2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

Gateways: Utopias and Prisons


Fall 2011 and Winter 2012 quarters

Arun Chandra music composition, performance
Fields of Study
cultural studies, music, theater and writing
Preparatory for studies or careers in
music composition, poetry, education, and criminal justice.

This program offers Evergreen students the opportunity to be peer learners with incarcerated young men in a maximum-security institution. Each week the Evergreen students will visit one juvenile prison for a cultural diversity and equality workshop, and a workshop/seminar on experimental poetry and music.

A fundamental principle of Gateways for Incarcerated Youth is that people have talents given to them at birth; our job is to encourage each other to search out and find our passions and gifts. Our work is guided by ideas of popular education that recognizes and values the knowledge and experience of each participant. The program works to strengthen notions of self and community through cultural awareness and empowerment. In connecting and building with people from other cultures and class backgrounds, each person becomes empowered to share knowledge, creativity, values and goals. 

The class will create responses to the texts, artworks, music and poetry that we discuss. We will approach the reading and creation of art with an eye towards arts' ability to project utopian possibilities and to name and resist current societal constraints. We will explore the history of both arts and prisons: how artists of the past and of today have portrayed social constraints and utopian ideals in art.

The Evergreen students and the incarcerated youth will share readings, writings, music projects, and performance projects. In addition to the classes in the prison, Evergreen students will attend classes and workshops on campus.

A central theme for our work will be the implementation of experimental ideas in art and in the social world: evaluating their consequences, and building on their failures. Our emphasis will be on the arts of the written word, music, and theater. Among the authors we will read will be George Jackson, Eugene Debs, Martin Luther King, M.K. Gandhi, Paulo Friere, Bertolt Brecht, Luis Valdez, Silvia Federici, Susan Parenti, and Michel Foucault.

 In the fall quarter, we will emphasize learning about social constraints in our society and others.  In the winter quarter, we will read and discuss utopias and envisioned societies.

Since part of the class will take place in a state prison for juveniles, each student must submit an application and be interviewed by the faculty to ensure compliance with the Washington State Department of Corrections.

Online Learning
No Required Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
$75 per quarter for performance tickets.
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
February 7th, 2012 This program will be fall-winter only.
May 2nd, 2011 New program added.