Honors | Constructing Culture: Discovering the Value of Diversity (HON)
H303 | 17023 | Jack Rollins


TuTh 1:00-2:15pm

This course will not be a simple transfer of knowledge class; rather
it will be one in which you will be challenged to deconstruct
aspects of the American mainstream culture, compare them to another
similarly modeled culture and then create a "class culture" based on
the same cultural model. More specifically, we will be looking
at "culture" as a "collective consciousness," a way of looking at
the world, chiefly by organizing and expressing experience in a
unique way. The course will propose that, although human genetics
generally can make a difference in how people act, on balance,
people are patterned by culture after birth. And further
that "essential identities: or what are frequently simply described
as diversity are the legs of "collective consciousness," without
which the latter would become a monolithic, mediocre, mass, destined
for extinction.

The class members will explore their own essential identities, while
arriving at a class-collective consciousness. We will then follow
the pattern of examining six questions involved in the formation of
cultures in six different venues across campus: first, we will
discuss an aspect of American culture, based upon the
American/immigrant model, then we will compare it to an aspect in
another similar culture, the Swahili/clan model, and finally we will
create a similar cultural aspect in the University/class model. At
the end of the class, having answered these six questions, we should
have our own culture that we will then express in a well-thought-out
choreographed dance at the MAC; the dance, through movement and
gesture, will declare both the essential and collective
consciousness of our class. To memorialize our culture, the class
will decide what sort of document it wishes to create for others to
learn their collective view of the world. Last year's class wrote a
marriage manual, which they thought best illustrated all their ideas
about how people should live in the world, which was their idea of
culture.