What sort of classes would OU faculty members devise if money were no object? Well, for one thing, they would bring in the best guest lecturers in their fields to stimulate interest and inspire students to delve more deeply.
In 2004-2005, former President Boren began a program to provide extra funds to enhance courses already scheduled to be offered during the academic year in either the fall or the spring semester. Courses eligible for consideration must be semester-long, regularly scheduled courses. This program will be continued in academic year 2017-2018.
This fund provides up to a maximum of $20,000 in one-time funds per selected course to bring in several (about 3-5) experts in the field during the semester to interact with the students enrolled in the course and to give a lecture open to the public. In some cases, the visiting expert might also speak at a Presidential roundtable discussion that would include other undergraduate students and faculty.
Renegades: The American School of Architecture
Stephanie Pilat, Division of Architecture
Luca Guido, Division of Architecture
"A new school, probably the only indigenous one in the United States" is how the architect Donald MacDonald once characterized the school of architecture that developed under the guidance of Bruce Goff and Herb Greene at the University of Oklahoma in the 1950s and '60s. At the time, architecture schools in the United States followed a curriculum inspired by either the French Beaux Arts school or the German Bauhaus school. On one hand, the French model centered on studies of classical principles of design and entailed meticulous copying of the great classical architecture of Greece and Rome. On the other hand, schools such as the Illinois Institute of Technology and the Harvard Graduate School of Design adapted the Bauhaus curriculum model-known for embracing industry and abstraction in art, architecture, and design-to the American context. Only the University of Oklahoma stood apart from these two trends and developed an original and authentically American approach to architecture and pedagogy.
Perspectives on Food and Culture in the United States
Julia Ehrhardt, Honors College
This Perspectives course introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of food, a burgeoning academic field. We will begin by investigating how food shapes personal, group, and national identities, and then study how gender, ethnicity, and race contribute to these formulations. Next, we will turn to contemporary issues regarding food in the United States: the lives and working conditions of immigrant farm laborers who produce what we put on our tables, the politics underlying school lunch programs, and the ethics of eating meat. Finally, we will investigate the future of food and explore possible solutions for feeding the world in the future. Readings, in-class discussions, and paper assignments will facilitate our examination of these topics. The goal of this class is to understand how food shapes lived experience in the United States, and vice-versa—how our experiences with food have defined and presently signify about national life in the United States.
Sports PR and Marketing
Jensen Moore, Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication
This Dream Course focuses on understanding the myriad of communication efforts utilized in the dissemination of information in today’s sport world. Throughout the semester students will interact with sport promotion, branding, and communication experts from all over the world. The course will enhance student’s chances of success in the sport industry by discussing the various techniques, strategies, and technologies available to sport organizations, athletes, and venues when attempting to build positive relationships with consumers, corporations, and the media.
Women in Media Leadership
Elanie Steyn, Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication
Traditionally and across cultures, the tendency has been (and in many cases, continues to be) to “think leader, think man.” Women are late to the leadership and management tables in many industries. In some countries, women have no “formal leadership” role to play and many girls grow up having no idea of their dreams, capacities or contributions to the societies they live in. Yet, in many of these societies, women “hold up half the sky,” to paraphrase the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong. Not in formalized ways. And often not in glamorous ways either. But in ways that contribute to the strength of their people’s cultural, political, and economic fiber.