Director of Writing
Rachel Norman, Ph.D.
At the center of Linfield’s general education program stands the Inquiry Seminar, which is taken by all new first- and second-year students. Each Seminar provides an in-depth exploration of a compelling topic chosen because it is of passionate interest to the instructor and prompts significant questions for which there are no clear or absolute answers. Discovering the complexity of such topics is the essential mission of the Inquiry Seminar, which initiates students into the dynamic, collaborative exchange that is university learning at its best.
To help extend the conversation beyond the INQS classroom, students simultaneously enroll in a Writing Lab (INQUIRY SEMINAR (INQS 125)) led by a Writing Fellow. Writing Fellows are peer mentors who meet with INQS students to discuss the writing process, share revision strategies, and help with setting goals. Ultimately, though, INQS students and their Fellows do more than just talk about writing, they participate in a mutually beneficial exchange that allows them to shape their own education.
INQS 125 INQUIRY SEMINAR (4 credits)
See individual sections in specific terms for descriptions. Required 1 credit lab INQS 125L.
Typically offered: Fall and Spring Semesters, Annually
INQS 125L WRITING LAB (1 credit)
INQS 126 INQUIRY SEMINAR (4 credits)
Satisfies Inquiry Seminar requirement for Online/ Continuing Education students. Not applicable for McMinnville campus students.
INQS 125-01 RELIGIOUS STORIES AND SUPERNATURAL FICTION
Religious Stories and Supernatural Fiction What are "religious narratives," and how do we distinguish them from what we might call "supernatural fictions?" A fiction, we might say, is a "made-up story," but many people believe that humans have also "invented" religion. Of course, many other people believe that religious stories are "non-fiction," that is, they are based on facts or real events; but others may believe that "supernatural fictions," like Star Wars or Harry Potter, also convey truths about the real world. In this course, we will explore the fuzzy boundaries between religious narratives and supernatural fictions, fiction and non-fiction, and thereby consider what we can learn about narrative, truth, meaning, and ourselves.
INQS 125-02 MEXICAN IMMIGRANTS IN THE U.S.
This course examines how Mexican migrants have shaped the relationship between Mexico and the United States since the 1920s. Students will consider both the historical context of the process of immigration, as well as contemporary issues surrounding immigration and the presence of Mexican migrants in the U.S. Topics include legal vs. illegal immigration; employment and labor rights; racial and cultural discrimination; education; security issues; use of resources; questions of citizenship. Particular emphasis is on helping students understand the historical and contemporary importance of Mexican immigrants to the U.S. economy and political system, as well as the role Mexican immigrants have played in the shaping of U.S. social and cultural identity.
INQS 125-03 CULTURAL IDENTITY AND WORLD CINEMA
Cultural Identity & World Cinema Identity through Cinematic Genres will introduce you to the international cinematic world, broaden your curiosity and awareness of the many cultures around the world, and introduce you to the communicative nature of identity through art. Through film we will explore the cultural identities of different world cultures and address the comparisons and differences to your own, your peers', and those of your home country through guided discussion, free-writing, formal writing activities, and individual presentations. This Inquiry Seminar will be stimulating if you enjoy experiencing new cultures, new ideas and new viewpoints. Thus, you will begin watching film as an active participant and immerse yourself in the identity of the world around you.
INQS 125-04 WHAT TO LISTEN FOR IN THE WORLD
Music is the product and expression of all humanity. Why should we listen to music? Where and when is music performed and for what reasons? What is the relationship of music and empathy? What impacts our listening choices? Who makes music and who should support the creation of music and why? What effect does music have on us as we listen? How does music connect us with our friends, family, and the rest of the world? In this Inquiry Seminar, we will explore the sounds and music of our own and other cultures of the world. Regardless of a student's music background, this INQS will help to develop a music vocabulary to understand and to convey in both writing and speaking the various properties of music and its impact on diverse cultures of the world. Through thoughtful research, reading, listening, and contemplation, students will consider , discuss and write about the human response to music from physical, emotional, intellectual, and other perspectives. Through engaged inquiry, students will draw conclusions about the value music has for the connection of people within their own and other cultures. 4 credits. $35 Fee.
INQS 125-05 BALLADS, BOLLYWOOD & BRAND BUILDING
The universality of appeal of music is undeniable. Yet some cultures respond to songs and dances more than the others. Nowhere is the power of music more evident in marketing than in the South Asian countries of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh where Bollywood reigns. Drawing mostly from visual elements, current business reports and country facts, this course will try to understand the role and influence of music on brand building in the region of South Asia from historic, economic and societal perspectives.
INQS 125-06 RACE & THE AMERICAN STORY
This course tells the story of the confrontation between American political principles of liberty, equality, and justice, and the practice of racial injustice throughout American history. We will read and discuss historical primary sources (speeches, essays, music, and film) in American political thought that explore issues of race.
INQS 125-07 EAST ASIA AND U.S. RELATIONS
Competition for wealth and power in the East Asian region intensified in the twentieth century and continues to shape international politics and business today. This course explores the political, economic, and cultural relations between China, Japan, Korea, and the United States through a variety of sources including news media, personal memoirs, and feature films. Topics include Asian immigration to the United States, the Second World War in the Pacific, China's policies to promote economic growth, North Korea's nuclear program, and Japan's cultural exports like Godzilla and anime.
INQS 125-08 IN SEARCH OF THE GOOD LIFE
What is the "good life"? This is perhaps the deepest human question. It is not only a question we hope recipients of a liberal arts education will ask, it is also a question that permeates film and literature. Looking at thinkers as ancient as Aristotle and films as contemporary as Hell or Highwater, this class will discuss and evaluate different conceptions of a good life and provide a place for students to engage in their own inquiry. In short, we will ask big questions and answer them through thinking, reading, discussing, and writing.
INQS 125-09 RURAL AMERICA IN CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE AND FILM
Rural America in Contemporary Literature and Film One of our bedrock myths-just take a listen to most any truck commercial or country music video-is that of the family farmer, the rancher, the small-towner who is hardworking, neighborly, and patriotic, who stands on his own two feet, who is, it almost goes without saying, white and male, and who raises children who want to be just like him. Yet one of the nation's most pernicious stereotypes stands in direct opposition to this mythology: that of the redneck, those written off as crackers or white trash-think of the hillbillies of Deliverance or Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel on The Simpsons. But what happens if we peel back the mythologies and stereotypes? What, really, is going on in rural America right now? This semester, we'll turn to contemporary literature and film from and about rural America in the hopes that we might uncover-via close reading, careful discussion, and critical writing-deeper truths about rural America and those who call it home.
INQS 125-12 STAR WARS EXTRATERRESTRIALS AND EVOLUTION
The Star Wars Galaxy is well known for weird and wonderful alien lifeforms. How are those aliens related to each other - and to you? The answers to these questions about aliens in a galaxy far, far away reveal important information how organisms relate to each other right here on Earth.
INQS 125-13 CAN MONEY FIX EVERYTHING?
Many individuals, foundations, and companies are doing wonderful things throughout the world to end poverty, hunger, lack of education, economic struggle, and so much more. Philanthropy and the not-for-profit sector are changing as donors seek increased accountability. In this course, we will explore what seems to be working and how we might leverage that to fix everything.
INQS 125-15 ETHICS IN POP CULTURE
This course centers on ethics of popular culture that is reflected in various media, including television, movies, newspapers, magazines, social media, and songs. Ethical behavior is seen as right and wrong behavior that is defined by societal principles and values. History shows that principles and values can change over time, but how does media reflect or possibly influence the ethics within a particular society or on a global basis?. Through the viewing of various of media and readings, students will explore, discuss, and write about topics involving underlying philosophical concepts and principles that are embedded in media. The course also explores how media acts as a medium for business and profit? 4 credits.
INQS 125-16 PATH OF WISDOM
Do you ever wonder about the meaning of the life or the order of things in this world? What does a "happy" or "successful" life look like, and how might you pursue such a life? How do you make sense of suffering and injustice in the world? In this course, we will address these important and relevant questions in various "wisdom" traditions. We will consider ideas about wisdom, meaning and suffering through the study of the biblical books of Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs and Psalms and by bringing in texts from other religions and contemporary voices.
INQS 125-17 SPORT AND STORYTELLING
The world of sport is vast and influential in our everyday lives, often serving as a reflection of our society. In this course, we will explore the role of sport through reading and writing. Both fiction and nonfiction, formal and informal writing will be utilized. We'll explore your passion for sports while expanding your writing for various audiences through multiple channels.
INQS 125-18 THINKING LIKE A COMPOSER
The word "composition" can refer to both writing words and writing music, and for good reason. Both are a process of assembling and effectively ordering material-words, notes-and both represent a communication between an author and an audience via a text. In this course, we will try to get inside the heads of composers and music creators, identifying the tools and strategies that make their work tick. We will then connect what we have learned to our own "compositional process", as we hone our skills as writers. Instructor: Marc Evanstein