Classes for Consciousness: Learning About Systems of Oppression

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Graphic: Raven Yamamoto

Classes for Consciousness: Learning About Systems of Oppression
Compiled By: Megan Loreto, Robyn De Leon, Elsie Mares

Learning is a key component of dismantling systems of oppression. While education can take on many forms, individuals who are privileged enough to attend college have the opportunity to take classes that can help elucidate solutions to injustice. With the help of ASLMU, Agency has compiled a list of courses recommended by LMU students for LMU students. In addition, Agency reached out to some of LMU’s departments to see what classes they believe specifically provide an anti-racist framework. 

Many of the classes below are being offered during the Fall 2020 semester and several are repeated on a yearly basis. If you are interested in taking one of these courses, check PROWL to see if there are seats left in the class, contact the professor who is teaching it, or save room for it in your future schedule. This list is ongoing and by no-means exhaustive, but it is an excellent starting point. 

If you believe a class should be added to the list please email us at More classes can be found on the BCLA Anti-Racism Courses page. 

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts 
(alphabetical by department, some classes have multiple sections indicated by multiple professors) 

African-American Studies
  • AFAM 1211 Introduction to African American Studies (Fall 2020) Dr. Martin, Dr. Bethune, Dr. Campbell “An introductory course designed to give an overview of African American Studies in order to familiarize the student with the history, culture, aspirations, and contemporary issues of the African American experience. University Core fulfilled: Foundations: Studies in American Diversity.”

  • AFAM 2221 Black Cultural Arts (Fall 2020) Dr. Nama, Professor Buchanan “A study of the Black Aesthetic as expressed in cultural productions such as music, dance, theatre, film, television, painting, sculpture, and literature along with the intersection of the cultural politics of race in American society. University Core fulfilled: Foundations: Studies in American Diversity.” 

  • AFAM 2243 African American Studies Research Methods (Fall 2020) Dr. Williams “An introduction to the methods used to acquire and disseminate knowledge about the systems and policies that affect the African American Community. University Core fulfilled: Foundations: Quantitative Reasoning.”

  • AFAM 3231 African American Religious Traditions (Fall 2020) Dr. Martin “An examination of the history and practices of the African American church and the role it has played in the development of African American identity, culture, and social activism.”

  • AFAM 3432 Black Families (Fall 2020) Dr. Lang “This course traces the development of family theory, meanings, representation, and formation from the period of slavery up to recent times. The course engages long-standing and current debates about black families in the research scholarship across disciplines and in the society at large. University Core fulfilled: Flag: Engaged Learning.”

  • AFAM 3643 Black Community Engagement (Fall 2020) Dr. Bradley  “A survey of the effects of long-standing discrimination and deprivation upon family structure, occupational patterns, health and educational conditions, motivation, and personal as well as group identity. An analysis of the Black power concept and its influence upon the growing community control of the ghetto. University Core fulfilled: Flag: Engaged Learning."

  • AFAM 4241 Race, Gender, and the Law (Fall 2020) Dr. Campbell “This course will explore the ways in which the American legal system has contributed to the shaping of race and gender in American culture.”

  • AFAM 4642 Sex, Race, and Violence (Fall 2020) Dr. Lang   “This course examines the issues of sex, race, and violence and their implications for the individual, the family, and the community. Emphasis is placed on the role of socialization and the myths that impact societal attitudes about sex and violence. Students have an opportunity to identify and to explore factors that influence the manifestation of physical violence (including dating violence, child abuse, and domestic violence), and sexual violence (including date rape, stranger rape, and marital rape) across the dimensions of race, ethnicity, and gender.” 

Asian Pacific American Studies 

"A survey of Asian Pacific American writers and their literature, using critical analysis of 

autobiographies, short stories, novels, poetry, essays, and films. University Core fulfilled:

Explorations: Creative Experience; 

Flag: Writing."

“An interdisciplinary and comparative examination of the historical role of immigration and    

migration in shaping the Los Angeles region as well as the social, political, economic, and cultural

impact of immigration in contemporary Los Angeles.”

Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies
  • ECON 3560: Urban Economics (Fall 2020) Dr. Joshi A survey of the policy and theoretical issues that are raised when economic analysis is applied in an urban setting. Topics include urbanization and urban growth housing markets, location decisions of households and firms, transportation, urban labor markets, the local public sector, and discrimination. Prerequisite: ECON 1050. University Core fulfilled: Integrations: Interdisciplinary Connections. 
  • ECON 4120: Economics and Ethics (Fall 2020) Dr. Konow “Economics and Ethics examines the roles and effects of ethics on economic analysis, behavior, and institutions. These issues arise, for example, in matters of charity, labor markets, and taxation. This course treats both descriptive and prescriptive theories as well as evidence on ethics from behavioral and experimental economics. It covers standard philosophical theories and connects them to empirical evidence and real world decision-making. Prerequisite: ECON 3100 with a grade of at least C-. University Core fulfilled: Integrations: Ethics and Justice.”

  • ENGL 5998 SS: Portraits in Black and White (Fall 2020) Dr. Reilly  “Humorous and humorless American literature by White and Black authors on White and Black American identities, interracial relationships and passing for a race other than one's own from the 19th century through the 20th century. Conversations not normally had will be encouraged in class to discern fictions and truths of the laughable and consequential precepts and practices about race and color as they intersect with gender, class, sexual orientation, ethnicity and creed in American stories and dramas. Respected authors, such as Twain, Faulkner, O'Neill, Hughes, Morrison, Larsen and Smith will be covered. Histories and critical commentary, such as Pieterse's White on Black, and Roediger's Black on White will be consulted. Anecdotes by Americans of color other than Black also will be included to diagram and diagnose the sanity and insanity of Americans being identified or identifying themselves on the vectors of race and color.”

*note: the history department offers a concentration on “Gender, Race, and Culture” within the broader degree

  • HIST 1050 Modern World History (Fall 2020) Dr. Golaszewski   “A course in global history from the “age of exploration” in the fifteenth century to the present, with a variety of encounters and exchanges, which transformed the cultures and societies of all those involved. University Core fulfilled: Explorations: Historical Analysis and Perspectives.”
  • HIST 1300 Becoming America (Fall 2020) Dr. Jacoby “This course is an introductory survey of American history from the pre-Columbian period to the eve of the Civil War. It focuses on the interaction of Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans from first contact to circa 1850, focusing on the experiences of individuals and groups and examines their relationships to the broader structures of American society. University Core fulfilled: Explorations: Historical Analysis and Perspectives.”
  • HIST 1301 America and the Atlantic World (Spring 2021) “The trans-Atlantic world of Europe, Africa, and the Americas as a single unit of study in the wake of the voyages of Columbus, including the North American colonies and early United States, the slave trade and plantation complex, the Columbian exchange, revolutions, and abolition. University Core fulfilled: Explorations: Historical Analysis and Perspectives.”
  • HIST 2300 Race in Colonial America (Fall 2020) Dr. Anzilotti  A social and cultural history of North America from the pre-Columbian period to the American Revolution with a focus on the roots of American race relations. The course will address the impact of competing cultures as they developed and collided during 200 years of conflict. University Core fulfilled: Foundations: Studies in American Diversity.”
  • HIST 2400 Picturing Race and Gender (Spring 2021) This course explores the manner in which various peoples, including African Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Latina/o Americans, Native Americans, and white Americans, have been portrayed and, in turn, have portrayed themselves through historical time space. It uses a wide variety of cultural productions, including artworks, political cartoons, museum exhibits, television and film, photographs, and advertisements, from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries to critically analyzing questions concerning cultural hybridity, biculturalism, evolving definitions of Amerianness, the creation of gender-role expectations, inter-ethnic exchanges, and the establishment of socioeconomic conventions. University Core fulfilled: Foundations: Studies in American Diversity.”
  • HIST 2910 Telling History in Public  (Fall 2020) Dr. Drummond  “An introduction to the study of history, including historical method, the writing of history, and historical interpretation, with a particular focus on public history-that is, those aspects of historical work that engage the public with the past, including both the study of public narratives about the past and the practice of public history. History majors and minors only. HIST Concentration: Public and Applied History. University Core fulfilled: Flags: Information Literacy, Quantitative Literacy.”
  • HIST 4412 History of California (Spring 2021) “The history of California from the eighteenth century to the present, focusing on migration, economic development, race and ethnic relations, and the relationship of the state to the rest of the world.”
  • HIST 4432 American Reform Movements (Spring 2021) Dr. Anzilotti  "An examination of the major movements for reform of American society, with emphasis on abolitionism, Women’s Rights, Progressivism, and Civil Rights. HIST Concentrations: Law, Politics, and Society; Race, Gender, and Culture. University Core fulfilled: Flag: Writing.”

  • PSYC 4033 Community Psychology (Fall 2020) Dr. Grills  “The community psychology course introduces students to the rigorous academic discipline of community psychology, the theoretical approach to community-based interventions and its emphasis on research and action. Students will gain an understanding of the role, functions, and responsibilities of a community psychologist working with and within community organizations. The course stresses student engagement in transformative action, allowing them to integrate practical experience with community psychology research and theory. Open to Psychology majors and minors only. Junior or senior standing required. Prerequisites: Grade of C (2.0) or higher in PSYC 1000, PSYC 2001, PSYC 2002, and PSYC 2003.”
  • PSYC 3998 Poverty and Community Resilience (Fall 2020) Dr. Cooke  “This course explores resilience in communities with high rates of poverty.  The course is designed to address on both the psychological factors and community assets that support people toward developing strengths and resilience.  Topics in the course will include understanding the often-negative consequences of poverty on educational, social and behavioral outcomes.  For the Fall 2020 semesters there will be a special focus on the impact of criminal (in)justice system on communities and how people respond to form stronger policies and communities.  This is an Engaged Learning course and students should expect to engage with a community organization or school on a weekly basis.”

Political Science 
  • POLS 5030 Detention and Incarceration (Fall 2020) Dr. Dilts  “A seminar examining the theory and practice of punishment in the form of detention and incarceration, and how these contribute to defining contemporary understandings of individual agency and of the modern democratic state.”
  • SOCL 3221 Race and Ethnic Relations (Fall 2020)  “An examination of the interaction between ethnic and racial minorities and the majority group in the light of current sociological theories of social conflict and social change. University Core fulfilled: Flag: Oral Skills.”

  • THST 3560 Punishment and Mercy (Fall 2020) Dr. Rothchild “Engaging theological, philosophical, and legal thinkers, this course will explore the many theoretical and practical difficulties which arise in attempting to reconcile an effective and just system of social punishment with the virtue of mercy. University Core fulfilled: Integrations: Ethics and Justice; Flags: Information Literacy, Oral Skills.”

Women and Gender Studies 
  • WGST 1100 Gender, Race, & Sexuality (Fall 2020) Dr. Borgia, Dr. Oh “An introduction to critical thinking skills about concepts such as gender, race, class, and sexuality, how these intersect in lives of women of color together with women's strategies of surviving, resisting, and overcoming barriers. University Core fulfilled: Foundations: Studies in American Diversity.” 
  • WGST 3301 Literature by Women of Color (Fall 2020) Dr. Oh “The course explores contemporary literature by women of color in the United States and their immigrant experiences. It attends to the ways that authors imaginatively use genres to represent and challenge gender and race construction. University Core fulfilled: Flag: Writing.”
  • WGST 3998 Feminism, Justice, & Decolonization (Fall 2020)  No description available. 


Communication Studies 
  • CMST 3210 Power and Culture (Fall 2020) Dr. Avalos  “Culture, in any given state or formation, across time or space, is never a neutral arbitrator nor static in its configuration. As a way of life, as an apparatus governing life, culture is fluid, contested, visceral, and constantly in the process of reformation. Culture is always already a social construction and always already power-laden. This course centers the roles and functions of power--the ability to control, hold authority, dominion or rule over others--and culture. In this class, 1) we will learn how to think critically about the construction of culture(s), 2) we will explore the impact of American empire and its discursive practices on other cultures and nations, and 3) we will explore the constructive nature of power and discourse. Must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher. Junior or senior standing required. Majors only. Prerequisites: CMST 1600, CMST 1700, CMST 2200, and CMST 2800.”
  • CMST 3430 Culture, Crime, and Punishment (Fall 2020) Dr. Pearson  “This course examines cultural constructions of crime and punishment. Although the course focuses primarily on the U.S. criminal justice system, we will attend to the prison industrial complex's global reach. Consequently, the course gives students the opportunity to examine one of the most pressing social issues of our time. We will focus our study of cultural constructions of crime and punishment in three different rhetorical cultures: public discourse, prisoners' discourse, and prison activism discourse. These three arenas map onto the three units of the course: 1) Crime and Punishment in the Cultural Imagination; 2) Crime and Punishment in the Prisoners' Imagination, and 3) From Criminal Justice to Transformative Justice. Must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher. Junior or senior standing required. Majors only. Prerequisites: CMST 1600, CMST 1700, either CMST 2400 or CMST 2500, and CMST 2800. University Core fulfilled: Integrations: Interdisciplinary Connections.” 

Theater Arts 
  • THEA 247 Diversity in American Drama (Fall 2020) Dr. Lima  “A study of American diversity through American drama. Students engage plays created by a variety of communities and identities.”
  • THEA 381 Voices of Justice (Fall 2020 ) Dr.  Royer, Professor Baizley  “An oral histories writing and performance course which includes meeting and interviewing members of advocacy agencies associated with various social justice issues. Students will select from such topics as: homelessness, human trafficking, immigration, restorative justice, among others, in various semesters. Working in project teams, students will interview agency staff/clients, transcribe, and dramatize the original.


  • BCOR 1910 Business For Good  “The LMU College of Business Administration aims to ‘advance knowledge and develop business leaders with moral courage and creative confidence to be a force for good in the global community.’ This course is a transformational experience for incoming undergraduate students that begins their journey toward a business degree and beyond, focusing on the role of business as a force for good. The course is an immersive and interactive experience with the following elements. It involves the major global challenges that you will face in your professional careers, such as poverty and the environment, and brings out the role of business in being a force for good in addressing these challenges as well as in a broad array of issues. It involves a project where you will design a business plan to launch of a product for low-income customers in domestic or international markets, while achieving economic sustainability as well as social and environmental sustainability. It involves doing good as being at the heart of the business rather than as corporate social responsibility. It involves working with companies. And most importantly, it will involve examining your values as it relates to doing good in the professional and personal realms. The course will culminate in a poster session. In short, you will start out your careers by having all of these challenges to confront in your first semester.” 
  • BCOR 4910 Business Ethics and Sustainability “Business Ethics and Sustainability focuses on the interaction and importance of social, political, economic and environmental forces in business and society. Using the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, students will study the moral responsibility of business for societal and environmental impacts. Emphasis is placed on applying ethical decision models to a variety of stakeholder issues, which will include a substantial investigation into the underlying normative ethical theories and socio-political factors that impact business’ broader responsibilities. University Core fulfilled: Integrations: Ethics and Justice; Flag: Writing.” 

Not offered Fall 2020, but recommended by LMU students*
*these may/may not be available for Spring 2021 registration or in future

  • AFAM 3112: African-American Religious Traditions  “This course examines the history of the African American church (broadly defined) as well as its important role in social activism. University Core fulfilled: Integrations: Interdisciplinary Connections.” 
  • CLST 4404: Latina Feminist Theory “Focuses on current writings by Chicana feminists and connects this material to African American and Asian American feminist theory. The course traces the development of Chicana feminism and its concern with the interlocking conditions of gender, race, sexuality, and class. University Core fulfilled: Flag: Writing.”
  • ECON 4540: Labor Economics “Modern theories of market and non-market behavior relating to issues of labor and the determination of wages, salaries, and perquisites. Empirical evidence and public policy considerations are always relevant. Topics may include: education, poverty, discrimination, internal job ladders and management systems, collective bargaining, and unemployment. Prerequisites: ECON 3100 and ECON 3300, both with a grade of at least C-.”
  • ENGL 5684 The Black Aesthetic  “Study of theories of African American aesthetics.” Note: the website says M.A. candidate standing required, but Junior and Senior English majors can take this course.
  • FYS 1000 Black Los Angeles (note: on the bulletin this class says that it is available for 2020 registration, but we have been unable to confirm this in PROWL)  “This course reviews the social, economic, political, environmental, and spatial characteristics of Los Angeles. Students will be introduced to various theories and methods of examining urbanization, racial segregation, and economic development in order to develop a critical understanding of the contemporary circumstances of Blacks in Los Angeles.”
  • HIST 1600 African States since 1800 “This course addresses the political, social, and cultural history of Africa since 1800. Among the questions it explores are changing systems of governance, shifting borders and identities, and dynamics of colonialism, the diversity of African societies and cultures, and their resilience in the face of historical changes. University Core fulfilled: Explorations: Historical Analysis and Perspectives.” 
  • HIST 2405 Civil Rights Activism  “This course examines the history of U.S. civil rights activism and advocacy from the late-nineteenth century to the present, tracing the efforts by several groups to achieve and expand the full rights of United States citizenship, including African Americans, Native Americans, immigrants, LGBT, and women. It also draws connections between activism movements in the United States and throughout the world. HIST Concentration: Race, Gender, and Culture. University Core fulfilled: Foundations: Studies in American Diversity.”
  • HIST 2600 Seminar in African History  “An introduction to history as an intellectual discipline, focusing on the study and writing of history, including historiography and historical methods. Organized around the study of a particular historical issue or episode in African history, this is an intensive course on how historians approach problems. History majors and minors only.” 
  • HIST 4430 Women in American History  “An exploration of women's experience in American history from the colonial period to the present, with emphasis on such variables as class, race/ethnicity, and region, as well as the impact of changing gender roles on American society, culture, and politics.”
  • WGST 4404 Latina Feminist Theory “Focuses on current writings by Chicana feminists and connects this material to African American and Asian American feminist theory. The course traces the development of Chicana feminism and its concern with the interlocking conditions of gender, race, sexuality, and class. University Core fulfilled: Flag: Writing.

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