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College of Arts and Sciences

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    The Spring 2023 Theme Semester will explores play through science, performance, art and experience. (And fun, of course.)

Theme Semester

Ready to play? We’re offering enhanced courses, student research grants and co-curricular activities to help explore how play intersects with all aspects of life in Spring 2023. 

Time to play!

Theme Semester is here. Check out more than a dozen events allowing you to explore play through improvisational acting, art and more.

Scavenger Hunt!

The Theme Semester Scavenger Hunt starts Monday, February 6. To be among the first to get the clues, register today!

Play research grant deadline is Feb. 6

Apply for a student research grant. for up to $500 to research something related to play. 


Theme Semester Courses 

We’ve added new activities to seven courses to help you explore play through the lens of art, history, psychology, French and theatre. 

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New Media Advanced: Sound Art

MART 581E 001, MW 2:20 - 3:35 p.m. 
Taught by Byeongwon Ha 
Prereqs: MART 380 
Students will make creative projects, including games with sound, virtual reality and art. 

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The Psychology of Play and Play Therapy 

PSYC 589 (Special Topics) 
Taught by Elizabeth Myers 
Prereqs: None 
Learn about the importance of play and its connection to work, imagination, and emotional well-being. See what current research has to say about play and conduct two experiments of your own. 

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Science and Technology in World History  

HIST 108 001-012, MW 8:30 - 9:20 a.m. 
Taught by James Risk 
Prereqs: None 
Explore the development of science and technology and their roles in world civilizations from antiquity to the present. Students will assume a historical persona to take part in a re-enactment of a historical event. 

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History of the Automobile  

HIST 394 001, MW 2:20 - 3:35 p.m. 
Taught by James Risk
Prereqs: None 
Play board games, trivia, and role-playing games while studying how the automobile developed from an idea to reality, and its effects on culture, economics, the environment, politics, science and technology, and society.

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The French Theatre Experience  

FREN 330 001, THE 4:25 - 5:40 p.m. 
Taught by Jeff Persels
Prereqs: FREN 209 & FREN 210 or placement test score of F6 
Study, rehearse and perform a French-language play to master your French conversation skills. 

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Visual and Verbal Interaction  

ARTS 345 001, MW 9:40 - 10:55 a.m. 
Taught by Marius Valdes
Prereqs: C or better in ARTS 145, ARTS 245 and ARTS 246. 
Create new graphics for display on the scoreboard at Stone Stadium, part of an ongoing effort to explore the play of sports through art and design. 

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Cognitive Psychology  

PSYCH 405 section 001 (B3WEB), MWF 9:40 - 10:30 a.m. 
Taught by Melanie Palomares
Prereqs: Must be taken for the Neuroscience major. 
Play with neurons and see how the brain reacts to experiments you will conduct to learn about perception, attention, memory, language and judgment.  

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Japan Since 1800  

HIST 358, 001, TTh, 11:40 a.m. - 12:55 p.m.  
Taught by Na Sil Heo
Prereqs: None 
While studying how Japan transformed from a feudal society into a modern, industrial power, see how play changed with the times. 


Other courses related to the theme include:

Topics in Theatre: Modern and Contemporary Women Playwrights
THEA 599 002, TTh 11:40 a.m. - 12:55 p.m.
Taught by Amy Lehman

Topics in Political Science: Politics and Sports
POLI 391 003, MW 5:30 - 6:45 p.m.
Taught by Chase Meyer

Congress and the Presidency
POLI 461 001, MWF 1:10 - 2:00 p.m.
Taught by Joshua Meyer-Gutbrod

Rhetoric and Composition: Horror
ENG 102 C03-C04, TTh 10:05 - 11:20 a.m. and 2:50 - 4:05 p.m.;
English 102-H01, TR 4:25 - 5:20 p.m.
Taught by Gareth Rees-White


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.