Dignitas (DGN 1101-1102)                                 Sections and Course Descriptions 2018-2019
Course Section # Instructor Mentor TA
Dignity in Duluth, Dignity Beyond Duluth 1 JT Haines Samantha Willert
Gender, Violence and Dignity 2 Kelly Mullan Alison Dexter
Art as an Expression of Dignity 3 Peter Spooner Catey Swenson
Creative Confidence 4 Paul LaJeunesse Tyler Russell
Life and Death with Dignity 5 Elizabeth Fait
Gabriela Villarreal
Dignity Through the Benedictine Tradition 6 John Bauman Britt Hurlen
The Guest/Host Relationship 7 Robert Larson Sierra Offersen
Living After Shame in the Digital World 8 Sharon Obst Mckenzie Nelson
Ideas Worth Spreading 9 Sarah Ludwig Richard Scrivener
 "Wakanda Forever": Social Justice Movements through the Lens of "Black Panther" 
10 Sarah Stewart Braden Chan and Itzy Rocha
Authoring Your Path: CSS and Beyond 11 Jessica Johnston and Lindsey Lindstrom Mataya Christie and Tandrell Foster
The World Turned Upside Down
12 Merry Renn Vaughan Ted Carlson Webster
Dignity in Art and Culture 14 Bettina Muehlenbeck Anthony Landgren
Our Kids, Their Future 15 Ilsa Hoeschen Judy Wagemaker
Star Wars and Servant Leadership 16 Joelle McGovern Elliot Kazlauskas
The Things We Believe
18 McCullough, Jess Jenna Proulx
The Things We Believe
19 McCullough, Jess Jenna Proulx
Poetry and Dignity 21 Brady Kamphenkel Casey Deneen
Honors Classes (HON 1111-1112)
Course Section # Instructor Mentor TA
Utopia, Dystopia and Perfection 1 Thomas Morgan Maddie Lozinski
Dwelling in Possibility 2 Stephanie Johnson (fall) and Sarah Brokke Erickson (spring)
Ellen Oeltjen
Science, Faith, and Human Dignity 3 Randall Poole DyAnna Grondahl
Educational Justice 4 Audrey Devine-Eller Jared Schuster

 

 

 

DIGNITAS COURSE DESCRIPTIONS  2018 - 2019

DGN 1101 001
Instructor: JT Haines
Dignity in Duluth, Dignity Beyond Duluth
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
Duluth is a beautiful city with a complex story. One objective of this course is to learn about the social, environmental, and historical facets of this community. We will explore the concept of justice through a local and global framework, and we will learn about how all issues and people are interconnected. The class includes conversations about complicated topics such as racism, sexism, climate change, consumer choices, and activism. With a heavy service learning component, this course is about learning how to help the larger community in ways that we are really needed. Students can expect to invest emotionally, 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 to maintain it? This class aggressively begins the dignity-themed process of using intellectual inquiry to challenge gender-based violence. Through course readings and class discussions we will learn to identify the systemic and cultural challenges within a community. Through service learning will will investigate our role in making change.

DGN 1101 003
Instructor: Peter Spooner
Art as an Expression of Dignity
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
How are diverse forms of visual art connected to values, identity and communication? How do we intend art to function? As a search for self? As social critique? As a tool of community building? Beginning with Duluth's own Sister Mary Charles McGough, we look at artists who intentionally bridge disciplines in an effort to engage communities, explore spirituality and walk paths of self-discovery. Expect some field trips, hands on making, and active participation. Bring an open mind and a thirst for knowledge.

DGN 1101 004
Instructor:  Paul LaJeunesse
Creative Confidence

Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
Today challenges emerge at an ever-accelerating rate, and we struggle to find the imaginative answers we crave.  Problems are multi-faceted and have no clear cut answers. How do we navigate this world as future leaders? Creative confidence uses design thinking and creative problem solving to build on methods from across the field of design to create learning experiences that help people unlock their creative potential and apply it to the world.  Design can be applied to all kinds of problems and we will will use newfound creative confidence to change how people think about themselves and their ability to impact their community.

DGN 1101 005
Instructor: Elizabeth Fait
Life and Death with Dignity
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
This class will look at living and dying, how our human lives on this planet are intertwined with our own death and the death of others close to us. We will look at personal issues of grief and loss, legislative and policy issues (e.g., death penalty, death with dignity, abortion), dealing with depression (in ourselves and others) and suicide. We will learn about various death practices in religions and cultures. We will visit, tour, and learn about places that represent death and life (e.g., birth place, hospice, mortuary, columbarium, cemetery, etc.).

DGN 1101 006
Instructor: John Bauman
Dignity Through the Benedictine Tradition
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
Together, we will examine dignity through the lenses of the Benedictine tradition, character development, value-based living, and positive psychology by exploring the narratives generated by our surroundings. Media, family, work, friends, music, art, and environments...they all influence our thoughts, interpretations of events, and actions. We'll work together to recognize these influences, learn ways to shape our lenses, and take actions to both live happier lives and influence others in positive ways.

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
Living After Shame in the 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. We will also explore how we can choose to live our lives audaciously going forward.

DGN 1101 009
Instructor: Sarah Ludwig
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
"Wakanda Forever": Social Justice Movements through the Lens of "Black Panther"
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
As Prince T'Challa states in Black Panther, "What happens now determines what happens to the rest of the world." In this course, you will learn about the history of social justice movements and how they have determined where we are today. You will think about yourself as a member of the larger social justice community, through critical thinking, reading, and writing. We will use documentaries, popular media, and text to deconstruct the idea of race and how it affects society.

DGN 1101 011
Instructors: Jessica Johnston and Lindsey Lindstrom
Authoring Your Path: CSS and Beyond
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
This course aims to empower students to explore and develop who they are, their path and purpose at CSS, and who they are in the community by examining the college experience, engaging in the community, and analyzing systemic barriers. Students will author their next chapter - their college chapter - and become professionals in and out of the classroom in preparation for their future career. We will explore how student development is often nonlinear and unique to each individual, including identity, intersectionality between self and systems, and transitions. As students study themselves and others through these theories and practices, they will find and value identity, dignity, diversity, and truth-seeking. 

DGN 1101 012
Instructor: Merry Renn Vaughan
The World Turned Upside Down
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
The first year of college brings a lot of changes and many new and exciting experiences. Our Dignitas course will help you know what to expect and give you tools to help you succeed. Throughout the year, we will also be examining Hamilton: An American Musical and its place in American Musical Theatre History. We will explore the contributions of diverse cultures to the development of this musical that changed the face of Musical Theatre today. Through class discussion and reflective writing you will share reactions to the musical and other texts that you watch and read.

DGN 1101 014
Instructor: Bettina Muehlenbeck
Dignity in Art and Culture

Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
This course traces the history of Art and Culture - with a special focus on Music - from the 18th century to the present age. Our journey will take place in the context of human dignity and diversity.

DGN 1101 015
Instructor: Ilsa Hoeschen
Our Kids, Their Future

Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
People 16-24 years of age rank the lowest number of volunteer hours in the country - Why is this? What makes people take action? Do you want to change a system? Learn to have passionate conversation about policies and government programs? How do adults impact the lives of kids for the better? Being a mentor to someone younger can leave an obvious impact on them, but what will you get from that?   This course will work to answer these questions, while engaging in our community though service learning. Our service learning will take place in the public schools, learning from and supporting Duluth K-12 students. In class we will learn to identify the systemic and cultural challenges within a community.  Students in this class have to be available for volunteer work one day a week from 2-5 pm. 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 is an integrated service-learning course designed to provide first-year students the opportunity to learn more about themselves through community service. Together, we will examine the relationship between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker and explore what types of external factors may have influenced their abilities to serve and love. Students in this class have to be available for volunteer work one day a week from 2-5 pm. Through off-campus community service, group projects, personal reflection, class discussions, and the Dignitas common curriculum, we will explore how servant leadership can prepare students for responsible learning and meaningful relationships.

DGN 1101 018
Instructor: Jess McCullough
The Things We Believe
Tuesdays/Thursdays 10:00-11:40 a.m.
As the Queen says in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."  What do you believe?  And how do you know?  This question goes beyond religion.  It encompasses our values, our senses of right and wrong, even the way in which we interact with one another.  Even seemingly "strange" beliefs affect our daily lives and how we interpret the world around us.  How do you identify and belief and how do you live it?  This class will examine the ways in which the things we believe are shape and are shaped by us.  The course will use games, social and writing exercises, archaeology and close readings to help the student get to know the things they believe, and how to examine those beliefs.

DGN 1101 019
Instructor: Jess McCullough
The Things We Believe
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
As the Queen says in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."  What do you believe?  And how do you know?  This question goes beyond religion.  It encompasses our values, our senses of right and wrong, even the way in which we interact with one another.  Even seemingly "strange" beliefs affect our daily lives and how we interpret the world around us.  How do you identify and belief and how do you live it?  This class will examine the ways in which the things we believe are shape and are shaped by us.  The course will use games, social and writing exercises, archaeology and close readings to help the student get to know the things they believe, and how to examine those beliefs.

DGN 1101 021
Instructor: Brady Kamphenkel
Poetry and Dignity
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
In this course the key elements of the Benedictine tradition will be explored in relation to their parallels in the ancient and noble craft of poetry. We will challenge ourselves to read great poetry, ranging from antiquity to the present day; we will learn how to give poetry close readings; and we will learn by heart and then present from memory a certain number of poems. We will also experiment with the joy of creative writing: we will write stories and craft poems of our own, utilizing the tools and strategies we learned about in our reading to try to create something of beauty and worth.

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
Instructors: Stephanie Johnson (fall) and Sarah Brokke Erickson (spring)
Dwelling in Possibility
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
We will consider women's creativity this semester by introducing you to a range of women artists and examining their responses to the social, economic, and political contexts in which they worked. During the fall semester, our focus will be "Women Writers on Writing." We will read fiction and poetry by twentieth-century women writers paired with their essays about the writing process and the place of art in their lives and communities. Essays will include Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own and selections from the anthology Word: On Being a [Woman] Writer. During the spring semester, our focus will be "Visual Art: Confronting Gender Inequity." We will read essays and social critiques from the twentieth century that examine the visual arts as an instrument for social change as well as an expression of individual identity and experience. As we participate in the Dignitas Program's larger conversation about the value of human dignity for all, we will consider how gender can or should affect the formation of such a value.

HON 1111 003
Instructor: Randall Poole
Science, Faith, and Human Dignity
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:40 p.m.
Is there nothing but the natural universe in space and time, or is there more to reality than we can observe? The "nothing but" view is sometimes called naturalism or physicalism, in preference to the blunter "materialism" or "atheism." The "more" view is theistic, or at least broadly spiritual or religious. This course examines these two conceptions of reality and the debates about them in science, religion, and philosophy. Does science really support materialism as conclusively as Richard Dawkins and the other "new atheists" maintain? Or are there rational grounds for faith in a spiritual reality? Are science and faith compatible? In this course we will explore the "big questions" -questions about reality, human nature, and belief in God: What caused the universe to come into existence? Is its fine-tuning by design? Can life be reduced to chemistry? Is theism compatible with evolution? What is it to be human? Is the will free or determined by natural causes? What is morality? What is the mind and what does its emergence tell us about the nature of reality? Does personal experience (inner experience) count as knowledge? Is science the only way to truth? All these questions bear directly on the idea of human dignity, and throughout the course we will consider them in close relation to that idea.

HON 1111 004
Instructor: Audrey Devine-Eller
Educational Justice

Tuesdays/Thursdays 4:00-5:40 p.m.
Education is necessary to develop our full human dignity and social potential, and yet racial inequalities persist. This course focuses on the experiences of African American and Native American students in U.S. public education. Students will explore the purpose of education, the concepts of inequality and inequity, and learn a sociological approach to understanding structural inequalities. Students will learn about how white students and students of color experience different educational processes (what's it like to be in the classroom?), access (who gets in to what schools?), and achievement (what are the graduation rates?). Reflections on our own educational pathways and contexts, as well as the local Duluth school district, will help us see social structures in practice. The course will prioritize readings from authors of color.