Fall 2022 Exploration Level Courses

The exploration level of the University Core Curriculum is a new addition to the Core starting in Fall 2022. Classes for this level will be designated by an “X” in the course number, with the “X” suggesting the intersection of multiple Core Habits of Heart and Mind. The list of class offeringsStudent Discussion will evolve each semester.

Only students who entered UP in or after the Fall 2021 and are enrolled in the ‘revitalized’ Core will need to take Exploration classes. These students will take two such classes at some point before graduation.

The exploration level is intended to build off the foundation level, so students should wait until making significant progress on foundation level classes before taking exploration courses. Students will be eligible to take exploration courses starting in their sophomore year, but many will wait until junior or senior year in order to have completed foundation level coursework.

The intention of the exploration level is for students to add breadth to their educational experiences, so students should try to take exploration classes outside their major areas. If, for example, students are majoring in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) field, they should look to offerings in the humanities or social sciences. If students are majoring in arts or humanities, they should look to offerings in the sciences. All exploration courses are designed to be accessible for any student who has completed relevant foundation level course work.

Exploration level courses also intentionally address two Core Habits of Heart and Mind, offering multiple lenses from the liberal arts to understand timely and timeless issues of human concern. Approved exploration level courses will be designated by having an “X” in the course number and are listed below with the two Core Habits most relevant to the course.

Fall 2022 Exploration Level Course Offerings

BIO 291X: Biotechnology and Society
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Scientific and Quantitative Literacy and Problem Solving
  • Religion, Faith, and Ethics

Course Description: This course will introduce students to the breadth of genetic engineering-based biotechnology techniques being developed and used in society today. Alongside an analysis of the science involved, emphasis will be placed on the moral and ethical implications of these technologies for individuals, society and the planet.

CORE/CAS 312X: Imagining Our Futures: Making Sense of Racial Justice, COVID-19, and Climate Crisis
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and the Common Good
  • Global and Historical Consciousness

Course Description: In this responsive, transdisciplinary course, and with the instruction of faculty across the University, students grapple with some of today’s biggest crises. Students will use multiple academic lenses to learn how racial justice, public health, and environmental collapse disrupt and intersect with the pursuit of justice, peace, and health. While this course will meet weekly, most learning will take place asynchronously online.

CORE 331X: Chemistry in Art
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Aesthetic Inquiry, Imagination, and the Creative Process
  • Scientific and Quantitative Literacy and Problem Solving

Course Description: The study of chemistry in a variety of art forms. Students engage in creative processes through in-class activities, some of which result in the creation of a tangible piece of art (etched glass, fresco, cyanotype, diazo print, copper etching, and jewelry colored by thin film interference). Other topics include pigments and dyes, paintings, photography, and techniques used to analyze artworks and detect forgeries. Two papers and a student-designed final project are assigned.

EGR/MUS 391X: The History of Music and Technology
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Aesthetic Inquiry, Imagination, and the Creative Process
  • Global and Historical Consciousness

Course Description: This course investigates the history, culture, and aesthetics of music and technology from the 19th century to the beginning of the 21st. We will cover the following topics: the history and impact of early telephone systems for audio technologies, the development of early electronic instruments, the progress of computer-generated sound, and we will end with special focus on digital media, the MP3 and issues with copyright and intellectual property in the digital age.

ENG 370X: Studies in Women Writers
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Literacy, Dialogue, and Expression
  • Global and Historical Consciousness

Course Description: Study of 20th and 21st century literary and theoretical texts by women foregrounding gender and feminism as critical lenses, with critical attention to intersecting categories of inquiry such as class, sexual identity, race, and ethnicity.

ENG 391X: Literature and Cultures of Food
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Literacy, Dialogue, and Expression
  • Global and Historical Consciousness

Course Description: This course takes a delicious approach to studying who we are as human beings. The course will invite students to take a close look at the food on our plates and as it appears in literature to learn more about our individual selves and our identities, our ties to family, our past, our culture, and other cultures around the globe. Through our journey students will cultivate multiple ways of exploring essential questions and strengthen fundamental habits for engaging meaningfully with the world around them and living a reflective, purposeful life.

ENV 327X - Global Environmental Justice
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Scientific and Quantitative Literacy and Problem Solving
  • Global and Historical Consciousness

Course Description: Drawing from a range of literature, this course takes an interdisciplinary approach to environmental justice theory and practice. Students will interrogate the historical legacies of the disproportionate burdens of ecological issues on minority groups in the U.S. and worldwide. We will evaluate the roles that environmental justice movements have played in the struggle to meet the needs of vulnerable populations around the world.

ENV 360X: Science and Ethics of the Sustainable Gourmet
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Scientific and Quantitative Literacy and Problem Solving
  • Religion, Faith, and Ethics

Course Description: This course will allow students to explore the environmental impacts and scientific challenges of raising the food for our growing population. Students will engage in using an ethical lens to evaluate the impact of our agricultural system on the world around us and ourselves.

ENV 370X: Do or Do Not: Saving Planet A
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Scientific and Quantitative Literacy and Problem Solving
  • Global and Historical Consciousness

Course Description: This course centers on understanding global climate change from science, policy, and social justice perspectives. Rather than approaching these as individual components of climate change, the course focuses on the relationships and dynamics between all three within a global social-ecological system. Emphasis is on current context, bridging the gap between the Global North and South, and the toolsets needed to create solutions.

HST321X - Modern American Women's History
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Global and Historical Consciousness
  • Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and the Common Good

Course Description: This course examines the history of American women from 1890 to the present. Special emphasis will be placed on the diversity of this group called "women" particularly by race and class, the construction of American gender ideologies, and women's participation in social reform movements of the twentieth century.

MUS 301X: Music History: Social, Political, and Religious Influences, 1000-1820
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Aesthetic Inquiry, Imagination, and the Creative Process
  • Global and Historical Consciousness

Course Description: In Music History I, we study the historical and cultural contexts of Western music from the Medieval era through the mid-19th century. Music is not composed in a vacuum, so it is imperative that we explore the influence of art, cultural, and sociopolitical conditions. How do literature, humanism, war, and religion impact music?

MUS 411X: History of Rock and Roll
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Aesthetic Inquiry, Imagination, and the Creative Process
  • Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and the Common Good

Course Description: A survey of Rock and Roll from its roots to the present day, including styles, performers, composers, and culture.

PHL 325X: Bioethics
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Religion, Faith, and Ethics
  • Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and the Common Good

Course Description: This course will examine ethical issues in medicine, biotechnology, and related fields. Issues to be discussed may include the concept of informed consent, stem cell research, reproductive technologies, human enhancement, end of life issues, the global AIDS epidemic, genetics, biomedical research, and justice in the distribution of healthcare.

PHL 338X: Ancient Greek Metaphysics in Context
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Literacy, Dialogue, and Expression
  • Global and Historical Consciousness

Course Description: This course explores the metaphysical views of the Ancient Greeks with particular emphasis on the broad historical, cultural, and political context out of which their views emerge. Possible topics include their conceptions of reality, change, knowledge, philosophical method, love, and friendship. The course will also explore the influence of these ideas on the Western philosophical tradition.

POL 376X - Politics of Africa
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Global and Historical Consciousness
  • Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and the Common Good

Course Description: Why has the African continent had some of the fastest economic growth of any world region over the past decade while it continues to struggle with good governance? Understanding the continent necessitates exploring the influences of colonialism, globalization and national movements for reform. Students will utilize a comparative lens to explore and analyze economic and political trajectories of African states.

PSY 391X: The World Cup in Mind and Society
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Scientific and Quantitative Literacy and Problem Solving
  • Global and Historical Consciousness

Course Description: This class will use soccer’s World Cup hosted by Qatar during November and December of 2022 to investigate social and psychological phenomena embedded in sports and global spectacle. Students will use the tools of social science to analyze the attitudes, behaviors, and meanings associated with soccer as a global cultural form while also learning about topics including social identity, nationalism, fanaticism, peak performance, and development.

THE 328X - Encountering Grief and Loss
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Religion, Faith, and Ethics
  • Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and the Common Good

Course Description: This course explores the human experience of suffering, loss, and grief from the perspective of practical theology, incorporating multi-disciplinary and inter-religious learnings and insights. It seeks to help students understand suffering and prepare them to encounter loss and grief in their personal and professional lives.

THE 343X - Ecological Spirituality
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Religion, Faith, and Ethics
  • Global and Historical Consciousness

Course Description: This course is an exploration of the wisdom offered by various religious traditions for responding to a time of ecological crisis. In this course, students will examine the role of religious experience in making ethical decisions about creation-care, reflect upon their own response to ecological crisis, and design spiritual practices expressive of that response.

THTR 413X: Theatre for Social Change
Core Habits of Heart and Mind:
  • Aesthetic Inquiry, Imagination, and the Creative Process
  • Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and the Common Good

Course Description: An in-depth study of how theatrical practitioners across the globe have historically used their craft to comment on, intervene in, or start social movements. Students will read plays, research historical theatrical flash-points, and discover techniques of creating socially impactful theatre.