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Diversity and Inclusion

PLU Courses: Diversity and Inclusion

Below is a selection of Fall 2017 courses that explore issues of diversity and inclusion in modern and historical contexts.

If a course is not listed that you believe should be on the list, please let us know at marcom@plu.edu.

Anthropology

Introduction to Human Biological Diversity

Introduction to biological anthropology with a special focus on human evolution, the fossil evidence for human development, the role of culture in human evolution, and a comparison with the development and social life of the nonhuman primates.

Professor: Andrews, Bradford

Introduction to social-cultural anthropology, concentrating on the exploration of the infinite variety of human endeavors in all aspects of culture and all types of societies: religion, politics, law, kinship, and art.

Wiley, Katherine
Nosaka, Akiko

Global Perspectives: The World in Change

A survey of global issues: modernization and development; economic change and international trade; diminishing resources; war and revolution; peace and justice; and cultural diversity.

Spence, Jennifer

Global Development

This course examines the emergence of international development as an idea, its effects on the livelihoods of billions of people around the world, and seeks potentials for improving the practice of development. Drawing on literature from anthropology, political science, geography, and economics, we cover theories of progress, the concept of participation, global poverty and inequality, and individual charity.

Shah, Ami

Art & Design

Remix Culture & Practices

This course focuses on remix studies, the study of the recombination of pre-existing creative materials. We will approach remix from various angles, including its rich and surprising history, aesthetics, ethics, politics, and practice, and we will apply these concepts to technical remix projects using imagery, sound, video and more.

Hoyt, Kate

Communication

Media and Cultural Criticism

This course examines the role of media in producing systems of meanings and artifacts that shape popular culture and ideology.

Ehrenhaus, Peter

Gender and Communication

This course examines the relationship between gender and communication in human interaction and media representations.

Ehrenhaus, Peter

Argumentation and Advocacy

Studies how people use reason giving in social decision-making. Analysis of genres, forms, and techniques of arguers. Focus is on methods of creating, understanding, and criticizing arguments.

Eckstein, Justin

Education

Multicultural Perspectives in the Classroom

Examination of issues of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, etc. as they relate to educational practices.

Courses taught by Weiss, Janet and Sutton, Paul

Issues in Child Abuse and Neglect

Issues of child abuse, neglect, harassment, and violence. Includes identification and reporting procedures, and the legal and professional responsibilities of all mandated reporters.

Breen, Dianne

Building Professional Learning Communities

Seminar groups to provide a critical inquiry bridge between university-based coursework and P-12 fieldwork through the department’s/unit’s core values of care, competence, difference, service, and leadership

Sections taught by Williams, Gregory and Colgan, Steven

Foundations of Learning

Investigation into theories of learning and development and into historical and current practices, values, and beliefs that influence efforts to shape learning in educational settings. Topics include: self as learner, theories of learning, others as learners, exceptionalities, technology, values literacy, and factors influencing learning and literacy.

Effective Tutoring Methods

Individual study and research on education problems or additional laboratory experience in public school classrooms.

Foley, Leslie

Schools and Society

Individual and cooperative study of the socio-cultural and cultural, political, legal, historical, and philosophical foundations of current practices of schooling in America.

Sections taught by Sutton, Paul and Byrnes, Ronald

English

Topics in Literature: U.S. Refugee Literature & the Afterlife of Atrocity

In this course we will explore the literature and culture of refugee communities in the United States, reading literary and filmic texts that bear witness to the traumatic history and resilience of stateless peoples.

James, Jennifer

Post-Colonial Literature

“Writers and politicians are natural rivals,” writes Salman Rushdie, as “both fight for the same territory.” If so, what burdens, responsibilities, or choices does a writer have in the face of the British Empire’s brutality, the victories and disappointments of independence, and the hierarchies of neoliberal globalization? And how is the English language—the language of colonization and global capitalism—used to navigate these concerns? We will contemplate these questions as we trace postcolonial English literatures across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The course will consider matters of literary form (fiction, poetry, drama, and reportage) and style (modernism, social realism, magical realism) and their relation to the historical contexts of anticolonialism, post-independence, and contemporary neoliberal globalization. Course readings will draw from India, Pakistan, Ireland, and Nigeria, and will likely include writers such as James Joyce, Mulk Raj Anand, Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Teju Cole, and Mohsin Hamid.

O’Loughlin, Liam

Topic: Writer as Witness

This course is designed for students who have declared their English major, whether it be the writing emphasis or the literature emphasis. We will come together in a seminar format to reflect on and practice the pleasures, demands, and rewards of the inter-connected processes of reading and writing. We will focus on the imaginative, critical, and social power of reading and writing as acts of creating meaning and beauty, as acts of self-expression, as acts of social analysis and critique, and as vehicles of change and memorializing. We will read and write texts from a range of genres, engage criticism and theory, and reflect on the broad question of why reading and writing matter. Our goal is to help you sharpen your sense of focus as an English major—to refine your own purposes and passions in pursuing your course of study within the major—and to help you become a more confident, flexible, and sophisticated reader, writer, and thinker.

This particular section of English 300 will focus on issues of witnessing, testimony, and trauma. Trauma comes from the ancient Greek word for wound, and while the concept of trauma was born in the physical dangers of nineteenth-century industrial innovation, it has, in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, come to include, perhaps even emphasize, woundings of the mind and spirit. Although some critics have suggested that we live in an age of complaint, more believe that we now live in an age of trauma. A need to testify to trauma, as well as need to understand others’ experiences of trauma, is one of the reasons that many of us read and write. Through our readings, writings, and discussions, we’ll work to answer a range of questions about the relationships among witnessing, testimony, and trauma. What counts as trauma? What must witnessing encompass? What forms can testimony take? How does genre shape testimony? Who can tell which stories? What do we do with manipulated witnesses? unreliable witnesses? And what are our responsibilities to the testimonies we hear and read?

Kaufman, Rona

Literatures of Genocide and the Holocaust: The Holocaust and the American Literary Imagination

This course explores the impact of the Holocaust on the American literary imagination through the study of fiction, autobiography, graphic memoir, poetry, film, essays, and theory.

Marcus, Lisa

Environmental Studies

Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Analysis

Guides students in analyses and inquiry of environmental issues, integrating and drawing upon methodology and content of various disciplinary perspectives. Encourages reflection on experiential learning and vocation. Includes field trips or active learning.

McKenney, Rose

Global Studies

Global Perspectives: The World in Change

A survey of global issues: modernization and development; economic change and international trade; diminishing resources; war and resolution; peace and justice; and cultural diversity.

Shah, Ami

James, Jennifer

Global Political Thought

A survey of major political thinkers from ancient to modern times, with particular emphasis on non-Western twentieth-century contributors.

Grosvenor, Peter

Geosciences

Conservation of Natural Resources

Principles and problems of public and private stewardship of our resources with special reference to the Pacific Northwest.

Wilcox, Alexander

Hispanic Studies

Hispanic Voices for Social Change

HISP 301 is a content-based intensive reading and writing course that offers an examination of diverse texts from different times and places in Spanish speaking countries, to focus on how people establish different yet coherent strategies of resistance and adaptation which in turn respond to experiences of social injustice, inequality, geographical displacement and human rights violations in their respective communities.

Palerm, Carmina

Special Topics in Latin American Literature & Culture

An opportunity to pursue an in-depth study of a specific aspect or topic in Latin American literature and culture, such as Latin American women writers, Latino narrative, or Latin American film and literature.

Urdangarain, Giovanna 

History

Fighting Racism in US

How can anti-racist activists in 2017 study the past and use historical lessons, debates, and examples to shape their commitments today? In this class, we will use active learning and team-led projects to build our own deep appreciation of the last 120 years of fighting racism in the U.S. Some service learning will be included.

Kraig, Beth

Colonization and Genocide in Native North America

This course explores the centrality and implications of colonialism in the making of North America.

Mergenthal, Rebekah

he Holocaust: The Destruction of the European Jews

Investigation of the development of modern anti-Semitism, its relationship to fascism, the rise of Hitler, the structure of the German dictatorship, the evolution of Nazi Jewish policy, the mechanics of the Final Solution, the nature of the perpetrators, the experience and response of the victims, the reaction of the outside world, and the post-war attempt to deal with an unparalleled crime through traditional judicial procedures.

Griech-Polelle, Beth

Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Introduction to Holocaust and Genocide Studies

This multidisciplinary class examines the Holocaust and selected examples of genocide and systematic mass violence to probe the intersections of dehumanization, violent oppression, cultural destruction, and war in the last two centuries. Voices of resisters and case studies from the U.S. are included.

International Honors

Origins, Ideas, and Encounters

Examines innovative ideas and institutions from ancient, medieval, and early modern societies that have shaped the contemporary world. Themes include the rise of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; influential models of authority and government; alternative models of coherence and diversity; religious reformations and utopian movements; technical innovation; and interpreting nature.

Allinson, Rayne
Simpson-Younger, Nancy
Strum, Arthur
Travillian, Tyler

The Experience of War

The phenomenon of war is an object of inquiry that is by its nature both multidisciplinary and international. War brings together technology/science and politics, tradition and invention, philosophical and religious perspectives, history and utopian visions – all seemingly opposites merging together into arguably the most heroic and horrific of all human experiences. We will look at the experience of war and warfare through the academic disciplines of history, philosophy, political science, art, psychology, literature, sociology, gender studies and religion. We will use a variety of ‘texts’ to examine these perspectives: historical treatises, poetry, film, photography, autobiography, arguments/debates, music, plays and news accounts. However, we are not simply examining this phenomenon from academic isolation, but will be thinking about our own perspectives, prejudices and experiences of war and what they might mean for our constructing and understanding of the modern world. This is a topic engaging not only the intellect, but the empathetic and emotional parts of our communal lives. As an integral part of the class, you will be asked to examine, not only your intellectual ideas about war, but also your emotional responses, their roots and implications. We will use these insights to formulate a vision of the place of war in the world, a vision that will affect our actions as citizens in the world.

Kaurin, Pauline

Self/Other-Human/Animal

Political and moral theorists have long wrestled with questions of individual responsibility:  how should we balance the need for individual liberty and fulfillment with our responsibility to others?  When and how, in the complex webs of human interaction, is one obligated to others?  How far is one responsible for the indirect consequences of one’s actions?  What forms or processes of social interaction, and what habits or traits of selfhood, encourage just and responsible relationships?   Increasingly, writers in both philosophical and literary traditions have considered what happens when we extend such questions of ethical obligation to the non-human animals with whom we share our planet.  To what extent do non-human animals—or even the environment itself—deserve ethical consideration?  How are our individual lives directly and indirectly connected with the lives of animals on our planet, and what types of ethical challenges and obligations are implied in those connections?  In this course, we will explore such questions through a series of literary and philosophical texts from several cultural traditions.  We’ll start by studying some seminal American texts on the question of moral obligation:  Emerson’s “Self-Reliance,” Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience,” King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” and John Dewey’s Ethics.  Next, we’ll read from works that directly address our moral obligation to the environment and non-human animals:  Aldo Leopold’s “The Land Ethic,” Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals, Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Carol Adams’ The Sexual Politics of Meat.  The second half of the course will shift to a more literary terrain, engaging a series of provocative texts that use the imaginative resources of fiction, poetry, and memoir to interrogate such ethical questions.  We’ll read J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace, a searing novel about the intersections of human and animal suffering within the matrices of violence in post-Apartheid South Africa; Terry Tempest William’s poignant eco-feminist memoir Refuge; and we’ll conclude by exploring the haunting reflections on animals in works by various Latin American writers—from poems by Pablo Neruda (Chile), Homero Aridjis, and Jose Emilio Pacheco (Mexico), to short stories by Horacio Quiroga and Eduardo Galeano (Uruguay), Leopoldo Lugones and Julio Cortázar (Argentina), Rosario Castellanos (Mexico), and Ronaldo Menéndez (Cuba).

Albrecht, James 

Ethnographic Perspectives on State Formation

Course Description: In this International Honors class we will discuss readings that will assist us in thinking ethnographically about state formation, state projects, and state effects. The kinds of questions examined include: How are state subjects and citizens made? How can the state itself – as a set of institutions and as an idea – be examined from a variety of perspectives? What kinds of cultural understandings underlie a range of state projects and interventions? How can we understand how local populations and/or subordinate groups experience and respond to such projects? The course has been organized around an exploration of concepts for the multidisciplinary study of the state, and readings have been selected to cover many different geographic areas in addition to different theoretical concepts.

Levy, Jordan

Twentieth Century Origins of the Contemporary World

This course is an interdisciplinary examination of global history post-World War II, with an emphasis on the 1960s and, in particular, the year 1968. Topics will include the American Civil Rights movement, the Black Power movement, the women’s movement, post-colonialism, the controversies over the Vietnam War, and the emergence of the modern environmental movement. The course will pay special attention to the revolution in youth culture, especially as manifested in music and literature. The diverse course readings will be contemporary accounts from participants in the studied events, representing multiple political and social perspectives from the US, Europe, South East Asia, Latin America, and Africa. The primary disciplines on which the course will draw will be History and Political Science, with a substantial Sociology component.

Grosvenor, Peter

Universities and the Idea of Social Justice

In recent years, there is a resurgent interest in U.S. universities both in making university curricula and research more applicable to questions of social justice, and in making the universities themselves more inclusive and hospitable places for marginalized groups and identities. This interest in social justice builds on the 20th century legacy of political and social reform movements which grew out of universities, such as the lunch counter sit-ins in 1960-61, the anti-Vietnam war movement, and other more recent student movements. However, the relation between these movements and initiatives and essential features of the university itself as an institution is rarely considered. In this class, we will look at the history of the university, and the history of both student protest, and institutional reform, in order to think about compatibilities, and possible tensions, between the goals of social justice, and the nature of universities. Readings will include contemporary advocates and critics of social justice efforts in universities. The course will conclude with a thought experiment, in which each student imagines their dream university. This course receives cross-cultural credit.

Strum, Arthur

Kinesiology

Teaching Physical Activity

Generic teaching and management strategies, design of instructional materials and techniques for implementing them, and strategies for working with diverse learners in physical activity settings. This course is a prerequisite for all teaching methods courses and should be taken prior to or in conjunction with the education hub.

Farrar, Teresa

Languages & Literature

Literature Around the World

This courses explores modern German texts and films (in translation or with subtitles) whose characters are somehow caught or choose to be between two different worlds—cultural, political, ideological, gendered, social, economic, even imagined worlds. Discussions will focus on how characters navigate these liminal or in-between spaces and the ways their identities shift while there.

Christensen, Kirsten

Marriage & Family Therapy

Systems Approach to Marriage and Family Therapy

This course is an introduction to the field of marriage and family therapy and will also help students gain an understanding of traditional and contextually informed cybernetics and general systems theory. In addition, the course considers postmodern ideas, the feminist critique of systems theory, and common factors versus evidenced based approaches. Students will learn to apply a systemic lens personally and professionally. Strategies for systemically conceptualizing therapy will be taught.

Ward, David

Military Sciences

Professionalism and Ethics

ROTC cadets only. Covers Army values, ethics, and professionalism, responsibilities to subordinates, self, and country, law of land warfare, and the resolution of ethical/value dilemmas. Also covers logistic and justice systems and the interaction of special staff and command functions.

Dye, Erik

Nordic Studies

Culture, Gender, and the Wild

Studies will study how understandings of nature and the wild are constructed in literature using the hierarchic languages of gender, race, and culture.

Storfjell, Troy

Nursing

Culturally Congruent Health Care

Focuses on core knowledge and competencies necessary to give culturally congruent care to people from diverse populations. Compares beliefs, values, and practices pertaining to health, care expressions, and well-being.

Champ-Gibson, Erla

Policy and Politics

Principles of policy and the influence of the political process as a systematic approach to health care in the United States and internationally. The interdependence of policy and practice will be evaluated, with a focus on the challenges of engaging and influencing health policy locally, nationally and globally. Students will analyze the ethical, legal, economic, and sociocultural factors influencing policy development. Health policy frameworks are analyzed from governmental, organizational, and clinical practice perspectives.

Watkins, Sally

Philosophy

Politics and the Good Society

An examination of major political theories in the Western philosophical tradition, with a focus on questions regarding the nature of just political institutions.

Johnson, Gregory

Biomedical Ethics

An examination of significant controversies in contemporary biomedical ethics, of major moral philosophies, and of their interrelationships.

Hay, Sergia

Business Ethics

Application of moral theories and perspectives of relevance to business practices. Examination of underlying values and assumptions in specific business cases involving, e.g., employer-employee relations, advertising, workplace conflict, and environmental and social responsibilities.

Hay, Sergia

Political Science

Political Science Methods

How does political science approach analysis of the political world? This course covers the approaches borrowed and developed by the discipline, research design, and qualitative methods to conduct research. Upon completion, students should be able to critique, understand, and conduct research about politics.

Artime, Michael

Race and Ethnic Politics

An interdisciplinary examination of the way racial and ethnic conflict shapes and structures American political, social, and economic life focused on the best path toward democratic equality.

Chavez-Pringle, Maria

Psychology

Development Across the Lifespan

Biological, cognitive, social, and emotional development from conception through adulthood to death.

Guarneri-White, Maria

Social Psychology

The study of how an individual’s thoughts and behaviors are influenced by the presence of others. Research and theory concerning topics such as person perception, attitudes, group processes, prejudice, aggression, and helping behaviors are discussed.

Ceynar, Michelle

Religion

Religion and Literature of the Hebrew Bible

The literary, historical, and theological dimensions of the Hebrew Bible, including perspectives on contemporary issues.

Finitsis, Antonios

Religion and Literature of the Hebrew Bible

The study of selected biblical questions or themes examined in their social and historical contexts.

Oakman, Douglas

Early Christianity

The origins, thought and expansion of the Christian Church; the growth of Christian involvement in culture to the end of the papacy of Gregory I (604 CE).

Torvend, Samuel

Lutheran Heritage

Lutheranism as a movement within the church catholic: its history, doctrine, and worship in the context of today’s pluralistic and secular world.

Trelstad, Marit

Christian Theology

Survey of selected topics or movements in Christian theology designed to introduce the themes and methodologies of the discipline.

Zbaraschuk, Michael

Native American Religious Traditions

Introduction to a variety of Native American religious traditions, emphasizing the way in which religion works to construct identity, promote individual collective well being, and acts as a means of responding to colonialism.

Crawford O’Brien, Suzanne

Religions of Korea/Japan

Introduction to the major religious traditions of Korea and Japan.

Hammerstrom, Erik

Environment and Culture

Study of the ways in which environmental issues are shaped by human culture and values.

O’Brien, Bridgette

RELI 331: New Testament Studies

Topic: The Letters of Paul. Major areas of inquiry: intertestamental, synoptic, Johannine, or Pauline literature, or New Testament theology.

Theological Studies

Topic: Theologies of Religious Pluralism.

Zbaraschuk, Michael

Luther

The man and his times, with major emphasis on his writing and creative theology.

Trelstad, Marit

Christian Moral Issues

In-depth exploration from the perspective of Christian ethics of selected moral issues such as peace and violence, the environment, sexuality, political and economic systems, hunger, and poverty.

O’Brien, Kevin

Sociology

Gender and Society

An examination of gender as a social construction and a system of stratification. Focus is on the structural aspects of gender and upon the intersection of gender with other social categories, such as race, class, and sexuality.

Ciscell, Galen

Race and Ethnicity

A critical examination of racial/ethnic structures and inequalities in the United States.

Ciscell, Galen

Crime and Society

An examination of criminal behavior in contemporary society in relation to social structure and the criminalization process with particular attention to the issues of race, gender, and class.

Luther, Katie

Social Work

Human Behavior and the Social Environment

Students examine developmental theory through the lens of an ecological systems perspective and a biopsychosocial-spiritual framework, emphasizing power, privilege, and cultural differences (particularly race/ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation) as applied to individuals, families, groups, institutions, organizations, and communities locally and globally. Volunteer experience is required.

Keller, JoDee

Social Policy I: History of Social Welfare

Exploration of power, privilege and oppression emphasizing political process and global social change in the development of the American welfare state and the profession of social work.

Russell, Kathleen

Mental Health/Sub Abuse

Special Topics in Social Work: Mental Health & Substance Abuse Interventions

Simpson, David

Special Education

Educational Assessment and Evaluation

Develops a knowledge of commonly used assessment instruments in P-12 schools and how data is used to drive instruction and management.

Williams, Gregory

Issues in Autism Spectrum Disorders

This course will provide an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder for educators as well as other related professionals who may work with or serve children and families with this diagnosis. This course will explore the characteristics of children, youth and adults with autism, evidence-based practices for prevention and intervention, problems and issues in the field, methods of positive behavior support and collaborating with families.

Tucker, Vanessa

Theatre

Theatre History

A survey of the history of theatre and an examination of theatre as an institution that reflects historical moments and participates in the forming of social values and ideas.

Clapp, Jeffrey

Women's and Gender Studies

Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies

This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to the themes, issues, and methodological approaches that are central to the study of gender and sexuality. Central problems include the social construction of gender, theories of intersectionality, reflecting on power and privilege, and experimenting with different aspects of feminist praxis. Through an analysis of these longstanding questions, we’ll in turn explore important contemporary issues in the field such as trans* rights, structures of gender in the criminal justice system, and envisioning queer community after gay marriage.

James, Jennifer

Special Topics in Women's and Gender Studies: Beyoncè and Black Feminist Theory

In this course, we will examine Beyoncè as a potent political figure whose work sits at the intersections of gender, race and sexuality. Utilizing a variety of theoretical and historical frameworks, this class will explore questions including: In what ways can Beyoncè’s performance of sexuality be read as “queer,” particularly in light of its challenge to respectability politics? In what ways do class and normative standards of beauty shape the reception and enactment of Beyoncè’s performances? How do the history of slavery as well as current forms of social control, such as mass incarceration, shape understandings of the black female body? How does Beyoncè as a pop culture figure engage with contemporary mainstream feminism? Beyond analyzing Beyoncè’s performances, videos and lyrics, we will read black feminist theorists, writers and bloggers–including Patricia Hill Collins, bell hooks, the Crunk Feminist Collective, and Melissa Harris-Perry–to create an informed and dynamic dialogue about contemporary black womanhood in popular culture. Finally, this course will not take pop culture at face value—as mindless entertainment—and, instead, analyze how it shapes and communicates normative attitudes, beliefs and values about gender, race, and sexuality.

Smith, Jennifer A.

Feminist and Gender Theories

This course for majors and minors explores feminist and gender theories from global and diverse perspectives.

Urdangarain, Giovanna

Writing 101

Topic: The US-Mexico Borderline

The US-Mexico border is the world’s longest frontier between a very wealthy nation and a poor one. Its crossings (both formal and informal) are the world’s busiest. Communities north and south of the border are united by language, culture, music, and literature, yet divided by nationality, economy, policy, and police force. Millions of people cross the border each year and hundreds die trying. What is to be done about this state of affairs? How does border policy affect our lives? We will immerse ourselves in the literature (journalism, essays, short stories, poetry, and song) of the US-Mexico borderlands, consider Mexican influence in the Pacific Northwest, explore the borders that surround each of us, and – most of all – write: journal entries, personal essay, analytical essay, critical essay, and a literature review.

Wendy Call

Topic: Water, Politics, Place

Today, societies across the globe are working to address the increasingly fragile and perilous state of our earth’s water systems. This course will explore the environmental challenges that comprise our current global water emergency: re-evaluating our water use to combat scarcity, preserving the earth’s aqueous ecosystems, promoting and learning from the sustainment of human cultures centered on water, and responding to the impacts of global climate change on our lakes, rivers and oceans. In this course we’ll work together to better understand the political and ethical dimensions of this ecological crisis, considering the ways power, privilege and belief shape humans’ relationships to water and equitable management of our water resources. Using an environmental justice lens in our reading and writing, we will explore how race, gender, class, sexuality and religion impact environmental preservation. In turn, we’ll analyze water not simply as a resource for human use, but as a complex ecosystem necessary for the survival of all beings.

As this course is charged with preparing students to learn the generic conventions and argumentative skills necessary for successful undergraduate writing, throughout the term we will read scholarly sources about water and work to compose critical and reflective essays that respond to these intellectual conversations and debates. Our interdisciplinary work will also include an off-campus field component in an effort to actively engage with our local Puget Sound waterways. This course would be a great choice for any student interested in majoring in Environmental Studies or Women’s and Gender Studies, but is open to all!

Jenny James

Topic: 140 Characters: Reading and Writing in the Twenty-First Century

This course is designed to help prepare you for the reading and writing that you’ll do throughout college and, ideally, show you reasons to write long after you graduate. It understands writing as a process of inquiry that adheres to—or plays with—particular conventions involving genre, form, grammar, and citation. To do this work, we’ll focus on issues of literacy in the twenty-first century. In an age of text messages, Twitter, and Facebook, of high-stakes standardized testing, of “fake news,” of widely and wildly popular novel series like Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games, of research showing the neurological and social benefits of sustained reading and second-language acquisition—what does it mean to be not only a reader and writer but also a good reader and writer? That’s the central question that will drive our work this semester. In this writing seminar, we’ll consider the broad range of literacies in the twenty-first century, examining the rhetorical, social, educational, cognitive, and ethical dimensions of digital and print texts.

Rona Kaufman

Topic: Warriors

The warrior is a regular fixture and revered icon in nearly every society, time and place. Achilles. Samurai. Vikings. Marines. Bushido Monks. Lakota. Boudica, Queen of the Iceni. In this writing seminar we will examine the definition and nature of the warrior by reading and writing through traditional warrior cultures, the contemporary debate on the warrior ethos in the contemporary military and what role gender, tradition, religion and violence play in how we think about warriors.

Pauline Shanks Kaurin

Topic: Wonder and Wildness

Environmental activist and marine zoologist Rachel Carson, author of The Edge of the Sea and Silent Spring, wrote that a deep sense of wonder informed her research and writing. By reporting on the wild places and the small creatures that sparked her vivid sense of wonder, Carson shared her marine research with a wide audience and conveyed the urgency of conserving damaged ecosystems. Carson combined wonder, rigorous study, and an ability to communicate her passions to the public. In our course, we will learn how scientists, poets, philosophers, and others define awe and wildness, follow their curiosity, develop practical skills, and speak out for social and environmental justice. We will read, discuss, and write about wonder and curiosity; we will practice asking questions and gathering factual information; and we will develop our future plans as socially engaged scholars.

Nathalie op de Beeck

Topic: The Great War

A century ago, the June 1914 assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, heirs to the Austro-Hungarian throne, set off a chain of events that eventually pulled all the major powers into a global conflict. World War I—known at the time as the “Great War,” or “The War to End All Wars”—fundamentally changed previous arrangements in politics, social developments, science, and the arts. This course will incorporate fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and film to examine the events and some of the effects of the Great War. We will analyze the causes of the war, experience the horrors of trench warfare through the eyes of British and German poets and novelists, and nurse casualties with memoirist Vera Brittain. Along the way we will consider what qualities—physical, emotional, intellectual—enable people to endure, and even surmount, the hardships of war. The course will concentrate on expository writing (writing that explains).

Solveig Robinson

Topic: Your Values and American Values

You will discover how media presentations of American values influence your personal life. Is it your set of values or someone else’s set of values that dominates your life?  You will assess what is being presented as America’s values and compare it to what you are experiencing.  Literature, movies, radio, and television serve as the jumping point in discovering what you are being sold.  Rhetorical analysis offers a wonderful way for you to develop strong writing skills.

Terry Miller

Topic: Counterculture

The Beats. The Hippies. Punk Rock. DIY. All considered to be countercultural movements, but what does counterculture mean, particularly in relation to mainstream and subcultures? How does a countercultural group define itself? How do these movements come into existence? And what does it suggest when they are absorbed into the social norm? In this course, we will critically consider these questions as we explore the many facets of counterculture, including various countercultural groups and movements that have existed in recent history, how they came about and if they held any lasting impact, and what counterculture – if it exists – looks like today.

Jason Skipper

Topic: Family Communication and Auto-ethnography

We will be reading from On (Writing) Families—a diverse, multi-layered set of writings exploring the connections, entanglements, and spaces between these assemblages that we call family. These are not narratives with tidy, happy endings. Nothing is pat or contrived here because life is not pat or contrived—it is complicated, joyful, painful, exhilarating and exhausting. As the editors note, “The chapters show…what parents, children, and families can mean, not in any sentimental sense, but rather how they matter even if we wish they didn’t” (p. 3). These are ethnographies that break your heart (Behar, 1996), but don’t leave you broken. Each chapter is a slice of family life. As we read and analyze, we can all become more alive in the writing. Riding in the car with Patricia Leavy and her daughter, singing along to Katy Perry, contemplating how to balance feminism, pop culture, and raising a daughter. With Desirée Rowes, feeling the pain of a child who believes her name is misspelled in her father’s tattoo (is it? And if so, what does that mean?). Sitting alongside Anne Harris on her biological mother’s front porch, being ghosts, queering auto-ethnography, queering adoption. These authors turn a scholarly lens onto their experiences of family. Via careful analysis, creative nonfiction elements are tied to the insights offered by qualitative inquiry. As the editors note, “Autoethnographers try to balance methodological rigor, emotion, and creativity, and they write with an attention toward improving personal/social life” (p 5). This class will attempt to accomplish this mission. Writing is a process; it connects mind and body, the pain and release, reader and author.

Auto-ethnography can be used as a sense-making tool for readers to make connections to experiences of pain and loss/relief and joy.‘‘Reinhabiting the old in a way that will alter it, ’’ (Russo, 1994, p. 30), we make connections through the stories we tell and ‘‘[bring] readers into the scene’’ (Ellis, 2004, p. 142). Exploring narrative becomes a way for readers to make sense of themselves and of others (Adams, 2008; Bochner, 2002). The telling of personal experiences (see Poulos, 2008; Tillmann, 2009) serves as a representation to which readers can connect and empathize through their own lived experiences (Ellis & Bochner, 2000).

David Purnell

Topic: Muslim Women in the Contemporary World

Since 9/11 discussions about Muslims have been a central part of the media and popular discourse in the United States. Many commentators have argued that Muslim women are oppressed, voiceless, and helpless. Are they? In this class, we will explore Muslim women’s lives around the world, focusing on their daily experiences including the challenges they face as well as their aspirations. Ultimately, we will consider questions like, how should we engage with cultural and religious difference? What are our responsibilities as global citizens inhabiting a diverse world in which we encounter people whose backgrounds and beliefs are different from our own? This course will give you a better understanding of Islam and why this religion, particularly as it relates to women, has generated so much anxiety in the U.S. and elsewhere. We will read fiction, articles from a range of disciplines, and anthropological works on these topics. Through a variety of writing assignments, including a news analysis, personal essay, and literary analysis, this class will develop your skills in critical reading and writing, textual and visual analysis, argument construction, and research.

Katherine Wiley

Topic: Identities & Inequalities: Connecting Gender, Race, Class, and Sexuality

How do gender, race, class, and sexual identities shape who we are, how we think, and how others treat us? In this seminar, we will explore how gender, race, class, and sexuality have been socially defined and how they intersect to form a complex matrix of identity, interaction, and inequality. Students will read and write about the ways that these social inequalities work together to affect individuals and communities. We will read essays, social science research studies, and an ethnography that analyzes how Latina and white high school girls in California negotiate their intersecting identities. The seminar will also consider examples of how social inequalities are resisted and challenged to create social change.

Teresa Ciabattari

Topic: Media Representations of Gender

It is without question that media has influence on social norms and on our expectations regarding gender. Images and constructs of gender in advertising, pop culture, all types of programming, and social media contribute to our viewpoints, even though they are merely representations of gender and sex. But, how much influence do these representations actually have? Do the choices we make regarding how we consume and interact with media affect the expectations of gender performance, body image and other areas? In this class, we will critically evaluate the social construction and representation of gender in contemporary American mass and social media. We will investigate issues in relation to their political repercussions and draw from a range of texts, including feminist perspectives (particularly at intersections of gender, race, and sexual orientation), film studies, cultural studies, and communication theory. In examining media representations of gender and gender construction, we will consider how gender is tied in with notions of power, identity, and voice. We will explore the sociocultural mechanisms and triggers in media that shape our notions of identity and essentially teach us what it means to be male or female, and how this personally affects our view of own genders.

Through selected readings, expository writing, research and written response, discussion of assigned readings, and examination and analysis of artifacts (such as video, display, photographic image, etc.), analysis of social media, and synthesis of personal experience we will produce various essays that illustrate collaborative understanding of how media representations of gender affect all of us.

Stephen Johns

Topic: Media Representations of Gender

It is without question that media has influence on social norms and on our expectations regarding gender. Images and constructs of gender in advertising, pop culture, all types of programming, and social media contribute to our viewpoints, even though they are merely representations of gender and sex. But, how much influence do these representations actually have? Do the choices we make regarding how we consume and interact with media affect the expectations of gender performance, body image and other areas? In this class, we will critically evaluate the social construction and representation of gender in contemporary American mass and social media. We will investigate issues in relation to their political repercussions and draw from a range of texts, including feminist perspectives (particularly at intersections of gender, race, and sexual orientation), film studies, cultural studies, and communication theory. In examining media representations of gender and gender construction, we will consider how gender is tied in with notions of power, identity, and voice. We will explore the sociocultural mechanisms and triggers in media that shape our notions of identity and essentially teach us what it means to be male or female, and how this personally affects our view of own genders.

Through selected readings, expository writing, research and written response, discussion of assigned readings, and examination and analysis of artifacts (such as video, display, photographic image, etc.), analysis of social media, and synthesis of personal experience we will produce various essays that illustrate collaborative understanding of how media representations of gender affect all of us.

Stephen Johns

Topic: Democratic Citizenship

In this seminar, we’ll wrestle with the urgent question of what it means to be a responsible and engaged democratic citizen. We’ll start by considering some influential American texts on moral selfhood and social justice—Emerson’s “Self-Reliance,” Thoreau’s “Resistance to Civil Government,” and King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Then we’ll explore how their ideas might apply to some specific social issues. Using Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, we’ll consider the moral issues raised by our status as consumers in the U.S. and global food systems. Next, using Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me and Claudia Rankine’s Citizen as starting points, we’ll research issues of racial inequality in the U.S. criminal justice system—including how implicit racial bias and racial privilege affect many citizens’ attitudes toward these issues. Students will conclude the course by reflecting on the possibilities for activism in their lives and the role a college education should play in becoming an engaged citizen. Our main focus, of course, will be on the skills of college-level thinking and writing. Students will practice various types of writing (exposition and analysis, personal narrative, and research writing for a public web page), and we’ll work on the central role of revision in the writing process.

James Albrecht

Topic: Media Representations of Gender

It is without question that media has influence on social norms and on our expectations regarding gender. Images and constructs of gender in advertising, pop culture, all types of programming, and social media contribute to our viewpoints, even though they are merely representations of gender and sex. But, how much influence do these representations actually have? Do the choices we make regarding how we consume and interact with media affect the expectations of gender performance, body image and other areas? In this class, we will critically evaluate the social construction and representation of gender in contemporary American mass and social media. We will investigate issues in relation to their political repercussions and draw from a range of texts, including feminist perspectives (particularly at intersections of gender, race, and sexual orientation), film studies, cultural studies, and communication theory. In examining media representations of gender and gender construction, we will consider how gender is tied in with notions of power, identity, and voice. We will explore the sociocultural mechanisms and triggers in media that shape our notions of identity and essentially teach us what it means to be male or female, and how this personally affects our view of own genders.

Through selected readings, expository writing, research and written response, discussion of assigned readings, and examination and analysis of artifacts (such as video, display, photographic image, etc.), analysis of social media, and synthesis of personal experience we will produce various essays that illustrate collaborative understanding of how media representations of gender affect all of us.

Stephen Johns

Topic: Banned Books

What do Fifty Shades of Grey, Captain Underpants and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian have in common? These books are united near the top of the list of frequently banned books over the last several years. Whether they are perceived as too racy or too raced, too exciting or too inciting, these books provoke some communities to outrage and censorship. This seminar will explore the ethical/moral/religious/ ideological motivations that lead communities to suppress books. You’ll write about your own reading transgressions and research the controversies surrounding several book bannings. And, of course, we’ll read together a selection of banned books – from picture books to literary classics that excited the censors’ wrath. We will pay special attention to the banning of children’s books celebrating sexual diversity and to the targeting for censorship of books written by writers of color. One anti-censorship website proclaims, “Rise to the challenge. Read censored books!” We’ll do just that this term.

Lisa Marcus

Topic: Media Representations of Gender

It is without question that media has influence on social norms and on our expectations regarding gender. Images and constructs of gender in advertising, pop culture, all types of programming, and social media contribute to our viewpoints, even though they are merely representations of gender and sex. But, how much influence do these representations actually have? Do the choices we make regarding how we consume and interact with media affect the expectations of gender performance, body image and other areas? In this class, we will critically evaluate the social construction and representation of gender in contemporary American mass and social media. We will investigate issues in relation to their political repercussions and draw from a range of texts, including feminist perspectives (particularly at intersections of gender, race, and sexual orientation), film studies, cultural studies, and communication theory. In examining media representations of gender and gender construction, we will consider how gender is tied in with notions of power, identity, and voice. We will explore the sociocultural mechanisms and triggers in media that shape our notions of identity and essentially teach us what it means to be male or female, and how this personally affects our view of own genders.

Through selected readings, expository writing, research and written response, discussion of assigned readings, and examination and analysis of artifacts (such as video, display, photographic image, etc.), analysis of social media, and synthesis of personal experience we will produce various essays that illustrate collaborative understanding of how media representations of gender affect all of us.

Stephen Johns

Topic: Rhetorical Listening

In an age defined by new tools, methods, and forums for communication, we have forgotten how to listen. Unlike other forms of engagement like speaking, reading, or writing, the work of listening has become “naturalized.” It is something we all assume we do, but rarely, if ever, do we think about how, when, or why we do it. Nor do we often consider the value systems or characteristics of identity that might shape when, how, or to whom we are willing to listen.

This section of FYEP 101 will take listening as its central theme. We will use Krista Ratcliffe’s “rhetorical listening” as a strategy for learning how to listen more carefully to stories of experience, particularly stories that are different from our own. Ratcliffe describes rhetorical listening as “a stance of openness that a person may choose to assume in relation to any person, text, or culture” (17). This sort of listening necessitates difficult work as we must set aside our own interests and acknowledge our own privileges in order to listen authentically and to seek out opportunities for identification and productive dialogue. But, if we are committed to making the world a more just and equitable place, we must first be able to understand how people are living in it. This means listening with open minds and hearts, not waiting for our chance to speak, acknowledging both sound and silence.

To accommodate a range of stories and experiences, course readings will include memoir, ethnography, documentary film, and critical theory. This is a writing intensive course meant to provide students with skills necessary for effective communication on and off campus. As such, students enrolled in the class will do a great deal of writing and revision. Assignments will include critical analysis, ethnographic study, reflection, and multimodal/digital compositions. The course will emphasize PLU Integrative Learning Outcomes (ILOs) related to critical reflection, expression and communication, and the valuing of other cultures and perspectives.

Scott Rogers

Topic: Media Representations of Gender

It is without question that media has influence on social norms and on our expectations regarding gender. Images and constructs of gender in advertising, pop culture, all types of programming, and social media contribute to our viewpoints, even though they are merely representations of gender and sex. But, how much influence do these representations actually have? Do the choices we make regarding how we consume and interact with media affect the expectations of gender performance, body image and other areas? In this class, we will critically evaluate the social construction and representation of gender in contemporary American mass and social media. We will investigate issues in relation to their political repercussions and draw from a range of texts, including feminist perspectives (particularly at intersections of gender, race, and sexual orientation), film studies, cultural studies, and communication theory. In examining media representations of gender and gender construction, we will consider how gender is tied in with notions of power, identity, and voice. We will explore the sociocultural mechanisms and triggers in media that shape our notions of identity and essentially teach us what it means to be male or female, and how this personally affects our view of own genders.

Through selected readings, expository writing, research and written response, discussion of assigned readings, and examination and analysis of artifacts (such as video, display, photographic image, etc.), analysis of social media, and synthesis of personal experience we will produce various essays that illustrate collaborative understanding of how media representations of gender affect all of us.

Stephen Johns

Topic: “Pop” Philosophy: Writing About Music, Taste and Culture

What can our musical tastes tell us about who we are, be it as individuals or communities? What can they tell us about our personalities, values, and aspirations? Is there such a thing as “good” or “bad” taste (or, for that matter, objectively “good” or “bad” music)? What can we learn by studying, or maybe even trying to share, the tastes of others? Music critic Carl Wilson asks all these questions (and many others) in his book, Let’s Talk About Love, a reflection on his attempts to appreciate and understand the music of Celine Dion, a superstar singer he had previously only disdained. In this class we will use Wilson’s fascinating (and fun) book as a guide in our exploration of the diverse roles that music can play in our lives, particularly in the ways we understand our selves, and the selves of others. We will read a wide range of texts on music—from philosophy to criticism to ethnomusicology to neuroscience—listen to music, talk music, and (of course) write about music. Through a variety of writing assignments, including reflective essays, critical analyses, and a final research paper, this class will develop your skills in critical reading and writing, textual analysis, argument construction, and research.

Michael Rings

Topic: Media Representations of Gender

It is without question that media has influence on social norms and on our expectations regarding gender. Images and constructs of gender in advertising, pop culture, all types of programming, and social media contribute to our viewpoints, even though they are merely representations of gender and sex. But, how much influence do these representations actually have? Do the choices we make regarding how we consume and interact with media affect the expectations of gender performance, body image and other areas? In this class, we will critically evaluate the social construction and representation of gender in contemporary American mass and social media. We will investigate issues in relation to their political repercussions and draw from a range of texts, including feminist perspectives (particularly at intersections of gender, race, and sexual orientation), film studies, cultural studies, and communication theory. In examining media representations of gender and gender construction, we will consider how gender is tied in with notions of power, identity, and voice. We will explore the sociocultural mechanisms and triggers in media that shape our notions of identity and essentially teach us what it means to be male or female, and how this personally affects our view of own genders.

Through selected readings, expository writing, research and written response, discussion of assigned readings, and examination and analysis of artifacts (such as video, display, photographic image, etc.), analysis of social media, and synthesis of personal experience we will produce various essays that illustrate collaborative understanding of how media representations of gender affect all of us.

Stephen Johns

Topic: Youth Identity in Young Adult Literature (2 sections)

How individuals come to define themselves is considered one of the central tasks of adolescence. We’ll explore the ways in which young adults define themselves and examine how various disciplines view adolescent identity development. We’ll apply what we learn as we read and analyze some of the most robust and innovative young adult literature available today, focusing on identity formation and the various dimensions of self. Through a variety of writing assignments, including a personal reading narrative, blog posts, and a research paper, this class will develop your skills in critical reading and writing, text analysis, argument construction, and research.

Lizz Zitron

Topic: Media Representations of Gender

It is without question that media has influence on social norms and on our expectations regarding gender. Images and constructs of gender in advertising, pop culture, all types of programming, and social media contribute to our viewpoints, even though they are merely representations of gender and sex. But, how much influence do these representations actually have? Do the choices we make regarding how we consume and interact with media affect the expectations of gender performance, body image and other areas? In this class, we will critically evaluate the social construction and representation of gender in contemporary American mass and social media. We will investigate issues in relation to their political repercussions and draw from a range of texts, including feminist perspectives (particularly at intersections of gender, race, and sexual orientation), film studies, cultural studies, and communication theory. In examining media representations of gender and gender construction, we will consider how gender is tied in with notions of power, identity, and voice. We will explore the sociocultural mechanisms and triggers in media that shape our notions of identity and essentially teach us what it means to be male or female, and how this personally affects our view of own genders.

Through selected readings, expository writing, research and written response, discussion of assigned readings, and examination and analysis of artifacts (such as video, display, photographic image, etc.), analysis of social media, and synthesis of personal experience we will produce various essays that illustrate collaborative understanding of how media representations of gender affect all of us.

Stephen Johns

Topic: Literature and Medicine

How do we know what’s healthy—and when is it okay to judge someone else’s health? Going a step further: how can reading and writing lead us to deeper insights about the nature of health itself, including the health of an individual, a group, or even a society? (And what ethics are linked to these questions?) As we read and reflect on a range of material, from journalism (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) and memoir (El Deafo; Intern) to a documentary (The Genius of Marian) and a play (Wit), we’ll ask how literature and medicine can interact to teach us about observing details, setting priorities, listening to rarely-heard voices, and (even) writing a strong essay in college. Three portfolios will allow you to draft, revise, and hone your work as you think in complex ways about questions of health and wellness.

Nancy Simpson-Younger

Topic: Media Representations of Gender

It is without question that media has influence on social norms and on our expectations regarding gender. Images and constructs of gender in advertising, pop culture, all types of programming, and social media contribute to our viewpoints, even though they are merely representations of gender and sex. But, how much influence do these representations actually have? Do the choices we make regarding how we consume and interact with media affect the expectations of gender performance, body image and other areas? In this class, we will critically evaluate the social construction and representation of gender in contemporary American mass and social media. We will investigate issues in relation to their political repercussions and draw from a range of texts, including feminist perspectives (particularly at intersections of gender, race, and sexual orientation), film studies, cultural studies, and communication theory. In examining media representations of gender and gender construction, we will consider how gender is tied in with notions of power, identity, and voice. We will explore the sociocultural mechanisms and triggers in media that shape our notions of identity and essentially teach us what it means to be male or female, and how this personally affects our view of own genders.

Through selected readings, expository writing, research and written response, discussion of assigned readings, and examination and analysis of artifacts (such as video, display, photographic image, etc.), analysis of social media, and synthesis of personal experience we will produce various essays that illustrate collaborative understanding of how media representations of gender affect all of us.

Stephen Johns

Topic: The Art of Living

In this seminar we’ll work together to improve as readers, discussants, and writers and create positive momentum for living meaningful and purposeful lives. Our readings, discussions, and writing overlap with the University’s Wild Hope Project which challenges everyone to ask: What will you do with your one wild and precious life? We’ll draw on history, philosophy, and social sciences to explore different philosophies of life. Guiding questions will include: Is self-understanding important enough to occasionally unplug and be introspective? What quality of life do you want? How important is material wealth? How important is friendship and family? Do you want to marry and/or have children? How important is religion and/or spirituality? Active participation and contending viewpoints will be encouraged.

Ron Byrnes

Topic: Media Representations of Gender

It is without question that media has influence on social norms and on our expectations regarding gender. Images and constructs of gender in advertising, pop culture, all types of programming, and social media contribute to our viewpoints, even though they are merely representations of gender and sex. But, how much influence do these representations actually have? Do the choices we make regarding how we consume and interact with media affect the expectations of gender performance, body image and other areas? In this class, we will critically evaluate the social construction and representation of gender in contemporary American mass and social media. We will investigate issues in relation to their political repercussions and draw from a range of texts, including feminist perspectives (particularly at intersections of gender, race, and sexual orientation), film studies, cultural studies, and communication theory. In examining media representations of gender and gender construction, we will consider how gender is tied in with notions of power, identity, and voice. We will explore the sociocultural mechanisms and triggers in media that shape our notions of identity and essentially teach us what it means to be male or female, and how this personally affects our view of own genders.

Through selected readings, expository writing, research and written response, discussion of assigned readings, and examination and analysis of artifacts (such as video, display, photographic image, etc.), analysis of social media, and synthesis of personal experience we will produce various essays that illustrate collaborative understanding of how media representations of gender affect all of us.

Stephen Johns

Topic: Inequality, Stress, and Health

Stress is a physiological response to environmental, physical, and social factors. Although adaptive in the short term, chronic stress is strongly linked to a number of negative health outcomes. For humans—and primates generally—stress derives most often from social conditions, and our social and cultural milieux shape both our exposure to stressors and the means by which we cope with these stressors. Among the documented sociocultural stressors that negatively affect human health are unequal distribution of wealth, lack of social support, and racism. In this course, we will explore the complex relationships among inequality, stress, and health across human societies. We will examine how economic and social factors rather than biological differences contribute to most of the health disparities seen among racial and ethnic groups in the US. Students in the course will learn to read scientific and other texts critically. In addition, students themselves will produce a number of texts in various styles as we explore ways to communicate with and convey ideas to a variety of readers.

Jennifer Spence

Topic: Media Representations of Gender

It is without question that media has influence on social norms and on our expectations regarding gender. Images and constructs of gender in advertising, pop culture, all types of programming, and social media contribute to our viewpoints, even though they are merely representations of gender and sex. But, how much influence do these representations actually have? Do the choices we make regarding how we consume and interact with media affect the expectations of gender performance, body image and other areas? In this class, we will critically evaluate the social construction and representation of gender in contemporary American mass and social media. We will investigate issues in relation to their political repercussions and draw from a range of texts, including feminist perspectives (particularly at intersections of gender, race, and sexual orientation), film studies, cultural studies, and communication theory. In examining media representations of gender and gender construction, we will consider how gender is tied in with notions of power, identity, and voice. We will explore the sociocultural mechanisms and triggers in media that shape our notions of identity and essentially teach us what it means to be male or female, and how this personally affects our view of own genders.

Through selected readings, expository writing, research and written response, discussion of assigned readings, and examination and analysis of artifacts (such as video, display, photographic image, etc.), analysis of social media, and synthesis of personal experience we will produce various essays that illustrate collaborative understanding of how media representations of gender affect all of us.

Stephen Johns