Power, Culture, and Resistance

Courses in this cluster will examine the complex interplay between power, culture, and resistance in various societies and historical contexts. Students will explore how different forms of power and authority shape cultural norms and expressions, while also investigating the diverse strategies and mechanisms of resistance that challenge dominant power structures. 

Course Descriptions

CC101: Afro-Latin American & Caribbean Culture & Literature

Instructor: Angela Castro
Learning Across the Liberal Arts Designation: Analysis & Interpretation of Meaning
CRN# 15392
Block: 1

This course will study Afro-Latin American & Caribbean Culture through different disciplinary fields and cultural productions. This includes the study of literature, art, history, and music (from a non-canonical viewpoint). We will read contemporary poetry, fiction and watch Afro-Latin American films such as the Mexican film Black Mexicans: La Negrada (2018) by Jorge Perez Solano and the Colombian movie La Playa. D.C (2013) by Juan Andrés Arango. The students will appreciate how these literary and cultural productions intersect with a colonial Latin American & Caribbean history and legacy. This course will analyze issues of power, race, gender, and resistance and touch on culture, ethnicity, and economic dependency. We will examine who writes and defines Latin America & the Caribbean, its population, literature, art, and politics.

Field trips to the Denver Art Museum and the Fine Art Center.

CC120: Sport, Media, and Society

Instructor: Taylor Nygaard
CRN# 15393
Block: 3

This course examines the ways in which discourse surrounding sports influences culture, politics, and identity. Using the tools of media and cultural studies students analyze the discourses surrounding topics such as the rhetorical construction of the athlete, sporting events, athletes as racialized and gendered bodies, the commodification of the athlete, athletes and activism, as well as fandom and identification. This isn’t a class about the rules or the appreciation of sport. It’s about how sport is commemorated, how its heroes and villains are constructed and represented, and most importantly what that tells us about how contemporary popular culture values different racial, gendered, and class identities. The aim of the course overall is to introduce students to the kinds of questions scholars ask in studying sport and to enable students to improve their writing by learning to assess and analyze sources more carefully, and to position their own perspective among others in a way that is informed, critical, and civil.

Optional afternoon group screenings.


CC104: Empires Strike Back: From Anti-Colonial Conflicts to Star Wars

Instructor: Danielle Sanchez
Learning Across the Liberal Arts Designation: Historical Perspectives
CRN# 15394
Block: 1

This course focuses on the history of anti-colonial revolutions. Students will watch Star Wars films, engage with anti-colonial theorists and intellectuals like Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, and Amilcar Cabral, and analyze the philosophies and politics of resistance movements in both the Star Wars Universe and conflicts like the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, the Congo Crisis, the Algerian War, and the struggle for independence in Lusophone Africa. By engaging with a range of works by historians, film studies scholars, journalists, and political scientists, students will develop critical thinking and writing skills, understandings of epistemological and methodological cultures, and an appreciation for the practice of scholarly inquiry in a liberal arts environment. This class will hold the historical perspectives and global equity and power designations.

CC120: The Ruins of Modernity

Instructor: Jake Smith
CRN# 15395
Block: 2

As the German-Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin wrote almost one-hundred years ago, the march of progress is like a storm that leaves ruins in its wake. Whereas some have sought refuge from these storms of progress in nostalgic attempt to retrieve – and, in some cases, return to – lost times, others have eschewed such romantic pursuits, seeking instead to forge alternative ways of being in the world, some modicum of a right life in the wrong one. After examining the destructive dynamics associated with capitalist modernity, this course will turn its attention to the oppositional milieus and defiant voices that have flourished in its ruins. Although the course makes occasional forays into global history, the primary focus will be 19th and 20th Century Europe.


CC106: Feminist Texts, Feminist Subjects

Instructor: Nadia Guessous
Learning Across the Liberal Arts Designation: Societies and Human Behavior
CRN# 15396
Block: 1

What does it mean to become a feminist subject, live a feminist life, raise feminist questions, or write a feminist text? How have different writers articulated their feminist selves, visions, dreams, politics, and critiques through their texts? Are feminist writers always preoccupied with questions of gender and sexuality above all else? Do their writings always take the form of a challenge, resistance, rebellion, and opposition to existing forms of knowledge and structures of power? Or do feminist writers also endeavor to celebrate, honor, remember, dream, connect, rejoice, recognize, heal, repair, build, and recover? Through these and other questions, this course seeks to introduce students to the complexity, heterogeneity, and capaciousness of feminist thought and feminist texts. In the process, we will reflect on questions of power, agency, and subjectivity; memory and temporality; the politics of knowledge production, translation, recognition, and location. Throughout, we will strive to enact an intentional learning community that is attentive to nuance, difference, and complexity; inclusive, collaborative, and welcoming of the rich and varied life experiences, embodied, lived, and affective forms of knowledge that students bring to their encounters with texts and with each other.

1-2 local field trips

CC120: Gender & Sexuality in the Study of Religion/s

Instructor: Tracy Coleman
CRN# 15397
Block: 2

An introduction to the discipline and methods of religious studies focused on gender and sexuality in various religions. As a writing-intensive introduction to the discipline, the course will acquaint students with different genres of religious writing (such as scripture, narrative, and theology) and with scholarship exemplifying gender studies methodologies, ranging from close textual and historical analysis to ethnographic and sociological approaches. Throughout the course, we will explore how religious writing centers the human body and naturalizes inequities based on sex and gender, thereby establishing “authority” on the basis of assumptions about identity that are increasingly challenged today, sometimes in courts of law. We will thus consider how diverse religious discourses continue to inform contemporary social and political debates on issues such as marriage and reproductive rights. The aim of the course overall is to introduce students to the kinds of questions scholars ask in studying religion/s through the lens of gender and sexuality, and to enable students to improve their writing by learning to assess and analyze sources more carefully, and to position their own perspective among others in a way that is informed, critical, and civil.


CC104: African American Religious History: An Introduction

Instructor: Christopher Hunt
Learning Across the Liberal Arts Designation: Historical Perspectives
CRN# 15400
Block: 1

This course introduces students to the formation and varying historic trajectories of African American religious traditions in the U.S., with some brief engagement with African-derived religions in the Caribbean. Although some studies of African American religion begin with the period of slavery and the Christianization of diasporic Africans, this course locates the origin of Black religion on the continent of Africa. From this starting point, this course will examine West African religions, religions of the enslaved, the formation of Black Christian denominations, and the origin of Black Pentecostalism. Students will also be exposed to often overlooked historical periods and religious expressions including the arrival of Black religio-racial movements during the Harlem Renaissance and the African-derived religions of Haitian Vodou and U.S. Voodoo.

CC120: Writing Black Lives: The Theory and Literary Tradition of African America

Instructor: Anbegwon Atuire
CRN# 15401
Block: 2

This course offers an introduction to one of the earliest forms of the African American literary tradition. Students will engage with select readings from the Slave Narratives to contemporary autobiographies reflecting different facets of African American life worlds and lived experience.

One field trip to the African American community of Five Points in Denver during Week 3.


Report an issue - Last updated: 06/16/2023