Introducing Reed’s (Potential) Newest Courses

By Parrish Johnson

CAPP chair Meg Scharle introduced thirteen new course proposals at the September 11 faculty meeting (a full list is included at the end of this article.) These proposals, which hail from eight different departments, have only reached this point after a great deal of deliberation. As Scharle stated, “By the time the course approval form comes to CAPP, it has been approved by both the department chair and the division chair.”

Students can expect a majority of these courses to be available for the Spring semester with the remainder becoming available next Fall. 

Many of these courses are to be taught by new and visiting faculty members. In the psychology department, for example, Vasiliy Safin (Reed Class of ‘07) will be teaching Disinformation & Propaganda and Altruism & Self-Interest, with Matthew Ford teaching Psychedelics and Mental Health. 

Anthropology is yet another department in which all proposed courses are to be taught by a new faculty person. Professor Nejat Dinç says that his courses — Nature, Culture, Environmentalism, and Resource-making through the Mediterranean — will be available in the spring of ‘23. His course Anthropology of Risk and Uncertainty will be available shortly after, in the Fall of ‘24. 

On the subject of his forthcoming classes, Dinç says that one of the most difficult parts is to “conceptually organize what you want to convey.”

Reed College has very few guidelines for how courses are to be organized, which can make such a process both difficult and freeing. As Scharle said, “CAPP deliberates according to the principles set out in these governance documents, which give no specific guidance for how CAPP should deliberate regarding course approvals in particular.” These very general guidelines under which CAPP operates, however, allow professors to explore areas they feel are important without having to worry about squeezing their class into a broader curriculum or set of restrictions. 

Dinç, again in reference to his forthcoming classes, said that “the anthro department and Reed at large have a strong focus on nature and science … western thought is based on a division between what we call nature and culture which no longer works … anthropology operates beyond that distinction.” He draws further connection between his own research on the environmental and anthropological impacts of gold mining in Turkey and these new classes, stressing the necessity of thinking beyond the “dichotomy” of nature and human culture. One of the Dinç’s main goals is that when a student leaves his class, they will have at least been exposed to “a perspective that includes the more-than-human.”

The New Courses Proposed:

  • Anthropology 378 Nature, Culture, Environmentalism
  • Anthropology 379 Resource-making through the Mediterranean
  • Anthropology 380 Anthropology of Risk and Uncertainty
  • Art 274 Painting II – Naturecultures
  • Art 372 Intermediate Experiments in Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking
  • Chemistry 010 Reactor Seminar
  • Music 222 Music History II: Topics in American Music After 1800
  • Political Science 444 Global Catastrophic Risks
  • Psychology 220 Disinformation & Propaganda
  • Psychology 253 Psychedelics & Mental Health: From Taboo to Therapeutic
  • Psychology 326 Altruism and Self-Interest
  • Spanish 366 Federico García Lorca: Theater and Poetry
  • Theatre 237 Reimagining Classics
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