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TAPS 181Q: Alternative Viewpoints: Black Independent Film (AFRICAAM 181Q, FILMSTUD 181Q)

Preference to sophomores. Do you want to learn more about independent film as it was practiced in major urban centers by young filmmakers? This class focuses on major movements by groups such as the Sankofa Film Collective and the L.A. Rebellion. Learn how to analyze film and to discuss the politics of production as you watch films by Spike Lee, Julie Dash, Melvin Van Peebles, Ngozi Onwurah and more. We will discuss representation, lighting, press material, and of course the films themselves. This course includes a workshop on production, trips to local film festivals and time to critique films frame-by-frame. It matters who makes film and how they do so. When you have completed this class you will be able to think critically about "alternative viewpoints" to Hollywood cinema. You will understand how independent films are made and you will be inspired to seek out and perhaps produce or promote new visions.
Last offered: Spring 2015 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

TAPS 197: Dance in Prison: The Arts, Juvenile Justice, and Rehabilitation in America (DANCE 197)

This class works collaboratively with a local juvenile hall to use civic engagement and performance to explore the aesthetic, cultural and legal issues in the lives of incarcerated youth. In the process students gain an understanding of incarceration on an immediate and personal scale. Taught jointly by a Dance Studies scholar and a lawyer specializing in Juvenile Justice, we will consider what unique understandings are possible if we position the arts as central to an exploration of punishment, rehabilitation and recidivism in America. The course will examine case studies, historical and contemporary narratives about the social, imaginative and behavioral change possible through arts programs in prison.Half of the class meetings will be in Hillcrest Juvenile Hall in San Mateo, where our class will join with a group of 13-18 year old youths currently detained there. Dance will be used to help shape their individual expressive voices, and ours, through collaborative hip hop dance classes. Books to be read are Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson, and Last Chance in Texas by John Hubner.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-ED
Instructors: Ross, J. (PI)

THINK 22: Who Owns the Past? Archaeology, Heritage and Global Conflicts

Who owns the past? Is cultural heritage a universal right?nnThis course interrogates the relationship between the past and the present through archaeology. Increasingly, heritage sites are flash points in cultural, economic, and religious conflicts around the globe. Clearly history matters ¿ but how do certain histories come to matter in particular ways, and to whom? Through close study of important archaeological sites, you will learn to analyze landscapes, architecture, and objects, as well as reflect on the scholarly and public debates about history and heritage around the world. Far from being a neutral scholarly exercise, archaeology is embedded in the heated debates about heritage and present-day conflicts.
Last offered: Winter 2014 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ED, WAY-SI

THINK 31: Race and American Memory

How have Americans remembered the Civil War - what it meant, what it accomplished, and what it failed to accomplish? How did Americans reimagine the United States as a nation after the war? Who belonged in the national community and who would be excluded? In 1865, the peace treaty was signed at Appomattox and the Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery, but the battle over memory and national identity had just begun. The questions that the Civil War addressed - and failed to address - continue to affect our lives today. We will focus on how Americans negotiated issues of cultural memory and national identity through a close analysis of historical texts, novels, poems, films, paintings, cartoons, photographs, and music. Our interpretations will foreground the particular themes of race and nationhood, freedom and citizenship, and changing notions of individual and collective identity. Our assumption in this course is that history is not available to us as a set of events - fixed, past, and unchanging. Rather, history is known through each generation's interpretations of those events, and these interpretations are shaped by each generation's lived experience. What stories get told? Whose stories? And in what ways? The stories we choose to tell about the past can shape not only our understanding of the present, but also the kind of future we imagine and strive to realize.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

THINK 42: Thinking Through Africa: Perspectives on Health, Wealth, and Well-Being

What is human well-being? How do we define it? How do we measure it? What do we mean when we talk about certain parts of the world as "developed" and others as "underdeveloped" or "developing"? How do improvements in human well-being come about? What happens when some people become much better off and others do not? In this course, we will use African experiences, past and present, to think critically and reflectively about concepts whose meaning we all too often take for granted: not only well-being and development, but also wealth and health, equality and inequality. Using the tools and techniques of four different disciplines -- history, anthropology, public health, and engineering -- we will tackle essential questions about the meaning of well-being and the indices by which we measure it, the role of politics in the development process, the importance of historical and cultural contexts, and the sometimes unanticipated challenges that individuals, institutions, and societies face when they seek to promote development and improve human well-being.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ED, WAY-SI

THINK 43: What is love?

Is love a spiritual or a bodily phenomenon? Is the concept of love timeless or ever changing? How does thinking about love lead us to ask other important philosophical and social questions? In this course we will examine the classical roots, medieval developments, and contemporary permutations of Western ideas of romantic love. With an eye to thinking about representations of love in our own culture, we consider some of the foundational love books of the Western tradition. From Plato's Symposium to Chester Brown's graphic novel Paying For It, we ask the fundamental question of whether and how we might distinguish between spiritual and physical desire. We consider how medieval and contemporary writers dealt with the relation of love to sex, power, money, marriage, and gender. We discuss these works of the past, for example the illicit love in the courtly romance Tristan, in tandem with representations of clandestine love from the present day, such as the portrayal of same-sex love in Brokeback Mountain.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

THINK 46: Why So Few? Gender Diversity and Leadership

Why there are so few women leaders and what is the cost to society for women's underrepresentation in positions of power? How can organizations and individuals increase women's leadership and be more inclusive of the diverse people that make up our society? Women make up half the population and have earned more than half of all the undergraduate degrees in the U.S. since the early 1980s; yet women comprise only 17% of US Congress, 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs, 16% of the board of directors of major corporations, 22% of tenured faculty at Stanford, and less than a fifth of law firm partners. For women of color, these numbers are considerably lower. Yet, research shows that gender diversity increases the creativity and innovation of groups. In this course, we will directly address the questions of why there are so few women leaders and what can be done, at an organizational and individual level, to increase their representation. Using the lens of sociology, we will think critically about leadership, influence, power, status, gender stereotypes, mentorship, and negotiation. Once we understand the mechanisms underpinning the lack of women leaders, we will discuss and critique potential interventions. A unique aspect of this course will be to apply some of the scholarly research on gender and leadership to our lives outside the classroom. We will be using modules based on those used in businesses schools and corporate executive training. Students will develop practical, real-world skills to increase their own leadership capacities by working on projects and taking part in interactive sessions on negotiation and team dynamics.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ED, WAY-SI

THINK 48: Reading the Body: How Medicine and Culture Define the Self

How have our perceptions of what is considered normal/abnormal; beautiful/ugly; infected/uninfected changed over time? How do these changing medical and cultural representations of the body reflect larger societal shifts? How does illness change our perceptions of our bodies and our identities? Viewed through the lens of medicine, the body is a text that offers clues to health and illness, yet clinical readings are never entirely objective. Culture informs and distorts how we discern, accept, reject, and analyze our bodies. Looking at literary, medical, ethical, and anthropological texts, we ask how representations of the body affects the way we experience illness, embody gender and racial identities, and understand our rights (or lack of rights) to control our own bodies. We will critically examine our perceptions about the body and debate some of the most complex and sensitive issues surrounding the body, from the ethics of medical research trials to end of life decisions.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ED

THINK 50: Empathy

This course will introduce freshmen to a range of ways of thinking about empathy. How do we know and understand the other? How does knowledge of another's experience and circumstances enable us to make moral decisions and take moral actions? It will take students on an intellectual investigation of the topic of empathy from the Buddhist emphasis on compassion in the fifth century BCE to Jesus' teaching of parables in the first century CE to Enlightenment philosophy to Silicon Valley¿s adoption of empathy in the twenty-first century. The main focus will be on the modern period (from the 18th to 20th century) and students will be asked to approach different genres of text through the lens of empathy. The course will culminate with a one-week creative workshop on the question of empathy.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-CE, WAY-ED

THINK 52: World of Words

In this course, we define and make sense of the world around us through the words we use. Students will be asked to consider how words are formed, and who chooses what gets accepted into the dictionary. What do words reveal about status, class, race? Why are there so many derogatory words for women, but so few for men? We will enquire about how the words we use have changed over time, both through shifts in meaning, and through the life and death of words. We¿ll seek to discover how different cultures make sense of the world through specific sets of words, but also why the world loses an average of one language every two weeks. We¿ll explore how we create new names for things, from a `refrigerator¿ to `Google¿. We¿ll ask how words function in relation to the Internet, and how coding can be thought of as language. Words are the key to understanding the minds and ideas of a people and in tracing the biographies of words we are able to discern how the world was, is, and might be perceived and described. The course will be structured through a sequence of weekly words that are the starting point for a discussion on a major characteristic of the dynamic and fascinating world of words.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
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