Introduction to advanced work in interdisciplinary studies centered on broadly based questions and problems. Stresses the skills necessary to engage in upper-division research and learning in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program.
This course is intended to introduce you to the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (IAS) program and concepts of interdisciplinary knowledge production more generally. It is structured around questions of how knowledge is produced and why ideas matter. This course hopes to improve your ability to read closely, write and think critically, communicate clearly, research effectively, and work collaboratively. The primary goal of the course is that students understand and engage with the complex process of producing knowledge, both individually and collectively. Students should leave this course with a new awareness of their own role as not only consumers but also producers of knowledge and the skills to thrive and succeed in future IAS courses. This particular course is structured around the production of knowledge about social justice, social movements, and revolution. This topic will serve as our platform to understand how ideas are put into action and how actions and events shape ideas.
Student learning goals
1)To understand the concept of interdisciplinary knowledge production and the ways in which it underwrites all aspects of the IAS Program.
2)To become a better critical thinker and writer--one who is capable of posing, answering and reposing a variety of critical questions.
3)To become a better researcher--one who is able to use the resources at UWB and elsewhere both efficiently and effectively.
4)To become a better speaker--one who is able to communicate clearly and engagingly about complicated topics, arguments and issues.
5)To learn how to work well collaboratively, as both a learner and a researcher.
6)To develop a basic understanding of what social movements and revolutions are: Why do they happen? Who organizes them? What are their goals? What are some of the different ways social movements articulate their political messages? Around what types of issues do people politically mobilize?
General method of instruction
This course will be a combination of: lecture, class discussion, guest lectures, workshops, and small group work.
We have one required text: The country under my skin: a memoir of love and war / by Gioconda Belli. New York : Anchor Books, 2003
And a course reader
Must be an IAS major
Class assignments and grading
This class will have a series of short essays in response to the readings and workshops and a small group research project which includes a written and oral component.
Written assignments will be graded on solid analysis, clear writing, and attention to detail. Group research project will be graded on quality and presentation of the final product. Active, informed, and productive contribution to class will also be part of your grade.