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Planning Your Diploma Electives

General Education Elective Course Rotation

Plan your elective selections while studying at Conestoga with the General Education elective course rotation. Learn what electives are planned to be offered in the coming three semesters from each of the five themes (arts in society, civic life, cultural understanding, personal understanding, and science and technology).

Please note: offerings vary from semester to semester and not all electives are suitable for all programs; for more information regarding limitations on taking a course for your program, please contact Jen Matthews

*Course offerings are subject to change.

Arts in Society
Course Fall 2019 Winter 2020 Spring 2020
Creative Writing (LIBS1630) This course will encourage creative thinking and help students to develop their creative writing skills. We will be reading, writing and critiquing different styles of poetry, fiction, narrative articles for newspapers and magazines, plays and oral storytelling. The student will develop a portfolio for each section of the course and present his/her work to the class. As well, students will prepare one poem, article or short story for publication. This course is an example of the theme Arts in Society.
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Exploring the World of Classical Myth (LIBS1960 ) This course provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the compelling world of Greek Myths from the prehistoric Mediterranean through the Classical world and beyond, reaching out to 21st century. The course emphasizes the broad diversity of cultural traditions as well as the role of the Greeks and their city-states at the crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa, exploring classical mythology across the ancient lands stretching from Spain to India, and from the Eurasian steppes to Ethiopia. The legacy of Greek culture helps us to understand what is considered classical and based on core human values. Through interactive lectures, hands-on activities, discussions, and investigative assignments students will experience myth by taking the roles of viewers, listeners, readers and performers. They will examine the nature of myth in multi-faceted and authentic contexts. Students will also uncover the historical kernels of truth behind intricate mythical plots and characters. They will become familiar with the power of eternal literary narratives, archetypal concepts, images and symbols. Seminal discoveries in ancient history, classical archaeology, cultural anthropology, gender studies, psychology, astronomy, and other sciences will assist them with the exploration and in-depth understanding of the universal appeal of Greek Mythology to contemporary society. This course is an example of the theme of Arts in Society.
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Identity in Popular Culture: From Avatars to Vampires (LIBS1940) Do you sometimes feel more at home battling strangers’ avatars in a war zone than walking down the halls of your own school?  Or do you ever wonder why humans have suddenly decided that predatory monsters like vampires might make good lovers? Useful answers to these questions require a clear understanding of human identity.  Over time, our ideas about identity have undergone many changes in terms of human nature and value. This course is an example of the theme of Arts in Society.
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Science Fiction (LIBS1930 ) This course will explore Science Fiction which deals with the effects of possible changes in the levels of science and technology on individual human beings and their societies. Drawing on literature, film, T.V., and other aspects of popular culture, students will examine themes such as utopias, dystopias, space travel, artificial intelligence, aliens, gender roles, etc. and will develop an awareness of both the implications of the transformation of our present technological knowledge and the ethical issues which will face us all. Students will understand the role of SF as one of the most popular and thought provoking genres of this century and the next generation. This course is an example of the theme of Arts in Society.
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The Art of Rock ( A Social History ofRock & Roll) (LIBS1900) The goal of this course is to take rock seriously as a musical form (where it came from, what formal structures it follows and how different styles evolved). We will explore the roots of rock and roll in the '50's and recognize how important the folk tradition, surfing music, the British invasion and protest music were to the '60's. We will also review the role of glitter rock, disco and punk in the '70s and appreciate new wave music, charity rock, music videos and the politics of censorship in the '80's. Finally we will discuss how hip hop, alternative, grunge, raves and the renewed interest in heavy metal and swing music and the success of counter culture festivals like Lollapalooza and Lilith Fair characterized the '90's. This course is an example of the theme Arts in Society.
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The Pleasure and Purpose of Music (LIBS1480) How does John Williams unify the Star Wars films through music? Why does the sitar music of Ravi Shankar put people in a trance? What is it about African drum music that makes people want to dance? The goal of this course is to enable students to understand the materials of music and music in four main social contexts throughout history: music in sacred spaces, music for the stage and screen, music among friends and music in public places. Musical developments will be explored from ancient to modern times. Through interactive activities and discussions, students will discover how music can both bring us pleasure and have purpose in our lives. This course is an example of the theme Arts in Society.
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Thinking Through Zombies (LIBS1950) This course explores how humans the meaning of the undead. The course begins with asking what zombies’ popularity reflects about our culture and civilization. Readings, films  and discussions will focus on critical evaluation and reflection about the zombie trope that include lessons about racism, slavery, anxiety about the body, cannibalism, genocide,  panic and plague, gender, war and social-economic structures. Students will have the opportunity to explore in depth contemporary and historical representations of zombies, and to develop a conclusion about the significance of those representations in the search for meaning. This course is an example of the theme of Arts in Society.
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Viewing Philosophy Through Film (LIBS1660) In this course we will learn about philosophy by watching and discussing great works of cinema. What can the screen upon which moving images are projected teach us about science, the question of God, the pursuit of knowledge, ethics, reality, violence, love, hope, evil, nothingness, absurdity and ourselves as human beings? Students who complete this course will have a good working knowledge of the history of philosophy. Reading selections may vary from year to year. This course you will help students to inquire into complex problems and begin to formulate their own philosophy. Students will learn effective methods of inquiry, analysis, and criticism. The study of philosophy develops one's ability to think carefully and critically. The objective of this course is to enable students to be reflective about the beliefs that they or their society have developed. The ability to think reflectively does not develop independently from the ability to read critically and perceptively or the ability to express ourselves. Thus, in this course we will seek to advance our reading comprehension as well as our communication skills, both oral and written. This course is an example of the theme of Arts in Society.
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Civic Life
Course Fall 2019 Winter 2020 Spring 2020
Essentials of Canadian History (LIBS1160) This course is a study of some of the major themes of Canadian history from Confederation to the present. It is designed to increase the student’s understanding of how our past influences and engages with the present, and how we are shaping our future. This aligns with the general education themes of Social & Cultural Understanding and Civic Life. This course is an example of the theme Civic Life.
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Indigenous Studies: The North Amercian Journey (LIBS1920) This course explores Canada’s First Nations people’s relationships with land, resources, cultures, and each other, as well as historical and contemporary relationships between Aboriginal people and settler governments in Canada. The course includes an overview of Indigenous cultures, colonialism, cultural and political re-emergence, and the importance of the wampum belt. The Truth and Reconciliation Report, UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal people, and the Ipperwash Inquiry will serve as core learning tools. Supporting the maintenance and revitalization of traditional indigenous values, languages, cultural identity and spirituality is highlighted. This is an experiential course and participation is required. Field trips will include a visit to the Residential School in Brantford, the building of a sweat lodge, and a visit to Crawford Lake. This course is an example of the theme of Civic Life.
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Issues in Canadian Politics (LIBS1420) This course is designed to introduce the student to the study of politics within the Canadian context. Students will examine and discuss our political institutions, processes and issues in order to better understand the problems faced by citizens of a functioning democracy. This course is an example of the theme of Civic Life.
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Issues in World Affairs (LIBS1180) This course will introduce the student to the strategic and economic issues that confront our world today and the historical events that led to them. Students will critically analyze such topics as the end of the Cold War, Regional Conflicts and Terrorism, Conflict Management, Environmental Sustainability, Human Rights and Globalization. Also topical issues that may arise during the semester will be analyzed and debated. Upon completion of the course the student will have a better understanding of their place in a culturally diverse global society and be better enabled to function effectively as a global citizen. This course is an example of the theme of Civic Life.
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Multiculturalism: Canadian Diversity Project (LIBS1580) In this course students will critically identify and examine issues of diversity in Canada. Students will examine and appraise past, present, and future issues of the Canadian multicultural and diversity project. Students will develop an understanding of the impact of colonialism on the Indigenous Peoples, the immigration policies of a developing country, the legal and social impacts of the Canadian Multicultural Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the struggle for identity maintenance in French Quebec and among Indigenous Peoples. This course will examine the experience of new Canadians and the challenges of developing a national identity. Issues of emerging concepts such as 'the global citizen' will also be examined.
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Political Science (LIBS1360) This course will teach the basic principles and vocabulary of political science and public administration. It will introduce students to the intellectual frameworks, and will emphasize the development of critical thinking and understanding of the link between politics and operational government.  The role and functioning of political institutions and the processes of participation in Canada will be examined, together with the organizational arrangements of government and the bureaucracy. This course is an example of the theme Civic Life.
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Personal Understanding
Course Fall 2019 Winter 2020 Spring 2020
Concepts of Gender (LIBS1055) This course will familiarize students with the key contemporary and historical issues and concepts of gender diversity. These issues will be examined from an inter-disciplinary perspective. Students will examine the intersection between gender & sexuality and such realities as social class, age, race, ethnicity, health status and colonialism. Gender and sexuality based power differences will be a theme throughout the course.
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Cyberpsychology: Self and Others in a Wired World (LIBS1970) Cyberpsychology is the study of what happens to the human psyche, human emotions, behaviours, 'selves' and group dynamics when engaging with online technologies. Students will be introduced to theories and research concerning online technologies and how online technology change us, and influences our attitudes and behaviour. Topics related to this concept include: beliefs about the self, identity formation, self-presentation, social comparison, and interpersonal relationships (friendship and romantic relationship). Emphasis will be placed on the application of social psychological principles to our understanding of behaviour in online settings, with particular emphasis on development of the self. This course is an example of the theme Personal Understanding.
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Evil and Humanity (LIBS1770) This course provides an introduction to the theme of evil and humanity. Course participants will evaluate and compare perspectives on, and responses to, the existence and symbols of evil in our society. Students will have the opportunity to engage in debate and compare ideas in a range of international religious, cultural, and philosophical traditions. In this course, we explore the question of evil through texts, film, and Internet sources ranging from biblical to modern times. Exploring the dark side of life, crime, transgression, and nightmarish systems through the lens of a number of theoretical perspectives, we engage with questions essential to humanity, including the nature of human beings, the basis for moral conventions, individual and collective responsibility, and goodness versus happiness. Students will reflect on how contemporary human-made atrocities challenge us to craft adequate moral, political, and juridical responses.
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Quest for Wisdom (LIBS1650) This course gives students the opportunity to study philosophical anthropology by examining what it means to be human and what it means to be wise. Through discussion, reading, writing and the viewing of films we will focus on the answers given to us by science, philosophy, spirituality and technology. We will attempt to understand the meaning of our existence as we quest and weave through the roads established by death, emotion, pleasure, disease, hostility, hospitality, spirituality and love, rationality, art and tragedy, community and conflict. This course is an example of the theme Personal Understanding.
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Student Success for Higher Learning (LIBS1540) This course enables students to know and believe in themselves by taking advantage of resources and opportunities that will support their success in college. Students will identify their unique learning styles and develop strategies for achieving their academic, career and personal goals for reaching personal satisfaction.
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Science and Technology
Course Fall 2019 Winter 2020 Spring 2020
Environmental Science (LIBS1910) This course will focus on all the natural elements of the environment. Man will be treated as just one of those elements. How man uses and abuses other elements will be balanced with the study of changes that man can neither cause nor prevent. Population growth study will be balanced by comparing developed nations with developing ones and their respective lifestyles. Debate from all sides of any issue will be critical. Group seminars will bring the Canadian and local experience to the classroom. This course is an example of the theme of Science and Technology.
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Introduction to Astronomy (LIBS1170) In this course, the student will acquire a basic understanding of the universe, what it is made of, and the inter-relationships between galaxies, stars, and planets. The course begins with a brief overview of astronomy including discussions on the motion of stars and planets, the cycles of the moon, the history of astronomy, and an introduction to telescopes. In the next section of this course, students learn about our solar system with an emphasis on comparative planetology, and will take part in discussions of life on other planets. The course continues with a deeper understanding of stars: what they are made of, how they are formed, and how they evolve. In the final part, students will take a look at the nature of galaxies, cosmology, and current ideas regarding space and time. This course is an example of the theme Science and Technology.
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Life Beyond Earth (LIBS1980) The question of life beyond Earth is one of the oldest in human history. It has inspired countless stories and legends, and a modern mythology that has become a multi-billion dollar entertainment industry. It has driven our efforts in space exploration and lead to many scientific advances. With the recent development of methods to discover and study planets outside our solar system we are making great strides towards answering the question of life elsewhere in the universe. To date over a thousand exoplanets have been confirmed, some of which appear to offer conditions similar to those on Earth. In this course we will begin with a study of our own solar system, what makes life possible here on Earth, and whether there may be life in other parts of our solar system. We will next examine what life is, the requirements for life, and how life originated and evolved on Earth, with a view to considering how and where extraterrestrial life may exist. Then we will learn how planets in other solar systems are being discovered and studied, and we will help look for new planets. Next we will turn our attention to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) and learn about the methods and problems involved in trying to find and make contact with other civilizations. Finally we will consider the possibilities of human life beyond Earth, in the forms of colonization and space exploration. Throughout the course we will further explore selected topics through participation in citizen science projects that allow ordinary people to help make scientific discoveries. We will also read selected short science fiction works, considering their scientific validity and what they say about human hopes and fears as we consider whether or not we are alone in the universe. This course is an example of the theme of Science and Technology
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Oceans (LIBS1035) This course will help students to appreciate the interactions that occur between various natural processes in the oceans on a planetary scale. The students will develop an enhanced awareness of how the oceans influence humans’ everyday life. They will better understand the processes that shape and transform the components of the Earth systems from planetary and regional prospective.
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Our Domain: Geography and Human Populations (LIBS1560) In this course, students are encouraged to develop an understanding of the interdependent relationship between geography and the location of human populations. Through scientific inquiry, students will study the world’s geographic landscape, the global processes that shape planet earth, and their relationship to the location of climates and the natural resources required to sustain healthy societies. Challenges and opportunities related to demands for natural resources, energy, agricultural and economic productivity will be explored along with the ever increasing impact our accelerating population growth is having on shaping our planets future and the life that inhabits it. This course is an example of the theme Science and Technology.
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Restless Planet: Understanding Natural Disasters (LIBS1990) In this course, students will examine the dynamic interrelationships between physical (geological, atmospheric and hydrological) processes that cause various natural disasters, including earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, landslides, wildfires, and weather related hazards. The main emphasis is to provide the students the tools to apply scientific concepts to our everyday experiences of natural disasters. Through scientific inquiry and active learning, such as case studies, interactive lectures, and assignments, the students will learn to analyze and evaluate the impact of the natural disasters on human population (environmental, socio-economic, political, cultural.) This course is an example of the theme Science and Technology.
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Weather and Climate (LIBS1460) Focuses on principles that enable students to attain basic understanding of the atmosphere and its processes. Students examine how information is gathered and presented in a weather forecast.  They investigate human activity and its impact on ozone depletion, air quality and climate.
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Social and Cultural Understanding
Course Fall 2019 Winter 2020 Spring 2020
Artificial Intelligence: Rise of the Machines (LIBS1095) Have you ever wondered if humans will eventually fall in love with robots? Do you question what robots think about when they are alone or if robots will eventually be able to dream? Do you worry that we may face a future of robotic soldiers and unmanned war machines? All of these questions are related to the field of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence (AI) is defined as the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. In this course, you will be introduced to artificial intelligence and how it impacts or will impact both individuals and society in general. We will learn about the history and definition of intelligence and artificial intelligence, and real life applications and possible implications of AI, and will explore beliefs about AI and what the future holds for both humans and artificial machines. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the moral and ethical implications of AI.
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Anishinaabe 13 Moons: Awakening the Spiral (LIBS1075 ) Explore a year of Anishinaabe life by being exposed to various cultural activities practiced throughout a thirteen moon cycle. Anishinaabe is the name of an indigenous people who thrived throughout the woodlands of present day Canada and includes the Ojibway, Mississaugas, and Odawa. By honouring the earth, fire, wind, and water the Anishinaabe lived harmoniously with all of creation. Customary teachings including storytelling, maple sugar making, fishing, wild harvesting, planting, fasting, and sweat lodge ceremonies. These activities are known collectively as “the way of a good life.\" Awaken the spiral within and learn the four pillars of the Anishinaabe worldview.
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Cults & Terrorism (LIBS1103) In this course students will explore the historical evolution and social impact of cults and terrorist groups. Students will learn ways to identify and define cults. Using discussions and active learning approaches, students will examine what motivates cults and terrorist groups with a specific lens towards violent activity. The impact of media and globalization will also be discussed. Students will advance their social and cultural understanding and gain awareness of the place of cults in contemporary society. Students in this course will discuss the validity of historical evidence and research historical interpretations of events using relevant and recent sources.
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French Culture and Language I (FREN1000) This introductory course explores the integrated facets of francophone culture and language with a focus on Canada. Students will attain an understanding of the contributions of French Canadian culture within the social and global environment while building basic linguistic aspects of the French language. The cultural components of the course will be taught in English with basic French vocabulary and language skills introduced throughout the units. Cultural components comprise 60% of the course, with language functions comprising 40%. This course is an example of the theme Social and Cultural Understanding.
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French Culture and Language II (FREN1010) This course builds on concepts and structures introduced in French Culture and Language I.  Students will continue to explore the integrated facets of francophone culture and language with a focus on culture outside Canada. Students will attain a better understanding of the contributions of French culture within the social and global environment while continuing to build basic linguistic aspects of the French language. The cultural components of the course will be taught in English with basic French vocabulary and language skills introduced throughout the units. Cultural components comprise 60% of the course with language functions comprising 40%. This course is an example of the theme of Social and Cultural Understanding.
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Introduction to Anthropology (LIBS1040) This course is a general introduction to anthropology. The objective is to introduce students to the sub-disciplines of archaeological, linguistic, biological and cultural anthropology. The course will explore evolutionary theory, biological diversity of humans, language and compare different world cultures. Through activities, assignments, and discussions the student will explore the unique perspective of the field of anthropology in the social sciences, develop an appreciation for cultural studies, and recognize the importance of cultural relativity in understanding cultural practices and worldviews. This course is an example of the theme Social and Cultural Understanding.
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Introduction to The Social Sciences (LIBS1520) In order to live responsibly and to reach ones potential as an individual, and as a citizen of society, there is a need to understand the patterns of human relationships that underlie the orderly interactions of a society’s various structural units. Informed people have knowledge of the meaning of civic life in relation to diverse communities at the local, national and global level. This course will teach the basic principles and vocabulary of the social science disciplines: economics, sociology, and politics. It will introduce students to the intellectual frameworks of these disciplines and will emphasize the development of critical thinking by focusing on inequalities in contemporary Canadian society. Students will be provided with an understanding of the meaning of freedoms, rights, and participation in community and public life, in addition to a working knowledge of the structure and function of various levels of governments in Canada. The course will contribute to the development of citizens who are conscious of the diversity, complexity, and richness of the human experience, who are able to establish meaning through this consciousness, and, who, as a result, are able to contribute thoughtfully, creatively, and positively to the society in which they live and work. This course is an example of the theme Social and Cultural Understanding.
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Introduction to World Culture (LIBS1680) In order to enhance an individual's sense of personal understanding and contribution to civic life, there must be a willingness and ability to appreciate others' cultural similarities and differences.  In this course, students will, through a variety of mediums, examine a number of world cultures, specifically their economic, environmental, political, and social characteristics while furthering a respect for cultural and religious diversity. This course is an example of the theme of Social and Cultural Understanding.
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Olympics (LIBS1100) The Olympics can be the defining moment for athletes, participating teams, and host countries. This General Education course will take an in-depth look at the impact of the Olympic Games from a social, political, economic, historical, and cultural perspective that can impact both the athlete and the country. The Olympics have altered the way we view traditional sport and this course will dive into controversial topics such as doping, amateur status, gender, and the view of the Olympic journey from varying perspectives.
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Popular Media in Spanish (LIBS1045) This course examines media and culture in the Spanish-speaking world in order to understand the cultural activities that shape and are shaped by inhabitants of these regions while at the same time reinforcing Spanish language skills (written, oral, and listening). Some of the issues that will be discussed include cultural and national identity; popular music and social change; politics and sports; telenovelas and social messaging; drug trafficking in popular culture; and comics and social critique. The course will be conducted in English initially, then gradually introduce Spanish, until the course is conducted in Spanish in its entirety.
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Psychology Today: The Human Connection (LIBS1085) Why are cell phones so addictive? Are humans actually getting smarter with access to more information or are we just becoming “pancake people” or superficial consumers of information? Are people becoming more narcissistic? Why is being in love so powerful and how does it affect our brain? Why do people commit school shootings and other atrocities? Will we eventually be able to upload our consciousness? Does using social media cause depression? Or are we becoming lonelier as we become more connected? Why are people so influenced by trends in the media? Psychology can help start answering all of these questions. Psychology is the scientific study of human thoughts, emotions and behaviours. Topics of interest to psychologists include all aspects of everyday life, from simple to complex thoughts to behaviours that might surprise us. This course introduces students to the human psyche by drawing on some of the hot topics in psychology today. This course is structured around themes pulled from media and research, and will delve into psychological explanations of these phenomena. Topics will explore what psychology is and does; the brain; cyberpsychology and technology; intelligence; interpersonal relationships and interactions; parenting, personality; consciousness; social psychology and psychological disorders.
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Spanish Culture and Language I (SPAN1000) This introductory course explores the integrated facets of Spanish culture and language with a focus on Latin America. Students will attain an understanding of the contributions of Spanish culture within the social and global environment, while building basic linguistic aspects of the Spanish language. The cultural components of the course will be taught in English with basic Spanish vocabulary and language skills introduced throughout the units. Cultural components comprise 60% of the course, with language functions comprising 40%. This course is an example of the theme of Social and Cultural Understanding.
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Spanish Culture and Language II (SPAN1010 ) This course builds on concepts and structures introduced in Spanish Culture and Language I.  Students will continue to explore the integrated facets of Spanish culture and language with a focus on culture outside Latin America. Students will attain a better understanding of the contributions of Spanish culture within the social and global environment while continuing to build basic linguistic aspects of the Spanish language. The cultural components of the course will be taught in English with basic Spanish vocabulary and language skills introduced throughout the units. Cultural components comprise 60% of the course with language functions comprising 40%. This course is an example of the theme of Social and Cultural Understanding.
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The Middle Ages and the Modern World: Facts and Fiction (LIBS1870) The course will provide students with an introduction to the impact that major cultural traditions of the Middle Ages have had on the modern world. The course will include myths, narratives, images, and other forms of representation from a variety of Western European national and religious traditions. Topics may include the study of kings, warriors, saints, knights, mystics, mythological heroes, and exotic beasts such as dragons.  It will also include examinations of medieval-themed material in modern popular culture, including fictional writing, movies, video games, businesses and historic sites, both online and offline.   No prior knowledge of medieval studies is required.  This course fits into the General Education theme - Arts in Society. This course is an example of the theme of Social and Cultural Understanding.
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World Religions (LIBS1110) This course is designed to increase awareness and appreciation of the religious diversity of our global and local communities, and to develop inter-religious understanding through reflection on various religions' responses to universal human issues. Specifically, this course will examine the origin, development, worldview and values of Religions originating in the Americas and Africa, Indian Religions including Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism, Chinese and Japanese religions including Taoism, Confucianism and Shinto. We will study the religions arising from the Family of Abraham including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. We will also examine the ancient religions of Iraq and Iran. Finally, we will investigate some of the alternative religions including the Baha’i, the Church of Satan, Wicca, and Scientology. Moreover, this course will explore how the deeply rooted nature of our religious convictions has both the power to give meaning and passion to our human chaos, but also to debase, and even destroy our humanity. Students will have opportunity to consider their own religious expectations and values and to analyze their impact on personal goals. This course is an example of the theme of Social and Cultural Understanding.
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