College of Humanities

Humanities Open Classes - Spring 2018

Featured Classes

CCE 490
Civic and Community Engagement Capstone
Class Number: 20237
Fridays 2:00pm – 4:45pm

Through coursework and a collaborative project with a community partner, students complete requirements for the Civic and Community Engagement minor. The collaborative project can include community service, fieldwork or an internship with a government or nonprofit agency, with the approval of the CCE advisor. Requires up to 40 hours of community service during the semester.

CHS 214
Guitar Music of the Southwest and Mexico
Class Number: 14813
M, W 12:30pm-3:00pm

Develops the fundamental skills for guitar. Incorporates the study of various regional musical styles of the Southwest and Mexico.

CHS 390
Alternative Chicano Press
Class Number: 14000
Tu 4:00pm-6:30pm

Includes techniques of planning, writing, editing, designing and the publishing of an alternative newspaper. Analysis of the Chicana/o press and the role of Chicanas/os in the mass media. (Available for General Education, Lifelong Learning.)

ENGL 300
Contemporary Literature
Class Number: 13937
Fridays 11:00am-1:45pm

Study and analysis of selected major works of fiction, poetry, drama and major authors since approximately the end of World War II in England and America. Critical writing required. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

ENGL 303
Introduction to Grammar and Linguistics for Teachers
Class Number: 20511
M, W 2:00pm – 2:50pm

Class Number: 20354
M, W 3:00pm – 3:50pm

Introduction to the study of human language(s) and to major scientific approaches in linguistics: phonetics (properties of sound in spoken language and manual and non-manual elements in signed languages), phonology (sound systems of particular spoken languages, and manual and non-manual systems in signed languages), morphology (word and sign formation processes), syntax (word order and phrase structure patterns), semantics (study of meaning) and language variation (including dialects and historical change). Designed for students in the Liberal Studies Freshman ITEP Program, this course focuses on the linguistic study of those aspects of language included in the English-Language Arts Content Standards for Grades K-5 as mandated by the English Language Arts Common Core Standards (ELA-CCSS). It also addresses the broader aspects of language that are crucial to K-5 teachers and their students. The discussion/lecture session meets for 2 hours every week.

The lab, ENGL 303L, provides hands-on work with language data, guiding students into the discovery of analytical methods provided by a linguistic lens, basic linguistic principles, and the interface between linguistic knowledge and other cognitive systems, all in the service of their prospective teaching in the language arts. The lab meets for 2 hours every week.

ENGL 316
Class Number: 14020
Wednesdays 4:00pm – 6:45pm

Introductory study of representative poems and plays. Attendance at performances and/or films is required. Critical writing required. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

ENGL 360
The English Bible as Literature
Class Number: 14969
Tu, Th 11:00am – 12:15pm

Study of form, theme and style in the King James Version of the Bible.

FREN 380
French Civilization
Class Number: 19853
Tu, Th 11:00am-12:15pm

Study of the historical, cultural and societal evolution of the French people from the earliest records to the contemporary period. 

GWS 400
Senior Seminar in Gender and Women’s Studies
Class Number: 14170
Wednesdays 4:00pm – 6:45pm

This course is a culmination (capstone) of the students’ undergraduate studies and will not necessarily introduce new topics. Instead, students reflect on and review important women’s studies theories, key principles and questions. Each student conducts a research project applying feminist methodology and writes a research paper on a topic within the discipline. The purpose of this course is to review the cross-cultural and international literature in women’s studies/feminist studies as well as to equip students for graduate school and/or the work setting. 

PHIL 313
Philosophy of Film and Literature
Class Number: 15055
Tu, Th 9:30am – 10:45am

Investigation of philosophical concepts and problems relating to and expressed through film and literature. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 403
Contemporary Philosophy
Class Number: 20534
Tu, Th 9:30am – 10:45pm 

An examination of selected contemporary philosophical writings.

TowelheadAAS 220
Survey of Asian American Literature
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 am
Prof. Tomo Hattori

This course covers works of Asian American literature from the late 19th century to the present.  A recurring theme in this course is the formation of Asian American agency within the systemic and discursive violence of Orientalism.

Texts Include:

  • Kingston, Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. Vintage Books, 1989. 
  • Chang-rae Lee, A Gesture Life. Riverhead Books, 1999.
  • Alicia Erian, Towelhead: A Novel. Simon & Schuster, 2005.

Escape to Gold MountainAAS 321
Asian American Fiction
Monday, Wednesday 11:00-12:15 pm
Prof. Tomo Hattori

This course surveys contemporary Asian American fiction through graphic novels and a transcribed oral story in addition to short stories, poetry, and a novel.  We will study and engage in in Asian American storytelling as a multimodal interpretive and creative practice.

Texts Include:

  • Keshni Kashyap and Mari Araki, Tina's Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011.
  • Derek K. Kim, Same Difference. First Second, 2011.
  • Bharati Mukherjee, The Holder of the World. Knopf, 1993.
  • Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, Skim. Groundwood Books, 2008.
  • David H. T. Wong, Escape to Gold Mountain: A Graphic History of the Chinese in North America. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012.

The Woman WarriorAAS 420
Asian American Self-Representations
Secret Selfhood and Buried Life 
Monday, Wednesday 9:30-10:45 am
Prof. Tomo Hattori

This course examines representations of endangered human agency and precarious life in Asian America autobiographical narratives.


  • Carlos Bulosan, America Is in the Heart (1946)
  • James D. Houston and Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Farewell to Manzanar (1973)
  • Maxine Hong Kingston, “No Name Woman,” The Woman Warrior (1976)
  • ---. “The Brother in Vietnam,” China Men (1980)
  • Liliuokalani, Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen (1898)
  • Mass Shootings at Virginia Tech: April 16, 2007, Report of the Review Panel (2007)
  • Hasan Minhaj, Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King (2017)
  • G. B. Tran, Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey (2010)

Gender, Sexuality & American Indian Communities
Monday, Wednesdays 2:00 – 3:15pm

This course will employ a Native feminist analytic to explore American Indian constructions of gender and sexuality, particularly as they resist and are shaped by settler colonialism and heteropatriarchy.

American Indians and Popular CultureAIS 301
American Indians & Popular Culture
Fridays 11:00AM – 1:45PM

From music videos and Disney films to fashion runways and souvenir shops, images of American Indians saturate the United States’ landscape. This course is an introductory exploration of the nuanced and myriad ways in which American Indians are represented in US popular culture.

CCE 200
Introduction to Civic and Community Engagement
Class number: 15172
Fridays 11:00-1:45
Dr. Xochitl Alvizo

This class is for students who want to make a difference in their local communities! In CCE 200, students engage with numerous community partners as they examine the notion of social responsibility and learn and experience differing models of civic engagement. Students learn to discover community needs and develop creative approaches for addressing them. Through class visits, field trips, and service learning projects, students become active problem solvers and reflect on community engagement in their own lives.

One Hundred Demons!ENGL 333
Comics and Graphic Novels 
Death Worlds and Life Networks

Tuesday, Wednesday 2:00-3:15 pm
Prof. Tomo Hattori

This course explores biopower, biopolitics, and necropolitics through graphic narratives from the late 20th and early 21st centuries.  Political theorist Achille Mbembe defines necropolitics as the “contemporary forms of subjugation of life to the power of death.”  We will study this subjugation of life to the power of death in the graphic novels below.  In so doing, we will discover and unearth the psychic, cultural, social and political strategies of human adaptation in various graphic novel depiction of necropolitical ‘death worlds.’

Texts Include:

  • ---, One! Hundred! Demons! (2002)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine (2015)
  • ---, Bitch Planet, Vol. 2: President Bitch (2017)
  • Alison Bechdel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006)
  • Keiji Nakazawa, Barefoot Gen, Vol. 1: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima (1973-4)
  • ---, Barefoot Gen, Vol. 2: The Day After (2004) (1973-4)
  • Joe Sacco, Palestine (2001)
  • Marjane Satrapi, The Complete Persepolis (2000)
  • Art Spiegelman, The Complete Maus (1996)
  • Tony Puryear, Erika Alexander, Concrete Park, Vol. 1: You Send Me (2014)
  • ---, Concrete Park, Vol. 2: R-E-S-P-E-C-T (2015) 

Encoded Text and Literary CodesENGL 393 Honors Course
Encoded Text and Literary Codes
Prof. Mauro Carassai

Now satisfies the upper division, 20th Century American Literature requirement for the major! Please enroll in this dynamic class if interested in some of the newest trends in literature. The final project may also be a creative writing assignment, so Creative Writers should take note!

Class description: "Encoded Texts and Literary Codes" introduces students in seminar form to the major theoretical issues surrounding the nature of language, code, and texts and the current language and literary shift from page to screen. Possible readings include novels such as Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes or Douglas Coupland’s Microserfs, pieces of so-called Codework poetry, or works of electronic literature such as Penny Florence and John Cayley’s Mirroring Tears. The major assignment will consist in the composition of a short literary work or a short humanities-oriented computer program.

The Spectacle of DifferenceENGL 493 Honors Course
The Spectacle of Difference
Prof. Leilani Hall 

Now satisfies the Literature of Cultural Diversity requirement for the major! Please enroll in this dynamic, interdisciplinary class if interested.  

Class description: Consider images of difference within popular culture—comic books (Daredevil, Professor X, etc.), film (Avatar, Nemo), TV (Speechless, Switched at Birth), and music videos (Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” and “Born this Way”).  This course is interested in the construction of disabled identities—not simply as a group that is marginalized, but as an identity that relies on what disability scholar Simi Linton calls “the vantage-point of the atypical.”

Radiant ChildLRS 491
Multicultural/Multiethnic Children’s Literature
A Service Learning and Community Engagement Course

Open to Liberal Studies and English Majors/Graduate Students.
Monday, Wednesday 9:30 – 10:45 am, Manzanita Hall 124
Dr. Krystal Howard

This course focuses on the #OwnVoices and #WeNeedDiverseBooks movements in Children’s Literature and provides students the opportunity to apply the theories they learn directly to the elementary classroom. We will examine the ways that contemporary authors and illustrators, scholars and activists, publishers and editors, librarians, and educators are working to answer the call that Children’s Literature reflects the diverse experiences of young people and showcase works created by authors who share the identity of their characters. Students will perform read-alouds at a partnering elementary school in the community and design teaching resources for Multicultural/Multiethnic Children’s Literature.

Classes offered by Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures

ARMN 440: Armenian American Child  W 16:00-18:45
Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement.

Study of the development of the Armenian child with particular emphasis on bicultural and bilingual issues that may influence educational progress. Culturally relevant socialization patterns of children from Armenia and the Armenian diaspora are examined. Intended for prospective teachers and students interested in human services. (Available for Section A of the Multicultural requirement for credential candidates.) 

CLAS 315: Greek and Roman Mythology  T/R 11:00-12:15 or T/R 12:30-13:45
Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement.

Study of the myths of Greeks and Romans, and of their impact on the literature of the Western world.  Conducted in English (Available for General Education, Arts, and Humanities.)

FLIT 234: Virtual Study Abroad  M 15:30-18:15
Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement.

This course will give students a simulated experience of studying abroad via technology mediation and exposure to people and products from international cultures. Through the virtual exposure to global cultures and research projects, students will learn to use technology to access information sources, develop strategies to evaluate the accuracy and usefulness of information, and investigate how cultural information and products impact individuals and society. The course will help students become discriminating consumers of cultural products and sophisticated global citizens with skills to interact with diverse people in a culturally appropriate manner in their professional and personal lives. (Available for General Education, Lifelong Learning.)

FLIT 380: Cultural Development of Modern Russia and Eastern Europe  T/R 11:00-12:15
Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement.

Examines the cultural history and current developments of the Slavic people in the Russian States and Eastern Europe, and traces the role of these people in American culture and society. Conducted in English. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.)

FREN 102: Elementary French II  T/R 14:00-15:40
Prerequisites: FREN 101. Not open to students with oral and writing proficiency or who attended schools where French was the language of instruction.

Continuation of the study of the fundamentals of French, including grammatical structures, reading and practice in the spoken language. May not be challenged by exam. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.)

HEBR 102: Elementary Hebrew II  T/R 14:00-15:40
Prerequisite: HEBR 101 or instructor consent. Not open to students with oral and writing proficiency or who attended schools where Hebrew was the language of instruction.

Continuation of the study of the fundamentals of Hebrew: grammatical structures, reading, practice in spoken language. May not be challenged by exam. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.)

ITAL 102: Elementary Italian II  T/R 09:30-11:10
Anthony Costantini
Prerequisite: ITAL 101 or instructor consent. Not open to students with oral and writing proficiency or who attended schools where Italian was the language of instruction.

Continuation of the study of the fundamentals of Italian, including grammatical structures, reading, and practice in the spoken language. May not be challenged by exam. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.) 

JAPN 102: Elementary Japanese  II M/W 11:00-12:40 or T/R 11:00-12:40
Wendy Snyder 
Prerequisite: JAPN 101 or instructor consent. Not open to students with oral and writing proficiency or who attended schools where Japanese was the language of instruction.

Continuation of the study of the fundamentals of Japanese, including grammatical structures, reading, and practice in the spoken language. May not be challenged by exam. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.)

PERS 102: Elementary Persian II  T/R 18:00-19:40
Prerequisite: PERS 101 or instructor consent. Not open to students with oral and writing proficiency or who attended schools where Persian was the language of instruction.

Continuation of the study of the fundamentals of Persian, including grammatical structures, reading, writing, practice in the spoken language. May not be challenged by exam. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.

RS 361
Contemporary Ethical Issues
F 11:00 Kenneth Lee
F 2:00  Robert Mason

This course emphasizes the development of skills in critical thinking through the analysis of and discussion on contemporary ethical issues such as abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering, sexual behavior, racism, gender bias, punishment, the environment, and the relationships between religion(s) and morality.  Students will be able to develop oral and written arguments for resolving current moral dilemmas in our society and learn to recognize and evaluate their own and others' assumptions and biases through conversations in the classroom about moral values and forms of ethical thinking.

Treblinka MemorialRS 377
The Holocaust: Religious Responses
This course is offered only every three years.
3 units
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30 – 10:45 am
Sierra Hall 314
Class #20080
Prof. B. Cohen

This course examines several classic religious explanations for the tragic destruction of the Jews. Contemporary responses to the Holocaust on the part of Jewish and Christian theologians, churches, and individual artists will also be studied.

African American boy lighting a menorah for HanukkaRS 378
American Jewish Experience
3 units
Tuesday, Thursday 12:30 – 1:45 pm
Sierra Hall 384
Class #14089
Prof. B. Cohen

General Education: Comparative Cultural Studies; fulfills information competence requirement

This course describes the experience of the Jewish religio-ethnic community in America with reference to its own historical background and development, and the relationship of the community to the general American culture and to other particular subcultures or ethnic groups.

RS 390
F 8:00 Kenneth Lee

This course will introduce students to the study of Buddhist philosophy and religious traditions, beginning with the life of Siddhartha Gautama, through the development of Buddhism in ancient India – Theravada and Mahayana – and spread of Buddhism to Tibet, East Asia, and the West.  Students will read key Buddhist texts and be able to analyze central teachings of Buddhism.  Students will also have a unique opportunity to visit a local temple and share their experiences with fellow classmates.

Greek frieze - battle sceneRS 437
Pauline Letters
TR 1100 Rick Talbott

Paul of Tarsus remains one of the most influential and controversial figures of history. Millions still read the letters he wrote to Christ communities throughout the ancient Mediterranean world that ended up in the New Testament. Thus, Paul became the authoratative Apostle Paul or Saint Paul. But have his letters been read correctly? Paul’s letters have been used to justify slavery, misogyny, and anti-Semitism.

This course examines Paul’s authentic letters in their original context. We reconstuct the cultural and political dynamics that shaped these letters that became “Scripture” and the basis of later doctrines for various Christian sects.

We also examine recent scholarship that challenges the notion that Paul left his Jewish roots to establish a new religion called “Christianity.” The course also addresses Paul’s treatment of women; his views on sex; his relationship to Roman authorities; and, his use of power in his Chrsit communities.