Teaching two brand spanking new courses for L&CS this spring semester

Reading the likes of Azedah Moaveni’s Lipstick Jihad, Fareed Zakaria’s Post-American World, Jared Diamond’s Collapse, and revisiting Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma for two new classes I’m teaching within Saint Mary’s College’s Liberal & Civic Studies Program. Students are coming to me in class proud about how conversant they’re getting concerning world politics, global matters, and environmental issues. I must confess, I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut during class discussions. Its hard to keep silent when the readings and subjects are so stimulating.

122 Environmental Responsibility in a Global Community 

Taken the semester immediately following L&CS 121 whenever possible, this courses focuses on the natural world in which we lie, and the complex interrelationship between human activities, the values which determine these activities and their consequences for the environment. Different societies’ belief systems along with their responsibilities and attitudes toward the environment are examined. Students are required to devote time each week to a service-learning project, write essays, intellectual integrations and a self-assessment. Class sessions are supplemented by a biweekly activity lab. Prerequisites: L&CS 121, English 5, Collegiate Seminar 20/110. 

123 Modern Global Issues

The purpose of this course is to gain broad-based exposure to some of the cultural, political and economic issues related to and arising from the processes of globalization. Students will study recent critical dialogues and philosophies of globalization, including issues of ethnicity/race, gender, identity, urban culture, post-nationalism, multiculturalism and post-colonial studies. Students are require to participate in class, lead discussion, write essays and news articles responses, give an oral presentation and complete a midterm exam.   Prerequisite:L&CS 121 or permission of instructor.

We’ve watched some of the following videos to supplement subjects and texts recently covered:

Slajov Zizek on “Cultural Capitalism:

Hans Rosling on “The Magic Washing Machine”

Saving the Bay Documentary

Radio, podcasts, and interviews on Art, Culture, History, Science, Politics, and more

Recently my Pa asked suggestions for good radio shows about Art. Here are some of my favorite go-to sites. These links always inspire my writing and teaching. Let me know what you think and help us add to the list.

In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg– he brings in top scholars and academics to discuss art, literature, science, and history. There’s an undeniable Western slant, but the discussions are always riveting and the participants often argue, which is entertaining.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/in-our-time/

Simon Schama on BBC 4– art historian who’s endlessly fascinating
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/programmes/people/VGVmL25hbWUvc2NoYW1hLCBzaW1vbiAoaGlzdG9yaWFuKQ

Terrence McNally– he doesn’t really cover art but his guest speakers are the leading thinkers and writers on politics, culture, environmental studies, global issues, etc, and the topics are always urgent.
http://temcnally.podomatic.com/

logo

Image from Web TV Hub

FORATV– I make my students watch videos of authors we’re reading on this site, looks like they have some good art interviews
http://fora.tv/subtopic/arts

TED talks– Hands down the most comprehensive site for interviews with all the leading international and national thinkers, movers, and shakers. This is an incredibly comprehensive and popular site. I subscribe to their weekly newsletter, which is worth it cause you can see what the latest talks are and click on any that you want to hear. This is an essential resource that I check regularly. Very, very inspiring.
http://www.ted.com/talks

And, just for kicks, here’s a clip on RSA animate, which I’m currently addicted to, with Slavoj Zizek’s First as Tragedy, Then as Farce:

“Into the Woods”: a faculty retreat reading list

Jenifer K. Wofford’s “MacArthur’s Nurses” (2008)

Your Salonniere has organized the reading list for this summer’s Collegiate Seminar Faculty Retreat for Saint Mary’s College of California. The theme of this retreat, “Into the Woods,” focuses on perception and consciousness of the Unknown, the Other, and the Wild. Inspired by the advocacy work of poet and professor Barbara Jane Reyes, who also introduced me to Jenifer K. Wofford’s art, these selections, juxtaposed together, will hopefully reveal surprising similarities among artists who might otherwise seem disparate. I’m looking forward to seeing how the faculty respond to the works individually and as a collective.

Schedule for the Neville and Juanita Massa Institute

at Huntington Lake, Summer 2010

July 29- August 1

“Into the Woods”

Thursday, July 29

8:00 – 10:00pm, Session I:  Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Mont Blanc” (poem), 1817.

Friday, July 30

10:00 am – noon, Session II:  Trinh T. Minh-ha, “The Language of Nativism” (46-64) (essay excerpt), from Women Native Other, 1989 [facilitator TBD].

7:30 – 9:30pm, Session III:  E.M. Forster, “Introduction” and “Other Kingdom” (short story) from The Celestial Omnibus and Other Stories, 1947 [facilitator TBD].

Saturday, July 31

10:00am – noon, Session IV:  Carlos Bulosan, “The Growth of Philippine Culture” (115-123), “My Education” (124-130), “Freedom from Want” (131-134) (essays) from On Becoming Filipino: Selected Writings and Jenifer K. Wofford, “MacArthur Nurses” (painting) 2008, and MacArthur’s Leyte Landing, (photo) October 1944 [facilitator TBD]

7:30 – 9:00pm, Session V:  Louise Erdrich, “The Good Tears” from Love Medicine (novel excerpt) 1984.

Sunday, August 1

10:00am – noon, Session VI:  Slavoj Zizek, “The Communist Hypothesis” (111-125) (philosophy excerpt) from First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, 2009.