Archives

The Actor’s Instrument (DRA2170.01)

Acting, when done well, is the pure expression of human emotion and spirit through text. To do so effectively, one must have adequate training. The actor’s voice, body, mind, and spirit are the tools of the trade and in this course, we will work to hone each one.

This course provides a safe environment for the actor to explore and play in the pursuit of bringing texts to life. We will work rigorously to train the the actor’s voice and body, working towards creating three dimensional human beings worthy of the stage.

My goal as a teacher is to give the building blocks to develop your voice and body and to tap into your already rich inner life. Using scene work, improvisation, outside readings, and various exercises, we will explore how our rich life experiences can aid in the pursuit of mastery and craft.

Co-requisites: Dance or Drama Lab required.

Shawtane Bowen
W 10:00-11:50 & W 2:10-4:00
This course is categorized as All courses, Drama.

Beginning Guitar (MIN2247.02, section 2)

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

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

Beginning Guitar (MIN2247.01, section 1)

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

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

Making the Third Ear (MUS4356.01)

This class will start with a grounding in the history and science of psychoacoustics. We will listen to binaural beats, watch psychostrobic flicker, create beating patterns using oscillators, and conduct other experiments in the sound studio to gain a deeper understanding of psychoacoustics. We’ll study an array of musical examples in popular culture (iDosers) and contemporary music (Lucier, Schmickler, with a special focus on the work of Maryanne Amacher) and look how sound, space and the brain have influenced thinking in visual artists and vice versa (Hecker, Sandback, Anthony McCall, Sharits). Students will propose a project at mid-term, ranging from compositions to visual art installations to scientific experiments, and will present their work in a collaboratively curated exhibition at the end of the term.

Sergei Tcherepnin
W 10:00-11:50
This course is categorized as All courses, Music.

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

The question is what do you want to say? As we develop our interests in sculpture it becomes more and more imperative to find our own voice. The role of the artist is to interpret personal conditions and experiences and find the most effective expression for them. This course provides the opportunity for a self directed study in sculpture. Students are expected to produce a significant amount of work outside of regular class meetings. The goal is for students to become fully versed in issues that define traditional and contemporary sculpture. Regular individual and bi- monthly critiques with visitors will be complimented by student presentations of issues pertaining to their work. Students will be expected to attend field trips to museums and galleries. Complete one project in the installation space and project on the sign out wall.

Reveries (ARC4124.01)

Students will develop solitary retreats for a writer/reader/dreamer. We will explore the links between poetics and architecture through the close study of texts and images. The structures will be inspired by poetry and conducive to reverie.

There are aspects of poetry that share qualities with architecture: structure, rhythm, repetition, shape, etc. Particular to architecture is the tectonics of building, encompassing materials, textures and systems of assembly. Each of these elements hold poetic potential. The studio’s physical engagement with a place, with time, with weather and the seasons offer further opportunities for expression. Examples can be found in John Hejduk’s Masques, Raimund Abraham’s Dream Buildings and projects by the French Enlightenment visionaries, Boullee, Ledoux and Lequeu. Through digital and analog drawing and modelling we will test strategies for visual composition, tectonic legibility, and translation from text to object.

The grounds of the Robert Frost Stone House and Museum will provide the site for the studios. Each student will select a location for their project after a careful study of the land and its prospects.

Don Sherefkin and Farhad Mirza
W 10:00-11:50 & W 2:10-4:00
This course is categorized as All courses, Architecture.

Resilience and Food Access in Bennington, VT (APA2241.01)

What is a resilient community food system? How is community health impacted by food access and quality? This class will explore these questions through community engagement and research with a focus on sustainable food system interventions in Bennington, Vermont. Resilience is the ability for a system to adapt to changing circumstances, including poverty, climate change, and health crises. This class will look particularly at the food access supplied by neighborhood corner stores and community gardens. The class will research case studies of food relocalization and public health initiatives to learn best practices in community food security. Working with the local community in Bennington (including the town, local public health district, local organizations, and small business owners), this class will explore the accessibility of food to residents in town and engage in projects that increase access to local, nutritious food in downtown neighborhoods.

Identità e cucina: Food in Italian Regional Cultures (ITA4216.01)

In Italy, regional cuisine is an essential component of local identities and a crucial element to understand diversity in the national context. This course focuses on the food practices and typical dishes of Italian regional cultures as the students advance in the study of the language. This course is offered at the elementary level and conducted in Italian. The class will engage in discourse that moves beyond the sentence level and steps into the linguistic production of abstract thought, with an emphasis on oral communication and paragraph-level writing.

Advanced Workshop in CAPA (APA4109.01)

This course is designed for seniors or second term juniors who are doing advanced work. Advanced work in CAPA is expected to build on proven strengths in other discipline areas with previous coursework relevant to their area of interest. This spring seminar provides a unique venue for students to better define and pursue the public implications of their education. Students are expected to creatively and critically engage a problem with an eye towards solving it. It is advisable to connect the Field Work Term to the research and project that students will focus on in this course. Senior work is reviewed by CAPA faculty and culminates in a public presentation.

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

Plastic pollution has emerged as a major environmental, health and economic issue with direct links to climate change. 9 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean each year. In the next decade, there will be 1 lb of plastic in the ocean for every 3 lbs of fish.  Plastics are made from chemicals and a by-product of fracking. And we can’t recycle our way out of this problem. This is a cutting edge public policy class that will delve into the details of this issue, while teaching students how to take political action to stem the tide of plastic pollution. Taught by Judith Enck, a seasoned environmental leader who served in the Obama Administration, the work is also linked to Beyond Plastics, a nationwide grassroots organizing campaign committed to  reducing plastic pollution, based at Bennington College. At the end of the class, you will be very well informed about plastic pollution and emerge with new organizing skills that will help you be a leader on a range of issues that you care about.

Intermediate Video (FV4143.01)

Intermediate Video will build on technical skills introduced in Intro to Video. Students will be expected to produce in-class technical exercises, short projects assigned by the instructor, and one final project of their own design. Assigned projects and assignments will have both technical and conceptual constraints. This semester of Intermediate Video will give a broad overview of contemporary approaches to pre-production, production, and editing, with an emphasis on hybrid practices, mixed methods, and inconsistent narrative modes.

Fundamentals of Creative Writing (LIT2394.01)

This class will serve as a comprehensive introduction both to the craft of creative writing and also to the workshop method. Throughout the term, we will explore poetry, literary fiction, and creative non-fiction in order to build a working knowledge of the craft and to help students begin to find their way into their own narratives and poems. Every week class will feature exercises and assignments designed to introduce and sharpen certain techniques. Over the course of the semester, students will be expected to write and workshop one short story, one lyric or narrative essay, and a small group of poems. We will also read widely across the three genres. This course is intended for students who have not yet taken a Reading and Writing course at Bennington. 

Note: Students may not take this class if they have already taken Fundamentals of Creative Writing or Animal Tales: Fundamentals of Creative Writing

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

Kiln Firing: the Art and the Science (CER4272.01)

In Kiln Firing students will be exploring the science and art of firing a kiln by first operating and understanding electric kilns, then gas kilns (both oxidation and reduction, manual and automatic), and lastly exploring atmospheric firing and alternative firing processes. Bisque firing, cone 04, 6, and 10, basic maintenance and repair, loading and unloading bisque and glaze firings, and crystobalite formation and quartz inversion will all be investigated. This course will be largely self-directed building upon a basic foundation of knowledge with topics from each student’s specific interests. Some possible subjects for exploration are once, soda and/or salt, saggar, raku, pit, and wood firing, reduction for shinos and copper reds, developing microcrystals, firing for crystalline glazes, and reduction cooling among other possibilities. These 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 the firing process. Firing is often an intimidating procedure for even the most advanced ceramic student, this class is designed to build each student’s confidence and comfort through full involvement in the firing process.

Some basic tools will be required.

Jazz Piano Lab (MIN4335.01)

This course will utilize Bennington’s Piano Lab to explore and develop the skills and knowledge required to effectively play non-classical piano repertoire. Styles covered are: blues, reggae, salsa, bossa-nova and jazz. Students will take turns learning and playing bass lines, chord voicings, stylistic rhythms, melodies and improvised solos.

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

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 Tuesday 6:30-8PM

Reading and Writing: Poetry of Trauma and Violence (LIT4290.01)

Students will read various poetry collections that deal with different forms of trauma: homophobia, lynching, war, sexual abuse, colonization, and the overall idea of how to define “violence.” There will be time to discuss prosodic interests of our poets as well as discuss how content and form work together to create a seamless work. We will then turn to our own work and analyze the how and why of our choices. As trauma is our backdrop, students are expected to come to class prepared to speak with maturity and open-mindedness about many uncomfortable topics. Though student work does not have to explore the theme of the class, I do encourage students to take risks in their own poetry and critical analyses.

Students will read an average of one collection of poetry a week, write a weekly poem, write several critical response papers using Maggie Nelson’s text The Art of Cruelty to interpret how violence operates in the poetry collections read, and prepare a final portfolio of poems and self-reflections of one’s own work as it relates to the critical essays found in The Art of Cruelty.

Corequisites: Students are required to attend all Literature Evenings and Poetry at Bennington events (typically held on Wednesdays at 7:00pm).

Insider Perspectives on the Francophone World II (FRE4224.01)

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

Corequisites: Language Series

Contemporary Chinese Poetry (CHI4216.01)

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

Corequisites: Language Series

Language Through Film (SPA4223.01)

Students in this course will continue to learn the Spanish language through an examination of films. While there will be some necessary discussion about cinematographic components, the focus of discussion will be on historical and political moments present in the films. A consideration, for instance, of national and regional identity, political violence, border crossing, intolerance, and gender identity, will drive the student-generated conversation. The course will also provide specific and explicit support for the linguistic development necessary to communicate in increasingly complex ways, in both written and oral Spanish. Co-requisite: attendance at 2 language events. Conducted in Spanish. Introductory level.

Corequisites: Language Series

Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson (LIT2199.01)

In this course we will examine the work and worlds of these two canonical American poets. We will read the poems and letters of Dickinson and the poems and prose of Whitman, paying special attention to his lifelong masterwork, Leaves of Grass. We will also dip into the biographies of these authors and attempt to place them within the context of 19th century literature and culture. Students will also read, discuss and write critical prose, present research in class and complete creative assignments.

Projection_Mapping_Design (MA4106.01)

The class will be concerned with investigating the interaction of projected imagery with an actor/performer/viewer.

Investigation will center on how projections can be integrated into, and bring further information to a location, a set and or a text. Various examples will be looked at and researched.

Two plays or texts will be used as a basis for two projects and for each, projections will be designed, and tested including different locations and on different surfaces.

The images can be created in a number of programs, with the content and how this works with the locations will be the main focus. Instruction on Qab and Madmapper will be included and used for the tests along with other software.

Movement Practice: Beginning Dance Technique (DAN2121.01)

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

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

Co-requisite: Dance or Drama lab assignment if students sign up for 4 or more credits in dance.

Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism (with lab) (PHY4327.01)

How does influence travel from one thing to another? In Newton’s mechanics of particles and forces, influences travel instantaneously across arbitrarily far distances. Newton himself felt this to be incorrect, but he did not suggest a solution to this problem of “action at a distance.” To solve this problem, we need a richer ontology: The world is made not only of particles, but also of fields. As examples of the field concept, we study the theory and applications of the electric field and the magnetic field. Students will learn how fields are generated, how fields interact with matter and with each other, and how these interactions inform our understanding the world.

Hugh Crowl
M/Th 10:00-11:50 & W 8:30-12:10 (Lab)
This course is categorized as All courses, Physics.

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

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

Isadora: Real-Time Media Manipulation for Performance (DA2136.02)

This class will introduce Isadora, a software designed for artists, designers and performers to add interactive media and video to their projects. Through a drag and drop node based interface you can control your media in real time, editing your video and audio on the fly or incorporating live video and audio feeds. Together we will learn the logic of the software and best practices for media management and equipment set up in pursuit of our creative ideas.

Advanced Mixing Techniques (MSR4365.01)

This course will offer an advanced study in studio practices. We will explore various mixing objectives and techniques through critical listening sessions, analysis, and hands-on projects. We will focus on the fundamentals as well as advanced practices of mixing, shaping the sounds through dynamic range processors and modulation tools, and various other techniques. Students will have an opportunity to practice their mixing skills through multitracks, make their own creative remixes, and share their work in-class with their peers for feedback. This course is for students who have previous experience in recording studio practices and/or with preexisting projects.

Mandolin (MIN2229.01)

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

Fiddle (MIN4327.01)

For the experienced (3+years of playing) violinist. Lessons in traditional styles of fiddling – Quebecois, New England, Southern Appalachian, Cajun, Irish, and Scottish. This course is designed to heighten awareness of the variety of ways the violin is played regionally and socially in North America (and indeed around the world these days) and to give practical music skills for furthering personal music making. Students will be expected to perform at Music Workshop, or as part of a concert, in ensemble and/or solo.

Banjo (MIN2215.01)

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

Protein Research Methods (BIO4109.01)

Research questions in cell biology and biochemistry often require the ability to study the proteins at the heart of the inquiry. This course will give students hands-on experience with techniques for quantifying proteins, detecting protein expression, assessing protein-protein interactions, purifying proteins, and visualizing fluorescently-labeled proteins in vivo. Additionally, students will read and present primary literature articles that utilize protein-based methodologies to address biological questions.

Language and Society in Vermont and its Neighbors (LIN4102.01)

The purpose of this course is twofold: first, to immerse students in the (perhaps surprisingly) rich linguistic setting of Vermont and its immediate neighbors, and, second, to introduce them to the basic methodologies of field research in sociolinguistics and related disciplines.  Thematically, the course will consider language diversity at three different scales.  We will begin by examining the numerous languages used both presently and historically in Vermont, New York, Quebec and the New England states, and will progress to study aspects of linguistic variation between members the region’s wide community of English users.  Third, we will also become familiar with patterns of variability within the speech of individual Vermonters as they adapt to new situations, topics, and interlocutors.  Throughout this process, we will especially highlight questions of language access and language equity, and students will continually work to better understand their own positionality and agentivity regarding such issues at individual and societal levels.

In addition to the above, students will also be introduced to essential principles of experimental design in language research, the specific practice of the sociolinguistic interview, and modes of qualitative and quantitative analysis in the study of naturalistic language data.  These skills will be applied in the form of a collaborative class field project addressing questions of sociolinguistic behavior in the Bennington community.

Future Studio (VA4207.01)

Future Studio is a creative incubator for the development and articulation of new non-profit or for-profit enterprises which can be launched with powerful economic potential and socially responsible missions. The studio emphasizes creativity, innovation, place-centered economies, worker-centered ownership, environmental sustainability, social justice and financial viability.

During the course, we explore the history of artists and innovative entrepreneurs who have developed organizations and enterprises that break from traditional business models and, instead, integrate creativity, arts & culture, sustainable economic development, and creative placemaking with business competencies. We investigate topics such as self-organization, self-management, and evolutionary non-extractive organizational structures that emphasize collaboration from Frederic Laloux’s seminal book Reinventing Organizations (2014) and Ensprial’s book Better work together: How the power of community can transform your business (2019).

Future Studio engages organization building as a generative and artistic space that marries inquiry-based idea development, artistic social and civic practice, iterative design, and new business models to create constructive social outcomes. We examine organizations not as machines to be optimized, with static parts and cogs aligned for a binary purpose, but rather as a living organism or ecosystem of support.

Students who are interested in rethinking what it means to create a business or organization today, possess an interest in the promise of creative enterprise and have skills and knowledge from diverse discipline areas are strongly encouraged to enroll. You do not need to be a visual arts student to meaningfully participate in this course.

**For registration please fill out this form

Design Patterns and Data Structures (CS4106.01)

In this class, students will learn common patterns used to solve problems found in software, and gain a deeper knowledge about common ways that data is stored and accessed. Students will learn about the design and implementation of data structures, including inked lists, stacks, queues, and trees. Students will also study common algorithms used to populate and query these data structures. Students will learn how to compare both the computational and memory efficiency of different algorithms and data structures, and will leave the class with a clear understanding of how and when to use each one.

Differential Equations and Non-linear Dynamical Systems (MAT4108.01)

Differential equations are a powerful and pervasive mathematical tool in the sciences and are fundamental in pure mathematics as well. Almost every system whose components interact continuously over time can be modeled by a differential equation, and differential equation models and analyses of these systems are common in the literature in many fields including physics, ecology, biology, astronomy, and economics. For example, the following can all be modeled as a system of differential equations: planets, stars, electric circuits, predator and prey populations, epidemics, and economics. We will start by studying the classical theory of ordinary differential equations then will develop dynamical systems approaches to understanding more complex non-linear systems. The goal throughout the course will be to better understand the behavior of the system being studied.

Social Expectations for Japanese Children (JPN4224.01)

This course is designed for students to learn Japanese through Japanese children’s books and animation. In this course, students will read Japanese children’s books and watch Japanese animation that is based on children’s books to examine how Japanese children are expected to behave and communicate with others. Students will also analyze cultural values in Japan, how those cultural values are taught, and how gender differences are depicted in children’s books and animation. Students will continue to develop their skills by interacting in Japanese through stating and supporting their opinions during discussions that focus on narrative texts. Approximately 60 new Kanji will be introduced. As a part of the course, students are required to read/perform Japanese children’s books to children at the Albany Japanese Language School, Schenectady, New York. As the final project of the course, students will write their own children’s book in Japanese. Conducted in Japanese.

Corequisites: Language Series