Fall Special Courses
ENG 402 Shakespeare and Ecology: The Bard in the Forest
Dr. John Kandl
This semester we'll read and discuss some of the major works of Shakespeare in light of ecology. We'll especially examine the conceptions of nature that emerge in these works. The fact that Shakespeare is perhaps the most canonical of all canonical writers--often placed at the very center of Western literature--makes this body of works extraordinarily useful to any examination of our cultural inheritance. For good or ill Shakespeare's works express and embody values which have informed Western culture since the Renaissance. The plays we'll read will be: King Lear; As you Like It; Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest; and we'll also engage with a selection of the sonnets.
SOC 213 Sociology of Growing Up
This course explores sociological issues, theories, and research on childhood and adolescence and examines the social worlds provided for and created by children and adolescents. Changing definitions of and socialization patterns in childhood and adolescence over time and across cultures are discussed. A variety of possible topics are covered, including the history of childhood and adolescence, peer cultures, educational problems such as achievement and violence, the impact of family change and problems, poverty and quality of life, teen pregnancy, and policies and programs that impact children.
SOC 306 Gangs, Guns, and Grades: Education and Inequality
The emphasis of this course will be education and inequality in America's schools. Topics include, but are not limited to, achievements gaps; No Child Left Behind; gender, race, and social class inequality in schools; gangs and community violence; alcohol and drugs in schools; bullying; gun violence and preventing school violence. In this class students will engage scholarly research and take part in in-depth discussions of these topics. May substitute for SOC 308 Comparative Criminal Justice Systems.
THEO 408 The Good Life
This course carefully investigates historical and contemporary theories of human happiness, putting into conversation with each other the insights of ancient philosophy, Christian theology, and recent findings in the field of Positive Psychology, while putting into practice the principles of these traditions in order to test their claims to engender lifelong flourishing and fulfillment. THEO 408 will therefore involve numerous practicums and field experiences, including a mandatory backpacking trip over the weekend of September 20-22. To register for this course, students must be willing and able to participate in this remote wilderness excursion. No experience is necessary and all equipment and food will be provided for no additional fee. Only the ability to engage in moderately difficult physical exercise (hiking 3-4 miles a day with a loaded backpack) is required. If you have any questions please contact Dr. Chad Gerber.