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This Year's Catalog 2006-07

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Race in the United States: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
Restoring Landscapes
Russia and Eurasia: Empires and Enduring Legacies

“Race” in the United States: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

Spring quarter

Major areas of study include:
cultural studies, history and social science academic writing.
Class Standing:
This all-level program offers appropriate support for freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.

This all-level, full-time program explores the origins and manifestations of the contested concept of “race.” The program analyzes a racialized history of the United States in relation to dominant discourses of popular culture, science, psychology, health care, law, citizenship, education and personal/public identity. By making historical connections between European colonialism and the expansion of U.S. political and military dominance in an era of globalization, students will have opportunities to investigate how the bodies of various populations have been racialized. Students will also examine related contemporary concepts such as racism, prejudice, discrimination, gender, class, affirmative action, white privilege and color blindness. Faculty will expose students to current research and racialized commentaries that surround debates on genetics vs. culture (i.e., nature vs. nurture).

Students will also engage race through readings, dialogue in seminars, films and academic writing that integrate program materials. Students will be expected to research and share contemporary news accounts and popular culture artifacts (e.g., music, television, cinema, magazines) as a way to understand how race mutates and is expressed in various practices in institutions, politics and popular culture. A goal of the program is for students to recognize contemporary expressions of race by what we hear, see, and read as well as absences and silences that we find. As a learning community, we will work together to make sense of these expressions and link them to their historical origins.

Students will also have an opportunity to examine the social formation of their own racial identities through their own personal narratives. Current approaches from social psychology will be foundational in the autobiographical aspect of the program. Additionally, what it can mean to be an anti-racist in a racialized society is also investigated.

Total:
16 credits.
Enrollment:
48
Special Expenses:
Approximately $10 for museum entrance fee.
Program is preparatory for:
careers and future studies in medicine/health, education, government, law, history, political science, cultural studies, psychology and media studies.
This program is also listed under:
Programs for Freshmen; Culture, Text and Language; and Society, Politics, Behavior and Change.
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Restoring Landscapes

Spring quarter

Major areas of study include:
environmental history, ecology, field botany and geography.
Class Standing:
This all-level program offers appropriate support for freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.

Ecological restoration has become a central concept in land management, development and in the efforts of environmental activists. Yet the phrase often conceals as much as it reveals. What exactly is being restored? To what condition? For what reasons? This program will examine these issues by focusing on the underlying beliefs, values and ideas that lie behind the concept of ecological restoration while at the same time introducing ourselves to the practices and issues surrounding this understanding of landscape.

As a learning community we will reflect on the following questions: How can we understand landscapes as the products of humans’ engagement with the natural world? How can we move beyond the polarized romantic concepts of humans and nature and beyond the economic category of nature as resource? What philosophical, conceptual and practical concepts can help us create sustainable landscapes that allow us to live well with each other and the natural world?

We will explore these questions through readings in the following disciplines: landscape architecture, ecology, geography and environmental history. We will link theory and practice by studying contemporary efforts to restore local prairies in the Puget lowlands. We will assist The Nature Conservancy in current restoration efforts. We will also visit remnant prairies at Fort Lewis and in the Columbia Gorge. Students will conduct research on ecological restoration case studies. Students are required to attend all field trips including an overnight trip.

Total:
16 credits.
Enrollment:
48
Special Expenses:
Approximately $150 to $200 for field trip to eastern Washington and Oregon.
Program is preparatory for:
careers and future studies in conservation, education, ecological restoration, forestry, natural resource management, plant ecology, geography and environmental history.
This program is also listed under:
Programs for Freshmen; Culture, Text and Language; and Environmental Studies.
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Russia and Eurasia: Empires and Enduring Legacies

Fall, Winter and Spring quarters

Major areas of study include:
Russian history, Russian literature, Russian culture, Russian language, cinema, writing and geography.
Class Standing:
This all-level program offers appropriate support for freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.

Join us on an extraordinary journey as we explore the diverse peoples, cultures and histories of the region that was once demarcated by the borders of the Russian and Soviet empires. While we focus on the Russians, we will take a multicultural approach in our examination of other indigenous peoples who, from ancient times, have populated the vast expanses of Eurasian and Siberian steppe and forests.

In fall quarter, we will investigate Slavic, Scandinavian, Persian, Mongol and Turkic contributions to early Russian society as well as Russia’s subsequent imperial expansion through the first quarter of the 19th century. We will examine the region’s pre-Christian pagan animistic cultures, as well as the rich Byzantine cultural legacy including Eastern Christianity, its associated art and architectural forms, literature and music. Our journey will then take us to the demise of this vibrant culture at the hands of various steppe invaders, foremost of whom were the Mongol armies of Genghis and Batu Khan. The development of the Muscovite state under the notorious tsar Ivan the Terrible and its further imperial expansion and attempts at westernization during the reigns of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great bring us to the 19th century and Russia’s emergence as a major world power. Russian medieval epics and chronicles as well as diverse films and readings from modern Russian literature, such as the poetry and prose of Pushkin and Lermontov, will enhance our study of this turbulent history.

Winter quarter concentrates on some of the world’s greatest literature from Russia’s Golden Age. Intensive reading of works by Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, and others will enable us to explore their most provocative social, religious and revolutionary thought. We will also examine the rise of the Russian Empire’s radical intelligentsia, thinkers who rebelled against autocratic tsarist policies and the institution of serfdom and whose activities led to the world-changing revolutions of the early 20th century.

Spring quarter focuses on the tumultuous events of the 20th century, from the revolutions of 1917 through the post-Soviet period. We will investigate the legacy of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, including the horrific deprivations of the Stalin era, with its purges, Gulag prison camps, brutal industrialization policies and devastating environmental practices. We will place special emphasis on how writers, artists and filmmakers interpreted, reflected and survived the Soviet regime. Included in this emphasis will be a detailed examination of the enormous sacrifices that the Soviet people suffered at the hands of their own communist dictatorship, as well as under Nazi occupation during the Second World War. This term ends with a review of events resulting in the collapse of the U.S.S.R. and the emergence of the fifteen independent states that arose from its ashes.

Students are strongly urged, but not required, to take the beginning Russian Language segment within the full-time program. Studying Russian will enhance the students’ learning experience in the program.

Total:
4, 12 or 16 credits each quarter. Students taking the full-time program, including the language segment, should register for 16 credits; those taking the program without the language segment should register for 12 credits; and those taking only the language segment should register for 4 credits.
Enrollment:
48
Schedule:
Class Schedule
Special Expenses:
$25 each quarter for overnight travel and special workshop expenses.
Program is preparatory for:
careers and future studies in education, diplomatic and security services, film, music, art, international business, and graduate studies in international affairs and in Russian and Slavic literary, historical, political and area studies.
A similar program is expected to be offered in:
2008–09.
This program is also listed under:
Programs for Freshmen and Culture, Text and Language.
Academic program Web Page
Russia and Eurasia

Program updates:

12.15.2005:
Robert Smurr, Ph.D. Soviet and Russian History, has joined this program.
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Last Updated: March 19, 2008


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