Some of the courses offered have included:
Attending the Symphony
Students in this course will attend three performances at the South Dakota Symphony. The week before each concert, the instructor will present a guided listening overview of the concert repertoire. Students will learn about the composers, style and genre characteristics, formal analysis, and instrumentation for each of the pieces. After each concert, students will be asked to turn in a formal critique of each event where they will be asked to describe and evaluate the concert.
The Mad Scientist: Societal Perceptions
The stories we enjoy also tend to reflect the world as we see it. Judging by the roles scientists assume in literature, movies and television, we apparently see scientists primarily as evil geniuses or magicians that can solve any problem. We will use the perception of science as portrayed in fiction to explore society’s perception of science and scientists. We will explore the scientist as villain (Frankenstein and others), the scientist as magician (MacGyver, NCIS and others) and the scientist as hero.
Tolkien is rightly considered one of the most influential and popular authors of the 20th Century. Students will read and interpret the author’s signature works “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, while supplementing their studies with a companion Tolkien biography and a Middle-earth research manual. The object of the course is to explore the moral universe of Middle-earth, paying particular attention to Tolkien’s celebration of the virtues of service, courage, hope and sacrifice. If the course lives up to its promise, students may come away from it with a deeper appreciation of the complexity, richness and relevance of Middle-earth, a mythical universe that nonetheless confronts the reader with timeless and fundamental questions about the nature of good, evil, sacrifice and service.
The Art of Identity
In this course, students will explore the meaning of identity, examine how art functions as a representation of identity and as a vital player in shaping the identity of its maker, and they will consider how social change comes about through the promotion of self and the empowerment of community members who participate in community arts programs.
What’s Food Got to Do with It?
Among the familiar carriers of culture, sociologists often point to language, values and norms and how they shape individuals and the societies in which we live. What can food have to do with any of this? The what, when, where, who and how of food consumption is closely interwoven with these nonmaterial carriers of culture. Anthropologists can deduct the social and behavioral patterns of a society by studying many of that group’s behaviors, including when and where who ate what and how it was prepared or eaten.