Kresge 1: Power and Representation

Kresge 1 – Power and Representation (also called “Core”) teaches first-years the foundations of university life and learning through a seminar-style class with about 25 students. Kresge 1 helps empower you to practice academic styles of reading, analysis, and discussion that will contribute to your success as a student no matter which major you choose. The course also helps you to feel a sense of belonging to the college community you’ve just joined.

Kresge Core’s thematic focus is on the power of education to imagine the world anew. The course is framed by three overarching questions: How do I learn? Why do I learn? and From whom do I learn? We begin the quarter with close reading, reflection, and discussion of some key texts, including our anchor book: Jenny Odell’s How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy. The goal is to enable you to focus and really pay attention to whom and what is important to you, and also to better understand why that seems so hard sometimes. Midway through the quarter, each student will do an oral history project, for which they will interview an “elder” – a parent, grandparent, teacher, mentor, etc. – about an experience that was a turning point in that person’s life. The goal is to listen to and learn from someone else’s story. Then, for their final projects, students will turn their oral histories into a new genre – for instance, a comic book,  poem,  song,  short story,  digital photo archive,  painting, or mini-documentary – to tell their elder’s story in a new way. The goal is to distill a main theme or key lesson from your elder’s story and create something meaningful with it. At the end of the quarter, students will have an opportunity to share their creative projects with one another in class, and, if they choose, to exhibit their projects at Core Night (the final Thursday plenary of Fall instruction).

In addition to their Core seminar, students will attend “plenaries” on certain Thursday evenings. Plenaries are large gatherings of multiple sections and will feature professors at UCSC from multiple fields discussing not only their research but also why that research matters to them, in other words, how they see the power of education to reimagine and change the world for the better.



Kresge 1 Core Faculty