STPEC

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

STPEC COURSE DESCRIPTIONS – SPRING 2008

 

Check out our NEW classes under ADDITIONAL COURSES AND COLLOQUIA:
STPEC 197I: Intro to STPEC
STPEC 296B: Career Planning for STPEC majors
STPEC 296D: Propaganda in Film, Print, Art and Music

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.

JUNIOR SEMINARS

STPEC juniors and seniors may register for these courses on SPIRE.
STPEC sophomores may request these classes by filling out a STPEC course add request form in the STPEC Program Office.
STPEC 391H: Junior Seminar I – Mirangela Buggs

MonWed 10:10 am - 12:05 pm
Schedule # 80887

This seminar is the first in the yearlong STPEC Junior Seminar Sequence. Through the reading and discussion of key texts in early European, non-Western and subaltern political theory we explore questions of decolonization of social theory and liberation of the political imagination. We will study some of the politico-philosophical-experiential foundations of liberal, radical, and anti-colonial worldviews paying attention to the ways in which ideologies and political consciousness are constructed in relation to historical events and in oppositional social movements, such as colonization, the French and Haitian Revolutions, the rise of the modern/colonial capitalist-patriarchal system and various forms of pre-20th century resistance.

Mirangela Buggs is a Ph.D. candidate in Social Justice Education. 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: Junior Seminar II – Geert Dhondt

TueThur 11:15-12:30
Schedule # 80888

This seminar is the second part of the year-long STPEC Junior Seminar sequence. In Junior II we study aspects of the political and social history of “the short twentieth century,” and critically ponder the challenges and possibilities posed by this century, along with their political and theoretical implications. One can safely say that, in important ways, the twentieth century was the political and ideological child of its predecessor. Different combinations of the ideologies, along with political and economic processes, initiated and defended by nineteenth century forerunners of democracy, liberalism, socialism, and nationalism, flourished in the twentieth century. Humankind witnessed the rise and fall of the Russian Revolution; the rise of Fascism, genocidal politics and holocausts; different experiments at socialist revolutions across the globe; social/political struggles such as the Civil Rights movement in the USA; student and anti-war movements in the sixties and seventies; feminist movements in different parts of the globe; struggles for national and political liberation in Latin America, and in the colonial world; the consolidation of the nation-state as the form of political organization; the emergence of political claims based on gender and race; new configurations of individual, collective, and nomadic identities; the ‘discovery' of nuclear energy, nuclear disasters such as Chernobyl; the development of micro-chip technology and networks of communications; the so-called globalization of political and economic life; etc. And as Eric Hobsbawm has put it, “The old century has not ended well.”

Geert Dhondt is a Ph.D. candidate in the Economics Department. 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 .

JUNIOR WRITING COURSE

STPEC 393A: Writing for Critical Consciousness – Ethan Myers

Wednesdays 1:25–4:00 pm
Schedule # 62182

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.

SENIOR SEMINARS

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 seniors may register for these courses on SPIRE.
STPEC juniors may request these classes by filling out a STPEC course add request form in the STPEC Program Office.
STPEC 491H: Post-September 11 World: An Exception or Business as Usual? – Falguni Sheth

Wednesday 6:00-8:30 pm
Schedule # 81468

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the course of American law and politics surprised as many people as did the events of the actual day. Numerous anti-terrorism, surveillance, communications laws, material support statutes, and immigration restrictions, were passed, and were met with surprise by lawyers, scholars, and pundits. They suggested that we are living in world of unprecedented "exceptions" to the rule of law. Is this framework an unprecedented response to a dangerous new world in which technology can be used remotely, religion functions as a commitment to certain modes of politics, and the government is trying to protect the safety of its citizens? Or can we find this framework in other moments in history? In this course, we will read a range of historical, political, and theoretical materials in order to answer this question.
Readings may include texts by some of the following authors: David Cole,Alan Dershowitz, Carl Schmitt, The Giorgio Agamben, Mahmood Mamdani, Roger Daniels, Charles Mills, Natsu Taylor Saito.

Falguni Sheth is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Science at Hampshire College.
STPEC 492H: Race, Ethnicity and Nationalism: Identity and the Political Order – Michael D. Ford

Monday 4:00-6:30 pm
Schedule # 62212

This course is about ideas and modes of belonging in the world. We will be concerned with the collective identities people forge and have shaped for them by others.

Belonging is another way to articulate the social self that we all develop. Races and ethnic groups may be socially constructed but they have, and contribute to, concrete meaning in peoples lives. Belonging provides a compass to point the way home and to make vivid the boundaries that define home.

Nations too are about belonging, often in a most profound and tragic sense. People kill and die for their own. We want to learn about the construction or imagination of communities of belonging. We want to understand the conditions and needs that give rise to the nation (or ethnic group or race). Is nationalism a moment in the modern world likely to be replaced by other ideas of attachment? Does nationalism express some peculiarly human need to create communities of protection and belonging? These and many other questions will frame our inquiry in this course.

Michael Ford is a Professor in the School of Social Science at Hampshire College.
STPEC 493H: Thinking Sexuality and Gender in History – Darcy Buerkle

Tuesday 7:00-9:30 pm
Schedule # 80907
This course examines the trajectory of research on the history of sexuality and gender in the modern period, with focus on Europe and the United States. In addition to developing a strong sense of contemporary historical research and its beginnings, we will use this historical context to consider how it informs contemporary theory and politics. We will consult primary sources, recent historical monographs, as well autobiography and film.

Darcy Buerkle is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Smith College

PRACTICUM

STPEC 498Y – Exploring the Intersection of Theory and Practice – Katherine Mallory

(aka “Practicum”) No Class Meetings
Schedule # 62190

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 stpecinternship@sbs.umass.edu .)
STPEC 494A: Praxis – Katherine Mallory

Time and Date TBA
2 credits, graded
Schedule # 62208

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.

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.

The class will meet either once weekly or biweekly from the second week of the semester. The day, time and location of the class will be announced during the beginning of the semester.

To enroll, contact Katherine Mallory at stpecinternship@sbs.umass.edu during the first week of the semester, so that she can inform you about the first class meeting.

ADDITIONAL COURSES AND COLLOQUIA

The following courses do not fulfill any STPEC or University requirements
STPEC 296A & C-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 Spring of 2006 should speak with both Sara Lennox, Program Director, and Deborah Reiter, Program Coordinator, as soon as possible.
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 stpecinternship@sbs.umass.edu .
STPEC 197I: Intro to STPEC

Monday 4:00-6:30 pm
2 credits, graded
Schedule # 81461

This seminar is intended for students who are just beginning the STPEC major, whether as first year students or transfers. Through horizontal discussion sections and out of the classroom field trips, 'Intro to STPEC' will engage students in a non-conventional learning atmosphere that challenges students to critically look at the dialectical relationship between our actions and theory.

This class will be co-taught by Katherine Mallory, STPEC Chief Academic Advisor, Rebecca Poswolsky, recent STPEC alumna and Cloee Cooper, STPEC senior. For more information contact Cloee at cfcooper@student.umass.edu.

This class is open to STPEC majors only.
STPEC 296B: Career Planning for STPEC majors

Monday 7:00-9:00 pm
2 credits, pass fail only
Schedule # 81734

"What are you going to do after you graduate?" is surely one of the most dreaded questions a college senior is asked. Career and life planning is a process which takes time. This class will give students the opportunity to articulate future goals by clarifying their values, interests and skills. We will explore how to formulate life plans within the critical analysis of society that STPEC teaches. The class also offers practical job search skills such as resume and cover letter writing, interviewing skills, budgeting and more.

Karen Lederer is a STPEC alumna who is also the Advisor and Fieldwork Coordinator for the UMass Women's Studies Program.

This class is open to STPEC majors only and is on-line only to seniors. STPEC juniors may request this class by filling out a STPEC course add request form in the STPEC Program Office.

STPEC 296D: Propaganda in Film, Print, Art and Music

Monday 3:35-5:05
2 credits, pass fail only
Schedule # 81944

In order to understand and appreciate the art and science of propaganda, we will examine the techniques of crafting propaganda as well as its application to small and large scale populations, keeping in mind its effects on the individual psyche. We will analyze theoretical approaches to propaganda as well as its practical implications.

Political, military and religious themes will follow much of the various media, which will take the forms of art, film, music and the written word. We will examine the filmed medium to include Fahrenheit 9/11, war films and anti-drug commercials, while the everyday printed material around us will figure largely into our discussion of written propaganda. Art forms will feature WWII propaganda as well as modern political, pre-Renaissance Christian and Soviet era atheist iconography. Music selections will focus on traditional nationalist and military songs as well as modern, socially incendiary musicians like Rage Against the Machine, Dead Prez and Bob Marley.

Class meetings will present themselves in various ways: lecture, discussion, and student presentation of projects. Because we are all students, we must learn from one another; thus a high priority will be placed on ability to discuss the course material. The course will culminate in students applying their knowledge by drafting their own propaganda through two final projects utilizing media of their choice.
This class will be facilitated by Steven Hoeschele, current STPEC student. For more information please contact Steve at stevenh@student.umass.edu. This class is open to all students on SPIRE.
STPEC 298Y: Section 4: Peer Advising in the STPEC Office

Time to be arranged
1-3 credits, pass/fail
Schedule # 81465

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.

vers 1031/07