Upper Division GE Synthesis

IGE offers four Upper Division GE Synthesis courses in Areas C3 and D4. These courses are open to all students Junior and Senior standing—taking the IGE lower division sequence is not required. Courses are designed in the same format with active and project based learning as its focus. Many of these courses are offered year round, even with some summer offerings.

IGE 3200: Visions of Science and Technology

In this course, we will look at ways in which science and technology are represented in literature, film, and other cultural artifacts. We will examine these representations primarily from the perspectives of history, philosophy, gender, race, and culture. To achieve this, the course will also be informed by theoretical approaches to representation. Throughout, we will explore where ideas about science and technology arise both currently and historically. We shall see ways in which science and technology both are cultural and social constructs. These issues will be investigated from a theoretical, interdisciplinary perspective. This course might include a service learning component. GE Upper-Division Synthesis course for area C3.

IGE 3300: Demons, the Undead, and the Monstrous Other

Personifications of evil through time and diverse cultures; constructions of the monstrous 'other' in arts, religious, and political discourse; cross-cultural analysis of ghost and the undead narratives; supernatural horror; the cultural use of demonic encounters; pseudoscientific discourse within cultural context; institutional and cultural use of binary oppositions of good vs. evil. Themes explored mainly through literature, film, and theoretical works. GE Upper-Division Synthesis course for area C3.

IGE 3400: Peoples and Cultures of Central Asia: Life along the Silk Road

Culture and historical background of the peoples of Central Asia and their relation to neighboring regions of Eastern Europe, the Middle East, China, and India from the ancient to the modern period. Tribalism, nomadism, conquest and empire. Study of political, economic, and social organization as well as religious beliefs of Turko-Mongol peoples along the Silk Road. GE Upper-Division Synthesis course for area D4.

IGE 3500: The Creative Process: Theory and Practice

Interdisciplinary theories of human creativity and the creative process; practical tools for generating innovative ideas.  We will look at principal research on creativity, and use these theories to make us more innovative whatever our chosen field.  Students get practical experience in generating and developing new ideas in group and individual settings, through in-class exercises and outside assignments. We will examine the lives of highly innovative thinkers in various fields to determine the individual traits and environmental conditions that stimulate ground-breaking work, and how to set up an environment conducive to your and others’ creativity. GE Upper-Division Synthesis course for area C3 or D4.

IGE 3600: UFOs, Illuminati, and Other Conspiracy Theories

Exploration of the meaning, attraction, proliferation, and potential dangers of conspiratorial thinking within historical context. Topics will include: conspiracy narratives as expressions of anxieties about the relationship between the individual and the state; cross-cultural examinations of conspiracy narratives; and the historical, social, and cultural discourse around conspiracy theories about UFOs and Area 51, the JFK assassination, 9/11, the moon landing, the sphericity of the earth, and the Illuminati, among others. GE Upper-Division Synthesis course for area D4.