Humanities Learning Communities
Anyone, no matter what your major is, can choose to participate in the Humanities Learning Community. Each Learning Community will consist of 70-75 students and two faculty members. In addition, each community will have a different theme. Each semester students will:
Attend one large weekly lecture (75 students) on a theme/topic that meets the learning requirements for the General Education (GE) C3 requirement (Humanities) Attend a weekly seminar (20-25 students) linked to the lecture to practice critical thinking, writing, and oral presentation skills. The weekly seminar will fulfill GE area A3, critical thinking.
Students who successfully complete the two-semester sequence will receive credit for GE areas A3 and C3.
Students can choose from the following options:
ARTH 160A: Cave paintings to Picasso: Art and Visual Culture
Jennifer Roberson & Jennifer Shaw (Art)
In this course we will look at key examples of art and architecture from around the world from the earliest known cave paintings to the modern works of famous artists like Picasso and learn to think critically about visual culture in general. We will see examples from across the globe (Europe, the Middle East, the Far East). We will ask questions such as: Who made them? What was their original purpose? What do they tell us about the culture from which they came? What do they mean to us today? Students will come away from this course with an ability to understand the historical and aesthetic significance of a wide range of art as well as a framework that will allow them to ask and find the answers to their own questions about art and architecture.
CALS 160: From Birth of a Nation and Modern Family: Black to Brown Bodies in the Media. (Listed on the FLC selections as Media, Power and Identity.)
Patricia Kim-Rajal (CALS) & Christina Baker (CALS)
In this course we will examine the representation of Blacks and Latinos in film and television. While we will consider the history of racial representations, our focus will be on contemporary depictions of Blacks and Latinos from the 1980s to the present. We will critically analyze film and television texts and their relationship to social inequalities. We will also consider how race and ethnicity intersect with gender, sexuality and socioeconomic status in these representations.
COMS 160A/B: America at the Movies
Marco Calavita (COMS)
This course will investigate the relationship between American film and society, and in particular the ways in which films can reflect, distort, and even affect the values and beliefs of American audiences, and the realities of American life. Supplemented by readings on American history and culture, students will study a range of films from the silent era to the present in their particular historical contexts, including Birth of a Nation, Gold Diggers of 1933, Casablanca, Mildred Pierce, Rebel Without a Cause, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Graduate, Dirty Harry, Three Days of the Condor, 9 to 5, Die Hard, Do the Right Thing, and Office Space. Students will focus in particular on developing the critical-analytical interpretive skills necessary to better understand the varied meanings and messages communicated by this form of mass media and entertainment.
ENGL 160A: Shakespeare, Film and the Tudor Age
This course will examine the plays of Shakespeare in relation to the historical context in which they were produced. We will analyze the moral, legal, and ethical questions raised by these works both in relation to their own time and ours. We will focus on issues of power, sexuality, gender, race and ethnicity, paying particular attention to how the "discovery" of the Americas and the increasing contact with Africa and Asia altered modes of thinking and critical analysis in the Renaissance. To better understand the plays and comprehend their relevance to today's world, we will view several different filmic versions of each work that we read in class. Much of the discussion will be directed towards analyzing how and why the texts were altered by filmmakers and actors.
MLL 161 A/B: Critical Encounters in Languages and Cultures (See Global Learning Experience for important requirements.)
Robert Train (Modern Languages)
This course is designed for first-year college students interested in studying another language and/or for students who are considering studying abroad during their college career. Students will enroll in MLL161A, "Critical Encounters in Languages and Cultures," a year-long, 2-unit course that will examine various examples of contact between diverse cultures and languages and how they shape the lives of bilingual and multilingual speakers in California and beyond. Students will explore images of self and others through travel writing, art, literary texts, film, music and ethnography. In the fall semester, students will also enroll in a language class (French 101, German 101 or Spanish 201). This learning community will provide students with an opportunity to compare and contrast experiences across languages, thus multiplying critical perspectives. Offering pathways to study abroad, this course also connects academic content to preparation for future participation in SSU's International Programs.
MUSIC 160: First Hearing. What's Going On Here?
We'll gather around the global well of music. To hear, then listen. To feel, then think. To talk, then write. We'll let all kinds of music from all kinds of places/eras inspire all kinds of questions. Does music matter? How? What might it mean? Why? First hearing will lead to deeper hearing. First questions will lead to wider questions about culture, about people, about ourselves. In a year-long conversation, the rich world of music will open us out into the deep-wide-rich world we share.
PHIL 160A: Law and Technology Confront an Unethical World
Instructors: Joshua Glasgow and John Sullins
Brief Description: This learning community will appeal to students interested in legal, ethical, and socio-political issues. It will emphasize general critical thinking skills and discuss different topics under our theme, such as, potentially, technology, war, robotics, multiculturalism, race, and racism.
PHIL 160A: The Heart of Wisdom: Compassion And The Good Life
Andy Wallace (Philosophy) & Denny Bozman-Moss (Phil/English)
In this interdisciplinary course, students will study the nature and significance of compassion in human life. Coursework will include 'hands-on' experiential as well as more traditional book-based assignments and exercises. On the experiential side, students will learn guided visualization techniques, mindfulness meditation practices and participate in service-learning of approximately 25 hours a semester, in which they will have opportunities to work with a range of different populations, such as, the elderly, the handicapped, children, and the homeless.
On the more traditional side, students will study the latest scientific, ethical and philosophical writings on compassion from a cross-cultural point of view, taking into account Eastern and Western approaches. Students will develop their critical thinking and research skills through applying them to their on-going service work. This course is a perfect fit for students who are contemplating careers in counseling, psychology, biology, medicine, nursing, teaching, ethics, religion and philosophy. It is also a perfect fit for anyone interested in the great ethical questions of human existence: What makes life worth living? The answer from philosophy and science is that it just might require a very healthy dose of compassion.
THAR 160A: Seeing Theatre Today
Scott Horstein & Judy Navas (Theatre)
Experience great performances created by modern and contemporary theatre artists. Students are engaged as audiences through videotaped productions of renowned and important performers, directors, and choreographers, Department of Theatre Arts and Dance productions, and Associated Students Productions (ASP). Post-viewing discussions and papers ask students to further engage by reflecting upon their shared experience.
For more information on the School of Arts and Humanities, please visit their website.