Jul 13, 2024  
2016-2017 Scripps Catalog 

Core Curriculum in Interdisciplinary Humanities

Core I: Histories of the Present: Community

Core I takes up this task through an examination of communities. Starting with the question “What is a community?” we look at both large imagined communities such as modern nation-states and religious groups and smaller, more intimate groups that we regularly label as a “community.” We ask: How are communities formed and transformed? What role does historical memory and forgetting play in the creation of community? How are communities at once inclusive and exclusionary? What role do performance and memory play in the formation and transformation of communities? And when are communities beneficial and when are they potentially harmful?

In this course, we examine the ways in which communities are created and transformed through political acts, religious practices, military intervention, cultural performances, social networks, and bonding. In conjunction with this, we critique the ways in which practices of overt and implicit exclusion along the lines of birth, class, race, gender, sexuality, ability, and religious beliefs limit the possibility of belonging. We explore the ways in which individuals and communities define and represent themselves in accordance with and in resistance to the dominant powers that often determine a community’s boundaries. We also explore how communities work in resistance to transform their own and other’s political, economic and social condition.

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. That is, we develop our examination of the ways in which our contemporary self-understandings (political, moral, economic, aesthetic, etc.) emerge from and express commitments and categories that are often regarded as given—so “natural” and “obvious” as to prevent us from thinking clearly about their complexities and ambiguities. 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:

Becoming Someone Else in American Culture  

Constructions of (Dis)Ability  


Decolonizing: First Nations Musics and Literatures  

Desire and Decadence: Interdisciplinary Contexts in Fin-de-Siecle Europe  

Doing Queer Histories  

Eat the Rich! Capitalism and Work  

Ecological Justice  

Feminisms and Anti/Nonviolence  

Geographies of Militarization  


Investigating Humor in Literature and Mass Media  

Lights, Camera, Murder! Crimes and Trials in France and the U.S  

Misrepresentation of Women in Society and Science  

Nerds and Geeks  

Old New Media   

The Question of the Animal, Ancient and Contemporary  

Riotous Americans: Los Angeles and the Poetics of Unrest  

The Self and the Origins of the State in the Western World  

Troubles in Paradise: Brazil Through Ethnography & Fiction  

Shakespeare’s Tragedies Then and Now  

Terms of Modernity  

Travel, Encounter, and the History of Religion  

Urban Nights: Gender, Work, and Experiences  

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:

Animal Rights and Speciesism   

Blues Jazzlines: Past and Present Tense  

Challenges from the global south - “America”  

Collective Songwriting: Theory and Knowledge Production  

Creating and Recreating Genji  

Cyberculture and the Posthuman Age  

Democracy in Theory and Practice  

The Detective in the City   

Education and Inequality  

Encountering the Middle East: Representations of Race, Gender, and Violence  

Fame & Happiness: French Women as Case Study  

Foreign Language and Culture Teaching Clinic  

History and Memory  

The Life Story  

Mathematics in Our Culture  

Mobilizing Art: Creating Activist Performances  

Postcolonial Anxieties: Unpacking Europe/Unyoking Africa  

Radical Cartographies  

Realism and Anti-Realism  

Regarding the Pain of Others: Ethics and Documentary Representation  

Reading and Writing LGBTQ Lives  

Sites of Seduction: Aesthetic Contexts of the French Garden and its Others  

Snapshots, Portraits, Instagram  

Southern California and Hollywood Film: Human Dreams, Human Difference and Human Desire  

The Twentieth-Century Music Schism  

United: Women’s Work and Collective Action  

Wilderness in American Life  

Women, Girls, and Mathematical Superstitions  

VIR/GYN GODDESS: The Virgin and the Femme Fatale