Skip to Main Content

WWU / Fairhaven College of Interdiscipinary Studies

Winter 2010 Courses: 400 Level

13368 403A Advanced Seminar

Bower (4 credits)

Materials Fee: $14.49

Prerequisite: Required of all Fairhaven students. Senior Status.

Note: Students must take this course in their final quarter. Student must have applied for graduation in order to be given override for class.


Reflections from previous students:

Taking the time to look back, see what I've accomplished and where I've come from gives me a feeling of completeness; like I've "wrapped the bundle." Something I have really valued about Fairhaven is the process. . . .spending my last quarter reflecting with other seniors is the sweetest farewell! I was delighted to find that Fairhaven was turning loose such educated, wise and creative critical thinkers into the world. The sincere and unique quality of other students' writing and presentations inspired me to speak in an authentic voice; to be honest with myself and others in constructing my summary and evaluation and my presentation.


This seminar provides an opportunity to reflect on your education, to explore in writing, conversations, and presentations what you have discovered and learned along the way, what challenges you faced, what surprised you, what changed your ways of thinking, and what you accomplished, produced, and created. At the heart of this seminar are two final opportunities to express what your education has meant to you: (1) the writing of the Summary and Evaluation (the infamous S&E), that is, your own story of what happened to you during your educational journey and your reflections on it all, and (2) a presentation, or the teaching, of something at the heart of your educational experience.


Each seminar develops a different life of its own, depending on the faculty member teaching it and the students who participate in it. Every seminar, though, engages in conversations, listening, writing, and presentations. Class texts provide something common to read, explore, think about, and reflect on. The goal is to create a supportive learning community in which each of you can speak and write honestly about your education. The seminar also offers time to look forward, to consider the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, and to discuss the questions, concerns, and responsibilities that each of you are bringing with you into the wide world beyond Fairhaven. Expect to do lots of writing. Expect to lead discussions. Expect to work together with your classmates, reading each other’s writing, listening to each other’s experiences, viewpoints, and insights. Expect to engage fully in helping others construct and share meaning as you reflect critically on your education. Expect to discover something new about your classmates, about the world itself, and about what is possible when a group of people tries to genuinely share with each other what they have really learned.


Text: There is no set text for this course. Readings will be chosen by the students in this class, and assigned as reading to complement the student presentations.

Credit/Evaluation: Reliable and regular attendance. Active participation in class discussions and activities. Completion of all writing assignments, including the Summary and Evaluation, and a presentation to the class.

*Note: During the course you will be giving copies of your S&E to your concentration committee members, in addition to your classmates and seminar teacher, seeking their feedback and responses, and ultimately their final approval. Students with Western majors need their advisor’s signature on the S&E for final approval. Students doing Fairhaven concentrations need signatures from all of their concentration committee members.


< back to Course List | Classfinder


13369 422J Art of the Essay: Writing Body

Tag (4 credits)

Materials Fee: $13.62

Prerequisite: Fair 201a and 202a, and 300 level writing course. This course meets the Humanities and the Expressive Arts II Core requirement.


This is an advanced level course in the art of essay writing—what some call the “personal essay” and others call “creative nonfiction.” The etymological roots of the word “essay” mean simply to try, to make an attempt. Thus, in our essays we will be making honest attempts to say clearly and creatively what it is that is swirling around inside us. “Unlike novelists and playwrights,” writes essayist Scott Russell Sanders, “who lurk behind the scenes while distracting our attention with the puppet show of imaginary characters, unlike scholars and journalists, who quote the opinions of others and shelter behind the hedges of neutrality, the essayist has nowhere to hide. While the poet can lean back on a several-thousand-year-old legacy of ecstatic speech, the essayist inherits a much briefer and skimpier tradition. The poet is allowed to quit after a few lines, but the essayist must hold our attention over pages and pages. It is a brash and foolhardy form, this one-man or one-woman circus, which relies on the tricks of anecdote, conjecture, memory, and wit to enthrall us.” This winter's course will challenge us each to push the boundaries of the personal essay form, focusing particularly on "writing the body," surely a potentially brash and foolhardy topic if there ever was one. And perhaps something vital and necessary, close to the skin, something we rarely take the time to explore in words. What is the body? Our bodies? Mine? Yours? What are the connections between body and mind? Body and soul? Body and the food we eat, the liquids we drink, or the air we breathe? What is the history of our bodies? How do family and culture shape the ways we see and feel about our bodies? What do scars, moles, creases, hair, bones, pain, diseases say about who we are? What can we mean by producing a "body" of writing? Each of us will explore these questions and more, and write and share three fully revised and finished personal essays, each of them illuminations on the rich and intriguing possibilities in writing the body.


Texts: BODY, edited by Fiffer and Fiffer; TOUCHSTONE ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY CREATIVE NONFICTION, edited by Williford and Martone

Credit/Evaluation: Faithful attendance and participation in the work, writing workshops, and discussions of the class. Completion and quality of weekly writing exercises and three revised and finished essays.


< back to Course List | Classfinder


13370 441U Relational Self: Theories and Research

Jack (4 credits)

Materials Fee: $12.44

Prerequisite: Previous courses in psychology or instructor permission This course meets the Society and the Individual II Core requirement.


This course integrates knowledge from different traditions and disciplines to examine what we know about “the self.” Drawing from attachment theory, recent advances in neurobiology and from Buddhist traditions that argue against the felt reality of a unitary self, we will examine basic questions. What is the self? How do we think about it, experience it, act on it? What does “identity” mean? Is there any permanence in our self-experience or is it so contextually dependent and so in flux that to talk about identity is to make up a story? What models of the self have guided Western psychology, and how are these models being challenged? For example, current research in cognitive neuroscience and attachment theory argue that the developing brain/mind organizes itself in the context of an emotional relationship with other brain/minds; that the self is fundamentally relational. Rather than being “determined” by our early relationships, the possibility of profound change through healthy connections occurs throughout the lifespan. In this exciting journey, prepare for your basic assumptions about the self to be challenged.


Required Texts: THE NEUROSCIENCE OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS: ATTACHMENT AND THE DEVELOPING SOCIAL BRAIN, by Cozolino; THE DEVELOPING MIND: HOW RELATIONSHIPS AND THE BRAIN INTERACT TO SHAPE WHO WE ARE, by Siegel and Additional materials from John Bowlby, Philip Shaver and others will be available through Blackboard.

Credit/Evaluation: Regular attendance, informed contribution in class discussions, short essays in response to readings and a final project.


< back to Course List | Classfinder


13363 458W Studio Paint: Theory & Practice

Feodorov (4 credits)

Prerequisite: Fair 358w or equivalent or instructor permission. This course will expand upon acquired painting techniques, allowing students to continue to develop and challenge their skills and ideas within a contemporary context. Students will explore their own themes while pushing their art into more conceptual areas. Each student will propose a body of work to be agreed upon with the instructor in advance. They will then present their art projects to the class and participate in class discussions throughout the quarter. Each student will be responsible for giving one oral presentation of two contemporary artists that they have researched throughout the quarter. Documentation of artwork, looking for exhibition opportunities as well as developing an Artist Statement will also be discussed.


Please note: Intro to Acrylic Painting and Studio Painting: Theory and Practice will be taught concurrently. You cannot sign up for the advanced level unless you have already taken both 258w Intro to Acrylic Painting and 358w Advanced Acrylic Painting.


Text: no text, but occasional handouts will be given.

Credit/Evaluation: Credit will be based upon attendance, promptness, quality of coursework and active class participation. Students will also be required to maintain and complete a 40-page sketchbook for both sessions.


< back to Course List | Classfinder


13586 463C Federal Indian Law

Montoya-Lewis (4 credits)

Prerequisite: Fair 203a recommended. This course meets the Society and the Individual II Core requirement.


There are over 500 federally recognized American Indian tribes in the United States. These tribes have unique cultures, traditions, and languages; however, they are all united by one important common denominator: the federal government. Despite the diversity of tribal nations in the U.S., the federal government (through the U.S. Supreme Court, the Congress, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs) has applied uniform laws and policies to address the needs of tribes and tribal peoples. This course will look at the development of the United States’ government’s law (and to some degree, policy) toward tribes, beginning with the earliest U.S. Supreme Court cases addressing “the Indian problem” and then looking at several contemporary tribal issues and conflicts with the federal government. Our study of contemporary tribal issues will focus on questions of jurisdiction and identity (Who is an Indian?) all with an eye toward understanding what the term “tribal sovereignty” means today.


Text: CASES AND MATERIALS ON FEDERAL INDIAN LAW, by Getches, Wilkinson and Williams

Credit/Evaluation: This class will be an academically rigorous course, requiring significant advance preparation for each class, as well as additional study following class. In order to receive credit for the class, students must complete all assignments, comply with the attendance policy, and demonstrate learning through written assignments, including exams.


< back to Course List | Classfinder