Integrative Core Curriculum

Spring 2018 Integrated Courses

There are many Core Courses on offer for Spring 2018! Get a taste of the Integrated Courses that make up the heart of our Integrative Core by browsing the listing below.

All information on this page is subject to change. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, click here to see the Spring 2018 course schedule on Banner. 

Trying to find courses that meet a specific Core requirement in the new Course Lookup system in Banner? Download the Registrar’s tutorial on using the new Class Schedule Listing here.  

Engaging the Global Community (EGC)

EGC Core requirement: 1 course (3 cr.) 

  • AH 201, Introduction to World Art (World Art, Culture and History Learning Community) (7 sections)
  • CL 302-51/HS 302-51, Power and Identity in the Roman Republic (Power and Identity Learning Community)
  • EN 207-51, World Literature (Cultural Encounters Learning Community)
  • HS 202, World Civilization Since 1500 (Cultural Encounters Learning Community) (2 sections)
  • HS 245, US Foreign Relations (Cultural Encounters Learning Community) (2 sections)
  • HS 281, Contemporary East Asian History (Power and Identity Learning Community)
  • HS 397A, Women and the Catholic Church (Power and Identity Learning Community)
  • HS 397B/IC 399B, Japan Study Tour (team-taught)
  • IC 230, 19th Century Short Fiction in Translation: Russian, Slovak, Czech (Storytelling Learning Community)
  • IC 231, Short Fiction since 1900 in Translation: Russian, Slovak, Czech (Storytelling Learning Community)
  • PO 241, History, Culture and Politics (Cultural Encounters Learning Community)
  • PO 328, The Middle East in Film and Media (Storytelling Learning Community)
  • PO 332, African Politics (The Political Economy of State Formation Learning Community)
  • PO 355, Catholicism, Identity and Development in Latin America (Power and Identity Learning Community)
  • SC 205, Conflict & Cooperation: Global Perspectives on Warfare & Peace-Building (Global Communities Learning Community)
  • TRS 351, Silk Road Religions (World Art, Culture and History Learning Community)

Click on the titles of the courses to read more about each course. Official course descriptions are located on Banner Web.

Linked Courses (LINK)

Linked course Core requirement: 1 pair of linked courses (6 cr.)

BL 136-51, The Biology of Language
EN 299C-51, Sociolinguistics and Literature 

EN 291, American Environmental Literature
BL 137, Climate Change in North America

CH 170, Chemistry of Poisons
EN 240, Detective Fiction

CH 171-51, Informed Health Decisions
ER 201-55, Creativity, Innovation and Development

COMM 240-52, American Electronic Media
HS 212-52, History of the US from 1877 to the Present

HS 260, History of Childhood in America 
PS 260, Child Development in Context 

COMM 335-51, Interpersonal Communication
EN 277-52, Major American Writers

EN 299B-51, Introduction to Popular Culture
PL 398-51, Philosophy of Pop Culture

HS 297-51, Japan in Crisis
SC 250-51, Japanese Society

IC 208-51, Soul Food
TRS 272-51, Food for the Soul

COMM 420-51 International Theatre
SC 255-51 Comparative Ethnic Relations

HS 296-1 The Modern Supernatural in Western Civilization
EN 299A-1 The Modern Supernatural in Literature

PO 215-51 Political Islam
TRS 349-51 Islam and Islamism

Click on the titles of the courses to read more about each course. Official course descriptions are located on Banner Web. 


*all information provided here is for informational purposes only and subject to change. For the most current and accurate information about each course, please see the course descriptions listed under “course information” on Banner Web or consult the undergraduate bulletin.

ENGAGING THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY (EGC):

AH 201, Introduction to World Art
This course is a global introduction to the visual arts from Ancient times to the Modern world.  It introduces students to major monuments of architecture, sculpture, painting, and the minor arts from many different cultures around the world including Europe, the U.S., India, China, Japan, and some African cultures. Students will consider works of art in relation to political, religious, philosophical and other intellectual contexts.  This course places considerable emphasis on comparative analyses of works of art from different world cultures and different periods of history.

back to top

HS 202, World Civilization since 1500
This course examines the history of the world from 1500 to the present, focusing on how cultures encountered one another over the past five centuries.  At the beginning of this time period, the peoples of the Old World and the New World had just begun to interact with one another.  Over the course of this period, European powers stretched colonial empires over much of the globe, powering their expansion through trade and industrialization.  By the end of this period, the forces of global capitalism penetrated virtually ever corner of the globe, affecting nearly every individual on the planet.  This course is therefore designed to give you tools to understand our increasingly interconnected world.

back to top

PO 241, History, Culture and Politics
This course examines the politics and political cultures of Central Asia, using the “Silk Road” as our point of departure. The Silk Road was a network of trade and cultural routes connecting China with India and the Mediterranean as early as 2,000 years ago and as late as the 12th century.  Bounded by China in the east, Russia in the north and west, and Iran and Afghanistan to the south, the Central Asian states are underdeveloped, authoritarian, and rich in natural resources.  They are also the object of geopolitical interest and pressure not just by China but also by Russia and the U.S.  In this course we will pay particular attention to diverse meanings attached to the term “Silk Road”; contending understandings of the foundations of political order and stability; historical aspects of the region we now call “Central Asia”; Islam in Central Asia; and the dynamics of Central Asian politics in the context of Chinese, Russian, and American competition in the region.

 

back to top

SC 205, Conflict & Cooperation: Global Perspectives on Warfare & Peace-Building
This course applies a global approach to the study of war.  It uses arguments and research from sociology, political science, history, and anthropology to address questions regarding the origins of war; mobilization and the nation-state; the identification and treatment of enemies; war’s impact on race, class, and gender relations; relations between citizens, warriors, and states; the significance of transnational insurgents in a globalizing era; and possibilities for peace-building.

back to top

TRS 351, Silk Road Religions
This course focuses on the “Silk Roads,” the historical Eurasian international trade routes, giving particular attention to the northern overland routes through China, India, and the eastern Turkic republics. The time frame of the course begins in the Indian Mauryan and Chinese Han dynasties at about 200 BCE. The course continues with the Indian Kushan, Gupta, and Pala periods, and the Chinese Northern and Southern dynasties, with major focus on the Tang Dynasty (618– 907), and extending to the middle of the Qing Dynasty (1644– 1911). Key examples, or case studies for this course will be presented chronologically.

back to top

LINKED COURSES

BL 136-51, The Biology of Language
EN 299-C1, Sociolinguistics and Literature

BL 136: This course (taught online) emphasizes the biology, physiology and the biochemistry of the brain associated with language, with a focus on critical thinking skills and quantitative evaluation of facts.This course is linked with EN 299: Sociolinguistics and Literature, which approaches language from a humanities perspective. The two courses are designed with an integrated approach to language, with a focus of understanding the science and the use of language from a humanities perspective.

EN 299: The way we use language at any given moment is conditioned by a variety of factors, including socioeconomic status, gender, race and ethnicity, knowledge of other languages, professional or other affiliations, and our assessment of the particular communicative situation. This course (taught in a traditional classroom setting) will use sociolinguistic approaches to literature to explore the insights that arise through analysis that focuses on language. We will also try to unpick some of the assumptions that we make based on the way people speak, by coming to an understanding of the social and other conditions for the development of different varieties of English.

back to top

EN 291, American Environmental Literature
BL 137, Climate Change in North America

EN 291: What is place-based literature? How do authors represent their deep concern for the natural world? How have various literary interpretations of the land influenced attitudes towards the environment? Might cli-fi fiction raise our awareness about climate change and thereby shift our attitude towards human-made ecological disaster? To answer these questions, we will read major works of American literature and some up-and-coming cli-fi fiction. To anchor our understanding in the science of climate change, students will co-enroll in BL 137.

BL 137: This course will examine anthropogenic climate change, primarily in the context of changes expected in the North American climate.  Because the impacts of climate change are diverse and very region-specific, they can only be understood through developing a knowledge of place such that the predicted changes can be comprehended.  Currently, it is hard for most Americans, and indeed for most of the world’s inhabitants, to understand slow-moving environmental change and what this will mean in specific regions of the world.  We cannot comprehend the loss of the Amazon forest or Great Barrier Reef because we have not been there.  Likewise, we cannot understand the predicted changes even in our own continent because we lack a sense of place for anywhere outside of where we grew up, and many have no sense of place of the natural world as they matured in urban and suburban environments.  We will learn about the science behind global climate change and will examine specific changes and predication of change in a bioregion context, on the same schedule as those bioregions are explored in EN 291.

back to top

CH 170, Chemistry of Poisons
EN 240, Detective Fiction

CH 170: In this course, you will learn fundamental concepts in chemistry by studying the chemistry of poisons. You will connect the skills and content you are learning in this course to the linked course, EN 240 Detective Fiction. The novels and short stories you are reading in EN 240 often involve one character being poisoned. As we progress through the semester and become more knowledgeable about chemistry, we will discuss how the science is presented in the novels. At the end of the semester, you will integrate the knowledge about chemistry you have gained with the critical thinking skills you are developing in both classes to consider complex topics
relating to science and literature.

EN 240: Throughout this course, we will be examining several key questions about detective fiction: What methods do detectives use in detection? What powers or capacities does detection confer upon detectives? What are the factors that limit these powers? How ethical are the detectives we study? Although we will be examining the detective works in this course as literature, we will also be exploring their place in a culture that saw the rise of science and technology, the birth of criminology, the ascendancy of the “expert,” the growth of a modern industrial society, and the expansion of the British Empire. In studying these aspects of British and American culture as they shape British and American detective literature, we will also be assessing these aspects as they bear upon the rise of forensic chemistry.

back to top

CH 171-51, Informed Health Decisions
ER 201-55, Creativity, Innovation and Development

CH 171: This course is designed to promote scientific literacy among all people.  Students will learn basic biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and science concepts that are important in understanding health matters.  Thinking logically and analyzing things critically will be an expected outcome for this class.  In conjunction with the co-requisite ER 201, students will apply these ideas to explore ways to solve a daily-life health problem which will be discussed in detail in the ER course.

ER 201: Using a project-focused approach, students in this course lean about creative thinking as it applies to the development of innovations and inventions in the arts, sciences, and business.  Students learn how to move from an idea as a vague concept to an innovation as a well-designed idea.  Creativity, innovation and idea development are key elements in developing an entrepreneurial mindset.  In this course students will be exposed to new approaches to thinking.  These approaches will change the way students create ideas, identify problems, and develop solutions.  We will convey these methods through interaction, reflection, and experiential learning in groups and individually.  This course also explores how teams screen creative ideas to determine whether or not they are worth pursuing, how to work within a team to develop an idea and present it to others.  As a course linked to CH 171, students will combine the entrepreneurship skills they acquire in ER 201 with the biochemistry concepts from the Chemistry course.  Their task will be to look for a problem related to health issues and in biochemistry, research possible solutions, design an invention (idea/process/project) to solve the problem, and share the idea with others.

back to top

COMM 240-52, American Electronic Media
HS 212-51, History of the US from 1877 to the Present

The United States emerged from its civil war a changed nation.  Not only were North and South reunited, but a number of significant social, technological, and economic forces reshaped the ways in which Americans experienced their daily lives.  Urbanization brought people from rural outposts to urban centers.  Industrialization moved workers from farms to factories.  And Westward expansion doubled the size of the American landmass while immigration tripled its population.  Among the most influential drivers of change in U.S. society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries was the development and growing popularity of American electronic media.  From newspaper articles and magazine covers to dime novels and radio dramas, new national forms of media helped to popularize a truly “American” culture.  Our integrated courses explore the human experience through an examination of American electronic media from the Civil War to the present day.  The communication course will focus on the development of various forms of media and the influence their development had upon the society and culture of the United States.  The history course will give students a broad overview of America’s political, economic, social, and cultural history, illustrating these themes by teaching students how to “read” popular forms of media (from newspaper editorials and comic books to soap operas and political jingles) that tell us about the time periods in which they were produced.  Both courses will teach students how to analyze and interpret a wide array of media as developed through history, helping them to improve their habits of critical analysis and become more informed consumers of the many forms of media they come across in their everyday lives.

back to top

HS 260, History of Childhood in America
PS 260, Child Development in Context

HS 260: What is the essential nature of childhood?  Are children born innocent or evil, tabula rasa or with core cognitive abilities?  One might suppose that certain biological facts adhere to children, but notions of childhood have proven remarkably malleable across space and time.  This course will explore the history of childhood in America, moving us from Puritan notions of “miniature adulthood” to modern concerns about “adultification.”  We will see how the length and stages of childhood have shortened and lengthened based on the needs of wider society.  For example, we will consider how concerns about sexuality and class played a role in the invention of “adolescence.”  Even today, sociologists and psychologists debate whether a new stage of life, “emerging adulthood” has been added to the process of growing up.  Childhood has not only varied by era, but also by the categories of class, race, and gender.  We thus will examine the great variability of American childhood, seeing how childhood development is as much a social product, as it is a biological one.

PS 260: This course offers a survey of basic developmental theories, focus on gender and racial diversity, family structures and intellectual functioning from early childhood through adolescence.  The course is designed for non-majors and does not count for credit in “Group B” in the major. It will not count for credit toward the Child and Families Studies senior seminar.  This course has been granted designation as an Engaging the Natural World course (ENW) and must be completed as a co-requisite with HS 195C The History of Childhood in America.

back to top

COMM 335-51, Interpersonal Communication
EN 277-52, Major American Writers

COMM 335: The focus of this course is on how people establish, maintain, and alter relationships through interpersonal communication.  This course is integrated with EN 277, Major American Writers, which will study how literature reveals features of complex human relationships.  In this class we will apply concepts of interpersonal communication to the texts in EN 277 to help understand the effect of communicative behaviors that make up our daily lives as we interact with friends, strangers, work associates and family members.

EN 277: In this course we will read, contemplate, analyze, and debate a wide range of writing that represents the American literary tradition.  We will consider not only what literature is, but what literature does: what is the power of the literary narrative to help us understand and come to terms with fundamental elements of our experience?  How does the literary narrative provide a glimpse into the lives of particular people living in particular circumstances, a glimpse that, perhaps, also tells us something about us?  More specifically, how does the literary narrative reveal features of complex human relationships?  To answer these questions (and others), we will rely on elements of narrative theory; but in addition, we will also look to the theories students will study in CO 200.  As linked courses, CO 200 and EN 277 will provide the opportunity for students to integrate the study of communications and literature for a deeper intellectual exploration of key issues in human relationships and human experience.

back to top

EN 299-B51, Introduction to Popular Culture
PL 398-51, Philosophy of Pop Culture

EN 299: This course is designed to introduce students to a variety of critical approaches used in the study of popular culture.  Although the course will draw on students’ familiarity with popular culture, we will approach the subject from a scholarly perspective.  The overall objective is to explore how popular culture, in a variety of forms, not only reflects the world around us but also how it influences the way we perceive the world.  Every day we are exposed to thousands of images, sounds, and experiences that we understand as natural – as just the way the world is.  But this everyday life we take for granted is anything but natural.  It is both the product of the creator of a shared worldview.  We will examine a wide range of subjects (such as film, television, music, advertising, the internet, and sports) using a wide range of critical approaches (such as genre theory, gender studies, semiotics, and political economy), so we can better understand how contemporary American culture shapes our lives.  Three short papers, quizzes, take-home exam, and research paper.

PL 398: Like a collective subconscious, pop culture forms a common fabric between us, rarely in focus, yet driving our self-image and our ambitions. By turning our attention to the ideas and values conveyed through television, movies, and advertising, we make discoveries about ourselves—who we are, and who we can become. In this course, you will learn how to view pop culture through the most powerful and influential critical lenses and how to express your own deepest convictions through the pop culture vernacular.

back to top

HS 297-51, Japan in Crisis
SC 250-51, Japanese Society

HS 297: This course covers the history of the Japanese people from the 19th century to contemporary times with emphasis on the natural and human-made disasters and the Japanese reaction, both as a nation and as individuals.  Students in this course will examine the connections between human society and geological phenomenon, between human society and the technology of war, and between human society and government response to emergencies.  They will study the crises that befell modern Japan as a way to consider how one acts competently in a global and diverse world and discuss acts of mourning and memorializing as a way to understand the religious, spiritual, and emotional dimensions of human experience.

SC 250: This course studies contemporary Japan as a postindustrial society in the context of a devastating set of natural and human disasters in March, 2011.  The sense of national crisis that has emerged from that time has been accompanied by an increasing sense of “precarity” and insecurity for individuals, families, and communities.  This course is linked with HS 297 to better investigate both the historical context and contemporary experience of Japan as it faces an unknown future.  In SC 250, we will examine the meaning and function of families; consumption and the purposes of education; work and alienation; ideology and ritual; the destruction of the natural environment; welfare and the aging of society; and gender, class and the social construction of the “self.”  Students will develop an understanding of how contemporary Japanese draw upon ideas and practices from a variety of times and places to define their place in a world experienced as both global and uncertain.  The linked courses will engage students in historical and anthropological methods and interdisciplinary analysis.

back to top

IC 208-51 and TRS 272-51, Soul Food and Food for the Soul

IC 208: Everybody eats!  Eating is a basic human experience that we will explore in this course.  Eating is biological and cultural, personal and political.  The goal of this course is to teach students about the meaning of food and how the simple act of eating can reveal interconnections among so many diverse aspects of various ethnic cultures, society in general, and the environment.  In this course we will study the culture of food in film via its production and consumption through the lens of family relationships, cultural and ethnic ties, and the relationship of food and religious spirituality.  Thus we will explore how food and the production of food relate not only to artistic forms such as film and literature, but also to the environment.  We will also consider how food relates to gender, ethnicity, identity and power.  Besides investigating food in film that celebrates the pleasures of cooking and eating, we will also approach food in films through other lenses including semiotics, structuralism, post-structuralism, and its connections to literature, politics, history, and “business” (i.e., methods of food production and distribution, including global distribution).  Aren’t you hungry to learn more? 

TRS 272: Family rituals and food preparation practices are used to study ideals that pervade the academic and existential approaches of African and African-American expressions of spirituality, religion, and theology. We will examine the role of food culture as it relates to African-American family and experience, while deconstructing pervasive racism and ethnic stereotyping as conveyed in films, music, and popular culture, past and present. Food as sustenance and symbolism in Biblical texts will be examined, highlighting the centrality of food to our religious and spiritual lives.

back to top

COMM 420-51 International Theatre
SC 255-51 Comparative Ethnic Relations

These linked courses bring together the disciplines of sociology and communications and theatre to critically analyze experiences of subjects in plays written and performed by various racial and ethnic communities.  The selected plays that will be explored complement the sociological theories by exploring issues of discrimination, pluralism, assimilation, post-colonialism, immigration, and identity.   Linking these two disciplines allows the student to examine real world interactions of diverse communities and to also explore the art that is created in these unique circumstances.

back to top

EN 299A-1 The Modern Supernatural in Literature
HS 296-1 The Modern Supernatural in Western Civilization

These linked courses explore the rhetorical and compositional hallmarks of modern expressions of the supernatural, focusing on the shift to the supernatural as a psychological or symbolic manifestation of individual personality. Courses focus on manifestations of the supernatural in the modern era (post-Enlightenment to the present day) but will begin with a brief comparison of the most ancient Western beliefs (as manifested in the epic of Gilgamesh and Enuma Elish, for example) with contemporary belief systems (the students’ own religious beliefs, psychic phenomena, and internet manifestations of the supernatural, for example).

back to top

PO 215-51 Political Islam
TRS 349-51 Islam and Islamism

These linked courses explore the overarching theme of the role of Islam in politics. PO 215 integrates historical and regional studies, and will apply political theories to the study of Islamist movements and institutions. TRS 349 relies on Islamic Studies as an interdisciplinary field that incorporates Political Theory, Anthropology, Religious Ethics to understand and evaluate normative claims about political and social order put forward by Islamist thinkers and movements.

back to top