Seven interesting classes to take in fall 2022

<p>Perkins, Bostock and Lilly Libraries have closed at 6 p.m. during the first full week of classes and will not be open on weekends until Jan. 22.</p>

Perkins, Bostock and Lilly Libraries have closed at 6 p.m. during the first full week of classes and will not be open on weekends until Jan. 22.

It’s that time of the year again—book bagging is now open for students to start selecting next semester's courses. If you’re in search of a fun, unique fourth class or are trying to knock out some T-reqs, here is The Chronicle’s list of seven interesting classes you should take for the fall 2022 semester.

The Good Life: Religion, Philosophy, and Life’s Ultimate Concerns

Taught by Jed W Atkins, LSRC B101, TuTh 1:45-3:00 p.m.

Course Credits: CLST 210, RELIGION 210, PHIL 210, ETHICS 210, PUBPOL 229 (CCI, R, CZ)

According to DukeHub, this class examines how people’s beliefs or lack thereof of God or gods shape their answers to life’s big questions. Such questions include: What leads to human flourishing, happiness and success? What is freedom? What is love? What is the basis for ethics? What is humanity’s relationship to the environment? What is the significance of death? Coursework will revolve around how philosophical and religious traditions from around the world have answered these questions and will focus on key figures from religions such as Confucianism, Islam, Christianity, Stoicism, Judaism and Buddhism. 

Introduction to Digital Feminism

Taught by Departmental Staff, Friedl Bldg 216, WF 8:30-9:45 a.m.

Course Credits: GSF 265S, SOCIOL 217S, ISS 265S, VMS 286S, COMPSCI 112S, I&E265S (R, STS, SS)

This course will analyze digital culture from a feminist and gender studies perspective, questioning and addressing topics relating to digital innovation and its history through gender studies analytical tools. Such topics include the rise of Silicon Valley, gaming culture, social media, artificial intelligence, biotechnology and more. These topics will be discussed by looking at current events or debates and providing historical, ethical, sociological or theoretical perspectives. 

Drugs, Chemicals, and Health

Taught by Evan Helper-Smith, Friedl Bldg 126, TuTh 12-1:15 p.m.

Course Credits: HISTORY 235, GLHLTH 235, ICS 237 (CCI, R, STS, CZ, SS)

According to DukeHub, this class looks at how we might think historically about synthetic chemicals and natural alternatives, and both the benefits and hazards they pose to human health, society and environments. Course topics will follow historical “genealogies” of drugs and chemicals throughout economies, environments and bodies, from cellular to world scales. Substances of focus may include aluminum, antiretrovirals, DDT, gold, indigo, mercury, nicotine, quinine and opioids.

Biological Clocks: How Organisms Keep Time

Taught by Steve Haase & Anna Christina Nelson, Biological Sciences 144, TuTh 3:30-4:45 p.m.

Course credits: BIOLOGY 218, MATH 183 (NS, QS)

This course will examine the many rhythmic behaviors exhibited by organisms and cells, from sleep and wake cycles to flower openings to cell division and malaria infections. Classwork will center around the genetic and molecular networks that comprise clocks regulating cell division and circadian rhythms, as well as the quantitative aspects of clock networks through a data analysis and dynamical systems model perspective.

The Hollywood Musical: Singing and Dancing the American Dream 

Taught by Jacqueline Waeber, Biddle 086, WF 12:00-1:15 p.m.


This class poses the question, what makes the Hollywood film musical a quintessential American genre, aside from its unapologetic praise of spectacularity? The Hollywood musical has channeled various ideologies in its modes of performance and production since its origin and has offered a space to address anxieties of American society, such as modernity vs. nostalgia and representations of gender, ethnicity, class and the high/low divide in arts. Coursework will focus on the performative aspects of the Hollywood musical as well as the relationship between dance and song, musical styles, sexual objectification and the “star persona.”

History of Political Nonviolence

Taught by Martin A Miller, Classroom Building 106, W 7:00-9:30 p.m.


This seminar will investigate cases of peaceful resolutions of conflicts during the 20th century, in contrast to tactics of warfare and counter-terrorism. Topics of focus include the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the end of British rule in India, the transition from the apartheid regime in South Africa, the end of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile and the nonviolent strategies of the civil rights movement in the United States.

Water Sciences: Principles and Challenges

Taught by Avner Vengosh, Grainger Hall 1105, TuTh 12:00-1:15 p.m.

Course credits: EOS 220, ENVIRON 220, ECS 220 (STS, NS)

This class will explore the fundamental principles and challenges in water science on local, regional and global scales, with an emphasis on cutting-edge water research involving human and environmental impacts. Classwork will focus on topics such as the global hydrological cycle, the impact of climate change on water availability, water quality, the energy-water nexus and scientific approaches used to trace pollutants and remediate contamination.

Alison Korn

Alison Korn is a Pratt junior and enterprise editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.


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