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INQUIRY SEMINAR

Course Number: INQS-125

Course Description:
2016 Fall Semester:

INQS 125 01 Star Wars Philosophy - A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, thinkers confronted the same fundamental questions that philosophers consider today. We will therefore develop philosophical tools and theories through interpretation of the "Star Wars" films. Is Han Solo an empiricist? Should anyone accept Darth Vader's social contract? Does Kylo Ren have a choice to [SPOILER REDACTED]? Join us to find out! 4 credits.

INQS 125 02 The Economics Detective - What is an economics detective? An economics detective sleuths out economic explanations for everyday events. She is a curious person who wonders why there seems to be a coffee shop on most busy downtown corners; why imposing a tax could help control climate change; and why some countries are rich and some are poor. Contemplating and writing about questions like these will occupy your time in this course. 4 credits.

INQS 125 03 What to Listen to in the World - Through engaged inquiry, students in What to Listen for in the World will embark on a journey of sound. We will Listen to music of diverse cultures of the world and learn what are the "songs" we share in common Experience "songs of the earth" through mindful listening of soundscapes in remote and local environments and develop awareness of the great biodiversity in nature's music Explore the connections of music, culture, the environment, and their interdependence towards a sustainable future. Questions to be investigated include Why and how should we listen to music of the world? Where is music performed and for what reasons? What effect does music have on us as we listen? How does music sustain culture? How can music increase awareness of environmental issues? How does one's environment and culture affect their music making, music listening, and quality of life? How can music be used to sustain us collectively and individually in our walk of awareness through life? How does music connect us with our friends, family, and the rest of the world? Through thoughtful research, discussion, writing, film analysis, sound walking, mindful listening, and engaged inquiry, students will draw conclusions about the value of music and its connection to cultural and environmental sustainability. Students will learn What to Listen for in the World in order to foster awareness and action towards a sustainable future for all the world's cultures and environments. 4 credits. $35 fee.

INQS 125 04 - Votes for Women - 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 05 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 07 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 08 Three Novels of the American West- Beyond Hollywood's slick and surface-deep notions of open ranges, mountain men, shady ladies, and wild Indians, we might not think of the American West as having much in the way of cultural traditions - partly because we tend to want to forget about what happened to and was done to indigenous peoples, partly because even now ourcAnglo-European-US history is not all that deep. Our class will examine and to some extent challenge these assumptions as we read three quite different yet also overlapping novels set in the West. We'll also do some research into questions raised by our readings we form clearer understandings of the cultural history that has shaped and continues to influence those living in the American West. Novels: Fools Crow, by James Welch; The Jump-Off Creek, by Molly Gloss; and Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner. 4 credits.

INQS 125 09 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 10 Path of Wisdom - This course explores the world's "wisdom" traditions through the study of the Biblical Wisdom books (Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and Psalms). We will bring in other texts from ancient Southwest Asian traditions, other world religions, and contemporary voices that deal with wisdom, suffering, and theodicy. We will consider how these texts continue to have relevance and address the quesions: Does the world have order and meaning? What would a "successful" and "happy" life look like, and how might we pursue that goal? How should we make sense of suffering and injustice in the created order? 4 credits.

INQS 125 11 Complementary Healing Methods - In the United States, there is an increasing use of complementary and alterna- tive 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 25 12 Living Well, Living Long - An investigation of factors that contribute to longevity, with emphasis on cultural lifestyle, spiritual and ecological influences. Examines personal lifestyle choices and sustainability practices as they relate to health and well being in the present and for the future. 4 credits

INQS 125 13 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 14 What is a Good Citizen - 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 outli

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