DI Courses

DI Courses

Spring 2022


ENGL 269/ENST 265 - Science Fiction and the Environment. Examines the ways that science fiction has expressed and challenged ideas about nature, culture, society and politics. 

ENGL 272 - Literature and Medicine. Designed for, but not limited to, students interested in the medical profession, this course introduces the study of medicine through reading imaginative literature—novels, plays, essays, poems—by and about doctors and patients, focusing on understanding ethical issues and on developing critical and interpretive skills.

ENGL 279 - Black Sci-Fi and Speculative Fictions. Examines how Black science and speculative fiction worries the division between reality and fantasy; challenges the fictions embedded in our national histories; and underscores the social, economic, and political inequities short-circuiting the lives of brown and Black peoples around the world. Focusing on works from Octavia Butler to Victor Levalle, from George Schuyler to Mat Johnson, from John Williams to Colson Whitehead among others, the course engages the ways in which these authors represent the monstrous and grotesque; pandemics, environmental and technological degradation and catastrophe; urbanization, gentrification, and immigration; and (biological/technological) warfare, in order to recalibrate our understanding of the central role race plays in determining both access to, and allocation of, necessary resources. The course will track the histories and afterlives of slavery and colonialism that continue to transfigure our society, while also studying varied blueprints for, and critiques of, alternative, more egalitarian societies imagined by these artists.

ENST 205 - Reckoning with the Anthropocene. Joins the ongoing effort to make sense of how humans have reshaped the planet and its ecosystems by focusing on how a key concept, the Anthropocene, has journeyed from the geological sciences to a wide array of disciplines and audiences. The course will explore how historians, critics, philosophers, journalists, scientists, activists, poets, novelists, filmmakers and others are finding new ways to talk about how we got here and how we might contend with the possible futures that await us. Course participants will hone new skills for reading, writing and thinking about changing environments. And together they will imagine the kind of communities we might create in response to a warming world.

ENST 314 - Cultures and Media of Environmental Health. Cultures and Media of Environmental Health is a discussion based seminar that addresses the uncertainty of our ecological future and the changing environment's impact on human and nonhuman health from an interdisciplinary point of view. This course pays particular attention to cultural and media representation at the intersection of health and the environment. This course will consider a broad array of media to stage important questions about how scientific and cultural systems can respond to the growing pressures of "environmental health."

HIST 233 - History of Modern Science. Addresses the main issues in the history of modern science from the Ancient Greeks to the present. Topics include: the Scientific Revolution, Newtonianism in the 18th century, Darwinism and evolution, the relativity and quantum revolutions in physics in the early 20th century and recent developments in the life sciences like molecular biology.

HIST 353 - History of Sensation. Offers a deep history of sensation, and opens a window into how scientists, philosophers, medical practitioners and neurophysiologists developed theories of touching, tasting, smelling, hearing and seeing. Students will learn about the history of using animal models to inform human sensation, as well as the medical consequences of sensations that failed to fit neat categories of sensing.

PHIL 130 - The Sciences of the Mind. An introduction to the scientific investigation of the mind, with special attention to topics of particular philosophical interest. Topics are likely to include: representation and computation, perception, cognition, action and the neural implementation of mental states and processes. Previously offered as PHIL 103. Mutually exclusive with PHIL 103, credit cannot be earned for both classes.

PHIL 431 - Advanced Topics in the Sciences of the Mind: Science of Free Will. In this course, philosophical, psychological and neuroscientific sources are integrated in an interdisciplinary study of a major topic. Topics can include consciousness, language comprehension, concepts and the will. 

RELI 335 - Medicine and the Museum: Clinical Aesthetics and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Through weekly visits to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, class participants will develop key skills and engage with relevant themes relating to medicine and caregiving, including observation and description, embodiment and motion, eros and suffering, vulnerable populations, grief and loss, human mortality and spiritual transcendence.

SPAN 321 - Spanish for Medical Professions I. Helps students develop an advanced level of proficiency in Spanish through the analysis and use of the target language in the context of specific topics of interest that will vary.

SPPO 333 - Current Healthcare Issues in Latinx Communities. Examines social, cultural, ethical and humanitarian issues as related to healthcare and Latinx communities in the United States. The course will make use of current multimodal media to guide students in close reading, interpretation, and critical thinking and response. When appropriate, the historical context for current issues will also be considered. Taught in Spanish. Recommended Prerequisite(s): SPAN 322