• Hendrix College

    Fall 2023 Engaged Citizen Courses

  • The deadline for new students to list their TEC course preferences is June 15; placement notification will begin in late July.

    LBST 150 A - 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: Writing Changing Places

    Using anthropological and creative writing practices, this course seeks to deepen and complicate our understanding of contemporary landscapes and communities. Engaging with writings, class visitors, and local places, we explore the role of place in the face of global processes like migration, electronic communication, and internet communities. We consider issues of citizenship, exclusion, and those “out of place.” We investigate how place is one of many factors that builds cultural and individual identity, and we explore how writing methods and genres can change the way the writer and the reader experience and understand place.

    LBST 150 C TEC: Oil, Tone, Screen, and Stone

    Visual images, music, cinema, books, fine arts, television, and a vast array of social media fight for our attention (and often our pocketbooks). How can one engage with such an onslaught of cultural products? How does one discern between the trivial and the meaningful? This course will explore different works, from a variety of media, and direct students’ engagement with them in a more sophisticated manner. The goal is to have participants recognize that consuming cultural products has an effect upon thinking, informs actions, and can shape the sort of person one becomes and thus how one manifests one’s citizenship.

    LBST 150 D TEC: Talk Less, Smile More

    Engaged citizenship requires the ability to interpret and participate in the world around us. Through Hamilton: An American Musical, we will learn how to uncover layers of meaning in the disciplines of music and politics. Musically, we will examine how artists convey messages and how audiences decode layers of meaning to understand art. Politically, we will study how government texts, such as the Constitution, have been interpreted in response to a changing world. We will close the course with the Policy Battles, performances in which students bring together art and politics to argue for policy changes they want to see.

    LBST 150 E TEC: The Lived Environment

    As citizens, we engage not only with one another, but also with the natural world around us. We can better understand how we positively and negatively affect the environment if we become sensitive to its appearances. Thus the exploration of environmental degradation and justice, conservation, and the built world require interdisciplinary approaches. Through art and political science, we will explore what it means to be engaged citizens of the natural world. Students will develop their visual sensitivity by sketching the local environment as they also seek to witness and better understand how and why humans impact the natural world.

    LBST 150 F TEC: Nature and Well-being

    The connection between humans and nature is fundamental; indeed, humans are not separate from nature. However, the structures of modern living serve to render this connection more and more distant and discordant. This course will explore the synergistic relationships between humans and nature through scientific research conducted with both human and non-human subjects. Engaged citizenship will take the form of learning about the impacts—both positive and negative—that humans and nature have on one another and what humans can do to improve the relationship between themselves and nature for mutual benefit.

    LBST 150 G TEC: The Galactic Citizen

    Using science fiction short stories, feature films, and television episodes, we 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? We combine the scientific and literary analysis presenting a way for students to critically think about and engage with issues in the modern world.

    LBST 150 H TEC: Protest, Literature, Performance

    Protest in literature and in performance art has long been a fundamental form of engaged citizenship, as individuals, singularly and collectively, use their voices and bodies to insist on change to a status quo that ignores the precarity of some citizens’ lives. As authors and performers struggle to draw attention to facets of society that serve only the few at the expense of many, readers and viewers are invited to grow in empathy for the experiences and identities of those on the margins of society, and are thus invited to enact change to bring relief to the victims of the status quo.

    LBST 150 I TEC: Playing Roles Playing Notes

    How do people who are oppressed and at the edges of society participate as citizens? The performing arts are one way for people to make themselves heard and create change. Using recent American works of art, this course explores how marginalized groups have done just that. One part of the course uses plays with themes of racial, ethnic, and sexual identity to examine how characters from marginalized groups make their voices heard and advocate for change. The course also investigates how jazz musicians have asserted their identities and worked for societal transformation.

    LBST 150 J TEC: Science Vs. Literature: Two Cultures?

    Explores the intersection between science and literature through literary works that stimulate scientific discoveries and vice versa. The course reviews authors such as Dante Alighieri, Jorge Luis Borges, William Shakespeare, and Edgar Allan Poe, as well as the Iliad, The Divine Comedy, and other canonical texts. The objective is to discuss different ways of knowing and how poetic thought stimulates scientific thinking and how scientific thinking stimulates literature, both forming part of a conscious, interdisciplinary mind.

    LBST 150 K 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 L TEC: Myth Busters

    This course examines controversies and popular myths through the lenses of psychological theories of belief and the scientific method. From the biological perspective, students examine how data are generated, then how those ideas can propagate into widely-accepted theories. We then apply these scientific standards to claims made in popular myths and controversies. From the psychological perspective, students examine the social and cognitive theories of belief and investigate ways people typically use heuristics and bias in their judgments. Ultimately this course encourages students to be informed consumers of information and to think critically about how they consume, discuss, and disseminate information.