Spring 2015 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Gossin, Pamela
Discipline and Number
ARHM 3342 Section 001
R Time 4:00 PM - 6:45 PM
Course Title
Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies in the Arts and Humanities

Description of Course:

ARHM 3342 Advanced Topics in the Arts and Humanities (3 semester credit hours). Focuses on a significant topic or issue through which students are offered an opportunity to gain experience in various analytic and interpretive approaches. Explores interdisciplinary connections among artistic and intellectual endeavors appropriate to a range of courses in the Arts and Humanities. Topics may include the convergence of the liberal arts (Arts and Performance, Historical Studies, and Literary Studies) with advanced technology (Arts and Technology and Emerging Media and Communication). May be repeated for credit (9 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisites: (HUMA 1301 or equivalent) and RHET 1302.

*NOTE: This section adds an additional twist to this purpose: helping students explore the interdisciplinary relations between the arts / humanities and science / medicine and is especially intended to serve students working toward the minor in Medical and Scientific Humanities (MaSH) as well as pre-health students, creative writers, and future teachers.

* This course counts toward the minor in Medical and Scientific Humanities (MaSH) *

Course Description:

In this course we will explore concepts of nature and human nature through various forms of writing and texts, including: nature writing, nature poetry, science fiction, scientific and medical essays, graphic novels and film. We will consider many of the complex ethical issues that arise from human exploration of the natural world and science. We will learn a variety of ways to "read" and "write" about nature and human nature and consider how such texts are "artful" as well as "scientific." We will learn to identify rhetorical strategies (persuasive techniques), practice troubleshooting our own drafts, and enhance our understanding and use of creative writing techniques.

Some of the questions we will examine include: What is nature? What is "natural"? How do we value the natural world? How did medical and scientific ways of knowing about life (human and otherwise) develop? What kinds of issues will face us as individuals in an increasingly "technological" and medicalized body, in an increasingly scientific and technological society? How can the ancient "technologies" of reading and writing adapt to these changes and empower us to meet such challenges?

Course Objectives:

Students will read and discuss a wide variety of literary forms and genres, demonstrating the ability to interpret and analyze themes and issues using various critical methods, including formal, historical, biographical and cultural approaches. Students will experiment with writing many different forms of literary expression, including poetry, descriptive prose, expository prose, 1st-person narratives and rhetorical argument.

Required Texts:

1. Reading the Environment (abbreviated in syllabus as RE), ed. Melissa Walker, Norton, 1994
# ISBN-10: 0393965090 # ISBN-13: 978-0393965094

2. ELECTRONIC RESERVE and 2 HR RESERVE: Science and the Human Spirit, (SHS); Fred White, ed. (Please download and/or print these and bring them for use in class discussion)

3. Willa Cather, O Pioneers, Dover, 1993
# ISBN-10: 0486277852 # ISBN-13: 978-0486277851

4. Miyazaki, Hayao, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (vol. 1; Simon/Shuster; graphic novel,paperback) #ISBN 9781591164081


Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:


- Attendance and participation (aka "A&P"): READING JOURNALS, quizzes, in-class writing, study sheets, and discussion = 1/3rd

- one 3pp analytical and interpretative paper (counts as 30pts of 100pt midterm) plus 70 pt. "objective" in-class midterm exam = 1/3rd

- Final Project and presentation = 1/3rd

* Optional extra credit/enrichment opportunities may be used to enhance A&P grade. Listen for more info on these in class.

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