Past Intergroup Dialogue Courses Skip Navigation

Past Intergroup Dialogue Courses

Environmental Problems and Environmental Activism in the People’s Republic of China (SOCI 313/ASIA 313/ENST 313)
Carolyn Hsu, professor of sociology
April Baptiste, professor of environmental studies

Explores China’s complex environmental issues, their historical roots, and social implications. It also examines the rise of environmental social activism in China. The course will utilize pedagogical methods from InterGroup Relations (IGR) to provide students with the intellectual tools to analyze issues of power, privilege, and identity and by extension, their own position in the world in relation to these environmental issues. This course is linked to an extended study to China. Students will travel to the People’s Republic of China, where they will examine sites of environmental problems, but also meet activists and see their work in progress. The trip will also bring to the forefront some of the issues of power, privilege, and race issues that were discussed in the course.
Immigrant and Sexual Cultures (SOCI 224)
Meika Loe, professor of sociology and women's studies
Christina Khan, director of international student services

What makes a city? A sociological response to this question emphasizes the people, social groups, and communities that make cities what they are. This interdisciplinary course focuses on community, culture, identity, and place. The focus is San Francisco, a modern city composed of diverse immigrant and sexual subcultures. The course asks how identity-based communities are created and maintained in the face of oppression and contestation. The course considers the unique and ongoing struggles of immigrant and sexual communities in terms of gender, race, class, health, history, and human rights. Readings range from socio-historical analysis, to U.S. Census data, to memoir, to poetry, to fiction. Open to Sophomore Residential Students only.

Coming of Age in an Unequal World (SOCI 213)
Janel Benson, associate professor of sociology
khristian kemp-delisser, assistant dean/director of LGBTQ initiatives

This course exposes students to sociological frameworks to critically investigate how power, privilege, and oppression influence the coming of age experiences of young people from diverse backgrounds. Students will grapple with the causes and consequences of inequality in early life and consider how these social processes influence young adult decisions, such as whether and where to go to college, what career to choose, and whether and when to form a family. The course also exposes students to intergroup dialogue activities that promote understanding, communication, and alliance building across differences. These activities ask students to draw upon course materials and personal experiences to reflect on how their positionality is constructed and reproduced within structures of power and privilege.
Stand and Speak: Feminist Rhetorics and Social Change (WRIT 242)
Suzanne Spring, senior lecturer in writing and rhetoric and coordinator of second language writing; director, LGBTQ program
Drea Finley, assistant dean and director of first generation programs

As an introduction to rhetoric, rhetorical history and criticism, and feminist rhetorics, this course foregrounds the study of how 19th-century women used both pen and voice with rhetorical precision to “stand and speak” to issues that marked their personal lives and their times. By studying women who composed and embodied what is now understood as the early years of the first wave of U.S. feminism, students access a genealogy of women rhetors who serve as exemplars — and cautions — for later waves and for their own contemporary visions of social change. By positioning the study of rhetoric as the study of language as it constitutes social relations, power, and knowledge, students become more acutely aware of and fluent in the composition, circulation, and criticism of private and public discourses, the verbal material through which they construct social worlds. The work for this course requires close reading and active discussion of course texts through a rhetorical lens and through the category of gender; an analytic essay that draws from and contributes to feminist rhetorical criticism; a performed (or recorded) text that addresses a pressing contemporary issue; and a final exam. This course counts toward the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.
Discourses of Whiteness (WRIT 348)
Jeff Spires, senior lecturer in university studies

This course claims that whiteness — white racial identity — is more about language than biology. Whiteness is a rhetorical construct that exists only in discourse, yet its concrete effects impact societies all over the globe. Drawing on texts from around the world, this course traces the evolution of this construct from its inception up to the present day, examining the rhetorical strategies whereby whiteness is both hidden and revealed in a variety of genres: personal memoirs, philosophical essays, scientific investigations, political writings, legal documents, critical analyses, historical essays, and such mass media as television, film, newspapers, and magazines. By engaging in the rhetorical analysis of these texts, this course examines how the discourses of whiteness continue to frame reality and mediate power relations. A required evening film series accompanying the class has students viewing, discussing, and analyzing feature films, documentary films, and television shows. This course counts toward the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.