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.
The purpose of BIS 300 is to introduce and orient students to upper-division work in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (IAS) program. The course will introduce students to the program and to concepts of interdisciplinary knowledge more generally. Our goal is to improve your abilities to read closely, write and think critically, communicate clearly and creatively, research effectively, and work collaboratively. We will work closely with the staff in the library and the Writing Center. Students should leave this course with a new awareness of their own role as not only consumers but also producers of knowledge.
To facilitate this process, we will work through a shared topic, opium/drugs, and explore themes(history of the drug trade and globalization; the first opium war, colonialism and migration; psychology and drug addiction; medicinal drug use and recreational drug use; class, race and drug regulation; the war on drugs, criminality, law and policing; race, drugs and representation; opium in/and drug literatures; biology of the poppy, ecology, and agricultural land use; etc.). The purpose of working through multiple angles to approach such a shared theme is to facilitate our ability to undertake thoughtful, scholarly research through multiple frameworks, genres, and methods and develop critical skills in interdisciplinary research and learning.
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
Methods of instruction include lecture, film, student discussion, group work, and writing.
No formal prerequisites or background necessary, just a lot of enthusiasm and willingness to ask questions.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments include formal and informal written work, individual and collaborative class participation, and presentations. A final portfolio consisting of all assignments for the course is required.