Category Archives: History

1950s Sci Fi Films (Dan Gillmore)

Come watch The Blob, The Thing from Another World, War of the Worlds, etc. We’ll chat about the red scare, the Other, and mystery science theater 3000.

About the instructor: Dan has offered classes for a long time, almost as long as his beard. He holds a graduate degree in film studies and is one of very few CHID graduates (Comparative History of Ideas) from the UW, (along with ASam).

Queer History of the United States (Amy and ASam)

The fight to exist as Queer people is not new – people right here in the United States have been trailblazing a path for centuries.  Join us as we learn about how Queer folx have protested, struggled, lived, loved, thrived, and imagined.  The battle for equality is not over.  Be inspired by those who have come before you, and learn how where you sit today can influence the future of Queer rights movements.

This course will consist of reading, reflective writing, and rich class discussions.

Required texts/materials: The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Wo’ Pop (Async) (Sam)

Note: This class will not meet formally. You will need to schedule a time to complete the work for this class.

Do you ever wonder what music is like in other parts of the world? Being a HUGE music lover, I often find myself wondering about that very thing. Often I find myself going on Spotify and seeing what’s available in many parts of the world.

We will explore music in a variety of ways and find out what makes music so popular in different cultures. We will look for commonalities and differences in sounds and lyrics, and learn about the relationship music holds with that particular culture. Who knows? Maybe we will discover where some of the sounds in America originated from!!!

For this class, you will need to have headphones, access to KEXP (Online archive) Spotify, & Youtube.

Climate Optimism (hannah)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

In this interdisciplinary class, we will learn about the current state of the global climate crisis. This class will be a mix of science, English, current events, and project-based learning. 

My objective is for students to come away from this class with more understanding about climate science; knowledge about movements and solutions happening locally and worldwide; and to gain skills and strategies that can be implemented immediately. And – to embody agency, power, and hope. 

Some examples of the type of work in this class: 

  • Reading, analyzing, discussing current articles from major publications about climate solutions
  • Initiating a “green team” at school who could, for example, create and implement a system for our compost and other waste – get a worm bin??
  • Researching local climate solutions and grassroot movements happening in Seattle 
  • Basic science lessons on how and why climate change is happening 
  • Study local Indigenous Science and consider how we might initiate those systems on small and large scales 
  • Learning from visiting speakers who are currently working in the environmental sector

Global Graphic Novels – MS Literature (hannah)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

In this class, we will read two different graphic memoirs about global geopolitical events, Banned Book Club by Kim Hyun Sook and Maus by Art Spiegelman. Both of these books have recently ended up on banned book lists in schools and public libraries across the country. 

Banned Book Club is a memoir about Kim Hyun Sook’s experience in college in South Korea in 1983. This was during South Korea’s Fifth Republic, a military regime that entrenched its power through censorship, torture, and the murder of protesters. In this charged political climate, Hyun Sook sought refuge in the comfort of books. Instead, she found herself hiding in a basement as the youngest member of an underground banned book club. But in a totalitarian regime, the delights of discovering great works of illicit literature are quickly overshadowed by fear and violence as the walls close in.

In Maus, Spiegelman blends autobiography with the story of his father’s survival of the concentration camps during the Holocaust. The all-too-real characters here have the heads of animals—the Jews are mice, the Nazis are rats, and the Poles are pigs—a stark Orwellian metaphor for dehumanized relations during WWII. Much of Spiegelman’s narrative concerns his own struggle to coax his difficult father into remembering a past he’d rather forget. What emerges in his father Vladek’s tale is a study in survival; he makes it through by luck, randomness, and cleverness. 

This class will include in-class reading and discussion; lessons about the historical contexts of both stories; comparing / contrasting the narrative and art style of both books; occasional writing assignments; and other creative projects.