• SPRING 2016

    Unsettled Landscapes Seminar & Public Lecture Series, Assistant Professor of Art Tarrah Krajnak

    This course and public lecture series examined the cultural, political conditions, and historical narratives informing the work of several contemporary artists, poets, filmmakers, photographers and critical writers whose work engages with the landscape, human interaction with nature, environmental justice, and/or settlement across the Americas. The course emphasized the work of underrepresented artists, indigenous voices, and/or feminist perspectives on “landscape”. A series of visiting guests lead workshops and class discussions with students before presenting a public lecture or performance for the Pitzer campus.

    Visiting Artists and Lecturers Included:

    • Jennifer Little
    • Kathy Bancroft
    • Natalie Diaz
    • Edgar Heap of Birds
    • Nanobah Becker
    • Gabriel Estrada
    • Lucy Lippard
    • Laura Huertas Milan
    • Claudia Arteaga
    • Esteban Cabeza de Baca
    • Saskia Calderon


    Prisons, Parks and the Legacies of Colonialism, Professor Lako Tongun and Professor Andre Wakefield

    The legacies of colonialism in Africa are inscribed on the buildings and landscapes that colonizers left behind. The parks that shelter endangered species today were once the hunting grounds of British and French imperialists; the slave depots of earlier days became the prisons of the modern period. This was an interdisciplinary, team-taught course that combines the approaches of history and political economy. Students payed special attention to both “built” and “wild” environments, while bearing in mind that the latter can be just as constructed as the former. The class used a number of approaches to compare confinement and conservation across continents: historical case studies, political economic theories, economic development policies, prison architecture, zoo policies, nature films, and safari brochures. Course goals were to examine present-day landscapes and prison complexes through the comparative lenses of history and political economy. In Summer of 2015, Professor’s Tongun and Wakefield used support from the Mellon Foundation to travel through Uganda and Kenya. After teaching in Luzira Prison, near Kampala, they used the funds to extend their research and travel across Kenya and up to Masai Mara National Reserve. As a result of the grant, they were able to extend their investigation of post-colonial spaces from the colonial-era prison of Luzira directly to the National Reserve, and its relationship to the U.S. National Park model. This comparison was to prove invaluable in our discussions during this semester’s class, and for the materials that we chose to teach. The students also reflected some of these in their final papers.

    Environmental Art/Public Art, Professor Lance Neckar

    This course examined tensions at the intersections between art and the environment and art and the civic realm.  Works in these sometimes overlapping categories span media from the monumental object or space to the ephemeral performance or experience. While the principal geographical focus of the course was on the United States where the a significant body of this work originated in the mid-1960s, examples of works and artists from other continents were brought into the discussion to show the American condition – sometimes in sharper relief, sometimes as cultural hegemony, and, in the case of Ai Weiwei, for example, the most activist arc of western style provocation.  And although the emphasis is on late-20th century and current works, sources and precedents from earlier periods were also discussed.

    The course involved readings, discussions, lectures, a field trip to LACMA, a paper assignment on an artist, student presentations, and a proposal for an environmental or public art work.Students were exposed to a broad range of work in the lectures, crossing media and themes.  From American landscape painting and photography of the 19th century sublime (Turner, Joseph Wright of Derby, Cole, Carleton Watkins) to the explosion of 20th century works by a huge range of artists including Ana Mendieta, Maya Lin, Agnes Denes, Kathryn Miller, Ai Weiwei, Amy Balkin, Banksy, Jochen Gerz, Theaster Gates, Robert Smithson, Jane Holt, Michael Heizer, Walter deMaria, Richard Long, and Christo and Jeanne Claude, a broad spectrum of questions and issues were investigated.  Themes of sublime and spectacle foregrounded lectures, discussions and readings on the dialectics of nature and art, on the sublime, on memory and memorials, on utopia and violence, and questions of artistic distance/engagement/participation and media of environmental and political change.  We also discussed the difficulty of making potent public art in the framework of official processes and censorship of works that artists have made outside of these frameworks.  Class discussions benefited from readings from the New York Times about current issues in the social, environmental and artistic spheres and discussions of campus issues. At the conclusion of the course, students were asked to make a proposal for a work or execute a maquette of a proposal.
    Special Topics in Mold Making: Environmental Art, Professor Tim Berg

    This course was redesigned to address environmental themes using entirely new projects that address humankind’s relationship to the natural world. Students learned mold making for ceramics as well as prosthetic mold making and special effect makeup. In this course students were challenged to rethink categorical ways of relating to their environment. Course objectives were to interrogate the student’s assumptions around common binaries such as what is natural and what is artificial, explore the art history and profound experiences of functional objects, and explore the theme of the human body as site. The class projects were designed to accommodate these goals, assigning students with the task of cumulating found objects, creating molds, casting, conducting research and presenting on art historical movements, and creating prosthetics.

    At the culmination of this course, students acquired the skills to:

    • Create one part, two part and multi-part plaster molds for press-molding and slip-casting.
    • Create prosthetic molds and prosthetics pieces using alginate, gypsum cement, poly-foam and latex.
    • Document and present their work using a variety of media strategies.
    • Demonstrate visual communication skills, design aptitude and critical thinking.
    • Abstract natural forms and textures to communicate both functional and aesthetic design concepts.
    • Creatively situate their environmental concerns within a broader cultural critique using art and design.
  • SPRING 2015

    Object Ecologies, Assistant Professor of Art Sarah Gilbert
    Object Ecologies was a hybrid seminar/studio course that explored contingencies of the object in contemporary sculpture. Beginning with the expanded field of sculptural practice in the 1960’s and 1970’s — movements as diverse as Post Minimalism, Fluxus, and Land Art — students examined how various artists and thinkers defined site-specificity, and the role that objects (whether fabricated or found) played in these definitions. Students considered that the terms “nature,” “object,” and “environment” are defined in relation to human agency, and the role that artistic labor plays in forming these ideas. The seminar also considered what spaces—beyond the gallery and museums—artists shape; how artists’ interventions are received by other stakeholders; how investigations in institutional critique, social practice, and online art are expanding current understandings of site, authorship, and interconnection; how new creative projects contribute to critical conversations; and other pertinent questions. Students undertook studio projects in woodworking, modeling, mold- making, and casting, and maintained a class blog. All the developments in this hybrid class will be integrated into a number of future classes, and the professor intends to incorporate this course into the regular course offerings

    International Cultural Heritage, Assistant Professor of Classics Michelle Berenfeld
    International Cultural Heritage was a seminar which is regularly offered as part of the Classics curriculum and cross-listed in Art History, Anthropology, Environmental Analysis, and History. With grant support, the seminar was revised to highlight connections between the natural and built environment, including environmental impacts on cultural heritage sites; the role of historic buildings and traditional practices in sustainability efforts of all sorts, including tourism; and the role of cultural heritage and landscapes in modern communities on local and global scales. Students developed presentations on tourism and sustainability. Grant funds also supported a lecture and workshop with Professor Marty Hylton, Director of the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Florida. Prof. Hylton’s visit and lecture, titled “Greening Modern: Challenges and Strategies for Sustaining Modern Architecture and Resources,” was a highlight of the semester and a turning point for the class in terms of students’ thinking about the historic built environment and its relationship to environmental sustainability. As a supplement to Professor Hylton’s visit, the seminar visited the nearby Claremont School of Theology campus (master planned by Edward Durrell Stone) and discussed its design, preservation, and environmental stewardship in relation to the principles we had been exploring in class and in readings. The revised course will continue to be offered in future semesters.

    Drawing Materials Workshop, Associate Professor of Art Jessica McCoy
    This studio art course introduced students to ancient and historic techniques for making fine drawing media. Conducting research into historic handbooks and manuals, students undertook a study of drawing tools and materials including pen, quill, colored ink, black ink, charcoal, and chalk. Students researched available natural resources to produce artists’ materials and led in-class workshops to instruct one another in the making of various tools. Every student prepared a sample of each drawing material utilizing available natural substances sourced from the immediate area, which was then used to complete a series of drawings. Additionally, students were introduced to contemporary artists currently working with the types of tools produced in the class, and discussed the historical, geographic, and aesthetic dimensions involved in the artists’ choices of particular tools and materials. This class will be repeated in future years.

    Environmental Robotics, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art and Media Studies Ian Ingram
    In this hybrid studio and seminar course, students focused on building robotic and mechatronic sculpture, installation, and site-specific work. Students also explored questions about the role of the robot in culture; who currently controls notions of what robots are for and who makes them; and the relationship of technology—the robot in particular—to humans’ place in the natural world. Students researched and prepared original creative projects, mounted a public exhibition of their work installed outdoors on the campus, and interacted with Ian Ingram, who was an art+environment Artist-in-Residence during Spring 2015.

  • FALL 2014

    Topics in Contemporary Art: Art and Animals- Professor of Art History Bill Anthes and Director of the Pitzer Art Galleries Ciara Ennis
    This class explored the emerging interdisciplinary field of “animal studies” from the perspective of art history, criticism, and curatorial work. Faculty and students considered the following questions: How have non-human animals been depicted in art, and what have the implications of these representations been for understanding human identity and human interaction with the non-human? How do representations of animals express cultural norms and habits of thought, and how do representations of and relations with animals matter, and to whom? How have artists explored non-human intelligence? In addition to readings and discussion, grant funds supported presentations by ten visiting artists whose work addressed “the animal question” in various forms. The class also took a field trip to the Gentle Barn, an animal sanctuary in Santa Clarita, California, during which students interacted with rescued farm and performing animals, and sanctuary educational staff. The seminar also served as research for an exhibition scheduled for Spring 2016, jointly sponsored by the Pitzer Art Galleries and the new Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability, which will feature some of the artists who presented their work. This seminar will be revised to become a regular course offering in future years.

    Introduction to Photography: Special Focus on Landscape-  Assistant Professor of Art Tarrah Krajnak
    This was a redesign of the standard Introduction to Photography class as a special topics course. The course introduced students to analog photographic processes with “landscape” as a conceptual thread throughout the course. Students looked at three topic areas, including Ansel Adams and the construction of nature; social/urban landscape and the ethics of “street photography;” and “inverted landscapes”/deconstructing the “Western gaze,” focused on contemporary art and de-colonial perspectives on landscape and environment. The goal of this approach was to offer an introductory course that encouraged higher-level critical thinking skills and visual literacy related to art and the environment while introducing basic technical skills and new processes. Grant support enabled Professor Krajnak to completely revise the course, and develop her own expertise in the topic of landscape and environmental photography. Grant funding also supported several students’ travel to the Society for Photographic Education’s annual conference, held in Spring 2015 in New Orleans and focused this year on photography and climate change. The course was highly successful and will become a regular part of the studio curriculum, serving as an important link to the program in Environmental Analysis, in which many art students are also majors.

    Seminar in Psychology of Art, Assistant Professor of Psychology Timothy Justus
    Seminar in Psychology of Art examined visual art and aesthetics from the perspectives of philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience. Topics included aesthetic foundations, historical dialogues between psychology and art, the psychology and neuroscience of vision, and contemporary approaches in which visual art is interpreted with respect to the perceptual, cognitive, and emotional consequences for the viewer. With grant funding the course was revised to focus on questions about artwork as perceived in space and in environmental context. Visiting speakers linked to the seminar included Dean Pospisil (Pitzer ’12), a current PhD student in neuroscience at the University of Washington, speaking on “Visual Hallucination and the Origins of Art,” and Stephen E. Palmer Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, on “Aesthetic Preference for Colors: An Ecological Approach.” This class is a regular part of the Psychology curriculum, and the new material resulting from grant support will figure in future iterations.

    Mixed Media Sculpture, Assistant Professor of Art Sarah Gilbert
    This sculpture studio course introduced students to technical methods for working with found objects, wood, and lost wax casting in glass, as well as methodologies for project ideation and concept development. Projects focused on the collection, reuse, and revaluation of discarded materials, as well as wood fabrication techniques for creating effective project displays (shelves, pedestals, etc.), moldmaking, and mechanized production. The class emphasized site-specificity, supporting students in making choices about materials and techniques that they deemed most appropriate for their artistic ideas and the environment chosen for the work’s exhibition. Grant funding enabled the purchase of supplies and consumables for artistic processes that would have otherwise been unaffordable and supported travel for field trips to area museums and galleries including the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Jurassic Technology.

    Globalization and Oceania: Hawai’i and Tonga, Professor of History Carina Johnson and Professor of Asian American Studies Kathleen Yep
    This course built on an existing community-engagement class that was revised with art+environment support to incorporate art and visual culture, in particular the art of Pacific painted barkcloth textiles (tapa). This team-taught and interdisciplinary course explored the ways that Pacific Island communities and peoples negotiated processes of globalization such as colonialism, capitalism, and Christianity. In Polynesia, barkcloth textiles have important ceremonial and symbolic functions. In Tonga, tapa becomes ngatu when it is painted, a form of value (koloa) produced by women. Its exchange or presentation is a necessary component of life-passage and status rituals such as births, weddings, funerals, and investitures. The forms and motifs of tapa painting have evolved even as the social status of the women who practice the art has changed. Today, gift exchange of these ngatu and other koloa has evolved into practices of social connectivity and capital exchange across the Tongan diaspora. The revamped course explored the history and present-day uses of koloa, focusing on ngatu and the related form of monomomo (quilts). Through this window, the course explored the politics of aesthetics, cultural heritage as empowerment, and generational experiences within the southern California Tongan diaspora. With the assistance of the art+environment grant, students and faculty developed two separate but related projects in conjunction with communities in Claremont and the Inland Empire. One project focused on aesthetics and the history of ngatu and tapa, and the other project focused on contemporary ngatu and koloa in the Inland Empire region, which the class documented and archived. Video interviews also recorded Tongan elders and representatives of younger generations as they discussed their thoughts on living in southern California and the role of koloa in their family diasporas. A final gathering was held by students, Tongan community members, and faculty to view video footage documenting the project and to reflect on the project and the collaboration. A final edited video was also produced for the Tongan community members. This project’s collaborative social documentation allowed all the participants to explore the impacts of the Inland Empire as a place and space in Tongan-American cultural production. This class and project was a first step in creating social documentation of koloa and the Tongan community experiences during a half-century of dynamic social and cultural change.

  • SPRING 2014

    Design Workshop: Fostering a Sense of Place – Professor of Environmental Analysis Paul Faulstich

    This class explored design innovation inspired by humankind’s relationship with nature, in particular, diverse design concepts and creations expressive of a sense of place. This course explored critical reflections, creative activities, and expressive responses for creating ecologically sustainable communities in harmony with the limits and regenerative nature of ecosystems. In emphasizing outdoor, place-based learning, this studio course extended the notion of ‘studio’ beyond the walls of the built environment through natural history observations, field sketches and recordings, creative expansions of geographic information systems (GIS), landscape design, nature writing, and other practice-based skills. The course took a deep interdisciplinary look at understanding and developing a sense of belonging within the landscape. Students gained greater understanding of critical interactions between humans and the natural world, and grasped the mechanisms through which the world makes cultural sense. They explored the functions of FIS to gain a “sense of place,” and examined how people infuse meaning into places through art and design, material culture, and collective practices.
    Asian American and Queer Zines- Assistant Professor of American Studies Todd Honma
    Students in this course examined different forms of zine world-making and DIY (do-it-yourself) politics, and the relationship of zines to issues of place. The course focused on how race and sexuality are articulated through subcultural politics and art-making processes. It investigated how capitalism has structured the built environment, and considered how zines can provide both critique and resistance to corporate media. Students produced and distributed their own zines and zine networks. The course was collaborative, cooperative, project-based, and community-based, creating a forum for participatory engagement and empowerment in communities beyond the Claremont campus. Students examined the history and politics surrounding zines and DIY subcultures; gained skills in critically analyzing different types of independent publications and their relationship to mainstream print and electronic media; developed an understanding of how race, gender, and sexuality function as social and political identities and strategies of resistance; developed production, networking, and self-expression skills through their own creative projects; and participated in collaborative learning projects with a variety of Los Angeles-based community organizations.

    The Poetics of Landscape Photography: Time, Space & Aesthetics- Assistant Professor of Art Tarrah Krajnak
    Students in this advanced studio-based course explored representation of the land as landscape within the framework of contemporary art photography. Students surveyed a range of landscape photographers and considered how their images are situated within a complex relationship to the real, the imaginary, the symbolic, memory, experience, and identity. They were introduced to advanced large format film processes and worked primarily in the darkroom, with one digital assignment. They were engaged in conceptual development through art making and worked both collaboratively and individually in creating their own photographs exploring three major contemporary landscape photography themes: cultural constructions of “Nature” and the American West, collective memory and local histories, and the passage of time as metaphor. Students submitted their own exhibition-ready prints, self-evaluations, group and individual critiques, and a research project on “hidden local histories” that involved archival research in special collections; they also mounted a final class exhibition open to the public.

    Campus Cultural Resource Conservation: The Pitzer Campus Beyond 50 – Professor of Environmental Analysis and Director of the Redford Conservancy of Southern California Sustainability Lance Neckar
    Considering Pitzer’s 50th anniversary, students explored the origin and history of the Pitzer campus framed within a much larger discussion about the core value of sustainability and the importance of cultural heritage to Pitzer. They gained a deep knowledge of the landscape of the campus and its associations with places of civic gathering and military activity through references to medieval spaces, monastic compounds, the earliest university quadrangles, and 19th century American academic villages. Pitzer inherited this morphology, albeit expressed in a modern architectural and landscape vocabulary exemplifying its forward-looking mission. The tangible product of the course was Revealing Values, a booklet of essays and re-photography of Pitzer’s culture and built environments, which focused on the values of the College associated with its founding and physical manifestation during its historical “period of significance”.

    Design Ecology and the Commons: Co-Composing our Urban Environments-  Associate Professor of Art Tim Berg and Visiting Artist Collective SPURSE
    Developed out of conversations with the 2014 Mellon Artists-in-Residence, the design collective SPURSE, the objective of this course was to address the Nature/Culture paradigm by creating multiple small and a few large campus interventions, which established a cross-species commons that can be foraged and lead to more immersive and complex interactions with our campus environment. Different members of SPURSE came to campus on four occasions for three-day workshops, and the class used Skype to hold collaborative group meetings. The first half of the semester focused on theory and readings, while the second half revolved around research, fieldwork, and design. Students were led through a non-linear creative process that included multiple drafts of design ideas. Fieldwork was both collaborative and individually based. Students were asked to regularly to forage and prepare food from the local campus landscape.


  • FALL 2013

    Asian American and Multiracial Community Studies – Associate Professor of Asian American Studies Kathy Yep & Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies Todd Honma

    Professors Yep and Honma engaged students in projects that explored issues related to community formation and reproduction, the creative representation of community in relation to landscape and the built environment, and changes in the social topography of the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander diaspora. The class developed an understanding of the history and cultural production of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States through a community visualization project; carried out a project in collaboration with the Saturday Tongan Education Program (STEP)– building a photo booth to elicit creative photographic and written expressions from community members about their community and the environment; and discussed and applied ethical considerations in their research and creative projects in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. The grant provided access to creative resources, art supplies, and development processes, and support for local artists who helped with the class projects.

    AmerIndian Views of Nature Through Art: Run to the Forest – Associate Professor of Anthropology Leda Martins & Visiting Professor Jaider Esbell, a member of the Brazilian Amazon Macuxi Tribe

    This course was an intellectual, visual, and artistic reflection on traditional Amazonian indigenous knowledge within local and global discourses of nature, sustainability, and development. For indigenous peoples, the adoption of visual and artistic expressions is both a survival movement and a creative effort to reinvent relationships among tribes and with the national society. This course explored art as a form of dialogue about nature, time, consumption, and cosmology. The first part of the course focused on anthropological concepts and analysis of Amazonian indigenous peoples’ relationship to nature. In the second part, students analyzed Macuxi myths and visual representations, and created visual materials reflecting the history of the Macuxi and their relationship to the natural world. For the final project, the class produced a collective canvas reinterpreting Macuxi myths, and a video about Esbelle’s trajectory as an indigenous artist and activist.

    Mural Painting – Associate Professor of Art Jessica McCoy

    In Mural Painting, students assisted international muralist Paul Santoleri in painting Bridges of Change on a campus building for Pitzer’s 50th anniversary. Readings gave students new perspectives on public art, and Los Angeles mural history and themes as the wrote about community engagement, controversial public art projects, contemporary approaches to public art, site specificity, and public art’s relationship to the environment. Site visits included Claremont, the Los Angeles Great Wall, Downtown Los Angeles, and LA’s Arts District. The class collaborated with Pronto Market to develop a mural highlighting sustainable agricultural practice and the concept of local, accessible green groceries for neighborhood consumers. The final mural design was selected from student’s individual submissions, and was approved by the Ontario City Council, which was lifted the city’s moratorium on exterior mural painting. The process of painting on site was interactive and educational, with local residents questioning the students and the artwork, and allowed for conversations about art and the neighborhood, and built awareness about community interests and standards for artwork.

    Math, Art & Environment – Associate Professor of Art Tim Berg & Professor of Mathematics David Bachman

    In this course, students learned to use the Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) program Rhinoceros and basic computer coding techniques to model three-dimensional objects virtually. Assignments revolved around a variety of nature-inspired themes. First, using basic geometric solids students modeled rings with faceted features like gem cuts, which were then printed using a laser sintering process. Second, they made a technical reproduction of a shell using programming and an extrusion deposition printing process. Third, they wrapped textures from nature onto forms that could serve as cups or tumblers, and the class selected a few designs to make plaster molds for casting the objects in porcelain. Fourth, they combined hand-modeling and programming based on a script Professor Bachman wrote for modeling phyllotaxis, a more virtual and conceptual task that allowed the students to stretch themselves; one memorable project was a 3-D illustration of a fully realized dandelion seed head that appeared to be blowing in the wind.

    Los Ángeles: La Ciudad su gente y sus Historias- Professor of Spanish Ethel Jorge
    Taught in Spanish, students did an exploration of Los Angeles, its history and stories, and some of its contemporary social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental complexities. The course examined the lives of Angelenos, their environment, the urban spaces they inhabit, the city’s cultural geography- particularly the Latino community in the context of other ethnicities, racial backgrounds, economic inequalities, frictions, and social struggles. The class took place mostly in Los Angeles as we explored the city, with many discussions occurring in situ. They toured different parts of the city, including street art/murals, museums, the LA River, and different neighborhoods and ethnic city, including street art/murals, museums, the LA River, and different neighborhoods and ethnic enclaves; participated in celebrations; interacted with city workers; and learned about a variety of environmental justice issues and initiatives to bring about change. Students embraced the idea of a class that explored a different type of curriculum and pedagogy, not tied to the boundaries of a classroom, and appreciated the opportunity to reflect on the interdisciplinary connections among art, environment, and political history.

  • SPRING 2013

    Adobe and Brick Oven Construction – Assistant Professor of Art Tim Berg

    Professor Berg developed a new course in which students worked collaboratively to design and execute the construction of an adobe brick oven and all the tools necessary for its use. The class researched the history of cooking using wood-fired ovens in a wide variety of ancient and modern cultures. They studied the material properties of masonry and adobe, and how these influence cooking. The class source materials locally, researched and selected a site on the Pitzer campus, and coordinated with the Campus Aesthetics Committee and the Facilities Department to permit and finalize the design, which was installed on a temporary basis and then dismantled and recycled. The class built the oven, and put it to use. Throughout the process, the class collaborated with the campus organic gardens and the Grove House café. Students also hosted a series of events, including a cooking demonstration with chef Kirstin Ferguson of the Los Angeles restaurant Forage, and astudy-break pizza bake-off.

    Course learning outcomes addressed issues of environmental responsibility and sustainability, collaboration, independent research, conceptual issues related to designing utilitarian works of art, engagement with local community, and safe studio practices. Professor Berg intends to offer the class again, having learned about sourcing local materials, developing working relationships with campus stakeholders, and considering how to deepen the research component of the class.

    Design/Build Studio – Professor of Art Kathyrn Miller and Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Arnie Hendrickson

    Professor Miller and Hendrickson developed a hands-on design/build course that culminated in a collaboratively designed building that will serve as a temporary mobile gallery structure for the exhibition of artwork on the Pitzer campus. The class studied the work of sustainable artist-designers including Samuel Mockbee and the Rural Studio. Students and faculty worked together to design and build a sustainable structure, making use of locally sourced and recyclable materials. The completed gallery structure is weatherproof, insulated, ventilated and aesthetically pleasing, and can be used throughout the term of the grant to house temporary exhibitions and other collaborative projects.

    Course learning outcomes addressed studio project collaboration, research into sustainable building materials and techniques, working within a budget, safe studio practices, and use of Sketch-Up, a basic 3-D design program. Future offerings of the course will focus on other building types, including emergency shelters, outdoor furniture, and other amenities.

    Indigenous Peoples of the Americas: Colonization, Identity, Resistance – Assistant Professor of Sociology Erich Steinman and Assistant Vice President of Community Engagement/Assistant Professor of Urban Studies Tessa Hicks Peterson

    Professor Steinman and Hicks Peterson incorporated visits to the campus, workshops, community-engagement events, and a public art installation by artist-in-residence Edgar Heap of birds into their interdisciplinary course critically analyzing the interactions between settlers in the Americas and Indigenous nations over the course of the contested and ongoing colonization of the Americas. Mr. Heap of Birds gave a public lecture, met with students and faculty, and led an art workshop on campus. He also offered a workshop for high school students at the Sherman Indian School in Riverside, California, further developing community relationships forged by Professors Steinman and Hicks Peterson, staff at Pitzer’s Community Engagement Center, and Pitzer students. Students also responded to Heap of Birds’ temporary art installation on the Pitzer campus, Native Hosts, by leading tours and discussions with visitors to the campus for a conference of Native Science, planned in conjunction with the course.

    Course learning outcomes included the cultivation of intellectual curiosity about and awareness of the indigenous nations of the Americas and of the impact of colonization, engaging in reciprocal community-campus partnerships with local tribal communities, and the appreciation for indigenous knowledge about art, science, and relation with the environment. In future offerings, the class will continue to interact with Heap of Birds’ artwork installed on campus.