Feb 26, 2024  
College Catalog 2022-2023 
College Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]



Asian Studies

  • ASIA 124 - Dharma and Dao: Big Ideas in India and China

    Cross-Listed as   
    An introduction to the study of Asian religious traditions in South and East Asia (India, China and Japan). Open to everyone but especially appropriate for first and second year students. Every year. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 127 - Religions of India

    Cross-Listed as  
    An introductory level course on the popular, classical and contemporary religious traditions of South Asia. Topics include Advaita Vedanta and yoga, popular devotionalism, monastic and lay life in Theravada Buddhism, the caste system, Gandhi and modern India. Prerequisite(s): RELI 124  or permission of instructor. Alternate years. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 140 - Introduction to East Asian Civilization

    Cross-Listed as HIST 140 
    This course introduces the cultures and societies of China, Japan and Korea from the earliest times to the present day. Primarily an introductory course for beginners in East Asian civilization, this course considers a variety of significant themes in religious, political, economic, social and cultural developments in the region. Every year. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 150 - Language and Gender in Japanese Society

    Cross-Listed as  ,   and WGSS 150 
    Japanese is considered to be a gendered language in the sense that women and men speak differently from each other. Male characters in Japanese animation often use “boku” or “ore” to refer to themselves, while female characters often use “watashi” or “atashi.” When translated into Japanese, Hermione Granger (a female character in the Harry Potter series) ends sentences with soft-sounding forms, while Harry Potter and his best friend Ron use more assertive forms. Do these fictional representations reflect reality? How are certain forms associated with femininity or masculinity? Do speakers of Japanese conform to the norm or rebel against it? These are some of the questions discussed in this course. Students will have opportunities to learn about the history of gendered language, discover different methodologies in data collections, and find out about current discourse on language and gender. Offered alternate years. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 170 - Introduction to the Art of China

    Cross-Listed as ART 170  
    This course examines the art and visual culture of China from the Neolithic era to the twenty-first century. Lectures and readings will teach methods of formal visual analysis as well as provide the opportunity for students to think critically about how scholars write the artistic history of the region. Through this class, students will engage with a broad array of media, from jade carvings, Buddhist cave painting, architecture, calligraphy and monumental landscape paintings to ceramics, imperial palaces, and contemporary installations. While examining the intended meanings and functions of these objects and spaces, we will discuss the varied contexts and value systems that have informed visual production in China. Fall semester. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 171 - Introduction to the Art of Japan

    Cross-Listed as ART 171  
    This course examines the art, architecture, and visual culture of Japan, spanning a broad temporal frame from the ancient Neolithic era to our own contemporary moment.  We will discuss a diverse array of art and architecture from ancient Jomon pottery, Shinto shrines, and print media to Buddhist sculpture, painting practices during World War II, anime (cartoons) and manga (comics). In addition to learning methods of formal visual analysis, students will gain insight into how these works articulated complex artistic, social, economic, political, and religious trends. Through this course, students will develop skills to reflect critically on the production of narratives of Japanese culture, while considering concepts such as tradition, hybridity, value, authority, authenticity, sexuality, commodity flows, nationalism, and militarism.  (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 172 - Cambodia: Empire to Today

    Cross-Listed as RELI 172  
    This survey course examines aspects of the histories and cultures of Cambodia. Emphasizing an interdisciplinary focus, we will examine aspects of geography, language, art, and religion, moving from the enormous and significant Angkor empire to contemporary Cambodia. Alternate years. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 194 - Topics Course

    Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 205 - Chinese and Sinophone Music

    Cross-Listed as MUSI 205  
    This course explores the multitude of music as practiced and listened to among Chinese-identifying communities by closely studying selected genres, musicians, and styles in various temporal and geographical localities. Course contents cover the musical procedures and performance practices of such genres as operas, chamber instrumental music, folk singing, pop and jazz, film and theatrical music, modern concert repertoire, as well as ancient court and ritual music. Prerequisite(s): No prior knowledge of musical instrument, notation, or Chinese languages is assumed. Alternate years. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 211 - Asian Philosophies

    Cross-Listed as PHIL 211  

    Did Confucius really say all those things? What does it mean to call something “zen”? The popularity of mindfulness and meditation made “Eastern Philosophy” fashionable, but what exactly does that entail? This class will be an introduction to classical Chinese philosophy, focusing on Confucianism and its rivals (Daoism, Mohism, Buddhism). Many schools of thought in East Asia offered competing views on how to live a good life; we will explore these views and chart how they responded to each other. We’ll also see how Chinese thoughts were received and developed by Korean and Japanese philosophers and assess ongoing influences of these philosophies in East Asia and beyond. Texts with English translations.

      Spring semester. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 220 - Foreign Policy: The Evolution of China’s Grand Strategy, 1950-2050

    Cross-Listed as POLI 220  

    An exploration of US foreign policy as it relates to a country or region of pressing interest or particular significance in global political life.  For the next several years, the focus of the course will be on the foreign policy challenges posed by a “rising” China.  It is organized around the following questions:  What are the cultural, political, economic and strategic interests shaping the evolution of Chinese foreign policy?  What is China’s “peaceful rise” policy?  What are the systemic implications of this policy?  What are the implications of China’s rise for US regional and global interests?  And how should the US respond to the rise of China as a regional and global great power?

      Prerequisite(s): POLI 120  recommended, but not required. Every year (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 236 - Sanskrit and Classical Religion in India

    Cross-Listed as CLAS 202 , LING 236 , and RELI 236  
    Like Latin and Greek in Europe, Sanskrit is a highly inflected language of scholarship and revered as the perfect medium for discourse on everything from science and sex to philosophy and religion. It flourished in its classical form after the age of the Buddha (5th century BC) and served as a scholarly lingua franca in India until the Islamic period. This course serves as an introduction to the grammar an script of Sanskrit, and we will advance to a point of reading simplified texts from the classical epic Ramayana.Students will be expected to attend class regularly and spend at least ten hours a week outside class studying the grammar and vocabulary. Without this sort of effort, no progress is possible in such a complex language. In addition to the rigorous study of the language, we will consider both the role of the language in classical Indian culture and religion, and some texts from the Ramayana, looking at both English translation and Sanskrit originals. Alternate years. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 241 - Reclaiming Zen, Yoga and Church: Asian American Religions

    Cross-Listed as AMST 241  and RELI 241  
    Asian Americans are often overlooked in the study of religion in the U.S., and yet the impact of Asian religious practices can be seen at every turn: yoga studios, mindfulness meditation, “zen” aesthetics of minimalism, and so on. What do we make of the gap between how Asian religions are practiced in Asian American communities and how these traditions have been reinterpreted by predominantly white, educated, middle class adherents? How do Asian American Christians negotiate their identities in the context of non-Asian Christian churches or the intergenerational tensions within their own ethnic churches? The approach of this course is interdisciplinary (and sometimes counterdisciplinary); it draws on theoretical and methodological insights from ethnic studies, religious studies, history, and sociology. Topics include: race and the racialization of Asian Americans; the politics of cultural and religious exchange; the commodification of Asian religious practices; and issues of assimilation and hybridity within Asian American Christian traditions. Spring semester only. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 244 - Geography of Asia: the Political Economy

    Cross-Listed as GEOG 244  
    Whether the twenty-first century will be dominated by the “rising Asia” has spurred recurring debates in policy and academic circles. But what is Asia? How can we understand this diverse region where more than half of the world’s population resides? In this course, we will first deconstruct the idea of Asia as a cartographic entity to excavate the layered social-cultural meaning and geographical diversity of the “Asias.” We will also place the “Asias” in a global context to reveal how contemporary Asia anchors the changing world political economy and cultural imaginations outside the West. We will begin with important theoretical debates on (East) Asian development that prevailed in the 1980s and 1990s, including discussions about the colonial past, the path-dependency of development and uneven industrialization, regional disparities and mega-urbanization. We will then use these debates as the foundation to explore the contemporary globalizing Asia. What are the important connections between Asian countries, and with other parts of the world? What are the roles of the “Asias” in international governance and geo-politics? Can China replace the United States as the dominant geo-economic power? These are the questions we will explore in this course. Alternate years. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 251 - Cramming for the Exam: Education in Chinese Literature and History

    Cross-Listed as CHIN 251  and EDUC 251  
    China is known for its grueling examination culture. How did this culture evolve? This course examines the imperial civil service examination system, the benchmark of social and political success in imperial China. We will read the core texts of the Confucian curriculum - the Four Books and the Five Classics -  to examine the values these texts promoted. We will also study frustrated scholars’ fictional accounts of the unfairness of the exam system, Europeans’ praise of it as a model meritocracy, and women’s struggles to participate in a system that explicitly excluded them. The course invites reflection on contemporary educational practices, and culminates in a recreation of the civil service exam. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 254 - Japanese Film and Animation: From the Salaryman to the Shojo

    Cross-Listed as JAPA 254 
    This course surveys the history of Japanese film from the “golden age” of Japanese cinema to the contemporary transnational genre of anime. While introducing methodologies of film analysis and interpretation, it develops knowledge of how major works of Japanese film and animation have expressed and critiqued issues of modern Japanese society. In doing this, we trace the development of two related archetypes: the middle-class salaryman and the adolescent girl (shojo). These figures - as well as their incarnations as cyberpunks and mecha-warriors, sex workers and teen rebels - help us explore Japanese film’s engagement with the strictures of middle-class society, the constrained status of women, fantasy and escapism, sexuality and desire. Weekly screenings and discussion will be supplemented by readings in film theory and cultural criticism. Directors include Ozu Yasujiro, Akira Kurosawa, Oshima Nagisa, Miyazaki Hayao, Anno Hideaki, and Hosoda Mamoru. No prior knowledge of Japanese required. Alternate years. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 255 - China on Screen

    Cross-Listed as   
    This course is an overview of China on the silver screen. Adopting the “nation” as its primary structuring device, the course examines how Chinese films represented the national identity, national issues, and the national past. The topics under discussion include how women’s virtues became emblems of a nation that strived for modernity in the early 20th century; how films were politically appropriated for socialist purposes; how the revolutionary past was cinematically constructed, remembered and critiqued in the post-Mao era; how the national legacy and tradition were consciously or unconsciously re-created and revised as a spectacle to meet the curious gaze of the global market; and how Taiwan and Hong Kong cinema constantly reflected cultural and national identities. The course starts from the silent film period and extends to the fifth generation directors, underground filmmaking, and the revival of the martial arts genre in greater China. Feature films from mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong will be screened and discussed. Secondary articles and books are also assigned in conjunction with the films. The course is organized thematically and moves chronologically. No prior knowledge of China or Chinese is required. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 256 - India and its Neighbors: The Anthropology of South Asia

    Cross-Listed as ANTH 256  
    Introduces students to anthropological knowledge of the peoples and cultures of South Asia and to the ways in which Western knowledge of that region has been constructed. The course examines the historical and social processes that have shaped the culture and lifeways of the people who live on the subcontinent and that link the modern states of South Asia to the world beyond their frontiers. Prerequisite(s): ANTH 101  or ANTH 111 . Alternate years. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 258 - Gender and Sexuality in China

    Cross-Listed as CHIN 258  and WGSS 258  
    How are masculinity and femininity defined and transformed in modern and contemporary Chinese culture? How is the social construction of gender related to a larger social context? Through a rigorous analysis of the content and structure of modern and contemporary novels and films, this course examines the literary representation of gender and sexuality and its relation to tumultuous social transformations. Themes to be explored include: May Fourth enlightenment, anti-Japanese war, Socialist construction, the Cultural Revolution, and the liberalization of the post-Mao era. This course seeks to help students develop critical views of Chinese society and culture from a gendered perspective and gain familiarity with major authors, genres, and literary movements. This course assumes no prior knowledge of China or Chinese, and all reading materials are in English. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 260 - Narratives of Alienation: 20th Century Japanese Fiction and Film

    Cross-Listed as JAPA 260  
    The sense of being out of place in one’s society or one’s nation, estranged from one’s self or the world - this is the feeling that has motivated many of the narratives of modern Japanese fiction. Through stories of precocious adolescents, outcast minorities, vagabond women, disillusioned soldiers, and rebellious youth, this course examines the social implications of narrative fiction (including film, anime, and manga) within the context of modern Japanese history. While introducing methods of literary analysis and developing a familiarity with major works of Japanese fiction, the course aims to cultivate an understanding of how stories can be used to engage and think abou the quandaries of modern society. We will explore the way these narratives express marginal experiences, rethink the foundations of human and societal bonds, and articulate new ways of being in the world. Works covered include stories by Tanizaki Jun’ichiro, Kawabata Yasunari, Oe Kenzaburo, Mishima Yukio, and Murakami Haruki, as well as films by Akira Kurosawa, Koreeda Hirokazu, and Otomo Katsuhiro. No knowledge of Japanese required. Alternate years. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 265 - Contemporary Mongolia: Livelihoods, Economies and Environments

    Cross-Listed as GEOG 265  
    The “land without fences” has long existed in the travelers’ mind as a place of expansive landscapes and nomadic cultures. After emerging from more than 60 years of communism, Mongolia transitioned to a democratic form of governance and capitalist economy in 1989 and by 2013 Mongolia’s economy was noted as one of the fastest growing in Asia, although this growth has since slowed.  Along with these monumental changes in governance structure and economy, Mongolia’s peoples witnessed profound changes in their livelihoods and experienced a rapid transition to new and emerging economies. This course takes a thematic, geographic perspective on the contemporary issues facing Mongolia and its citizens and bringing together such themes as development, gender, environment, migration, ethnicity and culture in this rapidly changing region of the world. Our task for the semester will be to consider the multiplicity of changes occurring across Mongolia and contextualize these within broader debates within the discipline of geography. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 270 - Religious Images/Spaces Asia

    Cross-Listed as ART 270  
    This course contemplates the definition of Sacred Art and Sacred Space by focusing on religious visual culture in Asia and examining how intangible concepts of the divine have become tangible in art and architecture.  To better understand the multilayered functioning of devotional objects and spaces associated with religious doctrines such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shintoism, the class will explore foundations in iconography and then compare different religious objects and spaces through concepts such as gender, state power, the body, nature, ritual, the grotesque, and death.  To account for the shifting meaning of religious icons over time, the class also reflects on how the significance of religious objects changes in the space of a museum.  Ultimately, this course allows us to contemplate the multifaceted ways religious beliefs have been visualized and how these manifestations exemplify systems of cultural exchange in Asia. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 271 - Japan and the (Inter)National Modern

    Cross-Listed as ART 271  
    This course introduces students to the art and visual culture of Japan from the late nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century, a period of Japanese history marked by dramatic cultural, political, and social change.  The class focuses primarily on the visual arts from the 1850s to 1945, a time when modernism and modernity were seen (by some) as empowering and (by others) as a threat to foundations of national identity; we will also consider artistic practices in the postwar era to understand the “crisis of the modern” that developed in the first decades after the war as artists struggled to find their individual and national voices. Drawing on a diverse array of artistic forms and visual media, including painting, prints, sculpture, architecture, anime (Japanese cartoons), film, photography, advertising design, and manga (Japanese comics), we explore themes such as trauma, nationalism, imperialism, fascism, protest, hybridity, fantasy, embodiment, and performativity. Students will be asked to consider critically how these works operated as a part of international flows in art, design, and consumerism as well as how they contributed to evolving modern identities in Japan. Offered occasionally. ( )

  • ASIA 274 - The Great Tradition in China before 1840

    Cross-Listed as   
    A study of the culture and society of China from earliest times to the eighteenth century, when the impact of the West was strongly felt. The course will feature themes in Chinese history, including the birth of the Great Philosophers, the story of the Great Wall, the making and sustaining of the imperial system, the Silk Road and international trade and cultural exchange, the emergence of Chinese Buddhism and Neo-Confucianism, Genghis Kahn and his Eurasian Empire, the splendid literary and artistic achievements, the Opium War and its impact on modern China. Lecture/discussion format. Alternate years. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 275 - The Rise of Modern China

    Cross-Listed as  
    A study of leading institutions and movements of nineteenth- and twentieth-century China. Major emphases include the impact of Western imperialism, the transformation of peasant society through revolution, the rise of Mao Tse-Tung, and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Special attention will be given to U.S.-China relations. Every year. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 276 - The Great Tradition in Japan before 1853

    Cross-Listed as   
    A survey of the major political, social, religious, intellectual, economic and artistic developments in Japan from earliest times to the opening of Japan in the 1850s. The course will revisit Japan’s emperor system, Shintoism, feudalism, Samurai as a class, selective borrowing from China, Korea, and the West, and the background of Japan’s rapid modernization after the Meiji Restoration. Alternate years. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 277 - The Rise of Modern Japan

    Cross-Listed as  
    Japan’s rapid industrialization in the latter part of the nineteenth century, and its phenomenal rise as the number two economic power in the world after the devastation wrought by World War II, have led many scholars to declare Japan a model worthy of emulation by all “developing” nations. After an examination of feudal Japan, this course probes the nature and course of Japan’s “amazing transformation” and analyzes the consequences of its strengths as a nation-state. Considerable study of Japanese art, literature, and religion will be undertaken and American attitudes toward the Japanese and their history will also be examined. Every year. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 281 - Dialects, Multilingualism, and the Politics of Speaking Japanese

    Cross-Listed as JAPA 281  and LING 281  
    This course will examine linguistic diversity in Japan as well as issues of identity and politics involved in the act of speaking Japanese in Japan and other parts of the world. Students will be engaged with questions such as the following: How do dialects become revitalized? How does the media portray dialect speakers? Does the Japanese government promote multilingualism? How do multilingual/multicultural individuals manage their identities? How do heritage speakers in Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru deal with the politics of speaking Japanese? What does it mean to speak Japanese as a non-native speaker? No Japanese language ability is required. Once every three years. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 283 - Bruce Lee, His Life and Legacy

    Cross-Listed as AMST 281  and MCST 281  
    This discussion-based course is entirely focused on Bruce Lee, the actor and leading martial arts icon of the 20th century. Using American Studies and Critical Race Studies frames to examine the construction of racialized and gendered bodies, we will discuss Bruce Lee in terms of his biography, identities, politics, philosophy, and filmography. We will take time to appreciate the entertainment value and athleticism that Bruce Lee brought to his work, but we will also learn to distinguish the commercialized, commodified Bruce Lee (from t-shirts to posters to action figures) from the serious historical figure who symbolized the spirit of cultural independence and political sovereignty around the world. Among the required books and movies: The Tao of Jeet Kune Do, and “Way of the Dragon” (1972). Every year. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 294 - Topics Course

    Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 315 - U.S. Imperialism from the Philippines to Viet Nam

    Cross-Listed as AMST 315  and HIST 315  
    In this discussion-based seminar, we will examine U.S. Global presence through the lenses of empire, diaspora, and transnationalism. We will look specifically at U.S. involvement in the Philippines and Viet Nam from 1898 to 1975 as moments of military occupation and cultural domination, as well as turning points for U.S. nation-building. What is “imperialism” and how is it different from “hegemony”? How did U.S. imperial adventures in Asia help to recreate a Western geographic imaginary of the “East”? How did they reshape or reconfigure “American” positions and identities? Under what circumstances were former imperial subjects allowed to generate racialized communities? To what extent are memories of U.S. conflicts in Asia cultivated, proliferated, twisted, or suppressed? What lessons can be garnered for the contemporary historical moment? Other topics for exploration include: internment, transracial adoption, commemorations of war, and anti-imperialist/anti-war movements. Spring semester. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 320 - Asian Cities

    Cross-Listed as GEOG 320  
    Since the last century, Asia has experienced rapid urbanization. It is now home to over half of the world’s most populated cities. By 2010, the urban population in the Asia-Pacific region has surpassed the population of the United States and the European Union combined. In this course, we will focus on cities in East, Southeast and South Asia. We will first contextualize the rapid urbanization in the region’s changing political economy, and identify urban issues that are unique to this region. We will further explore different theoretical approaches to understand Asian cities; several of them challenge mainstream urban theories rooted in the experiences of West European and North American cities. Upon the completion of this course, students will acquire substantive knowledge on contemporary trends of urban development in Asia, and develop familiarity with related ongoing theoretical debates. In addition, students will conduct individual research projects to develop deeper and more concrete understanding of the contemporary urbanization processes in Asia. Every spring. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 335 - Analyzing Japanese Language

    Cross-Listed as JAPA 335  and LING 335  
    Our perception is greatly influenced by the language we use. Without knowing, we limit ourselves to thinking that our current perspective is the only way by which to view ourselves and the world. By analyzing Japanese, students can experience perceptual and cultural systems that are different from their own. At the same time, students may also discover that there are certain qualities that are common even in “exotic” languages such as Japanese. What is the function of the topic marker? Why can’t you translate “he is cold” into Japanese word for word? Why are there so many different personal pronouns in Japanese? How do you express your feelings in Japanese? What is the relationship between your identity and gendered speech? This course provides opportunities to discuss these questions that students of Japanese commonly have. Students will also experience examining authentic Japanese data. Japanese Language and Culture majors who are juniors and seniors may count this course as their capstone experience. Prerequisite(s): JAPA 204  or permission of instructor. Once every three years. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 340 - Living on the Edge: The Asian American Experience

    The Asian American experience will be used to examine the role of cultural heritage in how one views oneself, one’s own ethnic group and the dominant culture. This interdisciplinary course consists of experiencing the art, reading the literature and history, and discussing the current issues of several Asian American communities. Topics include the role of women, stereotype, racism and assimilation. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 350 - Embodiment and Subjectivity in Later Chinese Art

    Cross-Listed as ART 350  
    The development of art and identities in China over the last 400 years has been, literally, revolutionary. From the Manchu rule of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) and the emergence of the Chinese Republic (1912-1949) to the radical changes at work during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) under Mao Zedong and the appearance of complex reactionary artistic voices since the late 1970s, we have seen the dynamic development of modern subjectivities, evolving cultural connoisseurship, ethnic tensions, new definitions of citizenry, and counter-movements led by cynical agitators. Art and design have played a critical role in these developments, functioning as a formal and symbolic language through which communities and notions of personhood could form. This class draws on themes such as gender, sexuality, militarism, ethnicity, and commodity culture to delve into the rich resonance between the representation of the human figure and the expression of diverse identities. Students will not only learn to look closely at and write critically about a variety of media including paintings, calligraphy, prints, films, posters, performance art, and installations, but will also relate this historical cultural production to contemporaneous artistic, social, and political discourses. In the process, we will complicate notions of “Chinese” art and “Chinese” identity in Asia and on the global stage. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 353 - Cyber China: Internet and Contemporary Culture

    Cross-Listed as CHIN 353  
    What is the “Great Firewall of China?” What does it say about the symbolic power of the state, the civilians, censorship and resistance politics? The Internet has played an increasingly important role in shaping contemporary Chinese life in many ways. Technology-enabled spaces have expanded to encompass a vast array of cultural forms. They have become an arena of intense contention and contestation among multiple political forces. This senior capstone course explores various aspects of the Internet culture in mainland China, combining close examination of up-to-date online content in original Chinese language with evaluation of scholarly discourse on the Chinese internet. The goal of the seminar is to look at different ways of conceptualizing Chinese internet culture. This course also considers the implications of online communication and cultural production both for contemporary Chinese culture in general and for students’ own research in particular. Prerequisite(s): CHIN 204 , the equivalent language proficiency, or permission of instructor. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 378 - War Crimes and Memory in East Asia

    Cross-Listed as  
    This course’s main goal is to introduce evidence of the major crimes and atrocities during World War II in East Asia such as the Nanjing Massacre, biochemical warfare (Unit 731), the military sexual slavery (“comfort women”) system, the forced labor system, and inhumane treatment of POWs. The course will also help students understand the contemporary geo-political and socio-economic forces that affect how East Asians and Westerners collectively remember and reconstruct World War II. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 394 - Topics Course

    Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 494 - Topics Course

    Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 611 - Independent Project

    Juniors and above may pursue an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member in or associated with Asian Studies. Prerequisite(s): ASIA 111 and two other courses related to Asia and permission of instructor and department chair must be obtained prior to the start of the semester. Junior or Senior standing. Every semester. (1 Credits)

  • ASIA 612 - Independent Project

    Juniors and above may pursue an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member in or associated with Asian Studies. Prerequisite(s): ASIA 111 and two other courses related to Asia and permission of instructor and department chair must be obtained prior to the start of the semester. Junior or Senior standing. Every semester. (2 Credits)

  • ASIA 613 - Independent Project

    Juniors and above may pursue an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member in or associated with Asian Studies. Prerequisite(s): ASIA 111 and two other courses related to Asia and permission of instructor and department chair must be obtained prior to the start of the semester. Junior or Senior standing. Every semester. (3 Credits)

  • ASIA 614 - Independent Project

    Juniors and above may pursue an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member in or associated with Asian Studies. Prerequisite(s): ASIA 111 and two other courses related to Asia and permission of instructor and department chair must be obtained prior to the start of the semester. Junior or Senior standing. Every semester. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 621 - Internship

    Sophomores and above may extend their learning beyond Macalester by working for an organization or institution related to Asia, usually in the Twin Cities. Prerequisite(s): ASIA 111 and permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office. Every semester. (1 Credits)

  • ASIA 622 - Internship

    Sophomores and above may extend their learning beyond Macalester by working for an organization or institution related to Asia, usually in the Twin Cities. Prerequisite(s): ASIA 111 and permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office. Every semester. (2 Credits)

  • ASIA 623 - Internship

    Sophomores and above may extend their learning beyond Macalester by working for an organization or institution related to Asia, usually in the Twin Cities. Prerequisite(s): ASIA 111 and permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office. Every semester. (3 Credits)

  • ASIA 624 - Internship

    Sophomores and above may extend their learning beyond Macalester by working for an organization or institution related to Asia, usually in the Twin Cities. Prerequisite(s): ASIA 111 and permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office. Every semester. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 631 - Preceptorship

    Students may be invited by a faculty member in Asian Studies to assist in the preparation and teaching of an Asian Studies course. Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs. Every semester. (1 Credits)

  • ASIA 632 - Preceptorship

    Students may be invited by a faculty member in Asian Studies to assist in the preparation and teaching of an Asian Studies course. Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs. Every semester. (2 Credits)

  • ASIA 633 - Preceptorship

    Students may be invited by a faculty member in Asian Studies to assist in the preparation and teaching of an Asian Studies course. Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs. Every semester. (3 Credits)

  • ASIA 634 - Preceptorship

    Students may be invited by a faculty member in Asian Studies to assist in the preparation and teaching of an Asian Studies course. Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs. Every semester. (4 Credits)

  • ASIA 641 - Honors Independent

    Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project. Instructor permission required. Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor and department chair. (1 Credits)

  • ASIA 642 - Honors Independent

    Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project. Instructor permission required. Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor and department chair. (2 Credits)

  • ASIA 643 - Honors Independent

    Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project. Instructor permission required. Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor and department chair. (3 Credits)

  • ASIA 644 - Honors Independent

    Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project. Instructor permission required. Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor and department chair. (4 Credits)


  • BIOL 101 - Creatures and Curiosities

    This course deals with unfamiliar, mysterious, beautiful, grotesque, and overlooked animals all around us: the invertebrates. We will explore animal evolution and focus on the biology of creatures such as sponges, jellyfish, insects, and corals. In addition, we will discuss the cultural role of animals as curiosities - as specimens in cabinets and museums, or the subjects of phobias and urban legends. Drawing on topics in marine biology and entomology, students will learn about the ecology, life cycles, and anatomy of major groups of animals through lectures, observation of live animals, and dissections. Students must complete two field trips outside of class time. Two 1-hour lectures and one 1-hour lab per week. Offered most years, fall semester. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 102 - Origins

    Life! It is everywhere on Earth, from the poles to the equator, from the deepest oceans to the tallest mountains, from frozen ice to boiling hot springs. Over the last 3.6 billion years, living organisms on Earth have evolved and adapted to almost every imaginable environment. In this course we will journey back to the beginning of the story and explore the major originations and transitions of life on Earth, from the origin of life itself to the development of flight, flowering plants, and the return of land-dwelling organisms to the sea. This is a course about evolution on a grand scale, set on the Earth’s remarkable stage. Three lecture hours each week. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 104 - Biotechnology and Society

    This course will serve as an introduction to the development and application of biotechnologies, and the impact these technologies have on society. Discussions will include stem cell research, genetic testing in the clinical setting, personal (“recreational”) genomics, DNA fingerprinting and forensic applications, gene editing, and gene therapy. This course will introduce students to some basic concepts and methodologies used in the fields of genetics, and molecular, developmental and cell biology. We will also discuss sociocultural and ethical issues that emerge from the application of these technologies. Three lecture hours each week. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 106 - Lakes, Streams and Rivers

    Cross-Listed as ENVI 106  
    Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes, is also home to numerous streams and rivers. In this course we will examine the nature of these aquatic ecosystems; exploring their ecology, geology and chemistry. We will also investigate human impacts through such practices as agriculture, urbanization and industrialization, on these important ecosystems. Students will complete projects exploring various aspects of local waterbodies, especially the Mississippi, Minnesota, and St. Croix Rivers. Three lecture hours each week. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 108 - Bodies on Fire

    Complex cascades of inflammation orchestrate our bodies’ response to our environment. Inflammation (derived from ignition; setting alight) resolves infections, heals wounds, and restores internal balance to the body. However, these same inflammatory responses, when uncontrolled, can destroy the body with frightening rapidity. Diabetes, obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, allergies and asthma, neuro-degenerative conditions, pain and depression are some of the most pervasive and confounding health challenges that confront the global population today. Chronic inflammation underlies all of these diverse pathologies. In this course, you will be introduced to the beautifully elaborate world of the immune system through lectures, discussions and critical reading of scientific and popular texts on the global pandemic of inflammatory non-communicable diseases. You will have opportunities to share ideas through discussion, reflective and analytical writing, and exploration of metaphors of illness and wellness. Three lecture hours each week. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 110 - Plants, Environment, and Society

    The food we eat, the air we breathe, and the landscapes we inhabit are shaped by plants. Plants are also at the heart of many global issues impacting society: food security, climate change, development and land degradation, and environmental inequity. In this course, we focus on the physiology, ecology, and biodiversity of plants, as well as their role in human life and society. We will explore topics that span agriculture and biotechnology, climate change and biodiversity, historical and modern use of plants as commodities, and urban ecology. Three lecture hour each week. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 112 - Health in the Anthropocene

    This class interrogates the interplay of the forces that shape the interconnected health of human populations and planet on which we live. One of the largest issues of environmental justice that affects health is human-caused climate change.  Human-environment interactions in health also play out in tiny ways, every day - the water we drink, the food we eat, illnesses we contend with. These large and small issues intertwine in numerous ways. What and how we eat, drink, travel, use energy all reflect the ways in which and the scales at which we extract resources from our environment and ask us to consider the impacts of these activities on our environment which includes our own species.  In this course, we will bookend our work with “views” of the large scale - looking back to history of health and climate interactions and into present/future interactions of health and anthropogenic climate change. Between those, we will delve into the stories of water, food, illnesses on a smaller scale. We will explore these topics using readings from assigned texts, films, field trips, writing projects and expressive/artistic inquiry. Three lecture hours each week. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 117 - Women, Health and Reproduction

    Cross-Listed as WGSS 117  
    This course will deal with aspects of human anatomy and physiology of special interest to women and/or those who identify as women, especially relating to sexuality and reproduction. Biological topics covered will include menstruation and menopause, sexuality, conception, contraception, infertility, abortion, pregnancy, cancer, and AIDS. Advances in assisted reproductive technologies, hormone therapies, and genetic engineering technologies will be discussed. Three lecture hours each week. Offered every year. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 170 - Ecology and the Environment

    Cross-Listed as ENVI 170  
    This course dives into a range of topics to study how species, populations, communities, ecosystems, and biomes function in our changing climate. We will emphasize biological nutrient and energy cycling, population dynamics, animal and plant species interactions, disturbances and response to disturbances, and ecology in urban and agricultural landscapes. We will examine Ecology under four conceptual ‘lenses’: Climate Change, Environmental Justice, Land Use, and Ecosystem Services. These lenses provide critical insight into how scientists, policy makers, land managers, and other stakeholders evaluate complex ecological and environmental systems. Labs will be field and data-based, and emphasize the development of hypotheses, novel data collection at Ordway Field Station, and statistical analysis. Three hours lecture and one three-hour laboratory each week. Offered every semester. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 180 - Biodiversity and Evolution

    An introduction to the diversity and history of life. We begin with basic evolutionary patterns and processes that have shaped living things, and then move on to the major groups of organisms (their morphology, physiology, reproductive cycles) and their evolutionary origins and relationships. Using recent findings from such diverse fields as molecular phylogenetics, developmental biology, and paleontology, this course introduces students to the major branches on the tree of life. Three lecture hours and one three-hour lab each week. Offered every semester. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 190 - Genetics

    An introduction to the principles of genetics, including patterns of inheritance, structure and function of genetic material, flow of genetic information, and control of gene expression. This course also introduces students to the methodologies used in genetics research, such as gene mapping, gene expression techniques, DNA sequencing, introductory genomics, and gene manipulation. Bioethical and sociocultural issues that emerge from the applications of genetic concepts and methodologies are discussed. Three lecture hours and one three-hour laboratory each week.

      Offered every semester. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 194 - Topics Course

    Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 200 - Cell Biology

    Cells are the foundational organizing units of all life on our planet.  In this course, we study the ways in which these nanomachines use the shapes and interactions of molecules to store and convert information, energy, and mass, and to communicate with their environments.  The workings of single-celled bacteria to multicellular organisms, and the complex behaviors of multi-species ecosystems all depend on the working of these miniscule molecular gears packed inside cells. This course covers the structures and behavior of biological molecules, the metabolic reactions that power life, the properties of the fluid, complex membranes that organize biological molecules in space and time, the ways in which information is sent and received within and between cells, and molecular-scale understandings of health and disease processes.  Three lecture hours each week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 190 ; and CHEM 112  or CHEM 115   Offered every semester. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 255 - Cell Biology and Genetics Laboratory Methods

    An intensive exploration of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell structure, chemistry, and function with an emphasis on laboratory methods, data analysis, and experimental design. Using the same tools used to advance our understanding of modern cell biology and genetics, this lab requires students to become familiar with a mixture of biochemical, cytological, and genetic techniques as they develop testable hypothesis related to topics such as enzyme function, inheritance patterns, genome structure and gene expression, and cell-to-cell signaling. One three-hour laboratory each week. Corequisite(s):  BIOL 200 - Cell Biology   Offered for the last time in 2020. (2 Credits)

  • BIOL 275 - Outdoor Environmental Education in Theory, Policy and Practice

    Cross-Listed as EDUC 275  and ENVI 275  
    This course provides an introduction to outdoor education as an opportunity to promote social justice and environmental sustainability in a globalized world.  Informed by relevant philosophical, psychological, cultural and political-economic frameworks, in addition to critical issues in public education policy and practice, we will explore interdisciplinary approaches to outdoor environmental education appropriate for students across the K-12 continuum.  We will utilize the Katharine Ordway Natural History Study Area (Ordway Field Station) as an outdoor classroom and will adapt curriculum from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and other outdoor education organizations to assist elementary school teachers and students in fulfilling Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards. Early in the semester, all students will participate in a weekend retreat at the Ordway Field Station. Weekly lab sessions will include field days during which course members design and implement educational experiences for elementary school children at Ordway, small group work days for preparing field day lesson plans, trips to local outdoor environmental education sites within the Twin Cities, and other experiential learning opportunities.  Weekly seminar sessions incorporating readings, reflective writing, and individual and small group projects complement the experiential aspects of the course. As the semester progresses, each course member will develop a curricular unit aimed at teaching an important environmental issue to diverse adolescents attending urban public schools.  The curricular unit is a significant undertaking that provides students with the opportunity to synthesize all aspects of the course material in a creative, pragmatic and integrative manner.  Every fall. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 294 - Topics Course

    Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 302 - Invertebrate Animal Diversity

    An introduction to the science of invertebrate zoology. The vast majority of animals are invertebrates, including beautiful and charismatic organisms such as corals and butterflies, and also pests and parasites such as mosquitoes and tapeworms. Students will become familiar with all major and some minor phyla of marine, terrestrial, and freshwater animals. Through lectures, discussions, field trips, dissections, and laboratory observations of live organisms students will learn to identify invertebrates and understand their anatomy, life cycles, and evolutionary history. Students will complete independent projects involving field collection and identification of either insects or shells (mollusks). Three lecture hours and one three-hour lab each week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 180   Offered most years, fall semester (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 304 - Neuroanatomy

    The structure and function of the vertebrate nervous system, with a focus on the human nervous system, will be explored through analysis of human brain specimens and sections, and artistic photographic and computer graphic representations of nervous system structures at both the microscopic and systems levels. This course is designed to provide an understanding of both the peripheral and central nervous system with a focus on brain, brainstem, and spinal cord structure and function through observation and study of normal brain tissue and discussion of clinical cases. This course is intended for students with a strong interest in neuroscience. Three lecture hours and one three-hour lab each week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 190  and BIOL 200   Offered most years, fall semester. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 306 - Ornithology

    This course is for students interested in the biology of birds, Topics covered will include: functional morphology, physiology, distribution and systematics with an emphasis on avian ecology, behavior and evolution. The course format will include integrated lectures, laboratories, field trips, and discussion of the primary literature. Students will learn the major avian taxa with special emphasis on the common birds of Minnesota in general and the Twin Cities in particular. Three lecture hours and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 170   Offered most years, spring semester. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 310 - Agroecology

    Cross-Listed as ENVI 310  
    As a field, agroecology considers agricultural landscapes in the context of ecological principles and concepts. We will investigate the ecological underpinnings of agriculture, including interactions between soils, microbes, plants and animals, always in the context of climate change, land use change and other global change drivers. In addition to exploring the water and nutrient demands of agricultural systems from a physiological perspective and conventional agricultural systems, we will also discuss sustainable agricultural practices and sustainability in the global food system. This class will feature case studies from around the globe.  Prerequisite(s): BIOL 170  or permission of instructor. Alternate years. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 312 - Microbiology

    This course is an introduction to the diverse field of microbiology, including prokaryotes, archaea, viruses, and eukaryotic microorganisms. We will explore the ways microbes interact with their environments, in particular their diverse and complex relationships with humans. The course includes regular discussion of primary literature and an emphasis on written and oral communication. In the laboratory, students will practice fundamental microbiology techniques and data analysis, and lead hypotheses-driven independent investigations. Three lecture hours and one three-hour laboratory each week.  Prerequisite(s): BIOL 170 ,   and  CHEM 211  recommended. Offered most years, fall semester. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 316 - Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

    A study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the biological basis of behavior. While particular emphasis is placed on the molecular and cellular components of the nervous system, these components are the foundation for the analysis of various systems. Discussion topics may include the role of neurotransmitters, neuromodulators and receptors in learning and memory, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and drug addiction. The laboratory will be used to introduce major research techniques in neurobiology. These techniques will be used in independently designed research projects. Three lecture hours and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite(s):   and    Offered every year. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 318 - Soil Ecology

    This course surveys the ecology of soil, focusing on the physical structure of soil, the communities of organisms that inhabit it, the ecosystem-level processes they perform, and the human processes such as agriculture that they support. Emphasis is placed on the diversity of soils and soil organisms, on the complexity of abiotic and biotic interactions in and around soil, and on the contribution of modern molecular methods to the current revolution in our knowledge about soils. Some of these methods are investigated in the lab component, which also includes an independent project. Three lecture hours and one three-hour laboratory each week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 170  and BIOL 180 , and either CHEM 111  or CHEM 115   Offered occasionally, fall semester. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 320 - Computational Biology

    Cross-Listed as COMP 320  
    This interdisciplnary course will examine selected topics in computational biology, including basic bioinformatics, algorithms used in genomics and genome analysis, computational techniques for systems biology, and synthetic biology. Prerequisite(s): COMP 123 ; BIOL 190  recommended Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 322 - Advanced Genetics

    The principles of genetics explain how the information in the genome is used to build cells and organisms, how traits are inherited, and how mutations can lead to genetic diseases and cancer but also evolutionary innovation and new species. This course provides an in-depth study of the principles of modern genetics and will cover gene mapping of Mendelian and non-Mendelian traits as well as concepts and methodologies of molecular genetics, including gene expression analysis, next generation sequencing, and gene editing. We will also explore the field of epigenetics and discuss the mechanisms by which nature and nurture together affect the phenotype of an individual. Finally, we will discuss bioethical and sociocultural issues related to the application of genetic principles such as genetic testing, genome manipulation, and gene therapy. Three lecture hours each week. Prerequisite(s):    Offered every other year. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 350 - Evolutionary Biology

    An exploration of one of the central organizing ideas of modern biology, the theory of evolution. Topics that will be covered include natural and sexual selection, adaptation, comparative methods, phylogeny, speciation, population genetics, molecular evolution, the origin of life, and others. The course will consist of lectures and discussions based on readings drawn from a variety of sources with an emphasis on primary literature. Three lecture hours each week. Prerequisite(s):   and BIOL 190   Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 351 - Biochemistry I

    Cross-Listed as CHEM 351  
    A study of biological processes at the molecular level with an emphasis on the chemistry of biological molecules, elements of physical biochemistry, the structure of proteins, the mechanisms and kinetics of enzyme catalyzed reactions, and selected topics in intermediary metabolism, including the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids. Three lecture hours and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite(s):   and CHEM 212 , or permission of the instructor. Students must earn a C- or higher in prerequisite courses. Offered every semester. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 352 - Biochemistry II

    Cross-Listed as CHEM 352  
    A continuation of BIOL 351 . A study of biological processes at the molecular level with an emphasis on the metabolism of amino acids, nucleotides, the regulation of biochemical pathways, and topics in molecular biology such as gene replication, the synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids, and recent advances in genomics and proteomics. Three lecture hours each week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 190 , BIOL 200 , and BIOL 351 , or permission of instructor. Offered every spring. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 353 - Molecular Medicine

    Cross-Listed as CHEM 353  
    How are therapeutic and diagnostic agents designed? How are these chemicals used to detect and treat illnesses? In this class, we aim to answer these questions by exploring molecular medicine from a (bio)chemical perspective. We will discuss the chemical basis of different diseases and how they can be targeted by therapeutics and monitored using chemical diagnostics. We will examine the fundamentals of drug design and development and dive into primary literature to explore cutting edge research in the field of medicinal chemistry. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 351  (or concurrent registration) Alternate years. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 354 - Chemical Biology

    Cross-Listed as CHEM 354  
    Chemical biology is a field of study that applies chemistry to advanced problems in biology and medicine. This course will cover the fundamentals of the field, starting with a review of relevant biology, as well as advanced topics and state-of-the-art research. Through lectures, critical reading of recent literature, student presentations, and proposals, students will learn about the development of chemical tools to study and manipulate biological systems in novel ways. Topics may include: protein engineering and unnatural amino acid incorporation, targeted drug delivery, small molecule and protein-based imaging tools, bio-orthogonal reactions, synthetic biology, and combinatorial chemistry. Three lecture hours each week. Prerequisite(s): CHEM 212  . Alternate years. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 357 - Immunology

    This course is an introduction to vertebrate immunity. Its evolution, cellular and molecular mechanisms, health and disease functions and therapeutic manipulations are explored through approaches including lectures, clinical case studies, extensive reading of the primary literature, problem-solving and an intensive focus on scientific writing. The course typically includes a civic engagement component where students work with health organizations and schools in the Twin Cities area. The course laboratory uses guided exercises and independent projects to focus on current immunological techniques including flow cytometry, magnetic cell sorting and antibody assays. Three hours of lectures and four to six hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 190  and BIOL 200 ; CHEM 112 ; junior or senior standing Offered every year. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 359 - Big Data in Ecology

    Cross-Listed as ENVI 359  
    Ecology and environmental science are increasingly using ‘big data’ to expand and refine research questions. We will examine, analyze, and interpret datasets that represent a wide range of ecological topics and approaches, including nutrient cycling, hydrology, climate change, human and animal migration, satellite remote sensing, and biodiversity. The course will examine recent literature and apply novel analyses using open-access data and code every week. We will build skills in R programming, science communication, data visualization, and critical examination of literature. The course is project-oriented and students will work independently and in small groups to dive deeply into large data using R/RStudio, and produce original analyses and results. Three lecture hours and three hours of laboratory each week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 170 ; and STAT 112  or STAT 155   Alternate years. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 362 - Arctic Ecology

    Cross-Listed as ENVI 362  
    The Arctic is Earth’s most rapidly warming region. It is also home to massive carbon reservoirs and diverse biological adaptations to extreme elements, as well as home to Indigenous populations and the site of oil extraction and vanishing sea ice. We will examine how climate change is impacting the biodiversity, ecophysiology, and biogeochemistry of this crucial biome, and as a result, the rest of the world. As an
    upper-level biology course, Arctic Ecology aims to challenge students to improve their science communication skills through varied written, spoken, and visual presentations. Students will also be challenged to synthesize content across systems and create novel hypotheses about current and future impacts of change at a species, community, ecosystem, and landscape scale. Three lecture hours each week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 170   Alternate years. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 364 - Neuroimmunology

    The immune and nervous systems are two of the body’s most complex, beautiful and surprising physiologies.  Their intersection has, in recent years, become a point of great interest for biomedical researchers and clinical investigators alike.  In this course, we will begin an exploration of some of the fascinating aspects of this emerging discipline. We will use the primary literature, case reports and medical narratives to investigate the intersections of the immune and nervous systems in a variety of diseases and disorders.  While much of traditional clinical neuroimmunology has focused on the treatment of immunological disorders that affect the nervous system, today the field is rich with breakthrough understandings of how the nervous and immune systems work together to maintain balance in the body and mind.  In our class, we will examine collaboratively chosen topics/areas where these systems work together as a springboard for such mechanistic understandings. Our broad course goals are to 1) Understand cellular and molecular neuroimmunological mechanisms, 2) Disrupt traditional discourses around mental health, and 3) Tell accessible, engaging stories of science. Three lecture hours each week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 190  and BIOL 200 CHEM 112  or CHEM 115 ; junior or senior standing Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 365 - Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy

    Vertebrates are backboned organisms that include more than 50,000 living species ranging in size from a fish weighing less than an aspirin to a whale weighing nearly 300,000 pounds. They live in virtually every habitat on Earth and include species that fly higher, swim deeper, and move faster than other organisms. In this course, we will investigate vertebrate form and function through the lens of evolutionary history and dissection of representative vertebrates. Emphasis is placed on the origin and diversification of the basic vertebrate body plan and the morphological, functional, and evolutionary patterns that result. This course fulfills the coursework in anatomy recommended for most pre-health programs. Three lecture hours and three hours of dissection-based laboratory each week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 180  and BIOL 190 ; junior standing or permission of instructor Offered most years, spring semester. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 366 - Plant Ecophysiology

    Cross-Listed as ENVI 366  
    Plant physiological processes in the environment regulate local, regional, and global climate and control ecosystem functioning. However, climate change is altering these processes across diverse ecosystems. We will learn about plant physiological processes, including converting light to energy, carbon cycling and storage, water transport, nutrient acquisition, growth, and the responses of these processes to an increasingly variable and potentially stressful environments. This course will also focus on scaling of carbon cycling, diving into remote sensing and global datasets, as well as novel data we collect in class to analyze with R/RStudio. We will learn about current techniques available to measure physiological processes. We will also focus on the broader process of science: how do we turn ideas into questions, questions into data, and data into compelling stories about the natural world? Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory each week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 170 ; BIOL 190  recommended Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 369 - Developmental Biology

    This course aims to integrate organismal, cellular, genetic and molecular approaches to the study of animal development. We will analyze a diversity of mechanisms, ranging from ones that set up pattern formation in the unfertilized egg to those governing morphogenesis of organ systems. Evolution of developmental mechanisms will also be discussed. The lab component will incorporate both descriptive and experimental embryological techniques. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory each week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 180 , BIOL 190  and BIOL 200 , or permission of instructor. Offered most years, fall semester. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 370 - Ecosystem Ecology

    Cross-Listed as ENVI 370  
    How are ecosystem carbon stocks responding to climate change? What controls primary production? How is agricultural land use change altering the nitrogen cycle? How do ecosystems respond to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and how does nutrient availability affect this CO2 response? What is the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function? These are all questions that ecosystem ecologists seek to answer. In this course, we will investigate the principles and processes that govern the structure and function of ecosystems, with an emphasis on how nutrients, water and energy cycle through ecosystems. Ecosystem ecology is interdisciplinary in nature, and draws from fields such as physiological, microbial and community ecology, soil science, atmospheric science, and geology. We will cover both fundamental principles and recent, cutting-edge research that focuses on global change drivers (e.g., climate change, nitrogen deposition, land use change, and altered disturbance regimes). Includes 3 hours of lab per week.  Prerequisite(s): STAT 155  and BIOL 170 . Recommended: CHEM 111  or CHEM 115   Every year. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 394 - Topics Course

    Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 400 - Seminar in Neuropharmacology

    This is an advanced course that will focus on the study of drugs used to alter the central nervous system. The course will begin with basic pharmacological principles and then concentrate on the various uses of drugs to alter brain neurochemistry. Topics for discussion will include the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia, depression, pain, anxiety and generally, the neurochemical basis of behavior. In addition to discussion of the use of drugs for clinical purposes, a significant amount of time will be spent on the use of “drugs of abuse” (e.g. cocaine, marijuana, LSD). While the focus of the course will be on the biochemical mechanisms of these drugs, an effort will be made to investigate and discuss the sociological ramifications of drug use. Three discussion/lecture hours per week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 316  or PSYC 248 ; junior or senior standing; or permission of instructor. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 402 - Seminar in Virology

    This seminar course will focus on the molecular biology of viruses, including prions and retroviral vectors. Topics will include bacterial, plant and animal viral infection and replication cycles, morphology, oncogenesis, and virus-host interactions. Viruses of epidemiologic and biotechnological importance, including new and emergent viruses, will be emphasized. Students will read current literature, lead class discussions and prepare a research proposal. Three lecture/discussion hours each week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 312  or BIOL 357 ; junior or senior standing; or permission of instructor. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 404 - Seminar in Genome Editing

    Recent advances in molecular biology have lead to the ability to directly manipulate genomes in highly precise ways. CRISPR-based genome editing is a type of genetic engineering that can be used to add, replace, or delete specific sequences in an organism’s genes using specialized nucleases.  The possible applications of this methodology are far-reaching and have already been used to correct disease-causing mutations in mouse models and human cells, leading to gene therapy clinical trials and the first reported case of manipulation of human embryos. We will discuss the primary literature from this emerging field, technical hurdles that may hamper medical applications of this technology such as “off-target” effects, and ethical and socio-cultural issues surrounding genome modification. Three lecture/discussion hours each week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 190  and BIOL 200 ; junior or senior standing; or permission of instructor. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 406 - Seminar in Immunology

    This seminar course focuses on a particular topic of current interest within immunological research, such as cancer immunology, transplantation biology, allergy, autoimmunity and vaccine development. The course meets in a journal club format with weekly roundtable discussions of primary articles and secondary reviews in the area of study and emphasizes close and critical reading of experimental literature. Students will participate through discussion, written and oral presentation of critiques of the readings, and a final individual project. Three lecture/discussion hours per week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 357  and junior or senior standing; or permission of instructor. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 410 - Seminar in Stem Cell Biology

    This course focuses on how the body utilizes stem cells to generate, maintain, and repair tissues after injury and under normal conditions throughout life. Topics covered will include the biological properties of stem cells, the potential use of stem cells in research and in treating disease, and multiple systems of the body in an effort to illustrate similarities and differences in normal and regenerative approaches to stem cell based repair mechanisms. Methods used to generate and/or study stem cells will be covered in depth, as will related concepts such as cell signaling and differential gene expression. The course will involve extensive reading and discussion of primary literature to gain historical perspective as well as an up-to-date view of the field.  We will also read and discuss a variety of perspectives on the societal and ethical issues associated with stem cell research and its potential therapeutic applications. Three lecture/discussion hours each week. Prerequisite(s): BIOL 190  and BIOL 200 ; junior or senior standing; or permission of instructor. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)

  • BIOL 412 - Seminar in Cancer Biology

    This seminar course centers on our understanding of the molecular events underlying the development of various cancers, including cell cycle control, DNA damage, tumor microenvironment, as well as therapeutic approaches to treatment, and associated difficulties. Two major goals of the course include developing an ability to understand cancerous transformation and learning to critically evaluate literature in the field. We will discuss primary articles and secondary reviews in a roundtable format, and students will present written and oral critiques of the literature and develop a final individual project. Three lecture/discussion hours each week.  Prerequisite(s): BIOL 200 , and junior or senior standing; or permission of instructor. Offered occasionally. (4 Credits)


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