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Fall R'Courses have been scheduled, and you can check below for CRN and Section numbers. Register for R'Courses through R'Web.

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Over the past four years, we have had quite an assortment of unique courses offered; from popular culture, policy and politics, social justice issues, international issues, languages, math and technology, and many others that don’t fit neatly into any one category. The one thing our students have in common is a passion for their chosen course topic.


Fall 2020 Courses

 

why be moral
Why Be Moral?

Class Time: Thursdays, 5pm - 5:50pm
Class Information: PHIL 198  CRN: 31304 Section:  36J
Student Facilitator: Samuel Carlson

This course will look at the reasons we have to be ethical people by exploring the ideas presented by Christine Korsgaard's book The Sources of Normativity. We will examine her argument that being ethical people is what is best for us, in light of who we are. In doing so, we will also look at the structure of Korsgaard’s argument, so that we can use her writing as a model of one way to do philosophy. We will end the course by considering a couple of possible objections to her argument.


mexican daughter
Perfect Mexican Daughter: Latina Identities in Contemporary Works

Class Time: Fridays, 11am - 11:50am
Class Information: MCS 198  CRN: 31301, Section:  001
Student Facilitator: Carolina Muñoz

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is the title of a novel by Erika L. Sanchez. This coming-of-age story presents the reader with topics that center around identity formation as a Mexican-American girl. This work is then really important because it recognizes a set of experiences and perspectives that are not always acknowledged in academic spaces. This course will be unpacking some of the themes that Sanchez poses throughout her novel, in conversation with works from other Latinx writers and theorists like Cherrie Moraga, Gloria Anzaldua, and Margaret Cantu Sanchez. Some of these topics include citizenship, immigration, mother-daughter relationships, and traditional myths. These theoretical frameworks will not only provide the class with ideas that will enhance our reading of the novel but also enhance our understanding of cultural and historical contexts around the identities of Latinidad.


flags
Culture and Politics through Flags

Class Time: Tuesdays, 1pm - 1:50pm
Class Information: HIST 198  CRN: 31273, Section:  97G
Student Facilitator: Joshua Nayor

This course will look at how flags represent cultural and political changes within states over time. We will take a historical perspective as we analyze the themes and motifs present throughout modern and historical flags and what these motifs represent to the people who use them. The course will lightly dip into the larger field of flag aesthetics and what makes a flag both pleasing and practical in order to better understand the composition of the flags we study. Looking at a number of flags from Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas that display large shifts in leadership and society at large, we will observe how the style and substance of the flags used to represent the state and their people change to best suit the political and cultural atmosphere.


Healthy Living
Healthy Living as a College Student 

Class Time: Wednesdays, 12pm - 12:50pm
Class Information: EDUC 198  CRN: 31244, Section:  071
Student Facilitator: Stephanie Zeng

As undergraduates, it is hard finding a balance between academics and health. It is even harder when we are unable to have resources and adequate knowledge on how to find the right balance. Thus this course will identify the factors that constitute living a healthy lifestyle as an undergraduate. We will be identifying barriers that prevent undergraduates from being able to live a healthy lifestyle, and how they can overcome these struggles with resources on and off-campus. Some of the barriers we will be addressing is food insecurity, stress, different levels of accessibility on different groups, etc.  Students will also learn about how the inability to live a healthy lifestyle can impact their mental health and academic performances. There will be hands-on experience with trips to both the R'pantry and SRC to explore their on-campus resources.


A Technical and Nontechnical Introduction and Application of Tableau
Tableau

Class Time: Wednesdays, 12pm - 12:50pm
Class Information: BUS 190  CRN: 31328, Section: 35Y
Student Facilitator: Christopher Capotosto

Tableau is a popular analytical tool that allows users to make sense of data in a user-friendly manner.
As a student in this course, you will learn the fundamentals of data visualization and analytics in various applications such as marketing, operations, management, healthcare, psychology, and more.
To give students a better understanding of how Tableau can be utilized, weeks 1-5 will be spent discussing the fundamentals of data and Tableau while weeks 6-10 will be used to explore different themes of data that show various applications as discussed above. Themes of data will show the different applications of Tableau in different industries and that some data sets may offer multiple perspectives to a data set.
The themes of data will be determined after the instructor has collected information on their student's majors and interests. The instructor’s goal is to allow students to confidently apply Tableau’s analytical and visualization tools to draw accurate conclusions in industries and fields outside of the students’ areas of study.


Resistance
Theory of Resistance

Class Time: Wednesdays, 10am - 10:50am
Class Information: ANTH 190  CRN: 29097, Section: 46N
Student Facilitator: Precious Fasakin

This course will address the ongoing patterns of disenfranchisement of communities that are met with a common response in a multitude of forms: resistance. We will dissect examples of resistance through an anthropological and socioeconomic lens, examining specific communities within the United States and their experiences. This course seeks to analyze the relationship between power and resistance. More specifically, this course will primarily examine instances of individual, community-based conflict, reflect more universal and policy-based issues that are then met with resistance and liberation, particularly the agrarian wage strikes in central California, the bus boycotts in Alabama, class-uprisings throughout a multitude of states, opposition to gentrification in Los Angeles, music-based activism through jazz and hip-hop across the nation, and emotional forms of resistance, each as a form of resistance within United States history.


 

Past Course Offerings
  • Spring 2020

    •  The Cultural and Societal Impacts of the Iranian Revolution (CRWT 190)
    The late 1970s marked a period of immense transformation in Iran. In 1978 the Iranian revolution began, this period of time lasted about a year and changed the way the country was ruled in various ways. In this course students will learn about the history of the Iranian revolution as well as analyze the differences in society and culture of the country before and after the Islamic regime came into power. In addition to learning about this period of time in Iran, we will also learn about different themes such as Iran’s current political situation, the immigration journey, art history, the Persian New Year, and students will even have an opportunity to learn some basic Farsi speaking skills.
    •   From Comic Books to Film  (ENGL 198)
    Comic books have been described by universities as a form of embarrassing pulp fiction, but in fact, it is a complex and dynamic form of literature. As comic books have become more popular the way they are viewed has changed and they are now being recognized as literature. This R’Course will be exploring and analyzing comic books and comic book films to create a greater understanding and appreciation for comic books. Using coverage of their history, their communication techniques, and looking into their meanings and effects, we will be diving into topics on race, culture, and society. We will be analyzing comic books to understand their engagement with race and culture. We will be viewing scenes from different films based on comic books to show how these major pillars: race, culture, and society have been (re)adapted into a film version.
    •  Drag Culture: The Performance Movement of the LGBTQ Community (DNCE 190)
    Have you wanted to learn more about drag but felt your knowledge was limited to RuPaul’s Drag Race? Through this survey course, we will go through many different aspects that make the art of drag unique. With a strong emphasis on history, we will discuss the impact Transgender and People of Color have on modern drag. After an insight on learning our references, we will create a concept drag persona with classes on cosmetics, performance, fashion and song selections.  Through this course, we will learn pop culture, history and practical tips to use in the world of queer arts. 
    •  Structural Barriers and Determinants of Health in the Inland Empire (EDUC 198)
    In collaboration with UCR’s School of Medicine and San Bernardino Free Clinic, we are proud to present our R’Course! In this course, we dive into the current healthcare system and analyze the ever-growing structural barriers marginalized communities face when seeking healthcare in the Inland Empire. This course will aim to create a dialog that explores the ways people of color, undocumented, LGBTQ+, and homeless people are limited in access to healthcare. Students will have the opportunity to converse with guest speakers, such as medical students, physicians, and other healthcare professionals and learn of direct ways that they can become more involved in improving access to health!
    •   Reciting the Quran (AHS 190)
    The Quran is a 114-chapter scripture that is recited and studied by more than 2 billion people across the globe. Muslims believe that the Quran are the words of Allah, God, and they use this scripture as a guide in their everyday lives. Because the Quran is in Arabic, the students in this course will be introduced to Quranic Arabic. Moreover, in order to completely read/understand the Quran, one must first learn the art of Tajweed. Tajweed refers to the science and melody of Quran recitation.
    In this course, students will be exposed to the theory behind proper Quranic recitation, an art that has been lost in modern standard Arabic and is seldom taught any more. Then, they will move onto applying that science to their own pronunciations/recitations. Along with this, students will encounter various types of recitation used around the world and learn the methodology for preserving the Quran. Lastly, students will be able to illustrate a piece of Arabic calligraphy, a significant part of Islamic history.
    •  Sekigahara: The Defining Battle of the Sengoku Era (LING 198)
    This course will provide an overview of the battle of Sekigahara, which occurred during the Sengoku period of Japan. It will introduce the political state of Japan at the time, which was the main factor in increasing tensions enough between the two main figures involved, Ishida Mitsunari and Tokugawa Ieyasu, to start the war that decided the next 250 years of Japan. Overall, we will go through the political events after the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and how tensions led to Sekigahara. We will compare the readings to the movie/media interpretation through the movie, Sekigahara, and focus on how both main figures Ishida Mitsunari and Tokugawa Ieyasu are portrayed.
    A short general timeline of events from the beginning of the war to the end will be provided, students will also be able to know and identify certain prominent figures involved and terminology needed. In addition, an understanding of some Japanese culture and customs at the time will also be obtained. This course will also help students with time management and study skills with the provided readings, as well as a final self-assessment through the final project, which will allow them to utilize their interest and knowledge they acquired to more effectively impact their learning experience
    •   A Technical and Nontechnical Introduction and Application of Tableau (BUS 190)
    Tableau is a popular analytical tool that allows users to make sense of data in a user-friendly manner.
    As a student in this course, you will learn the fundamentals of data visualization and analytics in various applications such as marketing, operations, management, healthcare, psychology, and more.
    To give students a better understanding of how Tableau can be utilized, weeks 1-5 will be spent discussing the fundamentals of data and Tableau while weeks 6-10 will be used to explore different themes of data that show various applications as discussed above. Themes of data will show the different applications of Tableau in different industries and that some data sets may offer multiple perspectives to a data set.
    The themes of data will be determined after the instructor has collected information on their student's majors and interests. The instructor’s goal is to allow students to confidently apply Tableau’s analytical and visualization tools to draw accurate conclusions in industries and fields outside of the students’ areas of study.
    •  Humanitarian Medicine and Innovation (GBST 190)
    Welcome to Humanitarian Medicine and Innovation! This course will examine how different innovations and technologies are used to improve healthcare outcomes in humanitarian crises and disasters. Students will be looking at issues associated with the current humanitarian aid response, including disparities in healthcare services and medical treatment. After going over these issues, we will look at how different innovations and technologies can be implemented to improve health outcomes for conflict victims. Students will learn the process associated with creating such devices, as well as analyze real-world applications of such novel technology. Examples of areas of innovation that will be analyzed are infectious diseases, surgical care and prosthetics, wearable technology, and telemedicine (and much more!).
    •  Constructed Languages (LING 198)
    Whether you’re building a world, connecting the world, or exploring the world of linguistics, there is no better medium to do any of these than a constructed language. Constructed languages, or conlangs for short, are languages that are created consciously and with intent — as opposed to a natural language that grows and develops naturally over the course of time. Constructed languages are just that: languages, being fully developed with their own systems of sounds (phonology), words and grammars (morphology & syntax), and in some cases even their own systems of writing or signing. You don’t have to be a linguist to create a conlang, but what makes popular conlangs — like Tolkien’s Elvish languages, Klingon from Star Trek, Dothraki from Game of Thrones, and Na’vi from Avatar — so compelling, effective, and at times quite realistic is the linguistic foundation that supports each of them.
    In this R’Course, we will investigate: What is and what isn’t a constructed language? What are the different reasons why conlangs are created? What is the ideology behind creating international auxiliary languages like Esperanto or Interslavic, and is it possible for these languages to be successful in practice? What kind of information or knowledge about the nature of human language can we gain from creating engineered languages like Lojban or Láadan? And, most importantly, how can you create your own conlang?
    •  The History & Ethics of Aquatic Husbandry (PSYC 198)
    Welcome to The Ethics & History of Aquatic Husbandry! Using scientific research as a backbone, this course introduces students to a wide variety of topics pertaining to the history, development, and ethical issues surrounding the practice of keeping various aquatic animals in captive environments. Topics we'll explore include: legalities and history of captive aquatic life in the industrialized world as pets, research subjects, food supplies, and entertainment property; biological implications for consciousness, sensations, and intelligence for various captive species; the possible dangers vs. advantages to humans when in contact with these animals; and the impact of technological advancements for aquatic husbandry practices. This course will focus largely around student-based discussions and each student will be given the opportunity to share their unique viewpoints on multiple ethical issues.
    •  Societal Issues in Popular Music (MUS 190)
    This course is designed for students to take a sociological approach in examining the context of popular music. Ranging from M.I.A. to Calle 13, this course explores the curation, history, and purpose behind the popular songs of artists. This course aims for students to apply methods of critical thinking to media and familiarize themselves with past/current societal issues, including inequities and policy-based issues.
    •  South Park: An Analysis of Identity within the Modern Zeitgeist (PSYC 198)
    South Park, an adult cartoon television sitcom that started in 1997 and continuing to this day, is a popular series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone that is infamous of its crude language and dark humor. However, throughout the years South Park evolved into a new type of television show- a show that talks about current events and makes comedic jokes about them.
    In this course, we will focus on the film aspects of television and storytelling from South Park’s point of view. Starting from learning how South Park creates characters, students will learn how the television show creates realistic, relatable characters and how characters evolve over the series. They will also learn about American injustices, and how South Park conveys how those dilemmas are affecting people. Using the recent seasons of South Park, the course will ultimately lead students to create their own episode of South Park, as the discourse within the class will teach them how the show is made and written and why South Park has undergone this identity shift.
    • The Science of Skin and Hair (NASC 198)
    Chemistry 190 will explore and explain the biochemistry of common and physical phenomena that occur in the hair and skin. In this R’Course, students will be educated on the biology of skin and hair, the reasons why certain skin and hair conditions occur, and the chemical purpose and application of certain products. To do this, a  questionnaire relating to the student's skin and hair will be presented at the beginning of each lesson. After giving the proper biochemical background, context and terms, we will then use science to give explanations for these initial questions. The goal of this course is to give a real-world application to the science many students encounter in their introductory biology or chemistry courses. This class also aims to engage students in different skin and hair care routines and products. In this course, questions are encouraged but students are expected to help answer their own questions.
    •  Behind the Exhibits: Curation of Specimens in Natural History Collections (NASC 198)
    A natural history collection is an unfamiliar, and often enigmatic word for the public population. What is a natural history collection? Why do we build collections like these? How is it important? Are they of any use to human society? To answer these questions, this class will introduce the art of specimen curation, the processes, and methodologies in which to properly identify, preserve, and store natural history specimens. The class will collaborate with four natural history collections on the UCR campus: the Citrus Variety Collection, the Herbarium, the Entomology Museum, and the Earth Sciences Museum, to learn and experience the art and science of natural history specimen curation and its role and significance in today’s society.
    •  Sports Science (NASC 198)
    This course is designed to serve as an introductory level overview of basic systems in human Biology, Biochemistry, and Bioengineering taught with application to sports. My idea for the course is to introduce challenging topics in a simplified version to encourage students to pursue STEM fields. In most cases, we will apply our scientific knowledge of the human body to how we perform in sports using structure-function relationships. For instance, when studying biomechanics, we may look at how our muscle structure allows us to shoot a basketball at a specific set of angles.
    •   Francisco Suárez: The First Modern Philosopher (Suarezian Metaphysics) (PHIL 198)
    In this course, we will analyze and discuss some of the major philosophical contributions of Francisco Suárez (1548-1617), a Spanish thinker whose work bridged the gap between the philosophy of the later Middle Ages and that of the early modern period. We will examine a number of his philosophical positions (on good and evil, the existence of God, free will, etc.) and see how much his work influenced such figures as Descartes, Leibniz, and even Heidegger. By the end of the course, students will be familiar with the main principles and methods of Scholasticism – the philosophical school of thought that Suarez represented. Students will thereby be prepared to more deeply engage the nuanced views of the early modern philosophers who often developed their own positions in dialogue with (or opposition to) Suarezian philosophy. 
    • Facilitating Language Learning Through Music (EDUC 198)
    Learning a foreign language takes years of instruction and continual practice and development to be considered a true master of it. Through this course we’ll explore the ways media, in particular, music is used to help facilitate language learning, as well as some techniques to aide your own language learning goals. The course will also examine the various literary devices, cultural values, meanings, and forms music generates to assist in acquiring a deeper understanding of a language. This course is partially discussion-based and takes a broad view of various languages that will be further narrowed based on students’ interest in specific language(s). By the end of this course, participants should have a greater understanding of the role music can have in target language learning and use this knowledge in future endeavors.
    Disclaimer: This is not a foreign language course and is not a replacement for any instructional courses.
    •  Responsibilities of Farming - Sustainable Farming Practices and Goals (NASC 198)This course will offer students firsthand experience at the R'Garden to learn about practical applications of small-scale farming. It is designed to familiarize students with the complexities and tasks involved in sustainable farming, safe farming practices, and highlight how home gardening and small-scale local farming work cooperatively to alleviate food insecurity. They will learn about soil preparation, seeding, transplanting, basics of scouting for pests, and will be familiarized with the tools used for these tasks. Students will gain experience through in-class demonstrations, discussion, and will be given the opportunity to apply our class topics during a few volunteer hours outside of our allotted class time. The knowledge from this course should be able to be practically applied on a small scale to home gardening. 

  • Winter 2020

    •    Structural Barriers and Determinants of Healthcare in the Inland Empire (EDUC 198)
    In collaboration with UCR’s School of Medicine and San Bernardino Free Clinic, we are proud to present our Fall 2019 R’Course! In this course, we dive into the current healthcare system and analyze the ever-growing structural barriers marginalized communities face when seeking healthcare in the Inland Empire. This course will aim to create a dialog that explores the ways people of color, undocumented, LGBTQ+, and homeless people are limited in access to healthcare. Students will have the opportunity to converse with guest speakers, such as medical students, physicians, and other healthcare professionals and learn of direct ways that they can become more involved in improving access to health!
    •  Voluntourism in Latin America (GSST 190)
    Tourism and volunteering have been combined to form the term Voluntourism. This type of tourism which allows travelers to visit underprivileged areas for short periods of time to volunteer and help the less fortunate has been on the rise. This course aims to understand the history and rise of this new booming form of tourism. In addition, this course will look deeper into various aspects of voluntourism, such as the types of programs, target demographics, and the differences between voluntourism in Central and South America. Students will have the opportunity to discuss the negative as well as positive impact this form of tourism has brought.
    •  Theory of Resistance (ANTH 190)
    This course will address the ongoing patterns of disenfranchisement of communities that are met with a common response in a multitude of forms: resistance. We will dissect examples of resistance through an anthropological and socioeconomic lens, examining specific communities within the United States and their experiences. This course seeks to analyze the relationship between power and resistance. More specifically, this course will primarily examine instances of individual, community-based conflict, reflect more universal and policy-based issues that are then met with resistance and liberation, particularly the agrarian wage strikes in central California, the bus boycotts in Alabama, class-uprisings throughout a multitude of states, opposition to gentrification in Los Angeles, music-based activism through jazz and hip-hop across the nation, and emotional forms of resistance, each as a form of resistance within United States history.
    •  Aquaponics: Future of Sustainability (NASC 198)
    At the end of the term, students will be able to recognize the different aspects in an aquaponic system: planning and important measurements, biological cultures and their role in system maintenance, chemical cycles, and the interactions between fish and plants. They will be able to successfully set up, maintain, and expand their system into their own living space. Students will be able to recognize and troubleshoot issues involving pest control, water parameter imbalance, fish and plant disease diagnosis, and emergency precaution. The student will also gain knowledge on the impact of aquaponics on a specific problem in society that they are interested in.
      eSports: A Rising Industry (MCS 198)
    This course is specifically designed to people who have little to no knowledge about electronic sports, or eSports, which at its core, is competitive video gaming. Unlike traditional sports, eSports is not as recognized by the western population (North America and Europe) as much as the rest of the world. There are multiple reasons for this, including eSports gamers not generally being labeled as athletes, the rich culture behind traditional sports in the west, and so much more. That said, the or eSports industry has seen exponential growth as a soon-to-be billion-dollar industry and is increasingly catching the eye of mainstream media. Soon enough, we will be seeing eSports increasingly in our daily lives. Students will learn about the diverse components of eSports, how the industry functions, and how the media and culture of eSports influence mainstream audiences worldwide.
    •  Queering Sustainability (GSST 190)
    Have you ever sat through a lecture in which your professor lectures about countless social injustices throughout the world and offers you no solutions? Have you ever left your class feeling useless & burdened with the knowledge of social injustice with no way of solving it? I've been there too, that's why I've created this class to explore *possible* solutions that could relieve environmental oppression. Through queering environmental justice, we will explore the misinformation spread about climate change. We will also explore how intersections of climate change and race, gender (including trans, genderqueer, and nonbinary folx), sexuality, disability, and class affect climate justice.
    •  Reciting the Quran (AHS 190) 
    The Quran is a 114-chapter scripture that is recited and studied by more than 2 billion people across the globe. Muslims believe that the Quran are the words of Allah, God, and they use this scripture as a guide in their everyday lives. Because the Quran is in Arabic, the students in this course will be introduced to Quranic Arabic. Moreover, in order to completely read/understand the Quran, one must first learn the art of Tajweed. Tajweed refers to the science and melody of Quran recitation. In this course, students will be exposed to the theory behind proper Quranic recitation, an art that has been lost in modern standard Arabic and is seldom taught any more. Then, they will move onto applying that science to their own pronunciations/recitations. Along with this, students will encounter various types of recitation used around the world and learn the methodology for preserving the Quran. Lastly, students will be able to illustrate a piece of Arabic calligraphy, a significant part of Islamic history.
    •    Understanding Graphic Novels and Comic Books (ENGL 198)
    Comic books have been described as a form of embarrassing pulp fiction, but in fact it is a complex and dynamic form of literature. As comic books have become more popular, the way they are viewed has changed and are now being recognized as literature. This R'Course will explore and analyze comic books and graphic novels to create a greater understanding and appreciation for comic books. Using coverage of their history, their communication techniques, and looking into their meanings and effects, we will be diving into topics on race, culture, and society. With these main topics we will learn the relationship between comics and culture, much like how literature engages with culture. We will be analyzing comic books from Marvel and DC, and the graphic novel, American Born Chinese, to understand their engagement with race and culture. We will also be viewing scenes from different films based on comic books to show how these major pillars: race, culture and society have been (re) adapted into film versions. Overall we will be analyzing and understanding the intricacies of the world of comic books.

  • Fall 2019

    •    Drag Culture: The Performance Movement of the LGBT (DNCE 190)
    Have you wanted to learn more about drag but felt your knowledge was limited to RuPaul’s Drag Race? Through this survey course, we will go through many different aspects that make the art of drag unique. With a strong emphasis on history, we will discuss the impact Transgender and People of Color have on modern drag. After an insight on learning our references, we will create a concept drag persona with classes on cosmetics, performance, fashion and song selections.  Through this course, we will learn pop culture, history and practical tips to use in the world of queer arts.
    •    Structural Barriers and Determinants of Healthcare in the Inland Empire (EDUC 198)
    In collaboration with UCR’s School of Medicine and San Bernardino Free Clinic, we are proud to present our Fall 2019 R’Course! In this course, we dive into the current healthcare system and analyze the ever-growing structural barriers marginalized communities face when seeking healthcare in the Inland Empire. This course will aim to create a dialog that explores the ways people of color, undocumented, LGBTQ+, and homeless people are limited in access to healthcare. Students will have the opportunity to converse with guest speakers, such as medical students, physicians, and other healthcare professionals and learn of direct ways that they can become more involved in improving access to health!
    •  Voluntourism in Latin America (GSST 190)
    Tourism and volunteering have been combined to form the term Voluntourism. This type of tourism which allows travelers to visit underprivileged areas for short periods of time to volunteer and help the less fortunate has been on the rise. This course aims to understand the history and rise of this new booming form of tourism. In addition, this course will look deeper into various aspects of voluntourism, such as the types of programs, target demographics, and the differences between voluntourism in Central and South America. Students will have the opportunity to discuss the negative as well as positive impact this form of tourism has brought.
    •  Theory of Resistance (ANTH 190)
    This course will address the ongoing patterns of disenfranchisement of communities that are met with a common response in a multitude of forms: resistance. We will dissect examples of resistance through an anthropological and socioeconomic lens, examining specific communities within the United States and their experiences. This course seeks to analyze the relationship between power and resistance. More specifically, this course will primarily examine instances of individual, community-based conflict, reflect more universal and policy-based issues that are then met with resistance and liberation, particularly the agrarian wage strikes in central California, the bus boycotts in Alabama, class-uprisings throughout a multitude of states, opposition to gentrification in Los Angeles, music-based activism through jazz and hip-hop across the nation, and emotional forms of resistance, each as a form of resistance within United States history.
    •  Aquaponics: Future of Sustainability (NASC 198)
    At the end of the term, students will be able to recognize the different aspects in an aquaponic system: planning and important measurements, biological cultures and their role in system maintenance, chemical cycles, and the interactions between fish and plants. They will be able to successfully set up, maintain, and expand their system into their own living space. Students will be able to recognize and troubleshoot issues involving pest control, water parameter imbalance, fish and plant disease diagnosis, and emergency precaution. The student will also gain knowledge on the impact of aquaponics on a specific problem in society that they are interested in.
      eSports: A Rising Industry (MCS 198)
    This course is specifically designed to people who have little to no knowledge about electronic sports, or eSports, which at its core, is competitive video gaming. Unlike traditional sports, eSports is not as recognized by the western population (North America and Europe) as much as the rest of the world. There are multiple reasons for this, including eSports gamers not generally being labeled as athletes, the rich culture behind traditional sports in the west, and so much more. That said, the or eSports industry has seen exponential growth as a soon-to-be billion-dollar industry and is increasingly catching the eye of mainstream media. Soon enough, we will be seeing eSports increasingly in our daily lives. Students will learn about the diverse components of eSports, how the industry functions, and how the media and culture of eSports influence mainstream audiences worldwide.
    •  Queering Sustainability (GSST 190)
    Have you ever sat through a lecture in which your professor lectures about countless social injustices throughout the world and offers you no solutions? Have you ever left your class feeling useless & burdened with the knowledge of social injustice with no way of solving it? I've been there too, that's why I've created this class to explore *possible* solutions that could relieve environmental oppression. Through queering environmental justice, we will explore the misinformation spread about climate change. We will also explore how intersections of climate change and race, gender (including trans, genderqueer, and nonbinary folx), sexuality, disability, and class affect climate justice.

  • Spring 2019

    •    Introduction to Birding (NASC 198)
    This course aims to introduce participants to birding/birdwatching. The class will primarily focus on the identification of birds and their natural history. Outdoor involvement is a large component of the course, as we will be learning the subset of birds found in Riverside and California throughout the year. Optional weekly birdwatching walks will be led by the course facilitator (binoculars provided). By the end of the course participants should be able to greater appreciate and identify local birds.
    •    Understanding Graphic Novels and Comic Books (ENGL 198)
    Comic books have been described as a form of embarrassing pulp fiction, but in fact it is a complex and dynamic form of literature. As comic books have become more popular, the way they are viewed has changed and are now being recognized as literature. This R'Course will explore and analyze comic books and graphic novels to create a greater understanding and appreciation for comic books. Using coverage of their history, their communication techniques, and looking into their meanings and effects, we will be diving into topics on race, culture, and society. With these main topics we will learn the relationship between comics and culture, much like how literature engages with culture. We will be analyzing comic books from Marvel and DC, and the graphic novel, American Born Chinese, to understand their engagement with race and culture. We will also be viewing scenes from different films based on comic books to show how these major pillars: race, culture and society have been (re) adapted into film versions. Overall we will be analyzing and understanding the intricacies of the world of comic books.
    •    The Grim Reader: Death in Young Adult Literature (ENGL 198)
    An examination of portrayals of death and the afterlife in young adult literature as well as a discussion about the impact that these portrayals can have on young readers. After laying a foundation through an analysis of death in children fairytales, we will discuss death as a transformational force, examples of the afterlife, and portrayals of the grim reaper in books such as Harry Potter, Twilight, Lord of the Flies and The Lovely Bones. At the start of the course we will discuss the prevalence of death in children’s stories as well as way in which books about death are used as therapeutic aides for children and middle grade age students. We will then move into young adult literature and will discuss the ways in which death is portrayed as a force that transforms those who die. We will then discuss the soul and its connection to the physical body and the depictions of the afterlife. Lastly we will examine depictions of the grim reaper as well as the role that the character fulfills. Students will explore their own connection to the topic through a weekly journal assignment and secondary readings. To finish out the quarter, students will create a creative project to present to the class in which they will find a personal connection with the works and topics we have discussed in class.
    •    Science Behind Skin Care (NASC 198)
    This course will evaluate the effects of cosmetics on the epidermis. Using basic chemistry and scholarly research, “The Science Behind Skin Care” aims to educate students on different skin care products, their ingredients, and the effects they have on the skin. This course will cater to different skin types to address the difference of needs, individual to each person’s epidermis. Within this course, students will also be taught to examine different brands in order to see past the marketing. Essentially, this course aims to teach students to use science and data to become healthy, and more education consumers.
    •    The Art of Problem Solving: From Basics to Putnam (NASC 198)
    This class covers the basics of problem solving which will progressively get more advanced toward the end of the course. As the students begin to develop their skills and the techniques the subject material and the problem sets will become harder, approaching the level needed to start practice for the famed Putnam Exam. This course will consist of lectures, student and instructor presentations, and sample math competitions. the problem sets will be devised of old competition problems or problems to help students develop their skills. Problem solving techniques will be the focus of the course but will be taught through many different mathematical topics. Topics may be chosen from by not limited to Logic, Game Theory, Number Theory, Methods of Proof, Calculus and Analysis, Algebra Linear Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry, combinatorics and Probability. The material will be approachable to both beginners and more advanced students. Open to all students, not just mathematics majors. No pre-requirements, however, it is recommended to know most high school level math and introductory calculus.
    •    Urban Gardening (MCS 198)
    The Urban Garden Seminar is a student-led seminar that will give students a deeper understanding of our food system using an interdisciplinary, participatory and experiential framework. These sessions will focus on analyzing the influences, powers, and implications of our environment using both theory and practice. Together we will explore new ideas and methods that promote healthier inter-generational community engagement while discussing a topic that touches us all through a feminist lens. Class activities will include guest speakers/facilitators, dialogue, fieldwork, and service learning at the university and the local community.
    •    A Pokemon World: Exploring World Mythologies through Pokemon (LING 198)
    This course will focus on learning about the different mythologies that are used inside of Pokémon in order to create the concept of certain Pokémon including the look, attribute and even linguistic components that went into the name. The course will shift between looking at mythologies from Japan and Greece traveling to the current use of Hawaiian mythology. This course will also explore how Pokémon shapes their own mythology and creation story inside the show and games as well.
    •    Structural Barriers and Determinants of Health in the Inland Empire (EDUC 198)
    In collaboration with UCR’s School of Medicine and San Bernardino Free Clinic, we are proud to present our Fall 2019 R’Course! In this course we dive into the current healthcare system and analyze the ever growing structural barriers marginalized communities face when seeking healthcare in the Inland Empire. This course will aim to create a dialog that explores the ways people of color, undocumented, LGBTQ+, and homeless people are limited in access to healthcare. Students will have the opportunity to converse with guest speakers, such as medical students, physicians, and other healthcare professionals and learn of direct ways that they can become more involved in improving access to health!

  • Winter 2019

    •    Introduction to Birding (BIOL 190)
    This course aims to introduce participants to birding/birdwatching. The class will primarily focus on the identification of birds and their natural history. Outdoor involvement is a large component of the course, as we will be learning the subset of birds found in Riverside and California throughout the year. Optional weekly birdwatching walks will be led by the course facilitator (binoculars provided). By the end of the course participants should be able to greater appreciate and identify local birds.

    •    Know Hope for the Future: The Spirit of Logic (PHIL 198)
    This course explores the fundamentals of the Theory of Logic to establish a basis of mathematical reasoning in discovering Logical truth, as defined by logical theory Mathematically to sustain identity. By utilizing the tools learned, students will assess and apply this knowledge to determine their own identities and core beliefs. Exploring the topic of Hope, we will determine the faith one has in adhering to these beliefs and use the tools learned accompanied by hope to refine our motivation behind self-conception and discover the truth of our identity as it reflects the lives we lead.

    •    Understanding Graphic Novels and Comic Books (ENGL 198)
    Comic books have been described as a form of embarrassing pulp fiction, but in fact it is a complex and dynamic form of literature. As comic books have become more popular, the way they are viewed has changed and are now being recognized as literature. This R'Course will explore and analyze comic books and graphic novels to create a greater understanding and appreciation for comic books. Using coverage of their history, their communication techniques, and looking into their meanings and effects, we will be diving into topics on race, culture, and society. With these main topics we will learn the relationship between comics and culture, much like how literature engages with culture. We will be analyzing comic books from Marvel and DC, and the graphic novel, American Born Chinese, to understand their engagement with race and culture. We will also be viewing scenes from different films based on comic books to show how these major pillars: race, culture and society have been (re) adapted into film versions. Overall we will be analyzing and understanding the intricacies of the world of comic books.

    •    The Grim Reader: Death in Young Adult Literature (ENGL 198)
    An examination of portrayals of death and the afterlife in young adult literature as well as a discussion about the impact that these portrayals can have on young readers. After laying a foundation through an analysis of death in children fairytales, we will discuss death as a transformational force, examples of the afterlife, and portrayals of the grim reaper in books such as Harry Potter, Twilight, Lord of the Flies and The Lovely Bones. At the start of the course we will discuss the prevalence of death in children’s stories as well as way in which books about death are used as therapeutic aides for children and middle grade age students. We will then move into young adult literature and will discuss the ways in which death is portrayed as a force that transforms those who die. We will then discuss the soul and its connection to the physical body and the depictions of the afterlife. Lastly we will examine depictions of the grim reaper as well as the role that the character fulfills. Students will explore their own connection to the topic through a weekly journal assignment and secondary readings. To finish out the quarter, students will create a creative project to present to the class in which they will find a personal connection with the works and topics we have discussed in class.

    •    Science Behind Skin Care (CHEM 198)
    This course will evaluate the effects of cosmetics on the epidermis. Using basic chemistry and scholarly research, “The Science Behind Skin Care” aims to educate students on different skin care products, their ingredients, and the effects they have on the skin. This course will cater to different skin types to address the difference of needs, individual to each person’s epidermis. Within this course, students will also be taught to examine different brands in order to see past the marketing. Essentially, this course aims to teach students to use science and data to become healthy, and more education consumers.

  • Fall 2018
    • Hunger Games: Blood and Fire (ENGL 198)
      Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games are an international phenomenon. The Girl On Fire, along with The Bakers Boy have encouraged many reluctant readers to immerse themselves in the world of Panem through Collins’ trilogy. In this class we will read Hunger Games, Mocking Jay and Catching Fire along with secondary articles. Students will then discuss the novels and the moral and emotional questions that accompany them. By examining these novels, we will be able to examine the cultural and literary significance of the series along with discussing why the novels are worthy of discussion in an upper division academic setting.
    • Gender and Marvel Heroes (ENGL 198)
      The Marvel Cinematic Universes is a significant part of mainstream media culture today, as these films are well liked and widely viewed by many. In their portrayals of heroes and villains they use symbolism to communicate much of what our current society considers to be "good" and "bad". The gender, sexuality, and gendered traits of these characters contribute to these portrayals of good and evil, ideal and wrong, power and weakness. This course aims analyze the ways in which the films portrayed and defined in gender and gendered traits and to consider what this may show us about our culture. We will look at the broad themes, but will spend more time on closely analyzing details and characterizing. The goal of this course is to provide an open environment in which students can express varying and contradicting opinions and perspectives on these films. (Note: We will only be discussing the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not the Marvel Comics.)
    • The Science Behind Skin Care (CHEM 190)
      This course will evaluate the effects of cosmetics on the epidermis. Using basic chemistry and scholarly research, “The Science Behind Skin Care” aims to educate students on different skin care products, their ingredients, and the effects they have on the skin. This course will cater to different skin types to address the difference of needs, individual to each person’s epidermis. Within this course, students will also be taught to examine different brands in order to see past the marketing. Essentially, this course aims to teach students to use science and data to become healthy, and more education consumers.
    • Urban Gardening (MCS 198)
      The Urban Garden Seminar is a student-led seminar that will give students a deeper understanding of our food system using an interdisciplinary, participatory and experiential framework. These sessions will focus on analyzing the influences, powers, and implications of our environment using both theory and practice. Together we will explore new ideas and methods that promote healthier inter-generational community engagement while discussing a topic that touches us all through a feminist lens. Class activities will include guest speakers/facilitators, dialogue, fieldwork, and service learning at the university and the local community.
  • Spring 2018
    • Animal Ethics (PHIL 198)
      Is it justifiable to kill or cause animals pain if the end result is human happiness? Are humans the only beings who can be morally wronged? This course will examine different views in the animal ethics literature. Students will be introduced to contemporary philosophical readings and discuss topics such as animal consumption, animal testing, and euthanasia. Videos will be used as a tool for further understanding of the content. Prior philosophical experience is not required.
    • Basics of Improv (TFDP 190)
      This course will teach students the basics of improv theater. In this course students will learn the components of strong improvised characters and strong improvised scenes. They will also learn and participate in acting exercises which focus on different core component of improv every week. Improv theater is a fun and impressive form of theater and this course will give students a well-rounded first look at this medium. More than that though, the skills the students learn in this course will be widely applicable to all types of public speaking and many other everyday life situations.
    • Analysis of The Black Panther: (Re)Imagining Black Identities and Futures (CRWT 190)
      This course will dive deep into the world of Wakanda and The Black Panther in order to examine the dynamic uses of storytelling and the black identity. Although we will be primarily reading the graphic novel medium, we will also explore animation and film in order to fully examine the immersive themes, symbolism, and social discourse within the Black Panther landscape. Discussions and readings will be focused, examining the historical, theoretical, and critical arguments that the Black Panther can express and provide deep insight into the human experience. However, conversations and discussion in class will not be one-dimensional or one-directional. As a class, we will discover and use both interpretive and contextual approaches. With multiple methods of examining the material, the goal is to equip each student with the tools to distinguish Black Panther's role regarding the cultural politics of identity and black identity in American society.
    • Micro-expressions; Glimpses of the Truth or Not? (PSYC 198)
      There can be discrepancy between individuals on how they express emotion. Some individuals are very open about how they are feeling whereas others are very reserved. These differences on how to express ourselves can originate from cultural, socioeconomic status, or personality differences. However, we can never completely hide how we are feeling. To the careful observer, our emotions are constantly being displayed on our face no matter how hard we try to disguise them. These subtle flashes of truth do not differ from one individual to another based upon our background. These micro expressions are universal and can be found on anyone.
    • The Art of Problem Solving: From Basics to Putnam (MATH 190)
      This class covers the basics of problem solving which will progressively get more advanced toward the end of the course. As the students begin to develop their skills and the techniques the subject material and the problem sets will become harder, approaching the level needed to start practice for the famed Putnam Exam. This course will consist of lectures, student and instructor presentations, and sample math competitions. the problem sets will be devised of old competition problems or problems to help students develop their skills. Problem solving techniques will be the focus of the course but will be taught through many different mathematical topics. Topics may be chosen from by not limited to Logic, Game Theory, Number Theory, Methods of Proof, Calculus and Analysis, Algebra Linear Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry, combinatorics and Probability. The material will be approachable to both beginners and more advanced students. Open to all students, not just mathematics majors. No pre-requirements, however, it is recommended to know most high school level math and introductory calculus.
    • Biting into the Twilight Saga (ENGL 198)
      This discussion-based course will debate, contemplate, and examine the effect The Twilight Saga has had on the young adult genre and popular culture. Some of the topics we will discuss in the relation to the saga are: feminism, role of model qualities, religion, racial prejudices, the multidimensional aspects of love, and family relationship and structure. We will select chapters from all four novels, as well as online articles to analyze character development in the relation to the above issues.
      As we will be highlighting the critical chapters as we go, you do not need to have read the whole saga. A good knowledge of the saga is recommended but not required. If you have not read the books or seen the movies, please use Spark Notes to briefly familiarize yourself with the plot lines before the first day of instruction.
    • Under the Electric Sky (MCS 198)
      This course will dissect the culture and the production of electronic music genres. The class will focus on the distant music genres and how it all formulates with rave culture and business with Insomniac. The class will focus on active participation when discussing music and culture.
    • Critical Refugee Studies (GBST 190)
      This course focuses on understanding the history of the refugee movement and learning about the different causes of forced migration. The course focuses on the studies of refugee from a historical and political points of view. We will examine several different examples of forced migration throughout time. The course will later bring students back to Riverside, where they will learn about the refugees' challenges of assimilating in the U.S. and how local initiatives plan to address these concerns.
    • Indian Classical Music and Mental Health (PSYC 198)
      Indian classical music is known to have a big emphasis on affecting the emotional perception of music. A major concept in this style of music is the concept of Ragas, set of musical notes, and Rasa the emotion that provokes with the usage of certain notes. This course will illustrate to students how previous research has led to findings that support the idea that music can impact the mind and perception. Some topics covered would consist of Raga therapy, effect of music on anxiety, etc.
    • The Philosophy of Liberty (POSC 190)
      This course introduces students to classical liberalism, a highly influential political philosophy in the West during the 18th and 19th centuries. We will read the works of philosophers who contributed to classical liberal thought, including John Locke, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and Friedrich Hayek. Students will become familiar with key concepts of the philosophy, such as liberty, individualism, common law, and spontaneous order. This course is for anyone interested in history, philosophy, and politics. It will also touch upon economics and psychology.
    • Food Security (HIST 198)
      This course is a student led collaborative space aimed to teach and encourage restorative politics while in the University atmosphere, specifically that of UCR, where a high % of undergraduate students are food/housing insecure. The focus of this course will be to engage with greater campus community and supply resources for students to initiate their own community project. At the end of the course, students should be knowledgeable about current studies on food insecurity and know how to apply this knowledge to creating programs that assist in reducing food insecurity, as well as the inherent negative stigma associated with it.
    • Art and Poetry (CRWT 190)
      This course will explore the relationship between the written word and visual mediums of art. Throughout the course, students will interact with pieces of visual art and respond to them with their own original work, which will be shared and workshopped to the class for critique. The goal of the workshop is to foster a critical and intimate relationship between the author, their work, and other forms of art, and ultimately to produce content that has been edited by peers to allow for better confidence when revising and submitting for publication. We will also examine possible publishing avenues, namely literary magazines that cater to ekphrastic forms of poetry. Participants will be reading their work aloud or critiquing others every class meeting. Participants will also be required to bring a printed copy of their poem on workshop days for each student to critique.
    • Constructed Languages (LING 198)
      Constructed Languages have become a big part of science Fiction culture and those who partake in it. Many of those languages have more meaning than to be an alien form of communication. Writers and creators of these languages often subscribe to Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, that states an individual’s thoughts are determined by the language or the languages that individuals speak, in order to create depth and complex story. The purpose of this is to introduce the Sapir- Whorf Hypothesis) Linguistic Determinism and relativity), its impact in the field of linguistics and much more in depth, its role in constructed languages (ConLangs) and their respective universes. Students will learn to apply differentiating views of linguistics determinism and relativity (LDR) to multiple ConLangs throughout fictional media. Also in this course, students will develop their own ConLangs (Phonetically, Morphologically, Syntactically, etc.) in hopes that students will gain a stronger understanding of cultural relativity in the real world.
    • American Sign Language and Psycholinguistics (PSYC 198)
      This course will explore the fundamentals of American Sign Language. This will include counting, signing the alphabet, one's own name, colors, and other elements of the language. Additionally, students will develop basic communication skills, such as introducing oneself, asking questions with the 5 W's, talking about family, and telling about activities and interests. Additionally, this course will be exploring important and influential figures in Deaf history and Deaf culture. Lastly, this course will be covering the topic of psycholinguistics and how American Sign Language is researched in a developmental context.
    • Africana Philosophy (ETST 198)
      This course introduces students to critical aspects of Africana philosophy. Ancient Greeks and Romans and other European philosophers are typically represented in mainstream philosophy that is taught at the undergraduate level. In this course students will be exposed to classic works in the field of Africana Philosophy and they will explore the minds of the fields most prominent thinkers. Topics will include black political philosophy, black existentialism, black feminist thought and special focus will be brought to anti-black racism vs white supremacy, the logic of racism and racist logic and the concept of god in an anti-black world.
  • Winter 2018

    •    Harry Potter: The Literary Phenomenon of the 21st Century (ENGL 198)
    This discussion-based course will spend the quarter looking at the cultural phenomenon of the Harry Potter series. The class will examine the significance of J.K. Rowling’s work and learn to accurately identify why it is worthy of study as a college course. We will predominately focus on reading the 7th and final book of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and learn to question the novel’s major themes, characters, and plot points. We will also be talking about current events and how they relate to the novel.

    •    Ekphrasis: A Workshop (CRWT 190)
    This course will explore the relationship between the written word and visual mediums of art. Throughout the course, students will interact with pieces of visual art and respond to them with their own original work, which will be shared and workshopped to the class for critique. The goal of the workshop is to foster a critical and intimate relationship between the author, their work, and other forms of art, and ultimately to produce content that has been edited by peers to allow for better confidence when revising and submitting for publication. We will also examine possible publishing avenues, namely literary magazines that cater to ekphrastic forms of poetry. Participants will be reading their work aloud or critiquing others every class meeting. Participants will also be required to bring a printed copy of their poem on workshop days for each student to critique.

    •    Alan Moore’s Watchman: A Disturbed Text (ENGL 198)
    The graphic narrative genre has been known as a “lowbrow” entertainment with massive appeal, reflecting a supposed “form perfectly suited to our dumbed-down culture and collective attention deficit.” Despite this negative paradigm, the graphic narrative genre seems to be the up and coming literary form that has been receiving attention and respect with the genre winning literary awards usually given to written literary works, such as “Jimmy Corrigan” winning the 2001 Guardian Prize, Saga, Volume One winning the 2013 Hugo Award, and Maus: A Survivor's Tale winning the 1992 Pulitzer Prize. With graphic narratives receiving critical appeal in recent years, it should also be considered worthy of critical analysis in a collegiate setting. With that said, this course sets out to show the depth and scope of graphic narratives.
    •    Food Security (GSST 190)
    This course is a student lead collaborative space aimed to teach and encourage restorative politics while in the University atmosphere, specifically that of UCR where a high % of undergraduate students are food/housing insecure. The focus of this course will be to engage with greater campus community and supply resources for students to initiate their own community project. At the end of the course, students should be knowledgeable about current studies on food insecurity and know how to apply this knowledge to creating programs that assist in reducing food insecurity, as well as the inherent negative stigma associated with it.  

    •    Constructed Languages (LING 198)
    Constructed Languages have become a big part of science Fiction culture and those who partake in it. Many of those languages have more meaning than to be an alien form of communication. Writers and creators of these languages often subscribe to Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, that states an individual’s thoughts are determined by the language or the languages that individuals speak, in order to create depth and complex story. The purpose of this is to introduce the Sapir- Whorf Hypothesis) Linguistic Determinism and relativity), its impact in the field of linguistics and much more in depth, its role in constructed languages (ConLangs) and their respective universes. Students will learn to apply differentiating views of linguistics determinism and relativity (LDR) to multiple ConLangs throughout fictional media. Also in this course, students will develop their own ConLangs (Phonetically, Morphologically, Syntactically, etc.) in hopes that students will gain a stronger understanding of cultural relativity in the real world.

    •    Python Programming Language (CS190)
    Python is a programming language that is applicable to anyone independent of their field of study. It is intended for those interested in learning how to program, looking for a way to improve their workflow, and as a breadth for CSE majors. The first 2 weeks will go over use cases and basics of Python. The remaining 8 weeks will be broken up into 4 2 week mini projects covering: visualizations (matplotlib, plotly), websites/web apps (Flask), embedded systems (Raspberry Pi with LEDs and motors), and machine learning (Tensorflow/Keras).

  • Fall 2017

    •    Sustainable Development (GBST 190)
    This course helps participants to explore and become pioneering leaders in sustainable development. Participants will learn how to define "sustainable business development," how to frame corporate social responsibility, what policies and agendas currently influence sustainability worldwide, how they can engage locally and globally in aiding in the sustainable development movement, in what ways communities/organizations/individuals achieve sustainability, and with which methods and systems one might implement change. Through emphasizing the role of the private sector in solving global challenges, this course aims to help participants to not only realize their potential as a catalyst for change, but also thrive in the complexities of today's world.

    •    Gender and Soviet Culture (ANTH 190)
    This course is designed for the examination of masculine and feminine identities in the early Soviet Union and post-Soviet Union eras (i.e. Russia, Ukraine, Crimea, Belarus, and other former Soviet Socialist Republics). The course will use anthropological and historical analytical tools to explain Soviet culture and society, and apply those tools into the examinations of Soviet art and media.

    •    Africana Philosophy (ETST 198)
    This course introduces students to critical aspects of Africana philosophy. Ancient Greeks and Romans and other European philosophers are typically represented in mainstream philosophy that is taught at the undergraduate level. In this course students will be exposed to classic works in the field of Africana Philosophy and they will explore the minds of the fields most prominent thinkers. Topics will include black political philosophy, black existentialism, black feminist thought and special focus will be brought to anti-black racism vs white supremacy, the logic of racism and racist logic and the concept of god in an anti-black world.

    •    Harry Potter: The Literary Phenomenon of the 21st Century (ENGL 198)
    This discussion-based course will spend the quarter looking at the cultural phenomenon of the Harry Potter series. The class will examine the significance of J.K. Rowling’s work and learn to accurately identify why it is worthy of study as a college course. We will predominately focus on reading the 7th and final book of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and learn to question the novel’s major themes, characters, and plot points. We will also be talking about current events and how they relate to the novel.

    •    Urban Gardening (NASC 198)
    The Urban Garden Seminar is a student-led seminar that will give students a deeper understanding of our food system using an interdisciplinary, participatory and experiential framework. These sessions will focus on analyzing the influences, powers, and implications of our environment using both theory and practice. Together we will explore new ideas and methods that promote healthier inter-generational community engagement while discussing a topic that touches us all through a feminist lens. Class activities will include guest speakers/facilitators, dialogue, fieldwork, and service learning at the university and the local community.

    •    Stem Cells (NASC 198)
    Advances in stem cell research have been changing the fields of biology, medicine, and ethics. Stem cells have made their way into the media, onto our ballots, and throughout labs around the world. As a result, many misconceptions have arisen in both biological and ethical perspectives. This one-unit R'Course aims to address some common misconceptions about stem cells, without going in depth on cellular and molecular aspects. It will cover topics such as ethical issues, government regulations, media portrayal, restrictions, and limitations surrounding stem cells. We will focus on a variety of different problems that come up as they make their way from labs, to clinics, to us.
     

  • Spring 2017

    •    Queer Metamorphoses: Anthropomorphic Literature and Feminist Formations 
    From Narnia to Harry Potter, and Zootopia to Animal Farm, animals have long been a way to view marginal positions within or outside of one’s own society. Join us as we visit and discuss literature from children's fables to young-adult texts, to try and understand how animals illuminate intersectionality and themes of queer literature. For better analysis, we will also be analyzing and reviewing a small selection of academic articles to gain a better understanding of our primary materials.

    •    Analysis of Folktales, Fables and Fairytales
    We are going to explore various ancient stories from around the world. Our readings will include selections from Aesop's Fables, Grimm's Fairy Tales, The Arabian Nights, and various East Asian folklore. Complemented by background information of its creation, we will learn the elements that make these stories literary and how they inspire modern adaptions.

    •    From Neural Networks to Deep Learning
    Neural networks and their derivatives in deep learning find applications in all fields ranging from data science to bioinformatics. Uses of this technology included self-driving cars and the latest in internet security technology. This class presents a hands on dive in to the world of neural networks and deep learning. This class is targeted towards the general population; the goal is to provide a small taste of neural networks and how they operate. In this class we will start with the history of neural network. Then we will create our own sigmoidal neural network capable of classifying the MNIST numbers database. Lastly we will dive in to convolution neural networks, which are the foundations of deep learning. The majority of the programming in this course will be accomplished with Python and Numpy, which reduces the barrier of entry to this field.

    •    Designing the Ideal Community: Urbanisms and Gentrification
    We will begin the course by discussing what makes up an ideal community. These concepts will be discussed freely throughout the quarter with a foundation provided by different readings and key concepts. The class will take a national and local look at cases of large scale development with an emphasis on Latin America and Los Angles. We will discuss how concepts of the ideal community have facilitated development in these cities and how the large scale projects of city development have affected residents of the local communities. We will begin our discussion on development and modernization by studying colonial displacement in the Americas and how through material (i.e. the grid) and ideological (i.e. religious) imposition of values, and imposed rule. Continuing with the history of development in Latin America, we will look at mid- century modern developmental projects, focusing on the ideology that they portrayed and how effective it was carried out.

    •    Psychology of Studying
    We're often given advice and tips to improve our studying. However, we may ask "how well do this work?" or "why does this work?" This class will look at a few of the neurological and cognitive mechanisms involved in studying, and how do certain study habits and skills use those mechanisms.

    •    Africana Philosophy 
    This course introduces students to critical aspects of Africana philosophy. Ancient Greeks and Romans and other European philosophers are typically represented in mainstream philosophy that is taught at the undergraduate level. In this course students will be exposed to classic works in the field of Africana Philosophy and they will explore the minds of the fields most prominent thinkers. Topics will include black political philosophy, black existentialism, black feminist thought and special focus will be brought to anti-black racism vs white supremacy, the logic of racism and racist logic and the concept of god in an anti-black world.

    •    Female Comedic Icons: On and Off the Screen
    Drawing on feminist film and performance theory, students will compare female comedic screen stars of the past to the female comedic screen stars of the present to analyze the ways in which these comedians have reshaped ideas about femininity in their roles. The class will look at how these females have handled controversy, body shaming and other female stigmas in their roles and in the press.

    •    Zootopia: Understanding Gender Roles in Society and Media
    Zootopia depicts a society in which women are able to break social norms and branch out to be very powerful, despite gender roles that were originally forced upon them. This R’Course will explore some of society’s stereotypes about gender roles, and together we will learn to interpret animated films in relation to gender roles. We will watch clips from Zootopia and other films to analyze and compare them to real life.

    •    Down the Rabbit Hole: Understanding Gender and Surrealism
    “I don’t do drugs. I am drugs”. Salvador Dali’s famous words echo throughout history and continue to encapsulate the body of subconscious catastrophe known as Surrealism. Down the Rabbit Hole: Understanding Gender and Surrealism explores the minds of Surrealist artists, and how a group of artistic friends metamorphosed into the enigmatic figures we know as Salvador Dali, Andre Breton, Max Ernst, Kay Sage, Dorothea Tanning and others. It is through Surrealism we have a window into the landscape of post-World War I Western society and better understand the atmosphere our artists thrived in. Besides the madness that is art we know this: there are no rules to Surrealism except to start at the impossible, and go from there.

    •    GMOs: Discerning Fact from Fiction
    As the world’s population rises and the climate changes, demand for more sustainable food sources are increasing. Consequently, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are being developed to make agricultural production more efficient. Even though some GMOs have been commercially available for more than a decade, the production and consumption of GMOs is still controversial. In this course students will learn the mechanisms of genetic engineering and understand how GMOs can benefit agricultural production. Additionally, students will explore the regulatory processes, ethical considerations, and current use of GMOs.

    •    Ukraine Conflict
    This Course is about the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. We will begin by examining the historical relationship between the two countries from the Kievan Rus’ period, to Imperial Russia, the Soviet Union, and modern day. We will also discuss different ethnic groups in Ukraine, as well as political groups, from pro- European Ukrainians, pro-Russians, and Ukrainian Nationalists. The new alt-right in the U.S will also be discussed because of their favorable view of Vladimir Putin and comparisons to Donald Trump.

    •    Refugee Studies
    The introductory course focuses on the studies of refugee from historical and political points of view. We will examine examples of forced migration affecting refugees of color, LGBTQ refugees and differently abled refugees. The course will incorporate art, music and science as a way to connect students of all interdisciplinary backgrounds. Lastly, the social justice orientated course will bring students back to local Riverside, where they will learn about the refugees' challenges in adapting to their new home in the U.S. To address these challenges, students will have an opportunity to design a community project that will address the needs of our refugee community.

    •    Emoji Use and Interpretation
    This course explores virtual language and communication that use emoji via text message and social media. In particular, this course applies sociolinguistic theories to the use and interpretation of emoji by students in the UCR community. Students of this course will focus on the intersections of language, meaning, society and culture to investigate emoji use and interpretation based on race, gender, culture, bilingual status, and more.
    •    Sociological Topics in Music: Television, Musicians and Movies
    This course will present sociological topics that have to do with race, class, gender, education and sexuality and how music form television, movies, and musicians portray these topics. It will also present theories like social learning theory, dramaturgy, and conflict theory and show examples pf them in music.

    •    Harry Potter: The Literary Phenomenon of the 21st Century 
    This discussion-based course will spend the quarter looking at the cultural phenomenon of the Harry Potter series. The class will examine the significance of J.K. Rowling’s work and learn to accurately identify why it is worthy of study as a college course. We will predominately focus on reading the 7th and final book of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and learn to question the novel’s major themes, characters, and plot points. We will also be talking about current events and how they relate to the novel.

    •    Introduction to MATLAB and Programming Logic
    Welcome to the world of MATLAB! In this course, you will learn the basics of MATLAB, develop programming skills, and apply your knowledge to solving real life problems. Unlike traditional courses, the focus is on the program’s applications, from manipulation of large data sets to designing entire projects. The course will delve into case studies and explore the creative assimilation of engineering techniques to design programs that will be useful in research or industry. In other words, you will learn the basics of MATLAB, but we will also combine these techniques to develop image processing algorithms, 3-D plotting techniques, and simulations. At the end of this course, you will feel confident in applying the techniques learned to internships, research, or undergraduate classes. We have designed this class to be suited both for beginners with no programming experience and for those who wish to brush up or review their MATLAB skills.
     

  • Fall 2016

    •    History of Animal Farming in America: From the Industrial Revolution to Today
    This discussion-based community will examine the key factors contributing to the development of practices within the meat industry beginning with early American history and marking changes over time to today. The focus will be on selected excerpts of two main texts: The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, and Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, along with supplementary articles and videos.

    •    The Hunger Games: Media and Audiences
    The Hunger Games series depicts a dystopian society in which media has become a central feature of the citizens of Panem’s everyday lives. This R’course will explore media as it is depicted in The Hunger Games film franchise as well as The Hunger Games films as a work of media itself. Using Stuart Hall’s encoding and decoding theory as a starting point, we will interpret the film and its practices in relation to how it impacts audiences. To get a better understanding of the world of Panem, we will view clips from each movie to discuss certain examples and their relation to real world examples.  

    •    Blade Runner and Other Alternate Futures: The Science-Fiction of Philip K. Dick
    Are you intrigued by the alternate futures depicted in films like A Scanner Darkly, Blade Runner, or The Adjustment Bureau?  This discussion-based community will delve into the fiction of Philip K. Dick and select film adaptations of his work. Students will read works including The Man in the High Castle, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and A Scanner Darkly and examine their themes, influences, and roles in both science-fiction and American literature. The reading will be supplemented by viewing film adaptations of Dick's works. Philip K. Dick is an author with a vast and diverse catalogue of works that remains both a riveting and relevant read in today's world.

    •    Gender Roles in Disney
    This course is an introduction to gender and portrayals in mass media. Since Disney Princess movies hold such an important influence on young children, it is important to consider the influence of specific gender ideas on developing minds.
     

  • Spring 2016

    •    The Incarcerated Era: Exploring Mass Incarceration and the Prison-Industrial Complex
    The objective of this course will be to explain and demonstrate how systems such as the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) and the School to Prison Pipeline (SPP) can and do affect people of color, undocumented people, and people of lower economic standing. This is possible through legislation and institutions that effectively force aforementioned peoples from schools and/or work into incarceration. Our course will examine the history of policy, policing, and rehabilitation methods to analyze the role of prison in America.  

    •    Blade Runner and Other Alternate Futures: The Science-Fiction of Philip K. Dick
    Are you intrigued by the alternate futures depicted in films like A Scanner Darkly, Blade Runner, or The Adjustment Bureau?  This discussion-based community will delve into the fiction of Philip K. Dick and select film adaptations of his work. Students will read works including The Man in the High Castle, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and A Scanner Darkly and examine their themes, influences, and roles in both science-fiction and American literature. The reading will be supplemented by viewing film adaptations of Dick's works. Philip K. Dick is an author with a vast and diverse catalogue of works that remains both a riveting and relevant read in today's world.

    •    Environment in the Formation of Myth
    Before empiricism, early civilizations looked at natural phenomenon and the environment as a source of inspiration. Reassured that these were all divine manifestations, the people created mythology to organize their worlds. At some point, however, humanity seems to have stopped making myth. Is this a result of culture becoming autonomous, an emergence of rationalization and technology; or was something distinct in these ancient peoples irretrievably lost? We will explore ancient Greek mythology to understand how they formulated their world and then return to the present to verify if the flame is still lit in modern recapitulative fiction.
    •    Pathways to Longevity
    There are common misconceptions in the general population of what makes some people live longer than others. For example, some people believe that if you exercise daily, are happier, take the right pills, or have the right job, you will live longer. This class is about debunking the myths of longevity. This class will teach you about what scientific evidence tells us about how to live a longer, healthier, and more meaningful life. This class will also present you with the famous, decade spanning, award winning Longevity Project, where researchers studied participants from when they were children to when they died. The questions addressed through this research are about the commonalities among the participants that lived the longest, and the commonalities among the participants who had a relatively short life-span. Other components of the course include an introduction to other fields of psychology (e.g. personality psychology) and how they relate to living a healthier life holistically.

    •    An Exploration of Song Covers in the Modern World
    This course will define song covers explicitly and compare them to other similar phenomena. We will address how song covers differ from their original versions and why they can sometimes become more popular than the song on which they were based. Finally, students will experience and analyze song covers through writing and discussion in order to better understand why song covers are made how they are relevant politically and in daily life.

    •    Looking at our Future through 1984
    The objective of this course is to look at past literary works based around Dystopian novels and look at how events in the literature have happened or are currently coming into reality. The class will be focused on George Orwell’s 1984 and all other materials will be compared to the novel. Using their analysis of George Orwell’s 1984, students will discuss and evaluate the possibility that they live in a dystopian present.

    •    US Imperialism in the 20th Century

    •    Harry Potter: The Literary Phenomenon of the 21st Century 
    This discussion-based course will spend the quarter looking at the cultural phenomenon of the Harry Potter series. The class will examine the significance of J.K. Rowling’s work and learn to accurately identify why it is worthy of study as a college course. We will predominately focus on reading the 7th and final book of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and learn to question the novel’s major themes, characters, and plot points. We will also be talking about current events and how they relate to the novel.

    •    Introduction to ASL (American Sign Language)
    This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of American Sign Language. It covers the basics of ASL, including the alphabet, the numeric system, the color system, and other elements of the language such as history, social norms, and values, and how they play a critical role in understanding deaf culture.

    •    Social Analysis in ‘My Little Pony’
    Through viewings of select generation four My Little Pony episodes, My Little Pony comic books, and other related readings, students will look at the ways in which the writers and artists of the series implement real-world philosophical, historical, and socio-political elements, as a commentary on –and possible critique of- contemporary society. The course will also cover such topics as male representation, gender related stereotypes, and the show’s portrayal of people of color and American southerners. Prior knowledge of the show is not required.

    •    Introduction to Indian Classical Music
    This course will introduce students to the basics of Hindustani classical music through vocal instruction. No experience is necessary. Students will be exposed to the concepts of raaga (distinct melodies) and taala (rhythmic cycles). These basic building blocks will be learned through different forms of Hindustani music such as Dhrupad and Khayal. Students will also learn to improvise, a major portion of Indian music, in different raagas and styles. This course will focus on vocal performance with theory interwoven throughout the 10 weeks.

  • Winter 2016

    •    The Hunger Games: Media and Audiences
    The Hunger Games series depicts a dystopian society in which media has become a central feature of the citizens of Panem’s everyday lives. This R’course will explore media as it is depicted in The Hunger Games film franchise as well as The Hunger Games films as a work of media itself. Using Stuart Hall’s encoding and decoding theory as a starting point, we will interpret the film and its practices in relation to how it impacts audiences. To get a better understanding of the world of Panem, we will view clips from each movie to discuss certain examples and their relation to real world examples.  

    •    Aaron Sorkin and Civic Involvement
    This course will focus on the changing nature of civic involvement in US society. Every single citizen of this country has been entrusted with the well-being of the American democracy. How can citizens best ward off unnecessary argumentative conflict in order to involve themselves in healthy debate, questioning, and advocacy? Aaron Sorkin’s writing in The West Wing and The Newsroom wrestles with this question and allows us to do the same.

    •    The Existence and Nature of African Religion in Philosophy
    Our aim in this course is to philosophically examine the traditional beliefs held by the people of Africa, in an attempt to understand and appreciate what is distinctive about them. We must question our previous knowledge of what constitutes a religion.  To do so, we must consider the particular challenges involved. Not only is there a lack of information available concerning African religious practices, the information that is available is often presented by scholars with obvious biases that complicate our access to African beliefs. With this in mind, we must carefully investigate the resources and arguments that we have at our disposal in order to draw our own conclusions.  It’s worth noting that within the continent of Africa, there are over 100 million religions that have their own various sects, so it will be impossible to cover every aspect in the quarter. Our main goal here is to explore the existence and nature of God and/or other supreme deities, the place of human beings and their acts of worship in the cosmic order.

    •    Introduction to Indian Classical Music
    This course will introduce students to the basics of Hindustani classical music through vocal instruction. No experience is necessary. Students will be exposed to the concepts of raaga (distinct melodies) and taala (rhythmic cycles). These basic building blocks will be learned through different forms of Hindustani music such as Dhrupad and Khayal. Students will also learn to improvise, a major portion of Indian music, in different raagas and styles. This course will focus on vocal performance with theory interwoven throughout the 10 weeks.

    •    Social Analysis in ‘My Little Pony’
    Through viewings of select generation four My Little Pony episodes, My Little Pony comic books, and other related readings, students will look at the ways in which the writers and artists of the series implement real-world philosophical, historical, and socio-political elements, as a commentary on –and possible critique of- contemporary society. The course will also cover such topics as male representation, gender related stereotypes, and the show’s portrayal of people of color and American southerners. Prior knowledge of the show is not required.

    •    The Graphic Narrative and Minority Representation
    This course will focus on comics/graphic novels and how or whether these mediums can represent minority groups. Through a variety of comic/graphic novels (ranging from web comics to manga) and the analytical text, Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, students will discuss and understand how representation can occur via learning the analytical terms of the craft elements of comics/graphic novels, the stereotypes and history associated with certain minority groups, and the politics of representation.  Prior knowledge of comics/graphic novels listed in the syllabus is not required.

    •    PCB: Design and Manufacturing
    The Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Design and Manufacturing course introduces students to the Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software CadSoft EAGLE, and covers the development of schematics, board layout, bill of materials (BOM), and small batch manufacturing of PCBs.

    •    Dinosaurs: The Mesozoic Titans
    This course introduces students to the evolution, anatomy and physiology of dinosaurs with discussions on other animal groups in the Mesozoic Era using the fossil record. The other important groups of animals that will be discussed are mammals, marine reptiles and flying reptiles. An introduction into the rise and evolution of true birds will be discussed as well. The course will introduce Mesozoic extinction events including the famous K-T Mass Extinction. We will note differences between Hollywood dinosaurs and true dinosaurs by comparing “Jurassic World” to peer reviewed anatomical descriptions.

    •    Exploring the World of DC and Marvel Comics from the Golden Age to Now
    The objective of this course is to explore DC and Marvel comics in the 20th century American culture. This course is designed to introduce you to the history of both DC and Marvel comics, focusing on the genres, manifestations, and the multiple impacts the comics had on American culture. We will be analyzing and reviewing a selection of academic articles to gain a better perspective how comics have influenced us.

    •    Introduction to ASL (American Sign Language)
    This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of American Sign Language. It covers the basics of ASL, including the alphabet, the numeric system, the color system, and other elements of the language such as history, social norms, and values, and how they play a critical role in understanding deaf culture.

    •    Gender and Takarazuka Revue
    This course will be focusing on the Takarazuka Revue (宝塚歌劇団) and themes relating to gender.  The Takarazuka Revue is a Japanese theater company that features only women as their performers.  Not only will this course cover the fundamentals of the revue but it will also discuss topics such as masculinity, femininity, and gender performance.
     

  • Spring 2015

    •    Analysis of the World of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra
    •    Chicana/o Theater: El Teatro Campesino
    •    Harry Potter: The Literary Phenomenon of the 21st Century
    •    Introduction to Indian Classical Music
    •    Palestinian Voices
    •    Marketing the Entertainment Industry
    •    Introduction to Microfluidic Instrumentation
    •    PCB: Design and Manufacturing
    •    Risk and Resilience
    •    Exploring the World of DC and Marvel Comics from the Past to Now
    •    Causes of Recidivism and Trailer Park Boys

     

  • Spring 2014

    •    Urban Gardening
    •    Gender Transgression and the State
    •    Walking Dead & Our Underlying Culture
    •    Issues in Disney: Race, Gender, and Sexuality
    •    Psychology of 21st Century Revolution
    •    Business & Politics in US Education
    •    We are Powerful 101
    •    Indie Cinema and Aesthetic
    •    Logic and Creativity