Interdisciplinary Courses


Interdisciplinary courses fully engage more than two distinct intellectual disciplines. They are identified by the subject code INDS. The departments and programs in which INDS courses are cross-listed are listed in each INDS course description. Interdisciplinary courses are integral to the course offerings of the cross-listing departments and programs.

The list below includes INDS-designated courses in the curriculum. The list does not represent a specific course of study.

Courses

INDC 100. African Perspectives on Justice, Human Rights, and Renewal.

This team-taught course introduces students to some of the experiences, cultural beliefs, values, and voices shaping contemporary Africa. Students focus on the impact of climatic, cultural, and geopolitical diversity; the politics of ethnicity, religion, age, race, and gender and their influence on daily life; and the forces behind contemporary policy and practice in Africa. The course forges students' critical capacity to resist simplistic popular understandings of what is taking place on the continent and works to refocus their attention on distinctively "African perspectives." Students design a research project to augment their knowledge about a specific issue within a particular region. The course is primarily for first- and second-year students with little critical knowledge of Africa and serves as the introduction to the General Education concentration Considering Africa (C022). Cross-listed in anthropology, French and Francophone studies, history, and politics. Enrollment limited to 39. (Africa.) (Governance and Conflict.) (Identities and Interests.) Normally offered every year. A. Dauge-Roth, E. Eames, L. Hill, P. Otim.
Concentrations

INDC 130. Food in Ancient Greece and Rome.

Participants in this course study food in ancient Greece and Rome: the history of the food supply for agrarian and urban populations; malnutrition, its probable impact on ancient economies, and its uneven impact on populations; famine; the symbolism of the heroic banquet—a division of the sacrificial animal among ranked members of society, and between men and gods; cuisine and delicacies of the rich; forbidden food; the respective roles of men and women in food production, and their unequal access to food supply; dietary transgression; and sacred food. Cross-listed in classical and medieval studies, gender and sexuality studies, and history. Not open to students who have received credit for CMS s28. Enrollment limited to 49. (European.) (Premodern.) D. O'Higgins.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 177. Caribbean Popular Cultural Insurgency.

Caribbean popular culture exerts influence on the world stage disproportionate to the region's size. This course examines the politics and creolized development of Caribbean popular culture through some of its best-known modes of expression such as music, the Trinidad Carnival, and the game of cricket. Placing these cultural forms in their historical and social contexts reveals their oppositional, dissenting qualities. By applying various critical analytical lenses, however, including gender and sexuality, ethnicity, nationalism, and transnationalism, the course also considers certain conservative undercurrents of these cultural formations. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, and Latin American studies. Enrollment limited to 19. C. Carnegie.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 208. Introduction to Medieval Archaeology.

The Middle Ages were a time of major cultural changes that laid the groundwork for Northwest Europe's emergence as a global center of political and economic power in subsequent centuries. However, many aspects of life in the period from 1000 to 1500 C.E. were unrecorded in contemporary documents and art, and archaeology has become an important tool for recovering that information. This course introduces the interdisciplinary methods and the findings of archaeological studies of topics including medieval urban and rural lifeways, health, commerce, religion, social hierarchy, warfare, and the effects of global climate change. Cross-listed in anthropology, classical and medieval studies, environmental studies, and history. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 39. (Premodern.) [S] G. Bigelow.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDC 211. U.S. Environmental History.

This course explores the relationship between the North American environment and the development and expansion of the United States. Because Americans' efforts (both intentional and not) to define and shape the environment were rooted in their own struggles for power, environmental history offers an important perspective on the nation's social history. Specific topics include Europeans', Africans', and Indians' competing efforts to shape the colonial environment; the impact and changing understanding of disease; the relationship between industrial environments and political power; and the development of environmental movements. Cross-listed in American cultural studies, environmental studies, and history. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 39. (Modern. ) (United States.) J. Hall.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 219. Environmental Archaeology.

Over the past two hundred years archaeologists, scientists, and humanists in many disciplines have worked together to understand the interactions of past human populations with the physical world, including plants, animals, landscapes, and climates. This course outlines the methods and theories used by archaeologists, geologists, biologists, physicists, chemists, and historians in reconstructing past economies and ecologies in diverse areas of the globe. The course also discusses how archaeology contributes to our understanding of contemporary environmental issues such as rapid climate change, shrinking biodiversity, and sustainable use of resources. Cross-listed in anthropology, environmental studies, and history. Recommended background: ANTH 103. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 39. (Premodern.) [S] Normally offered every year. G. Bigelow.
Concentrations

INDC 238. Queer Power: Political Sociology of U.S. Sexuality Movements.

This course introduces students to social movement theory and interest group politics in the United States via the case study of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) politics from the immediate post-World War II period to the present, and examines the relationship of sexuality to the racial and gender dynamics of American identity-based social movements. The course traces the development of research methodologies to study collective action from early rational choice models to resource mobilization theory to new social movement models and political opportunity and process models. How the LGBTQ movements drew upon, expanded, and challenged foundations established by both African American civil rights and feminism is also explored. A range of source materials includes political science, sociology, and history monographs and articles, primary source documents, literature, and film. Cross-listed in gender and sexuality studies, politics, and sociology. Enrollment limited to 29. (Identities and Interests.) (Institutional Politics.) S. Engel.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 250. Interdisciplinary Studies: Methods and Modes of Inquiry.

Interdisciplinarity involves more than a meeting of disciplines. Practitioners stretch methodological norms and reach across disciplinary boundaries. Through examination of a single topic, this course introduces students to interdisciplinary methods of analysis. Students examine what practitioners actually do and work to become practitioners themselves. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, and gender and sexuality studies. Prerequisite(s): AAS 100, ACS 100, or GSS 100, and one other course in African American studies, American cultural studies, or gender and sexuality studies. Enrollment limited to 39. Staff.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 256. Rites of Spring.

Le Sacre du printempsThe Rite of Spring— began as a ballet, with music by Igor Stravinsky, choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky, and sets and costumes by Nicholas Roerich. Premiered in 1913 to riots in Paris, The Rite of Spring has lived on to become one of the most important pieces of music in the Western canon and the zenith of stature and daring for choreographers. This course examines where it came from and how it has evolved over time through dance works, music, and cultural context. Cross-listed in dance, music, and Russian. [W2] Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDC 266. Environmental History of China.

This course investigates the deep historical roots that lie behind China's contemporary environmental dilemmas. From the Three Gorges Dam to persistent smog, a full understanding of the environment in China must reckon with millennia-old relationships between human and natural systems. In this course students explore the advent of grain agriculture, religious understandings of nature, the impact of bureaucratic states, and the environmental dimensions of imperial expansion as well as the nature of kinship and demographic change. The course concludes by turning to the socialist "conquest" of nature in the 1950s and 1960s and China's post-1980s fate. Cross-listed in Asian studies, environmental studies, and history. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 39. (East Asian.) (Premodern.) (Early Modern.) (Modern. ) W. Chaney.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 267. Blood, Genes, and American Culture.

Places recent popular and scientific discussions of human heredity and genetics in broader social, political, and historical context, focusing on shifting definitions of personhood. Topics include the ownership and exchange of human bodies and body parts, the development of assisted reproductive technologies, and the emergence of new forms of biological citizenship. Recommended background: course work in biology and/or gender and sexuality studies. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, and gender and sexuality studies. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 39. R. Herzig.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 301A. Sex and the Modern City: European Cultures at the Fin-de-Siècle.

Economic and political change during the 1800s revolutionized the daily lives of Europeans more profoundly than any previous century. By the last third of the century, the modern city became the stage for exploring and enacting new roles, new gender identities in particular. This course examines the cultural reverberations of these cataclysmic changes by focusing on sex, gender, and new urban spaces the decades around the turn of the twentieth century. Students consider the writings of Zola and Freud, investigate middle-class flirtations with the occult, and read about sensational crimes like those of Jack the Ripper. Cross-listed in European studies, gender and sexuality studies, and history. Enrollment limited to 15. (European.) (Modern. ) [W2] C. Shaw.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 301L. Exhibiting American Culture.

How is America defined through cultural exhibitions and performances of national identity? This course examines the politics of exhibiting American culture. Each week the course investigates distinct exhibitions of visual culture and the cultural body, such as historic house museums, plantations and American slavery museums, Colonial Williamsburg, world expositions, the phenomenon of the wild west show, cowboy culture, Native American exhibitions, and displays of American culture in music videos, film, and television. Through these types of exhibitions, students consider issues of stereotype, race, and national and local identity. Cross-listed in American cultural studies, art and visual culture, and history. Enrollment limited to 39. (Modern. ) (United States.) [W2] Staff.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 301Y. The Spanish Inquisition.

Were witches and heretics really tortured in the Spanish Inquisition's infamous jails? This course examines both the institution of the Spanish Inquisition and the lives of those who came before it. The sins that concerned the Inquisition depended on the time and place, and the crimes prosecuted in sixteenth-century Spain or eighteenth-century New Spain reveal a great deal about early modern (ca. 1500–1800) culture and society. Students read and analyze original Inquisition cases from Spain and New Spain as well as consider the ways historians have used cases to investigate topics such as sexuality and marriage, witchcraft, and the persecution of Jews and Muslims. Cross-listed in history, Latin American studies, and religious studies. Enrollment limited to 15. (European.) (Latin American.) (Early Modern.) [W2] K. Melvin.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 301Z. Race and U.S. Women's Movements.

This course focuses on how racial formations develop in women's movements and how gender ideologies take shape through racialization. Some of the movements examined include the woman's suffrage movement, the anti-lynching movement, the civil rights movement, moral reform movements, the welfare rights movement, the women's liberation movement, and the peace movement. Students analyze how the intertwined categories of race and gender shape various women's responses to debates about issues including citizenship, U.S. foreign policy, reproductive rights, and immigration. Students consider current theoretical and methodological debates and examine the topic through the perspectives of women in various ethnic and racial groups. Cross-listed in gender and sexuality studies, history, and politics. Prerequisite(s): one course in gender and sexuality studies. Enrollment limited to 15. (Identities and Interests.) (Institutional Politics.) (Modern. ) (United States.) [W2] M. Plastas.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 302. Black Feminist Activist and Intellectual Traditions.

This junior-senior seminar examines the intersections of gender with black racial and ethnic identities as they have been and are constructed, expressed, and lived throughout the African/black diaspora. Special attention is given to the United States but substantial consideration is given to Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Canada, Europe, and Australia. The course combines approaches and methodologies employed in the humanities, social sciences, and arts to structure interdisciplinary analyses. Using black feminist (womanist), critical-race, and queer theories, students examine African-descended women’s histories, activism, resistance, and contributions to culture, knowledge, and theorizing. Crosslisted in African American studies, American cultural studies, and gender and sexuality studies. Prerequisite(s): one course in African American studies, American cultural studies, or gender and sexuality studies. Enrollment limited to 15. S. Houchins.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 305. Art, Power, and Politics.

This course is an anthropological examination of the relationship among art, power, and politics. What can the artistic works of various societies say about their worlds that other creations cannot? What claims can art make about the workings of power, and what artistic techniques does power itself employ? Students consider these and other questions from a number of different perspectives, including the politics of perception, the place of art in modern life, the artistry of terror, the art of protest and propaganda, and the dream of building a beautiful regime. Recommended background: familiarity with classical social theory, especially Marx, is encouraged but not necessary. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, and anthropology. Not open to students who have received credit for ANTH s22. Enrollment limited to 15. J. Rubin.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDC 321. Afroambiente: Writing a Black Environment.

This course studies the response of black writers and intellectuals of the Spanish-speaking world to issues related to the natural environment. In three countries, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, and Equatorial Guinea, modernity has brought serious challenges to notions of economic progress, human rights, and national sovereignty, as well as individual and communal identity. Course materials include written texts from local newspapers and magazines as well as other sources of information such as Internet sites that discuss issues related to the environment and the arts. All readings are in English. Cross-listed in African American studies, environmental studies, Latin American studies, and Spanish. Only open to juniors and seniors. Enrollment limited to 15. B. Fra-Molinero.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 342. Performance, Narrative, and the Body.

This course examines the politics of the body through the inter/transdisciplinary frames of the narrative and performance, including the specific ways performance and narrative theories of the body and cultural practices operate in everyday life and social formations. Students examine how the "body" is performed and how narrative is constructed in a variety of different contexts such as race, gender, disease, sexuality, and culture. The course places narrative and performance at the center (rather than the margins) of inquiry, asking how far and how deeply performativity reaches into our lives and how performances construct our identities, differences, and our bodies: who we are and who we can become. Cross-listed in African American studies, anthropology, and gender and sexuality studies. Prerequisite(s): GSS 100. Recommended background: course work in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, gender and sexuality studies, politics, or sociology. Enrollment limited to 15. M. Beasley.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 352. Preserving the Vibration: Digitizing the Legacy of Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor.

This course introduces public and digital humanities through the life and work of noted journalist, food anthropologist, and public broadcaster Vertamae Grosvenor. Public humanities is concerned with expanding academic discourse beyond academia and facilitating conversations on topics of humanistic inquiry with the community at large. Digital studies provide a plethora of unconventional ways to engage community in public dialogues for the greater good. Drawing from books, operas, NPR audio segments, interviews, cookbooks, and other artifacts of Grosvenor, students create and curate a digital archive. Themes include Gullah culture, African American migration, foodways, memoir, public memory, and monuments. Leading theories and methods of black feminism, material culture, race, food studies, new media and digital humanities are foregrounded. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, digital and computational studies, and gender and sexuality studies. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: AA/AC 119; AA/HI 243; AAS 100; ACS 100; AC/AV 340; AC/EN 395B; AV/GS 287; GSS 100; INDS 250 or 267; REL 255 or 270. Enrollment limited to 15. M. Beasley.
Interdisciplinary Programs

INDC 390. The Afro-Latin Americans.

The 500-year presence of Africans and their descendants in the Spanish-speaking world has produced a significant body of literature by blacks and about blacks. Spanish America was the main destination of the African diaspora. Afro-Hispanic writers attest to the struggle for freedom and the abolition of slavery. Their literature shows how the participation of blacks in the wars of Latin American independence was a struggle for their emancipation. Afro-Hispanic writers in Spain, the Americas, and Africa use their art and ideas to address the postnational migrations of the twenty-first century, a diaspora that has not ceased. Recommended background: AAS 100. Cross-listed in African American studies, Latin American studies, and Spanish. Taught in English. Only open to juniors and seniors. Not open to students who have received credit for INDS 290. Enrollment limited to 15. B. Fra-Molinero.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

Short Term Courses

INDC s10. Between Past and Future: Contemporary Chinese Art since 1980.

A book "from the sky" with imagined characters, Mao in a Mickey Mouse costume, a nude and pregnant self-portrait, the act of repeatedly "stamping" the water with a seal in Tibet: these are snapshots of Chinese contemporary art since 1980. This course examines the exhilarating last three decades of Chinese art. While focusing on the shadow of tradition in contemporary image making, topics also include gender and sexuality, political expression and activism, private and public spaces, and questions of historiography. Cross-listed in art and visual culture, Asian studies, and Chinese. Not open to students who have received credit for AV/AS 175. Enrollment limited to 29. Y. Liu.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDC s18. Wilde Times: Scandal, Celebrity, and the Law.

Oscar Wilde, an icon today, was popular in his own time as well. His relationship with Alfred Douglas was an open secret despite the fact that homosexuality was at the time a criminal offence. Indeed, Wilde’s sexuality was tolerated until he sued Douglas’ irascible father for libel. This course begins with the 1895 trials, seeking to understand cultures of sexuality in a period notorious for sexual repression, and contextualizing issues they raise of scandal and the law, celebrity, gender, and sexuality. Designed to encourage independent research, the course guides students through the research process, drawing to the fore histories often hidden from view. Cross-listed in European studies, gender and sexuality studies, and history. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 29. (European.) (Modern. ) C. Shaw.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC s19. Food, Culture, and Performance.

This interdisciplinary seminar examines the idea of cultural engagement through food. Students explore the meanings of food and eating across cultures, with particular attention to how people define themselves socially, symbolically, and politically through food consumption practices. Students in this community-based course collaborate with Nezinscot Farm exploring themes of gathering, homesteading, and biodynamic farming. The course develops research and writing skills, introduces visual and performance theories of culture, and fosters an understanding of the importance of food and its relationship to identity construction, histories, and cultural literacy. The course culminates in a performative meal. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, and gender and sexuality studies. Enrollment limited to 19. (Community-Engaged Learning.) M. Beasley.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC s20. Politics of Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Brazil.

Forever the country of the future, but never forgetful of the past, Brazil pushes forward through turbulent political times that threaten hard-won progressive change. From Zumbí dos Palmares to Lei Afonso Arinos and Lei Maria da Penha to PL João W. Nery, Brazil boasts a rich tradition of engaging social justice through non-institutional and institutional avenues. This course analyzes the relationship between protest and policy through an investigation of race, gender, and sexuality movements and institutional responses to advocacy. Despite the saying that Brazil is not for amateurs, by the end of this course students gain a deeper understanding of Brazilian politics, identity, and institutions, and even um pouquinho de português. Cross-listed in gender and sexuality studies, Latin American studies, and politics. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 29. (Identities and Interests.) (Institutional Politics.) J. Longaker.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC s34. Place, Community, and Transformation: Kingston, Jamaica.

The course evaluates the feasibility of green space development in Kingston, Jamaica, a city marked by class disparities, political polarization, and the impoverishing impact of neoliberal economic policies. Through assigned texts students explore the city's physical and demographic development under colonial and postcolonial rule. They examine development initiatives, challenges, and failures through guest lectures and tours led by practicing architects, engineers, planners, environmentalists, and community workers. Students undertake ethnographic research in neighborhoods, parks, and public spaces on the use of outdoor recreational space, perceived needs, and food gardening practices to gather data that might guide future community-building green initiatives. Cross-listed in African American studies, anthropology, environmental studies, and Latin American studies. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Community-Engaged Learning.) C. Carnegie.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC s38. Cannibalism as an Eating Disorder in the Conquest of America.

Christopher Columbus coined the word cannibal during his first voyage to the American continent. The word and the concept have been used ever since to situate the Other, people to be conquered or worthy of destruction. This course explores historical texts of the conquest that describe cannibalism and challenge the practice's very existence among Caribs, Aztecs, Incas, and enslaved Africans. Students explore the related concept of the manhunt, the use by the state of modern and ancient technologies of persecution against individuals and groups it has determined to eliminate. All readings are in English. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, Latin American studies, and Spanish. Prerequisite(s): one 200-level Spanish course above SPAN 205. Recommended background: course work in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, gender and sexuality studies, history, or literature. B. Fra-Molinero.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)