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Spring 2021 Courses

Seven of the eight Inside-Out courses taught in the spring will be available to 5C students for enrollment: six with CRC Norco (a men’s prison) students and one with Prototypes (a women’s facility) students. Classes are open to all 5C students, with registration contingent on instructor permission. 

Each Inside-Out class contains an equal number of outside (5C) students and inside students. Inside students will participate in classes via videoconferencing, and all who receive passing grades will receive course credit from Pitzer College. Some inside students at CRC are also matriculated Pitzer students pursuing their Bachelor of Arts degrees in Organizational Studies.

CRC Courses Offered Spring 2021

Prof. Briana Toole (CMC) PHIL 160: Feminism for Men (Tu 12:30-3:30pm)

Some people will, in the same breath, say that they believe in equality between the genders and that they aren’t a feminist. Why might someone say something that’s explicitly feminist while at the same time denying that they are a feminist? Why has feminism gotten such a bad rep? Feminism’s ‘bad rep’ may be owed to a number of complicated issues in the movement’s past: failure to be inclusive of black women; failure to consider how intersectional oppression impacts feminist claims; and – the focus of this class – the worry that feminism has villainized men. This class will be an investigation into why men feel alienated and angered by feminism, and an exploration into how, if at all, feminism can benefit and empower men. Topics include the sex/gender distinction, the relationship between feminism and epistemology, analyses of gendered oppression, the patriarchy, male feminism, and toxic masculinity.

Prof.  Erin Runions (Pomona) RLST 25: Religion, Punishment, Restoration (Tu 5:30-8:30pm)

This course explores the influence of religion on the secular sphere of criminal justice. Questions raised may include: How has religion shaped ideals and practices of punishment and rehabilitation in the U.S.? What are the histories of religious beliefs about punishment and how have such beliefs been operationalized in prisons? Has religion impacted the duration, extremity, and social effects of punishment? What are religious arguments for and against the death penalty? What is the relation between religious ideas and existing practices of rehabilitation, including restorative and transformative justice?

Prof. Derik Smith (CMC) LIT 99: Race and Gender in American Film (W 12:30-3:30pm)

This course is primarily about representations of blackness in Hollywood films. However, our study will pivot on the premise that it is foolish–if not impossible–to consider the history of representations of race in American cinema without also considering representations of gender. Recognizing that Hollywood’s portrayals of racial blackness and whiteness are always bound to conceptions of masculinity and femininity, the course will focus on the historical evolution of the entanglement of race and gender as it charts the development of popular film-making in America since the early twentieth century. Using video-conferencing technology to facilitate weekly, seminar-style discussions of assigned texts, students from the Claremont Colleges will join together with a small cohort of Pitzer College students incarcerated at the California Rehabilitation Center. Although there are no prerequisites for enrollment in the course, students wishing to register must submit Perm Requests and respond to a questionnaire.  

Prof. Nigel Boyle (Pitzer)  POST/OS 184: Carceral State in Comparative Perspective (W 5:30-8:30pm)

The grotesque US system of mass incarceration will be examined in comparative perspective.  With a special focus on the California prison system, other systems to be examined include Ireland, Ecuador, Germany, Sweden, Uganda, and Scotland.  US mass incarceration is an example of “American Exceptionalism”; comparative analysis will entail a “most different systems” approach – comparisons with a range of carceral systems in widely varying political, economic and cultural settings.   At a macro-comparative level, the relationship between the “carceral state” and the “welfare state” will be examined.  The micro-politics of individual prisons will also be examined comparatively, including how education, including higher education, functions in prisons.  Classes will be taught via videoconferencing, we will also have videoconferences with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people in other countries. 

Prof. Tom Kim (Scripps): Politics 123: Power, Justice, and the Environment (Th 12:30-3:30pm)

This course begins with the empirical premise that the planet is in an environmental crisis and recognizes the normative imperative to stop the ongoing catastrophe. We survey past and current formations of political organizing to combat the problems of environmental inequality including but not limited to climate change. How do politically engaged organizations and movements interrogate the social scientific evidence concerning environmental inequality and how do they combat it? How do they understand the political, social, economic, and environmental forces including but not limited to environmental racism that produce environmental inequalities, and how do they incorporate their analyses into their political campaigns? How do political movements seeking to transform environmental inequality incorporate theories of transformative social change that take into account multiple axes of difference and domination including but not limited to race, gender, class, and nationality?

Prof. Kim Drake (Scripps) Writing 165 Prison Writing Center Praxis I/O (F 12:30-3:30pm)

In this course, we will discuss the theory and practice of an Inside/Out Writing Center, with the goal of establishing and maintaining a Writing Center at CRC. We will examine academic writing alongside journalism and other forms of nonfiction writing, and students will practice these kinds of writing and all aspects of the writing process as they learn how to give one-on-one feedback in a Writing Center setting. Along the way, we will discuss the politics of the English language, rhetorical strategies in writing and in oral feedback, and writing pedagogy in prisons—including that of the Inside/Out program. Assignments include prewriting, reflective writing, and essay-writing and revision; sentence-level editing; small-group peer workshop; full-class workshop; mock tutorial and debrief; discussion of readings; presentations; and oral presentation skill-building.

Prof. Jeff Lewis (Pitzer) ORST 135 Organizational Behavior (Th 5:30-8:30pm)*

This course will provide an overview of the major topic areas associated with the study of organizational behavior, and interdisciplinary approach to understanding actions within the context of structured collective systems.  Drawing from Economics, Political Studies, Social Psychology and Sociology, over the course of the semester we will study human behavior in organizations at the individual and group level, and also highlight relevant macro-level influences. Personal exploration of important concepts through in-class exercises and demonstrations during the semester will also be part of this course. [*This is an inside-only class, Prof. Lewis is teaching an outside section of the same course (MW 1:15, with some linkage between inside and outside sections planned].

Prototypes Courses Offered Spring 2021

Prof. Laura Harris (Pitzer) AFRI ENG 12B: Intro African American Lit. After 1865 (W 2:30-5:15pm)

This course is a survey of major periods, authors, and genres in the 20th century African American literary tradition. This course covers the major literatures produced from the mid nineteenth century through the twentieth century. This is a reading intensive and speaking intensive course that includes weekly writing assignments, group activities and student presentations.