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DOC 3: Imagination + Action

DOC 3, "Imagination + Action," is a six-unit course offered every spring quarter. 

Course Description

As the culmination of the sequence, DOC 3 aims to develop students' research processes.  Students will have to use their critical reading and writing skills to produce a final research paper that analyzes an issue on the UC San Diego campus related to the larger structural iniquities and questions of justice that ground the DOC sequence.  Students will not only analyze the issue of their choice as it relates to campus, but also propose a solution or action supported by their research.  DOC 3 thus takes seriously the call to imagine institutions differently that defined the establishment of Thurgood Marshall College in 1970.

Prerequisites and Enrollment

Completion of DOC 2 is a prerequisite of DOC 3.  Students should plan to take the DOC sequence in order. 

DOC 3 discussion sections will meet twice a week, starting Week 1.  Failure to attend the first discussion section meeting may result in the student losing his/her space in the course. Adding or switching DOC sections may be done via WebReg as openings occur through Friday of Week 1. Students may not add late or miss the first week of the quarter. Students who are still on waitlists at the end of Week 1 should plan to take DOC 3 in 2021.

This course is restricted to Thurgood Marshall College students, and must be taken for a Letter Grade.

Lecturers for Spring Quarter 2020

All DOC 3 lectures are asynchronous for Spring Quarter 2020.
Office Hours will be posted on DOC's People page Week 2 of Spring Quarter.

Specific Information for Spring Quarter 2020

Enrolled students are able to access the most updated versions of the DOC 3 Syllabus, assignments, additional material, and notices through Canvas.

Download: 2020 DOC 3 Section List with TA Names

Message to DOC Community, June 1, 2020

Our work in DOC has prepared us to name this moment for what it is. It has prepared us to recognize how the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, coming in the midst of the disproportionate deaths related to COVID-19 suffered by black and brown communities, lay bare the system of White supremacy that defines the deep roots and daily realities of the U.S. nation. Our work in DOC helps us see that the protests igniting all across the country are not random or illogical acts of violence, but the culmination of a long simmering history of systemic racism, state violence, and institutional neglect.

The DOC sequence is a brief look at the deep contradictions and promises of U.S. history, society, and culture. Amongst topics that are very relevant to this moment, we studied in DOC 1 the foundational national projects of chattel slavery and native displacement. In DOC 2, we focused on social movements and struggles for justice led by communities of color and their allies—how those movements and struggles attempted to fundamentally confront and transform the White supremacy upon which the U.S. nation was founded. And now in DOC 3, we are laboring under the shadow of the pandemic to continue this legacy of activism by imagining a more socially just campus and the actions to take to bring those visions into reality. The work we do in DOC is painful. It is painful to study histories of injustice, to comprehend the traumatic violence of the present, especially the anti-Black violence of the current moment, and to challenge ourselves to imagine and enact change. 

As a program, we recognize how difficult it is to complete coursework under these conditions and we also recognize how even more imperative the work we do is. As such, the program has decided to support your well-being as students and the strength of your visions for change in your projects by making adjustments to the final components and deadlines of the DOC 3 course this quarter. In community with all DOC teaching assistants, staff and lecturers, we have collectively decided: 

  • To cancel the remaining Discussion Board Posts in week 10 and in exam week
  • To cancel required submission of Final Paper
  • To invite students who are invested in carrying forward their visions for change to still submit their Final Paper for future DOC students to continue their work next spring  
  • To still require submission of the Positionality Narrative in exam week as a space to process the current moment we find ourselves in and wrap up the work we have been doing in our course.

Your DOC lecturer will share with you details on how to write and submit your Positionality Narrative in a video to be released on Canvas before the end of day, Wednesday June 3 (11:59pm PDT). We make these decisions in response to the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in and to take action that is true to our program’s history and values.

In closing, DOC reiterates the statements of the University and TMC Student Council and, especially, the pledge made by the leaders of Thurgood Marshall College this weekend: “in the spirit of Third and Lumumba Zapata College, we pledge our resolve to examine the ways anti-Blackness and racism are embedded in our society and at our university. We pledge our resolve to support university-wide efforts such as restorative justice, an inclusive curriculum, and increased resources for underrepresented students. Most importantly, we pledge our resolve to continue to support all students during this difficult time and to advocate on your behalf to the University’s decision makers.”

Our work in DOC has prepared us to see this moment for what it is and, more importantly, to take the necessary actions to support our students and teaching community and confront systemic racism.

In community,
Amanda Solomon Amorao, DOC Director
Emily Rónay Johnston, DOC Associate Director
Megan Strom, DOC Lecturer

DOC Frequently Asked Questions for Spring 2020 (COVID-19, etc.)

(Last updated 6/04/20)

The Dimensions of Culture Program is adapting quickly in response to the measures announced to mitigate COVID-19’s impact on campus (  We understand that there is much uncertainty and anxiety as to how the emerging pandemic is affecting our daily lives generally and our learning and teaching specifically. Below is a list of FAQs intended to provide clarity so that you can make the best decisions possible regarding your enrollment in DOC. If you still have any further questions, please email

Please remember that in these difficult times, seeking credible information, following best practices, engaging in clear communication, and maintaining our community through compassion and understanding are the best ways to ensure health and well-being.

Q.  Can I take DOC 3 as Pass/No Pass (instead of for a Letter Grade)?

A.  The option to choose P/NP for DOC 3 is available via WebReg through June 12 [see message sent to students 6/03/20 from the Academic Senate]. This is a one-time exception for Spring Quarter 2020 only given the larger conditions and remote learning environment that we are facing due to COVID-19 (see  The DOC program asks that you consider several factors before you select P/NP. These include the nature of the challenges you are facing this quarter in successfully completing your work, whether your future plans include application to a graduate school that requires a letter grade in your writing-intensive courses, and your understanding that you must receive at least a C- in your DOC 3 coursework to earn a Pass grade. To help you understand how these factors can influence your decision, Dr. Solomon has prepared a decision tree that you can consider -- please see it on Canvas.

Q.  I am really worried about my ability to do well in DOC 3 just given everything that is happening. Will my DOC TA and lecturer expect the same quality of work in Spring Quarter 2020 as was expected before the COVID-19 pandemic?

A.  Don't worry! We completely understand that we are living in an extraordinary moment in history. The university leadership has asked all programs and departments that “to the extent possible, Senate Council strongly encourages departments, programs, and colleges to relax letter grade requirements for major courses, degree requirements, and prerequisites during Spring 2020 as such actions have the potential to mitigate stress and anxiety among students.” What this means for DOC 3 is that we have significantly reduced the amount of reading, streamlined assignments, simplified grading rubrics, and modified every aspect of the course possible so that students can manage their learning while still managing all the changes happening in their lives because of COVID-19. All lecturers are adopting a policy of maximum flexibility in case students become ill during the quarter. The university will be extending deadlines to add/drop, withdraw, and choose different grading options, which you should feel free to take advantage of as necessary. As long as students can communicate with their instructors about their needs, we will work with you so that you have every chance possible to do well.

Q.  I am feeling really anxious about COVID-19 and have lots of questions that go beyond just the DOC program. Who can help me?




Depicted in image above – top row left to right: Larry Itliong, Dolores Huerta, Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Jr. 
bottom row left to right: Patrice Lumumba, Emiliano Zapata, Sojourner Truth, Angela Davis