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Coalition of the Liberal Arts announces first CoLA courses

Emory Report | June 15, 2015

The Coalition of the Liberal Arts (CoLA) has announced the first four CoLA courses that will be offered during the 2015-2016 academic year.

Arising from the mission and ongoing work of the coalition, CoLA courses are intended to create flexible faculty and student learning communities across schools and student populations, according to Robyn Fivush, CoLA chair and Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology.

The courses also seek to inspire new forms of scholarly inquiry, opening “new conceptions of the liberal arts and the traditional educational means for teaching them,” Fivush says.

The inaugural CoLA courses were selected after a campus-wide call for proposals issued in April for courses that were “innovative, creative and experimental,” with an emphasis on integrating the liberal arts experience across the humanities and sciences.

All CoLA classes are open to graduate and undergraduate students, but enrollment is limited and available by permission only. Interested students should contact CoLA course faculty members at participating schools to secure a permission number to use during fall enrollment, which begins in August, according to the Emory Registrar’s Office.

Course selected by the CoLA Course Advisory Committee to be offered during the coming academic year include:

Paris is an Explanation: Understanding Climate Change at the 2015 United Nations (UN) Meeting in France

This series of three one-credit courses explores climate change from environmental, business, media and political perspectives. The Fall 2015 one-credit course includes mock UN meetings, film screenings, carbon emissions simulations, discussion series and debates. A Spring 2016 one-credit course centers on organizing Climate Week at Emory. A separate listing will allow 10 students to participate in the course and also travel to observe the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015 for additional credit.

Course development team: Assistant professors Wesley Longhofer, organization and management, Goizueta Business School; and Eri Saikawa, department of environmental sciences, Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH); senior journalism lecturer Sheila Tefft, Institute of the Liberal Arts, and undergraduate students Adam Goldstein and Mae Bowen.

Eating Ethics

Offered Fall 2015 through Spring 2016 for two credits each semester, this course asks the question of what it means to be an eater — culturally, religiously, socio-economically and personally. Students will engage in preparing, eating and cleaning up after meals together that explore different “meal styles.” They will also engage in scholarly readings, prepare diet diaries and reflection essays, and take related field trips to places such as food banks, community gardens and local markets.

Course development team: assistant professor Jonathan Crane, Raymond F. Schinazi Junior Scholar in Bioethics and Jewish Thought at Emory’s Center for Ethics; Peggy Barlett, Goodrich C. White Professor of Anthropology; Amy Webb Girard, assistant professor of global health at RSPH; Mindy Goldstein, clinical professor and director of the Turner Environmental Law Clinic at the Emory University School of Law; doctoral candidate Lisa Hoelle from the Graduate Division of Religion in Laney Graduate School; and undergraduate students Emily Pieper, Evan Sayre and Kathyrn Thirey.

Disability, Resilience and the Mortal Self: Healing and Care Across the Lifespan

This four-credit course is offered in Spring 2016 and will provide a hands-on exploration of current models of disability and diversity across the university. Students will be trained in narrative reflection, clinical practices and interviewing skills and participate in hands-on physical therapy demonstrations and treatments, gaining exposure to advanced technologies in the field. Semester concludes with a final media project, which will be published in the Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation.

Course development team: associate professors Aaron Stutz, anthropology, Oxford College; Zoher Kapasi, director of Department of Rehabilitation Medicine’s Division of Physical Therapy, Emory School of Medicine; Bruce Greenfield, senior fellow in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine’s Division of Physical Therapy, Center for Ethics; Sarah Blanton, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine’s Division of Physical Therapy, Emory School of Medicine; physical therapy doctoral students Rebecca Crockett, Kari Lindegren and Katherine Voorhorst; and undergraduate students Katherine Cooper, Shambavi Rao and Kevin Tolbert.

In Here, You’re a Number: Female Incarceration and Women’s Narratives

Offered Spring 2016, this three-credit course allows students to either create narratives with incarcerated women at Lee Arrendale State Prison or work with the Center for Digital Scholarship to develop web design and digital storytelling skills. The class aims to help students understand the complex social, economic and health issues surrounding female incarceration.

Course development team: Brenda Baker, assistant clinical professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing; Stacy Bell, director of multilingual writing and education at Oxford College; Jessica Sales, research associate professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at RSPH; Bethany Kotlar, masters of public health candidate at RSPH and director of Motherhood Beyond Bars; and undergraduate students Soha Jasani and Kathryn Thirey.

More information about the CoLA Courses is available at Liberal Arts Forward.