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Course Topics

2014 Dedicated Semester Academic Courses

EDU 495 / 594 Special Topics: Exploring Civil Rights through Critical Literacy
Students in this course will explore both fiction and nonfiction texts that have been and currently are instrumental in the Civil Rights movement in the United States. Students will take a critical perspective when examining texts that have empowered and disempowered individuals and groups tied to the Civil Rights movement.

Students enrolled in this course will participate in a qualitative research study which investigates the lived experiences of African Americans ages 18-24 who did not graduate from high school.

This course would be suitable for Education majors as well as other disciplines across campus. It will be offered as an undergraduate/graduate cross listed course.

HES497 Senior Synthesis in HES
Critical evaluation and discussion of trends and needs in the broad field of family and consumer sciences as it relates to the Civil Rights movement in the United States, then and now. Course is based on an independent research orientation, but students work in a small group to further explore an overarching theme, drawing conclusions and making future research recommendations as they relate to the quality of life of individuals, families and communities.  

Prerequisites (if applicable): Major Approval and HES395 or HES 397
HON 494/ ENG 494/ COM 494 The Rhetoric and Literature of the Civil Rights Movement

From 1954 (Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education) until 1968 (assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.), the struggle for freedom and justice defined our country’s development.

This course will focus on the Civil Rights Movement, when black and white activists used the tactics of direct, nonviolent action to end the system of segregation in the United States.  In this course we will consider the ways in which social activists and literary artists have responded to, and incorporated the language of, the Civil Rights Movement.  Rhetorical texts (editorials, sermons, letters, documents, speeches, film documentaries) will help us come to understand the rich and varied nature of the discourse produced by those agitating for change, and the fiction, poetry, drama, film, and music will ask us to consider the varying ways in which literary artists have responded to, and incorporated the language of, the Civil Rights Movement.

HST 293  Introduction to African-American Studies
An interdisciplinary introduction to the social, cultural, political, economic, artistic, and intellectual developments in African-American life and thought throughout American history, including theories on race and racial formation.  

MUS 106 American Popular Music: Voices of Civil Rights
The rise of American popular music (1840-present) reflects the evolution of civil rights, particularly for African-Americans, but also for women, Hispanics, and other ethnic groups. The study of American popular music will emphasize the struggles, influences, and contributions of these composers and performers starting with blackface minstrelsy, through jazz, blues, and Tin Pan Alley, to the racial prejudice of rock and roll and rap.

PSY 250 Cross-cultural Psychology: Culture & Intergroup Relations
An examination of the ways in which social and cultural forces shape human experience. The course focuses on how cultural and ethnic identifications relate to the development of behavior. The course will critically explore how broad conclusions made in Western psychology apply to people in other cultures. Explores the influence of culture on different dimensions of behavior, such as gender roles, conformity, aggression, individualism, altruism, and values.

SOC 293: Special Topics: Civil Rights Movement Film Series
This will be a five week course, each week devoted to a documentary focused on the Civil Rights. Documentaries selected will have a sociological focus in that they will concentrate on the institutional nature of discrimination during the Civil Rights Movement. Examples of possible documentaries are as follows: Black Power Mix Tape, Hoxie: The First Stand, The Murder of Emmitt Till, The Loving Story, Sister Selma, and The Pruitt Igoe Myth.

SWK 200 Social and Economic Justice
This course is designed to explore diversity and difference in practice along with advancing human rights and social and economic justice. Students will be investigating cultural differences, oppression, personal biases, and discrimination as they relate to difference. Students will start with an understanding of the history of oppression and the influence of culture; then move on to explore how diversity impact experience; and conclude with how to overcome personal biases and advocate for human rights and social justice.  Further, students will be challenged to think outside the box to understand how differences shape experiences; ultimately, students will learn to advocate for change and advance human rights and social and economic justice

WGS 101 Introduction to Women’s Studies
This course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of women's studies. Readings in feminist theory and research, autobiography, and the history of women's rights activism will provide a framework for an investigation of major themes in women's lives. Using contemporary cultures of the United States as our primary field of study, we will also explore dominant ideas about gender, one of the primary terms through which human beings articulate identity, define social roles, and assign status. We will consider as well how notions of gender intersect with other components of experiences such as those related to nationality, culture, ethnicity, race, class, age, religion, and sexuality.