This course lays the foundation for students to identify and develop ethnographic and theoretical inquiry into topics of anthropological interest and concern. Ethnographic, academic, and archival research methods, the development and critique of research plans, and reflexive consideration of the means and ends of anthropological practice will be introduced and explored. Students will be prepared to, and will begin to engage, in sustained in-depth research projects.

Instructor: Dr. Rory Turner

Community Partners: Baltimore Green Space and a variety of community garden leaders



We all need to eat in order to survive. Yet the ways that we as a species have addressed this basic biological need-both historically and in modern times-are incredibly diverse. What and how we eat are dependent on many social and cultural factors, such as religion, identity, gender, ethnicity, class, technology, and access to political power. This course uses an anthropological perspective to help us gain insights into the dynamic relationship of culture, food, and nutrition. We will look at the diet and eating habits of people all over the world, from prehistoric times to the cultures of today. Some of the topics we will consider are: human evolution and diet, obesity, food symbolism and taboos, global food industries, and alternative food movements.

Instructor: Dr. Carolyn Schwarz

Community Partners: Food Recovery Network and Project PLASE



This course will introduce students to the philosophy, theory, and best practices of academically based community service work. Working with faculty and concepts from a wide range of academic disciplines, students will gain knowledge about community action and community service, while developing first-hand practical skills and applications for effective work in Baltimore City. Topics and skills to be learned include community building, effective mentoring, developing community partnerships, perspectives on learning development, and others. One hour lecture and two hours community service required per week.

Instructors: Lindsay Johnson and Dr. Cass Freedland

Community Partners: Futuro Latino Learning Center and Barclay Elementary/Middle School



This course outlines current environmental problems and their historical bases. The course then explores how different psychological perspectives view the relationship between individuals and the environment, as well as reviews psychological research related to environmental sustainability. Guidance for improving environmental sustainability based on the different psychological perspectives are examined. A major goal of this course is for students to develop an understanding of how psychology can contribute to promoting sustainability of the environment.

Instructor: Dr. Carol Mills

Community Partners: Baltimore Tree Trust, Parks and People, Blue Water Baltimore, TALMAR, Goucher Ag Coop



In this course, we will examine how relationships with the environment are mediated by social inequities and social power. Markers of difference, such as race, class, gender and nationality interact to produce exposure to pollution and equal access to natural resources. After a brief, theoretical introduction to the concept of environmental justice, the course is divided into three sections. The first deals with what might be termed the distribution of "bads" - why are some communities more likely to end uup close to polluting power plants or hazardous waste dumps? what role do science and regulation play in determining the distribution of toxics? The second section addresses the distribution of goods - why do some social groups get privileged access to land, food, energy or other natural resources? How do markets enable resources dispossession? Finally, in the third section we will examine what happens when disaster strikes - why are some groups so much more vulnerable to "natural" disasters like heat waves and hurricanes? The syllabus is structured aroung discussion of existing environmental injustices, but peppered throughout are readings about how activist groups are addressing these problems.

Instructors: Dr. Madeleine Fairbarin

Community Partner: Baltimore Tree Trust



Oceans comprise 70% of the Earth's surface, yet 95% of this realm is unexplored. In this course, we will examine such topics as ocean exploration, the use of submarines, and rogue waves. We will also delve into the impressive diversity of marine species, including those that inhabit the inhospitable deep sea environment, and some of the more unusual species that glow, take other species hostage, poison their predators, and can navigate using magnetic fields. Finally, we will consider the threats to oceans, including the trash vortex in the Pacific, overfishing, and climate change.

Instructor: Cynthia Kicklighter

Community Partner: National Aquarium



All of us have had moments when we felt nearly invisible: times when instead of being the story at the center we were just a note jotted in the margin. This class will explore the realities of being marginalized by looking at groups of people who are frequently not visible. In the first part of the semester, we will read personal stories, agency reports, and scholarly works to learn about vulnerable populations. Some of the vulnerable populations we will consider are: homeless people, immigrants, the elderly, and children who have been separated from their birth parents. We will consider the history of marginalized people and may explore policies and attitudes that impact them. Together, we will formulate questions, gather information, and share our newfound knowledge. Each student will be expected to be a vital component of the learning environment as we seek to understand the realities of complex situations and people. During the second part of the semester, each student will work independently and with the support of the class and college resources to explore the realities of a marginalized group that they are particularly interested in.

Instructor: Joan Wilterdink

Community Partner: Our Daily Bread (Catholic Charities)



Puppets are arguably one of the earliest forms of performance--used to educate, add  insight, enlighten or just delight. They were and remain a staple of theatrical performance. A puppet is, however, a very special performer, made from humble materials, fashioned into a living form and finally animated or brought to life by the mind and body of a person either directly or at a distance.  This "bringing to life", this mysterious alchemy at the heart of puppets, is perhaps why this otherwise ubiquitous theatre form often remains the shadows. In this seminar/workshop we will look at the history, forms, uses and theory of puppets and form questions such as: Is Homer Simpson a puppet?  Why do puppets go in and out of fashion? What is the relationship between the puppet and the maker/animator? What stories do puppets need to tell? What drama ensues between the knife, the spoon and the dog when the kitchen light goes out?  Through creative exploration, guided improvisation and the making of original puppet performances, these questions and many more will be answered

in The Secret Life of Puppets.

Instructor: Allison Campbell

Community Partner: Black Cherry Theatre, Puppet Slam (guest Valeska Popoluh)



This course explores the philosophy behind community-oriented radio and enables you to put this theory into practice by partnering with an off-campus community organization to create documentary programs.  We will study how media skills empower communities around the country and around the world.  Students will learn the fundamentals of producing audio documentaries and will have the option of airing their work on local radio stations and local and national Internet sites.  (No experience is required, but students must purchase recording equipment (under $100)).   Upon completion of the course, students will be able to: discuss the value of community-based media; collaborate with others to tell community stories; write radio scripts and academic essays; and perform fundamental audio production tasks, such as recording and editing.

Instructor: Phaye Poliakoff-Chen

Community Partner: Earl's Place



There are more than 50 million Latin@s living in the United States, making them the nation's single fastest growing and largest ethnic group. By 2050, Latin@s are projected to account for more than 30 percent of the U.S. population.  If Latin@s in the United States today formed a country, they would rank as the 12th largest global economy. This course draws on the interdisciplinary field of Latin@ Studies and on a variety of sources from the colonial period to the present to introduce students to the social, political, and cultural history of this vital ethnic group.  Readings and assignments will focus on Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, Central and South American communities, examining their experiences living as individual groups and amongst each other. Key course topics include: past and present immigration; Latin@ identity and perceptions of Latin@s in the U.S., the formation and transformation of cultural identity; and the Spanish language in media and education.  Central to your active learning will be the community-based learning component of the course through which you will participate in Goucher's Futuro Latino Learning Center.

Instructor: Frances Ramos-Fontan

Community Partner: Futuro Latino Learning Center



An introduction to the field of historic preservation covering the movement's development and exploring its philosophical assumptions.  The relationship of historic preservation and environmental sustainability will be examined. The course will include field trips to historic sites and sites of rehabilitated and repurposed structures.

Community partner:  Hampton National Historic Site



This course will survey the history of American architecture, and then help students develop the vocabulary to describe historic buildings:  elements of a building, traditional construction techniques and building materials, and preservation issues.  Students will learn how to write an historic structure report.  Students will study the architectural heritage of Baltimore through field trips into the city.

Community partner:  Evergreen Museum and Library



This course challenges students to create intentional connections between locally based activities and service with their upcoming semester abroad. Through a combination of online and experiential activities students explore the connections between local practices and global contexts.

Instructor: Robbie Blinkoff

Community Partners: Baltimore Tree Trust and various other partners



Nowadays, the terms polis, city, town, village all excite particular images in our imagination. For some, each term resonates with an epoch, demography, and/or layers of complexity. Baltimore, founded in 1729, has long been associated with a variety of conceptions and images, and names-Monumental City, Mobtown, and most recently, Charm City. The port of Baltimore and the B&O railroad both propelled the city to stand as a vital cog in the industrialization of the US in the 19th century. As a slave state, and a beneficiary of the slave trade, Baltimore was occupied in 1861, and Maryland was federally administered until 1865 to prevent it from seceding. By the mid-twentieth century, Baltimore showed signs of wear and tear, and the past 60 years have not been kind to the city's infrastructure, resource base, or demographic vitality.


Goucher College opened its doors in 1885 on St. Paul and 23rd street, and in 1953 moved to its current, more bucolic location. So, here we sit, north of the city, in Towson. We are very close to the core of the 26th largest city in the U.S. but sometimes it feels like we are worlds away. This course, Imagine Baltimore, is an invitation to join us in uncovering our (pre- and mis-)conceptions about Baltimore, about urban living, and about the challenges that confront Baltimore, and other urban locales.

Instructors: Dr. Nina Kasniunas and Dr. Eric Singer

Community Partners:



Politics exist all around us and affects our daily lives in numerous ways.  Each section of this course will introduce students to the ubiquity of politics through a unique perspective.  Students will be presented with a political problem at the outset of the course, and throughout the semester learn ways in which political actors and institutions have dealt with or responded to the problem, instilling a set of skills which include knowledge and a sense of agency.  Students will also develop analytical and theoretical skills through guided writing assignment, reading and discussion.  This course fulfills the liberal education requirement for the social sciences and is intended for majors and non-majors alike. Fall semester.  Sections taught by Professor Kasniunas will have an experiential component in which students will attend various neighborhood association meetings in Baltimore.

Instructors: Dr. Nina Kasniunas

Community Partners: Various Baltimore neighborhood associations



Moving away from a framework of psychological research, theory, and evaluation that unduly values objectivity, independence, and personal achievement, students explore collaboratively the ramifications of a psychology that places human relationship, connection, community, and care at the center of psychological health and development, where mutual empowerment and empathy, rather than separation from others, are the goals. This feminist, antiracist, and critical psychology recognizes the powerful impact of the sociocultural context in impeding mutuality, and provides an interpretive framework for understanding and reshaping culture, lives, and theory. Specific topics vary from year to year, but include the following: the works of Carol Gilligan, the relational psychology of Jean Baker Miller and the Stone Center, the psychology of gender (e.g., girls' development, the construction of masculinity), the psychology of oppression, and relational classrooms and environments.

Instructor: Dr. Laura Solomon

Community Partner: Gallagher Services (Catholic Charities)



This course will introduce students to the major beliefs and historical development of the world's religions. Attention will be paid to how myth, doctrine, symbols, rituals and ethics shape these traditions. Students will engage with primary texts and will explore how these traditions have manifested in the United States and, through field trip opportunities, the Baltimore area.

Instructors: Dr. Ann Duncan

Community Partners: Islamic Society of Baltimore, Baltimore Hindu-Jain Temple and the Kadampa Meditation Center.


This is a four-credit course, with three hours a week face-to-face and one hour a week online, in which students will conduct interactive activities with classmates and students abroad. This course is designed to expand knowledge of the Spanish language and explore the cultural diversity in the Spanish-speaking world through the development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. This is the third and final course in the lower-division language sequence Successful completion of this course will fulfill the language requirement.

Instructor: Frances Ramos-Fontan

Community Partner: Futuro Latino Learning Center



Special section of SP 230 . Development of conversation and writing skills through the study and discussion of texts, audio, short videos, and full length films. Special attention is given to examining cultural and social issues that affect Spanish-speaking communities in their countries and in the United States. An integrated community-based learning component will provide the students with meaningful opportunities to increase their language skills while engaging with the local Spanish-speaking community. This interaction time will replace one hour of class each week.

Instructor: Frances Ramos-Fontan

Community Partner: Futuro Latino Learning Center



The media and the press are said to be shaping not only language use, but identity formation among Spanish-speakers in Latin America and the United States. With this in mind, the goal of this course is to explore the emergence of a universal or transnational Spanish that seeks to generate a Pan-Hispanic identity while respecting multicultural perspectives. The course will refine oral and written language skills in a variety of media formats.

Instructor: Frances Ramos-Fontan

Community Partner: Futuro Latino Learning Center