Undergraduate Program Seminars

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Undergraduate Degree Programs

Spring/Summer 2013

Full term session: June 30 - August 25

Session 2: June 30 - August 25

Online Seminars

Begin in CampusWeb June 25

LSTU 362: Comparative Mysticism

B.A. Degree Criteria: Ethical/Moral/Spiritual Concerns & Literature
B.S. General Education: Arts/Humanities
Faculty: Ben Mitchell

Have you ever been stopped breathless by the sunset? Did you ever hear the phone ring and know instantly who was on the other end? Have you ever been listening to the forest when suddenly the sound of the leaves breathing overwhelms the call of the peepers?

As humans we are surrounded by the mystery of life. We coin words like wonder, astonishment, even joy and ecstasy to describe the overwhelming feeling of life, but words are inevitably poor tools. Webster’s defines Mysticism as: “the experience of mystical union or direct communion with the ultimate reality.” Comparative Mysticism will compare mystical literature from seven major religions, in an effort to explore how people from all over the world, throughout time have sought to comprehend this mystery. This seminar will read primary sources from Hinduism and Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Taoism and even Native American Shamanism. This seminar will examine the following question: are there any unifying principals that bind the major world religions together?

LSTU 370: Neurobiology of Addiction

B.A. Degree Criteria: Psychology & Science
B.S. General Education: Natural Sciences or Social and Behavioral Sciences
Faculty: Jody McGrath

In the past two decades, there have been astonishing advances in our understanding of the neurobiological basis and nature of drug addiction. We now know the initial molecular sites of action, at identified receptors, of virtually all of the major drugs of abuse including cocaine, heroin, and amphetamine, as well as legal drugs such as nicotine and alcohol. We also understand the main components of a “reward system” and its connections to major brain regions involved in motivation and emotion, such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex.

This seminar will acquaint students with basic anatomy and physiology of the nervous system and neurons, with synaptic transmission and transmitters, and with a variety of drugs and their effects on the body/mind of individuals.

LSTU 379: Sanity/Insanity: Who Decides?

B.A. Degree Criteria: Psychology, Sociology
B.S. Arts & Humanities
Faculty: Maida Solomon

The fundamental goal in this seminar is to explore how differing dynamics have influenced concepts of sanity/insanity. By making more visible cultural and psychological variables, perhaps we will better be able to separate social myth from urgent need. We will read works from the twentieth century to the present.

How has sanity or insanity been defined and for what ends? Are the consequences the same for everyone? Do gender or other cultural components play a role? What quality or characteristic might be considered normal for some and abnormal for others? How do media portray people in ways relevant to mental health or diagnosis? This seminar will explore selected readings, films, media and current diagnostic tools as we pull apart layers of frameworks so as to perceive better the naming of mental illness.

This seminar is open to any student.

LSTU 380: From Stone Tablets to Twitter: A Social History of Communication

B.A. Degree Criteria: History, Culture
B.S. Social and Behavioral Sciences
Faculty Heather McCollum

The last few decades have brought us an astonishing array of technological changes, particularly in the ways people gather information and communicate with each other. In an effort to understand the meaning of the “information age,” this seminar will examine other moments in history when new technologies have had significant cultural, political, and economic consequences. We’ll investigate the origins and implications of “new” media (e.g., the alphabet, printing press, telegraph, photograph, radio, television, internet) and consider how each has prompted new hopes for world peace along with fears for the imminent decline of civilization. With this foundation in mind, we’ll ask ourselves: Are the new digital tools undermining democracy or enhancing it? Making us safer or less secure? Increasing access to cultural diversity or creating more cultural uniformity? Helping to shape a more sustainable future or further harming the environment? Do we control technology, or does it control us? We’ll draw on historical evidence and our own experience to engage with these important questions.

Degree: B.A. - Liberal Studies
Credits: 120
Transfer up to 78 credits
Min Time: 42 credits (3.5 terms)
Start Dates: Jan, May, Sept

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