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January Term

Accelerated learning. Topics that are relevant to our world. 

Loyola University New Orleans has launched a new way for students to engage in their coursework and connect to our community. January term is a two-week, immersive learning opportunity available to enrolled undergraduate students at Loyola. Students will dive deeply into one topic and devote their full attention to learning and engaging in dialogue with classmates about important, timely subjects.

The January term is completely optional. Each three-credit course offered during J-term will be rigorous and have demanding assignments. For some students, this is an opportunity to catch up on credits or get ahead in their studies. For other students, this time may be best used to rest and recharge before the start of the spring semester on January 18. 

This semester we are again offering all J-term courses completely free of charge for currently enrolled undergraduate students. In the future, there will be a charge for J-term courses, but those on Race, Equity and Inclusion will remain free as part of our strategic plan for inclusive excellence. The courses span different subject areas and are offered in different modalities—online, HyFlex, and in person. Many are electives and some, where noted, meet core requirements. Given the condensed and intensive nature of these courses, students may only register for one course and spots are available on a first come, first served basis. 

PHYS-Y294, A Scientific Approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Dr. Jamileh Mohammadi.

Science in Context Core
Hybrid: Online Synchronous with other online components, MTWRF 9:00-11:00am

Our ways of thinking about and interacting with people are often affected by our judgments and generalization. We judge and treat those around us by measuring their social and economic success. Over time we gather (minimal) data about people of different races, genders, etc., and do statistical analysis to make conclusions and generalizations. In this "statistical" approach with a small amount of data, causation isn't fully determined. As a result, this approach leads to false data interpretation and misconceptions regarding race, gender, etc. In this course, we will use a scientific approach to eliminate (at least minimize) such misconceptions in the context of diversity, inclusion, and equity. Basic logic, scientific methods, and statistics will be covered by means of electronic logic, physics theory-building used in physics research, and quantum mechanics. Students will practice how to interpret data and make logical conclusions in:

  1. Purely mathematical examples.
  2. Physics examples of electronics and quantum mechanics.
  3. Statistical data related to DEI.

MUTY-O294, Queering the Roots of Gospel Music, Professor Kei Slaughter

Creative Arts & Cultures Core
Hybrid: Online Synchronous with other online components, MTWRF 9:00-11:00am

The course will critically examine the contributions of Black LGBTQ+ individuals to gospel music, particularly alongside spirituals and blues, blurring lines between the secular and sacred. Foundational frameworks, concepts, and definitions on Black Feminist thought, queer theory, Black liberation theology, and community music therapy will be used to guide conversations at the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. Highlighting key figures of the black queer community who have played a significant role in the history of gospel music, the class amplifies the ways in which Black queer (gospel) artists and creatives have always used music in service of social and political struggle as well as healing and resilience.


CRIM-X215 Race and Mass Incarceration, Dr. Christian Bolden

Social Science Core
Online Asynchronous

This course explores the social structural processes, causes, and consequences of mass incarceration in the United States and the disparate impact of the justice system on racial and ethnic groups. Using a social justice lens we will track the systemic elements and problem of mass incarceration. Beginning with the school to prison pipeline, we will examine the interconnectedness of education and criminal justice and the consequences of unequal application of discipline based on race. We will also explore the criminal justice institutions, the experience of incarceration, and the process of reentry with an emphasis on how “colorblind” systems mask significantly varied outcomes for racial/ethnic groups. Critical evaluation of the impact of criminal justice systems and disproportionate representation of marginalized groups will be investigated. The outcome of the course will be student advocacy, ingenuity, or creative solutions for addressing mass incarceration.


ENGL-O294: Asian American New Orleans, Dr. Leland Tabares

Creative Arts & Cultures Core
Hybrid: Online Synchronous with other online components, M-F 1:00-3:00pm

When you think about New Orleans, do you immediately think about the rich cultural history of Asian Americans? Probably not. But the greater New Orleans region was actually home to the first diasporic Asian peoples in the U.S. after indentured Filipino Manilamen escaped Spanish trade ships and sought refuge in St. Malo in the 1700s. New Orleans later became home to Vietnamese refugees during the Vietnam War, and their Vietnamese American children went on to lead environmental activist movements in New Orleans East following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Today, New Orleans is the setting for Blue Bayou, an acclaimed film that follows a Korean American tattoo artist trying to make a better life for his family. This course gives visibility and voice to these understudied cultural histories by showing how New Orleans serves as a generative site for the production and interpretation of Asian America. It asks: how have Asian American arts and culture been shaped by the social politics of New Orleans? We will take up key concepts in Asian American Studies like race, ethnicity, citizenship, immigration, refugeeism, imperialism, environmentalism, and activism. We will engage a variety of textual modes, including film, documentaries, food, cookbooks, critical histories, and poetry, among others. During this term, students will learn how to critically analyze Asian American ethnic arts and culture around New Orleans.


ENGLA224, Examining the Own Voices Movement in Young Adult Literature, Dr. Lindsey Sproul.

General Elective
Online Synchronous, MTWRF 9:00-11:00

This course is a rigorous study of identity, representation in literature, and both critical and creative writing and storytelling. We will focus on the Own Voices movement—an effort to bring marginalized voices to the forefront in the publishing world, which started in the Young Adult genre. We’ll aim to determine what makes a novel “own voices,” whether there’s a way to measure the validity of that marketing strategy, and its impact on writers and readers. Is this movement beneficial, detrimental, or both, in terms of how it impacts overrepresented voices in YA literature? There is heavy emphasis on both reading and writing; we cannot learn how to write without reading closely and effectively (and profusely).


ENTR-X294, Yes, You Are An Entrepreneur, Dr. Adam Mills

Social Science Core
Hybrid: Online Synchronous with other online components, MTWRF 9:00-11:00am

Whether you consider yourself a "businessperson" or not, you're going to be in business for your entire career one way or another. This is the class you need to lay the foundation of a successful career, regardless of where your passion lies. Yes, You Are An Entrepreneur is an intensive and hands-on course designed specifically for NON-business students in fields such as music, fine arts, nursing, natural sciences, information technology, criminology, political science and mass communication. We will explore the essential elements of creating value for your product or service offering, curating the narrative of your personal and professional brand, identifying and understanding your customers, how to engineer memorable experiences and how to charge for them.


CMMN-O294, The Role of Race In Hollywood, Professor Ty Lawson

Creative Arts & Cultures Core
Hybrid: Online Synchronous with other online components, MTWRF 9:00-11:00am

This course will focus on examining and illustrating the unique, multidimensional experiences of people of color in Hollywood. It examines how race and ethnicity as social categories are shaped by Hollywood. The goal is to illuminate how meanings of race are constructed and can be read through cinema, such as the socio-political context of multiculturalism in the United States. We will focus on contemporary films representing groups from the global diaspora. Our analysis will illuminate how film produces both conventional and transgressive gazes. Screenings include “Fruitville” by Ryan Coogler, “City of God” by Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, “Parasite” by Bong Joon-ho, and “Loving” by Jeff Nichols. Readings will include the annual Hollywood Diversity Report and industry trade magazine articles among others.


CRIM-A294, Criminalization in the United States, Dr. Kelly Frailing.

General Elective Online Synchronous, MTWR 9:00-4:00pm

This course will examine the ways in which people with mental illness and people who use substances have been criminalized by the American justice system in the past 50 years. It will cover deinstitutionalization and its effects, the War on Drugs and its effects, recent ameliorative steps to try to reverse (or at least slow) the trend of criminalizing members of these two groups, and the clear limits of those steps. The expected student learning outcomes for this course are as follows: 1. Describe the process of deinstitutionalization and its role in the criminalization of people with mental illness; 2. Describe the War on Drugs and its role in the criminalization of people who use substances; 3. Identify recent steps meant to reverse (or at least slow) the criminalization of these two groups; 4. Explain the limits of these steps in counteracting criminalization, and; 5. Propose additional steps, both inside and outside the justice system, that have the potential to further ameliorate the criminalization of members of these groups.


PHIL-U275, Race, Racism, and Social Justice, Dr. Curry O’Day.

Phil II Core
Online Synchronous, MTWRF 10:00-12:00 and 2:00-4:00

The European conception of Man was singularly exalted in colonialist philosophy to the violent exclusion of all other anthropologies as it undergirded emerging political formations in the so-called New World. Social and economic injustices that arose in the centuries following European conquest have culminated in today’s disproportionate impoverishment, incarceration, political alienation, and state-sponsored murder of colonized subjects in the United States, as well its continued imperial and neocolonial domination of subaltern peoples across the planet. Meanwhile, resistance to present-day manifestations of European colonialism is too often structured, and therefore constrained, by the values and methods that are endemic to the very ideologies these movements ostensibly oppose. This course will introduce students to critiques of racism and Western philosophical methods that are excluded from the canon because they challenge foundational concepts of European humanism and liberalism. The material covered in this course provides a historical foundation for critical analysis of contemporary discourse around race, colonialism, and social justice. Students will read from a sociologically diverse roster of philosophers who rarely appear on syllabi typical to the established Western curriculum, including philosophers of Caribbean and American traditions. This course is specifically geared toward illuminating radical philosophies of liberation that reject Eurocentricity and the paradigmatic methods and values of chauvinist Western philosophy.


SPST-A294, In Quarantine with Anne Frank: Lessons from the Holocaust for Today, Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos.

General Elective
On-Campus Attendance Required, TWRF 9:00-4:00pm

This course explores Anne Frank’s experience and diary in the larger context of the Holocaust and of today. By thinking critically about the historical events, political systems, and personal choices that led to the death of Anne and 11 million other marginalized people at the hands of the Nazis, students will consider parallels and intersections with our own nation’s history, and contemplate solutions to the contemporary challenges laid bare during the Covid pandemic: inequity, intolerance, and systemic racism. The course will include two 90-minute workshops offered by Yad Vashem, the world Holocaust remembrance center in Jerusalem. Through a partnership with the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, students will spend two in-person days training as docents for the traveling exhibit, “Anne Frank: A History for Today.” This 30-panel exhibit tells Anne's story against the background of World War II and the Holocaust; it is designed not only to provide historical facts, but to use peer docents to encourage discussion regarding tolerance, inclusion, racism, and human rights.