On field trips to places like Mountain View Cemetery and the ruins of the Sutro Baths, VCS escapes the constraints of the classroom to deploy visual critical skills at large in lighthearted, low-stakes ways. Docent tours, often one component of the experience, dramatize the ways that such sites are instrumentalized in the construction of historical narratives. Trained critical thinkers cannot help but recognize the ideological assumptions and agendas embedded in docent scripts, which may provoke responses ranging from the sarcastic outburst to deep interrogation. These outings, which are also always enhanced by communal meal, provide informal opportunities for students and faculty to forge bonds of solidarity across generations and cohort structures. And they’re fun!
Past VCS Field Trips have included: