Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Winter 2014 lineup for Collegium Seminars

Winters in Seattle are an ideal time to stretch your academic interests. Here, freshmen can find a number of interesting classes to fill our their schedules. Take a class that’s a little different from what you normally take. Collegium Seminars are low-risk (they’re 1 credit, credit/no credit); they’re taught by some of the UW’s best faculty; and they’re limited to 20 students. Plus, taking a Collegium Seminar will add a little intellectual sunshine to the gray winter days.

Note: For more specific information about a particular seminar, please contact the instructor listed for the course.

The History of Innovation

Margaret O’Mara, History

  • GEN ST 197 A, SLN 14486
  • W 11:00-12:50

Where do good ideas come from? How do ideas become world-changing innovations? How and why does innovation thrive in certain places, at certain times? How can history help us understand what might come next? This seminar will address these questions by exploring historical cases of people, groups, and places that have sparked innovative thinking. We will consider innovation in business, society, politics, and art – from ancient Athens to modern Seattle, from Gutenberg to Gates. Curriculum will include a visit to the newly opened Bezos Center for Innovation at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry.  Students will be expected to read 20-50 pages per week, actively engage in class discussion, write three one-page reflective essays, and serve once as a discussion co-leader.

Introduction to the Digital Humanities

Tyler Fox & John Vallier, UW Libraries

  • GEN ST 197 L, SLN 14497
  • TH 2:30-4:20

The Digital Humanities Freshman Seminar will introduce students to the emergent field of digital humanities. The term Digital Humanities means different things, but broadly speaking it can be considered to lie at the nexus of critical thinking about digital culture, integrating technology into traditional humanities practice, and incorporating research methodologies from social sciences or other disciplines. It can also be a combination there in. Students can expect to participate in hands-on workshops in digital imaging, maps, text analysis, design research and more! We will also incorporate recent digital scholarship and guest presenters from digital scholars on campus.

Seminar in Animal Communication

Joseph Sisneros, Psychology

  • GEN ST 197 B, SLN 14487
  • M 1:30-2:20

Have you ever wondered how complex animal communication signals may have evolved? The objective of this weekly freshman seminar is to provide a general understanding of the principles and mechanisms that govern the evolution of animal communication systems and the related processes of perception, thinking, and social behavior. The emphasis will be on integrating information from areas of animal behavior and communication sciences to make this understanding as general as possible. The seminar will primarily consist of group discussions of research topics and papers related to the field of animal communication.

Marketing in the 21st Century

Leta Beard, Marketing and International Business

  • GEN ST 197 C, SLN 14488
  • M 11:30-12:20

This course is intended to expose the students to the world of marketing and to examine how marketing is changing in the 21st century. We will look at various companies and assess what they are doing correctly and what could be done differently. We will have a guest speaker and go on a field trip. Students will participate in a tradeshow at the end of the quarter.

Genetically Modified Foods: Menace or Magic?

Linda Martin-Morris, Biology

  • GEN ST 197 D, SLN 14489
  • W 3:30-4:20

Are genetically modified foods a miracle or a menace? Do they offer real promise to improve food production and nutrition or do they represent poorly-conceived, aggressive science that fails to consider long-term ramifications? Who stands to benefit the most from GM foods – individuals or corporations? In addition to considering these issues, we will investigate the biology behind how GM foods are made and how they are tested in order to properly label foods for wary consumers.

Growing Up with Fiction

Mark Patterson, English

  • GEN ST 197 E, SLN 14490
  • W 2:30-3:20

Literature is about change, and it also changes us as we experience it.  In this course we will read a short story a week and through this process we will trace the complex transformations from childhood, to adolescence, to emerging adulthood, to adulthood, and finally to old age (and beyond?).  The stories will come from different cultures, different historical periods, and they will be written by a variety of men and women.  Despite these many variations, as the works tell stories about older and older people, I hope we can begin to see some patterns in them and experience some change in our understanding of literature and ourselves.  Requirements will include short writing responses to the readings.

Leadership: Up, Down, and Sideways

Dorothy Bullitt, Evans School of Public Affairs

  • GEN ST 197 F, SLN 14491
  • M 11:30-12:50

Leadership: Up, Down, and Sideways will help students cultivate the skills required to lead in any context and thrive at the University of Washington. Not everyone is endowed with naturally high emotional intelligence but certain habits, if developed deliberately and practiced, can achieve similar results.  Successful students and leaders must also write clearly, speak publicly, negotiate persuasively, and appreciate the differing communication styles of those with whom they work. This course will help students focus upon and progress in each of these areas.  Recently Dr. Bullitt spoke about managing life’s transitions to young adults, view the UW talk title “Learning to Surf” online.

Public Controversies and the Law:  Major Recent Cases in the U.S. Supreme Court

Steven Herbert, Law, Societies and Justice

  • GEN ST 197 G, SLN 14492
  • W 9:30-10:20

Many controversial public issues ultimately find their way into the legal arena, and some are addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court. This course will involve analysis of several recent cases to address the following questions: What roles do courts play in resolving public controversies? How are such controversies defined as matters of law? What types of arguments do judges make in justifying particular stances on controversial issues? How should we assess those arguments? Does the Court possess the proper amount of influence? Why or why not? Classes will involve discussions of particular cases and the opinions issued by the Justices. The issues addressed by the cases will include: potential limits on political campaign contributions; the ability of cities to regulate gun ownership; the role of race in assigning students to public schools; the Constitutionality of sentencing juvenile offenders to life without parole; and other hot-button issues.

The Violence of the Small: Looking into Global Complexity

Clarke Speed, University Honors Program

  • GEN ST 197 H, SLN 14493
  • W 1:30-2:20

I have always been interested in the rest of the world—off the global path but tied to all things global. Here one finds the power of the small—people and societies that resist globalization and in a few cases those that remain un-captured by larger global flows. In some cases, the power of the small upsets the rule of law and the Nation State, as ethnic groups and factions in various regions fight both cultural and technological wars for survival. I want to talk about these small wars at very basic levels to get the big and small pictures of the power of the small.

Sustainable Energy Solutions for the 21st Century: Science, Technology, and Policy

Payman Arabshahi, Electrical Engineering

  • GEN ST 197 J, SLN 14495
  • T 9:30-10:20

Become an informed citizen of a new generation and prepare to contribute meaningfully to the energy debate. We will cover regional and global energy demand, sources, policy, current and future technologies, costs of sustainable energy production and its impacts on climate and the environment, and solutions to our energy problems. The class text will be “Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air” (download at http://withouthotair.com). Class will be structured around field trips and group projects.

Imagining Latin America

Jose Antonio Lucero, Latin American and Caribbean Studies

  • GEN ST 197 K, SLN 14496
  • M 10:30-11:20

What do you think of when you think of “Latin America”? Since 1492, the continent has been fertile ground for the imaginations of conquistadores dreaming of cities of gold, colonialists building new states, and Native peoples who had their own counter-imagingings of their lands and the foreigners who were colonizing them. This seminar looks at the long history of cultural representations, from Columbus to Disney, Hernan Cortez to Breaking Bad, to understand how the dreams and nightmares of conquest, revolution, drug wars and development shape the present and future of the Americas. Through short readings, videos and films, students will understand how culture shapes politics and politics shapes culture.