A Cultural Guide to Tele-BEARS: Spring 2014

David Getman/Courtesy

Making sure your four years at UC Berkeley are filled to the brim with worthwhile collegiate moments is a must. A trip up the Campanile, hiking the Big C and frequent trips into San Francisco are necessary items on any undergrad’s bucket list, but when it comes to academics a lot of students end up only taking classes that are either for their major, “easy” units or breadth requirements. For a more refined Tele-BEARS experience, the Daily Cal has compiled a handful of cultured classes being offered this spring. Happy Class Shopping!

Film and Media 108 Lec 3: “Serial Television: Time in Mad Men”

Whether you’re obsessed with Don Draper or just need to fulfill a Film major requirement, this course, which focuses on an analytic examination of “Mad Men” from an interdisciplinary approach, is just for you. While cultural research on the 1960s is a main feature of the class, 35 hours of group screening time is also included so you can enjoy the witty banter and intoxicating action of “Mad Men.” Your only homework before the spring semester begins? To watch Season 1 prior to the first lecture.

Italian Studies 109: Dante’s “Commedia”

For those well-versed in Italian, the Italian Studies department will be teaching a class devoted to the major Italian poet’s distinguished work of Italian literature. Travel with Dante through inferno, purgatorio and paradiso as you learn about not only Christian theology, but also the work’s effect on the Italian language itself. Buona fortuna!

Journalism C101: The Rise and Future of the Food Movement

You might know Michael Pollan as the bestselling author of the book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” Teaching only one undergraduate lecture at Berkeley, Pollan has been known to challenge his students to think more analytically about food as a multi-disciplinary form. Each week, experts on farm-to-farm efforts, agriculture and animal welfare groups will lecture, widening the scope of food as a necessity that is becoming more politically and economically driven. Students will also have the opportunity to volunteer for a few hours a week at a local, food-related non-profit.

History of Art 180C: The Invention of Avant-Garde

With an emphasis on Paris and cultural mastery in Europe, this course delves into the visual arts in the 19th and 20th centuries. A focus on post-Impressionism, avant-garde culture and its relationship to consumer culture anchors the class, leaving room for discussion and debate on the spectacle of modernity and its artistic connection to society.

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Studies 145: Queer Literary Culture

Also listed under the Gender and Women’s Studies department, this course examines sexuality through the lens of literary culture. How does Western civilization represent gay culture? How has sexual identity changed over time due to societal conventions and institutions? These are only a few of the pressing questions the class will explore.