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IDIS 100 Intensive English Language Program (1/2)

Intense coursework and co-curricular learning prior to orientation for first year international students whose first language is not English. Coursework focuses on improving students' English language skills, particularly in regard to reading and writing for academic purposes. Coursework and co-curricular learning create opportunities to improve listening and speaking skills, as well as gain greater understanding of Knox College culture within the broader US culture. Prerequisite(s): Foreign student for whom English is a second language; Staff

IDIS 101 English as a Second Language (1/2)

For international students whose first language is not English. Coursework focuses on developing English speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills, particularly in regard to academic purposes. This course will support First-Year Preceptorial and provide an introduction to Knox liberal arts education. May be taken twice for credit; Staff

IDIS 120 Social Justice Dialogues

Dialogues are structured conversations in which individuals on many sides of an issue come together to learn from one another and reach a deeper understanding of one another in order to critically assess their roles as allies and activists. In this class, we will read personal accounts of what it is like to inhabit particular identities; we will look at history to figure out where our present-day situations came from; we will examine psychological essays for perspectives on how our brains work; andwe will explore sociological explanations for how inequality and injustice can be found in the personal decisions, systems, and institutions that surround us. We willthink about group processes and dynamics, social identity group development, prejudice and stereotyping, and culture, cultural cues, and judgments. We will also watch movies; use exercises, simulations, and role-plays; discuss the readings; and we will reflect on interactions and assignments during class. Prerequisite(s): By application only; Cross Listing: PJST 120; PI; Staff


In a multicultural society, discussions about issues of conflict and community are needed to facilitate understanding between social/cultural groups. In this intergroup dialogue, students will participate in semi-structured, face-to-face meetings around the issue of race. Students will discuss relevant reading material and explore group experiences in various social and institutional contexts. Participants will examine narratives and historical, psychological, and sociological materials and participate in exercises that will be debriefed in class and in weekly journals. Students will learn about pertinent issues facing the participating groups on campus and in society.

IDIS 130 Introduction to Leadership (1/2)

This course assumes that every individual has leadership potential and can develop their leadership abilities through mastery of theoretical concepts, collaborative work and thoughtful reflection. This interdisciplinary course - drawing from the fields of psychology, sociology, education, and communication - is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to create a vision and organize others to address human and community needs. Staff

IDIS 140 Magic(al) Realism in Film

The term "magic realism" was coined by art critic Franz Roh in 1925 to describe paintings that react against the distortions of expressionism by producing realistic works that, as Roh states, "approach the ultimate enigmas and harmonies of existence" in order to convey "the calm admiration of the magic of being." Soon after, writers in South and Central America produced the more familiar "magical realism," which presents a hybrid world in which the real and the unreal cohabit. This course examines both these trends as incorporated in cinema, from the "deadpan" silent comedy of Buster Keaton to the fantasy/genre films of Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), from the shadowy netherworld of film noir to the alternate realities of Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), in an effort to understand cinema's sometimes-overlooked role in the development and continuing popularity of magic(al) realism. P. Marasa

IDIS 160 Forest Ecology, Culture and Earth System Processes in Germany (1/2)

This course is a preparatory seminar for students traveling to Germany in June in order to examine the intersection of German culture, forest ecology, and soil health in Freiburg, Germany, where a history of industrial policies that resulted in the production of acid rain have had significant impacts on the Black Forest. Students will learn about acid rain production and the specific historic and industrial causes of this process in northern Europe, as well as cultural reactions to forest decline and the role of the Black Forest in German cultural identity. Students will be responsible for researching and presenting to the class some aspect of the historical, cultural and environmental context of Freiburg. The seminar will be graded on an S/U basis, and students must earn an S in order to participate in the travel component in June. Prerequisite(s): One from: any course in German numbered 103 or higher, Germ 331E (taught in English), ENVS 101, 125, 170, 241, 242, BIOL 110, 316, 317, or 319; Offered alternate years; K. Adelsberger; T. Heidt

IDIS 195B (1/2)

Intensive coursework and co-curricular learning prior to orientation for students who will benefit from an intensive two-week introduction to the college experience. The program is specially designed to build resilience among first-generation and low-income students (TRIO eligible) who come from under-served high schools and communities.

IDIS 195D (1/2)

How and why do we form attachments to a place? What does it mean to be a part of the land? Is a sense of attachment only possible in wild or semi-wild areas or can deep attachments develop in urban landscapes too? This class explores how we develop a sense of place and what it means to belong to a particular place. During fall term we will read articles and watch videos about a sense of place. During December we will explore urban and semi-wild landscapes. We will build story maps that document our relationship to these places.

IDIS 210 Back from Abroad: Reflection through Digital Storytelling (1/2)

This course helps students reflect upon their academic and intercultural experiences through study abroad or other experiential learning projects. Students work collaboratively to learn from those having studied in different locations around the world. Students will examine ways in which their time abroad has changed their perspective as global citizens. Students also receive hands-on training using software programs to learn how to construct a digital story (also known as a photo film). Students will learn about the history of digital storytelling, analyze the merits of various examples, and create their own individual digital story based on their recent study abroad experience or other experiential learning project. Prerequisite(s): Having studied abroad or fulfilled the Experiential Learning requirement prior to enrollment; R. Ragan

IDIS 212 Human-Animal Relationships

Animals have played important roles in the lives of humans from prehistoric times to the present day; they are our friends, our foes, and our food. This seminar-style course examines various aspects of the history, biology, and culture of human-animal relationships, with a focus on canines and felines. Students are responsible for participating in discussions of readings and films, and for presenting their research on various topics including the evolution of domestication, animals in art and literature, animal welfare, and the human-animal bond. Guest speakers and field trips enhance these discussions. Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing; Not open to students having credit for PREC 127; Cross Listing: BIOL 212; Offered occasionally; J. Templeton

IDIS 220 Social Justice Dialogues: Facilitator Training

In this class we will collaborate in deepening our understanding of social justice in the United States by focusing on how to facilitate dialogues about questions of race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and disability. Together, we will engage in dialogues - structured conversations in which individuals on many sides of an issue come together to learn from one another and reach a deeper understanding of one another in order to critically assess their roles as allies and activists. Course includes each student facilitating one in-class and one out-of-class dialogue. Cross Listing: PJST 220; PI; Staff

IDIS 230 Issues in Contemporary Elections (1/2)

Election 2020 is team-taught by Knox faculty members from several different academic departments. In Election 2020 we discuss the processes, procedures, issues, controversies, and dynamics of American presidential elections, with a particular focus on issues of importance to the contemporary Presidential election cycle. Each participating faculty member will lecture one week on a particular topic, providing students with the opportunity to look at the 2020 election from a variety of different viewpoints and encompassing a broad range of issues such as economic inequality, social issues, education, the environment, the media and elections, and more. S/U; Staff

IDIS 312 Gay and Lesbian Identities

This course draws on the wealth of recent scholarship in lesbian and gay studies that examines ideas of culture, sexuality and identity. We explore questions like: How is identity formed? What place do sexual orientation and sexual practice have in an individual's identity, and how does this vary over time and across cultures? What does it mean to say that sexual orientation has a biological base? How do research questions in different disciplines focus our attention in certain directions to the neglect of others? Prerequisite(s): junior standing; Cross Listing: GWST 312; H. Hoffmann

IDIS 319 London Arts Alive (1 1/2)

(Fall/December break) During the fall term, students participate in meetings about once a week focusing on the contemporary performance, visual and language arts of London, as well as the relationship of these arts to the socio-political and economic dynamics of the city. During the December break, the group travels to London to experience these phenomena firsthand. Prerequisite(s): sophomore standing and 1 previous course in the arts (including creative writing), or permission of the instructor; The cost of the London segment and airfare are covered by a special program fee; E. Metz

IDIS 320 Social Justice Dialogues: Practicum

This Social Justice Dialogues practicum is designed to develop and improve students' skills as dialogue facilitators. Working in close mentorship with an instructor, students in this course will serve as peer facilitators for a 100-level IDIS Social Justice Dialogue. Peer facilitation will be done in the context of the belief that facilitation skills can be used throughout life to create positive social change, and that effective facilitators are effective agents of social change. Moreover, by debriefing actual dialogue experiences, facilitators deepen their own understanding of identity, discrimination, privilege, and social justice. This practicum follows "IDIS 220: Social Justice Dialogues: Facilitator Training" and requires applied work in facilitating intergroup dialogues. Students participate in weekly seminars and frequent instructor consultations. Prerequisite(s): IDIS 220 and permission of the instructor; Cross Listing: PJST 321; May be taken twice for credit; Staff

IDIS 323 Visual Culture Theory

This course examines the emerging interdisciplinary field of Visual Culture Theory and will introduce students to a study of modern and post-modern discourses on vision and visuality. Drawing from art history, sociology, psychology, film and media studies, Marxism, feminist and post-colonial theory, Visual Culture Theory analyzes the role of visual images in shaping philosophical, cultural, political, racial and sexual notions of identity. The course also investigates the meaning of images in relation to such popular media as photography, film, television, video, animation, advertising, pornography and the digital culture of the web. Cross Listing: ART 323;FILM 323; G. Gilbert

IDIS 336 Science and the Social Construction of Race and Gender

We will examine the social construction of race and gender and how social constructs influence scientific knowledge. We will use the social constructs of the past and present to discuss the following: (a) How does science define and how does it examine issues related to gender and race? (b) How do societal attitudes about race and gender influence scientific knowledge and scientific access? Cross Listing: AFST 336; M. Crawford; D. Cermak

IDIS 360A StartUp Term: Design and Design Thinking

Entrepreneurship and innovation in the contemporary space require design and design thinking on a variety of levels. Design, in general, has always employed creative strategies as a systematic process for problem-solving and solution-finding. Contemporary design thought and practice has expanded beyond traditional understandings of the professional practice and been developed into modes of thinking that encompass business and social contexts. IDIS 360A will be taught in a seminar forum where students will first encounter these ideas through a series of topical readings and group discussions. Hands-on practical exercises will augment the theoretical to help contextualize these ideas. Principles of visual design will be explored through a series of case studies in contemporary design practice as exemplified in print, digital, and social media. Students will recognize the design process as consistent across these various applications beyond merely the visual, reinforcing the core principle that creativity is central to the design process. Teams will deploy these principles in a practical and collaborative manner involving an iterative process of synthesis and analysis. They will develop their projects systematically utilizing ideation, prototyping, and testing. Students will come to understand design and design thinking as an empathic and user-centric process. Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing and acceptance of StartUp Term application; IMMR; T. Stedman

IDIS 360B StartUp Term: Entrepreneurship and Society, New Venture Creation

Entrepreneurship and Society is a seminar format course for Startup Term students. It begins with developing an understanding of the entrepreneurial mind-set. Topics addressed include the essentials of successful entrepreneurial activity, engaged critical thinking, research and analysis, communication competencies, opportunity recognition, and comprehension of the value creation process. The business plan, leadership, collaborative competencies, personal ethics, resource requirements and constraints, financing, and the essentials of managing growth and avoiding pitfalls are covered during the term. Students will engage in the paradoxical issues of ambiguity and uncertainty vs. planning and rigor; creativity vs. disciplined analysis; patience and perseverance vs urgency; organization and management vs. flexibility; innovation and responsiveness vs. systemization; risk avoidance vs. risk management; current profitability vs. long-term equity. Material is covered through text and topical readings, seminars, group discussions, and guest lectures. Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing and acceptance of StartUp Term application; Cross Listing: BUS 360B; Offered alternate years; IMMR; Staff

IDIS 360C StartUp Term: Agile Project Management

Building a new business presents a series of significant challenges that require a flexible and effective approach to project management. The software industry has developed "agile" project management techniques that have proven to be a highly effective way for small teams to manage themselves. However, agile project management techniques can be applied to any large project undertaken by a small team. This course is designed for students to apply the basics of the project management (such as estimation and scheduling, iterative development, and ongoing communication with customers or clients) by working in teams on a term-long project. This course has no prerequisites and is accessible to all students in Startup Term. It will be taught in a seminar forum with readings and assignments in software process, project management, team building, project personnel management, and project oversight. Computer Science majors in Startup Term whose team works on a software project may count this course as CS 322 (Software Engineering). Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing and acceptance of StartUp Term application; IMMR; J. Spacco

IDIS 400 McNair Tutorial (1/2 or 1)

See College Honors Program. Prerequisite(s): IDIS 300 and good standing as a McNair Fellow; Staff

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Printed on Saturday, May 18, 2024