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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Crispin Thurlow Faber
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

ABOUT BIS 300 CLASSES IN GENERAL The purpose of all BIS 300 classes is to introduce you to upper-division work in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences program. It encourages you to take intellectual risks with the goal of improving your abilities to read closely, write and think critically, communicate clearly and creatively, research effectively, and work collaboratively. By doing so you will conclude the course acclimated to the rich variety of resources and support services available to you at UWB. You should leave this course with a new awareness of your own role as a recipient of knowledge but also as someone who creates knowledge.

ABOUT THIS PARTICULAR BIS 300 CLASS The topic of our class this quarter is "POOP!" We will come together as a community of learners to explore the diverse and inherently interdisciplinary topic of human excrement (aka "feces" or "crap"). Broadly speaking, our objective will be to explore the meanings, uses, and practices of poop and pooping. We will probably want to think historically, artistically, geographically, economically, culturally, environmentally, biologically, psychologically about poop. Who knows, we might even want to sing and dance about poop. It would certainly seem a responsible idea if we were also to consider poop from local, national and international or global perspectives. How we do all this is for you and me (Professor Thurlow) to decide together. There will be no conventional syllabus for this class; instead, we will craft our own syllabus according to the learning goals for all BIS 300 classes (see below).

Student learning goals

To understand the concept of interdisciplinary knowledge production and the ways in which it underwrites all aspects of the IAS Program.

To become a better critical thinker and writer--one who is capable of posing, answering and reposing a variety of critical questions.

To become a better researcher--one who is able to use the resources at UWB and elsewhere both efficiently and effectively.

To become a better speaker--one who is able to communicate clearly and engagingly about complicated topics, arguments and issues.

To learn how to work well collaboratively, as both a learner and a researcher.

General method of instruction

The methods of instruction and learning for this course are to be decided. They may include guest lectures, informational interviews, films, in-class discussions, presentations, group work, etc.

Recommended preparation

This is not a class for the squeamish or prudish. Poop is a serious matter. As a central and essential feature of every human existence, it is as worthy of our attention as any other topic. Of course, this class is intended to disrupt or play with the usual format and topics of the university course. For Professor Thurlow, this is a way to educate you in the ways of interdisciplinarity and knowledge making. It is hoped that you will have fun. It is expected that you will be prepared to work hard, to work respectfully and to work responsibly. You must be prepared to commit to the core BIS 300 learning goals. Think about these things before registering.

Class assignments and grading

The nature of assignments will again be decided collectively and consensually by the class under the mindful guidance of Professor Thurlow. Assignments might include formal/informal written pieces, class discussion and participation, presentations, small performances, artistic works, etc. In the service of the IAS portfolio framework, you will be expected to archive your work for the course in a portfolio.

This too is to be decided by the class under the guidance of Professor Thurlow, the instructor.


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.
Additional Information
Last Update by Crispin Thurlow Faber
Date: 02/06/2013