Napier Courses

What is a Napier Course?

Since 2012 the Napier Initiative has been partnering with the five undergraduate Claremont Colleges to offer intergenerational courses related to fostering justice for all people, caring for the earth, or nurturing peace and reconciliation. The courses provide a platform for bringing theory and practice together, enrolling undergraduate students with an interest in learning more about justice issues and how to bring their knowledge to bear on making real world change. Retirees from Pilgrim Place and local communities may enroll as fully participating co-learners.


Napier Courses Aim to:


  1. Maximize the mutually rewarding possibilities unleashed by collaborative learning between elders and undergraduates.

  2. Develop intergenerational interactions that encourage undergraduates to form and act upon vocational and avocational commitments to leadership in a variety of arenas for justice oriented action.

  3. Provide opportunities for transformational learning through participation in real world change-making.

Click here to link to an article, by David Mann, about a Napier course."


Napier Courses Offered for Spring Semester 2022:


Gender, Crime and Punishment (Philosophy 39) - Sue Castagnetto, Director of Intercollegiate Feminist Center, Taught at Pomona College.

Community Educator: Chris Blackburn -

Course Objectives:  The course explores issues of crime and punishment through a lens of gender examining the issues that bring women into the criminal justice system and that face them in the prison and on release, the impact of the system on mothers and families, and the gendered structure of prison. In addressing these themes, we will also consider the nature and purpose of punishment; the current state of the criminal justice system, mass incarceration and the growth of the prison industrial complex; how we define or conceive of crime; the relationship between the criminal justice system and other social and political institutions; whether prisons should be reformed or abolished. Readings are from a variety of sources and disciplines, including scholarly work, pieces from the media, work by advocacy organizations, and first-hand accounts by incarcerated writers.  The class includes participation in a multi-session writing workshop with women incarcerated at the California Institution for Women (CIW) on six Tuesday evenings (alternate weeks throughout the semester).

Syllabus available: To get a copy of the syllabus, please e-mail the instructor.

Political Economy of Food (Politics 135) - Professor Nancy Neiman,

To be offered Spring Semester, 2022, Scripps College. 

Course Objectives: This course will examine social, cultural, racial and gendered power relations around the production, distribution, consumption, and waste of food in the United States and globally. It analyzes contemporary practices in our industrial food system as well as the legacy and impact of global colonial structures on the production, consumption, and meanings of food. The course will also take a look at alternative food practices and will explore such practices through community engagement projects, including Hope Partners at Amy's Farm, Huerta del Valle community garden, and Crossroads Meatless Mondays program.

Syllabus available: For a copy of the syllabus, please email the instructor.

The Napier Initiative courses are open to students at all five Claremont Colleges.  


For Spring 2023

Feminism and Science (Philosophy 46). To be offered Spring 2023, Pomona College

Instructor: Susan Castagnetto

Students from the Five Colleges and elders will be enrolled with the permission of the instructor.

Course Objectives: This course provides an overview of topics about gender and science and feminist perspectives on science.  Topics include the current and historical participation of women in science and structural barriers to that participation; feminist analyses of traditional scientific worldviews; how social cultural and political values and interests shape the practice and application of science; scientific theories about and research on sex and gender and women as subjects of scientific study.   The course explores the boundaries of science, the value of interdisciplinary work, and the larger question of what constitutes ‘good’ science.  

Syllabus available:  For a copy of the syllabus, please e-mail the instructor.  


Other Napier Courses.. Future offerings to be determined.

Religion, Ethics, and Social Practice:  An Intergenerational Learning Partnership on Vocations for Social Change


HIV/AIDS: Science Society and Service Professor Karl Haushalter, Harvey Mudd College 


Napier Initiative