Noah Coburn

Nepal: Before and After the Earthquake (MOD2154.01)

The recent tragic earthquake in Nepal thrust the small country of 25 million into the media spotlight, taking little time to reflect on the lives of those living in the damaged region. What is the existing political and cultural context into where this rebuilding effort will take place? What is the devastation and flood of aid money likely to alter? This course is a study of contemporary Nepal, particularly the valley around Kathmandu, drawing on a variety of perspectives of the region. It looks at the cultural, religious and political issues that will shape rebuilding efforts and asks how we can be more sensitive in our analysis of and response to such events. The course asks students to contribute actively in class discussion and in the design of the course. Evaluation will be based upon written work and class participation.

Zeke Bernstein

Measles and the (sometimes unnatural) history of outbreaks (MOD2153.04)

We will use the recent measles outbreak in the United States as a lens into the history and also (murky) future of infectious disease outbreaks in our human race. We’ll cover outbreaks and outbreak dynamics, along with foundational topics in microbiology, immunology, and infectious disease. We’ll also situate the current measles outbreak in the context of the ongoing conversation about vaccination, autism, and the complicated search for truth in the age of easy information.

This course requires no specific scientific knowledge, however a rudimentary understanding of biology is helpful.

Crina Archer; Erika Mijlin

The Ferguson Report: A Living Document (MOD2152.04)

In August of 2014, a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed, 18-year-old black man, in Ferguson, Missouri. According to a recent study, Brown’s race rendered him 21 times more likely to be killed by a police officer’s bullet than had he been a young, white man. Broad public criticism of the shooting and of a grand jury’s failure to indict the officer intensified at the local and national levels, prompting the Department of Justice to launch an investigation of the policing practices in Ferguson.

In this course, we will read the resulting report, released in March 2015, which details the mechanisms and motivations of “unlawful law enforcement” and the impact of predatory and racially discriminatory policing practices on the Ferguson community. Our challenge will be to read this document as a report focused on one American city, but also to place it within a larger context of racial injustice and the use of force.  Students will be working with annotation tools to contribute their own supporting materials and context (such as text comments, videos, or links to online sources), in the hopes of collectively creating a living version of the Ferguson Report.

Stephen Shapiro; Noëlle Rouxel-Cubberly

Am I Charlie? (MOD2151.04)

This course will help students to understand the Charlie Hebdo attacks by situating them in a social, political, religious and cultural context. Guest speakers will offer a variety of perspectives. We will examine conflicting notions of the limits of satire, the role of religion in public life, and the dynamics of social exclusion.

Karen Gover

Who is Gloria Steinem? (MOD2149.04)

In preparation for her visit to campus, this module will be an introduction to the thought and work of Gloria Steinem, journalist, activist, co-founder of Ms. Magazine, and feminist organizer. We will situate her work within the “second wave” of feminism and within its larger political context in US history.

This course will be offered Thursday, May 14 – Monday, June 1.

Ronald Cohen

Persons, Groups, and Environments (Canceled)

We spend much of our time in the presence of others, and all of our time in particular spaces. In this course we’ll examine several psychological and sociological perspectives on social interaction, that is, how people think, feel, and act in the presence of others, and how the particular spaces in which interaction occurs affect social interaction. Attention will focus on issues such as obedience, disobedience, and authority; social perception and cognition; attributions of causality and responsibility; conformity and resistance; social and commons dilemmas; interaction as exchange and performance; and the consequences of various forms of social organization. Students write four papers on selected topics, one that analyzes original data they have collected. Students are expected to attend all classes, participate in occasional class based research (both in and outside of class), complete reading assignments for each class, conduct research for their papers, and submit four papers, three of approximately five pages and one of ten pages. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their participation in discussions and the four required papers.

Terry Creach

Moving and Forming (Dance Composition) (Canceled)

For both first-time and intermediate choreographers, this is an exploration of the basic components of moving and forming. We work improvisationally to build physical awareness, unearth movement ideas, images, and memories, and form many small dances. We develop improvisational scores as well as set pieces, and give particular attention to the performance site. Projects are shown in both theatrical and site-specific settings.Students are expected to attend Dance Workshop and complete a lab assignment (assist in a dance/theater production).

Corequisite: Dance Workshop (Th 7pm-8:30pm), Dance or Drama Lab Assignment.

Christopher Chenier

Adobe Creative Suite for Artists (Canceled)

This course introduces artists to Adobe’s Creative Suite, one of the most ubiquitous tools for creative digital work available today.  While we will explore key topics in creating and managing digital files, our sessions will emphasize the ways software can be used for project development, prototyping, and experimentation. Most of our time will be spent with pixels in Adobe Photoshop, but sessions on Illustrator and InDesign are offered.  The core functions of CS are covered including image editing and manipulation, vector graphics, type, as well as layout and pre-press workflows.  Students will apply skills learned to their own creative projects and ideas.

This course will be offered the second seven weeks of term.

Peter Jones

Sociolinguistic Voices: Identities in Text & Talk (Canceled)

Identity has become an inevitable concept in social theory. Theorizing identity and examining how identity becomes relevant in communication contributes to understanding power, culture and agency. This course looks into identity from a sociolinguistic perspective, where identities are seen as coming into being through semiotic practices entailing gender, ethnicity and class, as well as emergent blends that may have enduring consequences. We look into how identities may be generated, ratified, reformulated or resisted using tools drawn from a range of approaches to talk, text and other semiotic modes, including interactional sociolinguistics and micro-ethnography. Course projects can focus on identity work in a range of contexts, including schooling.

Peter Jones

American Literacies in School and Out (Canceled)

We study the social, cultural, and political contexts of literacy. While schools are the central institutions charged with providing instruction in literacy, we also consider the practices, models and ideologies of literacy at the heart of other social contexts. Home, for instance, is the site of initiation into literacy practices that variably align with school. New digital literacies have provided new ways for children and adolescents to assert literate identities, loosening the control of schools and parents. Finally, we study the literacy and language ideologies embedded within and policed by political, religious and market formations, the latter evidenced in best-sellers every few years that attempt to reassert traditional norms of correctness. We approach each as sites and means of the production and distribution of literate identities as well as sites reproducing social stratification. Students in this class observe formal literacy instruction in several different schools in the area.

Katsuya Izumi

Food for Thought in Modern Japanese Literature (JPN4507.01)

“Food” in the course title is used literally, yet quite broadly. In this course we will focus on how food, eating, drinking, and cooking are used in modern Japanese literary works. Observing Japanese people’s relationships with food and these related actions in various genres of literature, we will examine the reflections of nationalism, cannibalism, globalism, ecocentrism, and feminism in Japanese historical contexts.

Through performing close-reading of literary works in Japanese, students are expected to cultivate sensitivity with subtle use of language as well as to develop reading and writing skills.

Coursework includes short responses, translations, and midterm and final essays.

Sean Akerman

Home and Other Figments: Immigration, Exile, and Uprootedness (PSY2238.01)

The unique experience of uprootedness provides an opportunity to ask questions about home, identity, and the transmission of the past. In this course, we will look closely at the experience of exile as one that we can all relate to, in addition to the many meanings that the word “home” carries. We will also examine several populations around the world that have been displaced because of social or political situations, and ask questions about the relationships between generations, in addition to much more.

Sean Akerman

Landscapes of Injustice: Psychology and Social Change (PSY4238.01)

What role can psychology play in the aftermath of collective trauma? What are the responsibilities psychologists have to those who have suffered catastrophe? How does psychology engage with the realities of survival? In this course, we will we explore the ways in which psychology participates in social change. In particular, we will look at how psychology engages with the aftermath of collective injustice and upheaval by studying the issues of: post-war communities, environmental crisis, civil rights abuses, education, and much more. Students should have a year of previous coursework in psychology before entering the course.

John Kirk

Song for Ireland and Celtic Connections (MHI2251.01)

Celtic music from Ireland, Scotland, Bretagne, Galacia, and Cape Breton will be experienced, studied, and performed using instruments and voices. We’ll find and cross the musical bridges between regions–from the ballads of Ireland, Scotland and Wales to the Alalas of Spain and dance tunes of Brittany. An end-of-term presentation will be prepared drawing on inspiration from traditional forms. Students must bring a guitar, banjo, mandolin, or fiddle (or other social instrument) to class for purposes of furthering personal music making through traditional forms. We will practice and perform as a group, improving our reading and aural skills.

Must have your own instrument.

Crina Archer

Revolutionary Foundations: Order and Dissent in American Political Thought (POL2207.01)

In this course, we will explore a selection of key texts from the colonial period to the 21st century that have helped to shape and to contest the contemporary ideals and ideas of American political thought. In the early weeks of the semester, we will cull intellectual themes from debates of the colonial and founding period, with a particular focus on moments in which revolutionary ideas of freedom and equality run up against persistent patterns of persecution, exclusion and inequality. We will then track these themes and patterns as they re-emerge in the context of fundamental challenges to the political order across 19th- and 20th-century American politics. Topics include the relationship between religion and politics, federalism and anti-federalism, national identity and individual rights, and the relationship of subordinated groups and dissidents to mainstream political discourse. Questions regarding the relevance of historical debates to contemporary political dissent will guide our investigations. Required readings are drawn mainly from primary sources, including writings of politicians, activists, and theorists.

Satomi LaFave

Japanese Communication Styles through the Lens of Popular Film (JPN4214.01)

What are considered virtues in Japan are quite different from what are considered virtues in the US; moreover, traits that are virtues in Japan are sometimes considered faults or even immoral qualities in the U.S. From an American point of view, it can thus be difficult to imagine how exactly Japanese people’s minds work.

In this intermediate Japanese course, we will study perceptions of virtues and beliefs, and examine the communication styles in popular Japanese movies, which reflect modern-day Japanese ideals and dilemmas. Students will not only increase their linguistic fluency and knowledge, but also become better communicators equipped with a deeper understanding of the Japanese “way of thinking.” Students will give presentations throughout the course to improve their language fluency.

Satomi LaFave

The Japanese Language and its Reflection of Values and Morals in Folktales (JPN2110.01)

Folktales are very interesting sources through which to gain an increased understanding of the cultural values and morals passed on from generation to generation. Gaining insight through these tales can improve comprehension of modern Japanese and the common cultural foundations upon which it is built.

In this beginning Japanese course, students will be introduced to some popular Japanese folktales and examine how their values and morals are passed on to children. Students will also compare some of the stories with Western folktales and discuss their opinions and thoughts in Japanese. Students will give presentations throughout the course, and as a final project, act out an original folktale or arranged story to improve their language fluency.

Stephen Shapiro

French Poetry (FRE4123.01)

***Time Change***

This course is an introduction to the study of French poetry and includes readings from Medieval, Renaissance, and Modern poets. We will look at the technical aspects of French verse and the cultural contexts of the works studied. Students will have the opportunity to write short poems of their own. This course will also include a systematic review of major grammatical structures as well as focus on vocabulary development. Conducted in French. Intermediate low level.

Kitty Brazelton

Senior Projects (MPF4104.01)

Salon-style, seniors will meet to discuss advanced work, whether composition and performance related to senior concerts or other culminating work. Critical exchange and support between salon members is required, along with practical help in planning productions.

Michael Leczinsky

Electronic Music: Creativity and Sound II (MCO4122.01)

An intermediate to advanced level tutorial that builds on ideas in Creativity in Sound (MCO2109). Students may choose to develop skills in digital sound synthesis, signal processing, audio recording/sampling, and 5.1 surround sound. Students are expected to complete short readings, participate in class discussions and present their creative work on a regular basis in class sessions.

 

Michael Leczinsky

Electronic Music: Creativity and Sound (MCO2109.01)

How do you compose when any sound can be used in music? This course provides an exploration into strategies for sound-based composition and the digital transformation of sound. Students will create original sounds and compositions in the electronic music studio. Students are expected to complete short readings, participate in discussions, present their creative work on a regular basis in class sessions, and complete a composition project.

 

Mark Wunderlich

Reading and Writing the Lyric Essay (LIT4166.01)

***Time Change***

The lyric essay is a term given to work that is both poetic and discursive and that defies clear categorization. In these hybrid forms, the essayist may begin breaking into lines of verse, or poet may engage in a lengthier argument too rangy for the confines of a syllable count. In this course we will read Whitman’s Specimen Days, Dickinson’s letters, short essays by Virginia Woolf, Joan Didion, Julio Cortazar, Anne Carson and a score of other very contemporary writers whose work is uncomfortable with typical genre labels. Students will write their own hybrid forms and will write critically in creative forms.

Students are only allowed to take one Reading and Writing course per semester.

Corequisite: Students will be required to attend Wednesday literature evenings.

Jon Isherwood; Susan Sgorbati

Art in the Public Realm: Oslo Project II (VA4107.01)

Through the experience of developing with Jon Isherwood a site-specific, commissioned work of art for the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Norway, students in this course will examine the definition, unique challenges, history, and implementation of public art. In the second-half of this year-long course, the class will continue to conduct case studies of public art projects and to explore the various dimensions of designing and implementing a site-specific project.

How does the artist engage in the diplomatic arena? What are the implications of the arts as “soft diplomacy”? How do the social and political come into play when considering the cultural heritage of a country and how does an artist balance aesthetics with diplomacy and logistics? How are landscape, geology, and ecology considered when placing a work permanently?

Dan Chelotti

Reading and Writing Poetry: Poetics and Perception (LIT4356.01)

In this intensive poetry writing workshop, we will study essays, poetic theories, and manifestos that argue for varying models of perception and approaches to perception on the page. We will begin with 19th century poets such as Dickinson and Wordsworth and as the semester progresses, we will read increasingly more contemporary work: poets to be read may include Lorine Niedecker, George Oppen, Barbara Guest, and Jericho Brown. We will ask ourselves, how can we make a poem employing these models of perception and poetics given our own rapid ingestion of information in supermarkets and streets and online? How can we defamilarize ourselves from the quotidian of our experience? How can we better write with our full attention, and with all our senses? As Percy Bysshe Shelley has it, there is “naught but mutability,” so do we need to formulate new models of perception that enable us to see the world as it is? Consequently, in addition to writing and revising a portfolio of poems, students will write a theoretical model of perception and poetics that could fit our present time.

Corequisites: Students must attend all Literature Evenings and Poetry at Bennington events and may only take one Reading and Writing course per semester.

Lydia Brassard

Power and Place: A United States Perspective (SS2107.01)

What makes a neighborhood “sketchy”? This interdisciplinary course will consider the social processes through which contemporary spatial imaginaries are produced, reproduced, and reconfigured in the context of the contemporary United States. Broadly linked to questions of power, knowledge, and representation, this course will critically examine the spatial dimensions of citizenship and social identities, focusing on the way in which language and discourse become material through global and domestic policies. Understanding that spaces and places are embedded with coded assumptions about belonging and desirability that are nationally and historically specific will provide students with a foundation for understanding and critiquing practices of U.S. imperialism and other issues relating to global inequality.

Drawing on history, geography, anthropology, and philosophy, the semester’s readings will include an array of topics including settler colonialism, various forms of migration, and the politics of military bases abroad. Students with an interest in social inequality, education, and public history will find this course of interest. The course is organized around a series of weekly readings and corresponding written work.

Terry Creach

Movement Practice: Basic Gymnastic Floor Exercise (DAN2167.01)

For those seeking a basic but athletic movement practice. We will warm-up with stretching/strengthening poses from yoga and apply the alignment principles to rolls, handstands, and cartwheels in order to create movement phrases and build gymnastic dance sequences. We will work progressively to develop the strength and body awareness necessary for safe inversions and full-bodied movement.

Terry Creach

Moving into Creative Process (MOD2140.03)

No prior movement training required. The less the better. Looking to locate and deepen our creative impulses, we will use moving as the medium for forming a series of short studies. We will research practices that can support and expand our personal work processes and endeavor to rid ourselves of the distractions and habits that limit us. We will look at the preparation and skills needed to get started, and then start.

This module will be offered Monday, April 20 – Thursday, May 7.

Terry Creach

Moving into Creative Process (MOD2140.04)

No prior movement training required. The less the better. Looking to locate and deepen our creative impulses, we will use moving as the medium for forming a series of short studies. We will research practices that can support and expand our personal work processes and endeavor to rid ourselves of the distractions and habits that limit us. We will look at the preparation and skills needed to get started, and then start.

This module will be offered Thursday, May 14 – Monday, June 1.

Robin Kemkes

Economic Reasoning: Models, Metrics, and Metaphors (PEC2260.01)

This course will explore ways of knowing in economics. How do economists use mathematical models, collect and analyze data in the field and lab, and employ rhetoric to describe and address contemporary economic issues? We will begin with an introduction to the broad philosophical questions surrounding our understanding of economics as a social science. From there, we will establish the mathematical basis of the neoclassical model and welfare economics, covering constrained optimization, production functions and elasticity of demand and income. Next we will explore a range of methods, quantitative and qualitative, by analyzing journal articles in the fields of development economics, environmental economics and labor economics as entry points into research design and econometric topics. Finally, do stories lend credibility to theoretically complex models? We will examine how economists use metaphor and storytelling to persuade each other and the public. To do well in this course, students should have a basic understanding of algebraic manipulation and familiarity with graphs coming into the course.

TBA

Sound Installation (Canceled)

In this course we’ll examine and create sound pieces that differ from traditional musical performances in that they are longer, larger, and/or (more directly) interactive. Topics will include: process music and algorithmic composition; mechanized and computerized sound making; strategies for remote power, processing, and amplification; and sensors. Students will critique representative works and create their own, culminating in an end-of-term exhibition.

This course will be offered the second seven weeks of term.

Kathryn Montovan

Discrete Mathematics (MAT4107.01)

***Time Change***

Discrete mathematics studies problems that can be broken up into distinct pieces. Some examples of these sorts of systems are letters or numbers in a password, pixels on a computer screen, the connections between friends on Facebook, and driving directions (along established roads) between two cities. In this course we will develop the tools needed to solve relevant, real-world problems. Topics will include: combinatorics (clever ways of counting things), number theory and graph theory. Possible applications include probability, social networks, optimization, and cryptography.

Robin Kemkes

Black Markets (Canceled)

Why do some transactions — the sale of illegal drugs and weapons, human trafficking, finance, piracy, trade in endangered species, and harvesting of Siberian timber — operate outside the formal economy? In this course we will study how the boundaries of the formal economy are negotiated, how black markets arise in relation to the formal economy, and the conditions under which black markets become incorporated into formal markets (most recently marijuana). Furthermore, we will consider how informal economies operate within both developed and developing countries and how informal employment, trade, and housing arrangements support the livelihoods of poor people around the world. The primary objective of the course is to understand how informal economies, and black markets in particular, impact economic welfare, human rights, and the environment.

Andrew McIntyre

Advanced Multivariable Calculus and Introductory Differential Geometry (MAT4318.01)

***Time Change***

This class will cover multivariable calculus as an advanced level: vector spaces, div, grad and curl, differential forms, and stokes’ theorems. The coverage will be at the level of Loomis and Sternberg’s Advanced Calculus. The course will also provide an introduction to the rudiments of differential geometry: connections, curvature, and the Gauss-Bonnet theorem. Applications will be made to Maxwell’s equations and to general relativity.

Carol Stakenas

Feminist Perspective and Practices in Contemporary Art (AH2107.01)

This course will consider how feminist theory has evolved over the past four decades and how artists, curators and scholars of all genders and nationalities, advocate feminism in their practices. To examine its impact on the art world, Feminist Perspectives and Practices in Contemporary Art will explore the feminist movement in the US from the 1970s through its evolution to present day. We will read and discuss a selection of critical texts and look at a wide range of international artists across generations from Judy Chicago, Adrian Piper, Suzanne Lacy and Lorraine O’Grady to Mona Hatoum, Zanele Muholi, the Ultra-red collective, Women on Waves and Jeanne van Heeswijk and many, many more. What’s your relationship to the F-word? Let’s find out.

Carol Stakenas

A Survey of Avant-Garde Exhibitions (VA2109.01)

This course will examine a selection of landmark art exhibitions in Europe and the United States from the middle of the 19th century to the early 2000s. Starting with the Salon des Refusés in 1863, we will focus on controversial exhibitions associated with individuals and movements such as Gustave Courbet, Edouard Manet, Impressionism, Fauvism, German Expressionism, Surrealism, Dadaism, the Bauhaus, Marcel Duchamp, Alfred Barr, Peggy Guggenheim, Gutai Group, Lucy Lippard, Okwui Enwezor and others.

A Survey of Avant-Garde Exhibitions will consider how exhibitions are not only reflections of artistic life but shaped by political, social and cultural forces that have, over time, affected the history of modern art. Building on this historical base, the course will include discussions about contemporary exhibitions and art projects, specifically considering the globalization of art fostered by commercial and institutional enterprises such as the Venice Biennale as well as the impact of technology and network culture.

Stephen Higa

Medieval Masculinities (HIS2158.01)

In an age of knights in shining armor, celibate monks, and lovesick troubadours, what did it mean to be a man? In this course, we will investigate medieval constructions of gender (the roots of our modern Western gender systems) by exploring male privilege, male virtues, male desires, male relationships, and male bodies—sacred, profane, and queer. Students will be expected to complete weekly reading assignments (~150 pages) as well as a midterm paper and a final paper or project.

Stephen Higa

Asceticism (HIS4131.01)

In our world of decadence and consumerism, it is almost impossible to fathom a world of discipline, renunciation, self-denial, and martyrdom. The records of early Mediterranean asceticism—from the Greco-Roman philosophers to the Christian saints—overflow with stories of men who stood on pillars for years on end and women who wandered the harsh deserts completely nude. In this course, we will examine the roots of our current concepts of selfhood and embodiment by investigating these extravagant acts and the philosophies that lay behind them. Students will be expected to complete weekly reading assignments (~150 pages) as well as a midterm paper and a final paper or project. Prior coursework in social sciences or literature required.

Annabel Davis-Goff

Origins of the English Novel (Canceled)

The first English novel appeared more than a hundred years after the publication (and translation into English) of Don Quixote. Where did the English novel come from? And how did it develop?
We will read Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, among others. Students will write two essays.

Paul La Farge

Horror Fiction (LIT4325.01)

Pleasure is one part of the aesthetic experience of fiction; another part is terror. This course will be a survey of major works of horror fiction from the 19th century through the present. We’ll pay particular attention to the techniques of writing horror, and the uses to which fiction writers have put them, from psychological examination through social critique and beyond. Works by Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Edith Wharton, Henry James, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, H.P. Lovecraft, Vladimir Nabokov, Joyce Carol Oates, Brian Evenson and others. Two critical papers and various creative assignments, including in-class assignments.

Ronald Cohen

SHHH! The Social Construction of Silence (PSY4205.01)

***Time Change***

Silence is a central element of social life, but it has rarely been the focus of explicit research and theory. This may reflect a conception of silence as “absence,” or mere ground for figures of speaking, utterance, and noise. This course reverses these conceptions: Silence is a presence, and a figure emerging from grounds of speech, utterance, and noise. It is also the result of a complex social process–silencing– whose antecedents and consequences we will examine as well. Much of the reading will be drawn from work in social psychology, psychology, and sociology. Other material will come from the anthropological and historical literature, and the mass media. Students write either one or two papers, and each paper must present the results of original research. Students will also maintain a journal on: (1) annotated bibliographic references; (2) specific examples of “noticeable silences”; and (3) specific examples of “broken silences”.

Jean Randich; Thomas Bogdan

The Don Juan Project (DRA4146.01)

Seducer.  Atheist.  Rebel.  Scoundrel.  Hypocrite.  Don Juan, the most unrepentant libertine in all of literature, has dazzled and provoked for centuries.  This project interlaces two masterpieces: Moliere’s Don Juan, or the Feast of Stone (1682), with selections from Mozart’s opera, Don Giovanni (1787).  Don Juan’s furious drive to satisfy his ego at all costs remains as incisive as ever.

Actors, singers, assistant directors, designers, dramaturges, animators, and videographers are all needed for this multi-media project.  Emphasis will be on re-imagining this comedic drama for our time.  Commedia lazzi, operatic arias, high and low comedy, and structured improvisation will be explored. Cross-gender casting is possible.

This course represents the hours of study both in and out of rehearsal necessary for artists to create a successful performance in production. Rehearsals, technical rehearsals, and performances constitute the students’ commitment.

Jonathan Schwartz

Intermediate Video Production: Reversing the Eye and Ear (FV4308.01)

This intermediate moving image course begins with aural experiments before it moves into a film/video space. We will be attentive to sound as a force that conjures inner images and provokes cinematic/experiential feelings without the use of images. For the first couple of weeks we will make imageless films (or sound only projects) constructed with cinematic experiences in mind. After analyzing and trying to understand cause and effect from the sound we will develop a language and set of visuals that will not only enhance the aural piece but shift the context. Ultimately, in this abbreviated term we will attempt to reverse the usual order of working with visual language and supplementing sound as an afterthought. It will emphasize how sound functions as a means to direct the eye and expand off screen space in the experience of cinema.

This class will meet Tuesday, February 24 – Tuesday, March 24 with two Saturday meetings.

Jonathan Schwartz
Tuesday, February 24 2:10pm - 6:00pm; Tuesday, March 3 2:10pm - 6:00pm; Tuesday, March 10 2:10pm - 6:00pm; Saturday, March 14 1:00pm - 4:30pm; Tuesday, March 17 2:10pm - 6:00pm; Saturday, March 21 1:00pm - 4:30pm; and Tuesday, March 24 2:10pm - 6:00pm
This course is categorized as 4000, All courses, Film and Video, Jonathan Schwartz, Two Credit, Updates.
Benjamin Anastas

Muriel Spark and Jeanette Winterson (LIT2267.01)

***Time Change***

One was born half-Jewish in Edinburgh, Scotland and found Christ while starving in a London bedsit and taking Benzedrine to stay up writing; the other came from Manchester and was raised to be an evangelist by the Pentecostal family that had adopted her until her first lesbian affair got her kicked out of church and family and she had to work her way through Oxford. Muriel Spark and Jeanette Winterson are divided by a literary generation, but they are both experimentalists in the truest and most exhilarating sense of the word. We’ll read widely and deeply in both of their oeuvres and emerge with a deeper appreciation of these two extraordinary women writers.

Benjamin Anastas

Reading and Writing the City (LIT4253.01)

***Time Change***

Rilke and Walter Benjamin stalked Paris; Virginia Woolf and Charles Dickens walked London’s streets at night; H.P. Lovecraft scoured the sewers underneath Providence; a whole universe of writers (Edith Wharton, Herman Melville, Joseph Mitchell) saw New York through unromantic eyes. In this course we’ll read fiction and non-fiction about the city from across the urban canon, featuring flaneurs, fierce social climbers, and savage detectives alike, picking it apart to see what makes it tick. Students will write their own encounters with the urban uncanny (both fiction and non-fiction) and refine them in regular workshops.

Students are only allowed to take one Reading and Writing course per semester.

Corequisite: Students will be required to attend Wednesday literary evenings.

David Baron

Recording and Mixing Music II (MSR2208.01)

Segues from MSR 2116.01 as the next step in in sound recording and mixing. We’ll working on advanced microphone technique, dynamic processing, producing, mixing, and mastering, starting start with hands-on A/B comparisons of microphone techniques, and capturing audio in diverse spaces around campus. The course will consider the merits of various formats, analog vs digital, vinyl vs CD vs streaming. Students will focus on their own projects throughout the course, as well as mixing pre-existing multitracks. Ultimately we’ll consider how you make your mixes translate out of the studio, in the paradoxical age of the laptop and earbud.

David Baron

Soundtracks for Media and Live Performance (MSR4261.01)

A course on sound design for fixed media and live performance which looks at how we technically construct the “real”. We will begin by looking at soundtracking for film, and the often subtle line between sound design and music, by spotting, finding tempo and moods in film/video sources. We then look at various live sound design projects, culled from diverse dance and drama projects around campus, while considering the role of space and technical set-up in creating an immersive experience. This is an advanced course, and students with preexisting projects are encouraged to apply.

David Baron

Super Producer Primer: Archaeology of Classic Tracks (MSR4238.01)

Learn to be a better producer through the analysis and recreation of classic track elements. We’ll study the history, technology, and style of recordings and their techniques, looking at watershed paradigms of sonic design: from Motown to Disco to Punk to Electronica. We will remix, and recreate old tracks, turning them into fertile ground for our own, modern hit factory.  

TBA

Brass Chamber Ensemble (Canceled)

The Brass Ensemble explores the wide breadth of music and expression available to instruments made of brass. From antiquity, where the terrifying sounds of brass instruments heralded war and communicated power, to the gaudy wobble of medieval dance music; the beautiful introspection of renaissance wind music, or the beautifully ornamented architecture of baroque music; the melodic balance of classical music–we’ll explore brass music as it developed using original scores when applicable, or arrangements as necessary. Additionally, we’ll explore brass music in its most contemporary forms, including the jazz/funk street bands of New Orleans and the rhythmically twisted Roma bands of Eastern Europe.

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30-8pm).

TBA

Brass Instruments (Canceled)

Individual instruction for brass players (including trumpet, French horn, trombone, and tuba). Strategies will be developed for each student to enhance their technique and musicianship. Course work will include the study and practice of music in a variety of styles including baroque, classical/romantic, contemporary, and jazz/improvisation, depending on the level and specific interests of the student. The physical and technical aspects of brass playing will be developed through the regular practice of various exercises. At least one public performance is required each term.

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30-8pm).

Camille Guthrie

The Scriptorium: Visual Culture (Section 2 - LIT2252.02)

How do we organize and understand our perceptions of the world? How do we look at objects? At paintings and photographs, advertisements and films? What do we see, and not see, when we visit a new place, or when we encounter an animal? And, importantly, how do we perceive and comprehend each other? This scriptorium, a “place for writing,” will function as a class for beginning writers and for those students who want to improve their essay skills. We will read to write and write to read, following the originator of the form, Montaigne. Much of our time will be occupied with writing probatively, as essai means “trial” or “attempt.” We will practice various essay structures with the aim of developing a persuasive, well-supported thesis; in addition, we will revise collaboratively and study grammar. Our model examples of writing about visual culture may include the following authors: Plato, Berger, Sontag, Baudrillard, Cixous, Barthes, Stewart, hooks, Kincaid, Mulvey, Cavell, Gombrich, Debord, Mitchell, Kristeva.

Camille Guthrie

The Scriptorium: Visual Culture (Section 1 - LIT2252.01)

How do we organize and understand our perceptions of the world? How do we look at objects? At paintings and photographs, advertisements and films? What do we see, and not see, when we visit a new place, or when we encounter an animal? And, importantly, how do we perceive and comprehend each other? This scriptorium, a “place for writing,” will function as a class for beginning writers and for those students who want to improve their essay skills. We will read to write and write to read, following the originator of the form, Montaigne. Much of our time will be occupied with writing probatively, as essai means “trial” or “attempt.” We will practice various essay structures with the aim of developing a persuasive, well-supported thesis; in addition, we will revise collaboratively and study grammar. Our model examples of writing about visual culture may include the following authors: Plato, Berger, Sontag, Baudrillard, Cixous, Barthes, Stewart, hooks, Kincaid, Mulvey, Cavell, Gombrich, Debord, Mitchell, Kristeva.

Edward Bowen

Cinematic Rome: Space, Urban Life, and Film Culture (ITA4493.01)

In this course, we will investigate films about life in Rome during two periods of drastic transformation: first, the early 1950s through the early 1960s, when Italy recovered from WWII and experienced an economic boom, and second, the mid-1990s to present, a time of increased immigration, tourism, gentrification, and precarious work. Students will explore a variety of approaches to the study of cinema and the city including analyses of urban film cultures and how films can provide archives of urban spaces and everyday practices. Readings include articles by geographers, film scholars, and historians. Some of the directors studied include Vittorio De Sica, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Nanni Moretti, and Paolo Sorrentino. We will also conduct several Skype interviews with contemporary filmmakers and host a night of short films about Rome by young directors. The course will be conducted in English and all films have subtitles in English. Intermediate and advanced students of Italian will have the option to write papers in Italian and meet for a conversation hour.

Edward Bowen

Contemporary Youth in Italy (ITA4121.01)

This second-semester language course centers on the theme of growing up in Italy today, specifically the challenges that young Italians face in school, the workforce, and in their relationships. Students will further their knowledge of Italian by engaging in speaking, reading, and writing exercises linked to the theme of the course. The assigned readings and films focus on family and romantic relationships, the difficulty of passing exams and finding work, and the challenges faced by second-generation immigrants in Italy. We will also study the importance of sports, travel, and music in the lives of young Italians. This course will allow students to reflect on cultural differences in short writing assignments and conversations. Emphasis will be placed on important vocabulary for everyday speech and the ability to write short papers on various topics. The course is conducted entirely in Italian.

Annabel Davis-Goff

Incarceration in America (APA2108.01)

7 million Americans are under correctional supervision. The United States of America has the highest documented rate of incarceration in the world. Too many people are in prison, and in many cases the current system doesn’t work. It is inefficient, inhumane, and does not accomplish rehabilitation. It also costs too much – financially as well as in terms of human suffering – the current $74 billion spent each year does not include either other incalculable associated costs or the far greater future resulting social and financial consequences.

There are alternatives and they work better and cost less. We will listen to experts on several aspects of incarceration, and will explore and discuss such questions as alternatives to incarceration programs, race and incarceration, drugs and incarceration, incarceration and the mentally ill, collateral consequences, probation, and children of incarcerated parents.

Students will give a class presentation and write one essay.

Bruce Williamson
Paul Voice

Reading Marx (PHI4106.01)

***Time Change***

Marx’s ideas remain an important source of political and social science thought. This class requires students to engage in a close and critical reading of a number of Marx’s essays and to assess his work in the light of critical philosophical responses.

This course will be offered the first seven weeks of term.

Kate Purdie

Documentary Production: Personal and Political (FV4313.01)

This course explores the full range of non-fiction possibilities including ethnographic films, personal cinema, cinema verite and even mockumentaries through screenings and video projects. Beginning with a group project and advancing to individual work, we will take a hands-on approach to documentary production: from interview techniques and verite shooting to character development and collage editing. This course will be offered the second seven weeks of term (April 20 – June 4).

Jonathan Kline

Light and Lighting: Vocabulary and Tools (Canceled)

The course will investigate the way in which light conveys emotional, narrative, and psychological meaning. The goal is to increase students’ experience in recognizing and shaping these effects. Lectures will draw from the history of photography, as well as cinema and contemporary art. Workshops will involve small collaborative teams in a variety of studio and on-location situations using the sun, tungsten and strobe lights. Group critiques will address assignments within the student’s chosen subject matter.

Akiko Busch

Reading Wilderness (LIT2236.01)

For generations, the passage west and the idea of wilderness have provided resonant subject matter for American writers. In the words of Wallace Stegner, “the wilderness idea is something that has helped form our character and certainly shaped our history as a people.” The course will explore how our understanding of wilderness has evolved from perceived notions of untouched earth to managed landscapes, the biodiversity of which is a matter of constant human intervention and cultivation. Reading will range from the sublime to the satirical, including works by John Muir, Wallace Stegner, Bill McKibben, ecologist David Graber, and playwright Sam Shepard.

Jonathan Kline

People/ Place (PHO4219.01)

This course offers students the opportunity to explore the historical and social landscape of the region surrounding Bennington College. Our goal will be to make compelling, insightful images that reflect the diversity of the people and the complexity of social issues they face. We will be experimenting with both digital and analog cameras and location lighting to explore candid versus staged interactions, and expressive versus objective recording.

A second facet of this course will be researching our College’s collection of social landscape photographs by Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, and others, and curating an exhibit of these photographs for the Fall 2015 season at the Bennington Museum. In the curatorial process students will develop their own photographic eye and prepare them for producing a final body of creative work.

Mary Lum

Visible Language: Word And/As Image (DRW4401.01)

The observed world is covered with words, both visible and invisible. This advanced drawing course aims to underline the tensions and comforts of the relationship between words and images in visual art. Through assigned drawing problems that call upon students to complete and present visual work regularly, topics will include, sign and structure, juxtaposition, concrete poetry, found language, illustration, and sequential imagery. An historical context of visible language will be presented, with special attention to the use of words in contemporary art. Students are expected to be able to think abstractly, and to consider reading and drawing important parts of their daily life. Class structure includes in class work, out of class assignments, independent work, readings, discussions and critiques. A high level of self-motivation is expected.

Paul Voice

Liberalism: For and Against (PHI4104.01)

This course invites students to critically engage with liberalism, the dominant political theory in Anglo-American philosophy. Students will read some of the main texts in the various traditions of contemporary liberal thought, including libertarianism, Rawlsian liberalism and utilitarian liberalism, and survey some of the central critical responses to the liberal project. The aim of the class is to acquire a detailed and critical understanding of liberal political philosophy and to assess its strengths and weaknesses.

Dai Jian

Movement Practice: Beginning Intermediate Technique (DAN4147.01)

This beginning intermediate level movement practice is designed for students with some dance technique training. Each class will start using simple sequences for warm up to better understand anatomy and proper alignment. We will connect the breath, body and mind to develop a dancer’s sense of timing, rhythm and space in order to move more smoothly and easily. In addition, we will learn how to connect with the floor, space and other bodies in a safe and useful way. These principles will then be used to explore improvisation and investigate a variety of unique movement ideas for each mover. This class will culminate in a simple performance practice of learned movement material.

David Bond

What Was Critique and What Comes Next? (APA4207.01)

If progressive scholarship holds anything sacred, perhaps it is critique. Over the past century, critique has become not only the guiding commitment of radical scholarship but also the unflappable identity of the public intellectual. Yet a number of unfortunate assumptions have been built into this manner of engaging the world. Among them, that intellectuals have privileged access to social reality and, on the flip side, that ordinary people are unable to either fully understand or directly confront that reality. Or, at another level, that somehow critique cannot be commandeered by the very industries or governments it was directed at. Today those assumptions are coming into disconcerting focus. Far from a consecrated property of the left, critique today appears to have a rather active and instrumental social life. And now a sociology of critique is taking shape, turning new and dare we say critical attention to the social context and consequence of critique itself. In this seminar we will review the intellectual history of critique (from Karl Marx to Michel Foucault) and familiarize ourselves with this emerging sociology of critique. Topics covered include: the critical capacities of everyday life, the new spirit of capitalism, architectures of rule and resistance, the moral orders of humanitarianism, people centered forms of care, ontological politics, and the building of better worlds. This seminar will be guided by questions of how a more sophisticated appreciation of critique might contribute to more effective public action.

David Bond

Science as a History of the Present (APA2137.01)

This course builds on the premise that scientific practice is a meaningful form of public action. This premise challenges popular understandings of science as a cloistered or abstracted world, turning attention instead to the lively interface between scientific practices and pressing problems. We will approach science as a history of the present; that is, as a cultivated way of knowing that indelibly shapes the texture and trajectory of life today. Revisiting some of the classic texts that first gave momentum to science studies, we will familiarize ourselves with key debates that orient this field of study. Yet we will also turn our attention towards more contemporary concerns, learning about problems that science has set in motion (like nuclear weapons and biotechnology) and problems that only science seems able to face up to (like climate change). Several questions will guide our inquiries: What is science? (And what is the history of that question?) What, exactly, do scientists do? What does scientific knowledge do? What kinds of social orders are enacted in scientific experiments and in the circulation of scientific facts? Our readings will touch on a number of topics, including: the porous boundaries between science and society; the laboratory as historical innovation; the gendered dynamics of objectivity; stabilizing nature; the co-constitution of problems and expertise; measurements of harm; and the communities and subjects that science creates. This course tacks back and forth between how scholarship has engaged and explained science and the problems that press into our lives that only science seems capable of taming.

Samuel Wentz

Movement Practice: Advanced Intermediate Dance Technique (DAN4351.01)

This advanced intermediate course is designed for students who have already taken intermediate level technique and are ready to tackle more complex forms. The class will begin with a warm up that is based on grounding, locating, and mobilizing all of our parts. We will then put these new found tools to use in executing large moving phrases that will simplify and clarify as well as challenge our own habitual movement patterns. Throughout the term, we will focus on different ways of initiating movement, utilizing “juicy knees” and modulating the use of energy in our dancing.

Dai Jian

Advanced Improvisation and Partnering (DAN4292.01)

This class takes improvisation as an exploration of the present moment without expectation or preconceived purpose; improvisation is seen as the exercise of listening, observing, and trusting in one’s instincts and in the principles of nature. We will explore the use of improvisation in performance, showing each other often, to develop these particular performance skills. Partnering will focus on the interaction between dancers and how to compose with each other on the spur of the moment. This training is meant to help us dance with responsibility, aware of each other and the audience.

Class begins with free open play and movement games to release mind and body, to observe oneself and others, look for one’s interest in the moment, and to describe and develop that interest in relationship to space, weight and different movement qualities.

Moncell Durden

Hip-Hop Dance in Context (Section 1 - DAN2308.01)

Hip-Hop Dance in Context is a dynamic multi-dimensional mind body training experience that actively explores the genealogy of African American social dance formations from authentic Jazz to Hip-Hop.

Students will gain a contextual/historical knowledge of American social dance formations; investigate personal voice; explore embodied pluralisms and tonal fluidity; and engage in the rich complexities and depth in both physical and intellectual realms.

Come experience this intense, amazing, thought provoking journey…learn first-hand the rhythms, moods, character, dynamics, creative expression and improvisation of an American dance continuum. Prepare to be exhausted, challenged, enlightened, opened, exhilarated and transformed by experiencing Hip-Hop dance in a way never before explored.

The class will explore the cultural contexts of hip-hop dance and its related forms through reading, discussions, film screenings, and experiential learning in the dance studio.

Moncell Durden

Hip-Hop Dance in Context (Section 2 - DAN2308.02)

Hip-Hop Dance in Context is a dynamic multi-dimensional mind body training experience that actively explores the genealogy of African American social dance formations from authentic Jazz to Hip-Hop.

Students will gain a contextual/historical knowledge of American social dance formations; investigate personal voice; explore embodied pluralisms and tonal fluidity; and engage in the rich complexities and depth in both physical and intellectual realms.

Come experience this intense, amazing, thought provoking journey…learn first-hand the rhythms, moods, character, dynamics, creative expression and improvisation of an American dance continuum. Prepare to be exhausted, challenged, enlightened, opened, exhilarated and transformed by experiencing Hip-Hop dance in a way never before explored.

The class will explore the cultural contexts of hip-hop dance and its related forms through reading, discussions, film screenings, and experiential learning in the dance studio.

Liz Coleman

CAPA Workshop: Rethinking Education (APA4208.01)

We start with as deep and thoughtful an exploration as we can manage of what education should be, then look at what it is in order to take on the challenge of what it will take to close the gap between the two. We focus initially on the United States where its historic position as a model to the world with respect to public education has radically altered. Despite having a research establishment that is the envy of the world more than half of the American public does not believe in evolution. Outcries about global warming are ignored for decades. Indifference to the dire implications of a radical change in the world’s consumption of fossil fuels defies reason and sanity. Mastery of basic skills, and bare minimum of cultural literacy increasingly eludes vast numbers of our students. Schools are often experienced as cold, grim and lifeless places. The vital connection between education, democracy and a vibrant citizenship, once the bedrock of public education in this country, has atrophied making the perpetuation of that democracy increasingly precarious. The challenges of reversing these trends are sobering for sure, but that does not diminish the need to do so. Nothing approaches the capacity of education to transform possibilities for realizing a better life and a better world; there is a wealth of powerful ideas to be mined; the resourcefulness of the human imagination and intellect to change the world is formidable. The intent of this workshop is to focus those resources on this intriguing, and urgent issue.

Andrew Spence

Exhibition Thematic Exposure (AH4101.01)

The primary goal in this class is for each student to create a theoretical thematic exhibition consisting of objects, artifacts, images or anything that has justifiable relevance. Originally born out of a visual art context, broader themes outside of visual art are possible. Students are expected to do independent research using source material from the library and the Internet. Each student project will result as a catalogue for a hypothetical exhibition.

Terry Creach; Elena Demyanenko

Advanced Projects in Dance (DAN4795.01)

***Time Change***

This is an essential course for students involved in making work for performance this term. Attention is given to all of the elements involved in composition and production, including collaborative aspects. Students are expected to show their work throughout stages of development, complete their projects, and perform them to the public by the end of the term. Dance Workshop is required.

Corequisite: Dance Workshop (Thursday 7 – 8:30 pm), and Dance or Drama lab assignment.

 

Elena Demyanenko

Movement Practice: Advanced Dance Technique (DAN4344.01)

***Time Change***

This advanced movement class addresses the constantly changing body and its potential by expanding receptivity to detail, connections, and logic. The warm-up will examine the joints and how their range of motion relates to alignment, readiness to move, and articulation. We will approach movement from a place of ease and space, especially when applying vigor and attack. Our goal will be to find a way of working from the intelligence of the bones, the guts, and the skin that makes technique central not only to dancing but making work.

The aim is to help students select easier, more efficient, and more effective movement options through an in-depth examination of how they are currently organizing solutions to movement problems. During this detailed observation, students will be encouraged to witness their in-class transformation, working towards a greater range of movement and articulation.

Using tools from the Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, Body-Mind Centering, and by addressing joints, muscles and body organs, students are offered an opportunity to find and use the relationships between the parts of the body. These relationships, clear and conscious structural connections, will enhance sensory learning and encourage idiosyncratic, virtuosic ways of moving.

Dana Reitz

Technique, Phrasing, and Performance (DAN4321.01)

***Time Change***

This is designed for those who have made dance work and are interested in further developing a sense of personal movement phrasing. Full attention is paid to detail, nuance, and finesse of any phrase material that is made. Students use phrasing as a way to explore compositional, technical and performance issues and consider how aspects of dance making, technique and performance directly affect and inform phrasing.

Students are expected to create and develop new phrase material of their own, teach this work to others, and rehearse outside of class. Phrases may be combined into larger dance scores that are performed in dance workshops or studio showings.

Corequisite: Dance Workshop (Thursday 7:00 – 8:30pm).

Samuel Wentz (MFA Teaching Fellow, supervised by Terry Creach)

Movement Practice: Intermediate Dance Technique (Canceled)

This intermediate level movement practice is designed for students with prior dance technique training. Each class will develop from simple mobility sequences to expansive movement forms. The warmup will examine the joints and how their range of motion relates to proper alignment, readiness to move and articulation. These principles will then become the foundation for traveling sequences and longer movement phrases filled with quick changes of weight, direction and dynamic challenges.

Dana Reitz

An Introduction to Dance Phrasing (DAN2321.01)

***Time Change***

This is designed for those who are interested in developing a sense of personal movement phrasing by making and exploring material. Full attention is paid to detail, nuance, and finesse of any phrase material that is made. Performance of the material will directly affect the sense of phrasing and technical understanding, and in reverse, knowledge of technique/phrasing will help develop performance skill.

Students are expected to create and develop new phrase material of their own, teach this work to others, and rehearse outside of class. Phrases may be combined into larger dance scores that are performed in dance workshops or studio showings.

Samuel Wentz (MFA Teaching Fellow, supervised by Terry Creach)

Movement Practice: Beginning Dance Technique (DAN2214.01)

***Time Change & Description Change***

This beginning dance technique class requires no previous dance training. We will investigate and explore our bodies as tools for making work. The warm up will consist of movement exercises that focus on the joints, bones, muscles, and energetic pathways. This initial work will develop into larger phrase material that emphasizes rhythm, moves through space and modulates movement qualities.

Elena Demyanenko

Advanced Explorations in Experiential Anatomy (DAN4107.01)

***Time Change***

This is a studio class of advanced anatomy intended to deepen understanding of your own moving body. We approach the material through visual, cognitive, kinesthetic, and sensory modes. Class time is divided between discussion of anatomy and kinesthetic concepts and engagement with the material experientially through visualization and movement studies. Movement exercises are designed to integrate the anatomical information by increasing somatic awareness, which then strengthens body-mind connection.

Various body systems are examined: skeleton, organs, muscles, nerves, and fluids. Each system is studied on its own and how it relates to the whole thus providing support for an integrated, healthy, as well as artistically interesting movement/dance practice.

Key developers of the field of experiential anatomy (somatic studies), many of whom have had a major influence on contemporary dance, will be read as homework and discussed in class.

We will embody the learned information via improvisational and instruction-based games, thus enhancing ease and perhaps personal discovery. We will explore and create movement scores to take home and to integrate into daily practice in order to apply the findings of the class. Tools such as drawing and writing will help create another avenue for the full and rich expression of the body and mind.

Elena Demyanenko

Makers and Making/ Performance in the 21st Century (DAN2131.01)

***Time Change***

“Isn’t every artist essentially starting from nothing, no matter what they might have presented to theater directors or financiers? Isn’t the meaning of a work always discovered, to some extent, by its creator during the process of making it?” – Roslyn Sulcas

These are just some of the questions about the making, style, process, logistics, methods, and systems makers employ that we will investigate. We will watch examples of the work of leading movement/performance artists of the 21st century who are currently working in the scene and then discuss, write, and analyze. This will be followed by scheduled conversations with guest artists who will join us via Skype or in person.

Throughout the course, we will examine how the artists talk and write about their own work and compare it to how they are being perceived and presented. Individual and collaborative research during the term will form part of each analysis with a final presentation at the end of the course.

Valerie Imbruce; Miroslava Prazak

Studying Place by Metes and Bounds (ENV4232.01)

***New Course Description***

In New England, parcels of land were traditionally described in reference to specific existing landscape features—a system called “metes and bounds.” This course, grounded in the ecology, history and culture of the Bennington region over its 250-plus year history, explores human interactions with the biophysical environment to produce livelihoods as well as economic commodities from woolen underwear to carpenter squares and other manufactures for New England and beyond. How have these interactions shaped the area and how does their interplay constrain and enable its future? What features of social life and the natural environment have been, or should be, sustained? Fieldwork and practical exercises will provide an entry into the tools, skills and approaches to studying Bennington, a place of many horizons and boundaries. For students who wish to continue exploring questions developed in this course, FWT internships and a projects course will follow.

Michael Giannitti

Stage Management (DRA2241.01)

***Time Change***

Students explore the key role of the stage manager in the production process in this class. Readings, discussions, and projects on topics including scheduling, play breakdowns, prompt book preparation, blocking notation, ground plan and theatre layout, and the running of rehearsals and performances are included. The relationship of the stage manager to others involved in the process is also addressed. A significant and required part of the coursework is work as stage manager or assistant stage manager on a College production to gain first-hand knowledge and experience. This production component lasts from two to ten weeks, and may include attendance at all rehearsals held for the particular production. Adjustments are made regarding other assignments for this class due to the production demands.

This course is recommended for those interested in directing, performing, and/or management, as well as anyone interested in knowing what is involved in putting on a production.

Co requisites: Stage Management Lab assignment.

Jenny Rohn

The Actor’s Instrument (DRA2170.01)

***Time Change***

The craft of acting will be the main focus of this class. Through physical and vocal warm-up exercises, sensory exploration, improvisation, scene work, and extensive reading students will be asked to develop an awareness of their own unique instrument as actors and learn to trust their inner impulses where this is concerned. Extensive out of class preparation of specific exercises as well as rehearsal with scene partners will constitute the bulk of expected work. Students can expect this to amount to six hours of required rehearsal time per week. In addition students will read several plays throughout the term, as well as weekly theory handouts. The writings, exercises, and work of such theater artists as Anne Bogart, Constantin Stanislavski, Sanford Meisner, Uta Hagen, Jerzy Grotowski among others will be researched and discussed in class.

Corequisite: Dance or Drama lab assignment.

Karen Gover

Environmental Aesthetics (PHI4250.01)

***Time Change***

Environmental Aesthetics is a relatively new sub-field in philosophical aesthetics, though it has roots in the 18th and 19th centuries. In this course we will take a broad look at the different topics that fall under the heading of Environmental Aesthetics: the aesthetics of everyday life, the picturesque, earth art, and the relation of aesthetics to environmentalism.

Noah Coburn

Cultural Localities II: Writing Culture (ANT4136.01)

***Time Change***

This advanced research seminar offers the opportunity for the student to implement an advanced study of a specific culture and issue as it is shaped by various social, political, religious and economic contexts. The course will begin with a discussion of contemporary issues in anthropological field research and the writing process, and will include issues such as ethics, the impact of research on public policy, the framing of data and matters of style in the presentation of work. The majority of the course is devoted to individual pursuit of a topic, as relevant to a specific peoples or culture. Students will build on the frame that they constructed in Cultural Localities I by analyzing field research data. Building on work from the previous term, the length of the final paper is expected to be 60+ pages. Students will also work collaboratively to comment on each other’s work.

Tom Bogdan

Intermediate Voice (Section 2 - MVO4301.02)

***Time Change***

For students of varying levels of singing ability. Vocal production and physiology will be discussed. Group warm-ups and vocalizations will incorporate exercises to develop breath control, resonance, projection, range, color, and agility. The fundamental concepts of singing will be explored in the preparation of specific song assignments. Personalization of text and emotional expression will be addressed. Students will study and perform traditional classical song literature (including early Italian songs, 17-18th century arias and repertoire in several languages) to strengthen and to facilitate technical growth before moving on to other contemporary styles. Students will have half-hour repertory sessions every other week with an accompanist. Students must have previous voice experience and/or study, and some music literacy.

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30-8pm).

Karen Gover

Text Seminar: Plato’s Republic (PHI4244.01)

***Time Change & New Description***

Plato’s _Republic_ is not only a foundational work in the history of Western political philosophy, but also a fascinating and beautiful work of literature.  It has provocative and even radical things to say about human nature, ethics, education, family, government, and art.  We will work our way methodically through the primary text while engaging with some of the best Plato scholarship along the way to aid our understanding.  As participants in this seminar we will become a community of readers, writers, and thinkers, and thereby make our own contribution to the tradition of scholarship on this text.

Andrew Cencini

Object-Oriented Programming (CS4153.01)

***Time Change***

In this course, students will learn the principles and practice of object-oriented programming. While much introductory computer science coursework focuses on the fundamentals of programming (program structure, loops, conditionals, design), this course will dig deeper into working in the object-oriented paradigm. Students will learn to program in an object-oriented programming language (likely Java, but C++ is a possibility), and will work on a group software project, including a graphical user interface, to solidify skills. This class is a natural next step for those who have taken an introductory programming course, and is also highly recommended for advanced students as a way of increasing their skills and perspective as computer scientists.

Thomas Bogdan

Intermediate Voice (Section 3 - MVO4301.03)

***Time Change***

For students of varying levels of singing ability. Vocal production and physiology will be discussed. Group warm-ups and vocalizations will incorporate exercises to develop breath control, resonance, projection, range, color, and agility. The fundamental concepts of singing will be explored in the preparation of specific song assignments. Personalization of text and emotional expression will be addressed. Students will study and perform traditional classical song literature (including early Italian songs, 17-18th century arias and repertoire in several languages) to strengthen and to facilitate technical growth before moving on to other contemporary styles. Students will have half-hour repertory sessions every other week with an accompanist. Students must have previous voice experience and/or study, and some music literacy.

Kitty Brazelton

Linguistics of Music (MTH4258.01)

(Formerly “Towards a Theory of Rock”)

Students in this course will collaborate with instructor to generate a set of grammatical “rules” for various rock genres. To do this, we will review existing theories and grammars of Western classical and other musics. We will investigate existing scholarly studies of rock. After that, much of the course will be student-directed with a strong orientation on individual research. Students will be asked to “test” theories through performance. The course will culminate in scholarly papers on research findings. Students must be musically literate, and have a working knowledge of harmony, counterpoint, analysis and/or Jazz theory.

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesday 6:30-8pm).

Susie Ibarra

World Percussion Ensemble (MPF2253.01)

***Time Change***

In this class we will examine composition and improvisation through melodic, harmonic, rhythmic structures as well as important cultural and folkloric content in examples of music from traditional practices in various parts of the world. The ensemble will learn and perform music from Eastern Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, Central Asia. Individually each student/player will lead the ensemble in a new work/s that incorporates musical techniques from the music studied in the class. Collectively the ensemble will participate in arranging traditional music for this contemporary world percussion ensemble. Along with the specific practices studied, the students/players will collectively create a new sound and direction of how music will be created and performed by World Percussion Ensemble. This ensemble will to be taught in collaboration with Kerry Ryer-Parke’s World Vocal Ensemble, joining for periodic rehearsal and performance.

Kerry Ryer-Parke

World Vocal Ensemble (MPF4126.01)

***Time Change***

This class is for confident, adventurous singers wishing to study and perform full-throated music from regions where singing is part of the rhythm of everyday life. Meeting concurrently with the World Percussion Ensemble, we will collaborate on music from Eastern Europe, Africa, Southeast and Central Asia. We will learn about the distinctive sounds and folkloric context of Corsican and Georgian polyphony, overtone singing of Tuva and Sardinia, as well as the role of rhythm in chanteys and work songs. Songs will be taught by both ear and notation. Ensemble members are encouraged to arrange traditional music for the combined forces or smaller groups, and will prepare a joint performance from memory with the World Percussion Ensemble. Some music literacy is required.

Corequisites: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesday 6:30-8PM).

Noah Coburn

The Ethnography of Things (ANT4108.01)

***Title change from The Anthropology of Things & Time change***

Most ethnographic studies begin by focusing on a group of people. This course asks what the implications are of reversing such an approach and beginning with a specific thing. In what ways do things create culture? By carefully analyzing a series of classic and more current ethnographies, students will look at the relationship between theoretical approaches, how ethnographic data is presented to the reader and how the shape of the text determines how the material is being understood. Readings will include studies of sugar, cod, cell phones and colonialism, and authors will range from Marx to Wolf and Appadurai. Students will be required to participate actively in the analysis of each text as well as analyzing texts outside of class.

Tim Schroeder
Kirk Jackson

Voice and Speech Workshop (DRA2114.01)

***Time Change***

The human voice simultaneously communicates thought and emotion whether we will it or not. Through exercises focusing on alignment and release, breath expansion and endurance, vibration and tone, and articulation and flexibility, students will work to free, develop and strengthen their natural voice. Particular attention will be paid to diction to align clarity of thought and speech. Exercises are informed by the work of Voice & Speech pioneers Edith Skinner, Arthur Lessac, Kristin Linklater and Patsy Rodenburg. In addition, students learn IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) and to use this tool to master Standard Speech for the American Stage or any given dialect or accent.

Corequisite: Dance or Drama Lab Assignment.

Andrew Cencini

Computer Architecture and Organization (Canceled)

How do computers really work? That is the question that underlies this class. We will investigate the architecture and motivation behind modern microprocessor-based systems, as well as become familiar with the principles and theory of how systems, programs and information are organized at a low-level. The course will consist of readings and activities related to computer system architecture, and will include an introduction to assembly and machine language (Intel/MIPS/ARM).

Mary Lum

Traces, Mistakes, and Leftovers (Canceled)

The role of drawing has changed over the history of art, from primitive recording to preliminary sketch, to documentation, to works that function independently. How can we expand these categories to include the remnants of the making process. Can the research done before a project, the many mistakes made in process, or the discards left after completion of an artwork be considered acts of drawing? What happens in the moments when we think we aren’t working? Can we analyze our interactions with the world that lead to a certain way of making things? What is the necessity or value of ruins? How can we fold back these layers to make new drawings?
Employing their own advanced work as a base, students collect, analyze, and employ the physical and conceptual detritus surrounding their making process. Topics include: idea generation and development, the use of memory and reconstruction, teaching, and drawing as a way of thinking. In-class discussions are complemented by readings, writings, production of individual bodies of work, and small group projects. Students are expected to be engaged in a concurrent advanced studio/making course and to complete most of their course work outside of class time. A high level of self-motivation is expected.

Andrew McIntyre

The Infinite (Canceled)

The infinite is a theme that recurs in human thought, in places as disparate as philosophy, architecture, literature and mathematics. We will look at how mathematics has been influenced by the infinite, and the ways in which it has come to terms with it. We will mostly look at what mathematicians call the theory of sets: can one infinite collection be called bigger than another? Are there fewer odd numbers than there are numbers? If there are bigger and smaller infinities, can we make sense of counting beyond infinity somehow (infinity plus one!)? We’ll also look at geometrical notions of infinity (do parallel lines meet somewhere?), and at the addition of infinite series of terms (Zeno’s paradoxes of Achilles and the Tortoise).

This course will be held Monday, March 23 – Thursday, April 9.

Andrew McIntyre

Orders of Magnitude (Canceled)

We all have an intuitive sense of how large a number like 10 or 100 is. But is it possible to get some direct grasp on the world’s population, the national debt, the distance to the nearest galaxies, or the time that has passed since the formation of the earth? Mathematicians and scientists do have good ways of understanding very large numbers, which we’ll discuss in this class. Students will do many examples in class, and will write a test at the end with questions like “estimate the number of grains of sand on all the world’s beaches”, or “estimate how fast we’ll have to produce solar cells if we want to meet all new demands on power with solar energy”.

This course will be held Thursday, February 26 – Monday, March 16.

Sarah Hammond

Playwriting (DRA2260.01)

“A human being is the best plot there is. ”
–John Galsworthy

A beginning workshop in the fundamentals of playwriting, with exercises in such craft elements as structure, plot, dialogue, setting, gesture, and a special focus on inventing characters the audience can’t forget. Assignments will include both written responses to readings and creative writing exercises that explore the craft of dramatic writing. The course will culminate in round table readings of students’ one-act plays.

Sarah Hammond

Musical Theatre Writing – Book & Lyrics (DRA4154.01)

“Words can be graceful, but music is grace itself. Music is a blessing that enters the soul through the ear.” -Tony Kushner, from the foreword to Caroline or Change

How do we write words that sing? What drives a character to sing? How can a words-writer best use the constraints of the musical form to make a character come alive in the theater? In this creative writing course, students will learn the craft of lyric writing and explore larger musical theatre structures (book) through writing exercises and readings. From Oscar Hammerstein to Lynn Ahrens to Adam Gwon, we will study lyrics from the golden age of the American musical in combination with today’s up-and-coming musical theatre makers. Assignments will include written responses to readings and creative writing exercises, culminating in the script of a one-act musical. Composers who wish to explore book and lyric writing are welcome.

Andrew McIntyre; Kitty Brazelton

Music and Mathematics (MAT4124.01)

How may mathematics be used to analyze music? How may it be used to compose music? What connections may be found between music and mathematics on the level of metaphor? This class will be not so much a survey as an exploration. The instructors and students will work together over the duration of the term to try to frame these questions, decide what we need to learn to answer them, and learn it. As the class progresses, students will choose particular aspects to work individually in more depth. We have no preconceived ideas about the topics for this class, beyond a general preference for new or surprising connections over those which have been well developed already. Part of the goal of the course will be to determine, together, what the most interesting questions are.

Karolina Kawiaka

The Design Process: Concept – Analysis – Diagram – Presentation (ARC4212.01)

In this class students will develop and refine their design process through a series of sketch problems and design exercises. They will become familiar with the work of important architects and architectural writing and its role in creating culture, which will give inspiration and a sense of context for their own work.

Analysis, CAD, and presentation skills will be advanced through weekly sketch problems which will investigate current movements in the field of architectural design.

Karolina Kawiaka

Biomimicry in Architecture (ARC4206.01)

This is an advanced studio class for students who are self-directed and have a proficient understanding of basic architectural concepts, history and theory.

Students will develop skills needed to communicate architectural concepts and develop personal approaches to the design process. Such factors as climate, place, orientation, program, cultural ideas about place and space, how the built world acts in relation to the natural world as a manifestation of our cultural values, materials and structure are studied while completing assignments where we design objects and environments. The course will concentrate on developing the students’ ability to develop architectural concepts and translate them into two-dimensional and three-dimensional representations. This term we will be focusing on biomimicry-inspired design using digital fabrication using the laser cutter, cnc router and rapid prototypers.

Brooke Allen

Salman Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children” (MOD2150.01)

Hailed by many critics as the Great Indian Novel, Midnight’s Children (1980) explores India’s history, from Independence in 1947 up to the time of writing, in Rushdie’s characteristically fantastic, energized style. One paper, 5-7 pages, will be required.

This course will be offered Thursday, February 26 through Monday, March 16.

TBA

Sage City Symphony (MPF4100.01)

Sage City Symphony is a community orchestra which invites student participation. The Symphony is noted for the policy of commissioning new works by major composers, in some instances student composers, as well as playing the classics. There are openings in the string sections, and occasionally by audition for solo winds and percussion. There will be two concerts each term.

Thorsten Dennerline

Unique Prints: 3-D Prints and Modular Works (PRI4272.01)

This course is an introduction to unique prints, or prints that are not necessarily printed as an edition. We will emphasize the making of mixed media prints using a broad range of methods from monotypes to digital prints. The class is structured around a series of projects where rigorous experimentation is encouraged.

Students will learn various non-typical printmaking methods through a straightforward format of demonstrations of techniques, hands-on experience, and critiques. Techniques will include monotype, polyester laser plates, and various transfer techniques. Additionally, we will explore the possibilities of 3-dimentional applications for prints. This can include anything from books, paper cups, matchbooks, modular installations, appropriated prints and wallpapers. We may also be collaborating on projects with other classes or universities.

Valerie Imbruce
Valerie Imbruce

Agroecology (ENV2118.01)

This course is for students interested in the ecology of agricultural systems. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of inputs and outputs in agricultural systems and their relation to primary productivity, nutrient cycling, energy flows, and species interactions on farms.  We will consider agroecology as a science based in, although fundamentally different from, ecology and agronomy. This course also recognizes that agroecological practices cannot be considered apart from the socioeconomic and political processes in which they are a part. We will address questions like: Can temporal and spatial crop diversity be used to manage pest and disease populations? How can animals contribute to soil fertility on farm? What ecosystem services do agroecosystems provide? What factors influence farmers’ choice of practices? Labs will involve case studies of local farms, group experiments on the student farm and quantification of agroecological variables.

Corequisite: Students must also register for the lab, ENV2118L.

Sarah Harris

Wounded Literature: Trauma, Memory, and Representation (LIT2262.01)

This course will be a study of the paradoxes of trauma literature. Stories that compel their telling, yet are unassimilated and unspeakable, this writing grows out of disaster and crisis on an individual and/or collective scale. To better understand Anne Whitehead’s assertion that “Novelists have frequently found that the impact of trauma can only adequately be represented by mimicking its forms and symptoms, so that temporality and chronology collapse, and narratives are characterized by repetition and indirection,” we will explore representative narratives by authors including Toni Morrison, Juan Goytisolo, Art Spiegelman, Slavoj Žižek, Susan Sontag, and W.G. Sebald, in conversation with major theoretical contributions by Benjamin, Freud, Herman, Caruth, LaCapra, and Halbwachs. This will be a reading and writing intensive course.

Susan Sgorbati

Advanced Workshop in CAPA (APA4126.01)

This workshop is designed to enable students to pursue work they have already begun that is focused on public action regardless of the particular issue/s they are addressing and to integrate Field Work Term into that work. Students will be presenting their own work to the workshop as it unfolds. Some portion of the workshop will be dedicated to common experience – in particular exploring those concepts and methods that inform this work including: multiple aspects of effective presentation, writing, visual mapping, speaking, mediation and negotiation skills, the design and development of proposals. Bennington faculty and staff, CAPA Fellows and guests will participate throughout the workshop. Admission to the workshop requires a written statement outlining one’s plans for how it will be used, and an interview by the instructor. A year long course.

Thomas Bogdan

Advanced Voice (Section 2 - MVO4401.02)

Advanced study of vocal technique and the interpretation of the vocal repertoire, designed for advanced students who have music as a plan concentration and to assist graduating seniors with preparation for senior recitals.  Students are required to study and to perform a varied spectrum of vocal repertory for performance and as preparation for further study or graduate school. A class maximum of five voice students will meet for one-hour individual session/coachings with the instructor each week (to be scheduled with the instructor).  Students will also have an individual half-hour session with a pianist each week to work on repertory.

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30 – 8pm).

Kerry Ryer-Parke

Advanced Voice (Section 1 - MVO4401.01)

Advanced study of vocal technique and the interpretation of the vocal repertoire, designed for advanced students who have music as a plan concentration and to assist graduating seniors with preparation for senior recitals.  Students are required to study and to perform a varied spectrum of vocal repertory for performance and as preparation for further study or graduate school. A class maximum of five voice students will meet for one-hour individual session/coachings with the instructor each week (to be scheduled with the instructor).  Students will also have an individual half-hour session with a pianist each week to work on repertory.

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30 – 8pm).

Thomas Bogdan

Intermediate Voice (Section 4 - MVO4301.04)

For students of varying levels of singing ability. Vocal production and physiology will be discussed. Group warm-ups and vocalizations will incorporate exercises to develop breath control, resonance, projection, range, color, and agility. The fundamental concepts of singing will be explored in the preparation of specific song assignments. Personalization of text and emotional expression will be addressed. Students will study and perform traditional classical song literature (including early Italian songs, 17-18th century arias and repertoire in several languages) to strengthen and to facilitate technical growth before moving on to other contemporary styles. Students will have half-hour repertory sessions every other week with an accompanist. Students must have previous voice experience and/or study, and some music literacy.

Music Faculty

Advanced Chamber Music (MPF4230.01)

An intensive, performance oriented exploration of the chamber music literature. Students must have significant previous instrumental training and experience.

Corequisites: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30 – 8pm).

TBA

Piano Lab II (Section 2 - MIN4236.02)

Continuing course in basic keyboard skills.  Students already fluent with notation and with music in their plan are encouraged to take this level, or talk with the instructor.

David Katz

The Kiln as a Tool (CER2136.02)

This course will look into the use of the kiln as an integral tool and part of the creative process in ceramic art. We will explore various different kilns and firing techniques, learning the roles of fire and atmosphere in transforming glaze components into desired surfaces. We will also discuss the history of kiln technology and how this has effected the development of wares, kiln building, and the theoretical basis for kiln design and firing. Students will be expected to develop and produce work independently outside of class time for use in the firings.

This course will be offered the second seven weeks of term.

David Katz

Glaze Chemistry (CER2132.01)

This course will focus on the exploration of fired ceramic surfaces and the fundamentals of formulating glazes for use in ceramic art. An emphasis will be placed on understanding the chemistry behind glazes and how the molecular breakdown of glaze recipes translates into unique fired surfaces. Through hands on and theoretical approaches students will gain experience developing glaze recipes and acquire the methodology needed for continued testing and surface development.

This course will be offered the first seven weeks of term.

Visual Arts Faculty

Visual Arts Lecture Series (VA2999.01)

This is a series of lectures given by visiting artists and critics invited by the Visual Arts faculty.

You will attend lectures on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 pm as well as gallery exhibitions. The number of lectures and exhibitions you must attend will vary according to how many are scheduled in any term.

You are required to take notes during the lectures and exhibitions and produce a one page analytical summary of each event. All papers must be typewritten and turned in at the Visual Arts office two weeks before the end of the term.

Liz Deschenes

Inquiry in the Visual Arts (VA4160.01)

This class welcomes students from all of the Visual Arts disciplines who are interested in working and discussing work in an interdisciplinary environment. The course will have two main components that will interspersed throughout the course.

Students will learn about how to research for the visual artist. Simultaneously, we will look at how to embark upon inquiry through a series of assignments that will be decided upon by the concerns of the students in the course. Students will present their research in response to their inquiries while we critically investigate assignments for the studio.

Jonathan Pitcher

Liberalism and Religion (SPA4254.01)

One of the more ubiquitous problems in formulating thought on Latin America, evident in anything from a page-long critique of a painting to governmental policy, is the premise that liberalism, for all its apparent flaws, has good intentions, and is coupled to the increasing obsolescence of religion, which only serves to divide theory and practice.

The development of political, economic, scientific and cultural spheres as distinct to the Catholic Church in nineteenth-century Latin America was a cornerstone of the secularizing agenda of liberalism, which contributed and continues to contribute to the redefinition of relations between religious institutions, the state, and public life. This course will consider reformist positions towards the Church in Latin American society to draw attention to the processes of negotiation between liberals and the Church, as well as their effects on the public realm. It will incorporate US perspectives to examine the emergence of Masonic and Protestant movements in Latin America in a comparative frame, and the extent to which liberal traditions in the Americas were and are affected by different theologies.

Sarah Harris

Our Monsters, Ourselves (SPA4715.01)

“We live in a time of monsters,” writes Jeffrey Jerome Cohen in Monster Theory. As beings who mix categories or defy categorization altogether, monsters may be apt emblems for a postmodern age, yet it would be a mistake to imply that monsters are a creation of postmodernity. The monstrous figures that dominate popular contemporary culture come from a long artistic tradition, and their depictions both promote and reveal fears. The fears underlying the monstrous, universal or particular to moments and places, call special attention to the darkness that dwells within all of us, even in our denial of it.

This course will build theoretical underpinnings with Frederich Nietzsche, Umberto Eco, James Twitchell, Michel Foucault, and Adam Douglas. Together, we will consider concrete literary examples from the Spanish Baroque and the Nocilla Generation, before students’ individual research will begin to drive the content. Therefore, we will create ample opportunity to consider examples from any time and place in the Hispanophone world. We will, in the end, hope to uncover more about the values of normative groups that vilify and externalize, than about the monsters these norms denigrate. Advanced level. In Spanish.

Jonathan Pitcher

Language Through Film (SPA4118.01)

Students with burgeoning linguistic skills will learn the language through an immersion in Latin American and Spanish film in the second half of this full-year introduction to the Spanish-speaking world. While there will be some discussion of more common tactics such as stylistic nuances, script-writing, acting, dubbing, and directors biographies, it is expected that we will continue to develop sufficient linguistic ability to focus on cinematographic and social movements, thus treating the films as ideologemes, representations of political import. The paraphernalia associated with mastering a second language–explicit grammar sessions, vocabulary, oral and aural practice, text–will be on offer, but will generally be student-driven, servicing the content, corroborating the hope that in confronting our own preconceived notions of the Spanish-speaking world we will simultaneously debunk those regarding how a language is taught. Students will therefore learn to speak, listen, read and write in increasingly meaningful scenarios. Conducted in Spanish.

Sarah Harris

Cartoon Culture (SPA4112.01)

What are cartoons? Why study them? What do they have to do with Spanish culture? Students in this course will consider the theoretical and artistic concerns that graphic narratives raise, especially in the interaction between text and image. We will examine the gradual evolution of the so-called historieta from its historical relegation to the realm of the juvenile and lowbrow, to the more recent boom in the academic and critical legitimacy of graphic novels. Our exploration will encompass comic strips, cartoons, and graphic novels from Spain, critical analyses, articles about the art form, as well as films and works of literature inspired by cartoons. Throughout, we will investigate what these media expose about, and how they simultaneously influence, the cultures from which they emerge. The focus of the course will be on student-generated discussion and critical thinking about these media, but continual practice in all four major areas of language (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) will be essential. Students will learn to defend their own ideas in spoken and written language. We will explore grammatical and linguistic questions as they arise naturally in the classroom. Conducted in Spanish. Intermediate-low level.

Jon Isherwood

Projects in Sculpture: Making it Personal (SCU4797.01)

The question is what do you want to say? As we develop our interests in sculpture it becomes more and more imperative to find our own voice. The role of the artist is to interpret personal conditions and experiences and find the most affecting expression for them. This course provides the opportunity for a self-directed study in sculpture. Students are expected to produce a significant amount of work outside of regular class meetings. The goal is for students to become fully versed in the issues that define traditional and contemporary sculpture. Regular individual and bi-weekly group critiques will be complemented by student presentations of issues pertaining to their work. Students will be expected to attend field trips to museums and galleries. A final exhibition and a self-evaluation are required.

David Anderegg

Developmental Psychology After the Grand Theories (PSY2207.01)

Comprehensive theories in developmental psychology posited relatively abrupt structural changes in children’s thinking in the course of childhood. These theories have been supplanted, in large part, by basic research documenting gradual changes in children’s development. In this course the grand theories (Piaget, Freud, and attachment theory and evolutionary psychology) will be reviewed along with current findings which challenge their scope and reach. Topics will include cognitive, emotional and social development from infancy through adolescence.

David Anderegg

Seminar in Clinical/ Developmental Psychology (PSY4106.01)

This course serves as a platform for senior work in clinical or developmental psychology. Students will work together as a group and also independently under supervision of the instructor. The final product will be a research paper or other project which demonstrates critical thinking and research in psychology at an advanced level. Projects may be one-term projects or the second term of a two-term project.

David Anderegg

Psychological Experimentation (PSY2109.01)

Psychologists collect data about people and do so systematically. This course will use the history of psychology and look at classic psychological experiments as a way to think about experimentation itself: how do we answer the questions we really want to ask? Historically important experiments in social, developmental, abnormal and cognitive psychology will be read and critiqued, and a few will be replicated by the class as a group. Students will be expected to write short reaction papers on the theme of historical experiments, and to design their own extensions of these classic experiments. We will also address ethical issues in psychological experimentation.

Sarah Pike

Silkscreen/ Serigraphy Workshop (Section 2 - PRI2112.02)

This course will focus on the basic technical processes of screen printing including, screen preparation, image development, registration, paper handling, and printing multi run prints. Through demonstrations and hands on experiences students will complete a series of projects using block out methods and photo emulsion by creating hand-drawn and digital films. Particular emphasis will be placed on color interaction, mixing, and layering. Students should expect to be working on both independent and collaborative projects.

This course will be offered the second seven weeks of term.

Sarah Pike

Silkscreen/ Serigraphy Workshop (Section 1 - PRI2112.01)

This course will focus on the basic technical processes of screen printing including, screen preparation, image development, registration, paper handling, and printing multi run prints. Through demonstrations and hands on experiences students will complete a series of projects using block out methods and photo emulsion by creating hand-drawn and digital films. Particular emphasis will be placed on color interaction, mixing, and layering. Students should expect to be working on both independent and collaborative projects.

This course will be offered the first seven weeks of term.

Thorsten Dennerline

Introduction to Intaglio: The Alchemist’s Print (PRI2111.01)

This course is an introduction to copper plate Intaglio. We will explore various techniques to prepare our plates including hand working and acid etching with materials such as rosin resists and sugar lifts. By the end of term, we will be printing in color. Ultimately, the overall goal of our endeavors will be to begin a dialog about artistic production in a contemporary context while also exploring the unique history of the intaglio process.

Rotimi Suberu

Comparative Democratization (POL2102.01)

The twentieth century has been described as a century of democratization. This is in recognition of the third wave of democratization that saw the creation or restoration of about eighty democracies in southern Europe, Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa during the last quarter of the century. This introductory course will examine the drivers, patterns, outcomes, and prospects of global democratic political transitions and transformations since the late twentieth century. Readings, lectures, assignments and presentations will explore the following themes: current and emerging academic and policy debates on democratization; commonalities and differences in modes of transitions from non-democratic rule in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the post-communist world; the roles of specific actors and factors in democratization, including the international community, political and civil society, economic development and reform, state capacity, cultural diversity and conflict, and constitutional design; illustrative country case studies of successful, failed, ambivalent and precluded democratizations; and current challenges and future prospects of democratization in the twenty-first century.

Hugh Crowl
Hugh Crowl

Physics II: Fields (PHY4325.01)

How does influence travel from one thing to another? In Newton’s mechanics of particles and forces, influences travel instantaneously across arbitrarily far distances. Newton himself felt this to be incorrect, but he did not suggest a solution to this problem of “action at a distance.” To solve this problem, we need a richer ontology: The world is made not only of particles, but also of fields. As in-depth examples of the field concept, we study the theory and applications of the electric field and the magnetic field, including Maxwell’s explanation of light as an electromagnetic wave. The surprising resolution of the dichotomy of particle vs. field will be the wave-particle duality of quantum theory.

Corequisites: Students must also register for the lab, PHY4325L.01.

Liz Deschenes

Photography Foundation (PHO2302.01)

The objective of this course is to provide the student with a proficiency in the basics of 35mm black and white photography. Class time will be spent working in the darkroom, lab demonstrations, and discussions of student work. In addition to technical lectures and reviews, a selection of images from the history of photography will be shown and discussed throughout the term. The slide presentations will introduce students to various photographic genres with an emphasis on contemporary practice. Reading assignments, and one writing
assignment will also be part of this course.

Paul Voice

Philosophy of Love and Friendship (PHI2123.01)

Arthur C. Danto remarks, “How incorrigibly stiff philosophy is when it undertakes to lay its icy fingers on the frilled and beating wings of the butterfly of love.” There is something both true and false in this remark. The philosopher cannot, as the poet can, convey the particularities of a love lived, suffered and enjoyed, but romantic love and friendship are an aspect of our practical moral lives and in this respect a proper object of philosophical concern. This course brings together some of the most lively and passionate writings by philosophers on the topic of romantic love and friendship. Students will consider various definitions and descriptions of love and friendship from Plato to Freud. Students will examine the connection between morality and love and between love and the political, reading the writings of philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Kant, Marcuse and De Beauvoir.

Andrew Spence

Subject and Meaning in Painting (PAI4202.01)

Since the 1960s, art styles and trends have become increasingly diverse. This may make it easier for more artists to find acceptable venues of expression, but as the options increase, it may be more difficult for artists who are still in their formative stage of development to find their own way of expression.

This course is designed for students who are starting to develop their own identity as painters. Experimenting with painting materials, techniques, and styles in painting will be encouraged. Both assigned projects and independent projects will be completed outside of class time in assigned studio areas. Group critiques, art-related discussions, slide presentations, and written assignments will be the format of this class. Individual critiques with the instructor will also occur.

Joshua Blackwell

Form and Process: Investigations in Painting (PAI2107.01)

This course introduces a variety of materials, techniques and approaches to painting. Emphasis is placed on developing and understanding of color, form and space as well as individual research and conceptual concerns. The daily experience of seeing, along with the history of art, provides a base from which investigations are made. Formal, poetic, and social implications within paintings both from class and from art history are examined and discussed. Students complete work weekly. There are regular group critiques, and individual reviews, reading assignments and lectures by visiting artists. A high degree of motivation is expected.

Kerry Ryer-Parke

Intermediate Voice (Section 1 - MVO4301.01)

For students of varying levels of singing ability. Vocal production and physiology will be discussed. Group warm-ups and vocalizations will incorporate exercises to develop breath control, resonance, projection, range, color, and agility. The fundamental concepts of singing will be explored in the preparation of specific song assignments. Personalization of text and emotional expression will be addressed. Students will study and perform traditional classical song literature (including early Italian songs, 17-18th century arias and repertoire in several languages) to strengthen and to facilitate technical growth before moving on to other contemporary styles. Students will have half-hour repertory sessions every other week with an accompanist. Students must have previous voice experience and/or study, and some music literacy.

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30-8pm).

Allen Shawn

Music Composition Project (MUS4355.01)

This is a course for music composition students. Each student produces a sizable piece for a single small ensemble, such as a piano trio or string quartet. There are regular reading sessions of the pieces in progress, culminating in a class presentation and taping of the completed works. The class time is used in three ways: for analysis and study of works composed for the chosen medium; for the reading sessions; and for examination of the student’s works-in-progress. Students must have good notation skills and previous experience as a composer.

Bruce Williamson

Introduction to Jazz Theory and Improvisation (MTH2272.01)

This course will review both diatonic and modal harmony as it applies to chord structures, chord progressions and scales used in jazz improvisation. Students will learn how to translate the chord symbols found in lead sheets (music with only chord symbols and melody), how to interpret chord alterations, and how to identify key centers. This course will help students learn the language of jazz and develop the necessary skills to create intelligent and musical improvised solos. Students should have a rudimentary knowledge of music notation, plus a basic understanding of major and minor tonality.

Bruce Williamson

Jazz Ensemble (MPF4250.01)

This ensemble will perform a wide range of Jazz music (a genre that is constantly evolving), with an emphasis on both ensemble playing and improvisation skills. By playing together, students will learn how blues, swing, latin, and rock elements have all fueled this music called jazz. Students will also learn how major Jazz artists such as Ellington, Monk, Mingus, Wayne Shorter, Ornette Coleman and others have approached composition. As a group we will explore different techniques for playing over chord changes and ways to make improvised solos more interesting, both harmonically and rhythmically. Whether playing a jazz standard, a student composition, or free music, the emphasis will be on listening and on interacting with each other, finding ways to create blend, groove, dynamic contrast, and tension/release. Students will also be encouraged to bring in arrangements, transcriptions, and compositions, which will be read and developed by the ensemble. Students need to have adequate technique on a musical instrument, be able to read music and have a basic understanding of harmony (chord structures, chord-scales, etc.)

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesdays 6:30-8pm).

Kaori Washiyama

String Chamber Ensemble (MPF4235.01)

Music for string ensemble to be selected according to number and level of participants. Students must have significant previous instrumental training and previous experience.

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30-8pm).

John Kirk

Traditional Music Ensemble (MPF4221.01)

We will study and perform from the string band traditions of rural America. Nova Scotia, Quebecois, Irish, New England, Scandinavian, African American dance and ballad traditions will also be experienced with listening, practice (weekly group rehearsals outside of class), and performing components. Emphasis on ensemble intuition, playing by ear, and lifetime personal music making skills (transposition, harmonizing, etc.). Previous playing experience required on one or more of the following instruments: violin, guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass accordion, concertina, penny whistle, flute, bodhran, harp, ukulele, or piano. Students must have three to five years of instrument playing experience, and must have their own instrument or arrange for instrument use per term.

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30-8pm).

Susie Ibarra

Philippine Kulintang Gong Ensemble (MPF2027.01)

Kulintang gong music is practiced in many styles from several groups in the Philippines, northern Indonesia. Its Philippine origins were in the 14th century where it was created as royal court music in Mindanao, the Southern island of the Philippines. Many different Indigenous tribes play kulintang music in Mindanao. This ensemble will introduce the history and culture of Philippine kulintang music with a focus on Maguindanaon traditions such as the gandingan as talking gongs. The ensemble will learn performance styles, improvisation, number notation, and how to play as an ensemble on all the instruments. This class will also examine contemporary work that has been composed for Kulintang as well as compose and perform music created by students in the class. There will be a 2-hour required ensemble rehearsal each week.

Dana Reitz

Noticing, Choosing and Writing to Describe (MOD2107.02)

When looking at an object, watching something moving, experiencing the sound of an occurrence, witnessing an interaction between people, or noticing the surrounding circumstance of any object or event – how do we choose what we see? What are we not choosing? And how do we attempt to speak or write about it?

Focusing on any events or objects, not intentionally art, we will practice noticing myriad aspects of them, discussing them, and writing about them. The first week will be dedicated to describing objects, motion, and sound; the second to interactions between objects, living beings, etc; the third to surrounding circumstances of events.

Students are expected to write and rewrite a series of descriptions, fully participate in exercises and discussions. Students are also expected to attend one lecture, performance, or event outside of regularly scheduled class time.

This course will be held Monday, March 23 – Thursday, April 9.

Dana Reitz

Noticing, Choosing and Writing to Describe (MOD2107.01)

When looking at an object, watching something moving, experiencing the sound of an occurrence, witnessing an interaction between people, or noticing the surrounding circumstance of any object or event – how do we choose what we see? What are we not choosing? And how do we attempt to speak or write about it?

Focusing on any events or objects, not intentionally art, we will practice noticing myriad aspects of them, discussing them, and writing about them. The first week will be dedicated to describing objects, motion, and sound; the second to interactions between objects, living beings, etc; the third to surrounding circumstances of events.

Students are expected to write and rewrite a series of descriptions, fully participate in exercises and discussions. Students are also expected to attend one lecture, performance, or event outside of regularly scheduled class time.

This course will be held Thursday, February 26 – Monday, March 16.

John Kirk

Mandolin (MIN2229.01)

Beginning, intermediate or advanced group or individual lessons on the mandolin will be offered. Student will learn classical technique on the mandolin and start to develop a repertoire of classical and traditional folk pieces. Simple song sheets with chords, tablature, and standard notation, chord theory, and scale work will all be used to further skills. Students will be expected to perform at Music Workshop, or as part of a concert, in ensemble and/or solo. Depending on scheduling, these will be individual or group lessons. Students must have their own instrument.

Michael Bisio
Nathaniel Parke
Nathaniel Parke
Kaori Washiyama

Violin/ Viola (MIN4345.01)

Studies in all left-hand positions and shifting, and an exploration of various bow techniques. Students can select from the concerto and sonata repertoire, short pieces and etudes for study designed to develop technique, advance musicianship and prepare for performance.

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30-8pm).

TBA
Yoshiko Sato
Christopher Lewis
John Kirk

Fiddle (MIN4327.01)

For the experienced (2+years of playing) violinist. Lessons in traditional styles of fiddling – Quebecois, New England, Southern Appalachian, Cajun, Irish, and Scottish. This tutorial is designed to heighten awareness of the variety of ways the violin is played regionally and socially in North America (and indeed around the world these days) and to give practical music skills for furthering personal music making. Students will be expected to perform at a music gathering, or as part of a concert, in ensemble and/or solo. Students must have their own instrument or arrange for instrument use per term.

Corequisite: Must perform in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30-8pm).

Bruce Williamson

Saxophone (MIN4237.01)

Study of saxophone technique and standard repertoire (jazz or classical), with an emphasis on tone production, dexterity, reading skills, and improvisation. This course is for intermediate-advanced students only.

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesdays, 6:30-8pm)

TBA

Piano Lab II (Section 1 - MIN4236.01)

Continuing course in basic keyboard study. Students already fluent with notation and with music in their plan are encouraged to take this level, or talk with the instructor.

Kaori Washiyama

Intermediate Violin/ Viola (MIN4232.01)

A group tutorial for students with 2+ terms experience in violin and viola. Emphasis will be on intermediate techniques in bowing, finger positions, and ensemble playing. Students will work towards an end-of-term project.

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30-8pm).

Hui Cox

Modern Guitar (MIN4224.01)

Individual training is available in classical guitar technique and repertoire, song accompaniment (finger style), improvisation, and arranging and composing for the guitar. Course material is tailored to the interests and level of the individual student.

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30 – 8pm).

Bruce Williamson
Hui Cox

Beginning Guitar (MIN2247.01)

Introduces the fundamentals of acoustic guitar playing, including hand positions, tuning, reading music, major and pentatonic scales, major, minor, and seventh chords, chord progressions, blues progressions, and simple arrangements of songs.

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30-8pm).

Kaori Washiyama

Beginning Violin and Viola (MIN2241.01)

Basic techniques to include the reading of music in treble and/or alto clefs and in various “easy” keys. The study of left-hand position and fingering and the simple use of the bow will lead to short ensemble performances by the end of the term. Student must arrange for the use of a college instrument, if needed.

TBA

Piano Lab I (Section 2 - MIN2232.02)

This introductory course provides a comprehensive foundation for aspiring pianists. Topics include music notation, rhythm, piano technique, theory, history, sight-reading, ear-training, improvisation, and collaboration.

TBA

Piano Lab I (Section 1 - MIN2232.01)

This introductory course provides a comprehensive foundation for aspiring pianists. Topics include music notation, rhythm, piano technique, theory, history, sight-reading, ear-training, improvisation, and collaboration.

John Kirk

Ukulele Comprehensive (MIN2230.01)

A comprehensive course on learning skills on the ukulele. We will learn the history of the uke and both traditional and contemporary styles. Music theory and playing techniques will be covered and students will be expected to perform as a group or individually at Music Workshop. Students must have their own soprano or tenor ukulele.

John Kirk

Mountain Dulcimer (Lap Dulcimer) (MIN2224.01)

A comprehensive course on learning skills on the mountain (aka lap) dulcimer. We will learn the history of the dulcimer and both traditional and contemporary styles. Music theory and playing techniques will be covered and students will be expected to perform (as a group or individually) at Music Workshop. Students will purchase a lap dulcimer kit and construct the instrument as part of the course work. Those students in possession of a dulcimer already will help others make their own. Teacher will order kits after the first class.

John Kirk

Banjo (MIN2215.01)

Beginning, intermediate, or advanced group lessons on the 5-string banjo in the claw-hammer/frailing style. Student will learn to play using simple song sheets with chords, tablature, and standard notation. Using chord theory and scale work, personal music-making skills will be enhanced. Awareness of traditional styles of playing the instrument will be furthered through a listening component and ensemble playing with other instrumentalists. Student must have own instrument (5-string banjo).

Michael Wimberly

Drumming: An Extension of Language (MIN2120.01)

This course serves as an introduction to rhythms, chants, and songs from Africa, Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, and the African Diaspora. Using indigenous percussion instruments such as congas, timbales, surdos, pandeiro, caixa, djembe, dunumba, cajon, balafon, and chekere, students will experience basic hand and stick drumming patterns associated with folkloric rhythms from these countries. In the lab portion of the class students will discuss the history, language, dance, and current events of the people associated with these rhythms.

Allen Shawn

The Music of J.S. Bach (MHI2177.01)

A group exploration of some of the high points in the glorious music of Johann Sebastian Bach, including the Mass in B minor, the Saint Matthew Passion, the Magnificat, the Brandenburg Concertos, the Well-Tempered Clavier, the Musical Offering, and the unaccompanied Suites for Cello. We will also consider Bach’s continuing influence on the music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and listen to transcriptions of Bach’s music by Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Louis Andriessen and others. Assignments will include listening assignments, readings, several oral reports, and papers. Although nominally a “lecture” course, the emphasis will be on listening, discussion, and collaborative investigation, and the students will be asked to research and present findings on subjects pertaining to Bach’s life, the instruments used in his day, and the religious texts he set to music. Students without a background in music will be expected to bring their own areas of knowledge and expertise to bear on the life and work of Bach. The course work will include a significant amount of writing.

John Kirk

Traditional Music of North America (MHI2135.01)

This course explores music from early native music through contemporary singer-songwriters. Some of the traditions we draw from include African, Native American, Quebecois, Appalachian, Irish and Scottish, British Isle traditions, Cajun, Blues, Gospel, and Conjunto music. Instrumental, dance, and ballad traditions are explored. Students must bring a guitar, banjo, mandolin, or fiddle (or other social instrument) to class for purposes of furthering personal music making through traditional forms. We will practice and perform as a group, improving our reading and aural skills. Other instruments are possible, but the students must discuss this with the instructor.

Bruce Williamson

Music as an Instrument for Social Change (MHI2114.01)

This course will examine how music has provided strength and solidarity to various protest movements of the 20th century, often with dedicated support from student populations. We will look for examples of injustice and oppression which resulted in powerful musical expressions of both descriptive concern and angry defiance. Some of the social movements with a rich partnership in music will include: civil rights in the US, the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, anti-war movements, free speech movements, various labor struggles, and other fights against racism, gender bias, and religious or national persecution. We will compare lyrics and opinions of artists as varied as Woody Guthrie, Bob Marley, and Rage Against The Machine, noting how musical styles such as folk, rock, reggae, and gospel can help unify a group of people with a common cause. Discussions, research papers, and classroom presentations (along with readings and film screenings) will tie social issues and music of the past to present-day problems and responses.

Corequisite: Students will be required to attend weekly film screenings on Wednesdays 4:10-6:00pm.

Michael Wimberly

Music Composition for Dance (MHI2105.01)

A retrospective look at twentieth-century compositions composed specifically for dance. Composers such as Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, Ellington, Cage, and Copland revolutionized musical form, tonality, and rhythm during the twentieth century, creating compositions for iconic dance companies and choreographers such as the Ballets Russes, Martha Graham, Katherine Dunham, Alvin Ailey, Joffrey Ballet, George Balanchine, Talley Beaty, Twyla Tharp, and Urban Bush Women. We will examine these collaborations in hope of revealing a deeper understanding of their work. Each student will research a composer and choreographer collaboration to present in class. Mid-term and final projects will consist of composing a work with a choreographer or composer to be presented in music workshop and/or VAPA. There will be weekly listening, viewing, readings, and responses. Students must have a working knowledge of an instrument or dance.

Peter Pagnucco

Advanced Mediation Training (MED4301.02)

This course is an advanced level of training in mediation and negotiation. Skills such as principled collaborative problem-solving, interest-based negotiation and impartiality are a part of the practice. Students will be asked to participate in role-play exercises, read a series of articles, and write a response paper and reflection essay. Based on attendance in the previous course, a certificate for a 24-hour training will be issued to each student who completes this course.

This course will be offered Tuesday, March 24 – Friday, April 10.

Michael Cohen

Conflict Resolution: Theory & Practice (MED2116.01)

This course will present an interdisciplinary approach to the theory of conflict resolution. Theories of conflict resolution will be introduced and then explored through a number of different prisms. These will include the macro issues of the nature of peace, the environment, the media, Pax Europa, NGOs, as well as the role of religion and the Bible. There will also be a focus for part of the course on the Arab-Israeli conflict. The relationship of Rock n Roll and the arts to conflict resolution will also be examined. The course will culminate with students sharing and discussing their own personal conflict resolution philosophy and statements.

Peter Pagnucco

And Process for All (MED2110.01)

In American society, conflict resolution need not mean a punch in the nose-instead, we have process. This course is an experiential examination of two primary conflict resolution processes, litigation and mediation; and is intended for students willing to try things out. First, we will explore what society might want from a conflict resolution process and examine some of the sources of our wisdom on process. Then we will embark on an experiential study of litigation and mediation. Throughout the course, students will have many opportunities, through readings, written assignments, class exercises, and mediation and litigation/trial role plays, to learn about these processes from the inside out and practice skills employed by various process participants (lawyers, judges, mediators, disputants, etc.). Ultimately students will develop a richer understanding of these processes which will help inform their decisions and actions when confronted with conflict.

Peter Pagnucco

Conflict Confident (MED2109.01)

Conflict is a natural and inevitable part of life. How we deal with it can make all the difference. This course is designed to impart fundamental skills necessary for individuals to productively engage conflict: in short, to become conflict confident. Major themes will include: an effective intellectual approach to conflict, constructive communication skills and interest-based problem solving techniques. Students will participate in role plays and other exercises, read classic texts and prepare a project or reflection essay.

This course will be offered Tuesday February 24 – Friday, March 13.

Kitty Brazelton

Whose Opera? (MCO4361.01)

Looking for six able composers, six able writers and six able singer/actors. Or those who combine these abilities. Example of bi-weekly assignment: short operatic sketch by six teams of writer-composers for singer-actors. Writer starts – delivering libretto to composer who sets words to music, and team delivers sketch to class one week later. After sketch is critiqued in class, singer-actor(s) prepare sketch for following week with composers musical assistance. Writers must contribute to performance in some way as well. Finished sketches presented at Music Workshop during term. Course will culminate in evening-length public showing of successful sketches. No musical style requirements. For writers: a clear understanding of spoken word and the sonic effects of language. For actor/singers: self-directed quick-study acting ability. For everyone: enough music literacy to speed communication but sight-reading not required – willingness to learn, imagination, memory, acting ability, and good intonation crucial.

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30-8pm).

Andrew McIntyre

Calculus: Analysis of the Infinite (MAT4145.01)

Calculus is the mathematics of quantities that are infinitely small or infinitely many in number. For example, in physics, the curved trajectory of a planet can be understood by splitting it into infinitely many, infinitely short straight line pieces. An area can be computed by splitting the shape into infinitely many, infinitely small squares or triangles. The paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise asks us to sum infinitely many diminishing numbers. Talking vaguely about infinity of course quickly leads to confusion or paradox; calculus is the art of handling infinity safely. It finds application in any situation involving continuous change.

This course is an introduction to calculus. However, it will cover more than a typical first course, including some integral calculus, infinite series and differential equations. The approach will be historically motivated, and will be organized around a few key problems and major applications. Note that this course is not a repetition of AP calculus.

Josef Mundt

Entry to Mathematics (MAT2100.01)

Mathematics is inherent across all disciplines and undertakings. It is necessary for building structures, assessing risk in everyday life, mixing paint for specific shades, creating business models of growth and decay, setting traffic lights, and can even help assess the correct time to propose. This course will show how math has evolved from counting to the combination of abstract symbols and numbers it appears as today. Covering algebra, geometry, ratios, patterns, series, graphing, probability, and more we will focus on the foundations of mathematics and the basic skills and reasoning needed for mathematical success. Our goal will be to become conversant in the language of mathematics and understand how it affects our specific disciplines and work as well as strengthen our mathematical skills. This is a basic course, covering most of high school mathematics, and will be accessible to all interested and willing students.

Sue Rees

Advanced Digital Modeling (MA4204.01)

This course introduces students to the basic language of 3D animation and modeling. Students will be expected to become familiar with the basic principles of the MAYA program. A short animation , or a series of modeled objects and spaces will be created. Additionally, during the course we will print forms, utilizing 3D printers.

This course will be offered the first seven weeks of term.

Sue Rees

Animation Projects (MA4201.01)

The course will be for sustained work on an animation or set design. Students will be expected to create a complete animation, or project. The expectation is that students will be fully engaged in their project, and with critiques. Locations will be explored for showing of work including investigating digital projections on different surfaces and forms. Animation students will work with sound effects and sound scores to complete their final animation.  Public showings will be required.

Marguerite Feitlowitz

The Art of Literary Translation (LIT4319.01)

It may be that the closest, most interpretative and creative reading of a text involves translating from one language to another. Questions of place, culture, epoch, voice, gender, and rhythm take on new urgency, helping us deepen our skills and sensibilities in new ways. The seminar has a triple focus: comparing and contrasting existing translations of a single work; reading translators on the the art and theory of translation; and the creation of your own translations. We will also consider translation as an act of bearing witness to cultural and political crisis, and as a means of encoding messages that would otherwise be censored.

You will have two options for a final project: a manuscript of original translations, accompanied by an introduction; or an extended literary essay on the issues at play in this course. You may work in any genre, from French, Spanish, Italian, or Portuguese.

Corequisite: Students will be required to attend Wednesday literary evenings and special Bennington Translates events.

Marguerite Feitlowitz

Re-Creating the Classics (LIT2318.01)

“Why read the classics?” Italo Calvino famously asked. What does it mean to be “contemporary”? Why is it that our meditations on, and debates with, these landmark works never seem to be “settled”? Why is it that some of our most deeply experimental, politically combative, and visionary writers continually find inspiration in canonical works? In our exploration of these questions we will read a series of classic works with their radical re-creations: Sophocles’ Antigone/Griselda Gambaro’s Antigona Furiosa;The Tempest/Auden’s The Sea and the Mirror; Robinson Crusoe/Coetzee’s Foe; Jane Eyre/Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea. We will also consider the ways in which fresh waves of scholarship and new translations may effectively re-create works we thought we “knew.”

Michael Dumanis

Schools and Movements in American Poetry (LIT2315.01)

This course will survey the evolution of, and revolutions in, the American poetry from 1950 to the present by exploring the work of various aesthetically and culturally linked groups of American poets that came to prominence in the decades following the Second World War: the Beats, the Confessional Poets, the Black Mountain School, the San Francisco Renaissance, the New York School, Deep Image poets, the Black Arts Movement, New Formalists, and L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets. As we wade into the impassioned debates surrounding each of these movements to better understand what precisely constitutes a “school” of poetry, we will read poems, manifestos, and essays representative of the aesthetic of each movement, and trace connections these diverse currents in American poetry have with one another. The course will conclude by examining various new schools and movements that contemporary critics have labeled, including Elliptical poetry, documentary or “investigative” poetics, and The New Sincerity. Our course texts will include Paul Hoover’s anthology Postmodern American Poetry and several collections of poetry. In addition to two papers and brief weekly critical responses, students will be expected to attempt writing four mimetics, including a Confessional poem, a New York School poem, a Deep Image poem, and a L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poem.

Brooke Allen

Literature of the Renaissance (LIT2265.01)

The literature of the European Renaissance did much to help shape the modern mind and the modern world. In this class we will begin in Italy with Petrarch and Boccaccio, then go on to works by Pico della Mirandola, Machiavelli, Castiglione, Erasmus, Wyatt, Sir Thomas More, Cervantes, Rabelais, Vasari, and Montaigne, discussing them in the context of their time and in terms of the challenges they continue to pose today.

Alexandar Mihailovic

Eastern European Literature and Cinema (LIT2171.01)

In this course we will examine contemporary literature and cinema from Eastern Europe from the Cold War to the present, exposing the intricacies of daily life in a region where the past is always present. The cinematic and literary texts will be drawn from the former East Bloc nations and their successor states in post-Communist Europe, including iconoclastic writers and film directors such as Milan Kundera, Dubravka Ugresic, Grzegorz Wroblewski, Jasmila Zbanic, and the 2009 Nobel Prize recipient Herta Mller. We will also consider the critical responses of writers such as the Ukrainian poet Serhiy Zhadan and the Russian novelist Vladimir Sorokin to the geopolitical ambitions of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

John Gould

Through Syntax to Style: A Grammar of Writing (LIT2169.02)

“Syntax” is the aspect of grammar concerned with the relationships of words in a language, with how they fit together to create meaning. By exploring various English syntactical structures, we will discover a variety of ways to combine the same words to say slightly different things. The course will rely heavily on the linguistic work of Noam Chomsky. We will write a number of short, pithy essays in which syntax and punctuation will make a great difference. The ability to control syntax is critical for all writing, both expository and, more importantly, creative.

This course will be held the second seven weeks of term.

Rebecca Godwin

Readings in Chaucer (LIT2124.01)

Our overriding aim is simple: to read, discuss, write about, and generally immerse ourselves in Geoffrey Chaucer’s masterworks, The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde. In that process, we’ll aim to get sufficiently comfortable with Middle English to read, delight in, and even imitate that rich language. We’ll also consider something of Chaucer’s life and times as necessary corollaries to understanding his work, and dip into the colossal industry that constitutes Chaucerian scholarship. As we focus on the works as literature, students will do plenty of reading aloud, discussing, and writing regularly assigned brief responses and two longer papers, in addition to presentations, OED exploration, and online discussion.

Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier

Style and Tone in Nonfiction Writing (LIT2104.01)

This introductory course focuses on the weekly writing of extended essays, including nonfiction narrative, personal essay, literary criticism, research writing, and the analytical essay. It gives particular attention to developing individual voice and command of the elements of style. The class incorporates group editing in a workshop setting with an emphasis on re-writing. It also involves the analysis and interpretation of a variety of texts and explores writing across the curriculum. The course concentrates on the effective use of logic and rhetorical patterns in developing a thesis. The schedule includes individual tutorials.

Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier

Writing Essays About Literature (LIT2102.01)

Writing Essays is an introduction to writing clearly-constructed and logically-argued essays in response to reading, analyzing, and appreciating literary genre, including poetry, short stories, essays, plays, and novels. The course offers an analysis of the technical elements in literature: imagery, symbolism, metaphor, point of view, tone, structure, and prosody. The class reviews a variety of strategies for exploring both substance and style through close readings, for effectively incorporating quotations, scholarly research, and critical theories, and, finally, for writing with vividness, energy, and economy. The workshop setting emphasizes collaborative editing and substantial rewriting. Individual conferences are included.

Wayne Hoffmann-Ogier

English as a Second Language (LIT2101.01)

Individually designed tutorials provide the opportunity to review grammar, punctuation, diction, and sentence structure with an emphasis on paragraph and essay construction. Additional work is offered in oral expression, aural comprehension, and analytical reading. Tutorials may also introduce the interpretation of literature and the writing of critical essays.

Carol Pal

The History of the Book (HIS4109.01)

What is a book? For centuries, our ideas have been shaped by the rhythms and hierarchies inherent in the nature of the printed book. But what constitutes a “”book”” has actually changed enormously over time – from ancient Egyptian papyri to Mayan glyphs to the first products of Gutenberg’s fifteenth-century printing revolution. Moreover, as these technologies have changed, so have their associated phenomena of authorship, ownership, and reading itself. And now, as blogs, wikis, and Google shift the discourse from page to screen, the roles of author and reader are morphing and blurring. But is this revolution truly new? We look at books and book culture from ancient Mesopotamia to the present day, investigating these objects, their content, and the relationships they embody.

Carol Pal

Genesis (HIS2220.01)

Genesis is the first book in a compilation known collectively as the Bible. It is a text of enormous literary value, and one of our earliest historical chronicles, providing foundational material for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Yet how many of us know what it actually says? How did it come together, what is the narrative, and how does it relate to the ideas and events of the ancient world? We closely examine this surprising and contradictory work both as a text, and as a primary source for understanding the world that produced it.

Kate Purdie
Warren Cockerham

Introduction to the Moving Image (FV2175.01)

This course teaches techniques fundamental to the craft of moving image creation, including cinematography, lighting, sound recording, and editing. It also provides a conceptual framework for video as an art medium. Students will build individual technical skills while developing an aesthetic vocabulary based on medium-specific audiovisual qualities. Throughout the term we will screen a broad range of examples of film and video works of genres both familiar and perhaps alien. We will address ideas and techniques spanning storytelling and non-narrative approaches, fiction and nonfiction, linear and nonlinear structures, abstraction and representation. We’ll spend equal time on the technical skills and the creative possibilities of sound and image editing.

Corequisites: Bi-weekly labs on Mondays 1-2pm starting week 2.

Noëlle Rouxel-Cubberly

Insider Perspectives on the Francophone World II (FRE2104.01)

Viewed from the outside, the French-speaking world offers enticing images of beauty, pleasure, and freedom. From the inside, however, it is a complicated, often contradictory world where implicit codes and values shape the most basic aspects of daily life. This course will give you an insider’s perspective on a cultural and communicative system whose ideas, customs, and belief systems are surprisingly different from your own. Together, we will examine how daily life and activities reflect culturally specific ideologies and values. Emphasis will be placed on developing ease, fluency, and sophistication in oral and written expression. Class will be conducted in French and revolve around authentic materials from the Francophone world (video, music, advertisements, literary texts). Conducted in French. Introductory level.

Tim Schroeder

Earth Materials (ES4102.01)

The study of minerals and rocks is fundamental to earth science as well as understanding and developing solutions for most environmental problems. All products consumed by people are either directly removed from the earth or grown in a medium consisting largely of earth materials. The nature of the earth materials in any region has great bearing on how human activities will impact the environment there. Through this course, students will build an understanding of how the chemistry of minerals influences geologic and environmental processes, how rocks form within the earth, how to identify common rock-forming minerals, and how to classify rock types. The course will include field trips to local sites during class periods and on several Saturdays through the term. Prior coursework in geology is required. Prior coursework in chemistry is recommended.

Corequisite: Students must also register for ES4102L.01, Earth Sciences Lab.

Mary Lum

Markmaking and Representation (DRW2149.01)

The fundamentals of drawing are the basic tools for this investigation into seeing and translation. Using simple methods and means, the practice of drawing is approached from both traditional and experimental directions. The focus of this inquiry is on drawing from observation, broadly defined. In class drawing sessions are complemented by independent, outside of class work and occasional assigned readings. The goals of the course include the development of individual confidence in observational drawing skills, a working knowledge of the rich histories and contemporary concerns of drawing, and a practical basis for further inquiry into all the visual arts. Previous drawing experience may be helpful, but is not required of students enrolling in this course.

Dina Janis

Science, Drama, & The Power of the Inquisitive Mind (DRA2259.01)

“Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so” Galileo
“To be or not to be, that is the question” Shakespeare

How do the worlds of science and theater connect and what do they share? What is the role of the revolutionary thinker in society? We will study a variety of dramatic texts that look at these questions, exploring the nature of the inquisitive mind and its relationship to social, cultural and political systems throughout history. Students in this class will develop scenes for presentation from a small canon of plays that include: Arcadia by Tom Stoppard, The Physicist by Friedrich Durrenmatt, Copenhagen by Michael Frayn, Galileo by Bertolt Brecht, Proof by David Aubern, and The Doctor’s Dilemma by George Bernard Shaw – among others. We will study in depth the lives and discoveries depicted in thses plays and the way in which society was impacted by these discoveries. Rehearsals of scenes outside of class, several research-based papers as well as end of term performance can be expected. Students from varied disciplines are welcome.

Jean Randich

Directing I: The Director’s Vision (DRA4332.01)

What is action? What is character? What are gesture, timing, rhythm, and stakes? How do actors, playwrights, and directors collaborate to create an experience in space and time? This seminar offers theater artists the chance to examine their craft from the inside out. In the first half of this course, non-writers make up stories, non-actors act, and those who have never directed direct. We begin by exploring the energy in the body, focusing on stillness and release. We continue with physical exercises from both the eastern and western traditions leading into improvisation as a method for tapping the sources of true impulses. We consider the Viewpoints as a tool for creating kinetic compositions spontaneously in space. In the text analysis section, we study the expression of action and character through structure and dialogue. By midterm, everyone directs a short scene from Chekhov. At the same time, students learn to express character/action through costume, spatial, and sound design. In the second half of the term, the students direct and perform a series of scenes from one contemporary play. Directors and actors work together to rehearse, design, stage, and present a public performance of this event.

Kirk Jackson

Solo Performance – Telling My Story (DRA4322.01)

Students develop original and/or primary source material and explore its shape, arc, and thematic whole in a performance medium that can involve text, movement, characterization, and personal examination and observation. We will view solo performance artists. Students write, edit, rewrite multiple drafts and perform original memorized material. Class work will be tailored around the specific challenges facing individual participants and will culminate in a final showing of an original solo performance piece approximately ten minutes in length.

Jenny Rohn

Viewpoints – Exploring a Play and its Characters (DRA4226.01)

Viewpoints is an improvisational movement technique used to train actors and create movement for the stage. In this class students will work as an ensemble, training together in order to create a common physical language. The first third of the term will be dedicated to building the ensemble. Each class will include a warm up, detailed exploration of the individual Viewpoints and extensive improvisational exploration through a variety of exercises. We will then explore a play using Viewpoints. Our primary focus will be to discover the unique inner world of each character, how it manifests itself physically, how it informs interactions with other characters, the world of the play, and ultimately the use of the text.

Corequisite: Dance or Drama lab assignment.

Kirk Jackson

Five Approaches to Acting (DRA4170.01)

Taking as our premise that acting is the study of the art of human relationships (actor to actor as well as actor to audience) this course is a comprehensive overview of the theories behind the practice of various ways an actor works from a script to create a character to tell a story. Using the text book “Five Approaches to Acting” by David Kaplan as a study guide, as well as supplemental reading from Stanislavski, Brecht and social anthroplogist Ruth Benedict, we will read plays and study performances on film. Assignments will include both written responses and in depth scene work.

Corequisite: Dance or Drama lab assignment.

Terry Creach

Graduate Research in Dance (DAN5305.01)

This class is designed for MFA students to show works-in-progress, try out ideas with their colleagues, and discuss issues involved in the development of new work. The weekly format is determined with the students. Outside of class, students develop their own independent creative projects that will be presented to the public, either formally or informally, by the end of the term.

Corequisite: Dance Workshop (Thursday 7 – 8:30 pm).

Michael Giannitti, Dana Reitz, Charles Schoonmaker

Collaboration in Light, Movement, and Clothes (DAN4286.01)

Visual elements are a significant component of performance, whether it be theater, performance art, music or dance. With many performance projects, there is little time to contemplate, rethink or adjust designs in the actual performance space; there is rarely an opportunity to watch a collaborative art develop.

In this class, equipped space is available to give the time to seriously look at and question the integration of performance elements. Furthermore, this situation is an opportunity to explore equal partnership among the collaborators, whose roles will shift. Students are actively involved in all aspects — making movement, designing lighting and designing costumes.

Explorations are structured for both formal theatrical contexts and informal studio situations as well as found environments. Time for group project development must be invested outside of class in the Martha Hill Theater. While some projects are done on an individual basis, most coursework requires close collaboration with other students in the class and close observation of the work of others. All work done for the course is viewed and discussed by the class and instructors as a group.

Corequisites: Dance or Drama lab assignment.

Robert Ransick

The Web as Artistic Platform (DA2110.01)

This course is an introduction to creative practices within digital technologies specifically focused on Internet based fine art projects. A broad survey of web-based digital arts is examined in tandem with an overview of tools necessary to create your own work. These include HTML, CSS, Photoshop, content management systems, and a basic introduction to JavaScript. Students apply knowledge and skills to web-based creative projects throughout the term. There are lectures, reading assignments, studio projects, and critiques during the course designed to aid the student in developing visual literacy and critical thinking skills in relation to the digital arts.

Janet Foley

Biochemistry (CHE4301.01)

Biochemistry is an intermediate chemistry course in which students apply principles from general and organic chemistry, as well as general biology, to understand the molecular processes that characterize life. Biochemistry is a broad discipline that is growing rapidly in its scope – new developments and discoveries are being made daily. The goal of this class will be to give students a solid background with which they can appreciate the latest developments and research reports. We will begin with fundamental principles, but quickly move into a detailed look at metabolism – the specific means by which organisms use chemical energy to drive cell functions and how they convert simple molecules to complex biological molecules. This approach will provide a context to illustrate many of the core ideas we will cover. Students will also have the opportunity for independent work which will allow them to apply these ideas to topics of their own specific interests. Students will have weekly review assignments and at least two independent projects, including an oral presentation of a final project.

John Bullock

Chemistry 4 Lab: Independent Research Projects (CHE4216.01)

Students will apply the principles of Chemistry 1, 2, and 3 to the execution of substantive research projects of their own design. They will also be responsible for independently analyzing their data and publicly presenting their findings. Enrollment is limited to those students who have had a project proposal approved as part of Chemistry 3.

John Bullock

Chemistry 4 – The Nature of Materials (CHE4215.01)

This course represents the culmination of the two-year integrated general/organic chemistry sequence and will introduce special topics that go beyond those traditionally covered in those courses. Material presented will focus on functional materials such as semiconductors and structures involved in energy transfer and storage. Topics such as electrochemistry, molecular orbital theory, and transition metal chemistry will be introduced to provide a solid theoretical foundation for the applications we will cover. Students will write several papers related to the material; there will also be review assignments and exams.

Janet Foley

Chemistry 2 Lab (CHE4212L.01)

Students will be introduced to new lab techniques and ways to measure progress of reactions. They will also devise their own questions and experiments. Kinetics (rates of reaction) provides information about how reactions work and, along with thermodynamics, provides the basis for evaluating the viability of a reaction. This concept will be explored particularly with respect to substitution reactions. Research articles will relate these ideas to current topics in the literature such as solar-enhanced fuels, rates of atmospheric reactions, and using chemistry for remediation.

 

Janet Foley

Chemistry 2: Organic Structure and Bonding (CHE4212.01)

Students will explore stoichiometric relationships in solution and gas systems which are the basis of quantifying results of chemical reactions. Understanding chemical reactivity leads directly into discussion of equilibrium and thermodynamics, two of the most important ideas in chemistry. Equilibrium, especially acid/base applications, explores the extent of reactions while thermodynamics helps us understand if a reaction will happen. Taking CHE2211, Chemistry 1 and CHE4212 ,Chemistry 2 provides a good background for students interested in environmental applications.

Corequisite: Students must also register for the lab, CHE4212L.01.

Barry Bartlett

The Hollow Form (CER2221.01)

This objective of this class is to help students learn the breadth of handbuilding techniques in the ceramic arts that have given rise to a vast history of ideas observed using hollow forms.

Unlike traditional sculptural techniques used in wood, stone and metal, ceramic forms have depended on the interior space, the void, to define both symbolic meaning and formal structure. This class will help students gain confidence in their capacity to build what they see in their mind’s eye. Projects will be conceptually geared around issues surrounding vessels, figures and abstract sculpture and will require personal investigation and resolution. Students will be involved in the development of presentations covering these issues from various historical perspectives. Students will be expected to participate in all aspects of the ceramic process that include, but are not limited to mixing their own clay, slip and glaze preparation, and the loading and firing of kilns. Some books will be required to be purchased as text for this course.

Aysha Peltz

Ceramic Tile (CER2114.01)

This beginning level ceramics class will introduce students to working with clay through the format of the ceramic tile. Students will explore making tiles using various building methods including hand building and working from molds. Assignments will incorporate: building in relief, geometry, surface imagery and glazing techniques (color). Slide lectures, individual research and critiques will provide historic references and peer perspective on the projects.

Aysha Peltz

Beginning Potters Wheel (CER2107.01)

This class is an introduction to using the potters wheel as a tool for generating clay forms with an emphasis on pottery making. While focusing on the development of throwing skills, students will explore various possibilities for assembling wheel-thrown elements and will experiment with both functional and non-functional formats. Students will be introduced to the whole ceramic process from wet working, to glazing and finally firing. Slide lectures and discussions will contribute to the projects.

 

Kerry Woods

Biogeography, Paleoecology, and Human Origins (BIO4317.01)

An exploration of ecological and evolutionary patterns in broad spatial and temporal perspective — “big picture” biology. Our questions are: What shapes patterns in biodiversity and in the ranges and distributions of organisms? How do ecological systems respond to long-term and large-scale changes in environment (glaciation, global climate change, plate tectonics, meteorite impacts and other global catastrophes…)? What are the mechanisms and patterns of macroevolution (speciation, adaptive radiation)? How do we study and understand the great trends and patterns of evolutionary history (origin(s) of life, mass extinction…) and the particular macroevolutionary history of our own lineage? These are arenas where standard experimental approaches have limited applicability; generation and testing of hypotheses call for creativity. We will act as both theorists and explorers, assessing the tools for rigorous study of these questions, while becoming acquainted with the grand history and vast richness of the biological world. Students will work extensively with the primary literature. Appropriate for intermediate and advanced students in biology and earth science.

 

Kerry Woods

Bennington Biodiversity Project (BIO4303.02)

An All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) is an effort to compile the full list of species of all taxa present in some area on the planet. No ATBI has ever been (or ever will be?) completed, but this class is an ongoing effort towards a working ATBI for the Bennington College campus (which is unusually diverse for its area). Each cycle of the class addresses some taxonomic or ecological group. Inventory efforts from past terms are compiled at http://wiki.bennington.edu/wiki/Bennington_Biodiversity_Project. The tentative target for this term is spring flora, including some challenging groups (grasses, sedges). Students will learn the specialized tools for studying these organisms, become acquainted with their taxonomy and systematics (and with systematic concepts in general), and contribute to the Bennington College ATBI wiki (currently at around 530 species; this effort should take it well past 600). This class can be taken multiple times for credit.

This course will be offered the second seven weeks of term.

 

Kerry Woods

Global Change (BIO2113.01)

More than at any other time in the history of human civilization, we can’t project where we are heading by looking at where we have been. Why is our time unique? We are experiencing accelerating climate change due to human activities, and this will continue through the coming century, taking us into climates not previously experienced by modern humans. Our lifestyles are profoundly dependent on a fossil fuel resource (now about half-depleted), whose combustion is responsible for these changes. Human population is increasing at a rate that will add 2-3 billion to the human population over the next generation, raising concerns for the sustainability of food production and for the compatibility of human well-being and conservation of natural systems. Extinction rates have accelerated as humans have massively rearranged ecosystem function to serve our needs, and humans now use 1/3-1/2 of all biological productivity of planet earth. New diseases (human, animal, and plant) are emerging due to environmental change. Because these trends and conditions are without precedent, our projections for the future are inherently uncertain, but we must make policy and plans on the basis of our best estimates. What are the likely (or worst-case) consequences for human welfare and futures? Can democratic institutions respond effectively to long-term threats to the sustainability of human societies? We will use conceptual background and tools from a range of disciplines to better understand issues springing from global environmental change.

Elizabeth Sherman
Elizabeth Sherman

How Do Animals Work? (BIO2102.01)

How do animals work? Why do different animals work in different ways? The blue whale in the Pacific, the tapeworm lodged in the gut of a fox, and the flour beetle in your cupboard all must eat and grow and reproduce yet they differ enormously in size, longevity, and environment. The particular ways in which each of these animals has solved these problems are different yet there are also underlying similarities in the mechanics of their solutions. Evolutionary theory makes the diversity understandable and cell physiology reveals the unity of function. In this course, evolutionary theory and cell physiology converge as we examine whole animal form and function. We will have the happy opportunity to study the remarkable diversity of animals on this planet. We will examine the array of strategies (adaptations) which animals possess that enables them to survive and reproduce in an often unpredictable world. The central question that we will consider is how do animals maintain their organization in the face of environmental perturbations?

Corequisite: Students must also register for the lab, BIO2102L.

Susan Sgorbati

Point of Criticality: Problems of Complexity (APA4203.01)

This is a course on the relationship of complex systems to conflict analysis. Concepts such as self-organization and improvisation, emergence, pattern recognition and complexity, feedback loops, nesting and topologies will all be examined as aspects of how complex problems are constructed. “Thinking in Systems” by Donella Meadows is the primary text. By looking at the 10 Step Complexity CR Model, we will analyze a case study of a current conflict and engage with projects that relate to complex contemporary challenges.

Erika Mijlin

Media Convergence and Culture (APA4102.01)

A seminar on the changing nature of the relationship between consumption and production of media, and how these newly intersect. With a perspective rooted in the cultural history of forms such as quotation, parody, and collage, in this course we will explore the many transitions in the present media paradigm — the changing aesthetics of digital media content and context, the personal and political uses of creativity and expression, and the economic and political implications of access, ownership, and participation in media. By investigating the new landscape of cinema, television, internet, gaming, social media, fan/remix culture, technoculture, media archaeology and more, we find that what we think of as ‘convergence’ is even more than a technological transition, and is in fact a cultural transformation.

Miroslava Prazak

Peoples and Cultures of Africa (ANT2118.01)

Why is there so much famine? Why so many civil wars? Why so much misunderstanding? To place current events in Africa in a meaningful framework, this course explores indigenous African cultures, drawing on ethnographic examples from selected ethnic groups representing major subsistence strategies, geographical and ecological zones, and patterns of culture. We will explore how cultural practices and ecology influence each other and affect the lives of Africa’s farmers, herders, and workers. We will also examine new social and cultural practices that influence the survival of societies. Consequently, we will locate indigenous coping strategies within their historical context, in order to understand their role in contemporary society, and to answer another question: What are the social strengths of African societies?

Corequisite: An evening film series will accompany this course. Six films will be screened over the course of the term. Th 8:30pm – 10:00pm.

Warren Cockerham

16mm Experimental Filmmaking (FV4238.01)

This intermediate studio course centers on experimentation with form in moving image making. Students will complete a series of 16mm film projects exploring approaches and techniques including but not limited to non-narrative, lyrical, abstract, structural, and materialist forms. The course will contextualize contemporary practice within the history of avant-garde and underground film through screenings, theoretical and historical readings, and discussion.

There will be a $200 lab for for each student.

Corequisite: Weekly screenings from 7-10pm Wednesdays in Kinoteca.

John Umphlett

Camera Mounts II (SCU4117.02)

This second part seven-week intensive course is a continuation of part one. Now you
will be responsible for the image capture idea and will need to develop drawings,
working products, and maintain a research and development log. The video or still
camera must be considered seriously as now your image will carry and equal value
as the mounting mechanism for your evaluation. You will be asked to keep the class
up to date with drawings and demonstrations and must be willing to accept an
ongoing critique of your developing project idea. Depending on the complexity of a
students project it may be necessary to realize a working model in a 3d design
program and output some parts through a rapid prototyping method.

This course will be held the second seven weeks of term.

John Umphlett

Camera Mounts I (SCU2117.01)

Have you ever wanted to mount a camera somewhere, or on something to capture a
shot otherwise unreachable? Catapult a phone in a directed safe controlled path for
a smooth shot of Jill smoldering her cigarette into the heel of her shoe. Sure there
are endless attachments for your devices on kickstarter that someone else is
making, but how about you take a shot at it. This seven week intensive course will
introduce materials available for immediate action for the working studio practice
prototyping process. During this first seven weeks, specific tasks will be asked of
you, and it will be for you to develop your solutions through the demonstrated
materials. This course is designed to both inform and teach building techniques but
also train the mind to be fearless in an image search.

This course will be offered the first seven weeks of term.

Joshua Blackwell

Advanced Painting & Drawing: The Contemporary Idiom (PAI4209.01)

Ongoing studio projects will be discussed and evaluated with an emphasis on their relationship to contemporary issues in art, criticism, and theory. Questions to be addressed include: Where does art belong in contemporary culture? What is the role of art today? How do we reconcile arts dialogue with politics, social networks, or pop culture with art history? Critiques will focus on articulating the particular concerns of the work as well as constructing a meaningful dialogue between students. This course is for experienced student artists with a firm commitment to serious work in the studio. Development of a strong work ethic will be crucial. Extensive reading assignments will supplement class discussions.

Jon Isherwood

Form to Function/ Digital Design to Analog Build (SCU2124.01)

The practice of functional object making is undergoing an intense transition into digital production. Additive manufacturing has been posed as the next trillion dollar business; in your lifetime you will be able to download objects, tables, chairs, clocks and manufacture them in your own home. Designers, architects, and artists are finding digital design and fabrication processes to be common ground for communication and collaboration, in large part because many new projects necessitate multidimensional thinking about form and making.

Through a series of discrete exercises coupling digital fabrication and design techniques with analog processes, students in this course will gain familiarity with digital space and creative systems thinking and analog build processes. Students will design solutions to extant problems using digital modeling software; these digital designs will then be translated into functional analog objects by way of hand, machine, and robotic tools. We will observe the multiple transitions from digital to analog, with a keen eye toward understanding the qualities of each state (if indeed they can be neatly separated).

Jonathan Kline

Salts of Silver, Salts of Iron (PHO4123.01)

This class will be centered on making light sensitive emulsions on paper and glass, re-creating some of the earliest photographic processes from the 19th century. We will also be researching the scientific journals and notebooks of William Henry Fox Talbot, Sir John Herschel, Gustave LeGray, in addition to reading Geoffrey Batchen’s recent book, “Burning With Desire/The Conception of Photography”. Emphasis will be placed on research and students will be required to keep their own journal of experiments and tests.

Liz Deschenes

History and Practice of Analog Color Photography (PHO4117.01)

This course will present color photography in a different light. Discovering one’s color aesthetic will be the basis of the class. Students will work mainly with color negatives. Through assignments, presentations, and critiques students will learn to observe the color of light. Students will develop a better understanding of their own color vocabulary and how to achieve it through a variety of methods: film choices, filters, artificial lights, photoshop, time of day one photographs, to printing in the darkroom. There will be lectures and readings on the history of Color Photography. Students will be expected to produce a portfolio of prints, write a research paper, and to participate in critiques.

Robert Ransick; Andrew Cencini

Future Studio: Production to Launch (DA4204.01)

This two-part (fall and spring) course is conceived and structured as a small start-up. Modeled after the Bennington Plan, which is inherently entrepreneurial, Future Studio engages business as a creative space that marries collaborative inquiry-based idea development, technology and new business models to generate constructive social purpose. The course will progress over the year from idea development to prototype to market and financial analysis to business planning to potential public launch. The studio values creativity, technological innovation, place-centered economies, worker-centered ownership, environmental sustainability, social justice and financial viability.

During the spring term we further develop the work commenced during the fall. This will include production and all other research and work associated with achieving the goal of collaboratively creating a new venture that has the potential to move beyond the academic structure and be launched as a viable business into the world.

You do not need to be an artist, computer programmer or technologist to meaningfully participate in this course. Students who are interested in rethinking what it means to be in business today, possess an interest in the technological promise of the near future and have skills and knowledge from any of the following discipline areas are especially encouraged to participate: Digital Arts, Computing, Psychology, Design, Architecture, Mathematics, Physics, Environment or Anthropology.

This course may include opportunities for FWT 2015.

Aysha Peltz

Advanced Ceramic Studio (CER4227.01)

This course is designed for the highly motivated, ceramic student who is ready to focus intently on a project or a way of working. Students will pursue their ideas through developing, making, glazing and firing processes that are integral to their artwork. Assignments (group and individual) will provide deadlines and help students to focus on specific issues in their work. The discussion of concepts and contexts will be emphasized- why we make what we make and how does it fit into the larger art world? Verbalization will be an important part of the course; weekly meetings with the instructor and group critiques throughout the term will allow students to clarify their ideas as they work. There will be emphasis on glazing and the firing process; all students are responsible for the firing of their own work. Prerequisites: A minimum of four terms of ceramics and permission of the instructor.

Barry Bartlett

Experimental Making in Ceramics (CER4214.01)

This course will investigate the material nature of clay as a medium to create three-dimensional forms. Students will explore the material aspects of clay such as dryness, wetness, mass and scale using a variety of mechanical processes that include extrusion, slab rolling, slip casting and digital fabrication. In doing so, the pieces created will be used to convey ideas of form and process as both the vocabulary and meaning expressed. Students are expected to participate in all aspects of the ceramic process, which include, but are not limited to, mixing their own clay, slip and glaze preparation, and loading and firing of kilns.

Jonathan Pitcher

Total Theory (HIS4215.01)

Whether we love theory or hate it, rejecting it on the basis of a lack of understanding of its esoteric hermeneutics or jargon isn’t really a viable position, and certainly not an excuse. It’d be nice to know why, thus debating it on its own terms and perceiving its implications in all manner of contexts beyond them. The plan is to give at least an introduction to historicism, ideology, and revolution, modernity’s requisite triumvirate, over the first half of term, without which any approach to the second half’s post modernity would be futile. We will admit to our own shortcomings from the opening day, to the stuff we haven’t read but really should have. There’s no guarantee that such a thorough suspicion of everything will make us any happier, but we’ll inform our convictions nonetheless.

Ronald Cohen; Karen Gover

Waste, Disgust, and the Body: Thinking in Social Science (PSY2110.01)

We all do it multiple times a day without giving it a second thought. Everyone has to go. But while easy access to a private, safe toilet is simply taken for granted in our part of the world, two-thirds of the world’s population do not have adequate sanitation. 2.6 billion people living today do not have access to a toilet. As a result, millions of people die every year because of disease spread by bodily waste–more than any other single cause of death. In this course, students will be introduced to the basic methods and principles of the social sciences. We will focus on a topic that is intensely personal, and yet has far-reaching social, cultural, and political significance: bathrooms. We will examine our topic from historical, anthropological, psychological, philosophical, political, and economic perspectives. Students will gain a greater understanding of one of the world’s least-talked-about yet most pressing health problems, and at the same time familiarize themselves with the analytical tools and methodologies that will aid them in this understanding.

Robin Kemkes

Turbulent Transitions (PEC4122.01)

This course will explore some of the major economic transitions throughout history with a particular focus on the pre-conditions underlying the changes and the resulting socio-economic developments. The course will span a broad time period across several regions of the world. First, we will study the transition from feudalism to capitalism in Europe. Next, we will pursue the causes of the demise of the Soviet system and the diverging development paths of post-communist countries following shock therapy market reforms. Then we will examine resistance movements that came about in response to globalization and free-trade agreements such as the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas. We will also look at China’s gradualist transition to a market economy and analyze the social, economic and ecological challenges the country is currently facing. Finally, we will explore Latin America’s leftward turn toward socialism in the twenty-first century. We will also explore potential future turbulent transitions, such as the zombie apocalypse.

Noah Coburn

What Comes After the State? (ANT2114.01)

Particularly since the treaty of Westphalia the state has been the dominant feature of the international system. In almost every case its sovereignty is assumed. Yet from unauthorized US drone strikes in Pakistan to the European Union, there are examples of ways in which the power of the state as an organizing concept is beginning to erode. This course will look at anthropological studies of politics and power outside of and at the margins of the state system. It will then consider theoretical approaches for understanding the state and will finally ask if it is possible for us to begin thinking beyond the state. Examples will include Somalia, Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier, the European Union, the IMF, sovereign human-made islands and the zombie apocalypse.

Rotimi Suberu

Local Governance in Comparative Perspective (POL4239.01)

Around the world, there is renewed interest in empowering institutions of local governance (county, city, town/township, municipal, village, or special-purpose local government, and non-governmental local associations) in order to promote political democracy, enhance socio-economic welfare, and accommodate subnational identities, among other goals. This course will examine the design and implementation of local governance from a global, comparative perspective. Themes to be explored will include: methodological challenges in the comparative analysis of local government systems; normative and empirical theories of local governance and political decentralization; principal options and choices for structuring, organizing or designing local government institutions, especially their constitutional or legal foundations, territorial boundaries, elections, powers, finance, functions, management, and intergovernmental relations; the local government-civil society nexus and the influence of new forms of social communication and mobilization; reviews of broad national systems of local government in selected developed and developing countries, including the United States, India and South Africa; and case studies of local government practices in specific local jurisdictions.

Rotimi Suberu

Seminar in Political Leadership (POL4213.01)

Political leadership is one of the most under-researched and under-theorized subjects in contemporary political science, despite an abundance of political biographies and a rich literature on organizational and managerial leadership. This 7-week seminar is devoted to exploring and analyzing leadership from a political perspective. We will examine different prescriptive and empirical paradigms of political leadership, the relationship between leadership (agency) and structure or institutions in the political process, leadership as a potential driver of constructive social change, the contemporary crisis of leadership in many developing countries, and illustrative case studies of political leadership from around the world, including Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, and presidential leadership in the United States.

This course will be offered the first seven weeks of term.

Kathryn Montovan

Statistics and Their Presentation (MAT2114.01)

Statistics is the art of finding meaning in mathematical abstracts. It is looking at patterns and trying to reason what those patterns mean for the future. Statistics have pervaded modern society–politics, business, economics, and all walks of science depend on statistics and the models contained within to estimate and confirm patterns within their data. This course will focus on learning the basic statistical methods and how to present that data to others. We will focus on regression, correlation, probability, and inference, finishing the course with ANOVA testing. We will combine this statistical knowledge with data presentation, searching for the clearest ways to present knowledge to others. This is an introductory course. No formal prerequisites are required, but a comfort/ability with mathematics including algebra is a necessity.

Hugh Crowl

Special Relativity (PHY4210.01)

Classical physics describes the motions of large things moving at slow speeds. That description of the universe, which physicists used to describe the motion of objects from apples to planets for hundreds of years, does not hold for objects moving very fast. In this class, we will look at how traveling close to the speed of light affects the physical properties of objects. Amazingly, simple quantities such as length, time, and mass change dramatically when an object is traveling a significant fraction of the speed of light.

This course will be offered the first seven weeks of term.

Tim Schroeder; Hugh Crowl

Astrogeology (ES2109.01)

***Title Change from Planetology***

This course will investigate the physical conditions and processes necessary for creating a habitable planet. We will study the formation of stars and planets, and the evolution of planets after formation into safe harbors for life. This will include investigation of how both stellar and geological processes affect the habitability of planets. We will use the Earth and our solar system as a case study for the successful formation of a life-harbor, and will use this knowledge to look outward for other Earths among the thousands of planets being discovered elsewhere in our Galaxy.

Elizabeth Sherman

Adaptation or Extinction: Animals and Climate Change (BIO4222.01)

Global climate change has been implicated in the extinction of some animal species, changes in the geographic ranges of others, and many species appear to be increasingly vulnerable to both biotic (e.g. disease, competitors) and abiotic (e.g. temperature, acidification, pollutants, drought) stressors. Will different animal species adapt to global climate change or disappear? What influences their survival? Is variation among individuals in a population a substrate for adapting to changes in the environment or are these changes occurring too rapidly? We will examine these questions in discussions of papers from the primary literature. Students will design and conduct research projects informed by the questions we discuss. 

Hui Cox

Beginning Guitar Intermediate (MIN4238.01)

Continues the fundamentals of acoustic guitar playing, including hand positions, tuning, reading music, major and pentatonic scales, major, minor, and seventh chords, chord progressions, blues progressions, and simple arrangements of songs explored in Beginning Guitar course. Previous musical experience is required, and the student must have own instrument.

Dan Hofstadter

Virgil, Ovid, Horace: Latin Poets in Translation (LIT4185.01)

These Latin poets lived in the age of Caesar Augustus. Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a book-length poem (he called it a “perpetual song”) is our central interest. In this work Ovid recasts Greek mythology in an account of the loves of the gods and men, working in ancient Roman enthusiasms with distinctly New Age overtones, such as vegetarianism and the migration of souls. Mythology is also treated by Virgil in his Georgics, which treat not only of good farming methods but also of what really happened to Orpheus after he lost Eurydice, his significant other. Some of Virgil’s finest verses sing of the fall of Troy, of how Dido was cruelly abandoned by Aeneas, and how Aeneas journeyed into the Underworld to see his father. Finally there is Horace, a lyric poet: admired for his grace and shrewd ethical sense, he wrote verse letters, chats, odes, satires, and witty attacks on phonies and knuckleheads that have been imitated ever since.

Dan Hofstadter

Racine (LIT4157.01)

During the seventeenth century France rose to unparalleled heights of literary creativity. We explore the historical context of this development, devoting some attention to classical models, particularly Euripedes’ play Andromache. Jean Racine, who was at times in conflict with the royal court, offered his tragedies Andromaque, Phedre, Berenice, Iphigenie, and others, which we study in English translation, a fiercely dramatic presentation of human passions confined within narrow and threatening circumstances. Also to be studied and enjoyed is the cultural background of the period, as exemplified by the religious philosopher Pascal and various painters, especially Nicolas Poussin, who was strongly influenced for a while by the philosophical current of neo-Stoicism, which esteemed friendship as the highest earthly value.

Michael Dumanis

Honors Seminar: Recent African American Poetry (LIT4118.01)

This Honors Seminar will intensively explore the work of established and emerging African American poets of the past forty years. We will begin with a brief overview of African American poetry from the eighteenth century to the Black Arts Movement of the 1970s, then proceed to discuss a different poet each week. Along the way we will consider whether a distinctive “Black Aesthetic” exists in American poetry; the role jazz and blues motifs play in African American literature; the ways different African American poets treat themes of legacy, history, culture, and community; and the effects of race, gender, sexual orientation, and class on constructions of African American identity. Poets to be discussed could include Ai, Kamau Brathwaite, Jericho Brown, Lucille Clifton, Terrance Hayes, Yusef Komunyakaa, Nathaniel Mackey, Dawn Lundy Martin, Shane McCrae, Harryette Mullen, Claudia Rankine, Tracy K. Smith, Natasha Trethewey, and Kevin Young. There will be two major papers.

Brooke Allen

Children’s Classics (LIT2322.01)

We will read a variety of children’s classics, largely but not exclusively from the Anglo-American tradition, and consider them both as timeless works of art and as repositories for many of the values and anxieties of their eras. Authors considered will probably include Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Lewis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling, Heinrich Hoffmann, Carlo Collodi, Joel Chandler Harris, Louisa May Alcott, J. M. Barrie, Beatrix Potter, L. Frank Baum, A.A. Milne, Kenneth Graham, and Maurice Sendak, among others.

Annabel Davis-Goff; Carol Pal

Medieval Britain and Shakespeare’s History Plays (LIT2317.01)

Shakespeare wrote his history plays for an audience living in a newly nationalistic England. It was a realm constructing the idea of Britain as the natural inheritor of Roman glory. But what, precisely, was this new “British” identity? In this course, we will follow the construction of British identity in history and literature. We will study the history of Britain from the Romans to the Tudors, and we will read and watch seven of Shakespeare’s history plays (two Roman and five English). We will examine the historical background of each play, the sources from which Shakespeare drew his material, and a range of critical responses to the plays. Classes will include discussion, written responses, memorization, and additional mandatory film screenings. Students will write two essays.

Rebecca Godwin

Life into Art: A Reading and Writing Seminar (LIT4258.01)

We will read fiction and nonfiction by three writers: Eudora Welty, Virginia Woolf, and Flannery OConnor. Through this lens, students will experiment with their own forays into story and memoir, with an eye towards exploring the ways in which life may shape story. Readings include Welty’s One Writer’s Beginnings and The Optimist’s Daughter; Woolf’s A Writer’s Diary and To the Lighthouse, selections from O’Connor’s A Habit of Being and Mystery and Manners, along with short fiction and essays. Intensive engagement in reading, writing, and talking is an absolute requirement.

Students are not allowed to take more than one Reading and Writing course per term.

Corequisite: Students will be required to attend Wednesday literary evenings.

Noëlle Rouxel-Cubberly

Conversations (FRE4219.01)

Montaigne considered conversations as the most fruitful and natural exercise for our minds. Conversations became indeed a favorite exercise in French salons, most notably around Madame de Rambouillet (17th century), Madame du Deffand (18th century), and Madame de Stal (19th century). This natural penchant for causeries not only permeated the whole society, it also impregnated other forms of representation. Magritte’s Art of Conversation where stone letter blocks spell out a capital RVE, is reminiscent of a political utopia conversation embodies. In this course, students will both study and practice the French art of conversation. Tuesday classes will be devoted to the study of conversation as an object of cultural and philological inquiry, while Friday classes will allow students to strengthen their own conversational skills in French, on a variety of topics, through role plays, dialogues, acting exercises, discussions, debates, and presentations. Intermediate-high. Conducted in French.

Stephen Shapiro

French Comedy (FRE4122.01)

This course will examine the comic in French theatre, literature, politics, and film in order to answer a deceptively simple question: What makes us laugh? In theoretical readings we will consider whether laughter is a universal, cross-cultural function. Additionally, we will look at special, sub-genres of the comic, such as satire and parody, in order to question the relationship between comic genres and the real world. Does comedy seek to change the world or does it merely want to point to its foibles? Is it a progressive or conservative mode? What is its role in bringing about political, social, or even literary change and innovation? We will conclude by considering whether comedy is dead today. Authors studied will include Rabelais, Corneille, Molière, Voltaire, Beaumarchais, Beckett, Bakhtin, Bergson, and Freud.

Ginger Lin

Current Issues in Chinese Film (CHI4320.01)

While movies such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon have helped Chinese cinema broaden its appeal and consolidate its position as a significant force in international cinema, such historical fantasies won’t do much to help us understand the current issues facing Chinese society. Fortunately, there are many fine Chinese language films available that may shed more light on modern Chinese society. Such films and scripts of selected scenes from them serve as a rich source of authentic texts for this course. Through viewing these films, reading and discussing excerpts from their scripts as well as various four skills exercises including grammar review, students will gain insights into the changing culture of modern China. They will do so while building on their competencies in listening, speaking, reading, and writing Mandarin Chinese.

Ginger Lin

24 Filial Piety vs. The Daoist Tales of Zhuang Zi (CHI4213.01)

The Twenty-four Stories of Filial Piety are well known Chinese stories that exemplify the devotion of children to their parents that is the chief virtue in Confucianism. The Daoist Tales of Zhuangzi on the other hand offer a much different set of values. These tales “translated” from classical Chinese into modern Mandarin at the student’s language level will serve as a starting point for an exploration into two complimentary and competing schools of thought that have shaped the character and culture of the Chinese. Students will learn basic vocabulary and grammar through a four skills approach while comparing and contrasting the basic concepts of these two important Chinese philosophies.

Ginger Lin

Contemporary Chinese Poetry (CHI4121.01)

While the language of classical Chinese poetry is practically inaccessible to even today’s native speakers of Chinese, the poetry of the five contemporary poets studied in this course is written in the vernacular and serves as a rich source of authentic texts for this course, which integrates language learning with poetry study. The five poets, all born after 1980, each offer a unique perspective into the changing society and culture of modern China. Each lesson or two, students will receive a packet with poems and information on the poet along with a vocabulary list, and grammar worksheets.Through reading and discussing these poets as well as writing their own poems in Chinese, students will gain insights into the changing culture of modern China, while building on their competencies in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Mandarin Chinese.

Charles Schoonmaker

Design: The Ballets Russes (DRA2147.01)

The designs of the productions of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes exerted a strong influence on fashion and decor beginning with the first Paris season in 1909. In this class we will examine the design of the ballets and the designers including Bakst, Benois, Goncharova and Picasso. Students will do design projects and research projects.

Jenny Rohn

Jerzy Grotowski (DRA2304.01)

“No one else in the world, to my knowledge, no one since Stanislavski, has investigated the nature of acting, its phenomenon, its meaning, the nature and science of its mental, physical, emotional process as deeply and completely as Grotowski.” – Peter Brook

In this class we will explore, through readings and on our feet, the teachings and training techniques that Grotowski produced over forty years of work in the theater. We will explore his work starting with the Laboratory Theatre and continue through to, and include, his research at the Work Center in Pontedera. We will also investigate the work of several of the countless theater artists for whom he was an inspiration.

Corequisite: Dance or Drama Lab Assignment.

Dina Janis

Scene Study/ Modern Classics: Abaire, Letts, & Rebeck (DRA4134.01)

This is an advanced scene study class which will explore the canon of work by David Lindsay Abaire, Tracey Letts and Theresa Rebeck. Students will be assigned scenes from this canon, and the class as a whole will read all of the plays being worked on during the term. Rehearsal techniques, character development and sensory exploration of these plays will be a large part of the focus for the actors in the class. Written analysis of the plays being worked on will also be expected. Students interested in this class must be able to commit to a rigorous out of class rehearsal commitment.

Corequisite: Dance or Drama Lab assignment.

 

Sue Rees; Jean Randich

Multi-Media Performance: Manipulating Time/ Space (MA4146.01)

The class will be concerned with investigating the interaction of projected manipulated imagery with performers, motion, and space. The course will be a forum for actors, animators, dancers, video artists, and others to explore the interaction of live performance and mediated images.

Investigation will center on how projections can be integrated into performance and used to manipulate perception of time and space.

A series of several short experimental hybrid performances will be designed, researched and staged.

Richard MacPike
Barry Bartlett

Ceramics: History and Place (CER4232.01)

This class will be based on research into the history of European and American ceramic arts, covering both ceramic production and the aesthetic outcomes. We will focus on events, directions and issues, which have influenced the making of ceramic objects in these countries from ancient times to the turn of the Century. Students will work on the preparation and presentation of 2 lectures each as a way to develop focused research, as well as to acquire new knowledge into the history of the medium covering both its industrial might and as an art form. Our research will include a local study of the town of Bennington and its relationship to the original pottery started in 1785 and its reincarnations over the years leading up to the 19th century. Some books will be required to be purchased as text for this course. Class time will be split between lecture and research work.

Susie Ibarra; Susan Sgorbati

Interdisciplinary Improvisation Ensemble (APA2135.01)

When you see a flock of birds migrating south, how does self-organization form the patterns that result in their flight? When you observe dancers moving along a path without a choreographer and musicians creating music without each note written down, how do they follow and listen to each other? How do collaborative structures support dialogue or destroy communication?

This is an introductory course into the skills necessary for action in the present moment. We will understand what it means to compose in an ensemble, create dialogue in an ensemble, and recognize structure in an ensemble when the participants themselves are engaged in making something happen without a preformed map or direction.

This class is open to anyone who is interested in learning what it means to participate in an ensemble in an improvisational setting. This ensemble will explore site specific subjects, material and ideas in relation to an interdisciplinary improvisation ensemble .

Dancers can take this course for 2 credits from 2:00pm – 4:00pm.

Erika Mijlin

Archive Fever (MA2124.01)

A course on the creation, maintenance and philosophical/social implications of digital archives. The Archive, as a concept, suggests important questions about history, power, memory, access, self-determination, public and private spheres, etc. This course will address the Archive as a powerful idea, through reading and discussion, but also as an active and ongoing construction, as we undertake a variety of class projects in the practice of digital archive building. In the work of producing these archives, we will emphasize the use of the classroom as a place not only for the dissemination of pre-existing information, but for the actual production of knowledge. In groups, we will begin work on a range of digital archive projects – for example, a Bennington Dance History Project, or similar. In doing so, we will investigate and discover existing documents and records, then design (and potentially implement) a system or database to physically and/or digitally centralize it as a collection.