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Cool Courses for Spring 2021

January 2021
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As you start thinking about spring quarter 2021 course registration, check out these unique Arts & Sciences offerings. They’re open to all students, have no prerequisites, and fulfill Areas of Knowledge requirements as noted.


Laura McGarrity covering her mouth with a sheet of comic book curse symbols.
LING 269: Swearing and Taboo Language

Swearing! Taboo words! Investigate their linguistic, pragmatic, neurological, psychological, social, and legal aspects within and across cultures.

Laura McGarrity, Linguistics
5 credits, I&S


Female track athletes hi-fiving after a race
GWSS 262: Gender & Sport

Examine how assumptions about professional and amateur athletes reflect and challenge social norms about gender, sexuality, race, and class.

Alyssa Hellrung, Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
5 credits, DIV, I&S


Jacob Lawrence artwork
ART H 400A: Art and Seattle: Jacob Lawrence*  

Learn about Seattle's own Jacob Lawrence, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, who painted narratives of American history through the eyes of Black Americans.  

* listed as History and Criticism
Juliet Sperling, Art History
5 credits, VLPA


Coronavirus-related world map
GEOG 280: Introduction to the Geography of Health and Healthcare  

Explore concepts of health from a geographical viewpoint, including human-environment relations, geographical patterns of disease, and health systems and policies in various countries.

Kessie Alexandre, Geography
5 credits, I&S


Young Native American students pledging allegiance to the American flag in a classroom.
AIS 431: History of American Indian Education 

Learn about traditional and European-introduced methods of schooling, the federal role in Indian education—including the US education system’s treatment of Native populations--and contemporary Indian education issues.

Dawn Hardison-Stevens, American Indian Studies, Education
5 credits, DIV, I&S


Buddha sculpture
ASIAN 207 A: Life of the Buddha*

Who was the Buddha, and how did he come to be the founder of Buddhism? Explore Buddhist traditions about the Buddha’s birth, early life, renunciation, and ultimate nirvana by studying texts and works of art from India, Tibet, and Southeast Asia.    

* listed as Special Topics In Literature And Culture Of Asia
Richard Salomon, Asian Languages & Literature

5 credits, I&S, VLPA


Workers protesting for higher wages
POL S 334: Violence, Exploitation & Exclusion in U.S. Labor Markets*

Explore how racial, ethnic, gendered and geographic hierarchies create and fortify categories of citizenship and belonging, and how labor is a site of struggle, resistance and solidarity.

* listed as Topics in American Politics
Rebecca Thorpe
5 credits, I&S


Drama 215: Visual Thinking in Theatrical Design 

How are images constructed to work with and against the way we see? This course is for anyone interested in expanding creativity -- scientists, writers, visual artists, and theater makers.

Skip Mercier, Drama
5 credits, VLPA


Person at microphone - from Babylon Berlin
German 322: Cultures of Music: Harmony and Discord*

Music is a powerful emotional force that both unites and divides people, giving voice to the most beautiful and disturbing aspects of human culture. Explore the history of musical experience in Germany as an introduction to cultural studies, as we listen to Bach and Turkish-German rappers, watch films about Mozart and Cabaret, and read influential texts in music theory and ethnomusicology. All texts will be in English.

* listed as Introduction to German Cultural Studies
Ellwood Wiggins, Germanics
5 credits, I&S, VLPA


ITAL 357: Race in Italy: Inventing Others in the Early Modern World 

Examine the shifting Italian and European definitions of race and otherness in literary and visual representations from 1300-1700. The class will use this historical knowledge to contextualize current debates about race and migration in Italy today.

Susan Gaylard, Italian
5 credits, DIV, VLPA


Vietnam urban street, photographed from above
VIET 249 A: Urban Vietnam: Work and Culture 

Study the vibrant changes and historical legacies in Vietnamese society and culture since the country became unified in 1975. Students will look at and debate contemporary social phenomena in Vietnam with the goal of improving communication skills and cross-cultural understanding.

Bich-Ngoc Turner, Asian Languages & Literature
5 credits, VLPA

JSIS 484A/584A / ANTH 469 /L ARCH 498A/588A: Spaces of Creative Resistance*

Learn about bottom-up movements for social change throughout East Asia, their diversity, creativity, and international connections. Students will have the opportunity to actively engage with those involved in these movements and, if interested, may contribute to a collective publication in-process.

* listed as Special Topics in East Asian Studies
Andrea Gevurtz Arai, International Studies
5 credits, DIV, I&S, Writing


Painting of woman and skeletal figure
FRENCH 225: Dealing with Death in Francophone Literature and Media

The course considers a range of literary, cultural, and filmic texts by French and Francophone authors to understand how these authors understand, rationalize, and engage with the topic of death. The professor will connect the themes of these texts with our experiences living during a pandemic. All texts will be in English.

Maya Angela Smith, French
5 credits, VLPA


JEW ST 490A / HSTCMP 490: Queer Premodernity*

Explore queer history in regions shaped by biblical texts in the premodern era. The course material will likely be of interest to students in history, GWSS, sociology, and anthropology, and anyone else interested in this understudied field of history.

* listed as Advanced Topics in Jewish Studies
Brendan Goldman, Jewish Studies
5 credits, I&S


AES 340A: Race, Ethnicity, and Education 

Through theoretical, historical, & contemporary examples, this course will explore schooling through critical examination of research, policy, and praxis within the fields of Ethnic Studies & Education.   

Reuben Deleon, American Ethnic Studies
5 credits, DIV, I&S