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Fall 2016 Senior Seminar Course Descriptions

Listed alphabetically by instructor.

Bombe, Michelle
IDS 460-01
CRN: 82589
TR 9:30-10:50 AM
Location TBD

Seeing Life as a Journey: What does it mean to travel a fulfilling intellectual, spiritual, and physical path and how do you find it? How do you handle the curves, roadblocks, or detours on your trip? How do you cultivate your faith and the habits and practices (such as reflection, curiosity, being present, and mindfulness) to best help you lead a life of purpose? How can you be open to the opportunities that present themselves on your journey? What happens when you fail? What does forgiveness and grace mean in your life? How can you use your gifts to make a difference? What do you stand for? What are your values, core beliefs, and how do they inform the road you want to travel? We will delve deeply into these questions as you begin to articulate your own journey.

Brouwer, Wayne
IDS 462-01
CRN: 82661
TR 9:30-10:50 AM

Composing a Life: Life is a process. Becoming the persons we are is a bit like creating a work of art over time. How do the bits and pieces and experiences and relationships and memories fit together? What will shape the trajectories for our future expectations? Our "Composing a Life" Senior Seminar is designed to help us look at these things through hearing one another's stories, reading great memoirs and biographical snippets, viewing powerful movies, and writing our own first autobiographies, all in the context of guided reflections and discussions.

Cho, David
IDS 478-01
CRN: 82245
M 6:00-8:50 PM

Life Together: In order to honor the philosophy of this course, we will start by reading from two authors, one an acclaimed philosopher, and the other, a historian, Arthur Holmes and Mark Noll, respectively, to consider both the idea of a faith-based liberal arts institution and the historic problems of such constructs in their works, The Idea of a Christian College, and The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, respectively. From there, we will go on to tackle the ever-present problem of “race, racism, and racialization” and its role in fracturing community/communities. Here we will be reading texts by Sara Mills to theoretically through cultural “structures,” norms, and “epistemological” patterns, and Beverly Daniel Tatum to define “race” and think through race identity development. We will also read the Eduardo Bonilla-Silva work, to tackle the historic, practical, and “slippery,” current day issues of racism. We will then range of authors, topics, and textual genres to reflect on similar issues of faith, learning, race, and community, represented by authors John Perkins (Mississippi) and Grace Lee Boggs (in nearby Detroit). Finally, we’ll come full circle by reading the classic works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, his Life Together and The Cost of Discipleship, to reflect on the semester, your four years at Hope as a whole, and the next chapter in your own lives.

Dandavati, Annie
IDS 477-01
CRN: 82679
T 1:00-3:50PM

Human Rights and Human Wrongs: The content of this course will focus on "Human Rights and Human Wrongs" as they manifest themselves internationally, nationally and at the individual level. Students will be challenged to consider their values, ideas and beliefs from a religious, philosophical, political, economic and ethical perspectives as they intersect with the notion of rights and wrongs. As they reflect, articulate and concretize their opinions, students will be discussing, reflecting openly and sensitively, engaging in peer learning and communicating with me regarding a myriad of issues related to the notion of human rights and wrongs. Every student will be responsible for a class presentation and a "life view" paper that articulates in a coherent and disciplined manner their views on this subject as it developed and became increasingly sophisticated in their years at Hope College "in the context of the historic Christian faith" and as it prepares them for "lives of leadership and service in a global society."

deHaan, Sander
IDS 402-01
CRN: 81899
MWF 9:30-10:20 AM
MMC 243

Christianity & Literature: We will be reading and discussion works by a series of foreign authors from the 19th and 20th Centuries. We will be talking about issues and themes relating to our own lives based on how these authors touch on such themes. We will be responding to such readings and the discussion of them in regular journal entries, and, of course, we will be writing and discussing Life View papers toward the end of the course.

DeJongh, Matt
IDS 495-02
CRN: 82292
TR 3:00-4:20 PM

The Future of Being Human: Most of us can't remember what life was like before computers, cell phones, and the Internet. Where is technology taking us? Better yet, where do we want technology to take us? In this course we will reflect on what it means to live a good life, and discuss the role that technology may play in the process. We will delve into the insights of ancient and modern Christians who have wrestled with the siren call of novelty. And we will begin to envision how each of us can participate in shaping a good future in the midst of rapid technological change.

Feaster, Dennis
IDS 495-03
CRN: 82092
MWF 12:00-12:50 PM

Power and Choice in Daily Life: This course is designed to be an exploration of the nature of choice and choosing, and how these relate to ideas about power, self-determination, and free will. We will explore both mundane and spiritual implications of choice and power, including in the area of calling and vocation, as well as how selected thinkers from a variety of academic disciplines understand these phenomena. We will work toward personalizing the course content by examining how choice has helped to shape our lives, and we can begin to develop an understanding of choosing in a way that may assist in future choices.

Hoogerwerf, Steven
IDS 455-01
CRN: 81620
T 7:00-9:50 PM

Vocation and Health Care: This course is designed to explore what it means to think about the meaning of vocation (from the Latin vocare, to call) especially but not exclusively in the context of health care. Using the concept of vocation suggests several questions that might be addressed: What would it mean to be “called” as a care-giver or healer? How would health care be different if one approached it as a vocation than if one considered it simply a career? How does theology, spirituality and ethics become an integral part of the vocation to care for those who are sick? If you do not expect to be working in health care, similar questions can be posed within the context of your own life and work. In fact, I encourage you to frame some of your own questions and share them with me early in the course. When we consider our vocations or callings, we do not only think about jobs. Our life is more than our work, and our sense of calling can (and I think ought to) inform all of life: our relationships, leisure, citizenship, use of natural resources, and our service to the wider communities we live in. So, while we will often talk about vocation in the context of health care, we can and should expand our considerations to the whole of our lives.

Japinga, Lynn
IDS 431-01
CRN: 82037
TR 12:00-1:20 PM

Female, Male, Human: This course explores the ways in which gender, sexuality, race, and class shape our ideas about God and humankind, our faith, families, work, and lives. It also examines the ways in which assumptions about gender and sexuality are shaped by Christianity, culture, and the family environment.

Le, Andrew
IDS 495-05
CRN: 82269
TR 3:00-4:20 PM

Project Playlist | Project 102: Music and photographs have always been a part of our lives. We all have pieces or songs that have carried us through pain, elation, frustration, doubts, and victories. Our photographs remind us of times, places, things, and people. Music and photography have become forever braided into the fabric of our existence; indeed, for many, these sister arts have been an integral part of our contrapuntal journeys of education, career, love, and faith. If you could tell a photographic story of the 102 days of the fall semester of your senior year, what would you capture? If you could tell the story of your life through music, what would it be?

Lunderberg, Marla
IDS 479-01
CRN: 82246
MW 3:00-4:20 PM

Making Good on Your Dreams: Backpacking across Europe. Signing on for an extended service project. Getting accepted by your top choice of grad schools. Interviewing for your dream job. Establishing a relationship with a significant other. Growing in your knowledge of yourself and your world. As you think about college and about graduating from college, what do you imagine to be your absolutely top-notch, sparkling, over-the-top, utopian experience? In this class, we’ll think about the ways we define our perfect worlds on several levels: personal, political, global. We’ll talk about our responsibilities in shaping, in making this utopian adventure, and we’ll examine what our ideas of “the perfect world” mean within the context of the Christian faith. We'll consider how we respond when the world we live in doesn’t meet our expectations. (Not just ""why do bad things happen to good people,"" but why do bad things sometimes happen to me and how do I deal with them?) We’ll read some great writing by others who have dreamed of what a perfect world might look like—and by some who are scary-good at pointing out the challenges to such idealizations. Energetic class discussion will be our goal. Disagreement and rebellion will be encouraged. Writing assignments will include reading responses and short essays which will culminate in the Senior Seminar “Life View” paper.

Polet, Jeff
IDS 495-01
CRN: 81900
M 6:00-8:50 PM
Lubbers 121

Confessions: The original religious sense of a confession, an acknowledgment, is that it is the speech of someone who professes religion in spite of persecution or danger, but does not suffer martyrdom. More than that, confiteri means to corroborate or confirm testimony. As such, it is bound to the essential truth of things. While Christendom was largely shaped by Augustine's Confessions, our world is largely shaped by Rousseau (who offered his work as a corrective to Augustine's). In this course, we will read the two works side-by-side, with an eye toward how each work shaped the world, shaped the imagination, and offered competing notions of what is true, good, and beautiful.

Portfleet, Dianne
IDS 495-04
CRN: 82247
TR 12:00-1:20 PM

Genocide & Reconciliation: This seminar will be talking about genocide and reconciliation in countries around the world, reconciliation in families, between churches and among individuals. It will look deeply into the concept of costly discipleship versus cheap discipleship. Each student will be encouraged to examine his/her own life regarding areas where reconciliation and forgiveness need to be offered in order for each of us to grow as whole human beings. The readings will focus on Rwanda and its attempts at reconciliation, on love and forgiveness, on God's reconciliation with us.

VanderStoep, Scott
IDS 495-006
CRN: 82683
TR 1:30-2:50 PM

Borders and Boundaries: This Senior Seminar will explore micro-level issues of interpersonal and intrapersonal well-being. For example, what are the interpersonal borders and boundaries that people do or should create? The course will also explore macro-level issues of international and global well-being. For example, what are the global and international borders and boundaries that nations and groups do or should create? Should we build a wall around ourselves? Should we build a wall around our country? A background in international studies or social science is not a requirement for this course.

NOTE: All students taking Senior Seminar during the student teaching semester will take a section of IDS 452 – the seminar designed for this purpose. No other Senior Seminars may be taken during the student teaching semester.

Donk, Tony
IDS 452-01
CRN: 81753
W 1:00-3:50 PM
VNZ 247

Teacher and Teaching—In Whose Image?: As future teachers you serve a long and intensive “apprenticeship of observation.” Since kindergarten, you have watched teachers do what you yourself will do. In addition, you have seen teachers portrayed in movies, plays, books and a variety of other mediums. Given these observations and portrayals, this seminar will explore thinking around the central question, “In whose image do you see yourself as a teacher and how does this impact your teaching?” Related questions will revolve around contemporary images of teachers, as well as those that reflect power, spirituality, social justice, the life of the mind, vocation and teacher reform. In short, what is the image of “teacher” that you claim and what do you aspire to?