About the Course

INT 137EV — Exploring Our Voices: Constructing Knowledge and Identity

Lecture: Mon/Wed 12:30-1:45, BIOEN 1001

Discussion Sections:

Tues; 2:00-2:50; Girvetz 2119 – Instructor: Jeremy Edwards

Wed; 2:00-2:50; Phelps 2536 – Instructor: Alesha Claveria

Thurs; 11:00-11:50; Music 1207 – Instructor: Stefanie Tcharos

Fri; 3:00-3:50; HSSB 1224 – Instructor: Nicole Strobel

Welcome to Exploring Our Voices!

We (Professor Stefanie Tcharos, and Instructors Alesha Claveria, Jeremy Edwards, and Nicole Strobel) all look forward to meeting you and working with you this quarter.

This course explores the idea of voice and how voice negotiates our interactions with the world around us.  Voice is a critical category that influences our everyday lives: we are told to listen to our “inner voice,” be more “vocal” in our opinions, be allies for people lacking a “voice,” or that our voice can be at times “inappropriate” or “not welcome.”  We all have voices, but we don’t always think about them; we often take voice for granted. 

In this course, we’ll examine how voices are carriers of expression and feeling, how voice is connected to our personal and social identities, and how it can be a powerful platform from which we understand difference.  Our course will be collaboratively co-taught, including faculty and graduate students, in order to model the important lesson of communication and listening that voice teaches us.  This design will not only expose you to a variety of voices and communicative styles, but it will also introduce you to a range of disciplinary ways of thinking and practicing that each instructor brings to this course.  

Course Goals

In this course we wish to focus on four different arenas that we think reflect our disciplinary knowledge, and are also important for you to understand the role of voice in your worlds, and to extend that knowledge to your everyday lives:

• confronting our assumptions about voice and knowing how voices get made

• understanding the impact of technology and the role of media in shaping our voices

• exploring the expressivity, performativity, and excess of our voices

• and recognizing that voices are layered with histories, and social and cultural content, that transmit, convey, and complicate our identities and representation.

You will learn that information is not the same as knowledge. Knowledge involves understanding, and understanding only comes from seeing a topic or aspect of life (such as our voices) from multiple contexts and using multiple perspectives.  We will introduce voice by confronting a number of conventional assumptions, and then apply our disciplinary lenses of music, theater, indigenous studies, film and media, history, black studies, and education to theorize voice, and deepen our sense of how voices are both a thingand a process.  Finally, we’ll use innovative approaches to transfer that knowledge to everyday contexts by creating group and individual projects where issues of voice, communication, making meaning, and developing empathy will be a central focus.  

This student-driven course seeks to encourage voice and provides opportunities for students to actualize their academic and career journeys.  You will get to hone strategies and skills that will be useful for you throughout your time at UCSB and beyond, whether in graduate studies, or future jobs.  These include: close reading, critical analysis, creative thinking, writing in different genres, listening closely, practicing different kinds of interpersonal communication, and collaborating with small groups. This course also fulfills a GE writing requirement.