Spring 2020 Johnston Courses


  • Practice: Systematic Acquisition
    2 units
    Wednesdays: 6:00-7:20PM
    Location: TBD
    Professor Julie Townsend, PhD

  • GYST: The Class
    2 units
    Fridays: 1:00-3:50PM
    Location: Duke 102
    Instructor: M.G. Maloney, MLIS
    Course Description: GYST: The Class offers an intentional space to study, increase time management and critical thinking skill through fresh workshops. Half study hall and half in-class workshop, topics range from: information literacy, digital literacy, community/ self-care, community art-making, mental health, study skills, research, personal boundary and goal-setting, resume writing, and more depending on the consensus syllabus-building on the first day of class. The last three weeks of the semester always include a creative arts unit on either community art-making or political comedy writing. Bring your ideas to this 2-unit Johnston seminar open to all University of Redlands students.

  • Integrated Semester
    TBD units
    Tuesdays: 6:00-9:00PM
    Bekins Lobby
    Professor Tim Seiber, PhD
    Course Description: Integrated semester in a seminar designed to help students work on projects that are larger in scale, scope, or ambition than what is typically achieved in a single seminar.  Students meet weekly with Professor Seiber to collectively work on strategies for planning, implementing, and completing integrative projects. These projects must deal with more than one field of work, and at the same time be conducted in more than one mode of expression, integrating both content and form.  To be completed successfully, student will need to find a mentor who, in addition to Professor Seiber, will help them with their projects.  Students will only be admitted to this seminar after an interview.  To schedule this interview, please contact me at tim_seiber@redlands.edu

  • Divination for Creativity
    2 units
    Wednesdays: 1:00-3:50PM
    Location: TBD
    Professor Pat Geary, MFA
    Course Description: Using tarot cards, pendulums, and possibly runes, we will learn how to use these oracles, and especially how to use them to inspire the creative process. We will be keeping journals and creating artistic projects. We might add in other oracles, if the spirits move us!

  • Philosophy and Literature: Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche and Mann
    4 units
    Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 9:30-10:50AM
    Location: Bekins Basement
    Professor Emeritus Bill McDonald, PhD
    Course Description: Philosophy and Literature have a long history together as cultural neighbors with uncertain borders. They have, over the centuries, frequency crossed into one another's territory, sometimes reshaping the questions their neighbor asks, other times joining in cooperative ventures. Sometimes novelists write like philosophers; quite frequently philosophers use literary modes and foundational metaphors—eidos, causa sui, res cogitans, monad, Geist, Ding an sich, différance —to explore ideas. That's the main interdisciplinary "border" we'll investigate, focusing on two perennial questions both fields explore: Faith and Skepticism; Reason (“Apollo”) and Passion (“Dionysus”). Part I. Faith and Skepticism with Søren Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling and Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. Part II: Apollo and Dionysus, Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, I-III, and brief selections from The Birth of Tragedy and, perhaps, Beyond Good and Evil. Lastly, Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain.

  • Gay, Lesbian, Queer Cinemas*
    4 units
    Tuesdays, Thursdays: 1:00-2:20PM
    Location: TBD
    Professor Kelly Hankin, PhD
    Course Description: This class will introduce students to lesbian, gay, and queer cinema histories, theories, and practices. We will begin by looking at some of Hollywood’s seminal representations of lesbians and gays, followed by a focus on independent and alternative cinema practices. Examples of important moments in gay/lesbian/queer cinema will be illustrated using case studies across various media practices: from narrative and documentary filmmaking, to avant-garde filmmaking and activist video, to television to film festivals.

    Important Notes about Course Content:

    (1) As the history of gay/lesbian/queer cinema is entwined with representations of sexuality, this class will feature depictions of sex as a matter of course. Moreover, whether they are produced by Hollywood or through queer self-representation, these depictions of sex will often be graphic (i.e, contain nudity), violent, and/or associated with sexual, psychological, and social trauma. This IS the history of gay/lesbian/queer cinema and to sugar coat it would be to erase both historical and current film practice. If you are uncomfortable with graphic or violent sexual content or are emotionally disturbed by sexual content at all, this class simply will not work for you.
    (2) Moreover, if you are looking for positive and affirming images judged by contemporary or personal standards of what is ideologically “woke,” this class will disappoint you! The history of GLBTQ representation is messy and complex. To set yourself up for an emotionally successful semester—a necessary component for an academically successful semester—please carefully consider if this class is appropriate for you and your needs.

    Professor Kelly Hankin is the author of The Girls in the Backroom: Looking at the Lesbian Bar (University of Minnesota, 2002), as well as numerous essays on the intersection of sexuality and gender in film and media.

  • TaiChi
    2 units
    Thursdays: 4:00-5:00PM
    Larsen Meditation Room (LAR 210)
    Professor Lifan Su
    Course Description: This course is an athletic course and provides 2 units credit and covers one academic year every Thursday 4:00-5:00 pm on the grass in front of Chapel or Meditation Room Larsen 210. It is relaxed, effective and enjoyable. No experience is very welcome. TaiChi is ancient Chinese traditional martial art based on Taoism, focus on the meditation of exchange the energy with nature, also be an effective health exercise as Yoga, requires a deep level of concentration and a focused mind, thus allowing the mind to lead and guide the body's energy.

  • French Film Identity
    4 units
    Monday and Wednesday evenings
    Location: Hall of Letters 103
    Lossett Visiting Assistant Professor Youna Kwak, Ph.D.
    Course Description: Liberty, Equality, Solidarity? Francophone Identities on Film. How race, gender, sexual, ethnic, religious, and class identifications are both inspired and influenced by representations in films and documentaries is the core subject of this seminar. Our specific objects of study will be modern and contemporary French-language films that grapple with: radical activism in response to the AIDS crisis; kids coming to terms with non-binary gender; Islamic communities confronted with radicalism; class conflict in domestic and romantic relationships; familial bonds challenged by past or present trauma; celebrity icons as a reflection of cultural values; and others. The diverse films we’ll watch give provocative examples of what it means to identify as poor, queer, black, brown, gay, trans, rich, female, cis, old, young, Jewish, Islamic, physically vulnerable, anonymous, migrant, other, especially when those identifications come into conflict with state, institutional, corporate, or juridical power structures. Critical and creative writing and supplementary readings will figure in the coursework, in addition to film screenings and discussion.


    No knowledge of French is necessary to take this course. To enroll in this seminar, you will choose between two sections. Both sections will watch all of the films (in French with English subtitles); section one will comprise a discussion session in English, and section two will comprise a discussion session in French. Enrolling in the French-language section will earn you two credits toward the French major or minor.


  • Modern Witchcraft
    2 units
    Tuesdays, Thursdays: 11:00AM-12:20PM
    Location: TBD
    Student Facilitator: Shlah Dennon
    Faculty Sponsor: Professor Monro Galloway, MFA
    Course Description:To live a full life one must take the time to find and accept themselves for who they are.  In today's day and age, while spirituality and New Age ideas are on the up and up, it is still difficult to incorporate your spiritual life with your everyday or professional life. This course is aimed at exploring modern neo-pagan modes of spirituality, and how an individual fits themselves into these beliefs respectfully. The class will be both intellectual and experiential with a mix of writings, art workshops, and discussions pertaining to our weekly topics. The goal of this class is to connect to each topic, as well as connect topics to each other in order to find your own understanding of spirituality.

    The only requirement for this class is a willingness to engage in self growth and learning in an intentionally safe space. Class work will include a weekly journal, a mid-term project, and a final project. Details on the project will be discussed in individual contracts at the beginning of the semester. Other work will include readings or art exercises as relevant to the course.

  • Your Money or Your Life!
    2 units
    Mondays 6:00-7:50PM
    Location: TBD
    Guest Lecturers: Dr. Daniel Otter and Emily Baker
    Course Description: This is not a stickup or a robbery. Increasingly, Americans who are not financially savvy will pay more for student loans, credit cards, car loans, and home loans. They will save less for retirement. They will owe more money. Your Money or Your Life is a new class that can help you become more financially savvy and financially secure. Major topics covered include:
    • Paying for college (including importance of submitting the FAFSA; and how to submit the FAFSA)
    • University support resources
    • Budgeting
    • Using credit
    • Investing
    • Risk

  • Mass Murder to "Me Too": Victim Blaming and Stereotyping in America
    4 units
    Tuesdays, Thursdays: 11:00AM-12:20PM
    Location: TBD
    Student Facilitator: MaryTravis Doepner
    Faculty Sponsor: Professor Patricia Wasielewski, Ph.D.
    Course Description: Victim blaming occurs when the recipient of wrongdoing is blamed for the act.  This seminar will have meaningful discussions about the theory of victim blaming and why victim blaming does not solve the issues at hand. This seminar will focus on victim blaming in regards to gun control issues as well as other scenarios  such as victims of sexual assault, victims of racial profiling, victims of cultural bias from religious stereotyping, and victims of disability gatekeeping. We will read critical theory articles, popular articles and blogs, as well as look at images, videos and films related to a wide variety of forms of victim blaming in search of awareness and solutions to these significant issues.

    Mission statement: This seminar will hold thoughtful, meaningful discussions on a variety of difficult topics and scenarios. Some of these discussions will bring up strong feelings and opinions for many individuals. An important goal of this seminar will be to allow all to feel safe and respected. All discussions should be held in the most considerate manner possible. All comments should be presented in a respectful manner and directed to the group with care for the feelings of others in the group.

  • Choreographing the City
    4 units
    Tuesdays, Thursdays: 6:00-8:50PM
    Location: TBD
    Guest Lecturer: José Richard Aviles

    Course Description: Choreographing the City is a course that bridges the built environment and movement. This course looks at the classroom as a laboratory. Sessions will include movement exercises, class conversations, and choreography prompts. Students will immerse themselves in the investigation of dance making, the built environment, and the “choreographies” that people create in the day-to-day. This course is intended for everyone and anyone that is interested in art, urban planning, and the built environment. No dance experience needed.