A seminar for first-year students

In your first semester, you must take a First-Year Course. There are many options for you to choose from, on a wide-variety of topics, representing diverse disciplinary perspectives. Some students choose this course based on the topic; others because they want to explore a department in which they might major or minor. Either approach is fine. Because this is only one course out of four, and it only lasts one semester, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the first year to explore majors or interest areas beyond the First-Year Course.

Many courses also utilize student preceptors to provide additional academic support and peer mentoring.

Abbreviations Key

  • WA = Argumentative Writing, WC = Writing as Craft, WP = Writing as Practice

First-Year Course Offerings for Fall 2021

Department Instructor Course Name Residential Writing Designation
American Studies Duchess Harris AMST 194-01:  The Obama Presidency None
Anthropology Scott Legge ANTH 194-01:  Evolution, Bigfoot, and Anthropology in the United States
Yes WA
Art & Art History Joanna Inglot ART 194-01:  Social Design: History, Theory, and Praxis Yes WA
Art & Art History Ruthann Godollei ART 194-02:  Nature and Power WA anticipated
Biology Sarah Boyer BIOL 194-01:  Nature and Power WA anticipated
Chemistry Keith Kuwata CHEM 115-01/L1:  Accelerated General Chemistry and Lab WA anticipated
The Classical Mediterranean and Middle East Brian Lush CLAS 194-01:  Classics in Film WA
Computer Science Susan Fox COMP 123-05:  Core Concepts in Computer Science Yes None
Economics Mario Solis-Garcia ECON 119-01:  Principles of Economics Yes WP
Economics Sarah West ECON 119-02:  Principles of Economics Yes None
Educational Studies Brian Lozenski EDUC 194-XX:  Education in the Pursuit of Freedom Dreams
English Peter Bognanni ENGL 150-05:  Introduction to Creative Writing Yes WC
English James Dawes ENGL 137-01:  Novel Yes WA
Environmental Studies Chris Wells ENVI 194-01:  Introduction to Sustainability Yes WA anticipated
French and Francophone Studies Juliette Rogers FREN 194-01:  Performing Exile: Immigration and Adaptation in Francophone Theater WA
French and Francophone Studies Joelle Vitiello FREN 194-02:  Food in French and Francophone Culture:  The Local and the Global WA
Geography Laura Smith GEOG 242-01:  Regional Geography of the U.S. and Canada Yes WA
Geography Eric Carter GEOG 258-01:  Geography of Environmental Hazards Yes WA
Geology Kelly MacGregor/Jeff Thole GEOL 160-02/ENVI 160-02; GEOL 160-L3/ENVI 160-L3:  Dynamic Earth and Global Change Yes WA
German Studies David Martyn GERM 194-01:  Our Cyborgs, Ourselves Yes WA
History Ernesto Capello HIST 194-01:  Nature and Power WA anticpated
International Studies Ahmed Samatar INTL 110-01:  Introduction to International Studies:  Globalization–Homogeneity and Heterogeneity WA
Latin American Studies J. Ernesto Ortiz-Diaz LATI 194-01/PORT 194-01:  Soultracking Brazil:  Shuffling through the Sounds of  a Musical Nation Yes WA
Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science Kristin Heysse MATH 279-01:  Discrete Mathematics:Puzzles 101 Yes None
Media and Cultural Studies Michael Griffin MCST 194-01:  Camera as Witness?  The Role of Images in the Social Construction of Truth WA
Music Chuen-Fung Wong MUSI 180-01:  Music, Race, Ethnicity Yes None
Philosophy Geoffrey Gorham PHIL 100-01:  Introduction to Philosophy:  With Film WA
Philosophy Geoffrey Gorham PHIL 100-02: Introduction to Philosophy:  With Film WA
Physics Tonnis ter Veldhuis PHYS 194-01/PHYS 194-L1, PHYS 194-L2 Yes WA
Political Science Paul Dosh POLI 141-01/LATI 141-01/WGSS 141-01:  Latin America through Women’s Eyes Yes WA
Political Science Wendy Weber POLI 221-01:  Global Governance Yes
Psychology Steve Guglielmo PSYC 194-01:  Psychology of Right and Wrong Yes WA
Religious Studies Susanna Drake RELI 194-01:  Virginity:  From Mary to Millenials WA
Russian Studies Julia Chadaga RUSS 194-01:  Social Design:  History, Theory and Praxis Yes WA
Sociology Erik Larson SOCI 190-01:  Criminal Behavior/Social Control WA
Spanish and Portuguese Alicia Munoz SPAN 306-01:  Spanish for Heritage Speakers:  Latin American and Latinx Cultures WA
Theater and Dance Claudia Tatinge Nascimento THDA 105-01:  Seeing Performance in the Twin Cities Yes WA
Theater and Dance Wynn Fricke THDA 105-02:  Seeing Performance in the Twin Cities Yes WA
Theater and Dance Mina Kinukawa THDA 194-01:  Social Design:  History, Theory, and Praxis Yes WA

Course Descriptions

AMST 194-01: The Obama Presidency
Duchess Harris, American Studies Department

This course will ask if the election of the nation’s first Black president changed the face of African-American leadership and activism since the height of the civil rights and Black power movements.

We will study African Americans in the political system from a historical context. The running themes of the course are crafted to consider the following questions: What are the historical dynamics that have shaped and continue to shape the relationship between African Americans and the American political system? Under what conditions have Blacks been able to exert influence in the political system? What exactly are Black political interests? Finally, we will analyze the strategies of electoral politics versus social activism.

Class meets MWF 10:50 am – 11:50 am

Writing designation: None

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ANTH 194-01: Evolution, Bigfoot, and Anthropology in the United States  (R)
Scott Legge, Anthropology Department

It is interesting that the term “Evolution” can be more contentious in the United States than the concept of a hairy upright walking humanlike ape populating the remote forests of North America or even the snowy slopes of the Tibetan Plateau. Nothing grabs international media headlines like a Bigfoot sighting. This course will examine some of the most heated debates of evolutionary anthropology in the U.S. We will trace the histories of these debates back to the early European Naturalists who posited some of the first theories of organic change and look at the ways in which many of those theories have been re-shaped into the pseudo-scientific “evolutionary alternatives” that are posited today. Throughout the course we will read a wide variety of texts, including both fiction and non-fiction, and discuss how these writings have shaped the public understanding of evolutionary theory.

Class meets MWF 9:40 am – 10:40 am

Writing designation: WA

Living arrangements:  Single-gender rooms on single gender floors.

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ART 194-01:  Social Design: History, Theory, and Praxis  (R) 
Joann Inglot, Art & Art History Department

In this co-taught, interdisciplinary First Year Course, students will learn about the revolutionary potential of design and how it can transform their lives and their communities. Participants will discover the design field’s history and theoretical underpinnings as well as how to make socially-meaningful designs through hands-on projects.

Throughout the course, we will investigate the processes and practices of design as well as the effects that design has on society, culture, and the environment. Some of our key topics will include issues of gender and race; consumption, social responsibility, and globalization; and politics and activism. The course will take advantage of campus resources including the new Studio Art and Theater facilities, the Idea Lab, the Digital Resource Center, and the Entrepreneurship Office. We will also connect with local designers who will open their studios to us and join us in creative discussions. This course will be co-taught by faculty from three different departments: Julia Chadaga (Russian Studies), Joanna Inglot (Art and Art History), and Mina Kinukawa (Theater and Dance). Each section will cover the same material and meet at the same time. Students will have opportunities to work with all three professors, occasionally meet up with students in the other sections, and take local field trips together if health and safety conditions allow. All of the participating departments will allow the course to count for a major or minor. This course will fulfill the Internationalism and WA (Argumentative Writing) General Education Requirements. No previous experience with design is required, and all are welcome.

Class meets TR 1:20 pm – 2:50pamWriting designation: WA

Living arrangements: Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single gender bathrooms.

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ART 194-02:  Nature and Power
Ruthann Godollei, Art & Art History Department

Faculty members: Sarah Boyer (Biology), Ernie Capello (History), Ruthann Godollei (Art & Art History)

How do we observe, interpret, and understand the diverse world of living things that we see all around us?  Students in our collaborative First-Year Course will explore this question from historical, artistic, and scientific perspectives.

The Enlightenment approach to naming, categorizing, and representing the diversity of life dominates current academic science.  Military activity enabled the work of key founding figures of this tradition; e.g., Charles Darwin’s critical insights were made as part of a British naval expedition whose ultimate goal was to maintain and expand colonial power.  This approach to understanding nature has been practiced through striking traditions of drawing, printmaking, taxidermy, and cabinets of curiosities. Students will confront the practices and institutions of the biodiversity sciences in historical and political context.  We will engage with indigenous counter-narratives and approaches to understanding nature outside of normative European colonial practices.  Finally, we will work together to think critically about how we might decolonize institutions such as museums of natural history, approaches to visual culture and the biodiversity sciences more generally.

Course activities will include active visual interpretation of nature through the production of artistic works, fieldtrips to museums such as the Minnesota Insect Collection and the Bell Museum of Natural History, and interpretation of archival materials such as Macalester’s Encyclopedie (Diderot), the Wangensteen Library’s Surinaamsche insecten engravings by Maria Sibylla Merian or the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Amazonian collection.  One possible culminating project would be for students to develop a decolonial cabinet of curiosities in collaboration with the Macalester archives.

Class meets W 1:10 pm – 4:10 pm

Writing designation: WA anticipated

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BIOL 194-01: Nature and Power
Sarah Boyer, Biology Department

Faculty members: Sarah Boyer (Biology), Ernie Capello (History), Ruthann Godollei (Art & Art History)

How do we observe, interpret, and understand the diverse world of living things that we see all around us?  Students in our collaborative First-Year Course will explore this question from historical, artistic, and scientific perspectives.

The Enlightenment approach to naming, categorizing, and representing the diversity of life dominates current academic science.  Military activity enabled the work of key founding figures of this tradition; e.g., Charles Darwin’s critical insights were made as part of a British naval expedition whose ultimate goal was to maintain and expand colonial power.  This approach to understanding nature has been practiced through striking traditions of drawing, printmaking, taxidermy, and cabinets of curiosities. Students will confront the practices and institutions of the biodiversity sciences in historical and political context.  We will engage with indigenous counter-narratives and approaches to understanding nature outside of normative European colonial practices.  Finally, we will work together to think critically about how we might decolonize institutions such as museums of natural history, approaches to visual culture and the biodiversity sciences more generally.

Course activities will include active visual interpretation of nature through the production of artistic works, fieldtrips to museums such as the Minnesota Insect Collection and the Bell Museum of Natural History, and interpretation of archival materials such as Macalester’s Encyclopedie (Diderot), the Wangensteen Library’s Surinaamsche insecten engravings by Maria Sibylla Merian or the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Amazonian collection.  One possible culminating project would be for students to develop a decolonial cabinet of curiosities in collaboration with the Macalester archives.

Class meets W 1:10 pm – 4:10 pm

Writing designation: WA anticipated

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CHEM 115-01/L1: Accelerated General Chemistry
Keith Kuwata, Chemistry Department

This course combines topics from both CHEM 111 and CHEM 112 and is meant to be an accelerated one-semester version of General Chemistry. The course begins with a rigorous treatment of atomic and molecular structure, including various models of chemical bonding.  We then apply these ideas to the foundational areas of chemical thermodynamics, electrochemistry, and kinetics.  Laboratory work reinforces concepts from lecture, develops the ability to conduct experiments skillfully and safely,  and provide opportunities to write clearly and critically about scientific data. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Students cannot receive credit for both this course and for either CHEM 111 or CHEM 112 . Lab fee of $12 required. Prerequisite(s): AP CHEM score of 4 or 5; IB CHEM score of 5, 6, or 7; or satisfactory performance on an online placement examination. Some knowledge of calculus is expected. Open only to incoming first-year students.

Class meets MWF 9:40 am – 10:40 am

Writing designation: WA anticipated

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CLAS 194-01: Classics in Film
Brian Lush, The Classical Mediterranean and Middle East Department

This course will explore the filmic legacy of selected texts from the Greek and Roman traditions.  We read and discuss a number of epic and dramatic sources from Mediterranean antiquity, and trace how those narratives are creatively appropriated and deployed in cinema.  The films explored in this course will include not only direct adaptations of ancient stories, but also points of connection between antiquity and film along thematic and stylistic lines.  This course will feature live film viewings and draw upon a broad array of genres from global film-making.

The films that we will view and discuss in this course will include, among numerous others,

  • Hayao Miyazaki’s captivating anime, Spirited Away
  • Aki Kaurismaki’s humanist immigration story, The Other Side of Hope
  • Denis Villeneuve’s expansive Quebecois/Lebanese mystery, Incendies
  • Kathryn Bigelow’s cinematic treatment of war trauma, The Hurt Locker
  • Akira Kurosawa’s groundbreaking samurai masterpiece, Yojimbo
  • Jean Cocteau’s surrealist adaptation of ancient myth, Orpheus

Class meets MWF 2:20 pm – 3:20 pm

Writing designation: WA

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COMP 123-05: Core Concepts in Computer Science  (R)
Susan Fox, Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science Department

At its core, Computer Science is about information and process. Information becomes data that a computer can manipulate; a process describes in a standard way the steps to solve a given problem. The computer and the Internet have transformed our lives by allowing us to store and manipulate data in unprecedented ways, and by automating incredibly complex processes.

Computer science is also fundamentally about the interplay of design, creativity, technique, and experimentation. Creating complex systems or ways to represent complex data requires us to plan carefully (design), and to know how to use the computer’s tools (technique), but we also experience inspiration and build something beautiful out of our imaginations (creativity), and often we just have to get our hands dirty trying things out (experimentation).

This course will introduce you to computer science, including central concepts of the field such as design and implementation of algorithms and programs, testing and analyzing programs, and the representation of information within the computer. Our exploration of these central ideas will be organized around several major topics, including turtle graphics, text and data analysis, image processing, and graphical user interfaces. Throughout, we will apply our techniques to simulations, data analysis, and visualizations that explore topics that make our world a better place. We will use the popular Python programming language.

This course focuses on individual and group activities in the classroom. Most of each class period will be spent working on programming-oriented activities that practice the days’ concepts.

This course is suitable for students who are considering a major or minor in computer science, statistics, mathematics, or data science. It is also a great course for students who are just interested in learning about computer science to support other interests. There are no prerequisites for this course; no background in computing or programming is required.

Class meets MWF 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Writing designation: None

Living arrangements: Single-gender rooms on single gender floors.

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ECON 119-01: Principles of Economics  (R)
Mario Solis-Garcia, Economics Department

Why bother with this course?

Because this course will make you a better citizen of the world, period. In an age of fake news, voodoo economics, and cheap-talk promises, a solid knowledge of economics can help you navigate your life and understand what goes on around it. (And yes, the fact that the world just experienced the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression could also be a good reason to enroll.)

Course description, poetic version: Principles of Economics is an introduction to the concepts, tools, and ideas that shape modern economic theory.

Plain English version: Okay, that description sucked, so let’s give it another try.

Why do markets — understood as a bunch of buyers and sellers of some good or service — “work just fine” most of the time? (There are exceptions, but this holds for nearly all of the goods you buy every day. Trust me on this one.) Following up, why is it that, from time to time, markets don’t perform as they should? (Alternatively, why do markets have such a bad rep?) What if the government forces them to operate in a particular way? Won’t things backfire?

These concerns are enough to keep us busy for a while, but we won’t stop here, since there’s more to do: “buyers” are mere mortals like you and me and “sellers” refer to the firms in the economy — like the ones you may end up working for after graduation. So, talking about the buyers’ side, how should a reasonable person distribute his paycheck between all the goods available to him? On the sellers’ side, how should a down-to-business firm choose how many goods to produce and how much to charge for them?

These questions (and I’m sure you can think of many more) can be answered using the tools of microeconomics. This is the part of economics that analyzes how individual consumers and firms make their decisions in a meaningful way, and how these decisions combine into a market for a particular good.

But we’re only halfway through. What if we aggregate buyers and sellers beyond microeconomic-level markets, at the level of regions or countries? As you’ll see, things look very different when looking at economic aggregates. For example, why do some countries grow vigorously over the long run, but others fail to leave the ground and stagnate instead? Alternatively, why is an average family far better off today than 50 years ago? Or, for that matter, 200 years ago? (Yes, there are exceptions here as well, but this holds for most of the people on the planet. Trust me on this one too.) Now let’s turn our attention to a shorter time horizon. Why do countries recurrently experience recessions and expansions? Are they all the same? Do the decisions of all buyers and sellers in an economy have something to do with recessions and expansions? Is the government to blame, or is there anything that it can do to get the economy out of a downturn? And why did the COVID-19 pandemic generate a depression-like event around the world?

As you may know, these questions lay at the core of macroeconomics, aka the really cool part of economics. (Yes, I’m a very biased macroeconomist. There, I’ve said it.) In the second half of the course, we turn towards the aggregate behavior of consumers, firms, and the government (which plays an important role given fiscal and monetary policy), and how these behaviors give rise to short-run business cycle fluctuations (caused, say, by bad policy … or a global pandemic) and long-run growth.

Boring yet important details

While the course is mostly conducted in traditional lecture style, there will be ample time for practice via problem sets or class discussion (where this discussion is based on relevant real-world events, blog posts, journal articles, or good old newspaper reporting). For reasons that will be apparent as we move through the semester, this course is not a good fit for a WA certification … but we are WP-certified. Bottom line: You’re going to learn a lot of stuff. Get ready to work hard.

Class meets MWF 10:50 am – 11:50 am

Writing designation: WP

Living arrangements: Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single gender bathrooms.

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ECON 119-02: Principles of Economics  (R)
Sarah West, Economics Department

How should policymakers address rising income inequality and climate change? Should the minimum wage be raised? Should countries implement a tax on greenhouse gases? This course introduces the basic tools that economists use to explore these questions and other topics including international trade, immigration, unemployment, poverty, health care, discrimination, financial crises, and the effects of technological change. It covers fundamental economic concepts such as resource scarcity, supply and demand, costs and benefits, trade-offs, and incentives. Students that take this course satisfy a prerequisite for higher-level economics courses, add a valuable component to interdisciplinary majors, and develop skills necessary to understand the economics of public policy. Final grades are based on three exams, homework assignments, and a small research project on a topic of your own choice. This course is a one semester overview of both microeconomics (the study of choices firms, consumers, and governments make) and macroeconomics (the study of the economy as a whole). As a Q3 course, it completes the college’s quantitative thinking requirement.

Class meets TR 9:40 am – 11:10 am

Writing designation:  None

Living arrangements: Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single gender bathrooms.

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EDUC 194-XX:  Education in the Pursuit of Freedom Dreams
Brian Lozenski, Educational Studies Department

This first year course examines traditions and theories of liberatory education. Drawing from historian Robin D.G. Kelley, we will explore the symbiotic relationship between political study and political struggle. The course centers the educational perspectives and practices of those who have experienced the brunt of colonization, land dispossession, racism, labor exploitation, patriarchy, and ableism. How have marginalized communities used education as a tool for social transformation and radical imagination to build a better world?  A goal of the course is for all of us to engage in freedom dreaming, while learning about the educational practices that communities have used to achieve some form of liberation. Important topics we will cover are cultural capital, liberatory praxis, organic intellectualism, fields of power, hidden curricula, and multiliteracies, among others. The course will include multiple modes of teaching and learning including arts-integration, writing, dialogue, field experiences, and multimedia creation. We will hear from local educators and organizers about their work and you will have opportunities to even get involved.

Class meets MWF 10:50 – 111:50 am

Writing designation: TBD

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ENGL 150-05: Introduction to Creative Writing  (R)
Peter Bognanni, English Department

In this course we will dive right into the study of creative writing by reading and writing poetry, flash fiction, short stories, and personal essays. We will study how published authors craft their pieces, how they convey sensation and emotion, and how they artfully tell a story. Along the way, you’ll try your hand at each literary form we study. This is the basic template you can expect on a day-to-day basis. But, beyond this relatively simple pattern, what I hope will happen this term is that you’ll lose yourself to the daring act of creating literature. I hope you’ll disappear into what John Gardener calls the “vivid and continuous dream.” I hope you’ll use your growing knowledge of writing technique and literary history to say something fearless and artful about the world around you. And I hope you will see that what you write matters. Great creative writing aspires to more than just a pleasant diversion from life. At its best, it directly engages with life and even tries to change it. We look to stories, poems, and essays to give us an experience in language that we’ve never had before, to deepen our knowledge of the world, and to allow us into the hearts and minds of others. I hope this semester will be a window into that experience for you.

Class meets TR 9:40 am – 11:10 am

Writing designation: WC

Living arrangements: Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single gender bathrooms.

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ENGL 137-01: Novel  (R)
James Dawes, English Department

In the past fifty years, science fiction has emerged as the primary cultural form for thinking about human extinction: climate catastrophe and natural disasters, plagues that empty continents, and species suicide through war. But science fiction has also emerged as the primary cultural form for imagining a near boundless future through technological progress: artificial superintelligence, cybernetic enhancement of the human, and the possibility of utopian political order. Facing such disorienting and unfathomable changes, science fiction seeks to understand what it means to be a human and to live a meaningful life. Why are we here? What are we to become? How will the promises of technology, or the lethal threats of scarcity, change what it means to be a thinking, feeling human?

In this course we will examine works of science fiction as complex aesthetic achievements, as philosophical inquiries into the nature of being and time, and as theoretical examinations of the nature of human cognition. We will engage in intensive readings of contemporary texts, including works by Ted Chiang, Philip K. Dick, Margaret Atwood, Octavia Bulter, Kazuo Ishiguro, and others. Counts toward the Cognitive Science Concentration.

Class meets TR 9:40 am – 11:10 am

Writing designation: WA

Living arrangements: Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single gender bathrooms.

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ENVI 194-01: Introduction to Sustainability  (R)
Chris Wells, Environmental Studies Department

The term “sustainability” is everywhere, but its meanings can be slippery. On one hand, it is used to conjure green virtue, in the form of catchy advertising slogans, desirable consumer goods, and action items drawn from one of those lists: Ten Simple Things YOU Can Do to Save the Planet! On the other hand, sustainability is also a rich, interdisciplinary field of study and action. In this course, we will learn about sustainability as a sophisticated way to understand, analyze, and assess a complex world. We will look at problems that play out across scales from the local to the global, that are woven into the fabric of our everyday lives, and that have no obvious, straightforward solutions. We will also engage sustainability as a set of analytical tools designed to grapple with some of the thorniest and most important questions of our time: How can people work together to imagine and build just and equitable communities while nurturing healthier, more resilient ecosystems? And how can we understand and confront the complicated social, environmental, and economic problems of modern life in the context of a rapidly warming world?

Class meets TR 9:40 am – 11:10 am

Writing designation:  WA anticipated

Living arrangements: Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single gender bathrooms.

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FREN 194-01: Performing Exile: Immigration and Adaptation in Francophone Theater
Juliette Rogers, French and Francophone Studies Department

“In every one of us there’s an actor… every human being is a miniature theater.”

— Augusto Boal, founder of The Theater of the Oppressed, Paris

Playwrights of the past fifty years have sought to bring topics of contemporary concern to the stage and screen, including the three main topics that we will explore together in this course: the act of writing and performing while living in exile, the idea of the Other on the stage, and the development of colonial and post-colonial subjects in French drama. During the course, we will expand our understanding of human rights and humanitarianism as it relates to immigration, adaptation, and exile. We will also examine Boal’s notion that we are all actors, directors, costumers and spectators of our lives.

The course will be a mix of seminar discussion, scene readings, and student presentations. In addition to literary and cultural analyses of the plays, we will also learn blocking and staging techniques as well as performance theory. The course will conclude with a creative writing project. Authors and filmmakers studied will include Aimé Césaire, Abla Farhoud, Wajdi Mouawad, and Denis Villeneuve, among others.

 Note: this course will be taught entirely in English. All texts are available in English translation, and all class discussions and writing assignments will be in English. Therefore, no previous background in French is required. If you do have an advanced level of French, there is the possibility of doing the readings and assignments in French, for credit toward the French major or minor.

Class meets MWF 1:10 pm – 2:10 pm

Writing designation: WA

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FREN 194-02:  Food in French and Francophone Culture:  The Local and the Global
Joelle Vitiello, French and Francophone Studies Department

France is famous for its food and cuisine. What makes it unique? How does French food translate French culture? What changes occurred throughout history? From medieval recipes to the first public restaurants, from the introduction of the first tomato dish to the new trends in branding water, chocolate, tea, vanilla or coffee, we will explore different topics related to food in France and the Francophone world, such as the impact of travel and colonial development on French food and on food in French colonies or the significance of rituals and traditions associated with food, among others. These questions will be addressed through a variety of films, media and texts.

The course will provide a frame to engage creatively with issues of sustainability in Western and non-Western francophone cultures and communities through the study of representations, production, circulation and consumption of food. From cheese stories to existentialist cafés in Paris, from Haitian sugar to North African couscous and Bourbon Island vanilla, the course will explore our connection to food, locally and globally.

The course has a double objective: to familiarize students with French and Francophone cultures and to introduce students to different and innovative ways of considering sustainability issues from different cultural perspectives. The format of the course is a seminar, based on student discussions, research, and presentations. It satisfies the WA (Writing Argumentative) and Internationalism requirements. It counts toward the African Studies and the Food Studies Concentrations.

The course is taught in English.
Class meets TR 9:40 am – 11:10 am

Writing designation: WA

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GEOG 242-01  Regional Geography of the U.S and Canada  (R)
Laura Smith, Geography Department

Geography is much more than a collection of facts about capital cities and mountain ranges; the essence of geography is to study why locations and features matter.  How have human activities and social/cultural characteristics in a place been shaped by the landscape?  And in turn, how has the landscape been shaped by human activities?

In Regional Geography of the United States and Canada, we will tackle relevant and engaging questions such as:

  • What characteristics give “The South” a stronger regional image than other areas of the U.S. and Canada?
  • Can the Colorado River continue to sustain fast-growing cities like Las Vegas and Phoenix in the Interior West region?
  • Can we – or should we? – reverse the dramatic loss of population from the Great Plains region?
  • What are the cultural and economic effects of language in the French Canada region?

Throughout the semester, we will explore the ways in which diverse groups of people interact with the natural environment to produce the contemporary landscapes (human and physical) and regional differentiation (social and cultural) of the U.S. and Canada.  We will discuss patterns of human settlement, economic activity, and land use, with special attention given to social and legal issues relevant to Native populations in the U.S. and the historic and current status and development of Native lands.  This course fulfills the U.S. Identities and Differences (USID) general education requirement.

This course will introduce you to a variety of concepts and methods that geographers use to analyze spatial patterns and processes.  It is designed to be interactive; we often draw on classmates’ “regions of expertise” to learn from each other.  In addition – because fieldwork is central to developing our skills of observation and analysis and to improving our understanding of places and regions – we will also head into the field (contingent on public health guidelines at the time) for some first-hand experience with the Boreal Forest region of northern Minnesota.  Here we will explore the “reinvention” of a traditional natural resource-based regional economy: the impact of iron ore mining on the cities and populations of Minnesota’s Iron Range, the historic and contemporary forestry and paper industries of the area, and the urban redevelopment strategies of the international port of Duluth on Lake Superior.  Our visit to the Heritage Center of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa and their tribal casino development will allow us to also experience and explore cultural history and contemporary Native American economic development issues in the region.

As a First-Year Course, considerable emphasis will be placed on research and writing; this course also fulfills the Argumentative Writing (WA) general education requirement.  In addition to short writing assignments throughout the semester (e.g., map and visual image interpretations, reflective field essay, policy recommendation), you will complete a final independent research project on a regional geography question of your choosing.

Geographers are broadly trained to analyze, synthesize, and visualize – and are well prepared to study contemporary issues from urban to rural and from local to global.  Experience geography by exploring the U.S. and Canada with us!

Class meets MWF 10:50 am – 11:50 am

Writing designation: WA

Living arrangements:  Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors, and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single gender bathrooms.

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GEOG 258-01: Geography of Environmental Hazards  (R)
Eric Carter, Geography Department

The study of environmental hazards stands at a key point of intersection between the natural and social sciences. Geography, with its focus on human-environment interactions, provides key analytical tools for understanding the complex causes and uneven impacts of hazards around the world. We will explore the geophysical nature and social dimensions of disasters caused by floods, droughts, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, and wildfires. For each of these hazard types, we apply theoretical concepts from major hazards research paradigms, including quantifying the human and economic impacts of disaster; assessing, managing, and mitigating risk; and reducing the impacts of disaster, not only through engineering works but also by reducing social vulnerability and enhancing adaptive capacity. Looking into the future, we will discuss how global-scale processes, such as climate change and globalization, might affect the frequency, intensity, and geographical distribution of environmental hazards in the decades to come. Since this is a first-year course, we will also emphasize developing your skills in written and oral communication, scholarly research, and information literacy.

Class meets MWF 9:40 am – 10:40 am

Writing designation: WA

Living arrangements:  Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors, and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single gender bathrooms.

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GEOL 160-02/ENVI 160-02; GEOL 160-L3/ENVI 160-L3: Dynamic Earth and Global Change  (R)
Kelly MacGregor/Jeff Thole, Geology Department

The planet Earth is an amazing place, with a dynamic interior and surface even after 4.6 billion years under its belt. At its most basic, this class is an introduction to the materials and structure of the Earth, and to the processes acting on and in the Earth to produce change. We will begin to learn the language of geology through a study of plate tectonics, planetary structure, and rocks of all sorts.  I am particularly interested in the physical forces that shape the surface of the Earth, and I am excited to teach you about a multitude of surface processes that shape our planet (rivers and glaciers and landslides, oh my!) and tell you about my research on glaciers and in rivers. The planet has begun to show signs of our expanding population and the increasing need for natural resources, and we will consider the feedbacks between humans and the Earth as well.

Broadly, the goals of the course are three-fold: first, to introduce the materials and processes that govern the evolution of the Earth; second, to examine global environmental changes in the context of natural processes; and third, to inspire you to develop a lifelong interest in the planet on which you reside.  The course begins with an overview of the origin of the solar system and other planets.  Next, you will learn about Earth materials and how to interpret the significance of minerals and rocks in the context of our dynamic planet. We will examine the composition, structure, and evolution of the interior of our planet, as well as the well-accepted (but not complete) model of plate tectonics. We will also spend time examining the forces that shape our continental surfaces, including surface and groundwater movement, hillslope processes, coastlines, wind and deserts, and glacial processes. Throughout the course, I will strive to link the academic study of our planet to ‘real-life’ situations and events, and demonstrate the importance of understanding earth processes to being an educated global citizen. Finally, through explicit writing instruction and several fun assignments, you will improve upon your argumentative writing skills in the scientific context.

The course has no prerequisites, and I expect most of you may not have had a physical or environmental sciences course since middle school!  We will have weekly lab meetings (in addition to class), and one overnight field trip to northern Minnesota (pandemic-permitting) – woo hoo!

Class meets MWF 9:40 am – 10:40 am; Lab meets R 8:00 am – 11:10 am
Writing designation: WA

Living arrangements:  Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors, and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single gender bathrooms.

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GERM 194-01: Our Cyborgs, Ourselves  (R)
David Martyn, German and Russian Studies Department

A cyborg is any technologically enhanced human being. Defined this way, cyborgs are present wherever people grow attached to their technology, from brain-computer interfaces to artificial limbs to you and your smartphone (we are all hard-wired to the internet now) and arguably all the way back to the prototype of our species, homo sapiens, the animal whose signature characteristic was their use of tools. In this course, we will explore the cyborg across a wide range of cultural and theoretical sources, from literature (E.T.A Hoffmann’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” on which the ballet is based; Goethe’s Faust) to film (Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, the main inspiration for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner) to material history (puppets, marionettes, and 19th-century toy manufacturing in Nuremberg). We’ll read philosophical anthropology on the idea of the human as deficient being, compelled to reinvent itself with tools and technology in order to survive. Discussion topics will include: what does the cyborg in culture and theory tell us about the limits of the human? Where does culture begin and biology end? Why are cyborgs either hyper-gendered, androgenous, or both at the same time, and what does this tell us about gender? Weekly reading responses; several short essays spread over the semester; a final, building on the shorter essays. The course counts for the argumentative writing and internationalism general education requirements. Taught in English; no prerequisites.

Class meets TR 9:40 am – 11:10 am

Writing designation: WA

Living arrangements:  Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors, and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single gender bathrooms.

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HIST 194-01: Nature and Power
Ernesto Capello, History Department

Faculty members: Sarah Boyer (Biology), Ernie Capello (History), Ruthann Godollei (Art & Art History)

How do we observe, interpret, and understand the diverse world of living things that we see all around us?  Students in our collaborative First-Year Course will explore this question from historical, artistic, and scientific perspectives.

The Enlightenment approach to naming, categorizing, and representing the diversity of life dominates current academic science.  Military activity enabled the work of key founding figures of this tradition; e.g., Charles Darwin’s critical insights were made as part of a British naval expedition whose ultimate goal was to maintain and expand colonial power.  This approach to understanding nature has been practiced through striking traditions of drawing, printmaking, taxidermy, and cabinets of curiosities. Students will confront the practices and institutions of the biodiversity sciences in historical and political context.  We will engage with indigenous counter-narratives and approaches to understanding nature outside of normative European colonial practices.  Finally, we will work together to think critically about how we might decolonize institutions such as museums of natural history, approaches to visual culture and the biodiversity sciences more generally.

Course activities will include active visual interpretation of nature through the production of artistic works, fieldtrips to museums such as the Minnesota Insect Collection and the Bell Museum of Natural History, and interpretation of archival materials such as Macalester’s Encyclopedie (Diderot), the Wangensteen Library’s Surinaamsche insecten engravings by Maria Sibylla Merian or the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Amazonian collection.  One possible culminating project would be for students to develop a decolonial cabinet of curiosities in collaboration with the Macalester archives.

Class meets W 1:10 pm – 4:10 pm

Writing designation: WA anticipated

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INTL 110-01: Introduction to International Studies: Globalization–Homogeneity and Heterogeneity
Ahmed Samatar, International Studies Department

The hallmarks of the age of globalization are everywhere. How to understand this contested phenomenon and act prudently in such demanding ambience is imperative for individuals, communities, and all societies. This course offers at once an exciting and challenging intellectual journey to explore the history and the contemporary contours of globalization. Specific attention is given to ecological, economic, cultural, and political spheres. Careful reading, rigorous thinking, and self-lucidity in speaking and writing are stressed on all occasions.

Class meets TR 1:20 pm – 2:50 pm

Writing designation: WA

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LATI 194-01/PORT 194-01: Soultracking Brazil: Shuffling through the Sounds of a Musical Nation  (R)
J. Ernesto Ortiz-Diaz, Spanish and Portuguese Department and Latin American Studies Program

What binds together a continental-sized country, stretching across both hemispheres and four time zones, made up by a wide array of landscapes and climates, encompassing half of the population of South America and with a society that is the quintessence of racial diversity?

In this course, we will study how the idea of Brazil as a nation rests upon the ongoing creation of a popular soundtrack that brings the country’s different cultural regions closer through a melody of sounds, rhythms, and musical genres.

Every week, we will shuffle through the national musical archive to look for the soul of Brazil to the beats of samba, bossa nova, modinha, xote, forró, lundu, frevo, carimbó, maxixe, maracatu, among many others.

As we explore the musical richness of Brazil, we will also reflect on how concepts like gender, identity, race, ethnicity, and class have informed the national music scene.

This course will be taught in English.

This will be a residential First Year Course .

This course is designated as a WA writing requirement.

This course is designated to satisfy the Internationalism GER.

Class meets TR 1:20 pm – 2:50 pm

Writing designation: WA

Living arrangements: Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors, and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single-gender bathrooms.

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MATH 279-01: Discrete Mathematics: Puzzles 101  (R)
Kristin Heysse, Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science Department

What makes a good puzzle? It could be its elegant presentation, how it arises from application, or simply that it’s fun to think about. However, most have a common core: an idea that wants to be explored and explained.

1.) How many colors are needed to fully paint a world map so no touching countries get the same color?
2.) Can a knight move around a standard chessboard visiting every square exactly once?
3.) About how many possible sudoku grids are there?

Puzzles like these are easy to state, but the specialized tools needed to develop their solutions are at the heart of discrete mathematics. These methods apply to all sorts of problems in our computer driven age. If you want to study a network, find an optimal strategy, or build an algorithm, you’ll need discrete math!

Oh, and by the way, the answers are: (1) 4, (2) yes (in several ways), and (3) 10^21. However, these answers are only part of the story. How do we know those solutions are correct and how did we find them? In this class, we’ll develop ways to convey our mathematical arguments clearly and completely, outside of traditional formulas and computations. In doing so, we’ll open the door to upper level mathematical thinking and become not just computers, but problem solvers.

Math 279 counts towards both the Mathematics and Computer Science majors, as well as the Natural Science and Mathematics distribution requirement. Additionally, as it carries a “Q1” designation, Math 279 partially satisfies the Quantitative Thinking general education requirement. Students enrolling in this course are required to simultaneously enroll in an argumentative writing (WA) or writing as craft (WC) course towards fulfillment of the college writing requirement. Math 279 will be a residential first-year course.

Class meets MWF 10:50 am – 11:50 am

Writing designation: None

Living arrangements: Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors, and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single-gender bathrooms.

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MCST 194-03: Camera as Witness? The Role of Images in the Social Construction of Truth
Michael Griffin, Media and Cultural Studies Department

It is often assumed that visual images simply reflect reality, and faith in the veracity of pictures often carries over to a less than critical stance towards media representations of all kinds. This course introduces you to the field of media and cultural studies by focusing on a deeper understanding of the role played by visual images in creating mediated experiences and constructing the authority of media accounts. Drawing from the history of visual cultures and picture use and relating that history to contemporary media practices, including the shifting nature of visual images in digital environments, we will explore the particular roles and functions of visual images for journalism, documentary, publicity and political communication, and analyze the ways in which pictures and moving images engage our attention, potentially disarm our critical faculties, and contribute to the rhetorical and persuasive influence of media presentations. Writing assignments will focus on specific photographs, films, commercial or political advertisements and help you synthesize knowledge and methods of analysis from exercises, lectures, and readings. An independent project will help you hone your visual analysis skills, argumentative writing and ability to conduct college-level research. This course satisfies the college’s W(A) – writing as argument – general education requirement.

Class meets MWF 1:10 pm – 2:10 pm

Writing designation: WA

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MUSI 180-01: Music, Race, and Ethnicity  (R)
Chuen-Fung Wong, Music Department

Ideas of race/ethnicity are integral to identities, aesthetics, and other domains of human experience. As sound and performance, music provides a means by which racial/ethnic boundaries are recognized and negotiated. This course examines how race/ethnicity participates in the production and consumption of musical sound, structuring our musical tastes and organizing our social lives. Examples and case studies are drawn from a wide range of world genres and styles. Readings and audiovisual examples address topics such as authenticity, exoticism, nationalism, diaspora, subaltern consciousness, among others. No previous knowledge of instrument or notation is assumed.

Class meets MWF 10:50 am – 11:50 am

Writing designation: None

Living arrangements: Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors, and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single-gender bathrooms.

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PHIL 100-01: Introduction to Philosophy: With Film
Geoffrey Gorham, Philosophy Department

In this class we will explore and discuss what the greatest philosophers have said about the fundamental puzzles of human existence – such as the nature of reality, knowledge, freedom, personal identity, morality and death – tracing paths of intellectual development from the beginnings of philosophy in the ancient world to the ‘postmodern condition’ of contemporary thought. To supplement our study of major philosophical texts of Plato, Confucius, Lao-Tzu, Augustine, Averroes, Descartes, Hume, Kant and so on, we will read philosophical literature and view and discuss a number of films. Philosophical literature has been around as long as philosophy, but film is a recent human invention that seems to provide a very useful medium for philosophy. We will consider how fictions and films illustrate the philosophical problems that we are studying and also examine puzzles about the nature of fiction and film itself: Are there truths and falsehoods about fiction and film? Why do fiction and films engage us? Why do we enjoy sad and terrifying fiction and films? What is the nature of time and space in these media? Can we ‘do’ philosophy with fiction and film? We will also consider philosophical issues related to other ‘moving image’ media such as video games and virtual reality. Assignments will be mostly short papers. Class sessions will be a mixture of lecture, viewings and discussion. Grades will be primarily based on short written papers and take-home exams. No texts to purchase. I plan to teach this class ‘hybrid’.

Class meets TR 9:40 am – 11:10 am

Writing designation: WA

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PHIL 100-02: Introduciton to Philosophy: With Film
Geoffrey Gorham, Philosophy Department

In this class we will explore and discuss what the greatest philosophers have said about the fundamental puzzles of human existence – such as the nature of reality, knowledge, freedom, personal identity, morality and death – tracing paths of intellectual development from the beginnings of philosophy in the ancient world to the ‘postmodern condition’ of contemporary thought. To supplement our study of major philosophical texts of Plato, Confucius, Lao-Tzu, Augustine, Averroes, Descartes, Hume, Kant and so on, we will read philosophical literature and view and discuss a number of films. Philosophical literature has been around as long as philosophy, but film is a recent human invention that seems to provide a very useful medium for philosophy. We will consider how fictions and films illustrate the philosophical problems that we are studying and also examine puzzles about the nature of fiction and film itself: Are there truths and falsehoods about fiction and film? Why do fiction and films engage us? Why do we enjoy sad and terrifying fiction and films? What is the nature of time and space in these media? Can we ‘do’ philosophy with fiction and film? We will also consider philosophical issues related to other ‘moving image’ media such as video games and virtual reality. Assignments will be mostly short papers. Class sessions will be a mixture of lecture, viewings and discussion. Grades will be primarily based on short written papers and take-home exams. No texts to purchase. I plan to teach this class ‘hybrid’.

Class meets TR 1:20 pm – 2:50 pm

Writing designation: WA

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PHYS 194-01/PHYS 194-L1, PHYS 194-L2: Rocket Science  (R)
Tonnis ter Veldhuis, Physics and Astronomy Department

Prof. Tonnis ter Veldhuis (terveldhuis@macalester.edu) will teach PHYS194-01, “Rocket Science,” a rocketry-themed, calculus-based introductory physics course for first-year students only. The course covers standard material such as Newton’s laws, conservation of energy, linear momentum, and angular momentum, oscillations and orbital dynamics, but with a strong focus on applying these basic physics principles to rocket propulsion and flight. In the process, we will explore the dynamics of past and planned space agency missions designed to investigate asteroids, planets and their moons, and comets. Instead of a conventional lab, the course includes a hands-on, semester-long project where students design, simulate, build, and launch their own high-power rockets. Apart from the rocket building project, evaluation will take the form of regular problem sets, exams, short papers, and a research paper. Some high school physics and calculus are recommended. Rocket Science can be substituted for the course Principles of Physics I towards the physics major and provides a solid foundation for Principles of Physics II.

General Education Requirements:
Quantitative Thinking Q3 (anticipated)
Writing WA

Distribution Requirements:
Natural science and mathematics

Residential: Yes

Details about the physics major and required courses can be found at http://www.macalester.edu/academics/physics/majorsminors/.

Class meets MWF 9:40 am – 10:40 am; L1 meets T 8:00 am – 11:10 am; L2 meets T 1:20 pm – 4:30 pm

Writing designation: WA

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POLI 141-01/LATI 141-01/WGSS 141-01: Lain American through Women’s Eyes  (R)
Paul Dosh, Political Science Department

Latin American women have overcome patriarchal “machismo” to serve as presidents, mayors, guerrilla leaders, union organizers, artists, intellectuals, and human rights activists.  Through a mix of theoretical, empirical, and testimonial work, we will explore issues such as feminist challenges to military rule in Chile, anti-feminist politics in Nicaragua, the intersection of gender and democratization in Cuba, and women’s organizing amid civil war in Colombia.  Teaching methods include discussion, debates, simulations, analytic papers, partisan narratives, lecture, film, poetry, and a biographical essay.

This class employs an innovative system of qualitative assessment.  Students take the course “S/SD/N with Written Evaluation.”  This provides a powerful opportunity for students to stretch their limits in a learning community with high expectations, but without a high-pressure atmosphere.  This ungraded course has been approved for inclusion on major/minor/concentration plans in Political Science, Latin American Studies, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Human Rights and Humanitarianism.

*Fulfills the Argumentative Writing and Internationalism requirements. 

Class meets TR 1:20 pm – 2:50 pm

Writing designation: WA

Living arrangements: Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors, and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single-gender bathrooms.

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POLI 221-01: Global Governance  (R)
Wendy Weber, Political Science Department

This course is designed to introduce students to the study of global governance. It is divided into five main parts. Part one begins with the concept of global governance. Part two then examines some of the central features of contemporary global governance including the nature and role of states, international organizations and global civil society as well as issues of leadership and multilateralism. The focus here is on how patterns of governance have changed and are changing, and on the implications of these changes for democracy, legitimacy, and social justice. Parts three, four and five of the course continue this exploration of contemporary global governance, focusing on key issues and developments in the areas of international peace and security, human rights and international humanitarian law, and economic governance. Some of the questions that will be addressed are: What norms govern the use of force in contemporary world politics? How have these norms been challenged and/or changed in the context of recent armed conflicts and humanitarian crises? What is the difference between human rights law and international humanitarian law?  How are these laws enforced? How is the global economy governed in the era of globalization?  In what ways is global economic governance contested? We will address these and other questions through a mix of class discussions, in-class simulations and other activities, and writing assignments.

Class meets TR 9:40 am – 11:10 am

Writing designation: WA anticipated

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PSYC 194-01: Psychology of Right and Wrong  (R)
Steve Guglielmo, Psychology Department

Whether reading the news, reflecting on historical events, or enjoying a work of fiction, our daily lives are infused with considerations about moral and immoral behavior. In this course, we’ll explore the psychological processes that underlie our ideas about right and wrong, helping us to understand and improve our own moral decisions. What sort of acts do we see as immoral, and how do we hold people accountable for them? How do we make sense of social inequality, and how do we make up for past moral failings? What role does empathy play in producing more fair and equitable behavior? Through readings and class discussion, this course will take an interdisciplinary approach to examining these questions, considering research from various subfields in psychology, as well as perspectives from philosophy, sociology, and artificial intelligence.

Class meets MWF 9:40 am – 10:40 am

Writing designation: WA

Living arrangements: Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors, and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single-gender bathrooms.

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RELI 194-01: Virginity: From Mary to Millenials
Susanna Drake, Religious Studies Department

In this course you will explore the diverse understandings of Christian sexual renunciation from the first century, C.E. to today.  From the veneration of the Virgin Mary in early and medieval Christianity to the more recent celebration of virgins and born-again virgins in U.S. pop culture, many Christians have understood the practice of virginity as a mark of spiritual progress or perfection.  You will examine the rise of Christian sexual renunciation in the first through fourth centuries, C.E., the veneration of virgin saints in the Middle Ages, the shifting attitudes toward virginity in the Reformation era, the recent development of Christian chastity movements in the U.S. (True Love Waits, Silver Ring Thing), and the proliferation of Christian chastity advice literature.  In written assignments and class discussions, you will explore how Christian practices of renunciation draw upon and contribute to cultural understandings of gender, sexuality, race, and the body.

In three short reflection papers and one final project, you will use your own writing as an occasion to come to terms with the cultures of virginity and how they relate to the history of Christianity. In-class writing workshops will provide you an opportunity to discuss your and your peers’ writing and hone skills in argumentation, organization, style, and revision.  This class fulfills a writing requirement (WA).

Class meets MWF 9:40 am – 10:40 am

Writing designation: WA

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RUSS 194-01: Social Design: History, Theory, and Praxis  (R)
Julia Chadaga, Russian Studies Department

In this co-taught, interdisciplinary First Year Course, students will learn about the revolutionary potential of design and how it can transform their lives and their communities. Participants will discover the design field’s history and theoretical underpinnings as well as how to make socially-meaningful designs through hands-on projects.

Throughout the course, we will investigate the processes and practices of design as well as the effects that design has on society, culture, and the environment. Some of our key topics will include issues of gender and race; consumption, social responsibility, and globalization; and politics and activism. The course will take advantage of campus resources including the new Studio Art and Theater facilities, the Idea Lab, the Digital Resource Center, and the Entrepreneurship Office. We will also connect with local designers who will open their studios to us and join us in creative discussions. This course will be co-taught by faculty from three different departments: Julia Chadaga (Russian Studies), Joanna Inglot (Art and Art History), and Mina Kinukawa (Theater and Dance). Each section will cover the same material and meet at the same time. Students will have opportunities to work with all three professors, occasionally meet up with students in the other sections, and take local field trips together if health and safety conditions allow. All of the participating departments will allow the course to count for a major or minor. This course will fulfill the Internationalism and WA (Argumentative Writing) General Education Requirements. No previous experience with design is required, and all are welcome.

Class meets TR 1:20 pm – 2:50 pm

Writing designation: WA

Living arrangements: Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single gender bathrooms.

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SOCI 190-01: Criminal Behavior/Social Control
Erik Larson, Sociology Department

For about three decades in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the population of people in the US under various forms of correctional supervision massively expanded. By 2008, the equivalent of 1 out of every 100 adults in the country were incarcerated. More than two times more individuals were under some form of criminal supervision outside of prisons and jails. Even with a decade of decline, the number of people incarcerated or under other correctional supervision in the US in 2018 (the most recent data available) is more than three times as large as in 1980. What are the consequences of this growth in punishment? How should we understand how and why punishment expanded so much?

This course uses evidence from social science and theory and concepts from sociology to address these questions. We begin with a brief discussion of the idea of social control as a process, considering how social control practices have grown in size, reach, and formality, as specialized institutions took on the task of responding to behavior that breaches societal expectations. We then briefly survey a range of theories from criminology, asking us to consider how to understand crime as a phenomenon. The bulk of the course examines the formal institutions charged with responding to crime: we examine the growth and consequences of criminal punishment; how criminal courts shape both punishment and communities; and examine policing and detention. Throughout the semester, we will discuss the material we read for each class (some weeks will involve a relatively large amount of reading, but it should be interesting material) and students will complete a semester-long paper on a policy proposal related to one or more course themes.

Class meets MWF 2:20 pm – 3:20 pm

Writing designation: WA

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SPAN 306-01: Spanish for Heritage Speakers: Latin American and Latinx Cultures
Alicia Muñoz, Spanish and Portuguese Department

This course is designed for heritage speakers of Spanish: those who grew up speaking Spanish at home, with extended families and in their communities. Leaning on all of their previous experience with the language, the course seeks to enrich and complement the students’ linguistic repertoire by further developing their communicative abilities in Spanish, both verbal and written, especially in an academic context. Class content will focus on Latin America and the U.S. Latinx population. Through discussion and analysis of literary works, films, critical articles, and personal experiences, we will examine constructions of race and ethnicity, the politics of language, human rights violations, immigration, and family and cultural beliefs. This course is the equivalent to SPAN 305 for those interested in the Spanish major or minor. (Students cannot earn credit for both 305 and 306).  Prerequisite(s): SPAN 204 or SPAN 220 with a minimum grade of C- or a score above 550 on the Spanish placement test.

Class meets MWF 9:40 am – 10:40 am

Writing designation: WA

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THDA 105-01: Seeing Performance in the Twin Cities  (R)
Claudia Tatinge Nascimento, Theater and Dance Department

In this course, first-year students critically attend live dance and theatre performances in the exciting arts scene of the Twin Cities, and articulate their individual reactions by writing reviews, responses, and essays. In this process of studied spectatorship, students acquire the vocabularies of the field. Readings include seminal texts in dance and theatre criticism, as well as manifestos and scholarly articles. We will attend dance and theatre performances at professional venues such as the Walker Arts Center, the Guthrie, Penumbra Theatre, Mixed Blood, Northrop Auditorium, and Cowles Center.

General Education Requirements:
U.S. Identities and Differences
Writing WA

Distribution Requirements:
Fine arts

Class meets TR 1:20 pm – 2:50 pm

Writing designation: WA

Living arrangements: Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single gender bathrooms.

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THDA 105-02: Seeing Performance in the Twin Cities  (R)
Wynn Fricke, Theater and Dance Department

In this course, first-year students critically attend live dance and theatre performances in the exciting arts scene of the Twin Cities, and articulate their individual reactions by writing reviews, responses, and essays. In this process of studied spectatorship, students acquire the vocabularies of the field. Readings include seminal texts in dance and theatre criticism, as well as manifestos and scholarly articles. We will attend dance and theatre performances at professional venues such as the Walker Arts Center, the Guthrie, Penumbra Theatre, Mixed Blood, Northrop Auditorium, and Cowles Center.

General Education Requirements:
U.S. Identities and Differences
Writing WA

Distribution Requirements:
Fine arts

Class meets TR 1:20 pm – 2:50 pm

Writing designation: WA

Living arrangements: Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single gender bathrooms.

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THDA 194-01: Social Design: History, Theory, and Praxis  (R)
Mina Kinukawa, Theater and Dance Department

In this co-taught, interdisciplinary First Year Course, students will learn about the revolutionary potential of design and how it can transform their lives and their communities. Participants will discover the design field’s history and theoretical underpinnings as well as how to make socially-meaningful designs through hands-on projects.

Throughout the course, we will investigate the processes and practices of design as well as the effects that design has on society, culture, and the environment. Some of our key topics will include issues of gender and race; consumption, social responsibility, and globalization; and politics and activism. The course will take advantage of campus resources including the new Studio Art and Theater facilities, the Idea Lab, the Digital Resource Center, and the Entrepreneurship Office. We will also connect with local designers who will open their studios to us and join us in creative discussions. This course will be co-taught by faculty from three different departments: Julia Chadaga (Russian Studies), Joanna Inglot (Art and Art History), and Mina Kinukawa (Theater and Dance). Each section will cover the same material and meet at the same time. Students will have opportunities to work with all three professors, occasionally meet up with students in the other sections, and take local field trips together if health and safety conditions allow. All of the participating departments will allow the course to count for a major or minor. This course will fulfill the Internationalism and WA (Argumentative Writing) General Education Requirements. No previous experience with design is required, and all are welcome.

Class meets TR 1:20 pm – 2:50 pm

Writing designation: WA

Living arrangements: Single-gender rooms on co-ed floors.  Single-gender bathrooms are available on all floors and some floors also have all-gender bathrooms in addition to the single gender bathrooms.

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