Please note: The course descriptions displayed here are current as of Wednesday, September 20, 2017, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.

DECM 111
Culture, Biology, and Human Nutrition

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. Units: 3.

DECM 112
Ancient and Byzantine Coins: A Student-Designed Exhibition

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. Units: 3.

DECM 113
Living Research and Exploration -- Devised Theatre Project

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. Units: 3.

DECM 114
Exploring the Creative Self Through Deep Listening

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. Units: 3.

DECM 115
Beyond the Pin Factory: Real Firms, Local and Global

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. Units: 3. Prerequisite: ECON 100 or ECON 120

DECM 116
Los Angeles: A Modern Biography

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. Units: 3.

DECM 117
Printed Books to 1900

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. Units: 3.

DECM 118
Philosophy and Literature

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? Units: 3.

DECM 119
Soviet History through the Kitchen Door: Soviet Cooking Culture

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. Units: 3.

DECM 120
The Shakespeare Intensive

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. Units: 3.

DECM 121
A Peek at Animal Behavior: Worms and Whales

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. Units: 3.

DECM 122
Food Politics and Culture

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. Units: 3.

DECM 123
Music Theory Fundamentals through Composition

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. Units: 3.

DECM 124
300 Galleries in 3 Days: Art Basel—Miami Beach

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. Units: 3.

DECM 125
The Chemistry of Cooking

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. Units: 3.

DECM 126
Museum Curatorial Intensive

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. Units: 3.

DECM 127
Scientific Visualization

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®. Units: 3.

DECM 128
Urban Cultures - Buenos Aires

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.

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

DECM 129
The History of Video Games: 1977-1996

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. Units: 3.

DECM 130
Topological Data Analysis Through Structural Dance Improvisation

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. Units: 3.

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. Units: 3.

DECM 132
Serious Gaming and Learning

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. Units: 3.

DECM 133
Shakespeare in Performance

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. Units: 3.

DECM 134
Witchcraft in Art

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. Units: 3.

DECM 135
Archival Discovery

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. Units: 3.

DECM 136
Contemporary Apocalypse Narratives

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. Units: 3.

DECM 137
Writing Your Life

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. Units: 3.

DECM 211
The Artist Book

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. Units: 3. Prerequisite: ART 100 or ART 110

DECM 213
Educational Innovation

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). Units: 3. Prerequisite: One course in education studies or consent of instructor

DECM 214
Fun Home's Intro to LGBTQ+ Studies

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. Units: 3.

DECM 215
9/11 in Context: Terrorism as a Lived Experience

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. Units: 3.

DECM 216
Renaissance Madrigal Dinner

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. Units: 3.

DECM 217

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. Units: 3.

DECM 218
Disrupted Communities

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. Units: 3.

DECM 219
Start-Up Theatre

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. Units: 3. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing

DECM 220
Wheel Throwing Intensive

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. Units: 3. Prerequisite: ART 100 or ART 110

DECM 221
Greece Then, Greece Now

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.

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

DECM 222
Technical Drawing

Technical Drawing will build skills in using both traditional hand drafting and CAD. These skills can be applied to architectural drawings, theatrical drafting and prototyping. Projects will include scale drawings, gound plans and isometric views, and can be tailored to the interests and needs of the student. Topics will cover proper tools, techniques and design fundamentals. Additonal fees for materials will apply for those students who choose the option to use the Makerspace 3D printers. Will vary by student. Units: 3.

DECM 223
Adobe Creative Suite

This workshop is an introduction to the Adobe Creative Suite programs including Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. The class is project centered, allowing each student to explore the multi-faceted and contemporary nature of each program. Methods in image construction, graphic design, typography, application, and output will be explored in detail. Units: 3.

DECM 224
Introduction to R and Excel for Data Analysis

Careful data analysis has become central to decision-making in areas from politics to sports to medicine. This introduction to collecting, cleaning, and manipulating messy, real-world data with R and Excel will emphasize reproducible, documented analysis. The course will also introduce graphing and programming concepts that pertain to data analysis. Familiarity with basic statistics is a plus but not required. Units: 3.

DECM 225
A Good Life

What is a good life? How do I live it? This is an opportunity to engage with these questions by exploring how others have tried to answer them. We will read about different ways of living, experiment with some of those practices ourselves, and reflect on them in writing. We will also talk with invited guests about how they try to answer these questions. Units: 3.

DECM 226
Ancient Coin Publication Project

Students will research and publish ancient Greek and Roman coins from the University's collection. The current online version of the catalogue of the collection has been viewed by more than 4.2 million visitors; the goal of the project is to make the rest of the collection available to the public. Units: 3.

DECM 411
Jorge Luis Borges (in Spanish)

A sustained inquiry on Borges' literary works in historical and cultural context. The course will explore Borges' essays, poems, and short stories, and their multidisciplinary resonances, from film and visual arts to physics and linguistics, among others. Taught in Spanish. Units: 3. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish at the 300-level or above, or consent of instructor

DECM 412
The Sonata Cycle in the 19th Century

An immersive study of 19th-century masterworks. Through close analytical engagement with sonatas, chamber works, and symphonies by leading composers of the period, students will learn how sonata form movements give rise to larger multi-movement sonata cycles. Students will also observe the evolution of sonata form throughout this period. Units: 3. Prerequisite: MUTH 252

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