Want a fun elective for Spring 2017? Check out these second-8-weeks classes!

These Spring 2017 COLL-X 101 Experimental Topics classes vary from 1 credit to 2 credits (that’s inside-the-College hours!).

COLL-X 101 Experimental Topics: Fake News and Misinformation

8W2, 4:00P-5:15P Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1.5 credits

The 2016 U.S. presidential election highlighted the problem of fake and misleading news sources, especially within the context of online social networks. While using misinformation strategically is not new to social and political discourse, the complexity of the Internet media environment has increased the difficulty of evaluating information quality. This course will examine the phenomenon of “fake news” from sociological and historical perspectives, and explore analytical strategies for evaluating and verifying media sources.


COLL-X 101 Experimental Topics: Trumpism, Populism, and Nationalism

8W2, 9:30A-11:00A Wednesday, 1 credit

Support for anti-system, populist candidates is on the rise. The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States may be part of a trend in the rise of populism and nationalism, which have fueled support for political outsiders around the world. As a consequence, political parties and institutions are under siege. Focusing on cases from the US, Latin America, and Europe, this course will provide students with a deeper understanding of the forces behind Trumpism.


COLL-X 101 Experimental Topics: Pornography and Sex Education

8W2, 2:30P-4:00P Wednesday, 1 credit

Author Peggy Orenstein claims pornography is the primary source of sex education for American youth. Much ink has been shed elucidating teen sexting and the pornification of pop culture. We will explore the evolution of pornography from 1969 to the present, focusing on how pornography shapes our perceptions of sexuality, race, gender, class, and nation. In addition, we will investigate how the invention of home video technology and the Internet contributed to the popularization of porn.


COLL-X 101 Experimental Topics: The Protest Playlist

8W2, 1:00P-2:15P Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1.5 credits

This course focuses on the music, videos, and artists that represent protest and resistance to trends, policies, events, and/or social forces. Students will listen, watch, and question the motives, meanings, and intentions of songs and artists, within the contexts of the social moment. The course will highlight various periods of time, including Jazz in Nazi Berlin, the Civil Rights Era, and the Black Lives Matter movement, and span various cultures, exploring artists such as Fela Kuti of Nigeria and Pussy Riot of Russia.


COLL-X 101 Experimental Topics: Culture and Cuisine of France

8W2, 11:15A-12:00P, Tuesday in SB 017 and 12:00P-1:30P Tuesday in SB 018, 1.5 credits

Note: The classroom part of the course meets Tuesday, 11:15am-noon in SB017. The cooking part meets Tuesday noon-1:30pm in SB018 (across the hall).

Why have other cultures long considered the French culinary authorities in the world? What is the art of French cooking? How do the French stay so thin while eating such rich food (“the French paradox”)? What is the relationship between French food and culture? This course combines lectures on the story behind French cuisine’s global impact with weekly hands-on experience cooking full French meals from select regions. No prior cooking experience necessary!


COLL-X 101 Experimental Topics: Tarot in Art, History, and Literature

8W2, 5:30P-8:10P Tuesday, 2 credits

Note: This Tarot course conflicts with Chemistry’s Tuesday night exams (CHEM-C 117, CHEM-C 127, CHEM-C 118, CHEM-C 341, CHEM-C 342, and CHEM-C 343).

In this class we will learn about the history, signs, symbols, and myths of the tarot. We will also learn about how artists and writers past and present have been inspired by the tarot. Rather than employing tarot as a tool for divination or fortune telling, we will participate in creative tarot activities as a way to learn about ourselves, our relationships, our history, and our communities.