Course Spotlight

INT 35HD: History of Disease

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered businesses and led to worldwide orders that people stay at home. Yet, even as the death toll rose and medical systems strained in cities from New York to Rome to Wuhan, there were some who doubted the necessity of such stay-at-home orders or who argued that the cure was worse than the disease. As this recent example demonstrates, even in the twenty-first century the nature of disease and how to prevent it is not merely a matter of science, but an issue laden with cultural, political, and religious concerns.  This course will chart the history of disease both as a subject of scientific inquiry and a cultural and religious phenomenon. We will begin by providing a solid background in both the historical and scientific concepts related to disease, before moving on to discuss major outbreaks in World History including the Black Plague, Cholera, Syphilis, Influenza, and, of course, COVID-19. To request an add code for this course, please email Additionally, this course has 30 scholarships allocated to it. Click here for more information. 

INT W 20: Introduction to the Research University (ONLINE)

Summer Sessions and the College of Letters and Science are excited to collaborate on an online course, INT W 20: Introduction to the Research University. INT W 20 is a 2 unit, fully online course that introduces students to the varying disciplines of study at UC Santa Barbara. The course delivers a series of videos featuring UC Santa Barbara faculty detailing their specific discipline, explaining how research is conducted within the discipline, and sharing information about what drives their own interest in that area of study. Students will not only learn about the varying majors on campus, but will also be prepared for success by being introduced, virtually, to renowned faculty. Click here for more information.

INT 187LR: Lust Removed from Nature: A Guide to Being Human in the Age of Technology

This 2-unit course examines ideas about how technology and humanity instersect. We will consider how technology – not just computers, but also pre-digital forms like pens, paper, and books themselves – shapes the human experience. We will examine these ideas through multiple disciplinary lenses because it helps us develop more nuanced perspectives. American author Don DeLillo provocatively states that “this is the whole point of technology - it creates an appetite for immortality on the one hand. It threatens universal extinction on the other. Technology is lust removed from nature.” To what extent do we believe this to be true? Or can we think about technology in other ways? Click here for more information.  

FAMST 155SW: Star Wars

Open to non-majors, this class will explore the Star Wars franchise as an American phenomenon that became an international powerhouse. It will consider the following: the origins of the blockbuster and the development of the super-blockbuster, George Lucas' inspiration and auteur influences, the siginficance of the franchise for subsequent Star Wars auteurs, and in terms of the franchise's enormous critical and fan responses. Click here for more information.

THEAT 43/143 The People’s Voice: A Joint Collaboration Between the Community and UC Santa Barbara

The People's Voice is an umbrella term for cutting-edge collaborations between the university and the community. The course was specifically named for the people to include a variety of arts initiatives for diversely marginalized populations where social justice is a concern. This course is for students who are passionate about their development as informed, engaged, and action-oriented citizen-artists. It is open to non-theater majors, as well as those students who are specializing in theater studies. Because of its permeability with social issues, The People's Voice can supplement educational and fieldwork objectives for teachers, therapists, social workers, and community organizers, as well as cultural workers in all arts disciplines. We look for novel combinations with media, citizen journalism, live theater and performance, and multimodal art strategies to destabilize the status-quo as well as celebrate society's disenfranchised voices throughout Santa Barbara and other parts of California. This is a course that is open to non-theater majors, as well as those students who are specializing in theater studies. Click here for additional information.