NTU-USP

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Nanyang Technological University – University Scholars Programme (NTU–USP) provides an intellectually stimulating environment fo​r students who are enrolled in our programme. NTU–USP students sharpen their critical thinking skills and leadership abilities through interdisciplinary academic and co-curricular programmes promising independent learning and immersive intercultural experiences.

This academically rigorous multi-disciplinary programme complements and bridges NTU’s core disciplines, adding breadth to each scholar’s academic experience. Scholars remain in their home programme while concurrently pursuing NTU–USP courses and activities.

The NTU–USP experience offers a vibrant student life. Our co-curricular enrichment activities supplement the NTU–USP academic curriculum through freshmen overseas study, seminars by distinguished professors, and NTU–USP scholar-led initiatives.


Curriculum
The NTU-USP Curriculum is designed to be academically rigorous, intellectually daring and stimulating. Students are given many opportunities to explore many disciplines outside their own domain of study. Class sizes are kept small to maximise interaction and foster creative discussions.​ The NTU-USP curriculum intends for students to move out of their comfo​rt zone and explore other areas of interest, which may or may not be their niche.

 

  • ​​​​​​​​​​Curriculum for Students admitted in AY2014 and before
    Students are required to take five core courses, and select five elective courses of their interest from four academic categories; one course from each category with the fifth course chosen from any category (i.e. total of 10 NTU-USP courses). These courses are to be read throughout the student's length of study.

    The NTU-USP courses offered are listed below. Please note that the NTU-USP elective courses offered in each academic year (AY) may vary depending on the availability of faculty as well as the inputs from existing students.

    Core courses

    • ​​​​Writing and Reasoning ​
    • ​​​​​​Ethics ​
    • Planet Earth
    • Quantitative Reasoning ​
    • ​​​​​​​​The Great Ideas (for those who matriculated in or before 2013) / Innovation, Enterprise and Leadership (for those who matriculated in 2014)

     

    Elective courses to be chosen from the following categories

    • ​​​Arts, Humanities, and Culture (AHC) ​
    • ​​​​​​​​​​Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) ​
    • ​​​​​​​​​​Science and Engineering (SE) ​
    • ​​​​​​​Social Sciences (SS) ​

    An exception is made only for students from the Nanyang Business School (NBS) due to the nature of NBS programmes which require students to complete an honours degree within a duration of three years. Students from NBS are exempted from Quantitative Reasoning and take only one elective from each category (i.e. total of 8 NTU-USP courses).

  • ​​​​​​​​​​Curriculum for Students admitted in AY2015 and after
    Students are required to take four core courses, and select five elective courses of their interest from two academic categories; two from each category and one more from either category (i.e. total of 9 NTU-USP courses). Core courses will be read in the student's first year in NTU while elective courses can be read throughout the student's length of study.

    The NTU-USP courses offered are listed below. Please note that the NTU-USP elective courses offered in each academic year (AY) may vary depending on the availability of faculty, as well as the inputs from existing students.

    Cores
    • ​​​​Writing and Reasoning ​
    • ​​​​​​​​​​Ethics ​
    • Quantitative Reasoning
    • ​​​​​​​​Fieldwork and Documentation/ Travel Overseas Programme for Scholars (TOPS)

    Elective courses to be chosen from the following categories
    • ​​​Arts, Humanities, and Culture (AHC)
    • ​​​​​​​​​​Science, Technology, and Society (STS) ​

    The electives include a range of diverse modules that are specially planned and produced by faculty fellows across NTU for NTU-USP scholars.

    An exception is made only for students from the Nanyang Business School (NBS) due to the nature of NBS programmes which require students to complete an honours degree within three years. Students from NBS are required to take the same four core courses but will take three elective courses (instead of five) of their interest from two academic categories; one elective from each category and the final elective from either category (i.e. total of 7 NTU-USP courses).

 

Cores

  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0001: Writing and Reasoning
    Intended for all first-semester NTU-USP students, this course has two aims. First, student will learn to compose scholarly essays, craft arguments that are clear, rigorous in logic and evidence, original, and persuasive. Student will gain these skills through studying and discussing exemplary writing, emulating these examples in a series of increasingly demanding essay assignments, and critiquing the essay work of their peers. Second, student will develop a more critical perspective on university education. This course asks student to reflect on the purpose of that education, the better to shape it. The readings and essay assignments are intended to provoke hard thinking about three questions: (1) for whom is university meant? (2) what is education? (3) what larger purposes does education serve?
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0002: Ethics
    This course aims to introduce normative ethics and metaethics to students. In addition, it encourages students to respond critically to articles and videos that make use of the concepts of normative ethics and metaethics and to become ethically reflective and responsible global citizens. As we are living in a digital age, replete with electronic computers, digital networks, big data, and artificial intelligence. This course will encourage students to think critically about the ethical implications of our echnological implementations.
  • SP0005: Quantitative Reasoning
    The vision of the NTU-USP is “to nurture creative and reflective global citizens devoted to understanding the social, cultural, economic, and environmental forces that give shape to our ever-changing world”. Of the many skills and qualities such a citizen will possess, one key feature is the ability to reason with information and arguments involving numbers. We will spend a semester working together to identify principles that help guide our understanding about claims supported by quantitative information. This will include both practicing computational skills in basic probability, statistics, and data visualisation, as well as critically reading and writing about quantitative information from scholarly and non-scholarly sources.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0007: Fieldwork and Documentation/​Travel Overseas Programme for Scholars (TOPS)
    This course aims to prepare and expose students to the various aspects of conducting a research project in the humanities, arts and social sciences, documenting and creating a media story based on the project. It allows students to explore the following areas: typical research process, research methods, information seeking, ethics, research writing, and media production. The course is project-based, and students work in teams to go through the process of crafting their own subject matter, writing and storytelling, and documenting their findings using mixed media. The course is taught with an overseas research trip as central to the overall learning objective of learning how to conduct fieldwork in a cross-cultural setting. By the end of the course, students should gain basic competency in designing and managing research projects in humanities, arts and social sciences, as well as key outcomes in creativity, communication, civic-mindedness, and character.

 

Elective courses to be chosen from the following

  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0011: Major Contemporary Environmental Challenges: A Multidisciplinary Perspective
    Aimed at NTU-USP students from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds, this course will give you a better understanding of the key environmental issues facing us today. By carrying out team-based learning activities in which they contemplate, assess, and apply existing paradigms and frameworks for addressing these challenges, students will better comprehend the options available, and perhaps even come up with some new alternatives. This course will prepare them to address sustainability issues in a wide variety of capacities, whether in the context of advanced research or work in the private or public sectors.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0013: Cultivating Heartware for Inclusivity and Diversity ​​
    We live in an era of profound transformation where we face many uncertainties and challenges in today’s fractured and volatile global environment. Our future as an interconnected and interdependent global community vitally depends upon the relations between diverse nations, societies and individuals. Since the life of humans is one of relating to self and to others in our complex world where diversity and constant change are the norms, education that prepares the young to live and work with a greater sense of meaning, self-understanding, connection and purpose in such a world is essential for the well-being of self, others and the world. This course is therefore interdisciplinary and draws upon various fields including the literature on mindfulness, contemplative education, special needs, inclusive education, critical pedagogy, positive psychology, and spirituality, etc to address and deal with difference and change. This course situates participants within the realities of global and local contexts to which the response of the Singapore society and its educators to nurture and build inclusive, compassionate and thoughtful communities is paramount for the well-being of humans and our planet. This course will provide the opportunity for participants to cultivate the ‘heartware’ of inner capacities, as well as resources and responses as the basis for becoming more whole, integrated and inclusive in relating with self, others and the world. For this purpose, participants will have the opportunity to embark on an inner as well as an outer journey of learning about diversity and inclusivity, dealing with change and difference, and becoming an inclusive person for others. ​
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0015: Understanding Science in the Media ​​
    People learn about science from different information sources. Outside of school, science learning occurs in places like museums, aquariums, and other informal venues. Learning also occurs via the mass media. People can learn about science from newspapers, magazines, television programmes, documentaries, and so on. Increasingly, people are using new media—for example, YouTube—to learn about science.

    In this course, we will focus on representations of science in the media, particularly in new media, emphasising ideas of public perceptions of, engagement with, and discourse about science. This focus encompasses both accurate and inaccurate representations of science and draws linkages between science literacy and media literacy. In addition, we will consider the perspectives of the content creators, and what factors may influence their creative decisions. Finally, we will create our own science vlogs with the aim of engaging specific audiences. ​
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0016: What is Reality? Perspectives from Quantum Physics and Philosophy ​​
    This course aims to develop students’ understanding of the epistemological and ontological perspectives of the nature of reality through parallel lines of inquiry from quantum physics and history of western/eastern philosophy, and guide students to examine philosophical and ethical issues arising from the development of quantum science and technology. ​
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0018: Sociolinguistics: Language and Culture ​​
    This course will provide you an opportunity to learn the knowledge and theories in sociolinguistics and use them to explore socio-cultural aspects of linguistics and examine the characteristics of language use by speakers with different cultural backgrounds. Sociolinguistic skills that are essential for future professionals’ personal and professional development in a multi-cultural and multilingual society will be the focus for discussion. The practice designed will increase your cultural awareness and language communication skills through the analysis of cultural styles and functions of language use in different social contexts. By the end of the course you will be able to explain how language use interacts with and is affected by social and cultural factors, such as social and cultural norms, ethnicity, social status, and gender, and determine what can be done to increase the cultural awareness in communication among people with different ethnic backgrounds. ​
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0022: Identity, Work and Society ​​
    This course investigates the conditions of work in the contemporary period to examine complex issues that people face when looking for jobs, working, and attempting to build a career. It investigates the interplay of the different facets of identity such as age, class, gender and race with the kinds of jobs and career mobility a person can access. It also explores the issues that arise from the demands of work especially in terms of how it affects lives inside and outside of the workplaces. These topics will be grounded within an understanding of culture, social structures and the agency of individuals. The course will be divided into three units that will tackle (1) dynamics of identity, work and society, (2) the nature of work in contemporary agricultural, manufacturing and service economies, and (3) the worker and the new economy. The course caps off with a research-presentation from students on case studies in Singapore.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0023: Error and Bias ​​
    This course allows students to examine the many errors and biases that characterise our judgments about ourselves and other people. A central theme of this course is that understanding how people perceive, reason about and remember social information – especially the biases and shortcomings people show in their perceptions, inferences and memories – is central to understanding both effective social functioning and many forms of maladaptive behaviour and social conflict.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0024: Political Earth ​​
    The increasing global population combined with rising incomes and globalisation has put the world’s environmental resources under significant pressure. Management of the Earth’s natural and environmental assets has become a major global political focus, as increasingly people are aware that environmental problems are political problems. Although environmental actors confront trade-offs between human wellbeing and profit on a regular basis, management and governance responses are all dictated by a political process. This course aims to provide students with the tools to be able to apply scientific, political, economic and social knowledge to understand the cause of these problems, and to help society resolve issues surrounding the use of natural resources and the conservation of the environment.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0030: Travels and Travellers ​​
    This course aims to introduce students to the social scientific approaches to the study of tourism and to the social and cultural issues involved in contemporary tourism. You will draw on sociological, anthropological and geographical work to shed critical light on these issues. Having developed a deeper social scientific understanding into contemporary tourism, you will be in a better position to pursue further studies of tourism-related topics and potential careers in the travel industry. ​
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0031: Re-negotiating Truth and Ethics at the nexus of art and journalism ​​
    This University scholars' course will introduce students to the issues fundamental to and surrounding ideas of truth, evidence, documentation, and authenticity as they relate to art, photography, documentary and journalism. This historical and aesthetic investigation will prepare students to analyze, critically reflect and investigate themselves into the creation of works that are sensitive to the difference between journalistic, aesthetic, mimetic and indexical modes of creation. We are experiencing a time where a spike in the discussion about alternative facts and fake news, as well as an increasing popularity of true crime documentaries and fiction that is based on true stories is effecting our sense of truth, ethics and aesthetics. Against the backdrop of this development, this seminar has the goal to look deeper into the ethics of image production in the dynamic field of art and journalism. The course spans the artistic spectrum, with an eye for the journalistic, examining historical (pre-photography) fine art, photojournalism, reportage (drawn journalism), podcasts and documentary film. This course is an interdisciplinary investigation into the popularity, ethics, and cultural effects of "reporting" in the broadest sense with a deep examination into the concept of truth in media. ​
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0032: Art, Technology, and the Image ​​
    In this course, students will be introduced to unique and topical contemporary issues in art and technology in public space. Students will conduct analysis and exploration on mediated images, art and technology in urban space in order to understand how art, technology and environment interact. Students will produce an original response that addresses a specific aspect of the course that has been identified. From this course, students will develop fundamental skills that they will be able to apply to expand their capacity to analyse and communicate concepts visually using new media.​
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0037: Fables, Folklore, and Literature ​​
    Every society has its fables, myths, and folktales, which are often transmitted orally. In this class, we will examine the phenomenon of folktales and folk culture from a comparative perspective. We begin with the ‘discovery’ of folk culture in the late 17th & early 18th centuries by the brothers Grimm in Germany, and the brothers Perrault in France. What role did folk culture play in the birth of modernity, and why did these stories acquire such importance for scholars of the Enlightenment? Originally meant for adults, why did they become a vital part of children's education? Following this historical survey, we will examine the diverse perspectives of 20th century scholars: folktales as archetypes, as reflections of the true character of a people; as the source of stock characters and plots; and as transformations of pagan myths or religious beliefs, or even historical events.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0038: Heritage Studies ​​
    The aim of this interdisciplinary course is to engage students from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds to develop an enhanced awareness of knowledge organisation and innovation within a globalising world, in which they are trained to become active leaders in their major of studies. In the past, human societies embedded their knowledge and values in complex interactions of written, pictorial, sculptural and architectural records, oral memories, and performed rituals. These were their media and in these forms, we inherited their arts and science. Now, our society is very close to a fully digital access to all information encapsulated in monuments, museums, galleries, libraries, archives and live performances all over the world and in any language. But to distill data into knowledge, a new generation of scholars, artists, and professionals need to discuss, test, and implement ICT tools and solutions in correlation with: (1) the centuries-old results of each single discipline, which contributes to the domain of heritage science [in humanities, social sciences, architecture, life sciences, engineering, and computer sciences] and (2) the technological potential evolution. The objective of this course is to contribute to the training of this new generation.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0040: Maritime Silk Roads: Past, Present, and Future ​​
    The aim of this course is to provide with an appreciation of the role that the so-called maritime silk road(s) had for medieval and modern societies in Afro-Eurasia and think about the role of new silk roads in contemporary and future global societies "as a metaphor for the on-going flow of [goods,] ideas and knowledge between Asia and Europe [and Africa], which in turn contribute to the reconfiguration of global economic and diplomatic relationships" (van der Ploeg, J. - G. A. Persoon & H. Liu, p. 6). The course surveys the cartography of Asia (art, science, and ideology) in Western and Asian traditions (1200-today), with focus on the so-called maritime silk road(s). The single classes will introduce a series of geographical mind sets, which still pervade the contemporary 21st century global system of world ontologies, essentially based on both ancient Greek kósmos and Christian mundus. Using the maritime silk roads as a case history, the course examines the geographical, cultural, socio-political, and economic contexts, through which the art/science of cartography served both the need of thinking about the world, describing geographic factors, aggregating and navigating ethnographical knowledge, imaging geopolitical realities, and supporting expansionistic strategies. As a methodological leitmotif the in-class investigation of case studies includes the discussion/interpretation of representations and models of maritime silk roads.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0042: Dramatic Texts: Adaptation and Improvisation ​​
    This course aims to introduce students to the understanding of playwriting by adapting from a previously written published dramatic text. The course equips students with basic knowledge of theatre by introducing them to actual theatre spaces and providing them opportunities to interact with professionals in the field. Students are introduced to the understanding of the importance of adaptation in dramatic texts, and how adaptation advances the notion of cultural mobility. The course also involves improvisation workshops, and discussions on adaptations – two important elements in theatre practice. The students will also be introduced to the idea of cultural mobility, and how adaptation can be an important factor in the negotiation of mobility and rootedness in cultural aesthetics.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0047: Key Problems and Puzzles in Contemporary Aesthetics ​​
    This course aims to introduce the key problems and puzzles of contemporary aesthetics to students. In addition, it encourages students to respond critically to articles and videos that make use of the concepts of aesthetics, and to become aesthetically aware, culturally informed and responsible global citizens.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0048: Global Histories Through Masterpieces ​​
    Through the lens of masterpieces in art, architecture, design, literature, film and music, we [re]examine ‘history’. The range geographically and chronologically is wide to embrace ‘artefacts’ from the Parthenon of Athens and its associated sculpture, to the aesthetic and social significance of Titanic; from painting in Renaissance Italy and its ‘empire’ to Les Misérables (derived from the age of revolution in France); from UNESCO world heritage inscription in Singapore to digital futures globally; and from the Gallipoli Symphony and the creation of national ‘memory’, to Ai Wei Wei’s social engagement and activism on often-neglected contemporary issues. The course also utilises Singapore’s own collections through structured visits to the National Gallery and the Asian Civilisations Museum. By seeing, listening, reading and experiencing, students are offered a new ‘entry’ into world histories, one which is designed to make them passionate, inquisitive and engaged in the past.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0051: Astronomy ​​
    This course aims to equip students with key knowledge in modern astronomy and cosmology. Through the course, students will learn about the history of astronomy, basic knowledge on navigating the sky, the origin and content of our solar system, and the evolution of stars and galaxies. Contemporary topics including the big bang, the geometry and structure of the universe, dark matter and dark energy will be discussed to give students an overview of current ideas in modern cosmology and for them to ponder about our place in the universe. The course will also share exciting astronomical discoveries in recent time. During the course, students will also have opportunities to learn practical skills in solar observation and star gazing to supplement their learning of the course.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0056: Workings of the Human Body ​​
    The course introduces students to the workings of the human body starting with an exploration of the cell, the fundamental building block of the body. The role and function of the cellular organelles will be taught. The pathway by which genetic information stored in the form of DNA is translated into protein. Signalling pathways mediate and integrate cellular function. The concept of homeostasis will be introduced. Intercellular signalling by the nervous and endocrine systems allows for coordination of the different systems in the human body. The circulatory and immune system will be introduced. Major diseases such as cancer, metabolic and infectious diseases which affect the body will be discussed.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0062: Discerning Biology in Popular Media ​​
    The course aims to bring students through foundational concepts in biology (human anatomy, physiology, molecular genetics and cell biology) and their application to our society through the analysis of science fiction movies and televised drama series. It also aims to develop a higher level of discernment in handling scientific information incorporated in popular media and a greater awareness of ethical and political issues related to technological advances in future society.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0063: Climate Change ​​
    Climate change is a difficult, contentious, and important issue. It will perhaps be the defining environmental issue of the 21st century. This course aims to address the whole complexity of climate change as an issue, by bringing together the science, impacts, economics, abatement technologies, and policy solutions into one course. Through this course, we will address several important questions: (1) what is the scientific basis for our understanding of climate change, and in what ways is that scientific basis uncertain? (2) what changes in climate might we expect over the coming centuries? (3) what would be the impacts of these changes in climate for human well-being and the natural world? (4) what are the sources of emissions of greenhouse gases? (5) what technologies exist or might be developed to allow us to slow climate change? (6) what international policy solutions might be necessary or preferred?
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0064: Planet Earth (elective for Students admitted AY2015 and after; classified as core for Students admitted AY2014 and before) ​​
    This course examines the Earth and its systems through lectures, group-based inquiry learning, and individual reading, writing and research. Content is based on major discoveries by scientists in the broad fields of Astronomy, Geosciences, Geography and Biosciences. This will provide the gateway for investigation into topics such as the formation of the solar system, the lithosphere, the atmosphere, and climate change, ocean circulation, the biosphere, ecology, and how humans interact with the environment.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0065: Displaced Communities, Education and Opportunities ​​
    This course is a multi-disciplinary course which explores the various educational practices that are currently available to displaced communities globally, and in Southeast Asia in particular. After a brief introduction to the relevant historical background and the existing legal, social, and political contexts, the course then goes on to focus on the various educational practices offered to the displaced communities who live in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and also to the newly settled refugees in Australia and New Zealand.

    Through a combination of lectures, in-class activities and action plan workshops, students will engage actively and critically with the current international, intercultural and multi-disciplinary policymaking processes – a prospect made increasingly realistic by the advancement of educational technologies.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0067: Creativity, Cognition, & the Imagination ​​
    This course aims to introduce the key issues surrounding the debate about creativity, cognition and the imagination to students from all disciplines. In addition, it encourages you to respond critically to articles and videos that make use of the concepts and theoretical underpinnings of creative cognition and the imagination across a range of disciplines and to become imaginative, reflective, culturally informed and responsible global citizens, given to both critical and creative thinking.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0068: Artificial Intelligence: History, Philosophy, & Prospects ​​
    This course aims to introduce the key issues surrounding the philosophy of artificial intelligence (AI) to students from all disciplines. In addition, it encourages students to respond critically to articles and videos that make use of the concepts and theoretical underpinnings of AI research across a range of disciplines and to become reflective, culturally informed and responsible global citizens in a technological age, given to both critical and creative thinking about the nature of the relation between man and machine.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0071: Love and Sex ​​
    This course aims to examine the four forms of love (platonic, friendship, familial and romantic), the three areas of sex (erotic sex, gender-sex and the ethics/politics of sex) and the relation of love to sex. Students will draw on historical, sociological, psychological, evolutionary, feminist and philosophical work to shed critical light on these issues. In addition, students will explore ancient and contemporary texts and videos that defend opposing views to develop important skills such as intellectual flexibility, critical attention and analytical rigour.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0072: Enterprise, Innovation and Leadership (elective for all batches except for Students admitted AY2014) ​​
    This course introduces students to the topics of innovation, enterprise and leadership and how these are interlinked. Not only will students develop a strong conceptual understanding of the frameworks underlying each of these areas, but also how these principles are being applied and practised in the real world.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0073: The Grea​t Ideas (elective for Students admitted AY2014 and after; classified as core for Students admitted AY2013 and before) ​​
    This course introduces some of the great ideas of political theory and their applications in various nations.
    Objectives are:
    1. To introduce the great ideas of democratic liberty, rights, and autonomy.
    2. To compare the development and implementation of these ideas in the United States and Singapore. ​
    3. To develop our views on the strengths and weaknesses of Singapore and other nations’ approaches to these “ideas”.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0078: Schooling and Culture ​​
    The aim of this course is to explore the origins of Western education: from its four thousand year old roots in the ancient Near East and the Mediterranean basin to the cherished traditions and beliefs of today. We will study education in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome, and the changes that took place during the Middle Ages, the Reformation, the Renaissance, and most recently during the 20th and 21st century. As we follow the formalisation of the educational system, we learn more about these historic societies themselves: how they viewed children and youth, what was considered appropriate for teaching and study, which groups were privileged to attend schools and why, what being educated meant or what education provided access to, or what the benefits were for the society itself. The educational systems of non-Western societies and other times will be surveyed as foils for our own beliefs and assumptions, enabling us to gain a wider perspective and a more critical stance. Examples of non-Western traditions may be taken from ancient or modern China, Japan, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Mexico, and other areas.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0079: Language and Society ​​
    This course is for students who are interested in developing their linguistic and sociocultural skills for the preparation of their future career in a multi-cultural and multilingual society. The aims of the course are to guide students to explore sociolinguistic issues within the societal, cultural, political, psychological, and interactional contexts of language use, to have a research-based understanding of the key theoretical views of language in society, and to learn to examine how language use is influenced by social factors and how social parameters, such as status, ethnicity, and gender, can be reflected by language use. By the end of the course, students will be able to follow the sociolinguistic principles to distinguish functions and varieties of language use in a multicultural and multilingual context.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0081: Culture ​​​and Conflict ​​
    Culture and Conflict is a multi-disciplinary course which explores the relationship between artistic production and social/political disorder. It investigates the basic philosophical notion that art thrives in times of war, and expires in peace, then goes on to question whether art, as a form of social barometer, can actually anticipate conflict as opposed to merely responding to it. The course also observes the extent to which culture (especially that derived from conflict) is used to create specific social identities and contemporary concepts of memory. A range of historically and geographically diverse case studies will be used: the Medieval and Renaissance Mediterranean, the First World War in Europe, the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland in the 1980s, and present day Singapore. Whether we are looking at the anticipation of war through the ballet, or increasingly avant-garde sculpture, or observing medieval multiculturalism through a microscopic examination of a painted surface or a virtual reconstruction of Cypriot architecture, we are consistently looking at the relationship between culture and conflict. The media of exploration will be art theory, painting, sculpture, ballet, popular/protest music, architecture, multi-media/technology and international law. Suitable site visits within Singapore to compliment the course will be provided as part of the experiential learning and appreciation of the issues covered in the course.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0082: Truth, Lies, and Hype ​​
    Half of a millenium before "alternative facts" entered our vocabulary, human beings began battling over how and by whom truths should be determined. This course explores important changes in the ways Western societies from the Renaissance to the present have found truths, detected liars, and controlled rumours. The course will discuss, for instance, how these societies replaced divination rituals with scientific inquiry, replaced torture with the polygraph, and began controlling the spread of information through advertising and public relations. By reading and discussing a range of primary and secondary sources each week, the class will investigate the past meanings of truth in scientific, religious, legal, political, and journalistic domains. In the process, students will learn the basics of historical detective work, gaining a basic understanding of the development of science and law in the West, and acquire a deeper historical perspective on the current anxieties surrounding facts and falsehoods today.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0083: Science, Culture, and Society​​ ​​
    This course will investigate the various socio-political literary implications of 20th century advances in science (and advances in theories of science). Students will explore how scientific innovations in the 20th century have led to corresponding innovations in contemporary culture (including literature, film, and the arts). The evolution of Postmodern culture will be understood in the context of changing attitudes about the means and ends of science.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​SP0084: Communicating Gender: From Biology to Culture ​​
    This course aims to introduce students to gender issues through the lens of language. It will take students through the basics of how gender can affect language use, and the misconceptions and realities of gendered speech. This course will also cover the influence of speaker-gender on linguistic variation, conversational goals and communicative intentions. Furthermore, it will examine the way gender influences speech across different cultures and contexts. Finally, the course will also examine how gender is expressed in the structure of language (issues of sexism). This course will benefit students interested in gaining an interdisciplinary view of the interactions between gender studies and linguistics.

 

Eminent Speakers Series
The Eminent Speaker Series (ESS) is a series of talks and seminars for scholars that aims to provide a higher-level platform for the scholars to connect with world-class professor, industry and business leaders and to learn best practices from the best brains around the world.

ESS topics will be broad-based to cater to the different needs and expectations of the scholars. The topics range from culture and the arts, business and entrepreneurship, philosophy, modern science and technology to politics.

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