CSP Lab Courses
"Labs for the Liberal Arts":
Special Offerings within the Cultural Studies Program
Each year the Core Program offers a series of special multi-part CSP courses taught by cross-disciplinary faculty teams. Their purpose is to provide first-year students with an essential experience of the liberal arts and allow them to explore the vast resources available to them both on campus and throughout the greater Los Angeles area. These "Labs for the Liberal Arts" will provide both students and faculty with opportunities to experiment, discover, and innovate within an exciting educational environment.
The CSP Lab courses are funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Click on the course titles for additional information.
The Struggle for Human Rights in Mexico: Realities.
After Mexico’s transition to electoral democracy in 2000, two alternative party (PAN) Presidents either failed to act in accordance with the transitional justice movements sweeping Latin America, or actually returned to mano dura (heavy-handed) military practices to battle the drug cartels. Consequently, as compared to South American countries, human rights violations in Mexico have increased rather than decreased since its transition to democracy. This was clearly the case when local police forces, on orders of a mayor, disappeared 43 students in Guerrero state in the Fall of 2014. But this class will do more by documenting both the realities and representations of ongoing human rights violations in Mexico since 1968.
The Struggle for Human Rights in Mexico: Representations.
Cultural production is central to the struggle for human rights. As cultural artifacts both conceptualize and memorialize social-political trauma, our class will take a close look at the struggle for human rights in Mexico as represented in film, literature and music.
Dolores Trevizo (Sociology)
This course offers students the opportunity to analyze the sociohistoric, legal, and cultural tensions surrounding various (im)migrant communities in California. Students will explore the various waves of (im)migration across time to understand the diverse communities of California. Students will also build critical and interpretive capacities through the examination of state policies, statistics, and various historical and empirical studies. Additionally, through the construction and revision of several expository, and research-based writings on immigration, students will hone their writing, argumentation, and presentation skills.
Students enrolled in this colloquium will not only get credit for the first year fall seminar requirement, but also will meet one of the Core Program's distribution requirements (United States). The CIS, which comprises your entire fall semester course load (16 units), is a unique opportunity to fulfill three requirements toward graduation (a Core writing requirement, the United States Core requirement, and the Intercultural Core requirement) and elective courses for three majors (CTSJ, Sociology, and Spanish). The prerequisites are a curiosity for learning about California’s cultures, a willingness to visit and learn from immigrant communities, a fondness for films and documentaries, and the enthusiasm and patience to work with children. Open only to first year frosh.
Mary Christianakis (Critical Theory and Social Justice), Salvador Fernandez (Spanish and French Studies), Richard Mora (Sociology)
This interdisciplinary course will bring together the tools of history, economics and philosophy to analyze the concept of health and the practice of medicine. Students will learn how notions of health and well-being and institutions of medicine are culturally and historically bound, how they participate in a broad network of economic priorities and transactions, and how they are philosophically grounded in conceptions of morality, science, and humanity.
This is an 8-unit colloquium course. Students enrolled in this colloquium will earn credit for the first year fall seminar requirement and will also meet the Core Program's Distribution requirements for Pre-1800 and Global Connections. Students interested in pursuing careers in the health professions—whether as physicians, allied health workers, researchers, or policy experts—are especially encouraged to enroll.
Brandon Lehr (Economics), Clair Morrissey (Philosophy), Kristi Upson-Saia (Religious Studies)
Johnson Hall-McKinnon Center
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Occidental College (F-6)
1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041-3314