Liberal Arts

The following courses have been developed by and for the Department of Liberal Arts at Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

Christopher Columbus standing next to a rock with 2 men behind him. One is holding a cross.

Credit: Landing of Christopher Columbus by David Edwin. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of International Business Machines Corporation, is licensed under CC0.

Resource Description

This module enables students to reflect critically and in an historically informed way on how Christopher Columbus has come to signify both belonging and exclusion in the United States. The two-week module explores four discrete themes: colonization, focusing on the four voyages and their immediate consequences; the mythical female figure of Columbia in the U.S.; the creation and circulation of Columbus as an Italian American icon; and the recent protests and debates concerning statues and other commemorative images and rituals.

J. M. W. Turner, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Resource Description

Suitable for introductory or humanities survey courses, this module offers teaching resources for a unit on the 1781 Zong massacre. It focuses on artistic responses to the massacre and on how the massacre is a representative event of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The module includes artworks and texts that could be used in the classroom, discussion questions and activities, and a culminating writing prompt. This module invites students to reflect on the gaps in the colonial archive and to think about the role of art and literature in shaping understandings of historical events.

Resource Description

This course presents an examination of ethical issues relevant to systems-based research procedures, professional conduct, social and environmental impacts, and embedded ethics in research and professional practice in RESS based jobs. In this course, you will consider case studies of ethical issues that can arise when engaging renewable energy and sustainability systems. You will also develop an ethics case study based on your area of RESS interests.