From Capitalism to Easter Island to the Klingon Language: Learn Online with SBS Community Classes

Dec. 10, 2021

This spring, community members can explore the mysteries of Easter Island; the pottery of Mata Ortiz; mothering across borders, and the Klingon language from the Star Trek universe. In addition, they can learn about capitalism from one of the most influential thinkers of the past century, Noam Chomsky.

Offered by the University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Community Classroom allows Tucson community members to explore fascinating topics with renowned UArizona professors and community scholars, dive into the social sciences and liberal arts, and participate in enriching cultural immersion experiences.

“The world around us continues to intrigue, fascinate and grow ever more complex,” said Maribel Alvarez, associate dean of community engagement for the College of SBS. “We are pleased to offer an opportunity for members of our community to sit with expert faculty in the social sciences to ponder, debate, and analyze how we respond collectively to these challenges.”

The college is offering both online and in-person non-credit classes and workshops. For more information and to register, visit

Consequences of Capitalism
Linguistics Professor and Agnese Nelms Haury Chair Noam Chomsky and UArizona Emeritus Professor Marv Waterstone will co-teach this newly revised seven-week class that is both a general education course for undergraduates and open to lifelong learners from the public. The course will examine how a “capitalist realism” worldview has come to dominate the way we organize the political economy to satisfy human needs and wants as well as the consequences of this orientation. 

Unraveling the Mysteries of Easter Island (Rapa Nui)
Terry Hunt – anthropology professor and dean of the W.A Franke Honors College – is one of the world’s foremost experts on Rapa Nui, better known as Easter Island. In this course, Hunt will explore how and why this isolated culture adapted over prehistory; review the evidence for Polynesian migrations and ancient American connections; examine Rapa Nui archaeology, including how the massive statues were transported to every part of the island; consider deforestation, climate, and the constraints ancient islanders faced; and take a look at the issues confronting islanders on Rapa Nui today.

Learn the Klingon Language For Your Next Vacation On Qo'noS
In this class held at the Loft Cinema, Linguistics Professor Natasha Warner will teach participants about the Klingon language from the Star Trek universe, including some pronunciation and grammar, as well as how to say such phrases as "Your ship is a garbage scow," and "Where do you keep the chocolate?" Students will also learn about the principles Marc Okrand used to create the Klingon language, including the ways he made it similar and different from a human language.

The Pottery of Mata Ortiz
Master potter Porfirio (Pilo) Mora represents the pottery tradition of Mata Ortiz, a village in Chihuahua, Mexico. In this class held at the Tucson Museum of Art, Pilo will discuss the history and evolution of Mata Ortiz pottery, explain techniques and materials, and provide demonstrations of building and painting a pot. Students will also have an opportunity to try out techniques!  

Mothering Across Borders
Ideologies of motherhood shape how mothers are perceived and how motherhood is experienced, which typically results in monolithic conceptions that do not capture the expansive ways in which caregiving is provided. In this class with Michelle Téllez, associate professor in the Department of Mexican American Studies, participants will examine the experiences of mothers as they navigate social, political, economic, and cultural borders across the U.S./Mexico borderlands.