Courses Linked to the Engage TLC

2018-2019

Each of the courses below fulfills the First-Year Integration Core requirement, and most fulfill at least one other core area (see individual course listings for details).

 

THRS 112: Introduction to World Religions

TLC Faculty: Rev. Lark Stephenson Diaz
Core Area: Theological and Religious Inquiry | 3 units

The study of world religions allows us to understand the traditions and world views of cultures and societies different from our own. The course will begin with an exploration of what religion is: how it is formed and studied. The course will look at major religious traditions including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Chinese Religions - Taoism and Confucianism. Each of these will be looked at in light of their history, worldview, understanding of the human condition, understanding of life and death, institutions and rituals, ethical expression and modern practice. Students will take part in field visits to places of worship around San Diego. On these visits students will speak with members of the worship community about the ways in which they are engaged in the local community and its needs and concerns.


LANG 140: Literature and Civic Engagement in the Italian Renaissance

TLC Faculty: Dr. Brittany Asaro
Core Area: Literary Inquiry | 3 units

Italian Renaissance thinkers, known as Humanists, redefined the role of the human being and his or her place within the context of the family, the city, the world, and even the universe. In this course, students will examine canonical writers (Dante, Machiavelli) as well as those who were not granted full access to participation in civic life (a middle-class widow, a Venetian courtesan). Was Humanism truly an exaltation of all humans? Was the Renaissance marked by improved social conditions for all Italian citizens? In this course, students will consider these and other questions that challenge the notions of “progress” and “civilization” during this time period.


THRS 114: Good, Evil, and Original Justice

TLC Faculty: Dr. Peter Bennett
Core Area: Theological and Religious Inquiry | 3 units

What is evil? What is good? Does human life have meaning? How does Christianity reconcile the reality of suffering with its faith in a God who is good? What are the social, ecological, and cosmic implications of these questions? This course will engage these and other topics from the perspective of the Christian Theological tradition, with emphasis on Roman Catholicism. Students will learn theological terms, definitions, and methods, including methods for interpreting the Bible and the Catholic Tradition.


POLS 170: International Relations Enters the Twilight Zone: Global Challenges and Resurgent Nationalism

TLC Faculty: Dr. Vidya Nadkarni
Core Area: Social and Behavioral Inquiry | 3 units

Do you see yourself as a global citizen or a citizen of a country? Do our civic obligations stop at our borders? Can powerful countries unilaterally solve the many global challenges that confront us--nuclear proliferation, terrorism, organized crime, drug-trafficking, human trafficking, refugee and migrant flows, resource scarcity, and climate change, or do we need multilateral institutions, such as NATO or the United Nations? Is globalization exacerbating economic inequalities within and between countries? How do countries deal with the traditional concerns of war, peace, and diplomacy? In sum, we will address the life and death challenges and social and economic complexities of our political world.


ARCH 101: Intro to Architecture

TLC Faculty: Dr. Juliana Maxim
Core Area: Artistic Inquiry | 4 units

The purpose of this course is to offer, to any student, an introduction to the basic steps of design as it is done in architecture. For that purpose, the studio explores the skills of drawing, sketching, and model building, and introduces a full range of architectural ideas related to notions of form and space. The studio familiarizes students with the design process, teaches them how how to communicate ideas in visually effective ways, and how to develop a logic for making design decisions. 

The last part of the semester is dedicated to building student projects at full scale (design/built). The studio culminates in a collective exhibition.


ENGL 226: The Philosophy and Literature of Love

TLC Faculty: Dr. Malachi Black
Core Area: Literary Inquiry | 3 units

As much an idea as it is an emotion, love has long been one of western civilization’s central preoccupations. But what is love, and what does it mean? From the earliest philosophers to the latest scientists and a multitude of writers in between, human beings have indefatigably sought to measure, define, taxonomy, and analyze the powerful if seemingly indescribable force of love. In this course, we will both evaluate and contribute to that preexisting discourse. In light of the highly interdisciplinary nature of our endeavor, we will accomplish a variety of distinct but correlated objectives. While this is in part a writing class, we will also encounter, interrogate, and analyze competing views of love through the lenses of literature, history, philosophy, psychology, physiology, and sociobiology. Along the way, we will crystallize and articulate the origins and evolution of notions of love from Plato’s Greece to contemporary America; internalize, critique, and appraise the chief love-related contributions of Greco-Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, and Modern societies; and, complementarily, generate original (but not necessarily unprecedented) perspectives on the nature, significance, and substance of love through creative dialogues, stories and/or poems, and a final essay or “treatise.”


THRS 110: Exploring Religious Meaning

TLC Faculty: Dr. Louis Komjathy
Core Area: Theological and Religious Inquiry | 3 units

This course examines major issues, important topics and themes, as well as representative concerns from various religious traditions. In contrast to THRS 112: Introduction to World Religions, which emphasizes a traditions-based approach, this course introduces students to the academic study of religion through a topical and thematic approach. In the process, students will gain not only basic literacy concerning religious traditions and phenomena deemed “religious,” but also understanding of interpretative issues in the study of religion. This class thus contextualizes religious activities within the larger contours of human history and relevant issues from comparative religious studies. It also serves as an introduction to Religious Studies as an interdisciplinary academic field and to the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego.


ENGL 358: Staging America

TLC Faculty: Dr. Cynthia Caywood
Core Areas: Literary Inquiry; Domestic Diversity Level 1 | 3 units

“Staging America” examines how the American theatre has staged the idea of America and what it means to be American. We will examine plays about both the American dream and the American nightmare and consider their political and cultural contexts. We will also study the elements of drama, including staging, in order to understand plays both generically and in performance. We will see several productions on film and, when possible live, thus taking advantage of San Diego’s rich theatre community. Texts might include August Wilson, The Piano Lesson; Tony Kushner, Angels in America; Anna Deavere Smith, Twilight: Los Angeles 1992; David Henry Hwang, Chinglish; Stephen Sondheim, Assassins; Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman; Rogers and Hammerstein, Oklahoma; Josefina Lopez, Real Women Have Curves;and Anne Washburn, Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play.


HIST 160: U.S. History of Food

TLC Faculty: Dr. Colin Fisher
Core Area: Historical Inquiry and Critical Thinking/Information Literacy | 3 units

What does food tell us about the American historical experience? How did Pre-Columbian Native Americans sustain themselves on the land? In what ways is food a window on European colonization and plantation slavery? How did urbanization and industrialization change food production and consumption? What does food tell us about the immigrant experience and changing gender relations? What are the ecological and labor consequences of industrial farming during the 20th century and early 21st century? We will ask these questions and many others. Learning will take place in class and also during a number of field trips.


ENGL 358: Photography and Literature

TLC Faculty: Dr. Marcelle Maese-Cohen
Core Areas: Literary Inquiry; Domestic Diversity Level 1 | 3 units

By teaching us how to see the world, photographs also teach us a language and way of being in the world. Like literature, photographs provide a virtual space where different people and ideas meet. What are the politics of this encounter? Who is seen? Who is silenced? The authors we will read incorporate photographs within the pages of the books they write. The visual images they include are as an important to creating a narrative as the words they place on the page. As viewers and readers, our study of the relation between photography and literature will ask questions concerned with beauty, power, and desire. We will survey photographs from Walker Evans to selfies.


ENGL 358: Contemporary Ethnic Dystopia

TLC Faculty: Dr. Jason Crum
Core Areas: Literary Inquiry; Domestic Diversity Level 1 | 3 units

This course will examine late 20th & early 21st Century Ethnic Dystopian fiction and popular culture in the United States. Our sources for this cultural studies course will be varied and will include recent trends in literature, film, digital storytelling, graphic novels, & video games. We will trace the development of imaginings and re-imaginings of utopia, their exclusions and gaps, and seek to examine how ethnic and racial minorities in the United States have contested such ideas as utopia/dystopia, class, race, gender, & sexuality. Readings will include works such as Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, NK Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, Chang-Rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea, Samuel Delany’s Trouble on Triton, Nedi Okorafor’s Lagoon, Cynthia Khodata’s In the Heart of the Valley of Love. We will also turn to and look analytically at the political, social, and economic climate that allows for the portrayal of ethnicity in recent pop culture titles such as Alex Rivera’s Sleep Dealer and Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men and video game productions such as Bioshock:Infinite.


PHIL 335: Death and Dying

TLC Faculty: Dr. Turner Nevitt
Core Area: Ethical Inquiry | 3 units

Everyone dies eventually. Nothing is more common than death, and yet nothing is more mysterious. What even is death? When exactly do we die? Is it when our heart stops, or when our brain becomes inactive, or something else? And is dying good or bad? Does death give our lives meaning? Would an endless life be boring? And what happens when we die? Is there an afterlife? What would we have to be like to survive our death? And is it always wrong to cause death? Is killing ever justified, e.g. in war or self-defense? Is suicide wrong? Should physician-assisted suicide be legal? Should the death penalty be abolished? And how should we make decisions at the end of life? When is it acceptable to withdraw or withhold treatment from dying patients? These are the kinds of questions we will consider in this course. We will reflect on what philosophers have said about them, critically examining their answers in light of our own knowledge and experience.


THRS 110: Exploring Religious Meaning

TLC Faculty: Dr. Joel Gruber
Core Area: Theological and Religious Inquiry | 3 units

This course is a study of the various ways in which multiple religious traditions have defined a meaningful life. Throughout history, peoples of all cultures have attempted to understand why being human can be joyous, but can also seem meaningless and unjust. The course is designed so that we, as a class, can learn from these traditions, as well as from one another. By applying religious insights and socio-religious theory to contemporary issues surrounding "a meaningful life", we address contemporary questions. For example, do "non-religious" Americans enact secular rituals and faithfully believe in secular-scientific truths in ways that appear religious?


THRS 323: War and Peace in the Christian Tradition

TLC Faculty: Dr. Emily Reimer-Barry
Core Areas: Theological and Religious Inquiry; Ethical Inquiry | 3 units

An examination of the three dominant paradigms for thinking about war and peace in the Christian tradition: holy war, pacifism, and just war. We will consider how these frameworks are employed today in both religious and secular contexts as we apply these frameworks to the evaluation of particular conflicts/issues, which may include: the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, humanitarian interventions, the ‘war on terrorism,’ preemptive and preventive war, drones, weapons of mass destruction, and care for veterans. Throughout, students will build skills in ethical analysis and reflexivity. Students may not receive credit for both THRS 123 and THRS 323. There are no prerequisites for this course.


PSYC 346: Evolutionary Psychology

TLC Faculty: Dr. Rebekah Wanic
Core Area: Social and Behavioral Inquiry | 3 units

The goal of this course is to examine and evaluate the evolutionary perspective as it relates to the study of behavior and mental processes. Interdisciplinary evidence will be explored to evaluate the presence of evolved psychological adaptations that characterize human nature. Applications of the evolutionary perspective will be explored in the context of many subfields within psychology, such as learning, memory, cognitive processing, development, personality, social behavior, disorders and more. In line with the Inspire theme, students will engage in coursework designed to explore the practical uses of evolutionary thought in understanding and addressing social problems.


ENGL 363: Spoken Words: Pronouns and Participatory Reading

TLC Faculty: Dr. Atreyee Phukan
Core Areas: Literary Inquiry; Domestic Diversity Level 1 | 3 units

This course uses the conceptual framework of “spoken word”—performance, word play, and improvisation—to assess the special role of pronouns in fiction, from the slave narrative, post-colonial bildungsroman, to the graphic novel. We will study how a writer’s fictional I or you is a performative gesture in breaking walls between text and audience, thus strategically inviting the reader into new and otherwise unfamiliar imaginative worlds. We will focus on mostly world literature and engage specifically with the aesthetics of participatory reading, a kind of close-reading that attends to the deep interconnections between literary structure, political protest, and reader response. In addition, we will incorporate theoretical writings (including, but not limited to, Michel Foucault, Frantz Fanon, Gloria Anzaldua, and Ngugi Wa Thiong’o) on literary expression and production, culture and resistance, and the post-colonial diaspora. These will provide important historical, cultural, and political contexts so as to deepen our analysis of the literature and the writer’s world. By integrating these multiple perspectives and disciplinary approaches, we will acquire a vocabulary and conceptual framework to guide our semester-long inquiries into how genre and narrative strategies are employed in the art of storytelling. Writers include Mary Prince, Aphra Behn, Jamaica Kincaid, Junot Diaz, J.M. Coetzee, and Mohsin Hamid.

This course fulfills Diversity and Social Justice global level 1; Literary Inquiry; and Integration Level 1.

THRS 112: Introduction to World Religions

TLC Faculty: Rev. Lark Stephenson Diaz
Core Area: Theological and Religious Inquiry | 3 units

The study of world religions allows us to understand the traditions and world views of cultures and societies different from our own. The course will begin with an exploration of what religion is: how it is formed and studied. The course will look at major religious traditions including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Chinese Religions - Taoism and Confucianism. Each of these will be looked at in light of their history, worldview, understanding of the human condition, understanding of life and death, institutions and rituals, ethical expression and modern practice. Students will take part in field visits to places of worship around San Diego. On these visits students will speak with members of the worship community about the ways in which they are engaged in the local community and its needs and concerns.


LANG 140: Literature and Civic Engagement in the Italian Renaissance

TLC Faculty: Dr. Brittany Asaro
Core Area: Literary Inquiry | 3 units

Italian Renaissance thinkers, known as Humanists, redefined the role of the human being and his or her place within the context of the family, the city, the world, and even the universe. In this course, students will examine canonical writers (Dante, Machiavelli) as well as those who were not granted full access to participation in civic life (a middle-class widow, a Venetian courtesan). Was Humanism truly an exaltation of all humans? Was the Renaissance marked by improved social conditions for all Italian citizens? In this course, students will consider these and other questions that challenge the notions of “progress” and “civilization” during this time period.


THRS 114: Good, Evil, and Original Justice

TLC Faculty: Dr. Peter Bennett
Core Area: Theological and Religious Inquiry | 3 units

What is evil? What is good? Does human life have meaning? How does Christianity reconcile the reality of suffering with its faith in a God who is good? What are the social, ecological, and cosmic implications of these questions? This course will engage these and other topics from the perspective of the Christian Theological tradition, with emphasis on Roman Catholicism. Students will learn theological terms, definitions, and methods, including methods for interpreting the Bible and the Catholic Tradition.


ARCH 221: Architecture and Theory Since 1945

TLC Faculty: Dr. Juliana Maxim
Core Area: Artistic Inquiry | 3 units

ARCHITECTURE AND THEORY SINCE 1945 is a synoptic view of practices and debates in contemporary architecture. In addition to foundational readings in architectural history and theory, this course examines design projects by some of the most influential architects of the second half of the 20th century, and the ways in which the production of spaces, buildings, and cities intersects with issues of social and economic justice, as well as with visions of a good society.


ENGL 358: Photography and Literature

TLC Faculty: Dr. Marcelle Maese-Cohen
Core Areas: Literary Inquiry; Domestic Diversity Level 1 | 3 units

By teaching us how to see the world, photographs also teach us a language and way of being in the world. Like literature, photographs provide a virtual space where different people and ideas meet. What are the politics of this encounter? Who is seen? Who is silenced? The authors we will read incorporate photographs within the pages of the books they write. The visual images they include are as an important to creating a narrative as the words they place on the page. As viewers and readers, our study of the relation between photography and literature will ask questions concerned with beauty, power, and desire. We will survey photographs from Walker Evans to selfies.


ENGL 358: Contemporary Ethnic Dystopia

TLC Faculty: Dr. Jason Crum
Core Areas: Literary Inquiry; Domestic Diversity Level 1 | 3 units

This course will examine late 20th & early 21st Century Ethnic Dystopian fiction and popular culture in the United States. Our sources for this cultural studies course will be varied and will include recent trends in literature, film, digital storytelling, graphic novels, & video games. We will trace the development of imaginings and re-imaginings of utopia, their exclusions and gaps, and seek to examine how ethnic and racial minorities in the United States have contested such ideas as utopia/dystopia, class, race, gender, & sexuality. Readings will include works such as Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, NK Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, Chang-Rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea, Samuel Delany’s Trouble on Triton, Nedi Okorafor’s Lagoon, Cynthia Khodata’s In the Heart of the Valley of Love. We will also turn to and look analytically at the political, social, and economic climate that allows for the portrayal of ethnicity in recent pop culture titles such as Alex Rivera’s Sleep Dealer and Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men and video game productions such as Bioshock:Infinite.


PHIL 335: Death and Dying

TLC Faculty: Dr. Turner Nevitt
Core Area: Ethical Inquiry | 3 units

Everyone dies eventually. Nothing is more common than death, and yet nothing is more mysterious. What even is death? When exactly do we die? Is it when our heart stops, or when our brain becomes inactive, or something else? And is dying good or bad? Does death give our lives meaning? Would an endless life be boring? And what happens when we die? Is there an afterlife? What would we have to be like to survive our death? And is it always wrong to cause death? Is killing ever justified, e.g. in war or self-defense? Is suicide wrong? Should physician-assisted suicide be legal? Should the death penalty be abolished? And how should we make decisions at the end of life? When is it acceptable to withdraw or withhold treatment from dying patients? These are the kinds of questions we will consider in this course. We will reflect on what philosophers have said about them, critically examining their answers in light of our own knowledge and experience.


THRS 110: Exploring Religious Meaning

TLC Faculty: Dr. Joel Gruber
Core Area: Theological and Religious Inquiry | 3 units

This course is a study of the various ways in which multiple religious traditions have defined a meaningful life. Throughout history, peoples of all cultures have attempted to understand why being human can be joyous, but can also seem meaningless and unjust. The course is designed so that we, as a class, can learn from these traditions, as well as from one another. By applying religious insights and socio-religious theory to contemporary issues surrounding "a meaningful life", we address contemporary questions. For example, do "non-religious" Americans enact secular rituals and faithfully believe in secular-scientific truths in ways that appear religious?


ENGL 363: Spoken Words: Pronouns and Participatory Reading

TLC Faculty: Dr. Atreyee Phukan
Core Areas: Literary Inquiry; Domestic Diversity Level 1 | 3 units

This course uses the conceptual framework of “spoken word”—performance, word play, and improvisation—to assess the special role of pronouns in fiction, from the slave narrative, post-colonial bildungsroman, to the graphic novel. We will study how a writer’s fictional I or you is a performative gesture in breaking walls between text and audience, thus strategically inviting the reader into new and otherwise unfamiliar imaginative worlds. We will focus on mostly world literature and engage specifically with the aesthetics of participatory reading, a kind of close-reading that attends to the deep interconnections between literary structure, political protest, and reader response. In addition, we will incorporate theoretical writings (including, but not limited to, Michel Foucault, Frantz Fanon, Gloria Anzaldua, and Ngugi Wa Thiong’o) on literary expression and production, culture and resistance, and the post-colonial diaspora. These will provide important historical, cultural, and political contexts so as to deepen our analysis of the literature and the writer’s world. By integrating these multiple perspectives and disciplinary approaches, we will acquire a vocabulary and conceptual framework to guide our semester-long inquiries into how genre and narrative strategies are employed in the art of storytelling. Writers include Mary Prince, Aphra Behn, Jamaica Kincaid, Junot Diaz, J.M. Coetzee, and Mohsin Hamid.

This course fulfills Diversity and Social Justice global level 1; Literary Inquiry; and Integration Level 1.