Dignitas (DGN 1101-1102)                                 Sections and Course Descriptions 2016-2017
Course Section # Instructor Mentor TA
Dignity in Duluth 1 Shawna Weaver Hannah Geiger
Gender, Violence and Dignity 2 Kelly Mullan Brenna Cherro & Shelby Schiller
Artmaking, Dignity and Community 3 Peter Spooner Tasha Engesser
Your Path to Meaning/Purpose 4 Gary Boelhower
Jordyn Nepper
Death and Dying with Dignity 5 Elizabeth Fait
Phillisha Cham
Dignity Through the Benedictine Tradition 6 John Bauman Claire Bjorklund
The Guest/Host Relationship 7 Robert Larson Kallie Larson
Shame in a Digital World 8 Sharon Obst Adrianna Bail
Ideas Worth Spreading 9 Sarah Cohen Sun Ny Vang
Exploring Diverse Identities 10 Sarah Stewart Sabrina Allison
The College Experience 11 Jessica Johnston and Lindsey Lindstrom Allen Cruz
The Dignity of Seuss 12 Merry Renn Vaughan Hailey Ek
Can Art Change the World? 13 Sarah Brokke Erickson Megan Finegan
The Struggle is Real 14 Lexie Generous and Alison Champeaux Connor Gray
Activism: Be the Change 15 Ilsa Hoeschen Shayna Schafter
Star Wars and Servant Leadership 16 Joelle McGovern Elliot Kazlauskas
Life 2.0: Building Resilience 17 Julie Zaruba Fountaine and Melissa Watschke Alicia Bellefeuille
Race, Gender and Popular Music 18 Elyse Carter Vosen Harry Griffin
Honors Classes (HON 1111-1112)
Course Section # Instructor Mentor TA
Utopia, Dystopia and Perfection 1 Thomas Morgan Kayla McClintock
God or Not? Debating Religion 2 Randall Poole DyAnna Grondahl
Gender and the Body  3 C. Neal Keye Anna Shepard

 

 

 

DIGNITAS COURSE DESCRIPTIONS - 2016 - 2017

DGN 1101 001
Instructor: Shawna Weaver
Dignity in Duluth
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00 - 1:40 p.m.
Duluth is a beautiful city that has a complex story. The objective of this course is to learn about the social, economic, political, historical, and ecological facets of Duluth, and to explore several concepts of justice through a local and then global framework. With service learning projects and a lot of conversation about justice issues, this course is all about finding your own passions and skills to help the larger community in ways that are really needed. Students can expect to invest emotionally, to learn about a variety of issues and better understand global justice as a system, to develop professional relationships with community members, and to feel empowered as active citizens.

DGN 1101 002
Instructor: Kelly Mullan
Gender, Violence and Dignity
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00 - 1:40 p.m.
What happens to people who defy gender-based social norms and expectations? What forms of violence do they experience, and why? Who has power to enforce gender norms, and how do they use violence maintain it? This class aggressively begins the dignity-themed process of using intellectual inquiry to challenge stereotypes.

DGN 1101 003
Instructor: Peter Spooner
Artmaking, Dignity and Community
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00 - 1:40 p.m.
Contemporary art is intrinsically diverse, multi-vocal and interdisciplinary. This course looks at recent art in terms of the search for self, in terms of social critique and in terms of 21st century community building. By actively investigating artists in our immediate region and around the globe, students learn to appreciate diverse traditions and to entertain new perspectives. Beginning with Duluth's own Sister Mary Charles McGough, we look at artists who intentionally reach across disciplines of science, spirituality and psychology.

DGN 1101 004
Instructor: Gary Boelhower

Your Path to Meaning/Purpose
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
We will explore together how we are called into meaningful work and responsible living by our own interior passions and talents, as well as by the needs, problems and opportunities in society. We will look for the places of intersection between the world's deep needs and our own major concerns and interests. We will explore our strengths and accomplishments with appreciative inquiry as we look for clues to our own selfhood and vision for life. We will study what diverse religious and philosophical traditions have identified as a "happy" or meaningful life and how we are called to a particular life purpose. We will create a vision statement for our lives that may include personal and professional direction.

DGN 1101 005
Instructor: Elizabeth Fait
Death and Dying with Dignity
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
Together, we will explore the collective cultures of death and dying in the U.S. and how we define dignity in that process. We will examine legislation such as the Washington and Oregon Death with Dignity acts and how that has impacted people in those states as well as in the larger world. We will explore hospice, the history of hospice, and the impact that has made on our culture. We will also look at health care and how that supports or doesn't support people's end of life wishes.

DGN 1101 006
Instructor: John Bauman
Dignity Through the Benedictine Tradition
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00 - 1:40 p.m.
Together, we will discover the meaning of dignity through the study of The Rule of St. Benedict, the Benedictine Values, our family narratives, readings, works of art, music, and other forms media. This will be accomplished by having in-class discussions, making observations of and reflecting on human interactions, and gaining insights from those who live the Rule as part of their life's calling. We will explore dignity through the Benedictine Tradition and how it relates, or doesn't relate, to our own lives. We desire to celebrate the extraordinary of our existence.

DGN 1101 007
Instructor: Dr. Robert Larson
The Guest/Host Relationship
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
In this course, we will explore the intricacies of relationships between hosts and guests in the phenomenon of hospitality. Using popular and celebrated film, literature and other mass media, we will develop a deeper understanding of interaction. We will explore hospitality from human and non-human perspectives, through fiction and non-fiction, philosophy, theology, and psychology. What are the pleasures and dangers in the role of the stranger? What are the assumptions and liberties of the host? How do the guest and host roles relate to the designations of ‘the self' and ‘the other'? How do we know when we are the host or the guest? Is it possible to mistake or underestimate one's role? How might diversity, privilege, conflict, and assumption affect the guest/host relationship? From popular game shows and telephone operators to Internet access and the Heavens, we will explore the many associations and ‘callings' of the host body. Similarly, we will explore our unique roles as guests and hosts in life. Our discussion will lead toward a clearer picture of stewardship, intentional being, and the potential for conscious ambassadorship in a complex, multi-dimensional world.

DGN 1101 008
Instructor: Sharon Obst
Shame in a Digital World
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
Experiencing shame is a human condition. We will explore how social media contributes to widespread public shaming and victim blaming, how one recovers from a public shaming scenario, and how we all take responsibility for treating others and ourselves with dignity and respect.

DGN 1101 009
Instructor: Sarah Cohen
Ideas Worth Spreading
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
Ideas worth spreading explores the elements of Dignitas by examining parallel concepts shared in select TED talks. Through discussion and guided reflection based on these talks, you will apply TED ideas to your own self-realization, interaction with local and global communities, and understanding of impactful leadership. This course goes beyond simply viewing the video format of TED talks by challenging you to engage in activities presented in specific talks. Throughout this course, you will also prepare and present your own TED talks grounded in the five key elements of Dignitas, culminating in a CSS TED talk event.

DGN 1101 010
Instructor: Sarah Stewart
Exploring Diverse Identities
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
This class will explore race and identity in a white society through historical figures, figures from popular culture including comedians, athletes, authors, inventors, musicians, and activists. What does it mean for us to live as a person of color in a predominantly white community? This class will look at the presentation of Black, Asian American, Latino/a/Chicano/a, Native Americans and multi-racial people in American culture and investigate how these messages positively or negatively influence how others see our roles in society and how we see ourselves. What happens when we defy the stereotypes? What are the impacts when we find ourselves living them out? These questions impact daily life for people of color in white communities and will be explored through influential people of color in music, art, activism, literature, and the Duluth community.

DGN 1101 011
Instructors: Jessica Johnston and Lindsey Lindstrom
The College Experience
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
This course aims to empower students to explore who they are and who they are in community (CSS, local, national, and global) through the lens of theories related to the college experience. Under the assumption that these theories are guides and not applicable to all students in every situation, students will to speak on their own diverse experiences through their lens. We will explore how student development is often nonlinear and unique to each individual, including identity, intersectionality between self and systems, and transitions. Students will build their professional selves in the student role in preparation for their future careers. As students study themselves and others through these theories and practices, they will find and value dignity, diversity, and the truth-seeking component of Catholic intellectual tradition.

DGN 1101 012
Instructor: Merry Renn Vaughan
The Dignity of Seuss
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00 - 1:40 p.m.
In this course we will critically and historically examine several of the books by Dr. Seuss. We will also study his use of persuasive techniques (which he learned during his tenure in advertising, as well as through the creation of political cartoons and military propaganda) to infuse his political and social ideals into these popular children's books. We will critically engage other scholarly texts on Seuss and his work. Primarily through readings and class discussion, we will look at Seuss in a new light and see that his books were designed to not only entertain children - and the adults reading to/with them - but also to engage them in the social and political issues of the day. Additionally we will be making connections to the world today and how the topics in Seuss' books are still relevant to us all. The course will require two formal papers and several shorter opinion papers, reading of two entire texts and several journal articles, and an open mind and willingness to contribute to ongoing conversations.

DGN 1101 013
Instructor: Sarah Brokke Erickson
Can Art Change the World?
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00 - 1:40 p.m.
Is the purpose of Art simply to decorate, or can it be more? This course will explore Art that actively engages with the surrounding world through examining works of art globally and locally, in their historic and cultural context. We will take field trips, meet practicing artists and culminate our Spring Semester in planning, designing and creating a public mural. How might Art change the world? How does it give voice and dignity to all people? Together, we will discover the answer.

DGN 1101 014
Instructors: Lexie Generous and Alison Champeaux
The Struggle is Real
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
This course aims to empower students to be activists, allies, advocates, and citizens globally in the 21st century. Through exploration, we hope to engage in a journey of self-awareness, community engagement, leadership development, and relationship building with each other and the world. We will unpack concepts of communication, relationships, justice, intersectionality, and solidarity to create new narratives of how students "show up" in the struggle for dignity, empathy, and human rights in a multisystemic, evolving world. Students can expect this course to challenge, engage, and empower them to be critically involved global citizens.

DGN 1101 015
Instructor: Ilsa Hoeschen
Activism: Be the Change

Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00 - 1:40 p.m.
Do you want to change a system? Are you secretly excited about politics? People 16 - 24 years of age rank the lowest number of volunteer hours in the country and are the least likely to vote!  Why is this? What makes people take action? What makes someone engage in change? What do we want to change and how do we go about doing that? This course will work to answer these questions, while engaging in our community though service learning. Students will learn to identify the systemic and cultural challenges within a community and work side-by-side with community leaders to address the challenge(s) of their choice.  Students should expect to participate in class discussion, service learning and class work that will make them active and politically aware citizens. 

DGN 1101 016
Instructor: Joelle McGovern
Star Wars and Servant Leadership
Tuesdays/Thursdays 4:00 -5:40 p.m.
Star Wars and Servant Leadership will examine the relationship between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker and discuss the importance of forgiveness and redemption as well as explore the universal concepts of agape love and Servant Leadership. To draw deeper connections among the key principles of Servant Leadership and Star Wars, students will be required to read and discuss Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith along with various scholarly articles and texts related to Servant Leadership. Through group projects, personal reflection, and class discussions, we will explore how servant leadership upholds human dignity. Students can expect to reflect on some of the more meaningful moments in their lives and discover how self reflection and personal responsibility call all of us to become servant leaders.

DGN 1101 017
Instructors: Melissa Watschke and Julie Zaruba Fountaine
Life 2.0: Building Resilience
Tuesdays/Thursdays 4:00 - 5:40 p.m.
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. Resilience is not something all individuals are born with; however, the resilience skill set can be taught and the lessons learned can empower individuals to manage stress and learn to thrive. This course will aid in the enhancement of knowledge, the development of pragmatic skills, and assessment of attitudes necessary to promote positive lifelong wellness decisions. Through reading, learning circles, discussion and participation in activities students will be able to operationalize the main tenets of resilience.

DGN 1101 018
Instructor: Elyse Carter Vosen
Race, Gender and Popular Music
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00 - 1:40 p.m.
Popular music speaks to all parts of being human. Songs reflect our most personal longings. They help us define ourselves and socialize us into beliefs and behaviors. They can oppress by reinforcing racial or gendered stereotypes, or liberate by allowing performers to tell more complex stories. In this course, we will explore how American popular music of the past and present represents race, class, sexuality, and gender; learn to interpret it through critical analysis; and consider the power of popular performers to shape individual and communal identity. We will analyze popular music in relationship to fashion, film, sports, and social media, studying it as a social force and a form of political activism.

Honors Sections 

*Students must have successfully interviewed for the Honors Program at CSS prior to enrolling in these sections.

HON 1111 001
Instructor: Tom Morgan
Utopia, Dystopia and Perfection
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00 - 1:40 p.m.
This course will explore the idea of human perfectibility in Utopian and dystopian literature. We will concentrate on the dystopian critics. Some of them have seen that human perfectibility is unfeasible or at least difficult in view of the "dark side of the human condition." Others have depicted, often brilliantly, the dangers of external, coercive approaches to human perfectibility. This course will help students approach great books (philosophy and fiction) and to think, speak and write critically about what they read and hear.

HON 1111 002
Instructor: Randall Poole
God or Not? Debating Religion
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00 - 1:40 p.m.
The past ten years or so have witnessed new, highly contentious debates over religion and secularism. On the one side is the so-called "new atheism," championed by a series of best-selling books such as Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion, Daniel Dennett's Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, Sam Harris's The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future, and Christopher Hitchens's God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. On the other side are new works in defense of religion, including Karen Armstrong's The Case for God, Anthony Flew's There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, and David Bentley Hart's Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies. Related to but distinct from the issue of the rationality of religious belief is the debate over secularism, separation of church and state, the place of religion in public life, and whether religion has contributed more to violence, war, and terrorism or to peace and justice. This course will explore these debates and their relation to human dignity.

HON 1111 003
Instructor: C. Neal Keye
Gender and the Body
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00 - 1:40 p.m.
As many feminist scholars have pointed out, the mind/body dualism at the heart of modern Western philosophy and culture associates men with culture and the life of the mind and women with nature and the frailties of the mortal body. In this course, we will explore what it means to think through the body. Our approach will be critical and historical. We will be reading material from a wide range of disciplinary traditions and genres, but our focus will be primarily on modern feminist thought, the gendered nature of society, critiques of masculinity, gender-based violence, and the anthropology of the body.