Courses Taught by Faculty Fellows

  • Spanish 310: Advanced Spanish Conversation: Spanish in the US (Spring 2022 and Spring 2023)

    Professor Pablo Camus

    In this course, students will explore Spanish-speaking communities in the United States, their languages, cultural legacy, history, and social context. The class is intended for heritage speakers of Spanish (i.e., someone who was educated in English but has a personal, familial or community connection to Spanish) and traditional learners of Spanish as a second language. Foreign Language instruction often does not include the complex and multifaceted realities of US Spanish-speaking communities and focuses on cultures’ standard varieties of Spanish from Spain or Latin America. In addition, because Spanish heritage speakers often communicate in English for academic matters, their varieties of Spanish are often stigmatized, considered improper, and in turn, such speakers might view their bilingualism as a disadvantage rather than as a fact of life.

    The goals are twofold: first, all students, regardless of their background, will expand their linguistic repertoires without erasing or delegitimatizing the Spanish learned at home, embracing rather than ignoring any varieties students bring to the classroom. Second, students will explore the history and culture of US Spanish-speaking communities in a way in which the instructors and students actively co-construct the curriculum. For instance, students bring the knowledge and create classroom materials of their own communities, thus validating and legitimatizing their linguistic and cultural practices, which in turn will create a complex and rich portrayal of the realities of US Spanish communities’ language and culture. Heritage speakers of Spanish will benefit by gaining a deeper appreciation and connection with their own communities;. In contrast, second language learners of Spanish will gain valuable linguistic and cultural knowledge of US Spanish communities (which are often their neighbors), often overlooked in traditional foreign language curricula. They will have the opportunity to compare it with their own communities, in the US or abroad.

  • American Experience 200 (Spring 2023)

    Professor Fatima Rahman

    This multidisciplinary course explores the American experience in its social, political, cultural, and historical dimensions. The course examines major American institutions, including the philosophy and history of the United States Constitution from its founding to present day interpretations; the struggle over individual and group rights; and America’s presence in the world, taking an approach to the American experience that exposes it to many and varied interpretations. The course includes such topics as American musical, film, and literary traditions, contemporary social and economic issues, politics and political history, the immigrant experience, slavery and its aftermath, American isolationism/expansionism, and the question of what is “mainstream” and what is “marginal” to American life.

    The theme of diversity is woven throughout the course better to understand current socio-political trends in the United State. Some topics include the following. We examine race relations in America, focusing on minority-dominant group interactions. We observe the effects of an increasingly visibly diverse American population on the proliferation of right-wing populism. We study the effects of woke culture and Gen Z led activism on culture wars in a polarized America.

  • INTS 390: Race, Ethnicity & Human Rights (Spring 2021 & Spring 2023)

    Professor Lisa MacLeod

    The principle of non-discrimination (“on the grounds of race, color, sex, language, religion or social origin”) comprises the core of the international human rights regime. This course explores the international human rights system focusing on the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity and the protection of minority and indigenous people’s rights. Students explore a range of questions examining the link between social, political, and legal processes, from the local to the global and back again. (Prerequisite: Second-year standing or instructor consent)

  • Learning Cluster 200: Being Human in STEM (Winter Block 2021)

    Professor Nidanie Henderson-Stull

    In this Learning Cluster, we will explore the ways in which factors, such as race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, religion, disability status, and geographic upbringing, i.e., the human experience, might shape the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) student experience at Soka and beyond.

    We will investigate the local student experience alongside the literature and data on identity, representation, equity, and inclusion in STEM nationally and globally to identify barriers to success and best practices for surmounting these barriers. Based on our findings, students will design tools and interventions to enhance equity and inclusion in our own STEM community. Coursework may include daily readings, reflective writing, in-class discussion, and oral history research culminating in a collaborative, community engagement project to be shared at the Learning Cluster fair.