Referred to as ASEM
One Course (4 credits)
While knowledge and professional skills found in a student's major and minor are important foundations for accomplishment, successful individuals also must be able to navigate a complex political, social, cultural and economic environment that challenges more traditionally limited concepts of higher education and competencies.
To help students better understand the demands of contemporary life, instructors teach an advanced seminar based in their area of expertise and passion. The topic will be approached from multiple perspectives in a course designed for non-majors. Studying in this setting, students demonstrate their ability to integrate different perspectives and synthesize diverse ideas through intensive writing on that topic.
This course must be taken at the University of Denver. Students must complete all other Common Curriculum requirements before taking the Advanced Seminar.In these courses, students will:
- Integrate and apply knowledge and skills gained from Common Curriculum courses to new settings and complex problems.
- Write effectively, providing appropriate evidence and reaoning for assertions.
- DU faculty led Study Abroad programs may include ASEM courses. If so, this fulfills the requirement of being taken at the University of Denver.
- Credit for ASEM courses may NOT be transferred from other institutions and this requirement must be taken at DU after all other Common Curriculum requirements have been fulfilled.
View Examples of ASEM course descriptions
The following are examples of courses offered to fulfill the ASEM requirement. Please note: The descriptions below are only examples and may or may not be offered any given academic quarter. The descriptions below provide a sampling of the type of courses that fall under the ASEM offerings. For the ASEMs available any given academic quarter, please visit the course schedule at www.du.edu/registrar.
ASEM 2485 - Sustainable Living
In light of today's global environmental exigencies, and in keeping with the university's new sustainability priorities, this course challenges students to work out the sustainable provisioning of shelter, power, water, and food at the residential level. In this course, students examine the ways in which our current practices are unsustainable, explore more sustainable alternatives (some very old, some very new), and explore the politics and policies that hinder or help the movement toward these more sustainable alternatives. Material is presented in the form of readings, some field trips and campus walks, and some hands-on learning in workshops.
ASEM 2496 ? Civic Responsibility and Marketing
With increasing globalization and increasing consumer awareness around the world, there has been a growing groundswell of social movements aimed at marketing as a discipline. These movements share the key ethos of civic responsibility and community involvement in generating change in public values. They also have their mantra of responsibility and social justice tailored towards interactive dimensions with the business community. The purpose is to engender collaborative, productive, innovative modes of an eco-effective sustainable development. These include constructing green buildings and parks, using toxicity-free safe products, reducing wasteful consumption of non-biodegradable petro-products, etc.
The course takes a close look at corporate responsibility and community involvement and incorporates these ideas to understand the current consumer and business attitude toward marketing. Students examine how businesses, communities, NGO's and governments work together to create and consume products and services, with an ultimate goal of sustainable growth and prosperity for all. The opportunity to be in Italy (under the DU-Bologna Study Abroad Program) and visit its local/national companies, non-profit organizations and civil administration provide us the extra dimension of being "international." We learn about the cultural, social political, legal, and economic differences between Italy and the United States and how the marketing strategies in each country need to be adjusted because of these differences.
ASEM 2626 - Politics and Economics of Healthcare
The aim of this course is to establish the nature of the organization of health care production, delivery and utilization and to give an account of the economic and non-economic aspects of the issues involved. It is designed in such a way that participants will be introduced to the up-to-date problems and issues in the U.S healthcare systems from social, historical, economic, and political perspectives.
ASEM 2592 - Sex and Gender in the City
This course examines how the role of sex, sexuality, and gender identities in the city affects social relationships and cultural interaction in city spaces. Using the constructs of the Media, the Built Environment, Public Policy, Racial/Ethnic/Immigration, and Economic Class as core levels of analysis, this course interrogates how private and public policies are implemented to restrict and exclude from city space certain forms and contents of sex, sexuality, and gender while valorizing and promoting heterosexuality, masculinity, and muscularity as dominant forms of sex, sexuality, and gender in the city. Why the difference and lack thereof of other sex, sexuality and gender identities? In essence, this course seeks to examine and investigate how dominance, power and control are intricately interwoven into the role of sex, sexuality, and gender differences and inequalities in the city.
ASEM 2577 - Cultural Intersections
In this course, we explore the dynamics of cultural reception or the translational dimension of modern culture, particularly the reception of narratives within particular cultures and beyond. Our main focus is the principles that integrate and divide people along the lines of race, class, ethnicity, and culture. How, for instance, do cultural narratives cross local and national boundaries - and with what interpretive consequences? What factors, or intersection of factors, within and beyond the text, account for the manner in which narratives are received or interpreted? To answer these questions, we take a virtual journey around the world, focusing on the differences and similarities in the reception or analysis of cultural narratives within and beyond their points of origin. Our journey involves studies of cultural contacts, contexts, and narratives from Africa and the Caribbean, Asia and the Middle East, Europe and the Americas.
ASEM 2646 - Dance in India
As a discipline in which the body is trained to become "naturalized" in very specific ways, dance tells us much about the culture in which it is a part. Dance movements and meanings also become sites of conflict during periods of cultural transition, and yet, because of dance's ephemeral nature, its relative adherence to tradition, or lack thereof, is difficult to ascertain, and thus, often hotly contested. This course will explore the tension between change (innovation) and continuity (tradition) in four different forms of dance from the Indian subcontinent: Bharata Natyam, a classical dance form from South India; Kathak, a classical dance form from North India; Bhangra, a folk dance form from Northwestern India; and the mass-mediated, syncretic form of dance predominant in the Bollywood film industry. We begin with Bharata Natyam, the dance form which has been most noticeably subject to a reshaping by dancers in the last century and to critical historical analysis by scholars. Through readings, workshops, and film, we will examine how different artists and authors have situated themselves vis-à-vis the seemingly oppositional stances of tradition and innovation.
ASEM 2648 - Good Vibrations - Electronic Music: Technology and Culture
In a sense, most music today is "electronic music". Recorded music dominates the "listening space" for most of us who do not have the time to devote to an evening performance of "live" music by a group of musicians using "natural" instruments. Our primary listening spaces include the home, our cars, movie theatres, and with the advent of cassette tapes, compact disk players, and most recently the iPod, the gym, the bike trail or even classes. This course, however, will limit the definition of electronic music to that music produced by analog electronic circuits as realized in analog and digital electronic circuits and computers. Even with that limited definition, electronic music is pervasive in western society (the music is also limited to western music). Critical listening to music accompanying TV shows and movies indications that the majority is electronic music with a smattering of songs accompanied by natural instruments. Most pop music use synthesizers or electronic keyboards and guitars. It is rare to see a pop or rock group using a bass fiddle. It seems that the percussion family is the only class of instruments that has not been mostly supplanted by electronic means. This course hopes to supply the answer to the question, "how did we get here?" To answer that question, we need to look at the phenomenon from many different perspectives. History will frame the topics of the course. In order to understand characteristics of electronic instruments, we will start with traditional mechanical-acoustic instruments. Their characteristics are the model for many modern electronic instruments, although, in the experimental years early in the 20th century, all traditional models of music were questioned; those included musical notation which has been in place since Charlemagne's rule in A.D. 800, the number of notes within a octave, the number of notes within a span of time, and dynamic range (loudness and softness). We will look at the anatomy, physiology and perception (psychoacoustics) of human auditory response in order to frame the limits of the characteristics of electronic music and the means to produce them. Of course, the "electronics" will be presented at a higher, system level, to promote understanding of the electronic instruments themselves. (NOTE: no human subjects will be harmed or subjected to any inhumane treatment by presentation of analog or digital circuits during the delivery of this course.)
ASEM 2657 - Harry Potter and Esotericism
Today's students have grown up with J. K. Rowling's seven Harry Potter books. This incredible publishing phenomenon has inspired children and adults alike to devour 500 page books within days of publication, at a time when statistics seem to indicate that people are no longer reading. Why would these tales of English school children learning a curriculum of magical skills, have so captured the imagination of a generation of young people living in a post-modern world?
Over the past few decades, the study of western esotericism in many academic disciplines has also grown in prominence and respectability. From the pioneering scholarship of Dame Frances Yates at the Courtauld Institute in London during the 1950s, and with the renewed interest in hermeticism during the New Age movement of the late 1960s, the 1980s and 1990s saw the emergence of more serious and sustained scholarly investigations into the roles of magic, witchcraft, cabala, alchemy, astrology, divination and other occult paths in shaping the art, philosophy, literature, history, and science of western society. From the Middle Ages to the present, it now seems clear that esotericism has played a significant role in shaping western thought, although its importance was often hidden, ignored, or denigrated in the past. Substantial literature now exists, and continues to grow, to prove this point, largely from the fields of history, philosophy, religious studies, literature and art history. To support these new studies, professional associations, such as the Association for the Study of Esotericism (ASE), have begun to bring academic scholars together at conferences, and M.A. degree programs in Western Esotericism have been recently launched at the University of Exeter and the University of Amsterdam.
A third important facet of the material of this class is the growing analysis of the Harry Potter books and other works of fantasy, including J. R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings." Academic scholars and popular writers have examined the various traditions from which these authors have gathered inspiration, and have placed these novels within a wider cultural context, not only of their esoteric concerns, but also of their relationship to other mythological, philosophic, and even scientific systems of thought, as some of the founding fathers of the Scientific Revolution, Isaac Newton and Robert Boyle, have been explored recently, and their alchemical experiments studied by historians of science.
The purpose of this class then is to examine the role of esoteric themes that pervade the Harry Potter books and to investigate the history of those subjects from the Middle Age to the present, by focusing on the visual traditions they inspired. Areas discussed include the history of magic and witchcraft, classical and Celtic mythology, alchemy, astrology, fantastic beasts, "books of secrets" and their healing potions, the mythic lore of botany, divination and various esoteric paths of enlightenment.
Link to list of ASEM courses. To see what is offered each academic quarter, please visit the Course Schedule.