2011–2012 Course Development Grant Recipients

2011–2012 Course Development Grant Recipients


La literatura, el arte y el cine al servicio del pueblo*

Thomas F. Anderson

Romance Languages and Literatures

Students in this course will study literary texts, works of public art, and films from the Hispanic Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic), which were produced with the expressed goal of educating the public—and especially the rural majority—on a variety of topics such as health, education, human rights, community building, public safety, and the importance of traditional cultural manifestations.

Students will apply knowledge and analytic tools gained in the classroom at South Bend’s Perley Fine Arts Academy, where they will serve as instructors in an after school visual and performing arts program for 2nd–4th graders. One of the course’s central aims will be to underscore the importance of global citizenship by encouraging students (and through them, those at Perley) to engage in intercultural dialogue, respect diversity, become involved in their communities, and to develop interest in a range contemporary issues that effect, and thus unite, all of the world’s citizens.

*Literature, Art, and Film at the Service of the People


Are We Eating Good Food?

Daniel Hicks


In the last few years, an increasing number of voices have answered the question "Are we eating good food?" with a resounding "no." This course will develop conceptual tools from ethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of science to critically engage with both proponents and critics of several aspects of our contemporary food system. Topics will be selected based on student interest, and include but are not limited to vegetarianism, conventional vs. organic vs. beyond organic agriculture, transgenic or GMO crops, justice for food workers, scientific and public policy controversies over nutrition and health, food deserts, and special interest control of agricultural economics. Students will also be engaged in work with a local community partner—most likely a local food co-op—in order to understand how these issues appear in and impact the food system of the Michiana region.


What Are the Roots that Clutch?

Mitch Nakaue

University Writing Program


"What Are the Roots that Clutch: Writing the Community Garden," will bring Notre Dame first year students into contact and conversation with the volunteers and organizers at four of South Bend's Unity Gardens. Students will investigate how South Bend’s Unity Gardens bring vitality to their neighborhoods; they will also develop skills in writing and argumentation to make meaningful contributions to the gardens’ missions of community building and public education.


Gray Family Course Development Grant


Business of Sustainability and Social Responsibility

Ante Glavas

Mendoza College of Business

The main goal of the course is to learn how business can use its influence along with its innovative and entrepreneurial drive to solve societal and environmental issues. The class goes beyond philanthropy and explores how the social responsibility and sustainability can be embedded throughout the business. A core component of the course is an experiential action-learning project in which students work in teams to provide solutions to current, real-time situations. Each class is designed so that it contributes to the learning needed to carry out the group projects.

By the end of the course, students will have:

  • Explored how to live out personal values while also doing good business;
  • Learnt strategies and covered cases that will help them embed social and environmental goals in their future workplaces;
  • An overview of all the major social responsibility and sustainability topics important to business leaders;
  • Received information regarding where to look for more information on sustainability tools, trends, organizations, literature, and websites.