Experimental College Courses

Fall 2021 Courses

EXCO 301.01. Autistic Pride and Neurodiversity

EXCO 301.02. Student Voice Committee

EXCO 301.03. Fanfiction as Literature

EXCO 301.04. K-pop as a Global Phenomenon

EXCO 301.05. Grownup 101: A Fresh Approach on Adulting

EXCO 301.06. Studio Ghibli

EXCO 301.07. Asian Student Union Internship

EXCO 301.08. Creative Project Workshop

EXCO 301.09. Queer Mythology

EXCO 301.11. Music Theory

EXCO 301.13. BDSM 101

EXCO 301.14. Exploring Transformative Justice: Ending Interpersonal Violence alongside Prison Abolition, Disability Justice, and Community Healing

EXCO 301.15. Solo Travel Skills and Preparation

EXCO 301.16. Synthesizers 101: History & Basics

EXCO 301.17. Genealogy - the study and tracing of lines of descent or development

EXCO 301.18. Women of Color in the Film Industry

EXCO 301.19. Deconstructing Ideas of Womanhood

EXCO 301.22. Topics of Joseon Dynasty Art and History

EXCO 301.23. How to Productively Debate Taboo Topics

EXCO 301.24. Writing Japanese Video Game Music

EXCO 301.26. Film Photography- The Basics, The Experience, The Community. It's Timeless!


EXCO 301.01. Autistic Pride and Neurodiversity

Aaron Farrell, bfarrell@mail.sfsu.edu
Thursday 2:00-3:40 Online

This course will focus on correcting the stigma surrounding autism as something that needs to be cured. We will be looking into where the stigma comes from as well as why so many things commonly associated with autism are harmful to the community.


EXCO 301.02. Student Voice Committee

Montana Stearns-Ayster and Rebeca Hernandez, mstearnsayster@mail.sfsu.edu, rhernandezvaldez@mail.sfsu.edu
Monday 12:00-12:50 in HSS 151; Wednesday online

In once weekly class sessions, this class will be a focused collaboration with SF State administration and faculty to re-imagine the Teaching Effectiveness Assessment process to eventually replace the Student Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness (SETE) survey. The SETE is what every student currently fills out at the end of each semester in order to provide feedback on their professor's teaching strategies. Our goals will be to lead regular discussion sessions to gather student input and experience with SF State’s faculty to help us construct a new faculty feedback process focused on improving everyone’s learning experience. The Student Voice Committee can be a platform for ongoing spaces where ExCo students make their voices heard to the SFSU administration.


EXCO 301.03. Fanfiction as Literature

Remy Chartier, mscholz@mail.sfsu.edu
Tuesday 4:00-5:40 in HSS 151

This course seeks to examine fanfiction, self-published stories by media fans, as the literary form it is. We will examine the evolution of modern fanfiction; what preceded it; the legal concerns surrounding its publication; the differences between fanfiction, transformative fiction, and adaptation; the socio-cultural aspects of reading and writing it; fanfiction etiquette; traits of the genre, and more. And, whether first-time or long-time readers or writers, students will be challenged to write some fanfiction of their own.


EXCO 301.04. K-pop as a Global Phenomenon

Hannah Pearson, hpearson@mail.sfsu.edu
Friday 1:00-2:40 Online

Analyzing the history of Korean pop music (K-Pop) and its cultural impacts on both South Korea and abroad. Students will learn through this course how to navigate a global media landscape through music and various connected elements of popular culture. This will occur through an in depth analysis of Korean music companies and how K-Pop has become a global phenomenon despite language and cultural barriers through written assignments and in-class discussion.


EXCO 301.05. Grownup 101: A Fresh Approach on Adulting

Stacy Collier, scollier@mail.sfsu.edu, imstacycollier@gmail.com
Monday 5:00-6:40 Online

This course is designed to assist you in navigating through the daunting process that is commonly referred to as "adulting". In this course you will learn tips and tools for time management, financial literacy and budgeting, practical living skills, social etiquette, traveling, health and wellness, business etiquette and much more. The course goal is to prepare you with the knowledge and resources to "adult" in your personal, business and social life with ease.


EXCO 301.06. Studio Ghibli

Sebastian Vuskovic, Svuskovic@mail.sfsu.edu
Thursday 4:00-4:50 in HUM 114

Discuss with students the many themes brought up in the films made by the legendary Studio Ghibli.


EXCO 301.07. Asian Student Union Internship

Emily Rong, erong1@mail.sfsu.edu
Thursday 5:00-6:40 Online

The Asian Student Union (ASU) offers this course for all San Francisco State University students to get first-hand exposure to the social, cultural, and political issues in Asian communities throughout the Bay Area. This internship course gears toward opening the minds of individuals, exposing them to the Asian American culture while also addressing the local/global issues that Asian Americans are currently facing today. The program contributes to the Asian American community by producing strong leaders and organizers through offering internship opportunities to participate in the management and facilitation of ASU events and activities.


EXCO 301.08. Creative Project Workshop

Zion Thomson, zionsunnythomson@gmail.com, zthomson@mail.sfsu.edu
Monday 12:00-12:50 Online

The Creative Project Workshop is a course dedicated to working on self-driven creative projects and/or learning new creative skills in a supportive and collaborative environment. The purpose of the course is to help facilitate and motivate students in their own creative endeavors by providing them a space and framework for exploration, intention setting, and self-accountability.


EXCO 301.09 Queer Mythology

Alondra Nunez De Los Santos, anunezdelossantos@gmail.com, anunezdelossantos@mail.sfsu.edu
Wednesday 4:00-5:40 in HSS 155

This course will introduce students to queer figures from mythology around the world, including the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. Alongside each mythos, students will also learn the cultural context of how gender and sexuality was interpreted and acted upon within these cultures. For example, when covering Greek mythology and discussing the figures of Apollo or Achilles, students would also learn about pederasty and the lack of sexual orientation labels in Ancient Greece in order to better understand the aforementioned character’s “gay” relationships.


EXCO 301.11. Music Theory

Joey Orozco, jorozco13@mail.sfsu.edu
Friday 1:00-2:40 Online

Ever wonder how musicians structure songs that catch our ear's attention?
Music theory can be a daunting task. I like to think of it in two ways: like the ocean, we can study music theory so deeply we will eventually implode and still never reach the bottom; as well, we can sift through a jumble of floating letters in a shallow bowl of alphabet soup and struggle to make sense of it. Either way, we all love music.
This course is designed to familiarize ourselves with the twelve tones of Western music--not country and western, but hemispherically speaking, music that originated in the West (Europe). With those tones as the basis, we will explore their relationships with each other within frameworks of melodies and harmonies (intervals).
By learning intervals--the distance between the tones--we can transform the confusing notions of letters into more manageable numbers.
Once we grasp intervals, we can create diatonic harmonies--a fancy way of saying chords sounding pleasantly within a composition because of their inherent relationship to a specific key (tonal center).


EXCO 301.13. BDSM 101

Marylee Humke -Walden, mhumkewalden@mail.sfsu.edu, BDSM101EXCO@gmail.com
Tuesday 11:00-12:40 in HSS 155

BDSM 101 is a course designed to teach you about all aspects of BDSM. We will talk about topics ranging from the first erotic novel, "120 Days of Sodom" to how people like Bettie Page and Asa Akira have influenced porn over the years. From the origins of fetishes to proper BDSM practices including how to safely choke and/or hit your partner(s). This course is here to dispel any myths you may have about BDSM as well as encourage you to discover and explore your kinky side! This course will be offered in-person and online. Students can choose which class type they are comfortable with!


EXCO 301.14. Exploring Transformative Justice: Ending Interpersonal Violence alongside Prison Abolition, Disability Justice, and Community Healing

Troi Tran, ttran58@mail.sfsu.edu
Tues/Thursday 1:00-1:50 Online

In a community learning space, we will explore transformative justice (TJ): a political framework and approach for responding to violence, harm, and abuse in ways that do not rely on the state (like the police, prisons, legal system, ICE, and foster care system.) TJ does not reinforce or perpetuate violence, and instead, actively cultivates healing, accountability, resilience, and safety. TJ requires us to look at how we live day-to-day, asking questions like: How do I react when I've caused harm to a loved one? How can I intervene when my friend is being abused? How do we collectively heal from acts of violence? How can we create more intentional space for each other?

We recognize that this work must be survivor-centered, including those of domestic violence, child sexual abuse, caregiver abuse, incarceration, etc. We will learn from disabled and queer survivors of color, such as Mia Mingus, Mariame Kaba, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Cara Page, and other movement leaders. Concrete skills we will work on are: naming needs, asking for help, podmapping, giving good apologies, and grounding in our bodyminds. We will also examine how TJ is directly intertwined with restorative justice, prison abolition, disability justice, healing justice, and anti-imperialism, in a way that combines theory and practice.

Abolition is not only about tearing down our systems. It is about building and creating a world in which no body or mind is disposable. It is clear we must keep strengthening our community networks of care and healing. We need to build the concrete skills to respond to interpersonal violence, as transforming our world starts with us now!


EXCO 301.15 Solo Travel Skills and Preparation

Rachel Bratt, rbratt@mail.sfsu.edu
Monday/Wednesday 12:00-12:50 in HSS 155

The world is (or soon will be) your oyster! After a year of being stuck at home, those of us with the travel bug are itching to see the world. Learn how to create itineraries, manage money, stay safe, and navigate the transit systems of the world to get you where you want to go and make the most out of each day. From packing lists and phone plans to itinerary development and plane tickets, this course will help you create the trip of your dreams.


EXCO 301.16 Synthesizers 101: History & Basics

Kevin Pennick, kpennick@mail.sfsu.edu
Monday 5:00-6:40 in HSS 155

This will be a course that will demystify the synthesizer and convey its influence on modern music and sound design. Synths are used in almost any genre of music and are frequently used for sound design in media productions. Students can have access to a synthesizer as long as their computer can support a free digital audio workstation program called Reaper. Software synths can also be downloaded for free for this program. I would like students to be able to turn knobs and practice sound design themselves throughout the course. I'd also like to include a history element about the synthesizer starting with the invention of the theremin and ending with modern synths. This could be relevant for students of media, art, film, music or anyone with a general interest.


EXCO 301.17. Genealogy - the study and tracing of lines of descent or development

Albert Feaster, i.v.leagueuniversity@gmail.com, afeaster@mail.sfsu.edu
Monday 5:00-6:40 Online

This course will support EXCO's Mission Statement by giving students the opportunity to exercise their free will and their freedom to choose. This Genealogy course will help guide students with the process of acquiring insight into one's own character and the understanding of oneself or one's own motives or character. The college experience is to build and strengthen character. Through Genealogy, students will develop leadership qualities by exploring the ultimate “why” behind all actions, the emotional/pleasure factor in life, what you think you are, what you think you can achieve & how to achieve your goals through self discovery and self knowledge.


EXCO 301.18. Women of Color in the Film Industry

Jada Montez, jmontez1@mail.sfsu.edu
Wednesday 12:00-1:40 Online

Throughout film history, women of color have had a lack of representation on-screen and behind the scenes. This course will explore why women of color are often misrepresented, whitewashed, stereotyped, or sidelined in films. Students will watch movies and engage in many group discussions about today’s film industry with a focus on why representation is so important. We will also examine the underrepresentation of women in hiring and employment in Hollywood and how that plays a role in on-screen representation. Representation matters!


EXCO 301.19. Deconstructing Ideas of Womanhood

Chantel Bermudez, cbermudez@mail.sfsu.edu
Tuesday 1:00-2:40 in BUS 126

The course will work to develop deconstructing tools specifically with understanding misogyny and sexism. We will go over connecting dress code to rape culture, understanding micro sexism, deconstructing the normalization of misogyny, speak on the patriarchy, how toxic masculinity compliments from sexism ect.


EXCO 301.22. Topics of Joseon Dynasty Art and History

Danna Kim, dkim13@mail.sfsu.edu
Friday 12:00-1:40 in HSS 155 (starting online)

Looking at Korea's history from 1392 - 1897, Joseon dynasty, this class will cover topics such as architecture, paintings, language, music, food, clothing, and more! Certain topics will also have a connecting activity/craft. It's not required to purchase materials as I can provide some, but it's recommended if you could bring your own if you have it. We will look at Korea's regional differences in these topics, discuss what we've learned and our thoughts, along with talking about the art and history that will be shared in this class. Since this class is covering a few topics withing Joseon Dynasty, the goal is to not only connect students who desire to learn more about Korean culture and history whether they just have an interest or want to learn more about their heritage, it aims to encourage those to look into more topics of Korean culture and history on their own, along with building a community of those wanting to learn and share their experiences.


EXCO 301.23. How to Productively Debate Taboo Topics

Ruqaiyah Angeles, kangeles1@mail.sfsu.edu
Friday 3:00-4:40 in HSS 104

Taboo Topics are things that people are unsure of how to discuss, bring up, or even debate. Typically, people may bring emotions or personal experience into how they prove their standpoint. This class will act as an outline on how to debate difficult topics, see the other side's point of view, and also debate against your own standpoint. Students will have the ability to express their concerns and their entirety, conduct further research for all arguments pertaining to that topic, and productively debate against other students using reliable facts, rather than preconceived notions and societal expectations. The students will be put to the test to be more open-minded and understanding of counter-arguments and viewpoints.


EXCO 301.24. Writing Japanese Video Game Music

Eric Ye, historylostsecrets@gmail.com, eye1@mail.sfsu.edu
Wednesday 7:00-7:50 Online

An in-depth course on the craft of game composition, where students will learn how to develop their skills in composing video game music. Topics will include: harmony, analysis, form, arranging, transcription, and the practice of modelling. Works from classic titles such as Castlevania, Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy, Touhou, and Dodonpachi, and Silent Hill will be studied. Students will develop a stylistic awareness of great Japanese works and gain compositional techniques, which will, in turn, be applied to their own game composition assignments.


EXCO 301.26. Film Photography- The Basics, The Experience, The Community. It's Timeless!

Alana Marcelino, amarcelino@mail.sfsu.edu
Friday 11:00-12:40 Online

This course would allow students to find community and celebrate their love for analog film photography. A film camera is needed for this course and I wouldn't want to force anyone to purchase a film camera because they can be very expensive. However, I would dedicate the first class or two and search around thrift stores to find old point and shoot cameras because they are easy to find! And if not, it is still fun for people who are interested in photography, primarily film, be surrounded by people who feel the same way. I have a lot of cameras available for people to take a look at too, and would try to put an emphasis on the community of it all rather than the pressure of owning a camera. Rather, I would help you obtain one! We would learn the basic operations of a film camera and gain a better understanding in aperture, shutter speed, and focusing. Through learning these basic operations, students will be able to explore what aspects of film photography they appreciate. Street photography? Great! Let’s talk about zone focusing and how to pretend you aren't taking someone's picture. Portraiture? Cool. Let's learn about light and how to make your subject feel most comfortable. Photography is meant to be fun and unique to you. This course will teach you about the basics, but most importantly, it will create community that can often be hard to find. The purpose of this course is to show you the beauty in the art of film photography. It's timeless. It's really easy to get lost in all of the camera gear and camera trends and feel like you don't know where to begin. And that's okay. I would use lecture slides to discuss the basic principles, but hands on learning and trial/error will work best to allow students to feel most comfortable with their camera. Photo assignments every week will include topics suggested by a different student each week, and forums or discord to allow everyone to communicate with each other about it! Final assignments will be a photo portfolio unique to the student. Whether it be landscape photography, street photography, or portraiture. I want this course to be a place for people who often feel left out of the film photography community, to find their people! And to top it all off, everyone will be able to brush up on their film photo basics and learn a thing or two from new friends.