The University of Texas at Austin
School of Undergraduate Studies
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Previously Offered Forum Seminars: 2002-2007

These seminars will most likely not be offered in the future.

FS 118: American Dispute Resolution
FS 118: Cross-disciplinary Study of Italy
FS 118: Environmental Legacy of the West
FS 118: Ethics and Leadership
FS 118: French and Francophone Cultural Studies
FS 118: Manifest Destiny and Environment: Fur Trade to Globalization
FS 118: Media, Global Citizenship and Democracy
FS 118: The New Texas: Views on a Changing State
FS 118: Open Questions
FS 118: Peace, Conflict, and Communication
FS 118: Population and Public Policy
FS 118: Representing Identities
FS 118: The Science of Environmental Change
FS 118: Technology and the Global Community

FS 118: American Dispute Resolution
Instructor: John Dzienkowski, Law

Dispute Resolution in the United States: Beyond the Adversarial Model. This course presents and critically examines the adversarial model of dispute resolution from several perspectives. It then turns to a study of several other methods of resolving disputes: Mediation, Arbitration, Negotiation, and several Hybrid Models. These models of dispute resolution are analyzed from the perspective of societal forces that push the legal profession to consider alternative methods of dispute resolution. We will examine dispute resolution in the context of private civil and criminal disputes and public policy (government to government) disputes.
American Dispute Resolution syllabus (PDF)

FS 118: Cross-disciplinary Study of Italy
Instructor: Louis Waldman, Art and Art History

This seminar aimed to evoke the richness and diversity of Italian culture through a cross-section of its history over the past three thousand years. Lectures by experts in a wide range of disciplines led students on a voyage of discovery from Etruscan civilization to Medieval art, from Renaissance philosophy to modern popular culture, from opera in the age of Mozart to film in the age of Fellini.

FS 118: Environmental Legacy of the West
Instructors: Dick Richardson, Integrative Biology; Patricia Richardson, Integrative Biology

This course examined the foundations of present environmental, economic and social issues, tracing them from historical roots in the 19th Century. The Louisiana Purchase and subsequent contiguous acquisitions more than tripled the size of the US. Even more profound was the social and economic transformation from our “New World” origin in the East and South into the “American Myth” — our national identity and culture — that today is both emulated and hated.

We examine the process of expansion and ponder the features of our national perspectives, forged in conflict of cultural values with indigenous Americans and the quest for territorial control. These historical perspectives today reveal the roots of globalization. This class begins after the Louisiana Purchase with a focus on the Northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. The fur trade, gold rush, and Indian Wars characterized important dynamics evident today in the American West. The economic forces are found acting through globalization of trade andassociated disruptions of ecosystems and social systems. The class helps students understand ways to transform these histories and perspectives into sustainable environmental perspectives and practices that support social justice, ecological health and sound economics.

FS 118: Ethics and Leadership
Instructor: Minette Drumwright, Advertising

This Forum Seminar focused on ethical issues that leaders face in a variety of contexts. Faculty from across campus helped students identify ethical issues that leaders face in areas such as politics, law, social justice, media and technology, business, engineering, medicine, nursing, social services, and profit organizations. The seminar will help students think about how to think about ethical issues in various contexts.

FS 118: French and Francophone Cultural Studies
Instructor: Dina Sherzer, French and Italian

This course introduced students to the richness and variety of the cultures of France and the Francophone countries of North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Caribbean. Lectures by experts in different disciplines from across campus introduced students to architecture, cinema, fine arts, gastronomy, history, and literature and discussed how they relate to specific contexts and situations in French and Francophone cultures. Issues in ecology, gender, and politics were also part of this seminar.

FS 118: Manifest Destiny and Environment: Fur Trade to Globalization
Instructor: Dick Richardson, Biological Sciences

This course examined the foundations of present environmental, economic and social issues rooted in the 19th Century, beginning with a focus on the Northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountains, where the fur trade, gold rush, and Indian Wars created important dynamics that permeate today’s American West. These forces are manifested in globalization of trade and associated disruptions of ecosystems and social systems. Finally, the class examined ways to move towards sustainable environmental, social, and economic systems.

FS 118: Media, Global Citizenship and Democracy
Instructor: Donald Heider, Journalism

This seminar considered such issues as what is a citizen; how do political systems work; what role does media play in getting political information to citizens; how is power manifested in different cultural systems? The course took an interdisciplinary approach, touching on political philosophy, history, communications, anthropology, and sociology.

FS 118: The New Texas: Views on a Changing State
Instructors: Lucia Gilbert, Educational Psychology; Polly Strong, Anthropology

The New Texas focused on the dramatic changes the state of Texas is undergoing. The changes in populations, cultures, technologies, and environments created a rich opportunity as well as a clear necessity for interdisciplinary study. Faculty members from across campus introduced students to the perspectives of many disciplines as well as a variety of interdisciplinary programs and the Bridging Disciplines Program.

FS 118: Open Questions
Instructor: Robert Duke, Music

This course featured some of the most fascinating and best-known faculty on the UT campus. It introduced students to important questions in the arts, sciences and humanities with focus on the process of intellectual inquiry, including the formulation of meaningful questions and the collection and interpretation of relevant evidence.

FS 118: Peace, Conflict, and Communication
Instructor: Madeline Maxwell, Communication Studies

Peace, Conflict and Communication focused on the interdisciplinary study of the dynamics of peace and conflict, and the role of communication in creating and intervening in conflict. Among the major areas addressed were violence, power, media, intervention, language and culture. Faculty members from across campus introduced students to the breadth, complexity, and interdisciplinary nature of issues pertaining to peace, conflict and communication.

FS 118: Population and Public Policy
Instructor: Robert Hummer, Sociology

This forum seminar explored how human populations – their size, growth and distribution – in the world today affect national and international affairs. A variety of controversial topics regarding the social policy implications of population were debated by faculty experts in their fields. Topics covered included the continued rapid growth of the U.S. population; the role of economic development and family planning programs in bringing about significant fertility declines throughout the world; managing legal and undocumented migration across national boundaries; implications of welfare reform policies for U.S. families, and several others.

FS 118: Representing Identities
Instructor: Polly Strong, Anthropology

How are cultural, racial, ethnic, religious, national, and gender identities represented in contemporary media and performances? How are cultural differences represented? Who has the power to represent themselves and others? How are representations of identity and difference used to influence citizens and consumers? What is the impact of representations on individual experience? In this seminar faculty in Liberal Arts, Fine Arts, Communication, Education, and Law will discuss their own research on these issues, and students will develop analyses of the representations they encounter in their daily lives.
Representing Identities syllabus (PDF)

FS 118: The Science of Environmental Change
Instructors: Jay Banner, Geological Sciences; Kent Butler, Architecture

This forum seminar explored the range of environmental problems that have been created by human activity and population growth. Among the major issues addressed were water resources, climate change, loss of species and possible solutions to these problems. The roles of science, policy-making, economic interests and the media were examined in the context of these issues.

FS 118: Technology and the Global Community
Instructors: Hillary Hart, Civil Engineering; Mary Lynn Rice-Lively, Library and Information

Students explored the meaning and manifestation of technology as seen in various disciplines and professional settings. Class lectures, readings, and assignments looked at the use and influence of technology in our everyday lives and activities. Technology was not only the object of study but also was used as a tool to locate, evaluate, and use electronic resources for information and communication.