Link to What's New This Week Syllabus for Naked Space Exhibit, Spring 2004

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Naked Space Exhibit, Spring 2004
Syllabus for Soc. 395

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: February 22, 2004
Latest Update: February 22, 2004

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Index of Site Topics Syllabus for Soc. 395:
Naked Space Exhibit, Spring 2004

Reference No: xxxxx, 3 units, To Be Arranged around Wednsday Afternoons and Early Evenings.
Room: TBA
Instructor: Jeanne Curran
Assignments and Updates for the Class: Available on site.

* * *
Instructor: Jeanne Curran, Ph.D., Esq.
Course: Soc. 395: Naked Space Exhibit, Spring 2004
Office: SBS-B 326
E-Mail: E-Mail Icon Telephone: 310-243-3831
Office Hours: Wednesdays, early afternoons and evenings. Late morning by appointment. Community/Collegiate Interactive Learning Consultant Patricia Acone, A.B.T.

Course Description:

This is a special topics course grown from our postcolonialism, poststructural, and postmodernism investigations of the role of visual and audial alternative approaches to learning, as we explore positive ways to become aware of and include the Other. There will be a special emphasis on Bakhtin and answerability, Habermas and the role of law, Fellman and the concern over intense individualism and competitiveness, Maria Pia Lara and illocutionary discourse, Henry and Milovanivic as we explore the meaning of agency and structure, and the general use of theoretical tools to guide us in the many very real choices we must make in the world today.

We know that a single semester course cannot ask of our students that they read extensively enough to cover so much social theory and still discover creative praxis to translate this all into the practical guide it meeds to be in daily living. To compensate, all conceptual material is availableon this site, in lecture form, condensed, and with discussion questions and answers to encourage mastery of at least this minimal scholarship that can be shared with children, adults, the learned, and the wise in our daily settings.

We are also intensely concerned about how we can learn to reach out to the Other as embodied in the community we serve, and are pleased to welcome Patricia Acone, ABT, to join with us in bridging that gap, in bringing our discourse to those with whom we live, play, and work, and bringing their discourse into our academy. To this end we curate an exhibit of our work near the end of each semester, making serious thoughts about serious issues accessible to our children, our parents, our siblings, our friends, our teachers, and our fellows, and establishing a forum for such serious discussion. The exhibit remains open all day and early evening for two days, in the hope that we will entice many to share. Because such sharing is most effective when visual and audio approaches are used, our final class projects draw heavily on music, art, drama, dance. To that end we work with our students to translate our good faith in hearing their voices into presentation skills to make those voices most effective in our community. This is how we adapt our understanding of "good faith" to our teaching and to our community.

Required Texts:

    All required reading material is summarized in lectures with discussion questions and suggestions on the site. I would like you to read The Theory Toolbox. Read minimally my lectures and our discussions.

  • To read if you possibly can. You will learn more if you do. Honest. The Theory Toolbox, Critical Concepts for the Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, by Jeffrey Nealon & Susan Searls Giroux, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2003.

  • The Theory Toolbox does a great job of crossing the disciplines and teaching us to think with theory as a tool to understanding, development, and change. We have chosen it for the Naked Space Exhibit classes to provide a common base of shared theory. Lectures for each chapter of Nealon and Giroux's book will be up on the site, along with suggestive discussions. If you are not accustomed to reading theory, we suggest that you read the lectures and discussions first, then read the related chapters in the text. You'll find you can read much faster that way, and that you'll have a good sense of what you're expected to learn, with that reading for a background.

  • The Theory Toolbox does not include many of the discussions we will share over Durkheim, Marx, and Weber, over Fellman, over Maria Pia Lara, over Bakhtin and answerability. But all of this material will be available on site and in our discussions. It is required that you read.

Course Objectives:

  1. Objective: To master the basic concepts of each of the theorists whose work we discuss in terms of alterity, post colonialism, good faith governance, non-exploitation, and practical illustrations of where these concepts fit into our daily lives. Answerability

    Outcomes: Students will participate in class discussions on answerability and the aesthetic process of collaborative creation. Students will choose from these discussion topics for visual and aural expression that will show their management of skills at translating oral thinking into ways to share their ideas with Others, both those who are like them and those who are different. Academic Assessment

  2. Objective: To master the concept of monologic non-answerability that is typical of bureaucratization that relies on rules and customs and denies answerability on the part of client or student. To appy this critical perspective to stories and experiences of bureaucracies with which they live and work, and to suggest remedies. Non-Answerability

    Outcomes: Students will share experiences and reading in class discussions on monologic non-answerability and the extent to which its presence in an institution creates harm. Students will then collaborate on visual and aural examples of non-answerability in projects for the Spring Exhibit. Academic Assessment

  3. Objective: To master Maria Pia Lara's definition of illocutionary force as a feminist contribution to balance Habermas' turn away from aesthetics in his focus on rationality. Students will explore visually and aurally, scenes and stories that illustrate the extent to which we operate on unstated assumptions (Minow) instead of listening in good faith to the Other.

    Outcome: Students will use site readings and discussion questions to clarify the concepts and engage in collaborative application of illucutionary discourse to projects they are developing for the Spring Exhibit..

  4. Objectives: To master the different windows of perception that those with little power often see in their work or learning role when they are not yet in a position of leadership.

    Outcomes: Students will participate in class discussions on the teacher, or supervisor, or parent, or Other to whom they are having difficulty adapting their behavior. They will consider the ways in which they can most effectively adapt to different leadership types, and discover alternative ways around those to whom they do not wish to adapt. In other words, they will determine some means of workable answerability for themselves.

  5. Objective: To understand that alienation and frustration are an inherent part of social work. Of most work, actually. To recognize the role such alienation and frustration play in burnout, and then to learn to build support networks to prevent burnout for themselves as workers, for others whom they supervise.

    Outcomes: Collaborative work on class projects for the Spring Exhibit. Students will choose an application of specific personal interest and prepare an approach to the application, either for understanding, or in some cases, making it better, using the theoretical tools on which we have focussed. We would like students to explore in depth the myriad positive ways (positive for them, not necessarily in keeping with authority's insistence upon non-rule-breaking, in which they could release some of the frustration without causing general harm or harm to specific others. One good example: smashing a plastic bottle of 100 aspirin on a hard surface. Tremendous release as aspirin fly about (without broken glass, and with easily swept up plastic. Perhaps we could include some version of this in the Sprin Exhibit.

  6. Objective: To gain some practical experience through a scheduled visit, partial internship, or formal sharing with someone who has such experience. We prefer that you actually have the field experience, but we understand that schedules sometimes do not permit.

    Outcomes: Students will prepare a debriefing on their field experience that will be shared with the class or will produce a project for the Spring Exhibit. Last year we had a great project for members of a senior citizens assisted living home.

  7. Objective: Towards the end of the semester students will look back on their own class interactions as an example of the creative production of a forum through application of the tools of the aesthetic process of answerability and the understanding of illocutionary force.

    Outcomes: We sincerely hope that this Spring such a discussion will be a scheduled project at the Naked Space Exhibition.

Academic Assessment:

Common Sense:

Permission to enroll in this course is premised on upper division status, rendering you capable of performing competently. However, I recognize that crises occur and that you have many conflicting demands as students, family members, and workers. Please remember that A's are earned, not given for the status characteristic of "being a good student who could get an A if he/she made the effort." One way to deal with such crises effectively is to be sure that I know when they are happening. Because most of my lectures and your practice are on the site, it's easier to make up missed time over conflicts than you might think.

Nota bene: If you have the flu, please don't come and give it to the rest of us. We'll help you catch up when you're well. I lost three weeks to flu a year ago. The bugs are getting stronger and more resistant to medication. If I lose three weeks during classes, you'll be left with a substitute.

If you haven't slept, and are falling asleep from exhaustion, please stay home and sleep. Sleep deprivation is a very real problem. We all drive freeways to get here, and go home often late at night. You can kill yourself and others that way. Please don't.

I do not give specific deadlines, because I want you to use your common sense and your own discipline to study effectively. All work can be made up within university imposed limits.

Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, August 2003.
"Fair use" encouraged.

Footnote 1. Esq. means Esquire, and is sometimes used to indicate that you are a member of the Bar.
jeanne is a member of the California Bar. Back to top.