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Course Descriptions (Summer, 2015)


Beloit Blocks: Summer 2015

Beloit Blocks are intensive three-week courses that take place right after the end of the spring semester. The program dates are May 20-June 10, 2015. Each course is worth 1.0 unit of credit.

A comprehensive fee of $3,675 covers tuition, room and board and all program related activities for on-campus courses (additional fees apply for CLAS 201: Ghosts of Rome study abroad course). Limited financial assistance is available for all courses except for study abroad programs.  For more information about the Blocks program, please visit or contact Dan Perusich, Director of Summer Programs, at or X 2373.


ANTH 100: Society and Culture
Faculty: Jennifer Esperanza

In this course, students will critically examine how culture operates within particular historical, political, economic and environmental contexts. Students will read about various anthropological topics and put into practice the systematic methods used by anthropologists to help elucidate the complexity of human society and to lend innovative approaches to confronting social inequalities. From topics as varied as drug dealing in New York City, migrant factory workers in China, political refugee resettlement in the US to gated suburban communities,  anthropology can be a useful tool for policy makers, artists, scientists and engaged citizens who are interested in understanding the power of culture in everyday life.  Skills: W, C / Domain: 3B


CLAS 201: Ghosts of Rome (study abroad)
Faculty: Lisl Walsh and Matthew Taylor

A man stands at the corner; though his hair is thinning, he cuts a striking figure, noble, serious, commanding. He pulls his toga close against the evening air, steps out into the street—and a bus passes through him. A woman in red dances in a fountain, while young professionals check the traffic on their smartphones, paying her no mind. The hum of passing motorcycles echoes through a medieval church, harmonizing with the hymns to the war-god Mithras that rumble from its guts. Rome is a city of ghosts, of sharp juxtapositions between ancient and modern, then and now. It is haunted by a past that also sustains it, culturally and economically. Some ghosts are sanctioned, others are not; some are displayed, some reveal themselves, and others have to be sought. This course engages students in an imaginative approach to the ancient and modern city, exploring its past and present and learning how our own experiences (of history, urban spaces, culture, and even college itself) inevitably change the landscape of our investigation. Students will spend a week in Beloit immersing themselves in Roman history, calibrating approaches to on-site study, and planning for study abroad. The class will then travel to Italy, where we will spend ten days hunting the ghosts of Rome—those that live there, and those we bring with us. Domain: 2A, Skill: C. LAP1. No prerequisites.


ENGL 205: Introduction to Creative Writing
Faculty:  Francesca Abbate

Rather than focusing on the product, this course will focus on the process.  The emphasis throughout the course will be the core elements of imaginative writing; the goals of this course are specifically the study and practice of imagery, voice, characterization, setting and story in genres of nonfiction, fiction and poetry.  Students will sharpen their skills of analysis and close reading through group workshops and one-on-one conferences with the instructor to help identify strengths as a creative writer.  The Blocks format will allow students to explore creative writing beyond the classroom, using the Wright Art Museum, Logan Museum and college archives as resources.  Possible field trips include a visit to Lorine Niedecker’s home in Fort Atkinson and excursions to local readings. Domain: 2A, Skill: W (Note: while there is a prerequisite for the semester-long ENGL 205, there is NOT a prerequisite for the Blocks version - please contact the Registrar's Office or Dan Perusich, Director of Summer Programs, to enroll)


HEAL 235: Men's Health
Faculty:  Rongal Nikora

In this course we will examine the disparities, conditions, and unique pathologies that define the parameters of contemporary male morbidity, mortality and wellbeing. Beyond epidemiological data, our interdisciplinary investigation will encompass an empirical look at the biology and biochemistry of maleness, coupled with analysis of masculine identities and their past and present impacts on men’s general and sexual health. Male circumcision, the clinical or ritual cutting of the foreskin, is the backdrop for our exploration of men’s health. In addition to field trips and guest lectures spanning the spectrum of health, our journey will culminate in a curated exhibit, research posters and/or performance pieces that weave the phenomenon of male circumcision into the fabric of men’s health across time, cultures, and sexual identities. Domain: B. Skills: C


POLS 160: Intro to International Politics
Faculty:  Rachel Ellett

This course will familiarize you with the basic terms, concepts and major theoretical approaches to International Relations.  We will examine the dynamics and challenges faced by state and non-state actors in the international arena.  The goal of the course is to connect the theoretical materials of the lectures and readings to your understanding of contemporary global issues and conflict.  By the end of the course you will have developed basic skills in understanding, analyzing and explaining global events, conflicts and phenomena. This course will incorporate several in-depth case studies of contemporary global issues; this will include but not be limited to global health epidemics, militarization of US foreign aid in Africa, human rights and the International Criminal Court and, environmental degradation and non-traditional security threats such as water conflict. We will weave current events into class discussion and debate and students will become an expert one issue and create short blogs. Role-playing conflict resolution simulations and debate will be a regular part of our class time. Students will learn how to construct and write a policy memo in relation to US foreign policy interests. Domain: B Skills: C and W


RLST 220: Reinventing Malcolm X
Faculty: Debra Majeed

This seminar is devoted to the life and times of one of the most prominent American leaders of the twentieth century:  Malcolm X/El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. It will extend to students the opportunity to engage with primary and secondary source materials, and to interact with members of the Nation of Islam and other contemporary Muslims in Chicago and Milwaukee who can most easily separate Malcolm, the icon, from the individual who became Muslim. The course will be a combination of lecture/discussion (while we are on campus), workshop (while we explore the holdings of libraries in Chicago), and experiential (while we immerse ourselves in the spaces Malcolm once inhabited and to which we will later return to share our observations). Students will be guided in the art of “close reading.” They will be expected to formulate questions about what they are reading as they are reading and to strive to clarify ambiguities and difficult points that differentiate one required text from another. That is, they will identify characteristics that distinguish one author’s Malcolm from another scholar’s Malcolm as we look ahead to 2015 and the 50-year anniversary of his death. An overnight stay in Chicago may be required.  Domain: 5T. Skills: C. No prerequisite.