Bennington College can seem far removed from many of the pressing global concerns of our time, and yet we also have faculty members and students whose research, art, and activism link Bennington to the outside world. Through fieldwork term, study abroad, and other experiences, we all interact with the political, economic, and social concerns of our time–by analyzing systematically how we do this, we can better bring the work that we are passionate about into the classroom setting, and eventually enhance the work itself through discussion and reflection. This course therefore seeks to answer a fundamental question: How does our work on key global issues come into the classroom setting, and how can the work we do in the classroom help us confront the challenges that we see in the world? Through a series of presentations by members of the Bennington faculty, we will come to understand how to create frameworks and tools for integrating work off campus with what we do in the classroom.
This course is aimed particularly at first and second year students thinking about studying abroad or conducting pertinent fieldwork in sites across America or around the globe. It will also bring in external readings on other models that bridge the academic world and issues of global concern. Finally, students will be asked to reflect upon their own work at Bennington and how it engages the world beyond Bennington.
Evaluation will be based upon participation in class discussion, small group work and a series of papers.