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2014-2015 Theme Courses

Students must take a pair of courses from the same theme cluster to complete the theme requirement portion of the Integrative Core. The theme requirement may also satisfied through 4-credit hours taken while studying abroad and 4-credit hours of approved coursework completed at the University of Mount Union. Theme courses may count toward a major or minor (limit of one per major, one per minor). The prerequisite for all theme courses is completion of all four foundation courses or Junior standing.

Students can count no more than one course that is marked with a * towards the Theme requirement.

Cluster 1 - Truth & Beauty in Art and Design: More than Meets the Eye
This cluster addresses human creative expression in the arts and design from the perspective of multiple disciplines, asking questions about the process, philosophy, and purpose of such expression. Art and design are the result of complex relationships between creativity and reality, between ideas and the physical or social world. These relationships are explored in various ways by the courses included in the cluster. Specific questions to be addressed include: what relationships exist between art/design and political structures, social movements, history, and ethical values? What is the relationship creative expression and the perception of truth and reality? How does reality combine with imagination, philosophy, and purpose to shape the design process or the performance/creation of a work of art? These questions go to the heart of what inspires and motivates artists, writers, musicians, performers, designers, and others in the creative world.

  • ART 215 Design II
  • ART 351 Modern Art History
  • COM 450 Popular Culture in Context
  • ENG 260 British Literature II
  • FRN 302 French and Francophone Theater Workshop [taught in French]
  • MUS 352 World Music and Ethnographic Study
  • PHL 260 Aesthetics
  • PSY 260 Sensation and Perception
  • THE 343 Costume Design
  • WRT 310 Theory and Practice of Editing

Cluster 2 - Am I Healthy? Understanding & Promoting Wellness
There are many types of wellness, some of which include: mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, social, economic, cognitive and intellectual. Students taking courses in this cluster will explore the issues of wellness from two disciplinary perspectives drawn from among the following courses:

  • CHE 232 Organic Chemistry II
  • ECN 310 Health Economics
  • MUS 350 Death, Dying, and the Afterlife in the Music of Mahler
  • *PBH 300 Principles of Health Behavior and Health Education
  • PSY 280 Health Psychology
  • PSY 390 Intro to Marriage and Family Therapy
  • REL 270 Death and Dying
  • SOC 250 Medical Sociology
  • SOC 225 Family Violence

Cluster 3 - Data and Information in the Technology Age
Students taking courses in this cluster will study the use and analysis of data and information from various disciplinary perspective through the use of technology.

  • CHE 210 Environmental Chemistry
  • *CSC 270 Computer Organization
  • *EDU 218 Educational Technology
  • PHY 230 Electronics
  • WRT 311 Publications Management
  • WRT 312 Writing and the Web

Cluster 4 – Ethics, Justice, and Society
This cluster addresses issues related to justice, values and ethics. These broad topics are explored in various ways by the courses included in the cluster, depending in part on the disciplinary perspective of each course. Unifying these approaches is a common concern with attitudes towards those other than ourselves (or outside our identity groups) and with how these attitudes are explained, justified, or developed. Specific questions raised by some or all of the courses in the cluster include: do I treat others with respect or compassion? how has my own moral code been developed? why should I others with respect or compassion? if I should, then why is it often so difficult to do so? how broadly should the moral community be conceived? what responsibilities, if any, do I have towards others, and, why? should those responsibilities be reciprocated? are my attitudes towards others within my control, and if so, what are some ways of initiating change?

  • PHL 270 Ethics
  • PHL 290 Environmental Ethics
  • POL 240 Environmental Policy
  • PSY 350 Social Responsibility
  • REL 340 Christian Social Ethics

Cluster 5 - Flash of the Spirit: Diaspora Aesthetics & the Sounds of Blackness
The Black Church was the crucible of the African diaspora experience in the Americas. It became the incubator of the Gospel music phenomenon. Literature and music are cultural expressions of the African diaspora, both are the functioning and transformative arms of the Black Church. Visual, material, and cultural expressions of the peoples of the diaspora center on the traditional West African assumptions of the permeability of borders between the physical and metaphysical worlds with aesthetic and aesthetic expressions as specific manifestations of ashe – the power-to-make-things-happen – for good or for ill in the physical world. Students completing two courses within this cluster will be introduced to these questions of the aesthetic, the spiritual/religious, rhetorical and narrative traditions of the African Diaspora.

  • AFR 299 History and Evolution of Gospel Music
  • AFR 326 Black Diaspora Culture
  • ENG 310 Africana Literatures
  • REL 235 The Black Church

Cluster 6 - Food Ways
The cluster will explore the role that foods plays in creating, maintaining, and sustaining health, societies, and cultures. This issue will be explored from the perspectives of socio-economic class; beliefs and feelings about food that guide food choice; and the factors that determine food access, production, and nutritive value.

  • BIO 260 Plant Structure and Function
  • *HED 250 Nutrition
  • SOC 220 The Many Faces of Poverty

Cluster 7 – Gender in International Context
This cluster will engage in comparative studies of gender and gender roles in international contexts, considering assumptions and norms that shape the performance and reception of gender in diverse social, political, economic and religious realms.

  • ECN 330 Economics of Gender
  • ENG 345 Gender Issues in Literature and Culture
  • HST 260 Women in East Asia
  • REL 370 Gender and Religion

Cluster 8 – Influences on Design Outcomes: Society, Gender, Art and Functionality
This cluster is unified through the topic of how sociological factors, product development teams, and artistic design influence the outcome of a given project. The cluster courses are application oriented, where the complex interrelationships between the causality and final outcomes is explored. The cluster seeks to answer questions regarding: how gender influences design? What approaches to design differ between social groups? How minorities work in product design teams? What is the effect of organizational culture on design outcomes? What is the role both aesthetically and organizationally of hierarchy on design? What is the role of art and aesthetics in the functionality of a design? The questions delve into the relationships between the disciplines of Sociology, Engineering, and Art and promote a deeper, personal understanding of what it means to design.

  • ART 215 Design II
  • ART 220 Sculpture I
  • *EGE 310 Product Design and Development
  • SOC 320 The World of Males and Females
  • SOC 325 Organizational Analysis
  • SOC 330 Minority Group Relations

Cluster 9 – Origins
The scientific method relies on experiments and processes which are repeatable. The courses in this cluster will address the study of events and phenomena related to origins which are not reproducible in the laboratory. Issues such as measuring ages – of physical phenomena – and the analysis and interpretation of evidence will be addressed.

  • GEO 220 The History of Life
  • PHL 340 Philosophy of Science
  • PHY 201 Introduction to Cosmology

Cluster 10 – Personhood and the State
This Theme will examine how various structures of power and privilege – empire, colonial power, state power, etc. – have challenged ideas of human rights and human dignity. The intersections of power with race, gender and sexuality will be an on-going concern, as will religion, both as a source of resistance to power and an obstacle to human rights and dignity.

  • AFR 260 Rap and Rhetoric of the Hip-Hop Generation
  • ENG 335 Literature & Human Rights
  • REL 315 Paul and the Epistles

Cluster 11 - Resource Systems
The courses within this Theme cluster explore the topic of resource systems including natural systems like the water cycle and/or engineered systems like energy production. Each course will apply its specific disciplinary approach to address questions such as: how do resource systems function? why are resources valued as they are? what are the environmental/economic/societal costs and benefits involved in resource use? how can resources be managed in a sustainable way?

  • BIO 230 Conservation Biology
  • CHE 210 Environmental Chemistry
  • CHE 220 Analytical Chemistry I
  • GEO/ENV 210 Hydrology and Water Resources
  • GEO 301 Mineralogy
  • PHL 290 Environmental Ethics
  • PHY 200 Introduction to Planetary Science
  • POL 240 Environmental Policy

Cluster 12 - War and Peace
This cluster addresses the interrelated questions: why do conflicts occur? why and how can we move towards peace? and, is peace possible?

  • ENG 320 Irish Literature and Culture
  • GEN 320 From Antietam to Tora Bora: American Men at War
  • HST 350 Ancient Greece and Rome
  • HST 355 Medieval Europe
  • POL 225 International Relations
  • REL 300 Old Testament Interpretation
  • REL 360 Religious Conflict and Peacebuilding

Cluster 13 – The World on Film
From Facebook to our favorite TV shows, modern life is largely lived on screen. This Theme Cluster focuses on the “silver screen,” exploring cultures around the world through film and examining the many ways in which cinema shapes our perceptions of ourselves as well as others. What can movies teach us about the societies that produce them and consume them? How have filmmakers transformed the way we see everything from sacred texts and literary classics to schizophrenia, and, why? Courses in “The World on Film” look for insight through a variety of disciplinary lens.

  • ENG 330 Literature to Film
  • *FRN 203 French Cinema
  • *JPN 204 Japanese through Film
  • PSY 300 Movies and Madness
  • REL 330 Buddhism in Films

Cluster 14 - Culture and Global Society
The courses in this cluster address the question of how differences in culture are reflected in societal (social groups, treatment of minorities, educational systems etc.) and political structures globally. Further, they ask, how culture affects the development of societal, political, and economic structures in a global context.

  • AFR 306 Pan-Africanism
  • *EDU 215 Multicultural Education
  • FRN 201 The Francophone World
  • GRN 201 Issues in Contemporary German Society
  • JPN 302 Cultural Study of Japan
  • POL 245 Comparative Politics
  • POL 340 International Political Economy
  • POL 348 Politics of the Developing world

Cluster 15 - Globalization: Competition vs. Cooperation
This cluster addresses the issue of GLOBALIZATION and its various manifestations regarding international/national cooperation vs. competition. The overarching question is “Does GLOBALIZATION lead to increased international competition or increased international cooperation?” Other questions to be addressed will include: In what ways does GLOBALIZATION increase and/or decrease cooperation? Competition? Does GLOBALIZATION ‘level the playing field’ for competition and/or cooperation between and among countries? Increase pressure on countries to ‘sharpen their competitive edge’? How does/could GLOBALIZATION lead to more cooperation at an international level? In what ways will the pace of GLOBALIZATION lead to greater pressure on countries to compete or cooperate?

  • ECN 327 International Trade
  • ECN 365 Global Macroeconomics
  • ECN 380 Comparative Economic Systems
  • ECN 390 Economics of the Asian Pacific Rim
  • HST 360 Modern China
  • HST 370 Modern Japan
  • POL 225 International Relations
  • POL 340 International Political Economy

Cluster 16 - Lighting the Page on Fire: Creating Inspiration for the Classroom and Beyond
So that our teachers in training can fully engage their students in classrooms that are expressive and vibrant, we propose to breathe life into several different genres of literature by equipping students to create living stories that come to life through the power of live Theatre.

  • *EDU 355 Content Area Literacy
  • ENG 210 Children’s Literature
  • ENG 310 Africana Literature
  • ENG 315 Native American Literature
  • THE 225 Creative Dramatics

Cluster 17 - What is Modernism?
This cluster addresses the challenging question of modernism – a movement permeating many disciplines including painting, sculpture, dance, music, literature, architecture and philosophy – as influenced by politics, scientific and technological innovation and the Industrial Revolution. Courses in this cluster address the question of Modernism as more than a style or a period, as an attitude and perspective including a determination to break with the past and to free the artist from the stifling rules of convention and etiquette. Students will engage with various modes of experimentation and avant-gardism as well as the sense of despair which often accompanied the changing worldview filtered through much of British, European and American societies as well as the emerging of new political and cultural identities in the wake of colonialism.

  • ART 351 Modern Art History
  • ENG 305 Global Anglophone Literature(s)
  • ENG 340 Modernism and Postmodernism
  • FRN 304 Modern French Poetry

Cluster 18 - Why We Do It: The Evolution and Psychology of Sex
How do evolution and psychology influence human sexual anatomy, attitudes and behavior? How do social and cultural influences shape these attitudes and behaviors into culturally constructed gendered and sexual identities? The goal for this cluster is to help students identify and integrate topics in evolutionary biology, human psychology and cultural students as they contribute to human sexual health and wellness.

  • AFR 260 Rap and Rhetoric of the Hip Hop Generation
  • BIO 215 Evolutionary Biology
  • GEN 210 Introduction to Men’s Studies

Cluster 19 - People and Place: Culture and Environment of the Appalachians
Regional cultures develop in the context of their physical environments, with the environments providing both resources and limitations. Human cultures inevitably modify their environments with negative and positive long term effect on both the culture and its environment. These courses will look at a particular region, the Central Appalachians of North America, through a variety of disciplinary perspectives. The stories of the Appalachians are often embedded in a strong sense of place. The stories and their tellers can often be understood more clearly when the natural environment from which the story emerged is also understood.

  • ENG 299 Literature of the Appalachians
  • ENV 299 Appalachian Environments

(new course numbers to be permanently assigned)