Fall 2016 Course Descriptions

Hutchins' Upper Division major requirement consists of 40 units and includes the introductory courses LIBS 302 (for new Hutchins Transfer students), LIBS 205 (offered in the Fall semester), and LIBS 209 (offered in the Spring semester). These classes are generally taken in a student's first year in the Hutchins program.

LIBS 320 classes are elective seminars, and are classified in one of four Core sections—A: Society and Self, B: Individual and the Material World, C: Human Experience and the Arts, and D: Consciousness and Reality. Please note that the Core classes are grouped together in this document after all non-Core classes, rather than being listed in numeric order.

Upper Division Classes:

 


LIBS 205: CULTURES OF US CAPITALISM (4 units)

4202

F

1:00 - 4:40pm

Dr. Stephanie Dyer

Ives 101

The course theme for this semester is to identify and question the values and ethics that have structured market society in the United States past and present. The goal is to understand the causes and consequences of the economic difficulties and opportunities facing diverse Americans, and the lived experience of life in American capitalist culture.  We will familiarize ourselves with major theories and cultural perspectives on the capitalist system, from the free market to neoliberalism; read literary representations of upward mobility, class conflict, and how diverse Americans have navigated power conflicts between the state and the corporation; and consider meaningful ways of living, working, and consuming in a globalized economic world dominated by commodities and marketplace definitions of self-worth. This course will fulfill G.E. area C2. 

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LIBS 302: INTRODUCTION TO LIBERAL STUDIES (3 units)

2077

M

1:00 - 3:40pm

Dr. Francisco Vazquez

Carson 34

1729

W

1:00 - 3:40pm

Dr. Janet Hess

Carson 52

1730

TU

4:00 - 6:40pm

Staff

Carson 55


An interdisciplinary "gateway course" examining the meaning of
a liberal education, emphasizing seminar skills, oral and written communication, and introducing the Hutchins Portfolio. Successful completion of LIBS 302 is required to continue in the Hutchins program. Students earning a grade lower than a C will not be allowed to continue in Hutchins. [top]

LIBS 327: LITERACY,LANGUAGE AND PEDAGOGY (3 units)

1755

TH

1:00 - 3:40pm

Ianthe Brautigan Swensen

Green Music Center Building 1058

1998

TH

4:00 - 6:40pm

Ianthe Brautigan Swensen

Stevenson Hall 3082


This course for pre-credential multiple subject students looks at the importance of literacy and language arts in the contemporary world, including the value of wiriting and literature in the classroom, as well as the significance of literacy as a broader educational and social issue. Students will develop a pedagogy of grammar, examine the use of literature and the written word in the classroom, and create and teach a classroom grammar lesson. [top]

LIBS 330: THE CHILD IN QUESTION (3 units)

4072

TU

9:00-11:40am

Dr. Wendy Ostroff

Carson 20

 

A close inspection of child development and elementary school pedagogy, emphasizing relevant social and cultural factors as well as major theoretical views of physical, emotional, and personality growth. Subjective views of childhood experience will be contrasted with observations. Readings from Erikson, Freud, Hall, Goodall, and others.

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LIBS 390: INDEPENDENT FILM STUDY (1-2 units)

Dr. Ajay Gehlawat

Consent of instructor required


Students will attend Sonoma Film Institute (SFI) screenings or other film-related lectures or events on campus. Students will earn 1 unit of credit for every 6 film screenings attended.  Students are also required to submit a written film analysis following each film screening.  Students must consult with their advisor to enroll in this independent study option.  Students enrolling in this course must have completed LIBS 320C "Intro to Film Studies/Film Theory and Narrative." GE subarea: C1

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LIBS 396: FIELD STUDY (1-4 units)

Contract Course

Must use form to register

Consent of instructor required


Field Study for juniors and seniors is a project conducted outside of the University classroom setting that is taken for credit/no credit. It may include work that is literaly outside in the field, or other hands on experience (e.g., a research study). Field Study projects are co-designed by a student and a sponsoring faculty member; or a faculty member may design a proect, with student participation soliticed. A student consults with a faculty member on the project and develops a plan of study including number of units, project outcomes, number of meetings with the faculty sponsor, and deadline for completion. A Project Contract is submitted to Admissions and Records after the beginning of the semester and before the last day to add classes. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: LIBS 101-202 or 302 and consent of instructor. [top]
LIBS 402: SENIOR SYNTHESIS (4 units)

1834

M

4:00 - 6:40pm

Margaret Anderson

Carson 20


A capstone course required for the Hutchins major. Drawing on the papers collected for his or her portfolio, the student prepares a major paper and a Senior Project synthesizing aspects of that individual’s own intellectual development. Each student makes an oral presentation of his or her project at the end of the semester. Must be taken in the student’s final semester in the Major. [top]

LIBS 403: SENIOR SYNTHESIS - STUDY AWAY (4 units)

Dr. Janet Hess

Consent of instructor required


A capstone course required for the Hutchins major. Drawing on the papers collected for his or her portfolio, the student prepares a major paper synthesizing aspects of that individual’s own intellectual development. This is done in a study away situation. Also available for students choosing a minor in Hutchins. [top]
LIBS 410: INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-4 units)

Contract Course

Must use form to register

Consent of instructor required


Independent Study is an individualized program of study taken for a letter grade with a Hutchins faculty sponsor who is willing to supervise it. A student consults with a faculty member on a topic, develops a plan of study, including number of units, project outcomes, number of meetings with the faculty and deadline for completion. A Project Contract is submitted to Admissions and Records after the beginning of the semester and before the last day to add classes. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: LIBS 101-202 or 302 and consent of instructor. [top]
LIBS 480: TEACHING ASSISTANT - SEMINAR FACILITATION (1-3 units)

Contract Course

Must use form to register

Consent of instructor required


This course provides students with an opportunity to enhance their facilitation skills through serving as a seminar leader in large lecture/discussion courses. Requires the consent of instructor.
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LIBS 499: INTERNSHIP (1-5 units)

Contract Course

Must use form to register

Consent of instructor required


All students develop an internship working outside the classroom. Students also prepare a portfolio project based upon a larger topic implicit in their internship. They participate with other interns in an internship class once a week to discuss their internship experience and issues related to the larger society. Grade only. [top]

CORE A OFFERINGS 

Courses in this area address the following issues and themes:

  • Problems and possibilities before us at the start of a new century as we move toward a genuinely global culture.
  • The relationship between the individual and all kinds of human groups, the context of human interaction in which the individual finds many of the dimensions of the self.
  • Ideas, attitudes, and beliefs that flow between society and the individual and which result in the political and economic arrangements that make life-in-common possible.
  • Historical and economic developments, geographical facts, analytical models, and moral questions necessary to understand the dynamics of individuals and their communities.
  • Moral and ethical underpinnings of our patterns of social interaction and how these affect issues such as race, gender, and class.
  • Questions concerning whether the goals of human dignity, political justice, economic opportunity, and cultural expression are being enhanced or destroyed by specific historical developments, cultural practices, economic arrangements, or political institutions. For example: How, in the face of that compelling force, do we shape the kind of society that values and protects the individual? How do we become the kinds of individuals who understand and help foster the just society?
LIBS 320A.1: IS POWER THE ULTIMATE APHRODISIAC (3 units)

1745

W

4:00 - 6:40pm

Dr. Francisco Vazquez

Carson 34


Can we make sense of what is going on and how did we get to this point not only in the world but also in our everyday lives? What is the nature of “soft” or hegemonic power (the kind of power we love even though it dominates and exploits us)? How can we understand the status of democracy in the current global political and economic situation? We address these questions by focusing on the film essays of the interdisciplinary English documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis. This course will examine in detail his ideas and arguments at the heart of The Century of the Self documentary, which attempts to draw together the streams of capitalism, democracy and the media spectacle as a grand collusion in contemporary Western culture and how he develops this theme in the subsequent The Power of Nightmares, The Trap, and the Living Dead.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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LIBS 320A.2: HIVE MIND: THE GATHERED SELF (3 units)

1746

TH

4:00 - 6:40pm

Staff

Carson 55


This course examines the many ways in which groups of individuals can act in coordination as one organism, a so-called "vivisystem" with emergent properties that render the whole much more than the sum of its parts. The class will consider how the collective actions of complex biological and social systems challenge binaristic notions of the individual vs. the group. Students will work up case studies illustrating and examining concepts such as the transfer of individual will to the common good, and how social change is made possible by group efforts. Potential topics to be considered during the semester include the Occupy movement, group think, mob mentality, mass hysteria, biological quora, PACs, labor unions, murmurations, flocks, bait balls, the cloud, AI, demonstrations, megachurches, symphonies and soloists, etc. Western post-Enlightenment notions of a self-determining, unified and unique lyrical "I" will be problematized as the individual is positioned within a larger system that itself acts as a singular "superorganism".

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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LIBS 320A.3: WOMEN OF COLOR IN THE US (3 units)

1798

M

4:00 - 6:40pm

Dr. Hilda Mercedes Romero

TBA

 

This course offers an interdisciplinary study of the economic, political, social, and historical impact and experiences of women of color in the U.S. Via a range of texts and archives, including literature, poetry, film, and music, we will consider new imaginaries, and the formation of liberation movements, methods, theories, and coalitions against the politics of discrimination and incarceration.​

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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CORE B OFFERINGS

Courses in this area address the following issues and themes:

  • Science and technology and their relationships to the individual and society.
  • The methods of science and important information that has been discovered through their applications.
  • Some of the crucial issues posed by our cultureís applications of science and technology and, adversely, the cultural consequences of a materialist world view.
  • How science and technology impact all areas of our lives.
  • How, for better and for worse, as inheritors of the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, we intervene in our material world technologically.
  • Scientific aspects of particular social issues, or an issue of personal concern, the sense of science as a social endeavor.
  • The values implicit in a particular technology.
LIBS 320B.1: THE WEB OF LIFE (3 units)

1660

TH

9:00 - 11:40am

Dr. Debora Hammond

Carson 59


This course will be about understanding interactions and relationships, between all aspects of our lives as humans on planet earth. This includes technological dimensions; social, political and economic dimensions; ecological dimensions; psychological and interpersonal dimensions; and spiritual dimensions. How do we understand our own identity in the midst of the profound changes taking place in our world, much less navigate our way through these raging torrents. Using Fritjof Capra's text, The Systems View of Life, as a foundation, this course will explore the emergence of new paradigms in science and philosophy, which provide alternative, more holistic approaches to understanding the complexities of life in the 21st century. We will look at some basic systems in exploring these ideas - food, water, climate, money, education, etc. - and examine the ways in which they are all interconnected. Ultimately this will foster an appreciation for our interdependence as members of a planetary community. Students will have an opportunity to do their own in-depth research on a system of their choice.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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LIBS 320B.2: INTERSECTIONS OF ART AND SCIENCE (3 units)

1775

MW

10:45am - 12:00pm

Russell Scarola

Carson 25

Deeply emotional, naturally curious, ever inventive! At present, we humans live in a world of ever expanding technology, a world filled with both wonder at what we can accomplish and a growing apprehension over the long term effects our actions are already having on people and planet. The more voices and viewpoints present to help guide our human ingenuity, the better and more equitable those solutions will be! As citizens of the world, how well trained are we to participate in discussing these modern techno-ethical dilemmas? How does the way we teach science create barriers to inclusion? How do the approaches of science and art differ (and overlap!) and how each be used to enhance the other's ability to share knowledge, process our emotions, and strive for more sustainable innovations? In short, how can art help inform a greater cultural consciousness and in what ways can improved science literacy lead to a greater understanding of our potential to be designers of self, neighborhood, and world?

Whoa big words! Really, this is a highly experiential class. With the understanding that you "haven't learned something until you've created with it," each week we'll take all those big ideas above and ground them a series of arts-integrated "mini-labs" at the boundaries of Art and Science. It'll be Monday discussions and then Wednesdays we play! Throughout the course, our readings and projects will include forays into film, graphic novels, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, basic science, and physical interactive art. Your final project will either take the form of an individual creative endeavor OR we have the option to work together and design an exhibit for the Children's Museum in Santa Rosa.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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CORE C OFFERINGS

Courses in this area address the following issues and themes:

  • Why humans create literature, epics, poetry, drama, and other literary forms, the visual arts, languages, architecture, music, dance, the writings of philosophers, and the thought and literature of the worldís religions.
  • The inner world of creativity and individual values as well as the questions about how we arrive at a sense of meaning and purpose, ethical behavior, and a sense of beauty and order in the world.
  • Deep and significant aspects of ourselves which may otherwise remain obscure and therefore troubling.
  • Important questions - and occasional answers - about life and death, about feelings, and about the ways we see things.
  • The metaphors that help us recognize and become aware of the interrelations of all the areas of inquiry humanity has developed.
  • Images from which we may learn about our reality or realities of other times.
  • Creative and intuitive thinking processes that lead to an understanding of the aesthetic experience.
  • How the arts can be an end in themselves, as well as a means to an end.
LIBS 320C.1: STARDOM AND CINEMA: SRK (3 units)

1709

W

4:00 - 6:40pm

Dr. Ajay Gehlawat

Carson 33

 

If you Google 'most popular actor in the world', the name that invariably appears at or near the top of the list is neither Tom Cruise nor Brad Pitt but Shah Rukh Khan, aka SRK. At the same time, most people in the US have never even heard of his name. Thus this course will have the dual aim of analyzing stardom in cinema and using SRK as the lens through which we grapple with this concept. Drawing upon a range of readings spanning and crossing disciplines, and incorporating frequent film screenings, we will use the filmic career of SRK to develop a more nuanced understanding of stardom as, among other things, a product of mass culture, an individual marketing device and a signifying system that is closely linked to notions of national and transnational culture, identity and desire. Students will use these explorations to develop their own research topics, leading to a final paper.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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LIBS 320C.2: A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF ART HISTORY (3 units)

1710

TU

1:00 - 3:40pm

Dr. Janet Hess

Carson 52


This course will examine the history of art produced by the majority of the American people, and often overlooked in histories of art: American Indian art and African American art. Music and dance, painting and sculpture, oral and written literature, and photography and cinema will be discussed in the context of theoretical paradigms related to historical experiences, including African antecedents, the Middle Passage and the wider Diaspora. Particular attention will be paid to the legal and social conditions of cultural discourses, to the expression of resistance and counter-narratives in the African American community, and to the status of African American art as—in the words of the African and diasporic historian Robert Farris Thompson—"a triumph of creative will over the forces of destruction." We will examine the commodification of the Native American through the study of white shamanism, local (California) cultures and "traditional" Native American cultures of interest to you, the historical burden of cultural genocide, the construction of the Native American in Hollywood cinema, and Native American counternarratives in cinema, literature, and art. Art produced by women has been neglected in art history, and this course will focus upon the contributions of women within a range of cultures.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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LIBS 320C.3: CONTEMPORARY LITERATURES (3 units)

1776

W

1:00 - 3:40pm

Dr. Hilda Mercedes Romero

TBA

 

What is the relationship between 21st century literatures and histories of the present? What can a focus on contemporary cultural forms and social content teach us about representations of common experience, good citizens, power, and everyday change, from the aftermath of protest and racialized domestic violences, to wars of empire, and global un/natural disaster? How do recent literary works create contemporary cultures, social and political order and achieve commercial and aesthetic value? In this course students will think about the dynamic relationship between literature and sociohistorical context in texts published in English over the last five years, including works by Louise Erdrich, Jesmyn Ward, and Phil Kay.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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CORE D OFFERINGS

Courses in this area address the following issues and themes:

  • Reality as a result of many factors, some of them psychological, some biological, some philosophical, some social and the many aspects of being or existence as reaching from the physical to the metaphysical.
  • Consciousness as, somehow, the result of our gender, our ethnicity, our health, the ways in which we were reared, the social stratum in which we find ourselves, the beliefs that were engendered in us, and other factors.
  • Consciousness as occurring across a spectrum of potentials (conscious/unconscious, rational/irrational, egocentric/transpersonal, masculine/feminine) that influence our personal and collective realities.
  • Human needs at various levels of emotional, religious or spiritual, intellectual, and transpersonal or universal disciplines, practices, and experiences.
  • One of the major concerns of people in all places at all times has been: what are the components of being human?
  • The range of answers which are sometimes perplexingly inconsistent with one another, and yet their very divergence itself suggests something about the powerful complexity of the human individual.
  • The study of biology as it relates to psychology, and consciousness as it affects and is affected by perceptions of reality.
  • Meaning-making as a necessary human achievement, and identity formation as it is understood in the light of developmental psychology and the nature-nurture controversy.
LIBS 320D.1: DEATH, DYING AND BEYOND (3 units)

1739

W

1:00 - 3:40pm

Dr. Eric McGuckin

Carson 61


"I don't want to achieve immortality through great works. I want to achieve it through not dying." - Woody Allen.

Confronting death can bring us fully to life. This course will examine biological dying, the sociology and psychology of death, and the spiritual dimensions of passing beyond through literature, art, film medicine, guided meditations, and humor. Written and experiential assignments will engage our analytic, creative, and spiritual minds. This course may be emotionally challenging. Field trips to be arranged.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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LIBS 320D.2: MIGRANTS AND CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN CINEMA (3 units)

1740

M

1:00 - 3:40pm

Dr. Ajay Gehlawat

Carson 33


This course will examine the recent European migrant crisis and the representation of migrants in European cinema, in light of contemporary events and cultural shifts and their subsequent reshaping of the European landscape. Applying a multidisciplinary and cross-cultural approach, this course will look at the films of directors such as Michael Haneke, Fatih Akin and the Dardenne brothers, in order to develop an understanding of the political and cultural dynamics of contemporary European cinemas and societies, including those of the UK, France, Germany and Belgium. Along with frequent film screenings and seminar discussions, students will engage in their own research on course-related themes, culminating in a brief final paper.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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LIBS 320D.3: SEX IN THE MIND, SEX IN THE BODY (3 units)

1820

TH

1:00-3:40pm

Dr. Daniel Lanza Rivers

Carson 55


Drawing on a set of foundational of texts from philosophy, psychoanalysis, history of science, cultural theory, and gender and sexuality studies, this course will approach sex and sexuality as existential phenomena that emerge at the nexus of the body and the mind, structuring individuals' quest for meaning over the course of minutes, hours, months, and even entire lifetimes. In an attempt to engage more deeply with the scientific and cultural theories that underpin this course, our weekly readings will read theories of sexuality in relief to creative works, including memoir, theater, film, comics, art, music, and documentary. Topics of study for this course will include the psychology of sexual fantasy and perversion; the sexual physiology of pleasure, health, and reproduction; cultural notions of obscenity, fidelity, and virtue; and creative expressions of sexual identity, behavior, and community. In addition to responding to weekly readings in writing, students will be asked to reflect on narratives that have shaped their understanding of sex and sexuality, and the course will culminate with an opportunity for critical and creative reflection on an aspect of the relationship between sex, identity, and the human experience.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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