Please note: The course descriptions displayed here are current as of Sunday, August 20, 2017, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.
Human 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.
Culture, Biology, and Human Nutrition
This 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.
Ancient and Byzantine Coins: A Student-Designed Exhibition
An 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.
Living Research and Exploration -- Devised Theatre Project
What 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.
Exploring the Creative Self Through Deep Listening
Adam 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.
Prerequisite: ECON 100 or ECON 120
Beyond the Pin Factory: Real Firms, Local and Global
This 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.
Los Angeles: A Modern Biography
An 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.
Printed Books to 1900
Explores 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?
Philosophy and Literature
For 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.
Soviet History through the Kitchen Door: Soviet Cooking Culture
As 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.
The Shakespeare Intensive
Students 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.
A Peek at Animal Behavior: Worms and Whales
This 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, popular commentary and food media, and students will pursue independent projects on a topic of interest.
Food Politics and Culture
A 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.
Music Theory Fundamentals through Composition
This 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.
300 Galleries in 3 Days: Art Basel—Miami Beach
This 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.
The Chemistry of Cooking
This course will introduce students to the intellectual and practical labors of curating a museum exhibition on an interdisciplinary theme. Students will collectively curate, reasearch, and design an exhibition built from the University's art collection. Readings will present contemporary debates in curatorial practice and an introduction to the course theme.
Museum Curatorial Intensive
Constructing 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®.
An 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.
Urban Cultures - Buenos Aires
Additional fees apply to this course: approximately $2,500 plus airfare.
Deadline for registration is September 22, 2017. Units: 3. Prerequisite: Instructor's approval and a series of readings
This 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.
The History of Video Games: 1977-1996
Interdisciplinary 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.
Topological Data Analysis Through Structural Dance Improvisation
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.
Children's Stories in Communities: Going Beyond "And they lived happily ever after"
This 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.
Serious Gaming and Learning
Students 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.
Shakespeare in Performance
Engage 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.
Witchcraft in Art
An 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.
Pandemics, 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.
Contemporary Apocalypse Narratives
An 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.
Writing Your Life
An 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.
Prerequisite: ART 100 or ART 110
The Artist Book
This 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).
Prerequisite: One course in education studies or consent of instructor
Alison 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.
Fun Home's Intro to LGBTQ+ Studies
This 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.
9/11 in Context: Terrorism as a Lived Experience
Fascinated 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.
Renaissance Madrigal Dinner
This 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.
This 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.
Open 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.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing
This 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.
Prerequisite: ART 100 or ART 110
Wheel Throwing Intensive
In 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.
Greece Then, Greece Now
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. Units: 3. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing