The deadline for new students to list their TEC course preferences
is July 8; placement notification will begin July 25.
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 raise
important questions about the constantly evolving relationships between
pathogens and human society.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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 explores the
principles behind the design of useful technological devices. From
the psychological perspective, we 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 create multiple prototypes of smartphone
applications then assess and improve them through user testing.
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.
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.