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What are some Engaged Learning courses offered in BCLA?

There are a number of very exciting courses offered in BCLA.  Below are just a few that have been offered recently:

InSPAN 4252 Hispanic Cultural Studies, Dr. Partnoy has her students survey Latin American culture, including pre-Columbian civilizations and the impact of their encounter with Europe. Student Learning Outcomes include: To place within their socio-political, historical, and geographical contexts a variety of cultural products generated by Spanish speaking populations in the Americas.  To improve their analytical and critical skills in order to understand the role these products play as instruments for resistance and community empowerment.  Students complete 10 hours working at a non profit organization that serves Spanish speaking populations and prepare a 15 minutes radio broadcast to empower that population. 

In Literature of the Holocaust, students explore literary responses to the Holocaust as a form of testimony and read those responses as evidentiary.  Each student is assigned a memoir to read and write about in partnership with the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Students research the history of the Jews in the city/village of their survivor’s birth, interview the survivor, write a summary/analysis of the memoir, supplementing with history and personal testimony, then create a concise summary of their review which to be used in a Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust brochure. The culmination of the course is a reception with LMU students and their survivor-partners at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. 

Contemporary Urban Issues is an interdisciplinary course designed to survey the most urgent issues of urban Chicano and US Latino experience. It draws on the methods of experiential-learning and engaged learning to enhance students’ knowledge of immigration, education, housing, arts, media, labor, and health. 

Feminist Research Methods requires students to critically engage and analyze how research can affect the real lives of women and work as agents of social change. Students work in small groups with three community-based projects, focused on environmental and reproductive health, food justice, and restorative justice. They develop projects that allow the organization to benefit from student research in order to enhance the effectiveness of their programs for low-income women of color in Los Angeles. Students connect course content with the lived experiences of individuals and communities, based on the application of the tools and strategies learned in class. 

In Comparative Urban Politics: LA-Mexico City students spend three days in Los Angeles and one week in Mexico City critically comparing governance, business, and culture from a variety of scholarly disciplines and perspectives. Students are immersed in field research for which they attend local meetings, governmental events, museums & cultural institutions, patronize local eateries, and ride public transportation in order to become knowledgeable about the two cities. This course is designed to prepare students to be bilingual, bicultural, and binational leaders through developing skill sets that equip them to work in urban environments in international settings.

The political science course, International Security, challenges students to think critically about the complexity of security, and the basic forces that shape world politics and societies.  To get students to understand the relationships between peace, security and justice, students take a Spring Break trip to Northern Ireland.  In Belfast students consider the Northern Ireland case in a comparative context to investigate restorative justice at the individual, institutional and international levels; and to develop a richer understanding of the complexities of applying the principles of restorative justice to secure peace.

“The trip to Belfast provided me with an opportunity to see the world outside of the US. As much as we can learn in a classroom about becoming global citizens and working for change, we cannot fully understand what it means without experiencing the diversity of the world.” ~Dani Jordan