Campus view with Drumheller Fountain

Cool Courses for Summer 2024

Back to All Stories

As you start thinking about summer quarter 2024 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. Some courses are held on campus; many are online.

The Stories We Tell
Movement & Meaning
Past Lives
Global Perspectives
Our Digital World
Language Intensives

Images related to listed Cool Courses

The Stories We Tell

Introduction to Japanese Cinema & Media

Full Term | Online | Asynchronous
Enjoy 15 of the best films ever made! This course will explore multiple genres of Japanese film, with particular attention to structures of power and representations of marginalized subjects. The films will be contextualized within global, national, and local historical settings, and within the development of the cinematic form.
Ted Mack, Asian Languages & Literature
5 credits, A&H, DIV


Witchcraft – From History to Pop Culture

A Term | Online | Asynchronous
With witchcraft as the focal point, this class explores the perception of the female, as well as the roles of religion and magic in understanding the world in medieval and pre-modern times. Learn how witchcraft has been narrated and explored in literature and art, including during the age of witch trials, a dark period of fear and defamation.
Annegret Oehme, German Studies, Jewish Studies
5 credits, DIV, A&H


The Western’s Other: Romanian Vampires and Vampirettes

ROMN 395 A
B Term | Online | Synchronous
(listed as "Studies in Romanian Culture")

Investigate the vampire as an ambiguous figure through modern revisitations of the vampire myth. The course will look at the myths, cultural stereotypes, and realities fueling Bram Stoker’s portrayal of Prince Vlad the Impaler, while providing a larger context of Romanian representations of vampires, ghosts, werewolves, and other blood-thirsty protagonists in folklore, literature, art, and film.
Ileana Marin and Otilia Baraboi, Slavic Languages and Literatures
5 credits, A&H

Images related to listed Cool Courses

Movement & Meaning

Yoga: Past and Present

RELIG 120 / CHID 120
Full Term | Online | Asynchronous
Learn about the global phenomenon of yoga as a way to think about the world and your place in it.  The course covers the history, culture, philosophy, and practice of yoga from ancient times to the present, from religion and art to politics and film, from mind and soul to body and brain.   
Christian Novetzke, International Studies
5 credits, DIV, SSc, A&H


Introduction to Commercial Dance

Full Term | In Person
This choreography-based class focuses on contemporary jazz styles seen within the entertainment industry — film, television, theater, concert tours — with emphasis on body isolation, groove, rhythm, and musicality. Beyond learning movement and applying it to commercial dance contexts, students will film and perform dances throughout the quarter to grow as entertainers.
Derek Crescenti, Dance
2 credits, A&H


Blackness and Movement: Theories of Motion, Contemporary Black Aesthetics, and Radical Black Politics

B Term | Hybrid
(listed as "Re-Thinking Diversity")

How do traditions of radical Black political movements, from the Black Panther Party to the George Floyd uprisings, exemplify or challenge the aesthetic and physical conceptions of motion emergent in contemporary Black aesthetics? This course will investigate the material connections between physical motion, moving images, and political movements, putting critical texts, political writings, and performance/cinematic images in conversation with each other.
Gust Burns, English
5 credits, A&H, W

Images related to listed Cool Courses


Language and Diversity

LING 234
Full Term | Online | Asynchronous
Learn about the vast diversity in human language — within a language, within a nation, within a speaker, across speakers, across languages, across modalities, and through time — and what this diversity tells us about being human. Students will be introduced to current research methods and the relevance of multilingualism in a globalized society.
Lorna Rozelle, Linguistics
5 credits, DIV, SSc


Introduction to Transgender Studies

GWSS 374
Full Term | Online | Synchronous
What does it mean to look beyond a binary of "man" and "woman"? With definitions of sex and gender as a starting point, we blur these categories, complicating them with sexuality, race, class, ability, history, and location. Explore one of the most exciting and fiercely-contested areas of scholarship in the U.S. today.
Instructor TBD
5 credits, SSc, DIV


Introduction to Asian American Studies

AAS 101 A
B Term | In Person
Through weekly field trips, get to know Seattle's Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander American (AANHPI) communities. The class will visit the Wing Luke Museum, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, Lakeview Cemetery (Bruce and Brandon Lee's graves), and other locales. Experience tea tasting, visit restaurants, and more while learning about AANHPI communities!
Connie C. So, American Ethnic Studies
5 credits, SSc, DIV

Images related to listed Cool Courses

Past Lives

Introduction to Archaeological Data Science

B Term | In Person
What is the purpose of Paleolithic cave art? When were the Egyptian pyramids built (and were aliens involved)? Where did the stones in Stonehenge come from? Using real archaeological data from case studies spanning all of human history, combined with the easy-to-use R programming language, this course will tackle fascinating ongoing archaeological questions about human experiences in the past.
Ben Marwick, Anthropology
5 credits, NS


Death and Afterlife in the Ancient World

MELC 309 A / MELC 509 A
B Term | Online | Synchronous
How can you get a better afterlife? The peoples of the ancient Near East thought they knew! This course will explore beliefs about death and the afterlife in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syria, and Canaan. Students will read myths about the underworld and examine real archaeological data on ancient burials.
Kathryn Medill, Middle Eastern Languages & Cultures
3 credits, A&H, SSc

Images related to listed Cool Courses

Global Perspectives

Roads to Mecca: Pilgrimage Writings from the Islamic World

MELC 286
A Term | In Person with Fridays Asynchronous
(listed as "Themes in Middle Eastern Literature")

Pilgrimages invite varied, vulnerable, and visceral forms of reflection. In this course, students will look at a diverse collection of films and narratives produced by Muslims that reflect experiences of pilgrimage.
Aria Fani, Middle Eastern Languages & Cultures
5 credits, A&H, SSc


Globalization and You

JSIS D 323 / GEOG 323
Full Term | Online | Asynchronous
In this evidence-based course, learn about globalization and how individuals are affected personally as well as economically by the market-led processes of global integration.
Rebakah Minarcheck, Integrated Social Sciences
5 credits, SSc


Geographies of Global Inequality

GEOG 230
B Term | Online | Asynchronous
Global inequalities are increasing. Learn how a shifting spatial division of labor and the international development industry are leading to the rise in economic and social inequality. Find out what it means to say that Western, advanced economies are not the norm!   
Instructor TBD, Geography
5 credits, SSc, DIV


Social Transformation of Modern East Asia

JSIS A 405 / ANTH 449 A
Full Term | Online | Synchronous
Compare how social change has taken place in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam since 1945, with a focus on small-scale social units in rural and urban areas under both communist and capitalist political systems.
Andrea Arai, International Studies
5 credits, SSc

Our Digital World

Our Digital World

What Is Digital Media?

CMS 274 A
(listed as "Perspectives on Media: Critical Concepts")
A Term | Online | Asynchronous with Hybrid Option Thursdays
How have digital technologies transformed the images we see, the words we read, and the ways we communicate? Dive into a history of the digital, ranging from 19th century looms to generative AI—with special emphasis on how new technologies transform the work of media production. Topics include computer graphics, digital cinema, video games, and women's roles in computer history.
Mal Ahern, Cinema & Media Studies
5 credits, A&H


Digital Art and New Media: History, Theory, and Practice

Full Term | Online | Asynchronous
Investigate digital art and new media from a creative, theoretical, and historical perspective, including the intersection between art, science, and technology. The course will examine the paradigm shifts implicit in the inception and expansion of media art, as well as the dynamic core ideas that underscore digital art practices in the early twenty-first century. Students will connect with local and global art, science, and technology communities to assess contemporary art practices and methodologies firsthand.
Tivon Rice, DXARTS
5 credits, A&H

Language Intensives

Intensive First-Year Russian

RUSS 150 A
Full Term | In Person
Learn a full year of Russian in one quarter in a class that meets three to four hours daily, with extracurricular activities including films, language tables for conversation practice, singing, poetry readings, drama performances, and lectures on Slavic cultures.
Veronica Muskheli, Slavic Languages and Literatures
15 credits, VLPA*


Intensive Basic Swahili

Swahili 134A
Full Term | Hybrid 
Swahili is the language spoken in most of the countries in east, central, and southern parts of Africa. In this course, each week offers a different language and cultural experience while working towards a year's worth of language credits.
Jacqueline Waita, American Ethnic Studies
15 credits, VLPA*


Intensive Basic Tagalog

Tagalog 134A
Full Term | Hybrid 
Discover the beauty and richness of the Tagalog language, also known as Filipino, which is the national language of the Philippines. Whether you're a complete beginner or have some prior knowledge of Tagalog, this course will provide you with a solid foundation to understand, speak, and appreciate this vibrant language.
Kell Juan, American Ethnic Studies
15 credits, VLPA*


See other intensive foreign language courses offered.

*First year foreign language courses may, under certain conditions, count toward the VLPA component of your degree requirement. See website or your adviser for more information.       

More Stories

UW quad with cherry trees blooming

Four Students Shine as 2024 Dean's Medalists

Meet the four new graduates honored as College of Arts & Sciences Dean's Medalists for 2024. 

Markus Teuton playing guitar on stage

Celebrating Contemporary Indigenous Music

Markus Teuton, a musician and citizen of Cherokee Nation, explores contemporary Indigenous music through his academic work and as host of “Indigenous Jazz,” a radio show.

Sana Shetty with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.

Learning Hard Truths Through Internships

Sana Shetty, interested in human rights law, has a more nuanced understanding of potential careers thanks to internships.

Explore Stories Across Arts & Sciences Departments