To accommodate students' broad interests and diverse backgrounds, course requirements are flexible.



Special Note: students must receive a grade of C or better in a course for it to count
towards the fulfillment of their STPEC requirements.


STPEC 101: Introduction to STPEC – Katherine Mallory

Tuesdays 4:00-6:30
3 credits, graded
Schedule # 71044 or 71046
This seminar is intended for students who are just beginning the STPEC major, whether as first year students or transfers. This class will be geared toward useful conversations like what is the STPEC Program really, how to read and use theory, and who are we that we care about social justice, and community building. Through horizontal discussion sections and field trips, 'Intro to STPEC' will engage students in a non-conventional learning atmosphere that challenges students to critically look at the relationship between our actions and theory.

This class will be taught by Katherine Mallory, STPEC Chief Academic Advisor.
This class is open to STPEC majors only and is a graduation requirement for the major.


STPEC juniors, seniors and sophomores may register for these courses on SPIRE.

STPEC 391H: STPEC Seminar I – Antonia Carcelén

TueThurs 11:00-12:45
Schedule # 60020
This seminar is the first in the yearlong STPEC Seminar Sequence. STPEC Seminar I focuses on major theoretical currents in political theory and the historical circumstances that gave rise to those theories-in particular Liberalism, Marxism and Anarchism. STPEC Seminar II will analyze contemporary social movements in the context of these (and other theoretical apparatuses). As this is an interdisciplinary class, we will be bringing in analytic tools from various disciplines- including economics and political theory-but always paying attention to the historical construction and reception of ideas.

This is a four credit honors course. Enrollment is limited to 25 students. STPEC majors only. PREREQUISITES: One Intro to Social Theory course and one Intro to Political Economy Course chosen from the STPEC Recommended Course List.

STPEC 392H: STPEC Seminar IISreela Sarkar

TueThur 11:00-12:45
Schedule #60021

STPEC Seminar II is the second half of the STPEC Seminar sequence. STPEC Seminar II focuses on a series of interrelated political, social, and theoretical movements of the twentieth century. This course is designed to encourage students to deploy the critical-analytic methods and approaches that we discussed in STPEC Seminar 1 to some of the century’s pivotal events; we’ll examine the Mexican, Russian, Chinese, and Iranian revolutions in detail. We’ll pay particular attention to the cultural, intellectual, and economic contexts within which ideologies of Euro-American imperialism arose; we will assess the origins and development of “scientific racism” via a comparative study of South Africa, 1900-1948 and French-occupied Southeast Asia, 1918-1954. Other topics include: The struggle for Palestinian self-determination; the heyday of African independence movements, 1945-1974; global capitalism’s “neo-liberal turn,” ca. 1972-1999; race and nation in the modern United States. Evaluation is based on several short reading response papers (3-4pp.) and one major (15-20pp) research paper. Students will also be required to lead at least one in class discussion on the week’s assigned readings.

Sreela Sarkar is a Ph.D. student in Communication. This is a four credit honors course. Enrollment is limited to 25 students. STPEC majors only. PREREQUISITE: Completion of STPEC 391H (the semesters may not be taken concurrently). This restriction will be enforced.


STPEC 393A: Writing for Critical ConsciousnessEthan Myers

Wednesdays 4:40-7:10 pm
Schedule # 71041

The STPEC Junior Writing Seminar focuses on individual development of voice. We will weave this theme through standard essay assignments, weekly response papers, cover letters and resumes, and a student-driven class project of your choosing. Since you and your classmates with be struggling together to find your voices, we'll focus on peer-editing and tutoring techniques at the beginning of the semester. As we discuss peer-editing, we may consider issues of language and dialect, Black English, Standard Written English and feminism. The second half of the semester will focus on political, environmental, educational, cultural, and philosophical texts. Throughout all assignments I expect to see cultivation of your voice and communication of your own creative ideas. I encourage integration of ideas from your other courses and experiences. Be prepared to think critically and examine texts carefully. We will be sharing our writing with each other – be ready to give and receive constructive feedback.
This course meets only once a week; do not plan to miss any classes.

Ethan Myers has a Master's Degree in Literature and American Studies from UMass Amherst. Enrollment is limited to 20 students. STPEC majors only. Prerequisite: College Writing or equivalent.


All seminars are four credit honors courses. Enrollment for each seminar is limited to 20 students. STPEC majors only.
PREREQUISITE FOR ALL SENIOR SEMINARS: Completion of STPEC 391H with a grade of C or better (may not be taken concurrently with any Senior Seminar). This restriction will be enforced!
STPEC juniors and seniors may register for these courses on SPIRE.

STPEC 491H: Urban Political Economy – Preston Smith

Wednesday 5:30-8:00
Schedule # 60835

This course draws on both historical and contemporary sources to address critical issues and problems facing U.S. cities. Topics are organized around the following questions: How have cities come to take their shape and character over time? How are economic and social inequalities mapped onto the urban landscape? How are differences of race, class, and gender negotiated through urban institutions and community struggles?

Preston Smith is an Associate Professor of Politics at Mount Holyoke College.

STPEC 492H section 2: Public Policy Perspectives from the Left, Right, and Center: The Constitution, the Congress, the Courts, and the Blogs – Michael Aleo

Tuesday 6:30-9:00
Schedule # 61609

This course will focus on public policy debates of the 21st century, including perspectives from the left, right, and center of the political spectrum. Beyond academic commentary on these debates, students will track blogs that provide analysis of the public policy issues discussed in class and will read and analyze legal decisions related to these matters. Through the course of the semester, students will form small lobbying groups that focus on a single policy issue. Students will create and maintain blogs to track contemporary commentary on the policy issue that they have been assigned. At the end of the semester, students will prepare policy position papers and debate policy stances in class.

Michael Aleo currently practices law at the offices of Lesser, Newman & Nasser, focusing primarily on employment, civil rights, and personal injury law. He has also practiced at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and taught legal writing and research at New England Law, Boston. Michael Aleo is an alumnus of the STPEC Program.


STPEC 493H: Art, Activism and Minority Cultures in Contemporary Europe – Anna Schrade

Thursday 4:00-6:30
Schedule # 60638

Decolonial thinkers approach the connection between racism and the current configurations of citizenship and belonging in Europe (and beyond) not from the perspective of the theories, rules, laws and social structures that created them, but from the perspective of the resistances to them, thereby empowering culture and the production of counter-realities to the dominant orders as sites and ground of such resistances. This course aims at discussing new forms of activism and artistic practices that relate to this notion of resistance by locating them within the ‘cultural’ politics of their respective minority formations as well as within the framework of national and/or European Union regulative policies and civil society actions vis á vis those minority cultures. Examples include new forms of activism and artistic practices that were developed in the context of the Black Art Movement in Britain, the Afro-German, Queer of Color and Turkish-German communities and Black and Beur identities-in-politics in France.

Anna Schrade is a Five College Associate and cultural anthropologist whose teaching and research focuses on European minority cultures, African Diasporas, transnational Migration, visual culture studies, critical race theory and postcolonial studies.


STPEC 498Y – Exploring the Intersection of Theory and PracticeKatherine Mallory

(aka “Practicum”) No Class Meetings
Schedule # 71029

This course fulfills the STPEC internship requirement. Students in this course undertake an internship of 120 hours or more in an organization of their choice, and engage in critical reflection on their experience. Fieldwork placements are identified and arranged by each individual student and must be approved by the instructor. Students are encouraged to use this class as an opportunity to synthesize knowledge gained in the classroom and test its applicability to “real life” situations.

The primary written assignment for the course is a 12-15 page (or longer, depending on credits) final paper emphasizing critical analysis of the student's experience in the organization and/or the organization itself. Analytical themes may include (but are not limited to): the interplay of organizational structure and mission; the strengths and weakness of various means of working for social change; the impacts of economic and/or financial conditions and structures on the organization; and dynamics of race, class, and gender both within the organization and in its interactions with the larger community. All students are required to apply an analysis of race, class, and gender.

To enroll, submit a completed STPEC internship contract before the end of add/drop. (Note: you must meet with Katherine and get her approval of your placement before you turn in your contract. She can be reached at .)

STPEC 497P: PraxisKatherine Mallory

Wednesday 11:15-1:45
2 credits, graded
Schedule # 71032

This optional two-credit course is limited to students who are working on their STPEC internship requirement (STPEC 498Y). It is designed to provide support, structure and feedback for students writing their final internship paper. This class will NOT fulfill the Integrative Experience requirement.

Students in this course write four short (3-5 page) papers on assigned topics related to their internships. Topics include: mission, history and vision; organizational structure and funding; Marxian labor analysis; institutionalized oppression. Reading assignments are short. At the end of the semester, students can compile and revise their papers for the final paper for STPEC 498Y.


STPEC 494PI: Praxis – Katherine Mallory
Wednesday 11:15-1:45
3 credits, graded
Schedule # 61772

This course teaches students to apply social theory to the real-life experience of their required STPEC internship. As an integrative experience (IE) course students are encouraged to draw on knowledge acquired in prior Gen Ed and core STPEC courses to explore connections between theory and practice as they analyze various aspects of the organizations. Class structure and assignments promote group communication, multi-disciplinary dialogue, and critical self-reflection. Course assignments focus on a self-designed project related to the student's internship placement and include multiple peer-edited drafts of a critical analysis of the internship, a self-reflective essay, an oral presentation, and a final cumulative paper.

To enroll please contact Katherine at or 413 545-0137.


The following courses do not fulfill any STPEC or university requirements

STPEC 291X: Executive Committee – Sigrid Schmalzer

student meetings: 5:00-7:00 pm; Mondays 09/24, 10/9, 10/22, 11/19
full meetings: 3:00-6:00 pm; Fridays; 10/12 and 11/30
1 credit, mandatory pass/fail Schedule # 61426

Enrollment required for students serving as representatives to the STPEC Executive Committee. Requirements for credit include: attending an orientation session and all student representative and full Executive Committee meetings, delivering weekly announcements to designated STPEC courses and, in STPEC courses in which they are enrolled, facilitating a 15 min forum prior to both full Executive Committee meetings.

STPEC 291A-Z: Student Taught Colloquiums - 1-3 credits

Students may offer a colloq (for 3 credits - graded) or take a student taught colloq (for 1 credit - pass/fail). Any students wishing to offer a colloq for the Fall of 2012 should speak with Deborah Reiter, Program Coordinator, as soon as possible.

Click here for more information on student taught colloquiums

STPEC 298Y, sections 1-3: Practicum (1-12 credits, mandatory pass/fail) No class meetings
STPEC 398Y, sections 1-3: Practicum (1-12 credits, graded) No class meetings

These two options are for students doing elective internships (i.e., this course does not fulfill the STPEC internship requirement). The primary differences between the courses are grading (STPEC 298Y is pass/fail) and recommended final paper length: students in STPEC 298Y write about 2-3 pages per credit, and students in STPEC 398Y write about 3-4 pages per credit.

Students in these courses receive one credit for every 40 hours of work that they complete in an organization of their choice. They must find a faculty sponsor who is willing to grade their written work and submit a grade. The STPEC Internship Advisor can provide assistance with finding placements and faculty sponsors, but this is ultimately each student's responsibility.

To register, speak with Katherine Mallory (the STPEC Internship Advisor) and complete a STPEC Internship Contract by the end of add/drop. She can be reached at

STPEC 298Y: Section 4: Peer Advising in the STPEC Office

Time to be arranged
1-3 credits, pass/fail

Advise current and prospective majors, participate in staff meetings, and help with other aspects of running the STPEC program. Provides the opportunity to become intimately involved with decision-making and program development. Requirements include helping with peer advising, reception and general office tasks in the STPEC Program Office, a written evaluation paper at the end of the semester, attendance at several skills seminars and weekly attendance at the STPEC staff meeting. Students are also encouraged to engage in special projects of their own design which will be beneficial to the STPEC community. Eighty hours per semester for two credits, pass/fail. STPEC majors only. To register please speak with Katherine Mallory, STPEC Internship Coordinator or Deborah Reiter, STPEC Program Coordinator.