Wintersession 2020

Wintersession features innovative course offerings from a range of academic disciplines.  

Click for detailed information on Wintersession 2020 courses offered on-campus, destination, or online.  

Students may view and register for courses using [email protected]. Registration for on-campus and online courses will open at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 and will close at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. Destination course applications will be posted in mid- to late August and are due at 11:59pm on Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Each course is the equivalent of one Brown course credit - equivalent to at least 180 hours of effort in and outside of the classroom - just like a semester-length course, but in a condensed timeframe. A Wintersession course can count toward one of the thirty credits required to graduate. 

On-Campus Courses

Dates reflect when students should plan to be on campus for class meetings. Pre-class, weekend, and/or evening work may be required at the instructor's discretion. 

ENGN 0110 - Lean LaunchPad
Professors: Rick Fleeter and Dan Manian
Maximum # of Students: 32
DatesJanuary 6 - January 17, 2020
Description: The Lean LaunchPad is a course on how to build a startup using lean startup tools and frameworks, and is designed for students who are serious about pursuing a startup. You’ll work in teams, getting your hands dirty talking to customers, partners, and competitors, as you encounter the chaos and uncertainty of how a startup actually works. It is a highly intensive, experiential class comprised of team presentations, customer interviews, and feedback from startup experts. Each day will be a new adventure outside the classroom as you test each part of your business model and then share your hard-earned knowledge with the rest of the class. This course uses a flipped classroom: you will watch core lectures online before class, so we can focus on your startups during class. This course is for any Brown student, regardless of concentration, who is eligible to take a Wintersession course.


GNSS 1090W - Bodies Out of Bounds
Pembroke Center
Professors: Gail Cohee
Maximum # of Students: 20
DatesJanuary 2 - January 18, 2020
Description: What happens to bodies--and the world around them--when they refuse to stay within "normal" boundaries? Against the backdrop of fiction written over the past four decades, and within the context of contemporary theory and film, we will look at what is considered normal in various locations and by whom. When are bodies we would consider "normal" somehow not suitable? How are bodies constructed/deconstructed/reconstructed? We will think about bodies in terms of gender, especially gender as it intersects with other markers of identity, including race, gender identity and expression, dis/ability, and hybridity.


PLCY 1702G - The Opioid Crisis: Causes, Effects, and Policy Solutions 
Public Policy
Professor: Aileen Teague
Maximum # of Students: 20
Dates: January 2 - January 18, 2020
Description: What is the “opioid crisis”? At its essence, the term describes the dramatic increase in the use of addictive prescription and non-prescription opioid drugs in the United States, which spiked dramatically in the late 1990s. Students will examine policy, journalistic, and personal narratives of those affected by opioid addiction. The course will blend reading and writing assignments designed to quickly familiarize students with the impacts of addiction and the potential policy solutions with interactions with guest speakers, field trips, and course activities that will provide students with top-down and bottom-up perspectives on the opioid crisis.


TAPS 1285 - Film Acting 
Theatre Arts & Performance Studies
Professor: Richard Waterhouse​
Maximum # of Students: 16
Dates: January 2 - January 18, 2020
Description: This intermediate acting class is designed to introduce and develop the tools necessary for acting on camera; to examine the application of the screenplay as a blueprint for the finished film; and to pursue the process and demands of working under limited and quickly changing conditions. Utilizing an extensive library of screenplays, the class will study film scene analysis and preparation, pro-active choice, and heightened connection. They will develop and hone the skill to remain present and vital through multiple takes of the scene, keeping emphasis on process rather than presentation.
Submit a brief application by Sunday, November 17th at 11:59pm.


VISA 1170 - Nature of Interpretation: Information and Abstraction
Visual Art
Professor: Leah Beeferman
Maximum # of Students: 17
Dates: January 2 - January 18, 2020
Course Description: Nature of Interpretation is a studio art course with a seminar component. Students will consider science and scientific images as conceptual frameworks for making and looking at art images. Students will learn the basics of digital image acquisition and production, and develop a series of digital and/or digital-photographic artworks that respond to the themes and methodologies of the course.


Destination Courses

Wintersession destination courses are recipients of University grants, most often the Global Experiential Learning and Teaching (GELT) grant. As such, the cost of participating in a destination course is the same as on-campus and online courses. Essential travel costs (flights, accommodations, most meals, health insurance for international locations, site tickets) are grant-funded. Destination courses are capped at a maximum of 12 students. Students may apply to only one​ destination course. Students who have participated in a previous destination course will have lower priority in the applicant selection process.

Dates reflect when students should plan to be on campus or traveling with their class. Pre-class or post-class work may be required at the instructor's discretion. 

BIOL 1980 - HIV/AIDS in Diverse Settings: Focus on Israel
Professor: Rami Kantor
Location: Israel
Maximum # of Students: 12
Dates: January 2 - January 18, 2020 (Travel Dates: January 4-13, 2020)
Description: Participants in this winter session course will explore HIV/AIDS within the context of Israel’s diverse society, unique demographics and universal healthcare. While in Israel, students will visit clinics, hospitals, and universities, and engage with health care providers, experts in the field and populations with HIV. By the end of the course students will gain research skills and an understanding of this pandemic, its management and challenges in Israel, and how this important disease is modulated through risk factors, healthcare systems, medical innovations, and socio-economic factors. There is no need for prior experience in any associated discipline or any knowledge of Hebrew.​
View the course syllabus. Online applications were due on Wednesday, October 2nd and are now closed.


ENVS 1225 - Arctic Climate and Policy
Professor: Amanda Lynch
Location: Norway
Maximum # of Students: 6
Dates: January 2 - January 18, 2020 (Travel Dates: January 2-18, 2020)
Description: The Arctic is a region where rapid climate and social changes will have important and far-reaching consequences. Current issues include access to mineral and hydrocarbon resources, possibilities for new maritime routes, cross-border cooperation, governance and self-determination, sustainability of fisheries, opportunities for Arctic tourism, and support of indigenous communities. Students will travel to Bodø, Norway, to participate in this class together with undergraduates from Babson College and Nord University Business School. Students will work together across disciplines and cultures to learn how to apply knowledge to map relevant policy issues more creatively, effectively, and responsibly.
View the course syllabus. Online applications were due on Wednesday, October 2nd and are now closed.


ETHN 1750U - The U.S.-Mexico Border and Borderlands: Experiential Learning On the Ground and In the Field
Lea E. Williams GELT Award 2019-20 Recipient
Department: American Studies
Professor: Evelyn Hu-Dehart
Location: California, USA and Mexico
Maximum # of Students: 12
Dates: January 2 - January 18, 2020 (Travel Dates: January 6-16, 2020) 
Description: In an intensive three week study, in the classroom and most of all, on the ground and in the field, students will attempt to achieve a real and realistic understanding of what exactly is the U.S.-Mexico border and the regions along the border on both sides, the borderlands, stretching from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Focus on Mexicans and Mexican descendants on the border, but also on original native peoples and immigrants from elsewhere (Chinese, Haitians, Iraqis). Preference to upperclass students with no prior encounter with the border. Knowledge of Spanish is desirable but not required.
View the course syllabus. Online applications were due on Wednesday, October 2nd and are now closed.


Online Courses

Students should expect to spend 45 hours per week (6-8 hours per day) on coursework. Learn more about what it's like to take an online course at Brown!


CLPS 1181A - Canine Behavior
Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences (CLPS)
Professor: Ruth Colwill
Maximum # of Students: 18
DatesDecember 22, 2019 - January 18, 2020 (Students should expect to spend 45 hours per week (6-8 hours per day) on coursework.)
Description: This discussion-based online course focuses on the psychology of dogs using primary readings on canine perception, cognition, communication, development, genetics, social behavior, and common behavioral pathologies. Case studies of domestic dogs are used to illustrate the diagnosis and treatment of aggression, fear, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. The natural behavior of wolves and other wild canids is explored to facilitate our understanding of the domestic dog. After taking this course, you will be so much closer to knowing a dog! WRIT





ENGL 0930 - Introduction to Creative Nonfiction: Writing the World
Professor: Beth Taylor
Maximum # of Students: 17
DatesDecember 22, 2019 - January 18, 2020 (Students should expect to spend 45 hours per week (6-8 hours per day) on coursework.)
Description: Introduction to Creative Nonfiction is an Online course for students with a serious interest and strong skills in writing narrative essays based on fact, research, interviews, and memory. Through assignments and revisions, students will hone their investigative, analytical, and creative skills, inspired by close readings of 20th century nonfiction writers, including Jamaica Kinkaid, Annie Dillard, John McPhee, and David Foster Wallace. S/NC.

Note: Introduction to Creative Nonfiction is a pre-requisite to advanced creative nonfiction writing courses in the Department of English and satisfies part of the Writing Requirement at Brown University. It does not satisfy a concentration requirement in English. 




ENGL 0511C - Fantastic Places, Unhuman Humans
Professor: James Egan
Maximum # of Students: 40
DatesDecember 22, 2019 - January 18, 2020 (Students should expect to spend 45 hours per week (6-8 hours per day) on coursework.)
Description: This online course asks: What can the grotesque, monstrous, and even alien creatures found lurking in an extraordinary range of literature across many centuries reveal about the different ways humans have imagined what it means to be human in the first place? Is the human a unified, single category of being at all? Authors may include Shakespeare, Mary Shelley, and Poe. WRIT




RELS 0088 - Judaism, Christianity, Islam
Religious Studies
Professor: Michael Satlow
Maximum # of Students: 20
DatesDecember 22, 2019 - January 18, 2020 (Students should expect to spend 45 hours per week (6-8 hours per day) on coursework.)
Description: This online class surveys the history, beliefs, and major rituals of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, with special attention to issues of contemporary relevance (e.g., politics, violence, and gender). The course will also introduce students to the basic methods for studying religion in an academic context. The course requires readings from both textbooks and primary texts; several videos and feature films; frequent writing assignments (mainly discussion board posts); and quizzes and tests to help students gauge their progress. Students will also visit three worship services and discuss their experiences with the class.