Extraterrestrial intelligence and the concept of alien civilizations have been topics of discussion since the beginning of recorded human history. From the earliest cave paintings to modern scientific searches for non-human lifeforms, we take an interdisciplinary approach to studying the search for life beyond earth. We draw from a variety of sources, e.g., scientific articles and papers, movies and tv shows, ancient texts, and more. By using a variety of sources we attempt to reconcile scientific approaches with conspiracy theories, UFO sightings, science fiction and media representations of aliens. We hope for students to come out of this course with a broad understanding of aliens. Specifically, they should understand multiple scientific perspectives on E.T., public views on aliens and encounters, and the way they are portrayed and talked about in modern society.
"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." -Carl Sagan
One one-hour lecture per week on MONDAYS, 6-7 in 131 Campbell. Class will consist of 30-40 minutes lectures followed by a non-structured, super freeform discussion of the previous weeks' readings. Some weeks will include clips or additional hand-outs in class to supplement the lecture. Student performance will be evaluated simply: 40 percent commentary, 40 percent final projects, and 20 percent participation.
Each week will have readings, as listed on the syllabus. Students will also turn in a 3-5 sentence commentary regarding the readings (graded for completion) at the beginning of that week's lecture. We will give students questions each week (via email) that must be answered in their commentary. Commentary must be turned in in class unless there are special circumstances.
Throughout the year, we as instructors have been guiding the class discussion about extraterrestrial life and how it is manifested in various disciplines, and now it's your turn! At the end of the semester, we turn to you for your input. Students will be expected to answer one or more of the following questions:
* What is something that we did not go over in class that you feel is an important part of the discussion surrounding aliens? Why?
*What is something you wish we went into more detail on, and why? Elaborate or provide additional insight on this topic.
*What, in your opinion, are the most important news events regarding aliens and why?
*If you became a scientist assigned the job of finding and/or communication with aliens, how would you go about it and why?
*What theories/stories told of aliens (i.e. UFO encounters, conspiracy theories, etc.) do you believe? Which are you skeptical of?
*If you could add one supplementary reading or viewing to our syllabus, what would it be and why?
All projects must be approved by us and will presented to the class as 7-10 minute presentations. Presentations can be in the form of posters, powerpoint, skit, video, or some other form (as long as it is approved by us first). You can be in groups of up to five. We are excited to hear your contributions to the discuss of Aliens!
Attendance counts for 15% of the final grade. Student are allowed up to 2 excused absences without penalty. To excuse an absence, students can let us know ahead of time that they plan on missing lecture.
|Mondays 6-7 p.m.||Isabel Angelo, Thomas Fitzpatrick||40||131 Campbell||[M] 6:00PM-7:00PM||01/23/17||