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Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary StudiesOverview/Areas of Interdisciplinary Study/Courses

Interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship cross boundaries between academic disciplines or schools of thought to expand traditional limits on knowledge and to address new and emerging challenges. The epidemiology of AIDS and the dynamics of climate change, for example, require the insights and resources of multiple disciplines. The Whitworth 2021 Strategic Plan emphasizes interdisciplinary studies as essential to a comprehensive and relevant liberal arts education and to subsequent vocational service and success.

Interdisciplinary studies at Whitworth entail a range of offerings, including academic majors, minors and signature general education courses such as Core 150, 250, and 350.  Several of these areas of study incorporate significant programmatic and co-curricular elements such as events, speakers, and leadership/service opportunities.

Interdisciplinary Majors

American Studies, History Emphasis or Political Science Emphasis

Bioinformatics

Cross-Cultural Studies, History Emphasis or Political Science Emphasis

International Studies, History Emphasis or Political Science Emphasis

Mathematical Economics

Peace Studies, History Emphasis or Political Science Emphasis

Interdisciplinary Minors

Asian Studies

Environmental Studies

Latin American Studies

Leadership Studies

Medieval & Early Modern Studies

U.S. Cultural Studies

Women's and Gender Studies

Core: Worldview Programs

Asian Studies Minor - Dr. Todd Friends

asianstudies@whitworth.edu

The Asian studies minor was created out of recognition that the vast region labeled “Asia” has greatly influenced, and continues to influence, human experience throughout the world. Whether Asia is viewed as a source of world religions, half the earth’s population, much of the economic growth of the last few decades, or a microcosm of the diversity of political and economic policies, it is clear that gaining a better understanding of Asia requires an interdisciplinary approach. The Asian studies minor builds upon the strengths of courses in the social sciences and humanities that focus on Asia or particular Asian countries. The confluence of these courses allows students to develop an integrated understanding of the region, read difficult texts, understand and formulate abstract ideas and make informed judgments about a world of many cultures. This focus on the “other” is fundamental to understanding the student’s own culture and the values that shape his or her worldview. From this understanding, it is hoped that students can begin to construct bridges across cultures.

The learning outcomes of the Asian studies minor prepare the student to do the following:

  • Use an interdisciplinary framework to understand a foreign culture.
  • Understand and reflect on the cultures of Asia in relation to the student’s own culture.
  • Read and speak Japanese or Chinese at a level sufficient to begin study in either country.
  • Augment a student’s major coursework with a concentration in Asia.
  • Understand the role that Asia plays in shaping the contemporary world, as well as how outside forces have shaped Asia.

Requirements for an Asian Studies Minor (18)

Language: proficiency at the 202 level in Japanese or Chinese (no more than six language credits can count toward the minor)
Additional courses (must take courses in at lease two disciplines):
Chinese Gardens and Temples
The Pacific World
Political History of Beijing
Cultural Odyssey of China
Political History of Beijing
Cultural Odyssey of China
Cultural History of China and Japan
Modern China and East Asia
Asian Philosophy
Contemporary Korea
Contemporary China and East Asia
Globalization in Southeast Asia
Thailand Study Program
See advisor for current applicable courses.
Foreign study: Students pursuing an Asian studies minor must complete at least three of their credits through a foreign study experience in an Asian country.

U.S. Cultural Studies Minor - Stacy Keogh

uscs@whitworth.edu

Whitworth’s U.S. Cultural Studies Program acknowledges that many factors, such as race, ethnicity, national origin, socio-economics, gender, sexual orientation and type of disability, influence our lives and experiences in the United States. In one way or another, others’ perceptions of us, or even our self-perceptions, have been formed by these personal characteristics and by the groups that are identified by these characteristics. Our goal is to study these groups so that we can better understand these groups and our own lives in the contemporary U.S.  Students of all identities and backgrounds are welcomed and encouraged to pursue this minor.

Through this program of study, our goals are:

  1. To study the foundations and interactions of diverse groups living in the U.S. from an interdisciplinary framework.
  2. To develop intercultural competencies for other coursework, graduate or professional schools, and eventual vocations.
  3. To increase willingness and capacity to serve campus and communities by advancing social justice and reconciliation.

Requirements for a U.S. Cultural Studies Minor (17-18)

The director of the minor may approve additional or alternate courses that satisfy the learning outcomes of the minor, including off-campus study courses, internships and field research.
IDS 110Introduction to U.S. Cultural Studies1
IDS 310U.S. Cultural Studies: Community-Based Research1
IDS 311U.S. Cultural Studies: Campus-Based Research1
SP 398Intercultural Communication3
Elective credits from the following:11-12
Section I: Structural Frameworks
Community Arts in Practice
Identity, Race, and Power in American Life
Sports and Society
Poverty and Community Development
Psychology of Poverty and Social Class
Race and Ethnicity
Gender, Performance, and Pop Culture
Performing the Self
Religion in American Public Life
Section II: Cultural Contexts
Cultural Competence and Society
African American History to 1877
African American History Since 1865
Genealogy in Cultural Context
Asian American Film
U.S. Latino/A Film
Native American Film
African American Film
US Tribal Identities
African-American Preaching
Women Writers
Topics: Women's Studies,Gender in Central America
Intro Women's and Gender Studies

Women's & Gender Studies Program - Dr. Jennifer Brown

wgs@whitworth.edu

At Whitworth, we affirm that all people are created in God's image and share a common humanity.  At the same time, we acknowledge that many factors, such as gender, race, class, sexual orientation and religious upbringing, influence our learning and our lives.  These personal characteristics, including gender, may influence how women and men pursue scholarship, how women and men are represented in scholarship, in history and in society, and, ultimately, how women and men may come to honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity.  Through curricular and co-curricular means, teaching both heart and mind, the Women's and Gender Studies Program at Whitworth offers students the unique opportunity to think through gender issues from a Christian perspective and to articulate, support, and critique feminist views in the light of biblical and theological traditions.

The learning outcomes of this major prepare the student to do the following:

  • Use an interdisciplinary framework to engage with the pluralistic culture.
  • Identify and investigate the intersections of gender, race, class and religion with gender experiences.
  • Seek an increased understanding of gender issues from various Christian perspectives.
  • Explore, develop, articulate and critique feminist views.

A minor in Women's and Gender Studies prepares successful candidates for jobs and for graduate school in a broad range of disciplines, including human resources, education, political science, journalism, social work, counseling, and medicine.  Candidates are urged to speak with the program director about course work and internships.

Requirements for a Women's & Gender Studies Minor (18)

WGS 201Intro Women's and Gender Studies3
Fifteen credits from the following:15
Biology of Sex & Gender
Gender and Faith in Film and Literature
Women Writers
African American Women Writers
Women in American Fiction
Latina and Caribbean Women Writers
British Women Writers
Jane Austen
Brontes and Gaskell Seminar
Women Writers
Gender, Politics and Law
Psychology of Women
Spanish and Latin American Women Writers
Race and Ethnicity
Marriage, Sex and Gender
Gender, Performance, and Pop Culture
Topics in Theology
Christian Anthropology: Man and Woman In the Image of God
Topics: Women's Studies,Gender in Central America
Topics: Women's Studies
Introduction to Thailand Studies
   and Thailand Study Program

Interdisciplinary Studies Courses

IDS 110 Introduction to U.S. Cultural Studies1
This course introduces students to critical cultural studies in the contemporary U.S. It is open to all undergraduate students and has no prerequisites. Fall and spring semesters.
IDS 115 Preparing for a STEM Career1
Students will learn about the type of scientific work they would enjoy, explore scientific careers, hear guest speakers, and understand the preparation necessary at the undergraduate level in order to succeed in their chosen career. Spring semesters. Recommended standing: Freshman.
IDS 151 Seminar for Health Professions1
A seminar to introduce students to the pre-health fields. Visiting speakers will represent medical, dental and veterinary fields. Course will also cover specifics of courses, majors, and other issues related to pre-health fields. Spring semester.
IDS 201 Genealogy in Cultural Context2
This course introduces students to genealogical and historical research in the framework of diverse viewpoints within American society. Students will analyze the cultural diversity of their family history, with particular attention to placing their family in historical context. Spring semester.
IDS 230 Asian American Film2
This course is open to all students. By the end of the course the student will have increased their understanding in: -How Asian American identity is constructed -What is the portrayal of Asian Americans -What are the cultural expectations, assumptions, and impact on Asian Americans and on the 'other' -How is identity being redefined? Spring semester.
IDS 231 U.S. Latino/A Film2
This course introduces students to US Latino/a cultures through film. Students will view films by Latino/a filmmakers, study U.S. History, and learn multicultural theory. Recommended for all students. Offered Spring term.
IDS 232 Native American Film2
his course introduces Native American cultures to students through film. The class covers U.S. History, Native American cultures, and multicultural theory. Recommended for all students. Offered fall term.
IDS 233 African American Film2
This course introduces students to African American culture through films. Students will view films made by African Americans, study U.S. History, and discuss multicultural theory. Recommended for all students. Offered fall term.
IDS 235H US Tribal Identities3
A project-driven course that studies US domestic colonialism and the exploitation of special groups. Major ideas covered are critical race theory, internal colonialism, and environmental justice. Involves guest speakers, field trips, research, and a group presentation.
IDS 291 Independent Study1-4
IDS 301 Introduction to Latin American Studies3
This course explores Latin America from a variety of perspectives: sociological, political, theological, artistic and literary. It includes an historical survey of Latin America from the earliest times to the present. Given the fact that this course is being taught at the Costa Rica Center, it gives special emphasis to Costa Rica and Central America. Nevertheless, the course will contain examples and will cover themes that pertain to much of Latin America and the Caribbean. This course will also deal with U.S. foreign relations with Latin America, including NAFTA, CAFTA and other trade agreements. Offered every fall and spring semesters at Costa Rica Center. Recommended HI 127 or HI 181 prior to taking IDS 301
IDS 310 U.S. Cultural Studies: Community-Based Research1
This course engages students with community members to work collaboratively to address societal issues confronting diverse populations. This course is open to all students. Fall semester.
IDS 311 U.S. Cultural Studies: Campus-Based Research1
This course engages students with campus members to work collaboratively to address societal issues confronting diverse populations. Spring semester.
IDS 335H US Tribal Identities3
A project-driven course that studies US domestic colonialism and the exploitation of special groups. Major ideas covered are critical race theory, internal colonialism, and environmental justice. Involves guest speakers, field trips, research, and a group presentation.
IDS 351 Preparatory Seminar: Health Professions1
A cross-disciplinary course focusing on synthesis of general biology, general chemistry, general physics, organic chemistry, physiology, NMR and IR spectroscopy. Strategic course for learning to apply introductory science/math knowledge to questions involving higher-order content. Intended for students planning to take the Medical College Admissions Test, Dental Aptitude Test, or veterinary-school entrance exams. Intended primarily for the student in his/her junior or senior year. Students will prepare for health professions both in terms of the entrance exams and by researching each school's focus and prerequisites. Prerequisites: BI 140, BI 141, CH 161, CH 181, CH 271, CH 278, PS 151, and PS 153.
IDS 390 Internship1-4
IDS 391 Independent Study1-4
IDS 491 Independent Study1-6

Women and Gender Studies Courses

WGS 122 Gender and Faith in Film & Lit3
Explores how religious beliefs shape our cultural and personal understandings of gender roles and gender identity.
WGS 126 Women Writers3
An overview of women's literary history and an introduction to feminist literary theory. Emphasis on reading, discussion and student response through written and oral assignments. No Prerequisites.
WGS 127 African American Women's Writers3
Survey of the literature and cultural histories of African American women writers of the United States, including poetry, drama, fiction, essay, memoir, and a selection of black feminist scholarship and critical race theory. No prerequisites. Fulfills American Diversity Studies and Humanities requirements; American Cultural Studies requirement for all three tracks of the English major and two of the English minors; elective for Women's and Gender studies minor and United States Cultural Studies minor.
WGS 130 Latina & Caribbean Women Writers3
Study of contemporary novels, stories, poems, and films produced by Latina and Caribbean American women in light of historical, theoretical, and cultural contexts. Emphasis on reading and student response through written and oral assignments produced both individually and collaboratively. Periodic Jan Term offering.
WGS 192 Foreign Study/Exchange1-17
WGS 196 Topics: Women's Studies1-3
Selected lower-division topics in women's studies.
WGS 201 Intro Women's and Gender Studies3
Emphasis on women's social, political and personal experience. Includes classic and contemporary feminist theory; patterns of male/female relationships; health, gender and medicine; women and poverty; homelessness; gender role socialization; women in the workforce; sexual harassment; domestic life; spirituality; a service-learning component; and the history and variety of women's protest in America.
WGS 223 Psychology of Women3
Introduction to theory and research about the psychology of women. Topics covered include the concept of masculinity and femininity, theoretical perspectives on sex and gender, sex-role development in childhood and adolescence, gender differences and similarities, sexuality, reproduction, therapy, personal growth, gender and the media, and issues in the workplace.
WGS 243 Marriage, Sex and Gender3
See SO 243.
WGS 294 Directed Readings: Women Writers1
WGS 296 Topics: Women's Studies3
WGS 302 Gender and Faith in Film and Literature3
Explores how religious beliefs shape our cultural and personal understandings of gender roles and gender identity.
WGS 307W Women in American Fiction3
Portrayals of women in American fiction and popular literature. Female and male authors, primarily late 19th century.
WGS 321 Gender, Performance, and Pop Culture3
Exploration both of gender as performance and gender in performance. Engagement with a range of theories in the areas of gender and representation, including how ideas about gender are portrayed, reinforced, or challenged through a variety of plays, films, and other performance materials.
WGS 330 Latina & Caribbean Women Writers3
Study of contemporary novels, stories, poems, and films produced by Latina and Caribbean American women in light of historical, theoretical, and cultural contexts. Emphasis on reading and student response through written and oral assignments produced both individually and collaboratively. Periodic Jan Term offering.
WGS 342 British Women Writers3
Examines the contributions of familiar (e.g., Austen, Bronte, Woolf) and less familiar women writers of Britain. Considers literary history in light of recent revisions of that history. Periodic offering. Women's and gender studies elective.
WGS 349 Introduction to Thailand Studies2
Preparation for Jan Term Thailand program.
WGS 350 Thailand Study Program3
Students travel to Bangkok, Chaingmai, and Kohsomui to study contemporary and classical Thai culture. Includes home stays, service learning, and intercultural experience with emphasis on globalizing economics, religion, and gender. Prerequisite: HU 349 or WGS 349.
WGS 351 Cross Cultural Reentry Thailand Studies1
See HU 349.
WGS 362 Man & Woman in Image of God3
This course analyzes the biblical and theological foundations of man and woman created in the image of God. It highlights how the Divine Creator and Redeemer works for the full restoration of male and female, whether in married or single life, from broken existence into the true image of God in Jesus Christ. Fall and spring semester.
WGS 378 Jane Austen3
A seminar on Jane Austen's major works. Prerequisite: EL 125, EL 208, EL 225 or EL 228. Periodic Jan Term offering.
WGS 391 Independent Study1-3
WGS 392 Foreign Study/Exchange1-17
WGS 395 Teaching Assistantship1-3
WGS 396 Topics: Women's Studies1-3
Selected upper-division topics in women's studies.
WGS 399 Tutoring in Women's Studies1-3
Tutors lead small, voluntary discussion groups affiliated with a women's studies course. Activities vary depending on the nature of the course assignment. May include, but is not limited to, tutoring on course material, advising on projects and papers, leading discussion groups. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: junior standing and permission of the instructor.
WGS 401 Seminar in Women's Studies3
Seniors integrate women's studies methods and theories with their major discipline. Explores influences of gender in the major institutions of society: family, school, church and the workplace. Students engage in creative projects, research or internships of their choice.
WGS 434 Spanish and Latin American Women Writers3
See SN 434
WGS 442 Brontes and Gaskell Seminar3
Studies the creative works of the Bronte sisters and Elizabeth Gaskell within the context of 19th-century Britain. Prerequisite: EL 208 & EL 267.
WGS 491 Independent Study1-3
WGS 495 Teaching Assistantship1-3
Dean of Arts and Sciences

NOELLE WIERSMA