English 135AC: "Race, Class & Disability: An American Foundling Museum"

Records: Music Over Three Generation

"My Grandmother" Front Cover

Erasing California's Latinx Communities

Photograph of State Hospital in Napa, CA, where over 12,000 people were forcefully sterilized in an area that is roughly 50% Hispanic.

About the Course Assignment

English 135AC: “Race, Class, & Disability: An American Foundling Museum”  analyzed race, ethnicity, and disability in American cultures, focusing particularly on histories of family separation. A final project for the course asked students to curate an artifact for an “American Foundling Museum," with an opportunity to work in a variety of different mediums: conventional papers, podcasts, video, graphic art, and more.  Across the semester, students applied writing and arts-based practices to generate a major project that responded to and participated in conversations on family separation, incarceration, detention and reunion in American histories and American cultures. Disability was a key term in the course, and students were encouraged to develop accessible materials and modes of presentation.

We really got a lot of opportunities to discuss what we were working on with our peers. Not only did this interest all of us to learn more about each others' projects, but it also made us more excited to continue working on our own projects and share the story that we think is important and worth sharing.
Student
Front cover of Veena, album 2

“Records: Music Over Three Generations”

Featuring three personally designed album covers, this project explores the relationship and continuity of the veena, an Indian classical musical instrument, across three different generations in the student’s family. On each of the album covers, there are personal reflections and explanations for the intentional design choices, as well as weaving together the narrative of each generation.

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“Erasing California's Latinx Communities: The Intersection of Xenophobia & Eugenics and 12 Reasons Why Latinx Communities are Here to Stay”

Crafting a Spark presentation with an in-depth history of eugenics and xenophobia in the United States targeting Latinx communities, the student tells a powerful narrative of resilience and resistance of Latinx communities in California by inverting The Human Betterment Foundation’s 12 reasons why eugenics would be beneficial to California.

Sue Schweik

Professor, English

The individualized nature of the project gave students a great deal of scope to choose topics that were important to them....Many of the students told me early on that they were going to write a paper, and all but one ended up working in other media.
Sue Schweik
I learned that when I learn about something I am passionate about, I can do or make something. I can be creative and turn my reactions into art. Learning does not all have to be about exams and quizzes.
Student