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UF 200: Foundations of Ethics & Diversity

What do All UF 200 Courses Have in Common?

Ethics guide how we ought to live, and we live in a diverse society with other individuals and groups. UF 200 courses help students investigate how we practice our ethics together as engaged citizens creating an inclusive community.

Although individual instructors use different examples, case studies, and course topics (or themes) to guide student exploration, each UF 200 course challenges students to inquire into key ethical ideas and values together, giving equal voice to all who are committed to the public good.

Fall 2024


Search by Faculty or by keywords/big ideas/course themes: (for example: sustainability, human rights, global awareness, information literacy, technology, public health)

Course TopicCourse Description
EthDiv What MattersIt seems right that we should judge other cultures by their own standards rather than ours. We often call this respect for diversity. It also seems right that what’s right (or wrong) is objective, not merely a matter of opinion. We often call this ethics (or morality). These two ideas do not seem to fit together well. If what’s right is objective, how can we judge other cultures by their own standards? For example, different places have different rules about the use of cannabis. Are some right and others wrong? Whose rules should you follow when you are traveling? In this class we will think hard about how ethics and respect for diversity might be compatible and what that means. I doubt we will come to the same answer, but we will get clearer about our own views and how to explain them to others!
EthDiv & PolyculturalismWhat if there was a time and place where groups of people with differing ideologies lived side-by-side, blending their cultures to create one of the most artistically intriguing periods in human history? What could this teach us today? In this course section we will seek answers to these questions by "visiting" pivotal moments in the 700-year long period of Moorish rule in Spain and exploring the theory of "La Convivencia," which proposes that Muslims, Jews, and Christians co-existed for centuries in relative peace. By considering how past peoples reflected on matters of ethics and diversity, we will better understand and appreciate the significance of these concepts in the present.
EthDiv Beyond SustainableSustainable communities take on the very difficult challenge of attempting to weigh and balance environmental health, economic security, social equity, and cultural heritage. In this course section, we will explore the critical ethical questions inherent in why we sustain, the significance of diversity in what we sustain and for whom, and the centrality of civic virtue, citizen engagement, civil discourse, discipline expertise, and intellectual humility in how we sustain.
EthDiv & Moral CourageWinston Churchill once stated, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” This course section melds moral philosophy, eastern and western traditions, creative non-fiction and personal reflection to examine moral courage and the role it plays in our identity as well as our vocation.
EthDiv What Lies BeneathIs tribal sovereignty a human right? What about potable water, access to nature, or personal safety? This section of UF 200 uses a variety of materials and projects to ask big, powerful questions about how we can be fair to one another when big, powerful interests conflict with smaller communities and with individual rights.
EthDiv & Free SpeechWe spend our cyber lives Tweeting, liking, sharing and following strangers in our digital world. And the First Amendment gives us broad freedom to publish what we see fit to print in the online universe. But do our First Amendment rights come with certain responsibilities? This course section uses the digital media landscape as a laboratory to consider the relationship between ourselves, media, ethics, and diversity as we consider the intended and unintended consequences of media production and consumption. In this course we’ll ask questions about representation, online bullying, censorship, misinformation, hate speech, filter bubbles and more as we evaluate media jurisprudence, online diversity and our daily Instagram feeds under the auspices of classic and modern ethical frameworks. In this class we’ll ask, “What is good?” and “What is right?” when it comes to our media appetite.
EthDiv & Food in the USIn this course section we will investigate how the concepts of ethics, diversity and human rights apply to the specific issue of food access, quality, safety and production. In short, we will examine how food is produced and distributed in the United States and the ethics behind the American food industry and workforce. Through an analysis of food, we will encounter other major ethical debates in modern American life. In addition, we will analyze the meaning of the term ‘diversity’ as it applies to American food workers and consumers.
EthDiv Songs & ProtestThe freedom both to love one's country and to identify its failures is critical for living in a diverse world. Is there a “right way” to protest? What does it mean to be a patriot? Tensions exist between varying views on national identity, citizenship, social activism, and resistance. In this course, we will use popular songs–mostly from the 20th and 21st centuries–to generate lively discussions about ethics and diversity related to social movements. Ultimately, we will investigate why people take action through song and the potential transformative effects of this art form.
EthDiv Social InequalityIn this course section we will investigate how the concepts of ethics and diversity apply to the issue of social inequality in the world today. The first part of this course addresses the theoretical foundation and application of critical theory. After we provide a theoretical lens for understanding social injustice and inequality, we then begin to investigate various topics of inequality. Special emphasis is given to the following topics of social inequality: social class, globalization, race and ethnicity, gender, and education.
EthDiv Refugee/ImmigrantIn this course section, we will explore the concepts of ethics and diversity from a wide range of contexts connected to ethical issues refugees/immigrants face in the United States and around the world. Also, we will explore, in a systematic manner, connections among race-ethnicity, class, and gender, and will examine issues of privilege and difference in U.S. society. Students and the course professor together will explore questions such as: How are values and ethics established in individuals and society? What are some helpful approaches to ethical questions?
EthDiv in Sports Film/LitWhat can we learn about ethics, diverse experiences, and cultural stories in sports films and literature? At the heart of exploring ethics, diversity, and story is exploring the human experience. To broaden our understanding of ourselves and others, in this course section we’ll study frameworks for ethical decision-making, ways of knowing, and ways of considering others’ experiences by listening to their stories. We’ll read and watch sports stories as prisms through which to study these concepts, and we’ll use these concepts as prisms to see sports stories.
EthDiv in Graphic NovelsIn this course section we will explore issues of Ethics and Diversity as represented in graphic novels. Comic books were some of the first media to seriously examine racial issues, drug use, government overreach, the sexualization and objectification of people, violence, and the power of people to make positive and substantive changes in the world around them. We will look at fictional depictions of these issues and use them to analyze the world around us.
EthDiv in Global CulturesThe 21st century presents unique challenges informed by an evolving world that invites rapid changes with each generation. This course section will engage students in research, discussions, and projects on emerging topics connected to the different sets of values and societal norms across the world through the lens of ethics and diversity in a global context. Students will learn skills and tools to navigate the reality of the world as a borderless complex environment that requires transformational thinkers and doers with high levels of emotional and cultural intelligence.
EthDiv Evolution/ReligionMany people think that evolution and religion are inherently at odds, but both can shed light on some of humanity's most profound and abiding questions about morality, ethics, behavior, and diversity. In this course section, we will examine the various ways in which evolutionary and religious perspectives interact—the different roles they play in helping us understand the world, the reasons they often come into conflict, and their capacity to inform and influence each other. We will explore these topics through several lenses, including history, philosophy, science, and law. The goal is that students leave this course with a deeper awareness of our connections and divisions, our virtues and vices, and our aspirations and instincts. This class will be oriented towards reading, writing, and lots of discussion.
EthDiv & Soc-Eco ModelUtilizing stand-point theory as a guide, this course section aims to help students garner an understanding of the interplay between culture, identity, and power. During the first part of the course, students will examine their ethical frameworks as well as their own social identities. During the second part of the course, students will employ the Social-Ecological Model to examine their diverse social positions in comparison to relationships with others close to them, the community, and society at large.
EthDiv & Sci-Fi WritingWhy Science Fiction? As a genre, Sci-Fi innovatively addresses questions of “why,” “how,” and “what if,” inviting the curious to new considerations and making marginalized voices accessible. Our course explores ethical issues and concepts connected to diversity by reading, writing, and critiquing Sci-Fi. You’ll read short stories that explore otherness, social norms, hierarchy and power, colonialism, race, et cetera. You will also explore creative solutions to the social or technological problems that concern you by writing your own short story. And, you'll give feedback on other stories written in the class, including mine! Dare to be original, dare to be bold, and remember that you have to push boundaries to get to outer space.
EthDiv & Refugee CrisisThis course will use human displacement and the global refugee crisis as topics of discussion and exploration. These issues are present in the Boise community, the United States, and worldwide. We will use the core concept of displacement to examine complex ethical, societal, and economic relationships. Who has access and who is denied access and why?
EthDiv & Moral ProblemsIn this course section we begin by thinking through familiar moral codes and problems like “what’s right or wrong about eating meat” or “what is to be a good friend” and work up to deeper questions about what we mean at all by right and wrong, bad and good, and what the main types of ethical frameworks are and how they may guide us. We shall then focus our moral inquiries on issues of citizenship and immigration, race and gender, and the historical dynamics of power, which we will study at both theoretical and cultural levels.
EthDiv & MemoryThis course section will examine issues of ethics and diversity specifically through questions of how we relate to the past, how our personal and collective memories evolve over time, and how memory and memorialization function both socially and politically. We use our discussions of memory as a way of understanding ethical issues, diversity and systems of inequality.
EthDiv & Living ValuesIn this course section, we will focus on values identification, committed action to one's values, and mindfulness in relation to issues of importance in ethics and diversity. Emphasis will be on one's personal obligations in one's own life and in the larger community.
EthDiv & Idaho HistoryWhen folks think of the State of Idaho, “diversity” isn’t usually one of the first words that come to mind. Why is that? A look into the past reveals that the Gem State has a rich and unique story to tell. In this course section, we will examine Idaho’s history through the lenses of morality, ethics, diversity, and justice. What role has race played in our state’s history? What about incarceration and imprisonment? Gender and sexuality? How have Idahoans worked together to fight injustice? A cursory exploration of these topics will help us understand how these big issues occur on a local level - and how we can continue to foster positive change going forward.
EthDiv & HospitalityFor centuries global religions have practiced hospitality as a way to identify their community by defining relationships with others. In this course section, through in-depth studies of ancient religious texts and stories of being guest, host, other, and friend, you will discover your understanding and responsibility of welcoming others in this 21st century global context toward encouraging a personal ethic and living diversity.
EthDiv & Higher EducationIn this course section we will read, discuss and write about diversity and the role of higher education in diversity literacy. The essential questions of this course are: Why does the university require me to take UF200? Should the university require courses like this one for all majors? What are the consequences and benefits of mandating a course on ethics and diversity? How does higher education influence diversity, racism, and bias and reciprocally, how does diversity, racism and bias influence higher education?
EthDiv & Global KnowledgeLiving in an interconnected world, global knowledge is important in today’s classroom and workplace. In this course section we will examine new meanings and perspectives about oneself and the world we live in. We will explore ideas through ethical frameworks and diverse perspectives to reach solutions about complex global issues. Students will engage in the real-time, relevant challenges of civic and community life, as citizens of our local/global communities.
EthDiv & FolkloreIn this course we will investigate issues related to ethics and diversity through the lens of folklore and fairy tales from around the world. Some of the questions we will explore are: how do fairy tales convey personal and social conflicts? Moral and ethical dilemmas? What can these stories tell us about topics such as gender, class, and identity, both our own and others? The course begins with students learning and applying select ethical frameworks to real-world situations before turning towards fictional stories both familiar and unfamiliar. While the course focuses mainly on narrative folklore, students will come away with an appreciation of folklore as an interdisciplinary field where humans learn from each other and the world that we inhabit in multiple ways.
EthDiv & Education SpacesSchools and universities are diverse environments, and understanding the role of ethics and diversity in the classroom is essential for teachers and educational leaders. This course section examines important ethical issues in education, such as social inequity, classroom culture, and community engagement, as well as how these issues affect us all. How can we make our classrooms fair and inclusive when we are all so different?
EthDiv & DevianceUsing ideas from philosophy, cultural anthropology, and sociology, this course section will explore the moral and ethical implications of how labels and stereotypes perpetuate outmoded or limited ideas about the nature of “acceptable” social traits and behaviors throughout the world. By looking at various “deviant” categories, and studying the social codes and contexts that inform the perception of those categories, we will then look at how the penal system in America is a case study of how those perceptions play out for 2.26 million people every day.
EthDiv & ConspiracyBy developing and examining your own code of ethics, metacognition, and applying an informational lens to the world, this course section examines both the historical and current state of misinformation and conspiracism to help you break free of their potentially dangerous effects. In doing so, you will be encouraged to engage with information more ethically and learn the importance of diverse viewpoints for a broader, more inclusive, and in-depth understanding of your world.
EthDiv & CommunityThis course section focuses on how stakeholders with diverse perspectives, formed by their cultural identities and ethical standards, can impact an oppressed community. We will answer the question: "How do different cultural and ethical perspectives impact how and/or whether stakeholders (individuals, groups, organizations, governments, corporations) will respond to the systems of inequality that lead to a lack of safety, justice and equitable opportunity?"
EthDiv & "The Passions"This course section examines the various ways that religion and ethics manifest in historical and contemporary contexts specifically when dealing with the phenomena of "the passions." We will focus on the interaction of ethics and religion through systems which are often considered both ethical and religious. Further analysis of these systems will play out in reading John Steinbeck’s Tortilla Flat.