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Course Descriptions (Summer, 2014)

Beloit Blocks: Summer 2014

Beloit Blocks are intensive three-week courses that take place right after the end of the spring semester. The program dates are May 21-June 11, 2014. Each course is worth 1.0 unit of credit.

A comprehensive fee of $3,620 covers tuition, room and board, and all program-related activities. For more information about these courses and the Beloit Blocks program, please contact the instructors or Dan Perusich, Director of the Office of Summer Programs (, X2373).


ANTH 375/CRIS 267: Thinking/Living Difference at Beloit

Instructor: Lisa Anderson-Levy

How do we understand ourselves by ascribing difference to others? This course will introduce students to difference as an analytic category by examining structural inequities primarily in the US, though we will also discuss other cultural contexts. Students will be required to think critically about their own political/social locations (for example, race, class, religion, sexuality, gender, or able-bodied-ness) and how these facets of identities are understood in larger social contexts.  As we consider these complexities, students will be asked to apply their understandings to the physical spaces of Beloit College and examine how the campus itself reflects particular racialized, gendered, classed, and religious identities. How are identities inhabited and/or performed in the residential learning space of Beloit College? Engaging with scholarly and popular readings and film will inform our discussions about difference and their larger social implications. Domain: 3B. Skill: C. No prerequisites.


ART 280: Screenprinting

Instructor: Scott Espeseth

This class will serve as an introduction to the techniques, history, and concepts of screenprinting (aka serigraphy) as a visual medium of expression. Class time will be devoted to demonstrations of processes, lectures, discussions, critiques, and for studio time with instructor feedback in a fast moving, collaborative workshop environment. Emphasis of the course will be an introduction to the possibilities and potential of screenprinting as a medium of expression, production, and communication. Students will learn the basic processes of color screenprinting, including additive and subtractive techniques, hand stenciling, digital imaging, and CMYK. Students will also be introduced to the history of screenprinting as a technology and an artistic medium, and to learn from the works of historical and contemporary artists, including entrepreneurial DIY practitioners, artist collectives, and designers. Domain: 2A. No prerequisites.


CRIS/IDST 252: Women's Health

Instructors: Suzanne Cox and Laura Parmentier

This course examines theoretical and empirical viewpoints of the way that women’s health is conceptualized.  Together we will explore qualitative and quantitative approaches to various topics related to women’s health, the politics of physical and social disease, healing, and social activism. A portion of our time will be spent in laboratory settings and on field excursions in which we will pose and investigate questions related to women’s health.  This course includes reflective community engagement and activism. Skill: C. LAP1. No prerequisites.


ENGL 223: Writing Wilderness

Instructor: Chris Fink

Wisconsin native John Muir describes his sojourn in the wilderness this way: “Going out, I found, was really going in.”  This course includes two weeks at Beloit College, reading and writing about wilderness—as a place, a concept, and a state of mind—and a one-week “field work” experience, canoeing, camping, reading and writing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, on the US and Canadian border in northern Minnesota. At more than one million acres, and home to healthy populations of wolves, bear, bobcats, moose, otters, eagles and loons, among others, the BWCAW is the largest wilderness tract in the eastern United States. The BWCAW is a unique landscape that offers students a wilderness laboratory for studying the history, biology, geology, ecology and anthropology of the region, and then uniting those fields with their own deeply personal wilderness experience, culminating in original creative works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. While “going out” together, students on this trip will also have the solitude and individual exploration necessary for “going in.” Domain: 2A. Skill: W. No prerequisites.


IDST 210: All About Apes

Instructor: Kristin Bonnie

In this interdisciplinary course, students will engage with the terminology, methods and mindset of several disciplines to develop knowledge of the four species of Great Apes (chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orangutans), including their shared features and distinct characteristics. We'll investigate the morphology, ecology, sociality, behavior and psychology of each ape, including topics such as diet, mating and parental care, language, tool use, and cooperation. We’ll take field trips to local zoos to see the apes in person, to learn from the people who care for and study them, and to practice research techniques primatologists use to study these fascinating animals in both the wild and captivity. In addition, we'll consider the relationship between people and apes through discussions of, for example, the impact of humans on wild ape populations, the politics and economics of their protection, and the role of zoos and the media in shaping our understanding of these and other animals. Prior completion of ANTH 120, BIOL 111 or PSYC 100 is recommended, but not required. Students with interests in conservation, education, and/or working with animals are encouraged to enroll. Domain: 4U. LAP1. No prerequisites.


IDST 106/PHYS 201: Astronomy, Art and Archetypes

Instructor: John Kaufmann

Astronomy, Art and Archetypes puts science and theory in conversation with direct experience and artistic creation.  The course will be structured so that classroom study and assigned readings will serve as a springboard for experiential learning, direct observation and creative projects.  A study of astronomical concepts with Britt Scharringhausen will be followed by a visit to the Adler Planetarium and finally overnight stargazing away from city lights.  We will explore constellation mythology across cultures and experience guided meditation with Bill Conover to open up space to reflect on our personal mythologies.  While our inspiration will be astronomical, students may choose artistic projects in visual or performing arts, poetry, fiction, or architecture. The goal of this course is to form a life-long relationship to the night sky that is scientific, cultural and personal.  Students should be prepared to look deeply into the skies and deeply into themselves, seeking meaning in the intersection of these two worlds. Domain: 4U. No prerequisites.


IDST 210:  The Pacific War 1937-1945, An Interactive Approach

Instructor: J. Patrick Polley

The Pacific War 1937-1945 covers the war between Imperial Japan and the Allied nations from the Marco Polo Bridge incident in 1937 to the capitulation of Japan in August 1945.  The interactive aspect of the course comes through a series of simulations, or wargames, that cover the war.  The point of employing and designing these simulations is to develop an understanding of the capabilities of and the choices faced by the opposing armed forces during the war.  These are not first-person shooter games, but board games/simulations that present the players/students with a series of choices on three distinct levels: tactical, operational, and strategic.  We study the War of Resistance (the Second Sino-Japanese War) with much more attention to the details of the campaigns that decided the war in 1937-1941 than is usually covered in courses on World War 2.  Domain: 1S.  Skill: Q.  No prerequisites.