2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

Cultures of Solidarity


Spring 2013 quarter

Anne Fischel communication, media and community studies , John Baldridge geography
Fields of Study
community studies, geography, media arts and sociology
Preparatory for studies or careers in
community development, social movement organizing, education and media arts.

How do communities remain resilient in the face of oppression, exploitation, disempowerment, and the shock of what Naomi Klein has termed "disaster capitalism"? How do people come together--and hold together--in challenging times? Conversely, how do people organize to resist and transform their societies' embedded inequities? How do groups create, nurture and develop networks of mutual aid, cooperation and solidarity that uphold principles of justice and sustainability?

We will consider a range of communities seeking answers to these questions, in theory and in practice, to create and maintain cultures of solidarity. Key themes include: alternative economic models, such as producer and consumer cooperatives; the role of bottom-up, non-authoritarian education models in building durable, multigenerational lines of communication; challenges faced by indigenous, migrant, working class and other constituencies, including language, cultural and media literacy; and critical analysis of the concepts of sustainability, justice, culture and solidarity. Students will engage with communities in places as nearby as Olympia and Shelton and as far afield as Venezuela, Argentina, and the Basque region of Spain. We aim to learn how answers to theoretical questions can drive constructive practices in the real world.

This program offers a full-time and a half-time option. The central program components outlined above will be offered as part of the Evening & Weekend Studies curriculum, for 8 credits, for all students in the program.

Students enrolled in the full-time (16-credit option) will participate in additional daytime sessions. They will build on the central curriculum with projects that engage directly with local communities. Though we anticipate that some students will join the program to extend their work in the fall/winter program Local Knowledge, the full-time option is open to all registrants. Opportunities will be available to begin new projects or internships, or to join projects-in-progress from fall and winter quarters.

Credits for all students may include: political economy, labor studies, social movement studies, community studies, geography, sociology, ethnic studies, and education. Additional credits for full-time students may include: media production, art as social practice, participatory research, media analysis, or credits tailored to students' community projects.

Advertised Schedule
6-10p Tue/Thu for all students; 16-credit students will also meet 2-5p Tue/Thu
Online Learning
No Required Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
$15 for entrance fees (16-credit option).
Offered During
Day and Evening

Program Revisions

Date Revision
March 6th, 2013 Enrollment in the 16-credit option has been reduced to 10 seats.