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How a UW course captured the impact of an unprecedented year

caption: Remembering 2020
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Remembering 2020
Courtesy of The University of Washington

At the end of a week when a mob of insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol building to disrupt the certification of a free and fair presidential election, a moment of reflection.

Last year, when it became clear that 2020 would be like no other, a group of University of Washington professors launched a program for freshmen called 2020: The Course. This unique course of interdisciplinary study included classes in history, sociology, education, law, and environmental science.

The fact that the program took place during a life-changing global pandemic, a concurrent economic upheaval, and a simmering, sometimes erupting, reckoning over racial injustice and police violence was front and center. Challenges of distance and disconnection had to be faced creatively. As a culmination, participants were asked to document their experiences of 2020 to contribute to a time capsule.

In this episode of Speakers Forum, we hear about what it was like to guide students through this process from some of the professors who lead the course. We also hear from some of the participants about their contributions to the capsule.

This conversation, presented by the University of Washington and the UW Alumni Association, took place on December 30. Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs Ed Taylor moderated the discussion. He was joined by professors Karam Dana, Hilary Godwin, Sharon Laing, Kate Starbird, and Joseph Janes.

Video link to this event

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