Special Topic Seminars
These classes offer deep engagement with a special topic related to a discipline within the college. Two to three are offered each semester, and emphasis in these seminars is given to independent inquiry, class discussion, critical or creative writing, and special projects. The number of Special Topic Seminars students take depends on their choice of three capstone options, shown in the next section. Below are some examples of past seminars:
Knowledge, Leadership, and Communication
Barry Brummett, Department Chair, Professor, Communication Studies
The main motivating question for this course is this: What does a leader need to know to be effective? The question is vital to the project of leadership, and the answers are more complex than you might think. Probably the most pressing question is, in a world in which the available knowledge having to do with nearly any leadership role is enormous, how can any leader possibly know everything? And if the leader cannot know everything, what should s/he know? In this course, we will think about how the question of what a leader must know is very much tied to communication ability.
Screen Theory: Animation
Lalitha Gopalan, Associate Professor, Radio-Television-Film
This course explores the distinctiveness of animation in the age of the moving image. With this brief in the works, we will see how scholars deem animation proto-cinematic since it precedes film and anticipates digital. The rich variation of animation practices, varied in both size and scope, allows for no settled definition except to direct us to look closer at the variedness in which time and space move and bend in the arts of animation. To grasp the historical and geographical variations of animation are both challenging and intriguing, additional vectors that chart other ways to mark distinctiveness.
Online Incivility and Public Debate
Gina Chen, Assistant Professor, School of Journalism
This course explores online incivility - defined as nasty remarks that often contain profanity or promote homophobia, racism, sexism, xenophobia, or bigotry. This course aims to lead students in critically assessing the roots of incivility, attributes of online communication that help it flourish, and what tools and practices help prevent incivility or calm it once it occurs.
The American Political Campaign in Journalism, Literature, and Film
Wayne Slater, former Senior Political Writer for the Dallas Morning News and co-author of New York Times bestseller "Bush's Brain"
The best journalism, film, and literature seek to tell the truth. How well do they do it? What is the truth? This course covers how campaign reporting has evolved in journalism, novels, and movies from Theodore White's The Making of a President in 1960, to the instantaneous web and cable-news reporting of 21st century presidential races.
Film Style From the Inside
Donald Howard, UT3D Director, and Associate Professor, Radio-Television-Film
An editor's job, once the materials for a film have been gathered or created, is to fashion them into a coherent mode of presentation—a style of cinematic presentation—on screen. In this course, we'll take a look at how this has been accomplished, in classic films and in more modern and challenging versions of narrative.
For more examples of past Special Topics Seminars visit the Senior Fellows website
Senior Year - Capstone Experience
Graduating seniors will be required to complete a capstone project to reflect on their undergraduate experience in a critical way. This experience culminates in public events each spring to showcase students’ presentations of their work. There are three options for fulfilling this requirement: