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Interdisciplinary Studies Course Descriptions

IS 100                                Liberal Arts Seminar                                                                                                          3 hours

The Liberal Arts Seminar is designed for first year students as an introduction to college life in general and to a Marygrove education in particular. Through exposure to various dimensions of the liberal arts and exposure to a number of social issues, students gain self-knowledge; academic and personal success skills; and an understanding of Marygrove’s history, mission and place within the broader framework of higher education. This course includes guest presentations, field trips and attendance at cultural events.

IS 100H                             Honors Liberal Arts Seminar                                                                                             3 hours

Prerequisites: Admission into Honors Program.

Through a liberal use of guest speakers, out of class activities and special readings, the students in this seminar will focus on leadership development and ways of knowing. The course will assist each participant in knowing themselves, knowing the College and its mission, knowing various approaches to the acquisition of knowledge within the disciplines and knowing how to make the most of their Marygrove experience. At the same time, opportunities will be created for the study and exercise of leadership.

IS 320A                                 Detroit Seminar: Detroit and the Contemporary Urban Crisis                                      3 hours

Prerequisites: ENG 108; junior/senior status.

In this course, we apply ideas from economics and literature to the study of contemporary issues in Detroit. We pay particular attention to several key factors influencing the city’s present condition. These include: race and inequality, federal urban policy, corporate de-industrialization, economic globalization, and local and regional development. Seminar sessions consist of discussions involving all members of the class and presentations by individual faculty and students. In our discussions, we will respond to assigned readings based upon our own experiences of life in and around Detroit. Presentations will focus on specific topics which are the products of our research. The course will include guest presentations, films, and a tour of specific sites which are important to our discussions.

IS 320B-HY                           Detroit Seminar: Cultural Icons of Detroit                                                                                            3 hours

Prerequisites: ENG 108; junior/senior status.

This interdisciplinary seminar combines an examination of landmark Detroit institutions in the context of American urbanization. The course includes study of sociological/historical context, architectural structure, and the cultural experience. Course includes visits to institutions such as Detroit Institute of Arts, Orchestra Hall, Detroit Historical Museum, and the Wright Museum. Instruction combines in-class instruction, online preparation, and site visits.

IS 322A                                 Technology Seminar: Human Communication and Technological Change                    3 hours

Prerequisites: ENG 108; junior/senior status.

This course will explore the co-evolution of communication and technology. Other technological benchmark events, such as language, domestication of animals, evolution of writing and weapons will be explored. A focus of this course is to understand the success and collapse of civilizations based on their adaptation to and use of various technologies.

IS 322B                                 Technology Seminar: Toward an Interdisciplinary Philosophy of Technology              3 hours

Prerequisites: ENG 108; one Lab Science; 1 course in HIS, HUM, or SOC; junior/senior status.

This course explores the development of technology in relationship to a variety of disciplines. The main objective is to give students an understanding of how technology influences and is influenced by all facets of our society.

IS 322C                                 Technology Seminar: Science, Technology and Society                                                                                    3 hours

Prerequisites: ENG 108; junior/senior status.

This course develops students’ awareness of science and technology as human enterprises that take place in a social, environmental, and historical context.  We will examine basic scientific concepts, technological ad­vances, and their impact upon society. Science processes will be examined to illustrate how scientific knowledge is acquired. Advantages and limitations of the scientific method will be considered. The student will construct a grounded theory about the nature of the interaction of Science, Technology, and Society and its role in science education reform. Designed especially for students planning careers as elementary school teachers. (cross-listed with ISC 340)

IS 324A                                 Social Justice Seminar: Why Does America Neglect Its Children?                               3 hours

Prerequisites: ENG 108; junior/senior status.

This course examines specific social justice issues as they relate to a variety of disciplines. The emphasis is on the critical thinking skills necessary for problem-solving and decision-making in our complex society.

IS 324B                                 Social Justice Seminar: Global Women’s Issues                                                                                                3 hours

Prerequisites: ENG 108; junior/senior status.

This course is an interdisciplinary study of women’s issues in the context of social justice. Personal reflection, social analysis, evaluation of cultural/religious values, and identification of action plans will provide the structure for examining issues related to women. While topic areas may change, some of the women’s issues to be explored are biological/personality influences on women’s roles, cross-cultural variations in women’s status, and discrimination in politics and education.

IS 324C                                 Social Justice Seminar: Environmental Policy                                                                                       3 hours

Prerequisites: ENG 108; junior/senior status.

This course is intended as a simple, practical introduction to America’s environmental politics, policies, and regulations. It will explore basic environmental science concepts such as ecology, ecosystems, and pollution—which policy makers, regulators, organizations and citizens need to understand. It will answer questions such as: who develops the environmental regulations, what are examples of these regulations, are the regulations and politicians focusing on the most important priorities? How efficient are environmental policies, and can laws balance economic concerns with environmental protection? What are the environmental concerns in Michigan and the Metropolitan Detroit area?

IS 324D                                Social Justice Seminar: Government in Action                                                                                      3 hours

Prerequisites: ENG 108; junior/senior status.

This course examines specific social justice issues as they relate to a variety of disciplines. The emphasis is on the critical thinking skills necessary for problem-solving and decision-making in our complex society. It is an interdisciplinary study of social policy combining classroom and fieldwork in the context of social justice. Students will learn to apply key components of public policy to state and local government forum settings.

IS 324E                                 Social Justice Seminar: African-American Struggles                                                                              3 hours

Prerequisites: ENG 108; junior/senior status.

This Social Justice seminar will combine traditional instruction with a travel seminar experience. Students will investigate social justice issues of slavery, discrimination, and segregation. An interdisciplinary approach will emphasize African-American history from slavery passage to civil rights movement and the psychological styles of coping with deprivation and discrimination. A week-long travel seminar will enable students to connect the African-American experience with sites visited in Virginia and North Carolina.

IS 326AH                           Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar: Religion and Science                                                                          3 hours

Prerequisites: Honors students only, or permission of instructors; recommended: 1 natural science/lab course, 1 religious studies course, and basic computer literacy. Prerequisites: ENG 108; junior/senior status.

This interdisciplinary seminar focuses on issues at the border between science and religion, with emphasis on the physical and life sciences rather than the social sciences. Such topics are often the most exciting place for new insights and discoveries; they also tend to illustrate the differences and similarities between religion and science. At these “frontiers” conflicts and contradictions also appear.

We will examine a number of points of convergence and explore the various ways in which religious believers and scientific investigators approach these topics. We will seek to understand both past and current interactions between science and religion, and we will look for ways in which both religion and science contribute to our overall knowledge. At the same time, we will learn to better appreciate both the distinctiveness and the complementarities of these diverse ways of knowing.

IS 326B                              Travel Seminar                                                                                                                              3 hours

Prerequisites: ENG 108; junior/senior status or permission of instructors.

The travel seminar is a study of a specific city, country or regional area and generally includes exposure to the geography, history, culture and achievements of the location. Each travel seminar considers the locale from a unique perspective, dependent upon the expertise of the involved faculty members. All seminars include travel outside the U.S. and some include a Service Learning component.

IS 326C                              HIV/AIDS: Its Biological and Social Impact                                                                                    3 hours

Prerequisites: ENG 108; junior/senior status or permission of instructors.

This course is a biological, psychological, social and literary interdisciplinary examination of HIV/AIDS. The focus is on the impact of HIV/AIDS on individuals, families and communities. Communities of color will be emphasized. A required academic service learning activity focuses on HIV/AIDS outreach to churches, senior residences/centers, schools and agencies.

IS 326G/GH                       Globalization in Context                                                                                                       3 hours

Prerequisites: ENG 108; Honors students only, or permission of instructors; junior/senior status.

This course will explore the world phenomenon of globalization in order to better understand and participate in the profound and rapid changes that it generates. We will study globalization from a variety of perspectives -- political, social, economic, cultural, environmental – and their interconnections. Does this globalizing process move towards increased diversity or homogeneity, towards inclusion or marginalization, towards global justice or injustice, towards enhanced democracy or uncontrolled market dominance? At the end of the course we will also explore how we can make globalization work.