Skip to main content

Learning Perspective course descriptions fall 2023

All Augustana students must take at least one course in each Learning Perspective (LP) in order to graduate. First-year students often take one or two LP courses in their first semester. The courses below are appropriate for first-year students and have no pre-requisites unless noted.

Perspectives on the Arts (PA)

ART-101  Drawing (PA) Fundamentals of drawing such as value, line, form, space and composition, exploring abstraction as well as traditional subject matters through observational studies. Theory and practice through a variety of drawing media including use of color. $60.00 lab fee.

ART-102 Drawing Inquiry (PA) Fundamentals of drawing, including introductory life drawing, for art majors and minors. Form, space, color and composition explored in a variety of drawing media through contemporary and historical lenses. For students with drawing experience; highly recommended for art majors and minors in place of ART 101. $60.00 lab fee.

ART-123 Design: Two Dimensional (PA) Theories of basic design, with emphasis on both formalism and expression in art. Design fundamentals of color, texture, shape, line, value and principles of balance, repetition, variety, harmony and unity explored. A variety of media will be investigated. $60.00 lab fee.

ART-124 Design: Three Dimensional (PA) The theory and language of three-dimensional design and its application to artistic communication, with an emphasis on contemporary practice. Projects emphasize understanding intellectual aspects of three-dimensional form, working processes and techniques in a variety of media. $60 lab fee.

ART-211 Painting (PA) Basics of color theory and practice of painting in oil and/or acrylics. Emphasis on developing fundamental painting approaches, conceptual development and individual expressions through color. Art periods, movements and practice researched. $100.00 lab fee.

ART-226 Black & White Photography I (PA) Black and white film and darkroom photography. An introduction to the basics of film exposure, processing, and darkroom printing. Individual and collaborative workshop methods are employed to develop competency. While focus is on fundamental techniques, students are encouraged to develop their own unique vision. Film and paper are included in the lab fee. A 35mm Manual SLR film camera is needed; some are available to borrow from the Art Department. $120 lab fee.

ART-228 Digital Photography (PA) An introduction to digital photography: This studio-based class provides an opportunity for students to explore image-making within a culture context. $40.00 lab fee and access to Adobe Photoshop required. $40.00 lab fee.

ART-231 Ceramics: Hand Construction (PA)This course explores methods of hand building in clay with an emphasis on creative thinking and technical facility. Assignments emphasize developing surface design, use of glazes, and a research project. Lectures include viewing and analysis of a broad spectrum of historical and contemporary ceramic work. $50 lab fee.

ART-232 Ceramics: Wheel Thrown Construction (PA) This course focuses on learning to use the potter's wheel and various other techniques as a vehicle for creating expressive forms in clay. Emphasis on creative thinking while developing facility in forming, painting and glazing ceramics. Students will engage in a research project and master study culminating in a visual response. A broad spectrum of historical and contemporary ceramics will be studied. $60.00 lab fee.

ART-261 Relief Printmaking (PA) Introduction to basic monotype and relief printmaking methods including linoleum and woodcut techniques. Methods of registering multi-colored prints will be employed. Students will work collectively on a print portfolio with a common theme of their choosing. $80 lab fee.

ENCW-201 Writing Poetry (PA) Practice in writing poetry with an introduction to poetic form, voice and techniques. Emphasis will be on generating, critiquing and revising student work, but students will also study the work of published poets.

ENCW-202 Writing Fiction (PA) Practice in writing with introduction to the basic techniques of fiction writing, emphasizing the conventions of the modern short story and the revision process.

ENCW-203 Writing Creative Nonfiction (PA) Practice in writing with an introduction to the various forms the genre assumes (memoir, profile, literary journalism, nature writing, spiritual autobiography) and emphasis on techniques writers use to translate personal and researched experience into artful nonfiction. The class stresses drafting, workshopping, and revising.

GRD-222 Typography (PA) Overview of typography, its techniques and applications. Basic principles of page layout and composition to include practical investigations in publication design. This studio-based course examines typography as a fundamental communication tool. Emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving in both traditional analog and digital contexts. $40 lab fee.

GRD-225 Intro to Graphic Design (PA) Overview of graphic design, its techniques and applications. Basic principles of page layout and composition, design skills, typography, and color application. Emphasis on critical thinking and process development. This studio-based course examines the field of design as fundamental communication tool in both digital and analog contexts. $40.00 lab fee.

MUSC 101  Introduction to Music (PA) Exploration of the fundamental elements, various forms and styles of music. Includes listening to and thinking about music in various cultural and historical contexts and the live concert experience. Does not apply to major in music.

MUSC 107 Music in Worldwide Perspective (PA) Introduction to ethnomusicology and survey of indigenous music of the various regions of the world. Does not apply to major in music.

MUSC 111  Musicianship I (PA) An introduction to the study of music and related skills: score-reading, sight singing, text analysis, conducting, composition, research, and writing. Primary focus is given to the development of notated music in Europe and America from the middle ages to the present day, with additional study of popular and non-western music.

THEA 100  Introduction to Theatre (PA) Theatre as a collaborative, vital and multi-faceted art form that reflects and impacts culture and society. Through study of theatre practice and various dramatic texts from Ancient Greece to contemporary times, this course will examine how the written word is translated into action and images on stage.

THEA 240  Acting I (PA) Introduction to the acting process through study of its basic principles and development of fundamental performance skills. Studio work includes improvisational exercises, scene study and various performance projects. Emphasis on the use of creative imagination in the context of performance.

THEA 244  Stagecraft (PA) Introduction to the skills and vocabulary of technical theatre. Students will acquire a hands-on knowledge of the methods, principles and conventions of scenic production by way of lab and lecture periods. Basic skills and a working vocabulary in scenery and property construction, scene painting and lighting will be stressed. Lab hours to help construct the current production will reinforce terms and skills discussed in class.

Perspectives on Human Existence and Values (PH)

CHST-240 Intro to Chinese Culture (PH, G) An overview of Chinese culture, with emphasis on various aspects within Chinese society, including religions, literature, art, language and philosophy. Readings are supplemented by audiovisual material, discussion and projects. Taught in English.

COMM-260 Communication and Culture (PH, G) Examines how communication helps create culture and how culture constrains communication, reasoning, and morality; introduces similarities and differences in understanding self and other in cultural contexts.

ENGL-285 Postcolonial Literature (PH, G) A literature course for students interested in English as a world language, and the struggles for justice and identity of people in former colonies of Britain. Readings will include classic and contemporary novels, stories, poems, and other genres written in English in or about the nations of Africa, Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.

MJMC-215 News Literacy (PH) Examines forces that shape news today and how the news media have changed. Prepares students to understand journalism and critically evaluate news sources as well as analyze their own roles as news consumers and communicators using current events as a backdrop. Assignments and discussion focus on topics such as: news values, detecting bias, source credibility, journalistic constraints, and media economics.

PHIL-101 Knowing and Being (PH) Introduction to central topics in philosophy, such as ethical theory, metaethics, knowledge and skepticism, theology, free will, personal identity, and the nature of meaning. Attention is paid to the careful formation and critical evaluation of arguments.

PHIL-105 Life and Death (PH) An introduction to ethics, approached through an examination of the ethics of living, letting die, and killing. The course will introduce students to major theories of morality, such as utilitarianism and Kantian ethics, and apply these theories to issues that may include euthanasia, abortion, capital punishment, and just war.

Perspectives on the Individual and Society (PS)

COMM-220 Communication and Social Relationships (PS, D) Examines how family, peer and cultural socialization influences communication in close relationships. Consideration of race, class, gender and sexual orientation as they relate to communication in diverse relationships

COMM-240 Advertising & Consumer (PS) COMM240 traces the evolution of the persuasive strategies, effects and messages in commercial discourse, from its origins in colonial America to today, with special emphasis on portrayals of race, class, family and gender in contemporary America. Course assignments will incorporate instruction on media content analysis and textual analysis as research methods.

ENVR-101 Social Dimension (PS) This course provides an in-depth examination of the structure and dynamics of complex sustainability problems. We pay particular attention to the role of humans in creating and responding to these problems by investigating the relationships between our natural world and social, cultural, and political institutions. Particular topics may include: population and consumption dynamics; environmental justice; social and behavioral change; environmental policy; and food, energy, and water systems. Students will complete a campus-based sustainability project focused on social and/or behavioral change.

GEOG-120 Human Geography of Global Issues (PS, G) Human geography focuses on social, economic, political, cultural, and human-environment processes and patterns and how they change over space and time. This course examines the interconnections between places around the world and how global flows intersect in our local communities. Major topics include economic globalization, geopolitics, the spatial aspects of population growth and distribution including international migration, health, urbanization, cultural differentiation and the spread of ideas and innovation, and the environmental impacts of development. The course aims to engender a critical geographical perspective on the past, present and future development of the social world.

GEOG-130 Geography of World Regions (PS, G) Geography of World Regions is an exploration of the critical, interrelated, and diverse characteristics of the world's major geographic regions. This course will explore issues of global and regional significance facing our planet through the diverse lenses of geography. Our primary focus is on globalization and the linkages between places, the impact of globalization on diversity, and the importance of "local" and "global," unevenness in development, the legacy of colonialism, capitalism, and imperialism on world regions, and the relationships between societies and environments at various scales.

KINS-250 Sociology of Sport and Physical Culture (PS) To some, sport and physical culture seem to exist outside of society - somehow removed from the political, social, and cultural issues that shape our daily lives. This course seeks to challenge that separation: instead arguing that sport and physical culture are deeply intertwined with the values of our current socio-political moment. This course will ask you to think critically about a topic you may have taken for granted. From the local sporting experiences of high school athletes to the giant spectacles of the Olympics, we will investigate and interrogate the often overlooked exceptionalism of sport and physical culture. In the first module we will lay out the contemporary landscape of sport and physical culture and examine the ideologies, philosophies, and assumptions that we bring to these spaces. In the second module, we will explore the social construction of individual identities and groups, and how those groups both create, and are created by, their involvements in sport and physical activity. Finally, we will explore sport and physical activity's power to bring diverse groups together, and examine the ways in which that can be used for equitable and inequitable practices. As we delve into the complexities of sport and physical culture, you will take on the role of a potential agent of change. How can you, within your current and future spheres of power, help make sport and physical culture better for everyone?

MJMC-225 Strategic Communication (PS) Strategic communication (journalism and mass communication-related concepts used in marketing, public relations, social media, crises communication, and advertising for the purpose of influencing behavior) is everywhere, yet if done right the consuming masses hardly notice the machinations. This course helps students identify strategic communication that occurs in their world, discover how it affects them and others, furthers their understanding through collaborative, creative role play, and asks them to consider the ethical implications of this booming profession.

PHIL-103 Social Ethics (PS) An introduction to the philosophical examination of issues in three areas of social ethics-global problems, family matters, and societal policies. The following general questions will be considered in light of three moral theories (utilitarianism, rights, and the ethics of care): What do we owe the poor and starving in other countries? What do we owe our family members? How should we treat criminals in our society?

POLS-101 American Government (PS) A study of constitutional principles and their implementation to create a functioning national government. Development of basic institutions--presidency, Congress, courts, bureaucracy. Analysis of Political Behavior -- political parties, campaigns, and interest groups. Examples from public policy are used to show the institutions and groups in action.

POLS-103 Global Perspectives (PS, G) Examination of major issues of world politics from various theoretical and country perspectives. Considers issues -war and peace, international law and organization, economic globalization, climate change, nuclear weapon proliferation and human rights- which pose questions of justice or represent threats to the peace or to global survival.

POLS-105 Comparative Politics (PS) Comparative politics is devoted to the study of countries not called the United States. It involves the comparative examination of important concepts in political science (democracy, culture, conflict, human rights, poverty, among others) and their application to both Western and non-Western nations.

POLS-260 The Legal System (PS) A survey of American legal institutions in relation to their social and political context. We analyze the behavior of lawyers, police officers, judges, and juries. The course considers political issues and basic terminology related to civil and criminal law. We explore the impact of law on society and the way that social forces shape the legal system.

PSYC-100  Intro to Psychology (PS) A survey course of the major areas of interest within the field of Psychology (physiological, cognitive, clinical, and social), including fundamental principles and theories about human behavior as well as the scientific methods used by psychologists to draw these conclusions.

PUBH-100 Introduction to Public Health (PS) This course introduces the interdisciplinary field and application of public health. Students will explore the social, political, and environmental determinants of health, and will be introduced to the institutions that shape health outcomes at the local, national, and global levels. This course will also help students understand how public health impacts the health of populations on a daily basis. Course activities will examine a diverse range of topics such as community health organizations, ethics in public health practice, maternal and child health, control of chronic and infectious disease, health through the lifespan, mental health, nutrition, and more.

SOAN-101 Introduction to Sociology (PS, D) A general introduction to society and culture, socially learned patterns of human behavior, formal and informal organization, collective behavior and social change.

SOAN-102 Introduction to Anthropology (PS, G) A general introduction to society and culture, diverse cultural systems and groups of people from around the globe, and a holistic examination of the many parts of culture. Students will learn the tools, methods and key concepts anthropologists use to study humanity.

WGSS-130 Intro to Gender Studies (PS) This course serves as an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Familiarizes students with key terms, authors, and debates, while paying special attention to how gender and sexuality intersect with race, ethnicity, class, age, religion, ability, and immigration status to create systems of oppression. Students examine intersectional feminism as a framework for engaging in social justice work.

Perspectives on the Past (PP)

ARHI-165  Survey of World Art I (PP, G) A chronological survey of the art and architecture from around the world, from Paleolithic cave paintings to medieval cathedrals and mosques. Students learn to analyze the formal elements of works of art and architecture, examine works within the original cultural and historical contexts, and compare art across cultures and from different time periods.

FILM-200 History of Film and TV (PP) This course looks at the history of motion picture media from its invention to contemporary times, covering cinema and television from inception to today. Framed by the technological, narrative, aesthetic, thematic, economic, and cultural trends of the various formats, the course explores prominent directors, studios, and platforms originating from the U.S. and abroad.

HIST-115 Europe 1300-1800 (PP, G) This course will address foundational moments in early modern Europe, including the Renaissance, the Reformation, voyages of global exploration, absolutism, the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and revolutions against absolute monarchies. Special emphasis will be placed on developing students' ability to write their own historical interpretations through a critical use of eyewitness accounts.

HIST-121 Latin America 1820-Present (PP, G) Post-Colonial Problems and Conditions in Latin America, 1820-Present As Spain, Portugal, and France's New World colonies emerged from their respective independence struggles, each former colony would embark on a journey to build a national government, set borders, forge a distinct national identity, and exercise their sovereignty as equals on the world stage. Yet despite their best efforts, many found themselves increasingly hemmed in by a neo-colonial power - the United States. This class blends political and social history as it traces Latin America's post-colonial journey and the accompanying continuities and changes in the everyday lives of Latin Americans from 1820 to the present. Broken up into three units - independence, the early national period, and the modern era - course participants will explore major trends such as nationalism, neo-colonialism, authoritarianism, and human rights, while attending to the ways race, class, gender, national identity and their intersection shaped dynamics internal and external to the region.

HIST-130 Rethinking American History, to 1877 (PP) Almost everything most people know about American history is at worst, wrong, and at best, oversimplified. This course examines enduring problems, powerful stories, and common misconceptions about the American past. Students will learn a set of problem-solving skills that historians use to make sense of the past, so that they can reach their own conclusions and recognize sense from nonsense.

PHIL-110 History of Philosophy (PP) An introduction to the main ideas and figures in the tradition of Western Philosophy, from the Ancient Greeks to the present. Emphasis on theories and arguments in the areas of metaphysics, the theory of knowledge, and ethics.

PHIL-201 Classical Philosophy (PP) Study of the beginnings of philosophical thought in Classical Greece, with particular attention to the fragments of the pre-Socratics, the dialogues of Plato, and the treatises of Aristotle. Topics will include early physics and metaphysics, theories of knowledge, human nature, happiness and virtue ethics.

Perspectives on Literature and Texts (PL)

CLAS-212W Classical Mythology (PL, G) The myths of the Greeks and Romans have had a lasting influence on our world, evident in art, literature, language, science, and beyond. This course offers a broad survey of the major Greek and Roman myths and the dominant approaches to understanding them. Utilizing ancient sources along with scholarly commentary, students will examine these myths in their broader cultural and historical contexts while considering the legacy ancient mythology has left in our world. NB: CLAS 212W includes greater emphasis on considerations of gender and sexuality and is offered as a contributing course to the Gender, Sexuality, and the Cultural Imagination concentration for the WGSS major and minor.

CLAS-224 Greek Tragedy (PL) Murder, incest, human sacrifice, cannibalism?! Just a sampling of the shocking situations Greeks put on stage in their tragedies -- but what did they gain from such performances? In this course, students will survey the ancient dramatic genre in its historical and cultural performance context, using representative examples by the playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Adaptations and mutations of the genre, from the Roman tragedy of Seneca to "Medea: The Musical" and modern film adaptations, will also be studied and discussed.

COMM-230 Communication, Politics & Citizenship (PL) Addresses issues of communication effects and ethics as they impinge on citizens of a free society, with a focus on political discourse in the public sphere. Features rhetorical tactics, communication strategies and argument patterns in political campaigns, public policy, and the media.

ENGL-125B Literature & Business (PL) A literature course for students interested in professional work, finances, consumerism, and the so-called American Dream. Texts will include classic and contemporary works (both written and visual) on work, earning, spending, and seeking economic justice. For First Year and Sophomore students only.

ENGL-235 Science Fiction & Fantasy (PL) An introduction to the alternative worlds of myth, fantasy, utopia and dystopia. Students will develop the close-reading skills and vocabulary of the discipline as they explore deeper meaning, ambiguity, and complexity in classic and contemporary works of fantasy and science fiction.

ENGL-275 Intro to African-American Literature (PL, D) Principal works by African Americans representing literary forms and significant currents of thought from the era of slavery to the present.

GRST-251 Outsiders in German Literature (PL) This course focuses on representations of outsider figures in German literature. Students will read short stories, plays, and novels, and learn to analyze and critically evaluate ideas, themes, and literary techniques. We will also watch and analyze full-length films that feature characters outside the social mainstream. Taught in English.

SCAN-240 Fairy Tales & Folklore (PL) This course studies the history of storytelling and oral tradition in Northern European folk tales, folk songs, poems, music and legends, including the fairy tales of H.C. Andersen, Asbjørnsen & Moe, Lönnrot, and the Brothers Grimm. Counts toward the major and minor requirements for both German and Scandinavian Studies. Taught in English.

Perspectives on the Natural World (PN)

ASTR-135 Planets (PN) A non-calculus course intended for all majors on planets and planetary systems. Topics include the history of planetary astronomy, formation and evolution of the solar system, solar system physics, properties of solar system objects and the discovery of extrasolar planets. Results of recent space discoveries and the methods and tools used by astronomers will be emphasized. Evening observing sessions in the Carl Gamble observatory will be required. Suggested prerequisite: A math-index score of 840 or higher is recommended (pre-calc ready).

CHEM-131 General Chemistry I (PN) Atoms, Ions, and Molecules This course introduces the fundamentals of bonding to form ions and molecules from atoms, as well as how atoms and molecules interact with each other resulting in the properties of matter. Topics include atomic structure, chemical bonding theories, symmetry as it pertains to chemical equivalence, coordination compounds, gases, intermolecular forces, and colligative properties. Lecture and two hours of laboratory weekly.

CHEM-235 Intro to Inorganic Chemistry (PN) This course is an alternative to the one year of general chemistry (CHEM 131 and 132) curriculum. Students with a strong preparation in high school chemistry, such as credit for AP Chemistry (or equivalent) or two years of high school chemistry are encouraged to take this course. Topics covered include: atomic structure, periodic properties, descriptive inorganic chemistry, ionic solids, bonding theories, symmetry, electrochemistry, and coordination chemistry. Lecture and 3 hours of laboratory weekly. Credit may not be earned for CHEM 235 and 131. In order to have a full year of chemistry as required by many professional schools students may have to take another CHEM course (see the chair of the chemistry department) in addition to this course.

ENVR-100 Ecological Dimension (PN) In-depth interdisciplinary examination of complex sustainability problems (water, food systems, climate change, forests, etc.) including their systemic structure, dynamics, future development, and normative issues. In-depth examination of human dependence upon and alteration of supporting (biodiversity, disturbance regimes, soil resources, hydrological cycle, and nutrient cycles), regulating, provisioning, and cultural ecosystem services. Emphasis on formulating an interdisciplinary model to understand the resilience and vulnerability of complex social-ecological systems (SES) to disturbances and stresses and using such model to assess the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of local and regional sustainability problems. Introduction to key methods used to identify, analyze, and solve the ecological dimensions of such problems. Students will complete an ecologically-oriented campus-based sustainability project. The culminating project and case study will require students to place the ecological component of such systems within the context of the entire SES by emphasizing the two-way interactions (dependence of human well being on ecosystem services and influence of human pursuits of well-being on such services) between the ecological and social components. Includes one two-hour lab per week that focuses on a campus or local sustainability problem.

GEOL-101 Physical & Environmental Geology (PN) Introduction to the science of the Earth and our environment through topics of Earth materials and cycles, natural resources, tectonic processes, hydrologic systems, volcanoes, earthquakes, paleoclimatology, and geologic time. Additional themes include anthropogenic impacts on our environment, environmental hazards and environmental justice. Includes a weekly 2-hour lab that integrates experiential exercises, computer applications, collections of the Fryxell Geology Museum, and local field trips. Gateway course to the geology major.

GEOL-104 Gemstones & Critical Minerals (PN) Introduction to the science and economics of two very important but different groups of minerals. Firstly, we will focus on the nearly $300-billion-dollar-a-year global gemstone & jewelry market by studying a few of the important gemstones, e.g., diamond, emerald, ruby, sapphire, garnet - from their geologic formation, through exploration, mining, and cut-polish-processing, all the way to the jewelry store. You will learn non-destructive optical, spectroscopic and density methods to identify natural & synthetic gemstones. Secondly, we will explore the materials that have shaped the course of human history, from obsidian blades, jade axes, bronze and iron alloy tools and weapons that enabled conquest and colonialism to the current group of critical minerals that form the foundation of our modern, greening civilization, e.g., lithium, metals and rare earth element-bearing minerals that allow iPhones, solar PV panels, electric vehicles, and wind turbines to work. Includes a weekly 2-hour lab focusing on gemstone identification and study of specimens from the Fryxell Geology Museum collections.

GEOL-205 Minerals and the Environment (PN) A nation's wealth and quality of life of its citizens are significantly determined by its control and extraction of mineral resources, but there is always a negative environmental consequence of resource extraction, transformation and use. In addition, our personal and environmental health is impacted not only by what we do with these mineral resources and their waste products but also where we happen to live, relative to certain potentially hazardous mineral deposits. In this course you will learn about minerals (the building blocks of our planet Earth) and then apply that chemical & crystallographic knowledge to more deeply understand a wide variety of environmental issues (e.g., groundwater contamination, soil development and swelling clays, asbestos, silicosis, acid mine drainage, radon, mercury and lead poisoning.).

PHYS-151 Principles of Physics I (PN) This course is an algebra-based introduction to fundamental concepts in physics for non-majors and is not a prerequisite for any other physics courses. In addition, this course is designed to be taken by upper-level science students. Unless a lower-level or non-science student has a solid background in math and a particular interest in physics, it is not recommended as a general education course. Topics include mechanics, fluids, waves, and thermodynamics. Problem solving techniques, conceptual thinking, and basic quantitative experimental skills will be developed. Lectures and two-hour lab weekly.