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Course Selections for Scholarship Programs

Students applying to Emerging Rural Leaders II, Neubauer Family Adelante Summer Scholars, or Woodson Summer Scholars, may select from the following course selections.

You must select more than one course for your application, and you will be asked to elaborate why you’ve selected each of the courses. The order in which you select the courses will be considered your order of preference. Each student will be assigned to only one course.

“The class I was enrolled in was based upon student inquiry and required me to not just read the material, but to actually think about and apply it, which I had never done before. This allowed me to appreciate reading and thinking in a new light.”

Christian P., Neubauer Summer Scholars Student, 2018

Collegiate Writing: Awakening into Consciousness 

Collegiate Writing: Awakening into Consciousness        

How might we, as individuals and societies, sometimes remain unaware or ignorant? How can our lives – psychological, social, political, and spiritual – be reshaped by awakening from this lack of awareness? What does it mean to achieve true consciousness? This intensive course in analytical writing at the collegiate level will offer a chance to think through these questions and to craft rhetorically-effective essays that explore the enduring struggle to understand what it means for us to awaken into consciousness. This exploration will take us on a journey through many fields – from religion and mythology to politics, philosophy, literature, and the arts. In our seminar sessions, we will consider how thinkers and artists have envisioned human consciousness and our efforts to achieve a truer understanding of ourselves and the world. Writing by TS Eliot and Dante Alighieri will be paired with the influential Indian spiritual text, the Bhagavad-Gita, and works of political and social criticism by Angela Davis and other radical thinkers. These written texts will be complemented by some of the most striking visual and filmic art of the last centuries, from Surrealist painting to experimental film and beyond. In our writing sessions, we will work closely to develop and refine the techniques of writing and revision that will allow you to transform your ideas and insights into powerful essays, using rhetorical instruction materials and small group workshops that replicate the intensive writing seminars taken by University of Chicago undergraduates.           

Daily Course Expectations:

  • Monday – Friday, 6 hours of daily work
  • Mix of synchronous and asynchronous work (see definitions here)
  • 1 required synchronous sessions per day 6:00pm-8:00pm CST with additional small group meetings on Fridays.

Course Code: HUMA 20904 96

Instructor: Michael Subialka

Course Dates: 6/21- 7/8

Confronting a Political Economy in Crisis: Examining Causes, Creating Change      

Confronting a Political Economy in Crisis: Examining Causes, Creating Change      

Young people, both in the US and elsewhere, are increasingly concerned about how climate change, toxic politics, and the fracturing of stable work arrangements will bear on their life prospects. This course speaks to all three concerns from a political economy perspective. To this end, we will journey to sites of extreme dislocation to examine the toll that current economic arrangements can take on the lives of workers on the lowest rungs of global value chains, the damage they can inflict on our planet, and the ways in which they can disfigure politics and undermine democracy. We will engage with social scientists, journalists, activists, and filmmakers in an effort to explore what, if anything, can be done to tame or retool the political-economic conditions that have produced so many of the crises we face today.                                     

Daily Course Expectations:

  • Monday – Friday, 6 hours of daily work
  • Mix of synchronous and asynchronous work (see definitions here)

Course Code: PLSC 10301 96

Instructor: Fahad Sajid  

Course Dates: 6/21- 7/8

Freedom of Expression and the Politics of Social Media

Freedom of Expression and the Politics of Social Media

Social media presents a variety of current case studies in which to examine the tensions between freedom expression, private industry, and government regulation. The tensions exhibit in elections, politics, schools, employment, and our personal lives as we and social media companies learn to navigate this new landscape. This course explores the complexities of these issues from a basis in the theory, principles, and practices of free expression and their very tangible manifestations in personal, professional, and civic contexts. Students will read classical and current texts on freedom of expression, examine case law in free speech, and explore current controversies and statements and policies of social media organizations. At the same time, students will participate in a simulation of Congressional Hearings on social media regulations. Assuming roles as Senators, journalists, lobbyists, and leaders of social media organizations, students will actively bring their learning into practice by navigating the world of social media, politics, and policies.                                 

Daily Course Expectations:

  • Monday – Friday, 6 hours of daily work
  • Mix of synchronous and asynchronous work (see definitions here)

Course Code: PARR 11600 96

Instructor: Leila Brammer

Course Dates: 6/21- 7/8

Pathways in Molecular Engineering  

Pathways in Molecular Engineering            

The emerging field of Molecular Engineering brings together concepts from chemical and mechanical engineering, materials science, physics, and nanotechnology to innovate across a wide range of areas, such as energy storage and harvesting, water purification, and manufacturing electronic, biomedical, and mechanical devices. Molecular engineers may build new materials or objects from the molecule up, or even create new molecules that do not exist in nature. This course will provide an overview of the basic components of engineering -- design principles, modeling, and optimization -- as they can be applied at the molecular level in order to address real-world problems. In addition to lectures, discussions, and labs, students will have the opportunity to use super computers to create models which will inform their optimization efforts. Overall, the program will lead participants beyond the boundaries of traditional scientific disciplines into the intersection of physical, chemical, computational, and engineering sciences – the forefront of technological problem-solving – so that they are able to engage in the lateral, multi-disciplinary thinking that is required to solve some of the most fundamental problems facing society today.

Daily Course Expectations:

  • Monday – Friday, 6 hours of daily work
  • Mix of synchronous and asynchronous work (see definitions here)
  • 1 required synchronous sessions per day 9:00am - 11:30am

Course Code: MENG 10100 96

Instructors: Aaron Esser-Khan, Xiaoying Liu, Shrayesh Patel

Course Dates: 6/21- 7/8

Science, Technology, and the Body

Science, Technology, and the Body

How do new frontiers in science, medicine, and technology impact how we understand what bodies are, what they are becoming, and how they relate to each other? How does culture take up these concepts across time and reflect them back? During this three-week course, we will touch on a variety of issues this question raises, ranging from dolls to robots, machine learning to virtual communities, and from pharmaceuticals to family-making. This course is an introduction to examining science and technology fields through the lens of humanities and social sciences. While many institutions simply teach STEM fields as ends in themselves, this course is based on the premise that it is just as important to think about the effects, consequences, desirability, and ethics of new techno-scientific capabilities. Whether students are aiming for college careers in the sciences, the humanities, or both, this course will expose them to a diverse range of questions raised by such innovations. It will also prepare them to be critically thoughtful global citizens building a more desirable future.

Some key thematic questions include:

-What is personhood, and what does "belonging" mean? What are the boundaries of the human body and human society, and how do these relate to the non-human world?

- How do we know things, and what kinds of knowing have cultural authority? Whose perspectives and interests do these kinds of knowledge represent?

- In what ways are the ideas of connection and disconnection changed using science and technology? What aspects do physical bodies, aggregate data, and virtual communities share?

- How does culture reflect and understand these concepts?

Daily Course Expectations:

  • Monday – Friday, 6 hours of daily work
  • Mix of synchronous and asynchronous work (see definitions here)
  • 2 required synchronous sessions per day; 9am - 12pm CST

Course Code: GNSE 10002 96

Instructors:  Bill Hutchison, Marissa Fenley

Course Dates: 6/21- 7/8