This course will utilize media to better understand dance during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will look into how the dance community has adapted the way they learn, teach, and watch dance. To explore these changes, students will first become familiar with media platforms, like Instagram, Who do we think of as the typical college student and why? What barriers are still in place that limit access to higher education? This course is an overview of the history of coeducation and intersectional identities on American college campuses. Students can expect to tackle themes of gender, sexuality, race, and class and explore how members of these groups fought to gain admission to academic institutions. To provide a basis for discussion, students will be introduced to entry-level vocabulary and inclusive language commonly used in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Student interest will guide both discussion and the amount of time spent grappling with major themes and ideas. The course will also include connections to Stonehill’s own history as a Catholic and formerly all-male college. As this is a discussion-based course, students can expect to have in-depth conversations about a variety of material including memoirs, academic texts, podcasts, documentaries, and more. To develop their skills and understanding, students will research and present an instance of barriers to higher education being broken-down, such as legislature, one university’s policy, or a student-led initiative that had a major impact. The aim of this class is for students to become motivated to challenge social power structures, pursue their interests in social justice, and establish a foundation for future intersectional thinking.
Course Descriptions for Spring 2022
IDEAS Registration opens during Add/Drop and is on a first-come, first-served basis. Classes meet weekly for two hours and enrollment is limited to eight.
Of course, we have all heard of scientists such as Charles Darwin, Gregor Mendel, and Thomas Malthus, but what about those whose names go unmentioned? Henrietta Lacks (pictured above) and Rosalind Franklin are often names who are not mentioned in science, nor are they credited for the contributions they made. In this course, students will engage in group discussions, individual research, dissect articles, and delve in a class book club throughout this course to learn more about women, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ+ who have made contributions in STEM. Students will create a final project of their choice of a PowerPoint, podcast, video, or poster displaying an overshadowed individual they feel is important in science. This course is designed to create a welcoming environment where we can celebrate diversity in science and place emphasis on shadowed individuals to decolonize STEM together.
In this course, students will learn about the large addiction problem our country faces with substance abuse and how it has become such a big underlying issue that is rarely confronted. Did you know that 10% of doctors and health care professionals abuse drugs- almost at the same rate as the general public? Throughout the course, we hope to de-stigmatize substance addiction by exploring topics related to different populations being addicted and what makes someone more likely to use. We will also briefly go over scientific research on substance abuse and emphasize that addiction is a disease rather than a choice. We will create a safe environment for students to share their thoughts on this important topic as we hope to inform and create meaningful discussions among students. In this course, we want students to have an opportunity to lead discussion, and conduct research on a specific drug of their choosing and report to the class on their findings like the short-term and long-term effects, and research their own survivor stories of substance abuse. Through Ted Talks, guest speakers, documentaries, discussions, and personal stories of addiction users, we will gain a deeper understanding of addiction and the ongoing problem our country faces to help end the stigma around substance addiction.
In this course, students will learn the benefits that sports provide in the development of children, young adults and adults in regards to breaking racial barriers and developing relationships. Students will learn about equality and solidarity through sports. The course will discuss topics of racial biases and how experience with people from backgrounds that stem from all over the world help to change people’s biases. Students will learn that the greatest source of camaraderie comes from the teams that serve as a melting pot of different ideologies and lived experiences. No matter the sport, a team that is tightly knit is the closest thing to a second family that we, and many others, have been a part of. The diversities of teams provide children and young adults to bond, grow, and befriend others of all different backgrounds, races, and social classes. A key component of this course will stem from the movie Remember the Titans which will be viewed in class for discussions lead by students. Students will also do presentations on a case study of their choice involving concepts relating to dismantling racial biases and prejudices through the medium of sports. In a nation that has struggled with racism since its birth, one of the few consistent times we all have come together no matter the race is sports. Students can expect to learn through experiences in sports as well as groundbreaking historical events that were key in breaking racial barriers.
Did you spend all of quarantine watching sitcoms in your bed? Can we learn something from these shows, or are they just a laugh? In this class, we will study these sitcoms starting in the ’60s and ending in the 2000s to see how they connect to real life. We will watch an episode of a show, examine the societal norm of the time when that episode aired, and discuss the connections between real life and in front of a studio audience. We will look at how when the world changed, the storylines of these sitcoms changed with it. Students will develop the skills to examine the positive growth and comment on social issues shown through characters and stories in these sitcoms. At the end of the semester, everyone will pick one episode of a show we studied and re-write the storyline in order to fit with our 2021 inclusive ideas. So often, we lean on these situational comedies as an escape from reality... but how much of an escape are they really?
“Corey Cogdell, wife of Bears lineman Mitch Unrein, wins bronze in Rio”. This is the title of an article written by Tim Bannon on the Chicago Tribune website. This title was infuriating to some because it gratuitously referenced the husband of the athlete rather than focus on the athlete herself. Because of this tendency to focus on the relationship of women athletes to men rather than on the athlete in her own right, this course will go into further detail about the gender inequalities that pro and college athletes experience. This course will explore the gender imbalances that are presented through the media, Tiktok, Instagram, and more. Throughout the course, we will have open and inclusive discussions about why these inequalities are present and what we as a community can do to fix them. Each student will have the opportunity to dive deeper into a specific sport of their interest such as basketball, volleyball, hockey, or soccer, and investigate what gender inequalities are present. Students will next select the most creative and informative way to present their findings, such as a video, PowerPoint, poster, or another medium they see fit. This course will create a community of learners that will become knowledgeable about this topic and from there hopefully we will be able to take action to inform others and call out inequity.
Who do we consider “Thugs,” “Illegals,” or “Brilliant”? Where do these stereotypes come from? This course will examine and analyze racial stereotypes along with where specific stereotypes originated. Throughout the semester, we will reflect on our own racial biases to understand how this can impact a larger society. To begin, we will discuss how our education system has been affected and where improvements can be made to fully support students of all backgrounds. We will later explore the prison systems in which different races are segregated from one another, and how this impacts the lives of marginalized races. By watching video resources and screening movie references such as “Just Mercy”, students will gain an understanding of what we, as individuals, can contribute to the fight against allowing racial stereotypes to impact our education, work environments, opportunities, and prisons. Throughout this course, we will use class discussions, self-reflections, racial biases tests, and guest speakers to fully gain knowledge about this social issue and the importance of understanding our position in helping those that are targeted by racial stereotypes. Students will be encouraged to consider their own communities throughout the course as there will be a final project where students will create a presentation to discuss the racial biases they witness, experience, or are concerned about.
Wondering what you can do to change the world? Through discussions on topics like the pink tax, social movements such as Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQIA+ community, and diversity within businesses today students will begin to unpack issues that exist within our society. We will begin with a brief history of where the issues we are discussing began, and how they affect the world today. In later classes the focus will shift to how students can impact the future beginning now. To further explore the social issues addressed in the course students will engage in class discussions, critique a product campaign, and interview small businesses to gain insight on their experiences. This course will emphasize creating a community of learners that will gain knowledge from course material as well as collaboration among classmates to gain a well rounded understanding of the topics discussed and beyond. Students are invited to bring their research, questions, and interests to class in order to spark an inclusive conversation that encompasses everyone. Upon leaving the course students will have gained a refreshed sense of self awareness, knowledge of personal accounts of how large corporations affect small businesses, and the tools to engage in challenging conversations regarding social topics.
In this course, students will learn about Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) artists/musicians, such as Nicki Minaj, Aretha Franklin, SZA, Michael Jackson, Shakira, and BTS, who have influenced a variety of different genres. The genres that the course will be focused on include Classical, Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop, Pop, K-Pop, and Latinx Music. This course will be discussion-based and allow students to bring in their own ideas and artists who they feel have diversified the music industry. The class will be structured with small group projects and assignments that target the topic of the week. Students will learn to value different perspectives in music as we explore artists with different backgrounds. Students will finish the semester with a final presentation about their favorite topic. Unlike other music classes, there is no prior musical experience required for this course. For this reason, this course is driven by students' opinions, perspectives, and voices. We encourage students to be open-minded and respectful of different music genres, artists, and cultures. This course will have listening sessions to expose students to these different voices and allow them to be able to discuss how it has affected modern music taste in America.
In this course, students will explore the inner workings of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) through a psychological lens. Throughout the semester we will work on understanding different topics in psychology as well as how they may apply and help us better understand the CJS. This course will be revolved around working through the various facets of the CJS such as policing, courts, corrections, and re-entry. With this type of structure, students will be challenged to think critically of the CJS and investigate potential problems in the everyday operations while employing this unique psychological perspective. This course will revolve around student’s ability to think critically of the justice system while integrating ideas around race, equality, and justice for all. Through big group discussions, weekly discussion boards and anonymous surveys students will explore elements such as the reliability of eyewitnesses, the concept of line-ups and photofits and the jury selection process. How does memory effect eyewitness testimonies? Can power dynamics play a role in jury deliberation? These are all questions that we will address in this class. Each class will be structured as an open class discussion in addition to potential guest speakers. Prior to the start of each class students will be given some outside work to prepare for the discussion as well as a review at the beginning of each class.
What makes a fairytale a classic? Must it be written by the Brothers Grimm or turned into a Disney film? What characters and themes are deemed worthy of revival and continuation? In this course, students will explore these questions and more, and will dissect the meaning of a “classic” and the fairytales often granted that title, such as “Snow White,” “Bluebeard,” and “Hansel and Gretel.” By analyzing the ways gender, disabilities, race, and other topics and experiences are portrayed, students will develop a critical eye that enables them to determine why some tales remain popular and whom or what topics are omitted and underrepresented. Beyond investigating these aspects, students will examine other lesser-known tales that have not received the same recognition. The skills and opinions students develop will assist them in the ultimate objective of the course: to create a collaborative fairytale that draws on the best aspects of popular tales and acknowledges where they fall short, with the end goal being a tale that is reflective of the modern world. Students will participate in this semester-long project through a variety of creative writing exercises to stretch their imaginations beyond the formal academic writing they may be used to. Every individual will be encouraged to consider their unique background and experiences as the tale develops. Students will be able to reexamine childhood favorites or engage with fairytales for the first time through critical lenses and acquire creative writing and thinking skills in order to craft a reflective and imaginative 2022 fairytale.
In Who are We in History, students will explore their own identities throughout history. There will be a focus on communities who are often left out of traditional history courses, including BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities. Throughout the course there will be a delve into these historical accounts, exploring how these communities have impacted the history of our world, and why it is important to know about the history they left behind. This course will allow students to explore their interests and learn more about important communities. Students can expect to explore a variety of sources including films and podcasts which will guide class discussions. This course will place an emphasis on open dialogue throughout class discussions that will allow all students to share their opinions and personal narratives. Students will explore the Stonehill Archives in a tour, and will find sources that document a specific area of history they are interested in. Students will be asked to prepare a final presentation in which they will explore their own personal stories and present to the class their findings. This will be an exciting experience for students to discuss topics that are often left out of education and give them the ability to bring to light their own interests.