Archives

The New Hampshire Primary (POP2266.04)

What is it like to be a part of a massive effort to win the office of the President of the United States? Focusing on the New Hampshire primary, this class will let you explore the process that is currently underway by candidates to win the Presidency. The class will comprise two field trips to New Hampshire (Saturday, November 16 and Saturday, December 7) where you’ll choose the candidate of your choice to work with and research. Upon completion, students will produce a written reflection on the American primary process, its origins, how politicians work within this process, and whether or not there are reasons to reform the path to the presidency.

The Plan as Portfolio (PLN2101.02)

This course is a critical look at the use of electronic portfolios (or e-portfolios) in higher education, and the unique opportunity here at Bennington to develop an e-portfolio system that will supplement and extend the Plan process. Through readings, discussions, workshops, and a culminating portfolio project, we will look at the history and current use of e-portfolios today; options for documentation and display of student work; the process of curation; and the use of e-portfolios as engagement tools for audiences both on- and off-campus (e.g. faculty, peers, collaborators, and potential employers). The course will also serve as an incubator space for the development of an e-portfolio system for use here at Bennington. Evaluation in the course will be based on both the assessment of various types of portfolios and curation processes, as well as the portfolio ultimately designed by the student.

Beginning Guitar (MIN2247.02, section 2)

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.

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

Ethical Community Collaborations (APA2161.02)

This course uses case studies from socially-engaged art projects along with in-class work and research on how to collaborate with specific communities in an ethical, mutually beneficial way. We will explore how to use a strategic planning process, transparent communications and realistic expectations around time and money in partnerships that cross boundaries of race, class, geography, gender identity or age. Together we will map out a framework to help artists make gracious invitations, equitable agreements, stable and resonant artistic productions and build lasting relationships after the show or exhibition ends.

In-class work focuses on effective listening and communications, conflict resolution and sharing power. Students will work together to begin envisioning their own collaborative projects, make effective invitations to the communities they want to engage, and begin planning for how to work together.

Life Design Ecosystems: Building Community Beyond Bennington (cancelled)

The dynamically changing environment of the world of work, uncertainties tied to meaningful employment, and the flexible/creative ways people have responded will be discussed in combination with the goal of taking proactive measures in expanding meaningful relationships and networks in your professional and creative endeavors. The goal for this class is to provide a platform for students to bridge a series of philosophical inquiries in the world of work and the pragmatic steps that it takes to expand one’s social networking spheres when inquiring about and applying for positions in your respective fields. Additionally, your reflection process and the action steps taken in exploring networking as a tool for embedding yourself in a respective field will run in tandem with guest speakers/industry leaders who will share their process points and the challenges they navigated in their respective life paths/careers. The course will draw from anthropological studies in social networking and readings from the sociology of work as key starting points for encouraging students to reflect on how their academic/FWT pursuits at Bennington can serve as an informed transitional point for preparing for their own life after college.

Life Design Narration: Representing & Contextualizing Your Work (FWT4101.01)

Field Work Term preparation has provided a platform for applying to opportunities with resumes and cover letters as key components of the internship application. While opportunities during FWT serve as a moment to test and explore inquiries introduced in the classroom, how do students best represent and contextualize this relationship through job application materials created in preparation for graduation? How do students bridge ideas explored in class, the skill sets developed in the field, and work/life aspirations after college utilizing language pertinent to particular employment sectors? Lastly, how do you represent your liberal arts educational background in ways that highlight the value of an interdisciplinary education while representing your work within the targeted frame of your respective fields of interest? In addition to readings tied to the sociology of work, studies on bias in job application evaluation, and editorial pieces on contemporary issues facing newly graduated students to name a few, the course will primarily focus on unpacking and producing resume and cover letter drafts through an iterative and reflective process.

Piano Lab I (MIN2232.03, section 3)

Introductory course in basic keyboard skills. Topics include reading notation, rhythm, technique, and general musicianship.

Gender and Agriculture: Market and Subsistence (APA2244.01)

This course examines the intersections of gender and agriculture, focusing on feminist and queer theories of agriculture. Students will examine international and local examples, queer agricultural movements, women farmers, capitalism, agrarianism, and the spectrum from subsistence to market-based to commodity agriculture. We will observe trends toward urbanization and consider the question of whether peasant farmers can feed the world. Students will explore the integration of subsistence through “DIY” and homesteading practices as they connect to food sovereignty. As a service learning component, students will develop a workshop that teaches a subsistence skill that relates to food or farming in the community.

Introduction to Food Studies (APA2245.01)

This course is an introduction to food studies, which takes a humanities and social science approach to understanding the food and agriculture and how it connects to society and the environment. Students will examine a variety of food studies topics including agricultural movements, food sovereignty, food justice, food ethics, and aesthetics. The course will also engage in a mapping project to understand the food system of Bennington County, laying the foundation for future student/community collaborations. Through reading, writing, and discussion, as well as engagement with the local community, students will gain an understanding of the complexity and the promise of food as a locus for community and environmental flourishing.

Landscaping Leftovers: Painting and the Expanded Field (PAI4403.01)

This course explores landscape painting as an extension of site and salvage as an expanded portrait of self. While reinforcing formal painting knowledge and skills, students will investigate new strategies around the application and integration of non-traditional materials as a critical response to traditional painting histories. Some questions we will ask ourselves over the course of this session include: What constitutes a landscape? How are landscapes internalized in the body? How do humans impose their subjective fantasies upon the natural world? What political and metaphorical meanings are embedded within the construction of imagined spaces? In class and off-site painting sessions are complemented by independent, outside of class work, group discussions, and assigned readings.

Making Arrangements (MCO4112.01)

In this course we will discover the basic principles of arranging for various ensembles playing in multiple genres (using horns, strings, background vocals, etc. along with a rhythm section)We will look at a wide range of notable artists working in many jazz subgenres and related styles. Students will be encouraged to creatively question existing forms and traditions in pursuit of a personal voice. Arranging students’ original compositions will also be encouraged. Emphasis will be on elements of instrumentation, orchestration, harmony, melody and rhythm. A background in chord/scale theory and familiarity in music notation software is encouraged but not required. 

Feminist Philosophy (PHI2102.01)

Contemporary feminism is a multi-faceted social justice movement to end gender-based oppression. Feminist movements have deep and interesting intellectual roots. In this course, we will excavate and investigate these roots. Throughout the course we will explore various contested conceptual terrains, such as: agency, affinity, body, equality, difference, desire, freedom, power, sexuality, and work. We will use philosophical tools and methods to come to grips with some of feminism’s perennially critical questions: What is gender difference? How is agency exercised under oppression? What is feminist freedom? What change does feminism imagine in the world? We will use feminist texts from the 18th-20th c. as the basis for our inquiry, with attention to how these texts are situated in historical, social, and political contexts.

Thinking Like A Greek (PHI2122.01)

The Mediterranean Greeks of the 4th-6th c. BCE powerfully shaped the political, cultural, and intellectual worlds we inhabit today. The Greeks are credited with inventing democracy, drama, spectator sports, and astronomy, physics, biology, musical theory, history, and philosophy as areas of study. Various Greek thinkers championed free inquiry, global citizenship, radical equality, and vegetarianism. At the same time, the Greek world included male supremacy, slavery, and imperialism. In this course, we will immerse ourselves in the intellectual ferment of Classical Greece. We will engage with Greek thinkers on a range of topics related to nature, culture, reality, and the divine. Readings will include primary texts (in English translation) by Plato, Aristotle, and representatives of the atomist, Stoic, Epicurean, Pythagorean, and Eleatic intellectual movements.

Gender and Security in the 21st Century (SCT2130.01)

This course is designed to critically examine twenty-first century security discourse and the ways it interacts with the gendered constructions of people’s lives. Combining the interdisciplinary approaches of feminist studies, cultural political economy, and critical security studies, we will examine the meanings of “security,” its manifestations around the world, and the ways in which gender scripts are constitutive of the global discourse of security. Subtopics covered by the course include case studies of gender in conflict situations in the United States, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and East Asia; gender and the global war on terror; masculinities and global security; security and neoliberal reforms; visions of alternative security frameworks; and proposed normative changes.

The Anti-Imperialist Century in Latin America: From Sandino to Chávez and Beyond (SCT2129.01)

With the shift away from expansionism at the end of the 19th century, U.S. foreign policy assumed new forms. Marine occupations, dollar diplomacy, covert action, and economic interventions took the place of territorial annexations. How were these policies experienced on the ground? In what ways did they shape debates about Latin American identity, sovereignty, and the role of resistance movements? We will examine the genealogy of anti-imperialism from the armed to the unarmed, from the statist to the grassroots, and set the stage for where these resistant currents might flow in Latin America’s current turn to the right.

Markmaking and Representation (DRW2149.02, section 2)

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.

Note: A portion of this class will be spent drawing the nude human figure.

Modern Guitar (MIN4224.01)

Individual training is available in jazz, modern and 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.

Corequisites: Attendance at Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30 – 8:00 pm).

Beginning Guitar (MIN2247.01, section 1)

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.

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

Advanced Sculpture: Is that Sculpture: What’s up with that? (SCU4115.01)

What do you like, what have you experienced? Remember there is beauty in the everyday, the banal – remember there is beauty in the extreme and the unique. No matter where you fall inline on this spectrum harness the “you.” What do you think you are made of regardless of your connections to race, class, and gender? Story telling is everything and you are building a self-mythology here. This class is taught like a graduate critique course, with less of an emphasis on technique and more emphasis on building a healthy consistent art practice with abilities to discuss art theory. The class is designed for students who have already completed basic sculpture course work and are able and eager to work independently. It is expected that each of you will bring a high degree of self-motivation, significant amount of work outside of class time, while welcoming rigorous discussion in class. Students are expected to lead at least one conversation in teams and expected to complete 3 major projects that culminate into group critiques at the end of each month. We will deal heavily in the concepts of how sculpture can expand past the notion of an object form hence the title of the class: Is that Sculpture: What’s up with That!

Introduction to Sculpture: Getting to know Sculpture and its Performance (SCU2120.01)

What is sculpture and how does performance have anything to do with that? How do we talk about a thing that takes up 3-D space and time? What does it mean to make an object anyway? How does one develop an idea to make an object? And what materials are the best to realize this idea? This course invites students to investigate the fundamental principles of sculpture while encouraging exploration of classical and alternative contemporary approaches. The coursework will ask to dig into one’s personal histories while investigating materials that can articulate one’s lived experience. Our sessions are intensive explorations into a variety of techniques and materials including resin mold making, wood joinery, digital fabrications, and metal. There will be a strong emphasis on drawing and sketching your ideas before implementing them, along side finding ways to perform with the objects. Slide lectures and presentations compliment individual and group critiques.

Advanced Printmaking: Refinement and New Methods (PRI4209.01)

In this advanced level printmaking course, we will explore the use of the laser cutter as a tool for developing our artistic content and technique in the print studio. Through a series of required assignments using the laser cutter, we will refine general print techniques such as registration, color, consistency, and paper handling. We will also learn about advanced methods of intaglio and relief and possibly lithography. The first part of the term will focus on materials research and refinement of methods, as well as the content, and then students will create a final project of their own design. As is always the case, the pursuit of excellent work and participation in the community environment will also be a focus.

At the end of term, students should have a series of experiments using the laser cutter for their portfolio, a deeper understanding of advanced technical problems, and new perspectives on how this relates to communicating ideas and their own work.

This course requires a desire to experiment and work in a group, experience using Adobe Illustrator, and minimum of two printmaking courses taken and passed in good standing at Bennington College.

Tablescape: Production Lab (CER4109.01)

This class is structured for students who have knowledge, experience and skills in Architecture, Sculpture, and 3D design technology and wish to explore production of ceramics functional ware by developing mold making skills and applying slip casting methods to their projects. Students who are enrolled in the advanced level of slip casting class, Tablescape: Slip Casting Project for Communal Kitchen, can expand their scope of research and development and commit to rigorous mass production. Ceramics students can also explore collaborative, cross-disciplinary approaches with students or professionals who do not have technical proficiency in plaster mold making, ceramic casting material preparation, glaze application and firing. We will imagine a specific social and cultural context of communal eating to conceive design, produce and put them in use. First class project will start with a design and production of ceramic ware for a new common’s café. Some adequate molds that are produced in this class will become a property of Ceramics area for collective use to support Social Kitchen and other Bennington College community engagement projects in the future. Work in dialogue with students from the Advance Architecture project: Place: Setting – the Dining Room will be facilitated.

Tablescape: Slip Casting Project for Communal Kitchen (CER4265.01)

Tablescape project considers ceramic tableware through the lens of architecture (space) and table design (place). For the occasion of the implementation of a communal kitchen, in the new Students Center, that aims to foster community building, students will design and produce a series of functional ware by utilizing slip casting method. We will focus on creating a work that can be perceived not only as a practical tool in which food or liquid is contained for delivery to the mouth but also as a “vessel” that influences our communal experience. How might the design of a dinnerware shift our perception of food and facilitate our dialog about commensality at the table? The basis of this course is “Twelve Cups and Saucers Designed by Twelve Architects,” the project carried out by a group of contemporary Japanese architects to explore the traditional design principles of the Azuchi-Momoyama period (16 c. AD) of Japan. These principles include unrestrained freedom, challenge, innovation, creative destruction and multifariousness in the making of forms. This course also aims to teach how craftspeople and designers/architects can collaborate for the creation of innovative product. Ceramics students will be encouraged to work with Architecture students. Work in dialogue with students from the Advance Architecture project: Place: Setting – the Dining Room will be facilitated.

Animation Projects – Pre-Production Class (MA4026.02)

This class is a pre-production for a future project whether for a projection, an animation or installation. Research will be undertaken, with this research presented.

A catalogue of images, materials objects, and storyboarding along with creating a short tests for a longer project will be completed by the end of the term. Various situations, and presentation formats and locations will be discussed.

A project already started can be included in the class with permission of instructor.

The River, The Forest, The Glacier: Classics of American Environmental Literature (LIT4139.02)

How to take measure of place is a question that has long resonated in the American imagination, and this course considers both the geography and the voices that provide the foundation for current environmental writing. The Exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons by John Wesley Powell, The Maine Woods by H. D. Thoreau, and Travels in Alaska by John Muir offer occasion to discuss the sublime, scientific discovery, and emerging ideas of the value of nature. A transcendentalist, Thoreau also appraised the natural world as a surveyor; the purpose of Powell’s river journey was geographic and geologic documentation, yet hardship made it something very different; and if Muir found the imprint of god’s hand across the natural world, he was also an early advocate of biocentric equality.  Students will be asked to consider how scientific inquiry and a view to the sublime coincided in the thinking of these writers; and explore those ways in which their divergent perspectives are the groundwork for American understanding—and misunderstanding—of our relations with the natural world.

Corequisite: Students are required to be in attendance at all Literature evenings and Poetry at Bennington events in the second half of the term (most Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm).

The Family Album: Reading and Writing the Short Story (LIT4188.01)

The poet Czesław Miłosz said once that “when a writer is born into a family, the family is finished.” This idea of the writer’s position amid the family has always mirrored the writer’s position in society, existing both within it and outside of it at the same time. In this class, we will interrogate the family narrative as a particular idea and obsession of the American short story. From this, we will write our own versions of the family story. Writers will include Edward P. Jones, Saul Bellow, Jhumpa Lahiri, Deborah Eisenberg, Rebecca Lee, Cynthia Ozick, Jenny Zhang, A.M. Homes, Nam Le and many, many more.

Corequisite: Students are required to be in attendance at all Literature evenings and Poetry at Bennington events (most Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm).

European Literature Between the Wars (LIT4170.01)

In the immediate aftermath of WWI, Europe found itself dramatically reshaped. In the place of the now-dead Dual Monarchy were six new nation states set between borders haphazardly drawn by victors of the war in order to smite the losers. An economic crisis swept the continent, leaving millions starving and rendering the German Mark nearly worthless. In the east, the Soviet Union emerged from the Revolution of 1917 to become the largest nation on earth. Amid all of this a set of striking new artistic idioms began to emerge. In nearly every medium, the tradition of 19th Century romanticism gave way to new expressions of grief and anomie and a brief but thrilling optimism. Within twenty years, all of this would be gone. Many of the debates around art and culture in this inter-war period mirror the conversations artists are having now about the purpose and future of the novel, the veracity and utility of literary realism, and whether or not the social worth of art can ever faithfully represent the horror of war. Students in this class will emerge with a portrait of Europe before before the cataclysm of the second World War and will trace how the aesthetic conversations then affect our own ideas of beauty and art. We will read Joseph Roth’s dispatches from Eastern Europe, short pieces by Fernando Pessoa, Stefan Zweig, Bruno Schultz, and Isaac Babel, Walter Benjamin’s Theses on the Philosophy of History, diary entries from Franz Kafka, philosophical critique by Hannah Arendt, and poetry by Anna Akhmatova and Nelly Sachs. Readings will be paired with music of the time, by Richard Strauss, Paul Hindemith, Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Anton Webern, Kurt Weil, and more.

Corequisites: Students are required to be in attendance at all Literature evenings and Poetry at Bennington events (most Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm).

Reading into Refuge: Stories of Migration (LIT2340.01)

The repercussions of the refugee crisis in Syria and at our southern border have once again thrust the politics of migration and refuge into the public discussion. In this course we will investigate the literature of forced exile and resettlement in order to understand how our collective narratives about emigration are formed, and to ask what it means for a writer to superimpose the personal onto the political. We will read Viet Than Nguyen, Edward Said, Uwem Akpan, Mohsin Hamid, Sara Novic, Jenny Erpenbeck. Students in this class will write weekly responses to the readings, a midterm paper, and a final essay.

Design from Nature (DRA4236.01)

This is a class for students interested in Costume Design. We will work with inspiration from the natural world to design clothing, one example being Christian Dior’s ‘Tulip line’ of 1953.

Students should be confident about their ability to express ideas in a graphic platform and medium, and interested in expanding their understanding of clothing design. The classic tools for costume design are pencil and watercolor on paper, but we may work in and explore various methods of expressing your ideas in class.

Charles Schoonmaker
W 4:10-6:00 (new time as of 5/13/19)
This course is categorized as All courses, Drama, Updates.

Songlines: One Thousand Years of Music and Poetry (MHI2229.01)

Uniting text and music has been a continuous and vital expression of musical creativity for millennia. In this course we will investigate how composers and songwriters have set poetry to music for nearly one thousand years. What can we as contemporary songwriters, poets, and music listeners learn from these histories? How does a musical setting function as a composer’s reading of a text? How do compositional choices express cultural bias as well as philosophical and political concerns? What about the poet’s perspective? We will listen to, watch, and sometimes sing famous and lesser known Western vocal works from the Middle Ages to the 21st century, reading the texts that inspired them. We will also explore many examples from around the world, such as epic storytelling, ballads, rap, folk, pop, spirituals and ring shouts of the American South, along with other material of interest to class members. Students will have the option to develop a final creative project or write a research paper based on the work of the class.

Music and Culture: An Introduction to Ethnomusicology (MHI2206.01)

This course will be a hands-on introduction to ethnomusicology, the study of music in its social and cultural contexts. Ethnomusicologists think about the role music plays in everyday life. How do music and musicians build community, ignite protest and revolution, articulate racial identity, express and complicate gender and sexuality, or affirm faith? Some ethnomusicologists do research halfway across the world, while others study music in their own cities and towns. One of our classes each week will focus on developing applied techniques in research and fieldwork, including preparing questions, giving and transcribing interviews, field recording, listening exercises, writing an ethnography of a live performance, and many other activities. In our second session, we’ll learn about the study of music and culture itself, reading from a range of texts that explore ethnomusicology’s intersections with fields like anthropology, African American studies, environmental studies, religion, and gender studies. What we do in class will also be guided by the interests and backgrounds of our members. This course is open to all students.

Sounding Physics (MCO4113.02)

This class focuses on using simple mechanical devices (dc motors, solenoids, or vibration) to elicit sounds from myriad physical materials. We’ll discover the innate characteristics of materials themselves and manipulate forces that activate them, such as gravity, elasticity, tension, and friction. The class will workshop approaches to creating devices through the use of buttons, switches and sensors, as well as with microcontrollers or microcomputers such as Arduinos. Embracing a scrappy DIY ethos, we’ll harvest discarded materials and uncover the acoustic and poetic potential of the humble and overlooked. We will also look at concepts of precariousness and how they inform strategies for sound installations and performances. At the end of the term we will stage a performance and/or installation with our new instruments.

Climate Under Siege: Public Policy Forums@CAPA (APA2179.01)

Whether it’s in your community, your state, your country or in the world, understanding the impacts of global warming and how to participate in future policy decisions has become an essential role of the citizen.  This Fall 2019’s Public Policy Forum @ CAPA presents an opportunity to learn from policy makers, academics, and leading thinkers and activists on many aspects of the climate crisis from energy and food to water, and soils. 

Restoring Juvenile Justice: Improved Outcomes for Emerging Adult Offenders in Vermont (APA4121.01)

The school-to-prison pipeline, is the result of the national trend towards increasingly harsh school and municipal policies, sometimes called Zero Tolerance. This problem has become a significant topic of debate in discussions surrounding educational discipline, juvenile justice and child welfare practices. In 2018, the State of Vermont took a bold step to address this problem, deciding that youth under the age of 19 (the age will be increased over time to 21), who commit offenses should be adjudicated in Family as opposed to Criminal Court. This important reform was the result of a number of critical factors, including: decades of advocacy highlighting the negative impact of the “school to prison pipeline”; a general change in popular attitudes regarding mass incarceration; a deeper understanding of structural racism; a strong movement towards restorative justice; and a more accurate understanding of the impact of trauma on the development of the adolescent brain. As the leader in this effort, Vermont has an enormous opportunity to advance a new approach to juvenile justice; one that will become a model for the rest of the country.

In this class we will have the opportunity to contribute to these changes in policy and practice. Specifically, we will examine:

  • The history of the juvenile justice, educational and child welfare system’s approach to juvenile offenders.
  • The emergence of the term “school to prison pipeline” and its impact on social awareness, policies and programs
  • The reasons that Vermont decided to make these reforms and what the implications of these changes will be.
  • The emerging science of trauma and brain development that has contributed to this change in public policy

This class is a prerequisite for a class in the spring semester in which we will have the opportunity to pilot new programs that will be used as models in the implementation of this new law.

Beyond the Boss: Organizational Models for the 21st Century (APA2247.02)

Almost all work in the world is performed in groups and all groups involve some kind of organization. Whether it’s a fast-food restaurant, a band, an activist group, or even a college class, we investigate ideas of organization — often invisible — that we picked up from somewhere: families, teachers, bad bosses, and/or movies just to name a few. This course offers the opportunity to survey recent non-traditional organizational concepts from both the business and non-profit world. Since a genuinely critical examination of organizations cannot occur in the absence of lived experience, we will use the class itself as a laboratory for exploring questions such as what does it mean to work without a boss, what is the role of facilitation and negotiation, and how can we use organizations as a vehicle for individual development. Source material will include Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux, the work of Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey (Immunity to Change, An Everyone Culture) among others.

(September 24, 27, October 1, 4, 8, 11)

Ideas Arrangements Effects (APA2178.02)

How do we come to understand what we are doing when attempting to change or interfere with a messy complex social problem? How can we know if the thing we want to do to improve a social problem will work or backfire? There are many lessons from psychiatrists like RD Laing to cultural heroes like Hermès on this topic. Ideas Arrangements Effects will overview several lessons from a variety of schools of practice of solving human centered social problems. The course will help socially engaged artists find where their own thought habits and beliefs can get in the way of their attempts to improve social problems. The class will also offer students a genealogy of the schools of thought that informed the Design Studio for Social Intervention’s take on addressing social problems. As part of the course, students will set a problem they are intending to address and use the class as a design intensive to devise their own social intervention.

DS4SI’s book, Ideas Arrangements Effects would be the primary text, supplemented with readings that were critical in shaping our take on design and social change.

Investing in Futures: The Art of Worlding (APA2218.02)

Futures studies—also known as futurology—has been used by businesses and the military as part of a strategic planning toolkit. This framework of speculating about the future in systemic ways has been adopted by many contemporary artist collectives, in order to challenge assumptions of the present about outcomes in the future. These futuristic models are based on constraints—design limitations— that can spark wild imaginaries liberated from business-as- usual predictions. In this 7-week workshop we will create possible future scenarios in the forms of invented artifacts, writing, and framing devices. The features of these futures will draw from Investing in Futures, the artist-created constraint-design card deck (Mattu/Rothberg/Zurkow) which explores topics such as governance, living conditions, food, climate, technology, and range from possible to absurd.

In weeks 1-5, students in group collaborations will design and prototype pieces of specific future scenarios. In weeks 6-7 students will focus on collectively designing a futuristic EPCOT- like exhibit, which will be open to the community.

References and readings about future scenario design thinking, speculative design, and design fiction will also be explored in class. Learning outcomes: Introduction to futurology, speculative design, and systems thinking. Students will participate across media in constraint-based design, writing, and prototyping in a variety of media in rotating groups.

Creating Field Guides to Bennington (APA2217.01)

In this 7-week workshop we will uncover aspects of Bennington, perform research, tell stories, and design booklets using the familiar form of the field guide. A field guide is a manual used to identify things (birds, trees, minerals and more) in their natural environment. It follows certain rules, such as an identification system, a grammar, a map, and a how-to use section. All of these structured “conventions” are designed to encourage participation. Because its form is recognizable, one can employ the field guide format to do all kinds of things in the world. For instance, there are field guides to civic participation, stereotypical high school types, and artisanal cheese.

With the Bennington campus and/or the town as our “field,” students will individually identify, design (or create) and produce a printed field guide to a system that is present in this environment. Focuses could include campus waste, town heroes, local ghosts, the library and more. As a group, these guides will form a collection of uniquely expressive, artistic approaches to the idea of “field guide,” while following tight constraints. In addition, students will observe participants using their field guides, and conduct public tours. In order to enlist a public, students must answer a fundamental question about participatory design: “What do you want your field guide to DO?”

Class final: Students will user test their field guides on the campus and in the area. Final printed guides will be submitted to the Crossett library. Learning outcomes: Students will be introduced to systems thinking, constraint-based design, semiotics, and participatory design, and will conduct research, play-testing, zine production, interface and graphic design.

Markmaking and Representation (DRW2149.01, section 1)

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.

Note: A portion of this class will be spent drawing the nude human figure.

Life Drawing Lab (DRW2118.01)

Drawing Lab provides an opportunity for student artists of all experience levels to further develop their skills with observational-based drawing. Working primarily with the human figure, students build increased understanding of the poetic, dynamic, and inherently abstract nature of drawing, while paying close attention to the potential of formal elements such as shape, line, form, and the creation of pictorial space. Although each class period provides structures and activities within which students work, the ultimate aim of this class to allow students the time and space necessary to further develop their drawing skills so as to best support individual projects and concerns. Class time is divided between drawing from life, discussing student work, and examining the use of the figure in visual art, using both contemporary and historical examples. Please note that this course may require additional materials to be purchased by the student.

Note: Much of this class will be spent drawing the nude human form.

Calculus A (MAT4133.01)

This course covers the breadth of university calculus: differentiation, integration, infinite series, and ordinary differential equations. It focuses on concepts and interconnections. In order to cover this much material, computational techniques are de-emphasized. Following mathematics courses will focus on techniques and applications, putting the concepts from Calculus A into practice. This is an advanced course; Calculus AP or IB cannot be used as substitutes for it. On the other hand, the course does treat the concepts in a logically independent way, so if the other prerequisites are met, no prior experience with calculus is required.

Analysis (MAT4214.01)

For the first one hundred and fifty years after its introduction, calculus saw an explosive development in its applications to mathematical and physical problems, defeating old problems thought of as insoluble, and solving new problems no-one had even thought to consider before. At the same time, it was under a cloud of suspicion: it rested on vague arguments about quantities becoming “infinitely” small or “infinitely” numerous, and though it usually gave correct answers in the end, it was far from the model of logical clarity provided by Euclid’s Elements. In this class, you will prove everything that was taken for granted in introductory calculus, starting from first principles. Aside from providing logical certainty, these techniques of proof provide insight as to the real meaning of “infinitely” small, “infinitely” many, and “limiting” value. These techniques are used almost universally in higher mathematics, and a course in Analysis is the central building block of an undergraduate mathematics degree. In addition, the techniques are also essential to theoretical computer science, so students interested in that field should take this course as well.

Nature in the Americas (APA4148.01)

What is Nature? Is Nature the biological substratum of human society or the converging practices of local ecology? Is Nature a potent historical agent in its own right or a philosophical blunder of epic proportions? Such questions have a lively history in the Americas. Indeed, while Nature has near mythic form in scholarly and public debates, its content is culled again and again from salient American examples. This course uses such thorny questions as provocations to reflect more precisely on the historical cases and empirical problems that both animate the presences of Nature in the contemporary and account for some of what makes life in the Americas particular.

This course is divided into two sections. Part I provides an overview of how the natural world in the Americas gave shape and momentum to the modern world. We will learn more about the colonial context within which the image of nature first became cogent, about how the embedded agency of germs, cattle, and sugar inflated European conceit, and how some of the earliest capitalistic orderings of the world were built atop the cultivated abundance of (decimated) indigenous communities. Part II of this course outlines the presences of Nature in the analytical practices of ethnographic research, reflecting on the ways Nature has shaped not only what anthropology thought about the world about but also how it has thought that world. In the history of anthropology, we will see how ideas of Nature were put to work explaining human difference from outside of the thicket of (colonial) history. More recently, we will see how ideas of nature’s demise are bringing about a potent convergence of science, ethics, and governance that is rethinking responsibility from within (industrial) history. Following ethnographers into this fraught field, we will learn how local entanglements often dispute any overarching distinction of Nature and Culture as well as how the state and companies invest heavily in maintaining such distinctions at the lively frontiers of power and profit. Studying the social life of pollution, disease, and other manufactured forms of environmental suffering, we will reflect on the contrast between natural difference and the naturalization of inequality.

The overarching premise of this course is quite simple: the unfolding history of life itself across the Americas has indelibly shaped much of what counts as Nature today and much of what makes the Americas a distinct and enduring region.

Literature as Resistance: The works of Rosario Castellanos (SPA4304.01)

Although Rosario Castellanos (1925-1974) is recognized as one of Mexico’s most important
writers, she did not live to see the impact of her contributions to the feminist revolution of the
latter half of the twentieth century, participate in the first Conferencia Mundial de la Mujer that
took place in 1975 in Mexico City, or in the recent Encuentro Internacional de Mujeres que
Luchan organized by the Zapatista women in Chiapas, Mexico, where she spent her early years,
and where her Indigenista works take place.

Castellanos died in Tel Aviv in 1974 while serving as Mexican ambassador to Israel. She died at
the height of her career shortly after being recognized as one of the most important writers of
her generation. Her poems, plays, novels, essays, and editorials follow the twin threads of
oppression of indigenous people, particularly women, and of Mexican women.

In this course we will study the works of Rosario Castellanos for their poignancy and exquisite
lyricism, and as an avenue for interrogating gender, race, class, aesthetics, power, and myths of
the nation. Explicit support for student’s linguistic development will be integrated and will
depend on the needs of the class. Low-intermediate level. In Spanish.

Corequisites: attendance at two Language Series events.

Practicing Discernment in Social Practice Art (APA2177.01)

How do you discern if your desired social practice art project is ethically sound as well as aesthetically relevant? This class will survey a series of social practice art projects, from high profile “art world” ones to small community-generated gestures, with the goal of evaluating if the project was properly thought through ethically and aesthetically. The class will also include diverse perspectives from the field of social practice art, social activism and art / literary criticism. The goal is not to supply students with a simple framework as much as it is to surface debates about the ways intended or unintended social practice art could exploit the populations or communities it intends to benefit.

Projects in Ceramics (CER4229.01)

The process of making artwork will be the major focus of the class. This studio class is designed to support the development of the creative process in ceramics with an understanding lending itself to all forms of art making.  Projects will be conceptually based requiring investigation on an individual level. Issues to be raised in this class will include functional and sculptural forms relating to the history of ceramic objects. There will be emphasis on the artist as one participating in a larger cultural context.

Each student will be required to give a presentation on issues of interest to them in the arts and its relationship to their own work in development during this class.

Each student will also complete a slide portfolio of finished pieces.

The Room Where it Happens: Introduction to Costume Design (DRA2150.01)

This class will serve to introduce and build skills as a costume designer. We will read, analyze and chart scripts, develop research skills and build a fluency in rendering design ideas by working on graphic skills. We will also work on some non-scripted projects, and in various genres of performance possibly including ballet, opera, television and film. We will have in class work sessions, so the class will have a studio element. Work will be discussed and developed in class critiques.

Charles Schoonmaker
M/Th 3:40-5:30
This course is categorized as All courses, Drama.

Advanced Class in Reducing Plastic Pollution Through Community Action (APA4159.01)

This is an advanced plastic pollution course, housed in the Center for the Advancement of Public Action and built on the foundation of public action.  Plastic pollution is a growing problem which affects oceans, fish and wildlife, human health and contributes to climate change.  The students should have a comprehensive understanding of the issue and an interest in working with the Beyond Plastics project, a national project based at Bennington College.  This is an environmental policy and community organizing class.  Students will learn how to do outreach and organizing, utilize social media, build coalitions and gain a deeper understanding of government and corporate decision making.  Potential projects including:  developing speeches and power points on plastics issues and presenting that information at least 5 times to student and community audiences; producing the Beyond Plastics pod cast; developing and launching on-line petition campaigns; helping to adopt local laws to reduce plastic pollution and sharing the latest research on plastic pollution with other student leaders.

Organizational Structure & Enterprise Law (APA2175.02)

The common startup mythologies tend to promote the glamor of entrepreneurship. You will work hard in a basement or a garage with no money, but the brilliance of your idea will make you into a heroic (wind-swept) figure to whom investors, customers, and clients (and the popular press) will all be irresistibly attracted. These stories don’t map to reality for most.

In contrast, you need to get out of the garage, think more creatively so that you are adequately capitalized and can attract the talent you need for your enterprise development team. Competition and sustainable growth in the 21st century are enormous challenges which require your creativity and passion. They also require innovation, an equitable organizational structure, and a functional understanding of the regulations and law which either empower your enterprise to acquire (a) the capital in amounts and forms you can best utilize, (b) promote equity in compensation and ownership within your organization, and (c) maintain sufficiently control over the goals and direction of your venture.

During this 7-week course, we will quickly review and interrogate all common legal organizational form choices. We will then examine better choices in organizational legal form, their character and details, and learn how to create and utilize them and how they optimize and facilitate your ability to raise capital (which you will likely have to do over and over again). We will examine organizational designs which meet compensation equity and employee ownership goals, build the competitive and re-invention capacities of an enterprise, enable collaborative management and control, and sustainability. You will create your own innovative design and apply it to the preceding set of outcome metrics as part of the course.  Further, we will examine pertinent enterprise law and regulation, like Reg. CF (Crowdfunding) and OPO (Online Public Offering) requirements and adapt our choices in organizational design and structure to make those options available.

The Glaze Renovation Project (CER4216.01)

The emphasis of this course will be placed on testing and cataloging the new glaze palette developed in the spring of 2019 in “Glaze-Redesigning the Ceramic Studio’s Glazes.” We will concentrate on layering the new ^04 and 10 glazes over one another as well as with the studio’s slips and washes and creating a comprehensive reference for use by all the proceeding ceramics classes to aid in surface selection. The results will be recorded both physically with a series of test tile palettes displayed in the glaze lab and digitally using HyperGlaze software. Color and surface variation of the ^10 and ^04 base glazes will also explored and, using the testing systems developed previously, we will construct a ^6 pallet to endow the ceramic’s studio with a full complement of all the major firing temperatures. The ^6 and 10 glazes will also be tested in the various atmospheric conditions that we have available to us including oxidation, reduction, salt, soda, and wood and recorded with the test tile palettes. Some possible subjects for additional exploration are raku, crater, crawl, and crystalline glazes among other possibilities. The class objectives will be facilitated through demonstration and hands-on practice. The overarching goal of this class is to empower students with the technical knowledge to express themselves through ceramics coherently using a comprehensive understanding of surface through formulation and testing.

Some basic tools will be required.

Print and Process (PHO4246.01)

The focus of this course is preparing digital files for large inkjet printing. Starting with capture, students will learn how to make images with the intention of printing them larger than 20 inches. Students may work with analog negatives or digital RAW files and will learn how to properly scan and import. Students will learn how to appropriately organize and catalog their files with Adobe Bridge, as well as Photoshop techniques for dust spotting, color correction, and sharpening. Students will then learn the steps needed to make test prints on a smaller scale and finally how to print on the Epson 9890 44inch printer. Careful attention will be paid to paper choice and students will be expected to purchase their own paper for their final projects. We will cover options for handling, storing, and displaying large prints. Throughout this course students will be working to refine their eye for color, to make carefully considered editing and printing choices, and to hold themselves and their work to a higher standard.

Film Scoring (MCO4101.01)

The practice of underscoring movies is as old as film itself, from early improvised accompaniments to silent films, to the orchestrations of Ennio Morricone and Louis and Bebe Barron. In this course, we will look and listen to a variety of films and sound scores throughout the ages, analyzing the way in which they act as counterpoint to content and the visual score. Written analysis of diverse film sound design, foley, and musical accompaniments will serve as background to the studentsʹ own projects. Students will be expected to provide musical content to a variety of films by the end of the term (which may include collaborations with other student projects in video and animation) as well as orchestration of previously existing films. Students will be expected to record and sync their music within a digital environment. This course is a co-requisite with Sound Design for Moving Images.

Corequisites: Students must also register for Sound Design for Moving Images (MSR4120.01)

Sound Design for Moving Images (MSR4120.01)

This class is an introduction to the creative approaches and applications of sound design and audio production for moving images. In this course, we will explore the techniques used in the audio post-production for moving images and focus on the role of the sound designer. We will focus on designing sounds using Foley, sound effects editing, and post-processing. Students will learn how to edit dialogue, sound effects, and music. Seminar style lectures will also be included where concepts and artistic approaches are discussed. This course is a co-requisite with Film Scoring.

Corequisites: Students must also register for Film Scoring (MCO4101.01)

Place: Setting – the Dining Room (ARC4146.01)

The place of the shared meal is a locus of multiple design problems, from the place setting to the chair, and from the table to the room itself. It is a site of routine and ritual where, along with sustenance, we enjoy sensory and aesthetic pleasures, and social interaction.

The routines and rituals of eating have changed significantly over the past several generations. This studio will begin with an overview of historical precedents of spaces designed for communal meals, and then proceed to create new solutions.

Students will work in measured drawings and scaled models in the development of their projects. Final projects may include full-scale construction of individual components, including elements for use in the new Student Center.

Work in dialogue with students from the Slip-Casting project: Tablescapes will be facilitated.

Drawing Intensive: Conditions for Visual Inquiry (DRW4238.01)

What strategies do artists use to efficiently develop an initial idea? How does one sustain a meaningful, vital, creative inquiry? How can a direct connection be made between daily life and making images, and between the personal, and public or political worlds?

This intermediate level course will address these questions through an intensive immersion in drawing and investigation into the design of strategies for generating imagery. Students will be asked engage with a series of structures, arrangements, and approaches to visual thinking. These frameworks, or conditions, will be found in the world, and also designed by students themselves, both through individual activity and through collaboration. Examinations of the ideas, artworks, and approaches used by artists from history and contemporary art will provide a platform on which investigations will be based.

A high level of commitment is expected; students will engage with assignments which will require them to draw daily, to focus fully on the development of an ambitious drawing practice, and to dedicate themselves to strengthening their skills and awareness of their own narrative priorities as artists. Students should expect regular reading, writing, and assigned research.

Although students will be asked to respond to questions presented in class, and specific assignments will be given throughout this course, it is the objective of this class to provide the skills necessary for the student to confidently pursue self-designed projects.

Silkscreen Printmaking (PRI2122.02)

Screen printing is an extremely versatile means of reproducing a 2-D image onto a variety of objects. Hand-drawn, painted, photographic and digital images can be used singularly and in combination with each other. Preparation and processing is relatively simple and multiples can be produced quickly. In this class, we will print with non-toxic, water based inks.

We will begin by covering the basics: how to stretch a screen, coat it with photo-sensitive emulsion, expose and re-expose a variety of artwork. From there, we will delve into ink modification and color mixing, printing a single color, blending colors in split-fountain printing and clean-up.

After mastering these fundamental methods, students will learn registration techniques for printing multiple colors/layers and best practices for overprinting on paper. Additional areas of exploration may include printing on fabric and the use of repeated patterns, printing on other substrates and monotype printing (producing unique images).

Letterpress Printing from Metal, Wood, and Photopolymer (PRI4697.01)

In this intermediate level course, we will focus on learning letterpress printing within a framework of making visual art. This can be a precision process and it affords a huge range of possibilities for artists who wish to work with multiples and/or use text in their work. It is a rigorous course and each student will develop and design print projects that develop both their technical and conceptual skills. Reading will be assigned each week to expand on knowledge and give context for projects. By the end of term, participants should have the skills needed to make work in the Word and Image Lab, and a broader understanding of the history of printing and its relation to contemporary art practice.

Processes that will be covered include, press work on letterpress proofing machines, setting and printing metal type, printing type high wood blocks, and photopolymer letterpress.

Related topics that will be covered include the history of printing and letterforms, Typography, Book Design.

The Body Acoustic: Toward a Sense of Place (DAN2112.01)

How do we physically understand the spaces we are in?  How is each of us affected by them?  How do we develop a deeper sense of place? The Body Acoustic aims to heighten awareness of the reciprocal relationship between the built environment and our senses. Light and sound, distances, height, volume, surfaces, angles/curves and a/symmetries all affect one’s movement through interior and exterior spaces; one’s movement, in turn, affects the perception of these spaces.

Using methodologies from visual and movement-based art forms, The Body Acoustic provides an opportunity for students of any discipline to engage in trans-disciplinary research and practice. Throughout the course, students will graphically articulate their experiences inhabiting multiple spaces (i.e. drawing, photo collage), design and make simple situations/spaces to move through and will determine short scenes/movement studies to influence our sense of place. Students will form teams to complete short on-site exercises and will share results of other assigned exercises through discussion and presentation.  Criteria for evaluation include participation in all class sessions and discussions, satisfactory completion of all assignments and active participation in all reviews of student work.

Technical Topics: Moving Image Equipment (FV2128.02)

This seven-week course is an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with the entire video and animation equipment inventory. In class we will use a wide variety of cameras, set up audio and lighting equipment, learn about camera stabilization, capture drone footage, and experiment with projectors. Throughout the course students will be asked to give live demonstrations and apply what they have learned to their discipline.

Visual Arts Lecture Series (VA2999.01)

Each term, Bennington offers a program of five-six lectures by visiting arts professionals: artists, curators, historians and critics, selected to showcase the diversity of contemporary art practices. Designed to enhance a broader and deeper knowledge of various disciplines in the Visual Arts and to stimulate campus dialogue around topical issues of contemporary art and culture, these thematically connected presentations offer students the opportunity to explore ideas from multiple perspectives over the course of the term. Students registered for this series must attend all lectures on Tuesday evenings at 7:00pm as well as gallery exhibitions, and are responsible for taking notes and completing a one-page essay-questionnaire for each event to be submitted via Populi. Optional readings and additional opportunities for engagement with visiting speakers may be announced throughout the term.

Presentation of Statistics (MAT2246.01)

Data can come to us in many forms: tables, charts, graphs, observations, experimental results, and other less formal avenues. To best understand the world around us, we must be able to take that data, answer questions, and then convey those answers to others in a clear, concise manner. This course will show different methods for presenting statistical data to others as well as interpreting the information and results accordingly.

This course will serve as an introduction to statistical reasoning and understanding as well as bolster the ability to think critically about data, its sources, and how to convey a clear message from data. It will focus on bringing clarity to data presented, choosing the correct presentation for a given data set, and avoidance of deception. There are no prerequisites and will be accessible to all interested and willing students.

This course is appropriate for any students wanting to understand, interpret, and present statistics. Students who plan to seriously create and analyze their own statistics for their work should take Creation of Statistics, which may either be taken as a sequel to this course, or on its own. There is some overlap between the two courses, but their focus and goals are different. Students who take Presentation of Statistics first will get a broader skill set and a more gentle introduction.

Introduction to Relief Printing (PRI2105.01)

This course is an introductory level print class. Students will learn about relief printmaking through demonstrations of techniques, hands-on experience, and critiques. Techniques include but are not limited to wood cut and linoleum cut. With this simple process, we will be able to explore color printing in depth.

Light and Lighting (PHO4238.01)

This photography course will explore the way light conveys emotional, narrative, and psychological meaning. The goal is to increase students’ experience in recognizing and shaping these effects. Each week books by noted photographers will be assigned for study and discussion. Workshops and demos will involve small collaborative teams in a variety of studio and on-location situations using natural light, hot lights, and strobe lights.

While no specific equipment or materials are required for this course, students are expected to have a secure way of transporting and storing their digital files outside of the VAPA server, likely a Mac-compatible external hard drive. Additional supplies will need to be purchased to realize individual projects due at the end of term.

Piano Lab II (MIN4236.02, section 2)

The goals of this course are to gain ease and dexterity at the keyboard, developing a confident piano technique and the skill of reading musical notation. Students will expand upon the skills learned in Piano lab I, adding to a basic repertoire of scales and chords, use them in improvisation and harmonization of melodies. In addition they will explore a repertoire that utilizes the musical components covered and learn to perform selected compositions.

Piano Lab II (cancelled)

The goals of this course are to gain ease and dexterity at the keyboard, developing a confident piano technique and the skill of reading musical notation. Students will expand upon the skills learned in Piano lab I, adding to a basic repertoire of scales and chords, use them in improvisation and harmonization of melodies. In addition they will explore a repertoire that utilizes the musical components covered and learn to perform selected compositions.

Piano Lab I (MIN2232.01, section 1)

Introductory course in basic keyboard skills. Topics include reading notation, rhythm, technique, and general musicianship.

Piano Lab I (MIN2232.02, section 2)

Introductory course in basic keyboard skills. Topics include reading notation, rhythm, technique, and general musicianship.

Female Architect / Fictive Archive (VA4130.01)

A readings course centered on the Usdan Gallery survey of fictional twentieth-century Czech architect Petra Andrejova-Molnár, created by artist Katarina Burin as a feminist meditation on the absence and erasure of women designers within the modernist canon. Exhibition components such as biographical texts, staged photographs, drawings, furniture, décor, and models provide the setting for texts on themes including gender, authorship, the fictive archive, and the mythos of “the architect.”

The 2020 Election (APA2174.01)

This course looks at the Presidential candidates for 2020, their platforms, and how these platforms would impact American society. Additionally, the course will work to examine and conclude what issues are most important to Americans and how Americans view politics and the American Presidency at this time in the country’s history. In addition to required readings and writing assignments, student will be responsible for conducting significant research largely through the interview process.

The Scriptorium: Visual Culture (WRI2151.01)

This scriptorium, a “place for writing,” serves as a class for writers interested in improving their academic essay-writing skills. We will read to write and write to read. Much of our time will be occupied with writing and revising—essai means “trial” or “attempt”—as we work to create new habits and strategies for our analytical writing. As we practice various essay structures with the aim of developing a persuasive, well-supported thesis, we will also revise collaboratively, improve our research skills, and study grammar and style. Our aim is to learn to write with complexity, imagination, and clarity, as we read model examples of form and content in the field of Visual Culture. 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 or a monster? And, importantly, how do we perceive ourselves and others? Readings may include texts by Berger, Barthes, Rankine, Mulvey, Hall, Lorde, Keats, Douglas, Said, Butler, hooks, Chang, Halberstam, Gilman, Scarry, Plato, Sontag.

The Actor’s Instrument (DRA2170.02, section 2)

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.

Corequisites: Dance or Drama lab assignment

Improvisation: Somatic Nuance (DAN2143.01)

This is a class for those curious about their bodies’ potential for spontaneous, nuanced movement. We will begin with a slow warmup, emphasizing our natural desire to move. We will use varied improvisational structures or scores to create frames for attention. By gaining awareness in our bodies, we will improve our ability to move easily and articulately. We will explore dancing in small groups, alone and through partnership. We will aim for an expansive, expressive and joyful experience of moving.

Musical Explorations (MTH2278.01)

This Course is open to any and all students hoping to learn more about music who have limited [or no] experience reading music and limited or no experience studying music theory. The class will explore music notation through small composing assignments. We will also explore the basics of music theory, will study some of the high points of music history, with an emphasis on 20th and 21rst century music, and will do some open-ended creative assignments involving improvisation and the creation of music without notation. The course has no prerequisites. Those with previous experience performing as singer or instrumentalist are welcome, but previous experience is not required.

Corequisites: attendance at 6 music workshops

Beginning Composing (MCO4120.01)

This class explores and reviews notation and the rudiments of music through the act of composing small pieces for a variety of instruments. It is intended for students who have taken instrumental lessons for a few years or more and who can read music in at least one clef. It is meant for those who have never imagined composing music as well as for those who have already begun writing music. We will take a hands-on approach to learning about such matters as intervals, modes, key signatures, and the fundamentals of tonal harmony through using these musical elements creatively. The students are also encouraged to produce original creative work that is not tied to learning any particular materials, but simply reflect the student’s imagination and instincts. Students are requested to show work during the term at Music Workshop.

Corequisites: attendance at 6 music workshops

Intermediate Voice (MVO4301.04, section 4)

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.

Corequisites: Attendance and participation in Music Workshop (T 6:30pm – 8:00pm)

Intermediate Voice (MVO4301.03, section 3)

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.

Corequisites: Attendance and participation in Music Workshop (T 6:30-8:00)

Intermediate Voice (MVO4301.02, section 2)

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.

Corequisites: Attendance and participation in Music Workshop (T 6:30-8:00)

Intermediate Voice (MVO4301.01, section 1)

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.

Corequisites: Attendance and participation in Music Workshop (T 6:30pm – 8:00pm)

Embracing Difference (ANT2107.01)

Why are cultures and societies so different, and simultaneously, so similar? This introductory course examines some of the theoretical and methodological approaches of anthropology in exploring human culture and society. We explore various ethnographic examples to develop an anthropological perspective on economy and politics, social organization, kinship and family life, ideology and ritual, ecology and adaptation, as well as a focus on the sources and dynamics of inequality. Further, we focus on the dynamics of change in contemporary life-globalization, migration, political collapse, environmental calamity and social reorganization-and how these processes challenge social scientists to construct appropriate paradigms to describe and understand the production of cultural meanings in the increasingly globalized world, and to identify cultural differences and human universals.

Live Sound Technology (MSR2124.01)

This will be a hands-on, bare-bones, system-focused class on audio electronics. We will explore the smallest inputs to the largest outputs that are used in artistic performance. The class will focus on the technical applications of microphones, mixers, speakers and software for live productions such as plays, concerts, Dance performances and installations. Students will use what they have learned by setting up and running sound for Music Workshop and other performances on campus.

Corequisites: Attendance at Music Workshop (T 6:30-8:00)

Intro to Max (MCO2116.01)

This course will look at the versatile program of Max/MSP/Jitter, a high-level programming platform for sound and visuals. Our focus will be on the sonic capabilities of the program, though we will dip occasional into visuals, video, and sensing technologies. Students will develop independent research, and projects based on their interests and abilities, and must have an independent streak for troubleshooting and communal problem solving. Smaller exercises will show how to reproduce analogue problems in the digital realm, and bring us towards a sonic understanding of both. Visiting specialists will show how to bring Max into diverse interactions with other disciplines and new sensing technologies, from motion sensors, image tracking, and integration with Arduino.

Form and Process: Investigations in Painting (PAI2107.02, section 2)

This course introduces a variety of materials, techniques and approaches to painting with oils. 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.

Intermediate Violin/ Viola (MIN4232.01)

Basic techniques will include the reading music in treble and /or alto cleft in basic keys. Hand position including left-hand sifting and fingering will be shown, and a rudimentary facility with the bow will be developed in order for students to participate in simple ensemble performances by the end of the term.

Corequisites: must participate and perform at least twice in Music Workshop (Tu. 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm)

Beginning Violin/Viola (MIN2241.01)

Basic techniques will include the reading of music in either treble/or alto clefs in the easy keys. Basic hand positions and appropriate fingerings will be shown, and a rudimentary facility with the bow will be developed in order that all students may participate in simple ensemble performance by the end of the term. The student must have a basic knowledge of reading music. Students will participate in a showcase at the end of the term.

The student must arrange for the use of a college instrument if needed (contact Music Coordinator)

Corequisites: Participation Music Workshop T 6:30-8:00

Sing (MUS2148.01)

We will gather once a week to sing rounds, chant, chorales, work songs, protest songs, sea chanteys, Sacred Harp, and folk songs from around the world. The words are less important than the joy of singing as a community. No performances- evaluation is by attendance only. We will use our ears and simple notation to learn the music- no previous singing experience is necessary.

Bennington County Choral Society (cancelled)

The Bennington County Choral Society, a community chorus conducted by Cailin Marcel Manson, promotes choral singing by presenting several concerts per year, and eagerly invites student participation. Auditions are not required, and singers of all levels and abilities are welcomed. To receive credit, students must attend all rehearsals and performances. Performances may be held at various locations in Bennington, and transportation may need to be arranged. Contact Kerry Ryer-Parke for more information.

Interdisciplinary Seminar: Time (VA2120.01)

A semester-length exploration of time – first as a phenomenological experience; second as a scientific, social and fictional construct, e.g. clock time, atomic time, machine time, entropic time, queer time, and time travel; third as broken into the fundamental elements of time-based practices – duration and repetition, simultaneity and succession, break and flow, narrative arcs and logics – and differentiated between time elapsed within the work and time experienced by the audience. Readings will range from psychology to philosophy, social and scientific history, to film and literary theory and performance studies, as well as writing by artists and authors directly engaged with fundamental questions about the parameters of time-based practice. We will examine both the historical implications of the standardization of timekeeping, and the economic consequences of the invention of timetables, especially in relationship to the 19th-century imperial expansion that some have called the ‘conquering of space by time.’ Particular attention will also be paid to film and performance practices from the 1960s and early 70s, including Fluxus and Structuralism, and more recent projects that re-frame similar questions about duration for the theoretically infinite loops of new technologies. We will also look at contrasting approaches in art and philosophy informed by slowness and accelerationism. Students will produce one short (3-5 minute) project in the time-based medium of their choice at mid-term, which may be a collaboration, and may either write a paper or produce a longer (10-15 minute) project for their final.

Intermediate Video: The Question of The Document (FV4117.01)

Intermediate Video will build on technical skills introduced in Intro to Video. Students will be expected to produce several in-class technical exercises and short projects assigned by the instructor, and one final project of their own design. This semester of Intermediate Video will look at the question and current status of the document. What are the truth claims made by different genres and forms of film and video? How have artists sought to produce alternative forms of knowledge through work with embodied, indigenous, oral and fictionalized modes of transmission? How has this work been complicated by the current politicization of terms like “alternative facts” and “fake news”? And how has it been placed into question even within the art context by debates around who has the authority to address particular issues and histories?

Advanced Projects in Film and Video (FV4304.01)

This course, intended for students who will continue to the Advanced Projects in Film/Video II course in spring 2020, will support advanced students in planning, pre-production, and early production for more complex, larger-scale, longer-duration, self-directed video projects. In general, this course is intended and used by seventh-term students with a Plan concentration in Film/Video, but exceptions may be made with the permission of the instructor. Students will learn how to use treatments, shooting scripts, storyboards, shot lists, budgets and diagrams to plan narrative, documentary, experimental and installation projects. They will present and workshop ideas for projects, critique planning documents and test footage or rushes, and have individual meetings with the instructor. Guests will come in to walk us through their planning processes for projects in various disciplines. We will also look at well-known films and videos alongside their scripts and storyboards and discuss the notion of the film maudit, while screening some films about famously difficult, embattled and unfinished productions. Pre-requisite: Intermediate Video or permission of the instructor. Can also be taken with Intermediate Video as a co-requisite by permission.

Corequisites: Intermediate Video if not already taken

Forests: An Introduction to Ecology and Evolution (with lab) (BIO2109.01)

New England is one of the most heavily forested regions in the United States. 14,000 years ago it was covered by ice. When humans arrived about 11,000 years ago, they found extensive, well-established forests — and began reshaping the landscape through hunting and fire and, beginning about 2000 years ago, farming. European colonists caused further ecological change by expanding agriculture and bringing livestock, and by 1850 most of the region was cleared for agriculture. Most of that farmland has now become forested again. How do we understand and predict the workings of such a dynamic landscape? This course in ecology and evolution addresses the function and history of ecological systems, the adaptations and life-histories of organisms in habitat, and the evolutionary processes by which those adaptations emerged. We will use the mostly-forested ecosystems that dominate the local landscape to explore general concepts of ecology and evolution, and to develop research tools that will be applicable in the study of any ecosystem. This course is for anyone interested in how ecosystems work and why they are as they are; it will also prepare students for more advanced work in ecology and evolution. Ecology is a foundational science for Environmental Studies. There will be extensive field-work. There will be some quantitative analyses; students should be comfortable with basic mathematical problem-solving.

Global Environmental Systems in the Anthropocene (ENV4123.01)

It’s about anthropogenic climate change, but also the history of global systems over millennia and longer, effects of human civilization and agriculture on global nutrient and hydrological cycles, etc. — with focus on planetary scale. This course views global processes through the lens of ecosystem science (sometimes called ‘biogeochemistry’, which tells you something about the discipline’s scope). The biosphere functions at the interface of geological/geochemical, atmospheric, hydrological, and biological processes, and we will need to integrate understanding from all of these areas. We will focus particularly, but not exclusively, on the role of human activity in altering systems function at the global scale (thus ‘Anthropocene’ in the title). The core questions of the class will be science-based, but many will have direct implications for the viability of human ‘support systems’. Understanding of earth systems function is essential for deep understanding of human history and for effective address of environmental concerns in social, economic, and political arenas. Topics may include: how global systems can be/are studied and modeled; feedbacks between global climate processes (historical and future) and global ecosystem function; the interaction between historical development of agriculture, global nutrient dynamics, and likely future constraints on human nutrition/population; whether the ‘anthropocene’ concept makes sense and, if so, how to define it; how biosphere(s?) develop; etc. The work will include extensive reading in primary research literatures, which will call for basic competency in some branch(es) of the sciences — earth science, chemistry, ecology, will all be important but, most importantly, students should be comfortable wading into technical materials that are not entirely familiar — and comfort with quantitative thinking.

Queer Feminist Sculpture: The Space Between Us (APA4158.02)

In this seven-week seminar and studio, students will produce creative, self-directed projects across media (video, sound, sculpture, etc.) that deal with the space between us, or proxemics, the study of personal and interpersonal spatial politics. The seminar will center artists Jeff Kasper and Chloe Bass, in particular Kasper’s wrestling embrace, a customizable workshop co-designed by/with/for queer folks and Bass’ The Book of Everyday Instruction, an eight-chapter investigation into one-on-one social interaction, including a workbook, measuring ribbons, and writing tools for examining how we tell a story based on the proximity of two bodies in space. Students will learn about the work of Lygia Clark, Roni Horn, Franz Erhard Walther, Ana Mendieta, Erwin Wurm, Catalina Ouyang, and will create self-directed projects in critical and imaginative response to the field of proxemics. It is helpful to have taken at least one 2000 level course in sculpture, sound, or video prior to enrolling in this course. The archive for this course is drawn from The Study Center for Group Work: http://studycollaboration.com/practice/field-guide-spatial-intimacy

For registration please complete this form

Understanding Food Insecurity in Bennington County 1 (APA2173.01)

The issue of food insecurity has long been on the minds of those who live in Southern Vermont. In fact, Bennington County has been identified by the USDA as a “food desert”, meaning significant portions of its residents have limited access to healthy or locally-produced food. This course, the first in a sequence of three, will explore and review past initiatives, best practices in rural areas, and new research on the state of food insecurity in Bennington County and its reach as a systemic problem. The second course (Fall 2020) will develop coordinated engagement mechanisms and develop new strategies in response to the research and outreach; the third (Fall 2021) will focus on the implementation and assessment of new initiatives. Students enrolling in this course are not committed to enrolling in the subsequent courses.

As part of a grant from the Mellon Foundation on the topic of Food Insecurity, this centerpiece course will be designed by Bennington faculty as well as participants from Southwestern Vermont Health Care, Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, and Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services, to ensure both a shared vision for the larger curriculum and bi-directional knowledge creation. It will serve as a generative structure, helping to determine not only the shape and scope of at the larger food studies/systems curriculum, but also a range and number of co-curricular and community-based learning opportunities for students as well as opportunities to bring local partners into the classroom. The course will be advertised and open (free of charge) to members of the larger community who wish to enroll, enriching discussions on food insecurity and promoting the practice of the socially-engaged humanities.

Language in the Mediterranean: Integration, Fragmentation and Movement (LIN4103.01)

The Mediterranean represents a critical site of interaction between speakers of three of the world’s largest language families; nevertheless, linguists typically treat this contact and cross-pollination as an incidental, even distorting product of the families’ southern/northern/western peripheries, rather than as constituting a dynamic center of gravity for linguistic and sociolinguistic innovation.  In this course, we will explore the linguistic dimension of historical and ongoing Mediterranean encounters, and how language-based developments reflect or contribute to broader socio-historical cycles of integration, fragmentation and movement observed to operate in the region.  We will consider topics including literacy, linguistic imperialism/nationalism, multilingualism, transnational migration, and identity (de)construction as we work to identify forces and trends which shape the Mediterranean, past and present, as an ontologically valid community of linguistic practice with global reach.

Model Shop: Studies in Scale (VA4119.01)

This course is about the architectural model as a physical representation of structure. Students will work with a variety of materials, and at multiple scales to learn about both the practical uses of scale-models as well as the generative potential of scalar manipulation, and the miniature. Coursework will emphasize the importance of an organized digital and physical work-space, and students will learn methods of laying out and building physical models as studies, mock-ups or finished objects. We will study and discuss scale models made by architects, set designers, toy-makers, animators, and artists. At the end of the course, each student will present a scale model complete with scale figures.

Digital Life (MS2104.01)

Digital technology is changing our understanding of what it means to be human, and rewriting our definitions of life, the body, love, death, and other concepts and embodied experiences. Through engaging contemporary narratives like The Circle and Black Mirror, we will explore the theory of technogenesis—the idea that humans have always coevolved with their tools. We will read key works in media studies to historically contextualize contemporary changes within a longer range of technological shifts, from the emergence of written alphabets to the invention of moveable type, from cave paintings to moving images. What effect have these media technologies had on human consciousness, cognition, sensation, and experience? How does digitization preserve or change the meaning of analog archives and objects? Now that scientists have managed to store digital images in strands of synthetic DNA, what is happening to the boundary between digital technology and what we might have previously called “life itself”?

Race and Mediation (MS4102.01)

Media technologies, such as photography, were instrumental in establishing modern conceptions of race. But the reverse is also true—racial ideas deeply shaped our belief that media technologies have the ability to faithfully represent reality. In this advanced course, we will engage an exciting area of scholarship and artistic practice, located at the intersection of media archaeology, race theory, material culture, and visuality. We will pay particular attention to the co-emergence of modern conceptions of race and contemporary media technology. We will expand the category of “media” to include not only print, photography, and sound recording, but also taxidermy, arterial embalming, refrigeration, and digitization. How did race shape popular understandings of media technologies, and even substances, such as coal, gold, and cotton, in the 19th century? How does race continue to influence our conceptions of time-based media in the era of live-streamed violence and political protest? What role do racialized bodies now play in establishing the truth-value of digital media?

Movement Practice: Beginning-Intermediate Dance Technique (DAN2119.01)

In this basic intermediate course, we will work with imagery to help explore potential in the body. We will practice kinesthetic exercises that will help expand movement range, strength, and specificity. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the feeling of movement, deeply, and trusting it. From this we can understand how this feeling moves the body, and eventually how this body moves the space and bodies around it.

There are different kinds of effort involved in moving. We will look at these specifics in order to understand our affinities for particular movement. Once understood, it may open up a wide vocabulary. We will work on duration and endurance, so that they are not a hindrance. From there we can redetermine our capacities.

Movement Practice: Advanced Dance Technique (DAN4344.01)

In this advanced level course, we will focus on tapping into the subtle connections in the body. We will be using improvisational scores and somatic exercises to hone these connections and increase self-awareness. Gentle focus can be used to achieve high intensity movement. Tracking what we are doing as we do it–we will acknowledge the nervous system’s role in our movement efforts. It is important that we are able to do this with a non-judgmental mindset. We will learn to watch openly, gathering information from others, to increase possibilities in performance.

Performance Project : Ephemeral Archive (DAN4138.01)

We will collectively generate a new work; each person will play an integral role in the development of the project.  We will amass a large kind of historical archive from which we choose how to stage the work.  Using the voice and text,  we will push into rigorous physicality, exploring range and nuance. We will perform this in a concert at the end of the term.

Orchestration (MUS4013.01)

A primer in orchestration, for students who are selected to write for Sage City Symphony for their Spring concert. We will pore over the 19th and 20th century orchestral repertoire, getting to know instruments, ranges, and agilities. Analysis, piano reduction, and orchestration from grand staff will be used to internalize and hear orchestration. Students will be expected to create and get feedback on textural sketches of their future pieces.

Student to Student: A College Access Mentoring Program at Mount Anthony Union High School (APA4132.01)

In this course, college student mentors will work with high school student mentees to develop college aspirations and contribute to mentees’ knowledge about the college application process. Each week college students will travel to Mount Anthony Union High School to meet with their college student mentees for an hour. We will then return to Bennington College campus for the remaining class time during which we will discuss literature about mentoring and college access, as well as the plan for meeting with the high school students next week. Mentors will share their college access stories with their mentees and invite their mentees to discuss their own educational aspirations in shared storytelling sessions. Possible topics we will cover with the high school student mentees include the college application process, including searching for colleges and writing a personal statement, as well as the process of applying for financial aid. In this course, Bennington College students will have the opportunity to put a personal face on the often mystifying college application process and will develop mentoring and leadership skills as they do so.

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.

Aluminum and Stainless Steel Fabrication (SCU4103.02)

In this course we will focus on cutting and welding non-ferrous metals. CNC assisted plasma cutting will pair with the more traditional methods of shaping the material The fabrication processes will begin through brazing methods (acetylene and oxygen) for connecting non-similar metals then we will advance to learning the skills involved in using the GTAW welders for non-ferrous welding. This is a project based foundation course on a more advanced level. The student must have practiced and comfortably understand the processes in basic gas and electric welding.

Metal casting: Iron and Aluminum (SCU2211.01)

This course is designed to introduce students to the processes involved in casting Iron and Aluminum. Students will work with foundry wax and learn how to produce a sculpted object either by hand or that of some other method covered in class. These additional methods could include machining parts, 3d printing objects or casting from the body. After a form has been produced the student will create molds that will be used for casting in both Iron and Aluminum. The first couple of weeks will be focused on producing molds that will be included in an intercollegiate iron pour in Salem New York. Participating among other Colleges allow for large scale participation experience to the world of artists casting in metal. This first pour at Salem shows rigid scheduling and teaches safety practices that we will then bring back to Bennington to prepare for our own Aluminum pour here at the College.

Processes used include but not limited to: Developing sand part molds with Silbond, casting wax with alginate and plaster , lost wax methods, and proper safety measures are taught through out each step.

Our Curated World: Seeing a Trend Through the Lens of Tradition (VA2243.01)

From bookstore shelves to restaurant menus, a widening swath of contemporary life seems to involve, even require, the hand of a curator. So what exactly does it mean to BE a curator? Where did the profession of curator originate and how has it evolved? This introductory class considers historical examples of acquisition and display from the sixteenth century to today; curatorial models such as the encyclopedic collector, the cultural provocateur, and the globetrotting celebrity; and a range of installation contexts, from Wunderkammer to museum to art fair. Within this historical context, we consider the role digital technology plays in our desire for “curated” experience and the potential for curators as cultural producers.

“First World Problems” in Chinese Microcinema (CHI4520.01)

“First world problems” has become a prolific meme generating phrase. However, it can have deeper meaning. How is Chinese society dealing with its own “First world problems” , while simultaneously dealing with those of its own unique history? These are some of the questions we will explore through the lenses of Chinese Microcinema makers. Students will naturally advance their Mandarin linguistic competencies as they view, analyze and discuss Microcinema from China and Taiwan.

Corequisites: Language Series

What is Economics? (SCT2136.01)

“Economics is what economists do” says Jacob Viner. But what do economists do? And, how do they do it? This seminar will be concerned with these two questions. Our main objective will be develop an understanding of economics as a field of study and to explore how economics is applied to understand everyday issues that affect our material wellbeing. We will look at big issues, such as recession, unemployment, poverty and environmental degradations, as well as smaller issues, such as how to avoid paying too much money in a retail store, how rents of your apartment are determined, why online commercial websites can survive competition, and how automobile manufacturing companies can function profitably. In examining these large and small issue, we will explore how economists view the world and how economics has evolved as an intellectual discipline.

This is an introductory course and it has no prerequisites.

Economy and Ecology (PEC2253.01)

Simply put, economics deals with the material world, and ecology is concerned with the living world. How do the two worlds meet and interact? This seminar explores this intriguing question. This broad question can be analyzed in terms of more pointed queries: What are the feedbacks between the economic and the ecological systems? How do markets and incentives affect people’s behavior and decisions regarding nature? How do people’s behavior affect the changes in hydrological, nutrient or carbon cycles? How do the changes in climate and hydrological cycles bring about changes in economic production and consumption? What does environmental sustainability entail? Can egalitarian values like fairness and justice, and care values such as concern for living organisms and future- mindedness form the basis for the preservation and quality of human and nonhuman life? We will seek the answers to these questions in terms of analytical models drawn from the field of Ecological Economics, and in terms of case studies and illustrative examples drawn from real life practices of people.

This is an introductory course and it has no prerequisites.

Economic Development (PEC4105.01)

Much of economics is concerned with problems of development, as the essential object of the entire economic exercise is improvement in people’s material conditions of living and their quality of life. In this seminar we will examine the evolution in economic thinking about development—its nature, its causes, and the choice of strategies for facilitating the process of economic development through surplus generation, resource allocation, and economic distribution. And, we will explore some of the unsettled questions and key issues in development economics that remain to be resolved.

The seminar is designed for advanced students. The prerequisites for this course include at least two 2000-level courses in SCT. Preference will be given to students with prior knowledge in economics.

Prioritization of registration: Students should email the course instructor with an expression of interest, and explain in few sentences: a) why they are interested in this course; b) if the course fits with their academic plan, and, if so, how; c) if they fulfill the prerequisites for the course and what courses (that would satisfy the prerequisite criteria) have they taken before, stating the course name and level of prior courses in economics/political economy, SCT, mathematics, etc. The emails should be received by April 30th.

Philosophical Reasoning (PHI2109.01)

What is the difference between belief and knowledge? What makes me the same person now and in the future? Is there a purpose in life? These are some of the questions this first course in philosophy asks. It has two aims: To introduce you to the methods and procedures of philosophical argument and, second, to engage you in a critical dialogue with three central problems in philosophy – knowledge, personal identity, and meaning in life.

Sociology of Home (SOC2206.01)

What is home? What does it mean to have a home? What does it mean to leave home or to lose one’s home? To return home? To make a new home? How can we begin to explore these questions sociologically? In this class, we will move towards a sociology of home, as we read and grapple with many different meditations on and conceptualizations of home. Some topics we will explore include the forms homes might take, homelessness, experiences of social mobility, prisoner reentry, refugee and immigration crises, the 30th anniversary of the dissolution of the German Democratic Republic, and the removal of Native Americans from their homes. Throughout the term, we will use sociological frameworks to further illuminate what each of these examples has to teach us about home as sociological concept. Possible texts include Matthew Desmond’s Evicted, bell hooks’ Belonging, and Bruce Western’s Homeward, among others.

Education, Inc. (SOC4104.02)

In this course, we will examine the rise of market-based approaches to K-12 education reform in America. What are the theoretical arguments for implementing free market reforms in public schooling? What are examples of school choice policies and what are the consequences of these for students and families? How has the increased privatization and marketing of schools influenced the larger educational landscape? To what extent do free-market reforms contribute to racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic segregation in schools? We will examine current research addressing all of these questions, including the role that politics plays in producing school choice scholarship. Students will learn to apply a variety of theoretical frameworks used to examine school choice policies, including Milton Friedman’s free-market capitalism, Albert O. Hirschman’s concepts of exit, voice, and loyalty, and organizational ecology.

Experiential Anatomy/Somatic Practices (DAN2149.01)

This is a studio class for any discipline intended to deepen the understanding of your own moving body. We will be studying kinesthetic anatomy by approaching the material through visual, cognitive, kinesthetic, and sensory modes. Class time will be divided between discussion of anatomy and kinesthetic concepts, and engagement with the material experientially through movement visualization and touch. Movement exercises will be designed to integrate the anatomical information by increasing somatic awareness (strengthening body-mind connection). Various body systems will be examined: skeleton, organs, muscles, nerves, and fluids. We will study the parts of each, then how each system relates to the whole, providing support for an integrated, healthy, as well as artistically interesting movement practice. Class will be rooted in somatic movement approaches to movement education. We will read and discuss writings from key developers of the field, many of whom have had a major influence on contemporary thinking.

Tools such as drawing and writing will become the building blocks for making clear and concise anatomical awareness as well as serving to create a vehicle for the full and rich expression of the corporeal.

First-Year Dance Intensive (DAN2107.01)

Primarily for first-years, but for any student who has a serious interest in dance, whether or not they have previous dance experience. We will consider many aspects of dance making, embodiment, and performance. We will work towards constantly evolving ways to be one’s own teacher, by recognizing the patterns, heightening awareness of observation and selecting easier, more efficient, and more effective movement options. Improvisational structures will test and inform our making and moving; via screening/reading/composing, we will look in to the tools needed for developing and performing once own work. Collaborative and solo projects will be developed throughout the term, and will include a showing in Dance Workshop or in the end-of-term Studio Concert.

Corequisites: Dance Workshop, Thursdays 7 – 8:30 pm. Dance or Drama lab assignment

Camera and the Body: Peculiar Ways of Knowing (DAN4142.01)

This hands-on course co-taught by dance faculty Elena Demyanenko and guest video-artist Ray Sun will utilize moving camera exercises, selected film screenings and improvisational games to give students an opportunity to expand and refine their own visual sensibilities, with the goal of creating collaborative multi-media projects. We will explore and analyze the creative choices available and practical tools needed when we instigate an interactive relationship between camera and movement, filmmaker and performer. Together we will attempt to develop a common language that encompasses new systems of communicating, problem solving, and making.

Coursework will incorporate Isadora, a software for real time manipulation of the audio/video feeds, to deliver more complex, integrated multi-media scenarios.

Throughout the term, student work will be designed collaboratively, screened and critiqued. All students will be involved in working with video equipment and moving as performers. Video students should have taken Introduction to Video or should be taking it concurrently. Each dance student will be working closely in collaboration with a video partner. Previous experience with Isadora is not required.

 

Form and Process: Investigations in Painting (PAI2107.01, section 1)

This course introduces a variety of materials, techniques and approaches to painting with oils. 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.

Introduction to Video (FV2303.02, section 2)

This production course introduces students to the fundamentals of working in video and the language of film form. Drawing on the energy, intensity and criticality of avant-garde film and contemporary video art practices, students will complete a series of projects exploring dimensions of cinematography, mise-en-scène, editing and sound design before producing a final self-determined project. Concepts crucial to time-based media such as apparatus, montage and identification will be introduced through screenings, discussions and texts by a diverse range of artists, filmmakers, and theorists. Emphasis on technical instruction, formal experimentation, and critical vocabulary is balanced in order to give students a footing from which to find their own stakes in the medium.

Working With Light (DRA2234.01)

Lighting design has the powerful ability to shape the experience of an audience. Its practice incorporates elements of artistry and craft, and should interest those working in all aspects of visual and performing arts. In addition to hands-on work with theatrical lighting equipment in and outside of class, awareness of light, play analysis and conceptualization, color, angle, composition and focus are explored in class demonstrations and in a series of individual and group projects. Some reading (including two plays) and short writing assignments are also included, as is an introduction to lighting design documentation.

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

Introduction to Video (FV2303.01, section 1)

This production course introduces students to the fundamentals of working in video and the language of film form. Drawing on the energy, intensity and criticality of avant-garde film and contemporary video art practices, students will complete a series of projects exploring dimensions of cinematography, mise-en-scène, editing and sound design before producing a final self-determined project. Concepts crucial to time-based media such as apparatus, montage and identification will be introduced through screenings, discussions and texts by a diverse range of artists, filmmakers, and theorists. Emphasis on technical instruction, formal experimentation, and critical vocabulary is balanced in order to give students a footing from which to find their own stakes in the medium.

Senior Seminar in Society, Culture, and Thought (SCT4750.01, section 1)

This advanced research seminar offers students the opportunity to conduct culminating work in Society, Culture and Thought (SCT) in the form of an independent research project. For most students, this will be a one-semester project. For other students, this will be the first half of a year-long project that involves fieldwork, archival research, and/or the collection of data. For all students, however, the process in these fourteen weeks is very similar, if not exactly the same: all students must conduct a detailed review of the scholarly literature that informs their inquiry, and must begin to situate themselves within that scholarly conversation as an independent voice. We will begin the course by reflecting on the nature of SCT-related disciplines (Anthropology, Environmental Studies, History, Philosophy, Political Economy, Politics, Psychology, Social Psychology), and what it means to conduct individual research in these various disciplines. Aside from shared readings, students will be largely focused on research and readings directly related to their individual projects. Writing will take place throughout the term, and students will receive feedback from the instructor, from classmates, and from a second-reader on the SCT faculty. Individual work in progress will be discussed and workshopped in class.

The Physics of Light and Color (PHY2114.01)

The physics of light and color initially appears simple: light is a wave and the wavelength of light determines color. While this basic physical description of light is easy to state, going deeper quickly opens up large range of questions. How do different wavelengths of light combine to make colors? How does light from different sources interfere? How does light change path when it travels through different materials? How do humans sense light both in and outside of the visible spectrum? How does our perception of color affect how we interpret our world? Each question reveals a deeper level of detail and more complexity. While the fundamentals of this course will address the underlying physics of light and color, student interest will drive experimental projects in a variety of areas that extend the ideas of the course.

Students with an artistic interest in light and/or color who are interested in developing a deeper understanding of the physics that underlies our visual perception should find this class particularly interesting.

Hugh Crowl
T 8:30-12:10 (first seven weeks)
This course is categorized as All courses, Physics.

Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology (PHY4103.01)

Galaxies are massive collections of stars, gas, dust, and dark matter. They are both the birthplace of stars and planets and the signposts of the universe. By studying what happens inside galaxies, we are able to understand the conditions under which stars form. By studying the galaxies themselves, we can understand how the environment shapes their structure and makeup. By studying the distribution of galaxies, we gain insight into the structure and evolution of the universe as a whole. In this class, we will undertake a detailed, quantitative study of galaxies, with particular attention to the environment in which galaxies form and evolve and their place in the universe as a whole.

The Physics of Sound (PHY2278.02)

Physically, sound is simply the compression of air around us. However, this relatively simply description obscures a much richer understanding of sound. From how different sounds are generated and perceived to how different sounds can combine to make something new to how to design acoustically pleasant spaces, the physics of sound plays a key role. This course is about the fundamentals that underlie sound and is designed to serve as an introduction to those who are interested in going further. We will discuss wave theory, sound propagation, constructive and destructive interference, beats, and resonance, among other ideas. This course will be mixed between a lecture/discussion and a hands-on lab and students will be expected to design their own final project extending the ideas of the course.

Hugh Crowl
T 8:30-12:10 (second seven weeks)
This course is categorized as All courses, Physics.

Reading and Writing Poetry: Lyric & Persona (LIT4130.01)

Lyric poems express the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of a single, first-person speaker, often aligned with the poet themselves. Persona poems or dramatic monologues invoke the mask of another figure—fictional character, animal, plant, object, or person—to convey idea, emotion, and voice. Reading a diverse array of poems by poets from different eras, nations, and biographies, we will investigate the advantages and limitations of each mode of poetry, asking questions including: How can assuming a persona liberate the poet to speak about difficult personal subjects? How can lyric voice be expanded to encompass political concerns? When does invoking the persona of another become ethically dubious? Students will draft poems each week and engage in reading and discussion meant to stimulate thinking about how poets conceptualize, make, and shape their poems. You will give and receive critique in a workshop environment, expand approaches to drafting, and revise poems for a substantial final portfolio.

Co-requisite: Students are required to attend the Literature Evenings and Poetry at Bennington readings, typically held on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.

Feminist Fabulist Fiction (LIT2298.01)

Reading works by Ursula LeGuin, Octavia Butler, Angela Carter, Clarice Lispector, A. S. Byatt, Natsuo Kirino, James Tiptree, Jr., John Keene, Lindsey Drager, Han Kang, and others, we will investigate the realm of fabulist fiction or literary works invoking the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. We will read short stories, novels, and novellas that emphasize feminist, queer, and racially corrective meanings, analyzing the strategies that the authors enact to shape and re-shape meaning, while expanding the boundaries of non-realistic fiction. You will write weekly writing responses to assigned readings, present a group oral report, and write longer critical essays. For the final long assignment, you will have the option of writing a work of feminist fabulist fiction.

History of Animation (MA2137.01)

A brief history of animated images from the 1500s to the present day. The class will be split into watching documentaries and animations along with discussions. A quiz and short responses will be required.

Queer American Poetry: Stonewall to Present (LIT2297.01)

Often, same-sex desire exists as the sole portrayal and determining factor of whether or not a text dwells in queerness. But the idea of queer has never been solely about same-sex desire or even sexual desire at all. Contrary to expectation, poets for years have written about revolutionary ways to exist in a society that has made the self-proclaimed orthodoxy of gender presentation and sexuality the rule. In this class, we will study poets who wrote not only about their desire outside of typical gender norms and social expectations thrown onto LGBTQ people, but also their desire for emotional freedom, political freedom, and artistic freedom. We will see how queer poets have always been on the forefront of tearing down barriers, including those that existed in the craft and study of poetry. Writers may include Essex Hemphill, Adrienne Rich, francine j harris, Cam Awkward Rich, Jos Charles, Mark Doty, Jericho Brown, Olga Broumas, Mark Wunderlich, DA Powell, Ely Shipley, Ari Banias, Melvin Dixon, Eloise Klein Healey, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Thom Gunn and others. Assignments may include weekly response papers, a midterm assignment, and final paper/project.

Experimental Black Women Poetry (LIT4129.01)

Defining experimental poetry can be mystifying inasmuch as all writing can be considered experimenting with language. The notion of experimentation, however, has often been denied writers of African descent across the globe.  Often relegated to the margins in discussions of innovative and avant garde poetics, Black women have throughout time lead the charge of excavating from language once-unknown possibilities that lean into care and transgression as needed for survival and expression. In this class, students will explore how the ideas of experimental, innovative, and radical have been applied by Black women poets who, in their work, subvert notions of womanhood as domestic and tame, and disrupt notions of Blackness as commonplace and unimaginative. We will poetry and critical works by essential Black women poets such as M. Nourbese Philip, Harryette Mullen, Gwendolyn Brooks, Evie Shockley, Robin Coste Lewis, Duriel Harris, Ruth Ellen Kocher, Lillian Yvonne Bertram and others. Assignments may include weekly response papers, a midterm paper, and a final paper.

Co-requisites: Students are additionally required to attend all literature evenings and Poetry at Bennington events, held most Wednesdays at 7pm

Russian Jewish Literature and Film (LIT2203.01)

The roots of Russian Jewish literature reach back into the Pale of Settlement of the pre-revolutionary era. The vibrant cosmopolitan city of Odessa on the Black Sea provided an important cultural model for the style and political stance of Jewish literature written in Russian. Although Stalin’s purges and the second World War affected all social levels and ethnic groups within the Soviet Union, the Russian Jewish historical experience provided a highly distinctive perspective onto these tragic events, as reflected in the uncompromising poetry of Osip Mandelstam, and the path-breaking fiction and memoirs of Vasily Grossman and Yevgenia Ginzburg. The work of contemporary Russian Jewish authors and filmmakers reflects the complexity of the immigrant experience in Europe, North America, and the Middle East. We will also examine the diverse responses of writers to the present-day redrawing of the political map of Russia and Ukraine.

Madame Bovary & Middlemarch: Small Worlds, Big Novels (LIT4128.01)

Virginia Woolf once famously said of Middlemarch that it was “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people” and George Eliot’s novel is widely considered one of the best novels, written in English, of the 19th Century. Gustav Flaubert’s Madame Bovary is considered by many as one of the best novels ever written and is perhaps the first ‘modern’ novel ever published. In this course, we will tackle them both, exploring the provincial worlds of England and France, looking closely at these two different heroines and the authors behind each of them. We will dive deep into the language and structure of these novels, how they compare to each other as well as to their contemporaries, and what influences these works have had on the novels that came after them, paying close attention to historical and social contexts in which both writers created their works. Students will be responsible for class presentations and critical essays. Students are additionally required to attend all literature evenings and Poetry at Bennington events, held most Wednesdays at 7pm. Students interested in enrolling in this course will be required to submit a four to six-page writing sample, either creative or scholarly.

Corequisites: Enrolled students are required to attend all literature evenings and Poetry at Bennington events, held most Wednesdays at 7pm

Contemporary Native American Literature (LIT4126.01)

As Stephen Graham Jones writes in his essay, “Letter to a Just-Starting-Out-Indian-Writer and Maybe to Myself”: So many readers and critics and students and professors, they don’t engage [Native] writing as art, they engage it as an ethnographic lens they can use to focus attention on peoples and cultures and issues and crimes and travesties and all the ‘other’ that’ll fit in a discussion. This course will engage contemporary Native American Literature as it’s meant to be engaged: as art. The course will begin its exploration of Native American writers with James Welch and Leslie Marmon Silko, sliding then into the worlds of Louise Erdrich and Debra Magpie Earling and Linda Hogan, the shifting narrative points of view of Tommy Orange, the short stories Toni Jensen, the genre-bending novels of Stephen Graham Jones and Rebecca Roanhorse, the electrifying poetry of Tommy Pico, Natalie Diaz, Joy Harjo, and Layli Long Soldier, and the boundary and form-breaking non-fction of Elissa Washuta and David Treuer. Students will be responsible for class presentations and critical essays. Students are additionally required to attend all literature evenings and Poetry at Bennington events, held most Wednesdays at 7pm. All students applying for this course must submit a writing sample — scholarly or creative — between four and six pages long.

Corequisites: Students enrolled in this course are required to attend Wednesday night literature events.

Screenwriting: Scene and Structure (LIT2354.01)

Reading contemporary screenplays and story treatments, we will discuss the structure and scene work that goes into writing a successful screenplay. Almost without fail, all screenplays utilize a familiar and easy to learn three-act structure, but the very best screenwriters manipulate this structure nimbly via character development, excellent dialogue, and strong storytelling techniques. Students will learn how to write coverage and script analysis, how to spot the three-act structure and how it can be subtly tweaked and broken to best serve the story’s interests. Students will write treatments and scenes for their own original feature film ideas, and in the process will learn the formal constraints of a screenplay, formatting, scene development, and how to write effective and compelling dialogue. Most of the semester will focus on reading and discussing screenplays but the class will screen a select number of films over the course of the semester in order to see how moments on the page translate to the screen.

Chinese Zen (CHI4323.01)

Although it was born in India, Buddhism has had a deep and profound influence on Chinese and East Asian culture, but this philosophy remains relevant to modern life in both the East and West. Students will be introduced to the spirit of Buddhism through modern Mandarin interpretations of classic Chinese Buddhist poems and stories. Students will explore Chinese Buddhist concepts while building on their competencies in listening, speaking, reading and writing Mandarin Chinese. Each class or every other class, students will be given a different Buddhist text translated into modern Chinese along with a vocabulary list and grammar points for that reading. Students will be expected to read the text and prepare to discuss it in Chinese with the teacher and classmates during the next class meeting.

All students will meet in small groups once a week with the teacher outside of the regular classes.

Corequisites: Language Series

Introduction to Harmony (MTH2128.01)

A nuts-and-bolts overview of tonal harmony, from scales and chords to voice leading. At first we’ll focus on the harmonic practices of Classical and Baroque music, later broadening our focus to a variety of pop, jazz, and contemporary music. Emphasis will be placed on creative work, and students will be asked to compose (and perform) pieces in a variety of harmonic styles. Separately scheduled ear-training and sight-reading labs will help internalize these harmonic concepts. Students should be able to read music.

Adobe Creative Suite for Artists (DA2102.01)

This course introduces artists to Adobe Creative Suite via Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Together we will explore the individual capabilities of each program and how to bridge between them. We will also learn best practices in creating and managing digital files.

Students will apply skills learned to their own creative projects and ideas. They will also have the opportunity to work with the laser cutter and large format printers, translating their digital ideas into physical objects.

Music Theory I – Applied Fundamentals (MTH2274.01)

An introduction to music theory course. Music theory fundamentals will be taught utilizing voice (singing) and an instrument in hand. Knowledge of the piano keyboard will be learned and utilized. Curriculum will span the harmonic series, circle of 5ths, scales and chords to ear training, harmonic and rhythmic dictation, and beginning composition. Course will include singing, aural, and listening components as well as written work. Instrument choices include: voice, guitar, banjo, mandolin, mountain (lap) dulcimer, hammer dulcimer, violin family, woodwind instruments, and piano. Student must bring their own instrument to class.

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.

Fiddle (MIN2227.01)

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 Music Workshop, or as part of a concert, in ensemble and/or solo.

Mandolin (MIN2229.01)

Beginning, intermediate and advanced group or individual lessons on the mandolin will be offered. Students 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.

Corequisite: Must participate in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30 – 8:00 pm).

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.

Logic, Proofs, Algebra, and Set Theory (MAT2410.01)

This introductory course should be of interest to students planning additional study in mathematics as well as those wanting looking for a mathematics course of more general interest. The topics and skills covered in this class will be fundamental in all advanced mathematics classes and may therefore be used as a prerequisite for Calculus A and Linear Algebra. The class should also be of interest to students of philosophy, and to anyone seeking to improve their ability to reason and form clear arguments. No background in mathematics is assumed. Topics will include symbolic logic and rules of inference; how to write mathematical proofs; the beginnings of abstract algebra, including Boolean algebras; extensions of high school polynomial algebra; and set theory, including the theory of infinite sets. There will be a brief introduction to the successes of Hilbert’s formalism program, and its limitations in Gödel’s theorems.

Discrete Mathematics (MAT4139.01)

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.

La famiglia: Literary Portrayals of the Modern Italian Family (ITA4610.01)

In Italy, no other institution has been credited as much as the family for keeping the country afloat during periods of financial decay, and cursed, at the same time, for hindering the country’s social progress. Three short novels will guide us in the exploration of the modern Italian family: Melania Mazzucco’s Sei come sei, Elena Ferrante’s I giorni dell’abbandono, and Domenico Starnone’s Lacci. Students will expand their knowledge of Italian literature, culture, and history while improving their critical analysis, writing, and research skills. They will tackle Italian advanced grammar and syntax, and write longer essays thus progressing towards proficiency. Conducted in Italian. Intermediate-high and advanced levels combined.

Corequisites: Language Series

Life Stories (FRE4604.01)

This course will focus on perfecting your written French through creative autobiographical writing. Literary readings will offer both a critical perspective on a wide variety of autobiographical genres as well as models for inspiration and imitation in your own writing. We will also examine style and register while striving to master some of the stylistic and grammatical difficulties which confound even native speakers. Workshop sessions will allow students to present each others’ work in a workshop setting. Conducted in French. Intermediate-high level.

Corequisites: Language Series

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. Advanced level. Conducted in French.

Corequisites: Language Series

Dining Culture in China (CHI2117.01)

“Have you eaten yet?” This common Chinese greeting is just one of many common phrases that shows the centrality of food to Chinese culture. In this course we will focus on the theme of Chinese food and dining culture as an entrée into the study of Chinese language and culture. As Chinese grammar is very simple with no verb conjugation, no plural, no gender, no articles or subject and object forms, it is very easy to speak Chinese. Students will be able to begin speaking Chinese from the very first class and be able to engage in a lot of daily conversation after one term.

Also by studying the form of the most basic Chinese characters students will simultaneously gain insights into traditional Chinese cultural values while learning to read and write Mandarin. “Let’s do Chinese!” Chinese food? Yes, but also language and culture.

Corequisites: Language Series

Diversity of Coral Reef Animals (BIO2339.01)

Coral reefs are among the most diverse, unique and beautiful of ecosystems on the planet. Alas, they are also quite vulnerable to various environmental assaults and most of the reefs on earth are in real jeopardy. Students will learn the taxonomy, identification and characteristics of the animals which live in coral reefs. We will discuss the major biological innovations that have permitted the evolution of these extraordinary ecosystems. This course can serve as a prerequisite for the winter Field Course in Coral Reef Biology in Grand Cayman.

Adaptation or Extinction: Animals & 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.

Exploring the World Through Research (ANT4238.01)

How do social scientists gather primary data for the study of social life? This workshop course provides an opportunity for students to learn and practice the fundamental non-positivist research techniques necessary to study of social phenomena, namely interviewing, participant observation, and focus group discussions. Workshops and field projects will provide the opportunity for students to use these techniques on topics of their own interest. Methodological and theoretical perspectives will be examined, as will methods for recording, analyzing, interpreting and writing up qualitative data.

Anthropology of Art (ANT4212.01)

This course is an exploration of art as defined and practiced in different cultures. We will look at how peoples of diverse world cultures create, use, manipulate, conceptualize, exchange, and evaluate objects of material culture. We will look at how material items are considered to be artistic or aesthetic in some fashion, and think of how and if we can translate those values across cultural boundaries.

Programming Languages (CS4116.01)

This class will look at a variety of different programming languages, both common and obscure. In this class, we’ll look at functional programming languages, object oriented programming languages, and languages that combine these paradigms. We will look at interpreted vs compiled languages, and look at the differences in memory management systems between languages. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of different programming languages by looking at them side by side. Students will think critically about how the architecture of a language influences the applications of that language. Experience programming in at least one programming language is required for this class.

Conflict Resolution: Theory & Practice (MED2116.01)

This course will present an interdisciplinary approach to the theory of conflict resolution. Theories of conflict resolution, not mediation skills, 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, 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. Reflections, presentations, and final paper are also part of the syllabus.

Living in Translation: A Student-Run Literary and Cultural Publication (LIT2347.02)

This course, while rooted in Literature, is part of the Lexicons of Migration cluster. Taking as a point of departure Isabelle de Courtivron’s touchstone Bilingual Lives: Writers and Identity, students will update, complicate, and enrich the binary orientation of this collection, originally published in 2003. We will delve into the personal, familial, communal, and political dynamics of living diasporic, multi-lingual and multi-cultural lives. Our readings will include Madhu Kaza’s Kitchen Table Translation, Mireille Gansel’s Translation as Transhumance, and ark Polizzotti’s Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto; and a wide array of poems, stories, and hybrid texts from around the world.

Students will conceive, commission, edit, and design this online publication, which may culminate in a one-off print volume. There is the potential for editorial cooperation with students from Bard, Sarah Lawrence and Vassar; editorial calls for student submissions may be national and international.

We will host distinguished guest writer-translators; attendance at these events is mandatory.

Students from all disciplines are welcome.

InTranslation: Lives, Texts, Testimony (LIT2279.01)

What does it mean to be “rooted,” “uprooted,” “living in translation”? Can a language, literary tradition, or far-flung literary republic be one’s homeland? Does “cultural authority” derive from being considered “native”? How is it that immigrant literary translators have been met with apprehension on the part of publishers? Might this stem from definitions of “fluency” and “expertise” that are themselves full of anxiety, confusion, political vexation, and even bias? What about the age-old debate between “domesticating” texts from elsewhere and making the reader aware of the palpable signs of “foreign-ness” in the original? Should a language have a legitimized “standard” usage? These, and other questions, will fuel our discussions.

Course-Connected Visiting Translator Series: “Immigration and Diaspora” Attendance at Guest Readings is mandatory.

This class is part of the Lexicons of Migration Consortium with Bard, Sarah Lawrence and Vassar. There will be opportunities for exchange with the students and faculty from these partner institutions

Performance Project: The Dynamic Group (DAN4137.01)

How are groups identified, formed, reformed, sustained, absorbed, or disbanded? What is an individual’s responsibility towards the group? How is individuality acknowledged within the group? How do individuals handle becoming inseparable from the group?

In this project, we will investigate these questions though movement and discussion. We will work in groups, shifting participants, and place those groups in relationship to other groups, objects, costumes, spaces, lighting conditions, etc. Something that looks like one group from the outside may actually be a collection of three groups internally. We are looking for unpredictable dynamics, patterns, and ultimately surprise.

This class will culminate in some form of performance at the end of the term. As such, this class will periodically require additional meetings outside of scheduled class time.

Language as System and Social Behavior (LIN2101.01)

In this course, students will examine the building blocks which make up the interlocking systems of language and observe how those systems are enacted and granted layers of meaning through social practice. Beyond developing an understanding of the basic mechanics of sound systems, word-meaning relations, and the expression of grammatical values in languages of the world, we will also explore how these complexes become “real” through contextualized use, and how speakers utilize them to project identity, influence social structures, pursue creative innovation, and interact with those around them on multiple simultaneous levels. Throughout the course, we will further maintain a critical eye on questions of language as they arise through daily life (from interpersonal interactions to broader causes of social justice and equity), and on how we as individuals may address such issues in a manner that is both productive and globally aware.

The Film Trailer Project (FRE4603.01)

In this course, French films are used as linguistic and cultural textbooks. While honing their language skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing), students will focus their critical skills on selected cultural topics (food, clothes, history, gestures, etc.). Students will create film trailers that reflect their understanding of the French linguistic and cultural realities. Films include L’argent de poche (Truffaut, 1976), Rue Cases-Nègres (Palcy, 1983), Au revoir les enfants (Malle, 1987), Chocolat (Denis, 1988), Comme une image (Jaoui 2004), Vers la tendresse (Diop, 2016). A common website and in-class presentations will allow students to share and discuss their findings. Conversation exchanges with native speakers will enrich the exploration of these representations of the French-speaking world. Intermediate Low. Conducted in French.

Corequisites: Language Series

Chemistry 3 (CHE4213.01)

Chemistry 3 focuses on why chemical reactions happen, what the steps are, how we discover them, and how we use this to look at practical problems such as the synthesis of drugs, or the kinetics of atmospheric reactions. Emphasis will be on mastering general principles of chemistry such as nucleophiles and electrophiles, molecular orbital concepts, thermodynamics and kinetics in order to guide an understanding of specific reactions. The latest research will be used to relate the chemical concepts to current applications. Students will read, present and discuss research articles to demonstrate the ability to apply the chemical ideas to new situations.

Corequisites: Chem 3 lab

Applied Computing: Foundations of Python Programming (CS2119.01)

In this introduction to computer science, you will learn to design, implement, test, and analyze algorithms and programs using Python, currently one of the most widely used programming languages in the world. Within the context of programming, you will learn to formulate problems, think creatively about solutions, and express those solutions clearly and accurately. Problems will be chosen from practical examples such as graphics, image processing, cryptography, data analysis, astronomy, video games, and environmental simulation. The course will include remote video instruction, interactive media, as well as collaborative team projects. As part of the course, you will also hear from engineers from Google about their careers in the tech industry and how you can prepare yourself for a similar career. Prior programming experience is not a requirement for this course.

Students planning to continue studying in computer science can take either this course or CS 2124 , but they cannot enroll in both.

Science Fiction as Agent of Change (FV4223.01)

This is a seminar, screening and production half-semester course, based on themes within Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction as means to imagine a different future.  In the first half we will be viewing films, from big budget to experimental and performance-based video art, while also listening to music, audio plays, and reading experimental and theoretical texts to support weekly thematic discussions. We will contrast Hollywood narratives against historical films like Born in Flames, Space is the Place, Fresh Kill, and Flaming Creatures, alongside the work of many contemporary artists.  Further, we will be reading texts by Gayatri Spivak, José Esteban Muñoz, Laboria Cuboniks, and Fred Moten, among others – texts conceptualizing the urgency in reimagining the future to make room for identities in alterity in the present.  In the second half of the course students will work towards a short self-formed project in either film/video, script, or critical/experimental text.  Entry into the class is predicated on the professor’s permission, and those interested must submit a sample of recent work in either moving image or text.

Italy Yesterday and Today (ITA2118.01)

This course introduces students to Italian language and culture. It focuses on the social changes that Italy has undergone during the past thirty years in many spheres of its social life, such as the family, education, the environment, and politics, and with regard to several issues, for instance gender equality, diversity, and immigration. By the end of the semester, students will be able to produce simple sentence-level discourse, orally and in writing. Emphasis is on oral communication and performance. This is a language introductory course, taught entirely in Italian. No previous knowledge of the language is either necessary, or desirable.

Corequisites: Language Series

Mallet Percussion Ensemble (MPF4106.01)

Mallet Percussion Ensemble explores a variety of musical techniques while creating compositions for the mallet keyboard instrument. Works for mallet percussion are learned or arranged from composers such as Bach, Fernando Sor, Gordon Stout, Franz Schubert, Jobim, Miles, and popular songs. No prior experience for playing mallet keyboards is required, but reading music and pattern recognition is a plus. Rehearsing individually and attending lab as a group is highly recommended. Presenting solo and ensemble works-in-progress for music workshop and campus events are encouraged.

Corequisites: Piano, Composition.

Drumming: An Extension of Language (MIN2120.01)

This course serves as an introduction to rhythms, chants, and musical practices from Africa, Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, and the African Diaspora. Using indigenous percussion instruments from these territories, students will use their hands, mallets, and sticks to play traditional folkloric rhythms and melodies. Additional topics will cover history, culture, language, and dance. This class serves the greater Bennington community in the fall by partnering with the South Western Vermont Medical Center. Near the end of term students will share their work with residents in SVMC. A weekly practice lab is expected.

Bebop, Rock & Beyond I (MIN4216.01)

Bebop, Rock & Beyond is a drum set course exploring the musical techniques associated with cutting edge drummers while expanding your musicianship. We will look at the drumming architects of Bebop and Rock, such as Max Roach, Elvin Jones, John Bonham, and Bill Buford, in addition to innovative musicians who are taking drum set playing Beyond the traditions of rock and jazz. This course is for drummers who have taken drum set lessons, practice regularly, and are looking to learn and fine-tune their fundamentals in these musical genres on this instrument. Reading music notation is not required, but will help when analyzing specific work, and learning specific pieces. We will use audio, video, and technology to broaden our learning experience. Bebop, Rock & Beyond II will be offered in the spring term of 2020.

Advanced Computer Graphics (CS4103.01)

In this class, we’ll be going under the hood to understand how 3D graphics work by implementing our own 3D renderer.  We’ll talk about how to represent and manipulate shapes mathematically, simulating the ways light interacts with these virtual objects to generate realistic images.  We will start with the basics and add on each week, taking care that the code not only works, but can be easily built upon week to week.  Students will come away from this class with experience building a large scale graphics project.

Exploring the Work and Legacy of Jerzy Grotowski (DRA2219.01)

“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

Jerzy Grotowski is considered one of the most influential theater practitioners of the 20th century. In this course we will explore the many phases of his research over forty years of unique and rigorous theatrical investigation. We will begin with the Theater of Performance and continue on through his Paratheatrical phase, Theater of Sources, Objective Drama and Art as a Vehicle. We will also investigate the work of several of the countless theater artists whose work he inspired. We will read Towards a Poor Theatre. Assignments will include a mid-term paper and a final paper/project.

Advanced Scene Study (DRA4150.01)

The goal of this course is to develop an in-depth understanding and practice of the actor’s craft. Specific emphasis will be placed on text analysis, choice making, character development–vocal and physical–and full emotional preparation. We will use cold readings, contemporary and classical scene work and monologues. Students will address any weaknesses in preparation and performance; and learn to strengthen them using a variety of approaches including Meisner Technique, Viewpoints and the Stanislavski System.

Students will be expected to present in class every week. There will be a strong emphasis on extensive outside-of-class rehearsals and preparation (6-8 hours per week) to ensure that work progresses. There will be a final presentation of scenes at the end of the term.

Corequisites: Dance and Drama Lab Assignment

Insider Perspectives on the Francophone World (FRE2103.01)

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 (friendship and family relationships, housing, leisure, work, and food culture) reflect culturally specific ideologies and values. Emphasis will be placed on developing ease, fluency, and sophistication in oral and written expression. Designed for students with no previous study of French, this class will revolve around authentic materials from the Francophone world (video, music, advertisements, literary texts). Introductory level. Conducted in French.

Corequisites: Language Series

The Web as Artistic Platform (DA2110.01)

This course is an introduction to creative practices with digital technologies specifically focused on creating online 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 (for prepping images for the web), 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.

Foundations of Photography: Digital Practice (PHO2153.01)

This course offers an overview of foundational tools and techniques in digital photographic practice. Students will learn to shoot with digital SLR cameras, process raw files in Lightroom, properly scan negatives, and produce digital portfolios and high quality inkjet prints. In addition to technical instruction, a selection of images from historical and contemporary photography will be shown and short readings and videos will provide additional context and encourage reflection on the impact of recent technical and social changes. Class time will include demonstrations and supervised practice, group critiques, and discussions. Assignments will be given on a weekly basis throughout most of the term, and self-directed final projects will allow students to creatively express their technical skills as they explore their own questions and concerns. Please note that a Mac-compatible external hard drive and inkjet photo paper are required for this course.

Image Objects (PHO4103.01)

As recent exhibitions and publications such as What is a Photograph? (The International Center of Photography, 2014), A Matter of Memory: The Photograph as Object in the Digital Age (George Eastman Museum, 2016), and Photography is Magic (Charlotte Cotton, Aperture, 2015) attest, there are many contemporary artists whose work with photography draws increased focus to material and spatial concerns, and whose creative expression extends beyond traditional fine art prints to encompass experiments with alteration and intervention, scale, texture, form, and installation. Through group critiques, assignments, slideshows, and readings, this course explores the broad range of physical forms that photographic works can take. While learning about past and present artists who have pushed the boundaries of the medium, students will expand their own creative practices, research new materials and processes, and work to advance self-directed projects through feedback and revision. Designed for those who have taken Photography Foundations, and ideally at least one other four-credit photography course, Image Objects aims to challenge, complicate, clarify and deepen students’ understanding of their work in progress as they resolve its production both formally and conceptually.

Photography Remade (PHO2155.01)

This 2-credit course invites students to remake existing images, and explores digital techniques for adding, removing, combining, rearranging, and distorting content. Students are welcome to shoot their own photographs, however this is not required, and it is not necessary to have a camera. Instead, the emphasis will be on how to work creatively with image selection, manipulation, and display. The primary technical goal of the course will be to develop students’ skills in Photoshop, focusing on advanced, non-destructive techniques including a range of tools for selections and masking, multiple adjustment layers, and blending modes. Students will learn to make bold modifications, clean-edged collages, and seamless composites, while deepening their understanding of related historical and contemporary work. Readings, discussions, and slideshows will examine themes of redaction, negation, and erasure, as well as collecting, copying, collaging, and the complex relationship between photography and truth. We will also look at image manipulation in mobile apps and discuss how our relationship with photography is influenced by new technologies like augmented reality. Class time will include technical demonstrations and supervised practice in the digital photo lab, as well as group critiques and discussions. Students will be responsible for completing creative and technical assignments, readings, and a self-directed final project.

Introduction to Sound Recording and Mixing (MSR2141.01)

This course will offer an introduction to studio recording techniques through recording sessions, hands-on exercises, lectures, and critical listening sessions. We will cover basic sound acoustics, spot and stereo microphone techniques, signal flow, audio processing, and creative and unconventional music recording techniques. We will record various genres of music in a collaborative setting. This course will also introduce the fundamentals of mixing techniques.

Students who have previously taken “Introduction to Recording” will not be permitted to take this class.

Movement Practice: Intermediate-Advanced Dance Technique (DAN4148.01)

This intermediate-advanced level movement practice is designed for students with prior experience in dance technique. In this class, we will hone in on the importance of balancing controlled and spontaneous action as well as internal and external movement through using a series of improvisational and compositional practices. We will be learning longer and complex movement phrases that are structured with principles from Water Body Movement (“Body is a container filled with water. Movements are a flow of the water.”) Bringing conscious thought and heightened awareness to both interior and exterior spaces, we deepen our understanding about the unity of our body/mind and how it functions as a whole. We aim to maximize each student’s performance skills and cultivate personal ways to understand how to use one’s own body.

Movement Practice: Beginning Dance Technique (DAN2121.01)

This beginning dance course requires no previous dance training.

Students are introduced to some basic principles of dancing by learning various movement patterns. The class also introduces the use of breath and somatic practices, which reflect some principles of Zen and Japanese somatic practices such as butoh and Water Body Movement (or Noguchi Taiso).  Attention will be given to cultivating and sharpening each student’s awareness of time, space and energy, in order to understand and maximize the individual’s unique physical impulses and expressions.  At the same time, we will be disciplining the body to move rhythmically and precisely with clear intentions and awareness.

Artist’s Portfolio (DAN4366.01)

Explaining artwork often goes against the grain, yet artists are regularly called upon to articulate their processes, tools, and dynamics of collaboration. To help secure any of the myriad forms of institutional support including funding, venues, and engagements, artists must develop–creatively and flexibly–essential skills. Finding a public language for what is the private process of creation is an art in itself. Furthermore, understanding and discovering ways to adapt to changing economic realities is a critical component of making work; bringing the work into the world is a natural part of the artist’s process.

This course addresses basic issues involved in generating, developing, producing, and presenting artwork. Students will write artist statements, press releases, biographical statements, resumes, CV’s, grants and cover letters; will prepare budgets; will organize promotional portfolios/videotapes; will interview each other; and will give short lecture demonstrations.

Advanced Projects in Dance (DAN4795.01)

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.

Corequisites: Dance Workshop (Th 6:30-7:50); Dance or Drama Lab Assignment

Theories of Psychotherapy (PSY4108.01)

This course addresses the history of the “talking cure” with a systematic look at the links between psychological theory and therapeutic technique. The practice of psychoanalysis and analytic therapy is investigated through a reading of some of Freud’s papers on technique. The historical development of psychotherapy, including later developments in analysis, behavior therapy, cognitive-behavior therapy and hypnosis, is also investigated. The course concludes with a look at other forms of behavior change, including 12-step programs and meditation, with an emphasis on the theories of behavior change invoked by practitioners of therapeutic arts and explanations invoked by practitioners of the social sciences. Students will complete a short mid-term paper and an oral presentation of a psychotherapy case from the published literature and an extensive final paper on course topics.

Normality and Abnormality: Defining the Limits (PSY2206.01)

This course is an examination of the idea of normality as a central organizing principle in psychology. We begin with an effort to define normality and/or psychological health, and then move on to examine the limits or borders of normality. The course examines the value-laden, historically determined, and political nature of psychological normality. Topics discussed include: psychoanalytic contributions to the study of psychopathology (Freud and Erikson); normality and creativity; contemporary psychiatry; and the politics of mental illness.

Students write two short and one longer final paper on issues raised in the course.

Analog/Digital Process in Ceramics (CER4107.01)

This course investigates the material nature of clay as a medium to create three-dimensional forms. Students will explore the material aspects of clay using a variety of mechanical/digital processes and the intersection of traditional hand building methods, including extrusions, slab rolling, slip casting and digital fabrication. Drawing will be used throughout the term to inform all conceptual and applied applications. Collaboration will be central in some of the assignments. The research collected though these assignments will be used to convey ideas of form, process, repetition, originality and appropriation. Students are expected to participate in all aspects of the ceramic process which include mixing their own clay, slip and glaze preparation, and loading and firing of kilns.

The Hollow Form: Introduction to Ceramics (CER2145.01)

The objective of this class is to help students learn the breadth of hand building techniques in the ceramic arts that have given rise to a vast history of ideas 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 and abstract sculpture and will require personal investigation and resolution. Students will be involved in the study of various historical and contemporary perspectives. Durning the term 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 and tools will be required to be purchased in this course

Experimental Sound Practices (MSR2123.01)

In this introductory course, students will expand their understanding of electroacoustic music by creating their own sonic narratives. The topics will include soundscape composition, 3D sound recording, surround sound (5.1), site-specific sound work, and electromagnetic field listening. There will be an emphasis on production and experiential learning through exercises and workshops. Along with readings and discussions, we will look at various examples from sound art and experimental music. This course is introductory; however, it is open for students who want to incorporate sound-based works in their interdisciplinary projects at any level.

Transnational Feminist Geography (SCT2138.01)

What is the global? What is the transnational? Are these spaces of connection, of division, of possibility, or dislocation? What does solidarity mean, how is it practiced (or critiqued), and whom does it benefit? This course aims to grapple with the complexities and contradictions of such questions in the context of transnational feminist theory and praxis. In particular, we will examine the relationships and divisions between “the West” and “the Rest,” the “Global South” and the “Global North,” and “developed” and “developing” countries, considering how such concepts have been constituted and understood, and how they shape people’s everyday lives. We will do this by studying the historical and ongoing processes of colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, militarism, globalization, and others that shape power and resistance globally and locally. We will also look at feminist movements and theories from the U.S., situating them within a broader global context. Special attention will be paid to Women of Color feminisms in the U.S., including Black, Latinx, Chicana, Asian American, Pacific Islander, and indigenous feminist thought, and to their often-fraught relationship to White feminism. Through the course readings, films, lectures, and discussions, we will address how various issues affect women’s lives around the world and will explore the ways in which the United States is connected with many of these global issues. This course is designed around the principle of collective knowledge production, a key tenet of feminist thought and politics. Our aim is to create a space in which all members of the class are actively teaching and learning together, and to which we each bring our own intersectional positionality—our particular social location within broader matrices of power—as valuable feminist knowledge.

Dying in Diaspora (SCT4108.01)

This class examines geographies of death, dying, and mourning as experienced by migrants living in diaspora or exile. In it, we will map out the multiple mobilities of grief and death—the circulation of emotions, cadavers, toxins and cancers, and mourning relatives gathering to grieve—and the political, and imperial, factors that co-produce death and mobility—such as the U.S. nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands, U.S.-Mexico border policing that pushes migrants into death-producing deserts, or the woefully inadequate U.S. recovery efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane María. We will also consider the transnational political economy of dying ‘at a distance’—including the exorbitant costs of transporting bodily remains and the resulting shifts in migrants’ shifting burial and cremation practices—as well as affective circulations of grief and trauma across time and space. In particular, we will pay attention to how experiences of large-scale intergenerational trauma are compounded by and linked with experiences of ‘individual’ grief and loss by migrants living in diaspora. Throughout the course, we will engage feminist geopolitical scholarship on the interplay between the global and the intimate, as well as indigenous feminist theories on research methods, emotion, trauma, and power relations.

Making and Breaking International Law (HIS4218.01)

International law is no longer merely “out there” somewhere, relevant only to travelers, merchants and diplomats. International law is being globalized, and glocalized, so that it now covers complex contested areas such as civil unions, health insurance, sexual orientation, migration. We will focus on the fundamentals of twenty-first century international law, delving into areas including: Human Rights, Peace Building, Conflict Resolution, Migration, and Restorative Justice. Engagement avenues include attendance at relevant campus talks and events, working through readings and notable cases, discussion posts, small-group activities, projects and papers.

Gothic Vision: Specters of Subversion, Medieval to Tomorrow (AH4108.01)

The Gothic is a worldview equally at home in nostalgia and strangeness. It thirsts for arcane, even perverse, knowledge and is frequently motivated by a fearful fascination with the foreign. In Gothic novels (the first of which appeared in London in 1764) psychic ‘interiority’ is revealed in dark spaces tainted by unthinkable crimes or haunted by spirits. But if seeing is believing in Gothic literature, how can art history begin to reclaim the Gothic image on its own terms? How, for example, do Gothic fiction’s ‘special effects’ rely on paintings and prints to evoke the exotic and unimaginable? To answer these questions, this visual culture course will range widely from the original Gothic style in medieval Christian art and architecture to proto-Romantic and modern revivals of the Neo/Gothic in text, film, television, and music video. (NB: this is not Vampires 101, but there will be blood.) We will draw on traditional art history and cultural theory, as well as feminist, gender, critical race, and queer studies. Working collaboratively, our transdisciplinary approach will produce a useful chronology of Gothic visual culture in all its—at times, ridiculous—sublimity.

Toward a Rigorous Art History (AH2109.01)

A “rigorous study of art” became the goal of Philosopher and Cultural Critic Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) when his growing distaste for the outlook and methods of his art history professor—the famous and foundational Heinrich Wölfflin—caused him to consider publishing an account of “the most disastrous activity I have ever encountered at a German university.”

Striking a balance between Benjamin’s histories of the marginal and Wölfflin’s big picture formalism, this wide-ranging introductory course requires the serious, if necessarily fast-paced, analysis (and memorization) of a broad constellation of paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, architecture, monuments, and examples of material and visual culture across both time and place. Along the journey students will acquaint themselves with various art historical methodologies, critical terms, and disciplinary controversies. Mid-term/Final/Short papers.

Visual Arts Lecture Series Seminar (VA4218.01)

This discussion-animated, readings-based seminar provides art historical, cultural, and critical contexts for the Visual Arts Lecture Series (VALS). In addition to our ongoing interrogation of the public lecture as such, students present their own work (in any field) and analyze the technical and stylistic aspects of structuring an effective and engaging ‘talk.’ The course provides unique opportunities for interaction with visiting artists, curators, critics, and historians. Consistent participation and a formal presentation of work/research is required, as are visits to local and regional museums and archives. Please note: Students taking the seminar will not need to register for, and will not receive separate credit for VALS. However, attendance at all VALS lectures is a requirement of the course.

Introduction to Cell Biology (with lab) (BIO4114.01)

Cells are the fundamental units that organize life. In this class we will investigate cell structure and function, learn about DNA replication and transcription, find out how proteins are synthesized and transported, and come to understand how interfering with cell biological processes can result in disease. In the lab, students will gain experience with both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and learn methods of cell biological research.

Genome Jumpstart: An Introduction to Bioinformatic Analysis (BIO2117.01)

This course offers an immersive experience into the world of DNA, genes, and genomes in eukaryotic organisms. In addition to getting a grasp of the foundational biology, we will become familiar with the computational algorithms and methodologies used to analyze and mine the ever-increasing data generated from whole-genome sequencing, high-throughput proteomic analyses, and our improved understanding of evolutionary relationships between organisms based on their molecular fingerprints. For the project portion of the course, all students will utilize public genomic databases and software to contribute to an ongoing multi-institute analysis and annotation of understudied regions of Drosophila genomes. This project work makes students eligible for future co-author status on emerging publications by the Genomics Education Partnership consortium.

Latin American Critical Theory (o, más allá de la alteridad) (SPA4716.01)

Oddly, perhaps, theory itself, despite its own premises, its ethical veneer and visceral critical posture, has never quite overcome the traditional, global division of intellectual labor. It is applied, and alterity is nominally, similarly, embraced, thus paradoxically resulting in a cultural neo-imperialism that all the while overtly denies its own imperialist practices. The title of this course, to quote Neil Larsen’s lengthier plea for an escape from such an awkward impasse, “simply means exiting, however momentarily, the hegemonic, secular-poststructuralist terms of a language-game in which ‘Latin-America’ has come to signify, always already, only one thing – a thing, that, by constantly evoking the periphery as omni-presently ‘other,’ makes its intellectual experience into something, ironically, always the same.” The content will simply be comprised of readings by critical theorists working within Latin America, an apparently atypical process. Conducted in Spanish. Advanced.

Corequisites: Language Series

Latin American Art since Independence (SPA2111.01)

This course ranges from the republican art of nation-building in the 19th century to modernism, magical realism, and the postmodern. While there will be some discussion of standard tactics such as stylistic nuances and artists’ biographies, it is expected that we will rapidly develop sufficient ability to focus on movements, theory, and politics, thus treating the works as ideologemes, representations of social import touching on several fields. The usual tactics associated with mastering a foreign language – explicit grammar sessions, vocabulary, oral and aural practice, text – will be on offer, but they 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.

Corequisites: Language Series

GANAS (APA4154.01)

In terms of public action, GANAS remains a community-driven, cross-cultural association that provides students with volunteer opportunities to engage with the predominantly undocumented Latino migrant worker population. These opportunities are facilitated by the group itself, in addition to partnerships with organizations such as Head Start, and the Bennington Free Clinic.

Current members are implementing an ESL program, women’s workshops, high-school counseling, and conferences, hosting a biweekly radio show, gathering oral histories, researching workshops on financial literacy and driver’s privilege cards, maintaining a web presence, advertising, and continuing with social events.

Fall: 4-credit course for new participants, 2- or 4-credit group tutorial for those continuing, whose presence will be required during the first hour of class time each week.

Spring: Group tutorial for those continuing.

After Utopia (SPA4504.01)

This is a course on the postcolonial philosophical projects of Latin America, though that may be a misnomer. Even the most cursory glance at studies on the continent’s appropriation of the Western philosophical tradition would show that the appropriation is so distinctive that apparently it is still possible to question its existence as philosophy. The course will include some historiography of thought, analysis of failed ontological theories and politico-economic models, some hare-brained, some practical, but will emphasize current trends in cultural studies.

Students will debate their own perspectives, both in conversation and in writing, thus developing analytical and linguistic skills, and will undertake a short research project. The usual array of media will be included. Conducted in Spanish. High-intermediate level.

Corequisites: Language Series

Introduction to Computer Science (CS2124.01)

In this class, students will be exposed to the main areas and questions related to computer science, while beginning their journey towards becoming skilled practitioners in the field. A large part of this process will include learning basic programming skills in Python, computational thinking and algorithm design. In addition, students will also formulate and explore questions of their own related to computer science.

Students planning to continue studying in computer science can take either this course or CS 2119 , but they cannot enroll in both.

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 $80 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 explore and discuss such questions as higher education in prison, alternatives to incarceration, race and incarceration, drugs and incarceration, incarceration and the mentally ill, children of incarcerated parents, and probation and other alternatives to incarceration.

Students will write one essay and make one presentation.

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.

Women’s Voices (DRA2144.01)

In this class, students will read a large canon of plays by current female playwrights working in the American Theatre today. These will include writers featured on the Kilroy List, Susan Blackburn Award Winners, Lily Award recipients, among others from my own personal list. We will also look at current initiatives within the theatre today to level the playing field and will attempt to explore the systemic reasons for this gender inequity where women playwrights are concerned.

Work will include: play discussion, staging of selected scenes read, creative and critical written responses to plays covered, and research

An Actors Technique: Nuts and Bolts (DRA4127.01)

How do actors bridge the gap between themselves and the role they are playing? How do actors rehearse with other actors in order to explore the world of the play? This non-performance based class is designed to help individual actors discover their own organic, thorough rehearsal process. Step by step we will clarify the actor’s process: character research, character exploration, text analysis, identifying actions, working with scene partners, emotional preparation, and scene presentation. Each student will be required to research and present the biography of one renowned actor during the term, and these presentations will serve as a springboard for an on-going group conversation about the craft of acting. Students will work to create a warm-up specifically designed to meet their individual needs, and work on one scene throughout the term, allowing them to explore deeply, revise, and edit their choices. Various rehearsal techniques will be explored, so that students can begin creating their own rehearsal technique for future performance work.

Corequisites: Drama Lab

Sensory Technique (DRA4161.01)

How do you create imaginary rain or cold or heat? Where are you coming from when you enter a stage from the wings? How do you personalize and endow the set and props your character thinks of as real? What is substitution and how can it help bring the relationships of a play to life? In this class, we will work with the basic canon of sensory exercises designed to give the performer these skills of the imagination and body. We will utilize the improvisational techniques of actress and teacher Kim Stanley to explore place: how one creates place, and how this allows one to achieve the much sought-after privacy in public that allows for greater freedom of expression. This is an intermediate/advanced technique class.

Corequisites: Drama Lab

Rakugo: Art of Storytelling (JPN4505.01)

Rakugo is one of the traditional Japanese art and storytelling entertainment which became extremely popular during the Edo period (1603-1868). Rakugo is a rather unique storytelling performance because a storyteller sits on a seat on the stage called “kooza” and tells humorous stories without standing up from the seat. Moreover, the storyteller narrates and plays various characters by changing his voice, pitch, tone, facial expressions, physical movements, etc.

In this course students will 1) research the history and the essential elements of rakugo, 2) examine several rakugo scripts to learn new grammar points and kanji characters, and 3) analyze how speech patterns change based on age, social status, gender, occasions, and situations. They will also examine cultural elements that are reflected in the rakugo scripts. As a part of the course, students will practice rakugo performances and write their own rakugo scripts to perform. Intermediate Level.

Corequisites: Language Series

Reinventing and Branding Japan (JPN4710.01)

After the World War II, Japan tried rigorously to improve their national reputation in the World. As Japan’s economy improved, Japan’s image shifted from a brutal and heartless military nation to a powerful economic nation, and then to a nation of “soft power.” In the last 10 years, the Japanese government came up with a PR strategy called “Cool Japan” and has been promoting the Japan’s soft power – nation’s creative industries such as fashion, manga, animation, tourism, and music. Has the “Cool Japan” strategy been successful? Is it the best way to promote Japan? In this course, students will examine the “Cool Japan” strategy and evaluate the success of the strategy. Then, students will learn and research new trends in Japan such as sustainability and renewable energy, earthquake-resistant architecture, and traditional crafts in the modern society. Throughout the course, students will practice and improve their linguistic knowledge as well as their cultural knowledge by reading and discussing various texts about the “Cool Japan” strategy and new trends in Japan. As the final project of the course, students will create a new strategy to promote Japan and present It to the Japanese people. Conducted in Japanese. Advanced level.

Corequisites: Language Series

Samurai and Art (JPN4301.01)

What is the relationship between samurai warriors and art? It is hard to imagine the two words – warriors and art – in one sentence. However, many of samurai warriors practiced and enjoyed various types of arts. For example, the powerful feudal samurai warriors, Nobunaga Oda and Hideyoshi Toyotomi, practiced closely with a tea master, Sen No Rikyu, and enjoyed tea ceremony. In addition, during the Edo period when Japan was ruled by the Tokugawa Shogunate, various art forms such as Kabuki and Ukiyoe were developed and created a unique culture.

In this course, students will examine how the samurai culture fostered Japanese art. Students will specifically read the history of tea ceremony, Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement), Noh, Kabuki, Bunraku, Ukiyoe, and Rinpa, and discuss the connections between the social events and art forms. This course is designed for students to obtain a deeper understanding of the Japanese society, history, and art as well as to practice linguistic skills. Conducted in Japanese Low-Intermediate level.

Corequisites: Language Series

100 Places Where You Must Visit in Japan (JPN2112.01)

Where do you want to go when you visit Japan: Mount Fuji in Shizuoka, Imperial Palace in Kyoto, or Ghibli Museum in Tokyo? What would you like to eat there? Do you want to eat sushi, tonkatsu, ramen, or pizza that is topped with corn, tuna, and mayonnaise? Do you want to see traditional performing arts like Noh and Kabuki? Or would you like to see current pop groups like Arashi and AKB48? Japan is an interesting place where tradition and modernity beneficially influence. For example, the styles and techniques of woodblock prints from the Edo period (1603-1868) were passed down to manga in the 21st century.

In this introductory level course, students will learn and examine uniqueness of Japanese regions and how traditional and modern culture coexist in the regions while they practice and build their linguistic skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) in Japanese. Students will also perform various situations to demonstrate their understanding of Japanese language and culture. Japanese writing systems – Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji – will be introduced. Introductory level.

Corequisites: Language Series

Shakespeare: The Tragedies (LIT2217.01)

We will read the major tragedies–Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Antony & Cleopatra; view important film productions; and read a range of historical and contemporary criticism. There will be exams, papers, and in-class conferences.

Physics I: Forces and Motion (with lab) (PHY2235.01)

Physics is the study of what Newton called “the System of the World.” To know the System of the World is to know what forces are out there and how those forces operate on things. These forces explain the dynamics of the world around us: from the path of a falling apple to the motion of a car down the highway to the flight of a rocket from the Earth. Careful analysis of the forces that govern these motions reveal countless insights about the world around you and enable you to look at that world with new eyes. While there are no explicit prerequisites for this course, a proficiency with algebra is assumed.

Corequisites: Physics I Lab

Monitoring the Paran Creek Watershed (ES2113.01)

Much discussion of environmental protection is based on the unit of a local watershed. Fully considering a watershed requires relating landscapes, land cover, and human land use to the waterways that we rely upon to live. This field-based class will work with community groups and environmental professionals to begin a long-term watershed monitoring system for Paran Creek. This will include discussion of which measureable parameters can be used to define the “health” of a natural water system, and practical field work, collecting data and installing equipment. Much of the coursework will be quantitative in nature, and fieldwork will require moderate physical activity.

Senior Seminar in Society, Culture, and Thought (SCT4750.02, section 2)

This advanced research seminar offers students the opportunity to conduct culminating work in Society, Culture and Thought (SCT) in the form of an independent research project. For most students, this will be a one-semester project. For other students, this will be the first half of a year-long project that involves fieldwork, archival research, and/or the collection of data. For all students, however, the process in these fourteen weeks is very similar, if not exactly the same: all students must conduct a detailed review of the scholarly literature that informs their inquiry, and must begin to situate themselves within that scholarly conversation as an independent voice. We will begin the course by reflecting on the nature of SCT-related disciplines (Anthropology, Environmental Studies, History, Philosophy, Political Economy, Politics, Psychology, Social Psychology), and what it means to conduct individual research in these various disciplines. Aside from shared readings, students will be largely focused on research and readings directly related to their individual projects. Writing will take place throughout the term, and students will receive feedback from the instructor, from classmates, and from a second-reader on the SCT faculty. Individual work in progress will be discussed and workshopped in class.

David Anderegg
M/Th 3:40-5:30
This course is categorized as All courses, SCT.

Photography Foundations (Analog) (PHO2136.01)

What does it mean to study photography at Bennington? This course explores a wide range of approaches to the medium and introduces students to the various photographic genres with an emphasis on contemporary practice. The class will be devoted to both black and white and color analog materials and processes, including cameras, light kits, and light meters available at the College. Introduction to scanning and the digital work flow will also be included. Readings, personal research, along with engaged work share discussions, will provide the basis for taking further course work in photography. Please note that this course will require additional materials to be purchased by the student.

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 will not be considering Genesis in terms of its status as scripture. Instead, we consider it as a literary work, a case study in the History of the Book, and a primary source for the history of the ancient world.

History of the Book (HIS4109.01)

The aim of this course is to think about books. Not just books as objects, but books as the signifiers of a wealth of relationships – between reading and writing, between people and ideas, between people and people, between technologies and desires. For centuries, our ideas have been shaped by the rhythms and hierarchies inherent in the nature of print. But the nature of the book itself has changed enormously over time – from the painstaking creation of ancient papyri and codices to Gutenberg and the fifteenth-century printing revolution. Moreover, as these technologies have changed, so have their associated phenomena of authorship, authority, and reading itself. And now, as blogs, wikis, and Google shift the discourse from page to screen, old definitions and relations are undergoing yet another series of unimagined changes. 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 the nature and significance of these objects, their content, and the relationships they embody.

Gender in Early Modern Europe (HIS2102.01)

The aim of this course is to interrogate historical perceptions of women and gender in the early modern era, and to develop a critical approach to primary source documents. We attempt to complicate constructions of ideal feminine behavior by examining the evidence that shows what women actually were up to. In addition to the ways in which major writers and thinkers saw women, we want to know – how did women see themselves in Europe and the British Isles from 1500 to 1800? If asked “what is important to you?” or “what do you do?” how might they have answered? And how do these answers about women and womanliness affect our understanding of early modern men and masculinity? Using letters, court records, journals, art, and published treatises, we explore beyond the veil of the Victorian era’s celebration of “separate spheres”.

The Philosophy of Democracy (PHI2132.01)

This course examines the philosophical grounds of democracy as well as the critique of democracy. We ask what values and practices ought to anchor our understanding of democracy and engage with debates about the value of democracy. This class requires close reading of primary philosophical texts and a number of written papers.

Philosophy & Biography: Wittgenstein (PHI4105.01)

Ludwig Wittgenstein is one of the most influential and important of twentieth century philosophers and one of its most enigmatic characters. In this course you will read two of Wittgenstein’s central works, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and Philosophical Investigations. We will arrive at a detailed understanding of Wittgenstein’s philosophy, its themes, arguments and development. Alongside this philosophical journey you will read various biographies, memoirs, and fictionalized biographies of Wittgenstein’s life as well as viewing Derek Jarman’s film on the life of Wittgenstein. We will examine the connection between Wittgenstein’s life and his philosophy.

2D-3D-2D – Animation in a Created World (MA4203.01)

The class will be concerned with manipulating two dimensional imagery, creating three dimensional forms and models by utilizing the laser cutter, and finally animating forms, drawings, objects combined with the three dimensional world using tracking cameras and a green screen.

We will be moving backwards and forwards between creating worlds and manipulating these worlds, creating images to animate and animating them.

Original narratives, adapted stories, historical references will be used for source materials. Various animators will be looked at.

Farhad Mirza will be embedded in a portion of the classes.

Animation 1 (MA2105.01)

The class will be concerned with animating inanimate objects by stop motion, drawings, and cut out collages. A variety of filmmakers and techniques will be looked at during the course of the semester. Students will be expected to produce a variety of short projects followed by a longer more sustained project based on current events and environmental issues. Students will be instructed in using ‘Dragonframe’ Software, the Multiplane process, and video editing software. Experimentation with ways animation are presented will be undertaken; projection, web, etc.

Students are required to take History of Animation in conjunction with this class.

Corequisites: History of Animation

Chemistry 1: Chemical Principles (with Lab) (CHE2211.01)

This course is the first of a four-course chemistry sequence covering general, organic and biochemistry. Students do not need to take the entire sequence. We will focus on introductory chemical principles, including atomic theory, classical and quantum bonding concepts, molecular structure, organic functional groups, and the relationship between structure and properties. The class will have lecture/discussion meetings at which we will critically examine the major concepts of reading assignments, discuss articles, and review some of the current developments of the field. The aim of the laboratory will be to develop your experimental skills, especially your ability to design meaningful experiments, analyze data, and interpret observations. Some background in math (pre-calculus) would be helpful.

Corequisites: Lab

The Chemistry of Drugs and Natural Remedies (CHE2201.01)

We hear about new drugs all the time: on TV, in the news, the opioid crises, etc. There is also lots of advertising for alternative treatments for illness or well-being. People have many questions about how drugs, plants, or supplements work and how do you tell if they are effective. These and other questions are considered in this introductory course, open to all students. No science background is needed. We will learn the chemistry and biochemistry necessary to understand the relationship between drug shape and function. Students will investigate what is known about active ingredients in natural remedies and evaluate data on their effectiveness. Social, political, and economic issues and the connection between pharmaceutical companies, profit, and the health industry related to drugs will also be addressed. Students are expected to do research, write papers, present discussions in class, as well as show competence in the chemical background.

Adaptation (DRA2249.01)

Adaptation: A writer is a reader moved to imitation.

Appropriation, repurpose, pastiche, hybrid, sampling, remix, in conversation, mash up. Everyone knows that when you steal, steal from the best. When we write we may borrow the structure of a sonata, the plot from a story, the tang and tone of a novel, and characters from our own lives. Is everything we write adaptation? We will read 5-7 plays and novels, watch movie and musical adaptations, and adapt a myth, a poem, a news item, 3 inanimate objects, and a song. The final project will be an adaptation of a short story into a play that is 30-90 pages long.

Choice and Consequence: Alternative History (DRA2277.01)

The theater is the place where we learn how to be. At its best, it is a rehearsal for the great moments of our life, including our happinesses. Love, death, we see it on stage and it prepares us for our life.” —John Guare

A play is a metaphoric and empathic art form that seduces us into imaginatively making choices and suffering consequences along with the characters on stage. Every day in the real world, we watch as people make choices whose consequences are truly ours to share—some global, some local, some only in our dreams. What if we could rewrite those choices and change what happens to our lives, our world? We will read 5-7 works of literature and watch several films to explore how the narrative art form navigates and exploits the gravitational pull of history and how the cascade of choice and consequence organizes dramatic event.

Students will choose a public figure born after 1935 (politician, author, rock star, astronaut, etc.), research their life, and identify a series of their choices and resulting consequences. Students will then write a 30 to 90 minute play where their central character makes a different choice, and the world, as defined by the world of the play, changes.

Critical Conversations in Society, Culture & Thought: The Great Transformation at 75 (SCT2132.01)

This course will introduce students to Society, Culture & Thought by engaging with the work of one of Bennington College’s most remarkable former professors, Karl Polanyi. Seventy-five years ago, fleeing the rise of Naziism in Europe, Polanyi arrived at Bennington, and gave a series of public lectures that offered a bold new interpretation of what had gone wrong as the world fell into unprecedented turmoil. Soon, he was hard at work transforming these early thoughts into what became his magnum opus, The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time. As the war and the manuscript both neared completion in 1944, Polanyi left the final revisions in the hands of colleagues at Bennington as he rushed back to Europe to put his stunning synthesis to work rebuilding the world.

This class will be structured into two parts. Over the first half of the term, we will read and dissect The Great Transformation through a range of disciplinary lenses, including political economy, anthropology, and politics. This half of the course will culminate with students attending The Great Transformation at 75, a convening of renowned public intellectuals, writers, and activists that aims to consider the relevance of The Great Transformation to our current political moment. The second half of the term will focus on using concepts and tools from the social sciences and humanities to consider the applicability of Polanyi’s ideas to today’s most pressing issues: globalization and market fundamentalism; the rise of hypernationalism and xenophobia; climate change and the commodification of nature; and the potential for reinvigorating democracy.

Comparative Political Corruption (POL4102.01)

Political corruption is broadly understood to involve the exploitation of public office for private gain. It is a longstanding problem, and it persists more or less in every society, including old democracies and developing countries. This course explores the definitions, drivers, patterns, effects and control of political corruption from a global perspective. Key topics include: a survey of major social science and public policy debates on the meanings, indicators, and causes of corruption; corruption in historical perspective across different political cultures and systems; contemporary political scandals and their ramifications for human rights, democracy, development, conflict, and international security; and national and international strategies to counteract or prevent the corrupt practices of public officials.

Foundations of Global Politics (POL2103.01)

In this wide-ranging introduction to the study of international politics, we will be exploring how states and non-state actors negotiate their interactions in an increasingly interconnected, interdependent and globalized world. Core themes will include: contending theoretical approaches to international relations (realism, liberalism/idealism, constructivism, structuralism, Marxism, feminism and post-colonialism); historical evolution of the international system; foreign policies of major global and regional powers; the growing roles of non-state transnational actors such as terrorist networks and humanitarian non-governmental organizations; multilateral organizations and other institutional architectures of global governance; alternative global futures; and case studies of policy responses and solutions to major global issues, including economic inequality, environmental challenges, armed conflicts and other forms of humanitarian crises.

History of Theater II (DRA2282.01)

This course offers a continuing introduction to the history and development of world theater and drama. We will experience the vibrant pageant of theater history through an exploration of its conventions and aesthetics, as well as its social and cultural functions. Starting in the nineteenth century, we will read representative plays ranging from the advent of stage Realism and Naturalism with Ibsen and Strindberg, through modern and contemporary drama. As we study theatrical movements including Symbolism, Expressionism, Epic Theater, and Theater of the Absurd, we will also read key critical and theoretical texts illuminating the plays. Looking at theater history as “living theater,” the course encompasses not only the study of plays as dramatic texts, but also their contexts of theater architecture and stagecraft, performance conventions, debates of art and commerce, and shifting relationships to the audience.

Introduction to Dramaturgy (DRA4281.01)

The dramaturg serves as a powerful medium in the theatre. She bridges the past and the present, the creative team and the audience, while providing critical generosity and historical and literary insight. In this course, we will learn about the history and practice of dramaturgy, while learning how the critical and research skills of the dramaturg can apply to a wide array of theatrical and artistic disciplines. Through weekly readings and assignments, students will engage with various tools and methods of dramaturgy, including text analysis, research skills, exploring the archive, theatrical translation, and Shakespearean dramaturgy. “Introduction to Dramaturgy” is recommended for theater practitioners—actors, directors, designers, and playwrights—as well as for students with an interest in literature, history, and criticism.

The Camp Aesthetic (DRA2167.01)

Sometimes seen as gaudy, perverse or excessive, camp is a sophisticated and consummately theatrical style, doubly viewing life as theater and gender as performance. Camp’s essence “is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration,” as Susan Sontag argued in her epochal and controversial 1964 essay “Notes on Camp.” Developing historically as a language of the closet, the camp aesthetic has long since migrated from homosexual communities to the mainstream, even as it remains rooted in gay sensibilities (and is channeled by modern pop queens like Lady Gaga and Janelle Monáe). Starting in the late nineteenth century and traversing into our current “extreme camp moment” (as described by Andrew Bolton), this course will explore a varied canon of theater and film stemming from the camp imagination: florid, baroque, irreverent, and absurd, and often intersecting with drag performance. We will study theatrical work by playwrights such as Oscar Wilde, Jean Genet, Tennessee Williams, and Charles Busch; influential theaters like the Caffe Cino, the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, and Split Britches; and creator-performers of feminist camp such as Marlene Dietrich, Mae West, and Eartha Kitt. We also examine films by Jean Cocteau, Douglas Sirk, John Waters, Ken Russell, Pedro Almodóvar, and Anna Biller, among others. As students explore these theatrical and cinematic works, they will learn about camp’s shifting dualities of meaning: as a sensibility of both irony and affection; as object and gaze; as both art-for-art’s-sake style and subversive political tool that—in the words of Charles Ludlam—“turns values upside down.”

History of Photography/20th Century (PHO2154.01)

This class explores the various ways photography was intertwined with the artistic, political, and scientific developments of the 20th century on a global level. Students will do weekly research connecting to online sites hosted by major institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Getty and others. Class discussions, identification tests, and reflection essays are included in addition to slide presentations of material.

Directing II (DRA4376.01)

We will address the process of discerning a text’s dramatic potential and realizing that potential in performance by developing and implementing a directorial approach through analysis and rehearsal techniques. The term is divided between exercises and rehearsal of individual projects. The work of the course will culminate in a director’s approach essay, a rehearsal log, and a public performance of student-directed scenes.

The Actor’s Instrument (DRA2170.01, section 1)

An actor honors and bears witness to humanity by embodying and giving voice to the human element in the landscape of theatrical collaboration. Investigating the impulses and intuitions that make us unique as individuals can also identify that which constitutes our shared humanity. Through exploration of the fundamentals of performance, students address the actor’s body, voice, and imagination as instruments for creating drama, conflict, action and story. Course work includes: relaxation techniques, improvisation, basic sensory and imagination exercises, character analysis, and beginning text work. We will read and discuss several plays throughout the term, as well as theory.

Corequisites: Dance or Drama Lab Required

Kirk Jackson
T/F 10:30-12:20
This course is categorized as All courses, Drama.

Sewing Fundamentals (DRA2130.01, section 1)

Students will learn the basics of sewing. Included will be various hand stitches used in garment construction and repair as well as learning how to use a sewing machine.

Sewing Fundamentals (DRA2130.02, section 2)

Students will learn the basics of sewing. Included will be various hand stitches used in garment construction and repair as well as learning how to use a sewing machine.

Architecture I – Elements (ARC2101.01)

Introduction to the discipline of architectural exploration. Architecture I focuses on the formation of architectural concepts through the development of spatial investigations using scale models and drawings.

We begin with a series of abstract exercises which explore ways in which meaning is embedded in form, space and movement. These exercises gradually build into more complex architectural programs organized around particular problems.

In the second half of the term, small architectural projects will be developed on a campus site, culminating in a final presentation of measured drawings and a scale model.

Corequisites: Architectural Graphics

*When you register for this course online, the Registrar’s Office will register you in the corequisite course ARC 2104 Architectural Graphics on Wednesday, May 15*

Architectural Graphics (ARC2104.01)

An introduction to a broad range of drawing techniques, including observational drawing, diagrammatic sketching, and geometric constructions. We will also master the conventions of architectural drawing, from plans and sections to three-dimensional projections. Weekly workshops and drawing assignments are required.

Corequisites: Architecture 1 – Elements

*When you register for ARC 2101 Architecture I – Elements online, the Registrar’s Office will register you in this corequisite course on Wednesday, May 15*

 

Senior Projects (LIT4795.01)

For seniors working on critical or creative senior theses in Literature.Each student will devote the term to completing the draft of a unified manuscript in a single genre –- 75 pages of fiction or creative nonfiction, 50 pages of criticism, 30 pages of poetry, or a lengthy translation project. Every week, the class will critique individual manuscripts-in-progress. These peer critiques will be supplemented with multiple individual meetings with the instructor over the course of the term. Additionally, students will occasionally read and discuss outside work in order to consider the various strategies poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers employ in putting together a full-length manuscript. Students are asked to begin work on their projects during the summer. Full-length first drafts of projects will be completed by the end of the term.

Corequisite: Students are required to be in attendance at all Literature evenings and Poetry at Bennington events (most Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm).

The New York School of Poetry (LIT2198.01)

This course will serve as an immersion in the work of several major American poets of the 1950s and 1960s, noted for their humor, irreverence, disjunctive experimentation, charm, and wildness, and collectively known as the New York School. We will begin by focusing on the original generation of New York School poets: John Ashbery, Frank OHara, Kenneth Koch, James Schuyler, and Barbara Guest. We will also study the Abstract Expressionist painters who were these poets’ contemporaries and close friends, discuss connections between New York School poets and the French surrealists of the early 20th century, and examine the New York School against the cultural, political, and social landscape of 1960s New York. We will then trace the influence of the New York School on subsequent generations of writers, reading the work of Ted Berrigan, Joe Brainard, Dorothea Lasky, Bernadette Mayer, Eileen Myles, Alice Notley, Morgan Parker, Anne Waldman, and Dean Young. Students are responsible for weekly response papers, occasional creative imitations, and two longer critical projects.

Corequisites: Students are required to be in attendance at all Literature evenings and Poetry at Bennington events (most Wednesday evenings at 7:00p

Plastic Pollution and What Students Can Do About It (APA2176.01)

Plastic pollution is gaining international attention for the damage it is doing to human health, fish and wildlife, the climate, the ocean and communities. This class will explore the dimensions of the problem, the root causes of plastic pollution and the need for innovation. The class will be taught in the Center for the Advancement of Public Action and will have a major focus on public action. Students will develop community projects to reduce plastic pollution, write letters to the editor and be empowered to take action on this worldwide problem.

Advanced Workshop for Painting and Drawing: The Contemporary Idiom (PAI4216.01)

This course is for experienced student artists with a firm commitment to serious work in the studio. Students will work primarily on self-directed projects in an effort to refine individual concerns and subject matter. Students will present work regularly for critique in class as well as for individual studio meetings with the instructor. Development of a strong work ethic will be crucial. There will be an emphasis on the growth of each student’s critical abilities, the skills to think clearly and speak articulately about one’s own work and the work of others. There will be supplemental readings, student research and presentations about the work of 20th and 21st century artists. Please note that this course may require additional materials to be purchased by the student.

Conspiracies: Past, Present, Always (HIS2112.01)

Conspiracy theories have a long and interesting history in American politics and culture. Indeed, some of today’s most interesting and diabolical conspiracy theories actually took hold in the era of the American Revolution. They have persisted across generations and centuries, periodically exploding into epidemic-level mass paranoia. Through select case studies, primary documents, cultural artifacts, films, and declassified dossiers, we will explore conspiracy theories as an enduring but not entirely benign phenomenon of everyday life in America. We will also explore the emerging use of social media, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence to create and disseminate conspiracy theories. Weekly readings, discussion posts, small-group activities, and projects.