• Hendrix College

    Fall 2019 Engaged Citizen Courses

  • The deadline for new students to list their TEC course preferences is July 8; placement notification will begin July 25.

    • Epidemics
    • Galileo as Exemplar
    • Humans, Data & Other Problems
    • French Existentialism
    • Film, Memory, Political Change
    • The Engaged Listener
    • The Galactic Citizen
    • Animals, People, & Environment
    • Ancient & Modern Drama
    • Technology Serving People
    • LBST 150 A          TEC: Epidemics

      How should engaged citizens and governmental agencies respond to epidemics? This course traces important themes about human responses to disease from biological and historical perspectives. In studying outbreaks from the fourteenth to the twenty-first century, we will examine public health efforts, vaccines, and other attempts to control and eradicate diseases. We will consider the molecular mechanisms of microbial survival and transmission, evaluating how pathogens have evolved with human biology and behavior to create opportunities for disease spread. By placing history and biology in dialogue, we will raise important questions about the constantly evolving relationships between pathogens and human society.


      LBST 150 B          TEC: Galileo as Exemplar

      Galileo Galilei is a classic example of a person who lived an engaged life. Known today for his astronomical discoveries and his struggles with the Catholic Church, Galileo also made important contributions to experimental physics, natural philosophy, the interpretation of Holy Scripture, and the philosophy of science. In this class, we will see why Galileo is often called “the father of modern science.” We will explore Galileo’s scientific contributions and recreate many of Galileo’s original experiments. We will investigate his rejection of the Aristotelian world-view and the far-reaching implications of his mathematization of nature.


      LBST 150 C          TEC: Humans, Data, & Other Problems

      It’s never been easier to access data about the world around us—and yet we must worry more and more about how misleading statistics and fake news can do us harm. In this course, we’ll take a critical look at the roles data play in our lives as engaged citizens. We’ll reflect on what statistics and other quantitative methods offer as we think about big human problems; we’ll also consider these methods’ limits. Our goal is not to achieve perfect objectivity, but rather to understand how numbers, statistics, and data persuade us and motivate us to act in the world.


      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?


      LBST 150 E          TEC: Film, Memory, Political Change

      Politics has long been a subject of moving images; reciprocally, films have long had the capacity to incite an audience to act, in ways that have political meaning. This dyad explores the affinity and reciprocity between motion pictures and politics by focusing on American political memory and electoral politics: how have moving images created and shaped a shared American past, and how has this imagistic past impacted contemporary politics? Exploring the ways that every memory inevitably redresses a political future, this course also considers Americans’ changing attitudes toward government by studying portraits of electoral politics in films and political advertising.

      LBST 150 F          TEC: The Engaged Listener

      How do we learn to listen more carefully to the human and to the natural world, and particularly to voices that might otherwise remain unheard? How does the experience of listening to the voice of a friend or the call of a bird differ from the experience of hearing a voice as we read a printed page? How can our listening practices inform the work we do as citizens?  We will engage with these questions by reading, discussing, and writing in response to texts by biologists, poets, and essayists. As we learn to listen with greater attentiveness, we will learn how to communicate what we hear to diverse audiences. 

      LBST 150 G         TEC: The Galactic Citizen

      We will use science fiction novels, short stories, and television episodes to explore issues affecting humanity—and even what it means to be human. How does the advancement of technology affect who we are? How can we determine what is and is not plausible scientific advancement? How does a writer whose characters are pointy-eared aliens use space battles and lasers to tell a story about racism? What literary and cinematographic techniques do authors use to write Sci-fi? The course will combine the scientific and literary analysis for students to critically think about and engage with issues in the modern world.


      LBST 150 H         TEC: Animals, People, & Environment

      An examination of the interactions and interdependence among animals, people, and the environment. An interdisciplinary approach will be utilized to appreciate how the social and natural sciences come together to inform how we understand and interact with the natural world, practice conversation, and develop environmental policy. The course will employ an 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 as individuals and communities with nature, conservation, and policy.


      LBST 150 I           TEC: Ancient & Modern Drama

      This section of TEC will explore how theatre—both ancient and modern—can function as a mode of engaged citizenship. For those on the stage, behind it, in the audience, or reading a play on their own, drama provides an opportunity for the individual and collective processing of values and conflicts. Using practices of literary analysis, theatrical production, and dramatic performance we will explore a range of plays from 5th c. BCE Athens and contemporary theatre that treat such issues as war, gender, family, patriotism, democracy, and coming-of-age. Our work together will culminate in hands-on projects engaging Sophocles’ Antigone.


      LBST 150 J           TEC: Technology Serving People

      Designers have the responsibility of creating devices that are of maximal utility to citizens. Further, technology innovation can change the underlying structure of society, affecting both social connections and potentially causing social isolation. This course will explore the principles behind the design of useful technological devices. From the psychological perspective, we will study the impacts and unintended consequences of technology on people, exploring how scientists use human factors research to determine effective design. From the perspective of computer science, students will create multiple prototypes of smartphone applications then assess and improve them through user testing.