Liberal Studies Program > Courses and Requirements > LSP 200 Course Descriptions

LSP 200 Course Descriptions

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Linda Chessick, Modern Languages

LSP 200-201 Lincoln Park MW 2:40-4:10

This course reviews the historical and contemporary use of multiple languages in American society. It introduces key concepts of sociolinguistics and cultural theory that are relevant to understanding language use, and focuses especially on the diverse circumstances of age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and religion that have organized it in the last hundred years. Understanding this history and these concepts will allow students to better engage critically and reflectively with issues and questions that inform current national debates regarding "language politics."

Daniel Azzaro, Public Relations & Advertising

LSP 200-214 Lincoln Park MW 11:20-12:50

As a country made of different cultures and people from various backgrounds, can we have a common sense of humor. Are there common traits that tie us together, or are there similar tensions, characters or situations that make us laugh? Since we are a collection of cultures, what have various ethnic groups and genders contributed to our collective sense of humor? We will explore both the history of American humor as well as the influences of three distinct groups: Jewish Americans, African Americans, and Women in general to help determine whether there actually is an American sense of humor.

Authens Oppong Wadie, History

LSP 200-220 Lincoln Park TTh 2:40-4:10

Beginning in 1779 with Jean-Baptiste Point DuSable, the city’s first permanent resident, the Black experience in Chicago is as old as the city itself. Although segregation, poverty, and gang violence have become the foremost signifiers of what it means to be Black in Chicago, these designations do not capture the totality of the Black experience in the past or present. The seminar will explore Black Chicago through the lens of the Great Migration, shifting constructions of race and gender over time, cultural production, religion, entrepreneurship, housing, schools, political resistance, and criminalization.

Instructor TBD, Sociology

LSP 200-209 Lincoln Park MW 4:20-5:50

Students will examine film and literature as tools to understand how meanings about culture, race & ethnicity, and identity are constructed. In doing so, students will rely on sociological, historical, and social frameworks to understand, explain, and predict the powerful role of film and literature in the construction of racial formation in the United States. Several questions are explored: What do film and literature tell us about race and ethnic groups? How do representations in film and literature relate to political, economic, and ideological factors? Why do film and literature matter in how we come to understand our own identity or self and others? Students will develop skills to evaluate and critique film and literature and will examine a range of historical and contemporary films, images, and literature that help us to understand the story of race and ethnicity in the U.S.

Instructor TBD, College of Education

LSP 200-226 Lincoln Park TTh 1:00-2:30

Lin Batsheva Kahn, The Theatre School

LSP 200-223 TBD Lincoln Park MW 9:40-11:10

A paradigm is a constellation of concepts, values, perceptions and practices held by an individual or community forming a vision of reality. This one of a kind multicultural course will shift paradigms influenced by stereotyping, bias and prejudice to acquire a new view characterized by acceptance and appreciation for gender, age, ethnicity and ability through the lens of dance. Stimulating observation of dance performance, thought provoking discussion, an integrated process of inquiry and creative experiential learning will result in heightened cultural awareness in making paradigm shifts about diverse individuals and groups in the context of Dance in America. Students will be inspired by artists and companies such as Misty Copeland, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Marge Champion, Miriam Engel, Sergey Shamota, and Axis Dance Company. In addition, invited guests will share their engaging stories about overcoming sexism, ageism, racism, and ableism.

Rachel Gregoire, School of Public Service
LSP 200-809 Loop T 5:45-9:00PM

Max Samson, Geography
LSP 200-502 Loop MW 10:10-11:40

This course focuses on the everyday multiculturalism of contemporary urban life, and the ways in which "meaningful encounters" may be developed in diverse urban spaces. We will consider dimensions of multiculturalism such as race, ethnicity, and nationalism, and examine critiques of multiculturalism from different parts of the political spectrum. Students will think critically about their own relationships with multiculturalism in the city and scrutinize how diversity is lived and negotiated.

Amelia Hruby, Philosophy
LSP 200-205 Lincoln Park MW 9:40-11:10

Amelia Hruby, Philosophy
LSP 200-207 Lincoln Park MW 1:00-2:30

Jessica Jensen, Philosophy
LSP 200-210 Lincoln Park TTh 11:20-12:50

Danielle Meijer, Philosophy
LSP 200-211 Lincoln Park TTh 4:20-5:50

This course will explore the concepts of identity and difference as they are cultivated among and emerge in social groups and movements. As we develop those concepts, we will discuss examples concerning race, gender, class, and ability. In the second half of the quarter, we will then turn to examinations of oppression and specific modes it takes to better understand the realities of injustice and potential ameliorative resources.

Kathy Chappell, Sociology
LSP 200-206 Lincoln Park MW 1:00-2:30

Christopher Duncan, Sociology
LSP 200-802 Lincoln Park W 6:00-9:15PM

This course examines a wide range of issues related to immigrant experiences—including settlement, citizenship, the fate of the second generation, and identity development. Several questions are explored: Why do people migrate to the U.S.? Why are some immigrants wanted and others not? Can states control immigration? How does immigration shape the labor market of the origin and host country? What’s the cultural consequence of immigration? The course will use historical, sociological, and contemporary examples and concepts to address these questions including meaning of integration and assimilation, formal and informal citizenship, patterns of migration, and meanings of ethnicity and race.

Keith Mikos, English

LSP 200-225 Lincoln Park MW 11:20-12:50

In this course, we will study the works of marginalized writers who have helped shape American literature, but whose voices have been unheard, resisted, or demeaned. We will explore how portrayals of different groups have shaped dominant social attitudes and how artists have worked to undermine those attitudes. And we will trace the lasting effects of these portrayals into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries by examining how issues of race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration, and religion appear in a wide-range of media, including: fiction, poetry, music, painting, graphic memoir, and film. Ultimately, this course will sharpen your ability to interpret, analyze, and write critically about literature and culture. It will give you a taste for assessing brilliant and complex works while broadening your understanding of key issues forming America’s multicultural artistic identities.

Ester Trujillo, Latin American & Latino Studies

LSP 200-222 Lincoln Park TTh 11:20-12:50

Latinas/os in the U.S. are constructed as threats to the “American” way of life because they do not present the typical markers of immigrant assimilation; markers such as upward economic mobility, the adoption of English as a primary or sole language, and intermarriage with white Americans. The Latino Threat Narrative has long shaped the characterization of Latinas/os as a monolithic group. However, Latinas/os come from many different backgrounds and represent various origin nations. In this class we will examine how Latinas/os of Mexican, Salvadoran, and Guatemalan origin have become the focus of the Latino Threat Narrative and how various types of violence shape their lives. Our examination of the ways immigrants and their children respond to their depiction as threats to the social order will take us through a discussion of race, class, gender, sexuality, and migration. This course also investigates intra-ethnic tensions and points of solidarity across these populations in the U.S. Together, we will delve into a debate in the field of Latino Studies concerning representation: Can people of one Latino population write about another and be representative of that group’s struggles? We will use fiction and prose to supplement social science research in order to center the voices of the people studied.

Susana Martínez, Modern Languages

LSP 200-215 Lincoln Park TTh 9:40-11:10

This course provides the opportunity for students to learn about multiculturalism in the United States, as considered in the context of the global community. Multiculturalism includes questions of ethnicity, race, class, gender, language, religion, and sexual orientation. This particular LSP 200 course pays attention to multiculturalism through an examination of the experiences and perspectives of at least three distinct Latinx cultural groups. For example, did you know that the three largest groups are Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Salvadorans? Their migration experiences, however, have been very different. Puerto Ricans on the island are U.S. citizens by birth but they have different voting rights. Since the Central American civil wars in the 1980s, Guatemalans, Salvadorans and Hondurans have risked their lives crossing through Mexico to try to reach the U.S. border to reunite with family. In this course, we will reflect on social justice issues such as immigration that are current news topics and critically examine the root causes causing people to leave home. Special attention will be payed to issues of colonialism, relationships to home countries, language politics, culture, and self-identity through youth literature. Additionally, we will discuss racial, ethnic, gender and class conflicts as they affect Latinx populations.

Francesca Royster, English

LSP 200-203 Lincoln Park TTh 11:20-12:50

In this course we will explore the rich literary work by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer writers of color, including Cherrie Moraga, Kay Barrett, Essex Hemphill, James Baldwin, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Janet Mock, Audre Lorde, R. Riley Snorton, Juliet Rivera and Justin Torres. Using the framework of interlocking identities of race, sexuality, and gender, we will consider the ways that literature has become a powerful tool of critique, community building, survival, the expression of freedom and self-knowledge. We’ll look at novels, memoir, poems, essays and film.

Luana Lienhart, Peace, Justice & Conflict Studies
LSP 200-803 Lincoln Park M 6:00-9:15PM

Rubén Alvarez Silva, Peace, Justice & Conflict Studies
LSP 200-804 Lincoln Park T 6:00-9:15PM

Daniel Kamin, International Studies

LSP 200-212 Lincoln Park TTh 1:00-2:30

This course examines how the War on Terrorism has affected our multicultural society. We will first consider the meaning and significance of our pluralistic society in order to gain an understanding of American culture. Then we will confront the War on Terrorism that America has been waging since September 2001. We will explore the circumstances that led us into this War, the policies of our government, and the reaction of the American people on the whole as well as the reaction of distinct ethnic, racial, and religious communities in the U.S. toward the 9/11 disaster. We will follow these reactions as they have continued to develop over the past 18 years. The diverse perspectives of various communities within America’s pluralistic culture on the rationale for—and conduct of—the War on Terror will be considered in order to better understand and appreciate similarities and differences between distinct sub-groups in American society.

Sherri Replogle, Political Science

LSP 200-801 Lincoln Park M 6:00-9:15PM

This course invites students to explore the politics of multiculturalism in the United States by examining the meanings, history, and debates surrounding the multicultural movement. The course is designed to first examine the historical roots of inequality of several distinct cultural groups, as well as their struggles to gain full democratic inclusion in the cultural and political life of the nation. The second section of the course focuses on extreme contemporary challenges to multiculturalism in the form of rising populism and the so-called “alt-right.” The goals of the course are to allow students to contemplate and explore how various dimensions of multiculturalism are relevant to the United States, to our communities, our families and ourselves; to provide the tools to evaluate various multicultural claims and policies; and to ultimately develop an understanding of how this matters in the context of an increasingly globalized world.

Instructor TBD, College of Education

LSP 200-810 Lincoln Park W 6:00-9:15PM

Christina Beighe-Byrne, Peace, Justice & Conflict Studies
LSP 200-219 Lincoln Park MW 2:40-4:10

Eduardo Pineda, Peace, Justice & Conflict Studies
LSP 200-806 Lincoln Park  Th 6:00-9:15PM

Steven Ramirez, English

LSP 200-501 LOOP MW 11:50-1:20

This seminar addresses topics of identity through the lens of contemporary literary texts that explore the relationship between marginalized and dominant cultures. In addition to course readings, class discussions, and group collaboration, students will develop as writers by producing at least 20 pages of critical analysis. At the end of this course, students will submit a longer, thesis-driven analytical essay based on our texts and class discussions. Additionally, each class will include some discussion and attention to the process of writing, whether through revision, peer editing, modeling or other focused attention on the development of writing skills.

Mark Turcotte, English

LSP 200-204 Lincoln Park MW 2:40-4:10

Students will compare and contrast the ways in which a range of Native literary writers express themselves regarding personal and community identity, racial and cultural stereotypes, and social and cultural practices, obligations and duties. Students will encounter the ways in which Native writers use story-telling and self-expression as acts of survival, re-appropriation and redefinition, and to navigate and interact with the dominant “American culture.” The literature will be used as a means to encounter cultural ideas, issues and agendas from a diverse selection of Native nations/tribal groups. Finally, students will discover the ways in which Native Voices are Multicultural due to tribal, geo-graphical, spiritual, and urban/rural diversity and influences.

Curtis Hansman, History of Art & Architecture

LSP 200-208 Lincoln Park MW 11:20-12:50

After attempting to define and locate the term Asian-American, we will read the history of Asian America through the works of painters, sculptors, architects, designers, film-makers and writers. We will also look at the analysis, interpretation, and positioning of these works through a series of basic analytical and critical responses to the works. The experiences and perspectives of several cultural groups—Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Philippine, and Vietnamese—will be explored employing an interrogative approach. Among the questions we will engage are:

  • What is the history of immigration from Asian countries to the United States? When did immigration(s) occur? What precipitated them? What factors influenced the nature of immigration?
  • How were immigrants from these Asian nations viewed by immigrant groups already established in the U.S. and by the government of the U.S.?
  • How and why did the immigration of groups from Asia precipitate the history of legal exclusion of immigrants? What are the implications of that history of exclusion today?
  • Is there such a thing as an Asian-American identity? If so, how is it perceived and defined by those of various Asian descents as well as by other ethnic/racial groups?
  • Are more specific hyphenated-identities such as Chinese-American, Japanese-American, Korean-American more appropriate to the discourse?
  • Are even these latter completely accurate/helpful? Or should we posit distinctions of age or traditionalism of values or outlook?
  • How and when is/are each of these issues addressed in the context of the visual arts? In what ways have the visual arts and literature served as a source for the formulation and exploration of these questions?
  • How, have the visual arts contributed to the creation of group-based identities as well as to the ability of those outside various defined groups to understand those within the group?

Azar Kazemi, The Theatre School

LSP 200-224 Lincoln Park TTh 11:20-12:50

This seminar examines multiculturalism specifically through the topic of race and ethnicity on the American stage. Through lecture, discussion, group projects, reading and attending plays, and written analysis students will cultivate critical thinking skills and an understanding of historical and contemporary inequality. This course seeks to foster an intercultural awareness through the study of theatre as both a mechanism for shaping and reflecting our cultural landscape.

Chi Jang Yin, Art, Media & Design

LSP 200-213 Lincoln Park TTh 2:40-4:10

The course adopts media and cultural studies methods to examine how gun violence and gun culture intertwine with race and gender issues in the U.S. The course content uses documentaries, data/statistics, studies of social cognitive theory and modeling behaviors, anthropological thoughts on rituals, and the history of the gun manufacturing industry, as well as U.S. gun policies, to critically engage students on the topic about gun violence and gun culture. By examining and comparing multiple perspectives, such as various scientific resources and seminar-style discussions, students will then form their own original conclusions.

Benjamin Epstein, Political Science

LSP 200-202 Lincoln Park TTh 2:40-4:10

This class explores the historical and contemporary role of racial and ethnic minority groups in the American political system. We will focus on how race and ethnicity has been constructed both socially and historically and on the political realities of, and relationships between these groups. We will relate these groups to the institutions, political parties, voting coalitions, representatives, and public policies, which make up much of American politics. At the same time we will look at the impact of racial and ethnic politics on individuals and communities in order to root our discussions in real-world effects and an increasingly diverse American society. We will also be focusing on the impact of the Obama presidency and Trump Presidency on racial and ethnic politics in America. How did Obama’s election affect issues of race and ethnicity? What role did racial, religious, and immigration issues affect the Trump victory and what are have been some of the effects of Trump's first term in office? Finally, public policy issues will be discussed and debated including, but not limited to immigration, law enforcement, profiling, Black Lives Matter, and affirmative action. Many of our readings as well as important announcements and course related links will be available on our class website, class blog, and through e-mails during the quarter.

Erin MacKenna, Writing, Rhetoric & Discourse

LSP 200-216 Lincoln Park TTh 11:20-12:50

Feminism is back by popular demand and its splashy arrival in the political sphere, our social media feeds, and the American marketplace has been met with both ridicule and embrace. As record numbers of protesters are swiftly organized to participate in marches, the media reports that messages are muddled and direct action plans seem scattered. This class is designed to explore the rhetoric surrounding American conceptions of feminist identity and feminist action. We will begin with the assumption that woman and man as categories of identity are socially constructed and reinforced across institutions of power and through representations of gender roles in popular culture. As part of our exploration, we will identify key rhetorical strategies at work in texts generated during the first, second, and third wave of the feminist movement and map our current social arrangements and cultural perceptions of gender along these intellectual traditions and rhetorical events. Finally, after identifying regressions, backlashes, and victories, we will ask what work feminism should take up today and which rhetorical strategies will carry in the desired change.

Michelangelo Giampaoli, Anthropology
LSP 200-218 Lincoln Park TTh 9:40-11:10

Larry Mayo, Anthropology
LSP 200-808 ONLINE

The course focuses on issues involving the aftermath of immigration, race and ethnic relations, and multiculturalism in the United States. Several theoretical perspectives are used for analysis, including anthropological, historical, and sociological, but a unifying theme brings all these together; an urban perspective: the impact of urban life on social interaction—urbanism. Therefore, recognizing the complexities underlying urban ethnicity (how different cultural groups distinguish themselves in the urban context and interact) in American society is our goal. Toward this end, we will consider: what defines the urban; meanings of ethnicity and multiculturalism; the impact of class, race, and caste on the American social structure, and processes of acculturation and assimilation. The issues we will discuss are relevant to how we go about our daily lives. Consequently, information and ideas considered should evoke some reaction. Since we are in an academic, learning environment, it is to be hoped that the reaction revolves around intellectual curiosity, stimulation, and insight, rather than pure emotion.

Salli Berg Seeley, Writing, Rhetoric & Discourse

LSP 200-221 Lincoln Park MW 11:20-12:50

Traditionally, the standard bearers of Western and much of American literature have been middle-to-upper class, white, male, Protestant, and openly straight. However, as Toni Morrison points out in Playing in the Dark, it would be hard to imagine that the outlook and, therefore, writing of these men has not been affected by the history of inhumanity and injustice visited upon non-dominant groups on this land.

We will read literature written by people of color, women, openly LBGTQ+, and other marginalized American writers through the unifying theme of the working class. The American working class, in and of itself, is a marginalized group in the U.S. and certainly in college literary studies. We will read these authors and contemplate their perspectives as they contemplate identity, work, labor, and social class through stories, poems, essays, and plays.

Jonathan Gross, English

LSP 200-807 ONLINE

This course examines the lives of Waters, Horne, Simone, and Holiday through their biographies and autobiographies or bio-pics. We will consider the difference in telling the story of one’s own life vs. second-hand accounts. We will also examine the contribution of Jewish writers and thinkers to African-American schools, by reading a chapter on Julius Rosenthal, by Stephanie Deutsch. Saul Bellow’s short story “Looking for Mr. Green” and James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues,” along with Larsen’s “Sanctuary” provide context for the Jewish and African-American experience in the United States, with a focus on the South Side of Chicago and the cultivation of blues singers such as Otis Spann, Chuck Berry, Etta James by Leonard Chess. Since this is an online course, you will be expected to watch the films on your own and respond to posts each week.

Stan Chu Ilo, Catholic Studies

LSP 200-217 Lincoln Park TTh 9:40-11:10

This course explores the issues of social justice in the context of the globalization of Catholic Christianity in the United States. With two-thirds of Catholics worldwide now living in the so-called ‘global South,’ the Catholic Church is witnessing significant changes in its priorities, practices and social/political and public roles in a variety of social justice contexts. Within the United States, shifting patterns of immigration and intercultural engagement are changing the composition and social location of Catholic communities and institutions – a greater presence of Latino, African and Asian Catholics, as well as new challenges and opportunities for African-American and Euro-American Catholic congregations – in ways that affect the Church as a religious, social and political force in American life. This course will explore historical and contemporary questions, matters of politics, equity and diversity, economics, and religious education, and the ways in which these inform contemporary discussions on race, migration, faith-based education and charities, poverty eradication and the role of the Catholic Church in the fight for social justice in the United States.

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