B CUSP 104
Examines an important social issue such as ecology, art, political change, the power of media, educational reform, or the role of science in contemporary culture through interdisciplinary investigation, and the lens of the visual, literary, and performing arts. Offered: A.
Autumn 2012: "Place and Displacement in the Americas: Human Rights, Culture, and Ethnicity"
This course explores four main topics: human rights, social class & race, cultural productions, and physical & social environments. Our analysis will span across South, Central, and North America and use a combination of film, fiction & poetry, social science, journalism, and testimony. Some of our questions will include: What are human rights, social justice and environmental justice? How does the violation of human rights lead to the relocation of peoples and recreation of their communities? How does the meaning of place vary among social, ethnic and economic groups, and how do problems like homelessness, pollution, displacement, and discrimination affect the way places are imagined and experienced? Case studies include: Urban homelessness, Native American reservation life, Central American refugees, and Mexican/Chicano communities, among others.
Student learning goals
Students should be able to articulate difficult ideas verbally.
Students should have improved reading and writing skills.
Students should be familiar with expectations, methods, and resources at UW.
Students should be energized to make connections between what they learned in class and the community outside of UW, ideally through community activism.
Students should see the importance of using non-fiction texts including film, novels, and poetry in learning about social, political, and historical issues.
General method of instruction
The course will be a mix of lecture and class discussion. We will use a variety of different types of text including: Films, fiction, social science, history, testimonies, and memoir.
You must also attend BCUSP 107B
Class assignments and grading
Assignments and exams will be a combination of short and long papers based on readings, independent research, films, and discussions.
Grades will be based on sound analysis, mastery of content, clear writing, informed class participation, and attention to detail.