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Past Forum Seminars

Read below for descriptions of Forum Seminars offered in past semesters. Courses under “2002-Present” may be offered again in the future, while those listed under Past Courses will most likely not be repeated. Note that in the past, courses currently offered under the BDP 101 number have been offered as FS 118 and CXS 118 courses.

2002-Present

The following courses may or may not be offered in a given semester. Please check the course schedule or our Current Courses page for the courses offered this semester.

BDP 101: Children and Society
BDP 329: Clinical Ethics: Theory and Practice
BDP 101: Cultural Studies
BDP 101: Environmental Change and Sustainability
BDP 329: Ethics, Law and Health Care
BDP 101: Exploring Digital Arts and Media
BDP 306: Fundamentals of Ethical Leadership
BDP 101: Going Global: Topics in International Studies
BDP 101: Health Inequality in Childhood and Adolescence
BDP 319: Human Rights: Theories/Practices
BDP 101: Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship
BDP 101: Introduction to Film Studies
BDP 101: Introduction to International Studies
BDP 101: Intro to the Nonprofit World
BDP 129: Leadership Principles in the Real World
BDP 101: Lessons in Ethical Leadership Studies
BDP 301: Principles of Business
BDP 101: Professional Ethics in Law/Business/Medicine
BDP 101: Social Inequality, Health & Policy
BDP 101: The Organizations of Culture

BDP 101: Children and Society
Instructors: Catherine Echols, Psychology; Alba Ortiz, Special Education

Children and Society focuses on children and their development within topic areas such as children and health, families, education, and the media. Faculty members from across campus will introduce students to the breadth, complexity, and interdisciplinary nature of issues pertaining to children and development.
Children and Society syllabus (PDF)

BDP 329: Clinical Ethics: Theory and Practice
Instructor: William Winslade, UTMB and Philosophy

This three-hour interdisciplinary seminar brings together upper-level undergraduates, medical students, medical residents, and Pharm D. graduate students. Each session will include a seminar discussion of key topics in clinical medical ethics and a clinical case presentation by a student team. Topics included, among others, are orders not to resuscitate, determination of death, informed consent, and refusal of treatment for competent and incompetent patients, advance planning, quality of life and life-sustaining interventions, euthanasia and assisted suicide, confidentiality of medical information, ethics committees and ethics consultation, and allocation of scarce health resources.

BDP 101: Intro to Cultural Studies
Unique Number 08420
Wednesdays 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Professor Mary Celeste Kearney

What is culture? How is it practiced? How do we differentiate culture from other aspects of our lives? What is the difference between high culture, popular culture, folk culture, and mass culture? What are subcultures? What is the significance of economics and politics to culture? What is the relationship of culture to identity, taste, and ideology? How do modes of production affect cultural content and form? What roles do consumers play in cultural meaning? How has contemporary popular culture been affected by digital media? How are power and knowledge exercised and negotiated in culture? Can culture contribute to social change?

This seminar introduces students to key concepts, methodologies, theories, and questions related to Cultural Studies and exposes them to the diverse ways culture is studied and researched across campus. Professors from such disciplines as Anthropology, Sociology, History, Theatre, Media Studies, and American Studies will give guest lectures about such subjects as folklore, media, sports, food, music, performance, subcultures, and the culture industries.
Introduction to Cultural Studies syllabus (PDF)

BDP 101: Environmental Change and Sustainability
Instructor: Jay Banner, Geological Sciences

This forum seminar will explore the range of environmental challenges that our society faces, including those involving water resources, climate change, and ecosystems, as well as possible solutions to these problems. The roles of science, policy-making, economic interests, and sustainability will be examined in the context of these issues.
Environmental Change & Sustainability syllabus (PDF)

BDP 329: Ethics, Law and Health Care
Instructor: William Winslade, UTMB and 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.
Ethics, Law and Health Care syllabus (PDF)

BDP 101: Exploring Digital Arts and Media
Instructor: Bruce Pennycook, Music

This seminar will present a survey of the wide variety of ways that digital technologies are changing how we create art and media. The seminars will include presentations on digital sound design, digital cinema production, interactivity especially in gaming and live performance, real-time “show control”, visualization, networked audio/visual presentation and performance, “wearable” computers for new expression in dance and movement, interactive story telling. We will also examine some current software and hardware systems used by professional artists, designers, and producers.
Exploring Digital Arts and Digital Media syllabus (PDF)

BDP 306: Fundamentals of Ethical Leadership
Instructor: Geoffrey Tumlin, Center for Ethical Leadership

This course will explore fundamental concepts in leadership and ethics and is divided into four interdependent sections. In the first section, we will explore the interactional nature of ethical leadership and develop a practical lens to view this process. The focus of the course’s second section is on self-awareness as an essential cornerstone of effective leadership and followership. In the third section we will turn our attention to the difficult decisions that we have to make as leaders. The final section will focus on salient topics that are central to the practice and the process of ethical leadership. These topics include gender issues in leadership, the dilemma of social proof, peer leadership, leadership while in college, deception as a leader’s tool, and the successful navigation of the tension between individual and collective goals.

BDP 101: Going Global: Topics in International Studies
Instructor: Karin Wilkins, Radio-Television-Film

This course introduces students to explore a variety of issues in a global context. Building respect and understanding of our global environment is crucial in our educational system as well as our social and political engagement beyond the classroom. This introductory seminar will address current global concerns, particularly in the areas of conflict and negotiation; human rights and social justice; international development; and media systems.
Going Global syllabus (PDF)

BDP 101: Health Inequality in Childhood and Adolescence
Instructor: Robert Crosnoe, Sociology

Health inequality in childhood and adolescence appears in all stages of the human life course as a function of the stratification of American society by race, social class, gender, and other factors. In childhood and adolescence, inequalities emerge in mental health, obesity, health behavior, and other aspects of health that lay a foundation for the even greater inequalities in health, including life expectancy, that characterize adult populations. Thus, combating early health inequalities can have long-term, lasting effects on the general well-being of American society as a whole. Because the first step in combating such early health inequalities is to understand them, this seminar will investigate in detail the various inequalities in health that arise and persist during the early life course by listening to experts from the health field, reading research articles on health, and discussing both the causes of health problems and possible methods of preventing such problems.
Health Inequality in Childhood and Adolescence syllabus (PDF)

BDP 319: Human Rights: Theories/Practices
Professor Benjamin Gregg, Dept. of Government

This seminar offers an overview of some of the most important writings on core issues of human rights, including notions of what human rights are and their possible foundation; the history and current status of social and political movements for human rights; and attempts to institutionalize human rights, from international declarations and covenants to organizations both global and local. All issues relating to human rights are fiercely contested and the seminar presents competing viewpoints in each area examined. The seminar is interdisciplinary, with readings from history, philosophy, political science, sociology, and anthropology.

BDP 101: Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship
Professor Steve Nichols, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

This course will examine the entrepreneurial process and will take an interdisciplinary approach to the development of ideas, inventions, talents and skills necessary to convert them into products and services for artistic, social and commercial applications. The term “entrepreneurship” has a broad range of meanings, but this course uses it in the sense of the creation of new products, services, and other benefits. BDP 101 focuses on creativity in all fields (including disciplines such as sciences, music, engineering, classics, architecture, pharmacy, and liberal arts). The course will provide lectures by the faculty in the Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship BDP as well as outside speakers. Students will work both an individual and team activities and assignments.

BDP 101: Introduction to Film Studies
Professor Hector Dominguez-Rulvalcaba, Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese

What is film? Why do we go to the movies? How are films produced and consumed? What is the function of film in society? How do filmmakers tell stories? In this seminar, we will try to answer these and other questions through an introduction to film as a subject of critical analysis and scholarly inquiry. Through lectures, screenings, and discussions, we will look at film from a variety of perspectives: the role of film as an industry and art form; the development of film form and style; the relationship between entertainment and ideology; the contribution of film to definitions of gender, race, and nation; and the dynamics of mainstream cinema, art film, and alternative filmmaking. Students will learn about the diverse ways film is studied and researched across campus. Professors from film studies, history, art history, communication, government, and foreign languages and literatures will give guest lectures about various aspects of film studies, including the Hollywood studio system, the star phenomenon, film genres, foreign films, experimental cinema, film history, the global film industry, and so forth. These lecture topics will be coordinated with required film screenings.

BDP 101: Introduction to International Studies
Instructor: Eugene Gholz, LBJ School

This course surveys a selection of issues in contemporary international affairs such as the rise of China, the war on terror, the war in Iraq, urbanization in the developing world, and the protection of human rights. Encouraging an understanding of our global environment is a crucial part of modern university education, and understanding international affairs will build a foundation for students’ social, political, and economic engagement beyond the classroom.
Introduction to International Studies syllabus (PDF)

BDP 101: Intro to the Non-profit World
Instructor: Cal Streeter, Social Work

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

BDP 129: Leadership Principles in the Real World
Instructor: J.D. Howell, LBJ School

There are a dozen or so Principles or Eternal Truths of Leadership that have been taught by the military and other institutions for many years. It is the intent of this course to review these principles, discuss their meaning and show how they can be applied in our daily lives to help us in a practical way to become more effective leaders. The professor will also use examples from his own life experiences in the military and as Director of Johnson Space Center.
Leadership Principles in the Real World syllabus (PDF)

BDP 101: Lessons in Ethical Leadership Studies
Instructor: J.D. Howell, LBJ School

There are a dozen or so Principles or Eternal Truths of Leadership that have been taught by the military and other institutions for many years. It is the intent of this course to review these principles, discuss their meaning and show how they can be applied in our daily lives to help us in a practical way to become more effective leaders. The professor will also use examples from his own life experiences in the military and as Director of Johnson Space Center.
Leadership Principles in the Real World syllabus (PDF)

BDP 301: Principles of Business
Instructor: Michael Brandl, McCombs School of Business

The vast majority of non-business majors will, at some point in their professional careers, work for a business or work in a business environment. However, many undergraduates finish their studies with little to no understanding of how business firms function. This course is designed to equip non-business undergraduates with the skills they will need to critically examine how business firms function, and the course will require students to contemplate their future role in a business setting/environment and the knowledge and skills they will need to be successful in such a setting. The course will have three major components. In the first portion, the historical evolution of American business will be examined with an analysis of the ethical issues facing firms. The second section will focus on the 5 major areas of business: economics, finance, accounting, management and marketing. The final portion examines entrepreneurship, globalization and the future of American business. While the course takes a broad overview of business, it offers practical examinations of how businesses function and will prepare you for your future career in a business setting/environment. It is designed exclusively for non-business majors.
Principles of Business syllabus (PDF)

BDP 101: Professional Ethics in Law/Business/Medicine
Instructor: John Dzienkowski, Law School

This course will examine 5-6 case studies presenting similar ethical dilemmas in the context of the professions of law, business, and medicine. We will first study each profession’s norms for resolving these ethical problems. We will then analyze the systems for regulating ethical issues in law, business, and medicine in an effort to determine whether the professionals are exercising appropriate self-regulation. Students will write three short papers on the class material throughout the course and a longer paper on an ethical dilemma in their own field of interest. Issues to be covered include disclosure of professional malpractice to clients/patients, disclosure of life-threatening situations to third persons in conflict with other professional goals, and ethics in marketing professional services. Guest speakers help broaden our perspective on the material we are studying.
Professional Ethics in Law/Business/Medicine syllabus (PDF)

BDP 101: Social Inequality, Health & Policy
Instructor: John Traphagan, Religious Studies

This course explores the causes and consequences of the huge disparities in health, life expectancy, and medical care delivery in the world today. We will focus on what national and local governments, as well as non-governmental organizations, can do to reduce the most glaring health vulnerabilities. As part of the course we will investigate how large-scale demographic and social developments—including international migration and growing numbers of refugees, changes in marriage and family patterns, and aging populations—affect nations’ population structures, the overall quality of life of their populations, and the evolution of their health care delivery systems. Faculty experts from fields such as sociology, anthropology, social work, demography, and public affairs will present on topics, including marriage and health; welfare reform and child well-being; global poverty and infant mortality; America’s health care crisis; health care and immigration; health and aging; racial/ethnic differences in chronic illness; and state health care financing reforms.
Social Inequality, Health & Policy syllabus (PDF)

BDP 101: The Organizations of Culture
Professor Kurt Heinzelman, Dept. of English

Individual artists—whether they be writers or dancers or painters or actors or musicians—hone their skills largely in private, in solitary practice and relentless experimentation and repetition. But the culture of these various artistic practices relies on more than just individual accomplishment. We wouldn’t hear the pianist if it weren’t for the orchestra or the recital hall or the jazz club. The writer needs to be published, the work distributed, reviewed in newspapers and journals, and so on. “Cultivate” is the verb form of “culture.” It is what culture shares with farming—the need to grow, to nurture, to harvest. Like rice production, the cultures of creativity require a village. This course will be about how culture is organized, institutionalized, produced, and distributed. We are fortunate that metropolitan Austin is so culturally rich. Among the organizations that will visit with us to discuss their mission and the means by which they try to achieve this mission are a theater company, a dance company, a museum, a publishing company, an opera company, and others.

Take a look at past courses that will no longer be offered.