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WWU / Fairhaven College of Interdiscipinary Studies

Winter 2014 Courses: 400 Level

11417 | 403A Advanced Seminar

Montoya-Lewis (4 credits)


Materials Fee: $4.00

Prerequisite: Required of all Fairhaven students. Senior Status.

Note: Students may take this class only in the quarter they have applied to graduate with the exception of students graduating in Summer quarter.


ANNE TREAT, Spring 2007 grad, said: "There is no possible way I can give justice to the complexity of experiences, triumphs, pitfalls and challenges of my academic career in the course of this paper. This artifact of self-reflection is simply a pause in the broader conversation of my academic journey, an invitation for me to mindfully articulate the ways those things I've studied, read, discussed and experienced over the past four years have informed and challenged my personal development, and how I've chosen to integrate and express that knowledge through the actions of my life"


This seminar is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on what you have been up to all these years of being educated--through writing, conversation, presentations, and listening to each other. You will read and discuss a book and other readings, co-facilitating at least one discussion; write and share a variety of short writing assignments, designed to help you complete your Summary and Evaluation, and provide a supportive community in which to Each student will also present or teach something to the class from the heart of his or her educational experience. This course is one of our favorites to teach at Fairhaven because we learn so much about our students, and the many intriguing, complex, deep, creative and quirky ways there are to be human and to become educated. The class also illustrates the value of writing as a process of discovery, synthesis and meaning. We will all do our best to help you express most clearly what your education has been about, and are honored to learn from your stories, your minds, your creativity, and your lives. The course will be as significant as you make it. Be honest. It is your life, your education, so let us understand what it has meant and what it really means to you now.


Text: to be announced


Evaluation: Active, informed participation in class discussion and excellent class attendance; supportive collaboration with your classmates in the writing process; timely completion of assignments; a final presentation of significant aspects of your educational experience; and a final draft of your Summary and Evaluation, approved and signed by your concentration chair (or by your advisor for majors or upside-down students).


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12364 | 419F Cross-Cultural Shamanism

Conton (5 credits)


Materials Fee:$6.89

Prereq: Fair 203a and either Anth 201 or a course in cross-cultural studies, or instructor permission


This course addresses cross-cultural variations and commonalities in the roles, recruitment, performances, and defining characteristics of shamans, ceremonials practitioners who restore balance and health in the daily lives of their communities. Shamanism is an ancient and worldwide method for personal learning and healing, a paradigm or way of life concerned with the healing of the individual, family, community, and environment. We explore the relationship between shamanic healing, visions, mythic consciousness, and alternate states of consciousness in cultural and historical context, including the modern western revival of shamanic practices. Issues of ethnicity, gender, and community are discussed in this contemporary context.


Texts: (Tentative) Piers Vitebsky, SHAMANISM; Martin Prechtel, SECRETS OF THE TALKING JAGUAR, and selected articles available on Canvas


Credit/Evaluation: Regular attendance and informed contribution to discussions, including co-facilitation of one discussion; two written learning assessment(s) integrating student interaction with lectures, reading, discussions, films, and guest speakers; oral presentation of a project or research paper. These should demonstrate growth in a cross-cultural and culturally relativistic understanding of various forms of shamanism, as well as awareness of the fundamental psycho-symbolic structures and themes of shamanic practices.


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14101 | 422K Advanced Legal Writing

Marquez (4 credits)


Materials Fee:$11.06

Prereq: Fair 311b or Plsc 311 or permission of instructor


This course will focus on learning evaluative and persuasive legal writing, including how to properly cite sources using legal citation. We will review case reading, analysis and synthesis and learn how to use cases to write persuasive legal arguments. Students will be given a side to argue and write a persuasive appellate brief on a current legal issue. The case will be a hypothetical case based upon a current issue being argued in the cours. Students will argue their case in oral arguments in front of a panel of judges, as well as in writing.


TEXTS: Legal Reasoning and Legal Writing, by Richard Neumann, as well as supplemental readings online. A legal dictionary is also required, preferably one you can bring to each class.


Credit/Evaluation: Writing requirements will include several small assignments discussing and synthesizing cases and will culminate in drafting a formal appellate brief. Evaluation will be based upon the progress of each student’s writing, regular attendance, and class participation. Each assignment must be completed ON TIME.


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13855 | 423K Space, Place, and Imagination

Tag (5 credits)


Materials Fee: 5.72

Prereq: 200-level Humanities course



“In the deepest, darkest heart of winter, when the sky resembles bad banana baby food for months on end, and the witch measles that meteorologists call ‘drizzle’ are a chronic gray rash on the skin of the land, folks all around me sink into a dismal funk. Many are depressed . . . But I grow happier with each fresh storm, each thickening of the crinkly stratocumulus. ‘What's so hot about the sun?’ I ask. Sunbeams are a lot like tourists: intruding where they don't belong, promoting noise and forced activity, faking a shallow cheerfulness, dumb little cameras slung around their necks. Raindrops, on the other hand—introverted, feral, buddhistically cool—behave as if they live here. Which, of course, they do.”

—Tom Robbins


Raindrops do live here. Clouds live here, too. And wind sweeps through, swirling, dancing, pushing us around. So here we are, huddled on the edge of the continent, taking everything the skies throw at us and drop on us as the clouds bunch up against the Cascades. What does it mean to live in such a place? How do clouds, wind, and rain shape us? Shape the watersheds, forests, rivers, and cities we inhabit? How is global climate change shifting our lives? What is a warming climate doing to our communities, to the animals that live amongst us, to the trees that cover our yards, parks, hills, and mountains? What kind of personal relationships do we have with weather and the other meteorological forces that we live within?


This course is being offered in conjunction with Fairhaven’s special quarter on Climate Change and Environmental Justice. At times, we will join students in other linked courses, including the World Issues Forum. Our primary focus, though, will be to explore the nature of our local weather patterns, in particular three of the most common natural elements that shape Pacific Northwest coastal weather: clouds, wind, and rain. We will read historical accounts, personal narratives, stories, poems, scientific inquiries, journals, and anything else infused with weather-reflections. We will write our own stories, or make our own films, or create our own wet and soggy illustrations. We will get outside into it all, keep weather logs, and pay attention to the complexities of cloud-shapes, wind currents, and rainfall. Hope you will join us. Bring your raincoat.


Texts: THE INVENTION OF CLOUDS, by Hamblyn; WIND, by DeBlieu; RAINS ALL THE TIME, by Laskin; EARLY WARMING, by Lord


Credit / Evaluation: Your presence and participation are essential. Completion of weekly assignments, readings, group projects, and a weather log, as well as a critical essay, a personal narrative, and a final creative project.


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14107 | 433P Advanced Topics in Evolutionary Biology: Psychology

Bower (4 credits)


Prereq: Any 200, 300 or 400 level course in evolution or permission of the instructor (send request to


In this student-led seminar course we will explore the theory and empirical research in the field of evolutionary psychology. Specific topics examined during the class will largely be determined by students, in consort with the instructor, and may include mental illness, love, sexual behavior, mating patterns, parental behavior, and violence. In studying these topics we will consider the theory and evidence for evolutionary influence on them, with an overarching theme of assessing the relative roles of biology and culture in shaping human behavior. Seminar leaders will work in pairs (with the instructor’s help) to research topics, assign appropriate readings and lead class discussions. It will be assumed that students entering the class have at least a basic working knowledge of evolutionary theory including natural selection and sexual selection or, with instructor approval, a plan to attain that knowledge early in the quarter.


Texts: David Buss: Evolutionary Psychology - The New Science of Mind


Credit/Evaluation: Regular attendance in class, informed participation in class discussions, preparing for and leading one or two seminars (including doing extra research and preparing an annotated outline prior to leading the class), and a class journal for recording written responses to class readings and thoughts about class discussions.


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13848 | 454Y Scriptwriting Workshop II

Larner (4 credits)


Materials Fee: $6.89

Prereq: fair 354v; previous 300-level work in scriptwriting any medium, or instructor permission



The workshop is a collaborative, supportive group experience. Students are expected to comment on, support, and participate in the work of their fellow students in the workshop. Initial exercises and rewriting work will be followed by intensive work on each student's individual project. Students in 454Y are expected to complete at least the equivalent of a longer one-act play (30-60 minutes in length), and are strongly encouraged to tackle part or the whole of a full-length work. The particular goal for each 454y student will be individually negotiated with the instructor early in the quarter. We may also read a published play or screenplay and discuss it together, as well as attend a play production or film showing during the term.


Emphasis will be placed on acquiring a sharp, critical sense of dramatic action, on developing strong technique for the stage, screen, or radio, and on completing the script and bringing it through a complete revision. If time remains, students will be urged to get their scripts ready for production--screenplays for video production and showcasing here on campus, and/or through the Projections Film Festival in Bellingham, and through film and video festivals in Seattle; stage plays for production here at Fairhaven, and/or at the New Playwrights Theatre in the Theatre Arts Department, at KUGS Radio, and/or other opportunities in Bellingham and the northwest. There will also be discussion and resources available for marketing scripts to theatres and film producers.


454y students are expected to make substantial critical contributions to the work the class, to offer leadership in discussion, and to reflect an advanced understanding of our texts, and our dramatic material and its workings.


Texts: Jeffrey Sweet, DRAMATIST’S TOOLKIT; Robert McKee, STORY. and a play and/or a screenplay, TBA, may be required, as may attendance at selected film screenings and/or theatre productions.


Credit/Evaluation: In addition to providing leadership in class discussion, and in doing and staging the exercises, 454 students will be responsible for finishing the project individually negotiated with the instructor. Minimum requirement: one act play or it's equivalent in another medium, 30-60 minutes in length. Work must be brought to class regularly and shared with the group. A portfolio of selected writings done during the term will be due at the end of the course. Dependable attendance; completion of assigned readings; progressively better informed, responsive and constructive participation in the workshop; and steady effort in rewriting and revising are required for credit. Writing will be evaluated for improvement in technique and style, its aptness for the stage or screen (or appropriate medium), and the overall development of the writer during the term.


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