Wintersession 2019

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

Click for detailed information on Wintersession 2019 courses offered on-campus, destination, or online.  

Applications for courses that are by application only (noted in the individual course descriptions) are due Friday, October 5, 2018. Applications will open in September 2018.

Each course is the equivalent of one Brown course credit - equivalent to 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. 

BIOL 0110 - Fake Math: Analyzing the Misuse of Quantitative Concepts
Department: Biology
Professor: Stephen Davis
Dates: January 2 - January 18, 2019
Course DescriptionFrom the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz to the White House, quantitative errors are made and put forth. This course will present, discuss, and challenge students to analyze misused quantitative concepts. These errors will be taken from misapplied logic; inappropriate use of numbers; graphical inaccuracies and manipulations; cognitive illusions; self-fulfilling prophecies; the wrong-but-often-relied-upon Law of Small Numbers; conditional probability; correlation, confounding, and causality; hazards of data mining; circular reasoning; and basic misuses of statistics. Introductory concepts of classical logic, probability, and statistics will be presented and reviewed, and examples of their misuse will be discussed and evaluated.

 

ENGN 0110 - Lean LaunchPad
Department: 
Engineering
Professors: Rick Fleeter and Dan Manian
Maximum # of Students: 32
DatesJanuary 7 - January 18, 2019
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.
Access the course syllabus.

 

PLCY 1700Q - Urban Policy Challenges: Spatial Inequality in Metropolitan America 
Department: 
Public Policy
Professor: Anthony Pratcher
Dates: January 2 - January 18, 2019
Description: In this class, students will read, analyze, and discuss seminal texts within American urban history to examine the historic relationship between social policy and spatial inequality in 20th century American metropolitan development. Students also contrast class field research with secondary literature by urban historians. Students will be graded on individual written assessments as well as experiential group assessments. Students will also explore Providence to understand how public policy has shaped the development of local neighborhoods and community institutions. By the end of the course, students will have a passing familiarity with how the conflation of federal policies, regional economies, and local politics has constructed metropolitan landscapes with inequitable distributions of both public and private resources. Furthermore, students will gain experience in oral and written analysis of how housing policies have historically influenced the interaction and engagement of disparate identity groups within metropolitan American civic institutions. This course will be of interest to students with concentrations in History and/or Public Policy as well as practitioners of Africana, American, Ethnic, and Urban Studies.

 

SLAV 1360 - Deep Thoughts vs. Big Data: Dostoevsky's Underground Man in the 21st Century
Department: 
Slavic Studies
Professor: Christopher Carr
Dates: January 2 - January 18, 2019​
Description: A response to the influx of both European rationalist and utopian tendencies within Russia, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novella Notes from Underground examines the plight of the underground man, an overly-conscious individual who struggles with the concept of free will in the midst of his confrontation with a society that rewards conformity. We will begin this intensive, seminar-style Wintersession course by discussing the philosophy of the underground man in the context of nineteenth-century Russian society. Incorporating a series of more contemporary, non-Russian essays and films on the nature of freedom, disobedience, existentialism, technology, and love, we will utilize class discussions, student presentations, writing workshops, and creative as well as analytical assignments to create a laboratory in which we will investigate the nature of freedom in our lives today, especially given our reliance on our many technological devices. Readings will be done in English. There are no pre-requisites for this course; no prior knowledge of Russian literature or culture is required.
Access the course syllabus.

TAPS 1285 - Film Acting 
Department: 
Theatre Arts & Performance Studies
Professor: Richard Waterhouse​
Maximum # of Students: 16
Dates: January 2 - January 18, 2019
Description: This 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. Students will develop and hone the skill to remain  present and vital through multiple takes of the scene, keeping emphasis on process rather than presentation.
Click here to complete a short application and sign up for an interview by Tuesday, 11/13 at 11:59pm.

 

VISA 1140 - Monumental Drawing
Department: 
Visual Art
Professor: Diane Hoffman
Maximum # of Students: 16
Dates: January 2 - January 18, 2019
Course Description: Monumental Drawing is an immersive studio art course exploring expansive, experimental approaches to drawing. Large-scale, ambitious projects will engage risk-taking and developing meaning through intensive studio work. Contemporary drawing has become a powerful medium in its own right. From process and experiential beginnings to site-specific and conceptual directions, artists have pushed the medium with ideas and projects that challenge any restrictive definition of the medium. Through innovations in concept, materials, form and location, there are limitless ways of approaching the making of and defining what a drawing can be. Studio projects assigned will explore and expand upon these ideas.

 

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.

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
Department: 
Biology
Professor: Rami Kantor
Location: Israel
Maximum # of Students: 12
Dates: January 2 - January 18, 2019 (Travel Dates: January 5-14)
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.
Access the course syllabus. Click here to apply by Friday, 10/5 at 11:59pm.

 

ETHN 1750Q - The African Atlantic Diaspora: Race, Memory, Identity and Belonging
Department: 
American Studies
Professor: Shontay Delalue
Location: Ghana
Maximum # of Students: 12
Dates: January 2 - January 18, 2019 (Travel Dates: January 6-15) 
Description: This course will examine conceptual frameworks on notions of ‘Blackness’ across the African Atlantic Diaspora. We will examine the ways in which blackness is viewed individually and collectively by groups. In the beginning of the course students will read academic texts, view documentaries and engage in discussions that focus on concepts of race, memory, identity formation and belonging. The course consists of a travel component to Ghana in West Africa. In Ghana, students will explore parts of the history that has shaped the present day diasporan community through a series of faculty led workshops, tours and meetings with local organizations.
Access the course syllabus. Click here to apply by Friday, 10/5 at 11:59pm.

 

VISA 0070 - From Beginning to End: Process and Creation
Department: 
Visual Arts
Professor: Wendy Edwards
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Maximum # of Students: 12
Dates: January 2 - January 19, 2019 (Travel Dates: January 3-19)
Description: This course, collaboratively offered by the Visual Art Department and Brown Arts Initiative, will be based in Los Angeles and focus on the intersection of visual art, film and the music industry while addressing artistic practice throughout the creation process. Each week will follow a three­part analytical framework based on the notions of idea, creation, and public presentation. Discussions with artists, musicians, curators, filmmakers, writers and actors will provide professional perspectives to students who have an interest in one or more areas within the arts. Meetings with artists will be supported by studio and museum visits, screenings and concerts. 
Access the course syllabus. Click here to apply by Friday, 10/5 at 11:59pm.

 

Online Courses

Learn more about what it's like to take an online course at Brown!


ENGL 0930 - Introduction to Creative Nonfiction
Department: 
English
Professor: Beth Taylor
Maximum # of Students: 17
DatesDecember 22, 2018 - January 18, 2019
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
Department: 
English
Professor: James Egan
Maximum # of Students: 30
DatesDecember 22, 2018 - January 18, 2019
Description: 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
Department: 
Religious Studies
Professor: Michael Satlow
Maximum # of Students: 18
DatesDecember 22, 2018 - January 18, 2019
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.