Skip to Main Content

Academic Bulletin Non-Divisional Courses - 2013-14

Currently viewing 2013-14 bulletin

Non-Divisional Courses


ACC 201 Financial Accounting

An introduction to the theoretical framework of financial accounting, including assumptions, principles, and doctrines. The components of financial statements are analyzed and the preparation of those statements normally included for financial reporting purposes is emphasized. The student’s performance is measured by his handling of accounting problems and cases. Recommended for sophomores and juniors. This course is offered in the fall semester.

Prerequisites: None.

Credits: 1


ACC 202 Management Accounting

An introduction to cost accounting, cost-volume-profit analysis, and the influence of income taxes on business transactions. The understanding of financial statements developed in Accounting 201 is applied for managerial decision-making purposes. The student’s performance is measured by his handling of accounting problems and cases. Recommended for sophomores and juniors. This course is offered in the spring semester.

Prerequisites: Accounting 201.

Credits: 1



Colloquium on Important Books


COL 401/402 Colloquium      Director: Lexie Hoerl

Students read and discuss a dozen or more historically influential books (or parts of books), led by professors from various departments. The class meets one evening each week; grade is based solely on participation in class discussion, and enrollment is limited to 15. Counts toward distribution requirements in Literature/Fine Arts or History/Philosophy/Religion. COL 401 (Fall semesters) discusses classical and medieval texts; COL 402 (Spring semesters) texts are from the modern period. Each semester is taken independently of the other.

Prerequisites: junior or senior standing and coordinator’s permission to register.

Credits: 1 each



Freshman Tutorials


In the fall, every freshman enrolls in a tutorial. This class, limited to about fifteen members, encourages your participation in small-group discussions that will challenge you intellectually and suggest the kind and quality of educational experiences characteristic of the liberal arts at Wabash College. Instructors select topics of importance to them and ones they judge to be pertinent to student interests. You need not have had previous experience with the topic in order to sign up for a particular tutorial. Although the topics, often interdisciplinary and non-traditional, vary among the tutorials, all students engage in common intellectual experiences and practice both written and oral self-expression. Reading, speaking, research, and writing assignments, of course, will vary with individual instructors, but the goals of every tutorial remain the same: to read texts with sensitivity, to think with clarity, and to express one’s thoughts with precision and persuasion—all in terms of each tutorial’s particular subject.


FRT-13A-01: In The Future We Will Play: The Art And History Of Video Games

Michael Abbott, Theater Department

In 1903, anthropologist W.H. Holmes reported: “The popular notion that games are trivial in nature has given way to an adequate appreciation of their importance as an integral part of human culture.”Playing is not reading. Yet, increasingly, video games and other forms of interactive media are challenging us to reassess the ways we think about storytelling, authorship, and representation. Aside from their obvious popular appeal, games such as Bioshock Infinite, Journey, The Walking Dead, and Papo & Yo test our current ways of understanding semiotics and engagement with the reader/player. Increasingly, gaming can be seen a convergence point where media as diverse as film, literature, art, music, and design meet and coalesce to form a new, unique art form ... one that fits squarely and comfortably within the Humanities. We are developing a methodology for “reading” video games that affords this new medium the scrutiny it richly deserves. This tutorial will explore a variety of ways to accomplish this - borrowing, adapting, and revising familiar methodologies, and proposing new strategies for seeing and critically comprehending video games. To this end, we will play, analyze, discuss, research, and write about video games as a modern emerging art form.


FRT-13B-01: Why We Eat What We Eat

Joyce Burnette, Economics Department

While we eat every day, and generally have strong opinions about what we eat, we do not often stop to consider the forces that shape those choices.  In this class we will interrogate this everyday activity.  Food choices reflect our individual past experiences and our culture, whether inherited or adopted.  The food we eat makes a statement about who we are.  The food available to us is determined by world history, scientific discovery, and the market.  Globalization has for centuries been expanding the types of food available.  Science has increased agricultural productivity and brought us new ingredients unknown to our grandparents.  The food on the store shelves today has been carefully engineered and markets to maximize its appeal.  All these influences come together when we sit down to eat what seems like a simple meal.


FRT-13D-01: Fathers and Sons

Doug Calisch, Art Department

Fathers and Sons: if you are a male, then one or both of these labels describes you. But, what do those descriptions mean, and how have they developed? From Oedipus and Laius to the Presidents Bush, the relationships between fathers and sons are historically charged with intensity and passion. Love/hate, caring/competition, respect/irreverence, presence/absence, and the coming of age/fear of growing old are dichotomies that can characterize this relationship between males. This class will examine the variety of ways that fathers and sons are depicted in our culture through film and literature. Our journey will involve looking at cultural stereotypes, human nature, and personal experiences. In addition, students will reflect on their roles in this powerful and ever changing relationship through writing, and discussion.  The course, like all Freshman Tutorials, will focus on improving communication skills. The theme of Fathers and Sons will be our vehicle to develop critical observation skills, while cultivating talents as readers, writers, and speakers.


FRT-13E-01: 9/11 and American Culture

Jim Cherry, Theater Department

This year marks the 12th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The worst terrorist incident to occur on American soil, the 9/11 attacks were a transformational event. They took the country into “The Global War on Terror,” land wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the curtailment of civil rights. The attacks brought new terminologies into our lexicon, like “Al-Qaeda,” “National Threat Level,” and “Homeland.” 9/11 is one of a select few moments in modern American history—the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Challenger disaster are others—that is etched in our collective cultural memory, carved into our national soul. We still live today, as Art Speigelman put it, “in the shadow of no towers,” even as the new One World Trade Center rises in Lower Manhattan. In the aftermath, people sought to express their grief, rage, bewilderment, and love as people always have: through art. As a result, 9/11 has also had a seismic effect on our culture. In novels (Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Amy Waldman’s The Submission), films (World Trade Center, United 93, Man on Wire), plays (Anne Nelson’s The Guys, Neil LeBute’s The Mercy Seat), graphic novels and media (Art Speigelman’s In the Shadow of No Towers, Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón’s The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation), and poetry, (Seamus Heaney “Anything Can Happen”), artists and writers sought to make sense of an event that rendered even the idea of artistic representation problematic to some. Drawing on these texts, some of which were written while the towers still smoldered, we will also try to make sense of an event that transformed all of our lives, and confronts us with questions every day. How shall we commemorate the dead? How is the omnipresent, often-faceless threat of terrorism depicted in culture? How do art, literature, and performance represent trauma? In this course we will ask: twelve years later, what does 9/11 mean?  


FRT-13F-01: A Gentleman and a Citizen: Engaging The Liberal Arts, Community, and Profession

Sara Drury, Rhetoric Department

Do you want to use your college years as a foundation for making a difference in your studies, your profession, and the world? In this tutorial, we will explore the connections between civic engagement, pursuing a liberal arts degree at Wabash College, the communities you are a member of—locally, nationally, and globally—and your future profession (whatever that may be). What’s civic engagement? A good definition to start with is that civic engagement represents the many ways that individuals become involved in their local, state, national, and global communities around issues of common concern, trying to create change for the better and solve public problems. As we go through the semester, you will re-define what civic engagement means for your time at Wabash and for your professional career after college.  Notice that our first focus is the liberal arts—our goal will be to look at how each of us engages communities not as professional politicians or activists, but rather in our everyday lives as doctors, teachers, business owners, lawyers, students, young professionals, and so on. As we move through the semester, we’ll ask questions such as: What does it mean to be a good citizen or community member? What does it mean to be a Wabash Gentleman and Citizen, living the Gentleman’s Rule in college and after you graduate? How can we better discover and discuss the most pressing problems facing our communities? And what are viable ways of improving our communities, right now and for the future? Our conversations will draw from influential writings on politics and community from the past and present, such as Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America and Harry Boyte’s The Citizen Solution: How You Can Make a Difference.  We will seek out examples of civic engagement through articles, movies, and videos.  Throughout the semester, we will reflect on how we might improve the communities and world around us, all while pursuing your present profession as a student and your future career aspirations.


FRT-13G-01: Bodybuilding: Does the Muscle Make the Man?

Shamira Gelbman, Political Science Department

“The only people who take bodybuilders seriously are other bodybuilders,” wrote novelist William Giraldi in “Louisiana Legs,” an essay about a summer he spent with Andrew Loraditch (a.k.a. Damien Lords) when they were young bodybuilders during the 1990s.  In the face of Giraldi’s observation, this course will take bodybuilders and their sport very seriously. Over the course of the semester, we’ll examine how bodybuilding has developed over time and interrogate some of its fundamental assumptions. For example, is there a perfect human form? If so, does the physique bodybuilders strive for match that ideal? Do the ends bodybuilders seek justify the means they use to achieve them? We’ll also explore the psychological and cultural aspects of bodybuilding, including such issues as the prevalence of narcissism and ‘bigorexia’ among bodybuilders, bodybuilding’s contributions to the social construction of femininity and masculinity, and the acceptance of bodybuilding by the general public.


FRT-13H-01: We Are What We Speak: The Life And Death of Languages

Jane Hardy, Modern Languages Department

Approximately 6,900 distinct languages are spoken in the world today, but only half of those are expected to survive into the next century.  In fact, some linguists estimate that one language dies somewhere in the world every two weeks. Is this merely part of an inevitable process of linguistic natural selection? Or is it a tragedy that should concern us? We will consider these questions by exploring the inextricable link between language and culture, and by reading the personal narratives of people who speak a minority language and function in two different linguistic and cultural worlds. We will then study the causes of language death and consider what might be lost when a language vanishes. We will read a book by noted linguist K. David Harrison and watch at least one film about attempts to document dying languages and even bring moribund languages back from the brink of extinction.


FRT-13I-01:  Virgil’s Aeneid and The Age of Augustus

Jeremy Hartnett, Classics Department

In the wake of Julius Caesar’s famous assassination on the Ides of March, an 18-year-old was catapulted into the bright glare of Rome’s attention. For when the late dictator’s will was read publicly, it named Caesar’s grand-nephew Octavian as his adopted son and heir. By the time Octavian died 58 years later, he was known as the emperor Augustus, and he had transformed Roman civilization on many fronts. He coaxed and prodded Rome from an enfeebled aristocracy to a thinly-veiled monarchy; he overhauled the city’s physical appearance, boasting that he “found a city of brick and left a city of marble”; and he cultivated a period of nearly unparalleled literary achievement. In this tutorial, we will learn about the Roman world by studying the “Age of Augustus” in all these dimensions: the manipulation of history for political gain, the power of art and architecture to advance propaganda, and the production of literary masterpieces. On that last count, a good portion of the semester will be dedicated to reading the crown jewel of Augustan literature, Virgil’s retelling of Rome’s foundation in the Aeneid. Virgil’s epic poem engages key themes of this period and of the human experience more generally.  For these reasons, it has been studied by many later literary geniuses; it infuses the work of Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, and others. As we explore this diverse set of topics and approaches to antiquity, we will develop skills in close reading, persuasive writing, and effective speaking.  And, though students may not get a month named after them, they will learn many lessons about success from Augustus and his age.


FRT-13J-01: Winning World War II—Lessons in Character and Leadership from Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill

Scott Himsel, Political Science Department

December 1941. The Nazis are ruling Europe, starving England, and driving deeply into Russia; Japan has largely destroyed the US Pacific fleet; and the US Army is ranked 17th in the world.  Despite these terrible odds, FDR and Churchill rallied their people to win the war and built the world’s most successful alliance. What lessons can we learn from them today? How do great leaders inspire us to achieve (and even exceed) our highest potential? How do great leaders work together despite their towering egos and mistrust among their peoples? How do we decide when to cooperate with other nations and when to act alone? We’ll also explore darker moments when the alliance failed to follow its principles. When did the alliance depart from its democratic principles to save lives on the battlefield, and should we do the same today? And how did the war expose and begin to heal discrimination against women, racial and religious minorities, and the disabled on the home front? We have much to learn. FDR and Churchill not only led their nations from defeat to victory; they overcame incredible personal difficulties that would have ended the careers of lesser men. They were also extremely colorful and entertaining characters who knew how to find moments of joy and fun that helped them bear the burdens of leadership.


FRT-13K-01:  The Evolution of Electronic Music

Peter Hulen, Music Department

How have people hacked radio, broadcast and recording studio equipment, turntables, electronic circuitry and computer chips over the years to slowly create the sophisticated software we now have for producing all kinds of electronic music? This course outlines key inventions, concepts, composers and techniques from the early 20th century right up to the present, from the theremin to dubstep.


FRT-13L-01: We Are The World: Multiethnic America

Tim Lake, English Department

This course will introduce students to the field of ethnic studies. We will survey American history with a focus on the many peoples and cultures that comprise the U.S. population. Attention will also be given to contemporary issues we face as a diverse society and how our diversity both strengthens and threatens our democratic ambitions. Students will chart their family histories as it unfolds into the larger story we tell about the U.S.


FRT-13M-01: “To Be Or Not To Be:” Liberal Arts in the 24th Century

Colin McKinney, Mathematics and Computer Science Department

In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon states, “You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon.” What on Qo’noS does he mean? The mission of the USS Enterprise is “to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” The mission of the tutorial will be to explore strange new worlds of thought, ponder new life and different civilizations, to boldly take our minds where they have not gone before. We will use the Star Trek canon to do so, by carefully “reading” selected episodes and feature-films. We will study the critical reception of Star Trek in 20th and 21st Terran culture. We will ponder what it would mean to be a responsible citizen of the galaxy. We will study what it means to be in command and how the great Starfleet officers lead effectively. We will grapple with what it means to live humanely when the very word “human” is meaningless. And yes: we will learn some Klingon. Qapla’!


FRT-13N-01: Popular Religion and Historical Imagination in the Novels of Dan Brown

Bob Royalty, Religion Department

Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon novels (Angels and Demons, The DaVinci Code, The Lost Symbol, and Inferno) are made-for-the-movies thrillers with international intrigues, plot twists and turns, and always some type of conspiracy theory. In this tutorial, we will read and discuss these novels and explore the rich historical and religious contexts for these different conspiracies and the many references to history and religion in the novels. While enjoying reading exciting thrillers, we will research and learn about a range of topics in history and religion including the Roman papacy; Jesus, Mary Magdalene, the non-canonical Gospels and the early church; the Illuminati, the Masons, and other secret societies; the “founding fathers;” and Dante’s Inferno.


FRT-13O-01: Me, My Self and My Brain

Neil Schmitzer-Torbert, Psychology Department

Imagine you’ve created a machine that is able to make an exact, physical copy of any object. However, the process of making the copy requires that the machine destroys the original. So, if you put your iPad in and turn on the machine, the iPad is instantly vaporized. But, in another compartment you find an exact duplicate of your device. Such a machine would be quite interesting, but we might imagine that it has little practical value. However, what happens if you step into the machine, and turn it on? You are instantly vaporized (and, let’s assume painlessly!), and out of the second compartment steps your exact duplicate. Who is this duplicate? Does he think he is you? If he does, then are you actually dead? What if the machine malfunctions and you are not vaporized: are you and your duplicate both “you”? If you then kill your duplicate, was there in fact a murder? What if he kills you? In this class, we will take these types of thought experiments seriously, and use them to look carefully at the problem of self. We’ll try to locate our “I,” our sense of self, using a variety of sources, ranging from philosophical thought experiments, to stories about the lives of humans with brain damage, to science fiction writing and film. Some of the texts we will read include Brok’s Into the Silent Land, selections from Rorty’s Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, and Ramachandran & Blakeslee’s Phantoms in the Brain and a number of short works of science fiction. We will also watch several films in the course, including The Thirteenth Floor and The Prestige.



Enduring Questions


Enduring Questions is a required freshman colloquium offered during the spring semester. It is devoted to engaging students with fundamental questions of humanity from multiple perspectives and fostering a sense of community. Students are assigned randomly to a section of the course. Students may not withdraw from the course. All students must pass the course to graduate from Wabash.


FRC 013: Enduring Questions                                   Chairpersons: Bobby Horton & Bob Royalty

The course is devoted to engaging students with fundamental questions of humanity from multiple perspectives and to fostering a sense of community. As such, small groups of students consider together classic and contemporary works (or selections of works) from multiple disciplines that speak to basic questions such as, Who am I? and How do we live in the world? Assessment of student performance focuses on written and oral expression of ideas. In addition to regular class meetings, students attend a small number of affiliated speakers and programs on- and/or off-campus. This course is offered in the spring semester.

Prerequisites: None.

Credits: 1


Back to Top