RCAH111- Writing Transcultural Contexts
Section 001 (Aronoff) | M W 10:20 a.m. - 11:40 a.m.
Telling Stories: Composing Knowledges in Transcultural Contexts
In this section of RCAH 111, we will focus on the connection between culture and “storytelling,” broadly conceived. That is, we will examine the ways in which culture shapes the ways we perceive the world around us, and how we organize those perceptions into oral and written narratives – be they what we conventionally would call “stories” like personal narratives, myths or novels, or other genres like scientific, academic or philosophical writing, each with their own generic rules for the “stories” they tell. Drawing primarily on short stories and novels, we will be particularly interested in what happens when different “cultures,” or ways of knowing and writing, collide, clash or mix, in a process we will call “transculturation.” In what ways, we will ask, does “culture” provide us with narratives, patterns, genres, through which we “shape” our experience into something meaningful? In what ways do we deploy, bend, mix these “stories”? If culture might be defined as a shared system of meanings through which one interprets the world, in what ways might the classroom constitute “a culture,” and what kinds of “stories” are employed therein? In what ways are cultural “ways of knowing” embodied in (or constituted by, or complicated through) different genres of writing? What do each of these ways of knowing/writing/storytelling reveal or enable us to see, and what might they leave out? In what ways can certain kinds of writing or storytelling be seen as the mixing of, or struggle between, multiple systems of meaning or cultures? Possible course texts include Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony and/or Art Spiegelman’s Maus.
Section 002 (Sheridan) | M W 10:20 a.m. - 11:40 a.m.
Transculturation in Michigan
This class will investigate narratives of transculturation in Michigan, including stories set in Detroit, Benton Harbor, the Upper Peninsula, and mid-Michigan. These stories will help launch conversations about the challenges that emerge when diverse cultural groups come into contact. As a class, we will write about/against/in-response-to these narratives, producing a wide range of compositions, from analytical essays to multimedia projects.
Section 003 (Jackson) | M W 12:40 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Race, Rhetoric, and the Arts of Resistance
In this section of RCAH 111, we will explore the role that rhetoric plays within popular struggles for racial, social, and economic justice. Our task this semester is three-fold: we will 1) explore the intersecting rhetorics of race, class, and gender; 2) examine the role that writing has played in re-inscribing or resisting existing power relations in society; and 3) experiment with various modes of argumentation (from academic essays, dialogic journal writing, individual and group presentations, poetry, and visual art), writing in various genres or styles for multiple audiences and different rhetorical situations.
Section 004 (Birdsall) | M W 12:40 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Producing Culture: Individuals Making Communities
This course will explore how we interpret contemporary culture (individually and collectively), how cultural ideas and ideals are communicated and disseminated, and how individuals form communities, and sometimes subcultures, based on their interpretations. We will investigate the distinction between “high” and “low” culture, in order to interrogate how the two terms are used in an ongoing debate about the meaning of contemporary culture in the United States—about, say, the way media interpret daily events, the quality of popular tastes, and how various kinds of media—including online social networks, advertising, film, music, TV, and literature—collide to make meaning in our daily lives. We will work together to explore how such subjects as new media, generational differences, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, education, style, storytelling, work, and writing collide to tell the story of contemporary American culture in its myriad individual and collective forms.
Throughout, we will pay special attention to the ways in which reading (and writing) popular culture can help us to understand real-world problems. We will investigate the roles that various forms of cultural expression play in provoking and promoting social evolution, and the roles that we play in creating and consuming these forms. We will begin with deceptively simple questions: what is culture? How do individual stories come together to create a sense of culture, in both its mainstream and subcultural incarnations? What do these stories look like in their various forms? What role does the production and consumption of popular media play in developing a sense of self? A sense of community? What ethical stakes lie in the answers to these questions?
Section 005 (Scales) | M W 3:00 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.
Indigenous Music and Dance in a Transcultural Perspective
For many North American indigenous groups, music and dance are central aspect of cultural life, playing an important role in religious ceremony, sacred and secular ritual events, artistic expression, and popular entertainment. Students will learn about a number of the various musical traditions in Native North America through study of both historical and contemporary written texts and recorded performances, as well as through first hand musical participation. Topics of study will include the relationship between music and other facets of social life, including work, religion, family, politics, and other artistic performance traditions (dance, theatre, film) as well as the use of music in demarcating tribal, regional, and intertribal identity.
Section 006 (Livingston) | M W 3:00 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.
The Art & Practice of Consent
Current consent campaigns on college campuses focus on sexual assault, or non-consent. But consent has much broader implications for how we develop relationships. Relationships are at the core of everything we do—how we treat each other, how we regard ourselves, how we act in community spaces. As you move through RCAH’s highly collaborative environment over time, you will work closely with community partners, visiting artists, professors, and your peers. Consent is a way to make sure these relationships are respectful, reciprocal, and accountable.
What does it take to create consent culture? This course offers frameworks for understanding the art and practice of consent broadly, as part of anti-oppression work. Analyzing popular and scholarly discourse on consent, we will study how to practice consent in various kinds of relationships. We will read widely from: queer and feminist nonfiction, art, blogs, and zines; peer-to-peer sex education materials online; campus sexual assault and relationship violence programs, policies, and activism; the work of local community organizations; and understandings of informed consent in research. We will practice consent in low-stakes contexts—in your work with your writing group, which you will stay with throughout the semester. The result of our work on consent will be a portfolio of writing, some of which will be public writing projects we negotiate together.
Section 001 (Yoder) | M W 12:40 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Private Faith and Public Life
In the U.S. we seem to have a tenuous relationship with religion. On the one hand, officially the U.S. is a “secular” nation with no state religion and a constitution that guarantees the separation of church and state. On the other hand, in many ways we are a deeply religious nation. Surveys consistently suggest that a majority of citizens believe in God and religious institutions play important roles at the local and national level. We try to manage this tension by distinguishing between the public and private spheres of life, relegating religion to the latter, but this solution has been only partially successful as debates about matters such as the teaching intelligent design in public schools, public support for faith-based social services, and same-sex marriage demonstrate. The goal of this course is to explore the intersection of religious belief and public life. We will explore the following sorts of questions: What does it mean to have a “secular” society? How do our religious beliefs shape how we respond to public issues? How should they? Does religious faith improve or harm our public lives? How can we talk respectfully and constructively about religion?
Section 002 (Biggs) | M W 3:00 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.
An Introduction to Performance Theory and Analysis
In this course, students will be introduced to the field of Performance Studies, a relatively new academic discipline that emerged from collaborations between artists and academics in Theatre and Anthropology in the 1980s. As one of the founders of Performance Studies, Richard Schechner, noted, everything is not a performance, but just about everything can be read as a performance. Students will practice the art of interpreting and analyzing dramatic and non-dramatic texts and theatrical performances as an entry point for the study of culture, social roles, and identity.
Section 003 (Aerni-Flessner) | Tu Th 2:40 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Proseminar—Malcolm X in Greater Lansing
Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, moved to the Lansing area when he was about four years old with his parents. By the time he was fifteen, his father would be dead in mysterious circumstances, the family home had been burned down, his mother was committed to a mental institution, and he had dropped out of school. While much of the work that Malcolm is famous for happened outside of the Lansing area, his early years were formative and there is very little trace of his presence marked in the contemporary community. This class will explore the writings of and about Malcolm X to better understand African-American History as well as the local history of the African-American community and how it helped shape one of the most influential Americans of the mid-20th century. In addition to just delving into the history of Malcolm X, this class will think about public history and public memory and make a start to creating a digital/online compendium of sites where Malcolm X lived, worked, and frequented in the hope of providing a resource for the community and those interested in the life of times of Malcolm X in Lansing.
RCAH202-The Presence of the Past
Section 001 (Aerni-Flessner) | Tu Th 10:20 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.
The Presence of the Past—Global Slavery
Starting with slavery in ancient times and working toward the present, this class looks at how various forms of involuntary servitude (conveniently all lumped together under the term “slavery”) have served as underpinnings for production of goods and services. We will look at the Atlantic World, but also the Indian Ocean World, and systems on the African continent to compare involuntary servitude across time and space. We will be looking at how these systems of involuntary labor differed and were similar—and debate whether they were all “slavery.” We will also examine how they contributed in ways large and small to the creation of the globalized world in which we live. The forces that led to the rise and fall of slavery have shaped our world in a wide variety of ways, and this course will help you interrogate the ways in which this is still important, and how debates over the legacy of slavery and reparations have been and continue to be contentious
Section 002 (Bosse) | Tu Th 10:20 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.
African Music and the Performance of Memory
This course explores the contemporary musical practices of a number of cultural groups living across the African continent, with special consideration for how music serves as a sonic testimony to the cultural history of a people. We will learn how performance in any particular moment provides us with a way to perform individual memories as well as a shared history and resignify them with present-day concerns. Over the semester we will listen to, write about, talk about, read about, and perform the various genres in question. By moving beyond the more conventional “learning about” to “learning from within,” it is my hope that each student can not only learn about particular African music genres, but also something about who he/she is as a learner, as a performer, and as a citizen of the world. This approach also mirrors the processes through which ethnomusicologists approach their work. And so, in the process, students will also learn the intellectual habits of the ethnographic disciplines that they can add to their “intellectual tool kit” for use in any other learning contexts in which you may find themselves in. This course is open to everyone, no matter your level of music knowledge. One need not be a musician to participate and succeed in this course.
Section 003 (Biggs) | Tu Th 12:40 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
The Presence of the Past - Performance, Crime and Punishment
In this course, we investigate the development of contemporary crime theory and legal practices by asking critical questions about how crime and criminality are constructed, laws enacted, and punishment administered. The course emerges from the intersection of law and performance studies. As such, it is not a traditional political science class that might study the rise of the modern state or public policy. Nor is this a theatre class concerned solely with the socio-historical-legal context behind a play. Instead, we will do some of both. We adopt this course of study based on the realization that law is not merely written, but is made manifest through expressive acts, on and through the body, just as other social practices are. It is my sincere hope that students will walk away from class understanding that there is an aesthetics to the law that includes performance conventions and theatricality, and, that artistic products often function as agents of the law, at times disseminating, complicating or disrupting popular ideas about it.
Section 004 (Hamilton-Wray) | Tu Th 12:40 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Histories and Lore from the Cradle of Humankind
This course introduces students to the notion of the presence of the past and how it creates possibilities for an engaged ethical life now and in the future. The course is built on two assumptions: the first is that oral tradition plays a vital role in the creation and reproduction of the “hidden histories” of African peoples. The second assumption is characteristics of African oral tradition permeate the folklore, music, proverbs, cooking, humor, literature, and many other aspects of African, African diaspora and American society. Hence, this course explores the oral history, imagined history, autobiographical history, and a fourth category that I call “trans-history,” that is history that connects the past with the future, in order to interrogate history’s connections to the present in various cultural, political and social expressions. Together, we’ll explore: What do the hidden histories of African peoples reveal about historical struggle and resistance in search of African liberation? How have and can these hidden histories be employed for positive social change? Through course material such as, epic tales, folktales, literature, film, visual art, and music produced by Africans and people of African descent, students will become more adept at making inquiry using a variety of primary and secondary sources.
Section 005 (Esquith) | Tu Th 3:00 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.
Mythic Heroes of War and the World Peace Game
One way to grasp the presence of the past is through the dominant myths that we live by. What stories do we tell about the past and its development over time? How do these stories – whether they take the form of poetry, theater, film, novels, constitutions, or the everyday rituals of popular culture – structure and guide our lives? In what sense are these stories present to us? In what sense are they myths we live by?
The goal of the course is not to provide an exhaustive catalogue of myths, ancient or modern. Nor is it to search for a universal set of images or mythic archetypes. Our primary goal is to understand how certain myths about heroism have been carried forward, what other possible worlds they may open to us, and how they empower some people while disabling others. We will focus specifically on heroes of war. We will focus initially on the Homeric heroes Achilles and Odysseus, and the main characters in Sophocles's Ajax. As we read these texts, we will also consider ways in which these stories prefigure the stories of today's soldiers who suffer from PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and moral injury.
To help us understand these stories, past and present, we will combine our reading of the classical texts with two complementary activities involving our own RCAH civic engagement projects with community partners in the Greater Lansing area. RCAH has been working with Lansing Refugee Development Center and Peckham Industries to create World Peace Game projects with their students and employees. RCAH students in this section of RCAH 202 will spend time with these partners who have already begun to design peace games at their sites. The second complementary activity which is closely connected to the peace game activity, is artistic. Students will work with artist-in-residence Doug DeLind to build the structures and materials needed for the peace game. These may include small sculptural objects, fabric art, animated films, and other forms of visual art.
In short, we will learn abour the presence of the past through our study of wartime heroes and through collaborative, creative projects with community partners.
RCAH 281-Career Strategies
Section 001 (Rudolph) | Tu 3:00 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.
Liberal Arts on the Job
This course will help you prepare for a career that engages the arts and humanities on a daily basis. You’ll learn about your strengths and weaknesses and how your passions can translate into careers. You’ll build your personal brand, job shadow, hear from arts and humanities graduates and professionals, and gain a better understanding about writing a resume, interviewing and articulating the RCAH degree to potential graduate schools, employers and partners. After completing this course, you will more fully understand the value and marketability of a Liberal Arts degree
Section 001 (Claytor) | M W 10:20 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.
Fundamentals of Drawing
Fundamental concepts of drawing. Gain an understanding of how to craft complex objects from simple shapes, create dynamic environments through the use of linear perspective, and achieve a better understanding of the human figure. Emphasis on observational, descriptive and analytical drawing. Practice of drawing skills using common drawing media.
Section 002 (Sheridan) | M W 3:00 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.
Advanced Media Production and Design
This workshop will explore the social and aesthetic potentials of video- and print-based media. Content is tailored to students who already have a background in one or more areas of media production. Students will generate creative and socially meaningful projects, exploring fundamental principles of design in the process. We will also investigate strategies for critiquing the work of others. This class will provide excellent preparation for anyone who wishes to work in the RCAH Language and Media Center. Students who wish to enroll in this course should contact David Sheridan (email@example.com).
Section 003 (Bosse) | Tu Th 3:00 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.
Partnership or couple dances (like the swing, salsa, foxtrot, waltz and tango) have played an important role in shaping American popular culture in the twentieth century. In this workshop, students will draw upon this history as we learn how to perform and analyze a range of contemporary partnership dances and then move out into the community to better understand the creative, synchronic, social potential of dance for bringing community members together in different but valuable ways.
Section 004 (Scales) | M W 12:40 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
The Music of Southern Appalachia
Appalachian communities have rich and deep musical traditions that have played a unique role in the musical, political, and social life of America. In this class, students will engage with this tradition through the first hand participation in the music, performing “old-time” string band music, ballad singing and shape-note singing, and related genres. We will also take some time to discuss some of the many social functions of the this music in American public life, including its influence on other contemporary musical genres (bluegrass, country, folk and protest music), its connection with American leftist politics in the 20th century, and its central role in the public imagination of “authentic” American identity. Some background in music is recommended (but not required).
Section 001 (Delgado, V) | Tu 12:40 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
This proseminar on engagement will use hands-on learning to motivate, excite, inspire and sensitize students to deeper reflection and civic engagement activities in the college. Through discussions on the nature of civic engagement, students will engage in discovery of their own community as well as new communities across campus and mid-Michigan. We will explore the critical engagement concepts of place, passion, imagination, peace and justice in structured dialogue with groups that may include youth groups, refugees, people with disabilities, activists and artists in mid-Michigan. These dialogues will result in works of art, reflection and narrative that are meant to effect positive social change. This activity will provide focus for our work. But we’ll add in texts, multimedia resources and additional hands-on activities throughout to prepare us for higher-level thinking and involvement in engagement course work and community-based activism.
Section 002 (Brooks) | W 3:00 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.
Holistic Citizenship: Living and Working in Engaged Communities
This proseminar is an introduction to civic engagement and explores the concepts of cultural heritage and community, using an interdisciplinary approach. Employing theories and methodologies from the arts and humanities, as well as incorporating methods from the social and natural sciences, students will read and discuss an assortment of written and visual texts (artwork, writings, film, etc) to facilitate learning and to enhance critical thinking. In addition, students will complete experiential learning exercises that build relationships with civic organizations and work toward improving personal and community health/wellness. More specifically, this course will assist students with developing an understanding of the various types of civic engagement activities in relation to the RCAH model on civic engagement (insight, practice, action, passion). Students will be challenged to critically assess perceptions of community, equity, collaboration, and reflection. Then, students will be asked to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate existing and new ways of performing civic engagement that improves individuals, families, communities, and humanity.
RCAH292B-Engagement and Reflection
Section 001 (Co-taught: Hamilton-Wray & Kaplowitz) | M W 12:40 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Race, Intercultural Dialogue and Civic Engagement
This new Civic Engagement course focuses on how we think and talk about race and other intersecting social identities in the United States. Students will deepen their understanding of the social construction of race in the United States and simultaneously learn techniques to engage in constructive conversations and critical dialogues across racial differences.
Team taught by two RCAH professors of different racial identities, this course seeks to attract a racially diverse student population who are open to exploring their own social group memberships and how social identity relates to individual, interpersonal, and institutional forms of oppression and privilege. Students should also have a keen interest (but no experience required!) in facilitating conversations across different identity groups.
Students will spend the first six weeks of the semester working intensively in class to examine stereotypes, question previously held beliefs, and understand the roots of racial privilege and oppression in the United States. They will simultaneously develop skills for facilitating dialogues with others about race. The second half of the term will be spent in both our RCAH classroom AND in community co-facilitating intercultural dialogues on race. Students will be placed as co-facilitators (preferably in teams of two different racial groups) in public school spaces and other extracurricular placements and will facilitate near-peer racial dialogues. The course will culminate with a public reception of visual prompts related to racial understanding developed by the various dialogue groups.
NOTE: Students selecting this section must have at least one day a week available to facilitate dialogue between 3-5 pm. Students MUST reserve Saturday September 12, 9-5 for a full day off-campus retreat for this class.
Section 002 (Newman) | Tu Th 10:20 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.
This course is designed to provide students with a current perspective and understanding of the nature of non-profit arts organizations and cultural service-providers. Individual students will be paired with a local arts organization, exposed to the organization’s day-to-day operations, and gain useful job skills and connections to professionals in the field by being a part of the arts organization/service workforce. Deeper investigations include the intricacies of organizational structure including mission statement, governance, budget and funding sources. The issues of political climate, trends in charitable giving, and arts advocacy will further student understanding of the complex influences affecting the survival of these important community non-profits and the benefits they provide. Through involvement with his/her Arts Community Partner, the student will gain insights into the intense commitment integral to managing a community arts organization. Students will closely examine the importance of the arts in multiple facets of human life – in education, community, and beyond. And, students will gain a personal perspective on the possible direction and future of the arts in the U.S. during the coming decade, as well as his/her own potential to make a difference in that outcome.
Section 003 (Jackson) | M W 3:00 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.
"We Real Cool:" Educational Interventions for Adolescent At-Risk Black Males
In her poem “We Real Cool,” Gwendolyn Brooks dramatically expresses, with honest simplicity and painful clarity, the fate of the “cool.” For Brooks, “cool” people express themselves by leaving school and entering a dark world, intensely made problematic by “sin” and “soon” dying. This section of RCAH 292B invites students to explore these issues by looking hard at the intersection between coolness and literacy as enacted within classroom spaces. Our work this semester is praxis-oriented: in addition to reading a diverse body of scholarship examining root causes for educational failure and limited life chances for adolescent African American males, we will conduct participant-observations of the My Brother’s Keeper Program (MBK) for at-risk Black males. This will site visits at the Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy, a K - 8th-grade Detroit Public School.
292C courses are unique, independent engagements of variable credit negotiated between students, community partners, and RCAH faculty. They assume that the student and the community have established a relationship of mutual respect, trust, and benefit. They also assume a high level of passion and experience. These courses focus heavily on the action and insight areas of the RCAH Civic Engagement model. Students select and work with a specific faculty of record and community partner to develop and implement the syllabus and the engagement program for the course. For more information about the courses, pre-requisites and how to enroll, contact Vincent Delgado, Assistant Dean for Civic Engagement (firstname.lastname@example.org).
RCAH310-Childhood and Society
Section 001 (Torrez) | M W 12:40 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Indigenous Ways of Learning
Indigenous knowledge is as varied and diverse as Indigenous peoples, however the tie that binds Indigenous thought is the commitment to community, land, and language. In this course, we will discuss the various points that marginalized communities struggle to identify and affirm knowledge on their own terms. We will specifically examine how Indigenous communities bridge their own knowledge systems with colonial methods of schooling. While primarily focused on the Americas, this course will also include discussion of Maori kōhanga reo (language nests) as a pivotal educational model for Indigenous peoples.
RCAH330-Nature and Culture
Section 001 (Yoder) | M W 3:00 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.
The Ethics of Being and Becoming Human
In this course we will draw upon material from philosophy, literature, art, and history to explore multiple versions of the questions, “What does it mean to be human?” Is there such a thing as a fixed human nature or is it something malleable that is in flux? How is technology affecting how we think about human nature? Are there moral limits to how we can create and enhance humans, and if so, what are they? The goal of the course is to explore such questions.
Section 002 (Skeen) | Tu Th 10:20 a.m. - 11:40 a.m.
Appalachian Literature and Culture
The primary goal of this course is to explore the history of the Appalachian region through looking at documentary and popular film, scholarly and personal essays, and the work of poets and fiction writers from Appalachia. As West Virginia is the only state completely in the Appalachians, we will focus our study on the literature and culture of that state and learn how it is both representative of and different from other areas of Appalachia. We will work to comprehend the richness of this region, past and present, and explore the themes of regional folklore and music, fine art and local craft, the power of religious and family tradition, and isolation and community. For students who would like to spend a little time in Appalachia (for an additional cost of approximately $300) the course will include an excursion to Water Gap Retreat in Elkins, West Virginia from September 18-21, 2015 for a weekend of regional history and culture.
RCAH380-Third Year Tutorial
Section 001 (Aronoff) | M W 3:00 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.
Imagining Other Worlds: The Literature and Neuroscience of Science-Fiction Worldbuilding
This course will pick up on and examine more rigorously two themes touched on in my RCAH 340: Fictions of Science and Technology: ideas of anthropology, culture and race explored through key texts of science fiction in the 20th and early 21st Centuries; and the neuroscience of the literary imagination. (As such, the course would be an ideal follow-up for students who have taken my RCAH 340, or a “prequel” for those planning to take it in the future, but there is no prerequisite and students just beginning to explore issues in science fiction are welcome.) The course will be divided roughly into two phases. First, we will examine the ways in which the “world building” techniques characteristic of much science fiction – creating coherent, detailed imaginary worlds (and even universes), with their own histories, languages, “cultures,” species – has both drawn upon, and participated in, anthropological understandings of the very concept of “culture” and “race” itself. We will examine concrete connections between the discipline of anthropology and science fiction, and ways science fiction writers have explored, developed, reinforced or challenged ideas of culture, language, race and gender. Assigned authors will include Ursula LeGuin, Octavia Butler, Samuel Delany, Neal Stephenson, Nalo Hopkinson, and others.
If the first half of the course focuses on how science fiction authors imagine new worlds, the second half turns to the way science has explored the ways in which we imagine those worlds, to examine developments at the intersection of neuroscience and aesthetics. With increasingly sophisticated brain imaging technology, and with the rising prestige of evolutionary psychology, more scientists are asking what precisely is happening in the brain when we contemplate art, become immersed in a novel, or listen to music. What happens when a reader reacts emotionally to, or cares about, literary characters that they know are fictional? What in the human brain – psychologically, physiologically – allows this to happen, and why have humans evolved with this capacity? This course will combine an investigation of the latest scientific research on these questions, along with works of science fiction which likewise probe the questions of what is the role of “imagination” and “art” in our definitions of the human.
Section 002 (Loeb) | M W 10:20 a.m. - 11:40 a.m.
Women and Art
Do today’s visual arts, from painting to performance art, baffle you, excite you, or leave you cold? Chances are they do all three, depending. Many of the approaches that artists use today have their roots in challenging artworks made by women artists in the 1970s. What did these artists do that led their work to have such a far-reaching impact? Do works created today continue to embody their spirit and insights?
In this course, we will look at innovations and experimentation in such watershed works as the collaborative, site-specific, temporary installations in Womanhouse (Los Angeles, 1972), the collaborative, multi-media construction of Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party (1974-79), and the development of Miriam Schapiro’s concept of femmage. Through these pieces, women artists decisively shifted how art was made and thought about.
In the guided project that is the focus of a Third-Year Tutorial, you will then explore how contemporary artists relate to the core of new ideas opened up by these earlier artists: recovery of women artists of the past; development of alternative media; collaboration; interrogation of issues of the body, identity, power, and the media; shaping public space; community engagement; and re-evaluation of dominant aesthetic ideas. How have these emphases changed? How do today’s more globalized women artists relate to them and lead them in new directions?
The guided project can be a research paper, a visual presentation, a study of a local arts venue, or another endeavor that you develop in consultation with me.
RCAH390-Language and Culture
Section 001 (Torrez) | M 8:00 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.
The Multilingual Classroom
In this course, we will investigate issues of language attrition and revitalization. We will focus on how language is affected by educational policy, particularly through the emergence (and transformation) of bilingual education. Through seminar-style learning we will discuss the following questions: Are languages equal? Why should younger generations learn a heritage language in a globalized economy? Should resource-strapped educational systems expend funds to provide multilingual education? Should we separate students into homogenous linguistic groups? In addition to these questions, students will investigate how schools are working with heritage language communities to become active agents in maintaining language and protecting their community’s way of life.
*Consider for ILO
Section 002 (Plough) | Tu 10:20 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.
This course provides an introduction to fundamental concepts of intercultural communication. Examples of verbal and nonverbal exchanges are discussed to build an understanding of the diverse ways of communicating and of the processes of intercultural communication. An awareness of communication behavior – including one’s own – and its consequences is increased through readings of relevant literature and through an examination of intercultural encounters. Reflective tasks are used to view one’s own communication style from an external perspective.
RCAH395-Special Topics-Arts & Humanities
Section 002 (Baibak) | Tu 3:00 p.m. - 3:50 p.m., Th 3:00 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.
This special topics course will deepen interdisciplinary scholarship developed between freshman RCAH and College of Engineering students during a summer 2014 study away in Detroit. Through readings, discussions, reflection, design labs and active and applied collaboration, students will work in teams to develop their own “cultures of creativity” in designing, testing and implementing technological solutions meant to address regional challenges. With assistance from the Ford Community Fund, the result will be robust, useful and something that no one has ever seen before. While we will review current organizational scholarship on the idea of interdisciplinary creativity and innovation through the process, we will also use an anthropological lens to look at how teams, including ours, work.
Section 001 (Miner) | Tu Th 10:20 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.
Beyond Capitalism: Senior Seminar in Radical Theory
Can a world outside or beyond capitalism exist? If it could, what would it look like? Moreover, is this anti-capitalist option one we should even explore? In this senior seminar, we will investigate various theorists, activists, movements, and artists as they articulate, to borrow a phrase from the Zapatistas, ‘another possible world’. Using Prof. Miner’s expertise in Indigenous, Third World, anti-colonial, and anarchist movements, we will pay particular attention to the ways in which these movements have attempted to form ‘the structure of the new society within the shell of the old,’ to use the language of the IWW. As in other RCAH courses, creative and artistic exploration will be central to our working through these questions.