First Semester Experience: Big Chicago

Fall 2022 First-Semester Experience/Big Chicago Courses

  • CCCX 110: Chicago: The Global Metropolis

    Instructor: Steve Corey
    Mondays, 12:30-3:20pm, Stage II

    The course will introduce students to Chicago's economic, ethnic, racial, cultural, and political development. Students develop knowledge concerning the impact of technological change on Chicago and the economic and demographic forces that have helped shape the city's history. In addition, the class will help Columbia freshman to gain access to the various cultural institutions and neighborhoods of the city. Taught by Steve Corey, Humanities, History, and Social Sciences. 

  • CCCX 112: Music & Media in Chicago

    CCCX 112-01: Music & Media in Chicago
    Instructor: Jim DeRogatis
    Mondays, 12:30-3:20pm, Film Row Cinema

    CCCX 112-02: Music & Media in Chicago
    Instructor: Jim DeRogatis
    Mondays, 3:30-6:20pm, Film Row Cinema

    Music and Media in Chicago will provide an overview of the past, present, and future of the many genres of music thriving in Chicago. It will examine how this city put its stamp on the development of these sounds as they spread around the world, as well as introducing the tools of the historian, sociologist, musicologist, and cultural critic via lectures, video, film, online and dead-tree readings, and vibrant discussions. The class also will review the past, present, and future of Chicago media-newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and the blogosphere-examining the city's journalism culture and infrastructure, and, as with music, providing an understanding for an informed and critical reading of these texts so that the student can become an active and involved citizen participating to the fullest extent in everything this extraordinary metropolis has to offer. Taught by Jim DeRogatis, English and Creative Writing.

  • CCCX 117: Chicago Film History

    CCCX 117-01: Chicago Film History
    Instructor: Jeff Spitz
    Wednesdays, 12:30-3:20pm, Stage II

    CCCX 117-02: Chicago Film History
    Instructor: Jeff Spitz
    Thursdays, 3:30-6:20pm, Stage II

    Chicago Film History is a screening, lecture, and discussion course with a two-fold purpose. It explores Chicago's formative role in the creation of the Hollywood system and analyzes how Chicago has been represented in American narrative and documentary features. In particular, it's divided into four units. Unit I uses Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the U.S Film Industry to review how Chicago functioned as the center of American film production pre-Hollywood. Unit II explores images of Chicago in genres such as gangster films, film noir, and romantic comedies. Unit III covers Chicago documentaries. Lastly, Unit IV contains in-class presentations where students synthesize their own analyses and research in front of their peers. Taught by Jeff Spitz, Cinema and Television Arts.

  • CCCX 121: Did You Just Flip Me Off??? Deaf People and Linguistic Diversity in Chicago

    Instructor: Matt Andersen
    Thursdays, 12:30-3:20pm, Stage II 

    Chicago is a global city, and its linguistic diversity reflects its cultural richness. This course will survey the topics of signed languages and their structures, Deaf Culture, and the vibrant Deaf community in Chicago. Students will also explore Chicago’s neighborhoods and dynamic linguistic diversity. Topics include the history of American Sign Language, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Deaf art and storytelling, and the linguistics of cross-cultural dialogue. Additionally, students will explore ideas of disability and privilege through the lens of the many museums and cultural landmarks in Chicago. Taught by Matt Andersen, American Sign Language.

  • CCCX 126: Chicago: Design of Cities and Social Justice

    Instructors: Joan Giroux and Rene King
    Wednesdays, 9:00-11:50am, Stage II

    In this course, we investigate Chicago as a hub for activism and social change through the lens of architecture, urban planning, design and the arts. Students will be invited to consider the physical and virtual places and spaces and objects that constitute and define the city of Chicago and the Chicagoland region. Students will learn of Daniel Burnham, the architect and visionary urban planner who, in the early 1900s, proposed access to clean air, green space, civic engagement and cultural life for Chicago’s residents. On walking tours and site visits throughout the city, students will examine and critically evaluate the current condition of Chicago’s urban and civic spaces against the backdrop of Burnham’s plan. Students will investigate how different people and organizations throughout the region contribute to access for services in health, nutrition, safety and the environment for Chicagoans. Students will be introduced to models of grassroots and community engagement that open up spaces for dialogue, action, agency and continued transformation and vitality. Taught by Joan Giroux, Art and Art History, and Rene King, Design.

  • CCCX 129: Chicago: The Third Coast

    Instructor: Dave Dolak
    Wednesdays, 9:00-11:50am, Film Row Cinema

    The blue horizontal lines that frame the iconic four red stars on the Chicago flag represent Lake Michigan and the Great Canal, waterways that link the City across time and space to the development and growth of modern America. In this course, students will learn about the science and natural history of the Continental Divide, a natural feature formed during the Ice Age that provided favorable conditions for development along the southern shore of the Great Lakes. Chicago also boasts a rich history of technological innovation to create the complex transportation network of canals, railroads, highways and air corridors that link East to West, and North to South. This network contributed directly to Chicago becoming an industrial and financial powerhouse and a beacon to adventurers, entrepreneurs, scientists, educators and artists. This course will explore how the natural and human-created environment led directly to innovations in science, engineering, manufacturing, and retail and distribution, sometimes with negative effects to the land and water. Students will explore a variety of sites in and around the City and will use a journal as a site of artistic and academic observation and reflection to document some of the scientific, environmental, technological, artistic and historic features of this great crossroads metropolis. Taught by Dave Dolak, Science and Mathematics.

  • CCCX 130: Chicago Latinx! Community, Culture and Citizenship

    Instructor: Carmelo Esterrich
    Tuesdays, 3:30-6:20pm, Stage II

    Chicago is a multi-ethnic city, and the Latino community is one of the most vibrant and active today. But what's in a name? What's in a place? What are the connections between an urban space like Chicago and the communities that call themselves Latina/o, Hispanic, Mexican-American, Puerto Rican, Salvadoran? Some of them are recent immigrants and need to navigate a culture and a language unfamiliar to them; some of them were born here and need to straddle more than one culture and language; some are scarcely aware of their cultural and linguistic origins. And then there is the rest of the population who constantly interacts with these communities. This course delves into the issues of Latin@/Latinx ethnicity and culture in the urban space of Chicago—through language and literature, music and food—as we discuss questions of migration, cultural citizenship, and identity. Taught by Carmelo Esterrich, Humanities, History, and Social Sciences.

  • CCCX 131-01: Big Chicago: Epicenter of Pop Culture

    Instructor: Nathan Bakkum
    Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:00-10:20am, Stage II

    From the invention of pinball machines and video games; the invention of gospel music and the electrification of the blues-and serving as ground zero for the Black Arts Movement-Chicago has always played a pivotal role in the evolution of 20th Century popular culture. Columbia College Chicago has long been at the crossroads of this cultural wellspring. This course is an interdisciplinary study of the city’s contributions to the pantheon of pop. From the first Ferris Wheel to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “Epicenter of Popular Culture” will challenge students to explore and understand the city’s contributions to modern culture and ask them to consider the question, “Why does pop culture matter?” Students across all areas of study will benefit from gleaning a deep-rooted understanding and appreciation of Chicago as a mecca for American and global popular culture. Along the way, students will begin to ponder their own contributions to the tradition, challenging them to truly understand the concept of “authoring the culture of our times.” Taught by Nathan Bakkum, Music.

  • CCCX 199-01: Big Chicago: Civil Rights in Chicago

    Instructor: Suzanne McBride
    Tuesdays, 12:30-3:20pm, Stage II

    Chicago has long been an epicenter for struggles and achievements in the area of civil rights, broadly defined as guarantees of equality protection under the law regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, and physical and mental ability. Almost sixty years ago, Chicago took center stage in the so-called Long Civil Rights Movement when Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. joined local activists in the Chicago Freedom Movement to fight housing discrimination and slum conditions, followed by Fred Hampton and the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party organizing block by block for progressive change in low-income neighborhoods. Today, Chicago—its people, its history, and its culture—are on the front lines of newly energized struggles for civil rights across an array of social justice concerns. Young people all over the region—including Columbia College Chicago students—are playing a role in these struggles, highlighted by movements, organizations, and activities such as Black Lives Matter, M4BL, Trans Lives Matter, me too, United We Dream, just to name a few.  We will explore a variety of contemporary civil rights issues and engage with the people and institutions that have made our city an international focus for social change.  We will use journalism, communication, and basic social science techniques to document, communicate, and share with each other the past and current state of civil rights in Chicago. Taught by Suzanne McBride, Communication.

  • CCCX 199-02: Big Chicago: Wild in Chicago

    Instructor: Robin Whatley 
    Mondays, 9:00-11:50am, Stage II 

    How do we notice and consider animals in the city? Where do they live and how do they exist and interact in urban environments? Pigeons, rats, dogs, cats…. and flying squirrels, river otters, little brown bats, peregrine falcons, snowy owls, spiny softshell turtles, leopard frogs, blue spotted salamanders, American eels, goldfish, armed snaggletooth snail, deertoe mussels, dark fishing spiders, monarch butterflies, rusty patched bumblebees…are just a small sampling of the non-human animals navigating life in Chicago environments. The parks, neighborhoods, air, soil, rivers, lake, and even skyscrapers, bridges, train tracks, and sidewalk cracks are homes to the city’s animals. We’ll explore animal habitats on walking tours and site visits, investigating how development and planning decisions, or lack of any consideration, has impacted the lives and well-being of diverse animal and plant communities over time. Students will create a field guide documenting how, when, and where to find wildlife, reflecting on the meaning, importance, and place of nature and animals in the city and our own urban lives. Taught by Robin Whatley, Science and Mathematics.

  • CCCX 199H-01: Big Chicago: Honors: Access, Civic Life & City Design

    Instructor: Marcella David
    Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:30-11:50am, Stage II

    "Access" has many connotations. It can mean the actual physical means of entering a location, the permission given to people seeking to enter a location, start a career, or communicate with a person, or the ability someone may have to make use of a resource. Each of these instances of "access" is linked to a design or plan: an architect's choice between a ramp or stairs, the decision to limit enrollment of a new school building to children living within 20 blocks and not 25 blocks, the decision to locate a free clinic far away from public transportation. We will investigate how Chicago's design choices influence how people experience and use the city.  On walking tours and site visits throughout the city, students will examine and critically evaluate the current condition of Chicago's urban spaces and investigate how different people may be welcomed or discouraged from fully participating in Chicago's civic life. As part of our analysis we will explore how markers of difference, including physical ability, race, socio-economic status and gender, may be influential elements of design that expand or restrict access. Taught by Marcella David, Business and Entrepreneurship. 

CCCX 100: Learning Outcomes

Although individual courses have course-specific learning outcomes associated with understanding Columbia College Chicago’s urban setting, all of the courses share the same expectations for the student learning experience. In the first-year experience course, students will: