Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) and Nondepartmental (NDL)

Academic Catalog: 2017–2018

Interdisciplinary study at Gustavus is designed to nurture a holistic approach to the study of topics of concern to more than one of our traditional academic disciplines. This may involve interdisciplinary programs and/or interdisciplinary courses. The Gustavus Adolphus College mission statement speaks to a curriculum designed with an interdisciplinary perspective, and which balances tradition with pedagogical innovation. Interdisciplinary courses draw linkages beyond their disciplines, and often involve experiential learning, international study, service-learning, and undergraduate research.

Interdisciplinary majors and/or minors are offered in African Studies, Arts Administration; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Comparative Literature, Environmental Studies; Film and Media Studies; Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies; Japanese Studies; Latin American, Latina/o, and Caribbean Studies; Neuroscience; Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies; and Russian and Eastern European Studies. Please refer to the separate listing for each in this bulletin.

144, 244, 344 Special Topics (1 course, 1 course 1 course) These courses, offered occasionally by guest faculty, provide an opportunity to investigate, in depth, a selected interdisciplinary topic that is not the primary subject of any of the regular catalog courses.

NDL-201 Reading Workshop (.25 course) In this course students will read and discuss two or more books, including a contemporary work of fiction or non-fiction announced in advance and a book chosen by the student. Students will publish reviews of the books they read to a book-related social network, will reflect on their own reading histories and practices, and will explore the place of books and literacy in contemporary culture.

NDL-243 Forensics (0 to 1 course) Forensics involves preparation for and participation in intercollegiate forensics tournaments. Students participate in public speaking, interpretation of literature, and/or limited preparation events. Participation requires a serious commitment to research, analysis, composition, and performance. Fall and Spring semesters.

260 Myth and Reality in African Cinema (1 course) This course examines how Africa is represented through cinema. Though the theme may vary from one year to another, generally it discusses issues such as nation building, gender relations, social and political conflict, and acculturation, among others. Students discuss, take exams, write essays, and do oral presentations. This course counts toward the African Studies minor. GLOBL, Spring semester, odd years.

NDL-301 Information Fluency (.5 course) This course will give students interested in going to graduate or professional school—or who simply want to know more about research—an immersion in the structure of the literature of their chosen field and exposure to research tools and collections. Students will develop an extensive literature of their chosen field. They also will keep a research log and develop and extensive literature review for a research question of their choice. Shorter projects will require students to analyze aspects of their discipline’s traditions, to compare them to traditions in other fields, and to explore the social and ethical dimensions of research. Spring semester.

268, 368 Career Exploration, Internship (Course value to be determined) Off-campus employment experience related to the student’s major. See description of the Internship Program. Prerequisite: junior or senior status. Fall and Spring semesters.

399 Pre-Law Junior/Senior Seminar (.125 course) This seminar reviews critical thinking concepts and reading strategies involved in legal reasoning. Students will apply these abilities to the question types posed in the Law School Admissions Test. The course meets weekly for two hours for the first half of each semester.

Sweden Today: The Gustavus Semester in Sweden Program

Students receive four course credits plus an Interim Experience (IEX) credit. In addition to the four courses listed below, students will take one course in Swedish language and culture, offered at the appropriate level.

220 Sweden Today Seminar: Tradition and Change (1 course) This integrative course in the Semester in Sweden program assists students in shaping connections among and reflecting on the courses and on-site experiences offered in this semester program. Course content explores significant issues and events in contemporary Sweden through course materials, program activities, and personal encounters. A substantial amount of group discussion, writing, and public presentations are required, culminating in a final integrative project designed by the student with approval by the faculty leader. This course counts towards the Scandinavian Studies major. IEX, January Interim, odd years.

221 The Sami: The Indigenous People of the North (1 course) This course will enable students to learn about the Sami, the indigenous people living today mainly in the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and on the Kola Peninsula In Russia. Students will live in Swedish Samiland for a major part of the course and, through texts and experiential activities, will explore the historical, cultural, economic, political, and religious contexts of Sami life with guidance from on-site instructors. Attendance in early February at the Jokkmokk Winter Conference on climate change, energy, and sustainable development, and at the traditional Sami Winter Market (an event that has been held annually since the early 1600s), will be significant experiences of the course. This course counts towards the Scandinavian Studies major. GLOBL, Spring semester, odd years.

222 The Politics of Diversity in Sweden (1 course) This course introduces students to the history, culture, and politics of Sweden through the lenses of ethnic, linguistic, and cultural diversity. The course will consider historical and economic developments, ethnic relations and national unity, the place of religion in the Swedish state, and contemporary political issues, as well as the laws, policies, and values that have attracted immigrants to Sweden. Through readings, discussion, and conversations with “traditional” and “new” Swedes, students will critically engage with concepts of national identity, belonging, and social inequality. This course counts towards the Scandinavian Studies major. SOSCI, Spring semester, odd years. 

223 Sweden: Climate, Energy, and Environment (1 course) This course examines the current and past physical environment of Sweden and explores Swedish responses towards environmental change. A focus on recent climate change and Sweden’s response to this complex and politically contentious topic will be coupled with learning to use and examine data in assessing physical, political, and social changes that have occurred in Sweden as the climate has changed. Students will learn about the geologic forces that shaped the Swedish landscape, apply geologic principles to understand past events that have shaped the physical environment of Sweden, and learn to read the earth for evidence of previous periods of climate and other physical changes. Students will evaluate the role of natural and human activities on earth’s climate, compare Swedish and U.S. responses to address climate change, and critically examine current practices and policies in both countries. NASP, Spring semester, odd years.

Sustainable Design Practice in India (SDPI): The Gustavus Semester in India Program

243 Earth Care and Adaptation (1 course) This course in the Semester in India program introduces students to major environmental issues with both local and global impacts. Through lectures, research, and field visits, students will analyze key questions of ecological integrity posed by the Earth Charter Commission, specifically the importance of biological diversity, best practices for environmental protection, methods to safeguard Earth’s regenerative capacities, and the study of ecological sustainability. The course will give particular attention to sustainability, food security, and food sovereignty. Fall semester.

245 Religion, Ethics, and Social Change (1 course) This course in the Semester in India program investigates how an understanding and experience of religion has influenced the history and culture of modern India and its people. Attention will be given to the social, political, and cultural milieu in which religion is practiced in India. Central to the course is a contextual examination of religion and its influence on social relations, and how religion ameliorates or impedes social change for the common good. GLOBL, Fall semester.

246 Human Rights and Economic Justice (1 course) This course in the Semester in India program introduces students to issues of social and economic justice articulated by the Earth Charter Commission and the Sustainable Goals of the United Nations. Through lectures, research, and field visits, students will analyze issues of poverty, human and economic development, gender equity, and the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities. The course will give particular attention to caste and class, access to education, sustainable livelihood, and the implications of the integration of the Indian economy in the global market system. SOSCI, Fall semester.

247 Learning Community Capstone Experience in India (1 course) This unique course builds on the learning community model used in the India semester program. Students will work in teams of three to five to apply the theoretical and topical content from the other three courses in the program to a practical project requested by a host organization or business. This course requires collaborative problem-solving in the context of a learning community and puts program ideas into practice. Fall semester

Living Diversity: The Gustavus Semester in Malaysia Program

250 Bahasa Malaysia I (1 course) This course is specially designed to be a simple introduction to the learning of Bahasa Malaysia by foreign students. Course meets for four contact hours each week for fourteen weeks and covers the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The first two skills are integrated in the oral language component. At the end of the course, students should be able to speak, read, and write simple Bahasa Malaysia in daily situations. Spring semester.

251 The Malaysian Experience: Living Diversity (1 course) This course is an introduction to the history and culture of Malaysia. Course topics include historical and economic developments; the independence process; ethnic relations and national unity; the role of religion in Malaysia politics and culture; major trends in contemporary Malaysia; and Malaysia in the modern world system. Students will be introduced to and utilize ethnography as a social science research methodology to gather data on a research topic of their choice. SOSCI, Spring semester.

252 Religious Experiences of Malaysia (1 course) This course will introduce students to the diverse religious views of Malaysia. Course topics include forms of belief, religious ideas, practices, scriptures, rites and rituals, death and the afterlife, and theologies and doctrines. Students will be exposed to the religions of Malaysia in both their functional and theoretical aspect. The historical development of particular religious communities, the relations among them, and the analysis of religion in the Malaysian historical and cultural context will also be discussed. Course will include site visits to temples, mosques, and churches, as well as meetings with clergy and practitioners of various religious communities. GLOBL, Spring semester.

253 Tropical Ecology (1 course) This course provides students with hands-on experience in the Malaysian Peninsula tropical environment, particularly in biological diversity, ecology, and conservation. Through lectures and field work, students will gain an understanding of the various concepts of ecology, function, and interaction between the abiotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem. This will provide a broad understanding about ecological diversity together with structure and function of various tropical ecosystems in Malaysia, including tropical rain forests, mangrove swamps, coral reefs, wetlands, and agroecosystems. NASP, Spring semester.

Global Entrepreneurship in India

This program is open only to Economics and Management majors. (Not offered Fall 2017)

360 Social Entrepreneurship in Context (1 course) This course introduces students to the concepts, principles, and practice of Social Entrepreneurship. In this rapidly growing field, entrepreneurs, investors, educational institutions, philanthropists, foundations, philanthropic advisors, and consulting firms aim to achieve meaningful social returns as well as sustainable or competitive financial returns through their products, services, and other business practices. Emphasis on the concepts of adaptive leadership provides a framework in which to understand global entrepreneurial solutions in education, climate change, healthcare, the environment, poverty alleviation, workforce development, International development, and other large societal issues being addressed through both for-profit and non-profit ventures. Fall semester.

361 Business and Culture in India (1 course) This course introduces students to the culture, society, and commerce of India. Students will examine economic development in India, work closely with individuals in NGOs and multinational corporations within India, and consider the social transformation occurring in this economically and culturally diverse country. Course content focuses on Indian cultural values, attitudes, and beliefs and is designed so that students experience and reflect on the complexity and ambiguity in cross cultural relationships while building cultural competency skills for working in a global, multicultural environment. Fall semester.

368 Internship in India (2 courses) Students complete two distinct Internships, one with a social entrepreneur/NGO or social investment bank, and the other with a transnational firm. Fall semester.