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Contributed by Danette Johnson on 10/11/2012
submitted on behalf of Jack Rossen, CCR Chair, and Danette Johnson, Director of the ICC
The Committee for College-wide Requirements (CCR) and faculty volunteers for course designation groups are reviewing more than 50 existing courses that have been proposed by faculty for themes and perspectives designations, with additional new and revised courses working their way through school curriculum processes before CCR review. Thanks to the many faculty members across departments and schools who have submitted courses for designation.
Between course designation requests and department chair estimates of likely themes and perspectives offerings for next year, we anticipate robust offerings across creative arts, humanities, natural science, and social science perspectives for the Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, & Innovation; Mind, Body, Spirit; and World of Systems themes.
Several courses within the social sciences and natural sciences perspectives for the Quest for a Sustainable Future theme and within the creative arts, humanities, and social sciences perspectives for the Power & Justice theme have also been proposed. However, even after soliciting additional courses from departments for the creative arts and humanities perspectives in the Quest for a Sustainable Future theme and for the natural sciences perspective for Power & Justice, estimated offerings available within those theme and perspective combinations appear to be too low to offer enough seats or to provide student choice within those themes.
CCR members believe that these themes represent important areas of inquiry for the ICC and the committee is seeking faculty input on options for how to proceed with the Quest for a Sustainable Future and Power & Justice themes. Please submit your comments in the space at the bottom of this Intercom announcement by Wednesday, October 17th so that course designations can be evaluated and Ithaca Seminar proposals for AY13-14 can be invited. Alternatively, you may submit comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
One option would be to delay implementation of these two themes (Quest for a Sustainable Future and Power & Justice) until AY2014-15 to allow for additional courses to be developed in the areas where prospective offerings are currently thin.
A second option, derived from a number of proposals applying for designation within both the Quest for Sustainable Future and Power & Justice themes, would be to launch an alternative fifth theme for AY13-14. An alternative theme might be described as:
Power, Justice, and Society: How do we negotiate the 21st century world?
The pursuit of a just and sustainable world often entails direct engagement with structures of power. Power plays a central role in our physical, cultural, and personal existence, governing our production of knowledge, social relations, institutions, and distribution of material resources. In a related sense, systems of power and energy generation have profound impacts on our current and future social, economic, and cultural environments. Courses in this theme will encourage students to examine critically the world we live in within the context of various notions of justice, power, and sustainability.
How sustainable are the ways by which power is generated, distributed, transformed, and mobilized?
How do we tell stories about economic inequality, affluence, environmental change and degradation, and other issues associated with power, justice, and sustainability?
How are struggles over energy production or environmental justice tied to structures of power?
How does a historical understanding of power or fights for justice help us understand contemporary conflicts?
How have values systems in different times and places shaped our economic, social, and ecological behavior and how can we borrow from others now?
How do sexualities, class, race, and ethnicity affect and reflect structures of power and notions of justice?
The CCR is also open to considering additional options that are suggested in the comments received.
Thank you in advance for your input on this important issue. CCR encourages members of the campus community who have questions about the ICC or CCR’s work to visit the CCR website (www.ithaca.edu/provost/standingcommittees/ccr/) or contact CCR members directly.