E-Term 2014 Bulletin - page 18

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venues of expression in Europe and beyond as well as how the newest forms
of communication intersect with the old. To that end we will travel to St.
Petersburg (the Russian version), Istanbul, London, Berlin, and Florence
(Italy). We will visit some of the most important and exquisite museums of
the world. In addition, we will contrast the old with the new by exploring
the world of global media—from local television to online access to social
media—in these important world capitals. The emphasis is on comparison
and contrast. We will start with what we know here in Birmingham, with
help from the BirminghamMuseum of Art, local media outlets, and what you
already know about social media. From this perspective, we travel for 20
days. Students will keep a journal and write a final paper of 8-10 pages where
they will summarize their own perspectives on comparative elements of the
trip. Pre-departure meetings will take place January 2-3, 8:00am-12:00pm.
Travel Dates will be Jan 4-25, 2014
Estimated Student Fees (based on value of Euro 4/2013): $4980 from
Birmingham—includes approximately 19 nights.
GEN*E299*37
Explorations of Qi (ch’i, ‘life-energy’)
Yahui Anita Huang
Prerequisites:
None
Open To:
All Students
Grading System:
S/U
Max. Enrollment: 15
Meeting Times: Tu WTh 1:00pm-4:00pm
This course will explore qi (ch’i, ‘life-energy’) —the fundamental concept
in Chinese medicine, culture, and philosophy. Qi is also the vital source
of longevity, natural phenomena, physical and spiritual power. In this
class, we will examine the role qi plays in various aspects of Chinese life
through film, food, tea culture, and literary works. Students will gain a basic
understanding of Feng Shui, acupuncture, reflexology, and the key concepts
of yin-yang and wuxing, which are needed to understand the YijingThe Book
of Changes. Students will explore the concept of qi by engaging themselves
in exercises that are believed to help one achieve physical and emotional
balance including Qigong (Ch’i-Kung) and Taiji (Tai-Chi). Grades will be based
on attendance, participation, a personal journal, a written exam, and one
in-class presentation. Knowledge of the Chinese language is a plus but not
required.
Estimated Student Fees: $50 (for Taiji instructor and Chinese doctor)
GEN*E299*38
Harry Potter: Bigger than Jesus?
Jack Hinnen
Prerequisites:
Complete reading of the Harry Potter book series
Open To:
All Students
Grading System: Letter
Max. Enrollment: 20
Meeting Times: TuTh9:00am-12:00pm
J.K. Rowling’s books about a young wizard named Harry Potter are arguably
the most popular series for an entire generation. Like all great stories
they draw deeply on their connections with our own reality but also how
they stir our imaginations with what is possible. One connection are the
analogies drawn between religion and the myth, story, and epic of Harry
Potter. This course will attempt to draw religious and philosophical lessons
inherent between faith and Rowling’s fantasy fiction of Hogwarts. To that
end, coursework will include reading Harry Potter and Philosophy, edited by
Gregory Bassham, Critical Perspectives on Harry Potter, edited by Elizabeth
GEN*E299*34
Communicating Science
Tyler Dart
Prerequisites:
None
Open To:
All Students
Grading System:
S/U
Max. Enrollment: 18
Meeting Times:
Tu WTh F 10:00am-2:00pm
In our increasingly technological society, it is extremely important to have a
population well versed in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM),
but are we? Does the average American understand the science behind
climate change? Can they logically analyze both sides of a debate? This
knowledge and ability to think critically is referred to as “Science Literacy,”
and, sadly, this is something Americans currently lack. Communicating
Science is for those interested in advancing science literacy in our
community. This course will be a partnership with McWane Science Center,
where students will be trained to engage the general public in scientific
discovery, and put what they have learned into practice with museum
visitors. Students will be assessed on their participation and improvement
in communicative effectiveness. Students will also be asked to develop,
implement, test, and refine an activity that engages the public in scientific
reasoning.
Estimated Student Fees: $50
GEN*E299*35
Digital Detox: Mindfulness Meditation in the Modern World
Joseph F. Chandler
Prerequisites:
None
Open To:
All Students
Grading System:
Letter
Max. Enrollment: 18
Meeting Times:
Tu WTh9:00am-12:00pm
This class will explore the theory and application of practical contemplative
meditation in the modern world. Students will study the neuroscience
underlying self-control, digital addiction, and the myth of multi-tasking from
primary, peer-reviewed sources. Students will simultaneously apply these
concepts through the development of a personal contemplative practice,
including digital blackout periods, mindful eating, mindful studying, mindful
hiking, and other accessible disciplines that take meditation out of the
mystical and into everyday life. Long-term physical, social, and emotional
outcomes of mindfulness will be discussed. Class meetings will center on
practical, participatory demonstrations of meditative techniques, discussion
of primary source material, and depictions of meditation in modern culture.
The entire class will be framed by the unique challenges faced by the wired
generation when seeking a sense of personal peace in the digital world.
GEN*E299*36
European Culture and Global Media
Natalie Davis, Janie Spencer
Prerequisites:
Instructor Consent
Open To:
All Students
Grading System:
S/U
Max. Enrollment: 20
Meeting Times:
varies; see description
This Exploration Term is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Our goal is
to appreciate, investigate, and understand better both the most traditional
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