Course Descriptions

Summer 2024 Courses

Some courses note important registration and course timeline information from the course schedule with an * symbol

AMST 012 – Intro to Race, Ethnicity, and American Cultural Studies (Stef Torralba)

This course introduces students to key concepts and foundational readings for understanding the cultural practices, institutions, and discourses that construct and reinforce racism in the U.S. We will examine how contemporary U.S. racial formations like Blackness, Latinidad, Asian racialization, and Indigeneity emerge from violent cultural dynamics rooted in colonialism, capitalism, and subjection. Simultaneously, we will study scholars, artists, writers, and activists of color, like Audre Lorde and Hortense Spillers, who critique, resist, and demand acNon against these dynamics. We will foreground how these thinkers imagine beyond racialized power systems that have historically shaped and presently shape American culture.

ASTR 066 – Elementary Astronomy (James Bucholz)

A survey of modern astronomy, emphasizing the interrelationships among phenomena. The subject matter includes the solar system, stars and stellar systems, galaxies and cosmology.

CGS 010 – Introduction to Critical Global Studies (Sarp Kurgan)

This course will introduce students to the field of critical global studies. The course objective is to acquaint students with key concepts and practices defining human societies and their relations, such as colonialism, development, revolution, national and transnational, globalization, ideology, identity, culture, and knowledge. The course also exposes students to disciplinary, area studies and newly emerging conceptualizations of the field.

CSCI004 – Intro to Comp Sci for Non-Majors (David Bachman)

Introduction to elements of computer science. Students learn general computational problem-solving techniques and gain experience with the design, implementation, testing and documentation of programs in a high-level language. No prior programming experience required. Students may not earn credit for this course and any other intro level Computer Science course.

ENGL 047 – The Longform Journalism Practicum (Melissa Chadburn) 

This course explores the meaning of the literary term the ?human condition? and how this applies to a journalistic practice. What qualifies a piece of writing to be perceived as literary are these larger thematic concerns about human nature, human society, and how we live our lives. Long-form journalism is often concerned with the story of people?s lives over time. In this course students will learn the long-form journalistic practice of immersive, in-depth research that is essentially ethnographic. Through site visits to detention centers, hospice, the county morgue, and immigration detention centers, and through interviews with people nearing the end of their lives, people in captivity, people who bear witness to life?s various transitions, students will discuss and formulate their own ideas of human nature, are we naturally evil or good? Are we born with inherited traits, or are we a blank slate? What?s more important for human beings?law and order or freedom? Are we determined by nature or nurture or do we have free will? Are we naturally social beings or are we individuals first? Are we selfish or altruistic?

GLAS 194A – Global Local Research Workshop (Noosha Malek & Nigel Boyle)

This course is a workshop for students applying for fellowships to undertake international research. Focused primarily on the Fulbright, the workshop will guide students through the development of proposals, personal statements and other items required for a nomination. The course is designed to be an encompassing and flexible vehicle to manage the large number of students applying for international fellowships.

LGCS 007– Writing Systems (Toni Cook)

From Pictograms to 🙂 This course presents a survey of the ways human languages are represented in writing, both historically and in the present day. We will examine the origins of writing in Sumer, China, and Mesoamerica, and how these systems have changed over time. Typologically, we will study systems in which symbols represent a) concepts or ideas, b) individual words, c) syllables, and d) sounds. Students will try their hand at decipherment, and engage with questions of how written representation affects our understanding of language. Beginning with ~3500BC, we will conclude with the rise of internetbased communication and emoji.

MATH 052 – Introduction to Statistics (Ali Oudich)

This course is meant to give a liberal arts student a sense of statistical theory and practice. It will emphasize the use and interpretation of statistics in the context of social justice. Mathematical topics will include: collection and summarizing of data; measures of central tendency and dispersion; probability; distributions; confidence intervals and hypothesis testing; linear regression; and discussion and interpretation of statistical fallacies and misuses. Attention will be paid to critically evaluating how statistics has been used to solve problems and make arguments that enforce or redress systemic barriers to equality and inclusiveness.

MS 050 – Introduction to FIlm (Thomas Connelly)

Film and video are often considered to be a distinct semiotic system or art form with their own “language.” This course surveys the variety of structures which can organize moving pictures: from Hollywood continuity editing, Soviet montage and cinema verite to voice-over documentary, talking heads and postmodern voices with no center at all. The course includes silent film, classic Hollywood narrative, avant-garde film and video, documentary and activist video.

ORST 151– Participatory Action in Organizational Studies (Barbara Junisbai)

Working across difference and prison walls, students will co-design and co-conduct a participatory action research (PAR) project and offer a set of concrete, time-sensitive recommendations to decision-makers. More than a methodology, PAR is a model of inquiry for emancipatory social change, prioritizing the wisdom, needs, and aspirations of those closest to unequal and harmful social systems. Students will develop a praxis of soliciting honest, probing feedback on how we show up for each other and on our research from start to finish.

PHIL 039 – Philosophies of Place (Jordan Daniels)

What is the role of place and space in human life? How has place historically been valued across different philosophical traditions? How does the significance of place point beyond a merely human world? This course examines individual and collective identity in relation to space and place from a philosophical perspective. We analyze the significance of place through the concepts of spatiality, home, embodiment, dwelling, environment, bioregion, cultural landscape, and natural history, while also attending to our region of Southern California. Our readings draw from multiple traditions, including phenomenology, Indigenous philosophy, Black thought, geography, environmental ethics, and the environmental humanities.

POST 040 – Introduction to International Politics (Lisa Koch)

This course offers a comprehensive introduction to the history and theory of international politics. The course is divided into three roughly equal-sized sections. The first section offers an introduction to the two philosophical/theoretical traditions in international relations thought: rationalism (and its realist and liberal variants) and social constructivism (and its statist and global variants). The second section covers a series of significant periods in international political history from the emergence of the modern system of states in Europe in the sixteenth century to the end of the Cold War. The third section investigates various issues in contemporary international politics.

POST 091 – Statistics and Data Analysis for Politics (Hanzhang Liu)

This course introduces students to the basic methods of statistics and data analysis in political science research, with a focus on making causal inferences about how politics works. The same methods also apply to social science questions of cause-and-effect relationships more generally. This course provides students with extensive experience in handling data to answer real-world problems. While it has a heavy component of using the analytical software R, students are not expected to have any prior programming knowledge.

POST 135 – Political Economy of Food (Nancy Neiman) 

This course will examine the production, distribution, consumption, and waste of food in contemporary U.S. society and globally. It analyzes contemporary practices such as: the institutionalization of factory farming as expression of the logic of modernity; and the legacy and impact of global colonial structures on the production, consumption, and meaning of food. The course will also engage alternatives to dominant food practices, and students will develop community-based food justice-oriented group projects.

PSYC 010 – Introduction to Psychology (Darin Brown)

The purpose of the course is to introduce the student to psychology as it developed from a nonscientific interest to a scientific approach to human behavior. Special attention will be given to some of the major systems, issues and methods involved in contemporary psychology. Students will be expected to participate in research studies in psychology or complete an approved alternative.

PSYC 101 – Brain and Behavior (Tom Borowski) 

This course provides an introduction to the biological bases of cognition and behavior. Topics may include basic neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, visual and auditory perception, attention, language, hemispheric specialization, memory, emotion, motor control, and social neuroscience. Satisfies: BIO.

PSYC 194 – Seminar in Social Psychology (Samantha Gardner)

In this course, we will learn how social behavior is scientifically studied, the major topics and findings in the field, and how to apply social psychology to real-life situations. Specific topics include (but are not limited to) the self, emotion, relationships and attraction, stereotyping and prejudice, attitudes, and social influence. Satisfies: SOC

SECU075 – History of Atheism/Freethought

What is atheism? Is it the absence of belief in God? Is it the absence of belief in the supernatural? Should we discuss “atheism” or “atheisms”? Can atheism be characterized as a worldview and a way of life? Does atheism always oppose religion, or can the two co-exist or even embrace one another? This course examines the ongoing global evolution of atheism. It presents an alternative to traditional Euro-centric history of atheism. It views atheism as a highly diverse, multi-cultural, worldwide phenomenon. While belief in Gods is prehistoric? older than 6000 years?lack of belief in Gods is older, having been the original state of humanity for tens of thousands of years before theism emerged relatively late to the world stage. Even after theism spread far and wide and most humans were either polytheists, henotheists, or monotheists, there was never a time when all humans universally believed in Gods?there were always those who did not believe in Gods. This course traces the historical development of the set of ideas we now call atheism and explores its diverse manifestations in the contemporary world. This course presents not only a history of religious doubt and disbelief but also focuses on the growing popularity of atheism in the twenty-first century. Students will also be introduced to the methodological issues in study of intellectual and cultural history. As far as possible within the limitations of a single course, we will strive for the widest possible global coverage.

SOC 030 – Deviant Sex Cults (Phil Zuckerman)

Many deviant religious movements that are centered around a charismatic leader often institute non-normative sexual practices. Why? Who joins them? What is it like being in these movements? How are the experiences different for women than for men? In this class, we will examine various non-conformists religious groups such as The Children of God/The Family, The Source Family, The Shakers, the Rajneeshees, The Oneida Perfectionists, and others that engage(d) in both novel forms of religious life and non-normative sexual dynamics. Sociological, Psychological, and Historical perspectives of deviance, religiosity, and sexuality will frame our analyses.

SPAN 002 – Continuing Introductory Spanish (Jose Florez)

Acquisition of four basic skills: comprehension, speaking, reading and writing, with emphasis on the spoken language. This course includes laboratory work and/or tutorial sessions.

SPAN 033 – Intermediate Spanish (Arianna Alfaro Porras) 

Review and reinforcement of four basic skills. Emphasis on conversation, reading ability and writing. Includes laboratory work and/or tutorial sessions (times arranged). Prerequisite: Spanish 2, 22 or equivalent placement.

WRIT 169B – Writing Center Literacies I/O (Kimberly Drake)

In this course, we discuss the theory and practice of a range of pedagogical practices that have been called writing fellows/mentors, embedded tutoring, classroom-based tutoring, curriculum-based tutoring, and subject-area specialist tutoring. We will examine the history of this kind of tutoring and the discussions of its theory, scholarly research, and practice in the discipline of Writing Center Studies; we will also develop a working Inside-Out pedagogical praxis for it in the classroom and pilot it in other Inside-Out courses. Students should also be aware of special course demands, which include up to an additional hour time commitment both before and after class times for transportation to/from the prison and clearance processes at the prison, the need for TB testing (available through Student Healthcare Services for $10), and the need to submit personal information for background checks. State ID and/or passport required. Students do not need any prior experience tutoring to be in this course.