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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 I (MIN2232.02, section 2)

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

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)

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)

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.

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:

For registration please complete this form

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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 (FV2303.01, 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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.

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”.

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.

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.

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.