Students and professors share their favorite course offerings for summer 2021
As the second year of the fully distance-based summer courses approaches, students and faculty are sharing their favorite courses from last year, and even some unique to 2021 to add to the load of the summer courses of this year.
ETX 110: toxic tragedies and impact
This course focuses on major toxic events, their causes and consequences, and how they affect the trajectory of toxin regulation. Topics range from the discussion of mercury to the toxic chemicals used in drugs like Accutane each week, leading to the final task – a 10-page research paper on a toxic tragedy based on student interests.
Kailey Flynn, a double major in third-year environmental policy analysis, planning and economics, said the course was perfect for the summer because it covered interesting topics but also offered a flexible schedule.
“I liked it because it gave me the opportunity to watch [lectures] when I wanted and take advantage of daylight saving time during the day, âsaid Flynn. “It was very informative and I now realize how the various toxic tragedies have had a tremendous impact.”
ENL 177 01: Individual author of the study
This summer, ENL 177 will study JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series in context. The course will assess the series alongside other works like “Jane Eyre” and a detective novel. English professor Matthew Vernon, who teaches this course, said ENL 177 will offer a deep dive into Harry Potter’s inspirations, how he is quickly becoming a new “classic” and how readers can appreciate the series while recognizing his problematic author.
Vernon said this course is not just for English majors, but any Harry Potter fan or student looking for a more fun and relaxed course to take this summer.
âIt could be relaxing and a slight change of pace from all the other classes people take, so I think it’s best to take it in the summer,â Vernon said. âThis is one of those classes where you can get credit without being too stressed out all the time. I hope this is the kind of thing that people will treat as an enjoyable and summer experience rather than like âI have to tick boxes, I have to go through a bunch of requirementsâ. “
AMS 130: American Pop Culture
American Studies professor Megan Bayles, who teaches AMS 130, said the class explores what pop culture can shed light on about the values ââand broader culture of the country at any given time. The course studies a variety of topics, such as classic movies, influencer culture, Dolly Parton and more.
According to Bayles, one of the most significant student projects is the âQuestionsâ project, in which each student asks a question they cannot necessarily answer about popular culture in the United States. really answer it. Bayles said that not really providing an answer to the question makes most students uncomfortable, but it forces them to learn and think in ways that most college courses don’t.
“[Itâs really a question of], can you think of something in a sustained and more and more complex way if I give you the space to do it? Bayles said.
AMS 152: Children in America
Bayles also teaches AMS 152, which studies family separation in American history, specifically examining the border between Mexico and the United States and changes to the border under the Trump administration. This course provides an examination of the border as it stands and what has happened there over the past five years, in addition to stepping back in time to the history of family separation in the United States.
âWe are looking at child slavery and the type of intentional disruption of kinship structures among slaves,â Bayles said. âThen we go to residential schools and the forced removal of native children from their families, their culture and their language in an attempt to force assimilation. [We look at] The internment of the Japanese during WWII and the use of the fear of revoking citizenship or making people stateless as a way to contain people, but also to examine how intergenerational trauma occurs.
Bayles said this course is more intense than the AMS 130, but it’s a way for students to learn about a subject that is complex and can be difficult to navigate on their own.
âIt can be very difficult when you’re in college to also be up to date with what’s going on in the world,â Bayles said. âI remember vividly saying, ‘I don’t know what’s going on outside of my bubble of my undergraduate experience.’ I think [â¦] when many people also enter the world, it is also important to know what is going on in the world.
WMS 070: Sexualities
WMS 070 will discuss gender identity, gender and their intersection, as well as their relationship to race, class and ethnicity.
Emma Talbot, a second-year sustainable agriculture major, said that even as a STEM student, she found the class to be useful and relevant to her studies. It served as a way to learn more about gender and sexualities while earning general education credits.
“After having taken [WMS 070] I realized I wanted to do a minor in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies, âTalbot said. âI felt more empowered taking WMS 070, and I felt I could use what I had learned in these courses to empower all types of people I met in my career as a major in sustainable agriculture.â
Written by: Katie DeBenedetti – [email protected]