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AU CORE CURRICULUM

CORE-105 Complex Problems Seminar Course Level: Undergraduate

Complex Problems Seminar (3) Topics vary by section. This required seminar for all students during their first year at American University demonstrates the value of approaching important conceptual problems and social issues from a variety of perspectives, often from multiple disciplines and including multiple voices. Students are introduced to the importance of incorporating diverse perspectives, clear communication, critical reading, and working with feedback. The seminars feature discussions, lectures, collaboration, and integrative learning. AU Core Foundation: Complex Problems. Usually Offered: fall and spring. Grading: A-F only. Note: Open only to first year students. Students may not receive credit toward a degree for both CORE-105, and CORE-106 or CORE-107.

CORE-105-001
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Visual Identities
Visual Identities (3) Drawing on museum collections in Washington, DC, this course explores how visual images constructed, claimed, and sometimes contested identities across the geohistorical spectrum. This course considers how images convey identities tied to cultural conceptions about politics, religions, race, gender, disability, and sexuality, and what such works teach us about visual strategies for conveying identity, past and present. Students analyze images comparatively in a case-study approach across specific cultures. Individual and group projects develop critical thinking, writing, and presentation skills.
CORE-105-002
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: The Material World
The Material World (3) This course explores the matter that has mattered to humans, from stone and bronze through semiconductors and nanostructures. Individuals, cultures, and nation states flourish and decline based in part on the material resources and technology they can access and control. This course is half about material science, investigating the atom-stuff that we and our world are made of, and half a critical investigation of materialist theories of culture, history, economics, and politics. The primary student assessment is a portfolio demonstrating an integrated understanding of scientific and technical material into social, historical, artistic, economic, philosophical and political contexts.
CORE-105-003
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Act Like a Man
Act Like a Man (3) This course examines the search for and performance of ideal models of American manhood on theatrical, political, and social stages. Through investigating gender theory and masculinity studies, reading and analyzing plays, viewing theatrical productions and films, unpacking political posturing, and scrutinizing human behavior, students explore, demystify, and question the ways in which public masculine figures manipulate, challenge, and reflect lives of American males. From the first American play to Hamilton, from the Founding Fathers to Donald Trump, the course investigates the ways in which American men learn to behave and misbehave.
CORE-105-004
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Living and Dying in DC
Living and Dying in DC (3) This course introduces students to health inequities and uses political, economic, historical, and sociological analyses of differences in power and privilege as it relates to quality of life, disease burden, and mortality in Washington, DC. Through local texts, site visits, discussions, and reflections, students explore how DC residents, communities, health care providers, public health practitioners, and policymakers have shaped the social forces that influence health, and how they have worked together to ensure that all DC residents have the opportunity to live healthy and long lives. Students also ask critical questions about how they can support efforts to improve health in DC, including how to support and elevate community voices in shaping the factors that impact the health of DC residents.
CORE-105-005
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Making Up Your Life
Making Up Your Life (3) Mostly we make our lives up as we go along, and although we might sometimes find it hard to imagine doing anything else, we may also sometimes wish that there was a recognizable narrative that we could point to, or create, in our lives. This course reflects on the notion of life history and considers a few of the ways that books, movies, and people have represented, considered, and plotted out various kinds of lives. Students look at texts that try to imagine what a self is, exactly, and texts that offer useful or interesting examples of lives both fictional and real. Students consider books by Shakespeare, Freud, Toni Morrison, Tsitsi Dangarembga, as well as films, and utopian or speculative narratives that deal with these issues of life history.
CORE-105-006
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Jerusalem: Myth Hist Modernity
Jerusalem: Myth, History, Modernity (3) Central for the three Abrahamic traditions, Jerusalem has been a locus of worship and dispute for over two-thousand years. The course proceeds thematically, beginning with the role of Jerusalem in the mythic imagination of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Students then turn to writings reflecting the history of Jerusalem as a physical place and a source of contention for the Assyrians and Babylonians, the Persians, the Romans, the empires of medieval Europe and the Ottomans, the British, the Arabs and the modern State of Israel. Finally, the course turns to the modern era and examines Jerusalem as a modern city and a proxy for disputes over identity, culture, language, and religion. Students visit different places of worship in Washington,DC and invite guest speakers representing a diversity of cultures to class.
CORE-105-008
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Myth, Fantasy, and Meaning
Myth, Fantasy, and Meaning (3) Ancient myths of gods and warriors, modern tales of wizards and superheroes, the legends that accumulate around families and communities: People use stories - especially fantastical ones - to understand reality, develop identities, and share values. In this course, students grapple with the ways myth, folklore, and fantasy permeate our lived experiences and cultural interactions. The course involves reading primary texts from many cultures and secondary texts from a range of academic disciplines. Students unpack how people use the unreal through discussions and varied writing projects.
CORE-105-009
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Social Justice Or Libertarnsm?
Social Justice or Libertarianism? (3) Social justice activists and libertarians are two of the most familiar social types in our polarized political climate. This course asks students to think though their own political identities by working through some of the most important texts in this debate in constant conversation with the best arguments on all sides. Students read well-known contemporary proponents of both points of view such as John Rawls and Robert Nozick as well as authors who speak to this issue from unexpected angles such as Martin Luther King, Frederick Douglass, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, and Kurt Vonnegut. Activities include trips to Brookings Institution, the Cato Institute, or other think tanks, and a discussion of college education in prison with a local prison reform nonprofit.
CORE-105-010
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Cities: Destroyed & Reinvented
Cities: Destroyed and Reinvented (3) This seminar introduces students to dreams and shortcomings in modern architecture and planning, theories of nationalism and memory, and urban examples from twentieth-century European cities. Our dynamic urban environment in the US capital is also introduced through trips and guest lectures. Critical thinking, reading, and writing are encouraged through intense discussion of weekly readings, the composition of short response essays, and a terse essay/presentation assessing the intersection between urban change and the politics of memory in a context of the student's choice.
CORE-105-011
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: The Threat of Chemical Weapons
The Threat of Chemical Weapons (3) Research and development efforts in the field of chemistry have significantly enhanced the quality of human life. However, they also pose threats to global security, since highly toxic chemicals can be employed by states and terrorists to develop deadly weapons, including weapons of mass destruction. Crafting successful policies that minimize the threat without hampering the development of peaceful applications is a complex task that requires understanding the science of chemical weapons, knowing their history, and being aware of the current state of the affairs. This course introduces students to scientific concepts from the disciplines of chemistry and biology and gives them the opportunity to analyze and critically discuss the historical aspects related to the development and deployment of chemical weapons; the international frameworks for their control; the current discourse on events and issues in the chemical weapons arena in news outlets and social media.
CORE-105-012
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: How Are Latinxs Changing US
How Are Latinxs Changing US (3) This class adopts a less Western-centric way of framing knowledge by focusing on a U.S. ethno-racial minority group within the U.S. Latinxs are shifting the economic, political, cultural, and social landscape of US society. Latinx communities bring forth questions of nation and ethnicity, along with intersectional aspects of class, gender, sexuality, ability, and migratory/documented status to a discussion of who the U.S. is as a nation. Students hear leaders of local organizations and advocacy groups, as well as national entities, to better understand the contributions and challenges of Latinxs in the U.S. and analyzes how Latinxs are portrayed in the media through movies and documentaries.
CORE-105-013
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Futures: What Will Be in 2040?
Futures: What will be in 2040? (3) Universities teach about the past and the present in depth, but what about the future? This course develops an anticipatory future consciousness and equips students with practical methods and first-hand experience in a futures study. Future awareness comes from thoughtful reading, discussions, and guest speakers. Students create future scenarios, and a first-hand future study at a local organization.
CORE-105-014
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Understanding Sex and Gender
Understanding Sex and Gender (3) For many individuals gender and sex mean the same thing, but for others, sex assignment and gender have a complex relationship. Students are introduced to the biological basis of sex and explore what it means to be male and female. This course offers students the opportunity to explore this topic from the cellular aspect to the neurological aspect as well as in the context of evolution. The course examines the science behind sex and gender as well as the societal implications and how this has shaped politics and policy in the modern era.
CORE-105-015
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Constructions of Self & Other
Constructions of Self and Other (3) Establishing one's identitie(s) is both real and invented. How one reads other's projected identitie(s) in a multi-platform culture is complicated, not only by how people adorn themselves, but by our media choices. From avatars on social media (Instagram, YouTube, Tinder) to online simulation platforms (Open Simulator and SecondLife), and from fan conventions (Otakon, Comic Con) to festivals (Afropunk), notions of the constructed self destabilize conventional models of the singular identity. Using an interdisciplinary and inter-media approach, this course introduces the ways people shape their identities across a variety of cultural perspectives.
CORE-105-017
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Ethics, Morals & Criminal Law
Ethics, Morals and Criminal Law (3) Inherent within criminal law and justice is the power to make discretionary decisions that greatly impact the accused, victims, and society. Students discover the complexity of determining what an ethical course of action or result means to this wide variety of criminal justice actors, and how they draw upon personal bias, experience and cultural context in interpreting what is ethical. The specific issues that are covered include: the prosecution and defense of both guilty and innocent people; wrongful convictions; just and unjust punishment; criminal prohibition and prosecution of specific drug use, possession and sales; and the criminalization, prosecution, and defense of select forms of marriage and sexual activity. Readings, documentaries, podcasts and the selection of guest speakers provide students with diverse professional and personal perspectives from a variety of racial, economic, ethnic, geographic and philosophical backgrounds.
CORE-105-018
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Ethics, Morals & Criminal Law
Ethics, Morals and Criminal Law (3) Inherent within criminal law and justice is the power to make discretionary decisions that greatly impact the accused, victims, and society. Students discover the complexity of determining what an ethical course of action or result means to this wide variety of criminal justice actors, and how they draw upon personal bias, experience and cultural context in interpreting what is ethical. The specific issues that are covered include: the prosecution and defense of both guilty and innocent people; wrongful convictions; just and unjust punishment; criminal prohibition and prosecution of specific drug use, possession and sales; and the criminalization, prosecution, and defense of select forms of marriage and sexual activity. Readings, documentaries, podcasts and the selection of guest speakers provide students with diverse professional and personal perspectives from a variety of racial, economic, ethnic, geographic and philosophical backgrounds.
CORE-105-019
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Jihad: From Caliphate to ISIS
Jihad: From the Caliphate to ISIS (3) What exactly does jihad mean? No Islamic concept has generated as much disagreement and as many questions as jihad, a concept that is now in common use in Western media and literature. This course deconstructs the concept of Jihad as it has been appropriated by Western media and radical Islamists, both of whom have propagated the myth that Islam and the West are at war. Students are exposed to the various meanings, nuances, theories, and manifestations of jihad from the Prophet Muhammad's time, through the age of the Caliphate, and into the present.
CORE-105-020
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Let's Talk About Sex Education
Let's Talk About Sex Education (3) How do we learn about sex? It's a complicated question with unique answers based on our families, friends, schools, and identities. And despite these enduring disputes, U.S. institutions still have no consistent answers even for whether we ought to include sexual education in our curricula, much less what such courses should entail. This course explores these conversations by examining perspectives on sex education from media, history, scholars, and a variety of professionals currently working in the field.
CORE-105-022
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Legally Speaking
Legally Speaking (3) Although it might seem that the law provides rules for personal and business conduct that are definitive and clear, the law more often balances complex interests that involve many shades of gray. This course examines a series of legal problems concerning the role of the law in people's personal lives as well as in the economic life of countries as part of a community of nations. Although the course examines these problems through a legal lens, it includes economic, business, political and international relations perspectives. Students critically read, discuss, argue and write with an objective of questioning their own views and gaining an understanding of alternative perspectives.
CORE-105-023
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Legally Speaking
Legally Speaking (3) Although it might seem that the law provides rules for personal and business conduct that are definitive and clear, the law more often balances complex interests that involve many shades of gray. This course examines a series of legal problems concerning the role of the law in people's personal lives as well as in the economic life of countries as part of a community of nations. Although the course examines these problems through a legal lens, it includes economic, business, political and international relations perspectives. Students critically read, discuss, argue and write with an objective of questioning their own views and gaining an understanding of alternative perspectives.
CORE-105-024
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: The Food Water Energy Nexus
The Food Water Energy Nexus (3) Food, energy, and water resources are interconnected, so addressing one resource will cause scarcities in others. This complex problem requires innovative, cooperative, and interdisciplinary solutions utilizing the skills from multiple disciplines. The next generation must be equipped with sustainability and resilience strategies for the food energy water nexus, requiring interdisciplinary approaches. Natural scientists, engineers, social scientists, economists, policy makers, and diplomats must work together to form an international collaboration for addressing these resource scarcities simultaneously.
CORE-105-025
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Branding Nations and Cultures
Branding Nations and Cultures (3) We all have our own image in mind when we think of "home," whether a street or neighborhood, a city or state, or even a country or culture. In today's increasingly globalized world, countries, regional alliances, and cross-border populations all have more platforms and avenues available to them than ever for conveying their messages, developing their identities, and promoting their diplomatic interests. In this course, students examine geographically and culturally diverse "identity-building" narratives, utilizing wide range of academic and practical texts such as tourism campaigns, strategic communication and persuasion efforts, movies, and documentaries, and leveraging a wide range of unique cultural resources available in Washington, D.C., such as embassies and museums, to analyze the successes and shortcomings of such efforts.
CORE-105-026
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Education: Problem or Solutn
Education: Problem or Solution (3) While there is agreement that education is key to individual and community well-being, much controversy exists over education's goals and how to achieve them. Issues include identifying education challenges and effective solutions, recognizing how social or economic status interacts with education, and examining what role political ideologies play. Students engage with a variety of speakers, site visits, and readings, and discuss key issues, such as school choice and assessment, through creative exercises, as they collaboratively explore this complex topic.
CORE-105-027
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: 21st Century Silk Road
Twenty First Century Silk Road (3) How will the revival of the Silk Road via the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative increase the connectivity between nations and facilitate trade to the benefit of all parties when each country has their own political, cultural and economic systems? This course discusses past, present and the future evolution of globalized commerce via the Silk Road. With sustainability and stabilization at the forefront of many countries' statecraft planning, this course equips students to think critically and develop their own part in the world ahead through reading materials, weekly current articles, guest speakers, and visits to institutions in Washington, DC.
CORE-105-028
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Maxing Out Planet Earth
Maxing Out Planet Earth (3) How many people can our planet support? This course explores the controversial ways in which humans use technology (e.g., large dams, GMO) and policy (e.g., energy subsidies) to support more people with higher qualities of life. Students examine these controversies with readings such as Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb and Marc Reisner's Cadillac Desert, movies including Chinatown, and field trips to visit DC think tanks and a nearby sustainable farm.
CORE-105-029
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Obesity: A Complex Crisis
Obesity: A Complex Crisis (3) Obesity is a public health emergency; a majority of Americans are currently overweight and a significant fraction are likely to suffer adverse health impacts including diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and even cancer. This course investigates the ways lifestyle, culture, socioeconomic factors, and the food industry all interface with biology to impact body weight. The course surveys both popular and scientific works relevant to the causes of the obesity epidemic, drawing connections while promoting critical analysis and discussion. This class emphasizes the multifactorial causes of obesity, through engagement with both popular and scientific literature, reinforced through student writing and feedback.
CORE-105-030
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Immigrant America
Immigrant America (3) As in centuries past, immigration continues to transform U.S. society and remains a hotly debated issue that presents complicated economic, political, and social challenges. This course examines the complexities of contemporary U.S. immigration through three core questions: who immigrates and why, how immigrants and their children adapt to U.S. society, and whether immigration creates social and economic benefits and/or burdens for the U.S. Students use readings, film, guided discussion, and critical writing to engage with a wide range of themes including motivations for immigration, immigrant integration, racialization, citizenship, immigration policy, and attitudes toward immigration.
CORE-105-033
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Food Justice Matters
Food Justice Matters (3) This course explores issues related to food justice in the United States. Students are introduced to foundational issues including recommended components of a healthy diet, the connections between diet and overall health status, food economics, and basic features of food production. Students examine ways that race, class, age, and access impact food and health. They evaluate a variety of complex issues associated with food justice.
CORE-105-034
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Defining American
Defining American (3) Analyzing historical as well as contemporary trends, this course explores American ideology, institutions, and society, and how they inform and reflect an individual's personal identity as an American. Students look at concepts of patriotism, nationalism, democracy, individualism, equality, capitalism, American Exceptionalism, the American Creed, and the American Dream. The course explores the role immigration has played in America's history, as well as how some see it currently challenging America's identity. Students expose myths and come to a more complex understanding of what it means to be an American.
CORE-105-035
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Organizations and World Change
Organizations and World Change (3) Complex problems challenge young people. The exact solutions to these problems may be uncertain, but they will certainly require ingenuity and innovation - as well as multipronged approaches from diverse perspectives. In this course, students learn how to leverage different organizational forms for social innovation and world change. As a final project, students develop a business plan for a new nonprofit or for-profit organization to help solve a complex problem in the world.
CORE-105-036
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Wildlife Conservation
Wildlife Conservation (3) The World Wildlife Fund recently reported that total wildlife populations declined over 50% between 1970 and 2010. Students in this course explore the primary causes of habitat and wildlife loss including consumption, pollution, and climate change. Students then engage with diverse political, economic, and social approaches to preserving and protecting the remaining biodiversity. Students actively and personally consider how individuals and their communities can communicate about and contribute to wildlife conservation.
CORE-105-037
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Electric Music Since Edison
Electric Music Since Edison (3) This course considers how electronics have impacted listening, musical creativity, responses, expectations and culture. These questions are examined through multiple lenses and disciplines where art, science, technology and society meet at sometimes surprising but undeniable crossroads. Students observe, analyze, experiment and even create with electronics. Special attention is given to the advent of sound in film as well as to new language/vocabularies in music, new sounds as the result of newly designed instruments and synthesis techniques, digital versus analogue applications and, the computer.
CORE-105-038
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Normalizing Bodies
Normalizing Bodies (3) This course examines the distinction between "normal" and "abnormal" bodies and investigates the complex ways in which abnormal bodies become "problems" for medicine. Looking at historical examples, e.g. pathologization of slaves' desires to flee captivity, nineteenth century diagnosis and treatment of "hysteria," medical treatment of height (tallness in girls, short stature in boys) and atypical sex anatomies (intersex bodies), the course asks what normality means, and explores the effects of meanings we may too often take for granted. Students visit the Smithsonian Museum of American History to speak with the curator and specialist of disability and hear guest lectures on normalizing surgical interventions for children.
CORE-105-039
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Wildlife Conservation
Wildlife Conservation (3) The World Wildlife Fund recently reported that total wildlife populations declined over 50% between 1970 and 2010. Students in this course explore the primary causes of habitat and wildlife loss including consumption, pollution, and climate change. Students then engage with diverse political, economic, and social approaches to preserving and protecting the remaining biodiversity. Students actively and personally consider how individuals and their communities can communicate about and contribute to wildlife conservation.
CORE-105-040
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: The Nature-Society Binary
The Nature-Society Binary (3) Many people would agree with the statement that we, humans, are part of nature and whatever harms the rest of nature harms ourselves and future generations. Yet, when social scientists study society, they often analyze the social world as acting on, and thus distinct from, nature. When environmentalists mobilize, they act to protect the environment from human activity. This course delves into this paradox, which necessarily involves multiple and conflicting perspectives on the relationship between nature and society. Specifically, the course explores two present-day cases in which this paradox plays out: both the Anthropocene literature and biosecurity policies and institutions reinforce the enduring nature-society binary and have invited critiques from scholars and activists alike.
CORE-105-041
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Do Better at Doing Good
Do Better at Doing Good (3) This course examines the conversation on poverty in Washington, DC through scholarship, research, and community-based service-learning with an afterschool program. Horton's Kids is a local nonprofit that serves families in Ward 8's Wellington Park neighborhood, where the average household income is below $10,000 a year. Students discover how Horton's Kids has evolved since 1989 using a comprehensive service model to address the cyclical needs of the community and adopting more inclusive practices. Students connect their work in the community to their work in the classroom by researching, writing, and reflecting on poverty in this neighborhood. Service-learning requires critical reflection with a focus on doing better by the community, thus combining current research on poverty with on-the-ground action based on a community's needs. Students learn how to reimagine service, focusing on reciprocity and equity. Readings cover a range of perspectives, from historians, sociologists, psychologists, public health scholars and professionals, service-learning and social justice scholars, community partners, community members, nonprofit professionals, policy makers, contemporary public intellectuals, and cultural critics.
CORE-105-001
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Visual Identities
Visual Identities (3) Drawing on museum collections in Washington, DC, this course explores how visual images constructed, claimed, and sometimes contested identities across the geohistorical spectrum. This course considers how images convey identities tied to cultural conceptions about politics, religions, race, gender, disability, and sexuality, and what such works teach us about visual strategies for conveying identity, past and present. Students analyze images comparatively in a case-study approach across specific cultures. Individual and group projects develop critical thinking, writing, and presentation skills.
CORE-105-002
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Homo Addictus
Homo Addictus (3) Addiction is an extremely common human experience--an experience that highlights the particular joys and pains of being alive. Addictions to such varied things as alcohol, drugs, the internet, video games, pornography, sex, and shopping address and treat a universal pain that is central to humanity. This course considers how potentially addictive behaviors draw people away from ordinary life. Students read fiction, memoir, and social science texts to examine how addiction relates to other difficulties such as trauma, stress, mental illness, social anxiety, and sexuality.
CORE-105-003
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Why Do We Punish
Why Do We Punish (3) This course uses literature, philosophy, and the social sciences to understand the complex phenomenon of punishment. Students examine why parents punish their children, why we punish ourselves, as well as why the state punishes individuals. The course considers whether there are any links between the different forms of punishment and whether there are forms of punishment which cannot be justified both on the individual and the state level.
CORE-105-004
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: The Art of Decision Making
The Art of Decision Making (3) Decision making is one of our most important activities in both our professional and personal lives. In this course, decision-making processes are unpacked and thoroughly analyzed. They are viewed through the lenses of psychology, business, and economics as well as various cultural perspectives to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Students are guided to see patterns and come to understand that there are not "right or wrong" approaches but rather "better or worse" approaches to decision making.
CORE-105-005
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: The Art of Decision Making
The Art of Decision Making (3) Decision making is one of our most important activities in both our professional and personal lives. In this course, decision-making processes are unpacked and thoroughly analyzed. They are viewed through the lenses of psychology, business, and economics as well as various cultural perspectives to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Students are guided to see patterns and come to understand that there are not "right or wrong" approaches but rather "better or worse" approaches to decision making.
CORE-105-006
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: No Child Left Behind, Really?
No Child Left Behind, Really? (3) Educators promise that no child will be left behind, but students express that they are subjected to achievement gaps, bullying, testing pressures, trauma, and social inequities that shape unequal experiences in school. This course seeks out the voices of students in elementary and secondary schools to understand how the structures, values, and traditions of school influence their academic achievement. The class questions assertions of educational justice through an intersectional analysis of privilege and marginalization, incorporating gender, race, class, sexual identity, language proficiency, and disability in rural, urban, and suburban settings and then interprets student voices using education research, literature, digital media, news, and personal accounts of school.
CORE-105-007
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Depicting the Divine
Depicting the Divine (3) Using Washington, DC's rich art museums and centers of contemporary religious practice, this course explores the controversies and orthodoxies surrounding godly representations across geographies, temporalities, and cultures. Drawing on a wide range of sources, from analysis of ancient scriptural texts to engagement with DC community leaders, students investigate arguments for and against representation of the divine, and analyze the visual strategies used by artists constrained by dogmatic limitations. In a globalized society which regularly witnesses terrorist destruction of religious images, depicting the divine is a complex and ancient problem still relevant today. The course examines questions such as what does God look like, is the divine representable, and whether it is morally dangerous to visualize divinity.
CORE-105-008
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Let's Talk About Sex Education
Let's Talk About Sex Education (3) How do we learn about sex? It's a complicated question with unique answers based on our families, friends, schools, and identities. And despite these enduring disputes, U.S. institutions still have no consistent answers even for whether we ought to include sexual education in our curricula, much less what such courses should entail. This course explores these conversations by examining perspectives on sex education from media, history, scholars, and a variety of professionals currently working in the field.
CORE-105-009
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Legally Speaking
Legally Speaking (3) Although it might seem that the law provides rules for personal and business conduct that are definitive and clear, the law more often balances complex interests that involve many shades of gray. This course examines a series of legal problems concerning the role of the law in people's personal lives as well as in the economic life of countries as part of a community of nations. Although the course examines these problems through a legal lens, it includes economic, business, political, and international relations perspectives. Students critically read, discuss, argue and write with an objective of questioning their own views and gaining an understanding of alternative perspectives.
CORE-105-010
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Diversity in STEM
Diversity in STEM (3) While 70 percent of white students who pursue a bachelor's degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) field will earn one, only 49 percent of Hispanic students and 42 percent of African-American students will. This underrepresentation of minorities in STEM is a persistent problem, despite enormous policy and financial attention. In this course students investigate the sources of this underrepresentation. Readings include scholarly and popular articles from diverse disciplines including the sciences, law, and policy. The course enables students to analyze and develop strategies that address underrepresentation and understand why STEM is different from other professions.
CORE-105-012
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: The Highs and Lows of Drugs
The Highs and Lows of Drugs (3) Drugs remain a complex problem, despite the investment of billions of dollars and many years into potential solutions. After over 50 years of scientific research, we have extensive knowledge of how drugs work on the brain, but little progress has been made in reducing rates of drug addiction. This course critically analyzes the varying approaches (e.g. scientific, public policy, law enforcement) that have been applied to the drug problem.
CORE-105-013
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: The Big Short: Money and Power
The Big Short: Money and Power (3) This course on how the public understood and understand the Great Recession and specifically the financial collapse of 2007-2009 exposes students to different choices in storytelling about major and complex events and to different disciplinary approaches to analyzing and understanding the implications of their impact.
CORE-105-014
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Economic Globlizatn: Pros/Cons
Economic Globalization: Pros and Cons (3) Economic globalization refers to the increasing integration of national economies across the world through intensified cross-border movement of goods, services, technology, and capital. Some view it with trepidation, as a juggernaut of untrammeled capitalism marked by such economic interdependence that countries become even more vulnerable to the destructive impact of market shifts. To others, it is a powerful force for good that opens and modernizes societies, empowering consumers and challenging producers; spurring economic efficiency and thus prosperity; undermining national monopolies and promoting innovation; redistributing capital, skills and know-how from rich to poor countries; and encouraging the adoption of better practices in many fields of endeavor and policy. Students read and debate the work of a variety of authors from different disciplines to understand these opposing views and potential solutions to the economic, financial, and related challenges that have arisen.
CORE-105-015
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Confronting Climate Change
Confronting Climate Change (3) The issue of climate change is a divisive topic in America, and the demand for action regarding climate is a hotly debated topic in political, economic, and social discussions. However, the effects of climate change are seen worldwide, and dialogue surrounding this issue must take into account perspectives from the global community. Throughout the course, students analyze the impact of climate change on people of developing and industrialized nations and evaluate the influence of potential mitigation strategies on the economic, political, and social structure of cultures from around the world.
CORE-105-016
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Whose Hip Hop Cultures
Whose Hip Hop Cultures (3) Who lays claim to hip hop when its arts and cultures are shared worldwide? This course traces hip hop's movement over forty years from a transnational, Afro-diasporic South Bronx to six continents. To understand its circulation, the course explores the racialization of United States popular music, a history and practice of difference-making that profoundly informs the way hip hop has been and continues to be perceived in the United States. Students visit Washington, DC institutions, conduct research in the residence halls, and learn to make historical, cultural, and musical connections between songs.
CORE-105-017
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Podcasts and Persuasion
Podcasts and Persuasion (3) Any topic or theme you can imagine has a podcast covering it. Podcasts are modern, flexible modes of storytelling. But the sense of shared experience and bond between listener and host means listeners are less likely to challenge the purpose, presented information, and analysis. Through listening and analyzing podcasts, the course explores how podcasts inform and shape our experiences and our understanding of ourselves and others in complex, compelling ways.
CORE-105-018
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: The West's Problem of Evil
The West's Problem of Evil (3) Great minds of every generation have struggled to explain why bad things happen to good people, why humans are cruel to one another, and, especially for the followers of the Abrahamic faiths, how a world can have evil in it if it's been created by a god who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good. This course discusses the religious origins of the classic "problem of evil," scientific contributions to the discussion, and the legal ramifications of beliefs about evil. This reading- and discussion-heavy course looks for guidance from texts and films, nonfiction and fiction, such as philosopher Susan Neiman's Evil in Modern Thought, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and writings on neuroscience from David Eagleman, along with visits to sites around Washington, DC such as the Holocaust Museum.
CORE-105-020
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Place and Politics
Place and Politics (3) So much of our lives today takes place in the virtual world of the internet that it is easy to forget or ignore the ways in which our physical environment affects our behavior and our self-understanding. This course explores different theories of place and why place matters for politics. The course includes an examination of how architecture and design can create or destroy community, the consequences of residential segregation, the importance of public space and monuments, the relationship between place and civic virtue, and the meaningfulness of boundaries.
CORE-105-021
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Reality: Distorted/Augmented?
Reality: Distorted/Augmented? (3) Questions such as what is reality, how we can know whether our perceptions are accurate representations of the world, and what happens when one person's conception of reality disagrees with another's have been addressed in different ways in nearly every domain of intellectual discourse; however, answers have rarely been more important than now, when our society seems to be confronting a crisis of reality: news sources, governmental administrations, scientists, advertisers, think tanks, and others repeatedly tell stories that differ in their essential facts and those facts' application. This course examines philosophical, literary, and scientific works that confront, comment on, or try to resolve the difference between reality and the perception of reality.
CORE-105-022
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Hist/Memory/Just & Forgetting
History, Memory, Justice, and Forgetting (3) This course aims to achieve a deeper understanding of how justice and history are interwoven, to see some of the limits and possibilities of the human condition more clearly, and ultimately, possibly attain a more humane approach to living with one another in the present. Through ancient and contemporary plays, literature, and essays, students consider the relationship between the history of a culture and an individual's personal history, the effect of modern technology on memory, the limits of recollection, and the abundance of history.
CORE-105-024
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Navigating Intimacy
Navigating Intimacy (3) This course offers an intensive exploration of how the current state of navigating intimacy in emerging adults was shaped through the lens of modern history, by exposing students to a selection of materials crossing print, online, and visual media. Through research and classroom discussions, the course journeys through the various cultural movements that led students to where they are today, an unprecedented time of confusion and experimentation with their intimate relationships, including questions as whether to date one-on-one, group date, hook-up on Tinder, have friends with benefits, embrace gender/sexual fluidity, as well as deal with how peer pressure affects all of their choices. The course provides a foundation of increased clarity on the complexity of forming healthy intimate relationships, a problem and challenge that binds us all as humans and has perplexed scholars throughout history.
CORE-105-025
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Judging Atrocity
Judging Atrocity (3) Our practices of holding one another responsible for wrongdoing depend on the attribution of moral agency, and the view that, as human beings, we are not simply causes in the world, but authors of our actions. Contemporary psychological research increasingly reveals, however, that human action is largely influenced by situational factors beyond our control. How, if at all, can we reconcile this tension? This course examines this complex problem through the context of atrocity crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. It takes an interdisciplinary look into the situational and dispositional causes of atrocity in an effort to develop sound bases for judgment. Discussions animate deeply-held assumptions about human nature and agency, as well as implicating students' own moral views. Students are encouraged to critically reflect on their own intuitions, identify disagreement among writers, and articulate reasons in defense of their own considered judgments.
CORE-105-026
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: 21st Century Silk Road
Twenty-First Century Silk Road (3) How will the revival of the Silk Road via the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative increase the connectivity between nations and facilitate trade to the benefit of all parties when each country has their own political, cultural and economic systems? This course discusses past, present, and the future evolution of globalized commerce via the Silk Road. With sustainability and stabilization at the forefront of many countries' statecraft planning, the course equips students to think critically and develop their own part in the world ahead through reading materials, weekly current articles, guest speakers, and visits to institutions in Washington, DC.
CORE-105-027
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Who Is DC?
Who Is DC? (3) Outsiders often miss the vibrant neighborhoods of Washington, DC, which have deep histories and distinctive cultures. Today, DC neighborhoods face intense pressure to change. Through field trips, interviews with residents and local politicians, and picture-based maps, students investigate specific neighborhood identities in the District. The course analyzes trade-offs in local campaigns to make strong places, from "buy local" to tactical urbanism and tenant organizing. The course deepens students' relationship with DC, while building skills to analyze the complexities of neighborhoods for development and justice.
CORE-105-028
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Imagining Europe
Imagining Europe (3) This course examines the emergence, expansion, and erosion of support for the European Union over the course of the twentieth century and asks what's next for Europe. Topics for investigation include the relationship between nationalism and Europeanism; support for and suspicion of supranational institutions after the First World War; the Third Reich as a new European empire; the relationship between economic growth and peace; the impact of the Iron Curtain on understandings of European geography; the economic and cultural significance of the Euro; and the role of cultural institutions in establishing European identity. The course combines approaches from anthropology, economics, history, political theory, and political science, and makes use of a wide range of secondary and primary sources to address the question of how European leaders and citizens have imagined their relationship to the European Union.
CORE-105-029
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Neoliberalism and Global Jihad
Neoliberalism and Global Jihad (3) This course investigates the links between the global spread of neoliberal economic policies and novel interpretations of jihad among Muslims since the 1970s. It examines the economic and political crises that shook the post-World War II internationalist world order during the 1970s and set the stage for the rise of neoliberalism, with severe and lasting consequences for the global masses. Much of the course is given over to studying these effects since the 1970s. The class questions ahistorical interpretations of the global jihad as intrinsic to Islam and instead considers this rather unexpected movement of largely disaffected young men and women to be a product and beneficiary of the economic, political, and technological transformations of the past four decades.
CORE-105-030
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Playing with Genes
Playing with Genes (3) This course explores divisive bioethical issues surrounding our growing ability to analyze and manipulate genes in humans, animals, and plants. Students are introduced to the basics of the human genome, as well as technology such as CRISPR that allows for genetic manipulation and the possibilities that provides in health and understanding genetic disease. Students discuss selected readings, view films, and complete creative writing assignments while exploring the bioethical side of genetic manipulation, gene therapy, cloning, and reproductive technologies such as three parent babies. The class considers personalized medicine and its impact on healthcare, in addition to genetic engineering of animals in the fight against disease (e.g., Zika virus) and genetically modified foods.
CORE-105-031
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: #BroadwaySoDiverse
#BroadwaySoDiverse (3) Many scholars have regarded the twenty-first century to be a watershed era for inclusiveness on Broadway. This course examines a chronology of such representation on "The Great White Way," including titles from current and/or past Broadway seasons such as Falsettos and Hamilton. The course offers students the opportunity to watch both live and archived performances of musicals past and present, as well as read, verbally deconstruct, and even perform excerpts from these shows with the goal of practicing rational, respectful, and empathetic difficult dialogues/critical conversations.
CORE-105-032
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: The Bacon Terminator
The Bacon Terminator (3) What if the whole world went vegan? Although medical practitioners are divided on the health benefits of veganism, some people who practice vegan lifestyles claim that they are the solution to complex worldwide problems including diseases of affluence (such as heart diseases, diabetes, and cancer); malnutrition; animal rights; and climate change. This course considers the complex role of nutrition in solving our contemporary health and environmental crises, specifically how biologic, religious, economic, moral, and social factors affect our food choices, and how those choices in turn affect the world we live in.
CORE-105-033
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Future of Technology Policy
Future of Technology Policy (3) From the politics of social media and autonomous vehicles to asteroid mining, gene editing, and environmental issues, to innovations and implications not yet imagined, the future of technology policy is as interesting and important as ever. This course examines what we as consumers, entrepreneurs, citizens, and policymakers need to be thinking about and what kinds of skills are needed to shape emerging industries. The course uses traditional and non-traditional methods to examine these questions and develop possible answers.
CORE-105-034
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: No Such Thing as Pop/Classicl
No Such Thing as Pop/Classical (3) Classifications of high and low art in music and disagreements on those boundaries have always been part of the conversations among composers, performers, and listeners. Now more than ever, these lines continue to blur, and genre classification arguments are found from the concert hall to iTunes. This course explores the roles that creators, presenters, audience, and the market play in the identities and interactions of musical genres. By considering music alongside the contemporaneous evolution of styles of literature, film, drama, and the visual arts, the course seeks to clarify how germane such distinctions are in the ever fast-changing landscape of our contemporary culture. Students contemplate their own background as consumers of the arts alongside guided listening and viewing examples as well as relevant readings on culture, aesthetics, commodification, and transmission in pursuit of understanding how distinct these genres truly are.
CORE-105-035
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Asia's Conflict Flashpoints
Asia's Conflict Flashpoints (3) Through an examination of three flashpoints of conflict in Asia: Taiwan Strait, the East/South China Sea, and the Korean Peninsula, this course addresses why interstate conflicts occur, what causes them to become intractable or to escalate in intensity such that they threaten regional or international security, and to what extent the United States could, or should, play a role in helping to defuse or resolve them The course explores the origins and dynamics of each of these disputes and the interplay between them insofar as U.S. interests and involvement are concerned. Students investigate the tangled roots and evolution of these disputes through various lenses, focusing on competing historical narratives and grievances, geopolitical and resource-related rivalries, and issues related to domestic politics and national identity. In looking at dispute dynamics, the relative military and other capabilities of and the tools deployed by the disputants, as well as the interests and involvement of extra-regional powers, the United States in particular, are considered. In addressing the issue of whether and how these conflicts can be managed or resolved, students consider the various initiatives and instruments that have been, or could be, employed.
CORE-105-036
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Quenching World Water Scarcity
Quenching World Water Scarcity (3) Today's global and local water challenges require innovative and interdisciplinary solutions. To better understand the options and solutions to the world's water problems this course studies, analyzes, and investigates the questions of whether there is enough drinkable water to meet future global needs, whether water is a U.S. national security issue and twenty-first century wars will be fought over water, whether economically struggling countries can develop without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation, whether everyone has a right to clean drinking water or if it should be treated as any commodity, what is the state of water infrastructure, and how business and scientific innovation can create new sources of water. Individual and team projects develop critical thinking, writing, and presentation skills.
CORE-105-037
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Exoplanets in Fact and Fiction
Exoplanets in Fact and Fiction (3) This course looks at the amazing discovery of planets around stars other than the sun. This wondrous adventure is happening right now and showing us much more about our place in the universe. Students explore how these discoveries are made, what the planets being discovered are like, and what these discoveries tell us about stars, planets, planetary systems, and the overall universe around us. The course also examines some of what the future may hold with these new worlds; if they are accessible to humans and could be new homes for humans and other members of the biosphere, as well as what they tell us about the possibility of life and even intelligence not from Earth. What we are learning now is compared with what people have imagined other worlds to be like through readings of science fiction and mythology.
CORE-105-038
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Constructions of Self & Other
Constructions of Self and Other (3) Establishing one's identitie(s) is both real and invented. How one reads other's projected identitie(s) in a multi-platform culture is complicated, not only by how people adorn themselves, but by our media choices. From avatars on social media (Instagram, YouTube, Tinder) to online simulation platforms (Open Simulator and SecondLife), and from fan conventions (Otakon, Comic Con) to festivals (Afropunk), notions of the constructed self destabilize conventional models of the singular identity. Using an interdisciplinary and inter-media approach, this course introduces the ways people shape their identities across a variety of cultural perspectives.
CORE-105-040
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Global Hip-Hop and Resistance
Global Hip-Hop and Resistance (3) This course explores the enduring question of why and how hip-hop has become equally a tool for revolution and capitalist expansion across the world. As hip-hop has attained the interest of corporate America, it has gone from being vilified by many in the mainstream to a source of expansion for American ideals. As hip-hop began to emerge in other countries, it also began to develop its own country-specific narrative. Across the globe, the effects of hip-hop can be felt from politics and education to pop culture and religion, from the Arab Spring to the whitewashing of history books in Japan. The course explores how hip-hop has become a source of revolution and capitalist expansion for some of the world's most marginalized (and not-so-marginalized) populations.
CORE-105-041
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Imagining the Future
Imagining the Future (3) How do we imagine the political structures, landscapes, challenges, and bodies of the future? This interdisciplinary course traces the visual, literary, and political implications of the way the future has been imagined through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Exciting and revealing, visions of the future reflect both dreams and biases, and express desire for global collaboration, fears of nuclear or environmental disaster, and cultural and political aspirations and limits. Starting from science fictional dreams of the future in literature and film, this course interrogates concepts of utopian and dystopian futurity, collective action, danger and heroism, community, nationalism, and globalization.
CORE-105-042
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Entreprenrshp & Sustainability
Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (3) Thoughtful understanding of the complexity of the relationship between business and sustainability requires an elementary understanding of critical technical concepts and trends at the intersection of both. Business is the engine that drives global economic growth and innovation. However, "business as usual" has reached dangerous levels of consumption and resource scarcity which could produce an unsustainable future. Through in-depth analysis of contemporary real business cases and a sustainable product pitch as a final project, this course prepares students to be managers and leaders of businesses who can take bold, practical actions that benefit people, the planet and the bottom line in the competitive global economy.
CORE-105-044
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Compet Advantage in Business
Competitive Advantage in Business (3) This course provides students with an opportunity to develop their existing critical thinking skills through a specific focus on the concept and empirical phenomenon of competitive advantage in business (i.e., superior stakeholder value creation). The course addresses a variety of sources of competitive advantage and the interactions between them (macroenvironmental and industry forces, corporate, business, and functional strategies), as well as issues associated with the history and role of business in society, stakeholder engagement, and performance measurement. Readings and assignments focus on critically analyzing current media coverage of competitive advantage in business and case studies.
CORE-105-045
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Theorizing Totalitarianism
Theorizing Totalitarianism (3) Hitler's rise to power led to totalitarianism in Germany and ultimately into the cataclysms of the Holocaust and World War II. It also spurred the exodus of a wave of intellectuals from Central Europe. This seminar examines major works by emigre intellectuals who combined sweeping historical perspective, theoretical ambition, and personal commitment as they strove to understand what had gone wrong. Moving chronologically, the course starts with theories of the character and origins of totalitarianism written between the rise of Hitler and the outbreak of world war, and then moves on to works written during the war, and finally in its aftermath. In doing so, emigres located in diverse scholarly fields, who held widely differing political views, are compared as contributors to a dramatic unfolding debate about the cataclysmic problem of totalitarianism.
CORE-105-046
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Small Things with Big Impact
Small Things with Big Impact (3) When Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, he said that it was "a small step for man and a giant leap for mankind." Today, this new "giant leap" may be represented by the advancement of "small steps" in nanotechnology, a rapidly developing area of science regarded as a portal to a new world, where small structures create tremendous impact. "Nano" may be a little word, but it has created a seismic shift in almost every aspect of science, with implications for economics, ethics, public policy, and environmental safety. This course explores the convergence of various disciplines that nanoscientists draw information from, and how these different sectors contribute to nanotechnology advancement. Students gain a variety of perspectives about the benefits and risks associated with nanotechnology and how today's innovations will shape our future.
CORE-105-047
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: International Intervention
International Intervention (3) This course looks at how the international community works to support victims of mass violence, injustice, brutal dictatorships, and poverty around the world. Moreover, how the inaction of the international community (in places such as Rwanda and Bosnia), as well as the recent failures of the West in the Middle East (e.g., Libya), has shaped current military, humanitarian, and post-conflict peacebuilding interventions. Through readings, discussions, case studies, and video clips, students survey interventions in contexts of mass violence where vulnerable populations are at the mercy of dictatorships or rebel groups with little regard for human life and the multiple perspectives associated with how, when, and if international actors should intervene. The course explores the responses of the international community in post-conflict contexts, the interplay between various actors in these contexts, standard processes of peacebuilding, and critiques of these approaches from different disciplines.
CORE-105-048
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Design Thinking for Innovation
Design Thinking for Innovation (3) This course helps students understand and apply a powerful new approach to solving complex problems through human-centered thinking. Design thinking is a problem-solving framework that is transforming fields from entertainment to international development. Students learn critical thinking, empathy, how to question assumptions, how to clearly define a problem, and other core tools of reasoning. Student teams apply each step of the design thinking process, from research through observation of real people with real problems to brainstorming, prototyping, testing, and finally identifying how to implement the solution. The course work is creative, collaborative, and experiential, from making an observation video, filling a wall with sticky notes, to designing a prototype in the university maker space.
CORE-105-050
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Doing Better At Doing Good
Course Type: Community Based Learning. As a part of this course, students will actively serve with a nonprofit agency or school in the DC area to apply their course knowledge. Doing Better at Doing Good (3) This course examines the conversation on poverty in Washington, DC through scholarship, research, and community-based service-learning with an afterschool program. Horton's Kids is a local nonprofit that serves families in Ward 8's Wellington Park neighborhood, where the average household income is below $10,000 a year. Students discover how Horton's Kids has evolved since 1989 using a comprehensive service model to address the cyclical needs of the community and adopting more inclusive practices. Students connect their work in the community to their work in the classroom by researching, writing, and reflecting on poverty in this neighborhood. Students learn how to reimagine service, focusing on reciprocity and equity. Readings cover a range of perspectives, from historians, sociologists, psychologists, public health scholars and professionals, service-learning and social justice scholars, community partners, community members, nonprofit professionals, policy makers, contemporary public intellectuals, and cultural critics.
CORE-105-051
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Wildlife Conservation
Wildlife Conservation (3) The World Wildlife Fund recently reported that total wildlife populations declined over 50% between 1970 and 2010. Students in this course explore the primary causes of habitat and wildlife loss including consumption, pollution, and climate change. Students then engage with diverse political, economic, and social approaches to preserving and protecting the remaining biodiversity. Students actively and personally consider how individuals and their communities can communicate about and contribute to wildlife conservation.
CORE-105-052
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Place and Politics
Place and Politics (3) So much of our lives today takes place in the virtual world of the internet that it is easy to forget or ignore the ways in which our physical environment affects our behavior and our self-understanding. This course explores different theories of place and why place matters for politics. The course includes an examination of how architecture and design can create or destroy community, the consequences of residential segregation, the importance of public space and monuments, the relationship between place and civic virtue, and the meaningfulness of boundaries.
CORE-105-053
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Diversity in STEM
Diversity in STEM (3) While 70 percent of white students who pursue a bachelor's degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) field will earn one, only 49 percent of Hispanic students and 42 percent of African-American students will. This underrepresentation of minorities in STEM is a persistent problem, despite enormous policy and financial attention. In this course students investigate the sources of this underrepresentation. Readings include scholarly and popular articles from diverse disciplines including the sciences, law, and policy. The course enables students to analyze and develop strategies that address underrepresentation and understand why STEM is different from other professions.
CORE-105-054
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Incivility
Incivility (3) In our society, divided by inequality and ideology, many demand civil discourse to solve the problem of incivility. This course challenges our assumptions about incivility and "civil discourse." Course themes may include how ideals of civility connect to language and emotion; how the normalization of civility connects to colonialism, imperialism, and globalization; whether movements employing 'uncivil' practices (suffrage, labor, civil rights, feminist, LGBTQ, disability rights, Occupy, Black Lives Matter) reject civility as an ideal and/or challenge us to think more deeply about truly "civil discourse." Students read texts from disciplines such as literature, philosophy, political science, anthropology, technology studies, gender studies, and sociology.
CORE-105-055
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Maxing Out Planet Earth
Maxing Out Planet Earth (3) How many people can our planet support? This course explores the controversial ways in which humans use technology (e.g., large dams, GMO) and policy (e.g., energy subsidies) to support more people with higher qualities of life. Students examine these controversies with readings such as Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb and Marc Reisner's Cadillac Desert, movies including Chinatown, and field trips to visit DC think tanks and a nearby sustainable farm.
CORE-105-056
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Imagining the Future
Imagining the Future (3) How do we imagine the political structures, landscapes, challenges, and bodies of the future? This interdisciplinary course traces the visual, literary, and political implications of the way the future has been imagined through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Exciting and revealing, visions of the future reflect both dreams and biases, and express desire for global collaboration, fears of nuclear or environmental disaster, and cultural and political aspirations and limits. Starting from science fictional dreams of the future in literature and film, this course interrogates concepts of utopian and dystopian futurity, collective action, danger and heroism, community, nationalism, and globalization.