Feb 02, 2023  
2023 January Term Course Catalog 
2023 January Term Course Catalog
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JAN 028 - Moving Towards Difference and Debate: Using Argumentation and Debate to Reimagine the World Together

Lower division
Full credit
MTuThF, 12:00 PM - 2:35 PM

The world we live in now isn’t working well for most people. We live with ideologies and material conditions that create cyclical processes of racism, classism, sexism, ableism, settler colonization, homophobia, transphobia and copious other problems. Many people want to stop these harms but struggle to imagine what a better world would look like or how it would work. Even when we can imagine a better world, we often trample on other people’s imaginations. 

In this Jan term, we’ll do a deep dive into the 2022-2023 Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) topic. Here, you will explore how to create more justice, dignity, or belonging for people who aren’t welcome in the world we live in now with arguments focused around this topic. You will co-create (along with authors you research, student clusters in class, and a debate partner) a vision of a better world that doesn’t replicate the harmful patterns and practices we often experience and can articulate when to work with other ways of being and knowing and when to reject them.

What should this better world look like?  You’ll choose among critical theories in antiBlackness, settler colonization, anti-capitalism, and other topic-specific areas. Examples to get you thinking include the need and incommensurability of doing abolition and decolonization at the same time, rethinking the concept of terrorism to challenge Islamophobia, embracing Patricia Hill Collins’ Black feminist thought to create new ways of knowing (epistemologies) through care and connection and so many more. The CEDA topic frames and focuses the research, but you make it come alive with your choice of the justice work you focus on.

Will your idea actually work? Can you hold onto your ideas and support other ways of knowing and being? That’s debatable! You’ll test your creation in the clash of ideas of debate. Through readings, research, workshops, practice rounds, and an intercollegiate debate tournament, we’ll debate it out. Debate isn’t about winning; it is about stretching the boundaries of what we imagine is possible. 

In addition to our normal class time, you will need to be available the weekend of Jan 20-22 7am to 9pm each day for our intercollegiate tournament.


Core Designation: The Common Good

Instructor(s): Andrea Brown
Email:  alb11@stmarys-ca.edu

Prerequisites & Notes
Prerequisites:  None
Course Fee:  60

Credits: 1

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