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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Julie Shayne
BIS 300
Bothell Campus

Interdisciplinary Inquiry

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.

Class description

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.

Please note: Students enrolled in this section of BIS300 will be REQUIRED to attend part of the 17th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium at UW Seattle. The symposium will be FRIDAY May 16 from 11:00am through 6:00pm and students will be required to attend a two hour block.

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: Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter by Carmen Aguirre. A recommended book: "Oh the Places You'll Go" By Dr Seuss, and a course reader

Recommended preparation

Must be an IAS major

Please note: Students enrolled in this section of BIS300 will be REQUIRED to attend part of the 17th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium at UW Seattle. The symposium will be FRIDAY May 16 from 11:00am through 6:00pm and students will be required to attend a two hour block.

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.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Julie Shayne
Date: 03/18/2014