Course Descriptions
Course Schedule
Academic Calendar
Study Abroad
Grants & Special Programs
Summer Session
» January Term

Home > Academics >
January Term

Course Descriptions January 2016

LET 180J Writing Truth to Power: An Academic Writing Workshop (1 credit)
Instructor: Vivian Chin
Monday–Friday 10:30 am–2:30 pm MH 135
This course meets the following General Education Requirements: Creating and Critiquing in the Arts, Multicultural Perspectives, Written Communication II.

Experiencing challenges with academic writing? Striving to polish your writing? Seeking a less stressful approach to writing? Focusing on the work of people of color, with attention to the rhetoric of power, this course provides students with the opportunity to strengthen their academic writing skills. We will practice a step-by-step process from notes to draft to finished work, allowing us to become more able to meet the demands of written assignments given throughout the college curriculum. Students will have the opportunity to use Prezi or PowerPoint to create a visual outline of their work. By developing an ability to analyze a wide variety of texts – from short stories to essays, prison writings to autobiography, as well as videos and online offerings, students will become more familiar with the process of growing an analytical essay from first thoughts to a substantial and persuasive written work. Through in-class discussions and exercises, this course will guide students to write with more ease.
This course will involve discussion, pre-writing exercises, writing exercises, drafting, editing, revising, group work, oral presentations, and other hands-on approaches to the process of writing. Peer instruction, a consideration of learning styles and Universal Design for Learning, and non-hierarchical, cooperative strategies will shape the pedagogical practice.

ETHS 180J Bay Area Community Activism and Relationship-to-Place (1 Credit)
Instructor: Leece Lee-Oliver
Monday–Friday 9:30 am–1:30 pm MH 133
This course meets the following General Education Requirements: Multicultural Perspectives, Human Institutions and Behavior.
Centered on the theory of “relationship-to-place,” students will engage in participatory research justice projects to examine how peoples and places are inextricably linked through a political project. Students are encouraged to work with the idea of community as any group that self-identifies as part of a collective and asserts an identity, commitment, and necessary relationship with each other and a geographical space. Some examples include Native American land and water rights; the history of the Intertribal Friendship House; Native Americans and Alcatraz; the Mission District and gentrification in the bay area; survival schools; the history of Marcus Book Store in San Francisco; segregation, state violence, activism and Fruitvale Station; Black Lives Matter in the Bay Area; Queer activism; LGBT history and the Castro; Radical Brownies of Oakland; and, developments in food justice. Students will learn how to: 1) develop an interdisciplinary qualitative research project, 2) create sample research questions, 3) write a literature review, 4) analyze the findings, and 5) write a final research paper.

This course meets the following General Education Requirements: Multicultural, Human Institutions and Behavior.

MGMT 227 Negotiations (1 credit)
Instructor: Jessica Notini
GSB 109

Wednesday Jan 6, 9:00 am–5:00 pm
Thursday Jan 7, 9:00 am–5:00 pm
Saturday Jan 9, 9:00 am–4:00 pm
Thurs Jan 14, 9:00 am–5:00 pm
Saturday Jan 16, 9:00 am–3:30 pm

Description: The course examines the dynamics that occur before, during, and after negotiations and the theory behind various negotiation approaches. Topics to be addressed will include: claiming versus creating value (also known as distributive and integrative bargaining); preparation strategies; the nature of power; psychological aspects of negotiation; experience and expertise; multi-party/group negotiations; culture and gender; communications and perception; mediation and other alternative dispute resolution systems; working with lawyers; and organizational change and salary negotiations.

CHEM 011 Chemistry of Cooking (1 credit)
Instructor: Elisabeth Wade
This course meets the following General Education Requirement: Natural Sciences.
Monday–Friday, 1:00–5:00 pm NSB 213 and 206

"Chemistry of Cooking" is a course open to all undergraduate students, having no prerequisites and meeting the requirements for General Education - Natural Sciences.  The methods of preparation of food will be used to learn about the molecular nature of matter and the chemical and physical changes during cooking.  Topics will include: mass, volume, and temperature measurement; the food molecules of water, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats; acids and bases; emulsions, foams, and suspensions. This framework will allow discussion of how we learn more about the material world through scientific investigation, and how our scientific knowledge influences decisions and policies.

This course meets the following General Education Requirements: Natural Sciences

PHIL 080J Philosophy and Film (1 credit)
Instructor: Marc Joseph
Monday-Friday 12:00–4:00 pm
Stern 6

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of film and philosophy. On the film side, we explore basic elements of film aesthetics by watching outstanding movies from different eras and discussing them through the lens of film theory. We aim to sharpen our acumen for interpreting a movie’s methods, themes, and symbols and to cultivate a general literacy about films, thereby, too, increasing our appreciation of the cinema. On the philosophy side, we use the occasion of screening these great movies for raising, discussing, and analyzing central problems in philosophy: What gives life its meaning? What constitutes a person’s life? What is the source of the norms that shape our lives? Is virtue rewarded, and vice punished?

The films we watch include Citizen Kane, Rashoman, Casablanca, The Seventh Seal,Crimes and Misdemeanors, The Prestige, Pleasantville, and Birdman, and we read Plato, John Locke, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Christine Korsgaard, Charles Taylor, and Charlotte Witt.

SOC 180J Design Thinking (1 credit)
Instructor: Dan Ryan
Mills Hall 132

January 4–7, 6:00 pm–9:00 pm
January 9, 9:00 am–5:00 pm
January 12–14, 6:00 pm–9:00 pm
January 15, 9:00 am–5:00 pm
January 16, 9:00 am–3:00 pm

This is a course in innovation—the development of creative and sustainable solutions to important problems—through the discipline of human centered design. We will learn how to identify problems and generate solutions that draw on multiple sources of expertise and that respond to discovered user needs. We learn to "listen to the world" through research and prototyping. We learn to maximize the benefits of diversity and complementarity on a team. We learn a structured approach to creativity that productively engages our cognitive capacities through successive stages of convergence and divergence, inference and deduction, exploration, testing, and revision.  Along the way "nanoCourses"—short workshops, presentations, guest speakers, and digital immersions—will introduce concrete skills (e.g., video, sound recording, color, copy writing, storyboarding) and new perspectives useful to the innovator. The course will be project-based with a real design challenge that students will respond to with the development of a working product or service by the end of the course.

No prerequisites. Open to both undergraduate and graduate students.  The course is especially suited for students of computer science, engineering, art, sociology, business, journalism, law, and dance.

January Study Abroad Opportunity

Mills College is delighted to announce our inaugural Study Abroad experience in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Students participate in a two-week study abroad program with CETLALIC, a Spanish-language school that links language learning to social justice education. They register for and complete course work in the Spring semester. Spaces are limited. To learn more, contact pkandaswamy@mills.edu

WGSS 180: Gender, Sexuality, and Social Justice in Mexico (1 credit)
Instructor: Priya Kandaswamy

This two-week study abroad experience provides students with the opportunity to learn about feminist and LGBTQ social movements in Mexico through an immersive Spanish language learning program in Cuernavaca.  While in Mexico, students will take intensive, individualized Spanish classes with a social justice focus.  They will also meet with academics, activists, and community members involved in feminist and LGBTQ social movements and visit significant cultural and historical sites in the region.  Through this program, students will engage with the specific cultural, political, economic, and social context that shapes the experiences of women and LGBTQ communities in Mexico.  They will also reflect on the possibilities and challenges of building transnational solidarities and the role language learning might play in social justice movements.  Credit for this course will be awarded in the Spring term.  Some prior experience with Spanish either through course work or as a heritage language is recommended though not required.  Please contact the instructor if you have questions or would like to receive an application.


Last Updated: 10/7/15