RCG Series: Part Two


Shani Erdman

News Editor

Get ready Milken students, because Milken is offering a new class this year: Religion, Culture, Geography — or as it is commonly referred to, RCG II. While the course has no prerequisites, it is recommended that students take Race, Class, and Gender (RCG) prior to enrolling in the class.

It was Mr. Nick Holton, Social Science teacher’s, idea to add RCG II to the course catalog. He explained that the Social Sciences Department had been trying to push a geography and world religion course for a while now. However, their attempt to run a geography course a few years ago did not pan out, most likely because the idea of studying geography was not appealing enough to students.

Instead of merely studying maps, RCG II challenges students to analyze the development of social, economic, political, and geographical issues with global lenses.

“RCG II assumes that in order for students to discuss social issues in other countries, they need to know more about the culture, religion, and geography of those areas,” Holton explained.

The course is broken down into five parts:

The first is looking at bias narrative in maps, statistics, and the media. Bias narrative is the underlying and sometimes hidden stories or biases that the construction of statistical tables and images imply.

“For example, there is a certain bias in that the Western world is portrayed on the top of the map, ” Holton elaborated.

The second part is looking at what culture is, analyzing what meaning we take from it, and examining how it shapes our social world.

The third part is studying world religions and exploring how they shape our reality.

The fourth part is learning physical geography and completing basic map work.

Finally, the fifth part is reading various essays on global and social issues and debating them. Students will be exposed to articles with a range of topics, from colonialism to gender issues around the world.

“I honestly feel privileged to be in RCG II. It covers important topics that schools don’t often put enough emphasis on,” Megan Taban ’15 said.