Elective Courses

ANTH 302 Southern Cultures

An anthropological study of the southern United States emphasizes cultural continuity in both mountains and lowlands. The course uses community studies and literature to explore how indigenous interpretations fit within and react against national patterns and how locality, race, status, and gender act as social principles. (Credit, full course) Ray. Offered every three or four years.

ARCH 213 Cultural Resource Practicum 

(2 credit; may be repeated once). This practicum focuses on historical or prehistoric cultural resources, both archaeological and standing structures, on the University Domain. Students learn excavation and documentation techniques appropriate to the specific resource type. In addition, artifact processing and cataloging will be covered. The majority of this course is field based. (Credit, half course) Sherwood. Offered every year.

BIOL 232. Human Health and the Environment

A course integrating concepts in ecology and public health through the study of environmental threats to human health. Topics include population growth and food security, toxicity and toxins, food borne illness, emerging disease, waste and wastewater, air pollution and climate change. Students explore the interaction of poverty, environmental degradation, and disease through projects examining local environmental health issues. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: Biol 130 or permission of instructor. (Credit, full course) McGrath. Offered every other year.

ENGL 394. Literature of the American South (also American Studies)

A study of the Southern Literary Renaissance emphasizing poetry written by Ransom, Tate, Davidson, and Warren, and fiction written by Faulkner, Warren, Lytle, Welty, Porter, and O’Connor. The course includes discussion of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century writers from the American south, and also focuses on writers associated with the University of the South. Prerequisite: any GFWI English department course. (Credit, full course) Carlson, J. Grammer. Offered every other year.

ENST 100 - Walking the Land

A field-oriented geology and writing course conducted on the Cumberland Plateau and surrounding provinces. The emphasis is on observation of geological features, particularly geomorphology, and how these relate to other natural parts of the landscape. Historical aspects of human use of the land are also be emphasized. Extensive walking and hiking. Field journals are part of the writing-intensive approach. Four hours (one afternoon) a week. (Credit, full course) Potter. Offered every other year.

ENST 201 Foundations of Food and Agriculture

Integrating local, regional, and global perspectives, this course outlines the history of agriculture, introduces the development of food systems and policy, and reviews the environmental impact of food production. Among topics addressed are the history of agricultural expansion in the US, the development of agriculture and food policies, interaction among agricultural markets at home as well as abroad, and sustainable agriculture. Classroom activities emphasize the involvement of multiple constituencies in identifying and articulating agricultural issues. Field opportunities include garden activities and local trips aimed at relating broader issues to how livelihoods are pursued on the Cumberland Plateau. (Credit, full course) Carter. Offered every other year.

ENST 205 Environmental Education 

An introduction to the philosophy, goals, theory, and practice of environmental education. The history of environmental education, as it pertains to environmental literacy, implementation, and professional responsibility, is explored through hands-on learning activities as well as use of texts. Educational models which promote ecologically sustainable behaviors are considered as well. This course includes some field trips. (Credit, full course) Carter or staff. Offered every year.

ENST 304 Community Development and Place in Rural Appalachia (4)

Focusing on the rural counties of the Cumberland Plateau near Sewanee, this course explores environmental, cultural, historical, and political narratives that define the people and places of rural Appalachia. Economic and community development are examined not only through the literature on these topics but also through hands-on, applied learning in partnership with local communities, organizations, institutions, and leaders. (Credit, full course) Carter. Offered every other year.

ENST 336 Land Use Policy

This course examines the complex systems and values influencing land-use decision-making in both rural and urban settings throughout the U.S. and abroad. Students learn how government agencies and local citizens often conflict in their attitudes and values regarding the costs and benefits of growth and development. Particular attention is paid to forest conversion issues on the South Cumberland Plateau. Students attend local planning sessions and meetings with local officials. (Credit, full course) Carter. Offered every year.

HIST 229. The Many Faces of Sewanee (also American Studies) 

This seminar is designed to introduce students to the facts and conceptual processes of history by using Sewanee and its immediate surroundings as a case study. Students employ historical methods within a variety of interdisciplinary contexts drawing on insights from archaeology, geology, literary analysis, and sociology, as well as social, political, military, and intellectual history to comprehend both what has happened here and how it is variously understood. (Credit, full course) Willis. Offered every other year.

HIST 235.  Introduction to Public History

This course introduces the history, theory, and practice of public history, examining the ideas and questions that shape and are shaped by public engagements with the past.  It engages and evaluates historical works aimed primarily at public audiences in order to determine why and how public investments in the historical past develop and change.  (Credit, full course) Staff.

HIST 330. History of Southern Appalachia (Also American Studies, Environmental Studies)  

An examination of the events, people, movements, and themes of the region’s past, from earliest known human habitation to the present. The course explores contrasting ways of life expressed by native and European peoples; implications of incorporating the area into the United States; the agricultural, industrial, and transportation revolutions of the nineteenth century; popular culture within and about Appalachia; contemporary issues of regional development and preservation; and ways the unique environment of these mountains has shaped and frustrated notions of regional identity. (Credit, full course) Willis. Offered every other year.

MUSC 141. “Ramblin’ Blues”: The Back Roads of Southern Music

The “roots” music of the Southeast has been one of the region’s – and the country’s – chief exports. Musicians wander back roads, crowd front porches and church pews, and sometimes make their way to music centers like Nashville, New Orleans, and Memphis. This course focuses on musicians in the Southern tradition and addresses diverse idioms including folk, blues, country, bluegrass, rockabilly, zydeco, and shape-note singing. Intended mainly for freshmen in the Living Learning Communities, the course assumes experience with a range of music and introduces terminology required for knowledgeable analysis of roots music including mode, meter, and form (e.g., 12-bar blues.) This course may not be taken for credit by students who have taken Musc 213 or 223. (Credit, full course) Miller. Offered every other year.

PHIL 235. Bioethics

This survey of moral issues surrounding the practice of medicine emphasizes the role of both implicit and explicit assumptions in determining what qualifies as an ethical issue. Topics may include human genome research, abortion, the practitioner/patient relationship, the distribution of care, institutional effects on practice, decisions to terminate life, and the use of animals and fetal tissue in experimental research.  Students engage with state and local health providers and advocacy groups working on health issues on the South Cumberland Plateau. Community Engagement component. (Credit, full course) Peterman. Offered every year.

POLS 210. The Politics of Poverty and Inequality  

In this course we explore the causes, consequences and the policy responses of state and federal governments to situational, intergenerational and persistent poverty. We begin with a focus on the Cumberland Plateau, Appalachia and the rural South. Interdisciplinary in approach, and drawing upon multiple methods of inquiry, including ethnography, we explore how historical patterns of discrimination and exploitation predict inequality gaps across politically relevant social identities like race, sex, and ethnicity. Special attention is paid to the feminization of poverty in the U.S., and the relationship between poverty and the carceral state.  (Credit, full course) Schneider. Offered every year.

POLS 235. U.S. Health Policy:  National, State, and Local Contexts  

This course introduces students to basic concepts and key issues in health policy in the United States.  Students investigate how aspects of the policy context (e.g. government institutions, stakeholders, public opinion) shape health policy, and review the history of national health reform efforts, including a detailed examination of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The course is tailored to the local context by including rural and Appalachian health and health policy as one of the topics covered.  (Credit, full course) Staff.

SAST 220. Place, Memory, and Identity  

This course explores critical intersections of memory, identity, and place from a multidisciplinary perspective.  Through readings, experiential activities, and investigations of case studies drawn from historic sites and memorial landscapes in and near Sewanee, the course considers the ways places both create and reflect understandings about individual and collective identities.  By paying close attention to the creation of monuments and memorials, historic preservation, and heritage tourism, the course investigates how memory is spatialized and cultural landscapes are identified and protected.  (Credit, full course) Staff.

SAST 320. Place-Based Research Methods and Heritage Site Interpretation  

This course introduces students to the principles and practice of place-based, qualitative research methods and heritage site interpretation.  It uses a semester-long case study of a local site to teach how to locate and interpret various kinds of visual, oral, and documentary evidence.  (Credit, full course) Staff.

SAST 325. Food, Agriculture, and Social Justice in Southern Appalachia and Beyond (4)

This course explores how producing, preparing, and consuming meals become expressions of individuality, social unity, and cultural identity that create intimate relationships not only among people but also between people and the natural world. Historical foundations and current systems of food production are examined with specific consideration given to the ways in which differential production and access to food have created disparities in health and nutrition as well as how the Food Justice movement seeks to address these inequities through restructuring and transforming the current systems of production.  (Credit, full course) Carmody.

SAST 330. History and Politics of Midwifery in the United States (4)

This course explores the history and politics of midwifery in the United States by tracing the emergence of two American branches of midwifery from their roots in Southern Appalachia. Topics include the medicalization of childbirth, the rise of obstetrics in the twentieth century, professional competition between doctors and midwives, and efforts to professionalize nurse-midwifery and direct-entry (non-nurse) midwifery. The course also addresses racial dynamics in the history and development of midwifery professions and present-day implications.  (Credit, full course) Staff.