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 205 (offered in the Fall semester) and 209 (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 11/17/2014

Upper Division Classes:

LIBS 209: BOLLYWOOD AND GLOBALIZATION (4 units)  

4109

F

1:00-4:40PM

Dr. Ajay Gehlawat

Ives 101

This course will examine some of the major social and economic changes that have occurred in India since the period of liberalization (1990s), and assess the ensuing representations of these shifts in contemporary Bollywood and Bollywood-inspired films.  

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LIBS 302: INTRODUCTION TO LIBERAL STUDIES (3 units)  
1833
T

9:00-11:40pm

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 327: LITERACY, LANGUAGE AND PEDAGOGY (3 units)  

2009

TH

1:00-3:40pm

Ianthe Brautigan Swensen

Carson 20

2204

TH

4:00-6:40pm

Ianthe Brautigan Swensen

Carson 68

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)  

TBA

 

 

 

 

Course description TBA.

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LIBS 341: ZEPHYR PUBLICATION (1 Unit)  

2044

W

12:00-12:50pm

Dr. Heidi LaMoreaux

Carson 35

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 390: INDEPENDENT FILM STUDY (1-2 units)  

Consent of instructor required

 

 

Students will attend Sonoma Film Institute (SFI) 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 submit a written film analysis following each film screening. Students must consult with their advisor to enroll in this independent study option. Students enrolling in this course must have completed or currently be enrolled in LIBS 320C "Intro to Film Studies/Film Theory and Narrative." GE subarea: C1

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LIBS 399: STUDENT TAUGHT COURSE: UNCOVERING SOCIAL NORMS IN AMERICA  

2139

T

1:00-3:40pm

Advisor: Dr. Benjamin Frymer

Carson 55

This course will involve critical analysis and observation of core traditions, social norms, and customs in American society, such as social stigmas and religious customs, which have shaped our values and continue to guide our behavior. We will be discussing the original purpose of these traditions, laws, and customs to discern their significance and the impact they may continue to have on modern society. For all of these norms, traditions, and customs we will try to determine whether or not they still serve their original purpose, or serve one at all in the present day, and how these often unstated norms powerfully shape our lives and actions.

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LIBS 402: SENIOR SYNTHESIS (4 units)  

1978

W

4:00-6:40pm

Dr. Benjamin Frymer

Carson 20

2303

M

7:00-9:40pm

JoAnn Vrilakas

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: WOMEN OF COLOR IN THE U.S.  

1853

M

1:00 - 3:40pm

Dr. Hilda Mercedes Romero

Carson 60

This course offers an interdisciplinary study of the economic, political, social, and historical impact and experiences of women of color in the U.S. Via a range of archives including literature, poetry, film, and music, we will consider new imaginaries, and the formation of liberation movements, methods, theories, and coalition against the politics of discrimination and incarceration.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202.
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LIBS 320A.2: TELLING STORIES: THE PRACTICE OF ORAL HISTORY  

2213

T

4:00 - 6:40pm

Dr. Stephanie Dyer

Carson 44B

This course will examine the uses of oral history, which is the practice of interviewing people about their life stories and personal experiences as a way of understanding and interpreting that person's role in broader cultural, social, and political events from our shared past. We will examine how teachers can make use of oral history as a method of classroom instruction that brings history to life for students; how oral history has recovered the voices of marginal social groups left out of the mainstream historical record; and how the juxtaposition of various perspectives from multiple people's stories can intertwine to create complex narratives reflecting the richness and diversity of American experience. Students will learn oral history interview and transcription techniques and have the opportunity to apply these by conducting their own interviews as part of a research project.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320A.3: HAPPILY EVER AFTER: LOVE RELATIONSHIPS IN AMERICAN CULTURE  

1966

W

1:00 - 3:40pm

Dr. Stephanie Dyer

Carson 44B

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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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: SCIENCE AND STORYTELLING  

1749

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, genetics and evolution.

Prerequisite:LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320B.2: MATHEMATICS AND HUMAN IMAGINATION  

1750

W

4:00-6:40pm

Dr. Mutombo Mpanya

Carson 37

Mathematics is associated with many misconceptions. Too much emphasis has been placed on tedious calculations at the expense of other aspects of the subject. While the relationship of mathematics to science is well known, its relationship to the humanities is not. This course will provide a different perspective where mathematics can be viewed as a liberal art in its own right.

We will look at the historical contexts and practical skills (skill acquisition, problem solving) and mathematicians' concern with a sense of elegance and beauty. We will examine number theory, analysis, set and group theory, logic and proof to restore the place of mathematics within the humanistic tradition.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320B.3: CRYPTIDS: FACT AND FICTION  

2205

TH

1:00-3:40Pm

Dr. Heidi LaMoreaux

Carson 35

In this class we will study the science/pseudoscience of "cryptozoology" – the study of hidden animals like Bigfoot, the yeti and the Loch Ness Monster (Nessie). The course will begin by studying why humans invent/need "monsters," and the relationship between "skepticism" (show me the body) and "wonder" (I hope these monsters exist). Each student will research various cryptids and our research will create a website. To aid in this research, the class will create two "believability scales" to assess the quality of evidence – one scale for direct/scientific evidence and one scale for indirect/eyewitness evidence. Cryptids to be discussed and researched include ape-beasts (Bigfoot, the yeti, skunk apes, etc.), sea monsters (the Kraken, etc.), lake monsters (Nessie, etc.), dinosaurs and reptilian beasts, air monsters & Chupacabras, wolf-beasts and hybrids, human monsters, and monsters in popular culture. An art project and research projects will be required. A field trip on a weekend day may also 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: DOCUMENTARY ETHICS AND AESTHETIC  

2206

F

9:00-11:40am

Dr. Ajay Gehlawat

Carson 33

This course will provide an historical overview of the documentary film, even as it explores how documentary films and filmmaking practices have evolved over the years. Beginning in the early twentieth century, we will examine a wide range of approaches to documentary filmmaking, including  cinema verite, narrational documentary, investigative documentary, as well as other hybrid forms that often directly challenge earlier forms. Along with paying close attention to the formal components of these films, this course will examine the underlying ethical issues informing these works (and their aesthetic strategies), as well as gauge the positioning of filmmakers in relation to their subjects. This course will count for elective credit towards the new Film Studies minor.     

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320C.2: INTRODUCTION TO FILM THEORY  

2064

W

1:00-3:40pm

Dr. Ajay Gehlawat

Carson 20

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.3: MIKE LEIGH'S CINEMA OF LIFE  

3793

M

4:00-6:40pm

Dr. Benjamin Frymer

Carson 55

How might film alter our perceptions and enlarge our perspective of the lives, struggles, and aspirations of everyday people? Can film generate unique insights into everyday life by depicting the daily complexities embodied in our relationships and family life? Might it allow the anti-heroic individual a more heroic stature? Or even foster a new sociological imagination resisting alienation? This course will explore writer and director Mike Leigh's body of work as an intervention; an attempt to shatter common sense notions of who we are as people searching for connection and meaning in often alienating conditions.

This particular course will count for elective credit towards the new Film Studies minor.

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: INNER GEOGRAPHIES  
1848

TH

4:00-6:40pm

Dr. Heidi LaMoreaux

Carson 35

In this class, we will look at the connections between the personal and the geographic. This course will examine the self and our personal histories using the ideas, tools, and methods commonly used in geography – including mapping, coring, pattern analysis, and spatial analysis. This class will use both writing and artistic techniques to examine ideas of space and place, and to create a series of maps of our interior and exterior worlds. We will also use geomorphic process concepts like erosion, sedimentation, and geologic history as metaphors to examine the internal and external forces that have molded us into the person we are. We will seminar on these ideas and create weekly projects to share in class. A paper and/or project, which will be largely autobiographical, will be required at the end of the semester. At least one weekend field trip may also be required.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320D.2: SEX/GENDER/POWER  

1849

TH

1:00-3:40pm

Dr. Eric McGuckin

Carson 61

This course examines sexualities and genders through a variety of lenses including evolutionary biology, psychology, anthropology, politics, feminism, and "sexology." We will pay particular attention to personal, collective, and institutional power differentials between the sexes, confronting traditional assumptions of the natural, normal, and moral. We will investigate contemporary challenges to established gender roles and sexual expression, the commoditization of sexuality, and the complex relationships between biology, culture, and sexual preferences and gender identities.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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LIBS 320D.3: ANTHROPOLOGY OF HUMOR  

1974

M

1:00-3:40pm

Dr. Eric McGuckin

Carson 61

This course will examine humor through the lenses of anthropology, psychology, sociology, and performance. Though we will sample the comedic arts, it will be no laughing matter.

Prerequisite: LIBS 302 or LIBS 101-202
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