Student-Originated Studies: Commodification Processes and Alternatives

Winter 2017 and Spring 2017 quarters

Taught by

feminist theory, consciousness studies
  • UG

“Can we wake up to the earth as something not owned?”  --Beata Tsosie-Pena

“How long is it since economy discarded the physiocratic illusion, that rents grow out of soil and not out of society? … Value … does not stalk about with a label describing what it is.”  –Karl Marx

How and why does the process of commodification appear to turn everything into objects of economic value?  Should everything--human and non-human--be measurable and exchangeable? What alternatives exist? What alternatives can be created? This SOS will support students to design and then engage with an individual or group project that explores an area of student interest regarding commodification processes and alternatives.  While everything from eating to voting, from learning to (re)producing are possible topics, the commodification of what we all eat will provide a foundation for weekly seminars and a tasting lab.  In addition to reading, writing and discussions on selections from The Secret Financial Life of Food:  From Commodities Markets to Supermarkets (Newman), Racial Indigestion:  Eating Bodies in the 19th Century (Tompkins) and Chronicles: Stories from the Front Line in the Battle for Environmental Justice (LaDuke) weekly sessions will focus on the taste of specific foods and processes of—and alternatives to—the commodification of eating.  Students prepared for 25-30 hours per week of independent work will use an online field journal to document their individual research, apprenticeship, or internship. Options for more structured learning during winter quarter include participation in weekly lectures, films, and workshops in collaboration with Commodities, Conflict, and Cooperation or hands-on learning at the Evergreen organic farm in collaboration with SOS: Agriculture and Food Systems. 

In the spring quarter students will be supported to design and then engage with an individual or group project that explores an area of student interest regarding commodification processes and alternatives including substantive community engagement. Spring quarter students will engage with in-program internships, field studies, or research and service projects to apply their skills and knowledge by focusing on our local Pacific Northwest region or a location of a student's choice. Students will be guided to complete an in-program Individual Learning Contract regarding their project and to use an online field journal to document their project, including a log of hours, scholarly resources, images, and a weekly post describing their activities and learning. While anything imaginable is a possible topic, the commodification of eating--and alternatives to the commodification of food-- will provide a foundation for a tasting lab and weekly seminar.  Spring quarter options for hands-on learning at the Evergreen organic farm will be determined in consultation with faculty and farm staff.

Weekly winter and spring program sessions will include circle check-ins regarding student projects. Mid-quarter self-evaluations and final presentations will be required of all students winter and spring quarters.

 

 

Research Opportunities

Students will engage in in-program internships, field studies, or research and service projects to apply their skills and knowledge by focusing on our local Pacific Northwest region or a location of a student's choice. Students must complete an in-program Internship Learning Contract in consultation with the faculty and Academic Advising. Please go to Individual Study for more information.

Internship Opportunities

Students will engage in in-program internships, field studies, or research and service projects to apply their skills and knowledge by focusing on our local Pacific Northwest region or a location of a student's choice. Students must complete an in-program Internship Learning Contract in consultation with the faculty and Academic Advising. Please go to Individual Study for more information.

Program Details

Fields of Study

agriculture consciousness studies cultural studies gender and women's studies political economy sustainability studies

Preparatory For

non-governmental organizations, community-based advocacy, public policy, education, public health, alternative justice systems, graduate school in social science, history, cultural studies, feminist and alternative economics, and political economy.

Websites

Quarters

Winter Signature Spring Signature

Location and Schedule

Campus Location

Olympia

Time Offered

Day

Advertised Schedule

First spring class meeting: Tuesday, April 4th at 9:30am (SAL 102)

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning

Special Expenses

Up to $100 for an optional field trip.

Fees

$20 per quarter for a tasting lab.

Revisions

DateRevision
2017-02-22Spring fee added ($20).
2016-12-16Winter fee added ($20).
2016-11-17New winter-spring opportunity added.