Simpson Colloquium 101
“I’m not racist; I have a black friend.” “I’m not racist; I’m just sick of unqualified people taking our jobs.” “There is no more racism in America; the Civil Rights Movement is over and it worked.” “I don’t see race; I just see people.” These common statements perpetuate racism in America, although often the speaker does so unintentionally. In this post-Civil Rights era, many of us are raised to be colorblind. We are told we should not pay attention to our own or other people’s races in order to be a good and moral person, and so we fail to see the racism in the above statements. In fact, because most of us do not want to be racist, we often don’t want to investigate the way race benefits or negatively affects our lives. This class is for those of you want to learn about race in the U.S. in a comprehensive way and in a non-judgmental environment. It will challenge you to move beyond common ways of thinking about race and resist racism in your own lives.
My name is Allison Wolf and I am an Associate Professor of Philosophy here at Simpson College. Though I grew up in Los Angeles, I chose to go to the East Coast for college, where I earned my B.A. from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, in Philosophy. From there, I went to the Great Lakes and earned my Masters degree and Ph.D. in philosophy from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. There I specialized in Applied Ethics and Political Philosophy (i.e. Feminist Philosophy and Philosophy of Race), focusing on medical ethics and feminist ethics/philosophy. My research continue to focus in those areas and I am always happy to bring students on board with those projects.
In addition to my passion for teaching philosophy, I am very committed to helping students increase their philosophical abilities and knowledge by studying internationally. Before coming to Simpson, I assisted on a Study Abroad program in Costa Rica, which focused on Costa Rica’s health care system and related issues in medical ethics. Since coming to Simpson, I have led 3 May Term courses in Ethics of Globalization in Costa Rica, and plan on leading another in May 2014. Most recently, I also lead a Study Abroad semester in Argentina. I hope that you all will consider studying abroad with me and my colleagues during your time at Simpson – it is a life-changing experience!
I am very interested in helping students challenge themselves and broaden their personal and professional horizons by studying key issues of our time (such as the continued existence and effects of racism) and by applying philosophy and ethics. That is one of many reasons that I worked with my colleague John Pauley to create both the philosophy minor with a concentration in ethics and the major in Applied Philosophy (the only one in the state of Iowa). I became a philosopher because I wanted to better understand the world so that I could help create solutions to the problems facing our world; I want to help students do the same by learning to ask their own questions, do their own research, and propose their own philosophically sound ideas. I do this my teaching, advising, community service and campus service projects. I enthusiastically welcome the opportunity to work with students of all backgrounds and interests who like to learn, be challenged and explore themselves and their world.
Meet Your Simpson Colloquium Leader
Hey guys and gals, my name is Nathan Liston and I will be the Simpson Colloquium Leader for Dr. Allison Wolf’s Simpson Colloquium class, “Seeing Color: Exploring Racism in America.” I will be a senior for the 2013-14 school year and am looking forward to being a part of your Simpson experience.
I was born in Des Moines, Iowa but I went to high school and call Fort Collins, CO my home. In high school, I played tennis and was involved with debate, mock trial, and National Honor Society. At Simpson, I am majoring in History and Spanish with a minor in Secondary Education. I play on the tennis team here, volunteer at the local retirement center, humane society, and with Freedom for Youth in Des Moines. On campus, I am the Vice President of External Affairs for Lambda Chi Alpha.
In the spring of 2012 I studied abroad in Rosario, Argentina with Dr. Wolf. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I love traveling, hiking, and spending time with my family. In my free time at school, I enjoy playing intramurals, cooking, and hanging out with friends. If you need anything, feel free to email me or add me on Facebook. I am here to help you transition from high school to college and look forward to meeting you all soon
Meet Your Writing Fellow
Hi! My name is Marissa Belau and I will be your Writing Fellow for Dr. Allison Wolf’s SC class, “Seeing Color: Exploring Racism”. I will be a sophomore for the 2013-2014 school year and am very excited to get to meet and work with all of you this coming fall.
I am from a small town in Minnesota called Rush City, where I live with my parents, younger brother and sister, 3 dogs, 5 cats, 3 rabbits, a bearded dragon and 2 fish. In high school I participated in almost everything ranging from volleyball, to speech, to SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), and band. I also volunteered as a tutor for elementary-age kids, was a Student Ambassador for the Rush City Chamber of Commerce, and received my Gold Award in Girl Scouts in September of 2012.
Since coming to Simpson I have been involved in band, Residence Hall Association, Simpson Students for Life, the Student Alumni Association, and Psychology Club. I am also a Wesley Service Scholar who maintains a weekly volunteer position at Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines. Currently, I am a Psychology and Sociology double major and am considering adding a Business or Human Resources minor. During the summer I work as the Business and Operations Director at Kiwanis Cub Scout Camp in Stillwater, MN.
In between classes, homework and my work study job I love to read, listen to music, and watch movies with ‘the girls’. I like to consider myself an open and outgoing person and cannot wait to help you all make the transition to college life as painless and stress free as possible. If you have any questions about me, the SC class, or Simpson in general, DON’T HESITATE to look me up on Facebook and ask! I look forward to getting to know all of you and meeting you in August.
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