GIS 3991 (Interdisciplinary core Seminar)
: 981 Call#: 90552 Credits: 4
: Tuesday, 6:00-9:40 p.m., 226 Cohn, WSU Campus
Time & Place
|Instructors Work Address: Moti Nissani, Interdisciplinary Studies Program, Rm. 2134, 2nd floor, 5700 Cass, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202|
|Instructors Home Address:
28645 Briar Hill, Farmington Hills, MI 48336
.: 248.427.1957 (h) (12-10 p.m. every day)
Instructors Internet Homepage
: : http://www.cll.wayne.edu/isp/mnissani/elephant/syl.htm
Class Internet Address
Office hours: By appointment
Text: A Coursepack ($10; for sale in class)
Grading: Your grade will be based on:
GIS 3191 Class Participants, Winter 2001
"White Veil," 1909, by Willard Metcalf, Detroit Institute of Arts.
Technical: Book sale; Syllabus; Introduction to course, syllabus, schedule, requirements; optional coursepack sale ($10); personal information sheets. Sharing personal and educational experiences: What am I doing here?
|He ate and drank the precious words,
His spirit grew robust;
He knew no more that he was poor,
Nor that his fame was dust.
He danced along the dingy days,
And this bequest of wings
Was but a book! What libertyA loosened spirit brings!
Whats Dickinsons point? Is she right? Have you ever had a similar experience? Are you here because you are in search of precisely such experiences? (in that case, you are in the right place)
II. Elephants: Well jointly read the Preface to Richard Carringtons 1958 Elephants (in which it is argued that elephant study requires an interdisciplinary outlook). The class then divides into small groups, digging into our memories for as much information we (excluding instructor and guest speaker), collectively, have about them. This will be followed by informal oral presentations.
III. First Steps in Writing an Interdisciplinary Class Paper. Goal of this combined class project: Gaining a holistic view of elephants. So, to begin with, we need to ask: Which disciplines bear on our subject? We shall next assign one distinct theme to one participant. The key player in this undertaking will be the project coordinator, who will be in charge of making sure that everyone does his/her part, coordinating the various aspects of the paper, including class presentations of the fourth week. The coordinator also has the option of further modifying this project and turning it into his/her final project.
IV. Nature of Science Exercise: Elephant Communication (to be given in class)
Read for Next Week:
III. Elephant Stories: Growing Up with Elephants. (Our guest speaker today, Dr. Geeta Khadka, a visiting Fulbright Scholar from Kathmandu, Nepal, will share with us some of her experiences).
An African Elephant
I. Elephant Ear (Joan Aiken). Our first question, about this story, is similar to the one we asked about Kipling: Can we learn anything about elephant from this? Our second question: the meaning of the story to you, personally. That is, Aiken is trying to tell us something about how we should lead our own life. What is it? Can you follow her prescription?
II.Nature of Science Example: Four-tusked elephant. This wonderful tale can be looked at from many angles, but here we are interested in seeing what it tells us about the nature of science. In small groups, let us try to figure out answers to the following questions:
III. Film: Its about time to have a brief look at our heroes!
IV. Work on our interdisciplinary elephant project.
Prepare: an oral presentation of your elephant theme.
Prepare for next week: Your final, interdisciplinary project topic and outline.
A painting by an Asian elephant (internet source: www.dolphinsociety.org/12.index.htm)
I. Sign up for your next weeks individual project consultation.
II. Elephant anecdotes. Lets, each one of us, take one or more of these anecdotes and retell them, in our own words, with a close book, to the class. Next, we need to ask a few questions: What do these anecdotes tell us about the mental and moral qualities of elephants? Can they be trusted? Can these anecdotes serve as a springboard to serious, fascinating research? Can you think of any concrete research ideas? In those tests, are we going to start with the preconception that elephants must be extremely intelligent, or are we committed to having an open mind on this subject?
III. Oral presentations of elephant themes.
IV. Class discussion: What did this sojourn in elephant land teach us about researching, and writing about, an interdisciplinary paper?
Final project individual consultations with class instructor (time permitting).
Week 5: Individual project consultations with class instructor.
Weeks 6-15: Forthcoming.