Humanities, Social Sciences, and Psychology Departments Offering Intensive 14-Day Winter Courses

Winter term courses will be offered by the Humanities Department, Social Sciences Department, and the Psychology Department. There are two sessions, an early session from December 10–23, and a later session, from December 26–January 8. Students register for the early session using the fall 2023 registration system, and register for the later session using the spring 2024 registration system.

These courses are designed to cover all of the same material covered in a one-semester course but in 14 days—10 days of instruction and four reading days. This design converts three credits and 135 hours of work into an intensive experience of engaged work in the range of 10–13 hours per day. Accordingly, it is not wise to take one of these courses if you have any other demands on your time—including travel, weddings, internships, jobs, weekend obligations, or other such commitments—and no allowances can be made for interfering events.

Humanities — Early December Courses

HUM 380: The Hobbit, Keith Green, December 10–23

This course examines the book that first brought the Middle-Earth legendarium to public attention—The Hobbit. Students will gain a working familiarity with the text, as well as learn a little about the personal history of J. R. R. Tolkien and the evolution of The Hobbit from a fairy tale into a prelude to The Lord of the Rings.

HUM 200: History of Photography, Jenelle Davis, December 10–23

This course addresses the history of photography through the investigation of images, photographers, and current issues in photography and contemporary art.

COM 372: Mass Media and Society, Mohamed El Marzouki, December 10–23

This course also examines traditional and contemporary theoretical perspectives from the field of media research, media laws and regulations, and media globalization.

Humanities — Late December Courses

LIT 306: Introduction to Science Fiction, Gregor Baszak, December 26–January 8

Science fiction can take us to the stars, or to distant planets where unknown alien species dwell. That won’t be the focus of our class readings, however. We’ll stay on and near earth and explore the relationship between homo sapiens to the artificial creatures we may design in our own image: androids, cyborgs, robots, and automata.

HIST 352-01: Chicago History, Mindy Pugh, December 26–January 8

This course addresses the recorded history of Chicago from the late seventeenth century until today, and introduces students to regional, national, and international dynamics that contribute to the rise and sustainability of this particular world-class city.

Social Science

PS 338: Energy Policy, Matt Shapiro, December 10–23

This is an intermediate-level course that examines government-based attempts to promote energy conservation, focusing on the economic and political effects of energy supply and demand, the implications of varied methods of energy production and consumption, and efforts to minimize the environmental consequences through increased energy efficiency and regulation.


PSYC 380: Positive Psychology, Nicole Ditchman, December 10–23

This course provides an introduction to positive psychology, covering topics related to happiness, well-being, positive aspects of the human experience, and research methods used to study happiness. Course activities are based heavily on experiential learning and practical application of the concepts covered.

Additional Information

The cost to students will be a flat fee of $2,500 per course.

Duration: Classes will run 14 days:10 days of instruction and 4 reading days. December classes run from Dec. 10–23. January classes run from Dec. 26 to Jan. 8.

Registration: Register for December courses using the fall registration schedules, and register for January courses using the spring registration schedule.

Overload: Students already with 18 credit hours for fall or spring will need an overload permit to register for a J-term class in that same term.

Last day to withdraw: The last day to withdraw from winter term courses is the first day of class.

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