Fall 2022

About the Program

The 'Staff as Students of Social Justice' (SSSJ) Program is an opportunity for campus staff (from the Division of Undergraduate Education and beyond) to audit an American Cultures course and participate in discussions about timely and important topics. Piloted in Fall 2020, the SSSJ Program is a unique opportunity to learn first-hand from leading scholars and American Cultures instructors about the intersections of race, ethnicity, and gender; dig into subjects of personal interests; and build connections with faculty, students, and campus colleagues. Please take a moment to learn more about the fall 2022 online course offerings, as you will be asked to indicate your preferences on the application form. Please email americancultures@berkeley.edu if you have any questions.

How it Works

  • Audit an AC course of your choosing from a curated list of program courses

  • Participate in an online weekly discussion section led by a graduate student instructor specifically for SSSJ participants.

  • Complete a project with your program classmates to showcase what you have learned and gained in the program, and present your project at the end of the term.

  • Receive a certificate of completion signed by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, as well as a letter in your HR file for merit and performance reviews.

Fall 2022 Online Courses

Students of color at an outside protest raising their fists in solidarity

Introduction to Ethnic Studies (Ethnic Studies 11AC)

Instructor: Juana María Rodríguez
Two weekly lectures: one pre-recorded and one live lecture on Thurs 9:30 am - 10:59 am

This course explores the work of key theorists of race, ethnicity, and de-colonization whose work and ideas have formed the basis of scholarly work in the broad, interdisciplinary field of comparative ethnic studies. It is intended both to offer beginning students a ground in the ideas and methods they will encounter throughout their major, and to introduce names, texts, and concepts with which all majors should be familiar. Learn More.

Historic Antique Square World Map from 1689

Introduction to the History of the United States: The United States from Settlement to Civil War (History 7A)

Instructor: David Henkin
Self-paced (pre-recorded lectures)

This course introduces the history of the lands that became the United States, from antiquity through the Civil War. Examining and interpreting original historical sources, we will focus on interactions among Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans on the North American continent; the social, political, and environmental changes wrought by those interactions; the development of colonial societies; the founding of the United States and the evolution of its political institutions; the spread of new ideas and cultural practices; and the clash of competing claims about power, rights, salvation, and the good life. Learn More.

People standing in line at an intersection on a sunny day

Principles of Sociology: American Cultures (Sociology 3AC)

Instructor: Mary Kelsey
Tues & Thurs 3:30 pm - 4:59 pm

Sociology 3AC offers a general introduction to sociology—the study of the social institutions, organizations and social relations that shape our lives and life chances—by way of a special focus on education. We begin the class with an examination of core sociological ideas on how societies are organized and the inherent strengths and problems within different social arrangements.  We then explore these sociological principles through concrete studies of class, race, gender, and sexual inequality. Once familiar with basic theoretical and empirical approaches used to explain social inequality, we will consider the ways in which educational systems can be used to perpetuate or resist the reproduction of social hierarchies. We conclude the class by asking what broader social changes might be necessary to reduce the harmful effects of inequality on human development and social integration. Learn More

Woman stands in front of two individuals on a lift ladder posting a wallpaper mural of Black bay area community members

Love, Study, and Struggle: An Interrogation of Material Antiracisms and Carcerality (SSSJ Lecture Course)

Instructor: David Maldonado

This course comes out of the life of George Floyd. The summer of 2020 witnessed 26 million people take to the streets during a pandemic, many who exclaimed that “Black Lives Matter” and insisted that we “Defund the Police.” These crisis moments display how “the old is dying and the new cannot be born.” For Gramsci, this meant that the old forms of capital accumulation and repression would display their “morbid symptoms” before new ideas could become common sense in popular consciousness. Many of the scholars we will read insist that the intersections of racial capitalism and carcerality are indicative of these morbid symptoms. But again, people resist. Resistance, as Robin D.G. Kelley would argue, provides opportunities for Love, Study, and Struggle. How might we meet that call? 

As we spend time together toward that end, we will cover the exemplar scholarship from across disciplines of geography, carceral studies, Black studies, Critical University Studies, and Abolition pedagogy and practice.