Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS)
Lisa McLeod, Professor of Philosophy, Interdisciplinary Studies Chair
IDS 400 courses represent a capstone for a student’s general education at Guilford. This course will require students to engage in problem-focused, interdisciplinary learning. Topics for IDS 400 courses represent a wide variety of interests, disciplines and problem-based learning; different courses and topics are available each semester. As these courses also represent the fourth and final tier of the College’s writing program, students will be required to synthesize interdisciplinary material for a general audience through intensive writing assignments. Finally, although students may take an IDS 400 course before they have earned 88 credit hours, under no circumstances will the course satisfy the IDS 400 requirement if the student has not already completed 88 semester credits hours prior to when the course began.
4. This seminar course addresses current ethical issues in business and frameworks for addressing them. The main objective is for each student to discover the core of their moral and ethical basis for decision-making in the workplace. The course utilizes a case-study approach to assist students in applying the principles discussed in class.
4.An intensive study of the literature and culture of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer movements in 20th century America with particular focus on the intersections among queer theory, women’s studies and African and African American studies.
4. The purpose of this course is to explore the origin and nature of inequities in American public education, and the processes through which communities have come together to address them, drawing on the lenses of the history of education, sociology of education and education organizing.
4. Uses interdisciplinary African ethnographic films and literature to understand the legitimacy of mainstreaming gender equality and sensitivity as fundamental values that should be reflected in development processes, choices and practices.
4. Consists of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of African Americans and other racial/ethnic minorities as it relates to psychology and the legal system. Counts as capstone for African and African American studies major.
4. Examines eating disorders, using multidisciplinary knowledge to deepen and broaden students’ understanding of ways in which eating disorders are, as Bordo says, “a crystallization of culture” as well as individual responses to that culture. Students will interrogate sociological, philosophical, medical and psychological literature along with personal memoir to gain understanding of disturbed eating.
Explores the historical business, economic, political and ethical foundations of capitalism, considered by some to be the “engine” for prosperity. Capitalism is both an economic and social system, in which the individual and the government assume specific responsibilities and roles. In “pure” capitalism, production and distribution are private operations; individuals exchange goods and services through markets; and they do so in order to achieve profits. Capitalism raises ethical questions about wealth and poverty, globalization, allocation of resources, utility, freedom, equality, fairness, individualism and social justice. This course provides an interdisciplinary overview of capitalism as a system and presents opportunities for students to think critically about related ethical issues.
Develops an ecofeminist analysis of dualisms in western thought as a source of both social injustice and environmental destruction. Uses that framework as a springboard for exploring the gendered politics of knowledge, including how assumptions about sex and gender historically have influenced scientific accounts of human and non-human nature, and how the logic of confirmation allows for such influence to continue. 4.
4. This course examines the concept of “the border” that has worked to exclude those seen as not properly a part of “normal” American citizenry. Using the methodology and theoretical commitments of early “outsider” and activist scholarship, the course traces more recent scholarly movements in disability theory, critical legal theory and queer theory to examine the use of discourses of exclusion and resistance in current border controversies, such as the movement of migrant labor across the Arizona/Mexico border.
4.This course explores the social, political, cultural and environmental dimensions of agriculture in the United States and around the world. We will study the first agricultural revolution (the original emergence of agriculture 12,000 years ago), the industrialization of agriculture, and 21st-century social movements that promote organic, sustainable or local agriculture, including peasant and food sovereignty movements. The course integrates anthropology, sociology, history, environmental studies and literary studies. Students will conduct field research on local farming, farmers markets or agricultural activism.
Using a range of related resources from various disciplines, this course examines a range of problems and challenges African Americans have experienced in the past and explores possible outcomes and solutions for the future. The issues are criminal justice, education, social caste, and political empowerment and the time period the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st. Students will be asked to conduct original research on the topic, focusing on one community, either in the United States, or the African Diaspora, as resources are available.
4.Examines the underlying causes and compares anthropological, sociological, political, ecological and economic theories, of poverty. Explores methodological issues in the measurement of poverty and institutional approaches to its alleviation, including both national and international development strategies.
4. Examines, from an interdisciplinary perspective, the American upper class throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, looking at the distribution of wealth in this country, and the extent to which that distribution changed during the 20th century. The course considers how perceptions held about upper-class life affect the lives of the vast majority of those not in the upper class.
4. Uses the perspectives of history, politics, economics, geography and religion to investigate the factors that determine whether or not developing countries reap the benefits of globalization and development. The course explores the various conclusions reached by different theorists and policymakers.
4. Introduces students to the history of culture in archaic and classical Greece (ca. 800-400 BCE). The methods and materials for investigating this period are interdisciplinary, drawing on literary, philosophical and historiographical sources, including Homeric epics, Greek drama and histories, and Platonic dialogues.
4.An interdisciplinary study of human sexuality that draws most prominently from the academic disciplines of biology, psychology, sociology and health education. Focused topics include male and female sexual anatomy and physiology, birth control, pregnancy and childbirth, sexually transmitted diseases, gender development and identity, and sexual orientation.
4.This course is designed to give students the opportunity to apply interdisciplinary methods and tools to assess the current status of environmentally sensitive areas; to protect natural resources, ecosystems and watersheds; and to study the management and preservation of existing green spaces. Students will also investigate current designs for the development of more sustainable communities, including urban planning strategies that relate to preservation and restoration of the environment. This course will integrate discussion of the scientific concepts that underlie environmental planning decisions, as well as local and federal policies relevant to planning issues. Students interested in closely related fields are encouraged toward in-depth study in these areas, including other scientific disciplines, economics, cultural impacts, policy and law, etc. The course will include a large, applied project that will give students the opportunity to integrate and apply their disciplinary expertise to a complex environmental issue.
This course examines different modalities of thought, from science, to magic, to religion, among others. Issues we examine in class include the definitions of magic vs empiricism, reason vs revelation, biology vs theology on the issue of creation, the scope of rationality, religious pluralism and relativism, physics and the ultimate nature of reality, the role of belief in human inquiry, possible conversations between quantum mechanics and Buddhist emptiness theory, “worldviews” vs individual experience, the notion of perspective, sympathy in causality, and the historical relationship between magic and religion.
4.Examines intentions and manifestations of beauty in various cultural practices, the valuation and departure from ideal depictions in visual and textual sources, and the way these conceptions come to life through the vehicles of history, sociology, contemporary art, advertising and fiction.
4.Examines the nature, development and articulations of Arab and Islamic feminisms over the last 100 years. The course will explore the history of the status of women in the Arabo-Islamic world, the variations in feminist movements among various Arab and Islamic countries, and the debates around Islamic feminism.