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Fall 2012 Learning Communities

Freshmen: Speak with your adviser in the Office of Freshman Advising before registering for a learning community; she can help you register for the correct courses.

  • Just Hot Air? Political Rhetoric in an Election Year

    In this presidential election year, you'll look intensely at the words, images, ideas and opinions that shape our country's politics and its government. You'll pay special attention to the way people talk about democracy: in action, in speeches and in campaign mudslinging—the truths, half-truths, exaggerations and what President Harry S. Truman famously called "manure."

    The courses you'll take:
    American Government
    The Experience of Literature
    Communicating Effectively
  • Law and Order

    What is crime? What is justice? How do we see crime on television and read about it in literature? What is policing? How can we write persuasively about crime in a democratic society? How do we document or imagine the lives of offenders, victims, survivors, prisoners and communities blighted by crime? In this learning community, you'll probe these and other questions in a criminological, expository and literary fashion.

    The courses you'll take:
    Criminal Justice
    The Experience of Literature
    College Composition
  • Global Conflict/Global Change

    Why do countries and people fight wars and get into many other kinds of conflict and destructive competition? In this learning community, you'll look for answers in many places: in what nations and groups say and write about themselves, in the political ideas that influence their relations with others and in how they communicate their values and intentions. You'll learn about strategies for mediating, managing and resolving interpersonal and international conflict, and you'll actively apply them in class.

    The courses you'll take:
    The Experience of Literature
    Communicating Effectively
    Global Conflict

  • iPad, eBook, uThink: How Technology Has Changed How We Communicate, Socialize, Read and Think

    We all know why we text, read, write and talk: to communicate about the things that really matter to us. But the e-versions and i-versions of all of this have deeply changed the way we interact—and often in ways we’re not aware of! Older technologies for transmitting facts, ideas and feelings in writing have been replaced by fast, free and convenient methods of exchanging words and images. All of this has major psychological effects, both positive and negative. You’ll look deeply at how technology has shaped our socializing, our knowledge of the world and even our cognitive processing (A.K.A. thinking).

    The courses you'll take:
    Introduction to Computer Technologies
    Introduction to Psychology
    The Experience of Literature

  • Crab Cakes and Pit Beef: Food and Nourishment in the City

    Everyone needs food, but we often take food for granted in modern society. Extraordinary effort goes into feeding the Baltimore metropolitan area. The food supply system stimulates the economy, heavily impacts our environment and forms a large part of our cultural identity (think Baltimore and crabs!). In this learning community, you'll explore a variety of information sources as you learn what it takes to provide an urban populace with a stable, continuous, nutritious and sustainable food supply.

    The courses you'll take:
    Human Ecology
    College Composition
    Introduction to Information Literacy

  • Your Mind on Music and Performance: How the World Inside Our Heads Shapes the World Around Us

    We all know that our thoughts, motivations and emotions are more complex than we can describe easily. We all know that creative people—musicians, actors, etc.—tap into this complexity and help us connect what's in our heads to the world around us. In this learning community, you'll explore the way humans make sense of the world around them (psychology) and use their creativity to change the world (music and performance). You'll visit a small, local stage theater, talk with musicians and other creative people, study the way our brains shape our lives, and see how famous and not-so-famous Baltimoreans have expressed their deepest human feelings and contributed to a vibrant world outside and inside their heads.

    The courses you'll take:
    Music in Baltimore
    College Composition
    Introduction to Psychology

  • Revolution! How Science, History and the Information Culture Are Changing Our Lives

    What is the information economy, and what's our role in it? How does science affect the decisions that shape the world around us? How can history actually help us answer these and many other crucial contemporary questions? In this learning community, you'll discover how information and science have sparked major revolutions in thought, politics and social organization. Practical exercises in chemistry, historical study and weighing information will help you to discover how these seemingly unrelated fields of study are connected and how they continuously influence each other.

    The courses you'll take:
    World History Since 1500
    Chemistry and the Modern World
    Introduction to Information Literacy

  • Thriving (Not Just Surviving) in a Digital Economy

    How can we hope to keep up with a world in which technology is changing faster and faster? How do we go beyond just coping in this new global, digital economy? In this learning community, you'll discover how fundamental principles like supply and demand can still help us in the modern iWorld in which we now live. Learn how core technologies affect you as an individual and as an employee in the world of work. Leap the so-called digital divide and learn how ideas like the virtualization of goods can help people thrive (and not just survive) here in Baltimore.

    The courses you'll take:
    Economics of Contemporary Issues
    Computer Information Systems
    First-Year Seminar: Applied Learning and Study Skills

  • Creating the Apocalypse for Helen P. Denit Honors Program students

    As the end of the Mayan calendar looms and popular culture embraces end-of-the-world scenarios from zombies to global warming, the apocalypse is capturing our collective imagination. Why are we so fascinated by the collapse of civilization, and what can we learn from these stories? In this interactive learning community, you'll research and respond to depictions of the apocalypse across media and create your own games based on the end of the world.

    The courses you'll take:
    Introduction to Game Design
    Interpreting Pop Culture
    Introduction to Information Literacy

  • Propaganda: Do You Buy It? for Helen P. Denit Honors Program students

    In this learning community, you'll examine the ways propaganda has been used to sell ideas and products to the American public. Through the study of history, art and information literacy, you'll learn to recognize and analyze propaganda and ultimately be challenged to create your own piece of propaganda.

    The courses you'll take:
    Music and Art as Craft
    Great Issues in History
    Introduction to Information Literacy