December 8, 2020

Spring 2021 TNDY Courses

The Transdisciplinary Mind

Looking for a Fall course? Need to complete your TNDY requirement? Need an elective? The Transdisciplinary Studies Program has several open courses for the Fall.

TNDY 408E – Mechanisms That Rule Our Social Universe

Instructor: Josh Tasoff (bio)
Schedule: Tuesday & Thursday, 10:50 – 12:40PM
Location: Online
Units: 4

Billions of years ago, chemicals formed on planet Earth that could replicate themselves. These were the progenitors of life. Over eons of evolution, autonomous living agents predated, cooperated, and competed with each other to eventually create the modern world of today. Across that history, there have been several recurring themes on how agents interact. In the course we will study fundamental forces that drive sociality at multiple levels, from viruses to markets. We will uncover some of the hidden mechanisms that rule our social universe. For example, we will discover why genes form chromosomes, why people form nations, and why the reasons for the two are similar. The emphasis will be on a few key ideas that have broad and profound application. In our journey, we will learn from where social systems evolved and perhaps to where social systems may be evolving. This course is intended for students who are interested in having their perspective shifted through provocative frameworks (colloquially referred to as “blowing your mind”). Additional time will be devoted to professional self-examination and prioritization (colloquially referred to as “what the heck am I doing with my life?”).

TNDY 408F – Transdisciplinary Tools for Equity: Institutions, Organizations, and Systems

Instructor: Andrew Vosko (bio)
Schedule: Module 2: 03/22 – 05/15, Thursday, 3:30 to 5:20PM
Location: Online
Units: 2

Beyond ‘promoting awareness’ of systemic injustice, this new, transdisciplinary survey course offers a tools-based approach to first reveal entrenched inequities and then affect change at the institutional, organizational, and systems levels. We will explore the concept of ‘discrimination-by-design,’ use complexity theory, systems thinking and temporal focus to re-frame our understandings of racism, identify effective tools and resources from both traditional academic and emerging fields, and apply realistic practices to help create more inclusive and equitable spaces of excellence. Experts from the CGU community and across the Claremont Colleges will guide us with their own work in education (eg. Daryl Smith’s work in Diversity’s Promise for Higher Education), voting rights (eg. Jean Schroedel’s work in Voting in Indian Country), and health (eg. work from CGU’s faculty in Community and Global Health and the Inequality Research Institute), to name a few. Students will have an opportunity to apply course tools and outcomes to their own disciplines and research with the goal of more broadly contributing to a better functioning pluralistic society.

TNDY 408D – Hip Hop, Reggae, and Religion: Music and the Religio-Political Imagination of the Black Atlantic

Instructor: Kevin Wolfe (bio)
Schedule: Saturday 9:00 – 11:50AM
Location: Online
Units: 4

Hip-hop and reggae are among the world’s most popular musical art forms. While contextualizing the emergence of these cultural formations, we will interrogate the dynamic relationships between them and the religio-political imagination of the Black Atlantic. The course will pay particular attention to the ways that the various cultures of hip-hop and reggae offer critique to Christianity and contemporary arrangements of power. Listening to the religio-political perspectives expressed in these cultural formations we will question whether or not the music provides a prophetic challenge to these arrangements. Giving attention to the music, from the Spirituals, to Hip-Hop, and Dancehall, we will contextualize it with an interest in understanding how it (if it) reflects a unique political imagination. Weekly, we will encounter material from numerous genres as we theorize the music.

TNDY 404S – e-Learning

Instructor: Lorne Olfman (bio)
Schedule: Wednesday, 5:50 to 7:40PM
Location: Online
Units: 4

This course will explore a wide range of topics related to adult-based formal and informal learning and teaching. The topics will include “A theory of e-Learning”, “Modes and methods of e-Learning”, “Instructional design”, “Instructional technologies”, “Learning ecosystems”, “Social and cultural impacts”, “Economics of e-Learning”, “Community and knowledge sharing”, and “Data-driven teaching and learning”. Class sessions will feature active learning with breakout rooms. Assessment will include individual assignments and a group project.

TNDY 407X – Leading Change

Instructor: Len Jessup (bio) / Jennifer Villalobos (bio below the course description)
Schedule: Module 2: 03/22 – 05/15, Wednesday 3:00 – 5:50PM
Location: Online
Units: 2

The world is changing at an exponential rate. As it does, your ability to adapt and manage change not only sustains your employability but allows you to have a positive impact on your work and your life. Through structured learning activities (video lectures, live presentations and discussions, reflective assessments, and experiential activities) this course will provide tools on how to effectively influence change by understanding change from an interdisciplinary lens, developing a ‘change mindset’, and leading yourself and others on the change journey. You will learn how to reframe the cognitive dissonance that often comes with change by redefining the change problem and developing a balanced and reflective change mindset. Change is inevitable but you can influence how it affects your organization.

Jennifer Villalobos is an advanced doctoral student in Evaluation and Positive Organizational Psychology at Claremont Graduate University (CGU). She has a master’s degree in Positive Organizational Psychology and Evaluation from CGU, and bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and History from USC. Jennifer has over 16 years of experience working in research, evaluation, and organizational consulting, and has worked with major brands, such as The Aspen Institute, Better Up, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, Camber Outdoors, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, The Wonderful Company, UCLA, and Kaiser Permanente. Jennifer’s primary research interests are exploring organizational and individual level outcomes associated with evaluation capacity building, positive organizational interventions, and change management initiatives that aim to increase organizational improvement and member well-being.

TNDY 407V – Urban Studies

Instructor: Heather Campbell (bio)
Schedule: Monday 4:00 – 6:50PM
Location: Online
Units: 4

Cities represent about 2% of the world’s area, 50% of the world’s population, 75% of the world’s energy consumption, 80% of the worlds carbon emissions. This class will first ground us in an understanding of, the development of cities, basic understanding of the urban system, how cities are believed to grow (or not), and how we might measure the complex known as “cities.” Once we have those foundations, we will turn to a variety of topical urban policy issues, including environmental justice, public safety, public health, housing, etc., and how recent research addresses such urban policy issues. Studying cities is inherently transdisciplinary since the city is a complex system of systems—the economic system, the governmental system, the transportation system, the environmental system, the social system, the public health system.