University courses cover stimulating interdisciplinary topics | Emory University

From examining the ethics of what we eat and the complexities of disability and resilience to exploring issues of global security and leadership, this spring’s academic courses invite students to engage deeply in subjects that are both difficult and timely.

Now in its seventh year, Emory’s College Curriculum strives to bring together students – undergraduate, graduate, and professional – and a strong roster of faculty from across campus for intensive, multidisciplinary exploration of topics. of common interest.

Coordinated by the Faculty training and excellence center (CFDE), courses generally attract a wide range of faculty representing a wide range of disciplines, says Donna Troka, associate director of teaching and pedagogy at CFDE and assistant assistant professor at the Higher Institute of Liberal Arts. Emory.

“The goal is to look at things across disciplines with a variety of students, from a sophomore at Emory College to students completing their MBA or PhD, as well as faculty from many schools,” explains Troka.

Beyond allowing students to study subjects from an interdisciplinary perspective, “the collateral advantage is that these courses also allow faculty development, connection and collaboration,” she notes.

Student interest in the three university courses offered this semester has been particularly strong, according to Troka. “Because the lessons are discussion-based, we try to keep the classes at a smaller seminar size,” she notes. “But in all three courses, we saw increased student interest. “

By design, each course will have an element that invites the audience to participate, such as a speaker or a special event. And for the first time, one of the courses will bring together students at the Emory Atlanta and Oxford College campuses, with lessons being broadcast live on both sites simultaneously, Troka said.

Two of the interdisciplinary university courses of this semester were born out of recent CoLA courses, flexible learning communities for faculty and students supported by the Emory Liberal Arts Coalition (CoLA).

The spring 2017 university courses are:

“Disability, resilience and the mortal self”


  • Bruce Greenfield, Associate Professor, Department of Rehabilitative Medicine and Principal Investigator, Center for Ethics

  • Aaron Stutz, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Oxford College

  • Sarah Blanton, Associate Professor, Emory Rehabilitation Medicine Department

  • Zoher Kapasi, Acting Director and Associate Professor, Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Rehabilitative Medicine.

Participants will explore the complexity of disability and resilience across the lifespan using narrative composition, presentation, analysis and review to help understand bodily capacity and the experiences surrounding disability and resilience, disease and healing.

Faculty experts will also speak on topics such as disability biopolitics, religion and disability, and the representation of disability in the visual arts; participants will visit physiotherapy research laboratories.

“We did this as part of a CoLA course last year with undergraduates,” says Greenfield. “When the opportunity arose to develop this course into an interdisciplinary course that combines graduate and undergraduate students, it seemed like a good solution. “

For the university course, “we will be looking at concepts such as mortality, normality, resilience, inclusion and quality of life in the context of disability,” he says. “We hope to help students better understand these existential concepts through the lens of disability, which is elusive and changeable. “

The course will also use technology to bridge the Emory campuses in Oxford and Atlanta.

“We are delighted to bring the professors and students of Oxford College into the classroom as well,” said Stutz. “The technology should make the seminar interactions on the video screen rich and real enough to help everyone feel included.”

“Global security and leadership in a complex world”


  • Laurie Blank, Clinical Professor of Law, Emory School of Law

  • Dabney Evans, Assistant Professor of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health

  • Ken Keen, Associate Dean for Leadership Development, Goizueta Business School

  • Edward Queen, Director, Servant Ethics and Leadership Program, Emory Center for Ethics

With a scholarship focused on International Law and Armed Conflict, Law Professor Emory Laurie Blank has bonded with professors across campus who share interests in global security issues.

And speaking with classes across campus, she also noticed a strong interest from students “in what is going on in the world and how they can get involved as professionals in protecting people in situations of. emergency and conflict, ”said Blank, director of Emory’s International Humanitarian. Law clinic.

This semester’s academic course will help students examine global security and leadership issues at a critical and complex time, exploring topics such as how international security can be promoted and sustained, practical aspects of leadership, and strategies to meet real global challenges.

“We are examining a tour de force of subjects,” Blank acknowledges, including sovereignty and borders, ethics and leadership, cybersecurity, the global economy and development, human intervention and building the a nation, religion, multiculturalism and extremism, conflict resolution and management. and respond to global health emergencies.

“As you go out into the world, you need to understand your client’s business, goals and interests,” says Blank. “We’ll bring in a lot of really interesting speakers to offer a real-world leadership component, including the types of decisions they’ve faced and what they rely on to make those decisions. “

“Food ethics”


  • Jonathan K. Crane, Raymond F. Schinazi researcher in bioethics and Jewish thought, Center for Ethics; associate professor, Department of Medicine; and Associate Professor, Department of Religion.

Three years ago, Jonathan Crane taught a course in Emory’s religion department that looked at what it means to “eat the world.”

But he soon realized that he could not go further with the subject in a traditional classroom. So he located a demonstration kitchen on campus and reinterpreted the course as a CoLA course.

The students were tasked with planning menus, buying and cooking ingredients, and serving common meals. They “emerged with new interests and an appreciation for the ethical complexity of our modern food environment as well as new social networks and skills that they will take with them for the rest of their lives,” Crane says.

This semester, Crane is presenting the popular class as a college course. Students will meet once a week at the Few Hall Demonstration Kitchen. Based on the theme of the week, they will collectively plan menus, shop, prepare, cook and serve meals, all while maintaining food blogs and diet journals.

Topics include labeling laws, neuroscience and ethics, token eating, disorderly eating, the cost of overeating and overeating. They will also hear from experts in psychology, animal husbandry, environmental and natural resources law, anthropology, biology, gastroenterology, cardiology, endocrinology and metabolism.

“Whether it’s business, philosophy, anthropology or nursing, everyone cares about what food is, how we think about it, and how it affects ourselves. and our living environments, our health, our public policies and our religious identities, ”explains Crane.

“What really excites me about offering this course as an academic course is that Emory is ideally placed to create a food studies program that could be a leader in what is becoming a necessary field.” , he said. “It touches almost every department and certainly has an impact on every individual.”

“This course supports an ongoing collaboration across campuses to create a strong integrated food ethics program here at Emory,” adds Crane, who has a book on food ethics to be released later this year.

For more information call 404-727-4955 or email [email protected]

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