W Program Course Offerings: Fall 2014


Fall 2014 W Courses

Tandem: The Art of Living: ART 211W- 01 - Ceramics: Introduction to Clay. Sandi Ginter. 3.5 Credits. TR 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.  In tandem with PHIL 110W - Introduction to Philosophy- Patti Sayre 3.5 credits; MWF 11-11:50 and W 12-12:50 Both ceramics and philosophy are arts. The ceramicist, as artist, reaches for a deeper understanding of her medium. Her aim is to realize the potentials in clay through the creation of artefacts that — perhaps more frequently than those produced in any other of the fine arts—can be integrated and actually used as part of daily life, making that life a richer, more meaningful whole. The philosopher, likewise, reaches for a deeper understanding of her medium, in this case, life itself, exploring what it might mean to live a life that is a rich and meaningful whole.

In this tandem we will read our way in historical order through some highlights of western philosophical attempts to discover, by deploying our capacity for abstract thought, what goes into fashioning a meaningful life. Along the way, we will discuss the nature of beauty and creativity, learning what we can from the very concrete activity of bringing aesthetically satisfying meaning forth in the studio through both hand building and throwing on the wheel. Assignments in one class will in many cases connect directly to those in the other, allowing us plenty of opportunity for exploring the connections between these two challenging and engaging disciplines. Sophia Learning Outcomes: ART 211W:   LO1 - Arts for Living/ Creative and Performing Arts, Studio Art Course; PHIL 110W:  LO1 - Traditions and Worldviews/ Philosophical Worldviews; Tandem: LO2 - Basic Writing Competence (upon instructor recommendation).


COMM 103W -04 - Introduction to Communication Studies - Susan Baxter. 4 credits; TR 11:00-12:15 and M 2-2:50 What is human communication, and how has it shaped centuries of human development? What makes us choose one form of communication over another? What are the effects of each medium of communication on the quality of our messages? We will explore these and many more such questions during our course of study in Comm 103W. Students are invited to think critically and creatively about the process of communication. We study principles of intrapersonal, interpersonal and small group communication, and experiment with techniques of public speaking. We investigate the unique joys and struggles associated with intercultural communication. We also consider contemporary communication media: mediated interpersonal communication, mass communication, and social media. Writing assignments are designed to allow the student to demonstrate college-level writing proficiency. Sophia Learning Outcomes: LO1 - Arts for Living/ Creative and Performing Arts; LO2: Basic Writing Competence (upon instructor recommendation). (Section reserved for First-Years)


ENLT 109W- 01 - Philosophy and Fiction - Joseph Cardinale 4 credits; MW 11-12:15; F 11-11:50. This course will investigate the intersection between fiction and philosophical inquiry. Through writing and discussion, we will examine a selection of novels and stories that dramatize a range of philosophical problems, paradoxes, and questions: What is the self? What is happiness? What is reality? What is a perfect society? What is the relationship between mind and body? Are we free to choose, or are our actions determined by forces beyond our control? The assigned texts will invite us to consider and discuss how different characters and authors confront similar spiritual, ethical, and existential crises of meaning and purpose, knowledge and identity. We will read in order to understand, examine, and critique the perspectives of these authors, and we will write in order to discover, debate, and refine our own personal answers to the question they raise. At the end of the course, students will be better equipped to read critically, think dialectically, and draw connections between a diverse range of books and ideas. Writing assignments will include four out-of-class essays and two in-class essays. Authors may include: Leo Tolstoy, Albert Camus, Flannery O'Connor, Ursula LeGuinn, Franz Kafka, and others, as well as at least one film. Sophia Learning Outcomes: LO1 - Humanities/Literature; LO2 - Basic Writing Competence (upon instructor recommendation).


ENLT 109W-02. Dialogue - Tom Bonnell. 4 credits; TR 9:30-10:45 and R 8:30-9:20. "Where are you now?" This question begins countless cell-phone conversations for a reason: speech craves a context. To process what someone is saying, we need to assess where they are coming from - both literally and figuratively.  The same need factors into our understanding of literature. Wherever dialogue occurs in poems, plays, short stories, and novels, it requires careful scrutiny. Situating speakers within dialogue (determining what they know, what they don't, what they're hiding, what they're feeling, what they want to say, what they might be unable to say, or why they're talking) is one of the vital aspects of reading, among others, that we will practice on a variety of works. Sophia Learning Outcomes: LO1 - Humanities/Literature; LO2 - Basic Writing Competence (upon instructor recommendation).


ENLT 109W-03. Language and Literature - The Work of Literature - Aaron Moe - 4 credits; MWF 10-10:50 and W 4:30-5:20. This course introduces students to reading and writing about literature at the college level. The following question drives our exploration: this thing called literature—what work does it do? The course is concerned with what literature means, but is much more concerned with what literature does. As the course unfolds, students will explore and articulate many responses to this question including the following:

- Literature can prompt existential/spiritual growth for the individual (Kafka);
- Literature can expose the intersections between social and environmental justice (Alexie; Kincaid);
- Literature can revel in the ways nature, culture, power, and politics interrelate (Alexie; Kincaid; Hillman; Dickinson);
- Literature can cultivate a sense of dwelling in language and on the earth (Dickinson; Hillman);
- Literature can explore the complexity of identity (Shakespeare; Alexie; Kincaid);
- Literature can enhance an awareness of multispecies communities (Dickinson; Hillman);
- Literature can create and sustain community (applies generally to al literature);
- Literature can fight against a failure of imagination (applies generally to all literature);
- Literature can explore transformative moments in individuals and in society (applies generally to all literature). Sophia Learning Outcomes: LO1 - Humanities/Literature; LO2 - Basic Writing Competence (upon instructor recommendation).


ENLT 109W-04. Introduction to Latina Literature - Ann Marie Alfonso-Forero. - 4 credits; TR 9:30-10:45 and W 2-2:50 This course introduces students to reading and writing about literature at the college level. Throughout the semester we will focus on skills that will help you produce insightful literary analysis, such as active reading, close reading, moving from observation to analysis, constructing interpretive arguments, and using literary texts as evidence. We will also focus on the elements of basic writing proficiency, such as thesis statements, support, organization, style, and revision. Our readings will include novels, short stories, nonfiction, film, graphic novels, and poetry by Latina writers and artists. These texts provide rich and varied representations of immigration, second-generation experiences, and the politics of Latina identity in America. More specifically, we will examine how these texts engage with issues surrounding ethnicity, culture, racialized discrimination, class, gender, and sexuality. Writers may include Julia Alvarez, Sandra Cisneros, Ana Menendez, Cherri Moraga, Jessica Abel, Pat Mora, and others. Sophia Learning Outcomes: LO1 - Humanities/Literature,  LO2 - Basic Writing Competence (upon instructor recommendation).

ENLT 109W-05 and ENLT 109W-06. Contemporary American Literature - Matt Benedict. See Prism for description and times. Sophia Learning Outcomes: LO1 - Humanities/Literature; LO2 - Basic Writing Competence (upon instructor recommendation).

History 202W-01 - U.S. History Since 1865 - Jamie Wagman. 4 credits; TR 12:30-1:45 and W 1-1:50. This course melds U.S. History (which satisfies a Sophia requirement) with writing (which satisfies the W requirement). The class will focus on U.S. History from the Civil War to the present and on writing skills. Classroom presentations will cover such topics as the 1920's "Jazz Age," the Depression era, the two World Wars, Vietnam, the Civil Rights movement, hippies, and Watergate. Students will learn to write persuasive arguments which incorporate both primary and secondary historical sources. The goal throughout will be to introduce students to fascinating historical topics and to help them find their own voice in their written arguments about those topics. Sophia Learning Outcomes: LO1- Cultures and Systems/History requirement; LO2 - Basic Writing Competence (upon instructor recommendation)


ICS 201W02 M 4.000 Intro to Intercultural  Studies - Marc Belanger. MWF 1-1:50;  R 12:30-1:20. An introduction to intercultural studies through an examination of 1) the relationship between culture and identity, 2) patterns of behavior and attitudes engendered by intercultural contact, 3) systems of power and privilege, and 4) expressions of identity. The course emphasizes the necessity of intercultural skills in the pluralistic society of the United States in the twenty-first century. An understanding
of different perspectives is also fostered through the study of texts which voice the viewpoints and histories of various identity groups within the United States. Sophia Learning Outcomes: LO1 - Traditions and Worldviews/ Histories, LO2 - Basic Writing Competence (upon instructor recommendation), and, LO3 - Intercultural Competence A and B.

POSC 151W-03.  Political Issues - Amy Cavender. 4 Cr. MWF 9-9:50 and W 3-3:50. This course is designed to introduce students to some of the fundamental questions and issues of politics. We will begin by asking what questions should be considered “political,” and why they should be thought of as political questions. As we examine some of those questions, we will also explore some of the answers that careful thinkers in the course of history have proposed for them, and give careful thought to the answers that we ourselves might give.

Though we will devote considerable time and energy to fundamental political questions, we will not spend the entire semester in theorizing. Politics is a practical science, and the provisional answers that we give to the questions we will be considering have real-world implications. Accordingly, we will also consider some of the ways in which answers to these questions are translated into such areas of concern as political behavior, particular types of political systems, relationships among countries, etc. Sophia Learning Outcomes: LO1 - Cultures and Systems/ Social Science I, LO2 - Basic Writing Competence (upon instructor recommendation).


RLST 101W - Introducing Religious Studies: World Religions in Dialogue. Anita Houck. 4 cr. TR 2-3:15, Also meets W 2-2:50. How can learning about religion help us understand ourselves and others? This writing-intensive course will explore that question as we gain a sound basic understanding of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, and the nature of religion. We’ll take four main approaches. First, we’ll practice scholarly tools that will help us understand religions, others, and ourselves better. Second, we’ll learn some of the major concepts that make these religions distinctive, and perhaps make them similar as well. Third, we’ll study different kinds of religious texts, from sacred scriptures to a contemporary documentary about rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism. Finally, we’ll examine the diverse, changing ways these religions are lived today and portrayed in contemporary media. Students will also have the opportunity to develop skills needed for college-level and professional writing. Writing assignments will explore different prose genres, including a research essay, and each student will create a portfolio of her work to submit. Sophia Learning Outcomes:   LO1 - Traditions and Worldviews, Religious Traditions I,  LO2 - Basic Writing Competence (upon instructor recommendation), and LO3 - Intercultural Competence A.

SOC 203W-02. Social Problems - Susan Alexander.  4 Cr. TR 3:30-4:45 and R 4:50-5:40. This course provides a sociological (social scientific) perspective on contemporary issues that individuals regard as GLOBAL social problems. Information about social problems is presented in various media sites such as TV news programs, books or journal articles, and Internet websites. In order to highlight the interconnectivity among various social problems at the global level, particular attention will be given to two global concerns: the production and distribution of petroleum and climate change. Among the countries included in our discussion are: Iran, Venezuela, Chad, Nigeria, Kenya, China, Afghanistan, Mexico, Easter Island, and the United States. By learning to critically analyze the both the information/data and the media sites that present information, students will gain valuable tools for becoming a more critically informed global citizen. Sophia Learning Outcomes:  LO1 Science for the Citizen/ Social Science II, LO2 - Basic Writing Competence (upon instructor recommendation), and  LO3: Global Learning B, Social Responsibility A.

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