Dimensions of Culture Program

Thurgood Marshall College


Email: docinfo@ucsd.edu

Website: http://marshall.ucsd.edu/doc/index.html

Staff Contact: Sue Hawkinson, docinfo@ucsd.edu, (858) 534-2742


The Dimensions of Culture Program (DOC) encourages TA applicants from all departments.  We desire especially to recruit TAs with a serious interest in the role of writing in learning and in a dynamic interdisciplinary approach to American culture.  Since vanguard work in many social science and humanities disciplines currently involves interdisciplinary work from the perspectives represented in DOC, we think many graduate students will find their own graduate work enhanced by the opportunity to work with TAs and faculty from several different social science and humanities departments.

The DOC Program lower-division sequence is an introductory three-quarter social science/humanities core curriculum that is required of all first-year students at Thurgood Marshall College at UCSD.  Each quarter students attend both large-class lectures taught by faculty members from various departments, and small discussion section meetings guided by Teaching Assistants.  Professor Jorge Mariscal (Literature) is the Director of DOC, and he works closely with the teaching faculty and writing staff to shape the program.  The three courses are designed to be integrated, with central themes flowing from course to course. 

DOC 1, "Diversity," is a four-unit course offered Fall Quarter.  In this course, students will acquire a basic understanding of some of the foundational ideas that underlie U.S. history, as well as tools for analyzing the contradictions that arose as the nation developed.  Central aspects of DOC 1 include colonialism and white supremacy, successive waves of immigration, movements for social and economic equality, and the rise of corporate power.  Although students will be asked to learn key dates, names, and events, the course is less a traditional history course than a critical overview of recurring tensions in U.S. society.

Teaching Assistants attend three DOC 1 lectures each week plus meet with two sections (of up to 16 students each) once each week.

DOC 2, "Justice," is a six-unit course offered Winter Quarter.  It offers a deep contextualization of contemporary issues by juxtaposing them to earlier moments in U.S. history.  DOC 2 allows students to delve more deeply into the contradictions and ideological formations that continue to influence American society.  Among the central topics of the course are: collective challenges to hierarchies of class, gender, and "race;" the impact of scientific racism on immigration policy; women and labor; the rise of late 20th-century conservative thought; and the tension between "liberalism" and “free-market” ideologies.  By the end of this second course in the DOC sequence, students should have a solid understanding of the historical origins for many of the issues that continue to face the nation.  For this writing-intensive course, students will be required to complete two papers (ranging from 4-6 pages) that build in difficulty and require planning, drafting, revising, and editing as part of the writing process.

Teaching Assistants attend three DOC 2 lectures each week plus meet with two sections (of up to 16 students each) twice each week.

DOC 3, "Imagination is a six-unit course offered Spring Quarter.  It focuses on understanding cultural texts as historical documents made up of specific formal elements that reveal the ideological tensions at work in a given period.  For this writing-intensive course, students will be required to complete two 5-6 page papers that increase in difficulty and require planning, drafting, revising, and editing as part of the writing process. 

Teaching Assistants attend three DOC 3 lectures each week plus meet with two sections (of up to 16 students each) twice each week.