What are Sidecar Courses? 

An innovative curricular initiative, conceived of and organized by the IDEAS fellowship, sidecar courses bring together two faculty members who are teaching courses in different departments and on different topics to teach a short interdisciplinary class that focuses on a point of connection. For example, a history professor might be teaching a class on the Middle Ages, and a biology professor might be teaching a class on communicable disease; together, they might teach a sidecar course on the plague. Sidecar courses carry one credit hour, and all students take the course pass/fail. 

 

Fellow Involvement 

IDEAS fellows participate in these classes in a number of ways: 

  • connecting two professors and suggest a sidecar course;
  • participating in course planning;
  • helping to manage the details of the class;
  • serving as teaching assistants;
  • leading class sessions.  

Designing a sidecar has allowed me to engage critically with material from across disciplines to create a space where students can come together and discuss topics and share experiences they may not otherwise have the opportunity to. What's so great about the sidecar is that people sign up for it because they're genuinely interested in the topic -- the classes don't count toward major requirements or GERs, so the cohort of students who join are always passionate about the topic at hand. Teaching sidecars makes me remember why I chose to attend Emory in the first place -- riveting discussion with students who care.         - Shreya Pabbaraju 21C

Sample Sidecar Courses

  • Misinformation and You: Navigating the Modern Media Ecosystem (ILA, Fall 2019) 
  • Food and Immigration (SOC & ITAL, Fall 2018) 
  • The Experience and Physiology of Bodies in Space (BIO & DANC, Spring 2017) 
  • The Power of Black Self Love (AAS & ILA, Fall 2016) 

 

Spring 2021 Sidecar Courses

IDS 290-1 Interdisciplinary Sidecar: COVID Stories/how we tell them

Instructors

Arri Eisen (ILA) and Robyn Fivush (ILA)

Teaching Assistants

Prasanna Karur and Pushkar Shinde

Meeting Time

F 2-2:50pm ONLINE

Stories, or narratives, are fundamental to the way humans understand and make sense of their experiences. How we tell stories, especially about challenging and stressful events, impacts on both individual well-being and collective social policy. In this sidecar course, we will explore the ways in which narratives of COVID-19 are emerging in scientific, political, economic, and social contexts starting from the first case in Wuhan and ending with narratives regarding the current vaccine. The course will meet for one hour every week; every other week, we will bring in guest speakers who are experts in the different perspectives around COVID-19. Examples of potential guests include public health experts from the CDC, virologists, an ER doctor from Emory, politicians coordinating the response, and vaccine developers. On the alternate weeks, we will discuss the previous week's speaker, and prepare for the upcoming speaker through short readings. Throughout the course, we will focus on the emerging narratives of the pandemic as they affect our personal and societal well-being. Priority enrollment for this class is given to students currently enrolled in IDS 220R (What does it mean to be human?), IDS 205 (Science and the Nature of Evidence). Email Instructors for permission.

IDS 290-2 Art as Activism? Visual Culture of America Social Movements

Instructors

Katie Schank (ILA) and Louis Fagnan (History - Oxford)

Teaching Assistants

Annie Li and Alice Zheng

Meeting Time

F 1:00 - 2:15pm ONLINE

What is the relationship between art and social justice? Does art inspire people to become more politically engaged? Does the creation of art remove people from other types of political action? This course will survey contemporary American art that engages with activism. Students will learn about art concerning social movements in the U.S., discuss varying visual mediums, and explore the difficulties surrounding art institutions and accessibility. We will cover movements such as the Women's Liberation, Black Power, Chicano, American Indian, and Asian American movements. Adopting an interdisciplinary lens combining history, art history, and visual culture, we will explore the complexities of identity politics concerning race, class, sexuality, and their intersections. Priority enrollment for this class is given to students currently enrolled in IDS 216 Visual Culture. Email Instructors for permission

IDS 290-3 BIPOC and LGBT Adaptations of Ancient Greek Texts

Instructors

Louise Pratt (Classics) and Peter Wakefield (ILA)

Teaching Assistants

Lydia Abedeen and Karissa Kang

Meeting Time

F 2:40 - 3:55pm ONLINE

"The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house."-Audre Lorde. Classics, the study of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, has long been accused of elitism. This claim is far from groundless. Classics comes etymologically from classicus, a Latin word meaning "of or belonging to the highest class." This is telling, for, at least in Europe and North America, people of the "highest class" have historically claimed Classics as their own. Classics has thus obtained a reputation as plaything of the white, wealthy elite. Classics might seem like one of the "master's tools" tools used by dominant groups to oppress and control others. These are the sort of tools that, according to Lorde, will never dismantle the master's house. However, the growing tide of Classical adaptations centering marginalized identities calls Lorde's conclusion into question. These adaptations suggest that, although Classics might seem like one of the master's tools, it can actually be subversive and even radical. Students will read and watch excerpts from contemporary adaptations of Ancient Grk texts. As students engage with these adaptations, they examine the extent to which Classics is one of the master's tools, and consider how effectively Classics can dismantle the master's house and provide new understanding. Priority to students in IDS 200W or GRK 102. Email Instructors for permission. Course meets for 10 wks 2/5-4/2/2021.

IDS 290-4 Reading for Pleasure

Instructors

Cynthia Blakeley (ILA) and Kim Loudermilk (ILA)

Teaching Assistants

Katalia Alexander, Jeremy Slater and Ben Thomas

Meeting Time

F 1:00 - 2:15pm ONLINE

This course is open to students enrolled in one of the following courses: AMST/IDS 385W: Advertising in American Culture and IDS 390: Interdisciplinary Research Design. If you are not enrolled in one of these courses but are interested in taking Reading for Pleasure, please contact one of the instructors to inquire about availability. In a typical college schedule filled with mandatory assignments, reading for pleasure, diving into another world simply for the joy of it, can fall by the wayside. This course will help you to carve out time for literary fiction chosen by your peers Our undergraduate TAs will each suggest potential books for the class to read and will lead a class discussion on the chosen book. Students taking the class will help select the books we read. The first class will be held on February 5, and we will meet for a total of 10 consecutive Fridays over the course of the semester, with the last class held on April 9. Our class format will vary; in addition to the three sessions devoted to group discussion of the books we're reading, we'll have two sessions in which students and faculty briefly present favorite books, while another three will potentially entail more creative endeavors, such an online novel or poetry reading, or the screening of a film adaptation. Students will also attend one or two asynchronous literary events.

IDS 290-6 Race, Place, and Space: Sci-Fi and Social Inequities

Instructors

Marjorie Pak (Linguistics) and Dehanza Rogers (Film & Media Studies)

Teaching Assistants

Calen MacDonald and Shreya Pabbaraju

Meeting Time

W 1:00 - 2:15pm ONLINE

Throughout this course we will examine the concerns of gender, race, sexual orientation, and class that have long lain in the subtext of science fiction. We speculate that sci-fis have always underscored inequities in gender, race, sexual orientations, and class, although more recent work is attempting to subvert these tropes. This sidecar will work on investigating social inequities in sci-fi, and how they can help us process different identity conflicts. Together, we will examine the lore behind sci-fi and fantasy works from Frankenstein , Alas Babylon , Hunger Games , Star Trek , the Marvel superhero franchise, and others to see how they challenge or cement the social hierarchies at play. We will examine sci-fi and fantasy works as a metaphor for global disaster and images of heroism, solidarity, and grief. Students will employ intertextual and intercultural analyses to critically think about how the reflexive tendencies of media can hinder or help the fight for social justice, and will be asked to critically consider the media they consume.

 

 

Fall 2020 Sidecar Courses

IDS 290-1 Climate Change and COVID-19

Instructors

Caroline Schaumann (German Studies) and Eri Saikawa (Environmental Science)

Teaching Assistant

Alice Zheng

Meeting Times

W 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm (Online)

This side-car course explores the relationship between climate change and COVID-19. Responses to the current pandemic provide us with plenty of opportunities to ponder another looming crisis: Climate Change. At the same time, the current reduction of fossil fuel use allows a glimpse into what could be a less polluted world, with smog-free cities, clean water, alternative transportation, and greater biodiversity. Our class invites students to examine the economic, ecological, and social intersections of two global crises. Bridging the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, students work in cross-disciplinary groups to develop projects that feature the impact of both COVID-19 and climate change in select countries, formulating a particular research question, collecting data, analyzing it, and presenting their findings. Class will meet weekly to learn and share ideas. Final projects may include a podcast, video, webinar, or other creative venues.

Contact for Permission:Prof. Caroline Schaumann or Prof. Eri Saikawa

IDS 290-2 Character and Genre: Classical to Early Modern perspectives

Instructors

James Morey (English) and Niall W. Slater (Classics)

Teaching Assistants

Karissa Kang and Calen MacDonald

Meeting Times

F 9:40 am - 10:55 am (Online)

Open to students enrolled in Classics 150, "Masterworks of Classical Literature" and English 255, "British Literature before 1660." Both courses feature readings in the great books tradition and share themes linked to the conventions of epic and romance. Texts such as Homer's Odyssey, Vergil's Aeneid, and several Greek dramas (by Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes) complement the characters and themes of Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and other works written in medieval and early modern England. Students will discover archetypal characters across time and space, and they will achieve different perspectives on exterior, and interior, lives. Heroes of epics seek challenges, whereas challenges (what a Middle English romance poet would call an "adventure") find romance heroes.

Contact for Permission:Prof. James Morey or  Prof. Niall W. Slater

IDS 290-3 Bias and Truth in the Classroom

Instructors

Kim Loudermilk (ILA) and Peter Wakefield (ILA)

Teaching Assistant

Annie Li and Jane Wang

Meeting Times

F 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm (Online)

When it comes to literature, history, sociology, or just about any other subject in the humanities and social sciences, it is all but impossible for only one objective narrative to exist. Professors necessarily teach their classes and conduct their research through a particular social, political, religious, epistemological, or economic lens. The truth therefore expresses itself in multiple concurrent forms, and different versions of the same story naturally reveal different priorities. With our sidecar course, we would like to examine the way that bias and truth interact with each other in academia. How does bias inevitably manifest in a college classroom? What impacts does it have on the culture of higher education? What is the value of exploring a subject from multiple, interdisciplinary angles? And how can we as critical thinkers find a way to combine seemingly incompatible perspectives in order to create a more complete and complex picture of the truth? This class will also include a number of guest professors specializing in topics such as the Voluntary Core Curriculum; Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity; and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. 

Priority enrollment for this class will be given to students currently enrolled in:
AMST 201W - Introduction to American Studies or IDS 200W - Interdisciplinary Foundations

Contact for Permission:Prof. Kim Loudermilk

 

 

Spring 2020 Sidecar Courses

IDS 290-3 Dilemmas of Power & Cooperation

Instructors

Mark Risjord (ILA) and Judd Owen (Poli Sci)

Teaching Assistants

Naomi Baker and Karissa Kang

Meeting Times

M 4-4:50pm

This sidecar course will discuss historical and current events where people have faced challenges of cooperation and governance. The League of Nations, for example, was found in the wake of the First World War with the hope that it would prevent future wars. In spite of broad cooperation among states, it was unable to stop the Second World War. What do examples like this tell us about the human ability to cooperate in spite of self-interest or to establish just systems of power? Can we create lasting social systems, or are all such human endeavors transitory? Priority enrollment for this class will be given to students currently enrolled in IDS 385 001 (Cooperation and the Roots of Social Theory) or POLS 490RW (Might and Right). Email mrisjord@emory.edu for permission.

IDS 290-2 Theater in a Cup

Instructors

Elva Gonzalez (Spanish & Portuguese) and Mary Lynn Owen (Oxford)

Teaching Assistant

Prasanna Karur

Meeting Times

TBD

Micro Theater -or, `microteatro,' -is a form of theater in which all elements are condensed and abbreviated, and as a result, it is intimate, open, unexpected, and brief, usually between 7-10 minutes. This type of theater has become extremely popular in Spain, Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, and other Spanish-speaking countries: actors love the challenge of working in close and unusual quarters, and audiences love being in on the process. The plays are bite-sized. They are the tapas of theater. Or, because we are anticipating performances in a coffee shop: Theater in a Cup. Our course will call upon the disciplines of both Theater and Spanish (or the native language preferred) to encourage students to develop and perform micro theater pieces as they explore the power of theater to impact others and themselves. Students will work in collaboration with each other, and, using basic acting techniques, will bring very short theater pieces to life. These are dynamic pieces of text that come to life in an instant. Such texts will be chosen from a wide cross-section of material both in English and in Spanish, drawing upon established micro theater pieces. In this way, students will learn and experience the basic building blocks of storytelling and of theatrical `moments,' and they will experience firsthand the thrill of performing for an audience only a few feet away.

IDS 290-1 Honing in on Hyphenated Identity: Memoirs from the Diaspora

Instructors

Robyn Fivush (ILA), Christine Ristaino (French & Italian), Kemal Budak (Sociology)

Teaching Assistants

Preethi Reddi, Shreya Pabbaraju

Meeting Times

M 4pm-6pm

28 percent of the U.S. population is comprised of immigrants and their children. This portion of the population often signifies their multi-cultural identity with a hyphen. The hyphen joins and the hyphen also divides: Navigating the space of cultural identity is complicated, but modern authors have created a movement to discuss their relationship with their backgrounds in their literary works. In response to an administration that threatens the diversity of the nation with stringent immigration policies, this sidecar course provides a space for students to learn to tell their own hyphenated story through memories and lived experiences. Students will examine various perspectives on immigration and how these perspectives alter people’s experience of America.