Issues - Identity

Identity — including issues related to gender, sexuality, religion, culture, race, class, family, community, difference, education, technology, etc.


Student Learning Outcomes

1. Explain how complementary and competing perspectives contribute to the ongoing discussion about identity.

2. Collaboration: Effectively work on a team.

3. Problem solving: Design and evaluate an approach to answer an open-ended question or achieve a desired goal.

4. Integration: Synthesize and apply knowledge from experiences and multiple fields of study.


Courses

AAA/ENG 337 — Contemporary Black Literature
Studies the importance and variety of literature by black authors from Africa, the Americas, and/or Afro-Europe since 1975. Texts written earlier than 1975 are used to consider influential historical and/or social events, trends and themes, literary styles, innovative uses of popular culture, and/or expression of the experience of marginality. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Fulfills Cultures – Global Perspectives. Skills: collaboration, information literacy, integration, problem solving 

AAA 340 — African American Culture and Social Thought
A critical examination of African American cultural expression, several African American cultural and social movements, and the defining intellectual conversations and persons in African American culture and social thought. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

ANT 311 — Native Peoples of North America
A multifaceted examination of North American Indians and a comparison of that culture with the American. Focus on origin, early history, and present disposition of American Indian populations. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Fulfills Cultures – U.S. Diversity. Skills: collaboration, information literacy, integration, oral communication, problem solving 

ANT 315 — Comparative Religions
A cross-cultural study of contemporary religions. Examines the diversity of religious meaning through the lived experiences of cultures, traditions, and sects around the world. Exposes students to anthropological interpretations of religion through a range of methods, including ethnography. Themes include symbolism, ritual, death, shamanism, healing, magic, pilgrimage, and interfaith movements. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Fulfills Cultures – Global Perspectives. Skills: collaboration, critical thinking, integration, problem solving 

ARA/MES 330 — Arab Identity in Literature & Culture
This course examines the complexities of forming, constructing, and shaping Arab identity within a vast Arab world. Such complexity will be examined through written and oral accounts, audio and visual sources, and literary authors from the Arab world. All materials read in English translation. Does not count toward Arabic minor. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

ART 391 — Civic Studio
Visual art methods are used to study, form, and present art in a specific public context. Includes the development of a project site, individual and collaborative work, and service learning. Studio operates “in public” presenting lectures, visual displays, and public gatherings. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

BIO 311 — Who’s Running Your Life: Genes, Evolution, and Behavior
The vast majority of human evolutionary history occurred while we lived in small hunter-gatherer groups. This course will examine if our genetically determined behavior from the past is still affecting us today. Prerequisites: Junior standing and completion of the Life Sciences general education requirement. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

BIO 329 — Evolution of Social Behavior
Social behavior links to an animal’s quest for evolutionary fitness. Social behavior is rooted in genes, and shaped by development, learning, and environment. Through interdisciplinary lenses, we will explore social behavior in diverse vertebrate and invertebrate species, discover behavioral commonalities among species, and learn how scientists study animal behavior. Prerequisite: Junior standing. A course in biology or psychology recommended. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

CLA 365 — Stoicism, Identity, and the Happy Life
This course will address, through the life and thought of prominent Stoics, both the evolution of self and the development of an individual’s identity from the Stoic perspective. Through readings, writing, and journaling, students will explore the significance and relevance of key Stoic ideas about identity. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

CLA/WGS 325 — Body, Gender, Sexuality in Antiquity
Introduction to views about the body, gender, and sexuality in ancient Greece and Rome. Special attention is given to ancient texts that inform feminist and queer theory. Topics include ancient medicine and modern dietetics; the figure of Antigone in feminist and postcolonial literature; Greek homosexuality, Victorian Hellenism, and American law. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

COM 438 — Communication Ethics
An upper-division course for the study of communications ethics. Students explore how language and innocence are mutually exclusive, examine how rhetoric, ideology, and information bear upon social and personal evil, and consider ethics issues relating specifically to communicative media. Focus is directed to the assessment and development of ethical sense-making. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

DS 340 — Identity and Representation in Digital Culture
Students will examine the default norms of digital communication (e.g. whiteness, heterosexuality, binary gender) and explore intersectional identities online (e.g. race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, ability status). The course will investigate dominant and marginalized communities’ use of digital spaces and media, considering the ethics of online communication, research, and participation. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

EAS 351 — Asian American Experiences
This course examines the heterogeneous communities and experiences of Asian Americans. Students explore Asian American citizenship, belonging, and community formation. This course investigates how racialized and/or sexualized representations of Asian Americans in popular culture shape their engagement with the broader American culture. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

ECO 350 — Economics of Gender*
Analysis of gender differences in employment and earnings. Topics include allocation of time between the household and the labor market, employment and family structure, theories of discrimination, antipoverty programs, comparable worth, parental leave, and affirmative action. Historical trends and cross-cultural comparisons are discussed along with current U.S. conditions. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

EDF/IDS 325 — Learning from Detroit: Education and Community Revitalization
This course studies community revitalization efforts in the city of Detroit. Focusing on community-based initiatives that are strengthening neighborhoods, improving schools and fostering the well-being of children, families, and neighborhoods in Detroit, this course invites students with diverse perspectives, from across content areas. The class includes two visits to Detroit. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

EDR 317 — Class Conscious: Popular Culture, Schooling, and Identity
Challenges students to think critically, collaborate, and integrate multiple disciplines as they explore the role that popular culture and schooling play in forming their identities. Students will use critical reading skills to analyze films, television, music and other aspects of popular culture and
compare to prominent theories and their experiences. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

EDS 317 — The Myth of Normal: Disability Studies in the 21st Century
A primary emphasis of the course will be on examining the ethical and moral issues raised by viewing disability from different perspectives. Students will increase their awareness of the complexity of the disability experience through in-depth examination of stigma, discrimination, individual and social representation of disability, and other psychosocial considerations. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

ENG 335 — Literature of American Minorities
Studies the importance and variety of literature by American minorities, such as African American, Native American, Asian American, Hispanic American, and other minority or marginalized authors. Emphasis will be on multiplicity of literary voices, social-historical contexts, and themes of negotiating identity between/among majority and minority cultures. Prerequisites: Junior standing and WRT 150. Fulfills Cultures – U.S. Diversity. Skills: collaboration, ethical reasoning, integration, problem solving, written communication 

ENG 388 — Emigration and Immigration in Contemporary World Literature
This course examines how different kinds of emigration and immigration – from formerly colonized regions to the developed countries of the West and between formerly colonized countries – are depicted in 20th and 21st century World Literature. Prerequisite: Junior Standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

HST 308 — Social and Cultural Topics in U.S. History
Examines various topics in U.S. social and cultural history. Course explores a specific topic defined by the instructor. May be repeated for credit if content varies. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

HST 311 - History of Religion in the United States
This course is a study of the major developments in the religious history of the United States from the first North American colonies to the start of the twenty-first century, concentrating on the relationship between religion and other aspects of American history. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

HST 322 — American Identity and Sports
The course examines American sports and how sports have helped construct ideas of race, ethnicity, gender, and class, and how individuals use sports to prove Americanness. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

HST 331 - Modern Latin America
This course will focus on themes related to Latin America from the independence period to the present day. Major themes will include patterns of state formation and models of economic development; United States intervention; the origins and course of radicalism and counter-revolution; and the problems of peaceful reform. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

HST 342 — History of Buddhism and East Asian Religions
Examines Buddhism and major religious traditions of East Asia and their modern developments through historical perspectives. Explores the visions, values, and activities of people in India, Tibet, China and Japan, and how their religious traditions have shaped their life-experiences. Studies religious interactions among East Asian countries and their indigenous traits. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Fulfills Cultures – Global Perspectives. Skills: collaboration, critical thinking, integration, and problem solving 

HST/WGS 371 — Historical Perspectives on Gender and Sexualities
Variable topics centering on the history of gender and sexuality. Topics include historical understandings of gender identity and sexual orientation and may vary by region and era. May be repeated if content varies. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

HST 376 — History of Witch Hunts 
Examines witch trials in various places and times across history, from a variety of perspectives, with emphasis on the marginalization of the accused witches within their communities. Geographical and chronological focus will vary but may include early modern Europe, colonial North America, or contemporary Africa. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

IDS 350 — Civil Discourse
This topical course familiarizes students with communication tools of civil discourse. Students analyze the role of discourse in solving social problems and learn dialogic strategies for constructively engaging with diverse perspectives. Using the civil discourse skills of reasoning and respect, students collaborate with people of divergent views. Topical information: gvsu.edu/civildiscourse/. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

JPN 323 — Modern Japanese Literature and Film (to WWII)
This course examines Japan's modern period through the lens of literature and film from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 until the end of the Pacific War in 1945. Readings consist mainly of primary sources in English translation. No prior knowledge of Japanese is necessary. Fulfills Cultures - Global Perspectives. Skills: collaboration, critical thinking, integration, problem solving

LAS 373 — Latinos/as in West Michigan
An interdisciplinary examination of demographic, socioeconomic, political, and cultural trends in the growing, diverse Latino/a community in the West Michigan area. Students have the option of conducting an original research project or engaging in service-learning. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Fulfills Cultures – U.S. Diversity. Skills: collaboration, ethical reasoning, information literacy, integration, problem solving 

LIB 314 — Life Journeys
Students will examine their own identity by means of personal and critical reflection through works selected from literature, mythology, philosophy, art, film, and music. Students will gain insight into their own life journey and the life journeys of others, empowering them to be more fully themselves in the world. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

LIB 325 — LGBTQ Identities
This interdisciplinary course draws on scholarship in the fields of sociology, literature, history, anthropology, LGBTQ, cultural, and gender studies in order to teach students about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer complex identities (identity formation and development),  identifications, and the social, political, historical, and cultural problems underpinning these constructions. Offered once a year. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

MLL 300 — What’s Language Got to Do With it?: Exploring Identity through Language, Culture, and Literature
Students will discover the impact of language, literature, and culture in the formation of identity. Discussion will be based on literary works and films from the different languages and regions of the world taught in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. All materials are in translation. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

MUS 300 — Exploring American Music 
Introduction to a variety of American musical styles drawn from many cultures, including Native American, African American, Latino, and European American traditions. Topics may include folk music, religious music, Broadway, country, jazz, rock, and American classical music. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Fulfills Cultures - U.S. Diversity. Skills: collaboration, ethical reasoning, information literacy, integration, problem solving 

PED 345 — Disability, Sport, and Physical Activity
This course is designed to explore the issues related to persons with disabilities and their participation in physical activity. Topics will include risks and benefits of physical activity, legal issues related to participation, the historical context of disability sport, inclusion versus segregation, and opportunities for activity across the lifespan. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

PHI 300 — Theories of Human Nature
Survey of philosophical, scientific, and religious conceptions of the human being, from past and present, and from various cultures. Issues include meaning of life, destiny of humanity, relations between humans, human development and evolution, relations of humans to their creator/origins and to their environments, and methodologies for investigating human nature. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

PHI 343 — Philosophy of Religion
Does God exist? Is there a life after death? How did evil enter the world? Is religious faith only a matter of subjective experience? Questions like these will be considered, as well as the answers that have been given to them by some of the important religious philosophers. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

PHI 370 — Sex Matters: Feminist Philosophy in the Contemporary World
Sex and gender are central to our identity. The course explores these concepts within the intersection of race, class, sexualities, and ethnicities. Philosophical analyses will be used to investigate how gendered biases infuse the structures of thought and action such that sex is a central component of our lives. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

PLS 301 — Poverty, Inequality, and U.S. Public Policy
This course examines poverty and inequality in the United States. Topics include definitions of poverty and inequality, historical trends, and policy responses. Diverse perspectives, including international comparisons, will be presented, and students will explore various dimensions of inequality through small group activities. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

REL 306 — Hinduism and South Asian Religions
Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion with approximately one billion adherents and has given birth to three other religions: Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. This course explores the origins and development of Hinduism, examining key concepts like karma, yoga, and reincarnation in our discussion of Hindu worldviews, cultures, and practices. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Fulfills Cultures – Global Perspectives. Skills: collaboration, critical thinking, integration, problem solving 

SOC/WGS 317 — Sociology of Gender
Explores gender as a socially constructed system of stratification, focusing on gender in the United States. Topics may include: how ideas about gender shape childhood, families, education, work, violence, science, and social inequality. Examines how gender intersects with other systems of stratification, including race, sexuality, class, age, and ability. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Fulfills Cultures – U.S. Diversity. Skills: collaboration, integration, oral communication, problem solving, written communication 

SOC/WGS 318 — Sociology of Sexuality
Explores sexuality as a socially constructed system of stratification, focusing on the U.S. Explores the production of sexual identities and desires, and how ideas about sexuality shape the media, violence, social movements, and work. Examines how sexuality intersects with other systems of stratification, including race, gender, class, age, and ability. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Fulfills Cultures – U.S. Diversity. Skills: collaboration, integration, oral communication, problem solving, written communication 

SOC 322 — Sociology of Community
Examines sociology’s community studies tradition and concerns with the modern fate of close-knit, cohesive communities. Readings focus on the field’s intellectual origins, contrasts between small towns and cities, major theories, research methods, and contemporary communities. Prerequisites: Junior standing and SOC 201. Fulfills Cultures – U.S. Diversity. Skills: collaboration, integration, oral communication, problem solving, written communication 

SOC/WGS 350 — Family and Gender in the Developing World
A comparative examination of the impact of development on families and gender roles in third-world countries. Will include consideration of general issues (e.g., factors affecting family reproduction decisions, women in the formal and informal labor force, etc.) and in-depth study of gender and
family in one or more countries. Prerequisites: Junior standing and WRT 150. Fulfills Cultures – Global Perspectives. Skills: collaboration, critical thinking, integration, oral communication, problem solving 

SW 333 — Community Work with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community
This course aims to prepare students for community work with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people by providing a deeper understanding of LGBT history identities, families, health and mental health challenges, and issues of political advocacy. The course will examine a variety of issues that affect LGBT people. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving 

 

*You must have completed 55 credits to enroll in 300- to 400-level Seidman College of Business courses. If you are a nonbusiness major with a 2.5 overall GPA, please email your name, G-number, course, and semester to go2gvbiz@gvsu.edu to request a permit to register. Secondary admissions criteria applies for business majors.