Messina themes serve as a common point of reference for the courses and as a basis to develop enrichment activities that connect course content to first year transition issues, personal reflection and life in the residence halls. A subgroup of the Messina Advisory Board and Implementation groups met throughout the 2011-2012 academic year to vet more than 150 theme ideas submitted through informal conversations and this summers' Living Learning survey. Here is a list of the remaining five themes the Advisory Board have adopted for the first three years of the program and the course pairings for the 2013-2013 academic year:
* Please note: Course Titles subject to change. Some pairings will be offered twice.
Self and Other
The Jewish philosopher Martin Buber wrote that “The real self appears only when it enters into relation with the Other.” This cluster will challenge us to examine the issues Buber raises. How do our relationships with the other shape us? What circles of belonging do we draw around ourselves (self, family, school, parish, race or ethnicity, nation), and how do these influence who we are? Where do the circles end and why, and what is our connection and obligation to those outside of them? How do our encounters with others, both near and far, historical and fictional, help us better to understand not just what is different from us, but who we are and might become? How do we imagine the other, and how do these imaginings shape our willingness to learn from, sympathize with, and open ourselves to the other?
- Foundations of Philosophy: Wisdom of the Ancients: Individual and Society; Responsibility and Justice (PL201.01S) & Europe and the World Since 1500: The Urban History of Western Civilization: Race and the Press in Baltimore (HS101.01S) - Catriona Hanley (Philosophy), Jack Breihan (History) & Kate Grubb Clark (Mentor)
- Microeconomic Principles (EC102.01S) & Business Statistics (EC220.01S)* - Nancy Williams (Economics), Srikanth Ramamurthy (Economics) & Jen Rowley (Mentor)
- Introduction to Theology: Thinking God for the World (TH201.03S) & The Gladiator (CL291.01S) - Jim Buckley (Theology), Joe Walsh (Classics) & Greg Simons (Mentor)
- East Meets West: Encountering the Other and Defining the Self in Ancient and Modern Worlds (CL290D.01S) & Introduction to Theology: Understanding the Faith that Does Justice (TH201.04S) - Nandini Pandey (Classics), Claire Matthews McGinnis (Theology) & Geoff Norbert (Mentor)
- Introduction to Theology: Understanding the Faith that Does Justice (TH201.04S) & Race, Conquest and Identity in Ancient North Africa (CL292D.01S) - Claire Mathews McGinnis (Theology), Tom McCreight (Classics) & Rodney Parker (Mentor)
- Politics: Identity, Difference and Self in Politics (PS101.01DS)& Microeconomic Principles (EC102.01S) - Janine Holc (Political Science), Norm Sedgley (Economics) & Michelle Cheatem (Mentor)
- Honors Program Sections: Human Drama in the Ancient World & Human Drama in the Medieval World
o Tom McCreight (Classics), Trent Pomplun (Theology) & Katelin Santhin (Mentor)
o Angela Christman (Theology), Leslie Zarker Morgan (Modern Languages) & Mary Beth Mudric (Mentor)
o Joe Walsh (Classics), Fritz Bauerschmidt (Theology) & Adriana Mason (Mentor)
Stories We Tell
It has been said that the destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in. Why do we tell stories? For entertainment, certainly. To move, to persuade; to shape belief, to inspire action. We use stories to explain ourselves to others, to make sense of our history and our experience. Ultimately, we use them to organize our world. This theme explores the power of the stories we tell.
- Introduction to Theology (TH201.01T) & Introduction to Psychology: The Long and Winding Road: Psychology for Life (PY101D.01T) - Steven Fowl (Theology), Carolyn Barry (Psychology), & Debbie Miller (Mentor)
- Major Writers: American Literature: American Dreams and American Literature (EN203.01T) & American Politics: American Exceptionalism: Fact and Fiction (PS102.01T) - Paul Lukacs (English), Doug Harris (Political Science) & Heather Moore (Mentor)
- Effective Writing: Writing in a Diverse and Changing World (WR100D.01T) & Introduction to Communication (CM203.01T) - Peggy O’Neill (Writing), Kaye Whitehead (Communication) & Kyle Anderson (Mentor)
- Effective Writing (WR100.01T) & Introduction to Statistical Methods and Data Analysis: Statistics and the Study of Our Life Stories (ST110.01T) - Terre Ryan (Writing), Rick Auer (Statistics) & Abbie Day (Mentor)
Galileo, Marie Curie, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, Steve Jobs, Ignatius Loyola. Visionaries imagine what does not yet exist, but might—someday. They often suffer hardship, criticism, and ridicule as others fail to share their visions. What drives the visionary? Necessity, ego, faith, justice, the vision itself? How does the world come to recognize the visionary and eventually come to share in that vision? This theme explores the individuals who have transformed the world with their imagination, courage, and insight.
- Computers, Robots and Minds: Introduction to Intelligent Computing (CS118.01V) & Understanding Literature: Literary (Re)visionaries (EN101.02V) - Dawn Lawrie (Computer Science), Jean Cole (English) & Dave Gerrity (Mentor)
- Understanding Literature: Art and the Art of Literature (EN101.01V) & Survey of Art: Renaissance to Modern: Artistic License, Artistic Narratives (AH111.01V) - Gayla McGlamery (English), Janet Headley (Fine Arts) & Tim Cherney (Mentor)
- Foundations of Philosophy: Truth, Love and Happiness: The Promises of Ancient Philosophy (PL201.04V) & Introduction to Theology: Theological Portraits (TH201.02V) - Mavis Biss (Philosophy), John Conley, S.J. (Theology) & Mike Puma (Mentor)
- Foundations of Philosophy: Truth, Love and Happiness: The Promises of Ancient Philosophy (PL201.03V) & Introduction to Theology: Theology and Writing the Self (TH201.03V) - Mavis Biss (Philosophy), Angela Christman (Theology) & Kim Ewing (Mentor)
- Introduction to Theology: Theology and Writing the Self (TH201.02V) & Engineering and Society: Engineering, Design, and Creative Problem Solving in the Build World (EG103.01V) - Fritz Bauerschmidt (Theology), Suzanne Keilson (Engineering) & Adriana Mason (Mentor)
Borderlines (to begin fall of 2014)
Male-female; U.S.-Mexico; mind-body; animal, vegetable, mineral: we seem to need to divide things from one another. How and by whom are borders defined? Why does crossing borderlines so frequently create tension and conflict? Is it possible to inhabit the border itself? We often find comfort staying inside the lines; at the same time, we cross borders to expand our horizons and enrich our understanding. This theme examines borders, divisions, edges, and overlaps: not just in the sense of political or geographical boundaries, but also in terms of art, society, philosophy, and ideology.
The Good Life (to begin fall 2014)
What is required to live the good life? The good life can be defined as the life that one desires to live. The good life is associated with a state of happiness or contentment; thus the question becomes one of learning how we define and fulfill our needs and aspirations. Understanding the good life is not limited to understanding material needs; it also includes understanding our need for community, spiritual fulfillment, knowledge and education, and understanding what it means to live simply. This theme considers how our economic, ethical, and religious experiences form a value system that helps us attain happiness.