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CC100 & CC120


Taken in a student's first two blocks of study, the first-year foundations course sequence (CC100: Critical Inquiry Seminar & CC120: First-Year Writing Seminar) serve as the foundation to CC's General Education plan.

As a sequence, these courses provide an introduction to disciplinary scholarship, the nature of the liberal arts, and learning on the block. In the first block (CC100), students begin to understand the liberal arts as a specific kind of community comprised of various epistemological and methodological cultures. The goal of this class is to help students understand that different fields of study construct and organize knowledge differently, each with its own paradigms and assumptions. The second block (CC120) builds on the outcomes of CC100 to engage students in understanding the relationship between disciplinary practices and writing. The goal of this class is to help students understand that each discipline operates within specific discourse communities each with their own structures, styles, and forms.

All CC100 & CC120 courses are linked, meaning that students in the same CC100 course will move into the linked CC120 course as a cohort. These links serve to reinforce the social connections developed in the first block and allow students more time to learn together on the block.

Fall CC100 courses are also grouped into "thematic clusters." These clusters are designed to help facilitate students' thinking about disciplinary knowledge production in a comparative framework. Courses are clustered around a shared topic, question, or theme (i.e. "The Dynamics of Power"). Although students are enrolled in a single CC100/CC120 course sequence, all courses in a cluster will offer periodic "convergence experiences" that offer students the opportunity to engage across courses to compare the different approaches to knowledge creation taking place in their respective courses in relationship to the shared topic.

Winter CC100 courses are not grouped into a thematic cluster, will still offer convergence experiences.

COVID-19 Information

All students will be emailed regarding their CC100 & CC120 assignments beginning August 1. They may also check their assignment on that date by logging into Banner. ITS has instructions on how to log into Banner from off campus which can be found here.

Assignments are made based on a combination of student interest and residency status and should not be not considered final until New Student Orientation due to shifting conditions related to COVID-19.

After viewing your assignment, students should also verify the course format listed on the course descriptions on this website. To do so, click through the thematic clusters (below) to the course descriptions. All course formats will be listed at the bottom of each description. To accommodate all students, those students who will be not be coming to campus for blocks 1-2 will be enrolled in online courses. Students who will be on-campus for blocks 1-2 may be enrolled in either in-person/hybrid courses or online courses.

Students may petition to change their CC100 & 120 placement for two reasons. The first is an accessibility need that has prior approval from the Office of Accessibility Resources. In this case, the student should first contact the Office of Accessibility Resources to initiate the change. The second is if the student's residency status changes from on-campus to off-campus and they are enrolled in an in-person or hybrid class. In this case, the student should contact their staff advisor in the Student Opportunities and Advising Hub to request a change to an online course.

As part of Colorado College's plan to accommodate the needs of all students, courses will be taught in several formats to facilitate in-person learning and remote learning. The formats are as follows, and you can find each courses format on the page for their respective thematic cluster.

  1. Fully Remote: The entire course is delivered remotely. All students may register, regardless of where they reside. Residency in Colorado Springs not required.

  2. Flex: Most class elements are conducted remotely, although some class elements are conducted in-person, with social distancing protocols. Faculty will develop remote alternatives for all in- person elements so that students have the option to "flex" and engage these elements either in- person or remotely. All students may register, regardless of where they reside. Residency in Colorado Springs not required.

  3. Hybrid: Some class elements are conducted in-person, with social distancing protocols, while other class elements are held remotely. Students may or may not be able to complete the in- person elements remotely for all hybrid classes. Residency in Colorado Springs required.

  4. Primarily In-person: Most class elements are in-person, with social distancing protocols. Residency in Colorado Springs required.

thematic clusters (fall start)

Global Exchange

Exchanges take many forms. Technologies are exchanged across societies. Cultures are exchanged across national borders. Ideas are exchanged across texts. The courses in this cluster examine the nature of exchange with particular attention to the ways in which exchanges on a global scale have motivated innovation, conflict, and revolutionary change. Click here to read more.

Film, Media, and Culture

Film and media are representational objects that engage with, reproduce, and advance cultures in dynamic (and often complicated) ways. Courses in this cluster examine the intersections between film, media, and culture: the relationship between narrative forms and cultural traditions, the ways in which media has been used to frame global struggles, and the ways in which storytelling advances cultural and individual goals. Click here to read more.

The Anthropocene

Geologists measure time in epochs--the Paleocene, the Cretaceous, the Holocene. Today many scholars argue that we have entered into a new epoch: the Anthropocene; the human epoch. Courses in this cluster will examine issues of society, climate change, and humankind's changing relationship with what we call "nature" or the "natural world". Click here to read more.

Conceptions of the Good Life

What is the good life? Our views about the good life differ widely across time and culture. Is the good life an intrinsic achievement - for example, something gained through the pursuit of positive mental health or emotional well being? Courses in this cluster engage questions related to the good life: how it has been imagined within historical contexts, the processes by which we might seek it out, and what principles we use to make decisions about what constitutes the good life. Click here to read more.

The Dynamics of Power

Power is often imagined as the capacity of an individual to influence the behaviors and choices of others. Courses in this cluster examine the dynamics of power: how it is gained and used, how it flows through communities and cultures, as well as the ways in which power influences our choices and identities. Click here to read more.

Transcultural & Intersectional Identities

Our identities are not simply our own. They are nested within and emerge from the various social, cultural, and natural contexts we inhabit. Our identities are dynamic. They are shaped by personal, local, and global events as we move through time. The courses in this cluster provoke questions about the nature of identities: who we are, how our identities are constructed in social, cultural, and natural contexts, and how we craft identities that are uniquely our own. Click here to read more.


When Michel Foucault wrote about biopower in the 1970s he was envisioning a society where power was exerted not solely through coercive violence but also through controlling our very bodies--how we think, behave, and even reproduce. Courses in this cluster consider the ways in which our bodies and identities are defined, controlled, and represented; they will consider how we define ourselves and how we ourselves are defined. Click here to read more.

Education in Historical & Contemporary Perspectives

Cultures have a long viewed education as a way to realize social ideals and solve challenging social problems. Courses in this cluster examine the various ways in which education has been imagined, structured, and delivered across time and culture with particular attention to the kinds of goals, ideals, and visions of society have been imposed on schooling. Click here to read more.

Past and Present in Critical Dialogue

The past and present are fundamentally linked. Our lives build on the accumulated knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of our predecessors. Our preferences and our choices are shaped by institutional structures and cultural expectations established by previous generations. Courses in this cluster take up questions related to the critical intersections of past and present: how they relate, how they challenge one another, and how they exist in dynamic tension with one another. Click here to read more.

CC100/120 courses (winter start)

CC100: Success: Skill, Effort, or Luck?

Instructor: Christina Rader
Learning Across the Liberal Arts Designation: Scientific Analysis

What causes success? Skill, effort, or luck? This course explores the concept and causes of success, using the approaches of psychology, economics, and business. We focus on individual and team success, with some consideration of organizational and national level success as well. We begin by inquiring into how to define success and then explore the factors that contribute to success: skill, effort, and luck. We will ask how we can understand the contributions of the factors in combination and what this means for living a life we deem successful.


CC120: Writing About Success

Instructor: Christina Rader

This course builds on the linked CC100 course (Success: Skill, Effort, or Luck?) to explore how knowledge is created and transmitted in the discipline of business via the writing process. We focus in particular on writing about success. We take the research project started in CC100 and craft it into written products for academics and practitioners. In doing so, we explore how the writing process in the discipline is a result of its history, culture, practices and values, as well as how the writing process shapes the discipline. We practice skills, habits, and processes of effective writing in the discipline.


CC100: Japanese Culture: Classic to Contemporary

Instructor: Joan Ericson
Learning Across the Liberal Arts Designation: Analysis & Interpretation of Meaning

We will explore the concepts that inform Japanese culture, both traditional and modern. This includes acquiring an understanding of the underlying aesthetics of literature (from classical poetry and drama to manga) and art forms (from calligraphy and gardens to anime). By the end of the block students will be able to appreciate anime such as "Princess Mononoke" or "Spirited Away" through a better understanding of the cultural and historical referents. Equal time will be spent on discussing readings and videos about the history, literature, and other aspects of Japanese culture. Students will have many hands-on opportunities, including calligraphy sessions and cooking Japanese meals. Readings, discussions, and writing assignments will be in English.

CC120: Inside Out: The Psychology of Emotion

Instructor: Tomi-Ann Roberts

This course offers an in-depth exploration of research and theory related to the study of human emotion. Emotions are complex, multiply-determined phenomena -- they influence our experience, our thinking, our actions, our relationships, and our mental and physical health. As Richard Lazarus has written, "Although they have many characteristics, some behavioral and others physiological, emotions are above all psychological. We feel proud when our loved ones do something worthy. When demeaned, we become angry or ashamed. We experience joy at the birth of our children, anxiety when threatened, and grief at the death of a loved one." What an incredible range of experience emotions bring to the lives of us humans. Emotions provide information, interference, and indispensable color to our lives. The course will enable students to dive deeply into theoretical, philosophical, and empirical research on topics related to emotion, to learn: a. how to think and write like psychological scientists of emotion; and b. that the psychology of emotion is essentially the study of what it means to be human, and therefore provides us with important suggestions for how to live a richer, more fulfilling life.

CC100: Literature, Food, and Culture in the Ancient Mediterranean

Instructor: Lisa Hughes
Learning Across the Liberal Arts Designation: Analysis & Interpretation of Meaning
Format: Flex

Through this study of the myth and literature of the ancient Mediterranean we will examine the centrality of food and dining and how they obtain significance not only as the sustenance of life, but also in the making of meaning in cultural practices. Family relationships, social hierarchies, and religion will be studied by means of attention to the production and consumption of food. Stories from the books of Genesis and Daniel foreground food in the creation of Hebrew identity, while Dionysos, Demeter, and Athena are significant for their associations with the grape, grain, and olives--markers of the Greco-Roman identity. Images of food often serve figurative functions in literature, but we also find depictions of historical practices too--dining, feasting, and the centrality of the figure of the chef, as well as sacrificial practices governing vegetarianism and meat-eating.

CC120: Intertexts: Who Tells the Story?

Instructor: Corinne Scheiner
Format: Flex

In the 1960s, Julia Kristeva coined the term intertextuality, observing that "any text is the absorption and transformation of another." In this class, we will read three novels, each of which explicitly announces its intertextuality, alongside the novels they have absorbed and transformed. Specifically, we will examine how each (re)tells the story of the earlier text by having previously marginalized and/or silenced characters narrate their own stories. We will begin by looking at "otherness" in John Gardner's Grendel (1971), in which the monster Grendel, the villain from the 8th-century epic Beowulf, retells the events of the epic from his perspective. We will then explore otherness and marginalization in terms of language and power in J.M. Coetzee's Foe (1986), in which Susan Barton, a castaway, finds herself on the same island as "Cruso" and Friday from Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe(1719), and subsequently narrates her version of events. We will conclude by exploring marginalized and silenced voices in terms of both gender and race in Maryse Condé's I Tituba, Black Slave of Salem (1986), in which the historical figure, Tituba, a West Indian slave accused of witchcraft, tells her story, one that includes the stories of others, as Condé's Tituba shares a prison cell with Hester Prynne, the heroine in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter (1850). As we engage with these intertexts, we will focus on developing and strengthening the skills of close reading and critical analysis, both as readers and as writers.

CC100: Construction of Social Problems

Instructor: Gail Murphy-Geiss
Learning Across the Liberal Arts Designation: Societies & Human Behavior
Format: Flex

This course will investigate how social conditions come to be defined as social problems, specifically examining the roles of advocates, policy makers, experts, the media, and the public. Why do some social problems receive so much attention, while others are ignored? What are the impacts of defining social problems in a particular way? Drawing on case studies of contemporary issues, including racism, wealth inequality, health care access, the criminal justice system, and climate change, the uneven consequences of social problems will be exposed; some groups are disproportionately disadvantaged while others disproportionately benefit.

CC120: Race, Gender, Protests: Social Issues in Italian Culture

Instructor: Amanda Minervini
Format: Flex

A course grappling with representations, mis-representations, and lack of representations of Black Italians, Women, LGBTQIAPK, political and religious minorities, as well as other historically forgotten or underrepresented groups. Students will analyze film, videos, pamphlet, more traditional literature, look for representational gaps, absences, and appropriations. They will be asked to elaborate their thoughts in bi-weekly response papers, as well as in a final essay.

CC100: Anthropocene: Archaeology of the Sustainability

Instructor: Scott Ingram
Learning Across the Liberal Arts Designation: Scientific Analysis
Format: Hybrid

Exploring the long human and environmental history of the U.S. Southwest will provide a foundation to investigate the Anthropocene, sustainability, and climate change. The course will combine methods and modes of inquiry from archaeology, sustainability science, and dendroclimatology. Archaeology is more than a search for artifacts, it is a scientific discipline devoted to reconstructing and understanding the long and diverse human experience. Through archaeology we will develop a long-term perspective on current socio-environmental challenges. Sustainability science studies the interactions between social and environmental systems and how those interactions affect sustainability. These interactions are often understood through the concepts of resilience, vulnerability, complex adaptive systems, and coupled socio-ecological systems. These concepts will connect us to the dialog and efforts of contemporary local to global communities to address current sustainability challenges. Dendroclimatology is the study of past climates with tree-rings. We will sample living trees near the Colorado College campus to produce a climate history of the past several hundred years to understand how we know the climate is warming. Together, our work will provide a hands-on and conceptual understanding of the challenges of a warming climate for sustainability. Throughout our investigation, you will be asked to consider the question: how can the past inform the present?


CC120: Myth & Memory: Multi-Genre Creative Writing

Instructor: Alison Rollins
Format: Fully Remote

This course is for students interested in experimenting within the creative writing genres of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. In this course, we will draw from memories to explore the process of writing family narratives. In addition, we will investigate the concept of the "family" (which can be defined many ways) as a framework for survival, history, and agency. Through short readings, writing prompts, and workshop, we will examine how family stories can function as microcosms of collective histories, as the fabric of folklore, myths, and oral stories, and as spaces for personal and collective exploration. We will rewrite or interact with family narratives to create spaces of subversion, resistance, and storytelling that expand beyond the self. Students should expect to actively practice creative writing techniques, investigate techniques in assigned readings, as well as revise with purpose and focused energy towards craft elements and rhetorical strategies.

CC100: Winter Ecologies

Instructor: Emilie Gray
Learning Across the Liberal Arts Designation: Scientific Analysis
Format: Hybrid

This introductory ecology course is aimed at exploring how organisms - animals and plants - survive through the winters in the mountains of Colorado and other seasonally frigid places. Through lectures, discussions and field trips (if possible) we will learn about snow science, explore the diversity, physiology and behavior of organisms during the winter and familiarize ourselves with the amazing strategies organisms have evolved to make it through this harsh season. We will study the dynamics of terrestrial, aquatic and snowpack environments and examine the importance of winter processes and snowpack to conservation and management of natural resources in the Colorado Rockies. Additionally, we will learn about the multiple ways in which our own species has adapted to survive - and thrive - during wintertime. This course may, if possible, involve multiple day-trips to the local mountains and one week-long trip (during 3rd week) to a remote high elevation location. During the course students will learn to dress for cold, hike in the snow and assess winter conditions. Requirements include being able to hike several miles and a willingness to step outside one's comfort zone

CC120: Nature as Myth and Narrative

Instructor: George Butte
Format: Hybrid

Nature has been the focus of myth and narrative as long as humans have lived together. Myth here means the deepest meanings of our lives, as individual and as groups. We will look at three paradigms for nature as narrative to express a culture's deepest values and stories: first, Winter as Myth (Shakespeare, "The Winter's Tale" for example); second, the 19th C. Trauma of Evolution (Darwin, Tennyson, H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine"), and finally the Komos: Comedy as Death and Rebirth (Faulkner, Richard Pryor, "Waiting for Godot").

Since this is a writing class, we will discuss choices you make as writers (are dangling modifiers OK?), and kinds of language that carry class markers (by learning Standard English as this level, are you perpetuating class, racial, and privilege systems?) As befits all good writing classes, you will rewrite one paper after one-on-one Zoom tutorials.

Report an issue - Last updated: 01/26/2021