REL 269
Mindfulness Examined: Meditation, Emotion, and Affective Neuroscience Fall 2023
Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed ASIA 269 / STS 269 / ANTH 269
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

This course asks students to practice and study mindfulness while observing their own minds, emotions, and behavior for an entire semester. We examine the historic roots and current applications of mindfulness, both as a Buddhist meditation practice as well as a secular tool to improve our awareness of awareness. Throughout, we are interested in the nexus of mind, brain, and emotions and the ways that mindfulness has been studied within contemplative and affective neuroscience, integrative neurobiology, and evolutionary psychology. How and why has the research on mindfulness and other meditative practices exploded since 2000? How has this research helped us understand and explain how our minds as well as brains shape everyday emotions and behaviors? We examine the ways evolutionary psychologists, clinical psychiatrists, neuroscientists, clinicians, and medical anthropologists have studied and applied mindfulness to better understand human emotions. We consider the applications of mindfulness for clinicians, therapists, and educators–all of whom attend to how emotions impact interpersonal relationships. We will train in a variety of meditation practices all semester, while learning to better appreciate our own minds, emotions, and relationships.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1749
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly tutorial papers and discussion
Prerequisites: A prior class or some experience with meditation is recommended
Enrollment Preferences: ANTH, SOC, REL, ASST majors; PHLH, STS concentrators; seniors and juniors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ASIA 269 Division II STS 269 Division II REL 269 Division II ANTH 269 Division II
WS Notes: This class will involve weekly tutorial essays or oral responses, intensive written feedback on every essay, and a mid-semester 'writing chat' with the instructor.
DPE Notes: This class fulfills the Difference, Power, and Equity requirement because it will explore the ways that mindfulness can address the growing epidemic of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues we find in the US today. We study mindfulness from an intersectional perspective and relate its benefits to intersecting inequities and intergenerational trauma in the US today.
Attributes: GBST South + Southeast Asia Studies
PHLH Social Determinants of Health

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