Course Descriptions

Summer 2023 Courses

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

CGS 050 – Power and social change (George Ygarza)

“Power to the People!” “Knowledge is power.” What does one mean by power, and how may altering power relations lead to social change? This course will critically examine different theories of power, the relationship between power and violence, and how power can be used to liberate as well as dominate and manipulate. Students will examine works from various interdisciplinary fields and movements, such as Marxism, feminism, postmodernism, anti-colonial and postcolonial movements, and indigenous and grassroots movements.

ECON 145 – International Trade (Menna Bizuneh) 

We live in a highly globalized world with dramatic economic and social developments. Cheap shipment of goods and communications technologies have made the world smaller and very interconnected. The ease with which goods and services flow from country to country have made the study of international trade more important than ever. The problems that arise with such unprecedented interaction between sovereign states are the issues that are discussed in this course. This course will address a wide range of issues, including theories of trade, tariff and non-tariff barrier to trade.

ENGL 034 – Fiction Workshop (Adam Novy) 

In this course we will examine the workings of fiction by reading and discussing the work of both published and student writers. Students will submit a minimum of two stories to the workshop and write weekly critiques of their peers’ writing. Generative exercise may occasionally be assigned.

MATH 52 (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.

PHIL 36 – Gender, Crime & Punishment (Susan Castagnetto)

The course explores issues of crime and punishment through a lens of gender, also considering intersections of gender, race, class, age, and sexuality. We will examine issues that bring women into the criminal justice system and that face them in prison and on release, the impact of the system on mothers and families, and the gendered structure of prisons, among others. In addressing these themes, we will also consider the nature and purpose of punishment, the current state of the criminal justice system, including the war on drugs, mass incarceration and the growth of the prison-industrial complex, how we define or conceive of crime, the relationships between the criminal justice system and other social and political institutions, whether prisons should be reformed or abolished, changes being made, and how we can make change. Readings are from a variety of sources and disciplines, including scholarly work, pieces from the media, work by advocacy organizations, and firsthand accounts. The course is primarily discussion-based.

POLI 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 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.

SOC 30 – 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.

SOC 183 – Consumer Society and Culture (Gary Yeritsian) 

This course will draw upon a range of related disciplinary perspectives, including sociology, marketing studies, and history to explore the phenomenon of consumption in contemporary life. Topics will include the historical origins of consumer society; the meaning of brands; the relationships between consumers and firms; the role of consumption in identity formation; and the connection between consumer culture and media. Students will be encouraged to use course material to think reflexively about their own positions within consumer society. 

SPAN 33 – Intermediate Spanish (Arianna Alfaro Porras) 

Spanish 33 is an intensive, intermediate-level course in which students use inquiry, creativity and collaborative thinking to explore language and intersections of culture in local and global communities of Latin America and the U.S. This course is infused with opportunities to put in practice different language functions in authentic meaningful communication. This idea is conceived from and directly linked to the foundation of our Spanish program that is based on the concept that language is a social practice. Our approach in class will often be directed toward exploring how to use language for different purposes in different contexts. This process will involve strengthening cross-cultural and language communicative modes: interpersonal, interpretative, and presentational. In addition, our Study Abroad program in Ecuador plays an important role in achieving this objective through different types of interactions during the semester. This course is delivered in a blended online format with a balanced mix of asynchronous and synchronous components.

Prerequisites: SPAN002, SPAN022, or Placement Exam