Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) and Nondepartmental (NDL)

Academic Catalog: 2019–2020

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.

101 Clickbait, Bias, and Propaganda in Information (.5 course) This discussion-based course explores how information is created and shared online, providing students with practice evaluating claims in social media, journalism, and the public sphere. Students will study the nature of emerging information systems, examine contemporary problems in information ethics, will explore issues of diversity and social justice in the context of networked media systems, and will learn practical fact-checking strategies. Spring semester.

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-147 Academic Success for Multilingual Learners (.5 course) This course assists international and multilingual students in developing the oral and written communication skills needed to succeed at Gustavus. Students will practice academic writing, oral presentations, communicating with professors, classroom discussion, and active reading, among other skills. Students will also learn about the culture of academic and student life at Gustavus. These oral, written, and intercultural skills will come together to help students craft their unique “academic voice,” which complements and enriches (but does not replace) their existing linguistic identities. Fall and Spring semesters.

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.

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. Offered occasionally.

Sweden Today: The Gustavus Semester in Sweden Program

Students receive four course credits plus one 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 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 traditional Sami Winter Market (an event that has been held annually since the early 1600s), will be a significant experience 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.