The Sixth College Core Sequence on Culture, Art and Technology gives students an opportunity to learn about the conventions of academic writing and to consider the implications of questions that are also important outside the university. Some of the questions addressed in first-year CAT courses are:
- In the twenty-first century, how do we shape the world, and how does the world shape us?
- What ethical questions are raised by designed objects, environments, and interactions?
- How do cultures manage change?
- Why does the historical context of a given technology or commodity matter? How far back in time should we look? Which factors should we weigh most heavily?
- How do we understand media on a global scale?
- How is sensory experience mediated?
- What forms of production and consumption do we take for granted in contemporary life?
- How do new solutions sometimes create new problems?
Each quarter we offer a selection of interdisciplinary courses, which take varying approaches to the same basic issues.
- CAT 1 courses (fall) focus on critical reading and questions like “What is a text?” or “How can an artifact or source be analyzed?” or “Why is the same object of study approached differently in different fields?” (4 units)
- CAT 2 courses (winter) emphasize arguments, both explicit and implicit. Students learn more about how different kinds of arguments are constructed, how visual arguments persuade, and why some parts of an argument might not be visible or open to debate. Note: students must have passed the Entry Level Writing Requirement to take this class. (6 units)
- CAT 3 courses (spring) look at the making of knowledge from multiple sources and many cultural perspectives. intensive writing instruction continues, with an emphasis on producing an independent research project. (6 units)