Winter Start FYE Course Selections
- ES185/ES212: Theories of Race Ethnicity
- CO220/MU228: Cerebral/Emotional in Music/Philosophy/Literature
- PS150: Fundemental Debates on the Common Good
Introduction to Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity/ Theories of Race and Ethnicity
Blocks V and VI: Rashna Singh and Claire Garcia
Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Inequality (G) or Social Inequality (IE) requirement (1 unit).
This First-Year Experience class brings together two core courses in the Race and Ethnic Studies Program.
ES185: Introduction to Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity
(This is a required course for the Race and Ethnic Studies minor, but is open to all students who wish to take it).
In the first block of this FYE, we will examine racial and ethnic “diversity” and “difference” in the U.S. How do Native Peoples, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans position themselves, and how are they positioned? What are the asymmetrical relations of power that inform their histories? What do we mean when we refer to diaspora and dislocation? How does immigration influence and affect a sense of cultural identity? We will look at these issues as they play out both within and beyond our borders. We will use a collection of essays, non-fiction studies such as Bitter Fruit, and short novels such as Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy and Demetria Martinez’s Mother Tongue that probe the immigrant experience. We will also watch relevant films such as “Mississippi Masala,” “Gran Torino,” “Green Card,” or “Coming to America,” for example. A field trip to the Black American West Museum and Heritage Center and the History Colorado Center in Denver will be included.
ES212: Theories of Race and Ethnicity
How can we analyze and talk about the legacy and current realities of racial difference in the 21st century? This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary theoretical vocabularies and conceptual frameworks that scholars, writers, scientists and political activists have developed to understand race and how it interacts with other axes of difference such as gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity, and religion. The class is structured around the debates and controversies in the study of race and ethnicity, diasporas, and migrations. Using readings from a variety of disciplines, as well as literary works and film, we will try to understand how race and ethnicity have been constructed, and how US and global citizens might address tensions and inequities between racial and ethnic groups. Readings include The New Jim Crowby Michelle Alexander; Sister Citizen by Melissa Harris-Perry; and Theories of Race and Racism: A Reader, by Les Back and John Solomos as well as scholarly and mainstream articles that address racial issues and debates in current affairs.
A set of linked one-block courses that must be taken together; separate grades will be given for each block.
The Emotional and the Cerebral in Music, Philosophy, and Literature
Blocks V and VI: Alberto Hernandez-Lemus and Ofer Ben-Amots
This course is a survey of the way in which music has been a central topic for both philosophy and literature in Western civilization from the ancient Greeks to our days. We will begin the course with texts by Aristotle, Plato and Sophocles, and reflect on their relevance for Modern philosophy and literature. Our reading list includes Goethe (Sorrows of Young Werther), Nietzsche (Birth of Tragedy) Schopenhauer (World as Will and Representation) and Adorno (Theory of Music). Parallel to our experience in reading these texts we will be listening to and analyzing the music that reflects the times in which these authors were writing: symphonies by Beethoven and Mahler, Schubert's Lieder based on Heine's poetry, Berg’s Wozzeck, Schoenberg's Ode to Napoleon, and John Cage's chance music.
Creativity will be an important component of this course. Students will be required to collaborate in the creation of their own literary, musical, or philosophical presentations.
A two-block course with two instructors in both blocks; one grade will be assigned for both blocks.
Blocks V and VI: Eve Grace and John S. Grace
Meets the Critical Perspectives: The West in Time (WIT) requirement (2 units).
A major controversy in the history of Western political philosophy has been over the foundation and aims of political rule. Crucial to this debate is the question of the character and limits of a “common good,” and indeed, the question whether such a good can even exist. Basic but competing perspectives, drawn from ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary texts, will be examined, and stress will be placed on how the question of the “common good” continues to animate political debate, as well as on its potential for shaping a student’s moral and political outlook.