Fall 2017 Course Descriptions

Hutchins' Upper Division major requirement consists of 40 units and includes the introductory courses LIBS 302 (for new Hutchins Transfer students), LIBS 204 or LIBS 205 (offered in the Fall semester), and LIBS 208 or LIBS 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.

Upper Division Classes:

 


LIBS 204: MINORITIES IN AMERICAN CINEMA (4 units)

3833

F

1:00 - 4:40pm

Dr. Ajay Gehlawat

Ives 101

This course examines the fundamental beliefs, assumptions, and “self-evident” truths that serve as the foundation for American culture, and considers these in light of challenges provided by multicultural perspectives. Our primary focus will be on representations of racial minorities in American cinema from the beginning of the twentieth century till today. This course will fulfill G.E. area C2 and ethnic studies. 

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LIBS 302: INTRODUCTION TO LIBERAL STUDIES (3 units)

1617

M

9:00 - 11:40am

Dr. Francisco Vazquez

Carson 34

1618

W

4:00 - 6:40pm

Dr. Mutombo M'Panya

Carson 37

4091

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 Hutchins Portfolio. Successful completion of LIBS 302 is required to continue in the Hutchins program. Students earning a grade lower than a C will not be allowed to continue in Hutchins. [top]

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

4294

TH

4:00 - 6:40pm

Dr. Stephanie Dyer

Art 109

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)

3835

W

4:00 - 6:40pm

Dr. Benjamin Frymer

Carson 20

A close inspection of child development and elementary school pedagogy, emphasizing relevant social and cultural factors as well as major theoretical views of physical, emotional, and personality growth. Subjective views of childhood experience will be contrasted with observations. Readings from Erikson, Freud, Hall, Goodall, and others.

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

1641

TU

4:00 - 6:40pm

Ianthe Brautigan Swensen

Darwin 37

1854

TU

7:00 - 9:40pm

Ianthe Brautigan Swensen

Carson 20


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. [top]

LIBS 390: INDEPENDENT FILM STUDY (1-2 units)
2024 Dr. Ajay Gehlawat 1 unit course
2025 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)

4270

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)

1715

M

4:00 - 6:40pm

Margaret Anderson

Carson 68


A capstone course required for the Hutchins major. Drawing on the papers collected for his or her portfolio, the student prepares a major paper and a Senior Project synthesizing aspects of that individual’s own intellectual development. Each student makes an oral presentation of his or her project at the end of the semester. Must be taken in the student’s final semester in the Major. [top]

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

Dr. Janet Hess

Consent of instructor 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. [top]
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 101-202 or 302 and consent of instructor. [top]
LIBS 480: TEACHING ASSISTANT - SEMINAR FACILITATION (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 (1-5 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. [top]

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 321A.1: RACE AND NEIGHBORHOOD (3 units)

3834

M

1:00 - 3:40pm

Staff

Carson 44B


How are neighborhoods (de) valued? And what does this have to do with the contested and changing geographies of social difference -- race, gender, sexualities, and economics? In this course we will consider the myths and histories of ethnic and racial separations, and the political and economic arrangements that make life-in-common possible across a range of real and imagined communities, neighborhoods, and blocks with names like Clybourne Park, and Ferguson and Osage Avenue, to perhaps, the place where you live or grew up. We will think across a range of communities and creative literary, visual, and cultural texts, including: plays, documentary film, public policy, short stories, poetry, and music. Our readings question social exclusion and the social constructions of race, status, place, and contemporary life, and focus particularly on the poetics and politics of social unrest, housing segregation, public transportation, safety, policing, and racial terror. This is a writing intensive course (WIC).

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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LIBS 320A.1: SHOP 'TIL YOU DROP (3 units)

1631

TU

4:00 - 6:40pm

Dr. Stephanie Dyer

Carson 44B


This seminar will examine interdisciplinary perspectives on consumer culture from the late 19th century to the present. We will explore different theories of consumption; the major structures of consumerism such as “economies of scale,” cheap labor, discount pricing, credit, branding, advertising, and retail spaces; and the lived experience of consumer culture in terms of its impact on our families and communities, our environment, and ourselves. Special attention will be paid to how race, gender, age, and class have affected the experience of diverse peoples in American consumer culture. As seminar participants, we will also reflect about our own place in the American political economy, examining our own experiences in comparison to those we have read about in seminar and considering how to achieve more ethical forms of consumption.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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LIBS 320A.2: AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE (3 units)

1632

TU

9:00 - 11:40am

Dr. Janet Hess

Carson 52

 

African American culture will be explored in this course as an integrated cultural phenomenon.  Music and dance, painting and sculpture, oral and written literature, and photography and theater will be discussed in the context of theoretical paradigms related to historical experiences, including African antecedents, the Middle Passage and the wider Diaspora.  Specific art objects, experiences and performances will be discussed in terms of the expression and negotiation of community and individual identity.  Particular attention will be paid to the legal and social conditions of cultural discourses, to the expression of resistance and counter-narratives in the African American community, and to the status of African American art as—in the words of the African and diasporic historian Robert Farris Thompson—“a triumph of creative will over the forces of destruction.”

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 cultureís 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.1: MATHEMATICS AND HUMAN IMAGINATION (3 units)

1561

M

4:00 - 6:40pm

Dr. Mutombo M'Panya

Carson 37


Mathematics is a complex subject with many subfields, which are very different from one another.  Because of this, there are understandably many misconceptions about mathematics.  Even though mathematics is a practical science where people must solve problems and do exercises, too much emphasis has been placed on mastering calculations and developing computational skills at the expense of other aspects of the subject.  While the relationship of mathematics to science and technology is well known, its relationship to the humanities is not.  This course will provide a different perspective where mathematics can be viewed as part of the liberal arts tradition.  

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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LIBS 320B.2: INTERSECTIONS OF ART AND SCIENCE (3 units)

1658

TH

1:00 - 3:40pm

Russell Scarola

Carson 69

 

Deeply emotional, naturally curious, ever inventive! At present, we humans live in a world of ever expanding technology, a world filled with both wonder at what we can accomplish and a growing apprehension over the long term effects our actions are already having on people and planet. The more voices and viewpoints present to help guide our human ingenuity, the better and more equitable those solutions will be! As citizens of the world, how well trained are we to participate in discussing these modern techno-ethical dilemmas? How does the way we teach science create barriers to inclusion? How do the approaches of science and art differ (and overlap!) and how each be used to enhance the other's ability to share knowledge, process our emotions, and strive for more sustainable innovations? In short, how can art help inform a greater cultural consciousness and in what ways can improved science literacy lead to a greater understanding of our potential to be designers of self, neighborhood, and world?

Whoa big words! Really, this is a highly experiential class. With the understanding that you "haven't learned something until you've created with it," each week we'll take all those big ideas above and ground them a series of arts-integrated "mini-labs" at the boundaries of Art and Science. It'll be Monday discussions and then Wednesdays we play! Throughout the course, our readings and projects will include forays into film, graphic novels, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, basic science, and physical interactive art. Your final project will either take the form of an individual creative endeavor OR we have the option to work together and design an exhibit for the Children's Museum in Santa Rosa.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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LIBS 320B.3: POLITICAL ECOLOGY (3 units)

4011

TH

9:00 - 11:40am

Dr. Justine Law

Carson 59


What really causes deforestation? Why do Americans spend so much time and money on their lawns? Should we be saving endangered species or people? Why are ecosystem services so darn hard to privatize? Is obesity simply the result of consuming too many calories? These are all questions that political ecology can help us to answer. Political ecology is an interdisciplinary field that situates environmental change within broader networks of political, economic, and social relations. In addition, all political ecology work draws on critical theory (e.g. theory about power, discourse, or science) to challenge “normal” environmental narratives. In this course, we will: (a) study the theoretical foundations of political ecology, (b) evaluate some of the theses it puts forward, and (c) apply political ecology insights to contemporary environmental issues.

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 worldís 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 320C.1: THE CINEMATIC VISION OF MARTIN SCORSESE (3 units)

1597

M

4:00 - 6:40pm

Dr. Benjamin Frymer

Carson 44D

 

This course will explore the vast array of legendary director Martin Scorsese's dynamic films in the context of multiple film histories and the American tradition of Film Noir.  While surveying many of his films, we will read about key social, philosophical and spiritual themes in Scorsese's work and attempt to understand and scrutinize his neo-noir works as both commentaries upon and complex illuminations of contemporary American society. http://m.imdb.com/name/nm0000217/

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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LIBS 320C.2: A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF ART HISTORY (3 units)

1598

TU

1:00 - 3:40pm

Dr. Janet Hess

Carson 52

 

This course will examine the history of American Indian and African American art.  In addition to studying the history, political and legal circumstances, and survival/revival of American Indian and African art, we will examine how dance, music, performance, and oral literature is inseparable from an understanding of these cultures.  Special focus will be placed on how indigenous Americans survived a genocide, and how African Americans survived the Middle Passage and slavery, and how their cultures express resistance to Euro-American values and expectations of what constitutes “culture” and “art.”

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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LIBS 320C.3: MEMOIR (3 units)

1659

W

1:00 - 3:40pm

Staff

Carson 44B

 

In this seminar we will close read contemporary creative nonfiction, memoir, and personal essays. We will consider the aesthetics and ethics of memory and storytelling and the structure and innovation of texts that make of use of and interact with other forms and genres, such as letters, music/video, and poetry. Of particular interest are explorations of the vexed American histories of race, sexuality, gender, and class, narrative self-making, and the public life of writing. Each student will also craft and share a short work of creative nonfiction to be discussed in class during a writing workshop.

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.1: DEATH, DYING AND BEYOND (3 units)

1626

M

1:00 - 3:40pm

Dr. Eric McGuckin

Carson 61


"I don't want to achieve immortality through great works. I want to achieve it through not dying." - Woody Allen.

Confronting death can bring us fully to life. This course will examine biological dying, the sociology and psychology of death, and the spiritual dimensions of passing beyond through literature, art, film medicine, guided meditations, and humor. Written and experiential assignments will engage our analytic, creative, and spiritual minds. This course may be emotionally challenging. Field trips to be arranged.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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LIBS 320D.2: IT'S ABOUT TIME (3 units)

1627

W

1:00 - 3:40pm

Dr. Wendy Ostroff

Carson 35


Whether we are talking about mechanical clocks or biological clocks, time is the medium in which we live our lives and construct meaning. In most cases, barring life-threatening situations or living across cultures, we experience time as a linear constant. But upon deeper examination, the dimension of time quickly loses its predictability…

The theories of general relativity and special relativity have now experimentally verified that time can dilate, loop and bend due to differences in gravity or velocity. Meanwhile, in our technologically based society, we are tampering with time in ways that impact how we live, the textures of our experience, and our very sense of what it is to be human. Whereas our lives have grown longer, we have begun to cram ever more work and activity into each multitasking moment; our media has chopped up the flow of time into a succession of disjointed nanoseconds, and our instant and constant communication has managed to banish the natural rhythms of diurnal and seasonal time, leaving us in a frantic state of being "on" 24/7. 

In this course, we will examine time through a multitude of lenses, from the circadian rhythms to aging, to science fiction and neuroscience, from instant messaging to Einstein's physics to cryogenic freezing, and from Zen Buddhism to illusion and social sculpture, to mention a few.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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LIBS 320D.3: VALUES AND POWER IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE (3 units)

1701

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. Using episodes from the series as well as philosophical and literary texts, the 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.4: ANIMALS (3 units)

4233

TH

4:00-6:40pm

Dr. Daniel Lanza Rivers

Carson 54


We live in a world populated by a stunning variety of other animals whose lived experiences are both radically different and inseparable from our own. Drawing on a set of foundational readings from philosophy, history of science, and cultural studies, this course invites you to think about how humans' relationships with the rest of the animal world shape our sense of meaning and our experience of reality. Questions we will explore include, What can thinking about nonhuman animals teach us about culture, ecology, and the exercise of power? What possibilities for intimacy, creative exploration, and coevolution become visible through interspecies interactions? And how might expanding our knowledge of other animals' lives help us cultivate more curious, humble, and expansive understandings of ourselves and the world? In an attempt to engage more deeply with the scientific and cultural theories that underpin this course, our weekly readings will include creative work such as studio art, memoir, music, poetry, fiction, and documentary. In addition to responding to our weekly readings in writing, you will be asked to reflect on narratives that have shaped your understanding of creaturely life and human animality, and your final project will give you an opportunity for critical and creative reflection on a specific species or interspecies relationship.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202

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