New Topics and Travel Class Descriptions

Academic & Career Advising collects and posts course descriptions from the faculty who are teaching these Special Topics and New Topics courses. If you can't find the course description you're looking for, you can email the professor of the course. We have a running list of all past courses and their descriptions at the end of this page. 

Please refer to the BoxerOnline class schedule for days, times, and other schedule details.

New Courses, Special Topics, and Travel Course Descriptions  

Winter 2023/Spring 2023 | Civic Engagement Advising Guide

This useful guide provides information about majors and minors that offer courses fulfilling CE credits, CE projects, and upcoming courses.  

  • ACCT 359 - fulfills Civic Engagement credit; instructor can override the prerequisite for interested students. Please contact Laura McNally (

Winter 2023

ARTST-121-02 Studio I: Pinhole Camera
Introduction to pinhole cameras, their construction and use. Process different kinds of negatives through conventional and digital means. Critical analysis of process, composition and content is emphasized. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to: 1) Demonstrate basic functions of a pinhole camera, 2) Construct several pinhole cameras, digital and conventional, using a variety of materials, 3) Analyze how function and construction affect the photographic image, 4) Critique work using vocabulary common to design composition and photography.

ARTST-221-01 Studio II: Chains and Clasps
We'll be using a variety of fabrication techniques to create chains and clasps from copper, brass, sterling and aluminum wire. From pounded metal to crocheted wire, from chainmail to soldered links, we'll be making a variety of wearable chains and hand-fabricated clasps.  This is a class that can be repeated as many times as you would like, as it's geared toward each student's level of expertise.

ARTST-223-01 Studio II SU: The Art of Paddle Carving
A wooden blade quietly dips in, propelling you through water and through life. When it is a paddle of your own making, ornamented with symbolism that reflects your own journey, it is an experience all the richer. Learn basic woodworking and carving skills while creating a single blade canoe paddle. This course concludes with a canoe trip on Hagg Lake.

HIST-255-01 Debate US Constitution
This is a role-playing class where, instead of listening to lectures, you will assume the character of a patriot during the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Each day, you will participate in debates about the intellectual, political, and ideological currents that surged through Philadelphia during the hot summer months of 1787. You will participate in a series of debates and votes about issues of enduring relevance, basing your arguments on primary sources, such as speeches, letters, newspaper articles, and drafts contained in the game book and on-line. The diary that James Madison kept during the convention will now be your best friend. The professor acts merely as game master, providing counsel. The Setup: The Articles of Confederation, which revolutionaries composed just after the War for Independence began, no longer serves the national interest. Delegates from each state gather in Philadelphia to compose a new document that will better serve the young country’s needs. Danger looms: rebels have risen in rural areas; Southerners threaten the union; France and Denmark await their debt payments; and the noble ideas fought for so recently seem on the verge of disappearing. Amidst internal chaos and external threats, you will serve as a member of a state delegation as well as an ideological faction (Nationalists, Moderate Nationalists, Confederalists, or Moderate Confederalists). While you have your own victory objectives, your faction does as well. Therefore, you have two sets of considerations. The faction with the majority of combined points wins the game.

REL/SOWK 155 Spirituality & Wellbeing
This class will explore personal and community wellbeing through a lens of peace and spirituality. Students will have opportunities to disconnect from the digital world, experience silent contemplation, and reflect on spiritual wellbeing—not limited to formal religion—individually and as a community.  Students will be exposed to different spiritual practices and techniques of self-care and other-care to foster wellbeing, and will examine the ways in which spirituality affects community life.  The course will also address how spiritual wellbeing relates to both inner peace and a more peaceful world.

Spring 2023

ARTHI-282-01 Italian Renaissance Art History
This introductory course surveys the major developments in 15th – 16th c. Italian Renaissance painting, sculpture, and architecture as distinct pursuits, but also as related endeavors. In a contextual analysis, students explore the meanings and functions of art and architecture, focusing on the historical, religious, political, cultural, intellectual, and socio-economic contexts that shaped these works. Emphasis is placed on the revival of Humanism and classical ideologies and their implications on the visual arts as well as the patronage by individuals and city-states to construct or challenge power relations. In this framework, students also learn methods and vocabulary of art analysis and interpretation while expanding their knowledge on other topics such as function, iconography, stylistic innovations by major artists and architects, class, gender, commercialization, and making and materials. Fulfills Analyzing and Interpreting Texts core requirement.

ARTST-121-01 Studio I: Darkroom Photography
The class highlights the world of film as it is today. Students will use their own film cameras of any format and vintage to explore all types of film technology - from classic Black/White/Color films that are still available to the latest retro film types recently produced. Film technology is still relevant as a medium in the commercial as well as the artistic - world. New digital equipment production and techniques are still being developed that are based on this medium.

ARTST-221-02 Studio II: Location Photography
Planning and logistics of shooting on location. Transportation, scouting, permits and billing, in addition to lighting, metering and other photographic controls. Subjects include fashion, portraiture, product, and architectural photography. Students will participate in on-location photo shoots of various subjects, using techniques and equipment specific to each scenario. Students will be responsible for creating multi location shoots individually, and will participate in the creation of a collaborative shoot with a group of fellow students.

ARTST-221-03 Studio II: Jewelry/Metals Mechanisms
Mechanisms and methods of attachment are often afterthoughts in introductory jewelry making classes. This time they'll be the focus of our attention. We'll be hand fabricating both simple and elaborate hinges and clasps from copper, brass and silver to create boxes and pendants;  decorative and/or wearable small sculptural works of art. 

ARTST 222-01 Studio II CE: Mural Painting
Art for all! Students will engage with community partners to collaboratively design and paint a mural  for display outside or inside. Themes will either relate to community wide ideas, or be entirely student-generated. Students will learn basic technical aspects of painting, drawing, materials and tools used to do large scale work indoors and outdoors. Students will also learn the history of murals and its connection to powerful art and social movements. Students receive credit for community service work with this course. Fulfills Sustainability, Civic Engagement, and Artistic Practice & Creative Process core requirements.

HIST 355-01 Political History of Emotions
Humans are not simply rational beings. Emotions play a dramatic role in the way we experience the world. Yet traditional history often omits explorations of life’s affective dimensions. This course will investigate the role of emotions in modern American politics. Drawing on new methodologies developed in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and economics, we will try to understand how rage, resentment, and hatred as well as empathy, hope, and humanitarianism motivates involvement in the public sphere. Whether the issue is power or national security, capitalism or culture, feelings intertwine with cognition.  Historical Context requirement. 

MEDA 255-01: Digital Stories in Health, 2 credits, First half of semester, MW 2:15-3:50, Enie Vaisburd
Digital Storytelling can be a powerful tool to disseminate, transfer, and translate medical and health knowledge.  Digital storytelling can be an effective method of sharing patients', caregivers', healthcare professionals', and policy makers' experiences. Students in the class will learn the fundamental concepts and skills to tell compelling video stories that effectively employ video, sound, interviews, music, text, and narration. This course is designed for any student in health professions, Social Work, or Public Health, or any student who wants to learn how to use digital storytelling as a communications tool.

MEDA/SOC/GSS 355: Hawai'i: Narrative, Place & Self, 4 credits
Hawai'i is often depicted as an idyllic paradise where individuals can escape the difficulties of everyday life. This course critically interrogates this popular depiction and examines the ways that media representations intersect with dominant ideologies to craft and reinforce this narrative. In doing so, the course examines how narratives are shaped by larger systems of power (e.g., racism, sexism, classism) and influence the ways that we understand and interact with spaces like Hawai'i. Finally, this helps us locate ourselves in relationship to these narratives and ideologies and provides insights into how we can disrupt them in pursuit of a more equitable and just world. *This course is a prerequisite for the Hawai'i: Story, Place & Self travel course. However, enrollment in the travel course is not required for enrollment in this course.

PHIL/HUM-355-01 NT: Reimagining the Humanities
In this course, we think through the idea of "Western" versus "Non-Western."  We will problematize the concept of "Western Civilization" through explorations of the Islamic philosophical traditions that made the Renaissance possible.  We will explore dimensions of the West's non-Western roots in Egypt and Syria.  We will engage medieval images of Plato and Aristotle in Afghan, Iranian, and Indian painting and poetry.  And we will track some of the non-Western contemporary creative appropriations of Western literary forms such as the recent Hamlet in Kashmir, Love's Labor's Lost in Kabul, and Richard III in Kuwait.  The course would be of interest to anyone wanting more experience with philosophy, history, literature, or art.  It will be a discussion and reading-based class with weekly reading assignments and short essays instead of midterms or exams.  Students will work regularly in groups.  The course meets Historical Context and International and Diverse Perspectives core requirements.

SOC/GSS/REL 355: Tarot and Antiracism

Many individuals turn to tarot practices for guidance in life and to explore their identities. This course treats tarot as a cultural artifact and examines its relationship with dominant ideologies and systems of oppression. Through the course we will interrogate the imagery and meanings of tarot to see how they are informed by and uphold cultural understandings of social categories (e.g., race, class, gender, sexuality). Through this examination, we explore the possibilities of a tarot practice informed by antiracism, feminism, and/or queer theory. Overall, this course attempts to unroot tarot from dominant ideologies of oppression and reimagine it through an antioppressive lens in order to undermine the oppressive cultural systems. **No previous knowledge of Tarot Required** This course meets International and Diverse Perspectives and Analyzing and Interpreting Texts core requirements.

Travel Classes - Short-term Study Abroad

International Programs has the list of upcoming travel classes (short-term study abroad). 

Past Term Course Descriptions

Fall 2022

Spring 2022

Winter 2022

Fall 2021

Summer 2021

Spring 2021

Winter 2021

Fall 2020

Spring 2020

Winter 2020

Fall 2019

Spring 2019

Winter 2019

Fall 2018

Summer 2018

Spring 2018

Winter 2018

Fall 2017

Spring 2017

Winter 2017



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