Course Offerings

NOTE: Independent studies, courses from other ACTC schools, study abroad courses, and up to two 100-level courses may be applied toward the minor with the approval of the program director, Dr. Kanishka Chowdhury (k9chowdhury@stthomas.edu).

Summer 2016 Courses

Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Fall 2016 Courses

Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ACST 200 - 01 Intro to Amer. Culture & Diff. M - W - - - - 1335 - 1510 JRC 126

Days of Week:

M - W - - - -

Time of Day:

1335 - 1510

Location:

JRC 126

Course Registration Number:

41371 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4

Instructor:

David T. Lawrence

In ACST 200, students learn about the historical and theoretical foundations of Cultural Studies as an academic discipline and use cultural theory to analyze a variety of cultural products and representations. In this course, students look specifically at dominant and subversive constructions of gender, race, ethnicity, national and sexual identities, and how these constructions are deployed through cultural practices and productions such as sports, film and television, folklore and popular culture, youth subcultures, music, and so on. For example, the course may contain units on "nation" and the creation of American mythologies; the process of hero-making in American history; stereotypes and the representation of race and ethnicity in television and film; representations of gender and sexuality in advertising; as well as a section on American music from jazz, blues, folk and roots music, to rock and roll, punk, and hip-hop. This course fulfills the Human Diversity requirement in the core curriculum.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
COJO 326 - 01 Communication in Pop Culture - T - R - - - 0955 - 1135 BEC 113

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

0955 - 1135

Location:

BEC 113

Course Registration Number:

42598 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4

Instructor:

Bernard J. Armada

This course focuses on the creation and use of rhetoric in public persuasion settings, including social movements and political campaigns. The diversity of rhetorical acts examined may include campaign ads, speeches, films, advertisements, music, memorials, architecture and other nonverbal strategies. Topics of study may include: The rhetoric of domination and resistance, national identity formation, and the rhetoric of public memory. This course fulfills a requirement in American Culture and Difference. This course fulfills the Human Diversity Core requirement Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of instructor

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
COJO 328 - 01 Comm of Race, Class & Gender - T - R - - - 1525 - 1700 BEC 113

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

1525 - 1700

Location:

BEC 113

Course Registration Number:

40663 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4

Instructor:

Dina Gavrilos

This course focuses on theories and research of the historical and contemporary correlation between gender, race, class, and communicative practices, including rhetorical practice and mass communication content. It includes the influence of gender and racial stereotypes on public speech and debate, political campaigns and communication, organizational leadership, news coverage and advertising. Topics include: gendered perceptions of credibility; who is allowed to communicate and who is silenced due to class and racial privilege; and the impact of gender, race and class stereotypes about human nature, expertise, and abilities on individuals and groups that want to participate in public culture and communication. Students analyze and evaluate their own communicative styles in light of course readings and activities. This course fulfills a requirement in American Culture and Difference, Justice and Peace Studies, Women┬┐s Studies, and the Human Diversity requirement in the core curriculum. Prerequisite: COJO 211, or 212, or 213 or junior standing

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
HIST 116 - W01 Afr Amer Hist Glob Persp M - W - F - - 0815 - 0920 MHC 202

Days of Week:

M - W - F - -

Time of Day:

0815 - 0920

Location:

MHC 202

Course Registration Number:

41887 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4

Instructor:

Anne Klejment

An introductory social history survey of African-American experience in global perspective. This course will cover developments from the beginnings of the trans-Atlantic slave trade through the present. Topics include: West African cultures; origins of the international slave trade; African American life in the colonies and during the Revolution; development of slavery in global comparative perspective; resistance to slavery; and the role of African Americans in the Civil War and Reconstruction eras; Jim Crow culture and its challengers; migration; changes during the depression and WWII; black nationalism and independent Africa; the freedom movements of the North and South; and the post civil rights era. This course fulfills the Historical Studies requirement in the core curriculum.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
HIST 210 - 01 Modern Latin America 1800-pres - T - R - - - 1525 - 1700 OEC 204

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

1525 - 1700

Location:

OEC 204

Course Registration Number:

42546 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4

Instructor:

Kari E. Zimmerman

This course surveys the historical and cultural developments of Latin America from Independence to the present. Select topics include: political and economic development, race relations, social power and privilege, revolution, urban and rural societies, militarism and the struggle for social justice, and the historical role of the Catholic Church. The relationship between the U.S. and Latin America is examined from a Latin American perspective. This course fulfills the Human Diversity Requirement.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
MUSC 216 - 01 Jazz in America - T - R - - - 1525 - 1700 BEC 110

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

1525 - 1700

Location:

BEC 110

Course Registration Number:

40215 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4

Instructor:

Christopher S. Kachian

The origins and history of jazz in the United States. Various phases in the development of jazz style are discussed. Blues, ragtime, Dixieland, swing, bop, cool jazz, fusion, as well as other recent developments in jazz performances are investigated. An essential part of the course is the analysis and evaluation of recorded performances by outstanding jazz musicians. Designed for non-majors as well as an elective for music majors interested in jazz. Offered fall semester. This course fulfills the Fine Arts and Human Diversity requirements in the core curriculum.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
SOCI 251 - 01 Race and Ethnicity M - W - F - - 1215 - 1320 OEC 452

Days of Week:

M - W - F - -

Time of Day:

1215 - 1320

Location:

OEC 452

Course Registration Number:

40296 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4

Instructor:

Buffy Smith

Race and ethnicity as significant components of U.S. social structure; the cognitive and normative aspects of culture which maintain and effect varying manifestations of social distance, tension, prejudice and discrimination between majority and minorities at both micro and macro levels, nationally and internationally. This course meets a requirement in American Cultural Studies and Justice and Peace Studies and fulfills the Human Diversity requirement in the core curriculum. Prerequisite: sophomore standing

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

J-Term 2017 Courses

Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Additional Approved Courses

Fall 2016

COJO 332-01 Documentary: American Culture (CRN# 42148)
M 6:00-9:30pm
Prof. Luann Lippold

This course provides an overview of documentary television and film as part of American culture. Class sessions will focus on how to analyze and interpret claims particular documentaries make, while providing a foundation for understanding aesthetic, rhetorical, and political economic conventions that help shape the meaning of each documentary. To this end, this course will center on current theoretical dilemmas and debates in documentary filmmaking, including questions of how to define documentary, what constitutes the ethical treatment of documentary subjects and subject matter, and how documentaries construct and position audiences. We will explore the concepts of reality, truth and authority, through a variety of readings and viewings. 

COJO 430 Society, Culture, & the Media (CRN# 41538)
T/R 1:30-3:10pm
Prof. Dina Gavrilos
Society, Culture and the Media examines the role media play in social and cultural formations. The course looks beyond the media as transmitters of information to their broadest social and cultural effects. Students study media as agents of enlightened social modernism, as political and economic institutions, as purveyors of popular culture, and as aspects of cultural and sub-cultural rituals. History, political economy, critical studies, cultural anthropology, semiotics and sociology are among the areas from which approaches for studying the media are considered in the course. Prerequisite: COJO 211, 212 or 213, or permission of instructor

ENGL 217-L01 Contemporary U.S. Immigrant Narratives
T/R 3:25-5:00pm
Prof. Kanishka Chowdhury

It is common, especially during the election season, to hear politicians proclaim “truths” and “facts” about immigrants’ lives, even though most of them have little experience of the complex realities of those lives. There is, for instance, no such thing as a homogenous immigrant experience. An immigrant’s life in this country is determined by multiple factors, such as race, class, gender, sexuality, national origin, and religion. In this course, we will study a range of post-9/11 immigrant narratives, focusing on the multiple ways in which immigrants have negotiated questions related to citizenship, state persecution, segregated labor practices, historical memory, and intergenerational conflicts over the last fifteen years. We will read works by writers such as Teju Cole, Edwidge Danticatt, Mohsin Hamid, Cristina Henríquez,Jhumpa Lahiri, Óscar Martínez, and Dinaw Mengestu. We will also read a range of theoretical and historical works that will help us understand the social, political, and economic factors that determine the realities of these myriad lives. Students will be responsible for a comprehensive presentation and will write blogs, short papers, and a research paper. This course satisfies the Human Diversity core requirement. Prerequisite: ENGL 201, 202, 203, or 204

ENGL 337-L01 Afrofuturism (CRN# 41527)
M/W/F 12:15-1:20pm
Prof. Todd Lawrence
Watch enough science fiction movies and you’ll notice a curious thing: there aren’t many black folks in the future imagined by white people. White conceptions of the future tend to figure blackness as either absent or as symbolic of civilization’s failure. Consequently, black diasporic people have had no place to imagine themselves but the present; it would appear that both the speculative future and the historical past are the exclusive domains of whiteness. As comedian Louis C K has commented, “Black people can’t f*** with time machines.” The emergent literary and cultural aesthetic Afrofuturism, however, offers a challenge to this conclusion. Focusing on the intersection between race and technology, Afrofuturism explores alternative futures imagined by black diasporic artists, it re-visions culture and blackness in present and future moments, and it allows us to revisit history with an eye toward alternate explanations of past conditions. Ultimately, Afrofuturism combines art, imagination, technology, theory, and Afrocentrism to conceive and render, through various mediums, multiple alternatives to a past, present, and future imposed on diasporic peoples by a restrictive white imagination. In this class we will embark on a literary journey forward and backward through time looking for ways that re-imaginings of black existence can allow us to reconsider the nature of blackness itself. Artists will include Nalo Hopkinson, W.E.B. DuBois, Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, Sun Ra, and Janelle Monae. This course satisfies the core Human Diversity requirement and the Diversity Literature distribution requirement for English majors. Prerequisites: ENGL 201, 202, 203, or 204

ENGL 372-01 Make It New: American Modernism (CRN# 42442)
T/R 9:55-11:35am
Prof. Kelli Larson
“Make it new” was the rallying cry of those visionary writers who literally and figuratively exploded into that revolutionary period between World War I and World War II, a time characterized by experimentation and innovation in all of the arts. Fueled by their desire to disrupt tradition and challenge the world’s values and sense of order, American moderns forged the way for our contemporary writers. And although one hundred years separate our world from theirs, their writings still feel timely and familiar. Their concerns and struggles, from politics and technology to women’s rights and racism, continue to be our concerns and struggles. So join us as we rediscover some of this country’s greatest writers, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Hughes, Hurston, and others, whose cry to “make it new” still rings true today. This course satisfies the American Literature distribution requirement for majors who started at St. Thomas previous to Fall 2015. For English majors who started at St. Thomas in Fall 2015 or later, this course satisfies the Contexts and Convergences distribution requirement. Prerequisites: ENGL 201, 202, 203, or 204.

HIST 355-01 Civil War Era (CRN# 42539)
M/W/F 9:35-10:40am
Prof. David Williard

The American Civil War was a pivotal event, followed by incomplete efforts at changing the shape of the nation through Reconstruction. The causes of the war, its conduct on both sides, and the consequences of this "War of Rebellion," including Reconstruction, form the three parts of this course. Prerequisite: One 100-level history course 

HIST 358-W01 20th Century U.S.
M/W 1:35-3:10pm
Prof. Anne Klejment
An intensive study of 20th-century United States domestic history, with emphasis on social change and social thought. Topics include: reform movements, industrialization, urbanization, the economy, the homefront, consumer culture, suburbanization, liberation movements, and deindustrialization. Prerequisite: one 100-level history course. 

IDSC XXX Inequality in America: Policy, Community, & the Politics of Empowerment
(Contact Study Abroad Office to Register)
NOTE: This course is 16 credits; 8 credits may be applied towards the American Culture & Difference minor.
HECUA Faculty, Taught at off-campus location
In the Inequality in America: Policy, Community, and the Politics of Empowerment program students actively delve into major challenges of our time: poverty, inequality and social change. The program pursues three major framing questions utilizing a number of relevant and contested theories to frame the discussion throughout the semester. The questions are: What are some of the root causes of increasing levels of economic, political, social inequality and insecurity and how does this impact all social classes and groups in the United States? How are economic, political, and social inequality reproduced? How do we create more opportunity for all Americans squeezed by economic, political, and social inequality and what are some concrete social change tools for making these changes? To understand these questions the program looks at the economy, housing systems, education, welfare, government policies, urban sprawl, regional race and class segregation, and institutional discrimination. Connecting these issues is at the core of the program. Instead of just learning about these problems, students explore solutions and become engaged in organizations committed to social transformation. Students have direct conversations and work with practitioners in government, the private sector, nonprofit social change organizations, academia, labor unions, schools, and other community institutions that in one way or another claim to be addressing some aspect of economic, political, and social inequality and poverty.

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota is increasingly diverse and in some areas still has a strong and vibrant economy, yet many people are not sharing in this vitality. As in most large urban regions there is a growing gap between the rich and poor, increasing geographic and social segregation and polarization between these groups. Forty-five percent of the children in the “core” of the Twin Cities live at or below the poverty line, and an educational gap between racial groups worries many policymakers, parents, educators and students. Through critical thinking set into action, HECUA students analyze policy, lobby elected officials and engage communities. This program focuses on learning the basics of organizing in communities and workplaces, persuading others to become critically engaged, and learning to act as an effective advocate for issues and people. Building these skills is valuable for social change.

JPST 280-01 Active Nonviolence (CRN# 40515)
T/R 9:55-11:35am
Prof. Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer

Active nonviolence as a means for societal defense and social transformation analyzed through case studies of actual nonviolent movements, examining their political philosophy and how this philosophy is reflected in their methods and strategies. Examples of possible case studies include: Mahatma Gandhi's movement for a free India, Danish resistance to Nazi occupation, the struggle for interracial justice in the United State, an integrated Canada-to-Cuba peace-and-freedom walk, the campaign to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas (WHINSEC), fair trade movements, and the Honeywell Project. The course emphasizes the theory and active practice of nonviolence as well as oral histories of successful nonviolent movements. Usually offered every semester. 

JPST 365-D01 Leadership for Social Justice (CRN# 41383)
T/R 3:25-5:00pm
Prof. Michael Klein

Leadership for Social Justice examines the arc of leadership through the process of creating, sustaining, then institutionalizing positive social change. The course examines models and case studies of authoritative, positional, influential and situational leadership in diverse settings such as community organizing, social movements, social entrepreneurship and nonprofit management. The course also explores approaches to ethical leadership and provides opportunities for students to develop the skills and vision needed to become ethical leaders for social justice. Students will analyze the role of leadership in the tensions between preserving order and promoting transformation. They will develop a critical approach to the dynamics of power in order to effect systemic change. 

MUSC 162-01 Roots of Blues, Rock, Country (CRN# 40732)
M/W 1:35-3:10
Prof. Mark Schroepfer
This course traces the development of American popular music from its roots through multiple genres such as minstrelsy, jazz, big band, swing, crooning, jump blues, gospel, rhythm and blues, country, western, folk/protest, and rock 'n' roll, concluding with the British Invasion. Popular music development is critically examined through four interrelated driving forces: identity (ethnicity, gender, culture, generation), centers vs. peripheries (the established vs. the innovative), technology (impact on musical performance and listening), and business/law (commercial competition and development). Multimedia presentations include extensive audio and video support. Designed for the Popular Music minor, this course fulfills the Fine Arts and Human Diversity requirements in the core curriculum. 

POLS 205-L01 Intro to American Public Policy Process (CRN# 40270)
T/R 9:55-11:35am
Prof. Angela High-Pippert
A survey of the way public policy is made in the American political system including agenda-setting, formulation of alternative policy choices, representation of interests and selection and implementation of policy options. Public policy case studies will be used as illustrations. Students also will be introduced to data analysis as a tool for policy evaluation. Prerequisite: POLS 104 or permission of the instructor 

POLS 275-01 Intro to American Political Thought (CRN# 40272)
M/W/F 1:35-2:40pm
Prof. Steven Maloney

The course offers a survey of important American political themes, essays, and writers. Critical foundational documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and the Emancipation Proclamation, as well as debates and speeches central to American political thought, including the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the Gettysburg Address, and great political speeches of the 20th century, are examined. Mainstream writers such as Jefferson, Thoreau, Dewey, Debs, Mencken, and Walzer are reviewed as well as generally overlooked women and minority writers such as Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Cady-Stanton. Prerequisite: POLS 104 or permission of the instructor. 

POLS 301-01 American Political Behavior (CRN# 41898)
M/W/F 9:35-10:40am
Prof. Angela High-Pippert

An examination of the political attitudes and behavior of the public, as well as the linkages between the public and their government. Topics include: public opinion; political psychology; political participation; voting; elections; political parties; interest groups; and the mass media. The emphasis is on the American system, but comparisons will be made with other democratic systems. Attention also will be paid to survey research as a principal method by which these topics are studied. Prerequisite: POLS 104 or permission of instructor 

SOCI 110-02 Social Problems (CRN# 42451)
M/W/F 9:35-10:40am
STAFF

Contemporary society is confronted with a number of serious problems that are often global in their impact. This course explores the causes, effects, and proposed solutions to some of these major social issues. Special attention is given to issues of inequality (such as racism, sexism, and poverty) and problems in core institutions (such as family violence, unequal educational opportunities, and unemployment). This course meets a requirement in the Justice and Peace Studies program and fulfills the Social Analysis and Human Diversity requirements in the core curriculum. 

SOCI 330-01 Religion in American Society (CRN# 42529)
T 5:30-9:15pm
Prof. Katarina Schuth

Theoretical and empirical examination of the sociological dimensions of religion, with a special emphasis on the religious situation in America. Topics include diverse religious expressions and values of each religion, including Christian denominations and other world religions with members living in the U.S., for example, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, as well as cultural contexts, organizational structures, individual religiosity, and emerging new forms. This course meets a requirement in Catholic Studies and fulfills the Human Diversity requirement in the core curriculum. Prerequisite: SOCI 100 

SPAN 412-D01 Chicano and U.S. Latino Culture(s) and Literature(s) (CRN# 42733)
M/W 1:35-3:10pm
Prof. Sonia Rey-Montejo

Overview of the different issues that concern the U.S. Latino population. This course studies cultural artifacts and literary texts (in Spanish) relating to the multiple cultures of the Spanish-speaking U.S. Topics of class discussion could include: The United Farmers Workers and the Chicano Power movement in the 1960s, the role of César Chávez and Luis Valdez, and literary interpretations of the Hispanic/Latino/Chicano experience. Authors will be selected from a broad range of writers such as Cherríe Moraga, Sandra Cisneros, Rolando Hinojosa, Miguel Mendez, Julia Alvarez, Cristina Garcia, Gustavo Perez Firmat, Achy Obejas, Esmeralda Santiago, among others. This course fulfills the Human Diversity requirement in the core curriculum. Prerequisites: Successful completion of SPAN 300, 301, 305, and 335 or their equivalents with a C- or better in each course 

THEO 432-01 Black Religious Experience (CRN# 42867)
T/R 3:25-5:00pm
Prof. Bernard Brady

This course explore Black theological development as a cultural, functional and cognitive dimension of traditional Afro-American society, including belief, worship, expression, symbol, spirituality and God. Attention will be given to the meaning and roots of the notions of culture, nationalism and racism as they appear as questions in Black theological though, including African religions, Islam and The Nation of Islam, along with Afro-American Christian theologies. African as well as Afro-American religious experience combined with the affirmation of the Christian creed are identified in order to evaluate the questions of Black Catholic theology in America today. This course fulfills the Human Diversity requirement in the core curriculum. Prerequisite: THEO 101 and one 200-level or 300-level THEO course, and PHIL 115

THEO 450-L01 Theology and Mass Media (CRN# 42869)
M/W/F 1:35-2:40pm
Prof. David Landry

This course explore Black theological development as a cultural, functional and cognitive dimension of traditional Afro-American society, including belief, worship, expression, symbol, spirituality and God. Attention will be given to the meaning and roots of the notions of culture, nationalism and racism as they appear as questions in Black theological though, including African religions, Islam and The Nation of Islam, along with Afro-American Christian theologies. African as well as Afro-American religious experience combined with the affirmation of the Christian creed are identified in order to evaluate the questions of Black Catholic theology in America today. This course fulfills the Human Diversity requirement in the core curriculum. Prerequisite: THEO 101 and one 200-level or 300-level THEO course, and PHIL 115