset by EU-imposed austerity.
Additional fees apply to this course: approximately $1,400-$1,800 plus airfare. Registration deadline is June 3. Participants will need to make a 35% non-refundable deposit in early June.