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 # 36586 or 36587
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 – Graciela Monteagudo

TueThurs 11:00-12:45
Schedule #37729
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 IIHari Kumar

TueThur 11:00-12:45
Schedule #37730

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.

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 #36584

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 492H: Revisioning the New Deal – Joel Saxe

Tuesday 6:30-9:00
Schedule # 36585

A review of the 1930s-40s New Deal era will set the basis for considering contemporary social-political articulations working for paradigm shift towards economic democracy today. A survey of some prominent historical analysis and accounts of the social movements and state offerings that emerged out of the capitalist breakdown of the 1930s will include the trade union and socialist-communist movements and the New Deal Works Progress Administration (WPA) programs. Research teams will then investigate varied strands of contemporary movements for economic justice including cooperatives, a Green Collar Economy, DIY anarcho-syndicalist practices, culture jamming and Indy media to consider how these might come together in a grassroots "movement of movements." Blogging will be taught as a public writing medium.

Joel Saxe is a Lecturer in the Communications Department at UMass Amherst.


STPEC 493H: Black Paris – Anna Schrade

Tuesday 4:00-6:30
Schedule # 37732

Paris, the capital of the former French colonial empire, and famously known as “Ville lumière,” in the double sense of “city of light” and “center of the European Enlightment,” has long been a contact zone. It became what it is today not least through diverse currents of migration and transcultural encounters between Africa, the Black Diaspora and Europe. This seminar will trace these histories and encounters, which have often been silenced and erased within narratives of modernity, as we explore Paris as a site of exchange and discontinuity, translation and transition, an intersection of concealed, sometimes illegal or enforced encounters between Africa and Europe. We will critically read historical documents, literary examples, ethnographic reports and visual material (film documents, documentary film, “ciné beur”, artist videos) to explore the social and cultural history of “Black Paris”: from the African soldiers who fought for France during World War I, via African American artists, intellectuals, musicians and writers who lived and worked in Paris, up to contemporary social movements like the “sans papiers” and ‘les indigènes de la république”. We will also question and challenge dominant national self-representations and the national imaginary of a colorblind French nation-state and the principles of inclusion upon which it is built.

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 # 36572

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 494PI: Praxis – Katherine Mallory
Wednesday 11:15-1:45
3 credits, graded
Schedule # 36562

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 291R: STPEC Brown Bag Activist Lunch Series – STPEC Office Staff
Time: to be arranged* 1 credit, mandatory pass/fail Schedule # 40025
Students in this class will be doing all of the planning for the Spring 2014 Brown Bags, including researching, selecting, inviting and scheduling speakers and creating publicity materials. This is an ideal opportunity to explore the intersection between social theory and political practice, and to begin thinking about internship possibilities. *Meetings times will be scheduled around student schedules. To add this course, please speak with Deborah or Katherine in the STPEC Office.

STPEC 291X: Executive Committee – Graciela Monteagudo
student meetings: Mondays 09/16; 10/07; 10/28; 11/18 - 5:00-7:00 pm
full meetings: Fridays 10/18 and 12/06 - 3:00-6:00 pm
1 credit, mandatory pass/fail Schedule # 36560
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
Schedule # 71023

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.


STPEC 497P: Praxis – Katherine Mallory

Wednesday 11:15-1:45
2 credits, graded
Schedule # 36575

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.