Spend part of your summer diving into what’s real and what is fake.

June 18th - July 1st, 2023

Course Title: “Keepin’ it Real: Fakes, Forgeries, Fantasies and the Quest for Authenticity” (IDST 104, 0.25 Beloit Unit, 1 Semester Hour)

How do we know what is true and what is not? What is real and authentic, and what is fake or fraudulent? How can you use the skills you refine in college - from history to chemistry to neuroscience - to discern the authenticity of something, from a news article to forensic evidence?

A student analyses the chemical layers of an old painting. This course will introduce you to a broad variety of academic disciplines by exploring the ways that scholars approach this question. Lead instructor, Daniel Barolsky, will guide you through a series of lectures, workshops and activities designed to give you a toolbox you can use to think critically and better authenticate just about anything.

You will work in small teams on a group project, using your choice of medium: a virtual museum exhibit, a poem, a rap, a radio opinion piece, a digital story, a poster presentation, or a stand-up comedy routine, to name just a few.

You will learn from a series of workshops, including:

  • Fake news, deep fakes, and internet literacy - Media Studies
  • Art frauds and authentication of artwork - Museum Studies
  • National identity and national myth - Political Science
  • Faith and reality - Religious Studies
  • Theater, illusion, and the public persona - Theater and Dance
  • Cyborgs, robotics, and what makes us human - Cognitive Science
  • Our authentic selves - Philosophy, Religious Studies
  • Is nature natural? - Biology and Environmental Science
  • Chemical forensics - Chemistry
  • The scientific method and bias - Biology, Chemistry, Psychology
  • Manga, heros and imagined futures - Japanese
  • Lying, bluffing, double-bluffing, and perspective taking - Psychology
  • Fiction, non-fiction, and creative license - Creative Writing

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