Spring 2016 Course Descriptions

Hutchins' Upper Division major requirement consists of 40 units and includes the introductory courses LIBS 302 (for new Hutchins Transfer students) and LIBS 204 (offered in the Fall semester) and LIBS 208 (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.

Revised 11/12/2015

Upper Division Classes:

LIBS 208: PRACTICES OF CULTURE (4 units)  

3793

F

1:00-4:40PM

Dr. Eric McGuckin

Ives 101

This course surveys practices of culture through film and/or the visual arts, raising critical questions regarding the intersections of socio-cultural practices and the creative arts in a variety of geographical settings. Topics include artistic and documentary representations of self and other, global politics, popular cultures, and cross-cultural challenges.

[Top]

LIBS 302: INTRODUCTION TO LIBERAL STUDIES (3 units)  
1775
T

9:00-11:40pm

Staff

Carson 38

An interdisciplinary 'gateway course' examining the meaning of a liberal education, emphasizing seminar skills, oral and written communication, and introducing the Portfolio. It is taken with LIBS 204/205 or 208/209 in the first semester of upper-division study. (These are the prerequisites for all upper-division Hutchins courses.) Successful completion of LIBS 302 is required to continue in the Hutchins program. Students must earn a grade of C or higher to continue in Hutchins.

[Top]

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

1944

TH

1:00-3:40pm

Ianthe Brautigan Swensen

Carson 20

2077

TH

4:00-6:40pm

Ianthe Brautigan Swensen

Carson 68

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 writing 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)  

3821

TH

9:00-11:40am

Dr. Wendy Ostroff

Ives 79

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.

[Top]

 
LIBS 341: ZEPHYR PUBLICATION (1 Unit)  

1975

W

12:00-12:50pm

Dr. Heidi LaMoreaux

Carson 35

In this course we will be putting together a volume of Zephyr, the Hutchins Literary Journal. Students will create the thematic structure and recruit written and visual work from the entire Hutchins Community (including Lower- and Upper-Division students, faculty, staff, Degree Completion students, Masters students and alumni). Students will also make all decisions regarding selection and editing, as well as organization and layout. The semester will culminate with the publication and distribution of Zephyr and the organization of a public reading for the Hutchins community.

[Top]

 
LIBS 342: HUTCHINS COMMUNITY ART SHOW (1 Unit)  

3745

M

12:00-12:50pm

Dr. Heidi LaMoreaux

Carson 35

This course will give students a forum to create a Hutchins Community Art Showing. During class time, students will choose the dates and venue for the art showing, secure the necessary venue, publicize the event, create a call for entries, process the entries, decide which entries will be shown, hang show, plan and conduct reception, take down show. This course may be repeated for credit.

[Top]

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

2278

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 or currently be enrolled in LIBS 320C, "Intro to Film Studies/Film Theory and Narrative."

GE subarea: C1

[Top]

 
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)  

1917

W

1:00-3:40pm

Dr. Janet Hess

Arts 108

2147

M

4:00-6:40pm

Margaret Anderson

Stevenson 3008

The Senior Synthesis is a capstone course that builds upon the work you have collected in your Hutchins Portfolio and provides an opportunity for you to focus upon an interdisciplinary topic of particular value and interest to you. The course will consist almost entirely of group work aimed at helping you focus your thinking and will provide a supportive context for undertaking your senior project, which is a major piece of research, thinking and writing.

[Top]

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

1748

Dr. Heidi LaMoreaux

Consent of department 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 302 and consent of instructor..

[Top]

 
LIBS 480: TEACHING ASSISTANT - SEMINAR FACILITATOR (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.

[Top]

 
LIBS 499: INTERNSHIP (1-4 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: CITIES, SUBURBS, AND VULNERABILITY  

1795

T

1:00 - 3:40pm

Dr. Hilda Mercedes Romero

Stevenson 3077

How is collective life imagined at sub/urban landscapes? In this course we will explore the intersections of social processes and place-making practices. We will consider forms of everyday urban and suburban life, the changing geographies of social difference (race, gender, class, and sexuality), and the implications of the built environment across a range of cultural texts. Texts include critical essays on fortification and vulnerability, poetry, documentary and feature films, short stories by Edward P. Jones, and plays by Lorraine Hansberry and Bruce Norris.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202.
[Top]

 
LIBS 320A.2: SHOP 'TIL YOU DROP  

2085

T

4:00 - 6:40pm

Dr. Stephanie Dyer

Carson 44B

This seminar will examine interdisciplinary perspectives on consumer culture from the late 19th century to the present. We will explore different theories of consumption; the major structures of consumerism such as “economies of scale,” cheap labor, discount pricing, credit, branding, advertising, and retail spaces; and the lived experience of consumer culture in terms of its impact on our families and communities, our environment, and ourselves. Special attention will be paid to how race, gender, age, and class have affected the experience of diverse peoples in American consumer culture. As seminar participants, we will also reflect about our own place in the American political economy, examining our own experiences in comparison to those we have read about in seminar and considering how to achieve more ethical forms of consumption.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
[Top]

 
LIBS 320A.3: ALCOHOLIC REPUBLIC  

1906

W

4:00 - 6:40pm

Dr. Stephanie Dyer

Carson 44B

This course will examine alcohol consumption in American culture, past and present. We will examine the production, distribution, and marketing of alcoholic beverages to the consuming public; the changing political-economic context of alcohol consumption before, during, and after national Prohibition; evolving social practices around alcohol, including addiction, binge drinking, moderation, and sobriety; alcohol's role in status consumption and food tourism; and the effects of alcohol consumption on individuals, families, communities, and institutions.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
[Top]

 
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 culture's 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: ECOLOGY AND CULTURE  

1693

M

4:00-6:40pm

Dr. Mutombo Mpanya

Carson 37

Environmental issues such as the loss of rain forest and biological diversity, the depletion of the ozone layer, and toxic waste are related to the use of modern technology and to a certain sense of human and economic progress. A discussion of these issues is essential to a new understanding of the relationship between the physical environment, the cultures of the world and the modern development project. Equally important is the question of how some traditional cultures around the world have related to their ecological environments in ways that were less destructive, with a sense of balance and sustainability.

This course will provide an overview of the basic elements of ecology and cultural strategies used by traditional societies in their relationship to their environmental contexts. We also examine the impact of modern technology on these societies and discuss the cultural value of “progress.” The focus will be on specific case studies from a variety of cultures involving different sectors such as hunting and gathering, animal husbandry, agriculture, and housing in different areas of the world. Students will learn about the impact of modernization on diverse societies. The class will engage in lively discussion with a view towards understanding the ecological context of the 21st century. Students will address the issues of sustainability from a diverse range of cultural and ecological perspectives. Topics will include ecological principles, environmental ethics, technological practices, and development policies.

Prerequisite:LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
[Top]

 
LIBS 320B.2: SCIENCE AND STORYTELLING  

1694

W

4:00-6:40pm

Dr. Mutombo Mpanya

Carson 37

The application of science to technology has a significant impact on the evolution of modern societies. Often this impact can be perceived as positive and even liberating, with a perception that scientific methodology guarantees ultimate and universal truth. Some claim that science is neutral and cannot be blamed for the lack of human wisdom which leads to negative social and ecological consequences. Others react to science with a deep sense of distrust. In this course, students will explore the relationship between specific scientific theories and the sociohistorical contexts from which they were generated. We will examine the observations behind these theories and discuss existing popular beliefs surrounding them.

Students will learn about scientific methodologies and the problems and issues that led to the formulation of current scientific thinking about classical physics, relativity, quantum mechanics, string theory, genetics and evolution.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
[Top]

 
LIBS 320B.3: CRYPTIDS: FACT AND FICTION  

2078

TH

1:00-3:40pm

Dr. Heidi LaMoreaux

Carson 35

In this class we will study the science/pseudoscience of "cryptozoology" – the study of hidden animals like Bigfoot, the yeti and the Loch Ness Monster (Nessie). The course will begin by studying why humans invent/need "monsters," and the relationship between "skepticism" (show me the body) and "wonder" (I hope these monsters exist). Each student will research various cryptids and our research will create a website. To aid in this research, the class will create two "believability scales" to assess the quality of evidence – one scale for direct/scientific evidence and one scale for indirect/eyewitness evidence. Cryptids to be discussed and researched include ape-beasts (Bigfoot, the yeti, skunk apes, etc.), sea monsters (the Kraken, etc.), lake monsters (Nessie, etc.), dinosaurs and reptilian beasts, air monsters & Chupacabras, wolf-beasts and hybrids, human monsters, and monsters in popular culture. An art project and research projects will be required. A field trip on a weekend day may also be required.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
[Top]

 
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 world's 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: INTRODUCTION TO FILM STUDIES  

2079

w

9:00-11:40am

Dr. Ajay Gehlawat

Carson 20

This course will explore film as a storytelling medium, as well as the unique ways in which this medium has been and continues to be used by filmmakers around the world. Moving chronologically, we will examine a variety of narrative film forms, including the classical Hollywood style, innovations within this form, as well as multiple, international alternatives from the 1960s up to the present. Through frequent film screenings and readings in film theory, psychoanalysis, semiotics and cultural theory, students will develop a basic understanding of film language as well as a deeper understanding of how films operate, how they create meaning, and how we, as viewers, participate in this process. This course fulfills part of the Core requirement for the new Film Studies minor. Students taking this course may also concurrently enroll in an Independent Film Study (LIBS 390) for 1-2 additional units, if they so desire.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
[Top]

 
LIBS 320C.2: BARBIES  

1992

M

1:00-3:40pm

Dr. Janet Hess

Carson 52

In Western society the Barbie is an icon of feminine sexuality, a site simultaneously of innocence and desire, commodification and psychological projection, the fetishization of gender ideals and the construction and perpetuation of the feminine "mystique." What is the power of Barbie? Why do we adore her? How do we resolve the apparent conflict between damage and play/desire? Does Barbie reveal, as her creator Ruth Handler argues, "the endless possibilities available [to young girls] . . . encouraging them to actively use their imagination" to interpret the adult world and "work through growing up to explore their dreams and their future?" Or do Barbies replicate an oppressive gender hierarchy?

In this class we will explore these and other questions, using Barbie as an opportunity to explore the manner in which gender is constructed, commodified, and disseminated, the role of play in indoctrination and social formation, and the power of individual agency and resistance discourse in interrupting fixed social and political narratives. We will also consider the possibility of Barbie as a phenomenon beyond assessments of "good" or "bad"--as a performance phenomenon beyond irony, open to our own interpretation, objective, and desire.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
[Top]

 
LIBS 320C.3: LATINO/A LITERATURES  

2214

T

9:00-11:40Am

Dr. Mercy Romero

Carson 60

In this seminar we will study short fiction, poetry, performance, and film. We will focus on how these contemporary literary and visual texts negotiate the boundaries of language and genre to imagine diverse Latin@ experiences in the hemispheric Americas, as well as shared histories of colonialism and racialization. Of particular interest are health, dis/ease, and the disruptions of migration at their intersection with race, gender, and sexuality.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
[Top]

 
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.2: INNER GEOGRAPHIES  
1791

TH

4:00-6:40pm

Dr. Heidi LaMoreaux

Carson 35

In this class, we will look at the connections between the personal and the geographic. This course will examine the self and our personal histories using the ideas, tools, and methods commonly used in geography – including mapping, coring, pattern analysis, and spatial analysis. This class will use both writing and artistic techniques to examine ideas of space and place, and to create a series of maps of our interior and exterior worlds. We will also use geomorphic process concepts like erosion, sedimentation, and geologic history as metaphors to examine the internal and external forces that have molded us into the person we are. We will seminar on these ideas and create weekly projects to share in class. A paper and/or project, which will be largely autobiographical, will be required at the end of the semester. At least one weekend field trip may also be required.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
[Top]

 
LIBS 320D.3: ABSURDITY AND MEANINGLESSNESS  

1914

T

9:00-11:40pm

Dr. Wendy Ostroff

Carson 37

Life might be without inherent meaning or it might be without a meaning we can understand. Either way, human desires for logic and immortality are futile. Between this yearning for eternal truth and the actual condition of the universe there is a gap that can never be filled. We are forced to define our own meanings, knowing they might be temporary. In this course we will approach the absurdist and existential dilemmas of human existence. We will attempt to describe our desire to make rational decisions despite existing in an irrational universe. We will examine free will, choice, personal responsibility and the search for order that brings us into direct conflict with nature. But be assured: all will not break down into chaos; our experience of the absurd and consciousness of death will be the proof of our uniqueness as well as the foundation of dignity and freedom. We will revolt against tomorrow and as such come to terms with the present moment.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
[Top]

 
LIBS 320D.4: DOCUMENTARY ETHICS AND AESTHETIC  

2238

F

9:00-11:40pm

Dr. Ajay Gehlawat

Carson 33

This course will provide an historical overview of the documentary film, even as it explores how documentary films and filmmaking practices have evolved over the years. Beginning in the early twentieth century, we will examine a wide range of approaches to documentary filmmaking, including cinema verite, narrational documentary, investigative documentary, as well as other hybrid forms that often directly challenge earlier forms. Along with paying close attention to the formal components of these films, this course will examine the underlying ethical issues informing these works (and their aesthetic strategies), as well as gauge the positioning of filmmakers in relation to their subjects. This course will count for elective credit towards the new Film Studies minor.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
[Top]