May 23, 2024  
2023-2024 Scripps Catalog 
2023-2024 Scripps Catalog

New and Revised Courses

New and revised courses approved by faculty during the 2023-2024 academic year will be displayed here.

New and Revised Courses and Programs approved by the Scripps College faculty during the 2023-2024 academic year will be within the Course Descriptions  and Programs of Study  sections of the 2024-2025 catalog, and are presented here to highlight them as additions/revisions to the College’s curriculum this year. 


Courses Approved by Faculty October 2023


Title: Caribbean Radicalism in 20th Century US
Description: This course examines the historical and political trajectories of Caribbean migrant
populations in the U.S. In addition to studying Caribbean involvement in American radicalism in the early
20th Century, this course also examines political movements in the Caribbean as well as the emergence of
social justice movements in the U.S. In addition, we survey the historical linkages and intersections of these
movements and their resulting legacies. Pro-independence, anti-racist, and identity-based liberation
movements are central to this course, making discussions of race, class, and gender key elements.
Additional components include the study of literary-political intersections such as those of the Black Arts
Movement, the Nuyorican Poets, and the Young Lords Organization.


Title: Black Queer America
Description: This course will survey Black Queer histories, from queer imaginings of the Middle Passage to the present. We will evaluate histories and theories of oppression, silencing, erasure, homelessness, antiBlack queer violence, while emphasizing Black queer mobilization, resistance, creation, and genius in the face of precarity. This interdisciplinary course will utilize academic and historical texts with emphasis on key historical periods, accompanied by poetry, fiction, film, and visual art. In addition, presentations will be made by local artists and activists to add to the course experience.

Title: Intermediate Ceramics
Description:This course is an intermediate level exploration of the techniques and conceptsthat constitute contemporary ceramics. Building upon the foundation established in Introduction to Ceramics, students further develop their technical and conceptual skill sets through assigned and self-directed assignments. We will cover a variety of topics including construction techniques, conceptual development, firing, glazing, and ceramic history past and present. Classes will consist of technical demonstrations, lectures, slides, studio work time, and group and individual critiques.
Title: On Transparency: Polemics of Representation and Embodied Practices in Contemporary Art and Culture
Description: The act of using language to define one’s identity is crucial for discussing and understanding social inequalities. However, it can also serve as an oppressive tool that perpetuates the subjugation of marginalized groups. When expressions of resistance are co-opted and institutionalized, their impact can become diluted, rendering them ineffectual. In this course, we will explore how contemporary artists approach the concepts of identity in their work, whether by addressing, resisting, or subverting these notions. Our exploration will include readings, screenings, and a class project. The course emphasizes critical engagement with discourse and theory, discouraging the mere repetition of ideas
Title: Specialized Metabolites
Description: This half-course examines the chemistry and biological function of specialized metabolites, molecules produced by organisms for purposes of communication, defense, and otherspecialized functions. We will focus on recent literature related to emerging topics in the field of specialized metabolites including antibiotic discovery, chemical ecology, and biosynthesis.
Title: The Good Life: Ancient Ideas for Living Well
Description: How does one live well? This fundamental question has inspired poets, philosophers, artists, and scientists throughout the ages. In this course, students will discover how people from diverse civilizations in ancient Asia, Africa, and Europe understood the good life. Through study of both the texts and material culture of the Ancient Near East, Egypt, Greece, China, and Rome, we will come away from this course with an appreciation of the literature, thought, and art of the ancient world, broadly conceived.


DANC071A SC (1.0); DANC071B SC (0.5)
Title: Intro to Latin Hustle
Description: Following the civil rights movement and amidst the women’s and gay liberation movements, a partner touch dance emerged out of the South Bronx embodying the social, political, and economic times of the early 1970’s. This introductory course explores the roots of Latin Hustle from Mambo and Swing dance and its interaction with otherstreet and club stylesincluding rocking and freestyle. Classes are gender neutral, and everyone learns both leader and follower roles, as well as role swapping. In a lab week (twice per semester), there will only be one class that is 3 hours in length. The Club as the Classroom opportunity converts the studio into a club where students and participants engage in a club-simulated environment, which was influential to the development and practice of the dance. The point of these labs is to experience social dance as an emergent practice through improvisation.
Title: Principles of Economics
Description: The course will analyze how interactions between individuals, companies, and policymakers generate society-wide outcomes. This includes understanding foundational economic theories from microeconomics and macroeconomics, developing familiarity with using data, applying both theory and data to help explain pressing economic issues, and evaluating policy options both verbally and in writing.
Title: Verse Engineering
Description: In this seminar, students will invent original forms of poetry. In the first half of the semester, we will examine critical elements of verse-making—namely, theory and method. Lessons will consider traditional poetry alongside modern and contemporary verse. Treating texts as living, evolving entities, we will survey how masterworks give rise to a radical new aesthetic. In the second half of the semester, we will use writing exercises to challenge our assumptions about both writer’s block and writerly success.
Title: Translating French Holocaust Archives
Description: In addition to the large foundations in France which memorialize the Holocaust (and which fight antisemitism and genocide), there are also smaller, locally run organizations which recount crucial community histories and testimonies. Because these organizations often lack the resources which would allow them to present their archives in languages other than French, their global reach remains limited. This course aims to assist these small organizations by developing and employing techniques in French-toEnglish translation and by engaging in service and experiential learning. Students will offer their translation services, to facilitate the sites’ use of both French and English. This service-learning project will allow these sites to reach a wider audience, while also helping students to perfect their use of French.
Title: Humans vs. Earth: From Earthquakes to Mines
Description: In this French-language seminar, we will examine how the Earth is conceived as both a passive and dynamic entity, a resource and a threat. Over the course of history, human societies have increasingly relied on the Earth’s mineral resources to function. Yet, they have also suffered irreversible damage due to earthquakes and landslides. Our study will begin with representations of earthquakes in early-modern France before addressing recent texts about Haïti, Japan, and Morocco. The second part of the course will focus on mining and miners’ movements in France, fossil fuel exploitations in Gabon and North African countries, nickel mines in New Caledonia, and “digital” mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Students will use the course material to develop fluency in discussing complex social topics in French.
Title: (Dis)Ability and Italy
Description: In this course, we will explore representations of disability in modern/contemporary Italian literature and cinema, alongside models of disability, the history of disability in Italy, and the current work done by disability centers in Italy today. Topics covered in this course include: 1) the problematic use of disability as metaphor; 2) the range of bodily ability, including the concepts of temporarily able-bodies and super-ability; 3) the intersections of disability and gender, sexuality, citizenship, and class; 4) the relationship between disability and creativity; and 5) disability rights and advocacy. This course is taught in English
Title: Intensive Introductory Italian
Description: Intensive Italian combines the content of two semesters (ITAL 01 and ITAL 02) into a single semester. The course provides students with the basic tools for oral and written communication in Italian and offers them the opportunity to learn more about Italian culture. It is recommended for students looking to progress quickly and for those planning to study abroad in Italy. Given the intensive nature of this course, Intensive Italian is particularly appropriate for students with some previous knowledge of Italian, and/or are fluent in another Romance language. Credit not available for students who have completed ITAL001 or ITAL002.
MS187 SC
Title: Coded Poetry
Description: Coded Poetry is a part-seminar, part-studio course that introduces computation and code as an expressive tool for poetry reading and writing. In the seminar portion, we will study a diverse range of poetry that incorporates avant-garde and generative techniques. In the studio portion, we will interpret, remix, and write original poems using computational methods such as markup languages, character encodings, interactive typography, and printing technologies. A series of assignments will lead up to a poetry reading event at the end of the term.
MS139 SC
Title: Socially-Engaged Software
Description: This course introduces the theories and practices of socially-engaged software, a DIY and grassroots approach to making software that challenges society’s pre-existing power relations. Through archival materials, technical demonstrations, and site visits, we will study how hackers, activists, and artists incorporate software to challenge authoritarian regimes and uplift communities. Students will form independent research topics throughout the semester and study software as a cultural artifact.
MS 125 SC
Title: Critical Game Studies
Description: This course provides students with the intellectual framework and critical vocabulary to examine video games as media texts. We will inevitably address questions of politics: how can games shape, and how are they shaped by, the current of public life? Who gets to play, particularly along lines of race, gender, sexuality, and class? Live and recorded gameplay demonstrations will provide students with the material for criticism and inquiry, alongside contemporary critical games writing that will serve as models for their own writing projects. Participants do not need previous experience with games or computers, but only a willingness to engage with games and gameplay within a critical context.
Title: Metaphysics
Description: This course is an introduction to metaphysics, the branch of philosophy concerning the nature of our world and ourselves. Students will consider questions such as: Do we ever make free choices? What is it for one event to cause another? Do ordinary objects like trees and cars really exist, or do there exist only particles arranged in tree form or car form? What is the proper method of settling such questions?
Title: Philosophy of Time
Description: This course will examine the nature of time, change, and persistence. Students will consider questions such as: Is there any real difference between the past, the present, and the future, or is it just a matter of perspective? How is change possible? Is time an illusion? Is what will happen in the future already determined? Are past and future objects as real as present objects? How do objects persist through time?
Title: Critical Perspectives and Marginalized Voices in Global Politics
Description: How did the global order come to look the way that it does, structured by various forms of inequality? This course will examine a diverse range of critical perspectives on the study of global politics— perspectives that, rather than accepting the world as they find it, seek to understand how that world came about and how it can be radically changed. By engaging with different voices and perspectives in global politics—including poststructuralism, postcolonialism, Marxism, feminism, queer theory, Black and Indigenous voices—we will gain a broader understanding of global politics and the forms of inequality that persist in it.
Title: The Global Politics of (B)orders & Migration
Description: Why do people cross borders, and what are the different forms that cross-border movement can take? Why is cross-border movement sometimes a “problem” and other times not? What do movement and migration mean for domestic, regional, and global orders? In this course, we will examine the interconnections between movement, migration, bordering, and ordering from a global perspective. As such, we will consider not only the various forms that migration takes, and the different ways states and societies have sought to “manage” it, but also the effects that migration and movement have on global order(s).
Title: Memory
Description: This course is a seminar on the dominant theories, methods, and scientific findings relating to memory. Students will consider basic research and theories regarding our understanding of how memory functions, as well as applied research that considers memory function in contexts such as the legal system.
Title: Asian American Child Development
Description: This course will provide a psychological perspective on the nature and meaning of growing up as Asian American in North America. We will examine the diverse experiences of Asian American children, youth, and families, drawing upon primarily psychological theory and research. Students will be exposed to interdisciplinary ethnic studies scholarship, memoirs, news articles, and films. Integrating a range of course materials, we will evaluate scientific claims, personal narratives, and everyday portrayals of Asian American children, youth, families, and communities. We will compare and contrast these multiple sources of information to gain a holistic view and identify gaps and future research directions in the field of psychological science. Course topics will include ethnic and racial socialization, ethnic identity development, peer relations, acculturation, biculturalism, model minority myth, parenting, family relationship, and transracial adoption.
Title: Psychology, Media, and Law
Description: This course is designed to introduce classic and contemporary issues in psychology, media, and law. Topics will cover the legal context and psychological research on media in the law, including but not limited to pretrial publicity, the CSI Effect, news coverage of crime, social media, true crime podcasts, and obscenity. Our focus will be on both the basic and applied issues raised by the readings. What is the relevant psychological theory? What is the legal problem being studied? How has the research advanced relevant psychological theory and what are the implications for future research? To what extent does or should the research inform public policy? In the context of our analyses, we will discuss basic psychological theory, relevant case law, and methodological issues associated with conducting research in psychology, media, and law.
Title: Theories of Psychotherapy
Description: This seminar investigatesthe mechanisms and theories of psychotherapy that can be leveraged in professional practice to foster client change. We will rely on primary theoretical sources to examine the contexts of therapeutic change. With a foundation in the clinical wisdom of great thinkers in psychotherapy, therapists can link client material to constructs that illuminate personality organization/patterns and emotional (i.e., affective) struggles. With this foundation, students should develop an understanding of evidence-based practice (APA, 2006), which requires thoughtful scientist-practitioner reflection, i.e., the integration of theory, research, and practice. The theories selected for in-depth study articulate constructs (e.g., the unconscious, defenses, personality structure/patterns, social/contextual influences, interpersonal influences, the therapist’s position) that are crucial in managing therapy and that have influenced the development of the profession.
Title: God on Trial: Free Will & Evil
Description: A historical, philosophical, and theological examination of the debate over God’s existence, with particular attention to the problem of free will and evil in eastern and western Christian sources. The course considers interrelated issues of social justice, structural evil, gender and sexuality discrimination, punishment or reward in the afterlife, and the possibility of universal salvation. 
Title: Códices Mesoamericanos / Mesoamerican Codices
Description: This course examines the codices (or painted manuscripts) of pre-Hispanic and colonial Mesoamerica. Students will learn about the writing systems and art traditions contained within the codices that survived the Spanish conquest and colonial censorship of native culture. What kinds of knowledge do the codices contain? Who controlled that knowledge and for what purposes? How is that knowledge communicated through native writing systems? How did native manuscripts in the colonial period mediate between native and Spanish writing systems and aesthetics? In exploring these questions, we will consider the intersection of native cosmologies and political power in pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica. The main project of the course will involve the creation of a contemporary, collective codex that approximates the materials and methods of the original Mesoamerican codices. The course will include extended dialogue with Indigenous researchers/authors/cultural practitioners from Mexico.
Courses Revised in October 2023
NEUR123L JT (formerly COGS123 PZ)
New Title: Minds, Brains, and Programs
New Description: Our sense of what separates biological and artificial intelligence keeps shifting, now as much as ever. In this course, we will consider classic and contemporary perspectives from Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Computer Science regarding the building blocks of intelligence. We will complement class discussions with projects done by groups and individuals from across disciplines. [X] Prerequisite: At least two courses in Biology, Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Philosophy, or Psychology, or instructor approval.
ENG197S (Proposed: ENG168S SC)
New Title: Craft and Process in Contemporary American Prose
New Description: This course asks, What is writerly “craft”? and What can we learn – as writers and literary scholars – by paying attention to it? During the first half of the semester students investigate the literary history of “craft” as a term of art. They study how it came to feature so prominently in discourse on North American creative writing in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. They examine how it became associated with particular literary styles, narrative structures, pedagogies, and notions of the creative process. And as they do so they consider what can be apprehended about texts, authors, and the publishing environment by attending to how individual writers have negotiated this term and the material conditions that gave rise to it. During the second half of the semester, this framework becomes the foundation for students’ research projects, and readings related to those projects form the basis for a syllabus tailored to those research interests. This course meets the senior seminar requirement for Scripps English majors (please see “Senior Requirement in the English major” in the catalog).
New Title: Methods in Modern Modeling
New Prerequisites: Math 183, or (Math 102/111 and Math 151), or by instructor permission
MS053 SC
Title: Intro to Computational Media
New Description: Intro to Computational Media explores code as an expressive medium for art and media makers. The course provides a critical approach to thinking and working with computation by framing programming concepts within a social and historical context. Unpacking design biases embedded in pervasive technology will help us point towards more community-centric ways of working with computational media. Both object-oriented and procedural programming will be explored, as well the input and output of files, generative techniques, and image creation through data processing.
New Title: Introduction to Music in the Western World
New Description: This course begins with a survey of art and religious music in the European/Western tradition from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Different iterations of the course will also explore other Western music traditions, including popular, folk, and/or musical theater repertoire in the 20th and 21st centuries. Elements of music and basic terminology are introduced. Attention is given to the relationship of the arts–especially music–to culture and society. This course satisfies the Scripps College fine arts requirement.
New Core Courses Approved in October 2023
Title: Scaped Subjects: Portraying the Self in the Anthropocene
Description: This course will explore the relationship between subjecthood and environment in the wake of planetary transformation. Investigating nonfiction texts as well as archival materials—including photography, memoir, travel writing, environmental surveys, and landscape architecture—we aim to trouble the distinction between portraiture and landscape. What self-representations are afforded in the Anthropocene? How does the self-understand itself through environments it has altered or in critique of infrastructures of representation? As part of the course activities, students will curate an upcoming exhibition at the Clark Humanities Museum (March 2024), using campus collections and archives.
Title: Early Modern Remakes
Description: If streaming platforms and bestseller lists are any indication, we may very well be living in, as the New York Times suggests, “a golden age of historical fiction.” This seminar asks why and how contemporary literature, art, and film use the literatures and cultures of early modern Europe (c.1500-1800) as a space for reimagining questions of history, identity, and cultural memory. Focusing on the French- and English-speaking worlds of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, we ask how contemporary engagements with the early modern past help us to reframe, redescribe, and otherwise reimagine the past, and how, in turn, that past might help us to understand our present moment.
Title: Cinema
Description: This course offers an introduction to film analysis, starting with the birth of cinema and extending to more contemporary work. We will study films from across the globe—from the traditional “classical style” to the experimental and quirky. We will read film theory, practice using analytical terminology, and consider how cinema both resists and conforms to our attempts to theorize it. Films by directors such as Dziga Vertov, Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Maya Deren, Yasujiro Ozu, Agnès Varda,Jean-Luc Godard, Chantal Akerman, Andrei Tarkovsky, Wong Kar-Wai, and others will be covered

Courses Approved by Faculty February 2024


ART 144 SC

Title: Digital Fabrication in Fine Art

Description: This intermediate level art course will explore digital fabrication within the realm of contemporary art. Assignments will encourage the integration of emerging methods such as 3D printing with traditional techniques such as moldmaking, casting, and other sculptural or expanded studio practices. Through presentations, independent research, critiques, and hands-on studio work, students will be exposed to a diverse array of artistic approaches and methodologies that merge analog and digital.



Title: Microbes and Art

Description: Microbes are ubiquitous and essential to life as we know it. Yet, we are only beginning to understand the full contribution of microbes to the artistic process and art conservation. In collaboration with the Williamson Art Gallery at Scripps, this lecture and lab course will explore the scope of the microbial world as it relates to the creation, degradation, and restoration of art.



Title: Nineteenth-Century British Poetry

Description: This course is a study of enduring poems by British Romantic, Victorian, and Fin-de-Siècle poets, requiring close reading, exploring contexts and influences, and developing acuity in formal analysis of verse. Poets studied include Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Tennyson, Robert Browning, Emily Brontë, Arnold, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti, Wilde, Mary Elizabeth Coleridge, Hopkins, and Michael Field (pseud. Katherine Bradley &
Edith Cooper).




Title: Philosophy of Science

Description: What is science? How does it work? When it works, what does it achieve? This course will explore these questions through the work of philosophers such as Hempel, Popper, Kuhn, and others. Topics may include induction, confirmation, pseudoscience, scientific revolutions, laws of nature, explanation, reduction, realism, and the social dimension of science.



Title: Human Rights

Description: This course will focus on the philosophical foundations and history of human rights. We will examine the distinction between legal and moral rights, the history of the concept of a natural right, and the tension between respecting cultural traditions and the idea of universal human rights.



Title: Decolonizations

Description: Recent years have witnessed a renewed wave of calls for “decolonization,” ranging from appeals to “decolonize the university” to the repatriation of Indigenous lands. But what does decolonization mean and how might it be achieved? In this course, we will take up these questions from a global and interdisciplinary perspective, exploring their meaning and significance across a range of contexts to better understand how colonial and racializing forms of power have been contested and resisted. As such, we will explore numerous topics including historical struggles against colonial rule and racialized domination, decolonial political thought, Indigenous politics, racialization and global antiracist movements, and how global politics might be decolonized.



Title: From Indigenous Filmic Portrayals to Indigenous Filmmaking in the Abiayala

Description: This course examines the history of Indigenous representations and self-representation through film, spanning from the mid-20th century through to the current date in the Abiayala (term in Gunna language to refer to Latin America). The course will consider different modes of production (e.g., industrial, independent, community-based, educational), genres (with special emphasis on documentary), and audiences (international, national, or local). Through film analysis and the study of the historical/cultural context in which the films emerge and to which they respond, the course will study the works of Jorge Sanjinés, Luis Ospina & Carlos Mayolo, Marta Rodriguez, selected short-cuts produced by the Cinematography Education and Production Center (CEFREC) of Bolivia, Alfonso Cuaron, Ciro Guerra & Cristina Gallego, Oscar & Tito Catacora, Luna Maran & el Colectivo Yi, Maria Sojob, Colectivo Adkimvn, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, among others.



Title: Writing Satire

Description: Workshop-based exploration of the fun, purposes, values, and mechanics of contemporary satire. The main question for our readings and compositions will be: how does satire persuade? To guide our practice, we’ll focus on the satirical coverage of the current US Presidential election by late-night tv hosts, stand-up comics, political cartoonists, The Onion, McSweeney’s, the Harvard Lampoon, and Claremont’s Golden Antlers. Assignments will alternate between writing satires and analyses of satires.



Courses Revised in February 2024



New Title: Rethinking Development: Anthropological Perspectives

New Description: International funding agencies like the World Bank, governing bodies, NGOs, and religious organizations use the word “development” to indicate economic and cultural progress. Aspirational narratives of development as a civilizational end-goal are used to justify billion-dollar infrastructure projects and poverty alleviation programs. But these narratives of progress overshadow the lived experiences of people on the ground. This course addresses the history and politics that led to linking development to economic growth and introduces modernization theory, critiques of development, post-development theory, and alternatives to development. Using ethnographic texts to foreground the experiences of people marginalized by class, indigeneity, gender, race and ethnicity, whose lives are impacted by development projects, this course views development through a critical lens and shows the urgency of alternative models.



New Title: Ecofeminism and Eco Art

New Description: This course will explore the history, theory and concepts that set the stage for the contemporary eco art practices of today. We will study the philosophy of ecofeminism that defines the international environmental art movement and trace the evolution of eco art from its roots in ecology. Throughout the course students will have the opportunity to learn from this legacy and to apply this knowledge to their interests and practices as makers, curators, writers, and historians.


DS 183 SC

New Title: AI/DS Ethics & Justice

New Description: AI and Data Science Ethics & Justice teaches students to respond creatively to ethical questions about Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. Students reason about AI system design, implementation, and auditing via established ethical theories. Topics include fairness and bias in machine learning, automated vehicle design and implementation, automated predictive analytics in criminal justice, privacy, whistleblowers, and safe and trustworthy AI. Prereqs are coding and




New Title: Trauma, Memory, Exile

New Description: The aftermath of the Holocaust has dominated the politics and culture of post-war Europe like no other event. Introducing fundamental theories of memory, exile and trauma, this class explores the continuing importance of refined remembrance given the recent resurgence of anti-Semitic hate crimes in Europe and elsewhere. Materials discussed include fiction, poetry, theory, memoir, visual art, and film by international artists and thinkers such as Paul Celan, Ingeborg Bachmann, Claude Lanzmann, W.G. Sebald, Ruth Klueger, Jean Améry, Hannah Arendt, Theodor Adorno, and Susan Sontag. Prerequisite: German 44, German 33 considered. Readings provided in English and German. Taught in German.


MUS 121 SC

New Title: Music of the Spirits: Hakka, Hawaiian and Tewa Pueblo Indian

New Description: This course will explore three sacred musical cultures: Hakka mountain songs and the Unicorn dance, Hawaiian hula kahiko and auana and Tewa Pueblo ritual dance ceremonies. We
will assess how systemic discrimination and exploitation of Asians, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans impacted these musical practices. Readings draw upon writings and interviews by minority scholars speaking about their own cultures, as well as drawing on secondary sources.



New Title: Advanced Statistics I: ANOVA and Regression

New Description: Advanced statistics I is a second course in applied statistics emphasizing
analysis of variance and covariance for analyzing complex experiments as well as multivariate methods
such as linear regression, logistic regression, and factor analysis. Students will develop an understanding
of each statistic, become skilled at selecting the appropriate tests, learn to use statistical programs, and
develop effective communication of results. Recommended for students planning graduate work in the
social sciences or for those involved in research projects that go beyond topics covered in the first course
in statistics. Prerequisite: Psychology 103 or Mathematics 57, or an equivalent course.



New Title: Plants, Culture, Magic

New Description: In this course, we will learn about the diverse uses of plants in Latin America. Our inspiration will come from the practical and magical things that Indigenous and Afro-descended communities have done with plants to make them an integral part of their cultural practices. With a seminar/workshop format, most class sessions will involve the creation of something tangible (like salves, incense, or pigments), allowing us to learn by doing.


New Core Courses Approved in February 2024 



Title: Children’s Literature

Description: Children’s literature often inculcates virtues, values, and morality, as well as conveying ideas about culture and identity. This course studies children’s reading, character formation, and aspirations for social change. Starting with tools for gaining literacy, students examine children’s literature in historical/cultural context. Students will develop projects rooted in archival research and literary analysis, supplemented by concepts from developmental psychology and the philosophy of education. The course requires archival research and includes library visits at both Denison Library and the Claremont branch of the LA County Library.



Title: Politics of Commons & Commoning

Description: This course will introduce students to the commons as a field of inquiry, politics, activism and culture. We will investigate the historical and accelerating processes of enclosure, encroachment, and exclusion in the US and globally. We will also engage with counter movements to reclaim and protect the commons. Some specific areas of focus will include land, intellectual property, education, culture, knowledge, and democracy.



Title: Not Your Sunday School Christianity

Description: This course explores aspects of ancient Christianities that largely remain hidden, forgotten, or poorly-known, including Christian slavery abolitionist movements, same-sex “marriages,” the celebration of transgender and non-binary saints, matriarchal and matrilineal Christian societies, extensive women’s rights developed by Christians, etc. The course challenges contemporary ab/mis/uses of Christian tradition by highlighting how its diversity and complexity can aid constructive projects today.



Title: Karl Marx: Critic of Everything

Description: Few thinkers inspire as much reverence and revulsion as Karl Marx. But how often is he actually read? A thorough introduction to Marx’s life, works and times, this class discusses some of his most impactful writings on capitalism and socialism, labor, history and revolution. We will read these difficult texts closely, slowly parsing key terms (such as capital, alienation, commodity, ideology, historical materialism, the dialectic), and getting a better sense of their continued importance.



Title: Shame: Social Stigma/Moral Pain?

Description: This course interrogates the political functions of shame in our society. Through readings of American and European authors, students will specifically reflect on the following paradox: if shame is a negative emotion, why is shamelessness considered a moral fault? And if shame is positive insofar as it encourages a group of individuals to embrace the same set of moral norms, how does one explain its destructive impact on minorities?