Interdisciplinary Studies

Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary and General Studies
507-786-3219

Interdisciplinary courses use the resources of two or more disciplines to investigate a broad theme or a set of issues. These courses raise awareness about the distinctive methodologies and conceptual frameworks of different disciplines and their strengths and possible biases in describing, explaining, and evaluating evidence and experience.

ID 140: Health and Social Inequality: Rural/Urban Perspectives (off campus)

Health begins where we live, work and play. Students are immersed in public, private, and community-based organizations in Northfield (rural) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (urban) to gain an understanding of the social determinants of health (environmental conditions, resources and supports) and the relationship to individual health outcomes through service learning. A special emphasis is placed on the impact of socioeconomic status, geographic location, and disability on health disparities. Offered occasionally during Interim. Apply through International and Off-Campus Studies.
Prerequisite: one course in sociology/anthropology, women's and gender studies, social work, family studies, economics, political science, environmental studies, or nursing.

ID 150: Explorations in Science

This interdisciplinary, topics-based course explores contemporary issues in science with emphasis on developing students' understanding of scientific and quantitiative approaches to problem solving. Specific topics, ranging from environmental chemistry and public health to biomechanics and genetics, vary from year to year. Students attend nine hours of lectures or small group discussion sections, two to three hours of quantitative workshops,and four hours of laboratory per week. The course is taught with WRIT 109. Offered annually during the summer. Does not count toward any major.
Prerequisite: acceptance into the Summer Bridge Program.

ID 202: Human-Spatial Interaction

Organized around three current issues, this is an interdisciplinary course examining human-spatial interaction within Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The topics of study include, for example, global warming, potable water issues, and the Palestinian dilemma. The course is deliberative in nature with a focus on the development of critical thinking skills. Offered during summer session I.

ID 205: Creativity Practice and Theory

In this course, students disrupt, transform, and create things and ideas to practice and apply innovative thinking. Improvisation, role playing, and creativity exercises prompt music, spoken word, dance and physical movement, writing, drawing, painting, and basic building to initiate problem solving. In addition, students read and write about creativity theory to guide their practice. Students collaborate to design their learning space, to engage with the local community, and to work with guest instructors.

ID 222: Exploring Digital Humanities

This interdisciplinary course explores the concepts, methods, and debates of digital humanities - using digital tools to explore humanities disciplines such as literature, history, and philosophy along with their broader engagements with arts, social sciences, and other fields. Topics are drawn from current cultural texts, critical theories, and networked environmental issues. Students learn through hands-on research projects that examine the social, cultural, and ethical contexts of digital scholarship as well as its applications and impacts. Offered during Interim.

ID 229: Arts Management

This course provides an overview of the key issues that face arts administrators. Topics addressed include strategic planning, budgeting, fund raising, audience development, and human resource management as each relates to the unique setting of the arts. Case analysis and guest speakers provide opportunities to explore application of key concepts. Offered annually. Counts toward management studies and media studies concentrations.

ID 234: Human Geography of the Middle East

This course provides an examination and application of the key content, skills, and perspectives of human geography. The lens of the geographer focuses on the spatial distribution of phenomena over the surface of the earth, asking the questions "where?" and "why there?". The practices and skills of geography are used to investigate a variety of issues in the Middle East, including environmental problems, the culture and management of sacred places, and the reasons for war and the need for peace. Counts toward environmental studies major (social science emphasis) and Middle Eastern studies concentration.

ID 242: Democracy and the Arts: An ID Fine Arts Interim in Washington, D.C.

This course explores the dynamic arts and governance environment of Washington D. C. Students meet arts professionals in varied fields; visit galleries, museums, theaters, music and dance performances, arts and civic organizations; and develop strategies for practicing citizenship and democratic engagement through artistic expression. Counts toward studio art, art history, music, theater, and dance majors, as well as arts management studies. Offered during Interim. Apply through International and Off-Campus Studies.
Prerequisite: at least one fine arts course or arts management course or permission of the instructor.

ID 245: Integrated Science/Society:Interdisciplinary Approach Contemporary Iss

This course explores the intersection of science, scientific knowledge, and contemporary social problems. Through sustained inquiry into a specific issue or topic, it shows students the strengths and potential overlap of different research methods and perspectives from the social and natural sciences. Depending on the topic, students may also investigate the impact of the legal and political context on such work, and the complexities of representing research to the larger public. Offered periodically. May be repeated if topic is different.
Prerequisite: junior or senior standing; a limited number of sophomores will be allowed to enroll.

ID 250: Research Opportunity in Science for Sophomores

This course provides a guided summer research opportunity in science for rising sophomores. The course focuses on a research topic(s) to be determined by the instructor. Students learn how to ask and evaluate scientific question(s) with emphasis on quantitative approaches; read from and research the scientific literature; collect and analyze data; and summarize and present their results in writing and orally.
Prerequisite: completion of Summer Bridge program or permission of instructor.

ID 255: The Physician in Clinical and Hospital Health Care (off campus)

Students explore health care in a clinical and hospital setting through association with a physician in one of the clinics that are a part of the metro area Fairview Health System or the Family Practice Medical Center of Willmar, Minnesota. Students follow the physician, who serves as their primary mentor, or other designated physicians through their daily activities in pertinent clinical and hospital settings. Students observe the delivery of health care in primary and specialty areas and in practices dealing with all age groups. Emergency health care and physician support areas are other aspects of medicine to which students are exposed. Students keep a journal detailing their observations and their interpretation of and reaction to these observations and write a research paper on an aspect of current medical care and practice. Selection is based on a review of all applicants (preference given to junior or senior pre-medical students with demonstrated strong academic achievement). P/N grading. Offered during Interim. Apply through International and Off-Campus Studies.

ID 257: Arts and Literature of Australia and New Zealand (abroad)

This course examines how history and place have shaped artistic expression in unique subcultures of Australia and New Zealand, focusing on literature, drama, dance, and visual arts. Students meet with working artists, attend live performances, and connect literature and art to the built environment and geographical locales on Australia's East Coast and in New Zealand. Assignments integrate research on cultural contexts and analysis of art forms. Offered alternate years during Interim. Apply through International and Off-Campus Studies. Counts toward English major.

ID 258: Theater in London (abroad)

A full immersion in the art of theater, students attend approximately 22 performances at London and Stratford theaters. The course includes the reading of play texts, dramatic criticism, group discussions, and backstage tours. England, a theatrical center of the English-speaking world, enables students to experience a wide variety of theatrical performances ranging from traditional to modern. Excursions to Stratford-upon-Avon, Stonehenge, Bath, and Bristol offer additional cultural perspectives. Offered annually during Interim. Apply through International and Off-Campus Studies. Counts toward English major.

ID 259: HiPerCiC: Collaborative Web Applications

In this lecture/lab course, computer science (CS) students team with students in non-CS fields in order to create custom web-based software that serves the research needs of particular professors in those non-CS fields of application. Students in a field of application provide disciplinary content, context, and feedback throughout project development, while pursuing relevant independent work. CS students develop software collaboratively and rapidly using the HiPerCiC (High-Performance Computing in Context) framework, while learning current web programming principles and technologies. Students attend lectures plus one one-hour lab per week. Counts toward computer science major.
Prerequisite: CSCI 251 or permission of instructor.

ID 270: Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies

Students study a particular topic from field(s) in Interdisciplinary Studies. Topics vary from year to year depending on the instructor. Class work depends on the topic and instructor but is consistent with the amount of work in other 200-level ID courses. May be repeated if topics are different. May count toward majors/concentrations if approved by the chair/program director of that major/concentration.
Prerequisites: determined by the instructor for each offering.

ID 271: Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies

Students study a particular topic from field(s) in Interdisciplinary Studies. Topics vary from year to year depending on the instructor. Class work depends on the topic and instructor but is consistent with the amount of work in other 200-level ID courses. May be repeated if topics are different. May count toward majors/concentrations if approved by the chair/program director of that major/concentration.
Prerequisites: determined by the instructor for each offering.

ID 280: Comparative Public Health: the US and the World (Abroad)

The focus of public Health efforts differs markedly for the U.S. in contrast to the rest of the world. Through talks, interviews, readings, and research, students conduct comparative assessments of the public health systems of the U.S. and the world. Students tour and visit with researchers at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, and the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, in order to explore factors affecting public health nationally and internationally. Offered alternate years during Interim. Apply through International and Off-Campus Studies.

ID 294: Academic Internship

ID 295: Internship and Reflection Seminar

This seminar integrates the liberal arts with the experience of work and the search for a vocation or career. Course content will include both an off-campus internship and on- campus class sessions that connect academic theories/analyses of work with their particular internship experience. Students will also consider and articulate the value of the liberal arts for their pursuit of a creative, productive, and satisfying professional life.

ID 298: Independent Study

ID 394: Academic Internship

ID 396: Directed Undergraduate Research

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Offered based on department decision. May be offered as a 1.00 credit course or .50 credit course.
Prerequisite: determined by individual instructor.

ID 398: Independent Research

Director, 2020-2021

Karil J. Kucera

Professor of Art and Art History and Asian Studies; Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary and General Studies

Asian art history; text/image; sacred sites

Douglas J. Casson

Associate Professor of Political Science

political philosophy; constitutional law

Sian E. Christie

Entrepreneur in Residence

marketing; entrepreneurship; strategy; arts management

Timothy R. Howe

Professor of History

ancient Greece and Rome; the Middle East; Alexander the Great; ancient archeology

Susan L. Huehn

Associate Professor of Practice in Nursing

behavioral health; maternal-child nursing; relationship-based care; interprofessional relationships; interprofessional simulation

Abdulai Iddrisu

Associate Professor of History

African history; Islam in Africa

Peder J. Jothen

Assistant Professor of Religion

religious ethics

Dale H. Kruse

Visiting Assistant Professor of Music

voice; lyric theater

Jerry K. Lee

Financial Executive in Residence

finance; financial accounting; managerial accounting

Melissa A. Mendez

Visiting Assistant Professor of Social Work and Family Studies

Justin W. Merritt

Professor of Music

composition; theory; instrumentation; electronic music

John Saurer

Professor of Art and Art History

sculpture; drawing; printmaking; installation

Ryan R. Sheppard

Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology/Anthropology

family; gender; race/ethnicity; social movements; quantitative research

William Sonnega

Associate Professor of Theater

theater; media studies

Kristina E. Thalhammer

Professor of Political Science

comparative politics; Latin American politics; political tolerance; human rights

Anne Walter

Professor of Biology

comparative animal and cell physiology; membrane physiology and biophysics; comparative enzymology; applying biology in international settings