Interdisciplinary Studies

IDS 102     Art and Culture (4)

A study of the ways that the arts represent major cultural changes in other-World and Western cultures. Several art forms (literature, performing, or visual arts) will be studied as they mirror social history.  Students will create their own versions of several of theses arts, such as poems, short plays, drawing, or stories. Emphasis falls on the appreciation of each art and its cultural context, with some comparison of the traditions of other-World and West. Specific topics may vary. A reading and writing intensive seminar course; part of the Interdisciplinary Studies General Education Core.

IDS 103     Science, Technology, and Human Values (4)

An exploration of the interrelationships between science and technology and their social and cultural contexts. This course is a topics-based investigation that introduces students to a multi-disciplinary examination of a specific topics with the goal of developing an integrated, coherent, and well-rounded understanding of both that topic and the value of interdisciplinary inquiry. Possible topics include health and illness, food, transportation, energy, information, and other subjects. A reading and writing intensive seminar class; part if the Interdisciplinary Studies General Education Core.

IDS 201     Perspectives on Knowledge (4)

A critical, comparative, cross-cultural analysis of different ways of knowing. Begins by analyzing different ways humans have sought to know the truth, and by comparing and contrasting formal, universal ways of knowing with practical, experience based, problem oriented ways of knowing. The resulting understanding of knowledge provides the foundation for students to develop their own perspectives on knowledge. A reading and writing intensive seminar class; part of the Interdisciplinary Studies General Education Core.

IDS 203     Introduction to Science, Technology, and Society (4)

Explores the humanistic and social dimensions of science and technology by looking at the interactions and interrelationships among science, technology, and society.  We will explore: 1) the practice of science and technology to understand how scientific and technological work are conducted as creative and human enterprises; 2) how science and technology are shaped by different social and economic forces; 3) the impact of science and technology on society; 4) ethical issues related to science and technology.

IDS 204     Understanding Human Nature (4)

Examines human nature from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives including philosophy, religion, psychology, sociology, biology, and literature. It also includes an examination of the implications of the relationships between humans and technology for our understanding of human nature. Meets new General Education Humanities requirement.

IDS 301     Monsters, Robots, Cyborgs (4)

What is the significance of the troubling figures – the monsters, robots, and cyborgs – that haunt our collective imagination? In this course students will examine the monstrous figures and technological bodies that populate the cultural landscape, interpreting them within their social, historical, cultural, political, and intellectual contexts. Approached in this manner, we will explore how these figures reveal our anxieties about the world – anxieties about the social, political, moral, and technological orders that organize our world, and how we fit (and do not fit) within these structures and systems. Meets General Education Humanities requirement.

IDS 302     Postmodernism and Popular Culture (4)

Begins with a foundational overview of major theories of Postmodernism from interdisciplinary perspectives (e.g. philosophy, sociology, psychology, history, anthropology, literary studies, political science). Students will then read, discuss and apply knowledge from more specialized scholarship that discusses some popular cultural practices and artifacts. Assignments include readings, discussion, quizzes, formal and informal writing, presentations, and a midterm and/or final exam. Topics may include: film, television, celebrity, technology, social networking, and self publishing (blogs, wikis, etc.). Fulfills General Education Humanities requirement.

IDS 304     Technology in American History (4)

A lecture and reading and writing intensive course in American History organized around the theme of technology. History is the understanding of change over time. As such, this course focuses on technology as a central organizing theme to study changes that have happened in America. We will do so by exploring the interrelationships and interactions among technology and the changing political, economic, social, intellectual and cultural contexts in America. As a result, students can become thoughtful analysts of technology in context. Cross-listed with HIS 304.

IDS 311     Humor and Comedy in Society (4)

Beyond being funny, the ways we generate, receive and consume comedy affects the way we view and participate in the world around us. Comedy helps us function in the world, and it shapes the way we perceive things on personal, political and social levels. Laughing at others and ourselves allows us to gain and withhold power, and as such a study of comedy is valuable to understanding aspects of the genre such as aggression, compliance, and transgression. IDS 311 offers a study of comedy from a variety of perspectives (e.g. philosophy, sociology, psychology, history, anthropology, literary studies, political science, and linguistics). Artifacts of study may include film, television, written texts, and radio. Topics of study may include gender and sexuality, ethnicity, political satire, and religious humor. Meets General Education Humanities requirement. For IDS majors this course partially fulfills the Cultural Analysis and Interpretation Area of Inquiry.

IDS 390     Selected Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies (Variable 4)

A selected topic explored in depth from an interdisciplinary perspective.  Students may receive credit for taking the course more than once provided the course has a different topic.

IDS 400     Prominent Themes in Western Civilization Since the Renaissance (4)

A reading and writing intensive course that examines the central themes, issues, and ideas in western civilization in the modern and postmodern eras in an interdisciplinary fashion. It incorporates knowledge from a variety of intellectual fields, including physics, biology, social science, philosophy, political science, and literature. In this course, students will read primarily original sources as well as some secondary sources.  Meets new General Education Western Civilization requirement.

IDS 401     Contemporary Worldviews (4)

A reading and writing intensive course that studies a dominant characteristic of Western thought in the twentieth century through interdisciplinary readings. Students will read primary sources in history, philosophy, science, literature, the visual arts, or social sciences, and will study and compare the nature of the core idea in each discipline.  Possible issues to be examined include the crisis of authority, the ecological consciousness, technology and culture. Meets new General Education Western Civilization requirement.

IDS 410     Research and Critical Methods (4)

Introduction to various modes of analyzing subjects in the humanities and social sciences. Students will gain an understanding of the techniques, methodologies, and vocabularies of research methods and will become familiar with debates regarding those research methods. Students will employ several research methods to assess their preferences for approaches to subject matter, and will design and carry out an interdisciplinary final project. Topics of study include: critical theory, film and visual arts criticism, historiography, literary criticism, and social science research issues.

IDS 435     Art and Technology (4)

A study of the interaction between technological change and artistic expression. Early historical examples will be used to establish fundamental principles of art and technology as sources of cultural value. The course will emphasize twentieth century developments in imaging, including film and digital art. Students will produce their own examples of traditional and electronically mediated art.

IDS 492     Interdisciplinary Studies Internship (2-4)

Intended for Interdisciplinary Studies majors to gain practical and/or professional experience in an area related to their individual program of study. Student will work with a qualified specialist in the relevant area and will be responsible for reporting to both that specialist and to a faculty supervisor. Students wishing to enroll must have filed their program of study and completed a minimum of 12 credits in their chosen area of concentration.

IDS 499     Interdisciplinary Studies Project (4)

A capstone seminar in which students design and complete an individual project demonstration their mastery and integration of their individual Area of Concentration and the Interdisciplinary Studies core. Projects may take a range of forms appropriate to the student’s concentration and future goals, e.g. a research essay, marketing study, computer program or curriculum design. Projects must be approved by the student’s project supervisors. Students will participate in a seminar addressing research issues and will present their projects to their faculty supervisors at the end of the course.