Past Courses

School Year 2013-2014


NARRATIVE PSYCHOLOGY

INSTRUCTOR: STEPHEN MURPHY-SHIGEMATSU
PSYCH 130A | SPRING 2014

This is an exploration of how human experience is remembered, organized, and transformed through stories people tell about their lives. Through a multicultural perspective we examine how narrative approaches in human development and health care offer promising ways to psychological and social wellness. We integrate transdisciplinary scholarship, traditional cultural wisdom, and self-reflective, experiential learning to connect our academic work with our personal lives.


FINDING YOUR STORY

INSTRUCTORS: JONAH WILLIHNGANZ & FRED LUSKIN
PWR 91/ENGLISH; WINTER & SPRING 2014

WAY-CE

Life challenges us to become aware of the stories that shape us—family stories, cultural mythologies, even popular movies, television shows, and songs—and then create and live our own story.  We face this challenge throughout our lives but perhaps most acutely as we move into adulthood; this is the period when we most need to become conscious of stories and their power, and to gather wisdom, practices, and resources for finding our own story.  This class, designed with seniors in mind, will illuminate and explore these resources and give you the opportunity to reflect deeply, in discussion and writing, on what truly calls to you in this life.

We will engage with some of the world’s great stories—myths, parables, teaching tales, modern fiction, even aphorisms, koans, and riddles.  In them we can find both elements that resonate with our own story and provocations that help us unearth and cultivate our native gifts—the genius in each of us. We will look at short excerpts from masterworks and myths from around the world, all voices in the largest conversation we have as humans, the one that asks: who am I? why am I here? what truly matters? how can I be happy?  Together we will investigate how these stories, and stories like them, can be used to help us find our own story.

VIEW SYLLABUS


EDUCATIONAL COUNTERSTORIES AND NARRATIVES IN ASIAN AMERICAN & PACIFIC ISLANDER COMMUNITIES

INSTRUCTOR: ANTHONY LISING ANTONIO
ASNAMST/EDUC 100C; SPRING 2014

The most pervasive theme in the literature on Asian American & Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in education is the anti-essentialism that permeates this discourse. Essentialism surfaces because of the prevalent and enduring stereotypes of AAPIs in educational contexts -- the Model Minority and the forever foreigner. These dominant narratives categorize, perceive, and treat the wide array of AAPI ethnic groups with diverse histories, cultures, communities, languages as one monolithic population. Beyond research efforts to demystify these stereotypes and complicate existing understandings of the experiences of AAPIs in K-12 and higher education, there is a growing literature in sociology and anthropology that utilizes counterstory to illuminate the subjective and material experiences that defy dominant cultural narratives.

Counterstory is a method of telling the stories of those people whose experiences are not often told or are told for them through a culturally dominant group. These dominant narratives are told through culture as well as through science. Because such narratives are often born out of and read in the context of a racialized, gendered, and classed society, counterstory methodology is a tool for exposing, analyzing, and challenging the privilege and dominance subsumed by normative, socially dominant narratives. In this one-unit seminar, we will examine, then apply, counterstory methodology to educational narratives in AAPI communities. We will also integrate the theoretical and creative material with embodied practices designed to strengthen core faculties such as attention, resilience and compassion.


LIVING WITH MINDFULNESS, MEANING, AND COMPASSION

INTRUCTORS: STEPHEN MURPHY-SHIGEMATSU
CSRE/TAPS 176S; SPRING 2014

Living with mindfulness, meaning, and compassion is a journey of contemplation, self reflection, and guided action. We examine "the good life" through the insightful eyes and inspirational words of others as well as through the light of our own experience. We explore success, happiness, and well being through the wisdom of spiritual traditions and scientific discoveries. Our focus is on acceptance, vulnerability, humility, kindness, and courage. Our integrative learning approach creates a transformative, synergistic community through appreciative inquiry and connected knowing.


 

CULTURE, NARRATIVE, AND MEDICINE

INSTRUCTOR: STEPHEN MURPHY-SHIGEMATSU
ANTHRO 178A/HUMBIO 177C; FALL 2013

This course explores the human experience of illness and healing in diverse cultural contexts through narratives as presented in various forms such as therapy, literature, storytelling, and film. We examine how cultural resources enable and empower healing and narrative medicine can guide the practice of culturally competent medical care, looking at specific conditions of psychological, physical, historical and inter-generational trauma, bereavement, and healing. We explore the world of complementary and alternative forms of health care and the wisdom of integrative medicine.

The curriculum is designed to be responsive to cultural diversity and the whole person – intellectual, psychological and spiritual, actively cultivate skills of mindfulness, self reflection, active listening, emotional intelligence, and healing writing, practicing both inside and outside the classroom. The class style emphasizes integrative learning, which is a matter of the heart as much as the mind, creating an educational experience that is transformational and develops character, based on a belief in the importance of self understanding and self reflection as a way of understanding others. Group discussion values active listening as much as talking, collaboration as much as individual contributions, and respect for all.

VIEW SYLLABUS


THE MYTHIC LIFE

INSTRUCTOR: MARTIN SHAW
ORALCOMM 91; WINTER 2014 
WAY-CE

Why in the twenty-first century do many of our most acclaimed and popular stories carry narrative forms that are thousands of years old? Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Titanic, Batman—all are deeply informed by ancient myth, folklore, and oral traditions.  One reason is that the deep stories of myth and folklore act as a bridge between our personal lives and the profoundest aspects of the human condition—they offer a way to understand our lives and how to live them.

This course offers an in-depth study and experience of myth and folklore, the roots of modern story and the roots of our own stories.  You will hear these myths live, as people have for thousands of years—from Trickster folk tales to the medieval Arthurian grail epic Parzival.  You will also draw from these epics to create and tell a mythic story of your own. This will give you an appreciation for myth as a living principle, not just something from a long time ago. It will also help you become a good storyteller by developing your memory, improvisation, and image-based thinking. This ability to tell a story well is at the root of authentic leadership and helps us bring a powerful, embodied perspective to championing a cause or just debating over coffee.

The class will be held in the evening over food, in front of a fire, in Kimball Hall.  No prior familiarity with myth, folklore, or oral traditions is necessary—just a healthy appetite for deep stories. 


GANDHI AND HIS LEGACY: VIOLENCE AND NONVIOLENCE IN THE WORLD AND IN OURSELVES

INSTRUCTOR: LINDA HESS
RELIGST 119/219; WINTER 2014
GER:DB-HUM; GER:EC-GLOBALCOM

Gandhi, the pioneer of nonviolent political struggle in the first half of the 20th century, is used as a springboard to study violence more broadly: what it is, what it does to individuals and societies, how it can be addressed and transformed.  Special attention to connections between (non)violence on an individual/personal level and in the larger world.  New format includes both academic study and experiential workshops.


TRANSFORMING SELF AND SYSTEMS: CROSSING BORDERS OF RACE, ETHNICITY, GENDER, SEXUALITY, AND CLASS

INSTRUCTOR: STEPHEN MURPHY-SHIGEMATSU
ASAM 144/CSRE 144; WINTER 2014

WAY-CE, WAY-ED

An active exploration of crossing borders within ourselves, and between “us” and “them,” based on a belief that understanding the self leads to understanding others. We reflect on how our personal identity struggles have meaning beyond the individual, how self healing can lead to community healing, how the “personal is political,” and how artistic self expression based in self understanding can address social issues. We touch on the tensions of victimization and agency, contemplation and action, humanities and science, embracing knowledge that comes from the heart as well as the mind. Our studies are founded in “synergistic consciousness” as movement toward meaning, balance, connectedness, and wholeness. In a learning community, we engage these questions through group process, journaling, reading, drama, creative writing, and storytelling. Our study is both academic and self reflective, with an emphasis on developing and presenting creative works in various media that express our identity development across borders.


LOVE AS A FORCE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

INSTRUCTOR: ANNE FIRTH MURRAY
HUMBIO 86Q; WINTER 2014

Preference to sophomores. This course explores biological, psychological, religious, social and cultural perspectives on the concept of love. How love is conceptualized across cultures; love as the basis of many religions; different kinds of love; the biology of love; love in action for social justice; the languages of love including art, literature, music, and poetry. There will be an emphasis on blog writing, participation, and oral presentation.