Ronald Stanley Krabill
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 designed to introduce students to the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (IAS) program and concepts of interdisciplinary knowledge more generally. It will be loosely structured around questions of how ideas are put into action and how actions and events shape ideas; in other words, how knowledge is produced and why ideas matter. Like many courses you’ll take in IAS, this course hopes to improve your ability to read closely, write and think critically, communicate clearly, research effectively and work collaboratively. Much of the course will involve an interplay between discussion of primary and secondary materials on the one hand, and your own writing about those materials on the other. As such, the course content is less important than students’ understanding of and engagement with the complex process of producing knowledge, both individually and socially. Students should leave this course with a new awareness of their own role as not only consumers but also producers of knowledge.
We will be using the young adult novel, The Hunger Games, as a text to initially spur our questions for the course, but our inquiries will extend far beyond the novel and the film. The class should work equally well for you regardless of how you feel about the novel, whether you love it, hate it, feel indifferent toward it, or have never heard of it.
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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 complex 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
Discussion, group work, film, occasional lectures, and writing.
Enthusiasm for learning is the most important preparation for this course.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments will include collaborative research and presentations, both formal and informal written assignments, and other critical thinking exercises.