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

Home > Academics >
January Term

January Term 2017

Tuesday, January 3, 2017–Saturday, January 14, 2017

Mills College is pleased to announce our 2017 January session with courses for credit and audit. These courses are open to Mills undergraduate and graduate students, students from other institutions, alumnae/i, and the general public.

Undergraduate courses are open to current Mills undergraduate students and all self- identified women. Courses designated for undergraduate and graduate level are open to graduate students of all genders. Mills continuing students’ online priority registration for the January session is October 10 to November 4, 2016. For information on tuition rates and administrative fees, please view January Tuition.

Students entering Mills in Spring 2017 who are interested in taking a course during the January 2017 session, please complete the Special Student January 2017 Registration form. Please submit this form by October 16, 2016 for priority consideration. The final registration deadline is December 15, 2016 at 4:00 pm.

Students from other institutions wishing to register for the January 2017 session, please complete the Special Student January 2017 Registration form. Please submit this form no later than December 15, 2016 at 4:00 pm.

Enrollment (no credit): Mills alumnae/i wishing to register for the January 2017 session, please complete the Alumnae Auditor January 2017 Registration form. Please submit the completed Alumnae Auditor January 2017 Registration form by December 15, 2016, at 4:00 pm. You may either scan the completed form and email it to records@mills.edu, fax it to 510.430.2003, or have it delivered to the M Center in Carnegie Hall, Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613.

Course Descriptions
CHEM 011: Chemistry of Cooking (3 credits)
We will combine class lecture with laboratory and kitchen experiences as we explore how
chemical concepts apply to food.We will learn​ about the chemical fundamentals of nutrition, and will also explore topics such as what makes​ bread and cakes rise, why ice cream will melt at ice temperatures, how much artificial dye is​ present in different drinks, and why fried and grilled foods taste better than poached or boiled. 

MTWRF 1:00PM - 5:00PM NSB 217
​Instructor: Elizabeth Wade

CS 080AJ: Python for All (4 credits)

This course will teach Python, an accessible, general purpose computer programming language, with applications on data exploration. Python is used to write computer programs to solve a wide variety of interdisciplinary problems from big data and text processing to bioinformatics, web technologies, finances, math, education, security, computer games and many more. This course will focus mainly on strings, files manipulation, lists, dictionaries, text parsing, regular expressions and computer games. Students will learn and practice many computers programming fundamentals such as user input, loops, functions, Boolean logic, and conditional statements.

This hands-on, experiential course will use pair programming, where one student is the driver and another is the observer. While the driver writes code, the observer pays attention to the code being written, looking for syntax and logical errors. Every fifteen minutes, the driver becomes the observer, and the observer becomes the driver. Python, compared to other  programming languages, is easy to learn and intuitive. It is the most popular language for teaching introductory computer science courses at top-ranked Universities, such as MIT and UC Berkeley.

MTWRF 9:00AM - 1:30PM  TBA

Instructor: Almudena Konrad

Meets the following Core Curriculum: Quantitative Literacy 

Meets the following General Education requirements: Quantitative and Computational Reasoning. 

EDUC 180AJ/280AJ: Becoming a Bad Student: Identity, Inequity, and Intersectionality in Schooling (3 credits)

This course focuses on the critical study of social differences with an emphasis on race and gender, and in the context of education. We will use texts with diverse modes of argumentation to analyze how social differences are fundamentally entangled, and enmeshed with the making of identities. We will then apply our theoretical understandings to an experiential project exploring the relationships among social differentiation, identities, and the project of schooling in the United States. Specifically, we will: 1. Explore intersectionality theory vis-à-vis Black, Queer of Color, and Women of Color feminisms. 2. Examine social identities—specifically, race and gender—as dynamically co-produced through processes of social differentiation (e.g., racialization, gendering). 3. Interrogate the (regulatory) function of social differentiation in relation to project of identity making as related to schooling in the United States.

A significant component of this course will be an experiential learning opportunity that provides students with access to local schools as a way to ground the theoretical understandings that they will be cultivating. Specifically, the class will include an off-site visit to local schools in the Oakland Unified School District as part of an experiential learning project. The purpose of this project will be for students to collaboratively employ feminist theorizing of intersectionality to make visible and interrogate the ways in which social identities and surveillance practices rely upon, act upon, and reify each other in the context of schools. Surveillance means, literarily, close observation or to ‘watch over.’ Therefore, students will visit the schools in order to observe how schools, and teachers—as attendant—‘watch over’ students through surveillance practices and technologies, such as uniforms, metal detectors and other monitoring devices.

Instructor: Esther O. Ohito

Meets the following Core Curriculum requirements: Race, Gender and Power, Critical Analysis 

Meets the following General Education requirements: Multicultural Perspectives, Women and Gender 

ENG 180AJ: Jane Austen, The Critical Legacy (3 Credits)

Jane Austen was not only the preeminent novelist of the British Romantic era, her cultural capital remains high: Her novels have been adapted into highly successful films and hold a steady spot in most US colleges’ core curricula as well as being taken over by zombies and presented by Bollywood. Stanford is currently conducting neurological research based on MRIs to test “your brain on Austen,” and Jane-Austen-inspired kitsch retains brisk commodity power. Austen’s work is claimed as simultaneously conservative and radical, and is adapted and appropriated for almost every audience, from Bollywood to hip-hop to queer-fan fiction. Her fictions have also sustained their importance as scholarly touchstones for critical inquiry for, for example, narrative theorists, feminist theorists, formalists, queer theorists, post-colonial theorists, place theorists, economic critics, and social historians, to name just a few. What sustains Austen’s fiction’s continued popularity and critical acclaim? And what is it about her plots that sustain adaptations that span all literary genres and most cultures—national and social?

This January intensive course combines robust analysis of the works themselves—the major novels and selections from the juvenilia and unpublished letters—with theoretical and critical consideration of both the nineteenth-century print culture that first enabled publication of Austen’s novels, and the twenty-first century digital world that now facilitates access to her manuscripts and books and the adaptations they inspire. We will study Austen’s words through both scholarly editions and digital resources as Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts, the Internet Archive, and the Complete Works of Jane Austen (Amazon, Kindle). As we study Austen's formal innovations in the representation of psychological experience, we will discuss the relationships between style, irony, self-image, shame, embarrassment, social manners and novelistic form. We will also attend to broader theoretical arguments connecting the rise of the novel to the formation of bourgeois subjectivities steeped in capitalism, colonialism, and heteronormativity; novelistic fiction simultaneously undermines and rearticulates these subjectivities at the levels of content and form. In addition to primary textual material and scholarly criticism, we will watch movies and YouTube mashup clips, listen to podcasts, visit the rare book room, and use digital humanities content to access contextual historical material from the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-centuries on relevant topics of students' choice.

MTWRF 10:30AM - 2:30PM MH 322

Instructor: Kirsten Saxton

Meets the following Core Curriculum requirements: Critical Analysis 

ENG 180BJ: Translation Workshop​ (1 credit)
This is a five-day three hour workshop on the fundamentals of translation, including critical readings, hands-on exercises, peer critique and editing, and discussion.
Instructor: Achy Obejas

ETHS 180J/: Art and Performance as Political Expression (3 credits) also ARTS 180J/280J

In this class, we will explore the use of creative expression as a form of political discourse from 1960 to the present. We will look at the ways that civil rights and social movement activists use artistic mediums to advertise, politicize and archive key figures and issues represented by these movements. Posters, flyers, and murals as well as stage and public performances, art installations, poetry and literature often speak about the oppression of marginalized peoples. They simultaneously aim to contribute to the growth of public awareness, inspire resistance to oppression, and preserve of the histories of their movements. Students will study scholarship on identity politics, art and performance, and visit public exhibits, formal and informal, to consider the aim and political impacts of political artistic expressions.

The works of a number of artists/performance activists will be explored including urban Native American sovereignty artist Hulleah Tsihnhijinnie, racial justice artist Favianna Rodriguez, “UndocuQueer” artist Julio Salgado, performance artists like punk Riot Grrrl’s Kathleen Hanna, Queer performers Alok Vaid-Menon and Janani Balasubramanian, Micha Cardenas, and Keijuan Thomas, and muralist Mona Caron. The class will meet as a seminar to for lecture and discussion, theoretical study and analyses, and small group work. The course also includes an experiential and on/offsite component. Students will study an exhibit, performance, or curated space of some type and write a research paper that identifies the artist, writer/spoken word, or performer, examines their work in the context of the social climate and issues that motivate their activism, and situates the work within a theoretical argument from the course. Theoretically, students will examine the roots of Decolonial theory in the Surrealism movement and contemporary Decoloniality to explore the social justice ethics of various artists and performers through a complex lens of phenomenology and praxis. Cultural Studies analyses, Judith Butler’s gender performance, and José Muñoz’s theory of “disidentification” will be used as core theoretical foundations of the course.

MTWRF 11:00AM - 3:00PM MH 135

Instructor: Leece Lee-Oliver

Meets the following Core Curriculum requirements: Critical Analysis, Race, Gender, and Power, Community Engagement

Meets the following General Education requirements: Women and Gender, Multicultural Perspectives, Historical Perspectives 

GOVT 180AJ: How to Understand the "Islamic State" (3 credits)

The militant Islamist movement that calls itself the "Islamic State" has a complex history. This course explores multiple perspectives on the political, social and philosophical dynamics that have shaped the development of the movement and asks whether it is a unique phenomenon or harbinger of future trends. The course also explores the relationship between the movement and Islamophobia. Students will analyze and discuss documentary films, and participate in a public lecture and discussion series.

MTWRF 4:30PM - 8:30PM TBA

Instructor: Fred Lawson

LET 180J: Free Your Voice: An Academic Writing Workshop (3-4 credits)

Primarily 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 digital presentations to create a visual outline of their work, and to present 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. We will practice the skills necessary for effective written, oral, and digital communication. Through in-class discussions and exercises, this course will guide students to write with more ease. The course goals will be twofold: 1. To strengthen academic writing skills and 2. To better understand how issues of power, race, class, and gender affect matters of voice.

MTWRF 10:30AM - 12:30PM STR 014

Instructor: Vivian Chin

Meets the following Core Curriculum requirements: Written and Oral Communication II and Race, Gender and Power.

Meets the following General Education requirements: Creating & Critiquing in the Arts, Multicultural Perspectives.

MGMT 227: Negotiations (3 credits)

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.

Instructor Jessica Notini​

"Open to graduate students only"

PHIL 080J: Philosophy and Film (3 credits)

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 criticism. 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 sort of being is a person? What is the nature and source of the norms that shape the project of living a human life? What is virtue, and is it rewarded? Is vice punished? What is the meaning for us of Nietzsche’s aphorism that “God is dead, and we have killed him”? The films we watch include Citizen Kane, Rashomon, Casablanca, The Seventh Seal, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Pleasantville, Birdman, and Chinatown, and we read Plato, John Locke, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Charles Taylor, and Christine Korsgaard

MTWRF 12:00PM - 4:00PM  STR 006

Instructor: Marc Joseph

Meets the following General Education requirement: Creating & Critiquing in the Arts.

(back to top)

Last Updated: 10/21/16