Spring Section Descriptions

Spring 2020 Online Preference Form is now CLOSED.

If you were unable to complete the preference form, please contact the E&D Office at explore@lclark.edu or 503-768-7208.

By November 1st you will receive an email with your E&D placement and you will be able to see your placement on WebAdvisor

It is important for students to note:
  • If you do not complete the on-line E&D section preference form by the October 27th deadline you will be assigned to a section on a space-available basis.
  • Please select six sections that interest you but select each only once on the preference form. Selecting the same section more than once cancels one of your choices, thereby reducing the number of sections you have selected, and can result in you being randomly placed in a section.
  • The date/time you submit your E&D Preference form has NO impact on your E&D assignment.
  • You may make changes to your preference form during the above registration time by simply completing another online form. The form completed closest to the October 27th, deadline will be considered your final submission.
  • All classes are held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Generally class times are 1:50 - 2:50pm, however there are a few sections taught at other times to resolve schedule conflicts with other classes.
  • Several faculty members teach multiple sections; therefore it is important to note the time of the class you are selecting.
  • Overload requests are not accepted.

If you have additional questions, please review the E&D Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Please contact the E&D Administrative Specialist at explore@lclark.edu or 503-768-7208 if you have any questions.

After assignments are made it is important to note:
  • Changing sections is limited to open seats.   Changes must be approved prior to the start of the third class day; the deadline to change your E&D section is Tuesday, January 28th
  • All changes must be approved by the E&D Administrative Specialist, no add/drop permissions in WebAdvisor are needed.
  • The standard add/drop policy, timing, and process does not apply to Exploration and Discovery.
  • Your account must be free of registration holds by the January 28th deadline.

Please email explore@lclark.edu if you have questions.


Spring 2020 Course Section Descriptions

Power, Knowledge, Responsibility – POD.                                                                                                  Different professors teaching the same syllabus at different times.

In public discourse, you often hear the expression ‘Knowledge is Power.’ Yet how do we define knowledge? What kind of power does it lead to? How do knowledge and power impact individuals, groups, and society at large? And what does it mean to have this conversation at Lewis & Clark College, where knowledge is so central to all that we do?  In this course, we will look at how writers and film-makers envision the power, and the responsibility, that comes with acquiring knowledge. In some works, knowledge as power leads to the liberation of individuals and whole groups (e.g. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass or Black Panthers).  In other works, knowledge leads to a different form of power, namely one that reaches beyond its creator and threatens to destroy him or her (e.g. Frankenstein, Blade Runner, or Dr. Strangelove). Throughout the semester, we will explore how knowledge leads to power, and how the individual is faced with the responsibility resulting from this power and its mastery. We will investigate these ideas in works ranging from the Bible to the movie Black Panther

Remaining sections listed alphabetically by last name of instructor.

Sara Appel PhD, Literature, Feminist & Queer Studies

  • Core 107-11 MWF 12:40-1:40pm
  • Core 107-32 MWF 1:50-2:50pm

Social Class in America

Grounded in history, sociology, literature, and popular culture, this course will explore how social class has functioned as a form of situated experience, and a source of political power, in the U.S. What has it meant to be poor, working class, middle class, or wealthy in America? How have racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression and marginalization combined with classism to enhance the divide between the “haves” and “have-nots”? How have concepts like the American Dream, meritocracy, and what Max Weber called the “Protestant work ethic” fared amidst the scramble for resources characteristic of our capitalist society? And how has the meaning of work changed, or remained the same, along with the evolving labor landscape? In addition to Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, we will engage with texts by Jacob Riis, bell hooks, and Miranda July, films like Frozen River and the documentary The Queen of Versailles, and NPR’s “Rags to Riches” podcast.


Jon Arakaki PhD, Communications

  • Core 107-10 MWF 12:40-1:40pm
  • Core 107-31 MWF 1:50-2:50pm

Collective Fascination and the Elevated Individual:   Fame, Celebrity Culture, and the Mass Media

Until fairly recently in academic circles, the study of fame and celebrity was seen as a “marginal pursuit,” unimportant to our understanding of the social world.  However, with the increase of celebrity-related media products, the subject has certainly received greater attention. One researcher noted that “far from being frivolous, celebrity permeates our social dialogue and generates millions of dollars in revenue for celebrities.”  Indeed, the speed and volume of mass mediated information have turned ordinary citizens into celebrities literally overnight, and social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have become major producers of both fame and infamy.

This course is centered on the pervasiveness of celebrity culture in the United States—an inordinate amount of media content is dedicated to the professional and personal lives of television, film, music, sports, political, and even criminal celebrities.  Starting with ancient Greece, and drawing upon literature from history, psychology, sociology, media studies, and popular culture research, we will address the following questions (among others): What are the antecedents of modern-day celebrity? What is the role of the mass media in shaping celebrity and American culture?  Why/how does society “elevate” certain individuals over others? How has the advent of new technologies and social media impacted the production of celebrity?


David Campion PhD, History—Modern Britain & Ireland, British Empire, South Asia

  • Core 107-28 MWF 1:50-2:50pm

The War to End All Wars: The First World War and its Legacies

Between 1914 and 1918 the conflict that has come to be known as the First World War spread across the globe and unleashed death and destruction on an unimaginable scale.  In many ways we still live with the legacies of this war even though today there is no one left with living memory of it.

While its focus is on an historical event, this is much more than just a history course.  We will take a broad and interdisciplinary approach to our subject.  The semester begins by looking at the war’s origins in a series of imperial rivalries and a breakdown of the international system that had kept peace in Europe for nearly a century.  From there we will ask how did the psychology of individuals and societies respond to the upheaval and trauma of the war?  How did science and industrial technology make this war different than those before it and cause people to question the value of scientific progress?  How did religion and philosophy inform moral arguments in favor of or against the war?  How did the war influence human expression in literature, visual art and music, both during the conflict and in its aftermath?  Finally, how did the peace agreement that followed “the war to end wars” shape the world we live in today and sow the seeds of future conflicts?

Our section will involve a significant amount of reading and writing.  Additionally, there will be evening film screenings on four Wednesdays during the semester (Feb 12, Feb 26, Apr 1 & Apr 13) from 7:00 to 9:30 pm.  Attendance at these film screenings is mandatory.  You should not take this section if your schedule conflicts with these screenings.   For more details see the course website: http://webhost.lclark.edu/campion/core107/


Susan Cohen
 PhD, Political Science

  • Core 107-08 MWF 11:30am-12:30pm
  • Core 107-27 MWF 1:50-2:50pm

Cosmopolitanism & Immigration

At a time of international crises that include the desperate flight of refugees from violence, impoverishment, and the effects of climate change, how should we—individuals and nations—think about our moral obligations?  Should we embrace cosmopolitanism—see ourselves as citizens of the world? Do we have significant responsibilities to people across the globe and if so, are they compatible with loyalty we may feel to our country, communities (however we define them), and family?  Can one be both a cosmopolitan and a patriot? On what principles or virtues or values should immigration policy be based? How should immigrants be treated once they arrive? To what extent should they be asked to assimilate? How free should they or their children—or anyone—feel, as individuals, to leave behind their cultural origins and create a new identity?  We will be exploring these and other questions in ethics and political philosophy. Texts include a philosophical work on immigration policy by David Miller, Kwame Anthony Appiah’s Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, and Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel The Namesake.


Hannah Crummé PhD, Literature—Early Modern Text and Transmission. Head of Watzek Library Special Collections and College Archivist

  • Core 107-15 MWF 1:50-2:50pm

Queenship - The Politics of Female Households 

Britain was built by queens. From Boudicia, who defended Celtic Britain against its Roman invaders, to Mary I, who protected Catholic Britain against the Protestantism of her father and brother, England, and later the empire, was shaped by female leaders. This course traces Britain through the monarchs that managed it. Beginning with Elizabeth I’s race against Spain’s Philip II for the new world, considering Anne’s Acts of Union and Victoria’s heyday of empire, and concluding with the increasing isolation of Britain under Elizabeth II, this module will consider how various rulers have shaped the course of history, both of England and those nations and people that interact with it. We will ask: How have female leaders asserted authority throughout time? What are the unique political and diplomatic circumstances that face female courts? Who, if anyone, might assert authority above the Queen, and how could this be done? Using a political, historical, and cultural lense we will assess the efficacies and efficiencies of these reigns to consider what differences can be expected, if any, from a female administration. Texts range from poetry to propaganda and include both modern representations of historic reigns and contemporary accounts. 


Janet Davidson PhD, Developmental Psychology

  • Core 107-30 MWF 1:50-2:50pm

The Many Faces of Human Identity

The concept of identity is at the heart of being human. Who are you?  Where do you come from? Where are you going? What stories do you tell yourself and other people about who you are? To fully address these important questions, this section of Exploration and Discovery is loosely divided into three segments. The first focuses on historical and contemporary views of what it means to have an identity and how individuals form them. This includes how age, ethnicity, and gender shape one’s personal identity. Then we will consider where identity resides. Is it in our memories or our physical bodies? Is identity an illusion? Finally, we will cover how “in-group” and “out-group” identities relate to personal identity. Do we need a ‘them’ to feel like part of an ‘us’ and to know who we are? An overarching goal of this course is for students to gain a better understanding of identity, in general, and their own, in particular.


Keith Dede PhD, Chinese Language and Linguistics

  • Core 107-13 MWF 1:50-2:50pm

This American Language

From the texts, emails, and essays we read and write to the lunch chats, lectures and dorm-room deep-dives we participate in, we spend our days swimming in language. What patterns can be discerned in this ocean of communication, and what do those patterns say about our country, our community and ourselves? In this class we will turn a scientific eye to language itself, asking such questions of it as, “Who speaks what to whom?”, “What influences our language choices?”, and “How have these choices changed over time?”. Through essays (such as Rosina Lippi-Green’s “Language Ideology and Language Prejudice”), films (such as, The Linguists and Do You Speak American), and podcasts (Lexicon Valley), we will explore the rich diversity of language in North America with the aim of untangling some of its variation and changes.


Mark Duntley  PhD, Religion and Society: Social Ethics Emphasis and Dean of Spiritual Life

  • Core 107-22 MWF 1:50-2:50pm

Dilemmas in Medicine and Health Care:  An Introduction to Biomedical Ethics

This course explores the wide array of moral and ethical issues posed by modern medicine and health care.  We will examine three areas in depth: advancements in biogenetic technologies and treatments; end-of-life care and issues involved in caring for the dying and the critically ill; and the US health care system and some alternative international approaches to providing health care.  We will explore cross-cultural values in health care, and practice moral decision-making and applied ethics by evaluating some of the key controversial issues facing modern medicine today. We will also investigate the broad history of medical ethics and examine the key moral concepts that provide a foundation for doing contemporary biomedical ethics. 


Kathy FitzGibbon DMA, Music Conducting

  • Core 107-29 MWF 1:50-2:50pm

Culture and the Concert Hall

From the nineteenth century through the present day, the European and North American “concert hall” has prized the composer-genius figure, traditionally male and authoritarian conductors, and even certain kinds of concert etiquette. Among the questions this course will ask: Where do these notions originate, and how do they still shape today’s performances and music criticism? How are musical organizations today working to foster equity in the concert hall, in programming and personnel? Can a composer draw upon cultural influences outside of their individual lived experience, or combine allusions to multiple cultures? A special case study will be Damien Geter’s An African American Requiem, to be premiered by Resonance Ensemble and the Oregon Symphony in May 2020. The class will have the opportunity to view an advance copy of the libretto and score, as well as meet with the composer and other participants in the project.  


Susan Glosser PhD, East Asian History

  • Core 107-17 MWF 1:50-2:50pm

Asian American Experience in the United States

“Asian American” is a catch-all term that refers to a wide variety of people whose ethnic and cultural origins span a third of the globe. In this class, we will examine some of the distinct populations that make up this group. Because of time constraints, we’ll focus on the ten most populous groups – those who trace their origins to China, Japan, Continental India, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Hawaii, and several other Pacific Islands. Students may focus their independent research project on another group of their choice. We will use memoirs, literature, government documents, food culture, film, the built environment, and material culture to answer these questions: Why did they immigrate to the United States? What were their experiences after they arrived? How were their experiences shaped by global and internal politics, as well as their own cultural repertoires? What do Asian Americans’ experiences reveal about American history and contemporary politics and culture? 


Jennifer Hubbert PhD, Anthropology—Public Culture and Nationalism in China

  • Core 107-05 MWF 10:20-11:20am

China on Screen

China has held the Olympics and the largest ever world’s fair, is a member of the WTO, consumes a quarter of the world’s concrete, earns massive export revenues for its consumer products that flood global markets, has the world’s second largest economy, populates a quarter of the globe, has one of the largest income gaps in the world, has undergone massive urbanization, suffers massive poverty, emits the most greenhouse gasses in the world, has one of the world’s longest cultural traditions and really great food.  As scholar Monroe Price claims, “There is hardly a more important set of narratives for the twenty-first century than those concerning the role of China in the world.” 

This course uses contemporary Chinese feature films and ethnographic texts to understand the social and cultural context in which China matters.  Feature films and readings may cover topics from rural poverty to urban ennui, from Tibetan antelopes to technological prowess, from sex in the Chinese city to the martial arts, all with an eye toward comprehending the phenomenon that is contemporary China.  The films will be paired with academic research on Chinese society that delves more deeply into the cultural effects of China’s political economy and its position in the global realm.


Diana Leonard PhD, Psychology—Social & Political

  • Core 107-23 MWF 1:50-2:50pm

 Virtual Identities

What is the self? How do we come to know the self? What is consciousness and where does it reside? These questions have fascinated philosophers and scientists for centuries. In the age of virtual reality and artificial intelligence, they have become more relevant than ever. Legal scholars, neuroscientists, and ethicists are embroiled in inquiry about the rights and responsibilities of artificial intelligence and downloaded consciousness (also known as “whole brain emulations”). But how do experts determine the answers to these questions, and what assumptions are best left behind? This course will draw on scientific journals, the popular press, and internet sources to examine identity in the virtual age. In the course of our quest, we will expand our ability to locate, think about, and make arguments with data. 

 While the heart of this E&D section is in Psychological Science, we will use a broad and interdisciplinary approach. We will use numbers and data visualization to explore virtual identities and bring these resources in conversation with long standing philosophical case studies such as Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. We will also draw on scholarship grounded in the social sciences regarding inequalities in our digital lives, particularly as they impact racial and sexual minorities. Alongside these content questions, we will evaluate the role quantitative reasoning can play in shaping the future of human-tech interaction. 


Bob Mandel  PhD, Political Science

  • Core 107-16 MWF 1:50-2:50pm

The Art of War

This section covers the historical, strategic, and moral dimensions of war to give entering students an understanding of the most important challenge faced by humankind. The central questions revolve around the nature, purpose, and limits of warfare. The approach has students learn conceptual insights largely through reading about the actual experience of warfare, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary readings interpreting patterns across cultures and time periods. Using a mix of lecture and discussion, students will ponder and analyze the fundamental controversies surrounding organized armed international violence.


Read McFaddin  MA, (ABD), History of Art and Architecture

  • Core 107-02 MWF 9:10-10:10am

Sports, Space, and Spectacle

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game — it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come. -Terrence Mann (James Earl Jones), Field of Dreams, 1989

Sports are inextricably embedded into America’s national consciousness, manifesting the local and national frameworks of community, nostalgia, cultural significance, patriotism, and humanistic religion. If sports and sports fandom comprise the contemporary “Churches of America,” as has been argued, what can we learn from studying the physical spaces of sports as places of worship? What is the significance of the stadium becoming the consecrated modern Colosseum? What role have sports physical spaces played as sites of the protest and/or reinforcement of dominant sociopolitical ideologies and structures? Can collective participation in the spectacle at the stadium transcend traditional social, racial, and gender boundaries? How are individual, familial, and collective identities in the United States formed by and inscribed within these spaces?

Our analysis will consider texts, images, and films from diverse academic disciplines, including architectural history, history, philosophy, cultural history, sociology, and gender studies. Our curriculum will also include occasional off-campus site visits. Students will be asked to write an extended final paper on a particular (physical) sports environment based upon the research they have conducted throughout the term. While students need not be interested in American sports to enroll in this course, they should be open to the significant cultural and sociopolitical potentials of sports and their spaces. 


Michael Mirabile  PhD, Fiction, Film Studies, Post-War and Contemporary Novel

  • Core 107-04  MWF 10:20-11:20am

Suspense / Horror / Paranoia

This course will be devoted to examining varieties of fear from a number of distinct but related perspectives: psychological, cultural, historical, and social.  Special attention is given to how these fears correspond to genre categories in literature and film: namely, the thriller, the Gothic or horror story, and the conspiratorial narrative (often cited as an example of a general “paranoid style”).  While most of our primary sources will be modern works of fiction and films from the twentieth century, we will consider course materials in light of theoretical frameworks that will be based on our readings of relevant scholarship and criticism (pertaining to psychoanalysis, media critique, gender studies, cultural studies, etc.). 

Does the mechanism of suspense change over time?  Do objects of horror also change?  Why do collective expressions of suspicion and paranoia undergo periodic renewals, such as during the Cold War era in the United States?  Our goal in this course will be to look closely at shifts in perspective and at the contexts within which are found powerful inducements to anxiety. Along with our focus on conventions of genre will be a consideration of the remaking or reinvention of genre.  In particular, we will discuss how the motif of the double from thrillers and horror stories is adapted for purposes of reflecting on questions of identity – and on how these questions are shaped by constructions of race, gender, and class.  


Colin Patrick PhD, Philosophy

  • Core 107-20 MWF 1:50-2:50pm

Human Devices and Human Destinies: A Philosophical and Historical Look at Technology

In this course we will explore and critically evaluate the ways our inventions and devices, from the written alphabet to cloud computing, have shaped our history, our world, our self-understanding, and even our brains - and how they may reshape these things in the not too distant future.  We will consider some key historical examples such as the heavy plow, the printing press, and the camera, as well as more recent developments such as “transhumanism,” artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and surveillance technologies.  In all cases we will be thinking critically not only about the material changes wrought by various technologies, but the moral and political aspects of these changes as well.  Readings will include Plato, Descartes, and Marx, as well as contemporary writers such as Nicholas Carr.


Chris Robert PhD, Religious Studies

  • Core 107-01  MWF 8-9am
  • Core 107-06  MWF 10:20-11:20am

The Anatomy of Moral Panics                                                            

Wherever one looks in history or across the globe, communities seem unable to establish immunity against what sociologists have called moral panics. A moral panic involves an excessive response to a perceived threat, often leading to a suspension of community norms in hope of purifying the social body of the source of moral pollution. But it is an oversimplification to construe this as a simple eruption of irrationality into a community that is otherwise rationally legislated and ably administered, for there are always social elements poised to benefit from moral panics, and there is always a price to be paid by stigmatized others. How do the exceptional events that we will theorize under the rubric of moral panics reveal some of the implicit premises and practices that structure “normal” social life? What do they suggest about the nature of being human? Locales stricken by moral panics that we will examine include ancient Athens, Jerusalem, and Rome, medieval Europe, Reformation Germany and pre-modern France, wartime Zurich, recession-era London and, of course, contemporary America. Authors whom we will read include Thucydides, Tacitus, Josephus, Michelet, Nathanael West, Georges Bataille, Greil Marcus and Jeannette Winterson.


Jessie Starling  PhD, Religious Studies

  • Core 107-19 MWF 1:50-2:50pm

Healing, Spirituality, and Culture

What does it mean to be “well”? How do humans in various cultures define and attribute meaning to pain? How do they determine the effectiveness of a given treatment? Where do they locate healing agency (the power to make one well)?

This course examines these and other questions about the relationship between healing, spirituality, and culture by reading and discussing scholarship from the fields of religious studies, anthropology, sociology, and history. We will look at examples from a variety cultural contexts including ancient Greek, Chinese and Native American traditions. We will pay particular attention to the way in which dominant frameworks of authority for explaining sickness and health have changed over the last 200 years in the West, leading us to inquire into the contemporary appeal of “alternative medicine” in Portland in 2019.


Joel Sweek PhD, Religious Studies

  • Core 107-09  MWF 11:30am-12:30pm
  • Core 107-24  MWF 1:50-2:50pm

The Ancient City                                                                                                 

Why and how did people begin to live in permanent settlements? Modern ambivalence toward “civilization” notwithstanding, once upon a time people began to urbanize on purpose. How and when did this happen, where, and why? In what ways did we express our joy or dismay at this movement from foraging, herding, or the family farmstead, to the densely-packed confines of the city and a life among strangers? In this seminar on the historical, evolutionary, and material origins of what has been called “the urban revolution,” we examine five prominent episodes: the Mediterranean Epi-Palaeolithic to Neolithic; 6th-3rd Millennium Mesopotamia; a utopian city in New Kingdom Egypt; Classical Athens; and early Rome. Familiarizing ourselves with the archaeological record of the material culture and with the some of the earliest literature bearing upon the city — including the Epic of Gilgamesh, Akhenaten Great Hymn, the Oresteia of Aeschylus, and Rome’s Twelve Tables — we will study the origins, emergence, and flourishing of the ancient city, each participant crafting an individual research project on a material or cultural object pertinent to the urban revolution.


Todd Watson PhD, Psychology—Cognitive Neuroscience

  • Core 107-25  MWF 1:50-2:50pm

“Dram” Lies and Statistics: Using Data to Reason about Drug and Alcohol Use and Misuse

Numbers have an important story to tell. They rely on you to give them a voice. –Stephen Few

Should the legal drinking age be lowered to 18? Were there drawbacks to the decision to ban tobacco products from campus? Would decriminalizing psilocybin benefit Oregon? Is vaping safer than cigarettes? As a society, we face questions about drug and alcohol use. How should we answer them? Scientific journals, the popular press, and the internet are awash in information (good, bad, and very bad) that can help shape our opinions and decisions. But how do we make use of it? How can we separate the good information from the bad? 

This section will focus on one of the key features of being a literate and active member of a democracy: the ability to locate, think about, and make arguments with data. While we will indeed use numbers to explore the scientific and social ramifications of alcohol and substance use, this will not be a “math” class in the conventional sense. Nor, it must be said, will this be a “humanities” class in the conventional sense. Instead, we will consider how quantitative reasoning can shape and strengthen arguments about academic research, public policy, literature, and the choices we make in our daily lives.