May 24, 2024  
2022-2023 Scripps Catalog 

Core Courses

Core I: Histories of the Present: Crossroads

The Core Curriculum in Interdisciplinary Humanities will be a central part of your experience at Scripps College. The Core is designed to introduce you via interdisciplinary study to some of the major debates and concepts that have shaped the modern world. The first semester of Core is a broad foundational course in which students and faculty examine contemporary issues and debates through a historical lens. Ultimately this course will serve as an introduction to contemporary humanistic practice.

The current iteration of Core I takes up this task through an examination of crossroads. It considers the constraints we face both collectively and individually. Often it may seem like we have no meaningful choices left to make, so powerful do these forces appear. One need only recall the political situation or global warming to feel an oppressive sense of helplessness; or, at a more individual level, we may languish under the imperatives of social media or anxiety about success in school (and, eventually, in a career). But are we truly without options? In addressing these concerns, we consider how institutions, categories such as race and gender, and other cultural frameworks influence our sense of possibility. This course considers crossroads in the sense of crisis but also of choice.

Core II: Histories of the Present

Core II continues—with sharper focus and through an array of course offerings—the interdisciplinary investigations begun in Core I. Core II courses are taught by a faculty member with interdisciplinary research interests and may be team-taught by faculty whose complementary research interests make for fresh interdisciplinary dialogue. Consult the Scripps Portal for CORE II offerings for the current semester. Core II offerings vary each year and may include: 

The Aesthetics of Justice: Race, Space, Architecture and Music   

The Art of Medicine, Medicine in the Arts: the body in Italian Literature  

The Arts and Literature of Zen Buddhism  

The Construction of Kinship 

The Language of Music 

The Question of the Animal, Ancient and Contemporary  

Becoming Someone Else in American Culture   

Constructions of (Dis)Ability   

Convergence: Women, Work and Alternative Media  


Discord and Dialog    

Display, Desire and Domination  

Gender, Science and Knowledge  


Incentives Matter: The Economics of Gender and Choice   

Justice in Theory and Practice  

Marginalized Communities  

Making Sense of Power  

Me and the Boys Come Back from Area 51  

Metropolis: Imagining the City  

Misrepresentation of Women in Society and Science  

Nerds and Geeks    

Poetry of the Revolution: The Manifesto  

Riotous Americans: Los Angeles and the Poetics of Unrest   

Shakespeare Then and Now  

Subversive Selves  

Terms of Modernity   

Urban Nights: Gender, Work, and Experiences  

Where We Live & What We Live For  

Why Punish?  

Core III: Histories of the Present

Core III courses are small seminars designed to foster innovation and collaboration among students and faculty. The seminars involve considerable student participation and afford the opportunity to do more individualized, self-directed scholarship in association with a single faculty member working in the area of expertise from an interdisciplinary perspective. The work of the seminars culminates in a self-designed project exploring a particular topic through the lens of “histories of the present.” Exceptional student work will be disseminated to the wider College community. Depending on instructor and subject matter, the Core III seminars involve research, internships with fieldwork, exhibits, performances, conferences, and multimedia projects. Consult the Scripps Portal for Core III offerings for the current semester.  Core III course offerings vary each year and may include:

“America” in recent music & literature  

Animal Rights and Speciesism   

Antiracist and Transnational Feminist Coalitions  

Art, Ecology, and Fieldwork         

Bad Writing  

Bodies in Motion: Representation and Simulation  

Building Los Angeles  


Caribbean Women’s Literature  

Challenges from the global south - “America”  

Collective Songwriting: Theory and Knowledge Production  

Creating and Recreating Genji  

Democracy in Theory and Practice  

Dream Factories: cinema in theory and in practice  

Education and Inequality  

Embodying Illness  

Essay, Film, and Theory    

Fame & Happiness: French Women as Case Study  

Forced Displacement, Migration, and Resettlement  

Foreign Language and Culture Teaching Clinic  


History and Memory  

Home/Politics/Activism 19thC US  

Landscapes of Plunder  

Making Radical Sense of Power  

Mobilizing Art  

Narratives of Memory: Spain and Latin American  


Photography and the Archive  

Postcolonial Anxieties: Unpacking Europe/Unyoking Africa  

Prescriptions and Debates on What Contributes to Health  

Radical Cartographies  

Realism and Anti-Realism  

Representing LA: rock ‘n’ roll  

Resilience and Resistance: Women of Color in the United States  

Snapshots, Portraits, Instagram  

The Detective in the City  

The Life Story  

The Meaning(?) of Life  

The Mechanical Eye: Photography from Science to Art  

The Twentieth-Century Music Schism  

United: Women’s Work and Collective Action  

VIR/GYN GODDESS: The Virgin and the Femme Fatale  

Walls, Borders, Fences  

What is Happiness?  

Women, Girls, and Mathematical Superstitions  

Women’s Rights: Does it Matter?