The University of Texas at Austin
School of Undergraduate Studies
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Spring 2015 BDP Course Offerings

BDP 101 Forum Seminars

BDP 101 courses are restricted to Freshmen and Sophomores, or to students participating in the Bridging Disciplines Programs. The courses meet for two hours per week for the first eight weeks of the semester. They do not satisfy a substantial writing component requirement.

BDP 101: Children & Society
Applies to Children & Society BDP certificate
Professor Cathy Echols, Department of Psychology, and Professor Keryn Pasch, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education
This seminar focuses on children and their development within social systems such as families, schools and communities, as well as the individual characteristics and broader cultural values that influence development.

BDP 101: Conflict Resolution & Peace Studies
Applies to Conflict Resolution & Peace Studies and Ethics & Leadership BDP certificates
Professor David Edwards, Department of Government
This course will survey the nature and role of conflict and its resolution at various levels, from the global to the interpersonal, focusing on certain key challenges, such as great power conflicts, civil wars, ethnic conflicts, and urban struggles. We will study the use of conflict as a tool by change agents as well as efforts to resolve conflicts in the interests of peace, justice, and welfare. Special attention will be given to nonviolent campaigns for social change. We will read interesting accounts of various conflicts and efforts to deal with them, along with writings by change agents employing conflict. Class sessions will include presentations by experts from various fields.

BDP 101: Environmental Change & Sustainability
Applies to Environment & Sustainability BDP certificate
Professor Chris Bell, Department of Geological Sciences
In this forum seminar, students will explore the range of environmental challenges that our society faces, including those involving water resources, global change issues, and global and local prospects in energy technologies and solid waste management. The roles of science, policy-making, economic interests, and sustainability will be examined in the context of these issues.

BDP 101: Exploring Digital Arts & Media
Applies to Digital Arts & Media BDP certificate
Professor Bruce Pennycook, School of Music
This seminar aims to present a broad survey of digital art and media. For most of the eight seminars there will be a guest speaker in the first hour then in the second hour there will be a lecture/discussion period based on the presenter’s work and on the general topic. Students in this course will learn about the many areas of specialization that the phrase “digital art & media” covers, ranging from the Internet to game design.

BDP 101: Human Rights & Social Justice
Applies to Human Rights & Social Justice BDP certificate
Professor Robert Jensen, School of Journalism
This seminar will explore key concepts in rights and justice; examine how governments, movements, and individuals try to advance these principles through law and political organizing; and evaluate the possibilities and problems in securing human rights and social justice in the contemporary world. Scholars from various disciplines will visit the classroom to share their research and experiences. Through in-class discussion and written assignments, students will identify and analyze human rights and social justice controversies, drawing on the varied intellectual and ideological perspectives from readings and guest lectures.

BDP 101: Intro to Cultural Studies
Applies to Media, Culture & Identities BDP certificate
Professor John Hartigan, Department of Anthropology
This course samples a variety of contemporary cultural studies perspectives, considering their usefulness for making sense of widely circulating media, images, and meanings. We will examine the emergence of public space and the nuanced forms of cultural activity that thrive in diverse sites, such as malls, highways, themes parks, neighborhoods, restaurants, bars, coffee houses, clubs. Students will learn how to apply a range of methods and theories for analyzing objects of popular culture. We will ask how culture generates varied sensibilities, dreams, styles, discourses, and forms of power within the United States. In grappling with these and other wide-ranging questions, we will consider how theories of difference, articulation, conjuncture, performativity and relationality, help us think about the ways culture works.

BDP 101: Intro to the Non-profit World
Applies to Social Entrepreneurship & Non-profits BDP certificate
Professor Cal Streeter, School of Social Work
The non-profit sector is the fastest growing sector in the U.S. economy. This phenomenon presents enormous opportunities for communities, non-profit managers, Boards of Directors, and those who fund non-profit organizations. This course introduces students to the non-profit sector and provides them with the knowledge they need to understand the role of non-profit organizations in contemporary American society. Students will learn what distinguishes the non-profit sector from business and government, with particular attention to mission, organizational structure, funding, and culture. We will examine the statutory and regulatory requirements of non-profit organizations and explore the ways in which philanthropic giving and volunteers shape the work of the non-profit sector. Readings and class activities provide students with a broad understanding of the non-profit sector and help them weigh the pros and cons of a career in the non-profit world.

BDP 101: Social Inequality, Health & Policy
Applies to Social Inequality, Health & Policy BDP certificate
Professor Brad Love, Department of Advertising
This seminar explores the causes, consequences, and importance of health disparities. The course will cover international approaches to dealing with healthcare and discuss what national and local governments, as well as non-governmental organizations, can do to effectively reduce the most glaring health vulnerabilities. We will discuss a sample of health issues affected by disparities and the factors driving those discrepancies.

Other BDP Courses

BDP 329: Ethics, Law and Health Care
Applies to Ethics & Leadership in Health Care and Social Inequality, Health & Policy BDP certificates
Professor William Winslade, Department of Philosophy
This course will explore real medical and legal cases that create ethical controversies. An interdisciplinary approach will combine legal and ethical case analysis with medical and psychological perspectives. Topics include, among others, emergency lifesaving treatment; organ donation; definition of death; brain injury treatment enhancement and research; mental illness; treatment and punishment of sex offenders; legal responsibility and brain function; competency and consent to or refusal of medical treatment for children and adults; physician assisted suicide and euthanasia; privacy, confidentiality, and privileged communications; termination and treatment of devastated patients; and responses to medical error. A seminar paper and in class presentation are required.