Spring Course Descriptions

The Hutchins Upper Division Major consists of 40 units and includes the introductory courses LIBS 302 (for new Hutchins Transfer students) and LIBS 204 (offered in the Fall semester) and 208 (offered in the Spring semester). LIBS 320 classes are elective seminars, and are classified in one of four Core Areas—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 11/13/2013

Upper Division Classes:

LIBS 208: THE PRACTICE OF CULTURE (3 units)  

TBA

F

1:00-4:40PM

Dr. Eric McGuckin

Ives 101

This course explores crossing cultural boundaries in anthropology, migration, travel, and cinema. The goal of the course is to foster a deeper understanding of globalization and cultural understanding and misunderstanding,  particularly as they are represented in narrative and film. 

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LIBS 302: INTRODUCTION TO LIBERAL STUDIES (3 units)  
1815
M

4:00-6:40pm

Dr. Benjamin Frymer

Carson 55

2162
M

9:00-11:40am

Dr. Heidi LaMoreaux

Carson 44B

2163
W

4:00-6:40pm

Dr. Mutombo Mpanya

Carson 37

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 304 or 308 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 327: LITERACY, LANGUAGE AND PEDAGOGY (3 units)  

2021

TH

1:00-3:40pm

Ianthe Brautigan Swensen

Ives 79

3727

TH

4:00-6:40pm

Ianthe Brautigan Swensen

Salazar 2019

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 writing 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 330: THE CHILD IN QUESTION (3 units)  

2229

T

4:00-6:40pm

Dr. Wendy Ostroff

Ives 24

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 341: ZEPHYR PUBLICATION (1 Unit)  

2061

T

12:00-12:50pm

Dr. Heidi LaMoreaux

Carson 44B

In this course we will be putting together a volume of Zephyr, the Hutchins Literary Journal. Students will create the thematic structure and recruit written and visual work from the entire Hutchins Community (including Lower- and Upper-Division students, faculty, staff, Degree Completion students, Masters students and alumni). Students will also make all decisions regarding selection and editing, as well as organization and layout. The semester will culminate with the publication and distribution of Zephyr and the organization of a public reading for the Hutchins community.

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LIBS 399.1: STUDENT TAUGHT COURSE: SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (2 Units)  

2241

TH

1:00-3:40pm

Advisor: Dr. Francisco Vazquez

TBA

This class will explore how Saturday Night Live has impacted issues ranging from gender and race, to politics and culture, by use of tools like political satire, comedic news, impersonations, and even through its various hosts and musical artists. The focus of this course will be SNL's weekly production process of sketch comedy, the behind-the-scenes history of the show, the multi-dimensional, evolving cast and writers, and the show's creator, Lorne Michaels.

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LIBS 402: SENIOR SYNTHESIS (4 units)  

1981

M

1:00-3:40pm

Dr. Francisco Vazquez

Art 108

4293

TH

4:00-6:40pm

Dr. Wendy Ostroff

Carson 68

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)  

Dr. Heidi LaMoreaux

 

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.1: CONTINENTAL AMERICANS  

1838

W

1:00 - 3:40pm

Dr. Francisco Vazquez

Carson 34

As we enter a period of global economic, political and social transformation with its potential for violent cultural conflict it seems important for all people who share the same Continent of América (the Western Hemisphere, not just the United States) to look beyond their cultural differences. In this class we explore the forging of a shared identity through the struggles for political and economic rights and especially through the quest for human dignity. Starting with colonial times we learn how this struggle assumes different forms and how it continues to take shape today.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202.
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LIBS 320A.2: HAPPILY EVER AFTER: LOVE RELATIONSHIPS IN AMERICAN CULTURE  

3738

M

4:00 - 6:40pm

Dr. Stephanie Dyer

Carson 35

This course will examine ideas and practices of romantic love in American life, past and present. Special attention will be given to how these ideas and practices both inform gender and sexual identities, and are in turn shaped by those identities. We will read about changing cultural ideals of love and sexuality; how social conventions of courtship, cohabitation, marriage, and family relations have changed over time; how political and legal structures have shaped normative conceptions of love relationships; the economics of dating, mating, and family formation; and the commodification of love in consumer culture and mass media.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320A.3: CAPITALISM AND ITS DISCONTENTS  

1965

W

4:00 - 6:40pm

Dr. Stephanie Dyer

Carson 35

This seminar will examine interdisciplinary perspectives on American capitalism in an age of globalization. We will explore different theories of the capitalist system, its major institutional structures and processes, and the lived experience of capitalist society in terms of working, consuming, and self and group identity. Special attention will be paid to how race, gender, and citizenship have affected the experience of diverse peoples under capitalism. As seminar participants, we will also reflect about our own place in the American political economy.

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.1: MACHINE AS METAPHOR  

1719

T

9:00-11:40am

Dr. Nelson Kellogg

Carson 60

Mechanization and automation, concepts born of the industrial revolution, continue to dominate our lives and economic means of production well into the information age. We need to understand the human fascination with the construction of devices and the aesthetic of the artificial if we are to avoid greater "dis-integration" with our present and future roles in society. This course will survey the spectrum of responses to the artificial landscape in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from the "Zen of machine" consciousness of the practitioner to the fearful jeremiad of the alienated observer. Several up-close class activities with both the artist's and gadgeteer's perspectives will complete the reconnaissance.

Prerequisite:LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320B.2: WATER MATTERS  

1720

TH

1:00-3:40pm

Dr. Debora Hammond

Carson 59

As the most indispensable substance for all life on earth, water has played a crucial role in the creation and development of every human society. It underlies our most ancient mythologies and religions as well as our most basic political and economic systems. Today, the choices we make about the uses of this “Blue Gold” are increasingly critical to the future of both human civilization and the natural world on which it ultimately depends. This course is designed as an interdisciplinary exploration of the changing meaning and use of water in various eras and cultures, including our own, and an examination of its pivotal role at present as the most vital natural substance capable of helping reestablish a healthy and balanced human relationship with the natural world.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320B.3: ISLANDS  

3729

W

9:00-11:40am

Dr. Heidi LaMoreaux

Carson 44B

This class will explore the geology, geography, ecology, and cultures of islands around the world. We will also explore islands as metaphors. Students will choose many of the topics, will be responsible for researching topics, and will facilitate discussions. A weekend field trip may be required.

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 320C.1: INTRODUCTION TO FILM THEORY  

3730

M

1:00-3:40pm

Dr. Ajay Gehlawat

Nichols 166

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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LIBS 320C.2: BOLLYWOOD  

2087

W

1:00-3:40pm

Dr. Ajay Gehlawat

Carson 33

Bollywood has become a catchword today yet, in this era of Slumdog Millionaires, a key question remains: what exactly is Bollywood? Is it just one thing? Does it refer to a film style, a national cinema, a global phenomenon, or all of the above? In this course, we will address this question by looking at several Indian and Indo-diasporic films from the 1950s up to the present. We will explore the multiple elements of these films, such as their vibrant song and dance sequences, genre-mixing and convoluted narratives, from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Students will also conduct their own research related to this cinematic form and its subsequent influences on dance and musical styles, cultural trends and fashion industries around the world. In the process, students will develop a deeper understanding of the cinematic history of Bollywood as well as an ability to engage in critical discourse concerning cinema and culture.

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: SITUATED SELVES: IDENTITY & OTHERNESS  
1832

TH

1:00-3:40pm

Dr. Wendy Ostroff

TBA

This course explores the concept of identity as it develops in the multiple contexts of our postmodern lives. Of special interest will be blended, and hybrid selves. For example, we will examine the self from the lens of social class, but especially look at how one's sense of self changes with the opportunity to move between social class statuses. We will also examine cultural selves, but especially focus on the border identities that emerge when individuals straddle different value and social systems. One question we might consider is: How much power do we have to choose who we are? In in age of "impression management" and social media, does creating an image of ourselves impact who we really are? Is there even a core self or a "who we really are"? To what extent can we choose what we believe and how we behave? These issues and many more will be raised and problematized during this seminar.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320D.2: EMPATHY  

1833

TH

9:00-11:40am

Dr. Nelson Kellogg

Carson 60

The qualities of empathy allow us to do more than understand the inner experiences of others. They allow us to participate in the conscious life of others. Many researchers, educators and leaders of governments are coming to the realization that empathy is the most important skill the world needs, if we are to avoid disasters such as wars. But where did this ability come from? Does everyone have it? Is it possible to increase empathy?  What does the most recent neuroscience say about the sources and dimensions of empathy?  These are the questions we will investigate in this course.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320D.3: POSTMODERNISM/POSTSTRUCTURALISM  

1974

M

4:00-6:40pm

Dr. Mutombo Mpanya

Carson 37

Although postmodernism and poststructuralism have been very popular in the culture at large and in academia for several decades, most people do not have a very good understanding of these perspectives.  Often there is a general embrace or rejection without understanding. In this course, we will look at the ways in which postmodernism and poststructuralism have evolved over time. We will examine the main questions that trigger these schools of thought and the philosophical debates that surround them.  We will study the main authors, their ideas and their sociohistorical backgrounds, and how these perspectives appear in art, literature, and philosophy. 

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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