UPCOMING Spring 2018 courses & deadlines
GEOG 410 / Nationalism & Ethnicity / Prof. Shaul cohen
The modern political system organizes the world into countries, and countries are often identified as belonging to nations. Nationalism is an expression of belonging to a state, it roughly defines the land, people, and institutions that constitute the members of the state, according to that state. Ethnicity is an organizing mechanism that operates somewhat differently. It too is an expression of belonging, and is composed of elements of culture, history, and identity that make its members distinct, but ethnicity is a cultural force that usually operates at a scale smaller than a state, and an ethnic group can exist in multiple states simultaneously, and within a state with other ethnic groups. This course will address the powerful human constructs of nationalism and ethnicity, and examine the dynamics that mark societies that are made up of more than one ethnic group, as well as the increasingly rare parts of the world in which there are more monolithic societies. It will focus on the tensions that individuals, families, communities, cultures, and countries experience when national and ethnicity are in tension. Significant attention will be given to the experience(s) of the United States, and additional cases from around the world will be introduced. Through readings, exercises, writing, and dialogue, students will learn about the some of the effects of nationalism and ethnicity in our own lives, and the lives of those around us.
The course is based in the discipline of geography and will draw upon insights from psychology, sociology, anthropology, and other fields as well. Class time is spent in dialogue and group exercises; there are no tests, but there is a writing assignment each week. Half of the class members will be from campus, the other half from the prison. The class will meet on Monday evenings, with mandatory attendance required through finals week. To get to the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem we will leave campus at 4:00 in the afternoon, returning by 10:00.
Classes will be held on Monday evenings from 6-8:30p (not including travel time) at Oregon State Penitentiary. Applications are due by 5p on Monday, February 19 and can be submitted by email to email@example.com. Interviews will be held on Friday, February 23.
PPPM 407 / TOUgh on crime or smart on crime? american juvenile justice policy in the 21st century / instructor kevin alltucker
The American Juvenile Justice system emerged at the end of the nineteenth century as a culmination of idealogical and legal perspectives that saw youth as fundamentally different than adults (Feld, 2017). The juvenile justice system started out with good intentions (Bernstein, 2014) of being “smart on crime” and focused on rehabilitation rather than punishment. There have been several phases since then, including a “tough on crime” perspective that caused the juvenile court to lean in towards the adult criminal justice system and focus more on punishment.
In the beginning, civic minded Progressives saw the deplorable conditions subjected by the adult criminal justice system upon youth— there wasn’t a separate juvenile system and youthful offenders were tried and sentenced in adult courts and incarcerated with adults. In this perspective, the early juvenile courts were truly reformist and the state took power over the outcomes of youth by relying on the legal justification of “parens patriae”—the state as parent—acting in the child’s “best interests.” Since then, the juvenile justice system has undergone four distinct phases: The Progressive Era, the Due Process Era, the Get Tough Era, and the current Kids are Different Era (Feld, 2017).
We will examine the social, political, economic and racial forces have greatly influenced the evolution of the juvenile justice system. We will also examine the contemporary juvenile justice system in light of new brain research that confirms that brain development is affected by early childhood experiences, and that risk and decision making skills don’t fully mature until age 20 to 25 years. This information has profound implications on issues of responsibility, accountability, culpability and therefore should be carefully considered as current policy reform efforts continue to evolve.
Classes will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6-8:30p (not including travel time) at Oregon State Correctional Institute. An information session will be held on February 19 from 6-7p in EMU 107 (Miller Room). Applications are due by 5p on Wednesday, February 21 and can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CURRENT WINTER 2018 courses & deadlines
GEOG 410 / Prisoner narratives & Post-Conflict Reconciliation / instructor Katie Dwyer
In this course, we will explore the role of political prisoners and ex-combatants and rebuilding societies after intra-community violence. How do formerly incarcerated leaders leverage their experiences of incarceration to advocate for change? What is the role of forgiveness and personal reconciliation? How does the personal relate to political-level transformation? What lessons can we apply from these case studies in healing social divisions in our own communities?
We will examine the case studies of South Africa, Northern Ireland, and the Civil Rights Era in the USA. We will also ground the discussions in theories of the roles that prisoners and ex-prisoners can play as members of the broader civil society. Readings will be drawn from autobiographical accounts, interviews, and academic discussion of issues of conflict resolution, punishment, narrative as a political tool, and post-conflict reconciliation.
HC424/431H / AUTOBIOGRAPHY AS POLITICAL AGENCY / professor ANITA CHARI
This class explores the autobiography as a form of both personal and political expression. The class begins by complicating, questioning and demystifying the divide between the personal and political by linking students' personal stories and histories with narratives of broader social structures, such as capitalism, patriarchy, slavery, and colonialism.
We will read autobiographies from diverse sources, including diaries, quasi-fictionalized autobiographies, poetry, and autobiographies of political activists. We will also engage with theories of social structure and agency in order to interrogate the interface between personal experience and political agency. Finally, we delve into trans-generational narratives in order to think about social structure and agency across time and space.
Students will produce a significant body of writing in class and in homework assignments in order to create their own (political) autobiographies. Authors that we will read in the class include the following: Gloria Anzaldua, Hannah Arendt, Iris Young, Malcolm X, Assata Shakur, Ta Nehisi Coates, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, and Albie Sachs.
HC421H / WAR & PEACE & Totality & infinity: Tolstoy & lEvinas / professor STEVEN SHANKMAN
This is a two-quarter sequence. War and Peace is too massive a novel to read carefully in a single, ten-week academic quarter. All students who sign up for winter quarter will be expected to register for spring quarter as well.
In our time of seemingly endless wars, we will read one of the world’s greatest war novels, Tolstoy’s massive War and Peace. We will read War and Peace in light of the thought of one of the 20th-century’s greatest philosophers, Emmanuel Levinas (1905- 1995), with an emphasis on Levinas’s first magnum opus, Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority (1961). For Levinas, it is the epiphany of the face that ruptures totality.
Both Tolstoy and Levinas are acutely aware of the difference between the political and the ethical self, of the difference between the human being viewed as a role-player in the unfolding of an impersonal world historical drama or narrative, on the one hand; and the human being seen as absolutely unique and irreplaceable, on the other. If ethics is peace, is war perhaps the inevitable result of pursuing politics at the expense of ethics?
Fall 2017 courses
CRES / Restorative justice / professor nathaline frener
Join us for a critical and engaging discussion about the principles and practices of Restorative Justice. Through course dialogues and activities we will explore the needs and roles of victims, offenders, communities, and justice systems, as well as outline the principles and values of Restorative Justice. Assumptions about—and labels given to—all those involved will be examined. This is a transformative learning experience that emphasizes collaboration and dialogue, while inviting students to address crime, justice, and other issues of social concern.
Class will be held at the Oregon State Penitentiary on Mondays from 6pm-8:30pm. Applications are due May 10, 2017 by 5pm to Professor Frener in the Conflict & Dispute Resolution Program, Suite 137, UO Law School.
(PAST courses) Spring 2017
SOC 410 / Race, Gender and Poverty in the US / professor ellen scott
In this course, we will we will consider the intersections of race, gender and class and how they are experienced in, and how they shape institutions, such as the labor market, social welfare system, education, family life and parenting, and the criminal justice system, for example. We will read 4-5 ethnographies to examine the politics of race, class and gender in the United States. The class will be entirely discussion-based, with the possible use of an occasional short film to highlight the themes in the texts read for the week. We will conclude by employing the concepts from the course to examine our own lives through the lens of the institutional structures studied (work/economy, education, family, criminal justice system). This will constitute the core of the final essay for the course.
Class will be held at the Oregon State Penitentiary on Tuesdays from 6pm-8:30pm. Applications are due Friday Feb. 17, 2017 by 12pm to Professor Ellen Scott’s mailbox 7th Floor of PLC Hall, Room 736.
FHS 410 / liberatiNg education / PROFESSOR Deanna chappell belcher
In the course, both inside and outside students will thoughtfully examine our deeply held, even cherished, notions of the role of education in our lives, democracy, and society. What do we believe about public education and what is the source of that belief? Second, we will critically question the actual role of our system of public education in our society today, and how it has evolved over time. Final projects will ask students to envision an ideal public education system, one that is liberated from its historical assumptions and is able to provide liberation, rather than schooling, to all people.
Attend these interest sessions for more information. Class will be held at the Oregon State Penitentiary on Mondays from 6pm-8:30pm. Applications are due Friday Feb. 17, 2017 via email.
HC 421H / Religion, Ethics, and Literature: Tolstoy's Resurrection / PROFESSOR Steve Shankman
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) is one of the greatest and most influential masters of the novel. The Russian literary classics of the nineteenth century, including the novels of Tolstoy, made a profound impression on Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995), perhaps the greatest philosopher of ethics of our era. We will carefully read Tolstoy’s late novel Resurrection, paying special attention to what the novel has to say about ethics understood in Levinas’s sense: my inescapable responsibility for a unique and irreplaceable other. In Resurrection, Tolstoy reconfigures the relation between religion and ethics in ways that anticipate Levinas's late essay "God and Philosophy." We will read this challenging essay, as well as Tolstoy's reflections on religion in A Confession, a work which marks Tolstoy's sharp turn away from the kinds of subjects he depicted in his great earlier novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina.
Class will be held at the Oregon State Correctional Institution on Thursdays from 6pm-8:30pm. Applications are due Friday Feb. 17, 2017 via email.
UGST 410 / stories from the inside: Prison narratives and social movements / instructor katie dwyer
This course explores social change and conflict resolution through the lens of autobiography by incarcerated individuals whose stories and experiences influenced social movements and conflict situations. We will focus on three case studies: the US Civil Rights era, the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa, and the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Offering this course through the Inside-Out Program provides a unique lens for dialogue, analysis, and deepened understanding of the topics we will explore.
Class will be held at the Oregon State Correctional Institution on Wednesdays from 6pm-8:30pm. Applications are due Friday Feb. 17, 2017 via email.
(Past Courses) Winter 2017
HC 444H/431H / THE AMERICAN FAMILY IN THE 21ST CENTURY / PROFESSOR ALLTUCKER
Join us for an exploration into the effects of family functioning on human development, using an ecological systems perspective. Families are the primary socializing unit for humans, and yet there is considerable discussion about how familial processes work that affect the lives of their members. We will explore the idea of a "typical" or "normal" family in the context of the Hollywood Myth that depicted an unrealistic caricature of the American family that had a breadwinner father, a stay-at-home mother, two children, a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence, and a dog named Spot. We will also explore how families socialize children on issues of gender roles, empathy, communication, and healthy relationships, while considering issues of rage, gender, and socio-economic class.
HC 424H/431H / Autobiography as Political Agency / Professor Chari
This class explores the autobiography as a form of both personal and political expression. The class begins by complicating the divide between the personal and political by linking personal stories and histories with narratives of broader social structures, such as capitalism, patriarchy, slavery, and colonialism. We will read autobiographies from diverse sources, including diaries, fiction and poetry. We will engage with theories of social structure and agency to interrogate the interface between personal experience and political agency. Students will produce a significant body of writing to create their own (political) autobiographies. Authors that we may read include: Ralph Ellison, Albee Sachs, Gloria Anzaldúa, Iris Young, Johnny Cash, Sigmund Freud, Aime Cesaire, Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, and Assata Shakur.
GEOG 410 / imagined communities / Professor cohen
Every person is a part of multiple communities, and has a set of labels that they use to identify themselves and make sense of the world. Where do these communities come from, and what do they mean? What do they do for us, to us, and to others? You may be an American (or some other nationality), what does that say about your connection to others who are also Americans? How does it set you apart from others? Through readings, exercises, writing, and dialogue, students will learn about the nature of communities at a range of scales – each of us lives in a country and a state, but also in a city, and a neighborhood. Whether on campus or in a prison, we form communities with those around us, but the groupings that we use, from family on up to the whole human race, have different functions – some of them positive and essential, others harmful and seemingly inevitable. The course is based in the discipline of geography and will draw upon insights from psychology, sociology, anthropology, and other fields as well. Successful completion of the course earns four credits which may be applied to a degree from Chemeketa Community College or the University of Oregon. The class will be held under the auspices of the Inside-Out Program and will meet on Monday evenings, with mandatory attendance required.
ENG 607 / levinas and shakespeare / PROFESSOR shankman
"It sometimes seems to me," Emmanuel Levinas writes, "that the whole of philosophy is only a meditation on Shakespeare" (Time and the Other 47). We will reflect on 1) how Shakespeare figures in Levinas's philosophical development from the time of the appearance of Existence and Existents and Time and Other, both published just after the Second World War, through Humanism of the Other and Otherwise than Being in the early 1970s; and 2) how Levinas's thought can, in turn, open up the ethical dimension of Macbeth, Hamlet, and King Lear, three plays that Levinas particularly admired.