Time & Place in the Southwest

Courses in this cluster examine the diverse peoples, institutions, histories, artworks, and physical and cultural ecologies of the Southwest.

Course Descriptions

CC100: Art & The Museum

Instructor: Rebecca Tucker
Learning Across the Liberal Arts Designation: Analysis & Interpretation of Meaning
CRN# 13877
Block: 1

Museums have been called “managers of consciousness” – places that educate about history and beauty, but that also serve as “propaganda machines.” This course looks at the history of art as it is connected to the history of museums. Whether created for museums or not, much of the world’s cultural heritage now exists in museum spaces. Using case studies, the class will look broadly at art and museums across the globe to unravel how the creation of art and the operation of the museum work (or don’t work) together. The course will engage with interdisciplinary approaches to illuminate how art and museums generate historical, rhetorical, and visual meaning, as well as how they assert cultural and political power. We’ll discuss current hot-button issues in the art and museum worlds, including the calls for diversity in exhibitions and practices, repatriation of artworks, the representation of indigenous, marginalized, and colonized cultures within museum spaces, authority vs. censorship, politics in visual culture, and the role of the market. Through research, projects, and field trips, the class will take advantage of the resources of the museum of the Fine Arts Center at Colorado College as well as other museums.

Note: This class will take day field trips to museums in Colorado Springs and Denver, once each week.

CC120: What's Inside (Outside) The Box: Unpacking the Most Common Method Used to Study Race and Identity in the Social Sciences

Instructor: Casey O'Donnell
CRN# 13879
Block: 2

In this course, you’ll be introduced to the challenges of studying race and identity in the social sciences by interrogating the power and the tension of the most common method used to study race and identity in the social sciences: the demographic check-box. We’ll see the power of this method in exploring race-based inequalities in education, health care, employment, and well-being. We’ll ask whether comparing groups of people based on how they checked a box really captures our working definitions of “race” and “identity”. I’ll share some alternative ways of studying race in the social sciences that focus more on process than on outcomes. We will see that these methods solve some problems while creating others. Throughout the block, we will be working on ways to write about the complexities of race and identity to a lay audience.  

CC100: Welcome to Colorful Colorado: Problems and Promises in the Great Outdoors

Instructor: Drew Cavin
Learning Across the Liberal Arts Designation: Societies & Human Behavior
CRN# 13880
Block: 1

Colorado is one of the United States’ most popular outdoor playgrounds. With towering mountains and crystal-clear rivers, opportunities for recreation and play abound. But do those opportunities exist equally for everyone? Are outdoor spaces welcoming for all people? What do you think of when you think of Wilderness? Who do you imagine when you think of an “outdoorsy” person? And why would anyone want to spend the night in a tent or paddle down a whitewater river anyways? Can outdoor recreation be a mode of resistance to dominant narratives and a place of restoration? We will dive deep into these questions and the historical, social, and racial issues around outdoor recreation activities, and look at why they can provide positive experiences. We will also unpack the history of outdoor tourism and recreation and critically analyze how white, European notions of nature and systemic racism have shaped the ways that we conceive of and recreate in natural places. Along with field experiences in the “Great Outdoors”, this experiential education course will develop your college-level qualitative analysis, reading, writing, and discussion skills.

Note: this class will have some field trips, at least once each week, and possibly a 2-3 day trip.

CC120: American Jesus

Instructor: Pamela Reaves
CRN# 13881
Block: 2

This course introduces students to disciplinary modes of research, analysis, and writing in religious studies through a consideration of particularly “American” expressions of Jesus. We consider not only how Christian traditions contribute to critical moments in U.S. history, but also how the figure of Jesus functions foundationally in certain constructions of national history and identity. Encountering significant representations of Jesus in popular culture, visual art, and political discourse, we examine how Jesus is deployed in diverse, and often divergent, ways. We especially focus on portraits of Jesus that illuminate notions of race and gender. As a CC120, the course attends to the critical study and analysis of primary texts (of varied media) and scholarly discourse. In addition, it highlights the interdisciplinary nature of religious studies, orients students to how scholars understand the crafting of religious identity, and demonstrates how religion operates in wider social, political, and cultural contexts.

CC100: Power, Place, & the Southwest

Instructor: Karen Roybal
Learning Across the Liberal Arts Designation: Historical Perspectives
CRN# 13882
Block: 1

The course explores the complex place we call the Greater Southwest, including Greater Mexico, and the varied peoples who have lived, fought, traveled, written, raised families, farmed, ranched, and survived here. Using interdisciplinary epistemologies and methodologies from Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Geography, Environmental Studies, Chicanx/Latinx, Critical Indigenous, and Literary Studies, we investigate strands of culture (indigenous and imported) that have intertwined in this region over the last thousand years. We begin by examining (pre)historical, geographic, and anthropological records and debates over whose voices get to define the region and proceed to a series of primary and secondary texts to examine the physical geographic, historical, and literary traditions of the region and assess the enduring impacts of conquests. We explore how people have constructed and articulated a sense of place over time, and discuss the implications of these decisions for relationships people develop between themselves, the environment, and others. The course considers relationships between Indigenous nations, Hispano/Latinx/Chicanx populations, and Euro-American groups in the natural setting of the Southwest to better understand the conflict, cooperation, and cultural blending among these groups; the ways they understand and affect the biophysical landscape; and how land/nature has forged relationships within and between these groups.

Note: this class will have field trips to various locations throughout Colorado.

CC120: Writing in the Southwest Borderlands

Instructor: Eric Perramond
CRN# 13883
Block: 2

In this course, we will explore place-based writing about, from, and between cultures and landscapes of the Greater Southwest (including Mexico). Using interdisciplinary perspectives on texts, writing, orality, testimony, and genre, we will investigate how the multiple cultures of the region write about experience, place, power, equity, and difference. Building on CC100 Power, Place, and the Southwest Borderlands, we will explore how primary and secondary sources converge in multiple forms of narrative, story, and genre in defining the peoples and places of the region.

Note: this class will take day trips, with possible overnight trips if COVID-19 policies allow.

CC100: Understanding the San Luis Valley

Instructor: Henry Fricke
Learning Across the Liberal Arts Designation: Scientific Analysis
CRN# 13884
Block: 1

The part of Colorado that includes, and surrounds, the San Luis Valley has an amazingly rich set of ‘histories’, including those that are geological, environmental, anthropological, cultural, economic, and political in nature. In other words, it is a region that can be explored from a wide variety of academic perspectives that together fit under the General Education umbrella. In this course, students will be introduced to different ways that academic disciplines create knowledge and thus how they 'understand' this area. The courses will also help students develop a ‘Sense of the Southwest’ that extends beyond their more frequent Front Range experiences.

Note: Class meeting times will be varied, but will generally include mornings and some early afternoons. There will be an overnight stay at the CC cabin in week 1, two all-day trips in week 2 which might morph into an overnight trip, and there will be a field trip to the San Luis Valley, likely for 3 days, in week 3.

CC120: Literature and Contemporary Issues: Environmental Justice and Ecology in Contemporary World Literature

Instructor: Ammar Naji
CRN# 13942
Block: 2

This course examines how the environment directly impacts the production, circulation, and perception of knowledge in the world today. The noticeable rise of environmental writing from various parts of the world calls attention to a warning schema of ecological crisis on a global scale. Contemporary world literature urges us to investigate not only these environmental dilemmas in specific contexts, but also the understudied linkages between environmental issues and various systems of injustices, including colonialism, racism, sexism, and global economic inequality. In this reading-writing seminar, we will use the craft of critical reading and writing to investigate: 1. What is the role of “reading” & “writing” in the struggle for environmental justice? 2. How can we perceive and (re) write about the world and its ecological system in a new way? 3. And in what ways can our daily practices, beliefs, and presumptions about the environment make a positive change? In addressing the above-mentioned concerns, we will study environmental literature from around the world in terms of its local and regional importance, but also with an eye towards a more global perspective towards the natural world. Reading materials include the work of literary authors, documentary/filmmakers, journalists, ecologists, and literary authors from South Africa, the multicultural U.S., India, Nigeria, the Maldives, and the Caribbean. Some of the issues we will navigate in our readings will tackle questions pertaining to eco-writing, climate justice, the Anthropocene, water security, deforestation, the commons, indigenous movements, the environmentalism of the poor, the gendered and racial dimensions of environmental justice- to mention a few.

Report an issue - Last updated: 08/11/2022