• Hendrix College

    Fall 2024 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 TEC: Supernatural (Un)citizens

    Supernatural beings—from witches and werewolves to vampires and ghosts—have often been perceived as threats that a community must eradicate. More recently, these figures have sometimes been recast in positive terms, both through fictional representations and through religious practices. Humanity has invested a lot into seeing the supernatural as inhabiting the spaces between, or as manifestations of, the self and community relationship. Through history, literature, and film, we explore these and other functions of the supernatural, and even think about how these academic fields themselves engage with the dead to make us better citizens in the present.

    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: Designing with the Mind in Mind

    At its best, technology enhances our ability to function effectively. At its worst, technology is frustrating, inefficient, and dangerous. In this course, students will explore how designers can create technology that is of maximal utility and benefit to people. From the psychological perspective, students will learn about human perceptual and cognitive abilities. They will then learn how to apply that knowledge towards producing effective designs. From the perspective of computer science, students will develop smart phone apps applying what they have learned about human cognition and perception. They will assess and improve these apps through principled and systematic user testing.

    LBST 150 E TEC: Racial Justice and the Bible

    In this course students learn about the creation of inclusive communities through discussions of the Bible. Students discuss racial justice and ways to develop meaningful interracial interaction from the perspective of psychologists and how biblical texts can facilitate conversations about race from the perspective of religious studies scholars. Students also prepare to lead their own conversations about biblical texts with the goal of creating conversations to foster racial justice.

    LBST 150 F TEC: Nature and Music

    In this course, we study the questions of “what is music?” and “what do sounds communicate?” through exploring music and sounds in nature. From a musical perspective, we examine why certain expressive sounds are musical while others are not, and how musicians understand musical structure, expressive content, cultural context, and creative development. From a scientific perspective, we explore the ways animals generate sound and communicate meaning through these sounds to survive and evaluate whether these sounds are musical. Students develop an understanding of engaged citizenship through listening attentively, fostering curiosity, being creative, and working collaboratively.

    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 and Movement

    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: The Climate Conscious Citizen

    This course introduces students to the natural science foundations of human-driven climate change and the economic systems it relates to. Exploring Earth's climate system, its change through history, and impacts on biological and economic communities informs a common goal of avoiding the most catastrophic consequences of climate change. Pursuing this goal demands behavioral change at the local, regional, and global levels that will fundamentally transform the global economy. Understanding human behavior in economic systems and how humans impact Earth’s ecosystems is necessary to identify individual and community actions that advance progress toward a climate-resilient future.

    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: Myth Busters

    This course examines controversies and popular myths through the lenses of the scientific method and theories of belief. From the biological perspective, students examine how data are generated and how those data lead to widely accepted theories. We then apply these scientific standards to claims made in popular myths and controversies. From the psychological perspective, students examine the psychological theories of belief and apply these theories to real-world examples. Ultimately this course encourages students to be informed consumers of information and to think critically about how they consume, discuss, and spread information.