Exploring Some of the Most Interesting Courses on Campus

By Masooma Kadhem

Photo by Marwan Abdel-Moniem

One of the greatest advantages of receiving a liberal arts education is the chance to take courses from a wide array of fields, regardless of your major. Even if you are a science or engineering student, you can still take courses in history, art, and philosophy through the core curriculum, which enriches your knowledge of different disciplines. In this broad spectrum of courses, some stand out as particularly challenging, eccentric, or interesting. When completing your core curriculum requirements, why not consider taking some of the courses below?

HIST 425: Food in World History

Taught by Professor David Blanks, this course examines the role of food in human history from the era preceding the Columbian exchange to the rise of the modern restaurant. Furthermore, it explores topics such as food as cultural identity, fast food, diet and nutrition and the rise of modern attitudes towards food and the body. This course requires an interview with the professor. So, plan when to take the course accordingly.

This course counts as a capstone level class.

ANTH 360: Gender, Power and Social Change

This anthropology course examines how the concept of ‘gender’ is constructed through various cultures to create different customs of masculinity, femininity, and other categories of sexuality.

Youstina Yacoub, an electronics engineering senior, took the course in Fall 2011 and says she enjoyed it greatly. “We delved into many interesting topics such as the difference between [the terms] gender and sex, how marriage [of women] was used as a way of gift exchange and the relationship between medicine and social rules for women, especially in periods such as World War II.”

Yacoub added, “the part I also loved was when we read Gender Travels by Judith Butler. It was a difficult book, but it taught me that gender is a collection of norms that society imposes. There isn’t a specific or fixed definition of gender and each society creates its own definitions. The norms are imposed on us as to how women should act [Sic].”

ANTH 360 counts as an international world studies course.

MUSC 220: Introduction to Music

This course introduces students to the main elements of music including harmony, melody, timbre, rhythm and tempo, as well as instruments such as the orchestra and choirs. Students also learn how to read musical notes.

Alia Eshaq, a political science senior currently taking the course, comments,  “the course is interesting because it teaches us different elements of music and history in one introductory course [Sic]. It is intense but definitely useful. Overall, it’s a good course because it gives you different bits and pieces about studying music in general. He [the professor] also links the development of music to that of different types of arts such as architecture and painting in an interesting way so we can see the big picture.”

This course counts as a secondary level humanity.