“Creative Citizens” courses build students' skills in creative activism and civic engagement. Course topics may include social justice, environmental activism, civic or political engagement, activist movements, forms of protest, social practice, community engagement, design activism, and more.
Students: Filter by the "Creative Citizens" course tag in Workday to find and register for the courses listed below.
Faculty: If you believe your spring 2021 course section might be suitable for a “Creative Citizens” tag, please fill out this simple google form. Deadline: October 5, 2020.
Upper Division Interdisciplinary Studios
In this lab we will delve through texts and media that analyze how the current power configurations within various fields (visual arts, art history, architecture, design, cinema) create poverty, sustain oppressive mechanisms, deliberately harm sectors of the art community and pollute our environment.
Social Science and History
In this course, we will begin by examining the classic examples of the American, French, Russian, and Chinese Revolutions (the models that have inspired other revolutions), as well as the Haitian Revolution (the most successful slave revolution)... We will analyze theories about causes, events, outcomes and processes.
Worldwide changes in weather patterns, rising ocean levels, and global warming are currently accelerating environmental as well as political crises all over the world. Overwhelming evidence points to human activity as responsible. How we inhabit this planet then must change if we are to survive. That change must begin practically in the way we design our cities and buildings in response to listening to the pulse of life on earth.
In this course, we will examine issues of crime and deviance, social class and stratification, racial, ethnic, and gender inequality, work and family life, media, consumerism, urban decay, corporate crime, poverty, health care, drug wars, and others through sociological perspectives. Students should gain a better understanding of the structure of society, how we have perceived "social problems" and we have responded accordingly.
This upper division undergraduate course is designed to critically engage with the concept and theory of colonialism and its affiliated concepts, postcolonialism and decolonialism; the gendering, sexualizing, classing, casteing, and racializing that are concurrent to colonialism, both historical and ongoing; the “libidinal configurations” of nations and regions.
Philosophy and Critical Theory
This course looks at innovative projects by creative thinkers – artists, scientists and activists – who propose novel approaches to environmental issues in practical and often paradigm-shifting terms. Students are asked to develop their own creative project addressing concerns of sustainability and the environment.
History of Art and Visual Culture
With a specific focus on diverse forms of im/mobility such as labor migration, postcolonial migration, undocumented migration, refugee mobilities, and tourism, we will study the work of established filmmakers such as Abdellatif Kechiche, Ayşe Polat, Fatih Akin, Michael Haneke, Stephen Frears, and others.
Critical Ethnic Studies
This studio course will investigate murals as a socio-political statement through the development of the contemporary mural movement and the influences that helped shape it. The action project for this course will consist of executing a mural work.
The course investigates how present day Asian American artists are contesting societal assumptions and subverting stereotypes through their socially engaged art practices and participation in local as well as global social movements. The students will create art projects with strong sociological and political bents, which address the undercurrent problems related, but not limited to, class gender and ethnicity.
This interdisciplinary course will explore current and historical perceptions concerning Multi Culture and Identity in everyday life in our local diverse neighborhoods, with a focus on underrepresented communities and their complex relationship with regard to artistic and cultural production.
Students will meet and greet civic leaders and analyze the phenomena of cultural leadership and its potential for impact. We will create art and design projects that function as acts of resistance, as well as witness the local/regional impacts of the U.S. national government in light of the impending election. As citizen journalists/artists students will document and highlight the texture and power of the shift of power or not?
We will look at art that incorporates spiritual and ethical renewal, as well as social responsiveness and environmental transformation, as methods employed by a growing movement of activist artists. Students will work in the ways they are accustomed to as studio artists, while also taking these skills outside the studio to create community-based arts projects that address local social and environmental concerns.
Through readings and guest speakers, we will investigate those who have historically been excluded from design. Students will examine design processes and engage in workshops and hands-on, collaborative projects to understand new design approaches, and propose alternate methods of what designing with, instead of for, might look like.
Telling Stories is an interdisciplinary studio course that explores and examines how art has contributed to the articulation of ethnic identity in this country. The course will focus on the development of collaborative projects and artistic initiatives that involve the community on various levels from process to presentation.
In this course we will explore the art of visual storytelling through comics while critically analyzing the approaches author/artists use towards representing people of color. Students also see how comic book artists creatively depict subject matter such as colonization, displacement, gentrification and colorism through the medium.
In this course we will learn about the significance of spirituality through the voices of people of color, people of the Diasporas. Our course has two major components, theory and practice, through which we will reflect and act on the importance of spiritual practices within resistance movements permeating the power configurations of the nation/state in the Americas.
This course asks what role creativity can play in the transformation of the ethical problems confronting humanity at the start of the twenty-first century. Our course will introduce students to the major strands of ethical reflection, highlight the ethical dimensions of artistic practice, and consider closely many of the key topics in contemporary debates: war, globalization, environmentalism, and visuality.
Students will be encouraged to develop their own concepts with a heightened awareness of the broader social impacts of their work. In addition, they will be introduced to the tools, materials, methods and concepts that will help them build a sustainable design practice including life cycle analysis, "green" materials and technologies and recycling and upcycling processes.
David Hisaya Asari
Within the structure of this course, with its focus on information design, students not only explore and understand the formal aspects of data visualization, but in developing their final projects, are asked to consider the larger questions of how design exists in the context of society and culture. Topics and themes, and examples and case studies include: ballot design, crime statistic mapping, Atlantic Slave Trade, health and medicine, "branding" social and political movements, war, and language and privilege.
This course takes an in-depth look at various frameworks and approaches to climate solutions, using both historical and contemporary examples. We will cover things like the Sustainable Development Goals, learn how to apply systems thinking to design, and use the Social Design Pathways matrix.
Do you care about design and its impact on the individual, society and the environment? Are you interested in honing your research skills and developing your unique point of view? This class will embolden students to examine and adopt the perspectives of fellow creative critical thinkers, inside and outside of their cohort.
In this course, we will study, among other texts, eco-feminism, speculative fictions, historic "nature writing" as well as contemporary political discourse of climate. This seminar will entail student writing projects, presentations, focused reading groups, and group projects that express ideas through fiction, poetry, essays, and research varied lenses of climate.
Graduate Fine Arts
This seminar will explore ways of engaging people and place. The focus will be on building critical awareness of the impact of the arts in specific contexts, and the agency of artists and scholars to make socially conscious contributions to art and society.