In October 2014 and February 2015, 20 faculty members from St. Olaf and Augsburg Colleges participated in a guided innovation workshop to help facilitate the creation of cross-disciplinary courses to be implemented in 2016 college-wide.
A chemist, a neuroscientist, a theater historian, a Latin American studies professor, an Hispanic linguist, a dancer, and the head of the college’s entrepreneurship center, and students involved in a student-led cross-disciplinary group worked together to invent courses that would infuse the college with true interdisciplinarity.
Here’s a taste of some of the course titles and collaborative partners…
Collaboration between a neuroscientist; a Hispanic linguist; and a dancer/choreographer
Course title: Constant Craving
Why are you wanting what you want? Why are you doing what you do? Why are you saying what you say? In this cross-disciplinary course we’ll look at the field of cues and responses; and the physicality and pathology of craving. How is craving different from desire? Is craving a response to something? (depletion or starvation of something? Absence of something)
Collaboration between a chemist and a theater historian.
Course title: Possibilities and Limitations of Two Lenses: Science and Theater as Making the Invisible Visible. In this course, we’ll look at the goals of both theater and science, examining the potential roles of the researcher, the public; what constitutes good/bad theater and science; how we test boundaries of true/false and surprise/expectation.
Collaboration between a chemist, Russian theater historian, and Latin American historian
Course title: Collective Deconstruction
A team-based, student-driven investigation through multiple lenses of s specific historical or contemporary context. Four choices: 60’s racial injustice; Salem witch hunts; Nazism; The age of exploration and the conquest of the Americas.