Experimental College - Past Courses, Fall 2018

Fall 2018 Courses

The Discipline of Creativity

This course explores the question, why be creative? What have you always wanted to do? We will explore the creative process through life-coaching methods. In order to be creative one has to to engage the healing aspects of self, positive habit reinforcement and risk-taking to transcend societal expectations. Creativity is inherently subversive. Workshops and personal projects will be actively integrated and supported during the semester.


Gay “secrets” of Greek mythology

Looking at original stories and modern re-tellings we will explore evidence of early queerness and the reasons it’s been hidden. Gods, citizens, and magical creatures alike will be discussed in this mythological course. No prior knowledge about Greek Myth is required as background will be provided for whatever we discuss in class.


The Magical World of Harry Potter’s Universe

We will explore subjects from the perspective of the fictional Harry Potter Universe, meaning that as a class, we will dive into the mythology of the world, learn about the History of Magic, the prominent magical figures of the Wizarding World, learn about spells and their uses, potions, and locations. Just to add to the class, the quizzes/exams will be based around the lectures taught, meaning that the questions will test students on what they’ve learned about fictional historic dates, people, laws, and spells.


The Simpsons

Analyzing philosophy, politics religion, contemporary social issues and applying concepts from these disciplines to episodes of The Simpsons. The course material would include nonfiction literature that has already engaged with The Simpsons and theory, as well as literature from theorists, like Nietzsche, Kant, Sartre, etc. Class would consist of discussing the theory/concept of the class, watching medium-length clips from The Simpsons and having a seminar-style discussion about the connections that can made between both. The questions that this course would explore are: what does The Simpsons reveal about political institutions, social and economic structures? About the social constructions of race, gender and class? What does pop culture say about our society?


The Walt Disney Company: How Promoting Creativity Promotes Progress

In this course, students will take an in-depth look at the leadership, corporate, and personal decisions that have led to the 95-year success of The Walt Disney Company. Specifically, the time periods under Walt E. & Roy O. Disney (1923-1971) and Michael Eisner (1984-2005). The class will also focus on the major animated features during these time-periods and how the company promotes creativity amongst its artists.


Political Action Lab

This lab will teach student activists how to use the various tools available to them to further their cause. Students in this lab will focus on issues facing the campus community as a case study and will work to resolve the problems those issues pose. Students will learn things like how to build a winning marketing strategy, how to craft a message, how to raise money for the campaign, all the while remembering to take care of self. This class if for anyone who is passionate about a cause and wants actionable tips and tricks taught by experts from around the Bay Area that they can implement in their work.


Homelessness: Rhetoric Of A Social Problem

The crisis of homelessness is a result of how American society is organized. Perception of the problem is perpetuated through the lens of the housed. We will look at how real people experience homelessness and what hope there is for individual recovery and for ending the crisis.


The Language of Hate: the Alt-Right and Trump

This course is an in-depth class reflecting on and examining the use and evolution of hate speech and hate symbols through history, linguistics, and sociology. Students will examine stereotypes, slurs, and other sociolinguistic and cultural examples of hate starting from the 1800s onwards, and work towards applying this knowledge to the current American political situation. Examples of subjects to study include dog whistles, graffiti, hand gestures, and verbal slurs. Class will meet once a week and will include four tests and a paper.


Anarchism in Latin America

The course will go over the history of anarchism in Latin America. We will go over the history and theoretical contributions of anarchists,anarcha feminist, and syndicalism movements, as well as anti-state and horizontal movements throughout the region.


Cultural Revolution 101: Hip-Hops role in the Revolution in the 21st century

Ever since its inception, Hip-Hop has been utilized as a tool to spread awareness across various cultural, social, and political paradigms. In this class, we will examine not only what Hip-Hop’s role is as the #1 most dominant musical genre in America, but how Hip-Hop is currently being used by corporate interests who have ulterior agendas.


Salafi-Jihadism: An Examination of the Threat

Paris, Orlando, San Bernardino, Brussels, Dhaka. What do all these places have in common? They have all been attacked by ISIS. But who is ISIS? What do they and other Islamic terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda believe and why? This course will examine the history and ideology of Salafi-Jihadi groups like ISIS.

Social Serendipity: How Individuals Spark Change In America

A case study based course where we analyze individuals throughout history to understand how they utilized their social location in order to create change within a community they identify with. Specifically, how their actions impacted the greater society at large. In this course, we will look at individuals who sparked revolutionary change across different divisions of society including: religion, politics, gender/sexuality, business, and art/literature. Students will be able to recognize themselves as contemporary agents of change. Collectively, this course aims to reimagine history as the culmination of everyday people who inspired a domino effect for reform.


Carving Up Horror: 1960s-Now

Constantly a genre of counter culture and of extrapolation on the human psyche, we’ll circle the globe of slasher, supernatural, video nasty, as well as so much more. In this class we will explore the trends of horror films since 1960 and the contexts of their creation. Students will engage in discussions and reflections of the films, their aesthetics, music and what perspectives they can offer.


Women’s Role in Algerian Independence

This course will examine women’s role in securing freedom for Algeria and their subsequent erasure of their impact on the Battle of Algiers. We will study Algeria before colonization, during, and leading up to independence. Then, we will examine the tactics of the Algerian resistance to French colonization.


The Psychology Behind Game of Thrones

This course will examine and discuss the Psychology behind Game of Thrones. The book looks at the intricate narrative and the compelling characters of the show based on the series of books by George R. R. Martin. In the course some of the topics covered are: sexism within in the real, overcoming bullying, abuse and experiencing posttraumatic growth and how do the characters overcome death and dying.


Toxic Colonialism: Impact on Indigenous People

In this class, I want to explore how Native Americans and their reservation land has been systematically targeted to host environmentally degrading projects and how this targeting connects to the term “Toxic Colonialism”. We will go through different case studies each class, all focused on different examples of Toxic Colonialism in action, such as Uranium Mining in the Navajo Nation, or the Keystone Access Pipeline. I hope with this class to bring more awareness to the environmental racism that Native Communities are disproportionately exposed to, and to showcase different ways that we as students can work to advocate for them.


The World of Sports: A Reflection of Society

We will explore how the major sports leagues in the United States and Canada as well as college football and basketball, and major International Sports events are connected to economic, racism, sexism mental health awareness, and masculinity.


The Politics of Black Hair

We will examine the history of Africana/black hairstyles and how they are seen on black people today. How people with black hair are still been/being discriminated against while simultaneously experiencing cultural appropriation.


The Modern Marxist

Marxism continues to be one of the most contentious topics in American society. So, is there a way to take the boogeyman out of Marx? Our collective aim in this course is twofold – to identify those core tenants of Marxist thought independent of their historical implementations, and, to extrapolate from them, a working, modern definition of what it might mean to be a Marxist in the current political and social climate.


Feminism & Film: Defining the Narrative

Cinderella. Belle. Bella. Hermione. Dorothy. Irene. Carly. Anne. Scout. Catherine. These are the women that we are offered as children (and teens) to learn what it means to be a woman. Television, the free babysitter, molded the roles and expectations that women were able to expect out of life. We will watch film and analyze the effect of these characters while we are young up through films watched by adults and learn about archetypes, gender roles, and narrative.


A History of Activism in Sports

Our class will explore the history or political protest/activism in professional sports with a focus on the changes and increased scrutiny brought upon athletes by the advent of social media. The course will aim to explore how activism in professional sports has changed over the past 65+ years.


Industrial Prisons: Unpacking a Family Crisis

Understanding the impact the Prison system has on the women and children of the United States. In this class we will be examining how different families are disproportionately susceptible to the harsh lives of the prison system, the different needs of women and children that are either not being met or funded at all, such as reproductive health or educational development.


Fundamentals of Korean Pop Culture

Students will learn basic information about K-pop and Korean pop culture in general to explore how it became the international phenomenon it is today. Topics include the history of K-pop, fan culture, idol life, and exploring other genres of Korean music such as Indie and Hip Hop.


The Philosophy Of Television

This course is designed to explore how philosophical ideas are presented through television. The class should function as a way of connecting people with philosophy in the modern age. My goal is to provide students with critical skills regarding the analysis of significance television can hold in relation to education – specifically philosophy.


Democratizing Mental Health

Mental health is a product of people’s collective interactions in a society, and not simply something to be dispensed by health professionals. Join other students in examining perspectives and strategies for creating communities that can provide safety and emotional well-being. Learn to increase your emotional skills, build resilience, and reshape your relationships into healthier ones. Participate in community organizing to produce trust, emotional well- being, and safety for others.


Cyberfemininsm, Technofeminism, and the Internet

A feminist take on the internet, technology, and cybernetics. We will discuss how the internet and technology has shaped our lives and the issues that arise that help and harm different communities. We will be defining what cyberfeminism is, take a view on how social media and internet outlets has shaped our outlook on society (including callout culture, memes, tumblr culture, racism, sexism and homo/transphobia in social media, etc.), the politics of technology, jobs in tech, disability, access, and what the future holds for us.


Urban Action

Explore ways to be an active urban citizen through advocacy and interest events on urban issues such as housing, transportation, planning, and legal rights. Read about, write about, and discuss issues faced by human cities in the 21st Century. Work with other students to collaboratively edit and participate in the publishing of a student journal on urban topics.


The Modern Language of Memes

Though significant changes in society’s methods of communication have left many with a general concern regarding the decline of human social interaction, a closer look at humanity’s creative responses to emerging constraints may also yield a profound revelation about the nature of human beings and the way they interact.


Teaching through Superheroes

The course would consists of reading comics that discusses majors topics such as politics, feminism, National security, patriotism, a divided nation, philosophy, and totalitarian governments. Readings will include the Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and Wonder Woman.


It Came from the Tube … YouTube!

A class that dives into the depths of YouTube, sifts through videos left unseen, and basks in all their strange, modest, and impromptu glory. We will look at YouTube as a medium for short video art, one that shatters conventions of visual media while even shattering those set-up by YouTube itself.


Ethics Bowl: Competition in Applied Ethics

Students will learn ethical principles and how to apply them in the construction of arguments considering ethical dilemmas. Students in the class will be prepared for Ethics Bowl competition with other schools.


From Colonial To De-colonial: 500 Years

In this class we will take a journey through time, looking at the ways colonialism has shaped our world for the last 500. We will understand what colonialism is and the intellectual and revolutionary movements that have fought against it. From education to economics, nearly every aspect of our society carries colonialism in its DNA. We will discuss how and what we can do about it.