Fall 2010 Courses

FS 111, 121, 131, 141 are 3 unit courses designed for first year students for Liberal Studies distribution block credit.

FS 111 = Science (non-lab)
FS 121 = Aesthetic & Humanistic Inquiry
FS 131 = Cultural Understanding
FS 141 = Social & Political Worlds

FS 199 are 3 unit courses for students with 30 units or less (freshman standing) for AESTHETIC & HUMANISTIC INQUIRY Liberal Studies distribution block credit.

USC 299 is a 3 unit course for students with 60 units or less (sophomore or freshman standing) for SCIENCE Liberal Studies distribution block credit.

CRAFTS / Community Engagement Initiative course with an Action Research Team
These Seminars may require students to work together in Action Research Teams on projects identified in consultation with community partners.

Science (non-lab) Liberal Studies distribution block

FS 111 Ecology & Behavior of Bats
This course will cover the ecology of bats around the world, emphasizing adaptations that make bats so unique, such as flight and echolocation. We will focus on some of the 28 bat species in Arizona and include field trips and projects to see and learn more about bats and their habitat. By studying this group of animals, students will gain a wider understanding of the role adaptations play in animal use of the environment and processes that shape the natural world. You’ll never be afraid of the dark again.

USC 299 State of the World
State of the World examines some of the most critical scientific facts, cultural values, and technological developments defining our human experience and shared future.  The course considers issues such as global climate change, resource scarcity, immigration, economic globalization, communication technology, the balance of power, religious beliefs, and social justice.  Moreover, this course will explore the many interrelationships between these global issues.  In other words, this course explores the rich interplay between the cultural, intellectual and physical realities that increasingly characterize both the challenges and possibilities that we all must face.

USC 299 is a 3 unit course for students with 60 units or less (sophomore or freshman standing) for SCIENCE Liberal Studies distribution block credit.

Aesthetic & Humanistic Inquiry Liberal Studies distribution block

FS 121 Black Women & Film Image
This Seminar examines the works and ideas of black women artists working with the moving image since 1970 and how their works reconstruct the representation of black women in media.

FS 121 The Broadway Musical
Broadway musicals belong with those cultural texts that reflect, express, and shape America’s attitudes about itself and the world.  Therefore, the study of the musical adds a valuable dimension to students’ exposure to many of the most vexing issues facing American society during the last century, in particular, race, gender, and national identity.  In this course, students will examine musical theater from an artistic, historical, and cultural standpoint.  Materials for this study include original cast recordings, film versions, and live taped versions of the musicals.

FS 121 Conflict & the Human Condition
“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” So wrote Plato in the third century BC. Through films, novels, and other provocative readings, this course explores the reasons why conflict remains a ubiquitous part of the human condition. Along this journey we will also analyze and fashion our own moral philosophy capable of enhancing peace within our community and throughout the world.

FS 121 The Copernican Revolution
By studying the Copernican Revolution we will encounter interesting and important aspects of cosmology, the scientific method, scientific change, the relation between science and society, and even the methods and limitations of history.  We will clarify what happened and when.  And we will ask when and by what evidence it became reasonable to believe that the earth moves.

FS 121 Environment & Climate Justice
This Seminar will survey conceptions and practices of environmental, ecological, and climate justice. It begins with an overview of multiple contemporary definitions of justice, including those based in equity, recognition, participation, and capabilities.  After a brief history of the US environmental justice movement, we will explore the multifaceted and pluralistic notion of justice employed by the movement, as well as other global movements that use environmental justice as an organizing theme.  These conceptions of environmental justice will then be used to understand and broaden existing notions of ecological justice – or justice between humans and the rest of the natural world.  Finally, we will examine recent discussions of the impacts of climate change, and various definitions of climate justice.

FS 121 Fragments and Ruins
How do we create our ideas of self? How do we build meaningful relationships with ourselves and others through aesthetic experience, through frameworks of value developed through traditions of inquiry, and through the conditions of our physical, social, and political world that contribute to the formation of identity? These questions have been posed and explored in a variety of ways throughout history.

In this course, students will examine these perennial issues through the lenses of “fragmentation” and “ruin” as manifested in a wide variety of forms: architecture, literature, philosophy, and visual and performing art. Key to the exploration is the human attraction to the incomplete, the unresolved, the imperfect; in other words, to the fragments and ruins we often encounter which arouse our aesthetic awareness of self and the human condition, as well as a concrete desire to explore the possibilities for transforming the unfinished and unresolved into the complete. The work of the Jewish-German philosopher, Walter Benjamin is the beginning point for this exploration. His writings on aesthetics, cities, the art of writing, and other matters provide the context for examining the phenomena of fragments and ruins as we encounter them in our own lives and the ways in which our study and contemplation in this area provides a deeper understanding of identity and the self. Political, philosophical, and sociological implications of course findings will also be explored.

FS 121 Inquiry Into Sustainability
Increasing numbers of thinkers in the US and across the globe believe that industrial civilization is threatening the earth, and that our way of life cannot be sustained.  They are inspired by the truth that dark periods in human history have often been the most creative periods, requiring new cultural practices and relationships, new public narratives, and new self-understandings.

In intensive seminar discussions and debates, students will engage some of the leading economic, political, religious-philosophical and educational critics of industrial civilization, examining and assessing together dimensions of the problems as well as the wealth of new thinking and creative practical-political experimentation taking place to address them.  Students will be challenged to ask and creatively explore through writing, who am I in this? what work is before me? before us? The course will give students an opportunity to wrestle with big questions.  They will gain broad understanding of key dimensions of the challenges before us and will engage some of the more hopeful organized efforts to meet them.

FS 121 Is Civil Discourse Dead?
This is a highly interactive Seminar that will trace the history or conversation in the United States from colonial times to present day. How we converse during expansion, wars, peace, colonialization and with technology will be explored. The end product will be a discourse on a controversial topic.

FS 121 Landscapes & the Media
This Seminar will examine the role of landscape and how it is perceived through its interaction with the media.  Students will be asked to view, read about, discuss, and write about media images and the feelings they evoke, as well as place those images in social and cultural context.  Anyone who saw Avatar this year must realize that the environment, and how it is portrayed as landscape, is a major part of the plot – as a motivator for action, mood setting, and object of action, let alone its stunning visual effects.  No one can see a classic movie like Laurence of Arabia without realizing that the Arabian desert is as important to the film as is Laurence himself.  The same applies to older films like Metropolis or Stagecoach.

The landscape or environment is often a major part of visual media, whether looking at films, TV, or advertising.  In the movies, it can be a major “character,” carrying essential parts of a plot line.  In advertising, it is often used to set a “mood” that is conducive to selling a product.  We are bombarded by media images that are designed to create a response in our thinking, and our attitudes about our living environment are colored by those images and the moods they evoke.

FS 121 New Mind Yourself
There’s a mismatch between the high- tech world we’ve created and the ‘old mind’ we inherit as humans. Contemporary culture requires ways of thinking and responding in alignment with the high stakes of the new century.  To ‘new mind yourself,’ students learn about how the mind creates, modifies and recreates experience using an innovative method of examining art as the starting point. Through guided analyses of different forms of creative expression, we develop active thinking skills that enable more clarity and flexibility. We use these skills to spotlight some important trends within society and around our planet and develop written, visual and verbal presentations focused on issues of local, national and global importance.

FS 121 Night at the Museum
Museums have become a popular topic in recent films. While such movies as Night at the Museum, The Da Vinci Code, and The Thomas Crown Affair are intended primarily for entertainment, we will view them as instructive examples for discussion of such topics as museum theft and security, art forgery, recent technological developments in exhibition design, and the ways in which museums reinforce ideas about race, class and gender.

FS 121  Noir in Film & Literature
Noir.  A genre?  A style?  A medium?  All?  None?  Some combination? In this class we will explore this entity called noir.  We will discuss the characteristics and import of noir as it reflects societal values and perspectives—or does not–using a variety of scholarly texts and articles, books, and films.  We will use texts from the Brothers Grimm (yep—Grimm’s fairy tales.  You may be surprised), Mark Twain, and hard-boiled detective novels from the 1940s and 1950s.   Some classic film noir  include, but will not be limited to: Chinatown, High Noon, Double Indemnity, Dirty Harry, and I am a Fugitive From a Chain gang.  them also.

FS 121 Public Achievement
Young people want to shape the world around them. Through Public Achievement, we will discuss concepts of citizenship, power, and self-interest. NAU students will serve as coaches for children in local elementary schools to identify student concerns and learn the principles of grassroots democracy and community organizing. We will work to draw on the talents and desires of ordinary people to build a better world and create a different kind of education in their schools and neighborhoods.

FS 121 Reinventing King Arthur
C.S. Lewis once compared the Arthurian legend to a great medieval cathedral that was built by many over generations.  In this case, it has been 1,500 years in the making, and still going strong.  Since 1900 literature, film and music have contributed more to the Arthurian story than at any other time since it first emerged as oral tales in the Wales of the 500s.  We will briefly examine the first 1,400 years of the story, and then concentrate on the recent additions of film and fiction, including Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Excalibur, The Mists of Avalon, The Crystal Cave, and the recent BBC TV series Merlin.  We will critically examine how the 20th Century has put its own unique spin on a very popular story.

FS 199 The Arts in the NAU Community: Discovering the Music, Art, Theatre, and Creativity Around You
This three credit course provides opportunities for students to attend, reflect upon, and analyze a variety of cultural events on campus and in the Flagstaff community. Students are required to attend 12 to 15 pre-approved cultural events and provide either a written cultural analysis of each event or attend a class-sponsored salon discussion group.  To aid the student in choosing a variety of events/performances, there is a list of events held on the NAU campus as well as in Flagstaff itself, divided into categories, from which to choose; we have also listed all relevant list serv links to all events on campus in your Vista shell.

The course encourages students to think critically, express ideas and move them forward, and to shape creative lives as citizens of a rapidly changing world. This course will challenge students to gain a deeper cross-disciplinary understanding of aspects of the university curriculum through an exploration of culture through film, music, theatre, art, and lectures.

FS 199 are 3 unit courses for students with 30 units or less (freshman standing) for AESTHETIC & HUMANISTIC INQUIRY Liberal Studies distribution block credit.

FS 199 Medium, Message and Meaning
This course is an examination of the theme of communication and how it can be defined across a variety of activities across the Northern Arizona University campus.  This three credit course provides opportunities for students to attend, reflect upon, and analyze a variety of cultural events on campus and in the Flagstaff community. Students are required to attend 12 to 15 pre-approved cultural events and provide either a written cultural analysis of each event or attend a class-sponsored salon discussion group.  To aid the student in choosing a variety of events/performances, there is a list of events held on the NAU campus as well as in Flagstaff itself, divided into categories, from which to choose; we have also listed all relevant list serv links to all events on campus in your Vista shell.

The course encourages students to think critically, express ideas and move them forward, and to shape creative lives as citizens of a rapidly changing world. This course will challenge students to gain a deeper cross-disciplinary understanding of aspects of the university curriculum through an exploration of culture through film, music, theatre, art, and lectures.

FS 199 are 3 unit courses for students with 30 units or less (freshman standing) for AESTHETIC & HUMANISTIC INQUIRY Liberal Studies distribution block credit.

Cultural Understanding Liberal Studies distribution block

FS 131 American Indian Culture & Gambling
The Seminar introduces the role and place of games and gambling in American Indian cultures past and present.  It includes interpretation of the position gambling has had in traditional creation stories and pre-contact life of Native communities.  It then provides an insight into the complex historical and political background within which American Indian casinos have been established on tribal lands and examines their meaning to the contemporary American indigenous peoples and the larger US society.  In addition it explores the underlying cross-cultural understandings and definitions of “social” and “problem/pathological” gambling and its treatment.

FS 131 Latino Theatre-Film-the Border
This Freshman Seminar will be divided into two different, though related, sections:

During the first half of the semester we will explore the plays and films of a groundbreaking Chicano author and film director, Luis Valdez, who revolutionized theater and cinema.  Early in his career Valdez wrote and performed “actos,” short politically-charged plays.  The actos were presented on flatbed trucks for and by striking farm workers (migrant grape pickers) while marching alongside Cesar Chavez from Delano to Sacramento, California in 1965.  To grasp a wider understanding of Valdez’s writing we will learn about the historical context, the conditions that gave rise to the United Farm Workers’ strike and the literary and political movement that emerged during the 1960s known as the “Chicano Movement.”  We will also study Valdez’s more recent (and more polished) writing, including “Zoot Suit” (1978), a play about the “Pachuco riots” that was performed on Broadway and later made into an award-winning feature film (1981).  In addition to reading some of his more recent writing, we will see Valdez’s film La Bamba (1987), about Chicano rock and roll legend Ritchie Valens, a film that gave Valdez his breakthrough into mainstream “America.” Our segment on Luis Valdez will culminate with a visit to campus by Luis Valdez.  We will not only hear Valdez speak in his campus address on October 19th—we will have the opportunity to meet with him as a class, to ask questions and to get acquainted with this renowned writer who has given voice, form and innovation to Chicano/Latino art.

Obviously, the experience of being Chicano that is so central to Luis Valdez is defined largely by separations and connections between Mexico and the U.S.  During the second part of the course we will explore the 2,000-mile line that separates two countries—the U.S. / Mexico border—from a multitude of different perspectives.  We will study art, literature and performance about the border and will consider the political, economic, social and environmental consequences of “the wall.”  After having read about the border, watched films, discussed and analyzed its purpose, cost and feasibility, we will take a class field trip to see both sides of the border and witness the conditions in the area first hand.  During this time we will meet with representatives from the US Border Patrol, from “No More Deaths,” an organization that provides food, water and humanitarian aid to migrants crossing the desert and with a representative from an environmental organization who will talk to us about the ecological issues surrounding the wall.  We will also meet with artists whose work engages with the theme of the border. Specifically, we will meet with “sound sculptor” Glenn Weyant and will “play” the border wall as a musical instrument, perhaps creating a bi-national “jam session” on and with the wall. We will camp in the desert and will explore migrant trails with “No More Deaths.” Students will have the opportunity to place food and water in areas frequented by migrants. Students will need to procure passports or “passport cards” for the field trip.

Class will be conducted in English, seminar style, allowing considerable time for class discussion.  Grades will be determined by student participation, class presentations, a written journal (from the field trip) and written essays.

FS 131 Southwest Sustainable Foods
Think of this Seminar as a four-course meal with a distinctly Southwestern flavor. There will be much food for thought, along with a fair amount of delicious, nutritious food to be tasted and talked about. We’ll visit several local farms, gardens, ranches, markets, and restaurants, and we’ll even learn how to grow some of our own food right here on campus.

Our field of study will be the historic and contemporary foodways and agricultural traditions of the Southwest’s diverse cultures: Hopi, Navajo, Hispano, European American, Asian American, and many more. Our First Year Seminar’s table is round, and a place has already been set for you. Welcome: have a seat, and let’s learn about the Southwest’s sustainable foods, from amaranth to zucchini.

FS 131 Stories Lived, Stories Told
Learning through Narrative:  Students learn about oral histories, the power of stories and how to conduct a research project.

Goals:  This course will enhance students’ ability to:

  • choose a topic of interest to research
  • engage in an interview process
  • examine technology and its ability to present data
  • present information to an audience

 

Social & Political Worlds Liberal Studies distribution block

FS 141 Adventure & Wildlands
The purpose of this Seminar is to investigate adventure and the landscape of adventure. The Seminar will begin with an overview of adventure and the people who have ventured out on the edge and then will move into the areas where adventure occurs with an emphasis on the United States. The Seminar will include a variety of educational activities: lecture, discussion, classroom activities, and required field experiences.

FS 141 Democracy, Social Justice & the Environment
This Seminar grassroots democratic participation in relation to problems of environmental sustainability, social justice, and diversity from the local level to the global.  We will examine systemic aspects of social and environmental problems as well as alternative pathways for change.  Community-based research and engagement are a vital component of the course, facilitating a process in which students can participate in fostering the changes that they want to see in the world.

FS 141  Ethics for a Global Economy
As a global economy continues to develop, ethical and cultural issues that affect the international business arena, have become of increasing importance.  This Seminar specifically addresses the following ethical issues: employment practices, consumer protection, environmental issues, bribery, sexual harassment, office theft, basic human rights and fundamental freedoms.  Case study analysis, videos, and guest speakers will provide the student with an increased understanding and sensitivity to these issues.

FS 141 Healthcare: US & Global
This course will allow students to explore in small groups and through seminar discussions the issues of health and health care as they impact individuals across the lifespan in the United States and Globally.

FS 141 Leadership Theory & Practice
This Seminar will provide the opportunity for students to learn and explore the concept of leadership, including its theoretical foundations, definitions, styles, the traits of leaders, and the roles and responsibilities of leaders.  In-class activities, lectures, discussions, and presentations will focus on identifying, assessing, and evaluating leadership styles, group dynamics, values, and ethics.

FS 141 The Logo
As symbols of identity for organizations, products, people, and places, logos are ubiquitous in our world, and they have become a primary carrier of meaning in our increasingly visually-oriented culture.  This Seminar will examine logos from a variety of perspectives, assessing their significance with regard to commerce, art, marketing, branding, design, and society in general.

FS 141 The Mathematics of Democracy
This main focus of this Seminar is the American political process with special attention on elections. Many mathematical aspects of the process will be analyzed and alernatives considered. Topics include apportionment, weighted voting systems, social choice, gerrymandering and the role of the media.

FS 141 Music, Nature & Society
Beginning with a reading of C.S. Lewis’ “Abolition of Man,” and utilizing the examples of nature, this Seminar will explore the differences between natural and artificial orders as they exist in music, political philosophy and society.

FS 141 Men/Women: Gender in America
This Seminar surveys theory and research concerning the construction and enactment of gender in contemporary society. Course foci include the influences of culture, socialization, and individual differences on women and men.  Commodifcation of contradictory messages of femininity and masculinity are examined by historical and current theoretical discourses including core tenets of gender ideology and social constructivism.  The course analyzes assumptions about what causes humans to endorse gendered lives and how being gendered affects identity and behavior.  Alternative models for increasing gender role flexibility and broader social identities are examined.

FS 141 9/11: A Historical Survey
In this Seminar, we will employ common sense analysis, critical thinking skills and basic investigative techniques to understand the historical context and contemporary accounts of 9/11. We will consult sources such as the Joint Congressional Inquiry, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the 9/11 Commission, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  Course topics include:  US foreign and domestic policy prior to and following 9/11, basic criminal investigative techniques, advance warnings of attacks, FAA and military standard operating procedures, flight timelines, and eyewitness accounts from Ground Zero. Among questions we will ask: could the attacks on North American soil be prevented? Was there sufficient post-attack accountability? Should there be a criminal investigation?

FS 141 Religious Fundamentalism in South Asia
Religious fundamentalism, especially the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, is a burning issue in World politics since the tragic incident of 9/11. What is religious fundamentalism? Is the term fundamentalism applicable only to Islam or also to other religions? Is there only one variety of Islamic fundamentalism or multiple varieties? What are the causes behind the rise of Islamic fundamentalism? What are the similarities and differences between Islamic and non-Islamic fundamentalism?

In order to find answers to these questions, in this course, we will employ critical thinking to study the discourse of political Islam while focusing on the various types of fundamentalist movements in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Moreover, we will examine the historical development of both Hindu and Islamic fundamentalism in South Asia and compare them to comprehend the nature of the fundamentalist movements. We will use Iran, the only theocratic regime in the World, as a reference to understand the different variants of Islamic fundamentalism.

FS 141 Searching for Justice
The purpose of this Seminar is to raise student awareness about the foundations and nature of justice through the lens of human rights and of human rights issues.  Exploring the historical, philosophical, cultural and legal implications of universal human rights reveals how these rights have become entrenched in international law and why they are widely supported locally and globally. The course will explore what we (and others) mean when referring to ‘justice’, the intersections between economics, gender, racial/ethnic, civic and global justice, and pathways for building genuine justice.  We will focus on issues in human rights including women’s and children’s human rights, torture, transitional justice, and adult and juvenile prisoner rights.  The course will enable students to see how human rights are protected and enforced, and will contrast the place of local criminal justice human rights issues with the global human rights regime.

FS 141 Social Movements & Action
This Seminar will focus on how people use collective measures to produce social change. By definition, social movements are sustained challenges against authorities that aim at reforming, revolutionizing, or eliminating dominant institutions, changing public opinion, or transforming personal behavior.  They usually develop around extremely contentious issues, with participants sometimes engaged in peaceful tactics while others pursue violence.  In this Seminar, we will analyze historical and contemporary social movements to gain insights on how people transform society from the bottom up.

This Seminar is guided by the following questions: What motivates people to act collectively and sometimes illegally to challenge the laws and values of society?  What drives people to sometimes risk their lives to participate in social movements?  What is the relationship between movement goals and the tactics selected to achieve them?  (i.e., why do some movements use violent means while others use peaceful actions?)  How do we know if a movement is successful?  What are the major changes in society that are directly attributable to social movements?

To achieve a deeper understanding of social movements, students will be part of engaged learning, where they will work directly with organizations that are part of larger social movements.

FS 141 Women & Society
This course analyzes the subordinate position of women in society as being socially constructed. It will also explore the interdependency between gender and power, and how the understanding of gendered social constructions can help in addressing gender inequalities and promote gender equity.

Topics include femininities-masculinities, gender roles in different societies, poverty as capability deprivation, violence against women, the feminization of HIV/AIDS, the feminization of migration, human trafficking and sex work/prostitution, the new information and communication technologies (ICTs), and women’s empowerment.

FS 199 The Arts in the NAU Community: Discovering the Music, Art, Theatre, and Creativity Around You
This three credit course provides opportunities for students to attend, reflect upon, and analyze a variety of cultural events on campus and in the Flagstaff community. Students are required to attend 12 to 15 pre-approved cultural events and provide either a written cultural analysis of each event or attend a class-sponsored salon discussion group.  To aid the student in choosing a variety of events/performances, there is a list of events held on the NAU campus as well as in Flagstaff itself, divided into categories, from which to choose; we have also listed all relevant list serv links to all events on campus in your Vista shell.

The course encourages students to think critically, express ideas and move them forward, and to shape creative lives as citizens of a rapidly changing world. This course will challenge students to gain a deeper cross-disciplinary understanding of aspects of the university curriculum through an exploration of culture through film, music, theatre, art, and lectures.

FS 199 are 3 unit courses for students with 30 units or less (freshman standing) for AESTHETIC & HUMANISTIC INQUIRY Liberal Studies distribution block credit.

FS 199 Medium, Message and Meaning
This course is an examination of the theme of communication and how it can be defined across a variety of activities across the Northern Arizona University campus.  This three credit course provides opportunities for students to attend, reflect upon, and analyze a variety of cultural events on campus and in the Flagstaff community. Students are required to attend 12 to 15 pre-approved cultural events and provide either a written cultural analysis of each event or attend a class-sponsored salon discussion group.  To aid the student in choosing a variety of events/performances, there is a list of events held on the NAU campus as well as in Flagstaff itself, divided into categories, from which to choose; we have also listed all relevant list serv links to all events on campus in your Vista shell.

The course encourages students to think critically, express ideas and move them forward, and to shape creative lives as citizens of a rapidly changing world. This course will challenge students to gain a deeper cross-disciplinary understanding of aspects of the university curriculum through an exploration of culture through film, music, theatre, art, and lectures.FS 199 are 3 unit courses for students with 30 units or less (freshman standing) for AESTHETIC & HUMANISTIC INQUIRY Liberal Studies distribution block credit.

USC 299 State of the World
State of the World examines some of the most critical scientific facts, cultural values, and technological developments defining our human experience and shared future.  The course considers issues such as global climate change, resource scarcity, immigration, economic globalization, communication technology, the balance of power, religious beliefs, and social justice.  Moreover, this course will explore the many interrelationships between these global issues.  In other words, this course explores the rich interplay between the cultural, intellectual and physical realities that increasingly characterize both the challenges and possibilities that we all must face.

USC 299 is a 3 unit course for students with 60 units or less (sophomore or freshman standing) for SCIENCE Liberal Studies distribution block credit.