Spring 2014 Inquiry Seminar (INQS 125) Course Descriptions
INQS 125 From the Beats to the Beatles - Throughout the 1960s, as the lines between the personal and the political became increasingly blurred, the lines between the nation's artists and activists began to blur as well. By the end of the decade, writers like Allen Ginsberg, Hunter S. Thompson, and Anne Sexton were as famous for their political activism and their personal escapades as they were for their writing. Indeed, it is impossible to fully understand the decade's literature without understanding its activism, and vice versa. The best way of understanding the 1960s is to bear these paradoxes in mind: democracy and separatism; personal and political; art and activism. And this will be the basic method for this course: to write our way to understanding how social movements inform and are informed by literature, song, and oratory. 4 credits.
INQS 125: Coming of Age in Literature – How do you go from being a child to being an adult? What are the key stages and conflicts in this process? How does your older self relate to your younger self, to your parents, to your companions, to ghosts of the past? We will explore how authors represent this transformation in a variety of genres: memoir, novel, drama, and a selection of poetry and short fiction from Shakespeare to Sherman Alexie. We will also explore theories of development and its representations, and even try writing original coming-of-age stories. 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.
INQS 125 War! Ecological and Cultural Perscpectives – What is "war", and why is it so mucha a part of human experience? Ecological, archaeological, and anthropological perspectives on origins, causes, nature, and effects of war on human societies and cultures. 4 credits.
INQS 125 Nuclear Society – Nuclear technologies are ubiquitous, and they influence energy policy, foreign policy, religious debate, pop culture, and contemporary medicine. Examine the underlying science and history of nuclear technology in order to explore the variety of issues it raises. From the discovery of radio-activity, the creation of the atomic bomb, to the development of nuclear power and other modern technologies, students will explore the fundamentals of nuclear science and investigate its impact upon their world. 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 Tattoos, Piercings, and Postmodern Identities – Explore how and why body alterations have intersected with personal identity in the 21st century. Using poststructural theory as a framework, we will investigate tattoos, piercings, and gender identity. Books, journal articles, videos, and social media will serve as course texts, and students will complete writing in a variety of genres. Each student will complete a research project related to an identity of her/his choice, such as religious, social class, cultural, language, and online identities. The course will culminate with the creation of a class performance autoethnography. 4 credits.
INQS 125 Globetrotters – Explore a variety of ways that people encounter, and experience, other cultures: in their own families, through study abroad, international travel, immigration/emigration, pioneering, business, love, etc. Course materials include readings of travel writings, journal articles, a historical novel, and other written texts; oral histories (including family interviews), video and audio materials, and international guests. 4 credits.