What should a thriving democracy look like? In an era of economic crisis, perhaps now more than ever we should be reflecting upon how well our democratic institutions meet the needs of a diverse citizenry and what role citizens should play in ensuring the health of these institutions. What does it mean to be a member of a society that proclaims a “government of the people, by the people, for the people?” As we wrestle with these questions, we’ll examine America’s founding principles and the fundamental debates over our core values as a nation.
Storytelling and story reading make up the backbone of this course. Using various media including graphic novels, animation, film, radio and literature, we will explore this fundamental human activity.
defines a journey? Movement? Travel? If we stay in the same
physical place, do we not, nevertheless, still experience an internal journey? In
all our commonalities, we come from different places and yet have all arrived
here at St.
This course will examine the earliest
and coldest days of the Cold War, a period extending from the end of World War
II in 1945 to the signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963, through a
sampling of historical texts and American movies made during that time. Movies
are often more than just mindless escapism: the stories and texts continually
recast by our culture not only entertain but also can provide a window into who
we are, and were.
Congratulations, you took first place! There’s no place
like home. My place, or yours? I felt so out of place.
Simultaneously, people define and are defined by “place.”
Throughout time and across cultures, the importance of place has been central
to how people understand their world and interact with the environment.
That humans are constantly making
new discoveries and inventing new techniques for interacting with the world
implies that there are ever more things to discover and endless ways to do
so. By examining phenomena that cannot
easily be reconciled with or explained by present scientific knowledge, this
course questions both skepticism and belief as responses to the anomalous. Some phenomena we’ll study are drawn from
cultural systems outside the modern West, while others have already been
subjected to scientific experimentation in modern labs. In all cases, we’ll analy
Stories exert a profound influence on humans by
engaging our imaginations and teaching us life lessons while entertaining
us. From economics to advertising to the inspiration to follow your
dreams, chances are, it was a piece of children’s literature that led to your
initial understanding of the concepts and themes now guiding your young adult
life. As we explore the power of
storytelling, this class will learn to identify the many life lessons we first
encountered as children and to also consider the importance “setting” plays in
both literature and our own lives.
of us is moved in a unique, individual way by the beauty of the artistic
expression that we see, hear or produce, but the meaning we draw from art is
shaped as well by the experiences and ideals that we share within communities.
This college will both investigate, and be invigorated by, the power of the
social act of performance. We will learn, in part by regularly becoming
performers ourselves, ways in which an artist, whether poet, dancer, actor or
musician, can clearly communicate with an audience.
How did you change from a cell into a baby? How does your DNA determine your traits? How much of your identity is molded by
choice, versus things that are out of your control? How do your interactions with others change
you? This course will clarify the
influence our biology, environment, past experiences, relationships, and
thought processes exert on our development.
Weekly experiential workshops will focus on healthy individual and group
development. This course is highly
There is no single definition of
"local" in common use today. It means many things to many people.
Local food, for example, in many regions can mean within 10 miles, whereas
in the North Country it often means within 200 miles. Is it just the
University campus or the Adirondacks to Lake Champlain that represents a local
experience for SLU students?
Have you ever wondered what it
would be like to own a hobby farm or a homestead or live as part of a
self-sustaining community? What is the allure of such a lifestyle? Would you
be able to do it? Recent history is full of examples of individuals and communities
that have returned “to the land” to seek the simplicity of life in harmony with
the natural world. What does this lifestyle entail? How do these practices
impact the local economies? More importantly, is it a life worth living?
This course will review the historical,
philosophical and religious roots of modern apocalyptic thought and examine
some of the pressing “apocalyptic” issues of our time. These issues will
include shortages of critical resources, natural disasters, global warming,
war, pandemics, and debt. Are our fears of imminent doom
justified? Is history simply repeating itself? Is a
sense of existential dread engrained in our human nature? Is there
anything we can do about these life-threatening problems? As part of our
exploration of the human
Leadership is the art and science of inspiring
others to work together toward a tangible goal. Are the visionary imagination, oratorical skills, and confidence of an
effective leader intrinsic qualities, or is being a leader really about being
adaptable and observant, as John Fitzgerald Kennedy suggested when he observed,
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” There are many philosophies on leadership.
What is science? What
makes a scientist? How do scientists communicate—with each other and
non-scientists--and why? This course is designed to deepen your interest in
science by examining controversies, both within science and between the
scientific community and the larger society. Controversies we will consider
include: were some dinosaurs warm-blooded? Should scientists believe in atoms?
What is the relationship between vaccinations and autism? Is it possible to
re-create human intelligence? How vulnerable is the electric grid to
What does it mean to
live on or near an international border, specifically one created by the
natural landscape, such as the St. Lawrence River? How do these political and
geographical borders shape the identities of people living there? Your
university sits in the St. Lawrence River Valley, which has occupied an
important place in the history of North America since the pre-contact period
between First Peoples and Europeans. It has served simultaneously as a place of
residence, transportation route, conduit of commerce, and sometimes national
we have a tendency to think of the “self” as fixed and immutable, the reality
is that identity is a set of social constructs and practices. We all create,
communicate, and perform the multiple facets of our selves (or have them
constructed for us by others) every single day. Using communication theories,
acting/performance analyses, and embodied practice in classroom interaction and
performance, we will explore the means by which we create our various selves,
while also examining the idea that none of these selves are "natural"
villains, sleuths and scenarios, destruction and deduction… from the Victorian
parlor to the modern-day movie-plex, audiences have long been fascinated by
stories of murder and mayhem. These stories, however, do a lot more than
entertain. Every mystery is an
intellectual invitation to construct a narrative that makes order from chaos.
Creativity seems to be the buzzword
of the decade, a trait valued not just in the arts, but in science, business,
therapeutic modalities, and in our most prized self-images. Like the children
of fictional Lake Wobegon, we all hope that we possess creativity in levels
“greater than average.” But what is creativity? What is going on
in the mind and body when one is producing a creative work or solution?