RCSSCI 360 - Social Science Junior Seminar
Winter 2023, Section 005 - On Rest: the Social, Cultural, and Political Significance of Taking a Break
Instruction Mode: Section 005 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: RC Social Sciences (RCSSCI)
Department: LSA Residential College
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Upperclass standing.
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/4/23 - 4/18/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


When is a person at rest being lazy, and when are they engaged in self-care or political resistance? How has the denial of rest to workers shaped the history of capitalism as well as white supremacy? How has enforced rest been used to contain some women’s creative and political power? How might your own exhaustion or need for more rest connect to broader histories of racism, sexism, ableism, and wealth inequality? In this seminar, we read a range of authors who address such questions about the politics and social history of rest in the U.S. Some key voices include Tricia Hersey (a.k.a. the Nap Bishop), Elliot Kukla, Audre Lorde, Jenny Odell, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. We also consider the politics and economics of rest in relation to cultural and religious traditions (such as sabbath-keeping and shmita) that structure periodic breaks into communal calendars. Ultimately, our readings and discussions are designed to help us to understand some key ways that phenomena which might seem simply personal, physical, or ‘natural’ are shaped and given meaning by systems of social difference and power in which we are all embedded.

Course Requirements:

The course will include its own rhythm of collective work and rest, including ‘sabbaticals’ every seventh class meeting: on those days, instead of coming to class, students will engage deliberately in a practice of rest and reflect in writing on that experience in relation to our course texts and discussions. Writing assignments will also include a final ‘manifesto’ or personal statement of belief about the social meanings and importance of rest.


RCSSCI 360 - Social Science Junior Seminar
Schedule Listing
003 (SEM)
 In Person
WF 11:30AM - 1:00PM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23
004 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23
005 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23
006 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

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