UA UNCLASSES

Behind the Scenes

Salsa: History in Motion

In this documentary about the unclass Salsa: History in Motion, Dr. Martha Santos describes how she was able to merge her two passions of history and salsa, so her students could feel in their bodies what they are learning.

Salsa, an energetic, rich, and vibrant music and dance of Latin American origins, also has strong ties to long histories of globalization, enslavement, resistance, and cultural creation in Latin America and with immigration processes and cultural identities in the United States.

This unclass made the embodied practice of salsa dancing a central component of the learning experience. Students broke the bounds of traditional academic teaching and learning approaches by experiencing the history, aesthetics, and movement of salsa dancing.

History taught by Dr. Martha Santos, World Dance taught by Lenin A. Guerrero Maldonado, and Video production by Juan E. Contreras.

The Forgotten Dead

In the Fall and Spring semesters of 2020, a group of students from The University of Akron began crafting a documentary on Schneider Park and the forgotten history of the individuals buried beneath it.

This video shows how the unclass, A Lens on Eugenics in Akron: Documentary Filmmaking — Introduction to Anthropological data, operated and gives a behind the scenes look into this project.

Filmed and edited by Claire Pugel.