• Hendrix College

    Fall 2017 Engaged Citizen Courses

  • LBST 150 A TEC: History and Science of Memory

    What are your most formative memories? How do those memories help you engage with your family, your friends, your community, and your world? How does technology (from taking photographs to looking up facts on the internet) shape the way you interact with those memories? Do you trust your memory more than external sources? This course will seek to contextualize these questions historically and psychologically, looking at medieval shifts in memory practices and asking important questions about the cognitive science of how memory works.

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    LBST 150 B TEC: Music-Spirit-Community

    Listen to John Coltrane and Charles Mingus! Jazz, Spirit, and Community explores how jazz and other forms of popular music (rock, country, folk, roots, hip-hop) provide contexts for social engagement and spiritual sustenance in service to what Martin Luther King. Jr. calls “beloved community:” a community that is creative, compassionate, participatory, inclusive, multi-cultural, and multi-religious with no one left behind. This music touches, provokes, consoles and evokes the human spirit. Jazz, Spirit, and Community explores the intersection of art, community action, and spiritual experience.

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    LBST 150 C TEC: Animals, People & Ecosystems

    An examination of the interactions and interdependence among animals, people and their ecosystems. An interdisciplinary approach will be utilized to understand how the social and natural sciences come together to inform the practice of conservation and the development of environmental policy. The course will employ a rigorous exploration of basic and applied social science and natural science literature, lectures and discussions, small-scale research projects, and case study methodology to link theory with real-world application. Includes a special focus on the ways we engage with conservation and policy as individuals and communities.

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    LBST 150 D TEC: French Existentialism

    We will engage the topic of French Existentialism through the philosophical and literary texts of Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Camus. We will interrogate Sartre’s famous dictum that “existence precedes essence,” which means that humans lack a pre-established essence, a pre-determined telos for life, or a stable, knowable meaning for life. We are, thus, thrown into the world with the responsibility to make choices and act, but without any guidance. How can this lead us to engage with the world instead of hiding from it? What is the point?

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    LBST 150 E TEC: Numbers in American Politics

    This course seeks to both aid students’ understanding of representative democracy in the United States through an examination of various ways in which aspects of mathematics shape democratic processes and seeks to bring nontraditional mathematics to life by applying the theory and practice of mathematics to political phenomena. Topics covered in the class include voting methods at the ballot box and in legislative bodies, the mathematics of political power including the politics of district line drawing, and the power (and limitations) of data in modern US elections.

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    LBST 150 G TEC: Spain at War: Hist. & the Arts

    Studying the Spanish Civil War has something for everyone: history, literature and film, art, archaeology, Spanish language and culture, politics, journalistic ethics, globalism, religion and, of course, engaged citizenship. This course is intended to provide students with a space to reflect on what it means to be an engaged citizen, through the different perspectives of history, literature, film, and the arts at large. By participating in class discussions, by writing essays, and by sharing presentations, students taking this course will learn about the history of the Spanish Civil War as well as the artistic representation which emerged as a response to the conflict and have continued to emerge until the present.

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    LBST 150 H TEC: Performing Embodied Resistance

    Embodied resistance is a type of engaged citizenship, using one’s body—individually and collectively—to insist on political change. Public assemblies, protests, and civil disobedience can be understood as pleas for empathy for experiences and identities of subjects on the margins of living in precarity. We discuss embodied resistance as the performance of bodily movement that is transgressive and as moral expressions that shift our norms beyond the status quo. We will investigate performance art and collective assembly in the context of the emerging concept of performative justice as a mode of creating new forms of care for the vulnerable.

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    LBST 150 I TEC: Indigenous Americas

    Across the Americas, indigenous people are often citizens of both sovereign indigenous communities and nation-states. This course will explore the history and current experiences of these populations as a means to think more deeply about citizenship and sovereignty in the Western Hemisphere. Through a focus on key contemporary topics, such as indigenous political activity, media representations, land and territorial rights, casino gambling, and military service, students will examine the challenges and opportunities associated with indigenous citizenship in North America and Latin America today and will consider the impact of these on their own experiences of being engaged citizens.

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    LBST 150 J TEC: Origins and Ethics

    Combining religious studies and science, this course will explore how our understanding of human origins informs our ideas about what it means to live the life of an engaged citizen. Various biblical representations of cosmic and human origins will be examined alongside scientific theories of the birth of the universe and the evolutionary origins of humankind. Students will consider the implications of these scientific and religious theories for human ethics and will be challenged to consider their own understandings of human origins and might compel them to live lives as engaged citizens.

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    LBST 150 K TEC: Religion & Democracy in the US

    In the United States there is a rich interplay of religiously motivated social reform and democratic action. Some call for democratic reform in the name of their faith; others see religion as a threat to democratic practices. In this course we will read personal histories of social reformers in the U.S as well as philosophical, political, and theological treatises that show a disparity of opinions about the place of religious expression and motivation in democratic social reform. Students are invited to explore their own views of the proper role of religion and religious expression in the democratic state.

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    LBST 150 M TEC: Work, Play, and Technology

    Technology is rapidly changing our society, transforming our understanding of work and play. While artificial intelligence and robotics are displacing some human workers, corporations are striving to increase worker productivity through gamification. Computer gaming has created new concepts of identity, community, and social change, with both positive and negative implications. To be an informed citizen in this new landscape, one must first understand the historical and social contexts of this transformation. To be effective, a citizen must then be technologically equipped to create, alter, and influence these new avenues for work and play.

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    LBST 150 N TEC: Race, Media, and Society

    This course explores how mass communication technologies (e.g., film, radio, television, online media) have shaped our understandings of race and race relations in the U.S. One of the goals of the course is to help students think of race not as a static or intrinsic concept, but rather as fluid and dynamic, negotiated in part through popular entertainment, art, and news media. By taking a sociohistorical and cultural perspective, we hope to provide students with a framework for how to critically understand the relationship between representations of race and the ways in which we experience our racial identity.

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    LBST 150 O TEC: Music & State: Glory/Critique

    Music can exalt and dignify the state, or it can protest and criticize policies and rulers. Music can promote political progress and upheaval, or urge a return to a gloried past. This course will guide students in their appreciation of musical expression with respect to politics and the state. Themes will include: official music of the state (national anthems, ceremonial music); the state as patron of the musical arts; how musicians have used their craft for political expression and subversion; and performative acts of musicianship that exemplify patriotism and nationalism as well as critique and protest.

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    LBST 150 P TEC: Religion, Nation & Violence-Asia

    Suicidal monks? Christian assassins? Patriots? Traitors? Using examples from recent Tibetan and Korean history, this course examines the relationship between identity (how we identify ourselves and are identified by others) and various forms of political and social action. It encourages students to consider what it means to be part of religious, national, ethnic, and other types of communities, how such communities form and change over time, and what actions are appropriate and justifiable in their names.

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