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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. 

New Course, Special Topics, and Travel Course Descriptions  

Winter 2022

ARTHI 282/382: ST: Art & Sustainability
This special topics course will focus on the potential of art to create a new cultural basis for sustainability. Students will explore the contemporary field of artists whose work relates to ecology, the environment, and sustainability. Since environmental or eco artists often collaborate with experts in a wide range of disciplines, it will also be an interdisciplinary examination. In particular, we will study ecologically motivated art relating to earthworks, new materiality in art including recycled objects, as well as a variety of other issues and discourses on art. Currently pending approval to fulfill Sustainability Core

ARTST-121-01 Studio I:The Creative Process 2 credits MTWTHF 1-4 Harding
Studio I courses engage students with the creative process. Emphasis will be placed on problem-solving in relation to the theme and media of the course. Paint, print, photo, ceramics, glass, metal, and other media are explored in different sections of this course. Basic course materials will be supplied, however students may be required to obtain additional materials necessary to complete their projects. Counts towards Artistic Practice & Creative Process core.

ARTST-121-02 Studio I: Pinhole Camera 2 credits MTWTHF 9-12 Brunn
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. Counts towards Artistic Practice & Creative Process core.

ARTST-121-03 Studio I: Letterpress 2 credits MTWTHF 1-4 Gabriel
Dating back centuries, letterpress printing has gained in popularity for printing postcards, business cards, invitations and more. This course Introduces the basics of letterpress printing and covers hand-setting type, mixing inks, image-making options, and the operation of platen presses. Letterpress terminology, typography and a list of resources will also be discussed. Successful completion of the course will allow you access to the presses in the Tran library Makerspace once the course is over. If you love ink on paper, this course is for you! Counts towards Artistic Practice & Creative Process core.

ARTST-221-01 Studio II: Chains & Clasps 2 credits MTWTHF 1-4 Epstein
In this course you’ll learn about a variety of chain techniques, including braided and knitted wire, soldered and unsoldered links, rope chains and chain mail. From delicate detailed designs to bold and chunky, you’ll also be learning to design and fabricate your own unique clasps and closures. Counts towards Artistic Practice & Creative Process core.

ARTST-223-02 Studio II SU: The Art of Paddle Carving 2 credits MTWTHF 1-4 Masterson
A wooden blade dips in, propelling you through water and through life. When it is a paddle of your own making with carved symbolism that reflects your own journey it is an experience all the richer. Learn basic woodworking and carving skills while creating an ornamented single blade canoe paddle. Put it to use in the spring course: ARTST-222-01 Studio II CE:Skin-on-Frame Boats Counts towards Artistic Practice & Creative Process core.

CIV 155 Let's Talk: Controversy with Civility
Can we talk? This course will give students the opportunity to discuss controversial current issues in a space that allows for tentative ideas, emerging opinions, gentle disagreement, and challenging assumptions. In an era of disinformation, polarization, cancel culture, and toxic politics, this course will be devoted to deliberative dialogues—a particular kind of discussion designed to engage different perspectives and foster community-building and democratic decision-making. Students will also critically examine the notion of civility and its relevance to free expression, diversity, democracy, and community. The class will include group service projects and other civic actions too. Meets CE Core requirement. 2 credits. Instructor: Stephanie Stokamer

MEDA 155 NT: Intro to Comic Creation
This class explores the fundamentals of creating comics with a focus on personal storytelling. Students will learn about the processes behind their favorite graphic narratives - scripts, thumbs, pencils, inks, coloring, lettering and editing - using a number of real world examples. From there, students will try their hands at developing their own short comic stories… along with workshopping next industry steps. Illustration skills not necessary! Counts toward Artistic Practice & Creative Process Core requirement. 2 credits.

REL/SOCWK 155 ST: 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. 2 credits. Instructor: Brendan Curran

PH 353-02 ST: Decolonizing Healthcare
This course seeks to help students understand the complex relationship the US state has had with women of African descent in the United States. We will explore how the history of slavery, all the way to contemporary forms of racism, impact the health outcomes of Black women. This course also introduces some forms of activism to highlight Black women’s resistance, resilience, and leadership. We will also engage with questions of identities, paying special attention to the complexities and diversity of Black identities. Therefore, assignments will encourage students to engage with Black women’s experiences through a critical lens, while challenging students to make connections between Black women’s biographies and their history in an endeavor to make a lasting impact within the social justice movement. Instructor: Joy Mutare Kanu

POLS 355-01 NT: Politics of Homelessness
Homelessness is one of the most vexing and visible social, political, and economic issues of the 21st century. In this course students explore the root causes of homelessness, from individual decisions to institutional arrangements. This intensive civic-engagement experience entails traveling to Portland frequently to meet with people experiencing homelessness, policymakers, and NGOs employees. In addition, students spend time helping at Street Roots, the Portland-based newspaper sold by people who are unhoused and/or experiencing poverty. Fulfills Civic Engagement requirement. Instructor: Jules Boykoff

Spring 2022

ARTST-121-01 Studio I: Darkroom Photography 4 credits MW 1-3:20 Brunn
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. Fulfills Artistic Practice & Creative Process core requirement.

ARTST-121-02 Studio I: Printmaking 4 credits MW 3:30-5:50 Miyamoto
Students will develop their skills in printmaking through historical and contemporary context. Students will be encouraged to think about socially engaged art while diving into relief and screen printing processes. Printmaking was first invented to disseminate information has the power to create change and facilitate meaningful discourse. Printmaking is embraced by artists because of its accessibility to the public, but also for the opportunities it offers for innovation and experimentation. Much of our focus will be on traditional techniques, the knowledge that comes from this meant to inspire experimentation and facilitate execution of the students’ conceptual ideas. We will cover relief and screen printing processes. We will work collaboratively on a project that focuses on social engagement in our communities.

ARTST-221-01 Studio II: Ceramics Throwing 4 credits TTH 8:55-1`1:15 O’Day
Students will explore a variety of ceramics techniques with a focus on the wheel. Students will also have the opportunity to explore the use of modeling software to create ceramic works on a 3D clay printer. Basic course materials will be supplied, however students may be required to obtain additional materials necessary to complete their projects.

ARTST-221-02 Studio Ii: Location Photography 2 credits MW 9:15-11:35 Brunn
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: Metals/Jewelry 4 credits TTH 1-3:20 Epstein
This course is an introduction to the creative process in the metals studio. Students will explore their ideas in relation to individual values and aesthetics, cultural influences, societal expectations, industrial and artisanal modes of production, and environmental connections. Basic course materials will be supplied, however students may be required to obtain additional materials necessary to complete their projects.

ARTST-222-01 Studio II CE: Skin-Frame Canoes 4 credits MW 9:15-11:35 Masterson
Collaborate with your peers and the community to build modern skin-on-frame canoes and take an overnight environmental stewardship paddle trip. Learn basic woodworking, design elements, boat handling, and camping skills. Boats will be donated and/or auctioned as a fundraiser. Hear the roar of a table saw, the rasp of a handsaw, the whisper of a hand plane, the talk of team members, the splash of paddles, the groan of tired arms, and the crackle of a campfire. Fulfills Sustainability, Civic Engagement, and Artistic Practice & Creative Process core requirements.

ARTST-222-02 Studio II CE: Mural Painting 4 credits MW 9:15-11:35 Miyamoto
Art for all! Students will engage with community partners to collaboratively design and paint a mural on a wall or all panels, 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 it’s connection to powerful art movements. Students receive credit for community service work with this course. Fulfills Sustainability, Civic Engagement, and Artistic Practice & Creative Process core requirements.

ENV/BIOL 355-01 NT: Hidden Ecological Networks 
This course explores a hidden world of communication and connectivity within ecosystems, highlighting the network of interactions between plants, microbes, and their soil environment. We will delve into plant communication, including the evolutionary ecology of plant signals and underground forest connectivity through root signaling and fungal webs. We will explore not only the complexity of interactions between plants and their microbial partners, but also how plant-microbe interactions create soil feedback loops that both alter and give and shape their environment. This course will ask questions about if and how this new consortium of ecosystem knowledge can be applied to improve human-mediated systems, including sustainable agriculture, forest management, and habitat restoration. Prerequisite: completion of CHEM 220, 230, BIOL 200, and 201. 

PACU 255-01 College Student Success
What helps a student succeed in college? This course explores this question, providing information and techniques students can immediately apply to positively impact their educational experiences. The course introduces skill development to navigate a diverse learning environment, utilize college resources and services, and create financial and academic plans to help students develop a sense of belonging while plotting a course toward academic and personal success. Pass/No Pass, 1 Credit.  See the PACU 255 course informational flyer

PH 353: Special Topics in Public Health: COVID-19 Origins to Future Implications
The detrimental impact of COVID-19 has been felt far and wide, but none more so than in Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color, including the immunocompromised and the elderly. This course touches upon both national and international aspects of the harm the COVID-19 pandemic has had on communities. Topics could include origins of COVID-19, the harm COVID-19 has had nationally and internationally, the significance of public health interventions, and implications this pandemic has had on the future of public health.

THEA 255: Acting for Anyone (2 credits)
The fundamental skills of acting--listening, collaboration, presence, effective speech and movement--are useful to everyone, whether or not they intend to pursue work in theatre or the arts. These skills can be learned and improved through simple exercises and committed practice. Students in this class will work with fundamental elements of actor training to make progress toward their identified goals in a low-pressure, supportive environment. Counts towards Artistic Practice and Creative Process core requirement. 

Travel Classes - Short-term Study Abroad

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

Past Term Course Descriptions

Fall 2021

Summer 2021

Spring 2021

Winter 2021

Fall 2020

Spring 2020

Winter 2020

Fall 2019

Spring 2019

Winter 2019

Fall 2018

Summer 2018

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Spring 2017

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