IDIS-D 501: Humanities Seminar (3 cr.)
Zombies, Cyborgs, and Posthumanity

Instructor: Wells
6 - 8:30 p.m. M

What does it mean to be human? What does that word mean now, in an age of prosthetic limbs and artificial intelligence, the digital reanimation of dead celebrities and the do-not-resuscitate order? This course will explore this question—the question that lies at the heart of the humanities, traditionally conceived—by way of works of fiction and film in which zombies, cyborgs, androids, and other instances of posthumanity figure prominently. Our goal throughout will be to discover what this proliferation of posthuman texts teaches us about us—what we learn about our humanity when we see it reflected in the visages of the engineered and the undead.

IDIS-D 502: Social Sciences Seminar (3 cr.)
Dialogue for Change in a Modern World

Instructor: Grohowski
6 – 8:30 p.m. W

Dialogue is a process that allows individuals in personal, professional, or civic environments to share their perspectives and experiences with one another about difficult topics that are otherwise debated or avoided. Two goals of dialogue are that parties gain: (1) an expanded understanding through exposure to diverse perspectives and experiences, and (2) are moved to action (e.g., change). The study of dialog is an interdisciplinary area of inquiry, informed by scholars in political science, sociology, philosophy, the fine arts, rhetoric, physical science, psychology, education, communication studies, and anthropology, among others. In American culture and history, dialogue has set in motion policy change, education reform, and social justice.

IDIS-D 503: Natural Sciences Seminar (3 cr.)
Natural and Technological Disasters

Instructor: Dauer
6 – 8:30 p.m. T

During the Cold War, the threat of nuclear war spurred scholars, particularly in the United States to study how states and societies respond to natural and technological disasters. Catastrophic events provide opportunities for scholars from a broad range of disciplines across the academy to examine their impact not only on scientific, and technological developments, but also on social, political, economic, literary, environmental, and cultural systems. The study of catastrophic events, then, lends itself to an interdisciplinary method of inquiry. This course will cover the following topics: definitions of disaster; cultures of disaster; risk, vulnerability, and blame; society, community, and criminality; religion and philosophy; science and technology; climate and catastrophe; the business and economics of disaster; politics and national identity; art and literature; and media and popular culture.

IDIS-D 510: Intro to Interdisciplinary Studies (4 cr.)

Instructor: Finkel
6 - 7:40 p.m. TR

The course provides a comprehensive introduction to graduate interdisciplinary studies, as well as preparing students to participate successfully in all facets of the MIS program. The course will examine principles of intellectual inquiry in the three fields represented in the MIS program: Arts & Letters, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. We will then apply these to the Common Experience topic for the year.

MIS Courses for Spring 2018

IDIS-D 501: Humanities Seminar (3 cr.)
Thinking about War

Instructor: Barry
6 - 8:30 p.m. R

In this course, we will examine the way in which the realities of war have changed, paying special attention to the unprecedented events of the last hundred years. Our major focus will be on the ways in which political communities and the ethos of their residents have been dramatically transformed by the war event, both in its total form (e.g., WWI and WWII) as well as in the new era where war and terrorism have become all but impossible to separate. Ultimately, we will seek to gain a better understanding of the confusions that arise with these newest forms of war.

IDIS-D 502: Social Sciences Seminar (3 cr.)
Digital Gaming Culture

Instructor: Barnes
6 – 8:30 p.m. M

We will look at current scholarship on gaming and game culture, survey some of the most prevalent theories applied to video gaming, and examine the impact gaming has had on our culture. Further, we will explore how theories developed for other disciplines—such as literary and artistic criticism, cultural theory, and media studies—can be applied to this new and sometimes perplexing media form.

IDIS-D 503: Natural Sciences Seminar (3 cr.)
Finding the Science in Science Fiction

Instructor: Hollenbeck
6 – 8:30 p.m. W

Scientists have used fiction to explain and explore their science, and professional writers have used science to extend the limits of fiction. However, like fraternal twins, science and science fiction often reflect each other imperfectly. This course will examine the sometimes-uneasy relationship between the two. It will investigate several perennial questions about the genre: How good is the science in any given work of sci-fi, given the scientific knowledge of the author's time? Can sci-fi writers ever really anticipate the science of the future? Is there a relationship between the quality of the science and the quality of the narrative, or must one be sacrificed for the other? Is there a difference between the work of a sci-fi writer and of a scientist writing sci-fi?

IDIS-D 511: Grant Writing (3 cr.)

Instructor: Finkel
6 - 8:30 p.m. T

Developing requests for funding, or simply stating your case to convince a reader/audience, is a part of life in most occupations: non-profits, businesses, academia, etc. We will explore the methods and components for pursuing funding in various arenas and writing successful funding proposals.

IDIS-D 591: Graduate Workshop on Teaching (2 cr.)

Instructor: Finkel
6 - 7:40 p.m. W

Working together and independently, students will develop a basic understanding of the pedagogical issues and mechanics of teaching at the college level. Each student will select a particular course (e.g., Intro Psych) to “build” during the semester. Throughout the course, students will begin the process of building a teaching portfolio.

MIS Courses for Summer 2018

IDIS-D 503: Natural Sciences Seminar (3 cr.)
Computer-Based Problem Solving for Every Field

Instructor: Manwani
6 - 8:30 p.m. Hybrid (in person and online)

Every field is relying more and more on computer-based solutions. The purpose of the course is to familiarize students who are not versed in computer science and computer coding with the different problem-solving technologies and computer technology that they can apply to their own area of interest. Conceptual comprehension of software design and implementation will help students work with computer science professionals in their chosen fields. Thoughtful consideration of design and software issues is indispensable for modern problem-solving.

IDIS-D 601: Graduate Project Proposal Seminar (3 cr.)

Instructor: Finkel
6 – 8:30 p.m. T

Working as a group and independently, students will research and develop a thesis proposal. Students will complete the literature review, develop their methodology, identify their thesis committee, and develop knowledge of the relevant research ethics. At the end of the semester students will be prepared to submit their thesis proposal to their thesis committee.