Academics and Research / News

‘Hip Hop,’ ‘Native American Women Writers’ offered during spring interterm

Students used to learning about William Shakespeare, Isaac Newton and Adam Smith in their normal classes have the chance to add another luminary to their acquired knowledge.

His name is Jay-Z.

Hip Hop is one of the eight elective courses being offered during the spring interterm March 14–20. Another new course offered this term is Native American Women Writers, which focuses on the contributions and works of Native American women to literature.

Interterms are intensive courses intended to be concentrated and interactive. Classes are capped at about 12 students, so interested students should register as soon as possible before space runs out.

Hip Hop will be held from 9 a.m.­–5 p.m. March 14–18 on campus. Course instructor Jeffery Mack, an author on the topic of black masculinity, has taught courses on world literature, African-American literature and hip-hop culture.

Students will examine African-American literary history, oral tradition, historical periods and how African-American authors give voice to the issues of gender, race and cultural identity in hip-hop culture and poetry.

Mack will cover how artists shape their creative works and how hip-hop evolved into a politically charged and socially responsive tradition.

Native American Women Writers will be held in a combined on-campus and online format. On-campus classes will be from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. March 14, 16 and 18.

Billy Stratton — an author on the topic of Native American literature, decolonization and radical environmentalism — will teach the class.

Stratton will introduce students to contemporary literary texts produced by and about Native American women, including their representations in history, literature and popular culture.

Themes will include “indigenous peoplehood,” “cultural survivance,” “legacy of the boarding school system” and “racial and gender politics.” Stratton also will delve into how Native American women writers use storytelling to address psychic trauma. Students will study literature from the Lakota, Dine, Laguna, Chickasaw and Tlingit Native American communities.

“For many Native nations, women not only serve as nurturers and caretakers, but also as tradition bearers and leaders,” Stratton says. “It is my hope that by examining the writings of Native women, which challenge entrenched stereotypes and colonial epistemologies, students can develop a more sophisticated conception of Native American culture and society.”

Mack and Stratton are new to the University this term.

Additional classes offered during spring interterm include Global Perspectives in Real Estate, Voices of Self, Soul, and Public, Stress Management, Pharmacological Approaches to Disease: Past, Present, & Future, Religion and the Media and Managing Community Partnerships.

Travel courses will take students to Colorado, Israel and Jordan.

“Interterm is an excellent way for students to advance their academic plan through electives that are distinctive and experiential,” says Cathaerine Ferguson, marketing manager for DU’s Special Community Programs. “Whether participating in an Interterm course that takes place on campus, online, or on-site at a domestic or international location, students will explore new areas and provoke keen interests.”

Interterm classes are open to undergraduate and graduate students, including students at the Women’s College and University College, and must be taken for credit. Financial aid is available. Students can register for interterm classes through Webcentral, but must register for travel classes through the Special Community Programs office.

Registration is open through March 14. For more information, visit


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