Archives

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. 

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).

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!

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 thiw 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).

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.

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.

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.

Advanced Voice (MVO4401.02, section 2)

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

Corequisites: Attendance and participation in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30 – 8pm).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 (MIN4333.01, section 1)

Individual private lessons for advanced students. Audition required. Weekly meetings times on scheduled class days arranged with the instructor. Participation in music workshop and end-of-term recital required.

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

Piano (MIN4333.03, section 3)

Individual private lessons for advanced students. Audition required. Weekly meetings times on scheduled class days arranged with the instructor. Participation in music workshop and end-of-term recital required.

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

Piano (MIN4333.02, section 2)

Individual private lessons for advanced students. Audition required. Weekly meetings times on scheduled class days arranged with the instructor. Participation in music workshop and end-of-term recital required.

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

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 (MIN4236.01, section 1)

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.

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.”

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)

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)

Sage City Symphony (MPF4100.01)

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

Jazz Ensemble (MPF4250.01)

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

Jazz Piano (MIN4240.01)

Weekly private instruction in jazz piano to be arranged with instructor. Explore and develop skills and knowledge required to effectively play non-classical piano repertoire. Styles covered: blues, reggae, salsa, bossa-nova and jazz. Create bass lines, chord voicings, stylistic rhythms, melodies and improvised solos.

Violin/Viola (MIN4345.01)

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

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

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

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

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.

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: 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.

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.

Faculty Performance Production (DRA4152.01)

A faculty directed production is to be determined. Most likely it will be a contemporary playwright, with a target performance date of early November.

This course is for students cast or otherwise assigned production responsibilities and represents the work both in and out of rehearsal necessary to build a successful performance and/or collaboration in production. Rehearsals, tech, and performance constitute students’ commitment.

Kirk Jackson
M/T/W/Th 7:00-10:00 (plus 1 weekend day TBA)
This course is categorized as All courses, Drama.

“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

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

Cello (MIN4355.01)

Studio instruction in cello. There will be an emphasis on creating and working towards an end-of-term project for each student. Students must have had at least three years of cello study.

Corequisites: Music Workshop attendance 7 times per term.

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

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.

Advanced Voice (MVO4401.01, section 1)

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

Corequisites: Attendance and participation in Music Workshop (Tuesday, 6:30 – 8pm).

Bass Intensive (MIN4026.01)

Advanced studies in theory relating to performance.

Corequisites: Students must be enrolled in Bass with Bisio (MIN4417) simultaneously, no exceptions. This class is only for advanced students and by permission of instructor.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.