Contemplative Inquiry Courses

Requirements for Completion

The Interdisciplinary Certificate in Contemplative Inquiry requires the completion of a minimum of 4 courses and 12 semester hours, including IST 220: Art and Science of Meditation. The remaining courses and credits may be chosen from the lists below, following the required guidelines for all interdisciplinary certificates. At least 3 of the 12 hours must be at the 300-400 level. The courses must be completed with the instructor listed to be applicable to the certificate. With the approval of the certificate coordinator, other courses may be taken to meet the certificate’s requirements. All courses and credits must be completed at UNC Asheville.

Note to faculty:

If you are teaching a course that utilizes contemplative practices, and would like for it to be considered for inclusion in the certificate program, please contact the certificate coordinator.

Note to students:

If you are enrolled in a course that utilizes contemplative practices but which is not included in the certificate program, and you would like to inquire about counting it as credit toward the certificate, please contact the certificate coordinator.


Dr. Richard Chess
Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Certificate in Contemplative Inquiry

Schedule of Courses

Offered in Fall 2018

The following classes will be offered in Fall 2018:

  • ANTH 380: Zen Anthropology (4) (Wood)
  • ARTH 201: Introduction to Art History I (4) (Bares)
  • DAN 116: Yoga (4) (Bambara)
  • EDUC 320: Middle School Principles, Practices, and Materials (3) (Ruppert)
  • ENVR 334: Environmental Policy (3) (Eggers)
  • IST 200: Ideas to Action (2) (Manns)
  • LIT 328: Ethnic Literatures (4) (Jansen)
  • PSYC 412: Senior Seminar in Psychology: Internship (4) (Himelein)

Comprehensive List and Descriptions of Classes

ANTH 380: Zen Anthropology (4) (Wood)

Zen and Anthropology are different practices. Zen is a type of religion from one part of the world; Anthropology is a kind of science from another. But there are remarkable resemblances. Both are, in a sense, methods for learning about the nature of human reality. Both ask practitioners to pay attention to the here and now. Both ask us to be accepting of other forms of life. Both recognize that reality changes, and that one of our tasks as human beings is to try to understand those changes and come to terms with them. Drawing on Zen and Anthropological texts, the seminar explores what these different methods teach us about ourselves. Each class begins with a short period of zazen, or sitting meditation. Even years Fall.

ARTS 310: Arts and Ideas: Mind and Place (3-4) (Bares)

ARTS 310: Arts and Ideas: Holocaust and the Arts (3-4) (Chess)

DAN 116: Yoga (4) (Bambara)

Combines a hybrid focus on experiential anatomy useful for dance and somatic knowledge of the body with a slow flow of hatha and vinyasa yoga. Students should expect to learn through practice how yoga asanas and vinyasa are articulated with the breath and with specific alignment. The class will address yogic philosophy and safe practice such as how to heal injuries and practice dance. The course will combine physical, somatic practice with discussions about required readings on anatomy, yogic practices and philosophy. Students will think about their bodies and practices in new ways in reference to in-class reading that addresses the history of yoga, debates about yoga, and cultural context. Fall and Spring.

DAN 120: Somatic Movement Practices I (4) (Packer)

Somatic movement practices teach the body/mind new ways of working together so as to encourage more productive movement, safe practice, experiences of anatomy and stronger more resilient bodies. Since the 1970’s, dance practitioners have incorporated somatics into their technique and this has shifted the way dance is produced and practiced in postmodern dance. This class may cover any range of somatic practices including Feldenkrais, Skinner, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Klein/Mahler. Body-Mind Centering, T’ai Chi, Yoga, Gaga and Alexander techniques. Readings on somatic practices are included, and students are required to analyze their embodied experiences using a variety of methods. Every year.

DAN 220: Somatic Movement Practices II (4) (TBA)

ECON 101: Principles of Microeconomics (3) (Mahoney)

A study of economic aggregates, including interaction of household, business, banking and government sectors; problems of unemployment and inflation; and an introduction to monetary and fiscal policy. No credit given to students who have credit for ECON 201. Fall and Spring.

ECON 102: Principles of Microeconomics (3) (Mahoney)

A study of markets and how prices and output are determined. Topics include market structure, input markets and public policy as it influences economic decisions. No credit given to students who have credit for ECON 200. Fall and Spring.

ECON 450: Seminar in Economics: Happiness and Economics (3) (Mahoney)

A critical examination of primary works that have figured in the development of economic theory and policy. May be taken once or repeated with variable content for a total of 6 hours. Prerequisite: ECON 301 or 302. Fall and Spring.

EDUC 320: Middle School Principles, Practices, and Materials (3) (Ruppert)

Emphasizes the developmental goals of the middle school, curriculum and methods of instruction appropriate for middle-grade students, assessment of student learning, and materials appropriate for middle-grade students. This course includes a literacy component including: adolescent literature, writing in the middle school, and integrating reading strategies into unit designs. Field experience required. Prerequisites: EDUC 210, 211. Fall.

ETHN 100: Introduction to U.S. Ethnic Studies (4) (Jansen)

ENVR 334: Environmental Policy (3) (Eggers)

Environmental legislation and regulation, policy tools, enforcement, current issues and evolution of U.S. environmental policy. Prerequisite: ENVR 130. Fall and Spring.

HWP 250: Health Parity: Domestic and Global Contexts (3) (Batada)

Social inequalities and health disparities at the local, national and international levels will be addressed. Students will explore the social factors that contribute to racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and gender disparities in health and healthcare. This course will strengthen students’ knowledge of the history and causes of health disparities and inequalities and will provide a theoretical grounding that will be applied in the study of practical solutions to eliminate health disparities and achieve health parity around the world. Prerequisite: HWP 190. Spring.

HWP 290: Introduction to Biofeedback (3) (Jones)

Introduces the basics and goals of biofeedback including history, intervention techniques, and analysis of principles and applications. Students also engage in personal biofeedback training. Some course time will be devoted to the underlying principles of neurofeedback. This is not a certification course. Spring.

HWP 315: Stress Management and Optimal Performance (3) (Jones)

Covers the physiological and psychological reactions that make up the response to acute and chronic stress, and more generally explores the integration of our cognitive, behavioral and physiologic systems and the consequences of their lack of integration. The course focuses on critical thought regarding personal and organizational readiness for change, cultural norms, and cognitive-behavioral variables that facilitate health. It addresses optimal performance strategies for choice and change applicable to individuals as well as health care facilitators. Fall.

IST 200: Ideas to Action (2) (Manns)

Students learn how to turn their ideas into plans that can become reality. They will be introduced to entrepreneurship, do a critical analysis of problems and needs, and work in interdisciplinary teams to design ventures. Students will form teams based on their interests, and will receive mentoring from professional entrepreneurs and other community leaders as they create their proposals with a market analysis, impact statement and financials. Students will present their work on-campus and have the opportunity to take their plans to the next level by participating in off-campus events. Fall.

IST 220: Art and Science of Meditation (2) (Mahoney)

Though most often associated with spiritual practice, meditation has long played a role not only in many religious traditions but also in disciplinary traditions from philosophy to biology. With the broad goal of cultivating greater understanding of the diverse contexts and histories of meditation, this course will engage students in critical discourse on individual and interdisciplinary perspectives on meditation, as well as in personal practices to enhance academic and personal learning. As part of this course, students will: read texts that inform and challenge us to think and reflect about meditation; discuss how meditative practices can be incorporated into methodologies of various disciplines and sectors; explore disciplinary perspectives on meditation, from current brain function and health sciences to empathy, sympathy, and compassion toward others in the larger world community. As a way to assimilate knowledge with personal experience, we will engage in individual and group meditative practices throughout the semester. Spring.

LIT 324: American Literary Tradition (4) (Jansen)

The American experience, from the beginning to the present, examined through its literature. Emphasis on major writers. Prerequisite: LIT 240 or permission of instructor. See department chair.

LIT 326: Readings in Fiction (4) (Russell)

An intensive study of fiction and its historical dimensions with emphasis on meaning and techniques as well as research in literature. Prerequisite: LIT 240 or permission of instructor. Fall and Spring.

LIT 327: Readings in Poetry (4) (Chess)

An intensive study of poetry and its historical dimensions with emphasis on meaning and technique as well as research in literature. Prerequisite: LIT 240 or permission of instructor. Fall and Spring.

LIT 328: Ethnic Literatures (4) (Jansen)

Literature from diverse cultures with attention to the representation and expression of identities and cultural differences. A study and exploration of imaginative literature that focuses on the process of knowledge, discernment, and awareness whereby human beings make reasoned decisions based on difference. These courses include but are not limited to the relationships between difference and inequality, exclusion and inclusion, representation, identity, and social, economic, and political power, with lectures, discussions, in-class writing, techniques for drafting, developing, shaping, revising, and editing work, supportive feedback, and individual meetings for the development of significant projects and for the assessment of work, with class time divided accordingly. Thematic focus will vary and may include Asian American, African American, Latino/a, Native American/American, Indian or Jewish literatures. May be repeated once as content varies. Prerequisite: LANG 120. Fall and Spring.

LIT 364: Postcolonial Literature (4) (Jansen)

World literatures with a focus on the historical and continuing effects of colonization. Topics will vary, but may include African, South Asian, Pacific Rim, and Caribbean literatures with attention to themes of race, language, nationalism, empire, education, and the intersections of cultural identities. A study and exploration of imaginative literature that includes lectures, discussions, in-class writing, techniques for drafting, developing, shaping, revising, and editing work, supportive feedback, and individual meetings for the development of significant projects and for the assessment of work. May be repeated once as content varies. Prerequisite: LANG 120. Fall and Spring.

PHIL 217: Buddhist Philosophy (4) (Maitra)

A survey of the main philosophical themes, arguments and analyses presented in the different versions of Buddhism, including Theravada Abhidharma, and Mahayana schools like the Madhyamaka and Zen. Themes included range from contemporary Buddhist topics like socially engaged Buddhism and women in Buddhism to traditional Buddhist themes of contemplation, impermanence and no-abiding-self. Even years Fall.

PHIL 313: Asian Philosophy (4) (Maitra)

A survey of major philosophical ideas and traditions, both classical and contemporary, originating in India and China, and developed generally in Asia. Attention will be given to questions of metaphysics, epistemology and ethics with relation to nature of reality, self and society. Spring.

PSYC 329: Cognitive Psychology (4) (Foo)

Research and theory in cognitive science focusing on the core areas of attention, memory, thinking and reasoning, including perspectives from neuroscience, connectionist models, and artificial intelligence. Topics include the role of attention in perception, the dynamics of human memory, and the role of heuristics of reasoning, judging, and deciding. Laboratory exercises will require collecting and analyzing data from classic experimental tasks addressing sensory memory, selective attention, working memory capacity, and memory bias from stereotypes. Prerequisites: PSYC 100, 201. See department chair.

PSYC 412: Senior Seminar in Psychology: Internship (4) (Himelein)

An in-depth examination of psychological knowledge and/or practice in one of three types of seminars: topical, research, or internship. Prerequisite: Minimum of 85 earned hours to include 24 hours in Psychology. Fall and Spring.

RELS 326: Religion and Dance in South Asia (4) (Zubko)

The performance of religion through focusing on the mythology, ritual, history and aesthetics of Hindu and Muslim storytelling dances. The allied arts of music, theater, and temple sculpture are indispensable aspects included in our inquiry into embodied religion. We will also examine indigenous theories of audience- receptivity, Bollywood adaptions, transnationalism, and Western encounters reflected in photography, literature, and film that illuminate insider/outsider perspectives. The associated lab will include instruction and practice in these dance forms; no previous dance experience is required. See department chair.

RELS 386: Buddhism (4) (Zubko)

A study of the life of the Buddha and his teachings as they influenced and transformed the cultures of South and Southeast Asia, China, and Japan. Topics include meditation, gender, “socially engaged Buddhism” and Buddhist views on ecology, war, and human rights. Spring.