Past Clusters

IS175f  Ancient Greece: Nature and Culture in Classical Athens   


An interdisciplinary introduction to the world of ancient Greece. A three-course cluster focusing on historical, philosophical, scientific, and literary texts to examine how the Greeks made sense of themselves and their social and natural worlds. See Anthropology 175; Philosophy 175; AND Science, Technology, and Society 175; for course descriptions.  Satisfies the Historical Studies, Literature, and Social Science distribution requirements. Twelve credit hours.  BARRETT, GORDON, PETERSON

AY175  Ordering the Cosmos

Ancient Greece is often seen as providing the foundations for the cultural and intellectual history of the West. The grounds for such a view, and an examination of what makes ancient Greece culturally distinctive. “Cosmos” is Greek meaning “order” or “arrangement.” We will ask how Greeks understood and made sense of their world, as we explore the “cosmos” of their making. Grounding an inquiry in literary texts and taking into account a range of domains, from the theological to the social and ethnographic, we ask how various systems of thought worked to produce order in their world. Topics include cosmology, religion and magic, sexuality, culinary practices, and the Greeks’ own interest in cultural difference. Part of the three-course Integrated Studies 175 cluster, “Ancient Greece: Nature and Culture in Classical Athens.”
Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in Philosophy 175 and Science, Technology, and Society 175. Four credit hours.  L.  BARRETT

PL175  Ancient Greek Thought

Western philosophy was not born in Greece, it was constructed there. Distinguishing itself from poetry, myth, and other rhetorical forms was one of the most important achievements of ancient Greek philosophy. An examination of Plato’s philosophy especially as a response to the poets, sophists, and speech writers who preceded him. We will read several Platonic dialogues and some of the classical texts to which they are a response, exploring the manner in which Socrates attempts to distinguish philosophy from these other forms of discourse. Part of the three-course Integrated Studies 175 cluster, “Ancient Greece: Nature and Culture in Classical Athens.”
Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in Anthropology 175 and Science, Technology, and Society 175. Four credit hours.  S.  GORDON

ST175  Science in Ancient Greece

Ancient Greek theories about the natural world began in wonder about its constituent elements. But as the Greeks acquired a philosophically sophisticated understanding of the nature of scientific explanations, their speculation soon gave way to the conceptual rigor of Aristotelian physics, the technical and encyclopedic accomplishments of Hippocratic medicine, and the mathematical exactitude of Ptolemaic astronomy. Fosters the skills needed for historical contextualization and textual interpretation enabling us to trace the development of what became the foundations of Western scientific thinking. Part of the three-course Integrated Studies 175 cluster, “Ancient Greece: Nature and Culture in Classical Athens.”
Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in Anthropology 175 and Philosophy 175. Four credit hours.  H.  PETERSON

IS129s  Islands in the Sun   

A three-course cluster with a focus on islands as lands of special origin and biological richness–lands that, as settings, give their own special twist to literature and film as well. Special attention will be paid to the scientific importance of the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador. See Biology 129, English 129, and Geology 129 for course descriptions. Fulfills the Composition (English 115) and the
laboratory and non-laboratory Natural Science requirements. Twelve credit hours.  BURKE, NELSON, WILSON

BI129  Islands and Evolution

Beginning with the writings of Darwin on his visit to the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, students will learn the pivotal role the Galapagos Islands and other islands have played in the development of the theory of evolution. Students will understand the process of natural selection and other evolutionary processes in shaping the flora and fauna of islands around the world. The biota of the Galapagos Islands in particular continue to play a major role in evolutionary research and will be a focus of study. Part of the three-course Integrated Studies 129 cluster, “Islands in the Sun.”
Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in English 129 and Geology 129. Four credit hours. N.  WILSON

EN129  Islands in the Sun

Considers the ways in which islands function in literature and popular culture as microcosms and reductions of society, as rich metaphors and settings, and as self-contained entities. Students will study imaginative texts and popular culture products that focus on or are set on islands, including Robinson CrusoeLord of the Flies, and Lost. Fulfills the Composition requirement (English 115). Part of the three-course Integrated Studies 129 cluster, “Islands in the Sun.”
Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in Biology 129 and Geology 129. Four credit hours.  BURKE

GE129  Geology of Islands

Explores the geological and biological origins of islands as physical entities. Students will come to appreciate the many diverse processes that create and maintain islands, as well as the significance of islands in the world around us, including their influence on surrounding marine environments and how they are in turn influenced by those marine environments. The Galapagos Islands in particular have played a pivotal role in the development of scientific thinking since the 19th century, and will be a focus of study. Lecture and laboratory. Part of the three-course Integrated Studies 129 cluster, “Islands in the Sun.”
Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in Biology 129 and English 129. Four credit hours.  N.  NELSON

IS137s  America in the 1930s

The devastating crash of the U.S. economy in 1929 caused many Americans to lose faith in the existing economic, political, and social order of the nation. The loss of confidence in some of their most fundamental beliefs about the world led American writers, artists, philosophers, designers, and scientists to look both to the American past and to Europe as they sought to reinvent and re-imagine a vibrant new American future out of the ruins of the old. See American Studies 137A, American Studies 137B and Philosophy 137 for course descriptions. Satisfies the Arts, Composition (English 115), History and Social Science distribution requirements. Twelve credit hours.  LISLE, MCFADDEN, PETERSON

AM 137A: American Design and the 1930s

Explores Depression-era United States through the design of its buildings and the things within them. We consider how designed objects expressed a sense of machine-age progress; the rise of industrial design as a response to “underconsumption”; the influence of European modernisms (functionalism, expressionism, and Art Deco); the ascendance of the International Style in architecture; and the emergence of streamlining as a design style and cultural metaphor. Students will develop skills in analyzing, discussing, and writing about material, spatial, visual, and historical culture. Part of three-course Integrated Studies 137 cluster, “America in the 1930s.”
Prerequisite: requires concurrent enrollment in AM 137B and PL 137. Four credit hoursA. LISLE

AM 137B: History and Culture in 1930s America 

An exploration of key historical developments of the years of the Great Depression. What caused the Depression and how did it pose a crisis of faith in capitalism and in the government? And how did Americans respond, creating vibrant new forms of politics and culture? Through analysis of primary historical and cultural texts like films, photos, novels, and varied forms of popular culture, students will develop critical thinking skills, learn to write clear and precise analytical essays, and practice articulating their ideas effectively. Part of three-course Integrated Studies 137 cluster, “America in the 1930s.”
Prerequisite: requires concurrent enrollment in AM 137A and PL 137. Four credit hours. H. MCFADDEN

PL 137: Philosophy Between the Wars 

Early 20th century philosophy in Europe and America both loses faith in grand philosophical systems and creates surprising new avenues for philosophy in a time of crisis. American pragmatism, naturalism, and process philosophy sought to redirect professional philosophy away from stagnant metaphysical speculation toward concrete dynamisms of language, experience, evolution and development, life, time, scientific knowledge, philosophical method, values, and culture. Similar transformative trends emerged on the European Continent. Students will examine these central categories and trends through close reading, practiced writing, and collegial discussion to better understand the distinctiveness of American philosophy. Part of three-course Integrated Studies 137 cluster, “America in the 1930s.”
Prerequisite: requires concurrent enrollment in AM 137A and AM137B.  Four credit hours. S PETERSON

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