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Course Descriptions and Information
for Residential College Courses

Fall Term 2024-2025


CRN: 16542
Section: RESC 098 01
Title: Discovery of Expressive Self
Instructor: Martincich, Dustyn R.
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 16853
Section: RESC 098 02
Title: Fairytales & Retellings
Instructor: Agbo, Elinam
General Course Objectives: In this foundational seminar, students will explore a range of fairy tales and folktales, alongside their contemporary retellings. By studying the techniques of accomplished writers, students will learn to read like writers, craft their own retellings, and discuss how craft elements like point of view, characterization, setting, and form work together to amplify a story’s themes and conflicts. The goal of the course is for students to participate actively in a community of writers, critically examine the traditions that influence their imagination, develop a consistent writing practice, and acquire strategies and skills to revise their own work.
Description of Subject Matter: Student work will be the primary focus of the class. One’s writing, however, never exists in a vacuum. The author must be aware of the tradition he is writing within, and in this course, we will look specifically at folkloric traditions and how fairy tales remain relevant to contemporary writers. As such, the work of published writers—short stories, essays, literary events—will be instrumental to class discussion and assignments.
Method of Instruction and Study: Throughout the semester, students will be expected to draft new work in response to prompts, complete short reading responses, discuss published work, and participate in peer review. During the first half of the semester, we will close-read assigned texts (fairy tales, short stories, and essays) and discuss how students may learn and emulate specific narrative and analytical strategies. The second half of the semester will be dedicated to full-class workshops, where students will critique one another's work. This is a discussion-heavy course, and faithful attendance is essential to the success of the class.
Instructional Materials and Sources: Texts will include a broad anthology of fairy tales and folktales, from Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm to excerpts from the Shahnameh and One Thousand and One Nights. We will also study retellings from writers like Angela Carter, Nalo Hopkinson, Helen Oyeyemi, Kelly Link, Aimee Bender, and Sabrina Orah Mark. Campus literary readings will provide an additional source of instruction and inspiration. Please also list what requirement this course fulfills. FOUN FRST W1
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 16807
Section: RESC 098 03
Title: Business of Contemporary Art
Instructor: Alexander, Raquel M.
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 15444
Section: RESC 098 04
Title: US & Asia in the 21st Century
Instructor: Zhu, Zhiqun
General Course Objectives: Take a look at your clothes, footwear, laptop and phone. Most likely they are made or assembled in Asia. There is no doubt our lives are affected and will continue to be shaped by what happens in Asia. It is therefore imperative to learn about America’s interactions with Asia and understand the trends, problems, and challenges that lie ahead.
Description of Subject Matter: This seminar addresses the fascinating and complex relationship between the United States and Asia today. Major topics include, but are not limited to, history of US-Asia relations, American perceptions and misperceptions of Asia and Asians, cultural exchanges, global supply chains, international security, and America’s relations with key players such as China, India, Japan, Korea, Australia, and Southeast Asia.
Method of Instruction and Study: This is a Residential College course. If you choose this seminar, you are also choosing to live in the Global Residential College housing with students who have interests similar to yours. Please note additional required participation in the Symposium and the fall field trip (date/time TBA). Please refer to the Residential College website for a description of the program.
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 15102
Section: RESC 098 05
Title: Controversies in Globalization
Instructor: Magee, Christopher S.
General Course Objectives: This course examines controversial issues that arise in economics, politics, and international relations as the world becomes more integrated.
Description of Subject Matter: This course will examine controversial issues that have arisen as the world becomes more integrated and national borders become “thinner.” We will discuss questions such as: Does trade harm the environment? Is foreign aid a good way to reduce poverty in developing countries? Do humanitarian crises justify military intervention? Can international agreements limit global warming? Is democracy declining internationally?
Method of Instruction and Study:
Students will write several opinion papers adopting and defending a position on a controversial policy issue on which we will have a debate in class. Students will also write one original research paper on a topic of their choice and will present this paper in class and at a symposium with other residential college students. Through the papers, presentations, class debates, and discussions, students will develop their skills of doing academic research, writing, speaking, and listening.
This is a Residential College course. If you choose this seminar, you are also choosing to live in the Global Residential College housing with students who have interests similar to yours. Please note additional required participation in the Symposium and the fall field trip (date/time TBA). Please refer to the Residential College website for a description of the program.
Instructional Materials and Sources: Books, journal articles
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 16810
Section: RESC 098 06
Title: Feeding Latin America
Instructor: Sammells, Clare A.
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 16744
Section: RESC 098 08
Title: Energy
Instructor: McGuire, Molly M.
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 15742
Section: RESC 098 09
Title: Never Eat Soggy Waffles
Instructor: Dryden, Emily B.
Description of Subject Matter: North, East, South, West.  You learn the compass directions at an early age, but how much have you thought about how maps are constructed?   The earth is round and paper is flat, so there have always been challenges and choices in creating maps. We will examine some of these challenges and choices from different points in time.  For example, we can use different types of projections to get from a globe to a map, we can use mathematical tools to analyze whether districts are gerrymandered, and we can use a geographic information system (GIS) to visualize and understand significant features of today’s world in new ways. 
Method of Instruction and Study:
There will be readings, discussion, a variety of writing assignments, training in and use of ArcGIS, and a collaborative project.
This is a Residential College course. If you choose this seminar, you are also choosing to live in the Discovery College housing with students who have interests similar to yours. Please note additional required participation in the Symposium and the fall field trip (date/time TBA). Please refer to the Residential College website for a description of the program.
Instructional Materials and Sources: We will read from a variety of sources and the readings will be provided.
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 12875
Section: RESC 098 10
Title: Illusions
Instructor: Mitchel, Aaron D.
Description of Subject Matter: We like to believe that we can trust what we see with our own eyes, but perception very rarely aligns with reality. In this course, we'll examine various types of illusions that demonstrate this disconnect. We'll see colors that aren't really there, fail to notice bears moonwalking right in front of us, and be tricked into hearing something entirely different than what was said. In addition, we will look at how illusions have been used by artists, magicians, engineers and marketing professionals. For example, we'll discuss why Monet's sunset shimmers and how a Hans Zimmer soundtrack builds tension throughout a movie. Not only will we study famous illusions created by others, through a combination of popular books and primary readings, but we will also create our own illusions. Through deception, we will reveal the mechanisms of perception.
Method of Instruction and Study:

This is a Residential College course. If you choose this seminar, you are also choosing to live in the Discovery College housing with students who have interests similar to yours. Please note additional required participation in the Symposium and the fall field trip (date/time TBA). Please refer to the Residential College website for a description of the program.

Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 16349
Section: RESC 098 11
Title: The City
Instructor: Campbell, Claire E.
General Course Objectives: Learning Outcome 1: Students will develop writing, reading, speaking, listening, and information literacy skills necessary for collegiate-level academic work. Learning Outcome 2: Students will develop capacities for independent academic work and become more accountable for their own learning. Learning to analyze, engage, and discuss historical scholarship, and primary (archival) sources.
Description of Subject Matter: This course will explore the environmental history of the city. We will immerse ourselves in a series of cities to really get to know the stories of these streetscapes. By studying art, cartography, literature, and archival materials, we’ll ask how these places took shape over the past four centuries, their changing relationship with the natural world, and how they reflect larger historical and ecological dynamics. How can we make our cities more blue, more green, and more livable? Topics will include: the intentions and results of city planning; urban water and shorelines; gardens, parks, and public spaces; public and ecological health; environmental restoration; and many others. We will also look critically at Lewisburg, rich in evidence of urban aspirations and environmental impacts.
Method of Instruction and Study: Lecture, discussion
Instructional Materials and Sources: Readings and archival materials
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 16296
Section: RESC 098 12
Title: The Animal
Instructor: Chow, Jeremy H.
General Course Objectives: RESC 098 introduces students to writing, reading, discussing, and preparing for a collegiate education. As a residential collection, we will operate as a living-learning community.
Description of Subject Matter: This seminar explores the relationships among humans and nonhumans, and evaluates how authors deploy animals in different genres for different radical, social, cultural, and political purposes.
Method of Instruction and Study: This is a first-year seminar, which prioritizes discussion. It is also a W1 course, which emphasizes formal and informal writing. The class will be part of the Environmental Residential College.
Instructional Materials and Sources: Authors may include: Art Spiegelman, Haruki Murakami, George Orwell, Andre Alexis, Elena Passarello, Peter Singer V REQUIREMENTS FULFILLED FRST W1
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 12745
Section: RESC 098 14
Title: Ancient Origins:Secret History
Instructor: Larson, Stephanie L.
Description of Subject Matter: In this course we’ll be examining origins of things we think we know: stories of heroes; our concept of human nature; gender and sexual identities; the fundamentals of democracy; uses and abuses of war and violence; and the properties and nature of the human body. We’ll be looking at these topics and writing about them through the lens of ancient Mesopotamian and Greek cultures, with perhaps a little Roman or Judaean evidence thrown in. We’ll be reading and discussing a variety of material from these civilizations (e.g., epic poetry, Sappho, Greek tragedy, Plato, and others), and all the while we will simultaneously contemplate what we also think we know from our own cultures about these topics. Can we find similarities to our own attitudes in these cultures from long ago, or is the past too foreign to us? How can we approach these ancient artifacts as modern citizens of the world? What does it mean that we as modern humans can read and explore ancient ideas? As we explore we will develop our skills in thinking creatively about these themes, and we’ll pay close attention to how we can write about them critically and convincingly. For your essays and papers you’ll be able to choose a variety of topics within these large thematic categories, and your final essay can be a topic of your own choosing. We will close the semester by presenting our work at the Residential College Symposium on a Saturday in early December.
Method of Instruction and Study: This is a Residential College course. If you choose this seminar, you are also choosing to live in the Languages & Cultures College housing with students who have interests similar to yours. Please note additional required participation in the Symposium and the fall field trip (date/time TBA). Please refer to the Residential College website for a description of the program.
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 16787
Section: RESC 098 15
Title: Love & Sex on the Silk Road
Instructor: Shields, James M.
General Course Objectives: The objective of the seminar is to have students engage critically with cultural products—both foreign and familiar—in a way that recognizes the reality of cultural diversity as well as the long history of cultural interaction and hybridization. Students will develop writing, reading, speaking, listening, and information literacy skills necessary for collegiate-level academic work. Students will develop capacities for independent academic work and become self-regulated learners.
Description of Subject Matter: The seminar is constructed around the theme of the social and cultural construction of sex, love, gender and the body across diverse cultures, times and places. The seminar provides an intimate look at a few of the “highlights” in the global history of love and sex, as manifested in artifacts (philosophy, poetry, novels, paintings, sculpture), from various cultures, times and places, using the historical Silk Road bridging Asia and the West as a geographical frame and metaphor for our studies.
Method of Instruction and Study: Students will be exposed to a number of historically significant cultural artifacts related to this theme, including texts, sculpture, painting, and so on, to which they will be required to engage on a critical and interpretive level. This will be accomplished via a number of short writing assignments (response papers) as well as in the context of regular class and online discussion / presentations. In addition to the material covered in class and via assigned readings, students will be required to engage in library / internet research as part of their in-class presentation and final paper on a topic of their own choosing (from a list of possibilities). On-line discussion questions, as well, will occasionally require some outside research.
Instructional Materials and Sources: No required text; weekly readings available as printed coursepack. Multimedia sources may be employed.
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 12755
Section: RESC 098 16
Title: Art of Protest
Instructor: Rothman, Roger I.
Description of Subject Matter: In response to a world plagued by war, oppression, and inequality, artists of all stripes rise up in protest. Some do so aggressively, assaulting us with words and images that tear at our souls. Others provoke us less violently, by guiding us with images of a better world imagined but not yet realized. Some artists make their art for museums, where only an elite minority can experience them, but others--and more and more each day--make artworks that live on billboards, city streets, and public buildings, and still others that exist only in the virtual world of instagram, twitter, and facebook. This course will dig deeply into the ways that contemporary artists are using art to make the world more just, more kind, more equal.
Method of Instruction and Study: This is a Residential College course. If you choose this seminar, you are also choosing to live in the Languages & Cultures College housing with students who have interests similar to yours. Please note additional required participation in the Symposium and the fall field trip (date/time TBA). Please refer to the Residential College website for a description of the program.
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 16742
Section: RESC 098 17
Title: Latinx Experience in the US
Instructor: Rojas, David M.
General Course Objectives: Improve skills of writing, oral communication, and critical thinking • Critically explore the historical roots of contemporary social issues • Analyze how systemic conditions shape personal experiences.
Description of Subject Matter: We explore the experiences of people who live in the United States and were born in Latin America (or have roots in the region). We examine how they grapple with challenging circumstances (from immigration policies to the "war on drugs" and gender violence) by building diverse and vibrant communities.
Method of Instruction and Study: Class time includes a mix of lecture, discussion, student presentations, and small group discussions. Students are expected to read assigned materials prior to each meeting as well as to complete scheduled assignments that are to be submitted online. These assignments will help students prepare for the classroom-based activities as well as for the quizzes, tests, and papers that they are expected to complete.
Instructional Materials and Sources: Course materials include films, short videos, documentaries, book chapters, journal articles, and news pieces.
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 16407
Section: RESC 098 18
Title: Comic Books and Social Justice
Instructor: Gregory, Chase P.
General Course Objectives: Throughout the course of the class, we will consider a wide range of sequential art from the early comic strip to the contemporary “graphic novel,” all while asking how this medium reflects, represents, and influences identity formation in the United States. Through our discussion of genre, form, and graphic storytelling, we will interrogate the ways in which comic books can both metaphorize and represent injustice in a myriad of ways. Engaging in this literary analysis will move us to discover how we can be agents of social change, and in particular about the place of art and storytelling within the fight against systems of oppression and inequality. What is the political and social history of sequential art? What is the relationship between authorship, representation, and lived experience? What does it mean to read comics through intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, and ability? And, finally, What does graphic literature have to do with social justice?
Description of Subject Matter: Be they dime-store superhero serials, Sunday funnies, or novel-length illustrated memoirs, comics are a very American medium. As such, comics reveal a lot about identity in the American imagination: that is, reading comics as literature can offer us clues about how race, sexuality, gender, class, and ability manifests in the US imagination. Our reading list showcases authors from a variety of identities, lived experiences, and political and socioeconomic positions. In the course of our semester, we will think through specific historical moments of injustice, oppression, and colonial or racist violence (the Holocaust through Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Israeli occupation through Joe Sacco’s Palestine, indigenous genocide through Gord Hill’s The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book, reproductive justice through Leah Haye’s Not Funny Ha-Ha, American slavery through Kyle Baker’s Nat Turner, etc).
Method of Instruction and Study: Requirements: respectful and frequent classroom engagement; short assignment reflection posts; 1 midterm essay; 1 final essay. Classes will be discussion-based.
Instructional Materials and Sources: Brian Bendis, All-New X-Men 7 (2015) Art Speigelman, Maus: A Survivor’s Tale (1991) Joe Sacco, Palestine (1992) Howard Cruse, Stuck Rubber Baby (1992) Gord Hill, The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book Kyle Baker, Nat Turner (2014) Ebony Flowers, Hot Comb (2019) Leah Hayes, Not Funny Ha-Ha: A Handbook for Something Hard (2020) Ben Passmore, Sports is Hell (2020) Maia Kobabe, Gender Queer: A Memoir (2020) Please also list what requirement this course fulfills. FOUN, W1, RPI, DUSC
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 16776
Section: RESC 098 19
Title: Math and Liberation
Instructor: Ryan, Nathan C.
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 16436
Section: RESC 098 20
Title: Whose Story Is History?
Instructor: Ponnuswami, Meenakshi
General Course Objectives: In recent years, the United States has been embroiled in spirited and sometimes bitter struggles over confederate flags and monuments, sports mascots, museum exhibits, national holidays, reparations, cultural appropriation, and cancel culture. Underlying these disputes are deep divisions over national and group identity, historical truths, and the meaning of the past. Our course will explore several such controversies and the possibilities for consensus and reconciliation. Whose story is history? Do we own our own past? How do we understand where we came from and tell stories about our origins? Are some stories more true than others? Who gets to decide? How do our histories (and stories) define who we are? How can they shape our future?
Description of Subject Matter: Each units of our class will focus on a specific contemporary debate. We will examine a range of theoretical questions concerning the politics and techniques of history-making and history-telling: what’s omitted from dominant narratives of history; how history is altered by perspective (e.g. top-down vs. bottom-up or male vs. female); how untold stories shape our understanding of the past; the aesthetics and politics of memorializing.
Method of Instruction and Study: Students will write weekly response papers, two formal essays, and a research paper. Expect plenty of reading, writing, and discussion.
Instructional Materials and Sources: Texts to be assigned.
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 16631
Section: RESC 098 21
Title: Religious Diversity in America
Instructor: Gasaway, Brantley W.
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 16525
Section: RESC 098 22
Title: Revolution! A Global History
Instructor: Dosemeci, Mehmet
General Course Objectives: Since 1776, humans have initiated and participated in over 300 revolutions. This course will introduce students to the global history and theory of revolution in the modern period. Its basic premise is that revolution, and the attendant attempts to counter, cordon, or direct it, has defined the modern era of humanity.
Description of Subject Matter: The course begins by asking a simple question: How did revolution become something that human beings can do? What made it possible for humans to first think about then enact an abrupt, transgressive, and intentional transformation of the society in which they live? From this initial question, the course will examine the viral spread of revolution across the earth over the past two centuries. Topics that we will engage with include: Changes in the meaning and practice of revolution, the relation of revolution to ideologies of nationalism, democracy, socialism, secularism, and religion; the emergence of people who call themselves revolutionaries (and conservatives); revolutionary spaces/time; and the concepts of permanent and counter revolution. The course will conclude with discussion of the global uprisings that have rocked the world since 2011 and the prospects for revolution in the United States today.
Method of Instruction and Study: Seminar, Discussion of readings and films, Individual Papers, Collective Project
Instructional Materials and Sources: Primary and secondary historical material, Theory, Films.
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 16470
Section: RESC 098 23
Title: China: Revol. to World Factory
Instructor: Chen, Song
General Course Objectives: About a century ago, China was under the rule of the Manchu emperors, repeatedly invaded, and forced to give in to the demands of foreign powers. About half a century ago, China spearheaded the international communist movement. Today, China is best known for its vibrant market economy and its immense political influence. Have you ever wondered what had been the driving forces behind these dramatic changes in China in the last two centuries?

In recent years, the proliferation of digital resources is bringing a revolution to the humanities. The revolution has not only given us convenient access to an unprecedented body of qualitative and quantitative data in the digital format, but it has also provided us with new tools for processing these data, asking new questions, and communicating our findings to a broad audience in new ways. Have you ever wondered what these tools are, and how may we best make use of them?

This course is designed for anyone who has an inquisitive mind for either or both of the above questions. In this course, an investigate China’s modern history in the last two centuries takes place side by side with an exploration of a diverse body of digital tools at our disposal. This course has two objectives. First, it helps students develop a basic understanding of modern Chinese history, its logic, and its relevance to China today. Second, it helps students cultivate a basic literacy of a selected array of digital tools available for humanists, which are transferrable to their academic and career pursuits outside this class. By combining knowledge and intellectual skills in both domains, students will create a series of public-facing projects that communicate their understanding of modern China to a wide audience.

Description of Subject Matter: First, this course surveys the major changes in China’s political development, social life, economy, and intellectual trends from the mid-19th century to today. Topics include the impacts of Western imperialism in China, the rise of nationalism and communism, Leninist party-states and mass politics, and China’s transformation first into a command economy and then into a market economy in the last century.

Second, this course also explores digital tools that humanists use, such as those for text analysis, image annotation, and digital mapmaking. Students will combine their knowledge of modern Chinese history and their technological competency to develop public-facing humanities projects.

Method of Instruction and Study: This course combines short lectures with discussion and lab exercises. A wide range of instructional materials will be used in this course, including translated primary sources, scholarly articles, news reports, documentaries and movies, historical photos and propaganda posters. All readings, lab materials, and other assignments are in English. This course does not involve programming, nor does it require any prior knowledge of programming, Chinese history, or Chinese language. The performance of students will be evaluated by class discussion and presentations, formal and informal writing tasks, and digital projects.
Instructional Materials and Sources: No textbook is required. All readings and lab materials will be on the course websites.
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 15743
Section: RESC 098 24
Title: Sustainable Harvest
Instructor: Spiro, Mark D.
Method of Instruction and Study: This foundation seminar is part of the Food Residential College that will investigate the American Food system through the social sciences and natural sciences. This seminar will focus on ecological and evolutionary perspectives of food and agriculture and the connections to human culture and health. We will delve into human evolutionary history to understand how our modern diet of processed foods leads to an increase in disease. We will explore the indigenous roots of organic agriculture and the promise of regenerative farming to address our current environmental crises and to generate a more just and equitable food system. We will gain hands-on experience in food production at Bucknell Farm.
Instructional Materials and Sources: TBA
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 15744
Section: RESC 098 25
Title: Food, Culture and Society
Instructor: Durden, Elizabeth
General Course Objectives: In the Food Residential College, you'll uncover new ways to think about what we eat, exploring the complex relationship between humans, food, and the natural and social world. This course delves into the significant relationships between people, culture, and food across society. We will explore the social and political origins of agriculture and the development of our modern industrial food systems and the impact of such a system on the social and environmental costs of our modern food system.
Description of Subject Matter: This foundation seminar is part of the Food Residential College that will investigate the American Food system through the social sciences and natural sciences. In this seminar, we will explore foodways or the cultural, social and economic practices related to the consumption of food. This course delves into the significant relationships between people, culture, and food across society. We will explore the social and political origins of agriculture and the development of our modern industrial food systems and the impact of such a system on the social and environmental costs of our modern food system. We will explore how one's race and socioeconomic status impact one’s ability to obtain healthy nutritious foods. Furthermore, how are alternative food systems both a social and political act?
Method of Instruction and Study:
Intimate seminar course built around lecture, readings and class discussion. Get ready to get your hands dirty and explore new cuisines as the Food Residential College will not only take place in the classroom but in the field, where you will gain hands-on experience growing and preparing food to share with your fellow students. We will work on the Bucknell Farm as well as delve into the local food system. Field trips range from a local farmer's market to a cultural food tour of Philadelphia.
This is a Residential College course. If you choose this seminar, you are also choosing to live in the Food College housing with students who have interests similar to yours. Please note additional required participation in the Symposium and the fall field trip (date/time TBA). Please refer to the Residential College website for a description of the program.
Instructional Materials and Sources: Academic readings, current news sources and appropriate documentaries.
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 13895
Section: RESC 098 27
Title: Both EdgesofTechnology’s Sword
Instructor: Knoedler, Jan T.
General Course Objectives: To develop writing, reading, speaking, listening, and information literacy skills in a seminar format, and to think critically about the use and impact of several modern technologies on society and the economy.
Description of Subject Matter: In this class, we will be considering the following features of technological change: while it is undeniable that new technologies have, at least in modern times, improved the standard of living for many and made possible the previously impossible, in doing so, technology has too often created winners and losers, creating technology’s double-edged sword. To get a better sense of the winners and the losers, we will consider several of these double edges: the widened South Fork dam that eased travel for Pittsburgh’s new industrial elite but also and Johnstown workers; CRISPR’s life saving tools that can eliminate cruel genetic diseases but also create a new eugenics; emerging AI and robotic tools that will reduce onerous, backbreaking, repetitive work but also eliminate the livelihoods for many; communications tools that have allowed us to communicate instantaneously with friends and family wherever they are but have also led to addiction, social isolation, and political polarization. We will look at both of technology’s edges – the edge that sometimes aids those with advantages due to geography, skills, genetics, and more, and the other edge that often leaves the rest further and further behind.
Method of Instruction and Study: Seminar class, including discussion, some group projects, writing assignments consistent with the goals of W1 classes, and a presentation as part of the Residential Colleges symposium.

This is a Residential College course. If you choose this seminar, you are also choosing to live in the Society & Technology College housing with students who have interests similar to yours. Please note additional required participation in the Symposium and the fall field trip (date/time TBA). Please refer to the Residential College website for a description of the program.

Instructional Materials and Sources: Texts TBD, but a combination of texts and Moodle readings are planned.
Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 13574
Section: RESC 098 28
Title: Once and Future Plagues
Instructor: Stowe, Emily L.
General Course Objectives: This W1 course is designed to help students develop their writing, reading, speaking, and listening skills at the collegiate level through an exploration of the impact of past pandemics and possible future pandemics. At the end of the course, students will develop their analytical skills necessary for independent academic research work. .
Description of Subject Matter: From the mid-19th century to today we have seen a continuous drop in deaths due to infectious disease in the United States. Antimicrobial drugs, immunization, water treatment and sanitation all played a role in bringing those death rates down. Relatively few individuals will have lost a family member to an infectious disease but this safety is new. This class will explore how infectious diseases shaped society throughout history, focusing on specific diseases (for example: plague, tuberculosis, cholera), and time points (for example: the colonization of the Americas by Europeans and the decimation of native populations that followed). We will look at how the development of microbiology and public health lead to the decline of these diseases. Finally, we will end by examining how modern life has brought about new infectious foes and allowed others to return (HIV/AIDS, MERS, SARS, Ebola, antibiotic resistance).
Method of Instruction and Study: Students will explore the scientific and cultural issues surrounding communicable disease through a combination of reading and writing assignments in addition to in-class activities. Students will practice reading and interpreting primary scientific literature, learn how to participate in seminar discussions, work with small groups to actively learn new concepts, conduct independent research, and develop written, oral, and video media presentation skills

This is a Residential College course. If you choose this seminar, you are also choosing to live in the Discovery College housing with students who have interests similar to yours. Please note additional required participation in the Symposium and the fall field trip (date/time TBA). Please refer to the Residential College website for a description of the program.

Requirements: Writing Level 1

CRN: 16828
Section: RESC 098 29
Title: End of the World as We Know It
Instructor: Vollmayr-Lee, Ben P.
Description of Subject Matter: The idea is to explore the various ways our society is or could be confronted with a significant challenge to our continued existence. Some well-known examples include climate change, a pandemic, and a large meteor collision, which is generally believed to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. But we will consider many more: such as the death of our sun, an alien invasion, a super volcano eruption, a flip of the earth's magnetic field, a geoengineering disaster (perhaps as we try to solve climate change), a wandering black hole, and more. The goal isn't to make ourselves thoroughly depressed! Rather, we will learn some of the interesting science behind these scenarios (how long will the sun live? How can we estimate the likelihood of alien contact? Why would a flip of the Earth's magnetic field be disastrous?) and also explore some of the society and policy dimensions. Which events can we plan for and take action against? How would our society react to the challenge of either preventing or responding to a disaster? There is some great science fiction that explores these scenarios that we read for this class. And maybe we will learn how to help our civilization navigate these challenges so that we can survive for another 10^106 years, where, unfortunately, the heat death of the universe awaits us.
Method of Instruction and Study: There will be readings, discussion, and a variety of writing assignments. This is a Residential College course. If you choose this seminar, you are also choosing to live in the Society and Technology College housing with students who have interests similar to yours. Please note additional required participation in the Symposium and the fall field trip (date/time TBA). Please refer to the Residential College website for a description of the program.
Requirements: Writing Level 1
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