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INQS Fall 2014

INQS 125 Complementary Healing Methods – In the United States, there is an increasing use of complementary and alternative medical techniques in the treatment of various illnesses. Some of these methods have their origins in other cultures. Examine the efficacy of complementary healing methods such as intercessory prayer, humor, and animals as well as exploring healing methods used in other cultures around the world. 4 credits.

INQS 125 Demons in Our Midst: The Dead and the Un-Dead: The Rise of the Literary Vampire from Folklore to Stoker – Study the evidence presented in folklore descriptions of the dead who were assumed to be Vampires. Trace the evolution of that folklore creature through several Romantic and Victorian incarnations, and consider the rise of this figure in the enlightened West and our continued fascination with its descendants. 4 credits.

INQS 125 Four Novels of the American West – In this seminar we’ll read and discuss three more or less conventional historical novels of the American west, and one science fiction version that —we’ll have to decide—may or may not relate to the first three. What novels, you ask? They are, in the order that we’ll read them, Fools Crow, a novel immersed in Native American culture just as its way of life is threatened by white settlement, written by Native American author James Welch; Little Century, by Linfield’s own Anna Keesey and focusing on an orphaned teenager who journeys from Chicago to her cousin’s town in central Oregon; The Jump-Off Creek, Molly Gloss’s novel of a woman determined to find her own independence along a creek in eastern Oregon high country; and Ursula LeGuin’s classic sci-fi novel, published in 1971 and set in a fictional Portland, Oregon, some thirty years later, The Lathe of Heaven. What stories make our cultural history? What does it matter to know some of them? How do such stories inform the present? We’ll discuss these and similar questions by paying close attention to the fictional lives we’ll encounter in these four quite compelling books. 4 credits.

INQS 125 The Genius of East Asia: An Introduction to the Cultures of China, Korea and Japan – An introduction to the philosophical foundations of East Asian culture and examines the cultural highlights of the three major civilizations in East Asia: China, Korea and Japan. Examine the visual arts, music and literature of these three civilizations. All works will be read in English translation and no background in an Asian language is required. 4 credits.

INQS 125 History of Mexican Immigration to the U.S. – An introduction to the nature of U.S. cultural, political, and economic relationships with Mexicans and Mexican Americans via an exploration of Mexican immigration to the U.S. Examine both the historical context of this process, as well as contemporary issues surrounding the immigration debate. Explore the historical importance of Mexican immigrants to the U.S. economic and political system, as well as the role Mexican immigrants have played in the shaping of U.S. cultural identity. 4 credits.

INQS 125 In Search of the Good Life – What is the “good life”? This is perhaps the deepest human question. It is not only a question recipients of a liberal arts education should ask, but also a question that permeates film and literature. Looking at thinkers as ancient as Aristotle and films as contemporary as “Food, Inc.”, this class will discuss and evaluate different conceptions of a good life and provide a place for students to engage in their own inquiry. 4 credits.

INQS 125 Language Matters – Study American English and examine the influence of other languages (e.g. German and Spanish) on the development of the American idiom. Examine the role of dialects and slang in constant linguistic renewal. The course’s main text is an informal history of the United States as seen through a linguistic lens, illuminated musically through introduction of American folk songs, the texts of which often shed important light on our social and linguistic past. 4 credits.

INQS 125 Living Well, Living Long – Students will investigate factors contributing to longevity, with an emphasis on culture, lifestyle, and spiritual influences. Examine personal lifestyle choices and behavior change theory as they relate to health and well being in the present and for the future. 4 credits.

INQS 125 Meditation: From Monks to Modern Times – What is meditation? How does it affect the brain, behavior, and general well being? And how can we know? Increasingly, techniques for cultivating mindfulness drawn from Buddhism and other religious traditions are being studied scientifically and applied in many different contexts. Focusing primarily on the study of Buddhist techniques, students will explore the topic of meditation, its apparent effects on the brain, and the various contexts in which its practice has entered the mainstream of our modern, globalized culture. 4 credits.

INQS 125 Multicultural America – Students will develop a deeper understanding of both the concept of pluralism and multiculturalism and the impact these ideas have on our lives. Define the term multiculturalism, and negotiate its meaning within the context of our own geographical, sociological, economic, and political frameworks. 4 credits.

INQS 125 Reimagining the Other – Explore cultural encounters between Spaniards and natives in the Americas and the subsequent (mis)representations of indigenous others in the writings and art of the colonial period. Focus on conquest and colonization as an on-going process. Study the ways in which native peoples strive to preserve remnants of their culture. Sources include film, art, travel narratives, historical accounts, critical essays, and literature. 4 credits.

INQS 125 Rock ’n’ Roll – Say rock ’n’ roll, and people think of songs, bands, or artists. Rock ’n’ roll is also about politics, society, and ways of living. Rock ’n’ roll shows people how to talk, dress, and interact with others and the world. Rock ’n’ roll showcases free expression, youth culture, and civil disobedience. Rock ’n’ roll is also a multi-billion dollar industry that manifests cultural conformity and economic dominance. This class examines rock ’n’ roll as music, expression, and cultural subversion, and explores how rock’n’roll products drive the engines of commerce. 4 credits.

INQS 125 Russian Writers and Political Violence – This course explores how Russian writers have represented political violence. We will read a variety of fictional and non-fictional texts and focus on how writers have understood, depicted—and, in some cases, experienced—three forms of violence that have been recurrent features not only of Russian history, but of the history of much of the world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: the bloody interface between the imperialist state and its colonial subjects, which for Russia played out (and continues to play out) most dramatically in the Caucasus mountains; the terrorist campaigns of revolutionary insurgents, which Russian radicals pioneered in the 1870s and to which they turned periodically through the first decades of the twentieth century; and the mass murder perpetrated by a dictatorial state against its own citizens, which took the lives of millions of people in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin in the 1930s and 1940s. 4 credits.

INQS 125 The Tragic Side of Life – What is specifically tragic about a tragedy? How is “tragic” different from “very sad” or “dramatic”? Through discussion of the ascription of the name “tragedy” to several plays, from “Oedipus Tyrannus” to “Exit the King,” students will speculate about what they have to say about suffering, transcendence and fate, as well as society and gender, and more generally, about human self-understanding. Students will also explore the presence of a tragic dimension in other creative venues. 4 credits.

INQS 125 What is Good Citizenship – What is a Good Citizen? Explores ideas about and commitments to citizenship. Is being a good citizen more than the occasional paying of taxes and casting of ballots? Has the concept of citizenship changed over time? Are the duties, obligations and privileges of US citizenship peculiar to its borders? Has technology undermined nationalism and dissolved borders? This class will consider these questions and more as well as outline many forms of civic engagement taking insights from philosophy, political activism and history. Using literature, film, and classroom debate, students will be challenged to create their own critical assessments and agendas for wider community engagement. 4 credits.

INQS 125 What to Listen to in the World – Music is the product and expression of all humanity. Is all sound music? Why should we listen to music? How should we listen to music? Where is music performed and for what reasons? What impacts our listening choices? Who makes music and who should support the creation of music and why? What effect does music have on us as we listen? How do other cultures of the world perceive, produce, and organize music and how are their listening choices similar to and different from ours and why? How does music connect us with our friends, family, and the rest of the world? In this Inquiry Seminar, we will explore the sounds and music of our own culture and others in the world. Regardless of a student’s music background, this INQS will help to develop a music vocabulary to understand and to convey in both writing and speaking the various properties of music and its impact on diverse cultures of the world. Through thoughtful research and contemplation, students will consider and discuss the human response to music from physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual directions. Through engaged inquiry, students will draw conclusions about the value music has for the connection of people within their own and other cultures. 4 credits.

INQS 125 Women’s Voices: Demanding the Vote – Explore why and how individuals in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries created new opportunities for women to speak in public, forged the Woman Suffrage Movement, and campaigned for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guarantees women the right to vote. Investigate the life, work and speeches of Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, Abigail Scott Duniway, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, and others. 4 credits.

INQS 125 Women Writing War – Going to war has long been considered the foundational initiation rite of manhood, and yet women’s lives have been deeply affected by it for just as long, both directly and indirectly. In this Inquiry Seminar we will explore literary and cinematic texts by women that document war and the legacies of war across a wide spectrum of experience: combat itself, familial impacts, civilian trauma, and long-term consequences of war both on the home front and in the combat zones war devastates. 4 credits.