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Humanities

The Fall LEAP course is entitled The Environmental Consciousness.  Most simply put, it is a course about nature and how we see ourselves in nature.  And like all LEAP courses, it explores aspects of community and diversity – specifically, in this case, through an environmental lens.  We examine the ecological, cultural, and ethical dimensions of the often vexed and always complex relationship between human beings and the natural (or non-human) world.  Along the way we survey and compare numerous competing interpretations of nature – as scenery, laboratory, commodity, garden, sanctuary, wasteland, enigma, mirror, destination, home, etc. – in terms of an evolving American self-consciousness.  Readings for the course include scholarly articles, first-person narratives, fiction and nonfiction – plus we watch the documentary film, Grizzly Man.  The course aims to provide the student with both a sense of historical scope and cultural breadth.  (Fulfills the Social/Behavioral Science university requirement)

The Spring LEAP course is entitled Crossing Borders: Identity in the Modern World.  What do we mean by border crossings?  Sometimes we mean a literal, physical movement across political boundaries, reflecting the restless modern impulse to establish a sense of place in the world.  Yet we will also come to understand borders in a more figurative sense, as represented by the limits and prohibitions against which people strive.  Finally, bridging these concepts, we will reflect upon how human identity is constructed and defined in terms of physicality, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc. – and the myriad “crossings” that complicate identity formation, both within individuals and within communities.  Along the way, we will consider a diverse array of human experience (and at least one monster’s) while becoming fluent with terms like alienation, displacement, andhybridity.  The final project for the course will challenge students to grapple with these concepts on a more personal and familial level.  (Fulfills both the Humanities and Diversity university requirements)

 

Last Updated: 3/22/17