Spring 2018 Course Descriptions

Hutchins' Upper Division major requirement varies per track but averages 40 units and includes the introductory courses LIBS 302 (for new Hutchins Transfer students) and LIBS 204 or 205 (offered in the Fall semester) and LIBS 208 or 209 (offered in the Spring semester). These classes are generally taken in a student's first year in the Hutchins program.

LIBS 320 classes are elective seminars, and are classified in one of four Core sections—A: Society and Self, B: Individual and the Material World, C: Human Experience and the Arts, and D: Consciousness and Reality. Please note that the Core classes are grouped together in this document after all non-Core classes, rather than being listed in numeric order.

Revised: 11/08/2017

Upper Division Classes:

LIBS 208: PRACTICES OF CULTURE (4 units)  

4127

F

1:00-4:40PM

Dr. Eric McGuckin

Ives 101

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

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LIBS 302: INTRODUCTION TO LIBERAL STUDIES (3 units)  
4128
W

1:00-3:40pm

Margaret Anderson

Carson 38

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

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LIBS 304: WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS: AMERICAN HISTORY FOR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS (3 units)  

4214

TH

4:00 - 6:40pm

Dr. Stephanie Dyer

Stevenson 3077

This course is designed to familiarize students who intend to pursue a multiple subject teaching credential with the content knowledge necessary to teach U.S. and California History in elementary schools. It also explores contemporary debates over History/Social Studies curriculum standards. Students will have the opportunity to design their own teaching modules and lesson plans and teach the content to their fellow learners. This course substitutes for LIBS 204/205 for Hutchins majors.

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LIBS 312: SCHOOLS IN AMERICAN SOCIETY (3 units)  

4130

W

4:00-6:40pm

Dr. Benjamin Frymer

Art Building 102

What are the possibilities for democratic and equal education in American schools?  What is the purpose of education anyway? This course is about the purpose and practice of schooling in the United States.  A major goal of the course is to foster dialogues about some of the big questions in education.  One major question will concern whether schooling actually creates and/or reproduces social inequalities by class, race, and gender.  Within this larger theme, we will examine the social conditions of learning and the potential of schools for fostering individual and social empowerment.  Finally, we will examine some of the current issues and debates in American schooling, including school segregation, testing and the standardization of learning, and progressive education.  Throughout the course we will discuss the purpose of learning, schools, and teaching and the role of the teacher in a democratic society.

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

1923

M

1:00-3:40pm

Ianthe Brautigan Swensen

Darwin 37

1816

M

4:00-6:40pm

Ianthe Brautigan Swensen

Nichols 304

This course for pre-credential multiple subject students looks at the importance of literacy and language arts in the contemporary world, including the value of wiriting and literature in the classroom, as well as the significance of literacy as a broader educational and social issue. Students will develop a pedagogy of grammar, examine the use of literature and the written word in the classroom, and create and teach a classroom grammar lesson. 

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

2036

Dr. Ajay Gehlawat

1 unit course

2037

Dr. Ajay Gehlawat

2 units course

Students will attend Sonoma Film Institute screenings or other film-related lectures or events on campus. Students will earn 1 unit of credit for every 6 film screenings attended. Students are also required to complete weekly reading assignments and submit a written film analysis incorporating these readings following each screening. Repeatable for up to 4 units. Satisfies GE, category C1.

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LIBS 392: PERFORMING ARTS FOR CHILDREN (2 units)  

TBA

TU/TH

3:00 - 4:50pm

Staff

Ives 119

Dance, music, and theatre are essential components of elementary education. Through hands-on studio work and lesson planning assignments, this course familiarizes undergraduates who intend to pursue a multiple subject teaching credential with the content knowledge necessary to prepare them to lead instruction in these subject areas. Cross-listed with THAR 392.

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LIBS 402: SENIOR SYNTHESIS (4 units)  

1795

TU

1:00-3:40pm

Dr. Janet Hess

Darwin 31

1974

M

1:00-3:40pm

Margaret Anderson

Stevenson 2006

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

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

1674

Dr. Eric McGuckin

Consent of department required

A capstone course required for the Hutchins major. Drawing on the papers collected for his or her portfolio, the student prepares a major paper synthesizing aspects of that individual’s own intellectual development. This is done in a study away situation. Also available for students choosing a minor in Hutchins.

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LIBS 410: INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-4 units)  

Contract Course

Must use form to register

Consent of instructor required

Independent Study is an individualized program of study taken for a letter grade with a Hutchins faculty sponsor who is willing to supervise it. A student consults with a faculty member on a topic, develops a plan of study, including number of units, project outcomes, number of meetings with the faculty and deadline for completion. A Project Contract is submitted to Admissions and Records after the beginning of the semester and before the last day to add classes. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: LIBS 302 and consent of instructor..

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LIBS 480: TEACHING ASSISTANT - SEMINAR FACILITATOR (1-3 units)  

Contract Course

Must use form to register

Consent of instructor required

This course provides students with an opportunity to enhance their facilitation skills through serving as a seminar leader in large lecture/discussion courses. Requires the consent of instructor.

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LIBS 499: INTERNSHIP (1-4 Units)  

Contract Course

Must use form to register

Consent of instructor required

All students develop an internship working outside the classroom. Students also prepare a portfolio project based upon a larger topic implicit in their internship. They participate with other interns in an internship class once a week to discuss their internship experience and issues related to the larger society. Grade only.

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CORE A OFFERINGS 
 

Courses in this area address the following issues and themes:

  • Problems and possibilities before us at the start of a new century as we move toward a genuinely global culture.
  • The relationship between the individual and all kinds of human groups, the context of human interaction in which the individual finds many of the dimensions of the self.
  • Ideas, attitudes, and beliefs that flow between society and the individual and which result in the political and economic arrangements that make life-in-common possible.
  • Historical and economic developments, geographical facts, analytical models, and moral questions necessary to understand the dynamics of individuals and their communities.
  • Moral and ethical underpinnings of our patterns of social interaction and how these affect issues such as race, gender, and class.
  • Questions concerning whether the goals of human dignity, political justice, economic opportunity, and cultural expression are being enhanced or destroyed by specific historical developments, cultural practices, economic arrangements, or political institutions. For example: How, in the face of that compelling force, do we shape the kind of society that values and protects the individual? How do we become the kinds of individuals who understand and help foster the just society?
 
LIBS 320A.001: ALCOHOLIC REPUBLIC  

1928

TU

4:00 - 6:40pm

Dr. Stephanie Dyer

Carson 44B

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

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320A.002: QUEST FOR DEMOCRACY  

2246

M

9:00 - 11:40am

Dr. Francisco Vazquez

Carson 34

This is a study of a historical and continental-wide quest for democracy as manifested by English and Spanish Americans. Using three different kinds of analyses of power (liberalism, Marxism, and discourse) and a comparative framework, we explore the historical presence and issues of the three largest Latino groups in the United States and similar struggles currently taking place in other parts of the world. We examine definitions of politics, class, democracy, will of the people, colonialism, patriarchy, the State, global economy and their impact on issues like immigration and sustainability and, ultimately, on human bodies.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320A.003: WOMEN OF COLOR IN THE US  

4133

W

1:00-3:40pm

Staff

Carson 44B

This seminar offers an interdisciplinary study of the histories and experiences of women of color in the U.S. and the shaping of woman of color as a political and strategic identity. We will examine the economics, politics, social, and historical impact of race, class, gender, and sexuality on the lives of women of color and the national imaginary. Our focus on representation and cultural production will allow for the appreciation of new imaginaries, and the formation of liberation movements, methods, theories, and coalitions against the deadening politics of discrimination and incarceration.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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CORE B OFFERINGS
 

Courses in this area address the following issues and themes:

  • Science and technology and their relationships to the individual and society.
  • The methods of science and important information that has been discovered through their applications.
  • Some of the crucial issues posed by our culture's applications of science and technology and, adversely, the cultural consequences of a materialist world view.
  • How science and technology impact all areas of our lives.
  • How, for better and for worse, as inheritors of the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, we intervene in our material world technologically.
  • Scientific aspects of particular social issues, or an issue of personal concern, the sense of science as a social endeavor.
  • The values implicit in a particular technology.
 
LIBS 320B.001: ECOLOGY AND CULTURE  

1625

W

4:00-6:40pm

Dr. Mutombo Mpanya

Carson 37

Environmental issues such as the loss of rain forest and biological diversity, global warming, and toxic waste are related to the use of modern technology and to a certain sense of human and economic progress. A discussion of these issues is essential to a new understanding of the relationship between the physical environment, the cultures of the world, and the modern development project. This course will examine how political, economic, and cultural dynamics affect environmental policies. Students will get an overview of the basic concepts of ecological science and how political processes impact existing ecosystems.  The class will engage in lively discussion with a view towards understanding the ecological context of the 21st century. Students will address issues of sustainability from a diverse range of cultural and ecological perspectives. Topics will include ecological principles, environmental ethics, technological practices, and development policies. 

Prerequisite:LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320B.002: SCIENCE AND STORYTELLING  

1626

M

4:00-6:40pm

Dr. Mutombo Mpanya

Carson 37

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

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320B.003: CLIMATE CHANGE AND SOCIETY  

2247

TH

1:00-3:40pm

Dr. Justine Law

Carson 59

Climate change results from a tangled web of biophysical processes. But climate change is also social. Indeed, the causes and impacts of climate change, as well as our reactions to it and discourses around it, are situated within the equally-messy, tangled web of society. So, if we truly want to understand (and, ideally, confront) climate change, we need to examine it through biophysical and social lenses.

In this course, we will learn: (a) the science of climate change; (b) the impacts of climate change and the tools we have for mitigating and/or adapting to these impacts; (c) the politics of climate change; and (d) our opportunities for engaging with climate change as conscientious, informed citizens. We will pay particular attention to the roles of citizen science, education, and public art in our response to climate change. 

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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CORE C OFFERINGS
 

Courses in this area address the following issues and themes:

  • Why humans create literature, epics, poetry, drama, and other literary forms, the visual arts, languages, architecture, music, dance, the writings of philosophers, and the thought and literature of the world's religions.
  • The inner world of creativity and individual values as well as the questions about how we arrive at a sense of meaning and purpose, ethical behavior, and a sense of beauty and order in the world.
  • Deep and significant aspects of ourselves which may otherwise remain obscure and therefore troubling.
  • Important questions - and occasional answers - about life and death, about feelings, and about the ways we see things.
  • The metaphors that help us recognize and become aware of the interrelations of all the areas of inquiry humanity has developed.
  • Images from which we may learn about our reality or realities of other times.
  • Creative and intuitive thinking processes that lead to an understanding of the aesthetic experience.
  • How the arts can be an end in themselves, as well as a means to an end.
 
LIBS 321C.001: LATINA/O LITERATURES  

4000

M

1:00-3:40pm

Staff

Carson 44B

In this course we will study literature by and about Latina/os. We will focus on how contemporary cultural texts negotiate the boundaries of language and genre to imagine diverse Latina/o experiences in the hemispheric Americas, as well as shared histories of colonialism and racialization. Of particular interest are health, dis/ease, and the disruptions of migration at their intersection with race, gender, sexuality, and economics.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320C.002: BARBIES  

1855

TU

9:00-11:40am

Dr. Janet Hess

Carson 52

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

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

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320C.003: INTRODUCTION TO FILM STUDIES  

2248

W

9:00-11:40am

Dr. Ajay Gehlawat

Art 102

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

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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CORE D OFFERINGS
 

Courses in this area address the following issues and themes:

  • Reality as a result of many factors, some of them psychological, some biological, some philosophical, some social and the many aspects of being or existence as reaching from the physical to the metaphysical.
  • Consciousness as, somehow, the result of our gender, our ethnicity, our health, the ways in which we were reared, the social stratum in which we find ourselves, the beliefs that were engendered in us, and other factors.
  • Consciousness as occurring across a spectrum of potentials (conscious/unconscious, rational/irrational, egocentric/transpersonal, masculine/feminine) that influence our personal and collective realities.
  • Human needs at various levels of emotional, religious or spiritual, intellectual, and transpersonal or universal disciplines, practices, and experiences.
  • One of the major concerns of people in all places at all times has been: what are the components of being human?
  • The range of answers which are sometimes perplexingly inconsistent with one another, and yet their very divergence itself suggests something about the powerful complexity of the human individual.
  • The study of biology as it relates to psychology, and consciousness as it affects and is affected by perceptions of reality.
  • Meaning-making as a necessary human achievement, and identity formation as it is understood in the light of developmental psychology and the nature-nurture controversy.
 
LIBS 320D.001: WHAT REALLY MATTERS? FILM AND MEANING  
2013

TU

4:00-6:40pm

Dr. Benjamin Frymer

Carson 35

The search and hunger for meaning are fundamental to the human experience.  Whether religious or secular, familial or individual, our attempts to discover what really matters to us often come to define our lives, pursuits, and relationships. Film has a particularly rich tradition in the exploration of what really matters to both individuals and entire societies. In some respects film can become one of the most powerful modes of the search for meaning itself, and this course will offer up space to watch and talk about some exemplary cinematic works exploring both meaning and the lack of meaning (or alienation) in individual lives and larger communities. 

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320D.002: VALUES AND POWER IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE  

1713

W

9:00-11:40am

Dr. Francisco Vazquez

Carson 34

Is consciousness of values and power an illusion? How does irony function as social critique? Is there a moral universe and if so, what are the consequences of behaving unjustly? Does civilization makes us less civil? What are the implications of our dependence on technology? Does the fact of death make life worth living if so, what happens if some humans become “amortal”? These are but a few of the questions raised by Rod Serling's groundbreaking television series, The Twilight Zone and many contemporary thinkers. Using episodes from the series as well as philosophical and literary texts, this course invites students to think critically about questions that impact our human experience now and point towards the future of our species in this unique corner of the cosmos.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320D.003: LEARNING, PEDAGOGY AND THE HEGEMONY OF SCHOOL  

1792

TH

9:00-11:40am

Dr. Wendy Ostroff

Carson 35

This course is about comparing how learning emerges in the brain and mind, with the ways that formal teaching takes place. We will examine how students learn from a cognitive perspective, and in what ways the scientific knowledge of learning has contributed to classroom design (or could contribute to classroom design). We will also look at the history of education and the implicit beliefs, hierarchies and power dynamics that have dictated pedagogy and curricula in the classroom.

Students will develop lesson plans based on state of the art theory and science; consider philosophy and how literature and narrative inform practice; approach themes of liberal education, and uncover ways that political hegemony has dictated classroom and schools’ operation. Other activities will include writing utopian and memoir narratives, interview teachers, and journal to discern their own views and develop them – culminating in an original and deliberate philosophy of teaching and learning.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320D.004: JAMES BOND PHENOMENON  

4175

F

9:00-11:40am

Dr. Ajay Gehlawat

Carson 33

The name is Bond but what does that name entail? Sexist? Imperialist? Globe-trotting assassin? The continued success of the Bond franchise seems to belie such strident criticism, even as its secret agent and his consciousness reflect ongoing cultural shifts, particularly with regard to race, gender and sexuality. Bond’s imprint has also been made on multiple global media cultures, including India’s Bollywood, which have created their own indigenous versions of this figure, further testifying to his global allure. Using a combination of film screenings and readings from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, this seminar will consider the various significations and iterations of 007 throughout the world, from the start of the franchise during the Cold War era, up to the twenty-first century. Our aim will be to understand how the various versions of Bond reflect our own ever-changing world and its evolving conceptions of humanity. Students will compile their own dossiers on the subject, culminating in a final research mission and related report.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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