Jul 15, 2024  
2024 January Term Course Catalog 
2024 January Term Course Catalog
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JAN 118 - My City Oakland

Please Note: Level 100 courses are open ONLY to first-year students.


Type:  In-Person
Course Meeting Days & Times:  MTThF, 12:00 PM-2:30:00 PM

Instructor(s): Yee, Russell
Email: rmy1@stmarys-ca.edu
Fee: $50

Course Description:  From Native American homeland to Spanish/Mexican Rancho, to American boom town, to industrial and civic showcase, to migrant and immigrant destination, to city of protest, to city in search of revival and respect, to city of new growth and opportunities–Oakland has changed dramatically several times in just two centuries. Today, post-pandemic Oakland is riding out an unprecedented building boom, now with a new mayor, ongoing policing and education challenges, and ever-changing demographic, political, economic, and cultural currents.

We’ll explore the story of Oakland: its natural setting; social and racial history; political and civic development; commercial and industrial achievements; architectural heritage; and athletic, educational, arts, and religious aspirations. Getting behind headlines and common (mis)perceptions, students will discover Oakland’s storied history, beautiful settings, vital cultures, principled debates, and unfolding opportunities. Using Oakland as an example, we’ll also explore larger issues of housing, homelessness, and gentrification.

Two classes each week will be field trips to Oakland (all during scheduled class hours). Planned and possible sites include: the Cathedral of Christ the Light, Lake Merritt, City Hall and Downtown, Uptown, the Oakland Museum of California, Chabot Space & Science Center, Redwood Regional Park, and Jack London Square (with possible substitutions due to weather and/or class interest). Students are responsible for their own transportation to field trips; most are BART accessible. Class meets four days a week but, because of holidays, varies from MTuThF to TuWThF.

Prerequisites & Notes

Credits: 3

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