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DemTex Students Design In-Depth Courses

Students explore a creative, specific topic in-depth by creating a class in Democratic Education at Texas (DemTex). Students write a syllabus, prepare readings, and lead discussions in a seminar course that differs from a conventional college course. The program encourages research and academic curiosity in undergraduates with small, upper-division, discussion-based, elective classes. Recent class topics are Ethics and Destiny in Lost, and The Postmodern City and Power.

Students with an interest in creating a course work closely with a faculty adviser, as well as learning how to lead class discussions from DemTex staff. A student-faculty committee reviews and evaluates the academic nature of accepted courses, and makes suggestions about improvements to courses. DemTex is sponsored by the Senate of College Councils. The classes are UGS 122, and are pass/fail electives. DemTex courses may not count toward any undergraduate degree.

Please email us for more information about teaching a DemTex course.

Fall 2011 Courses

Communication in Multiplayer Video Games

Taught by Jordan Humphreys
Video games have gotten a bad rap as being the instigators of angsty, antisocial or violent teenagers increasingly in the last decade. Most gamers would refute these sentiments, and science seems to be agreeing with them as more and more research surfaces on the benefits of videogame play. Do video games lead to negative communication skills? Or do they merely facilitate the same communication through different outlets? Who’s likely to be more charismatic: someone with a level-40 WOW account or a Words With Friends genius?

This course will seek to address the ways we communicate in different game genres, the importance of communication in video game environments, and the role of video games in society. Through course discussion we will determine which games and genres encourage good communication and which promote more antisocial behavior. The course will also look at video games as innovative tools for communication and education.

College Athletics and Society

Taught by Shabab Siddiqui
Beyond the packed stadiums, face paint, and memorabilia, what do college sports mean to us? This discussion-based class attempts to take collegiate athletics beyond the box scores and explores its different dimensions through the use of lectures, guest speakers, articles, and reports. Students will be exposed to the bigger questions that arise out of this field, ranging from the morality of the business to its value to the community to the perceptions and stigmas that surround student-athletes and coaches. By the end of the course, students will not only get a better picture of the college sports machine, but be able to judge for themselves the values it does or does not bring to society.

Please email us for more information about teaching a DemTex course.